Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 22

Teresa gathered us all in the living room, or on the main deck, as she called it. She handed each of us a new set of clues, which we were allowed to read, but then had to return to her. She would, however, allow us to write down our own copies, if we so desired. Mine looked like this:

– LEO IS NOT A PIRATE, THOUGH HE PRETENDS TO BE

– YOU REMEMBER THAT REDBEARD USED CODES TO PROTECT HIS SECRETS. THE LOCATION OF HIS TREASURE, HE SAID, WAS GUARDED BY ‘THE TWELVE APOSTLES’

– THERE IS A BIBLE ABOARD. IT HAS MORE THAN ONE USE.

I looked around at the others. If Claire had the same clue, she would want her Bible back. But she was eager to meet and join forces with the Falcon, whoever that was – my enemy.

So I immediately did two things. First, I wrote some notes on the paper Teresa had provided. But I did not copy the clues she had given me. Instead I wrote down the pirate recognition signal, the fact that Claire wanted to be a pirate, and then my own piece of fiction: that the Scar intended to betray the Falcon. It was a lie, but only I knew that. Later on today, I might ‘lose’ my secret clues, or leave them lying around where someone else would find them.

The second thing I did was to sneak back into the den, and hide two pieces of paper. One was Claire’s Bible. The second was my paper that said ‘Pistol’. Upon reflection, I didn’t want to be caught with it; since Redbeard had been killed by a bullet, if anyone knew that I had a pistol, they might suspect me.

It had begun to rain, softly, and the dark clouds did not look promising. Teresa took me aside, to ask me a favor.

– “Would you organize a table tennis tournament? And perhaps billiards as well? Mix up the teams, so that everyone has a chance to play with everyone else.”

– “I can do that. Will you be participating?” I asked.

– “No, thank you.”

Teresa then announced that because of the weather, we would not have duty stations. “This afternoon,” she said, “will be devoted to games. Able seaman Colin will draw up a schedule. To add a little incentive, the winners of the table tennis and billiards tournaments will be granted a special clue concerning the whereabouts of the treasure.”

I drew up the teams in no time, and then designed a quick round-robin formula. Five teams, to play each other team, best two records meeting in a playoff final. If Teresa could play matchmaker, then so could I. First team: Craig and Claire.

Leo would kill me if I paired him up with Eliza so obviously. Also, he was a pretty weak ping-pong player. He wouldn’t want to embarrass Eliza, who had to be pretty decent – it was her table, after all. So I put Eliza with Eric, one of the most uncoordinated, un-athletic people on the planet. Leo could have Sheila for a partner, because I had seen her play once, and she was pretty good.

I would take Lena as my partner. Hopefully, she would feel more comfortable with me. And I had promised Teresa to look after her. That left Ben and Barb for the final team.

It was surprisingly entertaining. Claire was obviously nervous, perhaps distracted by having Craig for a partner. He played reasonably well, but Eliza simply returned every shot right at her best friend, knowing that Claire would squeal in panic, and either miss completely, or hit the wall, a spectator, the fridge … you name it. I should mention that we all played in costume, so it was fun to watch, too. Especially the way Ee’s breasts threatened to leap out of her shirt when she smashed the ball.

Ben and Barb then took on Sheila and Leo. I had to make a rules call. I decided that costumes count, and that Barb therefore had to play with her eye patch on. Didn’t matter; she and Ben narrowly edged Sheila, who was virtually playing alone. Leo produced a pretty funny running commentary, but it might have helped his teammate a little more if he had returned a shot or two. I decided, privately, that watching Barb’s tits jiggle was the real highlight of the match.

Lena and I then played Claire and Craig. I’m not sure if ping pong is popular in Slovenia. All I know is that Lena had never played it. You would think, with her incredible wingspan, that she might be effective. But she had the reflexes of a three-toed sloth. It was a race to see who could make the most unforced errors. Craig and I had our share of those, too, because we were both laughing so hard.

In the end, Lena and I managed to finish 4th, with a win and 3 losses. Claire and Craig were winless, while Eliza and Eric split their games. Barb and Ben, undefeated, were in the finals, against Sheila and Leo, who had lost only one game. They played an epic match, with Sheila practically standing on her head, but Ben was too much for her.

 

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How Long Does a Crush Last? 10 Steps to Get Over Your Crush ASAP

You can’t seem to get your crush out of your head, and you’ve liked them for months. Is this normal? How long does a crush last and can you move on faster?

If you’re wondering, how long does a crush last, you’re in good company. When I was in high school, I had a crush on a drummer for four years. Yes, four years. I couldn’t get over him. I thought he was amazing, I wanted him to be with me so badly. Obviously, that never happened.

But I remember spending hours, thinking to myself, how long can I like someone? When is it going to end? If you’re crushing on someone you’re probably thinking the same thing. You realize that nothing is going to happen, at least not now, and you need to get over them.

Before you learn how to get over them, you probably want to know if what you’re feeling is normal. At least, that’s what I wanted to know when I was younger. [Read: How to have fun while getting over your crush]

How long does a crush last?

Listen, having feelings for someone is completely normal and healthy. Plus, having a crush is fun, let’s face it. Even though it can end with a broken heart, the drama that leads up to it is exciting and thrilling. But what is too long to have a crush? In reality, according to psychologists, a typical crush usually lasts for four months. If the feeling persists, what you feel is what we like to call, “being in love.”

But before we start freaking out, let’s get real. Science is one thing, but it can’t measure someone’s feelings and make it a statistic. We’re all different. Whether your crush is for four months or three years, that’s okay. Now, if you want to get over your crush, here’s what you need to do.

How to get over your crush as soon as you possibly can

It’s called a crush for a reason. Cue the violin.

#1 Why do you like them? But actually, why do you like this person? What is it about them that drives you wild? You probably haven’t thought about this seriously. But you need to look at why you actually like them. Plus, how do you feel when you’re around them? Since they’re a crush, you’re probably not acting yourself which is a sign that you’re fantasizing about someone who’s not for you. [Read: Feeling lost in life? How to find yourself again]

#2 Treat it like a breakup. I know, you didn’t date them, we all know you didn’t date them. But, in order to move on, you need to treat this as a breakup. Get into bed, watch some chick flicks, start crying, and get it all out.

It’s okay to allow yourself to be sad regardless if you dated this person or not. You invested emotionally into them, so why not take the time in grieving over your crush. [Read: How to say goodbye to the might-have-beens]

#3 It’s all about distance. See, I like to think that I couldn’t get over my crush because he was in all my classes. I mean, how can you keep distance from someone who always is around you? I get it. But you’re going to have to try to create some distance between you and your crush.

You need time away from them, so avoid areas where they hang out, avoid stalking them on social media *because I know you are* and just avoid being around them as much as you can. [Read: How to get over someone you see every day without losing it]

#4 Don’t stalk them on social media. Nothing will work if you’re drooling over their photos all day. You need a break, remember? This also means from social media. If you can unfollow them, do it. If you can delete them, do it. But really, you need to do it. I know, it’s hard, but once they’re off your social media, it’s crazy how fast you forget about them.

#5 Don’t ask about them. You probably have mutual friends and that’s where you get your information. But for your sake, stop asking about your crush. Trust me, I know it’s going to be hard. But, remove them from your daily life which includes talking about them with other people. Tell your friends not to update you about your crush, that way, the information can’t fuel your feelings.

#6 Get honest with yourself. They’re a crush for a reason. You were never going to be with them. Think about the other crushes you had and how you got over them. You’ll get over this one as well. In the moment, we get all wrapped up with emotion, but at the end of the day, we all know the truth. If you made a move and were rejected, that’s okay. You did what you could and now, it’s time to move on. [Read: 14 ways to get over someone you never dated and free your mind]

#7 This will take time. Now, if this person goes to school with you or is a coworker, expect this to take longer. You can’t rush your feelings. And while you’re trying to get over them, you’re going to feel like shit. I can’t lie about that. You’re going to feel rejected and broken, but this is just the process. It’s better than living in a fantasy.

So, give yourself as much time as you need to get over your crush. The day will come when you stop thinking about them.

#8 Meet new people. This doesn’t mean you should jump to another crush. Getting over someone doesn’t work when you simply move on to someone else. If anything, that’s just the easy way out. What you need to do is meet new people around you with a positive influence. It would be even better if these people didn’t know your crush. That way, you can’t talk about them. [Read: 16 easy ways to meet new people and find your crowd]

#9 Get busy. Treat this as a breakup. With that being said, if you were breaking up with someone, I would suggest that you fill your time with things you enjoy doing.

Try to stay away from your phone because that only leads you to obsessive creeping. I am notorious for that, so I know what it’s like. Do things that you want to do, spend time with other people, literally do anything to distract yourself. [Read: 20 reasons why someone may never like you back]

#10 Flirt with someone else. Okay, this isn’t my first suggestion, but flirting always helps. This doesn’t mean you need to find someone else to obsess over, but casually flirting with other people is a nice reminder that there are other people out there. It’s an ego boost. It’s just light, innocent flirting…

[Read: Really effective tips to stop thinking about someone you really like]

Having a crush is fun and innocent, something we all experience. If you wonder, how long does a crush last, then it’s probably been too long already, and it’s high time you tried to get over them!

 

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Kita – Chapter 17 – Asian Glow

Last week when I was out with Kita, she declined a glass of wine because she said she had Asian Glow. I had never heard of it before so I decided to do some investigating on my own.

Some Asians have a natural condition that discourages them from drinking alcohol. About 50 percent of the Japanese, Korean, and Northeastern Chinese population experience a phenomenon called the Alcohol Flush Reaction (AFR), or what is commonly known as “Asian glow.” AFR is usually associated with flushing of the neck and face, but the condition also results in symptoms such as heightened heart rate, headache, and nausea, even after consuming as little as one alcoholic drink.

Typically, alcohol is metabolized in the liver, where it is oxidized first to acetaldehyde and then to acetate. Most people who experience AFR, however, flush after drinking because they lack the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydro¬genase (ALDH2) enzyme that converts acetaldehyde, resulting in an accumulation of acetaldehyde up to 10 times the normal concentration. The exact genetic nature of the deficient enzyme appears to be the presence of an allele (ALDH2*2) that inacti¬vates ALDH2 enzymes. The allele is, in fact, dominant, although heterozygous individuals show much milder reactions to alcohol than homozygous individuals.

There have been several drugs that stop the flushing, such as histamine and the over-the-counter drug, Pepcid AC. However, these drugs only mitigate the “glow,” i.e. they do not prevent the acetal¬dehyde accumulation, which is suspected to cause long-term liver problems. Thus, individuals who drink often and use drugs to suppress the flushing are at greater risk for liver diseases.

Even though the vernacular term for AFR is “Asian glow,” Asians are not the only ones who suffer from the often embarrassing “glow.” It turns out that Ashkenazi Jews often lack the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme as well.

Maybe it’s time, then, to think of a new name for “Asian glow.” Seems a little insensitive.

 

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