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This will probably make me sound like an ass but here we go. I am not meaning to offend.
You need to value yourself before you can honestly expect others to value you. I understand that it is a vicious circle as it appears that no one values you after all the effort your put into your work and side-projects. But you demonstrate that you don't value yourself as you accepted a shit-waged job for what? Experience? Exposure? If you know an IM/programmer gets paid $x why work for significantly less unless you are literally only working one day a week.
If you think you are a cut above the rest in value then you need to make that known.
Whilst you think no one looks at your portfolio - make them look at it, show them it in person and have them engage with it "Wow, that looks interesting". You don't see rappers on the streets saying "Here is a link soundcloud" they hand out CDs with their shit on it (Tbh they probably do now hand out links to their soundcloud).
I spent £130 ($165) on a PAL version of Frogger Beyond for the gamecube.
Collecting is one hell of a drug. I have a fairly small collection of PAL GC games but this is the first of about 5 chase games I wanted to get.
N.B. Before you Americans go into ebay and say hurrdurr this game is only $20 I need to point out that the EU versions (specifically UKV) versions of this particular Gamecube game are actually quite rare.
Oh geez the ioi meta of dating - completely forgot about that stuff. I think before I was 20 I was pretty hopeless (i had had 1 GF briefly when I was 15/16 or something) and probably took muggi's advice to heart (no offence ) but looking back over last 6 years I think I have been fairly successful (yay me) without worrying too much about iois.
Not gonna lie. The peeps that said "it'll happen" were right - the ioi stuff kinda applies if you can't gauge it ("if you have to think it was an ioi, it wasn't"?). Ask them out anyway Bonez tell them ya boy Boris will write a mean forum post about them.
I have to confess when I met my current partner I did touch her elbow while giving her a compliment because I am a smooth dude . And yes I was thinking of Muggi...