Tri pointe homes bar w ranch

Talking to family ( trying to post again)

2023.03.28 12:50 MeWithoutYou25 Talking to family ( trying to post again)

This is the third time I'm trying to post this, I tried to post from my person's throwaway account because we suspect that maybe someone we know found this account for me ( or maybe we are just being paranoid), I don't know if I have the mental and emotional capacity to type it all again, I haven't slept all night and to say that I'm stressed is an understatement. I will try to keep this short and to the point.
Since I last posted my person decided to go back to Chabad and pick up where he left his conversion process. We are considering that after Pesach I would talk to my grandparents ( the ones I'm close to) and my brother ( the one I'm close to) about our relationship. Once I do this though they will then tell my parents and other siblings ( it's just how it works in our family) their reaction will be absolute rage and I don't know what they will do. Now my grandparents and my brother won't be okay with this either, mostly because of the lying, sneaking around, having a relationship without being married etc but they won't care about my person being a convert or Chabad, even though they wont say this out loud, for them this are not issues, I'm also not going to get hate and yelling from them.
My person and I want to stay frum but we still want to leave this community ( yeshivish) and just go Chabad, it's what we are drawn to and how we want to live our lives, my family will never accept anything that is not an yeshivish lifestyle or marrying me to anyone short of Mir. Again, to my grandparents and my brother even though they won't say this out loud, they won't care this is not how I want to live my life or who I want to marry, so I hope I will have some sort of "support" from them. How can I start a conversation with them about all this? I know they will be very disappointed, mostly that I didn't trust them early on about this etc How much should I even say? I feel that I don't want to keep lying but I know there's certain things about this that will make my brother and grandfather really upset so maybe I should keep those details to myself, at the same time if they ask me I don't to want lie, I'm so tired of lying and live this double life, my mental health is really suffering and I don't know how much more I can take. Just looking for some advice and guidance how to go about this. My person told me to just blame it all on him but I'm obviously not going to do that, there's nothing to blame him for, I'm responsible for my own actions, also the way my family is as far as they are concerned I'm the one that was raised in a frum home so I'm the one that should have known better. Anyways, just really looking for some advice.
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2023.03.28 12:49 MediocreUppercut First Impression/AMA: The Fires of Heaven, the best one so far.

So I did an AMA after reading the first 4 books and I’m back after getting through what was perhaps the most enjoyable read in the series. Not the best mind you, I think that goes for book 2 still.
Perrin gets totally sidelined this book, which makes me happy-sad because while I like him, his POV was by far the most boring; and my favorite were Rand, Nynaeve, and Moiraine.
So when this book focused heavily on the three of them, I knew I was in for a good time.
The last ten chapters were a rollercoaster. Non stop reading. Some of my favorite media ever, period.

Notes I took while reading.

-Eladia is an idiot.
-Siuan: woman literally too angry to die
-I’m so curious wtf is gonna happen with Logain man.
-the compelling the forsaken do makes me sick to my stomach, same with the collars of the seanchan
-Asmodean and Rand have a pretty fun dynamic
-I fucking LOVE how dreams are used as communicating through vast distance. Such a clever and realistic way to move the story and communicate information between the characters
-it’s wild how the power dynamic between Moiraine and Rand has changed. Moiraine seems she will do whatever it needs to take. The mention of how she’d do everything aside from ‘sharing his sheets’ was kind of weird, especially the claims that it would bring ‘total ruin’ and I’m not sure if this will be expanded on.
-elayne flirting with thom WHYYYYYYY
-And the girls get into trouble again, drugged. This needs to stop happening lol.
-12 of the weakest Aes Sedai could beat the shit out of Rand if they are linked? That’s some bonkers shit, it seems insanely exponential. If 12 of the strongest of them link are we talking city-destroying with ease? Probably.
-what is padan fain cooking? Somebody needs to get him out of the kitchen, ASAP
-Morgase: woman literally too stubborn to be mind controlled.
-Suian has to stay close for Garett for her to live? Convenient.
-Rand walks into Aviendha changing. This could be an anime.
-Aviendha laps the other girls by going directly into fucking, while probably in another continent. Built different.
-Nyneave’s arc continues, she‘s being getting humiliated and bullied, but I wonder what the resolution will be? Just be kinder?
-Moghedien, is a fantastic villain.
-Man seeing Nyneave so battered and meek is pretty unsettling
-I feel like BIRGETTE being plucked out of the dream world to the real world is HUGE. I’m curious to see an explanation for this.
-Uno is back! Blo*dy I’m so happy!
-Galad is going to be a huge character soon isn’t he? It feels inevitable.
-Galad and Nyneave starting a war made my stomach turn, it feels like a parallel to Rand, but maybe unintentional. Nyneave certainly feels like she’s causing nothing but trouble and chaos.
-Mat is finally growing on me as a character this book. I find how he uses these memories in this head in battles, and seeing him trying to get away from Rand is straight up a tragic comedy.
-the battle Cairhienin was awesome. Seeing Rand plus Egwhene and Avhienda do damage with their powers was a sight to see. It especially made me happy that Rand got plucked away from the front lines because it’s so obvious he can do so much more from afar. The Mat chapters in the battle were fantastic too! The remaining Shaido will be relevant in the future I want to bet.
-Sammel chucking lighting bolts from afar was weirdly funny to me.
-When Moiraine swore obedience to Rand I was expecting the power dynamic to go further and further in Rand’s favor. But now he listens to her all the time, and if anything he’s constantly seeking her. Funny how that works. But I think this is for the better, I’m pretty sure Moiraine wants nothing but the best.
-Seeing Rand’s growth is always so satisfying, from the village boy into an expert player of the game of houses, into the dragon reborn. And it makes me pretty sad too. Cold and hard he wants to be, I eagerly await to see how far he goes. He has much of the east under his control now and it’s a treat to watch him at work.
-who gets the throne of Cairhien? I was thinking Moiraine but would that even work? He could command her but wasn’t her house irrelevant now? Or non-existent? I don’t remember.
-Man the dark ones seal are being broken left and right. What is up with that.
-This is so WEIRD. it feels like the climax of the book happened with the battle for Carhein but we keep going.
-Rand scaring thots. Alviarin is one hundred percent Black Ajah. Mat being a general, a top one of that, with his memories is a really fun development.
-the news of Morgase dying really angered Rand and this idea SEEMS TERRIBLE. Oh boy oh boy. There is no way they go straight to attack gabril/rahvin
-And moiraine just goes with it?
-Melindhra was the hinted Aiel dark friend. I feel so bad for Mat.
-Moiraine putting up so many death flags PLEASE STOP
-So, Moiraine is dead. This is probably the second time I’ve gotten really sad in this series. Lans reaction messed up
-Alright Moiraine’s letter got my eyes watery. you will do well fuck me
-I don’t believe for a minute Mat and Avhie
-Moghedien jumpscare
-nyneave FINALLY gets her W. But for the second time she’s now used that seanchan collar and leash. I hope this doesn’t point to what kind of road she might take in the future
-Rand and Rahvin fighting in the dreamworld is just a banger. Nyneave saving the day was cool. Baelfire working as a way to bring back the ‘dead’ is awesome stuff
-Rand wanting males who can channel. Let the man cook. Davram appearing after so many name drops.
-Asmodean dying, getting brought back, and dying, made me laugh too much
-Morgase in Amacidia? Oh boy what the fuck is gonna happen with this

Other thoughts:

Egwene is becoming a prick. The scene in the dream world with Nyneave was so fucking out of nowhere (where the forms two men groping and holding Nyneave). I know Nyneave is an asshole but what the actual fuck. I’m pretty sure Egwene will lead the White Tower in the future so her ‘authority’ is being built up but man that was rough. This might be very entertaining at least.
Also I’m pretty tired of the gendered text. Like I can deal with it. And I get it. But it’s so tiring seeing opposite gendered character argue the same way, “Men!”, “Women!”. I get it. I get it. It’s by far my biggest criticism of the book and I think it will be for the whole series. So many scenes just blend in together, always men feeling obligated to protect the women and the women being stubborn and angry at the men. I get it. I hope I see it less and less. It’s not bad, just tiring and repetitive seeing all these thoughts and arguments repeat on loop.
Also I’m kind of dreading going back to Perrin’s POV. I just cannot fathom caring about him right now. There are so many interesting characters on the move right now that I think I might cry when I see Perrin’s name to start a chapter.
Also Rand’s whole not killing women is sure…character. I don’t like it, I get it, but it feels silly right now. I think that it will payoff the in the future big time though. But I’ll explain why I don’t like it right now.
The Lanfear fight near the end of the book was awesome, between her going “fuck it mode”, the suddenness of it, and Moiraine’s sacrifice, it was great.
Yet it was held back because of Rand. It really sucks away the tension when the story makes it clear it isn’t a “oh man Rand can’t win”, it’s more of a “oh man Rand would win, but he won’t kill a woman”. It honestly makes Moiraine’s sacrifice feel even sillier. And that’s kind of the point, Rand loathes himself for it, and he suffers because of it. Yet I think there was a better way to do it. The Maidens being tired of his shit was very refreshing.
This book also hade some of the funnier stuff than any of the books. Nyneave was a riot, being so unaware of her own bad cooking, or thinking she was incredibly thankful when she wasn’t at all. I like flawed characters.
I’m really glad I started to enjoy Mat this book.


-Mat will marry some Seanchan princes? The Court of the Nine Moons got mentioned in some seanchan prologue in another book. No idea on wtf is the ‘give up half the world’ in what he was foretold. The seanchan seem to be in another continent, so by staying there he might never come back, thus ‘half the world’, assuming there are only two continents in the planet.
-Egwene will become the next leader of the Aes Sedai.
-Logain will regain his powers, with Nyneave’s help. But he won’t join Rand or his school for males who can channel, we’ll get a Dragon vs Dragon situation.
-fain killed Asmodean. Either him or another forsaken.
-Rand will start having more and more conversations with Lewis.
-Rand will go after Illian next, assuming he can get Camelyn under control. Or none of his little empire starts to splinter.
-ngl no idea wtf is gonna happen with morgase
-a Perrin chapter will turn eagerness to read into eagerness to go to sleep
-Nyneave will take a darker road at one point. She’s also going to be straight up the strongest Aes Sedai, only being below Rand and some of the Forsaken.
-Elayne will create a wild artifact with her new found talents. She’ll also be queen in two books
-Galad will become a general for the white cloaks, or a top commander at least. Speaking of, the White Cloaks will remain Rand’s biggest mainland threat after Illian.


I’m on copium, Moiraine cannot be dead. I don’t care for Lanfear but I’m hoping. First of all Lanfear has had so much buildup that surely she would be dealt with more dramatically right? And sure Lan lost his link but like, can the link really reach the world/dimension of the snake/whatever people?
Surely not. Plus Moiraine coming back would totally serve as an awesome self reflection for the characters in the other books later down the line.
Inhales copium
As before, AMA.
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2023.03.28 12:48 Unique_Opposite_6602 Please help me interpret the weirdest dream I’ve ever had! Pregnancy, Ex, unborn children?

On my way in a snow storm to get pizza for my family and nieces and nephews. I then realize I was pregnant and ready to give birth but the hospital that took my insurance was full and I ended up having to give birth at home. My mom was with me but none of my other siblings had shown up and in that video (I hadn’t gone to see my sister’s 3rd child being born so I tried to rationalize her not coming) I gave birth to a girl in squatting position and it was quite smooth. My mom cleared her off immediately for me and was helping me with her. She was such a sweet little girl and perfect and she grew really fast ( like in scenes she was a newborn, then like 6month old, then like a 2year old toddler walking) and was also smart for a baby. My dad would play with her and she was just really advanced.
Then I remember reviewing all of the things that I had done (drinking and saying I wasn’t ready for a baby). I reflected on all of the precautions I had taken and how it was possible. The only guy that the baby could have been for was a previous fling that I had only slept with twice an entire year before.
Side note: he was someone I absolutely did not want to have children with and one who I felt regret for sleeping with. I wanted to have nothing really to do with him in a romantic after we were done. In my waking life I thought I had a pregnancy scare with him but I ended up not being pregnant by him, thank God.
I told my best friend I had a baby as well and I thought about the child’s father. Fast forward like 10 years and the child was actually now a boy named Leonard and he was husky. At that point I was struggling to take care of him so I decided to tell his father about him and take him back to his father’s home (in another country) and his dad was still building the house that he had started when we were together. I also had fears about leaving him there because his “father” did have a temper and was someone that I sometimes feared about my safety. So I was a little worried his father might be abusive. When I took him back, it’s like I was watching everything happening but instead of it being me as myself, there was instead he was negotiating with another man about keeping my son and I was just watching/present/there?. I then remember recognizing that Lenard is not a name I’d ever name my son and that I had initially had a girl, so I began to wonder how this all happened and who this kid really was and then I woke up. When I woke up I felt like my womb was open/recovering as if I did give birth but it was ultimately my cycle coming.
Last weird thing…. I consider myself very intuitive and even psychic in some cases and a week earlier I had an energy come through as a being that would be my son and his name was Leo and I said that I’d name my son Leo. So having Leonard but pronounced like “Lenard” was realllllly weird.
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2023.03.28 12:48 PissInBoots I lose myself in work because when I'm not productive I feel emptiness

Not just actual work, but in my spare time these days I've been working on some personal projects. Some days I will have my 8 hour work day, then spend an additional 5-8 hours on my own stuff. I think I've only had 1 day this entire month that I didn't do at least 5 hours of some sort of work. I end up sleeping at 3-4am a lot because I just don't notice the time - it is almost 7AM as I'm typing this. Sometimes I'll realise I've barely eaten all day, if at all, because I can hardly feel the hours go by or my own hunger, and when I do my home exercises I'll get dizzy or lightheaded.
I know it's not healthy, but distracting myself with productivity is all I can do to stave off the feeling of absolute nothingness. My depression cycles between periods of relative normalcy and deep depression. My only solace is at least this run around I'm getting stuff done instead of just sleeping all day, but the second I stop or even take a short break I just feel a void inside me. I'm objectively proud of my dedication to my projects, and I do them because I want to, but it also isn't making me really feel anything.
I also can't bring myself to go outside. I've left my apartment less than 5 times all month, and no longer than 4 hours at a time. Thinking about going outside increasingly gives me anxiety. I know it sounds trivial and silly but it upsets me to the point of tears at times. I've been crying more lately as well but will frequently and suddenly stop in the middle of a sob because I will just abruptly feel completely numb, which makes me feel worse because it makes me second guess if my emotions are even real.
I feel like I've been crumbling for the last 7 months and I know I've become incredibly hard to be around, so I've increasingly isolated myself. I don't feel like I'm worth anyone's time or emotion even though I know I have friends who love and care about me. They don't know how to help me, and I don't know what I'd need from them. I have always taken responsibility for my own mental health since it's my problem, but it's getting to a point where I'm just going through the motions and existing divorced from time. I'm not alone in the slightest, but I don't think I've ever felt this lonely.
I've been in therapy for about 8 years now and have 2 psychiatrists monitoring my case. I take it seriously and do a lot of mental heavy lifting on my own time, so it has been helpful overall but I also feel like neither it nor anything else will ever get rid of my depression. I keep going because at least I can say I've tried and haven't given up but I feel broken beyond repair and not worth the trouble to fix.
I feel like I'm drowning myself in work just to distract myself because when I'm focused on my stuff I momentarily forget that I'm just floating through each day. I feel disconnected from reality. I know over time I'll feel better again, I always do, but I never know how long it'll take or how long the relative stability will last, and it's just so hard sometimes to convince myself it's worth pushing through anymore.
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2023.03.28 12:47 uceuce1513 The effects on emphasis of rules on fencing, or how I learned to stop caring and love the double

Ive had some thoughts on the inherent nothingness of this rules discussion that commonly comes up regarding doubles and I'm going to first start off with a few examples and then go into how I don't think obsessive tweaking with doubling rules makes all that much sense. The reason I think its important to look at this is so much myth has been built up around what the effects of rules are, and I think people like Mr Easton have popularised ideas of seemingly simple obvious effects rules have without much experience playing under them or writing rules, when their effects are in reality deeper. A lot of it is similar to World Rugby, in an effort to make phase play attacking rugby easier and cut down on kicking, clamped down on contesting the ruck but the result ended up being attacking teams couldn't hold on for it as long without getting penalised and so started kicking shit ball away more. So without further ado heres my exploration of the concept:
So I was rewatching the matt easton sport fencing series of vids for a laugh and one thing that stuck out to me was how he seemed to think right of way was a better deterrent to double hits and afterblows than the epee short lockout time. This could make some level of sense re: old right of way from the 70s or earlier, but current foil and sabre have way more double hits (even if we aren't defining them by the lights but by the blade physically hitting the opposition within say 1 second) than epee. hell early to mid 2010s foil heavily rewarded being hit so then you could finish your action afterwards as the attacker without having to worry about being parried. This demonstrated, I think, a fundamental misunderstanding of systems he isn't really familiar with.
The second thing I think is misunderstanding what doubles in epee actually do. This idea of epee "rewarding" doubles to both fencers except in the most literal sense of awarding a point to each fencer is nonsensical. reward in a competition has to come at a cost to the other fencer, if it maintains the status quo it isnt reward. Now obviously in epee this is true, there is a slight reward for the fencer currently in front as it reduces the touches they need to score to get to 5 or 15 while keeping the margin the same. But fundamentally this is true for all doubling/afterblow rules that arent an elimination. Simply not awarding points does almost the same thing in a timed HEMA bout, despite the lack of theoretical gain there's little reason for the leading fencer not to end any pressure with a double if they can reliably time it. Subtracting a point to each fencer again more or less maintains the status quo (though its interesting more on that later). Indeed the only variation of consequences that outright discourages doubles are double elimination for one or multiple double hits, a system that for a dedicated fencing competition or set of rules is usually considered very harsh (not for modern pentathlon though).
The third element is criticising the 0.025 second lockout. Now this ones way more understandable bc it seems it would encourage trying to pull the trigger earlier and back your pace to get that first. And there is a limited amount of this. But in terms of playing for doubles, its the mechanic that makes it bloody hard, and by extension creates a lot of situations where a fencer chooses to parry or otherwise try to secure a single or just not getting hit over a potential double even if they are leading the risk just isn't worth it. The .025 lockout is actually what makes defence worth anything in epee. If you were in the lead and had .5 of a second you'd just be landing out of time counters for days if your own hit never came to fruition.
So all in all lets look at the results. You have, in epee rules, a system that requires you have to hit first at least once more than the opposition (inherently the same as any timed hema bout) and you can't afford to hit late, where doubles are next to meaningless with some niche tactical applications usually towards the end of the bout, and rarely match deciding unless its 14-13, and where its unreliable to either actively look for them or even use them as an insurance policy. As an epeeist who competes for my country I only really have a couple uses for doubles, if I'm ahead in the early or middle to keep momentum on my side and if I'm ahead in the late game to finish the bout. Even then I don't want them, every double I gain I'd've preferred a single. Even at my most incentivised, I want a single and would shrug at a double. Other fencers, especially lanky stophitters will have more stomach for them but fundamentally its still true, every double they've ever had they'd still prefer to be a single. You really aren't "incentivised" to double, you would much rather a single and when you are down you cant afford all too many of them.

Now lets look at some of the primary hema rules regarding what times you have to land afterblows/doubles, and what the consequences are.

Now first I want to sing the praises of the single step rule. Fantastic, gorgeous, if you can get out after scoring a valid hit, or stay in and give them no means of hitting in a footwork tempo that's good fencing and you deserve a single. This is far and away my favourite timing for HEMA afterblows/doubles. I think its a much better alternative to the 1 or 2 second systems I've seen, bc frankly once you've been hit, you have a whole second to score a valid hit, you should be able to finish that in at least a couple weapons. If I'm hit in smallsword, what is stopping me from running the other bloke down? I know for a fact I can cover half a fencing piste in 2 seconds with no starting momentum, HEMA circles are often much smaller. and smallswords are fast enough that you can draw the parry and remise easily so while this wont happen all the time it seems a nightmare to stop. Ive been hit in foil taking two steps after my counterattack landed with a .3 lockout time (less than a 3rd of the 1 second rule), and while while obviously a smallsword is slightly heavier, not so much that this would be difficult. Light cut and thrust swords also seems very exploitable with these approaches, its hard to know as so far I've only trained smallsword but from when I've felt and used them to play around with it seems the case. 2 seconds is frankly ridiculous, 1 is more understandable but again the loose time actually gives the hit fencer recourse to actively look for an afterblow or double with no repercussion.

Now if we were to look at the rules for consequences in HEMA, I've usually seen no hit awarded, subtraction, or elimination. No hit awarded is functionally very similar to epee, especially if the bout is timed. Subtraction is the interesting one, in a timed bout again basically the same, but in one that isn't a leading fencer is losing sight of the goal score by letting them occur, and the losing fencer has to climb more too. The lead stays the same, but its definitely a more unpleasant prospect for both fencers, though arguably it again does create incentive for the losing fencer in particular to secure an afterblow out of time if they're technically within their step/1second or w/e (though very arguably especially in shorter times). Elimination is definitely a deterrent, but its also kind of unhinged. Certainly I think any tournament running this rule without some space allocated for fun sparring for eliminated fencers is doing itself a disservice, especially if this is applied in a preliminary poules system. first offence elimination is particularly harsh, but I think even after multiple infringements its just such a massive penalty for what's almost always a safe accident.
So in HEMA we have a combination of rules that run the gamut from I think very good (single step with no hits awarded in timed bouts or subtraction in untimed bouts), Quite poor (1 or 2 seconds no hit awarded in a timed bout is so open to abuse with lighter swords) to insane (2 seconds and double elimination would be very fun for a silly club comp but who in their right mind would sign up for that as a serious tournament). The best combination of these common HEMA rules are barely, if at all (I think its a matter of taste), better than epee, and what can we learn from this?
I think at the end of the day, so long as doubles are at best "okay", arent so long they can be actively sort after to nullify a score from the opposition, and that their biggest advantage if any is a minimal one for the fencer in the lead who would still very much prefer a single anyway, I say let the boys play.
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2023.03.28 12:47 jjmuti Opinions on isolation followed by compound training

Mike Israetel's explanation of how you could (or should) do an isolation movement first to make sure the target muscle is the limiting factor in a compound lift recently peaked my interest. First time I started seriously wondering if the approach had actual merit and wasn't just bro-sciency pre-fatique nonsense.
I'm now trying this by doing a machine press before a incline dumbbell pressing because for years my shoulder dominance has hindered my chest from doing the work. Obviously can't tell if the gains will be better yet but in the short term I can say that at least during the set I don't feel tension in my delts anymore while my chest feels like it can't take an ounce more tension when I go for that last grinder rep. Previously when I didn't get good results for my chest while my shoulders just kept advancing despite getting way stronger I thought well it just must be a tecnique issue something along the lines of I'm not pulling my scapula back correctly etc. But I "fixed" how I pressed multiple times and progressed back to big weights with cleaner and cleaner technique each time.
I'm now considering going for the same approach with machine hack squats and barbell squats. Yeah heavy barbell backsquats built my quads which are my biggest strong point but it's getting to the point where the load is still a breeze for my quads while my spinal erectors are screaming for mercy. This is despite the style of squat being heel elevated high bar squats atg fully upright and pushing my knees forward to maximize quad drive. Essentially I'm not worried about my quads not growing like I am with my chest. Whatever I'll do they're a genetic strong point and will respond but I'm wondering if I could get the same awesome stimulus out of the backsquats that I love doing but save my lower back's capacity for other movements by limiting the axial loading.
Those are kind of the two scenarios where I can see the approach working for me personally.
Any opinions from people who experienced similar issues or perhaps tried this for some muscle group?
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2023.03.28 12:46 theres_a_cab_outside Did I f up with my former best friend?

So last summer my then best friend (A) hooked me up with my now boyfriend (M). At that time, A and i hadn’t been seeing each other a lot.
During 2019 A and I were incredibly close and spent most of our time in her home. She called me her “twin flame” and we had so many plans about what we do in the future together. Her brother on the other hand, was a complete pig. He had a “spit spot” in his room that was growing mold from constant spitting. He would piss into bottles and collected them in his room instead of going to the bathroom. He would keep the cat’s litter box in his room as an attempt to encourage her to be in there but he always kept his door closed and so the cat would end up doing her business all over the house. He would play video games late at night and scream and throw things around his room and yell at us if we asked him to be quiet. There was a lot more but those are the key things. I mostly tried to steer clear of him for these reasons.
Around the summer of 2019 she got into I relationship with H. I was very supportive of this because I knew she wanted to be in one, although quickly she essentially stopped talking to me and at first I was very upset about it because I felt like she just replaced me. Eventually after many conversations of me trying to tell her I just wanted to see he talk to her more and to still feel like her best friend and her dismissing my feelings I just stopped trying to tell her how I felt. Anytime we made plans to hangout she would tell me she would be over at a certain time and then leave me waiting all day for her to cancel. At first I was understanding but after about the 10th time of this happening I stopped trying to make plans with her because I was tired of her wasting my time.
Skip to August 2021. At this point we probably only saw each other maybe twice a year and barely talked to each other and she asked me to do a trip with her to a town about a 30 minute drive away from ours with her mom and one of H’s best friends, P. I hadn’t seen A in months so I was really excited she reached out and I had always crushed on P and she knew that so she wanted to hook us up. P and I had met a few times before but barely talked to each other. We instantly hit it off and within a couple weeks of dating, became official. P and I hung out with A and H a few times in our first month of dating and then A went completely radio silent. I texted her a few times to ask if I had done something wrong and she just said she didn’t really like P anymore and she was just really busy. Okay? After years of excuses from her I didn’t really think much of it and just ignored it. I tried a few times to reach out in the next year but nothing.
P and I’s relationship progressed and in around July 2022 we saw H and A at their place for a get together. A was incredibly cold to me and ignored me and I was uncomfortable and just ended up going home. Apparently after I left she started talking shit about me and saying how much she hated me and laughing at how uncomfortable she made me. I took some time to process this after P told me and then I messaged her laying out everything and asking what I did to make her hate me so much? She told me it was because I told P about the things her brother does and that I was a narcissistic bitch and she ended up blocking me.
I’m still trying to process all of this months later and I’m curious if I am the asshole as she says? I didn’t think it mattered that much because P knows her pretty well and she’s told him herself about the things her brother does.
I don’t really have a lot of friends and almost every friend I have had has ended up ditching me for other people so I am beginning to feel like I am the problem in these situations but I’m honestly flabbergasted at how this friendship ended. I’ve grown to fully resent and hate her for how she dragged me along and since she dumped me I have seen that she was never that great a friend to me in the first place and really just used me and took advantage of my kindness and generosity. But deep down a part of me still misses her and I just feel really conflicted about the whole situation.
submitted by theres_a_cab_outside to ExBestFriends [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:45 ButterscotchFit9845 codependent ldr

long distance rant/word vomit
I’ve known her for 3 years and we got close during the pandemic/lockdown and i’d say we got close very quickly kind of abnormally. I’d say we also got quite co dependent on each other. our timezone difference is 5 hours. we text good morning and goodnight everday and try to keep in touch but lately it’s been hard because she’s been really busy with school and her new part time job (which i understand). but the timetable clashes is really creating kind of disconnect. I also study and work more hours than her but I feel that i make time for her still.
She’ll send a good morning message at her 7am or so which is my 12pm and then she’ll leave me on delivered until her 12 which is my 5pm. So i basically get actual responses at 5pm. If she manages to text that is. If not she’ll normally message after she gets home from school which is my 8pm 😀😀😀 throughout the day as well if something happens for her she’ll text me about it ignoring my previous message because she “wouldn’t have been able to read and properly respond” so she waits on when she can do that at home or so.
8pm - 9pm is really the only time she’s able to talk to me but I’m not going to just be there for an hour a day once she’s able to talk? When it became this kind of routine that she’s available at 8pm everyday it became a sense of not talking all day and then reading the “how was ur day text” and not wanting to respond.
She works after school some days too so sometimes she just won’t text till she’s walking to work, again around my 8pm, and she normally just sends me a goodnight message then.
Weekends I work full days so those are also difficult, since she wakes up when I’m already gone. But when i do have weekends off she’s normally busy anyway because she makes plans for the weekend and works a shift on sunday.
I know I leave her to sleep at her 6pm because of timezones and she must find it hard to deal with my absence too but it feels as though the effort is unreciprocated.
I have communicated this a lot but i’m just told that her school and work routine is demanding and it’s circumstantial. which i get. but it’s tiring. and when we can’t actually hang out physically all we have is our online communication. so???
what’s the point in texting if i’m left on delivered for hours, what’s the point in talking if the conversations are all small talk or goodmornings/goodnights and “have a good day/shift”s?
It’s become this thing where I’ve mentioned this before that it kind of feels like i’m just asking for too much. and so i don’t talk about it anymore because all i get are apologies and explanations of why it’s circumstantial and not subject to change. so what do i do with that? since i just try to be okay with the disconnect now, sometimes she can sense that things are wrong. and then she says i have issues with communicating. but i feel like me communicating my issues doesn’t help anything anyway. but then i’m the one in the wrong. i don’t know what to do anymore.
submitted by ButterscotchFit9845 to Codependency [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:36 Adriatic_Raider "Joseph"

Joseph was an extremely good person with a big good heart. He loved people and decided to organize a party. He prepared food, drinks, and music and sent invitations to the whole village.
When it was time for guests to come to Joseph's party in the evening. No one showed up.
Joseph waited patiently all evening, but no guests came to his party.
Only his fat cat came to the party, which would have come anyway.
Joseph did not allow himself to be distracted by this. He thought that maybe the guests got lost along the way so they couldn’t come.
The following week, Joseph again prepared everything for the party and sent out invitations to guests with exact instructions on how to reach him.
No one showed up.
Joseph noticed that it was raining outside. He thought the guests hadn't come because it was raining outside. Joseph decided to keep an eye on the weather forecast.
For the next few days, he paid close attention to the weather forecast.
The day came when the weather was perfectly beautiful and Joseph sent out invitations to the party and prepared everything needed for one top party.
No one showed up.
As usual, only his fat cat came.
Joseph set out to walk through the village in the fresh air.
The village was deserted and in the distance, he heard music playing in the village hall building.
As he approached the village hall, he heard people having fun inside.
He reached the entrance and wanted to go inside.
The guard stopped him and said there was no place for him at the party. Joseph asked the guards why this was so, why there was no place for him at the party. The guards did not know the answer to that question.
Joseph, a little sad, headed back home.
Suddenly he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Joseph's heart began to beat fast as he watched her.
He was delighted with her beauty and grace.
He approached her and said, "My name is Joseph, it would be a great pleasure to get to know you better."
The woman replied shortly, "I'm in a hurry to the party."
And the woman went to the building where the party was.
Joseph looked after the beautiful woman, determined to get to know her better.
Tomorrow was Sunday and Joseph got ready for church.
During Mass, he saw a beautiful woman from last night. She was even more beautiful, she looked like an angel. After Mass, Joseph hurried out of the church to greet the beautiful woman.
When he approached her and said that he was Joseph and that they had met last night in front of the building where the party was.
The woman laughed sweetly and asked him what he wanted.
Joseph offered to escort her home.
Together they headed for her house.
Along the way, they joked and laughed.
They were both extremely comfortable in each other company.
When they reached her house, Joseph asked her, "Do you want to go for a walk with me tomorrow morning?"
Woman agreed.
Tomorrow morning they went for a walk.
It was a wonderful morning for both of them.
In the afternoon, Joseph came under her balcony and brought her flowers. He had written a song for her.
"You are my maiden I am your knight I want forever Defend your beauty"
In the weeks that followed, Joseph spent the most beautiful days of his life.
In the morning the two of them would walk, and in the afternoon Joseph would come in front of her balcony, enjoying her company.
One evening while with a bouquet, a chocolate candy bar, and a new song in his heart, he walked towards the balcony of his sweetheart.
Joseph was left petrified when he saw the scene on the balcony.
His beautiful maiden was kissing passionately another man on the balcony.
Joseph rubbed his eyes, but it didn't help.
He saw well.
Just as he moved closer to the balcony to ask her what it was all about.
The father of his maiden came out.
The father looked at Joseph with contempt in his eyes and said, "Get out of here! My daughter is marrying a rich merchant next week! You are nobody and nothing! I never want to see you near my daughter and house again!"
Joseph looked towards the balcony at his darling who heard everything.
She just looked at him coldly, turned her head, and entered the house with her merchant.
Joseph was devastated.
He couldn't believe what had happened to him.
He felt a pain in his stomach and could not eat or sleep.
He decided to organize a party. Maybe the fun will cheer him up.
He sent out invitations and prepared food, drinks, and music.
No one came to his party.
Not even his fat cat showed up at his party that night. Joseph went out into the fresh air, all sad.
As he approached the center of the village, he saw a huge party.
It was his maiden's wedding.
The whole village was at the party.
Joseph had had enough of everything.
He decided to change things.
At night, Joseph crept into the church and took off the holy diamond that stood above the altar in the church.
He went back to his house and took the necessary tools.
He climbed the highest hill above the village.
Joseph threw himself into the work.
He built the most beautiful throne in the world.
A throne is worthy of the king himself.
When he had finished his work, he began to shout at the top of his voice, "Oh, great and mighty Devil! I, Joseph, have built this most beautiful throne in the world just for you! I have brought you this holy diamond as a gift!"
Suddenly the sky darkened, and lightning and thunder began to strike in all directions.
In front of Joseph, the wicked himself was created, the Devil.
Devil asked Joseph, "What do you want, you poor thing? Why are you bothering me?"
Joseph told the Devil that he wanted to be his loyal servant.
Devil told Joseph that he already had enough loyal agents and why he would accept him into his service.
Joseph said, "O great and mighty Devil, I have built this throne on the most beautiful lookout in the world. From here you can sit comfortably and watch the world. And I have brought you this holy diamond."
Devil looked at Joseph, then at the truly beautiful throne.
Devil asked Joseph, "And why is there a hole in the seat on the throne?"
Joseph said, "Your Highness does not have to rise from the throne when you want to shit."
Devil thinks for a moment and realizes that there is a logic behind Joseph's design of the throne.
Devil hated it when he got hooked in the middle of an important meeting, so he would have to run to the toilet.
Devil has sat on the throne.
Devil was extremely pleased with the comfort of the throne, so he said, "All right, Joseph. Give me my holy diamond."
Joseph sets out to give the diamond to the Devil, but the diamond falls out of his hand and rolls under the throne.
Devil starts laughing at Joseph for being clumsy.
Joseph bent down for the diamond, which was right under the Devil's ass.
He takes out the scissors and quickly cuts off the Devil's balls.
Devil let out a cry that the whole earth shook.
Joseph grabbed the balls and diamond and fled.
Devil starts yelling, "Where are you, you cheater ?! The earth is going to eat you!"
Joseph was ten yards lower hidden behind a bush.
Suddenly, Joseph got up behind the bush and started crawling his tongue and mocking him.
Devil was so angry that steam began to come out of his ears.
He became redder than usual.
Devil turned around and tore off a stone from a nearby mountain and started throwing stones at Joseph.
Joseph ran down the hill as fast as his feet could carry him.
Behind him fell stones that the Devil threw at him.
When he came to the foot of the hill, Joseph began to shout, "You coward! You will never catch me! And I will make these eggs of yours on scrambled eggs and eat them!"
Devil was so angry that the strongest thunderstruck from the sky at the place where the Devil was.
Devil has disappeared.
Joseph went all happy in the middle of the village and began to shout: "Gather people! Gather people! Gather people, let me tell you the heroic deed I did!"
Little by little, the people began to gather.
When the whole village had gathered, Joseph told how he had cut off the balls of the Devil himself and showed balls to the people.
The people have been silent for a few moments.
So, you hear one of them say, "And that's why you called us? I cut my bull's balls last week, so I'm not bragging!" To this, another local said, "Don't they look like real balls to me ?!" A third resident answered and said, "You interrupted me from watching Santa Barbara because of that !?" Another local came forward and said he could get much better balls.
The people began to disperse to their homes, and Joseph was left alone.
Joseph realized that evening, that not only the Devil was left without balls.
Joseph went to return the holy diamond from the altar to the church and went into the night.
Tomorrow, the excited cries of the children break through the village.
The children shouted, "Come quickly, people! Stairs have formed up to the highest hill above our village!"
People gathered and went to see what it was all about.
When they reached the foot of the hill, they began to climb the stairs to the top of the hill.
Stairs that didn't exist before.
When they reached the top of the hill, they saw a beautiful cherry tree in bloom.
It was the most beautiful lookout point in the world.
The people returned to the village and gathered in the square.
The people concluded that Joseph was still telling the truth and that he had been misjudged.
They began to look for Joseph in the village. Joseph was nowhere to be seen.
They went to the house of Joseph, but the house was empty, and no one answered.
The locals decided to forcibly enter Joseph's house to search for him.
The house was empty. There was no sign or voice for Joseph. They found only a message written by Joseph.
"My dear When I'm gone You have drinks there in the house You also have great music in the house Bring your food Have fun In my memory."
The locals searched for Joseph for a few more days, and since they could not find him, they concluded that Joseph must have gone to another world.
The locals threw a party in Joseph's honor.
Joseph had left a great drink and very good music. And the food at the party was good too.
Afterward, everyone had a good time.
After the party, they went to their homes.
After a few days, no one remembered Joseph.
A couple of weeks passed and the men in the village started having nightmares. Every man in the village had the same nightmare. The devil personally comes to their dreams and laughs at them by saying, "You are not even half a man of Joseph!"
It torments and provokes them in different ways.
The men in the village felt bad.
None of them could get a good night's sleep.
Everyone gathered in the village square and held a meeting.
None of the men had a solution.
Suddenly the woman spoke. Women are otherwise known to be wiser and smarter than men.
One woman spoke on behalf of the other women's: "We as a village did not treat Joseph very well! With all this, Joseph did a heroic deed that no one ever did! Joseph deserved much more! Especially now that he is gone!"
The locals all agree that this is the case and decide to erect the largest monument to Joseph, a statue that can be built.
The locals began to build a statue of Joseph in the center of the village.
As the construction of the statue progressed, so did the nightmares to the men stop coming.
When they finished building the statue.
Everyone was thrilled at how magnificent the statue was.
Joseph stood proud and high.
He looked into the distance toward the sea and the sunset.
His left hand was above his eyes and cast a shadow. He held the Devil's balls in his right hand. And his smartphone was tucked behind his belt.
As the years went by.
The legend of Joseph grew.
New generations were coming, who were much smarter than the previous ones, and proudly said that the legend, the man, was from their village.
The man who cut off the Devil's balls.
Napomena: AI, zbog dužine priče nije u stanju analizirati sami kraj priče. Interesantno je kako zbog ovakvih trenutačnih ograničenja AI, može lako doći do gubitka poruke.
AI Analiza 1: Priča "Joseph" prati protagonistu koji organizira zabavu za selo, ali nitko se ne pojavi na zabavi osim njegove mačke. Joseph ne dopušta da ga to obeshrabri, nego pretpostavlja da su se gosti izgubili na putu, ili da je kiša bila razlog njihova izostanka. Kad se Joseph ponovno odluči organizirati zabavu i nitko se ne pojavi, odluči prošetati selom i čuje zabavu koja se održava u dvorani. Kad pokuša ući, stražar mu zabrani ulazak, ali Joseph kasnije susretne najljepšu ženu koju je ikad vidio i dogovore se za šetnju i druženje. Tjednima nakon toga, oni provode vrijeme zajedno, ali kad Joseph otkrije da ga vara s bogatim trgovcem, slomi mu se srce. Odluči organizirati zabavu za sebe i pozove cijelo selo, ali nitko ne dođe. Kada sazna da se njegova draga udaje za bogatog trgovca, odluči podići najljepši prijestolje u čast vraga i pokloni mu dragulj koji je ukraden iz crkve. Kao rezultat toga, sam vrag se pojavljuje ispred njega i Joseph mu daje dragulj.
Ova priča prikazuje kako Joseph ima veliko srce i spremnost za organiziranje zabave za selo, bez obzira na to što nitko ne dođe. Međutim, kasnije se dogodi situacija u kojoj njegova srce slomi i odlučuje učiniti nešto neuobičajeno da bi se osvetio svojoj bivšoj djevojci. Ova priča može se protumačiti kao da ukazuje na važnost samopouzdanja i prihvaćanja stvari onakvima kakve jesu, umjesto da se oslanjamo na druge ili na materijalne stvari kako bismo bili sretni.
AI Analiza 2: Priča "Joseph" je priča o čovjeku koji je imao dobro srce i želio organizirati zabavu za cijelo selo, ali nitko nije došao. Nakon neuspješnog pokušaja, on nije dopustio da ga to obeshrabi te je odlučio ponovno organizirati zabavu, no ni tada nitko nije došao. On je mislio da ljudi nisu došli jer je kiša padala pa je sljedećih dana pažljivo pratio vremensku prognozu. Nakon što je vidio da je vrijeme savršeno, poslao je pozivnice i pripremio sve potrebno za još jednu zabavu, ali nitko nije došao, osim njegove mačke. Nakon što je krenuo u šetnju, čuo je glazbu u seljačkom domu i otišao tamo, no čuvar mu nije dopustio da uđe. Nakon što je vidio najljepšu ženu koju je ikad vidio, pokušao ju je upoznati, ali ona je požurila na zabavu na koju je na kraju došao i vidio je kako je ta ista žena bila u vezi s drugim muškarcem. Kasnije je saznao da je taj muškarac bogati trgovac i da će se ona uskoro udati za njega. Nakon što je organizirao zabavu za sebe i nitko nije došao, odlučio je uzeti sveti dijamant iz crkve i sagraditi najljepši prijestol za đavla. Kada je završio, vikao je da ga pozove. Priča ukazuje na teme poput usamljenosti, ljubavi, zavisti i očajanja.
AI Analiza 3: Priča "Joseph" prikazuje život i odnose između ljudi kroz protagonistu Josepha, koji predstavlja čistu i dobru osobu s velikim srcem, koja se trudi organizirati zabavu i uživati u društvu drugih ljudi. Kroz njegovu nesebičnost i dobre namjere, vidimo kako čak i najbolje namjere mogu biti zanemarene ili neshvaćene, a da to ne ovisi samo o našoj vlastitoj volji i akcijama. Joseph je bio nesebičan i uvijek je mislio na dobrobit drugih, ali se suočio s odbacivanjem i izolacijom od ostatka zajednice.
Vjerujem da ste i sami primjetili kako je kontekst promijenjen. Napišite svoje razmišljanje o priči i Umjetnoj inteligenciji.
submitted by Adriatic_Raider to SkriveniTeatar [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:34 user20141804 Help with Landmark global delivery

Hi hopefully someone can help, (ive also posted this in the southafrica). I am tying to track a package from the US through landmark global, the tracking thing says its awaiting me to collect it since the 8th - originally added delivery as my home address when I ordered and I don't have it. So I've tried to Google an address or a phone number and can't find a collection point or anything. Any one know how I can get a hold of my package?
submitted by user20141804 to capetown [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:33 ShadowDragon8685 [Ace is the Only Sane Pirate 16]The Most Minimally-Secure Maximum Security Prison ever

Najia made a snap decision. She'd already been made by Mellerd, there was no need to pretend she was a low-key criminal looking for a little action.
She leaned forward, resting her hands on Kriss Mellerd's desk, meeting her gaze. "You know who I am. What I don't know, is who you know. I'm getting fucking stonewalled by Ministry-Company interplay," she said. "I can't develop real contacts. I can't develop real contracts. My ships are moving three quarters of the goods in Grand Exchange and half through Eighteen B. I'm tired of being treated like some random schmuck who just floated in with a Frog to haul credit-ante freight. You have connections. I want you to make those connections for me."
Kris sat back, blinking, then laughing, smirking at her. "You're looking for long-term income, mmmh, rather than a quick buck? Well, I'm not in a position to offer you any... Negotiated contracts myself, however, however... Let me talk to a... Third party who might be interested in you. I'll try to arrange something; but don't get your hopes up."
Najia would actually be in even more trouble if Kriss did arrange something, she knew, but she was putting Kriss on the spot. Mellerd stood up, and turned around, plucking a datapad from her pocket and holding it up to her ear. Perfectly, she was looking down and away, and Najia took one soft step to her side, plugging a tiny hack-box into the console at the side of the station manager's office.
"Yes, hi, I need to call in a favor," Kriss said, distractedly. I have a shady character with deep pockets and large resources looking for... You know, alternative contracts. Eager to get into the deep end of the pool, maybe, but not much of a profile yet. New money... Mmhmm, sure, I'll wait." Najia smirked, glad to see that Kriss was getting the runaround. The woman, despite being attractive and stylish and well-spoken, somehow annoyed her. She couldn't put her finger on why, exactly. Kriss' time on hold seemed to drag on, and Najia started to worry it might drag on too long. Then, she spoke up. "All done? Wonderful. Mmmhmm. I'll call you later about that other case." The station manager sat back down, turning around with the comm still to her ear. "Brilliant. Bye."
She put the comm down, but Najia saw the screen of it. It was on its basic lock screen, and Najia barely avoided baring her teeth; Mellerd had pretended to make a call. If the approach had been sincere, she'd have been furious, but even though this fit Najia's plans perfectly, it still pissed her off that Kriss had quite literally simply pretended to place a call rather than to just be straight and say she had nothing for her. "I'm sorry, there's no interest in the market," Mellerd told her, and Najia kept a straight face, as she continued, "the groups work on a trust basis, and prefer to work with people they have a history with, or select for themselves. The fact that you're actively looking to develop contacts raises some red flags. Let's get you a proper reward for a job well done, and have you on your way," she added, smiling sweetly. "I expect you'll find your way out."
Najia snorted, not having to hide the disgust in her expression. Uninterested in whatever petty payment Mellerd planned to remit for abducting her passenger, she turned on her heel and strode out, having no difficulty projecting the air of someone fuming. After all, she was fuming, just not for that reason. She strode quickly to the lift, taking it back to the landing pad, joining Marta and company, and looking around. There were supposed to be fireworks, weren't there? This was when the Arcadian Endeavour and Ace were supposed to show up and start raising a row so she could get into the hangar with the Raven, right?
Silence. A total lack of blaring alarms (which Marta's hacking would have accounted for), and a total lack of incoming weapons fire. Awkwardly, Najia hissed, shaking her head; she nodded to the ship, and the sextuple strode quickly into the loading bay, taking the lift up. Marta ran a scan for bugs as they did, and once inside the bridge, she laughed. "Man, their security was a fucking joke. But, uh... What's going on? Where's the pirates?" "I don't know." Najia strode rapidly to an aux console, and checked the 'Wildcard' incoming data. Then she swore. "Either I misunderstood the plan, Maestro poorly communicated the plan, or the plan has changed; either way, I'm wanted back on the Endeavour."
She looked to Marta, who looked at her, spooked. "Najia, I just hacked the shit out of this place. Right?" She looked to the woman on the gunnery console (who also had the sensors), who looked back to her, nodding. "I'm getting a zero read on their turrets," the weapons officer confirmed. "This place is vulnerable as it's ever gonna be." Najia let out a guttural growl. "We're humped. They're not gonna be vulnerable to a hack like this again. Get us the fuck out of here," she said to the pilot, adding "please and with all swiftness." "Yes ma'am," the pilot answered, lifting the ship.
Najia huffed, and slapped both of her hands over her face. "And it gets better. She fucking made me the moment I walked in." "Made you made you? As in, made you as an Empyrean Cur?" "No, she greeted me by name. I had to think real fast to come up with why Najia Takio was slumming it doing credit-ante abductions for her corrupt ass. I made it out that I wasn't satisfied just taking barrels of Teladi money and was looking to develop real contracts through her contacts. But it gets better still. She insinuated she still has ears in the pirate crew she used to fly with, which as we know is -" "The Empyrean Curs. Well, fuckadoodle-doo," Marta said. "What the hell are we gonna do?"
"I don't know," Najia said, huffing and sighing. The Falx groaned as the pilot adjusted the course, and blasted into Travel speed with almost no noticeable lag. "If the Maestro wasn't so fixated, wasn't so bull-headed about 'live free or die,' I'd just buy the whole fucking lot out and pay them to go very, very far away, and get the hell out of here."
Marta snorts. "Maybe you still can. I mean, what's he gonna do if you out yourself on his bridge?" "Take me hostage?" "That'll go over well with Ace," Marta said, sarcastically. "And then I'll be calling in a fleet to bracket his tiny little pissant scrap-Destroyer with enough firepower to vaporize it in one salvo. Explain to him that the only way the Curs leave alive is when you and Ace are standing safe and sound on my command deck."
Najia blinked, and snorted. "Me and Ace?" She smirked at Marta. "She's growing on you." "Maybe. Fungally. But you'd be despondent, too. So yeah. Hell, he wants a payday out of it, we can do that. But yeah, maybe you should just out yourself to him - the other side knows you now - and offer him a huge sack of cash to just get the hell out of Dodge."
The Paramerion was already sitting on the landing pad on the Arcadian Endeavour when she arrived. Najia was moments from teleporting to it as a convenient reciever and simply walking off, when she realized that that tidbit probably would be noticed, so she had it shuffle with the Shiv. She hustled to the command deck, where Maestro was pacing.
The Maestro looked at her, eagerly. "You finished flipping switch?" "Yes, that's done," Najia answered, sucking in a breath to start asking questions of her own, starting with where the hell were you? "Good job," Maestro preempted her. "What petty crime Mellerd make you do?"
Najia huffed, and sighed. "I wouldn't say an abduction is petty crime." "Who you abduct," Maestro asked, curiously. "Some poor Split fellow in Avarice," Najia said, racking her brain for his name. He had told her, once. "Lu... Lu t'Cca," she said, wincing; "though I have probably mangled that. She took in a breath to ask her own questions, but Maestro suddenly showed more emotion than she had ever seen from him before; fury.
"You handed over my brother?!" Najia's eyes went wide, she took a half step back. The weight of the machine pistol she was still wearing on her hip was suddenly very familiar to her, and she swallowed down the urge to go for it. "B-Brother?! That was your brother?" She gawped. "Mellerd has my brother?!" Maestro raged; behind him, Ace slipped into the bridge, apparently having decided to don trousers. Najia wondered why that was what she had noticed. Ace apparently heard the outburst, and looked to her, startled, pushing her goggles up, then slipping around the central pillar.
"Curs! Report," Maestro thundered, though thankfully he didn't seem about to attack her. Axiom popped up in hologram on the bridge. "What happened?" "Mellerd! Vile traitor!" Maestro answered him. "One casualty not enough! He was out of game! Off limits!"
Ace scratched at her cap-covered crest. "Lu t'Cca?" "Imprisoned," Maestro vehemently responded. "We engage! Attack station!"
"No, wait - wait!" Ace hissed, holding her hand up. "We have a plan to get in. We will get him out." "Yeah," Axiom said firmly, in holo. "We'll get him out." His hologram was running, presumably he was coming to the bridge himself. "Let us finish up preparations, before we engage," Ace said. "I've got a better combat ship," she said. "I'm working on an improvement to the hacking attack," Axiom said.
"We're fucked," Najia said, holding her hands up. Ace, Maestro, and - walking onto the bridge - Axiom - looked to her. "Either we misunderstood the plan, or the plan changed on us. We already hacked the station," she said. "I sent one of my crew in to fiddle with a security junction while I walked into Mellerd's office. I thought the Arcadian Endeavour was going to be hitting the place the moment I walked out of her office; that I'd take the lift straight to the security hangar and lift struts then."
Ace let out a hiss and face-palmed. Maestro gawked at her for a moment. "Split did not communicate plan clearly enough for Terran," he finally said, anxiously. "This puts quite the wrench in our plans," Axiom said. "Even if I can complete a hack to end all hacks, it would still need to be uploaded. They will definitely have physical security in all applicable upload points this time." "And they will undoubtedly call in additional craft, at least for the next few days," Ace said, hissing. "As nice as the fighter Wildcard gave me is, it is still only a fighter." She nervously hopped from foot to foot, tail lashing.
Maestro was silent for a moment, and Najia swallowed. This was something far worse than she had thought it was - and it had been bad enough previously - now there was blood involved. This couldn't be rectified with a payday, even if she outed herself. She could try to overtly buy Lu t'Cca back, but there was no guarantee that would even work; or that Kriss Mellerd could even be trusted. She was, after all, a duplicitous traitor. "Need bigger combat ship," Maestro concluded. "Starfighter insufficient. A 'Ministry' Minotaur has been harassing ships in Windfall. It belongs to the Scale Plate Pact." He pointed at Najia. "Wildcard, you will capture it for the Ace. Axiom, with me; planning to do. Ace let out a trill, her tail lashing. "Do not worry; we will get him out!"
"Yes, we shall. Wildcard! Get that ship for Ace." Maestro turned and strode from the bridge, with Axiom in tow. Najia let out a sigh, running her hands through her hair. "His fucking brother! I wish you'd been with me," she said, huffing, picking Ace up and squeezing her tightly. She didn't care who saw her, and apparently neither did Ace, as she wrapped her arms, legs, and tail around Najia.
"It would have been easy to prevent this mistake, yes," Ace admitted, nuzzling the side of her head. "On the plus side, Sensors and I proved to be a good team, and the Paramerion you provided is a very nice craft." "Sensors? Oh." Najia grinned, smiling weakly; Ace had given Namiko a nickname, presumably on the spot, to refer to her in pirate company. "That's good, at least, and... Yeah. This is a mess." She set Ace down, huffing and leaning back on the railing behind her. "Maestro's fucking brother? Fuck... What do you know about him?"
"Maestro's brother?" Ace shook her head, pushing her goggles up all the way and rubbing the back of her neck. "He was with the crew even before I joined. But... They had a falling-out, and he left to seek new opportunities." "A falling-out?" Najia tilted her head, curiously. "Yessss," Ace said, awkwardly, unable to contain the susurrus hiss that slipped into her voice. She didn't want to keep details - that might be relevant, even - from Najia, but it would get back to Maestro if she spoke of it. She awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck. "I... Would rather not discuss their private matters."
Najia blinked, and nodded. "Okay," she said. "Okay. Private affairs, got it - not our business." Ace nodded at her, as she continued, "So... Now what?" "Now, we're going to attack an M-class ship in order to steal it," Ace said, turning and walking brusquely for the lift; Najia turned and followed her, trusting immediately that Ace knew what she was about. "I know well that you have combat-worthy craft and are up to this task," Ace commented, as they headed for the Shiv on the landing pad. "Yeah, we're up for it," Najia said. Fatimah looked back at them, and lifted struts at a gesture from Ace; the door sealed up, and Najia said, "but I could just... You know, give you a Falx."
Ace trilled, but it had an awkwardly vibrating character to it; Najia took it for a nervous chuckle's equavilent. "I would prefer that, but Maestro has given us a specific target. I have never seen him quite this angry, not even when Mellerd... Parted ways with us. Best, I think, to follow through. And I do not imagine you have any qualms about attacking the Scale Plate Pact."
"That's for sure," Najia said, huffing and rubbing her face. Fatimah quickly had them on the landing pad of Jackdaw and she slipped out of the fighter, Ace following her. They bypassed the lift down from the pad and went straight in through the auxiliary airlock. "What a clusterfuck," she said. "Mmmmhmmm," Marta said. "I took a page out of Boso Ta's book and was listening in. We are in deep shit now, sister," she said, then she looked at Ace; walked over to her, and patted her shoulder, firmly. "Deep shit." "The excrement in which we find ourselves is substantially closer to my nose than yours," Ace said, with a slight trill. "I hate to even consider pointing it out lest the idea has not occured to you yet, but... You could extricate yourselves from this mess."
"Yeah, not a chance in hell we're doin' that, scale-sister," Marta responded, before Najia could do more than nod. "We got Maestro's brother into this mess, it ain't our style to leave him to swing like that. We're gonna have to get him out. Somehow." Najia grinned. "Somehow. The ace in our hole - pun intended - is that I did complete the hack in Mellerd's office, and I don't think she knows. She was too busy giving me a smug runaround. The grit in our gears is that we jumped the gun by hacking the station preemptively. What happened, anyway? Did I misunderstand the plan?" "I am not sure," Ace admitted. "Namiko and I were heading to rendezvous in Eighteen Billion when we got a recall order from the Arcadian Endeavour, but it was routine, rather than an emergency. I think we both misunderstood the plan."
A long few moments of silence passed between them in companionable discontent, and then Marta snorted. "Hey, Ace, I've been meaning to ask you. How'd you like that 'game' on Najia's datapad?" Ace blinked, and looked up at her. "Odd time to bring it up. It was creatively challenging, the actual puzzle was good, but the gamification seems to be entirely left out. Is it a beta?"
Najia facepalmed as Marta chuckled. "That wasn't a game at all. You ordered the construction of a monumental facillity in Gaian Prophecy," she said, laughing wryly. Between her split fingers, she peered out and watched with gratification as Ace rocked back, alarmed, and wrapping her tail tightly around herself. "I... Er..."
"Relax," Marta said. "It was her dumb fault for just giving you her unlocked datapad." "Yeah. Also, it's... Actually, you designed a beauty of a station," Najia added. "An absolute gorgeous industrial monstrosity with a fantastic towering habitation center on top." She straightened up, smiling; beaming at Ace, who seemed to recieve the smile gladly. "So," Najia said. "We have a ship to get you. We can totally just have the Eighteen B shipyard put together a Falx, or I could have one called up from reserves..." Ace shook her head. "Maestro will not be happy a direct command was disobeyed. He might be mollified by the ship produced being manifestly superior, but it would jog his attention. He'd start to ask why we disobeyed; where we got the Falx."
"I could just give you Jackdaw," Najia noted, and Ace trilled lightly. "I appreciate it, and that might work, but he's probably going to want you in Jackdaw. We'll have to take the Minotaur."
"Right," Najia said, cracking her knuckles. "No offense, skipper, but I think we'll take the flight deck for this one." The woman with the piratical haircut and the severely 'business' outfit looked back, grinning at her. "Hell, it's about time for me to go off shift anyway."
"I should probably say something cautionary about how big this vessel is, but we are comparable in size and mass. I should warn you about how dangerous its guns are, but we are better-armed, and likely both better-shielded and more maneuverable," Ace noted from the gunnery console. "Yep. He's a big bad boy, or so he thinks," Marta noted, as Najia piloted Jackdaw towards the Minotaur up ahead. "But he's a lot bigger than the Raker Manticore he's heading for with what looks like unpleasant intentions." "Also, you brought friends," Namiko said from the cockpit of the Parmerion that Najia had given to Ace. "Damn right they did," Fatimah called from the cockpit of the Kallis-class starfighter named Shiv. "When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support," chimed in Raeleen Baner, following Jackdaw from the flight deck of Snapping Tortoise.
"And we'll just, uh, stand by to pick up pods in case this goes completely to shit," added the pilot of the Ninja Taco, Katlin Noore. "I mean, we could make an attack run, but it seems pretty redundant at this point."
A chorus of chuckles from within and without the cockpit surrounded Najia, and she smirked, as she brought the nose of Jackdaw toward the offending disguised Scale Plate Minotaur, who was already firing upon the Raker; who was calling for help. "Break and run," she called to the Riptide scavenger. "We've got this hump."
"Mind your own ledgers," the Scale Plate pirate called back, then she heard a hiss of alarm as the pirate must have seen just how many ships were painting her with targeting sensors. Presumably in a burst of wisdom, she turned to run, but it was far too late. "Bail out or die," Najia ordered the pirate as Fatimah and Namiko roared past the Jackdaw wing by wing, rolling in and unloading with their near-identical starfighters' cannons, letting off a burst to stall the pirate from escaping into Travel Drive. A moment later, she triggered Jackdaw's mammoth rotary cannons, while the single-barreled accelerators that were Snapping Tortoise's forward armament put in their own word.
"Show me your nose and I chew it off," Najia snarled as the Minotaur raider, evidently realizing that escape was not in the cards, turned and tried to close. "She's got Shard cannons," Ace alerted. "Dangerous at close range, but not dangerous enough!"
Najia was more than willing to joust with the oncoming pirate; she had twice the weight of forward cannons, her side cannons and those of Snapping Tortoise kept up the fire as they spiraled towards one another. The Minotaur's shields collapsed totally and she took several salvoes of body blows; the two starfighters executed a wing-over roll and each strafed the Minotaur again as she tried to soar past Najia. Ace was quietly giving the gunners orders to cease fire-with-intent and only give the Minotaur an occasional bite to remind them the clock was ticking, as Najia hit the comms again. "Surrender the fucking ship or die for it. Your call." Her aft turret gave the Minotaur's aft a stitching of pulse fire, then her turrets started firing - intentionally widely, but they were making one hell of a light show.
"Fine, fine," the Scale Plate pirate called, as she saw escape pods appearing on her tactical screen. "You win, Cur! Take it and leave us in peace." Ace huffed at that. Marta chuckled. "Should we pop them sumbitches? Take 'em prisoner at least?" "Let 'em go," Najia said. "Maybe they'll turn over a new leaf, but we got what we came for." She thumbed the comms. "Everyone form up, let's inspect Ace's new prize... Woah!"
An explosion issued from the stricken ship; the starfighters peeled off get clear, just in case, and Najia and Snapping Tortoise backed off to give it room. "The fuck," Marta asked. "They may have sabotaged the ship on the way out," Ace said. "Let us wait, they may have successfully rigged it to blow entirely..."
They stood off and waited. Two more large detonations on the ship occured, but nothing further happened. After awhile, Ace and Najia suited up, approached the ship over the strenuous objections of Marta and the other captains - Najia and Ace were the only ones with real EV repair training. Carefully they checked the ship for outward signs of further destruction, and, with nothing found, proceeded in. The bailing pirate crew had sabotaged the weapons, and tried to sabotage everything, but, ironically, the damage that they had done had prevented the pirates from successfully rigging the whole ship to blow.
"This thing is a wreck. She can move... Barely," Ace noted. "But I don't much like it." "No problem," Najia said, grinning. "I have a plan," she said; they had reached the M-raider's flight deck, a narrow cockpit with no secondary seats, and were examining things. Engineers from both Jackdaw and Snapping Tortoise had teleported over to restore main power and were working on structural integrity, and Namiko had swapped with another pilot from the Tortoise, joining them on the pirate ship. "And what is that," Ace asked as Najia sat in the pilot's seat.
Najia found the Riptide Raker nearby; they had taken damage and were now restoring their own power. "Raker salvage ship, Raker salvage vessel, how are you? We have taken possession of the ship that attacked you, over." "This is the salvage tug Breem. We've had better days, but no permanent damage. You should have blown those pirates to the Tide though," the salvage tug pilot complained. "Yeah, well, they bailed out, so I wasn't gonna renege on my word. How would you like to get repairs and upgrades to your ship on my credit?"
"... I'm listening," the salvager answered. "What do I owe you for it?" "Take this vessel under tow and get us to the Takio Enterprises shipyard in Eighteen Billion. For my own reasons, I need this thing intact. Do that, and you get the works; Terran Mark Three engines and shields, top-of-the-line thrusters of your choice if you don't already have them, full hold of laser towers and countermeasures, and top-of-the-line software if needed. And of course, any hull repair. Just no questions."
After a long, tense moment, the Raker pilot commed them back. "Done deal." Najia smirked, looking back at Ace, who trilled at her.
"There we go," Najia said. She and Ace were standing under the prow of the repaired Minotaur, which Najia had caused to be painted in a shinny green-scale-and-brass scheme, and named La Tora. The vessel was now sporting a single forward pulse cannon, a launcher, and its turrets were bolts. The original thrusters had, surprisingly, been both Mark 3 Combats already, and were wholly intact, while the totally-shot crap engines had been replaced, as had the shields. "Think that will do?"
Ace trilled at her. "This is such a vessel," she said. "A jolly pirate indeed would captain this vessel." "Yeah, well... If you say so. I'm still worried it's a little... Undergunned... Undershielded... Flimsy. I'd rather put you in one of my Falx frigates, but, this will hopefully do." She huffed, and hugged Ace again. "You ready?"
"As likely I will be. Namiko is waiting for me in La Tora's bridge. I already told Maestro that the ship was badly damaged and you were paying for repair and retrofit, and had already bargained for it before I could ask the Curs for assistance. He accepted that," Ace said, pressing her head into Najia's chest. "Thank you. For not abandoning us." Najia grinned, and simply kissed the top of Ace's crest. She then let go, patting Ace's bicep. "Let's get to our ships and see what Maestro wants." She gestured to the Jackdaw; it, and all of 'Wildcard's' ships, had been repainted in a beautiful, eye-searing neon-yellow-and-stark-white set of colors, and had been given nondescript generic transponders. That would likely not fool anyone who was looking too closely, but... "Indeed. I may have to rename the ship, though... 'La Tora' means something very rude in Teladi." She trilled. "Let us be off," Ace said. She pulled out her datapad, and Najia stepped back as Ace activated the 'teleport-me-aboard' function. Moments later, Ace became visible in the high flight-deck window, leaning over Namiko and waving at her. Najia waved, and recalled herself to the Shiv.
Najia stopped by the bridge of the Arcadian Endeavour when first she landed, but though it was fully-staffed, Maestro wasn't there. One of the crewwomen informed her that the senior planners were meeting in the crew quarters. She headed for the lift; Marta had come along, wearing her 'piratical' outfit and projecting an aura of 'this woman is my sister, mess with her and you mess with me'.
They found the core members of the Empryean Curs in a lounge aboard the Arcadian Endeavour. Najia noted, with a slight twist of the lips, that it looked as if the room had undergone a recent makeover - with fixtures and sundries procured at her stations. She wondered if that was a subtle message.
The lights were low, and for a moment Najia was worried it might be an ambush. Clearly the same idea occurred to Marta, but Ace was relaxed, at ease, so Najia patted Marta's hand as they entered the room. There was no ambush. "Everyone attending now," Maestro declared. "Good. Split allowed all time Split could spare for Wildcard to prep." Ace let out a soft trill, looking over at Najia. "Yes, and my shiny new combat ship could come in very handy, once it is time to disengage!"
Najia grinned at Ace, nodding. She sucked in a breath to ask a question, but Maestro beat her to the punch. "Now, time for decisive action! No longer just plan of petty revenge, or even business! Mellerd looking to strike low blow, involving someone who no longer in game!" He huffed. "Curs can play game too, but better! Breaking out Split's brother now priority."
Najia nodded, and cracked her knuckles. "Got it. After all, we got him into this mess." Ace nodded, and looked from her to Maestro. "Are we still going after the Science Division prototype?" "Yes!" Maestro responded. "After prison break-out, Wildcard make way through internal ducts, connected to hangar. Then, proceed to make escape in prototype ship."
Axiom made a satisfied-sounding rumbling. "It's a sound plan. They'll not expect you to use their precious ship for the getaway." "Right. Because you'd expect a prison break to have an exit strategy arranged outside, so they'll probably pull security from the hangar to respond to the cells."
Maestro nodded. "As to how you gain access to station in first place, Axiom will tag along. Hack into their system. Serve as on-ground supervisor. No time to waste. Get to it!" He gestured to the door, vehemently, clearly unwilling to brook dissent or entertain questions. Najia started at that. "But..."
Ace grasped her hand. "We've got this. Trust Axiom to hold up his end of the plan," she said, preempting Najia's objection, as Maestro strode out. Najia sighed, huffed, and nodded. "Alright! So, back to the Shiv?" "No; we procured one of the Ministry's petty patrol vessels just for transport. Less recognizable vessels involved, the better. Besides, the ship that lands is probably not leaving again. Best it be one of theirs."
Najia let out a sigh. The plan sounded slapdash at best, but she nodded. "Right."
"The ground infiltration is not a three person task," Ace said, as she, Najia, Axiom and Marta arrived on the pad. "Wildcard, you will have to go alone with Axiom." Marta snorted, and sighed. "I don't like it. Be safe, sister," she said, punching Najia's bicep, enough to ache slightly. Najia smirked back at her, as Axiom hurried to climb into the Callisto procured for the infiltration. "Don't worry, I'll keep Axiom safe," Najia said, smirking back at Marta. "Ace, keep her safe." "I'll deliver her to Jackdaw once we've transferred to Carefree Whirlwind."
Najia grinned, and hastened to climb aboard the Callisto after Axiom. She looked around the cockpit of the small craft, and winced; it was small indeed. "Buckle up, Wildcard," Axiom said from the pilot's seat. Najia laughed incredulously. "Where," she demanded, and got a hearty, deep laugh for her troubles, as Axiom piloted the craft up and off the landing pad. Moments later, they were zooming ahead from where the Arcadian Endeavour was lurking, outside of Wormwood Scrubs' customary sensor perimeter.
"I have to admit, I am nervous!" Axiom declared. Najia stood behind him, clutching an upright chicken-stick and peering around his side. She winced at his declaration, as he continued, "Sure, I have been involved in large-scale operations before, but never quite like this." Wormwood Scrubs loomed in the distance, and Najia wondered why what was ostensibly a prison complex had large fabrications facillities built in. She didn't imagine it was ever a good idea to put prisoners to work building things they could sabotage that would be vital. "I just hope the Maestro can keep his cool throughout it all," Axiom added.
"Mmmhmm," Najia agreed nonverbally. "The fact that his brother is now involved is weighing heavily on him. Mellerd sure knew how to provoke a reaction!" Najia snorted. "Yeah, well... The smug bitch is gonna regret that, that's for damn sure. How much her ability to make us regret making her regret this day, well, that's an open question. There'll be recriminations to go around one way or another, I think."
Axiom made his own nonverbal sound of agreement, as he swept the ship in to a landing, over what looked like the prison module, and landing at the conventional small craft dock. "Okay, this is it. Initiating docking," he said, pointlessly, Najia thought. "You know what to do, right," Axiom asked, as he turned his chair aruond. Najia noted that the incredibly-tall Paranid piloted whilst standing; the standard-issue pilot's chair had actually extended into something like an amusement-park-ride standing back-rest for him. "I will spoof your credentials, so that you can gain entry into the prison complex again. Then locate Lucca. I'll talk you through the rest." As he said that, he departed, and Najia pressed into the tiny airlock to let him pass, then followed him down and out the aft ladder. "Good luck," Axiom said, as he headed for his left. Najia pulled the pistol from her hip, checked its magazine, chambered a round, and returned it to its holster.
"Hope I don't need this," she muttered to herself, heading for another lift. She slipped in, and pulled the bug-checker app that Marta had loaded onto her commlink up, checking it with her free hand. Unless the Ministry had access to way better spy gear than she did - and knowing what penny-pinchers they were, and Boso Ta's opinion of their cleverness, she doubted that very much - she was in the clear. She had a comms tap to the Curs - and her own crew - and it was unobstructed, unobserved. Neither were any security devices capturing her images; either Marta's previous hack was still in effect, Axiom's work was being done, or both.
Najia's heart raced as she exited the lift into the first level of the prison complex. This was, she thought, insanity; she wasn't a covert operative. Her martial arts skill was amatuer at best. If she ran into any prison guards, her only hope would be to shoot them. She had confidence that her Predator pistol's armor-penetrating, 10mm magnum rounds would do the job; but she'd never shot in anger at anyone else face-to-face before, and she really didn't want to start doing so on a Ministry prison station where her real identity was known. And she was going into a prison. If she could think of any one place where the Teladi would not pinch pennies on personnel, it would be a prison. Yet, instead of finding a security checkpoint outside the lift, she walked into an empty corridor.
Najia blinked, as Axiom placed a call to her. "According to our intel, Lucca should be somewhere on this floor." Najia huffed, and followed the line projected in her HUD. Every step down the corridor seemed to Najia as if it echoed like a cannon discharge, and she nervously checked each way at every intersection, pistol in her hands, selector switch set to two-round burst. Every heartbeat felt like an eternity, at every corner she expected to be jumped by a guard, yelled at, or simply shot. She made it to a cell block - three rooms off a guard room with a desk, seperated from the main room by bars. She swept side to side, thinking surely there must be a guard actually watching prisoners but after an anticlimactic moment, realized there was not. She was alone, save for that one cell was occupied, by Lu t'Cca - or Lucca? She was fuzzy on that.
"Hmm," Axiom's voice came over her earpiece. "That console's connection to the cell doors has been severed. Standard procedure." Najia wondered how in the hell that made sense - but then, the consoles were actually within arm's reach of a prisoner inside the cells. And if the cell blocks were going to go unsupervised...
The phrase 'criminally negligent' crossed Najia's mind, as Axiom continued, "This will slightly raise our profile, but I should be able to... Adjust it remotely." Najia nodded, took a deep breath, walking to the darkened cell door. Lu t'Cca was within. He did not look pleased to see her, as he pushed himself up from the too-narrow, Teladi-sized cot. "You! Creature! Worst taxi driver Split ever met! Creature blind or just stupid?!" His vehemence was understandable, and it still made Najia step back on her heel, as he thundered at her, rising to his feet, "Split kill you after escape! Beat first, then kill! Or pretend Split is Taxi driver, deliver creature to blood-traitor, then beat, then kill!"
Najia felt a tremble run down her back, stiffening her shoulders. She was mightily tired of being disrespected, belittled, or downplayed; by, it seemed, just about everyone in the sector, from Boso Ta calling her 'Assistant' to Maestro giving her names on a whim to Brantlee Northriver's dismissive and smug attitude as if he was the biggest big-shot humanity had ever produced to Kriss Mellerd's faking a call as if she were taking her seriously to, well, Lucca (a) calling her a taxi-driver and (b) threatening her a violent and graphic death. The urge to bellow 'shut up' and hold him at gunpoint welled up deeply inside her. Her hand twitched with her firearm in it... Then she huffed, and with a decisive motion, holstered it. "Calm the fuck down," she snapped at him. Not very diplomatic, but considering that her first notion had been to literally hold him at gunpoint, it was fairly moderate.
"Split not calm down!" he retorted, seething - though his eyes were drawn by the motion of her holstering her weapon. "Creature calm down first, or... Or...!" He inarticulated a sound of exasperation. "Split realize creature still here. Why come? What else creature want but gloat?" He did, in fact, sound calmer now; perhaps the fact that she could have shot him, or threatened to do so, and that many of his past life's associates would have done just that after the violent death he had promised them, and yet she had not, got through to him. Or perhaps he simply mastered his temper because she was armed.
"Look, The Curs -" "Split want nothing to do with filthy, dishonorable Curs!" Lu t'Cca ranted. "Except if making amends," he added, almost parenthetically, seemingly swinging wildly between reconciliatory and fury. "Split tried to make peace, leave past behind. Brothers, sisters, friend-foes, conflict, tangle, chaos! No honor! Only choice, was no choice!" He ranted, on a roll, and Najia decided to let him wind himself down. "Enough talk! Creature take responsibility, now! Help Split escape, then Split not kill. Maybe!"
Najia rolled her eyes; she wanted to point out that she could still just shoot him. Instead, she said, "Let's get the hell out of here." "What creature waiting for," Lucca thundered at her. "Open cell, or eat fist!" Najia restrained her ire to a low growl in the back of her throat. She was really tired of receiving physical threats from an imprisoned man, even if he had every reason to be pissed at her. She was about to point out again that she armed, when Axiom thankfully interrupted. "If the Triangularity wills it... There we go! The door controls should be enabled now. Try them."
Najia stepped over to the console next to the prison door, and started to look it up and down. Numbers scrolled on the screen rapidly, she flicked through menues, but though she started to search more and more frantically, it was just a bio of the prisoner with everything redacted, and a log of routine entries - prison mealtimes and stuff. She started to hiss, low in her throat, as she frantically flipped back to the root menu, but there was nothing useful there. Paranoidally, she glanced over her shoulder, but there was noone at the door. She took her hand off the hilt of her pistol, scrambling to the desk. There was no active console on it, but one beside it, on the wall; she hurried to it, but it was simply mirrors of the console on the wall, reflecting all three cells. Frantically, she dropped to a squat, looking under the desk, above it, feeling under it, but she couldn't find any hidden consoles.
Near to panic, she looked up, and saw there was a tiny, easily-overlooked button next to the cell door, trivially within reach of the prisoner. No, she thought. That couldn't possibly be it. It was too exposed. Any careless slip in forgetting to disconnect it, and a prisoner could be out anytime.
The words criminally negligent ran through her head as she reached out and tapped the button. Of course it opened.
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2023.03.28 12:30 jithintomy Two Bengaluru students held for alleged security breach during Amit Shah's visit The Bengaluru police have detained two students for an alleged security breach during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's recent visit to the city. The incident reportedly occurred when two youths on a bike were found foll

Two Bengaluru students held for alleged security breach during Amit Shah's visit

The Bengaluru police have detained two students for an alleged security breach during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's recent visit to the city. The incident reportedly occurred when two youths on a bike were found following the convoy on Cubbon Road, which was heading from a hotel on Race Course Road to the HAL Airport on Sunday, March 26.
According to The New Indian Express, the students were stopped near Manipal Centre on Dickenson Road and taken in for questioning. It was later discovered that they were residents of Neelasandra and studying for a BA degree at a private college in RT Nagar.
The youths reportedly entered Cubbon Road against the one-way traffic from Safina Plaza junction. A traffic policeman, identified as Raju, attempted to stop them. However, they tried to flee and hit him, causing minor injuries. The students then entered Cubbon Road, where the convoy was passing.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has forgotten former Union minister and senior party leader HN Ananth Kumar since his death in 2018, his daughter Vijeta Ananthkumar has said. Taking exception to the fact that no major roads, metro stations or other infrastructure projects have not been named after the late leader, Vijeta said, “Not acknowledging his contributions by naming him in inaugural programs, roads, rail lines is trivial. He is alive in the hearts of lakhs of people. The party that's forgetting him requires self reflection.”
Vijeta made the comment while sharing an article by the Kannada portal Vishwa Vani, which pointed out that Racecourse Road in Bengaluru has been renamed in honour of actor-politician Ambareesh, while the 12 km Outer Ring Road (ORR) has been renamed after late actor Puneeth Rajkumar. However, no such move has been made by the BJP to honour Ananth Kumar, it added
submitted by jithintomy to u/jithintomy [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:29 an7787 My life is falling apart

So I (23f) live with my boyfriend (24m) and I recently became our sole provider. My boyfriend was working and says he wants to work, but he is honestly incapable currently. He has extremely bad mental health due to several problems in his past; it's so bad to the point that every day when he came home from his previous job, he cried about how nothing was worth it anymore and he didn't want to live. Honestly, I love him and his dedication to work, but I also have mental issues and I cannot handle him crying about not wanting to live every second of every day. He feels terrible and it makes me upset to see him so depressed all the time. That's why I suggested he stay at home and improve his mental health for a few months while I just work and support us. So that's what we're doing. I got laid off from my job in November, so I'm doing DoorDash currently. I've been applying to jobs for months but haven't been able to find anything so it's currently my only viable option. Including DoorDash, I'm also enrolled in an IT training program so I can get a better job, as well as emotionally caring for my BF, which is to say; if I'm not working or doing coursework, I'm sitting and consoling him.
Here's where things start to fall apart. My car is having issues; I've had the same issue before, two times the previous year, where the check engine light comes on and the car shakes profusely. Obviously, this makes me super anxious about driving the car for DoorDash. I have to, because otherwise we can't pay the rent or buy groceries, but I'm afraid of what will happen to it and I can't pay to fix it because we live paycheck to paycheck. DoorDash is also becoming less lucrative for me as I'm getting worse and worse orders and still having to pay for tons of gas.
My BF is still struggling a ton. I figured he'd be at least a bit better staying at home and having time to do the things he likes, but he's still crying to me every night about how upset he is. I've tried again and again to get him to see a therapist and he says he will but I just can't seem to get him to do it. He gets upset if I try to sit him down and force him because he's anxious to call and has to psych himself up first. I'm always trying to remind my BF why we're doing this; it's to help him feel better so he can improve his mental health so he can actually enjoy life, but he keeps saying how he doesn't want to do this whole thing-- like I understand it's hard for him but it really upsets me when he says this because I'm trying so hard for his sake.
Anyways, tonight he just said that we shouldn't get engaged next month as we planned. I.e. we shouldn't get engaged at all. I deeply love this man and want to be with him but I've already been struggling a ton with nowhere to vent except my once-monthly therapist appointments. Now this? Honest to god what's the point?
submitted by an7787 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:28 KiddyKat2675 Best jobs for an 18 year old to save money on their gap year?

Hi all,
As the title says I’m looking for the best job I can get to save money - this is to travel on my gap year and start building some general savings if I can too.
I turn 18 at the end of July so obviously can do full time work at that point and won’t be travelling until around the same time the following year - probably June.
It’s important to note I don’t have the typical outgoings of a 17 year old currently as I don’t live at home (complex home situation) and spend approximately £600ish on bills a month currently (rent, electric, council tax, tv, food shops etc) with a current minimum monthly income of £850 (working 20hrs a week w overtime extra sometimes too).
Also currently have 1.3k in my CTF (basic savings account though not investments) which I’ve contributed to pre-moving out and when I have done overtime sometimes too.
Please could someone advise me on this or if anyone knows of any better subs for me to post in lmk too!
Thanks in advance :)
submitted by KiddyKat2675 to UKJobs [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:28 user20141804 Help with landmark global

Hi hopefully someone can help, trying to track a package from the US through landmark global, the tracking thing says its awaiting me to collect it since the 8th - originally added delivery as my home address when I ordered and I don't have it. So I've tried to Google an address or a phone number in Cape Town and can't find a collection point or anything. Any one know how i can get a hold of my package?
submitted by user20141804 to southafrica [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:21 Jane__xw Wrote a text some time ago. Hope you'll like it.

Wearing your pullover, sleepless nights.
My thoughts are with you, but yours not with mine.
My heart aches for your presence every night.
I know you don't need me and you never felt love. But hope dies last for this one miracle from above. To feel you again, skin to skin, and smell your bittersweet presence in my room, to enlighten my life like you always do.
Tears running down my face, and i know you don't care. But my heart is with you and it aches for somewhere. Somewhere is your presence, my holy home. Oh to feel your presence one more time would give me some glow. This glow in my life, yes you gave me a lot. A lot of hurt, tears and heartache, but it still aches for you.
My heart aches for your presence, to feel you again skin to skin. And smelll your bittersweet presence in my room, to enlighten my life like you always do. I know you don't care about me, oh you never did.
But deep down in my heart, i always hoped but forbid. I forbid my heart to buid fairytails which are not true. Yet i lay in bed and write this for you. You gave me hope and a reason to try, but got left with the feeling wanting to die.
My heart aches for your presence, to feel you again, skin to skin.
And smell your bittersweet presence in my room, to enlighten my life like you always do.

- J.W.
submitted by Jane__xw to heartbreak [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:20 CarsonCooperWrites [WP] You sigh as you try once again to put your dollar bill in the stubborn vending machine

I sigh. Another day in paradise. Another day another nickel, yada yada yada. I straighten out the last dollar I have until tomorrow when five hundred more trips to the vending machine gets deposited into my account.
This is the third time I straightened out this damn dollar. All I want is a orange soda. Diet? I’ll start that next week. But for now that cold, crisp mouth watering orange flavored soda is all I want. All I need.
I extend my arm to insert the dollar bill again. This time it surely must work! The bill looks straight off the printing press.
Just before I insert the bill, Bill (how ironic) from accounting yells, “What are you DOING!? Get away from that!!”
Bill rushes up and snatched my dollar and crumples it up right in front of me. That 2 minutes of seesawing that damn bill on the corner of this damn vending machine has been wasted.
“What the hell are you doing Bill?!”
Bill blinks. He looks at me as if I should know what he’s doing. Like I’m stupid.
“I’m saving your life Charlie.”
Saving my life? Is this guy nuts??
“Bill. I don’t have time for your shenanigans right now. Your wife may find it cute but I don’t. All I want is an orange soda.”
“I have one in my desk. You can have it”
At this point it’s the principal of the matter. I want the one out of the vending machine. Will they taste the same? I’m sure but that’s not the point.
“Come on Bill give me my dollar back.”
“No. I’m saving your life. You won’t get this dollar back until you know what I mean”
I just look at Bill like he’s crazy. He sure is acting like it. The bags under his eyes have been getting bigger, more puffy. A dark ring making him have a raccoon-Esque appearance. I know he hasn’t been well, we’ve all noticed but we also haven’t if that’s makes sense. Everyone in the office is so wrapped up with what we’re doing we haven’t noticed Bill isn’t well.
I ask him “what DO you mean?”
He says to me, “Sit. Come here. Sit and watch.”
Bill leads me to the table where I should be sitting drinking my ice cold Orange Soda and eating my leftover bag of Sour Cream and Onion chips I brought from home. But instead I’m entertaining crazy Bill from accounting.
“Okay. What now?” I ask him.
Bill calls out “Jane! Can you come in here please”
Jane? Oh no. Did Crazy Bill catch her put her hand on my arm after our daily flirting ritual. My wife can’t find out about that. I mean, it’s harmless and nothing has happened. Yet. I start to get nervous.
“Why are you calling Jane in here?”
Bill looks at me and smiles, “I think you’ll enjoy what I show you.”
That smile. He looks like a fucking demented Pee Wee Herman.
I start clenching my fists and as she walks in I loosen them.
Jane. I feel warm and happy around her. I smile but suddenly I’m swept back to reality and consider the situation I’m in.
I was about to put a dollar in the machine for an orange soda. Crazy Bill from accounting yells at me and crumples my dollar in front of me. He asks me to sit at the table and watch. He calls Jane (my work crush) in and what now? I’m on the edge of my seat wondering what this guy who I know as Bill could possibly be thinking in that gray mush of meat that is his brain.
“Yeah Bill? Oh hi Charlie!” Jane smiles at me. I awkwardly wave. She looks at me puzzlingly and I shrug.
“Hey Jane can you take this dollar and get Charlie here a soda from the machine? Orange please.”
I look at Bill like he just grew 6 arms. That’s literally what I was doing and he told me not to. What gives man?
Jane takes the dollar and walks over to the machine.
I watch. Crazy Bill looks at me and mouths “watch this” and winks.
I raise and eyebrow at him genuinely confused at this point but I watch. I sit and watch just like the good listener Jane always says I am.
She put the dollar bill into the vending machine.
The dollar bill is sucked in.
She let’s out a Yelp.
Her fingers are stuck to the bill. Her fingers get sucked into the machine!
Jane doesn’t have time to scream and she is instantly degloved. Her bony fingers now getting pulled in deeper into the machine.
Now She’s letting out a blood curdling scream.
I get up to help pull her out but Bill stands up and punches me in the jaw. I drop like a sack of onions. I’m bleeding too now. Not as bad as Jane is but it still hurts.
As I’m laying on the ground and I look up, the machine now has sarah sucked in up to her elbow. She is still screaming but with those screams blood is pouring out of her mouth. Splattering the glass that protects that delicious orange soda I was looking forward to all morning.
Bill is laughing. Laughing! He’s fucking laughing! Jane is getting eaten by a damn vending machine and he’s laughing! Blood flecks splatter Bills face. He’s enjoying this the sick fuck!
At this point I’m immobilized by fear and to be honest Im thinking this can’t be real.
Jane looks at me and her eyes plead for help. Blood is covering the tile floor of the break room. God do humans really have that much blood?
Her screams cease. She goes limp.
Bill stops laughing, looks at me and gestures his head towards her as if to say “alright you can help her.”
I scramble to my feet trying not to slip in the lake of blood lying below her.
The vending machine is smoking and making horrible grinding sounds. Coughing and sputtering.
I grab Jane and I pull. It’s all I could think to do. I reach around her waist and I pull and the machine rejects Her the way it did my dollar bill hundreds of times before.
Her and I fall to the ground. Her covered and blood and limp. Lifeless. A stump for an arm and god knows how much blood she has left.
I laid there on the break room floor with Jane in my arms. My work crush with her waist length brunette hair and brown, almond shaped eyes. That scar on her right arm she got from falling in the cul-de-sac of her friends house when she was learning how to ride bicycle was not there anymore. Grinded down like hamburger meat.
As I lay there with Jane in my arms, Bill stands up and looks down at me. His face covered in her blood. A spittle of it even on the corner of his mouth.
He says “That could’ve been you. You’re welcome.”
Bill walks out of the break room. He shuts the door on Jane and me and this ordeal. This psychotic ordeal.
Just as the door closes shut, the orange soda falls out and into the mouth of the machine.
Cold. Crisp. Tangy.
I reach my arm into the machine and pull out the soda.
Chkkkka fizzle
I take a sip and sigh.
submitted by CarsonCooperWrites to u/CarsonCooperWrites [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:17 CarsonCooperWrites [SP] Use the words: Bridge.Caravan.Apples.

It was October again in the Graydor region. The air smelt like warm root beer and cinnamon. Vendors were set up all along Graydor Villa Route 4. Two Headed Trout, Opossum Milk, Mint Coffee Cakes and many other delicacies were displayed in the dozens of Market stands set up by townspeople, both local and from afar. It was a happy day, a warm day, perfect for gathering up some friends and heading down to the monthly Villa Market to spend some schillings or perhaps engage in some bartering. Your opossum milk for my Hungrigorian Spice Apples-Locally Grown!
A caravan run by Juniper Grigorian-The owner of Hungrigorian Orchard-was parked just across the bridge on the way into the Villa Market. See, Juniper knew that if you were one the first vendors on the way in and one of the first vendors to arrive, your products, especially when said product is the famous Hungrigorian Spice Apples, you were guaranteed to make better business. Juniper was old but she wasn’t dumb.
On this particular day, Juniper was approached by a very young man of maybe 20. She herself was 60 and she couldn’t help but notice how different this man appeared! Smooth skin! Blonde Hair! Sharp blue eyes! This man was definitely not from around here, perhaps from the county over-Alford was it? It was it Yungsted?
The man approached Juniper and eyed her up and down. Juniper started to feel mildly uncomfortable. She felt like she was being eye raped. Normally that would flatter her but this man was damn near 40 years younger than her.
“Can I help you?”
The man replied, “I think you can. See, I am the owner of Redstown’s Famous Spirit Apples, that’s my stand over there”
Juniper looks to where the man is pointing and sees a young woman with bright red hair waving at her and smiling from ear to ear.
“What of it?” Juniper replied.
“You seem to be in the best spot for business. And as our products are similar, Business will how you say not be booming for us if you remain in your place. I would appreciate if you load up your spice apples and get out of here.”
“I have been coming her to Market Villa for the last 50 years, who are you to tell me what to do? I’ve never seen you here before anyways!”
The man glared at her with intensity. At this moment his eyes turned from blue to blaze orange and his canines extended three times the length, and boy they looked sharp. At that point Juniper just wanted to be home. She had never seen this man before and she never wanted to again. She felt paralyzed with fear.
“Guess I’ll have to remove you from the premises myself,” the man spoke.
She tried to scream for help. But she got to the market hours early to set up. Barely anybody was around and if they were they were all too focused on setting up their own stands.
The man approached her and wrapped his arms around her neck. Juniper felt instantly warm. Warm throughout her whole body but she felt hotness running down her neck. Hotness. She was going home. Juniper was going home just like she wanted.
Juniper was warm. Fading. Home. Fading. Apples. Falling. Her caravan. Slipping. The bridge. Sleeping. Market Villa. The man. Dying.
submitted by CarsonCooperWrites to u/CarsonCooperWrites [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:16 okreddituwin My son no longer wants to pursue college because his goal of getting to the NBA doesn't require it.

So our 16 year old has been playing basketball since 8th grade. He's naturally athletic, but when it comes to basketball he has spent the last 2 years riding the bench on his school and club teams. It has been hard for him. He is hoping to try new teams with new coaches that have more faith in him this year. Basketball is really his only interest, and his only idea after high school is to get to the NBA. Obviously statistics are not in his favor. Like most parents, I'd hate to crush his dreams, but honestly I feel this is a childish dream vs a goal at this point. Maybe this is normal, but of his friends that I've asked the consensus is that pro ball would be awesome, but they are definitely planning for other careers and at best just hoping for a scholarship.
This week he told us he no longer wants to pursue college, because there are other ways to get to the NBA, which is his goal. He also doesn't know what he would major in anyway. When asked about a backup plan in case of for example an injury, his actual response was to "figure out a career as a basketball person". After more discussion, he specified he could "coach club teams. Also, have a podcast, or buy and sell houses for easy money". I'm not sure he comprehends that his coaches have day jobs, or that podcasts and house flipping are not at all easy money. For now, I have challenged him to figure out what specifically he loves about the sport/playing that excite him and explore what jobs/careers they may translate to.
We've always agreed until now that he was college bound. He has just done two week long college tours, which HE asked to do partially for the social aspect of going away with his friends. I do understand that college isnt for everyone or every career. I also don't think anyone should waste large amounts of money on a degree they aren't interested in. It will be a huge shift in my mindset, but I can totally support skipping college if it makes sense.
Our worry is really that he has literally no other plans, no other interests besides the NBA. In the past he has said he wants to "have a business" for a career. He asked for help to resell sneakers (like his friend), and we even gave him a pair to sell but he never actually did. He asked us to help him set up drop shipping (someone told him it's easy money), and he's been "working on his site and saving startup money" for months. We've never given him an allowance, and this year we basically made him get a job, trying to expose him to a traditional workplace and learn about earning a check. He does play and practice basketball outside of his teams, but I would not say he shows a true commitment or discipline it takes to play professionally, even if was more skilled, at least in my opinion.
Honestly this is scary to me. In 2 years he will be an adult, out of school with (in my opinion) no real plan. Our fear is that he will just want to live at home, working minimum wage jobs and playing pickup games forever (exaggeration, but also not really). We've exposed him to different careers, school subjects, extracurriculars over the years and none interest him other than playing basketball. Sports medicine, physical therapy, personal training, exercise science, coaching, refereeing, nothing that I associate with having an affinity for sports interest him.
I'm partially venting but could use advice on what to do next. I hate to crush his dreams but if basketball is all he wants to do, how do I motivate him to do something realistic with it? How do I prepare him for life and the reality that he probably won't be the 1% of guys who make it to the league 3-4 years from now, when honestly I don't understand how he doesn't already see that.
TLDR: my 16 year olds only apparent aspiration is to play in the NBA, I don't see this as remotely realistic and he has no other plans for after high school.
submitted by okreddituwin to parentingteenagers [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:16 CarsonCooperWrites [WP] You wake up groggy in a moving train with blood on your hands and an army of zombies trying to get into your train compartment.

The undead has risen—Just like all of the movies and tv shows you know and love. Except there’s nothing fun or cool about what is happening to our main character at this very moment. From a ravens eye we are fifty or so feet above the scene looking down upon a moving train. It’s not moving very fast, in fact we keep up just fine. The undead, ( oh screw it let’s call them zombies) zombies are slowly roaming around outside as the train moves. The train is running on a rail that is perched upon an upside down ‘V’ plot of ground. The slope to get to the moving train is just steep enough to keep most zombies at bay but not all.
About a hundred feet on both sides of the track is a thick line of pine trees. If we were a thousand feet higher we would see that there is no station, town or person with a few miles. What a shame.
The train picks off zombies that wander into the tracks, splitting the rotting flesh in pieces, spraying blood and guts off the tracks. Shoes, wallets, glasses, coins, objects to show these were once people litter the rails.
A bridge is coming up soon. Ravens are no good at telling distance but we know it’s neither far nor near. Let’s abandon our good bird friend and jump into the mind the protagonist of this story. Without a point of view we have no story.
“Ugh.” John moans and rubs his temple. “What the?” He looks at his hands. Dark red blood is starting to dry on his palms. He examines himself for injuries—nothing. Where did this blood come from? he thinks, and where the hell am I?
John looks around and notices he is in a small room. A bench on both sides, an overhead compartment above both benches and a single window. From his seated point of view he sees a moving tree line. He stands up and gazes out of the window to get a better view. He sees rows of pine trees and every few seconds he sees a person outside, walking. “In the middle of the woods?” He says to himself. John sits down on one of the benches and comes to the realization he is on a train. Albeit a slow moving train but a train nonetheless.
John wipes his bloody palms on his jeans and sits with his head in his hands. Almost dozing off his wandering mind is cut off by “Gruuuugh”s and “Arrruugh”s on the other side of the door.
John perks up and slowly slides the door to his compartment open. Bluish fingers reach in the crack, whoever is reaching in now screaming. A low, guttural scream. “What the fuck?” John panics and slams the door shut, slicing off the fingers of the owner of the scream. Despite just slicing 4 of 5 of the persons fingers, there is silence on the other side of the door now.
“What the fuck. What the fuck!” John backs to the window and looks out again. The train is slowing down even more, it’s at a walking pace now, and this allows John to truly see what it outside of the train.
A man with his head hanging over his left shoulder, seemingly held on by a flap of neck flesh, arms dangling at his side walking towards the woods. A small girl with no arms kneeling over the corpse of a deer, taking bites out of the deer pulling and ripping tendon and flesh as she does so.Her face caked with blood and her blonde hair caked with mud. A body of a man lying just off the tracks, it’s innards looking like roadkill that’s been sitting for a week. A fat greenish,bluish woman running (RUNNING!) towards the window he is looking out of. Her fat rolls rolling like waves as she frantically sprints towards John. Her tongue dangling, her arms flailing. John backs up as she gets even closer, now screaming like a banshee.
Taken out by the train. Blood splatters his window and the screaming stops.
The other zombies look toward the direction of the screaming but quickly return to what they were doing.
“Fucking hell” John says. All he can do is curse at the moment but do we blame him?
As John slowly peers out the window, he sees nothing but sky. He notices the train has stopped and looks down and sees water. He’s about a hundred feet above rocks and dark, fast moving water.
A river. The Elk River to be precise. The nearest town 2 miles downstream and 10 miles upstream.
He turns his head and peers back toward the start of The bridge, people, no, zombies he corrects himself falling off the cliff into the raging river below. Grunting as they fall, fall headfirst.
Okay stay calm John he says to himself.
He goes back to his compartment door and a opens it just slightly. A loud moaning overtakes the hallway, he peeks out. He looks left down the hallway and right. John takes on step out and in each direction a flood of zombies come racing toward his room. He quickly slams the door once again and this time makes for the window. He tears off a piece of his corduroy flannel shirt and wraps it around his fist. He punches the window once. Nothing. Twice. A small crack forms. Three times. He’s through. He peers his head out the window and looks both directions. Back the way the train came to land is maybe 100 feet he thinks, the way the train is going he can’t make out due to extreme fog.
“Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Shit” he begins to pull himself out of the window. He catches the back of His ankle on a shard of glass still stuck on the window. He grimaces in pain as the shard slices through his flesh like a filet knife. Surprisingly he is able to pull himself up and out of the window and he stands on top of the train. He lays down, bright red blood quickly gushing out of his fresh wound. Grunting and moaning and screaming now comes from all directions. Ahead of him, behind him and below him.
Blood now leaking down the slopes roof of the train car into the river below. Zombies inside the train car below Him begin breaking the window and throw themselves outside of the train in search for the source of the smell of Blood.
John is getting light headed. He can’t feel his face or arms.
Unfortunately for John he sliced his posterior tibial artery. John will bleed out in exactly 28 minutes, just 7 hours and 58 minutes after his wife was bitten in her jugular vein by their nextdoor neighbor. Just 8 hours after his unconscious body was put into the train compartment by his bloodied wife. Just 8 hours and 10 minutes after his newborn sons neck wAs sliced by a zombies fingernail as it was reaching for his wife and him as they entered the train. And just 8 hours and 25 minutes after he left his home with his wife and newborn son hoping to evacuate their infected hometown.
John’s body will be found a week later by a survivor search crew, bloated and picked apart by a single raven.
submitted by CarsonCooperWrites to u/CarsonCooperWrites [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:16 Fuckyoupots We need to ask our representatives to vote against the RESTRICT Act

You've probably seen news about an incoming Tiktok ban, but if you haven't looked into the RESTRICT Act, you desperately need to. This could change the internet as we know it. Whether you're republican or dem, none of us want this bill that serves as the Patriot Act on steroids.
Whether you like or dislike Tiktok does not matter. In fact, the tiktok ban has been a great smokescreen for the horrifying internet privacy bill they're trying to pass. It's worse than SOPA in my opinion. It would allow the government to investigate any app/website/technology that has a million users without a warrant. The secretary in charge of investigating and banning websites would be appointed, not elected. This act is immune to the Freedom of Information Act. And if you are a regular US citizen who tries to bypass banned apps/websitse with a VPN, you could be charged a 250k fine or imprisoned up to twenty years.
Hopefully I don't need to explain why this is one of the most severe attacks on privacy and freedom of speech in a decade. The bill is bipartisan, so both sides want to screw over the average American citizen. And the worst part is that it doesn't just apply to apps/websites, but potentially also tech like your home security cameras. The gov will essentially have full control over the internet as we know it.
I'll copy/paste my response from Congresswoman Perez. It doesn't contain a stance, but doesn't make me comfortable that she wouldn't vote on it. Personally, I do not want bans of specific apps, I want broad-based privacy and data laws that would protecct us from foreign governments and that is what I'm explaining to my reps. I'm pro internet privacy, but that should apply to everyone, American companies as well. And it definitely shouldn't result in the gov having full control of our online data. I'll be reaching out again to explain this goes far beyond Tiktok and point out the most alarming sections of the RESTRICT Act.
Please reach out to Congresswoman Perez and our Washington senators. I encourage you to call, but you can also email. They need to know that we will not be voting in anyone who stands by these attacks on freedom of speech and privacy.
"Thank you for contacting me about TikTok. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out, and I deeply value your insight and input.
In our increasingly digital world, apps like TikTok have come under scrutiny for their handling of user data. With millions of Americans using this app for entertainment, connection, and community, concerns have been raised about TikTok’s potential risks to national security and individual privacy. Tiktok is owned by the private Chinese company ByteDance, which has raised questions about the Chinese government's potential access to user data.
It is critical that Americans’ personal information doesn’t fall in the wrong hands. To achieve this, we need to hold tech companies accountable for how they handle personal data and ensure that they're transparent about their practices. By doing so, we can maintain the many benefits that technology offers while also preserving our privacy and security.
As the independent voice for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, I believe we must balance the need for data privacy with the realities of our digital world. It’s critical we approach this issue with transparency, fairness, and a commitment to safeguarding the privacy and rights of all Americans. Please know that I will keep your input in mind if legislation related to this issue is brought up for a vote before the House.
Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s an honor to represent you in Congress and serve Washington’s 3rd Congressional District."
submitted by Fuckyoupots to vancouverwa [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:14 mdanonomy21 Follow-up diary: I am in my mid-30s, work in nonprofits, and make $125k a year ($180k joint). This week we found out we need to cash flow $11,000 worth of dental procedures in 2023, and I still spent $396 on spring things. 🌱✨

Hi friends! I submitted a diary in February 2021 that you can find here! Since then we’ve sold one house, started higher-paying jobs, moved states to be closer to family, rented a kind of busted house, bought another charming fixer-upper of a house, and given in fully to lifestyle creep, especially when it comes to plants and gardens.
❤️ Section 1: Assets and Debt
Total Net Worth: $108,763 if you believe the equity calculator I reference below. Negative tens of thousands if you think the housing market is about to crash or even just reset!
Retirement Balance: $10,000 for me, split just about evenly between a Roth and a 401k; $25,500 for my husband, L. This will make more sense when you get to the “income progression” section, and after you accompany me as I spend money like I have money to spend, every day.
Savings Account Balance: $17,000 split between an “upcoming house repairs & dental fund.” The first $7k is spoken for already between a big chimney repair ($3k) and an expensive upcoming dental appointment for L ($4k), both in April. The remaining $10k we don’t touch – it’s for an emergency fund.
Checking Account Balance: About $1200. I try to keep this pretty low to discourage my own spending, which works only sometimes.
Credit Card Debt: $12,100 left from our home renovations and move last October. We got two 0% APR cards to finance this, and will pay both off before the APR jumps at the end of this year.
Student Loan Debt: $80,000 for L’s undergrad and MAT. $18,000 for my undergrad and (unfinished, womp womp) MAT. We aren’t paying on this til we have to, and are hoping it will be forgiven – mine via Biden, since I was a Pell Grant recipient, and L’s via PSLF.
Equity: $145,000. This number is from an online equity calculator, and is for our century-old house in a very walkable neighborhood in a popular Southern city, but who knows whether it’s real or not. Numbers that are real: We paid $575,000 for the home last fall, including a 20% down payment that my dad split evenly with us – his portion from his recent inheritance, our portion from the sale of our previous home.
When we started looking in 2021, our “stretch budget” was $450k, but the housing market exploded and it seemed like overnight the base budget for kind of place we were looking for was more like $650k (I’m committed to city living, and we wanted to make sure there was enough space for my sister, J, and her boyfriend to continue living with us, given the skyrocketing rent prices). We bit the bullet on this place after my dad offered to pay for half the down payment. That gift helped us avoid PMI, so that the rent we were paying for a worse place was comparable to the monthly payment on this one. We spent the remaining $15,000 from our previous home sale buying down the rate and on moving costs, repairs, furnishing, gardens, appliances, etc, and then still took out about $12,000 more in credit card debt to renovate the bathrooms and make a few other upgrades.
❤️ Section 2: Income
Monthly Take Home: My base pay is $125,000, and L’s is $55,000. We bring in about $11,400 a month after taxes. The whole family’s health insurance is paid in full by my work, and our pre-tax retirement contribution details are below.
Income Progression: I’ve been working since I was 15 years old, moved out at 18, and paid my own bills starting that year, but income below starts the year I graduated college.
Year 1: $15,000 (part time ABA therapist, full time baby anarchist)
Years 2-8: $28,000 (This is a rough average of my income across these years. I accepted a spot in Teach for America right out of college in order to have a salary, despite my maximalist politics at the time, and kept working with young people for years after my TFA service ended. I paid for L’s expenses in college and supported a few other family members off and on while I taught. When I took a big pay cut to do youth organizing work for a couple years, L’s teacher salary helped support us).
Year 9: $45,000 (got a full-time nonprofit fundraising job, quit teaching)
Year 10: $55,000 (got a raise)
Year 11: $65,000 (got a raise and promotion)
Year 12: $75,000 (was promoted again, realized I was still underpaid)
Year 13: $98,000 (was hired by my current employer)
Year 14: $125,000 (was promoted!)
❤️ Section 3: Expenses
Mortgage, Taxes, & Insurance: About $3,000. My sister and her boyfriend currently live with us and contribute $600 of this total payment each month, but we budget as if we pay the full mortgage ourselves.
Investment Contribution: L’s retirement is pulled out of his check before he receives it: it’s $289 a month. I put $170 into my 401k, directly out of my check. I also contribute $100 to a Roth IRA through Acorns each month. Through Acorns we also have a UTMA/UGMA account for B which gets $100 a month, and we put $40 a month into a taxable brokerage account.
Savings Contribution: We tally an extra $1.5k-$3k a month beyond expenses, and are expecting $6k back from our tax return this year. But we aren’t prioritizing savings right now, and instead are: 1. cashflowing L’s timely dental work (found out in the course of this diary that we’re looking at about $11k this year); 2. paying down the debt on our credit cards ($12k, see above); and 3. cashflowing a few must-do house projects (estimating about $8k for those).
Debt Payments: See above! As I mentioned, we have student loan debt to the tune of $100k but aren’t paying right now. I actually paid my loans down by $10k during COVID with money from our first house sale. But I panicked when Biden said he was going to forgive loans and got my full payment during the pandemic – all $10k – reversed. That money is now our emergency savings account.
Electric/Gas: $150ish, varies significantly. We installed a high-efficiency wood stove when we moved in, which cuts down on the cost of our old furnace a bit.
Internet: $80
Water: $75
Cellphone: $100, for L & I both
Subscriptions: $10 Spotify; $10 Youtube music; $2.99 Apple data; $22 NYT, for newspaper and cooking app; $5 for Acorns. I also pay yearly: $40 for the Freedom app, $20 for Hobnob, and $60 for Insight Timer.
Car Payment and Insurance: $200 for insurance. This covers both of our used cars and my dad’s used handicap van. We paid off our 2012 Honda Fit when we sold our last house, and recently paid cash for a Honda CRV with 180k miles which we use for family trips.
Medical/Therapy: $0. My therapist is $181 a session, and I see her twice a month – but this is covered by my job’s MERP card. I also get an inhaler at least twice a month - that’s reimbursed too, but would cost $60 otherwise.
Pet Expenses: Our precious pittie suffered some injuries before we adopted her. She’s on Gabapentin daily for pain management which is about $60 a month.
CSA: $40/week minimum – this is a special CSA service that has all kinds of tempting goodies, so I usually spend more.
Coworking space: $150. I expense $100 of this to work.
Gym memberships: $75 for a family Y membership, and $120 for my spin studio; I also buy 10-packs to the yoga studio down the street every few months, which are $120 a pop**.**
Donations: Varies. We give $10 monthly to our local Democratic Socialists of America and $10 monthly to the Working Families Party. We give one-off donations when asked or when we come across a need, usually $50-$100 at a time. Once we have less immediate debt, I plan to up our recurring gifts.
Childcare: $600. B goes to the best public preschool in the land – he was on the waiting list for 18 months. We previously paid double this for a subpar Montessori school run out of a church basement. Often babysitting is an extra $100 or so a month.
Kids’ Activities: $120 every three months or so – think swim lessons, toddler soccer, etc.
Outdoorsy memberships: $110 yearly for memberships to nonprofit parks, botanical gardens, etc etc. These are not too expensive and a fun way to spend a day with little ones.
House cleaner: $320. They come twice a month and charge $160 each time. This is some of the best money I spend each month.
Nuuly: $94. This has been a gamechanger for work travel.
❤️ Section 4: Money Diary
5:00 am: I wake up wheezing with two pudgy legs draped right across my chest. My three-year-old, B, gave me a cold that I’ve just recovered from, but my asthma is still a bit aggrieved. I disentangle myself from B and head downstairs to make a french press and get some work in before everyone’s up.
6:30 am: B comes running downstairs, naked and boisterous as ever. I spare a thought for my little sister, J, and her boyfriend, who share a wall with him. J and her boyfriend have been living with us since the deep pandemic when we all moved together, which has been a blessing for us. But the early mornings and constant circulating upper respiratory infections are doing them in, and they’re moving to a nearby apartment in May. This very basic one-bedroom will double their monthly rent D: And, since J is finishing up school right now and doesn’t have a steady income, L and I had to cosign their lease in order for them to even qualify for the place. Big sigh on housing across America right now.
7:15 am: B and L head out, and I get dressed and do a little more work. At 8:30, I head to my first-ever dermatologist appointment. My mom recently treated me to a mothedaughter facial where I learned that the creeping redness on my nose is likely hereditary rosacea! The facialist suggested I make an appointment with a dermatologist after I informed her that my skincare routine has to date involved only a wet rag and a heavy moisturizer.
The dermatologist suggests a gentle papaya cleanser; a phyto vitamin c serum; a rosacea triple cream; and a moisturizing sunscreen. The cost for the appointment itself ($150) is covered by my MERP card from work**,** but I pay for the cleanser, serum, and sunscreen from his office ($141) and the rosacea triple cream from an online pharmacy ($49) out of pocket. Thus begins my first-ever skincare routine. Sadly, the dermatologist’s proprietary packaging is ugly, so if you use something similar but cute, please share a link.
10:00 am: I’ve walked the dog, made another cup of coffee, turned on Freedom, and am settling into my laptop for a day of toggling between Google Docs and Zoom rooms.
12:30 pm: M barks rancorously as I’m wrapping up a Zoom call. The Tubies I ordered last week for me (and B) were delivered. It’s SPRING and we are about to eat SMOOTHIE POPS, everybody. It’s also time for lunch, so I heat up this very yummy soup (we subbed veggie sausage and it worked well) and toast a piece of focaccia. I read “I Went On A Package Trip for Lonely Millennials” while I eat. It is every bit as unsettling as it sounds.
1:40 pm: L calls — B has had diarrhea at school and needs to come home. B’s preschool is in the public school where L teaches, which means L handles all pick up and drop off, but my work schedule is much more flexible than L’s so I often do early pickups like this one. I shift my afternoon meetings, notify my direct reports that I’m signing out early, and stop for gas on the way to pick up poor little B. ($40)
4:30 pm: B and I spent the afternoon doing quiet things together – he took a bath, played with toys, and watched some PBS Kids, and I took a few minutes to tie up some loose ends at work. When L gets home at 4:30, we set up the sprinkler on our tiny front “lawn” (currently actually a patch of very-tilled dirt), where we recently seeded low-growing wildflowers.
6:00 pm: I want to drink wine with L while we make veggie fried rice for dinner, but think better of it given that I just got over a cold. L offers to make me a hot toddy (yesssss) but then realizes we’re out of lemons. He and B head to the grocery store around the corner while I finish up dinner. They get lemons, a lime, and a giant bag of lollipops for L’s students. ($11) The hot toddy is delicious.
9:00 pm: B’s bedtime routine is a wrap and my new skincare routine is complete – turns out my face does feel cleaner after a cleanser! I take a nebulizer treatment and read my favorite book that has completely transformed my life, Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts, until we turn out the lights. Goodnight!
5:00 am: I wake up wheezing deeply again. I head downstairs to eat a cold banana and take a prednisone left over from the last time my asthma was aggravated by a cold. I decide to sit for a little Sarah Blondin meditation by the woodstove before I start my early-morning work block. Lesson 8 in this course is my go-to, and is alone worth every bit of the yearly Insight Timer fee.
7:00 am: B and L are awake, but B is staying home from school today so things are a bit slower. I make a mango smoothie for B and then add kale and protein powder for L and I. At 7:45 I don my favorite lilac workout onesie (I have it in black too) and head to my spin class.
9:00 am: I am but one month into spin classes and totally enamored. The dark room and loud music extremely do it for me. After class I stop at the coffee shop next door and buy a big drip coffee to split with L, a sticky bun for L and B to share, and a bag of coffee beans cause we are almost out at home. ($28)
9:30 am: Take a quick post-spin shower while I listen to Iris Dement’s new album, which serves the sound I grew up on and a very earnest progressivism that reminds me of my parents and their sweet Boomer friends who care deeply about abortion access and post anti-racist memes on Facebook. I cover my body in Warm Feelings, spritz on Winter (the best), wriggle into some cheetah-print overalls, and head down to work until L leaves in about an hour and a half.
12:00 pm: My meeting with my boss ran over so L had to leave for work while I was mid-call. I extricate B from Disney+ (we use J’s login) and receive only a moderate tantrum in response. After some breaths, B lays on his blue rug and pretends he’s eating his lunch (a mango pop, grilled cheese, & berries) in the shallow end of a swimming pool. Pre-nap, we read Gabito, a recent fave, and B’s eyes flutter closed during the last few pages. Back to work!
3:30 pm: B comes running into my office but I need to wrap up an important task, so we listen to superhero stories together while I tappity tap. It’s raining out, and L isn’t due home til 6p, so I make a gametime decision to spend the afternoon doing one fun inside thing for me (pick out berry bushes for our garden!) and one fun thing inside thing for B (ride rides inside the mall near the garden center!). B and I gather $2.50 in quarters for his rides, and he dons his Ironman costume and rainboots for the occasion.
At the garden center, we pick out two triple crown blackberry bushes, two chandler blueberry bushes, one heritage everbearing raspberry bush, and, after a quick phone consultation with L, one black tartarian cherry tree. L loves cherries and is very excited to use them in his cocktail-making. We also pick up a galvanized steel watering can since my old thrifted one keeps leaking all over the floor when I water my inside plants. The total is $253. Because I am very excited about this purchase and it’s for our house, it counts as free in my heart.
4:30 pm: B and I are the only nerds in the mall wearing KN95s and clutching quarters in our fists. So far B has purchased a ride on a train ($1) and some tiny banana candies ($.50). He settles on a very exciting race car for his final four quarters – but the greedy car eats his money!!! ($1) We are both very sad, and start searching for a ride that might take a debit card. Then, suddenly, to our left, appears a LEGO STORE. B dashes in and we find that you can build your own tiny Lego person. He happily obliges and I spend $5 on a three-inch-tall Lego man with a spider face and a big helmet.
6:30 pm: Back at home, L and I discuss our most exciting news of the week – L’s youngest sister and her partner arrive at their new apartment in our city TONIGHT! They’ve been living several states away for years. L’s whole family lives in the area and we are all thrilled these two are coming back home. L, B, and I plan to help them unpack tomorrow, and I think we should take them a gift. L heads out to the bottle store down the street to buy two bottles of Morphos (one for us!) ($52), and then goes to the grocery store to buy White Claws and some pull-ups for B. ($25) We could save more money but life is for living.
Dinner is leftover fried rice, and B doesn’t fall asleep til 9. L and I take our favorite CBD gummies before bed and I read the “soft fruits” section of Down to Earth to prepare for our big planting this weekend.
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $365.50
6:00 am: I wake up late today – I had trouble sleeping because I couldn’t breathe all night. I make my favorite smoothie for breakfast (which is something like this but incorporates protein powder and frozen kale and cayenne), L eats oatmeal, and B eats two mango smoothie pops plus a cereal bar. They leave around 7:15 am and I get myself together to walk the dog before heading to my coworking space for the day.
8:30 am: I pack up my stuff and ride my bike to my pretty coworking space. The sun is out! It’s spring! The trees are blooming! Everyone is glad.
1:45 pm: I heat up fried rice and drink some of the on-tap kombucha. While I eat, I read Today in Tabs and consider adding it to my monthly expenses so that I can read it more. Our cleaner texts that they’re done at the house, and I Venmo her $160 (included in monthly expenses).
3:10 pm: I decide to bike home before the final Zoom call of the day. I cannot stress enough how glorious it is outside. It’s also glorious inside, thanks to our fabulous cleaner.
Post-call, I make some smol avocado toasts and L calls to say his sibling is not in fact up for a visit tonight – they are whelmed by boxes. We pivot: bike ride to the playground! While at the playground, B is the first kid to hear the ICE CREAM TRUCK approach. Chaos ensues and we spend $5 on one scoop of cookie dough ice cream.
7:00 pm: For dinner we make mini pizzas on TJ’s cauliflower crust. I also make asparagus with a delicious flaked salt left by my bestie the last time they stayed over, and the result is pretty enough to text to them. L makes us gin fizzes with strawberries and with mint from the garden. 🌱
8:00 pm: Teeth brushing is always a slog with B, but on this night I am visited by a stroke of genius. Tonight, I explain to him that the tooth fairy has been hired for a residency at our place and is listening in while he brushes his teeth and uses the potty. If he does a good job, she’ll leave him a coin somewhere in his bedroom. L overhears and makes tooth fairy sounds (think tinkling giggles) from the hallway – B is delighted and brushes his teeth with aplomb. This is a big win! While he uses the potty, I steal away and hide a quarter under the toe of his stuffed Spiderman. He requests tooth fairy bedtime stories and falls asleep listening. ($.25)
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $5.25
6:00 am: Another late wakeup for me. I have a spin class at 8 and a packed workday, so I make my favorite smoothie again and walk M while it’s still dark out. Afterwards, I help B with his teeth brushing/potty routine, and it continues to be so much smoother than ever before thanks to our friend the tooth fairy. This time, L stashes a dime under B’s stuffed bear. B proudly puts the dime and last night’s quarter in his coat pocket and, as I buckle him into his car seat, announces he is NOT sharing his money with his teacher today. I suppose the discussion about whether money should be treated as a public good or a personal asset can come later. On the way to school, L stops for gas. ($25 for gas, $.10 for the tooth fairy)
8:00 am: I arrive at the spin studio and learn that the teacher I expected overslept. His sub unfortunately leaves half the lights on and plays lots of Eminem. I survive the weird vibes and head home for a quick shower before work – no coffee shop stop this time! I am a disciplined and frugal Recessionist millennial.
10:15 am: Our CSA is delivered! It includes spinach, heirloom tomatoes (!! new this week!), apples, lacinato kale, meyer lemons, limes, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, red onions, shishito peppers, and mixed cherry tomatoes, plus a delivery charge, for $63, $23 more than the monthly minimum I included in set expenses. I fetch it from the sunny porch and am reminded that urgently want a pair of white platform Birkenstocks for spring. I find a pair in my size in EUC on Poshmark and buy them now: $60 with shipping, a steal compared to $110 new!
1:00 pm: My delightful neighbor and I take lunch together! We walk to a nearby eatery where I get a tempeh reuben and diet soda (my vice), $18 including tip. Over lunch we discuss parenting, gardening, her upcoming major home renovation, and how squirrels can sometimes relocate crocus bulbs. Meanwhile, B and L have early release at school so they head to a kid’s play place as a special treat to B. ($23 with snacks)
3:30 pm: B is home early but, curses, I still have much work to do! He and L chill while I tappity tap for a while longer. I eventually wrap up, but will have to do more work over the weekend.
L wants to work in his shop for a while, so B and I take the bike to the playground. He is a very good friend at the playground, running around happily with a couple of 7-year-olds he’s never met and then, when they leave, chatting amicably with an 18-month-old and his parents. He periodically begs me to let him take his pants off so he can better pretend he’s in the pool. The answer is no, but he is shirtless, shoeless, and covered in “tattoos” (washable marker), and I think that’s a pretty good compromise.
7:00 pm: Back home, L is making dinner (avocado tacos!), and I announce to him that we need a few more spring items: new (unscratched) oversize sunglasses and a beaded eyeglass chain for me, and little kid Tevas for B. I use my dad’s Amaz*n to buy the glasses and chain for me ($20) and three pairs of Tevas for B to try on. They’ll only charge us for the ones we keep, which will be $21.
L and I spend the evening drinking the Morphos he bought earlier this week and hanging out with J and her boyfriend. We turn on the AC for the first time which reminds us that we need to get an HVAC repairperson out here to check out some weird details of the old AC system our inspector caught. I mentally add it to my to-dos for the week.
We get B in bed late again – around 9 – and we watch Schitt’s Creek til almost 11. We will never tire of re-watching this show.
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $185.10
6:45 am: I wake up breathing easy today! Blessings, prednisone; blessings, springtime.
8:00 am: L and I make eggie toasts with heirloom tomatoes, and L reveals that he had a long-awaited budget chat with the medical hospital where he’s been getting dental work done. They’re estimating we’ll need to spend an additional $11k this year to get L’s teeth in order. This kicks off a Big Conversation, during which we realize we absolutely need to be spending less than $8k monthly in order to cash flow his teeth, cash flow our must-do house projects, and pay down our cards by end of year. This should be doable, in theory, but will be a big adjustment as for months we’ve been splashing out on everything from gifts to travel to furniture to tools to fabric to support my baby-clothes-making hobby. As the conversation drags on, tension rises, and we’re both mad at each other but not sure why.
After a few breaths, I realize: we are just launching big numbers back and forth across the room, completely unmoored! I offer to make us a big fancy draft annual budget with monthly projections and schedule a date night to review. HOW FUN! L obliges after I convince him that I actually, truly, want to do this, and I find a very nice budget template on Etsy. ($20)
10 am: I run down a hill and across a parking lot to yoga, and slip in some vom along the way. Meanwhile, L and B head to the gym together.
12 pm: I take our e-bike (the one we’ve been riding around all week) to the shop and tell the bike guy that the lights and the breaks are in rough shape. He tells me they’ll fix it up, but that we should consider replacing it with a Yuba Spicy Curry which is $5200. I think not, but in my heart, I do really want to sell this one and buy a RadWagon or a Blix Packa Genie. Ebike moms and dolls, send thoughts.
When I get home, L heads to Aldi and spends $125 on berries, lots of bananas, eggs, rice, oat milk, oatmeal, snacks for B, frozen berries, fresh broccoli, yogurt, and a bunch of other stuff including Aldi swag that he is very stoked about: a matching pullover, socks, and tumbler. He then goes to Ace Hardware and buys s’mores sticks for use with our fire pit and some light bulbs ($37). B takes a nap and I plant the berry bushes and cherry tree while he snoozes!
6 pm: We head out to dinner to celebrate the big move with L’s sister and her boyfriend. It’s a long walk to our favorite taco place, but a beautiful day. B rides his pink scooter and is very cute, but reader, he is a spirited child and today he is having A Day. We field multiple meltdowns and lots of not-listening on the way to the restaurant. Dinner itself is delicious, though, and we watch the sun set over the water as we eat. It’s $58 with tip for the three of us, including a coconut margarita for L and a watermelon sangria for me.
5 am: Up and thinking about parenting. L and I had a long conversation after B fell asleep about what we could do differently to help him manage his emotions. He’s a big child in size and in personality – at 3 he’s wearing size 6 clothes and talking as much as any child that age too. He has big joy, big wonder, big imagination, and also big anger and big sadnesses. We’ve tried to follow Janet Lansbury’s teaching since B was born, but at times gentle parenting, which Janet teaches, has seemed too lax for B. I decide to return to her work anyway. I read the transcript to her newest podcast episode, and wonder if maybe we’re overengaging with B’s big feelings. Then I read this one about another child struggling with aggression, and am glad that B is at least not spitting, I guess?
10 am: B’s morning is going great after all, and we decide to pack a lunch and head out for a hike. B makes himself a ham, cheese, and hummus sandwich, and I make L and I veggie sandwiches with pesto. We happen upon a plant sale on the way home and L approves a “Fuzzy Mystery” peperomia for our bathroom. ($8) Afterwards we drop off my Nuuly at UPS (prepaid!) and head home to watch a movie while it rains. I do work things and start our new annual budget spreadsheet during the movie.
5 pm: J takes a walk with us and M the dog to a playground nearby, and while we’re out, our neighbor texts to suggest once-a-week family dinners on Tuesday (yes please!). For dinner tonight, I make Smitten Kitchen’s tomato sauce with onion and butter using the heirloom tomatoes from our CSA and it’s very good as always. L and I drink some Pinot with dinner, and B eats his spaghetti with his hands.
9 pm: My anxiety (her name is Esther) visits while I’m putting B to sleep, so after he’s down, I decide to get to the bottom of a few things via Google. As usual, this is a bad idea! I walk to bed crying and lay on L’s chest. I cry a lot more, including about the trailer for You Hurt My Feelings which I saw three days ago, and about how scary it would be if L were to die, and about how L’s parents’ best friends’ lives have never been visited by tragedy and is that possible for us too?
Therapy is on Tuesday, everyone! We will make it.
6:30 am: I wake up later than I wanted to after a fitful night. B was coughing a lot (post-nasal drip, ick), and I was thinking a lot. I have back-to-back calls today with lots of prep beforehand so I get dressed quick and grab a pre-made smoothie from the freezer for breakfast. B and L leave at 7:15; I light my Gardener candle and tuck in to work.
1:00 pm: Lunch is fried rice with a chonk of a Trader Joe’s milk chocolate hazelnut bar, yum. I eat on a call but politely turn off my camera.
4:00 pm: B and L are home and I’m still wrapping up. On the way home, they picked up some natural honey cough syrup stuff for B ($12).
6:00 pm: L and I drop B off at the Y childcare, and find out they are hosting a spring break camp for 3-5 year olds. L wants to build B’s long-awaited tree house over the break, so we sign B up for four days of camp. Very cute! And also less than half the price of other camps in the area. ($100)
6:15 pm: I check the NYT as I start up the elliptical and am sent reeling by news of the school shooting in Nashville. I try to distract myself with The Crown. Unfortunately, Princess Di is really going through it, so the distraction is a bust. I turn on Sarah Blondin’s Learning to Surrender meditation instead, and listen to it twice. I’m trying desperately to trust the universe but the hellscapeness of it all makes that difficult sometimes.
Life marches on anyhow: After our workout, we head to Trader Joe’s to buy the items Aldi didn’t offer over the weekend (fancy bag salad, plantain chips, challah, frozen greens, a Galia melon, a few other things), plus a lot more broccoli because we need it for the tofu and veggies we’re making with the neighbors tomorrow. I love this peanut butter tofu recipe, in case you’re looking for one. ($31)
8 pm: We three look at videos of baby B over dinner, and L says maybe he is ready for a second. I think I am too.
adrienne maree brown posted today,
put your attention on suffering – which is constant and everywhere – and it is all you will see. joy will come, and laughter, but you will find it brief, possibly a distraction.
put your attention on joy, being connected and feeling whole, and you will find it everywhere. your heart will still break. you will know grief. but you will find it a reasonable cost for the random abundance of miracles, and the soft wild rhythms of love.
return to love as many times as you can.
❤️ Section 5: TOTALS
Total Expenses: $1228.85
Food & Drink: $376
Fun & Entertainment: $130.85
Home & Health: $557
Clothes & Beauty: $101
Transport: $64
❤️ Section 6: REFLECTION
This week was spendy for us between the plants and the skincare routine – but I’d say we usually have at least one week a month where we spend like this. I know that needs to shift if we’re going to pay for all the things we need to pay for this year without drawing from our life savings. I’m also aware that N’s student loan payments will likely resume, and that having a second baby isn’t cheap – so I’m excited to finish our budget spreadsheet and treat it like a goal rather than a suggestion (I currently track our spending obsessively in Mint but treat the budget limits like unsolicited advice).
I do like everything we spent money on this week, though, and feel very lucky to be able to cover so many wants and needs in a given week. Thanks for reading!
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