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2023.06.08 11:58 longbeachlocale 🚨 City Council • June 13, 2023 • 5:00 PM 🚨
June 13, 2023 @ 5PM
🗺 Location:** Long Beach Civic Center411 W. Ocean Boulevard
📺 LiveStream (YouTube):** https://www.youtube.com/c/LongBeachTelevision
📺 Live Stream (City Website):** https://longbeach.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=84
ℹ️ Details:** https://longbeach.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1107177&GUID=8BF9E839-79B8-4C79-92DE-3100E3EFC971&Options=info&Search=
📄 Agenda (PDF):** https://longbeach.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=1107177&GUID=8BF9E839-79B8-4C79-92DE-3100E3EFC971
CD8 - AACLB Jazz Evening Item #1 • File #23-0602 (Details, PDF)
- Councilman Al Austin, Eighth District
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $1,500, offset by the Eighth Council District One-time District Priority Funds, transferred from the Citywide Activities Department, to provide a donation to African American Cultural Center of Long Beach in support of their “Evening of Jazz”; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $1,500, to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.
CD7 - Community Event Fund Transfers Item #2 • File #23-0603 (Details, PDF)
- Councilmember Roberto Uranga, Seventh District
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $5,500, offset by the Seventh Council District One-Time District Priority Funds, transferred from the Citywide Activities Department, to provide support for the following: 1. $3,500 in support of the Uptown Jazz Festival; 2. $500 to Wild West Women, Inc., in support of the Women’s Fair; 3. $1,000 to Century Villages at Cabrillo, in support of the Written in the Stars Gala; 4. $500 to the Long Beach Century Club in support of the Mayor’s Trophy Charity Golf Tournament; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $5,500 to offset transfers to the City Manager Department.
CD3 - Various Fund Transfers Item #3 • File #23-0621 (Details, PDF)
- Councilmember Kristina Duggan, Third District
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $2,500, offset by the Third Council District One-time District Priority Funds, transferred from the Citywide Activities Department, to provide donations of: • $500 to Alamitos Heights Improvement Associations to support the 2023 Alamitos Heights Neighborhood Picnic; • $500 to the Long Beach Century Club to support the Mayor’s Trophy Charity Golf Tournament; • $500 to Partners of Parks for the 2023 Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration; • $250 to Wild West Women, Inc. to support the Long Beach Woman’s Fair; • $300 to Temple Israel Long Beach to support Make a Difference Day; • $250 to LGBTQ Center of Long Beach to support the 10th Annual Black and White Gala; • $200 to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation to support the Grape Expectations Gala; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $2,500, to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.
CD6 - Success in Challenges Gala Fund Transfer Item #4 • File #23-0622 (Details, PDF)
- Councilwoman Suely Saro, Sixth District
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $250 offset by the Sixth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department, to provide contributions to Success In Challenges 2023 Gala; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $250 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.
CC - Minutes Item #5 • File #23-0604 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to approve the minutes for the City Council meetings of Tuesday, May 16 and May 23, 2023.
CC - Damage Claims Item #6 • File #23-0605 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to refer to City Attorney damage claims received between May 26, 2023 and June 5, 2023.
CM - Revise title of the Sustainable City Commission to the Climate Resilient and Sustainable City Commission Item #7 • File #23-0606 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to amend Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 2.38 to change the Sustainable City Commission’s name to the Climate Resilient and Sustainable City Commission; and Request City Attorney to prepare ordinance amending Chapter 2.38 of the Long Beach Municipal Code to: (1) revise the title of the Sustainable City Commission to the Climate Resilient and Sustainable City Commission. (Citywide)
CM - 2023 Office of Climate Action and Sustainability Work Plan Item #8 • File #23-0607 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to review and approve the 2023 Office of Climate Action and Sustainability Work Plan. (Citywide)
CM - Placement of California Climate Action Fellows in the City of Long Beach Item #9 • File #23-0608 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an agreement, and any necessary documents including subsequent amendments, with Bay Area Community Resources, to participate in the California Climate Action Corps Program, for the placement of California Climate Action Fellows in the City of Long Beach (City) for the 2023-2024 Fellowship cycle, at no cost to the City, for the period of one year, with the option to renew for two additional one-year periods, at the discretion of the City Manager. (Citywide)
FD - LBCC to allow enrolled students to participate in clinical ambulance ride-alongs Item #10 • File #23-0609 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an Educational Affiliate Agreement, and all necessary documents, including any subsequent amendments, with Long Beach City College, to allow enrolled students to implement a ride-along program for emergency medical service students participating in EMT and paramedic coursework, for a period of five years. (Citywide)
DHHS - Multiple contracts to dispense eligible drugs to qualifying patients Item #11 • File #23-0610 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend and restate Contract No. 35066 with Wellpartner, LLC, of New York, NY (Wellpartner), to continue serving as Administrator of the 340B Pharmacy Program on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department), a covered entity, to provide reduced pricing for eligible prescription drugs, with the option to renew the contract automatically for successive terms until canceled by the City of Long Beach (City), at the discretion of the City Manager; Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend Contract No. 35172 with Cardinal Health 110, LLC, and Cardinal Health 112, LLC (collectively, Cardinal Health), of Dublin, OH, to continue serving as DistributoDrug Wholesaler, to provide eligible drugs under the 340B Pharmacy Program to the Contract Pharmacies, with the option to renew the contract automatically for successive terms until canceled by the City, at the discretion of the City Manager;
DHHS - Bioterrorism response programs Item #12 • File #23-0611 (Details, PDF)
- Health and Human Services
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an agreement and all necessary documents or subcontracts, including any amendments to the allocation amount, with the County of Los Angeles, for County Measure B funds in the amount of $1,000,000, to support ongoing bioterrorism response programs, for a one-year period, with the option to renew for four one-year periods; and Increase appropriations in the Health Fund Group in the Health and Human Services Department by $1,000,000, offset by reimbursement revenue. (Citywide)
DHHS - Contract w/First to Serve for homeless prevention $637K Item #13 • File #23-0612 (Details, PDF)
- Health and Human Services
Recommendation to adopt Specifications No. RFP HE-23-190 and award contracts to First to Serve, Inc., of Los Angeles, CA, and Interval House, of Long Beach, CA, to provide operation and supportive services for homeless prevention and rapid rehousing, in annual amounts not to exceed $637,500 and $355,618, respectively, through September 30, 2023, with the options to renew for one additional one-year period, at the discretion of the City Manager; and, authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all necessary documents to enter into the contracts, including any subsequent amendments. (Citywide)
PD - MOU w/Job Corps D7 Item #16 • File #23-0615 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute a Memorandum of Understanding, and all necessary documents, including any subsequent amendments, with Long Beach Job Corps Center (LBJCC), to provide local law enforcement authority to enforce laws and conduct investigations on LBJCC premises, 1903 Santa Fe Avenue, which are under federal jurisdiction, for the period of July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024, with an option to renew for four additional one-year periods, at the discretion of the City Manager. (District 7)
FM - Mid-Year Performance Report Development Item #18 • File #23-0623 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to receive and file the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) Mid-Year Budget Performance Report providing an update on the City of Long Beach’s FY 23 financial status and projections and adjust appropriations in departments to reflect the funding where programs will be managed. (Citywide)
DHHS - Contract w/First to Serve for homeless prevention $787K Item #20 • File #23-0618 (Details, PDF)
- Health and Human Services
Recommendation to adopt Specifications No. RFP HE23-229, and award contracts to First to Serve, Inc., of Los Angeles, CA, and Interval House, of Long Beach, CA, to provide operation and supportive services for homeless prevention and rapid rehousing, in annual amounts not to exceed $787,061 and $787,061, respectively, for a period of one year, with the option to renew for an additional one-year period, at the discretion of the City Manager; and, authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all necessary documents to enter into the contracts, including any subsequent amendments. (Citywide)
PRM - Silverado Park Playground project from HUD D7 Item #21 • File #23-0619 (Details, PDF)
- Parks, Recreation and Marine
- Public Works
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an agreement and any necessary documents including subsequent amendments, with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Fund to accept and expend grant funds for the Silverado Park Playground project (Project), in the amount of $1,500,000; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department by $15,000, offset by grant revenue; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department by $15,000, offset by a transfer of HUD Community Development grant funds from the Capital Grants Fund; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Public Works Department by $1,485,000, offset by grant revenue; and Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Public Works Department by $1,485,000, offset by a transfer of HUD Community Development grant funds from the Capital Grants Fund. (District 7)
PD - ABC License - Grill Em All D3 Item #14 • File #23-0613 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to receive and file the application of Two Dudes, One Truck, LLC, dba Grill Em All, for an original application of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) License, at 5411 East Ocean Boulevard. (District 3) Levine Act: Yes
PD - ABC License - Plantita's D7 Item #15 • File #23-0614 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to receive and file the application of Aileen Elizabeth Orozco Castaneda, dba Plantita’s Kitchen, for an original application of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) License, at 1950 West Willow Street, submit a Public Notice of Protest to ABC, and direct City Manager to withdraw the protest if a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Conditional Use Permit Exemption (CUPEX) is granted. (District 7) Levine Act: Yes
FM - Ballast Point Entertainment Permit D3 Item #17 • File #23-0616 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to receive supporting documentation into the record, conclude the public hearing, and grant an Entertainment Permit with conditions for Entertainment without Dancing to Kings & Convicts BP, LLC, dba Ballast Point Brewing Company, at 110 Marina Drive. (District 3)
FM/Utilites - Natural Gas Purchase Revenue Bonds, Series 2007B Item #19 • File #23-0617 (Details, PDF)
- Financial Management
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing and approving a change in the index rate for the Natural Gas Purchase Revenue Bonds Series 2007B, issued by the Long Beach Bond Finance Authority and the related Interest Rate Swaps, authorizing and approving certain documents and actions relating thereto, and delegating authority to officers in connection therewith. (Citywide)
CA - Senior Advisory Commission Name Change Item #22 • File #23-0620 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to declare ordinance of the City Council of the City of Long Beach amending the Long Beach Municipal Code by amending Chapter 2.57 relating to the Senior Citizen Advisory Commission Name Change to Advisory Commission on Aging; read the first time and laid over to the next regular meeting of the City Council for final reading. (Citywide)
DS - Noise Element Item #23 • File #23-0586 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to declare ordinance amending Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 8.80 to implement amendments to the Noise Ordinance, read and adopted as read. (Citywide)
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2023.06.08 11:23 DreamBlue22 My MIL mentally abused me my whole marriage. Part 2
Hello, first of all I want to say thank you so much for all the love and kindness from so many people all over the world. This really shows that there are many more good people in this world than bad ones and thank you so much for all the advices you have given me. It surely helped me a lot.
You guys have pointed out many important things in the comments and I am here to answer all of those.
I know a lot of you guys absolutely hate my husband and I can fully understand why. I would have had the same reaction if I was in your shoes. You guys have asked why I think my husband is amazing. Well, maybe amazing is a bit of an overstatement. But I still believe he is a good person. He has always tried to be there for my kids. He is very kind, innocent and humble, and always thinks about everyone. And he personally has never hurt me or my kids. It's just that he is extremely weak when it comes to his mother. Very very weak. He just can't separate himself from his mother. It's like he is entangled deep inside his mother's illicit web of lies and scrutiny. His situation is extremely strange to understand. Even I can't. It's not like he loves his mother too much that he can't see through her veil of lies. He often says to me how terrible she is to treat me like this. That she is trying to wreck our family. But he also says, that he can't leave her. He just can't do it. He is just too weak to stand up for his family in front of MIL. Even if sometimes he tries to stand up to her, my MIL would start crying and guilt trapping him, saying stuff like how he is being a bad son, and that he doesnt love his mama. And that he is disrespecting his own blood for some other woman. And he would then immediately back off.
You won't believe it, but a few years back my husband got a massive promotion. It came with a massive salary, and his dream work. But we had to move to a big city for this. He was extremely excited, and so was me and our kids. But my MIL said that she won't leave this house. She started crying (again), saying how she can't survive without him and to not leave her alone. And guess what my husband did next. He refused the promotion. I was extremely devastated, as it was a lot of money which would have helped our family and our children's college education. Not to mention how my husband always said it was his dream job. But MIL won again.
Let me tell you my husband is scared of me leaving him. He cannot function at all without me. He can't cook, doesn't clean or do any household chores. I do all the job including tutoring my kids. He only does the grocery shopping from time to time. My husband sometimes jokingly says that if I ever leave him this entire house will fall apart, and that he will have to hire 10 guys to do the job I do for this family.
I saw a few of you have said that maybe my MIL was abused during her marriage. Let me tell you, you are 100% wrong. My MIL never lived with her own MIL , and practically forced my FIL to get a separate house for her. I have heard from my neigbours and relatives that my FIL was an incredible human being. Extremely kind, innocent, humble, loved and cared for everyone, and never so much as raised his voice on anyone. He even paid for so many of his nephew and nieces college education without ever asking for anything in return. I never got to meet him as he died 3 years before my marriage. But my relatives would say how my MIL practically dominated over my innocent FIL and their marriage, so much so that he couldn't even do anything without taking her permission. My FIL's sister told me how my MIL practically destroyed my FIL. I have realized my MIL is just a narcissist who likes to assert dominace over other people.
Also, another thing, my neighbours and all my relatives absolutely hate my MIL and her attitude. But they love me a lot. For every occasion me, my husband and my kids are always graciously invited. Even my son's girlfriend is invited sometimes. But she isn't. I once asked them why. They said how my MIL has been a raging bitch her whole life and that they are tired of her, and don't want her negativity and narcissism in their happy occasions.
Let me tell you another thing, if we kick my MIL out of the house, she really doesn't have anywhere else to go. None of our relatives like her. And her precious daughter's (my SIL) family doesn't like her either. Especially my BIL. My BIL is like an older brother to me and has always treated me like his sister. He has seen the abuse I have faced from my MIL and he absolutely despise her. So yeah she can't even go live anywhere else if we kick her out. It's crazy to think that she tries to destroy the only house and family where she is allowed to live and given so much respect. And now she is not even allowed here. Karma's a bitch.
I know a lot of you guys are concerned for my kids and rightfully so. And I thank you for all the advices. I know I should have taken firmer steps , but I was absolutely helpless. I was kind of always told to compromise and just put up with it. And don't worry my kids are fine. They know very well , even my 11 year old daughter that what MIL did to me and to this family is absolutely wrong and disgusting.And I have taught them to always stand up for themselves and to never let anyone walk over them. And they are really smart kids so don't worry they will be fine.
Although, I am a little bit concerned for my son. He has developed a temper. I will tell you why. A few years ago, I received a call from his friend telling me that my son has beaten the hell out of a kid in his class. He practically broken his tooth off. I came to know that the kid had said something jokingly about me and my son practically went full rage mode on him. When I asked around his friends regarding this, I realised that it wasn't even anything serious. It's just guys horsing around, talking about each other's mother's. You know kind of like the yo mama jokes on the internet. Nothing serious. Just typical guy stuff. His friends said how they always used to make this kind of jokes, including my son. But this time he was different. They also said how my son has developed a temper and gets irritated very quickly. They are very concerned about him. Thankfully his friends convinced the kid to not press charges against my son.
I wanted to get to the middle of this. So one day when no one else was home i sat down my son and asked him to open up to me and tell me why he did what he did. Initially he was hesitant. But after convincing him for a bit he broke down crying saying, how he always witnessed the abuse and neglect I faced in the house. And that he hated himself for not being able to protect me and keep me safe. I realised that he has now subconsciously became very vulnerable and protective of me. I told him that I appreciate the concern but violence is not the answer and that's not how I raised him. He said to me that he hated beating up that kid. I made him promise me that he will never do anything like this ever again. He told me that he also hated that his father didn't protect me and now he has developed an absolute hatred towards his dad. I am extremely concerned about this, i don't want him to hate his own father. I told him it's my job to protect him not the other way around. Although I am proud that he noticed. But I am definitely getting him into therapy once he finishes college. But don't worry guys he is getting better. Also my son studies in a really good college. He has told me that once he finishes college and get a job he will buy a nice apartment and me and her sister can come live with him. I told him that I would absolutely love that.
About the Ultimatum :- So when I gave my husband the ultimatum he got extremely sad. He told me countless times to change my mind. He even told me to just put up with my MIL until she dies ( which could be in 10 , 20 years or more). But this time I didn't budge. I have told him that I waited 21 years for him to take initiative, but he didn't. So now it's time for me to put my foot down for the sake of my children. I have told him that I will take my kids and go to my parents' house if he doesn't fullfill the ultimatum. He obviously doesn't want that as he can't function without me.
My son lives in a different state for college but he has come home recently due to the summer vacation. One afternoon me and my husband were arguing about this ultimatum, he told me that it's really difficult for him to choose like this. My son heard this and suddenly barged into the room and started yelling at his dad. Practically shouting. He called him a worthless, spineless moron who can't protect his wife and his family. He said and I quote, 'You are an absolute weak and pathetic man, you don't have the balls to protect your wife, who does everything for you. You don't have the guts to protect your family , you are the kind of person who should have never became a husband or a parent'. At this point my heart was breaking , I didn't want my son and his dad's relationship to break like that. Not to mention my husband was absolutely scared of him. He is 5'6" and my son is 6'2"(he gets the height from my side of the family). Now, my husband has finally agreed to buy an apartment. I told him that I would take my kids and live there. To which my son looked at me (he was still fuming with rage) and told me, 'There is no way in hell you are leaving this house. This house belongs to you more than anyone. For 21 years you have loved and cared for this house and this family. If anyone's gonna leave, it's gonna be your evil MIL, as she is the one responsible for the abuse and breaking up the family'.
At this point my MIL came into the room and heard everything ( she didn't knew about the ultimatum). She got angry and said how dare I even think of kicking her out of her own house. To which my son stepped up and said, ' If you ever talk to my mother like that, try to disrespect her, even so much as raise your voice against her, I will kick you out of this house and throw you into the street myself. I don't care what anybody thinks, no one can stop me. You are lucky we are putting you into an apartment, cause if it was upto me , I will put you in an adult home'. After this my MIL is pretty much terrified of my son. She has finally realized she can't manipulate anyone anymore. Although as a last hail mary, my MIL started calling all of her relatives saying how I am a terrible person and is kicking her out of her own house. Funny thing is, those same relatives would later call me , congratulating me and telling me that I did the right thing and that I should have done it sooner. Even my neighbours are really happy about this.
Final note :- So me and my husband went apartment hunting the other day, it will be a 1BHK apartment with an attached bathroom. Her own kitchen where she can cook herself. My husband is obviously not too thrilled about this but it doesnt matter anymore. She will be moving her ass out of the house by the end of July. Freedom finally.
PS :- But even after all this I still never received an apology from her. Not that it will change anything. She still remains her usual stubborn self. She doesn't talk to me anymore, or my kids. Which is for the better I guess. She has tried to manipulate my husband by crying and sobbing but that didn't change anything, my son made sure of that.
Well, this is it for now, I will update you later on about everything else that happens.
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2023.06.08 11:07 Gloomy-Passion6814 Elevate Your HDB Renovation: Creative Renovation Ideas to Transform Your Home
Living in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat doesn't mean compromising on style and comfort. With a dash of creativity and thoughtful planning, you can transform your HDB home into a personalized haven that reflects your unique taste and lifestyle. In this article, we present a collection of trendy and innovative renovation ideas along with expert renovation contractor
to help you elevate your HDB living experience. Open Concept Living
Say goodbye to cramped spaces and embrace the open-concept living trend. Knock down walls to create a seamless flow between your living, dining, and kitchen areas. This not only enhances the sense of spaciousness but also encourages social interaction and connectivity. Consider installing a kitchen island that doubles as a dining table, adding functionality and a modern touch to your home. Smart Storage Solutions
Maximize the limited space in your HDB flat with smart storage solutions. Opt for built-in cabinets and shelves to make the most of vertical space. Explore hidden storage options such as under-bed drawers or ottomans with storage compartments. Utilize multi-functional furniture like sofa beds or extendable dining tables that can adapt to your changing needs. By keeping your belongings organized and minimizing clutter, you can create a more visually appealing and functional living environment. Statement Walls and Creative Lighting
Transform the look and feel of your HDB flat with statement walls and creative lighting. Consider adding textured wallpapers, geometric patterns, or a vibrant accent color to create a focal point in your living room or bedroom. Experiment with different lighting fixtures, such as pendant lights or track lighting, to add depth and ambiance to your space. Creative lighting techniques can also highlight artwork or architectural features, further enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your home. Bring Nature Indoors
Introduce a touch of nature into your HDB renovation by incorporating indoor plants. Create a vertical garden using wall-mounted planters or install hanging planters near windows. Plants not only add visual interest and freshness to your home but also improve air quality and create a soothing ambiance. Choose low-maintenance plants that thrive indoors, such as pothos, snake plants, or peace lilies. Additionally, consider adding natural materials like wood or bamboo to your furniture and decor choices to create a warm and earthy atmosphere.
With these trendy HDB renovation ideas
, you can unlock the full potential of your living space. From open-concept living to smart storage solutions, statement walls, and incorporating nature indoors, there are endless possibilities to transform your HDB flat into a stylish and functional home. Embrace your creativity, personalize your space, and enjoy the elevated living experience that reflects your unique personality and preferences. Homerenoguru provides the most experienced renovation contractor are always ready to help you out in all aspects to transform your home as you like it.
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2023.06.08 10:28 GIRTHY-GARY My father beat his meat in my kitchen
I saw my father beat his meat in my kitchen. It was in my house so I kick my father out of my house. It was hard to explain to my Mother. She's good woman and family is most important thing in her life. I keep seeing my father beat his meat in my head. Going crazy. I've been dealing with it for years now, quite successfully all things considered. I have supportive family, but I’m losing my grip. Because I saw my father beat his meat in my kitchen. Now I can’t cook and struggle to get by. Soon I won't have money to pay my therapist.
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2023.06.08 10:19 Spectral42 There is something wrong with the newspaper in my town. I think I’m going crazy.
Before I dive into everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks I want to get a couple of things out of the way. I moved to this town four months ago because of a job offer: I was supposed to start working with a construction company. Second, I am not going to give you my last name. But I will tell you my first name, it's Tom. I am telling you all this, just in case. Ya know?
Anyway, I moved here four months ago. At first, the job offer seemed too good to be true. I was promised an apartment, full benefits, and grocery delivery twice a month. I was told the town was small, and honestly, it is! I am not used to living in a place like this. I mean, I saw the stars for the first time in my life the day I got to my new apartment.
The apartment itself is nice, I have two bedrooms and a good-sized bathroom. I have no complaints about any of the accommodations. Two weeks into moving here I was told that I would be starting at the end of the month. My boss told me that rent would be covered and gave me a list of things I needed for my first day.
As the end of the month came around I decided to go out and buy a new pair of work boots. I figured this would give me a good chance to get a look around town and maybe meet some people. I was mostly right.
The store was only a couple of blocks from my apartment building so instead of taking my truck I decided to walk. The town is cozy, ya know? Like everyone seems normal. Everything felt like it came out of a classic American novel though. So anyway, I went and got my boots and on the way home I decided to stop at a store and pick up the local newspaper.
When I got home and sat on my couch to crack open the newspaper, I could tell something was off right away. The story on the front page read “New Mayor Elected” and right below that, “Strange Lights in the Sky.” By itself, those two things would not raise red flags, but the pictures looked off. It’s hard for me to put into words but the photo of the new mayor looked both old and new. I scanned the page for a date and couldn’t find one. I figured that maybe something went wrong with the printing or something. After I gave the front page a good read I put the paper down and went to bed.
For two days I stayed home to make sure I was well rested. At this point, I had not purchased a tv yet and decided to jump on the opportunity and read more. On my way to pick up new boots, I noticed the town library and thought why not? I could get a couple of books and a new paper. The library itself is beautiful. The wood looks well maintained and the giant stone lions on either side of the staircase were extremely cool to look at the first time I saw them.
Heading into this library was just like walking into any other library. I don’t know what I was expecting. The outside was cool so I thought the inside would be more done up. As I walked through the aisle and scanned the books I could feel the hairs on my arms stand up. It was a weird feeling, something I had not experienced before this: It was almost like I was scared for no reason. As I pulled a book off of the shelf and read the cover I was extremely puzzled, for reference I was standing in the history section. The book read, “To Mars and Back. How America pioneered space travel.” It sounded more like a science fiction book to me, and there were a lot of other books like this. “They live among us, humanity's first contact with God.” or “The secret history of the Roman empire.” As I went through and examined more books I started to notice little scratches on the bookcase. They looked like tally marks. I followed them down the shelf until I found some writing. “Turn back” and “Go home” were scribbled on the shelf. I quickly stood up and clenched the book I was holding.
As I turned around I took one last look at the book in my hands before heading off to speak with a librarian. As I approached the counter I swear to god the woman behind the counter took my breath away. She was so beautiful, but it didn’t seem natural. I could feel the hairs on the back of my head stand up as I got closer to the desk. I decided to put the book down and leave. There was something inside of me, screaming at me to not speak to the woman. As I headed out of the building and walked down the staircase I noticed my hands were shaking. I was confused because technically, nothing happened.
I never bought a paper that day. Instead, I went home and went to sleep. Technically it was midafternoon, I had no idea why I was tired in the first place.
When I woke up the next day and went to check the mail, I found a rolled-up newspaper at my front door. I shit you not I have been getting a newspaper every day since that day. At first, I was interested in reading them, but the more I read the more I didn’t want to read. At the end of the month, I was waiting for a call from my boss, but the call never came. I tried to call him but his phone was disconnected.
As the next month rolled around I kept getting the newspapers. I stopped receiving normal mail, and I stopped wanting to live in this damn apartment. Two weeks into the new month I decided to call it quits and move back. I was not getting this job and my time here had been nothing but uncomfortable. So I packed my bags and stormed outside to climb into my truck. I was planning on leaving that day however, my tiers had been slashed.
I did what anyone would do, right? I called the damn police. They came promptly and once again I was met with the same feelings as when I saw the librarian. These men did not look real. Every inch of their faces looked…fake. I mean yes they were people but there was not a hair out of place. They were perfectly symmetrical in every way. The whole time I was filling out the police report my hands were shaking. My body was so tense I thought I was going to fall over on the spot. Once the situation was handled I ran back to my apartment. I was skipping steps as I went back upstairs. I felt like I could not get upstairs fast enough.
A couple of hours later I heard pounding at my door. I can’t stress this enough, the pounding scared the shit out of me. “WHO IS IT?!” I screamed. “Please! I need help!” A woman called back to me. I went to my front door, I wish I could tell you I did not hesitate but I did. I eventually opened the door for the women. She was an absolute mess, her makeup was running down her face and she was wearing pajamas. It will sound fucked up but I was so happy to see this woman, her crying gave me comfort. She did not look like the others, she looked real and natural. I asked her what happened and she told me her daughter had gone missing. I asked her if she called the police and she told me no. She said she wouldn’t, she told me her daughter wouldn't go to them either. I asked her what her daughter's name is, she told me her name is Zoey. We talked for what felt like hours before I told her I would keep my eyes open. She thanked me and went back to her apartment in tears. As I closed and locked my door I went to the pile of newspapers and opened the most recent one. I wanted to see if there was any mention of Zoey in the paper. The front page read, “Local man found dead outside of his home. No suspects.” below that there was another heading, “Local girl missing.” I checked for a name but it wasn’t Zoey. They are the same age though. As I scanned the paper I heard a scream come from down the hallway. I stood up quickly and rushed to my door, this time without hesitation I ripped it open and looked down the hallway. And that’s where I saw…it. One of the cops except it wasn’t a man. He had tight skin, he almost looked like a walking skeleton. His eyes were bulging out of his head, and his arms were larger. “Sir…” The thing said to me. I quickly turned and slammed the door shut. I locked all four locks and put the kitchen table up against the door. I haven’t left this apartment since. I did call my ex, she said she would come and get me but I don’t know how long I will be waiting. If this is fear, I have had enough. I can’t sleep and I am too scared to eat. It feels like my heart might explode like my whole perception of reality has changed.
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2023.06.08 10:08 Affectionate-Entry11 My (f26) boyfriend (m32) cheated on me with someone I thought was a friend, a few months later he still says I made him feel like cheating and will try to blow up the only parental relationship I currently have left in my life.
For context we’ve been in a relationship for 6yrs and after he lost his apartment my mother told him he could move in but would have his own room separate from mine. Last fall a couple I used to work with had invited us over to hangout but I had a paper I needed to finish so I declined but encourage my boyfriend to hangout with them because the guy and him enjoyed hanging out together. The girl kept giving the guys drinks and eventually her boyfriend had to go lay down because he wasn’t feeling too great which left her (completely sober) and my boyfriend (completely shit faced) hanging out. Apparently he expressed issues he was having with our relationship to her which boiled down to my not feeling up to having sex and not staying over at his place and that he thought he was developing some kind of emotions for her. She kept asking him to repeat that and then after a while he kissed her and she decided to aggressively give him a bj and then the rest followed but penetration failed because he finished too quickly. He passed out she went to sleep with her boyfriend and the next day when he was sober enough to drive home he called me and told me he cheated. She had saved her number in his phone and was texting him that morning about how much she didn’t regret any of it and he said something about it being in a shed and that he told me and that he regretted it (I read and have the texts, she made a joke about how I’ll be disappointed). Fast forward we are trying to fix things and he moves in with my mother and I and everytime we fight and the cheating comes up he says it happened because I put him in an emotional state which lead to that happening. My eating disorder is back and worse than before I am trying constantly to communicate why I don’t feel comfortable having sex (dysmorphia, chronic pain, exhausted, seriously bad mental state, etc.) despite this he still gets upset at me for random things and have started trying to involve my mother. Today he got angry because I got the mail and was out of it because I’m potty training two puppies, going through finals, and a very nasty situation with my father and the woman that’s trying to get him to divorce my mother (this woman has been harassing me for a few years sending voice messages and calling me with threats of having me SA’d to death, etc.) I handed my mother the mail which she’d assumed I had looked through and accidentally opened mail that was mis-delivering to us not something I’m proud of and I admitted my mistake and was “too dismissive” which he started berating my mother and I for because she didn’t freak out either. He wasn’t stopping with the shaming and saying things about our morality or ethics and when I said after five minutes of this not stopping that he was going overboard with the shaming and berating about mine and my mother irresponsibility when we admitted the mistake he blew up and then the fighting kept escalating and I told him that he shouldn’t be policing peoples morality and ethic because his isn’t flawless either. The fight pretty much ending in him saying he’s breaking up with me (happens in every fight), calling me a fat bch, saying I have a fat bch expression and then telling my mother who is conservative about pre martial sex and abortion that I had had one and she’d have had a grandkid if it wasn’t for that which he paid for because I was worried about the hellI would have had to deal with had my parents found out. Ultimately I just sat in the kitchen crying and laughing and over all having a nervous breakdown. He came into my room later and asked me if I’m okay which I replied that I wasn’t and that he is isolating me first with blowing up the small social circle I had only recently developed and then by trying to ruin my relationship with my mother and then called me crazy while I was losing it during my mental break. I’m at a loss, what am I supposed to do? Is there any chance for this relationship to work? Did I just waste my 20s on a relationship that won’t last? I don’t want to break up but I’m tired of being the one at fault and being told I wasn’t listening despite me repeating what he said back to him because that’s not what he meant. I don’t have anyone right now and could really use some advice. Am I really the only problem here? Help.
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2023.06.08 10:07 thestockartist I (31M) kissed her (28F) on our fourth date and even though we still communicate every day, I feel she's a bit more distant than before.
Hey guys, me and this girl are both in our late 20s and have known each other for almost 3 years. We met on a dating app a long time ago and even though we hung out a few times, things didn’t really pan out. We kept in touch here and there, but it wasn’t until about 5 months ago that we reconnected and have been talking basically non-stop since then. 3 months ago we went on our real first date and have had a few more since then. We talk every day, our convos are usually text message. Don’t really call each other, but we will send voice messages sometimes. She is pretty busy with her job during the week and I run multiple businesses. She’s Asian, has only been in the US for 6 years, slightly on the conservative side, and a little nerdy as she works in tech. For whatever reason I think she’s beautiful on the outside and inside and am quite attracted to her. After our first date, our text convos became more detailed and exciting. We would share everything and ask questions to learn about each other, use hugs and kiss emojis, etc etc. We have a pet name for each other and say good morning and good night everyday without fail. Even if some days we are too busy to get back to each other, one of us always texts good night. You know how it goes. If you read our history of messages, you would think “they are definitely into each other”. Anyway, we just had our 4th date in the last 3 months. It’s been about a week and a half since then. The last two times we met up, we held hands during some portions of our time together. I wanted to kiss her on the third date since I saw all the signs, but I wussed out and instead gave her a kiss on the cheek, which she reciprocated back to me. After the 4th date, I dropped her off and we were sitting in my car just talking and laughing about stuff for 30 minutes. I grabbed some gum and started chewing it and she saw me and did the same. She started holding my hand and I said we should go home it’s late and went in for a hug. As I hugged her I slowly moved my lips to hers. She hesitated a bit so I pulled back and said “I’ve been wanting to kiss you for a while, is that okay?” She said yes. So I went back in for the kiss, our lips barely touched for 2 seconds when she pulls back and says “oh I almost forgot I got you something, let me grab it from upstairs, just wait in your car for 5 minutes.” so she leaves to grab the gift. I’m sitting there confused like did I do something wrong? It definitely wasn’t my breath cause I take care of my shit, not to mention I used mouthwash after dinner and chewed gum all day even up until I kissed her. So she comes back down to my drivers side door, I step outside, she hands me my gift. It wasn’t anything extravagant or wrapped up. Just a little kitchen gadget she bought two of and wanted to give me one. I thanked her and we hugged. Thought about maybe trying to kiss her again, but I still felt kind of awkward. Our hug lasted for almost 2 minutes though! We just didn’t let go of each other. It felt really nice. Once we pulled apart, she told me I smelled really good. After that, I get in my car to leave. My window was open so she starts holding my hand through the window and slowly lets go before saying bye almost like she didn’t want to. And that was that. The issue I’m having is that she’s being a bit more distant in our messages. Taking longer to respond, not bringing up as many topics. She will still share photos of food and send random videos and stuff, but it doesn’t feel as engaging as it was before the last date. This past week and a half I have noticed this behavior. She will still always text good morning and good night with the hearts and kiss emojis and use our pet names, but some days we only share a few texts back and forth in between. Sometimes I’ll bring up a topic and her response will be super short compared to mine. She also compliments me less. Mainly I’ve noticed that sometimes she won’t respond for 4-8 hours, though she always does. This started happening literally the next day after our date. It’s not like really bad since we still connect with each other every day, but there is definitely a difference or else I wouldn’t be asking for advice here. The first few days I pretended everything was fine and was still being my usual self. We didn’t talk about the kiss at all. Then I just started mirroring her because I didn’t want to come off as needy or desperate. Once I did that a few times, I’d get a double text from her. Or I would just get a goodnight text before she went to sleep. So what gives? I’m confused. Is she still interested? Is she playing hard to get? You think she’s just busy? Does she want me to chase her? Does she want me to ask her on another date again? I’d love to see her more than every 3 weeks, but I don’t wanna come off as needy or pushy since we are both busy people. Maybe since she’s foreign and a bit conservative, that was her first kiss and she feels confused herself about trusting me and wants to take it slow? Even if that’s the case, I don’t mind at all. I’m into her a lot and would be as patient as she wants. Maybe she didn’t want to kiss and felt I forced it? But she also gave me an affectionate and long hug afterwards and held my hand like it was a romance movie. What do y’all think? I know this is getting long, but I’m almost done. Some more context here. She never expects me or asks me to pay on dates. She tries to pay every time, even though I always say no and insist I will and would be happy to do so. On our last date, she paid the check while I was in the bathroom and I didn’t realize it until I came back. She’s a good woman for sure. And lastly, on Sunday after we texted good morning, she mentioned what she was doing that day and going shopping. I responded back and said that I need to buy a new shirt but maybe next week since I was busy that day. She didn’t respond back until midnight, but to her credit she did reply to each thing I had mentioned before she said goodnight. Referring to the shirt, she said “definitely show me the new shirt! Or we can go together if possible”. I got back to her in the morning and said that yeah I’d really like that. Didn’t ask her formally yet but planning to do so tomorrow. Here is what I had in mind: “Kimmy, how do you feel about Sunday? You can help me pick out a new shirt and maybe some new sunglasses. We can also go check out the Buddhist temple you mentioned last week. I’ve never seen one in person before. Something else that has been on my mind. I hope I didn’t make you feel weird or awkward when I kissed you that other night. I was quite nervous. And you looked so cute and pretty as you always do. I did it with good intentions and because I felt something special with you. I really like spending time with you, exploring new places together, and learning more about each other. I’m not the type of person to move fast with this kind of things, so if you ever feel weird, you can tell me “no” and I promise I won’t take it personally. I just wanted to communicate it to you since it has been on my mind. I feel it’s important to be open, especially since I care about you a lot.” If you read all that, you’re awesome and I could really use some advice. What should I do? Am I just worrying for no reason here? Should I talk about the kiss when asking her to get together on the weekend? Should I bring it up in person? Or even at all? TLDR: Talking with a girl every day for 5 months, started taking it more serious 3 months ago. We clearly like each other and have been on multiple dates. She’s foreign and a bit conservative. A bit nerdy too as she works in tech. I am a business owneentrepreneur. Every previous date has been great and fun and we had our 4th date recently and when I tried kissing her in the car after dropping her off, she pulled back a bit so then I asked if it was okay to kiss her? She said yes, so I kissed her, we barely touched lips for 2 seconds when she pulls back and says she has a gift for me and runs upstairs to get it. As I sit there awkwardly confused, she comes back, gives me a small gift, we hug. Hug is super tight and lasts for almost 2 minutes, just holding each other and not letting go. Didn’t try kissing her again. As I’m about to leave she holds my hand for a few seconds before letting go slowly and saying bye. Up until that night our conversations have always been very engaging and she’s pretty quick to reply. We always say good night and good morning every day without fail and use pet names and hearts and kiss emojis. Next day after date and for this past week and a half, she’s less engaging in convos. Doesn’t text back as quick - sometimes 4-8 hours, doesn’t reply as detailed, and won’t initiate as much as she used to. But she still mentioned a few days ago that we should hang out. It’s not all bad because we still talk every day and she says good night and good morning the same way every day with the hearts and kisses. But I feel it’s different. What do you think and what should I do?
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2023.06.08 08:38 comaronindia Discover the Future of Home Decor with Smart Kitchen Designs!
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2023.06.08 08:24 UUuuuUUuuGGgggHhhh My roommates make me feel like I don't exist
I don't know how to talk to my roommates anymore. We were friends for a good while before we all moved in together. Well since we've all moved in together (including my partner) they've started saying things like 'I'm always negative' and ignoring things I say even when they make clear sense. These are some things that have happened that have been setting me off and making me pull away.
Several times the roommates have made complains like the lack of space and finding things under the sink so I suggested a lazy Susan, I got told no and that it wouldn't work....a couple months later the one that told me no went out and got one and was talking about how they had a great idea and how awesome it was. I said nothing because it shouldn't have been worth it but it's been going on for 3 years now and I'm over it.
I stay upstairs in my partners and mine room and don't talk to much anymore. I had a smoke shack I used to use but they started putting their holiday decorations in it without asking me and killed what little privacy and comfort I felt I had in there so last week I took the smoke shack down to make more room in the trashed garage. I tried to tell them that it's not okay and they didn't get it. I was told I was out of line for being upset.
They put their dirty giant shoes directly on top of my tiny flats and they don't care that theyre often literally wet from rain or have dog poop on them. So I moved them onto the shoe rack to an empty spot and they still put their shoes right on top of mine. I put mine in a corner and they still do it! So I now have all of my shoes upstairs in a box. I actually have most of my stuff in boxes. And the few things I don't, like pills, oh boy! If I set the bottle down in say the kitchen then I'm scattering things around the house.
One roommate parks super close to my partners car making it super difficult to pull out, I once asked her to move her car forward and it blew up for some reason. I stopped asking her to move her car, instead I'm parking on the lawn and then they asked why I started parking on the lawn. We've had several discussions where I tell them that it's hard to pull put next to her and not hit the huge rock in the flower bed that will destroy the car and that obviously meant nothing because they had to ask why.
I ask my partner to hold onto $50 until the end of the week for me. I told him if I didn't need it by the end of the week he could have it. Welllllll Tuesday he went out with a friend (roommate) and spent it without asking me. I'm now fully broke broke because I thought he'd be holding onto that I spent the $10 I was holding onto for food because I had a 14 hour shift. What a mistake that was! I wouldn't have gotten anything if I had known he was going to spend it. Which honestly he didn't need to do, he makes more money than me anyway and probably just didn't want to go to an ATM for cash (but thats me assuming why).
Ive tried talking to them about everything but it doesn't matter. I get told how I'm in the wrong so I just stopped saying things and started removing my stuff and myself. They also didn't like that. They asked why I don't hand out downstairs and I told them and was pretty much told to get over it or move out until her husband came over and was like 'we're trying to help them out' and 'they aren't doing anything wrong by being upstairs' well seeing as we're paying over $900 for one room I don't think they're helping us out. Even more so with the other stuff that's been going on with them trying to get more money out of me. i keep telling them that I'm not giving them the extra money anymore because that was for groceries and we're buying our own. the original agreement was we pay the 900 and it includes everything and when we buy things for ourselves we just put our names on it and they wouldn't touch it. They've been ignoring me every time I try to explain that. I've been doing all of this by myself too. My partner knows what's going on, he's here, he's paying half the rent and buying groceries too but won't say anything. I flat out told him I needed help with this and needed him to have my back but I have no help.
I don't even feel like I can talk to him anymore. I don't feel like I should even bother talking at all. I feel like nothing I say matters. I feel like I'm always talking to walls and I getting pushed aside.
Lately I've been thinking that I should just walk off into the woods and take care of myself. I can't take my cats, I want to leave but that means leaving them and my partner. I love my partner but with struggles like this I can't see this working out.
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2023.06.08 07:50 Emotional_Sector_249 Final Ticket
My sleepless dream ends with an alarm, the pounding klaxon of mission start. The whirring of servos and pump of hydraulics brings my body to full readiness, ready for one last ticket. The Woman from Angeri gave us this mission. She gave it to us and us alone. For the glory of all Mankind she said, strike at the heart of the Imperium. Bloody their nose in a way they’ll never forget.
The pilot, a good one from Yord, helps me get into gear. Everything from the combat armor, thrusters, and the ever-important Agamemnon device.
Myself and the rest of my team step into the waiting airlock, turning on the armor seals and tapping into the armor air reserves. The chamber depressurizes before the airlock finally opens. We jump outside the deployment vessel and switch our radios on, waiting for the signal to begin our descent to the world below.
“Mayday, Mayday, this is the Independent Trader Timberwolf
, how may we assist,” came the response from the Imperial highport authorities.
“I don’t know, there seems to be an issue with the jump fuel li-” the captain began to say before the ship suddenly went up in a ball of white. The captain played her part beautifully, and the wreckage would act as our cover to hot drop onto the world.
Thrusters activate and I deploy my heat shield as I gun for the palace. The Coalition will be sorry to lose that pilot, she got us right over target.Now initially the Imps didn’t seem too perturbed. Debris from a ship that small would just burn up in atmosphere, no skin off their back, but they did get worried seeing five little metallic things drop from high orbit right over the palace. We made it to about cloud level before they scrambled fighters. Pretty good all be told.
Jond did his part too, he flipped around and pushed his thrusters to meet the oncoming jets. As he did so I activated the Agamemnon device. Jond got off about four rockets, splashing four of the jets, before he got taken out.
The rest flew around like headless chickens, this hot and heavy device strapped to my back cast out hundreds of false sensor pings for them to follow, blinding them in all capacities except the MK. 1 eyeball.
Even then, we were small, we were fast, and we were refracting light thanks to these cloaks. Imps never knew what hit em as we finally made touch down in the gardens of the palace. Asha, Nargör, and Dekan went to make a nuisance of themselves, sliver guns out and on the bounce.
The shoulder mounted plasma gun took out the main door, and some poor Imp standing behind it. I stormed into a room of Imperial marines, guns in hand, and practically as reflex I washed em out with hypersonic slivers. This ballistic computer was worth every penny of Coalition dime as I ripped holes into Imp after Imp.
One poor bastard even tried to knife me, as if a little knife is going to stop the one-ton steel abomination that is me. I ripped his head off and continued further into the palace. Everywhere I go is decorated with frescoes, paintings, and statues depicting all the glories of Mankind they revere, and everything that drove them to conflict with us. I find it a bit arrogant, but mine is not to question why.
A few Imps try to interrupt my thoughts, but again they are ripped apart by slivers on reflex. They even bothered to set-up a heavy laser emplacement at the end of the hallway, not that it does them any good. They burn through a decent chunk of my left arm as I rolled out of the way and down a side passage. A quick particulate grenade obscures their next shot, and a plas grenade silences the gun. That was a very quick response, clearly not enough though.
Pushing through a few more isolated bands of Imps, I find the rather gaudy throne room with its big golden doors. Left arm is at reduced effectiveness, and I can only guess that most of his personal guard is in the room with him.
Instead of walking through the front door, I push up to the ceiling. Hanging there I bore through it with a breaching charge, and emerge up on the roof. I find a rather surprised team of snipers who are quickly dispatched by my saka after I leap at them.
Dropping down from the skylight I make ready to dispatch the Emperor’s personal guard, only to find none. Just an old man on a gaudy throne.
“My sons and daughters have already evacuated the palace Coalition Man,”
“They were not our target,”
“Truly? You have far more restraint than my generals it would seem,"
“Call it a difference in philosophy,” I said, and at that the Emperor of the Empire of the Mind laughed long and deep.
“I know you find me repugnant Coalition Man, but would you honor a final request?”“Depends,”
“I wish to fall on my sword,”
“Then do it,” I said, to which the Emperor gave a simple nod.
There the Emperor drew from his throne a long blade, and succeeded in his final will. I took his head, and split his spine to ensure there was no recovery.
“Target eliminated. Adiri 1-5, report,”
“War Cabinet eliminated. Adiri 2,”
“Engaging the enemy. Adiri 3,”
“I am near overrun. Adiri 4,”
“Mission success, say your final prayers,”
No Imps come to avenge their emperor. Maybe they’re distracted? Or cowards. Either way, it seems I have a moment. I sit on this throne, this paltry thing of stone and gold that enables little men to end millions. Don’t know what I expected. It's a little vindicating to deliver the death he so flippantly affected back to him and his councilors, each of which could have schemed to prevent this. When my soul goes to Orz, to the living Void, I think he’ll find this all very funny. It's been long enough, I confirm the self-destruct order.
It burns for only a moment.
For another perspective of this conflict: A Chance Meeting
Author's Note: If anyone understands why Reddit ruined my formatting three different ways when posting this that would be wonderful.
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2023.06.08 07:15 DJ4N6O I made love to a goddess named Aya
This piece recounts the first time I drank an ancient plant medicine called Ayahuasca. It comes from Amazonian tribes who consider it a sacred plant medicine with healing powers and, given what a hugely beneficial impact it has had on my life, I am very comfortable describing it as medicine.
One Saturday, in the spring of 2016 I was greeted by the medicine man himself with a big hug, let’s call him Blu. I came into his kitchen to be greeted by several women with slightly comical homemade, feather headdresses and couldn’t help but think I’d walked into a kid’s birthday party. In the garden, there was a small festival tent set up which had a hay bale altar with easter decorations.
The ceremony had around 30 other participants and 10 shamans. In the middle of the tent stood the medicine man’s wife, Sun who was very much the master of the ceremony. She had the most daring headdress, flowing orange robes and a rattle in her hand. She spoke to us with warm, friendly humour telling us that we would know the medicine had kicked in once her singing started to sound good!
She advised that each experience is unique and we should try not to have huge expectations, sometimes nothing at all happens the first time. Having waited five years for this day I was quietly confident that this would not be the case for me and boy was I right!
We went around the circle introducing ourselves and explained what we were hoping to get out of the ceremony. Focusing on your intent during a psychedelic experience is meant to help you get what you are looking for.
During my turn, I expressed my desire to regain my self-confidence and passion for the opportunities and women in my life to whom I never seem to be able to fully commit.
Once we had all shared, we learned that it was time to drink.
My heart was filled with profound forbearing and excitement as I went up to receive a small glass of harsh-tasting, brown liquid which certainly tasted like medicine!
I had a basic camping mattress and a duvet laid out for me which I snuggled into before pulling on my eye mask. I was on my back trying not to think too much about the medicine, whether it was working or maybe wouldn’t work while I meditated for an hour.
The shamans started singing and shaking rattles. One of the female shamans, Nubia had an incredibly beautiful soprano voice that stood out from the others. It was while listening to the song of the shamans that I started to feel a warm flow of energy along my limbs. I tried to dismiss it at first, thinking it might somehow be related to my fasting for 40 hours prior.
When I moved my eye mask to let some light into my eyes I saw the tent roof overlaid with a flowing grid of beautiful, metallic, geometric grids with multi-coloured light flowing through the lines. The Individual elements of the grid reflected every colour of the rainbow like oil on water’s surface and I started to feel joyful, like a child rolling through leaves on a warm autumn day.
Nubia started singing to us again and it was like nothing I’d ever heard. It was so beautiful and mesmerizing I didn’t want her to stop.
I could hear the people around me, some giggling and some vomiting or, purging medicine into their buckets. I checked myself, asking if should I purge but I felt a gentle presence speak inside of me saying: ‘No, you’re fine. Just relax.’
They call this presence Mother Ayahuasca. The reason people drink the brew is to speak with and receive her guidance.
My eye mask was back on my face and I turned into the fetal position with the duvet pulled over my head I felt exceptionally comfy with this strange yet familiar presence as I started to explore the un-intimidating hallucinogenic world within my mind. She showed me complex pictures of flowing energy with multicoloured lights in perfect alignment while I was gently gliding along, watching the beautiful colourful spectacle.
It was around this time that Sun asked into the ceremony if anybody would like a second dose. I slowly sat upright and looked around. I checked myself. Truthfully, I was enjoying the experience. I was slightly nervous that having more could take me to a deeper, darker place however I had mentally prepared myself for the full immersion experience.
The presence told me: ‘It’s okay. You can handle it. I’ll be gentle.’
So I pulled on my shoes, got up and slowly walked over feeling slightly wobbly. I was worried Sun might tell me I’d had enough but when I sat in front of her, she gave me a big smile and beckoned me towards her. The second dose was about half the previous one and tasted familiar, not quite as harsh.
After I got up I walked out of the tent into the house. Sitting in the small toilet I saw the walls gently rippling with energy and recognized the phenomenon from previous psychedelic experiences. I’ve experienced mild, LSD-induced hallucinations before but nothing quite as mesmerizing as watching bright sparks of colorful energy emerging from objects and pictures.
Snuggling back under my duvet I listened to the rattles and felt myself floating deeper into the kaleidoscopic universe seeing my own body curled up but instead of my skin and flesh, I saw myself as streaming veins of energy. Millions of thin fibre optic threads pulsated with warm healing energy which outlined my body.
I felt myself lying on the floor in the jungle with mystical symbols and ineffable tribal figures around me. I felt like I was in a different, timeless dimension however I was surprisingly lucid and could snap out of it to check myself with ease. At some point I had to giggle as my boring pragmatist made the smart-ass remark, ‘You’re not lying in the jungle. You’re in a garden less than 100 meters from the Thames estuary!’
I had my eyes closed for most of the afternoon. I was seeing ever richer patterns. When I opened my eyes the patterns were still there but they were overlaid on the reality in front of my eyes. I could change them with the blink of an eye or bring back shapes I had seen previously.
I started thanking this entity for showing me all this beauty and felt the urge to reciprocate. I revealed some personal memories but they looked so very different. It seemed like they had a photo filter applied that filled the memory with golden light as they came alive with breathtaking beauty, streaming with colourful energy. I visited various life moments and it felt like entering into a photo and suddenly being there on that day!
I was there sitting in our garden at home. Once again I was a chubby baby covering my face with baked beans. I was actually there! I was picking the baked beans off my face and pushing them, one by one into my mouth.
They say that Mother Ayahuasca is a deep ancient spirit and I always imagined her as a deeply serious, majestic queen. I started wondering what she might look like… and so she appeared.
She was stern but not an old woman. Aya was young, perfectly matched to my age and exceptionally beautiful. She had long, smooth brown hair and big beautiful eyes filled with power and inspiration. As I looked closer at her exquisite face I realized that her features were constantly changing complexion. Her skin cycled from Amazonian to Latin to Nubian to Oriental and Mediterranean. She was outlined by swirling rainbow-coloured curls of light. The rest of her naked body only came into being when I directly looked at it. I realize that she was not one woman but a combination of every beautiful woman I’ve ever felt attracted to. I wanted her. She wanted me. We kissed and whirled around as we floated through my Entheoverse. My body of swirling rainbow energy flowed into her and hers into mine and this is how we made love passionately.
I had visions of us being on a summer weekend getaway in a stylish city. We lay in luxurious hotel rooms and I remember a cream-coloured clock on the wall, with Roman numerals but no hands to tell the time. I was dressed smartly as I led her by her hand into classy restaurants that had champagne poured, waiting by our table. It was like we were on a never-ending date, teleporting from one experience into the next, eloping while taking our time to enjoy each other’s energy, and passionately loving one another.
Afterwards, she lay in my arms and I asked what else she could show me and she replied; ‘What else would you like me to show you?’ I wasn’t prepared for this and my mind went a bit blank realizing that I could do anything, go anywhere in space and time I wanted.
I asked her; ‘Can you help me find my confidence?’
There was no clear answer. Instead, I had the random idea to become the temple stem of my friend Julio’s glasses. I looked at him from the bit next to the hinge and I could see him put the glasses on in the morning, and take them off at night and in the reflection of his right eye, I saw him coming home and watched his beautiful daughter jumping into his arms. Then I saw on his eyeball the reflection of me walking into the room and a felt warm glow spread through me.
Next, I visited my baby nephew sitting in my brother’s living room, in his red chair. I crossed my hands on my chest like he does and saw my brother and his wife smiling at me giving me warm hugs but more than seeing their faces while they hugged my body I could feel the way they felt when they put their arms around me and press me to their chests.
I saw all my brother’s smiles and happy faces as we jollied about, trying to make each other laugh as we do. I visited all my closest friends, took in their smiles and one by one, as I hugged each of them, I could feel their love for me.
Later I realized that Aya was indeed trying to give me confidence by showing me how much the people in my life care for me
I visited the girl I had just started dating called Anna whose raw energy I find simply irresistible. I came into her new apartment that I’d never visited before. She was standing in sexy lingerie by a floor-to-ceiling window looking down onto the busy Tottenham Court road. I remember her turning her beautiful face as I approached, touching it with ten fingers and kissing her lips passionately as we erupted into rainbow swirls of energy.
I also visited my ex-girlfriend Jo, whose body and spiritual mind I still loved but whose soul is too damaged by the fear of rejection and tough mental armour I never managed to vanquish.
She was asleep in our white room in LA that she had so carefully decorated and I spooned my energy into her little body. She woke and we cuddled and kissed and I said I was sorry it didn’t work out between us and she replied; ‘It’s ok. I wasn’t ready for you…’
I asked Aya if we had made the right decision to stop forcing it and just be friends and felt her nod wisely.
At some point, I remember all three of us lying in bed together but instead of feeling like the king of the world, I felt like a greedy pig.
One of the underlying themes of the whole journey was how slowly gently and unhurried everything felt and I think the lesson I was meant to learn was that it’s ok to not settle right now — I thought I just haven’t found the one, the right woman to share my life with…
Aya kept giving me gentle advice throughout. I asked her about the stimulants I love such as cannabis, coffee and alcohol but instead of the stern telling-off I was secretly hoping to receive she told me; ‘You know they don’t serve you when you abuse them but they are also a part of what shaped you… Take care of the beautiful body you have been given.’
She repeated many times; Take care of yourself more… take care.
I asked Aya how I could find the power to harness my mind which has always been blessed and cursed with a distracting imagination and to keep my lack of attention from killing my dreams.
Instantly, I saw an unreal version of myself.
I was standing in something like a black shiny display window, straight out of a Mercedes advert. This guy was not merely a little bit better than I am now and I realized that the version staring back at me was my best self!
That guy is sharp, he is determined, and he dresses immaculately. That guy knows exactly what he is doing. When he enters the room, people notice his presence from the invisible halo that brightly surrounds him.
I asked Aya, how I could become him and the answer became clear. That guy works. He knows exactly where his energy comes from and all of a sudden I understood — The confident image he projects comes from the love he feels for himself which makes him look loved and successful in other people’s eyes. There is no room for distraction because that guy knows his worth and knows his purpose.
She gave me such a clear image of myself. I can still see myself standing motionless in the black, shiny shop window with rainbow-coloured fibre optic strains lighting the air that gently flowed around me.
How long I lay like that is impossible to say but I guess it was around 5–6 hours but it felt like an eternity of journeying into myself.
But it wasn’t all just warm energy and neon colours. I distinctly remember at some point realizing, it was time to go to the toilet. Afterwards, I walked back into the garden and found the Ewok-faced little terrier yapping at me. I laughed at him as I noticed the blue silver and chrome energy swirls around his head and ears. I couched down to see if I could pacify him but I suddenly became aware that his barking must be interfering with other people’s experiences. I turned to hurry into the tent as one of the shamans came out, to tell off the dog saying; ‘What’s wrong doggy, he’s alright!’ As I walked into the tent there were certainly more people sitting upright than when I had left and I read some irritated expressions on people’s faces, at least three people got up and walked out.
I lay down in shame but all my friend’s energy avatars ran up to me saying ‘It’s fine!’ as they doggy piled on top of me. It made me feel better. I felt them warm the cold shame out of me and I began relaxing again. I played around as before but the energy had markedly changed, it didn’t feel as light-hearted anymore. It was heavier and more serious. I was feeling the effects of the medicine becoming even stronger so I decided to sit up but when I opened my eyes, I saw Nubia hit the deck at my feet on a hastily arranged bed after having just purged into a bucket. I could see vomit in her black wavy hair as I started to think, ‘…oh dear if even the shamans are starting to falter, I’m in trouble.’
I didn’t know what to do. I tried to lie back down again. I asked Aya to help me, as she had several times previously when I’d gotten a little bit frightened but this time I could not sense her presence and I knew why. I had to go through this for myself.
It felt like I was sitting in a shopping trolley, rolling down a steep hill toward darkness, realizing as it picked up speed and bucked to and fro that this had been a bad decision, a dangerous idea and the only way it would end would be for the momentum to collide with suffering.
I needed help so I weakly put up my hand and within a few seconds, one of the shamans sat down next to me. She was wearing a white feather dress and occoured to me like an angel. She helped me sit up and as soon as I was sitting upright I began to retch. She passed me my bucket which I gratefully barfed into…
After I purged I felt better. My angel asked me if I felt okay again and I asked her to stay with me and hold my hand for a while longer, which she did. I gently leaned over and rested my head on her feathery bosom and felt a sense of peace and strength flow back into me. I saw my energy self, the swirling electrons of light curling my limbs as I sat cross-legged, hunched over like a bear cub being cradled by his mother bear.
She helped me lie back down and I started to return to my technicoloured dream state. I asked Aya if we could make love again and she said ‘Of course’ but it felt different, when I opened my inner eye to see the face of the person I was entangled with I saw my own. Aya had taken on my form and this might well be the strangest thing I’ve ever written but I was exceptionally attracted to myself and I realized that this could be how girls who are in bed with me see me. I could feel the burning desire a girl feels when we make love. It felt strange but also good.
They said Ayahuasca show you not what you want to see but rather what you need to see at any specific point in your life.
I visited countless friends, some people no longer in my life becouse we have grown apart and even those whose who have passed away. I visited my German grandparents and told them how much I loved them.
While I cuddled Oskar, the dog I grew up with, and played with him in our garden I looked up to see my dad approach us with tears in his eyes. I knew what he was going to say. When he told me that my grandmother had died I didn’t run away in confusion as I had on that day, instead, I went to hug my mom and for the first time, I empathized with the pain she had felt in that moment of hearing that her mother had passed.
I visited my friend Keith whose passing I have always felt a slight responsibility for since I know he read my travel blog and went to Costa Rica a month after I’d been there where he swam out to sea and drowned. I hugged him tightly and cried gently but he grabbed me firmly by the shoulders and said; ‘It wasn’t you! It wasn’t you…’
I visited my old school friend Alex who I had not been close to but whose misfortune to be on flight 447 still touched me. I told him and his beautiful fiance whom I’d never met that I was so sorry for them having been so frightened when they died but instead of me comforting them, they hugged and comforted me as I lay there silently crying for the people I missed. But it was not painful. Quite the opposite, it felt cathartic, like I was letting out the pain and healing myself.
At some point, while it was still light out Sun said “OK, I know that some of you are still on your journey but we will start having some food soon so if you want to share what you experienced now is the time.” I listened to some of the reports.
Several people said that they had a very rough ride because they had tried to fight it. One girl even said she was convinced she was dying. I felt very lucky and grateful for my gentle, warm ride through my multi-coloured Enthenoverse and wondered if I would ever return…
When it was my turn I said that I had finally been able to see how my friends and family see me and why they think I am awesome which will give me the confidence to finally believe that I am awesome (that got a laugh :). I also shared my new appreciation for how profoundly beautiful my life has been up until now and hoped that it will give me the strength to stop comparing myself to others, to focus on my own path and become my best self.
10 weeks later
My life has undeniably changed over the last 10 weeks.
The following day I drove back to my rented shepherd’s hut in a nature reserve and had an exceptionally rich experience walking through the marshes. The sun was shining and everything seemed so intensely beautiful. I was moved just by watching something as simple as a male and a female bird fly across the water in perfect sync. It made me well up emotionally.
I’ve cried a lot recently and I believe it’s a good thing. I cry on most days.
Usually, it happens when I see someone doing something kind and for a brief moment I get overwhelmed and shed a tear. But again, they are not tears of pain they are usually tears of joy and I feel like I have become much more in touch with my emotions.
It feels like bringing Aya’s female spirit into my awareness has tripped a switch in my brain making me more feminine, hence a more complete human being. I’ve also started to care more about my appearance. My mum commented recently that I looked different and she is right. I’ve been working out more. I get my hair cut more frequently and I’ve even gone and bought new clothes that dress me with more style, even when it’s not particularly necessary.
My work attitude has also changed. I find myself a lot more productive and capable of operating at a higher level while enjoying the entire experience so much more!
I honestly feel more in control of my life. I feel focused on who I am, who I can become and what I can achieve. Previously my decisions in life seemed more vague and fuzzy.
Above all, I feel the happiest that I have felt since childhood. The last 10 weeks have been almost like a too-good-to-be-true dream for me.
I’m also positively influencing the people around me. My grandfather wrote me the following sentence after my most recent visit. You have this mysterious gift of raising the spirits of people both just by being there and by your gift of empathy.
I have indeed had more Ayahuasca ceremonies since I first wrote this and even though there was a 4 year gap between my 4th and my 5th experience I have felt the effect compound over time. I will be publishing more of my trip reports over on medium and would appreciate your supporting me by following me over there where I also publish contant whihc is not just psychedilic in nature. https://medium.com/@hi_niels
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2023.06.08 07:13 mayfair1964 Illuminate Your Home with Elegance: Introducing Mayfair LED Lights for Residential Spaces
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2023.06.08 06:55 WhistleFeather13 Never Have I Ever cast in Conversion with Teen Vogue’s Versha Sharma (Highlights)
Here are some highlights (from my notes) from the NHIE cast discussion with Teen Vogue’s Versha Sharma tonight.
Season 4 is about letting go of grief/grief letting go of them
Themes on NHIE like mental health and sexuality are culturally groundbreaking for the South Asian community:
-Sexuality is culturally taboo—kisses were not shown on Bollywood until recently and it’s rarely discussed. Young women watch the show with mothers & it’s created a bond. Mental health & sexuality are important to watch by South Asian families even if they don’t speak about it, because people have experienced that and it resonates.
Richa says she really loves that this show normalizes finding love when you’re a widow & at an older age b/c it’s so taboo in our culture. Poorna says TV can reflect who we are but also who we can be. S1 Ep10-dispersing Mohan’s ashes—exact ritual & place that Mindy did it for her mom—these rituals of grief are so cathartic & symbolic and rooted in South Asian/Hindu culture
Poorna: this show is one where our outsides are mirroring our “insides” in our lives & in our homes. There’s a Japanese writer on staff who fleshed out Paxton’s heritage & internment presentation.
Therapy scenes—Niecey Nash has taught her so much, some of Maitreyi’s favorite scenes—her favorite line is “You feel a lot, which also means you’re going to hurt a lot. But it means you will live a life that is emotionally rich and really beautiful.” The Vishwakumar family never shames Devi for going to therapy—it’s very normalized. It’s not the norm in the South Asian community, but sometimes it’s nice to show the positive—not just who we are but who we can be as Poorna said.
Re: WGA strike—streaming, pay structures, healthcare coverage changed:
It’s become very difficult for 99% of the industry to make a living b/c there’s no royalties. Writers of colowomen & other marginalized people are less likely to get pay parity so solidarity is important
The depiction of multigenerational South Asian women normalizes what immigrant families look like. Poorna had her cousin & pati living with her. Shows South Asian women in different life stages. Initially they’re each others foils, but by S4, they’re each others’ biggest support, biggest cheerleaders, & biggest source of learning.
Usually older South Asian women would be foils to the younger character, but on this show they grow & have rich arcs, relationships & characters evolve. Older South Asian women have a very strong one-dimensional ending as a widow, like a period, but the writers have made that period into a comma and you can imagine where they are in 5-10 years.
Maitreyi lived with 4 generations of women—mom, grandma, great-grandma all under one roof. “I am who I am because of the women in my real life. And it was really awesome to see Devi become who she is because of the biggest cheerleaders in her own home. It’s truly reflective of South Asian families. We don’t know the word “retirement home”.”
Devi & Kamala: Lovely to see their relationship evolve rather than just there to be a foil. We’ve never seen 2 brown sisters on American TV.
Maitreyi: Devi is an antihero of NHIE but went on a hero’s journey. Which will continue on. “For fans sad the show is ending because of the representation. Know good things are coming. There’s gonna be more shows that do the same thing, but actually better. We’re only getting better. This isn’t the end for representation and feeling seen.”
Richa: “What Will & Grace did for the LGBTQ community 25 years ago paved the way for other shows including NHIE. I really believe that that’s what this show has done for the South Asian community.” Poorna is doing another show, & Richa just filmed another series. Really believe it’s because of this show—the roles that they’re seeing and being offered never existed before. They know what they’re seeing today did not exist even 2 years ago. South Asians were locked out of these rooms and now they’re filling these rooms.
Poorna: We were completely erased, completely marginalized. We were never the center of any story that we saw and therefore never the center of our own narratives. We’ve just scratched the surface with NHIE, but the growth and the community and sense of belonging that we all feel in the last 4 years is leaps and bounds. We took a giant step forward for South Asian representation. What I love most is the criticism of people saying “that didn’t represent me” because it meant that they were hungry and there was a demand for more. And those people are going to go on and create that. This is just the small fire that got lit and it’s going to blow up.
Poorna: We’ve only seen model minorities on TV including the Vishwakumars. Deli Boys is about a cocaine-dealing family. That’s what is next. Poorna is playing a South Asian mafia gangster boss on two different movie & series. “It’s incredible the doors that this has opened and we feel it every day on sets. We feel the change that we were a small part of creating. And we’ll be here in 25 years with a retrospective.”
Poorna: Wanted to portray an immigrant woman with a fashion sense, which is rarely seen, with designs from India.
Richa: Kamala having to stand up to white men in her lab. That was my favorite storyline. Women of color in STEM is a real systemic problem—Richa received messages from South Asian women & women of color around the world saying this literally happened to me. Not being given credit, not being able to use their voice, their names being completely erased from papers really happen all the time [side note: this happened to me as a South Asian woman in a STEM field too.]. Maitreyi: An underrated line on the show is Devi telling Kamala that “People think Asian women will take all kinds of crap. Bow down and hand them tea or some shit. You can’t let them.”
Maitreyi: How much of a “Crazy Devi” moment is just a woman of color getting angry? I love seeing her get angry and upset. I’ve ripped out a kitchen drawers! Richa: We’ve all had that. Sometimes it’s just a woman of color getting angry and it’s not crazy at all actually. We should all feel rage sometimes. Poorna: I feel like like rage is so off limits for so many brown girls, and to have a “Crazy Devi moment” is just a moment where you’ve hit some kind of limit and you’re not allowed to express how it feels.
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2023.06.08 06:19 gajiwalasaree Explore The Saree And Half-Saree And Their Origin
The half saree
, also known as Langa Voni, is a traditional garment that holds a special place in Indian culture. With its history spanning centuries, the Langa Voni
has evolved and adapted to various regional styles and preferences. One such variation is the half saree, a unique ensemble that has captivated women across India. In this paper, we will delve into the origins of the Langa Voni and explore the factors that have contributed to its evolution and popularity.
1. History Of Half Saree
To get the development of the half saree, we must begin with dig into the Authentic setting. The saree, in its unique shape, dates back to antiquated India. The saree is believed to have originated during the Indus Valley Civilization, around 2800-1800 BCE. Both originally wore it as a single piece of fabric draped. Over time, it evolved into a specific female article of clothing, reflecting changes in social norms and fashion patterns.
During the Late 18 to 19 Centuries in India the South Indian Region People, It Was a Regular Practice for Parents of Teen Girls, to Divide a Saree Into Two Parts for Their Teenage Daughters. Approximately 3.00 meters of fabric constituted the first part, forming the skirt. The second part, measuring around 2.5 meters, was transformed into a dupatta, resembling a long scarf. Furthermore, a separate piece of fabric was employed to craft the blouse. This method, known as the division of the mother's saree into two portions, resulted in what became known as a half saree. This traditional attire allowed young girls to embrace their culture, marking their transition into womanhood while preserving their cultural identity.
Origins of the Half Saree
The concept of the half saree risen
in South India, especially within the
states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The half saree is believed to have originated during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire (14th to 17th centuries CE). Women during this era began adorning various styles of traditional sarees, which eventually evolved into the half saree we recognize today.
Regional Climate and Geography
The hot and muggy
climate of South India played a noteworthy part in the advancement
of the half saree. The layered plan allowed for more remarkable wind flow and comfort, making it suitable for nearby climates. The light weave utilized in half sarees kept the women warm while preserving their social graces.
Cultural Significance, Design, and Structure For Half Saree
The half saree holds colossal social importance, especially amid coming-of-age ceremonies. In South India, young ladies move from childhood to youth in a ceremony called the 'Ritushuddhi' or 'Pavadai Dhavani
' ceremony. Amid this occasion, youthful young ladies wear a half saree, stamping their move into womanhood. The half sarees serve as an image of development and social character.
The half Saree Comprises Three Key Components: The skirt the pullover (known as 'choli' or 'ravika'), and the dupatta. The skirt is as a rule a flared article of clothing worn underneath the navel, whereas the shirt covers the upper body. One can drape the dupatta over one shoulder, using it as a decorative embellishment. Modern Clothing:
Due to their unique designs and elegance, half sarees have had a significant impact on modern fashion. Additionally, designers admire the elegance of the saree, incorporating it into their designs and adapting it to suit modern tastes. As a result, it has become a popular choice for various events such as weddings, festivals, and gatherings.
The Contemporary Half Saree Due to their unique designs and elegance, half sarees have had a huge impact on modern fashion.
Designers have admired the elegance of the half saree and incorporated it into their designs while adapting it to suit modern tastes. It is now a popular choice
for various events such as
The half saree is caseless
of the conventional
saree, reflecting the South Indian social conditions. This unique
group has stood
the test of time and is
today. Millions of women gift half-length sarees as they symbolize tradition, elegance, and the transition from girlhood to womanhood. As we recall the rich heritage of Indian textiles and fashion,
half saris continue
as a tribute to the continued
beauty of our heritage.
2. Difference Between Halfsaree V/S Lehenga
The half saree is a traditional outfit that comes from the South Indian region. It's the same as a saree but has its own unique features. To create a half saree, Mother cuts a regular saree into two pieces. One part, about 3.00 meters long, is used to make a skirt, while the other part, around 2.5 meters long, which called a dupatta. A separate blouse is made from a different fabric. This division of the saree into two parts is why it is called a "half saree."
Lehenga is a traditional garment popularized by the Marwadi culture in Rajasthan. Unlike the half saree, the lehenga is not made from a saree but is crafted from fabric using a unique pattern. The lehenga has its own distinctive style and design.
Both the half saree and the lehenga have their origins in different regions of India and with different cultural traditions. The naming and tailoring patterns of these garments saw their regional variations and cultural influences.
3. Fashion Change From Halfsaree to Lehenga Choli
Embrace the fashion change as half sarees gracefully give way to the allure of Lehenga Choli. Experience timeless elegance and vibrant transformation in Indian fashion.
This is true! After the premiere of the movie "Chennai Express", lehengas rose in popularity as an alternative to traditional half mares. The lead actress, Deepika Padukone, fashions a Change of clothes with a half saree design like a lehenga
. Due to the popularity of this show, South Indian girls noticed a change in their preferences and immediately asked for lehenga.
In the midst of this revolutionary era of fashion change, a remarkable transition unfolded, fueled by the emergence of exceptionally talented designers. Among them, one designer stood out by ingeniously infusing the opulence of silk fabric, traditionally reserved for sarees, into his exquisite lehenga designs. This pioneering approach swiftly gained traction in North India, captivating fashion enthusiasts with the irresistible allure of luxurious silk lehengas. The incorporation of silk fabric brought forth a captivating synergy, bestowing upon the enchanting world of lehenga design a new level of sophistication and timeless elegance.
The Lehenga Revolution Begins
Accept the winds of change in the world of fashion as half sarees transform stunningly into the alluring Lehenga Choli. Learn about fashion change and innovation to produce a lasting fashion statement.
Lehenga fashion changed a lot as lehenga designs were inspired by "Chennai Express" and designers like used silk. South and North Indian fashion designers took an interest in the style and welcomed its appeal and creative potential.
4. South Indian Gloriousness and Indian Extravaganza from the North
The heritage of the South Indian half-mae harmonizes well with the evolution of the lehenga look. Designers incorporate special patterns, needlework, and vibrant colors into their lehenga designs. The drape style of South Indian half saris has entered the lehenga trend and is enhanced with the use of different colors and beautiful borders. This clever combination of elements draws attention to the heritage of the area and makes it unique and attractive.
The silk lehenga
style is very popular in North India and attracts fashionistas. Designers are pushing the limits of creativity by experimenting with different types of fabrics such as Banarasi silk, Kanchipuram silk, and Tussar silk. Because of the beauty of luxury, the dialects are the epitome of elegance for special occasions and weddings. North Indian lehengas are known for their fine zari work, decorations, and fine craftsmanship that add to their charm and appeal.
The Style and Fusion of Lehenga To Half Saree
The Lehenga fashion scene combines South and North Indian influences to create a variety of shapes and designs. Lehenga is so flexible that women can express their preferences and whether they choose a classic lehenga or a modern lehenga.
Lehengas are the most popular expression in recent years, thanks to the movie "Chennai Express" and the skills of designers. Lehenga fashion is always changing as designers push the boundaries, try new techniques, and come up with new ideas.
The fashion industry has seen a transformation with the rise of lehengas replacing traditional half sarees
. The fusion of South and North Indian elements in lehenga designs has left a lasting impact on fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Over time, the fashion sense of lehengas has evolved to inspire and captivate the attention
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2023.06.08 05:51 Determination7 An Outcast In Another World (Subtitle: Is 'Insanity' A Racial Trait?) [Fantasy, LitRPG] - Chapter 200 (Book 5 Chapter 26)
Quick Author's Note:
For better clarity of intent, the 'worthwhile opponent' stipulation in Lifedrinker is being changed to 'non-negligible opponent' moving forward.
"The Gellin Empress was the catalyst for our breakthrough," a mage explained. "Tracing Lord Rob's lingering mana signature through the space between dimensions proved effective at first, yet it came with an insurmountable problem: he only attained mana after initially leaving Earth. At a certain point, there was no more of a signature for us to trace. We had found his home dimension, but finding his home world within the infinite expanses of that dimension could have taken years of aimless searching, like blind men stumbling in the dark."
He leaned forward, clearly enjoying having a captive audience. "The key, then, lay within Lord Rob's memories. Even without mana, memories have a power all their own. The Empress looked within his mind and found locations of personal importance to him. Ones that he remembers with pristine clarity. By scrying for areas within Lord Rob's dimension that matched those specific locations, we were able to narrow down the scope of our search considerably."
The mage spread his palms wide, and his voice dropped a full octave, as if he was imparting a great revelation. "The result will soon be made self-evident. You shall bear witness to the foremost magical achievement of our era: a one-way viewing window into Lord Rob's world. The first of many to come."
In respect for the man's showmanship, Rob started up a clap. Granted, he would've clapped even if the explanation was done via a mindnumbing PowerPoint presentation, because nothing in the universe could stunt his enthusiasm right now. Riardin's Ranger, the Elders, Diplomacy, and the Soul Surgeon clapped as well, although Rob was pretty sure they were just following his cues. This moment couldn't possibly hold the same gravitas for them as it did for him. They mostly were here to provide moral support and satisfy their curiosity.
While for him, this meant everything.
"Do we need the Gellin Empress here to create the window?" Rob asked. "I'd also like to thank her for the help she's given."
The mage shook his head. "I'll spare you the details, but to be succinct; she taught us how to save a mana-based copy of the necessary memories, which will allow us to attune to a subset of Earth locations. Her presence is not required. In fact, she insisted that we proceed without her, as the Gellin have gone to rest for the night."
Must be nice. I'd trade ten Levels for a consistent sleep schedule. Rob internally frowned at himself, punting the envious thoughts away. No sour grapes. If the Empress helped me see Earth again, then I hope she sleeps like a baby for the rest of her life.
"One question," Keira interjected. "In your explanation, you stated that, without the Empress' assistance, it may have taken years to discover Earth. That is hardly the weeks or months you claimed in the past."
The group of dimension mages froze, embarrassment blooming on their features. They looked to the head mage for guidance, whose veneer of showmanship was deflating like a leaky balloon. "We were perhaps...optimistic."
"The previous estimate I put forth was one that assumed we would develop breakthroughs as we went along." His mouth widened into a sheepish grin. "As you can see, we, um, succeeded."
Keira raised an eyebrow. "Only with the timely assistance of a Leader." Her tone was calm, yet unyielding. "Rob is too grateful to point out this contradiction, so I suppose the task falls to me. You have also told us that you should be able to 'open' the window and let Rob send a letter home within the next week – is that more unfounded optimism?"
"No." The mage straightened his posture. "Now that we have located Earth, the rest is simply a matter of refining our spells and collecting reserves of mana. We are no longer blind, nor are we fumbling in the dark, and thus our progress moving forward shall be predictable and steady. This, I swear."
After a few seconds, Keira nodded. "Then I thank you for the wonderful boon you've granted to the man I love."
From behind, Malika giggled under her breath. Rob squeezed Keira's hand, gave her a warm smile, and faced the mages. "I'm ready whenever you are."
The tent thrummed with mana as the dimension mages formed a Mage Circle with Malika. It was no different from any other time they'd done so, yet the knowledge of what they were about to accomplish heightened the tension in the air to a fever pitch. Rob's pulse quickened, his throat tightening. He'd been disemboweled by monsters, decapitated by eldritch abominations, and none of those events made him a fraction as nervous as watching the dimension mages at work.
Minutes passed. Rob forced himself to be patient. Reaching across the boundaries of space and dimensions wasn't like heading to the store to pick up a carton of milk. It involved a level of spellcasting prowess that would take Rob decades of committed study to have even the slightest chance at grasping. Frankly, the fact that it was possible at all still beggared belief.
Maybe...maybe the mages were wrong. Not lying; just wrong. They could be overeager, sharing before they were actually ready, and they'd end the circle looking contrite and ashamed.
That was okay. No biggie. Rome wasn't built in a day, or...something. He could wait–
It was the sound of a rusted hinge, of crumpling paper, of breaking bones, and more. A combination of all the noises things made when subjected to an external force. Like reality itself was groaning under the pressure.
A thin, imperceptible line appeared at eye-level, dark as the endless void. Slowly, inch-by-inch, it widened.
It had become a rectangle. Two feet wide, three feet high. With a final CREAK, reality threw in the towel. The void dissipated, as if smoke blown away by a gust of wind, revealing...
Everything was as he remembered it. The same furniture with scuffed marks of wear-and-tear. The same living room where they'd watched movies each Friday. The same kitchen with a sink perpetually filled with dirty dishes. The same tacky wallpaper that his mom refused to change, and that he secretly enjoyed.
Identical. Like a portrait had been painted straight from his memories.
A tsunami of aching nostalgia surged through him. Rob didn't realize he was extending his hand until his fingertips were already brushing against the viewing window. Its surface felt solid, and for an instant he was terrified that this really was just a painting. Something invented to give him false hope.
Then he noticed that a window had been cracked open. Not the mages' window; the window inside his house. A small breeze blew inside, jostling a curtain ever so lightly. Just enough to make it move.
"It's real." Rob's voice was hoarse. "It's my home."
No one said anything. They allowed him his silence, a gesture which he greatly appreciated. Eventually, Rob took a deep breath, clenched his hands so that they wouldn't tremble, and looked at the dimension mages. "Thank you. I owe you...so much. Even if observing from afar ended up being the limit of what you could do, just seeing my house again like this is..."
He trailed off, unable to find words that were sufficient. Thankfully, the dimension mages seemed to understand. "You are most welcome, Lord Rob." The head mage smiled. "This is far from the limit of what we can do, however. Give us time, and this window shall open."
Rob nodded, choosing not to believe them. They were probably right, but on the off chance they weren't, he didn't want to look back on this moment with bitterness. Best to assume the worst and be grateful for what he already had.
As if drawn by a gravitational pull, his eyes drifted back towards the window. It was displaying a fixed point in the center of his home. "Can you switch perspectives? I want to check other rooms." His parents were likely asleep in their bedroom at this hour. Assuming they didn't sell the house out of grief and move, that is.
"I am afraid that isn't possible. We can transpose the viewing window to other specific locations that the Empress provided, but having it 'walk around', so to speak, requires finer control than we are yet capable of."
Yet, he says. Which means that with practice, they'll be able to. Rob placated himself with that notion. This was a minor setback, and he wouldn't let it get him down.
He especially wouldn't listen to that tiny voice in the back of his head, whispering that the reason he couldn't see his parents right now was because they were–
"Got it," Rob stated, in a wooden voice. "What other locations did the Empress pick out?"
The window's perspective blurred and shifted. Rob swallowed a gasp as an extremely familiar place was displayed before him. He'd seen it many, many times, even after coming to Elatra. It used to be at the top of his nightmare rotation, only ousted from its throne when Blights started coming into play.
In front of them was a small grassy lawn, surrounded by lecture halls in the near-distance. The place that had forever altered the course of his life.
"This is where it all started." Rob pointed to an empty spot in the middle of the field. "Portal opened up. Right there. Saturated with darkness. Chains shot out, tried to grab at Jason. I pushed him out of the way, and...the rest is history."
Silence reigned once more. After a few seconds, Orn'tol stirred. The young Ranger opened his mouth, preparing to say what would undoubtedly be some platitude reassuring Rob over his noble sacrifice.
"The grass truly is green."
Rob burst out laughing. He kept going until he was short of breath, wheezing as the others looked at him with eyes full of concern. "I'm okay," he managed to cough, once the laughter had died down to snickers. "Thanks, Orn'tol. I needed that."
"You're very welcome?" Orn'tol exchanged confused glances with the rest of Riardin's Rangers. "I am unsure of what I did to assist you, yet it's good to see you in high spirits nonetheless."
"Sometimes a little silliness is just what the doctor ordered." Rob offered him a high-five, which the boy accepted with zeal. They returned their gazes to the viewing window, Rob tilting his head as he peered closer. "Hmm. That's weird."
"What do you mean?"
"There's no people. It's early evening, but college students have the worst sleeping patterns on the face of the planet. Trust me; I'm speaking from experience. Usually you'd see a dozen partygoers strung out on energy drinks racing around now."
"Perhaps this location is known as a place of danger," Keira posited. "I would certainly be hesitant to tread where a portal of darkness sprang from the aether and kidnapped a civilian."
Rob watched the viewing window for signs of life, finding none. "Could be. Parents probably pulled their kids out after what happened to me. Then either the government condemns the area, or enough money is lost that the college goes bankrupt." He snorted. "Would be the least of what it deserves, considering the tuition fees. Bloodsucking vampires."
"People on Earth drink blood?"
Normally, Rob would have played along with their confusion, but there were more important things to focus on. "Can you change this to the next location from my memories?" he asked the dimension mages. "How many are there, anyway?"
"Five in total. One moment, please."
The window's perspective blurred, shifted, and reformed. Now it was displaying a city sidewalk, its view positioned right outside the best god damn burger joint in existence. Rob didn't care what anyone else said; two greasy slabs of beef squeezed between two sesame-seed buns was the absolute pinnacle of culinary delight. So what if his palette was 'like a five-year old's?' Wasn't his fault that delicious things were delicious.
Belatedly, he realized that his memory of this restaurant had been strong enough for the Gellin Empress to choose it as a point of reference for interdimensional portal magic. That...yeah, that tracked. Aside from the burgers, he had fond memories of sitting at the outside patio with Jason and his folks, drinking Minty Fresh Phantasma and inhaling cheesy fries as they mocked his dietary preferences. Good times.
He was about to explain what this place meant to him when a human casually walked past the viewing window.
She was a normal working woman like any other. Tired eyes, a purse slung over her shoulder, and dressed for lukewarm weather. A cell phone was held in her right hand, her eyes glued to some form of social media. She strode past the window without a care in the world, visible for merely a second before disappearing from view.
To the Elatrans, it was like a horror movie jumpscare. All of them froze. Several gasped. Elder Alessia grimaced. Faelynn muttered "a world of Humans" in a hushed tone. The only exceptions were Elder Duran and the Soul Surgeon, who crept closer to get a better look, their eyes shimmering with curiosity.
In contrast, Rob let out a sigh of overwhelming relief. That bored, everyday woman was exactly what he'd needed to set him at ease. Earth hasn't completely gone to shit behind my back. People are still living their lives.
As he watched, a few more humans walked in front of the window. A middle-aged man, a young boy with his mother, and an old woman with a walking cane. The old woman pivoted straight into the burger joint, Rob internally praising her good taste.
"W-well," the head mage stuttered. He paused, cleared his throat, then started anew. "As you can see, the viewing window is imperceptible to those with low Levels of Sense Mana. Naturally, this will not be the case for a portal that can be interacted with from both sides."
"Dangerous," Meyneth commented. "I would advise that you conceal this type of spell for as long as you are able. The viewing window especially."
"Why is that?"
"If this window cannot be sensed by those with low Levels of Sense Mana, then that makes it an ideal tool for spying on non-Mages. In your haste to glimpse into the world of another dimension, you have inadvertently developed a field of magic that puts every nation in Elatra at risk of subterfuge. People have been assassinated for much less."
The mages blanched. "We are nothing more than simple researchers," the head mage protested, in a faltering voice. "Who besides a madwoman like the Dragon Queen would stoop so low as to threaten noncombatants?"
Keira averted her eyes, pointedly examining the floor.
"We can discuss matters of life and death at a later time," Duran interjected. He gestured to the viewing window with the demeanor of a child in a toy story. "There's a world of discoveries to explore! Take a look at those structures the Earth Humans have built – they resemble the buildings within Human territory, yet small differences set them apart."
Duran ooooh'd as another person walked past the viewing window. "So many humans are ambling about despite the late hour. Is this area a well-traveled location in your home city, Rob?"
"This is around the level of street traffic you should expect for early evening. If it were daytime, you'd see a hundred people per minute."
Duran aaaah'd. Before he could launch into a series of questions, Zamira beat him to it. "Pardon me if this comes across as an insult," she began, hesitantly. "But Earth Humans appear marginally...uncoordinated. It is hard for me to describe the notion, yet when I watch them move, they appear as if they're liable to fall over at any moment."
They look normal to me, Rob almost said, before remembering that Earth's normal wasn't Elatra's normal. "That's called being permanently Level 1." He shrugged. "They've all got crap stats. Except athletes, I guess."
Zamira stared at the human passerby with obvious sympathy. "My condolences."
Does Earth seem like a world of cripples to her? Rob wondered. Even Utility Class users have the option to put a couple points into Dexterity and Perception. That's not counting the natural stat boosts they gain as they grow up, either. And when combined with Vitality and healing magic, it means that people in Elatra tend to age gracefully.
Rob tried to think of the last time he'd seen an Elatran with the same frailty as that old human woman with her walking cane. The oldest person he'd met so far was the Fiend High Soulseer, and in spite of being positively ancient – and blind – the dude could get around fine. Elder Duran was having health problems, but that was only after suffering from severe Corruption poisoning for weeks on end. An incident like that would've landed an Earth human in long-term hospice care.
Actually, no, that was wrong. It would've just killed them.
"We should switch to the next location," Rob said, preempting any further questions. "There's still two more left." Maybe I can see...no. Keep your expectations in check.
He was right to do so. Rob's heart sank as the viewing window solidified once again, revealing battered, empty streets. Half the buildings had collapsed to rubble, as if visited by a wrecking crew with an axe to grind. He recognized this spot as the street leading up to his favorite movie theater on the other side of the city. There'd been good times here, as well.
Although not anymore. The theater's roof had caved in, and half the letters in its ostentatious PRIME CINEMA logo were missing. It would take years to rebuild – assuming someone was willing to invest millions of dollars into what was essentially a ghost town.
"This..." He ran his hand down his face, aware of everyone gazing at him with pity. "As you can probably infer, this isn't normal. In the past–"
Rob practically jumped out of his skin at the abrupt sound of gunfire. At first he thought the shot had come from outside, but no, it was both too distant and too close for that. The noise also sounded different from the rifles that the Dwarven Thunder Rod wielders employed.
A series of repeated bangs swept his thoughts away. Everyone watched in astonishment as a crew of Earth military soldiers ran into view from a side street, desperately fleeing the eight-legged Blightspawn that was hot on their tails. The abomination was more of an amalgamation of flesh and limbs than anything resembling a living creature, and the way it skittered made Rob reconsider if spiders were really that bad in comparison.
"Keep firing!" one of the men commanded, his voice sounding like it was coming from the bottom of a lake. The soldiers blasted their assault rifles in a retreating offensive, peppering the abomination with a hailstorm of bullets. Their response was swift, their aim was true, and it did not matter. The Blightspawn bulldozed through the rain of bullets as if it was a light drizzle, the creature's five cavernous mouths wailing for blood and sustenance.
It was nearly upon them when an explosive rocketed in from the opposite side street, knocking the Blightspawn off its many feet. The reprieve was temporary, but it was just long enough for the soldiers to escape unharmed. Unfortunately, the creature was also mostly unharmed, sporting minor injuries despite a direct missile strike to the torso. With a chorus of screams that prickled Rob's ears, the abomination continued its chase, batting away a second missile as it resumed the chase with renewed fervor.
Then it was gone, having left the window's range of sight. Distant sounds of battle grew quieter, the gunshots and explosions becoming more faint as predator and prey ran deeper into the ruined city.
Rob closed his eyes. He said nothing for half a minute, allowing himself time to process what he'd seen.
"Okay." He opened his eyes, nodding. "This is fine."
Keira laid a hand on his shoulder, struggling with what to say. "Rob...you don't need to–"
"Hold it in? Bottle up my emotions?" A wry chuckle escaped his throat. "Honestly, I'm not as affected as I thought I'd be. The Blight dropped one too many cryptic hints for me to be surprised, anyway. At this point I'm just glad that Earth hasn't been completely overrun. Some parts of the city might be fucked up, but not all of it is."
He narrowed his eyes. "The biggest thing I'm worried about is the Blightspawn itself. You saw those weapons the humans were using, right? Think of them as substantially upgraded versions of the Thunder Rods. They should've put a real dent in a fully-grown Blight, let alone one of its spawn."
"Perhaps the creatures have gained a defensive Skill?" Duran theorized. "What we witnessed appears consistent with other damage reduction Skills such as Tough Skin or Heat Resistance. I would surmise that the Blight has learned something akin to – for example – Thunder Rod Resistance."
Rob paused. Elatra didn't have a specified 'Bullet Resistance' Skill, but that was because conventional firearms had been removed from the system for balancing purposes. The Blight wouldn't give two shits about balance. They'd cheerfully grant themselves Bullet Resistance, Missile Resistance, and whatever else tickled their fancy.
And the more Earth fought back, the more resistant they'd become.
"...This doesn't change anything," Rob eventually concluded. "Earth is a big boy planet. It'll figure something out. In the meantime, we'll clean up our problems here and be ready to help if the Blight's still around by then."
"You're sure?" Keira asked. Two words that held so much intent. 'Are you sure you'll be alright? Are you sure Elatra should remain your primary concern? Are you sure you don't want to head home the instant the dimension mages create a working portal?'
Rob gave her a thumbs-up. "I'm sure. And I know you'll worry about me regardless, but I promise I'm feeling fine."
Or maybe he was just numb, and an avalanche of emotions would bury him when he least expected it. The good news was that was a problem for future-Rob to deal with. Present-Rob had one last area to investigate.
I'd be satisfied with seeing my old bedroom intact, he thought, as the dimension mages altered the viewing window for the last time. I have strong memories there, right? It should be a candidate. Those late night Netflix binges were uh...riveting. Yeah.
The window finalized.
Rob felt the strength leave his body.
Some parts of what he was seeing were incongruous. Strange details that he'd need to figure out soon. All of it took a hard backseat to the one sight in the room that truly mattered.
Jason was alive.
He was at his house that Rob had visited so often. Alive. Surrounded by people. Alive. Chatting away. Alive. Gesturing in that exaggerated manner he often used. Alive.
A dam broke. Silent tears began streaming down Rob's face. Thoughts cut out, leaving only the realization that his best friend since childhood, the sole person he'd have trusted with his life before meeting Riardin's Rangers, the man whose place he'd taken when the gods picked a new chew toy...
"Hey, man." Rob's smile was the most genuine it had been in a long time. "Been a while."
At that moment, almost as if he could hear him, Jason grinned.
When I was writing Chapter 199, I was mildly annoyed that Rob didn't reach 200 Vitality on Chapter 200. That would've been hilariously coincidental. But if I had to choose between that chapter or this one for a big milestone...I think I like this better.
Happy Chapter 200, everyone. Thanks for reading and staying on this journey with me.
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2023.06.08 05:46 Unique-Figure6612 [ONLINE COURSE] Hypnotica – The Masters Circle
| || | LINK DOWNLOAD: https://www.datingcourse.net/hypnotica-the-masters-circle/ You have a choice: submitted by Unique-Figure6612 to u/Unique-Figure6612 [link] [comments]
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2023.06.08 05:33 KillerOrangeCat Three New Terrifying True Scary Tales 6/7/2023
Three New Terrifying True Scary Tales
Number One: The Pool
Now, this happened a very long time ago. I am not going to mention when or where though and I am submitting it anonymously. I don’t want people going back and finding out more about it and then lashing out of me.
I was 13 years old and my brother was 11. As I mentioned, this happened a long time ago and I think today, not a lot of parents would put a 13 year old in charge of an 11 year old. But this was not unusual at all back then. In fact, I was looking after my little brother all the time before either of us even hit 10 years old.
After a while, of course, always keeping my eye on him began to get very annoying. It interfered with my hanging out with friends. It was quite a drag when I would try to talk to girls. It was just a pain in the ass, really.
Anyway, one day during a really hot summer, our parents decided to drop us both off at the local swimming pool for the day. My dad had to work and my mom had errands and stuff to run plus work do to do for the church. It was so hot and there was no way we could afford air conditioning. We had one old fan in the house and a sprinkler in the yard that we could go play in. But the swimming pool was the much better option.
Of course the pool was very crowded. Lots of families would drop their kids off there during the summertime. And of course, even though I knew it already, my mom stressed to me, “Keep an eye on your little brother at all times.”
Some of my friends were at the pool too. I got to talking to them and they told me about this new girl who moved into town. She would be starting school that fall and supposedly she was really hot. So of course, I wanted to check her out. I knew the lifeguards would be watching my brother in the water, so he would be fine.
I went with the guys and the girl was really cute. My buddies all dared me to approach her, which was admittedly a brave thing for a 13 year old boy to do. Of course, I couldn’t chicken out in front of them, so I did just that.
She was a very sweet girl. We actually ended up talking for a little while. Her parents were at the pool though, and they called her back after too long. So I went back to the water to see how my little brother was doing.
The only problem was that I couldn’t see him anywhere in the water. This was a small town in a rural area, so although I said the pool was crowded, it wasn’t like a water park is crowded though. I should have easily been able to pick him out of the water. He just wasn’t there.
I went and searched around the area surrounding the pool and didn’t see him there either. My heart started beating faster and I began panicking. I went to the building where the showers and concession stand were. He wasn’t there either. You couldn’t leave that pool without going through that building, though. I asked the attendant if a 11 year old boy had left the pool on his own in the previous hour and he told me no.
I then went to the lifeguards and my buddies. I thought maybe there was a chance that I had missed him. It’s easy to occasionally miss someone in a crowd. The lifeguards ordered everyone out of the pool. Fortunately, there were no drowned children in the pool. Unfortunately, my brother was nowhere to be found outside of the pool.
The lifeguards had to call my mother at the church. I had never before lost track of my little brother like this before. I had no idea what to expect when she showed up. I was only thankful that the police were already at the pool or she probably would have whipped my ass right there in front of the entire pool.
The trouble I got into at home isn’t something that I want to go into very much. My butt very much has PTSD from the experience. But that was minor compared to the fear I felt for my little brother. Hell, I didn’t even have time to feel guilty although that I knew that I was. I was only concerned for him and wondered what would happen.
All day and night, I expected the police to bring him home. But that didn’t happen. I expected it the next day too. But it didn’t happen.
The town organized a search to look for him. I kept expecting to hear from them that they had found him. But that didn’t happen either.
After about a week of my brother not being found, I began fearing for the worst. I began thinking that he was dead. And I was terrified every waking moment of my life, expecting to absolutely hear the news that his dead body was found.
Nearly two weeks after the disappearance, we got a phone call from the police. They had found my brother and thankfully, he was alive. But unfortunately, that’s not the whole story.
Remember the attendant telling me that no boy had left on his own? Well that’s because the boy left with one of the lifeguards who was getting off duty. He had lured my brother out of the pool and into his car with promises of ice cream, something he and I rarely ever got. And my brother went to his house with him.
For all of that time, he kept my little brother locked up in his basement. He didn’t do anything sexually to him, thank God. But there was a lot of mental and some physical torment when my brother wouldn’t do what he was told to you. But the scariest part for him was thinking he would never get out and be with his family again.
Here is another weird part. The lifeguard wasn’t an adult. He did this while his parents were out of town for a few weeks. They came back early and caught him. And if you think I felt bad for my parents’ punishing me, what they did to him had to be legendary. The police thought he was either planning on killing or releasing my brother before his parents got home. But no one ever knew for sure.
He had to live with it without much help for a long time. Mental health assistance had a very bad stigma back then. But we’re both still alive today and he forgave me a long time ago.
Number Two: Taking the Garbage Out
A few weeks ago I went outside at around 3am to move the garbage to the curb since pickup would be in the morning. I often do this in the middle of the night. I just tend to keep weird hours and as the weather warms up for the summer I find the warm nights preferable to the sweltering days.
I’m not worried about bothering my neighbors since I don’t use noisy bins and all of the houses right next to me are currently empty. I actually find the quiet of the neighborhood at night quite relaxing.
Unfortunately since I don’t use bins animals are able to get into the bags a bit easier and while this doesn’t happen often it had happened on this night. So I was outside picking up the strewn around garbage and putting it into another bag when the silence of the night was suddenly broken by multiple police sirens.
At first they seemed distant and while they startled me it was not at all unheard of to hear sirens at night here. But usually it would be one in the distance. As I listened, still bagging the garbage, I could tell it was multiple sirens and they were getting closer. Then just as suddenly as it started it stopped again. There was just silence. By the time they stopped they sounded maybe four blocks away.
For a moment the night was silent again and I began hauling the bags to the curb when the neighborhood dogs began barking all at once. It was like every dog in the neighborhood had gotten the cue to start barking. Many were even howling. It continued for maybe a minute and once again it just stopped as suddenly as it had started.
I realized I hadn’t heard any barking or howling while the sirens were going and that’s normally how it would work. These dogs had started up separately from the sirens and just stopped all at once. It just wasn’t normal. I went back to the side of the house to grab more bags when the silence was broken a third time.
Just a single chime in the night. Like someone getting a phone notification. This sound wasn’t blocks away. This sound was here. RIGHT HERE. No more than feet away. As I said, the houses around me are empty.
I was done. The rest of the garbage would wait until morning. I didn’t see anyone close by but that just made it worse. There was someone close by that I couldn’t see. I immediately went into the house to leave the garbage for the morning.
I don’t know if these things were related. If the cops had been chasing someone who’s fleeing had caused the dogs to bark. Someone who received a message on their phone as they approached my house. Or if it was all just a coincidence. But I won’t be taking the garbage out at 3am anymore.
A Commuter’s Nightmare
Back in the 80s, I worked at the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank in San Francisco while living and commuting from Oakland, CA
My job as Registrar, took me all over Northern California, during Blood Drives at hospitals, clinics, major corporations, etc., where we would sometimes witness firsthand, the dead, being placed on gurneys, running out of the Coroner's or Medical Examiner’s rear doors, and down the sidewalks, because they simply didn’t have enough room or staff inside the morgues to process them. Mortuaries were having problems too due to the massive overload where deceased loved ones were admitted but not processed or interred for months or even years at a time.
I remember watching the News and reading newspaper accounts of E.R.s in hospitals, clinics, etc. so clogged with patients, that 1 in 10 would die waiting to just get in to see a Dr. It was a Public Health and Safety nightmare. It was a National disgrace. It was politically orchestrated mass murder. It was the B purge of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
I remember, starting work early on one of many Blood Drives (the A.I.D.S. epidemic was just getting started) and having to catch the first B.A.R.T. (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train out of the station at about 4:00 am, where morning after morning I would witness hundreds of people sleeping on the benches, or the sidewalks, or on the streets outside, waiting for it to open.
Hundreds of others would be seen walking around like zombies in the early morning freeze amid the concomitant yelling, screaming, moaning, begging, and pleading, all of it looking like a newsreel of the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Many times, I was woken at home in the middle of the night, to the sounds of people howling and cursing outside my window at some real or imagined threat, until either the police came, which usually took hours because they were spread so thin, or some tenant, or other, ran them off.
I remember the time I woke up to the sound of a woman’s voice begging in the early morning cold for someone to help her. She kept repeating it over and over growing weaker and weaker until it was little more than a whisper.
By the time I’d gotten up, armed myself with the steel-reinforced baton I’d purchased at a Police Supply store, and ran the 5 floors down to the ground floor, I found her sitting in a taxi shivering from the 42-degree drizzle coming in off the Pacific. The cabbie told me it was alright; she was just cold and needed someplace to rest and warm up; He’d drop her off at one of the nearby shelters.
At the time, I was living in a local Residence Hall on Lake Merrit in Oakland, California which was little more than a converted Hotel from the San Francisco/Oakland Gilded Age of the late 1920s. It had 5 floors and a penthouse with a capacity of about 200. I never saw it get much beyond about 30 residents. It sported a full kitchen, dining area, big screen tv viewing room, swimming pool, and a recreation room with pool, foosball, and darts.
I lived with a friend, at the time, on the 5th floor just under the penthouse. There was an elevator, but like most refurbs, it didn’t work. That meant we'd have to climb 10 flights of stairs every day to reach our room. The best part was that we had the entire floor to ourselves. I guess nobody wanted to climb that many stairs. Because we were both runners, it was a little like running the 900 feet to the top of Angel Island, running across The Golden Gate Bridge and back, or running the 3.4 miles around Lake Merrit twice a day.
Because there was no air-conditioning, all the windows were left open during the summer months, but along with whatever cool air the San Francisco/Oakland Bay would bring through the gaping nearly wall-length vault ceilinged windows, it was always accompanied by the teeming, screaming City of Oakland street din: cabbies, buses, cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, scooters, police sirens, ambulance, fire department, pedestrians, hustlers, druggies, break-dancers, prostitutes the homeless, et al. Day or night, winter or summer, it was like living in a jet engine test lab, somewhere on the 9th level of hell.
Of course, we could always close the windows against the noise 5 stories below. But if it was summer, with all the humidity coming off the bay, we’d roast like 2 suckling pigs in our own sweat even if we used a fan.
One night after a particularly grueling day at work, I came home, climbed Mount Everest (or at least K-2) to my steaming little abattoir, tore off my sports jacket, shirt, and tie, and fell into a coma-like sleep only to awake some 4 hours later to the sound of someone slamming a door, over and over, seemingly as hard as they could. It was about 2:00 am and raining so hard the water was pouring through the open window and flooding the floor and carpet. The sound was coming somewhere down the hall from one of the other units.
After about the 15th or 16th slam to my inner ear, I was up, as in a trance, running like a lunatic from unit to unit and window to window, covering the entire southside of the 5th floor; battening down the hatches, and getting drenched in the process. It was, how should I say: exhilaratingly infuriating. I was supposed to get up in 2 hours and commute to work in the upper peninsula.
Having unconsciously completed this Sisyphean task and realizing that there was zero chance of getting any sleep, I donned my foul weather gear, equipped my trusty baton (I used to tuck its 2 ½-foot length up my sleeve when running), and headed out the front door to Lake Merrit which was just outside the main entrance. From there, I trotted to the sidewalk circling the lake, and began to run.
As I ran counterclockwise against a torrential rain with a gale-force wind broken only by the occasional intermittent rainbow-hued lightning flashes which blinded me to almost everything around me, I almost ran into someone up ahead who was walking in the same direction.
He was hunched over against the wind and rain and wearing a long heavy winter coat. Unusual for that time of year, I thought. Whenever I would run in public, I always made it a courtesy to let people know when I was approaching especially from behind. I’d blurt out a perfunctory:
“Excuse me.” Followed by a conciliatory:
But apparently, the person ahead either didn’t hear me or didn’t care because, when I was about 6 feet from him, he suddenly turned around, exposing a darkened contorted face, jagged teeth, and a guttural growl that would have stopped a charging 600-pound Grizzly.
The sheer force of the malevolence emitted from this inhuman thing almost made me stop, but because I was moving so fast, the inertia along with the gale force wind and lightning strikes propelled me past him (or it), and fingering my steel-reinforced baton, I, in turn, steeled my nerve and kept running. I looked back only once to reassure myself that he (or it) wasn’t following.
Running on the leeward side now, with the rain at my back, I ran past a group of men in a circle smoking or drinking or doing whatever noxious or illicit thing I imagined, when, feeling charged with my own adrenalin, or the anger and resentment at that woman’s searing pleas for help, or the spook I’d almost run into, or just the gross injustices thrust upon the world in that dank, dark and dangerous time, I almost stopped, baton in hand, intending to take on the whole group: I may go down, I told myself, but at least I would take one or two with me.
Just then, the lightning struck particularly close to where I and they stood and the sheer blinding flash and concussive boom shook all of us enough to break up their conspiratorial collaboration and my righteous crusade; just enough, that is, to shove me headlong around the next bend, to the long straight full out dash to the front doors, the 5 floors, 10 landings, and 50 risers to rain-sodden home.
To get to work every day, I'd have to commute to the upper peninsula by using 3 buses, 1 train, and 1 cab and after a 10 or 12 or sometimes 14-hour day, I would have to take the same to get back. This meant that if I didn’t go out, make dinner, eat, or watch tv, I just might get about 4 hours sleep. Commuting took between 2 to 3 hours, one way.
Once on the way home, almost every stop was crowded with commuters. I was told that it was because there were so many buses down for repair. The ones still running were so filled beyond capacity, that the shocks and springs were sitting on the chassis, and stop after stop proved nearly impossible to take on any more passengers. Still, and despite the few getting out at every stop, the driver would take on even more and just pack them in.
I remember him yelling for people to get back behind the yellow line over and over. By then, he was long past any semblance of reason; his patience frayed to a single maniacal thought, his voice raspier and raspier, his manner, more and more brusk.
I can still see when he finally lost it; jumping up, out of his seat, with a nickel-plated 38 Caliber Revolver pointing at one of the passengers; an elderly woman, screaming from the top of his lungs:
“Get back behind the yellow line!”
I can still hear the woman begging the driver:
“Please...” while the passengers behind were practically trampling each other to get out of the line of fire.
I remember the sad, exhausted urgency in her voice; she really was trying to move back, but how could she, an old woman, do that with all those people blocking her way? Everyone knew this was an impossible task; everyone except the maddened driver. He just kept glaring, and bellowing with his gun out pointed right at her and the other passengers.
"Back up and make room" he yelled.
‘Or else what?’ I thought. ‘You're gonna kill an old woman?'
Getting up out of my seat, pushing my way through the throng who were pushing against me to get away, I managed to get within about 6 feet from the front when, roaring through the din and my fear and anger, I ordered the bus driver to:
“Put the gun down!” And again, with even more rage and authority:
“Put the gun down, now!”
The bus driver shocked that it might be a cop, or worse, shakily, put his gun back in his concealed carry holster and hypnotically sat back down. He resumed driving without saying another word. I got out at the next stop, along with the elderly woman. She was so shaken, that she busted out crying. I held her still fuming despite the close call because I would now have to wait for another bus and after that, 2 more; the train and a cab to get home. I wasn’t going to make it until well after 8:00 pm. As soon as I got home, I reported the bus number and the driver to Muni.
Many of the commuters I'd see day to day, or share a seat with were victims of the purge just trying to get out of the rain or the cold, or the wind, or the sun, even for just a little while. For them, it was easing the agony of living on the street, even just a little. For many of us regular commuters, during those dark times, it proved to be the same.
On one of the final buses that would take me to the train and across the bay, I remember standing, with about 50 others, on Market Street waiting. Like ours, stop after stop was so packed with people, some were standing in the street because there was simply not enough room on the sidewalk. The ones in the street would stay where they were for fear of losing their place and missing their connection and having to wait another hour, or more, to catch another.
Because the rapidly descending elevation of the southbound streets ending at Market Street from the upper peninsula were so steep and the transverse angle of the turn so sharp, some of the buses would skirt the edge of the curb, sometimes rolling up over it onto the sidewalk putting them dangerously close to the commuters waiting on the other side.
If there were any people in the street, especially the old or the infirm, they would either have to get out of the way and lose their place in line or hope the bus driver stopped before completing the turn. Most of the drivers would. Once there was one who didn’t.
I remember the television and newspaper account about an elderly woman waiting at one of the stops during the pm rush hour. When the bus made the oblique turn way too fast at 25 miles per hour she was either too close to the edge or standing in the street when she was hit by the side view mirror across the face and the left side of her head.
She went down under the wheels and her body got hung up under the chassis. The bus driver too full of passengers to stop, or late for his break, or just too coked up to notice, kept on heading for the Embarcadero before he realized something was wrong. By then, the woman had been dragged over a quarter of a mile. No one knew for sure whether the concussion from the mirror or the relentless dragging was the cause of death. I guess it didn’t matter to her anymore, one way or the other. It mattered to a lot of those who witnessed the whole thing though; screaming and yelling, block after block, trying to get the bus driver to stop.
To get across the Bay to San Francisco from Oakland or back, one alternative to the nightmare bus commute was the B.A.R.T (Bay Area Rapid Transit). It was quiet, clean, air-conditioned, and fast. Traveling under the Bay, it could span the 13 miles in minutes. Once I’d reach the train station, by bus, from the Oakland side, I’d descend one of the many street-level entries to the below-ground turnstiles which led to the train platform. Of course, there were always hundreds of derelicts, homeless, hustlers, etc., hanging out by the turnstiles waiting for their chance to slip through and get on any one of the many trains that serviced the Bay Area, but sometimes, especially after a scuffle with B.A.R.T. Security or the San Francisco/Oakland Police, they’d scatter to the winds (or the shadows as it were) until everything calmed down and then they'd be back at it again, day and night.
Almost every week I'd hear about someone falling, or being pushed, or jumping down onto the third rail, which would either short-circuit the line and knock out the power or if it was particularly grisly, halt service entirely. Because service resumption could take hours, waiting passengers would have to go back up and out onto the street and catch another train, take a cab or a bus or just walk or, as was often the case for me, run.
Once, I remember running to the next stop when I was ascending to the upper peninsula because the previous connection didn’t show up which meant it would have added another 45 minutes to my commute. The choice was obvious and inevitable: I could either
“wait to be late” or go for it. I chose the latter.
You just can't imagine what it’s like to run at a 20-degree angle uphill for about 2 miles while wearing dress slacks, dress shoes, a white shirt and tie, and a sports jacket, in San Francisco, during the summer, with the humidity until you’ve tried it. It’s, how should I say: exhilaratingly infuriating.
Running, I came upon a stand-alone, transmission shop, right in the middle of a residential area. The owners must have paid a pretty penny to get away with that one. There were police cars, the fire department, a metro ambulance, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a marked County Coroner’s Office vehicle scattered around the shop.
Some people along with some of the employees: their first names embroidered on their shirts, were standing on the sidewalk just outside the property watching. They’d been there for about an hour when I stopped to ask one of them (Bob) what happened.
Wearily he said:
“The girl who worked in the office answering the phone and typing up orders was shot to death by her boyfriend. The boyfriend got away but she was still down there being processed. God, she was only 24 years old. They’ll catch him, though. He hasn’t got a chance.”
'Nope,' I thought.
'In this town, I don’t expect he would.'
I was late again when I got home. Vaulting the 5 floors to reach our loft, I held my friend close, the entire night. She was ok with that. So was I.=
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2023.06.08 05:02 SunApprehensive2334 Wondering if LAT is the Solution
So, as a kid and teen, I could not wait until the day I got my own place and got to be an adult and lived my own life- had my apartment looking exactly how I wanted it, spent my time doing whatever I wanted, etc. My parents fought a lot and there was always a TV on, so I couldn't wait to have my own space and just have peace.
Being an adult wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, and I couldn't afford my own place while I was going to college even though I was working, too. I didn't move out of my parents house until I was 20. I spent a year bouncing around friends apartments and their parents houses, couch-surfing and trying to figure my life out. Then, due to faulty birth control, I found myself pregnant at 21, by a guy who had already dumped me. Awesome. Back to my parents house I went.
When my daughter was almost a year old, I ended up in a relationship with a coworker I had known and liked for a few years. He's a great guy. But we moved in together right away and struggled with our finances for years (him paying tons of child support for his kid while I hardly got any from my ex.)
It has been 15 years now. We are married, but didn't have kids together because we could barely afford the ones we brought into the relationship with us for a long time. It's been over a decade of messy blended family dynamics and exes decisions effecting our lives and driving us crazy, a house that doesn't fit us all. And for me? Chaos. So much chaos that I don't even know who I am outside of a wife and a mother.
For the past couple of years, I've looked at a messy kitchen and felt guilty for thinking "I would love it if I had my own kitchen." Or had to clean a bathroom and wished I didn't have to share that space, either.
Then last year, due to my husband's snoring issues, I moved into my own bedroom in the house. I painted it the way I wanted and bought all new bedding and put up shelves for my books. I was worried I would miss sleeping with him or regret losing out on being close to him... but it hasn't affected our relationship at all, and as for me? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I will never share a room with another person again. I didn't realize how badly I craved my own space until I was in here.
But now it's seeping into everything- there are nights I wish I could just curl up on the couch and watch a chick-flick without having someone else in the room with me, disruptive just by their very breath and popcorn munching. I want to read books without constant interruptions. I want to be able to sink into a bath directly after work without anyone asking me what we are doing for dinner. I want to be in control of my own time, like I've always dreamed of.
I'm very creative and introverted and I just wish I had my own space. I wish we were rich so we could buy two townhouses right next door, like Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter did for years. I'd love to get ready by myself in the morning and pop over to his place for a bite of toast and a kiss before heading off to work.
Now that the idea is lodged in my brain, it won't go away. I make half what my husband does, but I'm back in college currently.. I think I want the next phase of my life, after the kids launch, to be me earning enough money to have my own place and live near my sweet husband but not WITH him. I want to finally live the way 16 year old me always dreamed of. I want to have my space and my time, and the freedom to organize and decorate however I want without everyone else's stuff all over my house.
I will have to work hard and pitch this to my husband.. but he has been enjoying his own room, too, so maybe we can do this after all?
I mean, worst case scenario, we hate it and move back in together and we have a rental property. Right????
Tell me I'm not crazy please lol
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2023.06.08 04:45 IdleWildMoonChild Finishing a Basement - Help Please
TL;DR I think I need a contractor with basement experience.
The nitty gritty… I bought a flipped house with a “finished” basement with carpet. It flooded. I got a sump pump installed and bought flooring to actually finish it. The 3rd party company through Home Depot I paid to install the flooring wouldn’t put it down Bc it needs to be leveled. There are open spaces on the edge of my basement walls bc of the sump pump so I don’t think I can just pour self-leveling concrete so it’s not a DIY situation. I’d also like to add a bathroom and small kitchen down there. Any advice or tips are appreciated as I’m a woman living solo!
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2023.06.08 04:42 bjarme [TOMT][MOVIE] A young woman finds a job as a janitor in a restaurant while she dreams about becoming a chef. One day, when she thinks that she's alone, she starts cooking in the kitchen. Her boss catches her but recognizing her skill, he makes her a chef instead of reprimanding her.
Later the boss installs hidden cameras in the kitchen to try steal the woman's novel recipes.
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