The Holy Grail of Chocolate
2013.02.07 08:35 MyUsernameWasStolen The Holy Grail of Chocolate
Kinder Eggs Surprise are creamy chocolate eggs, which contains a small, yellow capsule. Inside this capsule there is a small toy. Kinder Eggs are, undoubtedly, the best chocolate candy on the market. It is made of 90% childhood memories, and 10% Heaven's Orgasm. **This page is dedicated to my lost Kinder Egg, which was horrifically consumed by my family members on the 6th of February, 2013. Kindy, you are sorely missed. R.I.P.**
2023.06.03 17:53 DawctorDawgs [Personal] Be gentler! And then be even gentler than that!
Some of the biggest changes I’ve seen take my place in my skin result from just simply being gentler / kinder to it.
This may seem obvious but I challenge you to think about if you’re being as gentle as you can. It’s a great rule of thumb for your entire body and brain!
Washing and drying my face? I’d use hot water, wash aggressively, and then scrub my face dry with a towel. I’ve had much better results using cold water and patting my face dry with a towel.
Using an exfoliant? I used to fucking SCRUB. Pretty unsurprisingly - terrible results. I stopped using an exfoliant for a while but then a couple months ago started again but VERY GENTLY. Results? Fantastic. My skin feels smooth and lovely.
This one’s harder but picking and popping and scraping. I have OCD and I let it manifest partly as just an insane amount of harmful, violent (by my gentle, lovely little face skin’s standards) self-grooming. Stopped doing that with enormous effort and plenty of time —> fantastic results.
Benzoyl peroxide? Tretinoin? Chemicals that are inherently more aggressive - I used to slather that shit on. I now know, often, less is more because you need to be gentle.
I feel like there’s more but I really just encourage people to be gentle with themselves. It’s easy to get frustrated and think that you can simply wash / scrub away your skin problems.
- mid-20s year old man who used to have bad (not terrible, but bad) acne that is now much better. To be clear, I noticed changes very directly in relation to the changes I made above. The entire time, Ive used the same three products below, so I know that being gentle played a huge role :)
Routine in morning and at night post shower - wash face with cold water. -Aveeno Daily face Moisturizer (SPF or not depending on time of day) -Almond Scrub Exfoliant (as needed) -5% B Peroxide spot treatment (as needed)
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2023.06.03 07:19 TheUltimateMinion628 Seeking Advice on Mindset
I'm a student in the process of getting diagnosed for ADHD (inattentive), but it feels like I have to hop through so many hoops in order to get any accommodations for school and standardized testing. Furthermore, I'm concerned that potentially being "gifted" is going to impact which accommodations I get simply because I can "function," instead of having enough of them to thrive at my full potential. Right now, it feels like my productivity is glass, and ADHD is an elephant on a stiletto balancing on top of it. I genuinely feel like I have done nothing of use with my life, and if I had to rate the past few days... they've all been 4/10 because I haven't been productive enough, despite being close to done with self-studying a course for credit by exam as well as setting up stuff in Linux. I also only have a "hyperfocus" once every 1-2 weeks, which makes me feel that my ADHD only has drawbacks.
Are there any healthy mindsets to adopt that can help with being kinder to myself? (I have a therapist, but I haven't seen them in a while because I forget to schedule appointments...ADHD moment D: ) Furthermore, is there a way to channel, or at least activate hyperfocus more? I'd also like some tips on how to live with ADHD as a student and in the professional world later on.
I also really want to gather resources to help people get diagnosed and be more aware of ADHD, as well as dispel any stigma that may be around it- feel free to link some resources too ;)
Thank you all so much,
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2023.06.03 04:08 sloanehoos My brother is visiting my parents for the first time since 2021, how do I support them?
My older brother very abruptly became antivaxx and a believer in qanon in 2020 and it is something that of course still hurts my family greatly, especially my parents. After about a year of trying, my parents became the only members of our immediate family that still maintained contact with him and tolerated him because they just cannot bring themselves to cut him out of their lives, to them that would be even more painful than putting up with his hate and abuse.
He moved to the US (my family lives in Canada) in 2021 and my parents haven’t seen him since then. I received this text from my mom today:
“FYI [Brother] is coming home for 2 days next week and we are going to have a bbq here on Thursday.
We have talked on phone 3 times in past 2 months. I am semi careful what I say but even things (in hind sight) that would have set him off, didn’t.
It’s weird to feel anxious over seeing a child I gave birth to and raised….”
In talking to my little brother, our older brother started to change over the last 9 months in that he started to be kinder to our parents and to little brother, and he very obviously feels lonely and isolated. I am concerned that any kindness he shows via phone or text is insincere because he is simply feeling lonely as a result of pushing the entire rest of our family and most of his friends away with his abuse, and that when in the comfort of our parents home, especially over 2 days, he will return to screaming at them and calling them names and hurting them.
I also now live in the US so I can’t be there to help, and I’m concerned because I don’t trust his intentions and I feel helpless as I cannot be there to stand up to him and protect our parents. This hurts them so much and they show him nothing but kindness.
I don’t know what the best thing for me to do is. I don’t know how best to help and support my family. I could use any advice
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2023.06.02 15:57 traumatized90skid I'm disillusioned by many of my former special interests...
I don't like that many of the things I enjoy as art, even many things that had a positive impact on my development, are tainted by abuses and crimes of the creators behind it, or abuse of people was directly involved in the making of it. I feel sad because the list of "ruined childhood" stuff I have includes what I consider to be some of the best music and writing.
But I can't ignore the abuse that happened and that makes it uncomfortable for me to enjoy.
Now many things are simply “ruined” for me, as in, the creator’s words or actions have been so dispicable as to taint my memory of, and enjoyment of, the thing I enjoyed as a kid.
I’m including jr. high and high school even though for much of that, I felt mature for my age mentally.
Anime & Manga: Rurouni Kenshin (manga’s creator was a pedophile)
Cartoons: Rick and Morty's Justin Roiland is a domestic abuser.
- TV Shows: Nickelodeon, especially the sliming and the gags in shows like All That, are now sus to me since I know that at that time Nickelodeon was under the influence of a pedo producer.
- Movies: Anything produced or promoted by Harvey Weinstein or written by/directed by/ starring “canceled” people like Woody Allen. I don't just mean canceled as in "one crazy person got mad on Twitter about some random bullshit" but no I mean when they actually hurt people.
- Also, I know that many movies I love tortured the actors, especially Stanley Kubrick, who is still one of my favorite directors, perhaps even THE favorite.
- R. Kelly. (Love the music, can’t stand hearing it now thinking about his victims.)
- Many famous musicians committed intimate partner violence and were abusive as partners. John Lennon is probably the one who broke my heart the most, but I like that he made a song apologizing (Woman).
- David Bowie is one of my favorite musicians but he had some sort of relationship with a teenage girl. It may have been a brief blip in a long career for him, but I could see her as a Penny Carson type of thing, and even that much turns my stomach.
- Elvis married a teenager, but you could argue social norms about marriage were different then. But still it makes me feel icky.
- Eric Clapton's racist rant about wanting to kick out all immigrants which was the inspiration for the "against the wall" part in The Wall by Pink Floyd. Idk I imagined that it was recreating a real Nazi rally, not simply re-stating and exaggerating for shock value what a beloved mainstream musician actually said.
- The fucking racism in the music industry - another reason I can't really enjoy Elvis music anymore, knowing he stole his shit from black people who were incredibly talented and didn't get the pay and recognition they deserved for their contributions to music history that were stolen.
- Kanye West. Dear gods...
- Harry Potter - victim of the author’s inability to leave trans people alone.
- Orson Scott Card was also a Mormon and anti-gay marriage, but that incident looks quaint compared to current controversies, but it does make me a bit uncomfortable to support someone who thinks my relationship ought to be illegal.
- Brandon Sanderson being a Mormon makes me uncomfortable as well. I do have ex-Mormon friends, but I also have an aunt who is currently a Mormon. I don't see them as all bad but I don't enjoy supporting anyone financially if they in turn give a large portion of that income to an actively anti-LGBTQ religion.
- Stonedrug comedy: now that marijuana is legal, and I've experienced it, and I know what many drugs are like from research, I know that a lot of that stuff is extremely inaccurate, making me unable to enjoy the “comedy” of it.
- Sex comedy: mostly hasn’t aged well. Has a lot of trivializing rape and sexual assault, cross-dressing as a punch line per se, etc. Stalking and using aggressive, some might even say terrorist/criminal, methods of "getting laid" in 80s comedies was all "good fun" and I cannot. Those are sex crimes.
- Video Games: Ugh… Literally where to even start?
- Japanese culture: I used to idolize a culture that's actually very xenophobic, sexist, and they did war crimes they refuse to own up to.
- American culture: ditto. It's also the most arrogant country in the world and I hate how Americans are always putting down other cultures without knowing shit about them.
Why are they ruined?
- Empathy for living victims. If there’s no living victims of someone anymore, or if they’re already dead, I’m a bit kinder to them (Tolkien, Kipling, etc.). But when I know that there are real people whose lives have been ruined or who have been hurt badly by a certain content creator, I cannot in good conscience enjoy the content anymore. And it ruins it for me to always be thinking about the suffering of the victims.
- Concern for the impact of the author's influence. If a person who's not very influential says some dumb Nazi bullshit, it won't have the same impact as a famous and well-admired person doing the same. This is also why I care more about living creators.
Sorry it's just so frustrating and it makes me too upset to even like new shows. It's hard for me to get into new things.
Like it feels like I should just give up. Everything betrays you and the world is full of shocking amounts of abuse and violence. Idk how to even live with this sometimes...
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2023.06.02 12:37 Raelanie Low point pre-packaged single serving foods/snacks?
Edit: Thank you all so much for the wonderful suggestions. I really appreciate them. I also wanted to say thank you for the kindness that was shown to me and the well wishes I received. Much love. 🖤
Summary: does anyone have any recommendations on a single-serve pre-packaged options that maybe don't obliterate my points? Salads, veggie trays, and preferably something with protein as well.
Hi all. It should be preferenced that I have depression and ADHD, and I'm struggling pretty badly with both. I'm trying to fight back by being healthier and changing the way I eat, so I joined WW to help.
I've been in almost a permanent "frozen" state with regard to making meals for almost a year. It's something I'm working on, but I'm learning to be kinder to myself and simply meet myself where I am rather than punish myself for where I'm not. (I am also seeing a psychiatrist and therapist regularly - just wanted to mention to curb any concern!)
Adult "lunchables" (meat, cheese, some sort of cracker) and single serving vegetable trays have been my go-to recently. Also, the pre-packaged salads have also been something I've been relying on as of late. However, some of these pack quite a punch with regard to points. The "lunchables" are like 14 points and prepackaged salads aren't far behind either. For the salads, I'm assuming this is because I tend to gravitate towards the "southwestern" style and this has cheese (like the lunchables), and perhaps the dressing adds to it as well(?).
Question is: does anyone have any recommendations on a single-serve pre-packaged options that maybe don't obliterate my points? Salads, veggie trays, and preferably something with protein as well.
Thanks so much 🖤
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2023.06.02 10:01 Saladin19 CMV: entourage series is racist, homophobic and sexist
So I recently started watching entourage again I had seen it before 8 years ago and was shocked at how abrasive they are with racism , homophobia and sexism.
It’s almost embarrassing let’s take a further look
Sexism - you hardly ever see women talking with other woman it’s almost entirely like their roles are simply made for the purpose of men
- the constant rating of women and their sexual appearance
- ari gold has a wife who is fairly significant in the series doesn’t even have a name! In 8 seasons
- all characters from foreign counties (israeli, German) are always portrayed as crazy and ridiculous
Homophobia - this is the biggest in the show
- at first I thought it was just ari gold who was abrasive
- but this minority is almost hated in the show it’s like the writers are actually homophobic so much even the milder and kinder characters make remarks such as no PDA if your gay
- it’s like every character on the series hates gay people
To me it seems purposeful and not ignorant it seems it’s more than just a reflection of the times but rather an attack on minorities especially gay men. (I think they get it the worst on the series)
Will be very hard to change my view but would love to hear arguments
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2023.06.02 08:48 NunyaBizness1982 AITA For purposefully being nice just to make my older sister look bad?
Back story: I (30-somethingF) and my sister (40-something) had drastically different upbringings while living in the same house. My whole childhood and teen years were rough due to my dad treating me like garbage, while my older sister could do know wrong. It was a stereotypical golden-child vs. scapegoat child situation that was only made worse by my toxic dad instigating situations. An example would be every Christmas he would ask us for lists. My sister received everything on her list. My gifts consisted of every item being slightly off but still in the realm of what I asked for, like when we both asked for fleece jackets but in different colors. My sister received exactly what she wanted and I got a fleece zip up vest in a puke brown color. Then when I would ask him about it in private later he would purposefully chastise me very loudly and call me selfish. Another example of repeated behavior is when we were older and our childhood items were given to us in a box each. A couple hours later my sisters would magically disappear and without even looking, he would launch into me and say, “You took her stuff and hid it. You’re so selfish and so jealous of your sister.” The very next day while putting his laundry away that I was forced to do as a punishment, I found the box in the corner of his room with clothes covering it. I confronted him and he didn’t deny it, nor he did he fess up to it. He simply said (exact quote), “it’s my word over yours. Who would believe you?” It is random repeated behavior like this from my father that confused me so much and hurt so bad. He once went so far as to say to me privately “F.O. And D” and then when I told my ex-stop mom, he adamantly denied it and said “You know how she lies for attention.” Then ground me as retaliation. My sister started to take on these traits too and was awful to me growing up. She actively enjoyed watching me get into trouble or make friends with my friends, then bad mouth me which made my friends not like me. It was awful. When you are repeatedly called stupid, selfish, a liar, and won’t amount to anything, you start to believe it. I wanted to prove them wrong and be the furthest thing from who they were and who they accused me of being. Once I was old enough and left, I was able to go to therapy. I described my home life as a kid and teen and the therapist said “I can’t diagnose your dad because he isn’t right in front of me, but it does seem like the very stereotype of a family dynamic with a parent that has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPC.” She said this several years back before that term was thrown around so easily and the concept incredibly popular. She gave me a lot of things to read about it and it was scary how much of a 101 case I grew up with. It felt like if there was ever a book with the definition, my dads face would be the picture right next to it. He had all the traits; never faithful to any partner, had a golden child and scapegoat child, only had friends for a short time until they no longer served their purpose in his life, gaslight, love bombed, enjoyed chaos while stated he hated drama, was incredibly charming, a high functioning alcoholic, etc etc etc. I could go on, but you get it. Through therapy and to my surprised, I was diagnosed with c-ptsd and unfortunately still struggle with triggers today. So there is the back story. My father passed away in 2015 and after a year, my sister and I started to get along due to my father no longer instigating stuff. This is something my sister will never admit to. Through this, I realized it was my chance to make her feel so much guilt by being extra nice to her. Along with me being extra nice to her, it became salt in a wound because my life was thriving and happy, and hers was crap. I know it upset her because she slipped up once and in the heat of emotion she said “It’s not fair, I’m the one that deserves the better life.” I know I should feel bad for her struggle but I didn’t and I still don’t. I continued to be so nice to her while she continued to have a crappy life and I was even kinder and nice to her in front of family and friends. I knew she talked to much crap about me to them, that my actions of being nice just made her look bad and people stopped listening to her. Here is where I might be the a$$hole; Our relationship now is very good, but on the side I continue my ultra niceness and relish in people noticing her lack of accountability and selfishness. I actively enjoy all of her misfortunes. I enjoy seeing the look on her face when she doesn’t get what she wants and I do. I call it karma. I dealt with crap up until my dad died. My life is fantastic and the only part of me that is awful is when I delight in her true colors coming out and her getting the short end of the stick. We aren’t kids anymore and I know that I should have outgrown this, but I don’t care. With how disgusting she treated me, she 1000% deserves not just my distain, but she truly deserves everything negative in her life and everything that will happen to her that is negative. On my end, this is a cruel way to think, and manipulative in my niceness. The thing that makes me feel that I am justified is the nicer that I am to her, the more good things happen in my life, despite the niceness not always being genuine. DON’T GET ME WRONG, my niceness is only 30-40% fake because we do have a better relationship now, but that 30-40% feels good to make her look so bad and in turn watch her life become crap due to her looking bad. So, AITA? Am I justified? Or do I need a reality check for becoming what I said I wouldn’t be? Thank you for reading!
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2023.06.02 02:08 Delicious_Attorney_5 Being conventionally attractive and having late- diagnosed and low support autism is hell
I don’t care if no one reads this. It’s long as hell. May or may not be controversial and my perception may be extremely skewed but i needed to get this off my chest.
I’m only surrounded by neurotypical people who I constantly have to mask for but would never consider accommodating me.
I’m 22(f) and got diagnosed when I was 20 and along with getting an adhd diagnosis. So basically I went my whole life being so clueless about why everyone was acting like “that” and I couldn’t get on board. I wasn’t even aware that that was happening. I was super depressed, I isolated myself and I was always getting in trouble in school and friendships without understanding why. I got called lazy or dumb my whole life and believed it, only to finally get diagnosed and medicated at 20 and realizing I’m really smart, creative, driven and capable.
I would consider myself conventionally attractive. Never had a problem picking up guys and usually I get along better with them since my tism doesn’t allow me to understand womens complex social dynamics. Guys are just a lot more simple (no offense), a lot easier to understand and interact with. Usually they’re more detached and require a lot less, if not any emotional connection which can be very hard for me to outwardly express. They have less expectations than women and it doesn’t take a lot for them to accept you as a friend. Anyways picking up guys was easy, getting them not to run away because they found out I’m weird was not. I literally could not understand why guys would hit on me, talk to me for a week then go ghost.
As with most autistic people, especially women I believe, after facing all this rejection I realized I could just put on a mask. I could see what mannerisms invoked positive reactions in others and adopt them for myself. It was exhausting and I had no sense of self or identity but it worked and it made everything more tolerable. Everything was based on survival and approval and even then i was fucking bad at getting that.
My tism went completely under the raider because I was conventionally attractive girl who learned to mask to survive. I don’t even think a majority of doctors or psychiatrist ever think to consider it because they can only spot it when it’s blatantly obvious. (Sorry if that’s offensive not trying to be)
Almost 3 years now of having my diagnosis and learning more about autism, seeing how it’s impacted me and connecting the dots and it still feels like shit.
This sounds so cringy and I’m not hear to boast about my “pretty privilege”, I am speaking about this more objectively. Pretty privilege is absolutely real and I believe people are kinder to me because of how I look. I’ve used this to my advantage and used it as a commodity. Always made sure I looked good. I wanted the social approval and it felt nice to get approval for a part of you that’s authentic, even if it’s your body/vessel, rather than the mask you put on daily.
Now, if I started telling people I’m autistic, they’d flip a switch. I work with 2 kids who have more high support autism. I see my coworkers infantilize them, giggle and laugh at them, they have no patience for them and often dismiss them, constantly talk about how annoying they are and they most definitely believe they’re naive and easy to control. Not that they would take advantage, they’d feel bad to do that and all my coworkers have good intentions. I don’t think they’re trying to do anything harmful. It does seem almost as they view them as unimportant. They’re living in their own world and everyone else is living in there’s. They don’t think they have anything important to say because they can’t understand the things that are important to them. Having Autism is so fucking isolating and it sucks.
On top of having the issues from the disability itself, the stigma, lack of awareness and lack of compassion many neurotypicalls have towards autistic people is the icing on the cake. I’m scared people might find out I’m autistic and start treating me like they treat my coworkers. I want to tell everyone I’m autistic so I can explain to them that I’m not questioning their authority when I ask why something is the way it is, I just want to understand, even if I have every intention on completing the task. Or maybe I’m not angry or upset and I actually feel good, but I don’t have the mental capacity to fake an expression of enthusiasm because my piers don’t understand my facial expressions. Or maybe that just because I have a monotone voice and I don’t display a lot of emotion doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone or that I don’t enjoy social interactions. I feel like everyone else is the autistic ones.
If i dissociate during a confrontation or a situation that triggers uncomfortable emotions, I’m not trying to be rude or challenging. I simply cannot get back inside my body and you’re making it worse by reprimanding me for it.
If the clicking noise from the machine or the way the fan taps against the unleveled floor when it’s on is making me want to peel my skin off to the point where I need to cover ears, become agitated or step out, everyone doesn’t go “what?? Seriously? That doesn’t bother me”
So I just have to keep apologizing for accidentally letting who I actually am slip through. I have to allow people to categorize things that I’m challenged with as “quirky”. I have to hide who I am so other people will interact with me and I like who I am. I have to tiptoe around and prepare myself for every potential interaction and then revise those interaction over and over again to make sure I didn’t say or do anything that can warrant social rejection. Either that or I tell people. I can tell people and they will project their own ideas of what autism should look like on to me. They’ll observe me and try to pinpoint the ways I’m not autistic enough or what behaviors of mine are likely to be because of the autism. When you try to explain the literal reason you do certain things is because of autism, they’ll tell you it’s an excuse and double down on unrealistic expectations. They’ll put you in a box and think they understand you. If you ask for understanding or accommodations they’ll equate that as you incapable and knock you down when you try to show you are. They’ll assume that just because you want to be somewhere less noisy or that you have trouble dealing with confrontation, you can’t do anything else. If a nuerotypical can easily handle these things how do they expect that an autistic person can handle anything more. Pfft autistic people aren’t capable, they’re helpless clueless people who are a liability to neurotypicalls. They’re only nice to them because through their lens of judgment, they pitty them. They’re simply cast aside and tolerated.
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2023.06.02 01:09 Captain-PacMan My rewrite of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania; Part 1
This rewrite does contain spoilers for Ant-Man 3 so I’d recommend seeing the film before reading this post. This reimagining aims to polish the film while also setting up some major antagonists for the future. I understand that some of these decisions may have been impossible or unlikely at the time and that I have the benefit of hindsight, but this is simply a reimagining. This is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
One significant change to the film is M.O.D.O.K. I think that having Darren Cross/Corey Stoll be M.O.D.O.K was creative, but he wasn’t M.O.D.O.K. The design was definitely wrong and missed the point of M.O.D.O.K. I also found it weird that this M.O.D.O.K was once Yellowjacket, it’s like Justin Hammer coming back as Doctor Doom. I’d replace Darren Cross/Corey Stoll with George Tarleton/Rainn Wilson, that way M.O.D.O.K is his own character and not a repeat. Not only would Rainn Wilson make a great Tarleton, he’d be able to make the facial expressions M.O.D.O.K has. Picture the proportions of M.O.D.O.K from Quantumania with Rainn Wilson’s face stretched and exaggerated with darkness around his eyes and no pupils, a bowl cut of brown hair, armor on his limbs similar in thickness to War Machine, and a robotic-human voice changer. That’s this film’s M.O.D.O.K.
The film begins with M.O.D.O.K narrating a speech about the power of science. As he speaks: we see an army of armored yellow soldiers lining up and preparing weapons, and a shadowed figure sitting on a throne. After M.O.D.O.K finishes his speech, the title card reads; Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
After the title card cuts to black, we see two ants on the sidewalk carrying crumbs. The two ants are then blown away by a massive gust of wind. Barreling down the San Francisco streets is a green twister being chased by the police. This green twister is of course Whirlwind, played by Seann William Scott. He just robbed a bank and is making a getaway. He throws down some caltrops and causes a massive crash. Just when he thinks he’s in the wind, Ant-Man and the Wasp arrive. We get a good fight scene between them where Scott and Hope have to be creative because of Whirlwind’s powers. The ants just get blown away and Scott can’t disarm the suit, like he did with Iron Man, because Whirlwind’s powers don’t come from the suit. Whirlwind battles Ant-Man and Wasp with saw blades he can throw like shurikens, but they win the fight using Pym Discs. Whirlwind is brought into custody and our heroes are praised.
We then find out where our characters are after the events of Endgame. Scott Lang is fully committed to being an Avenger and father, Hope van Dyne created the Pym van Dyne Foundation to help the world with the use of Pym Particles, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne are retired, and Cassie Lang is attending San Francisco State University. After the events of Endgame, Cassie convinced Maggie and Jim to take a vacation to take their minds off things and so that Scott and Cassie could catch up. Cassie is doing well in school, but she often gets in trouble for various “vigilante” activities.
Scott and Hope talk with Cassie, and ask why she’s willingly getting into trouble. Unlike in the original film, Cassie is kinder and is actually conflicted with getting into trouble. She claims that she wants to be a hero, just like her parents. This builds up the idea that Cassie sees Hope as a second mother, which will progress throughout the film. Later on; Scott, Hope, and Cassie visit Hank and Janet for dinner at the Pym House. There’s a fun dinner scene, similar to the one in Black Widow. We then find out that Hank has created a new device, one that can allow people to travel to and from the Quantum Realm. Scott claims that Hank is petty because Tony Stark used the Pym Particles to create time travel, Hank replies with: “Scott…You’re full of $#•+”. The family starts to discuss the significance of this invention and the consequences it can have, and during the argument, a massive explosion is created in the room. The Lang-Pym family is okay, but there are two armored yellow soldiers standing in the rubble.
The armored soldiers resemble bee keepers, but their suits are metal and they have masks made of black screens. The soldiers are looking for something within the rubble, giving Scott and Hope enough time to suit up. Ant-Man and Wasp try to fight them, but their suits are able to constantly track them no matter their size. Scott is hit with a purple goo grenade and Hope is frozen in orange ice from a blaster. The soldiers get away with the device, teleporting out of nowhere.
As our protagonists recuperate they discuss what happened. Janet says she felt a strange pulse before and after the soldiers arrived and left, believing it could be related to the Quantum Realm. Hank noticed that the soldiers didn’t shrink or grow via Pym Particles, so they’re dealing with something new here. Cassie convinces all of them to travel to the Quantum Realm in search of answers, but they have no safe way of traveling there. That’s when Hank reveals a prototype inspired by his stolen invention, wrist mounted devices which allow travel to the Quantum Realm. Our heroes then prepare to voyage to the Quantum Realm.
That was Part 1 of my Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania rewrite. I’m open to opinions and I’d like the feedback so far. Let me know what you think and if you’d be interested in a Part 2.
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2023.05.31 20:36 In_Yellow_Clad Corsair's Delight
A/N: This is for sure just going to be a one shot. Just a random idea that popped into my head, hope you all enjoy.
-- -- -- -- -- -- --
The Vhel-Turi had come to our world and left it in ruin. Our peaceful world burned to cinders to drive us away from it. We had tried again and again to get them to leave us alone, but all our attempts had failed. Even our mightiest ships had been unable to stop the war machine of the Vhel-Turi, nor slow their slave fleets. And that’s what this was, a slave collection campaign, taking an entire species and breaking their will. Stripping our culture, our identity and then selling us off to the highest bidder.
It had happened to countless species before us, those too weak to properly defend themselves. It certainly did not help our odds that the Vhel-Turi would take the technology of those they conquered and improve upon the designs, incorporating it all into their own tech. It only made them stronger and stronger, while we grew weaker and more stagnant. Only a few species had ever managed to repel these savages, some had not even been targeted in the first place, their power unmatched and so fighting them would lead only to defeat.
I was the captain of a hastily put together flotilla, a flotilla comprised of colony ships and civilian vessels of all shapes, models and sizes. Around us was an escort fleet, the last of our battered and broken navy. We knew the enemy was right behind us, this is how it had all played out before. They would burn our worlds, force us to gather all our populace in one fleet and then strike, snatching us all up in one fell swoop. Some species had avoided this outcome, like humanity.
Humanity…. They were our only hope at this time. They had faced the wrath of the Vhel-Turi and emerged victorious, even after losing twenty of their worlds. So incensed by the atrocities the Vhel-Turi had inflicted upon them, they would surely have glassed every last world they came across in retaliation, and it was only the Galactic Councils warning that they would be expelled from the federation if they did so that got them to settle for ‘reparations’ and the return of any enslaved humans.
Of course, the council forgot that humans tend to hold grudges.Since they couldn’t counter-conquer the Vhel-Turi, they did the next best thing. They made their lives a living hell in the form of constant pirate raids. Or as the humans called it, privateering. Paid pirates in service to the state, striking only where the state wished. And human pirates are a terror to behold. Not every human pirate wanted to leash themselves to the government they chafed under of course, so running into them was always a gamble. You never really knew what kind of human pirates you were encountering.
Which was why I was currently hoping that even though we had just entered pirate controlled territory, we would not meet any of them at all. It would be better to be chased into the welcome arms of the Human navy than run afoul of pirates. I watched as the approaching fleet of Vhel-Turi warships grew ever closer on my sensor screens, chewing my bottom lip as we passed into dangerous waters, so to speak.
I did not know it at the time, but we were already being watched.
– – – – – –
Commodore Victoria Annabelle Juliet Higgens, or rather just Higgens, sat upon the ornate throne on the bridge of her pride and joy, Corsair’s Delight, and looked over the readings she was being shown. It was quite the fleet that breached their borders, but it was mostly civilian ships. Lots and lots of civilians, too many actually. Her one organic eye narrowed as she looked over the readings. The few military ships were limping along, barely holding themselves together and would be easily dealt with once she gave the order to strike.
But something didn’t sit right with her, no civilian fleet, even with military escort would have willingly entered this region of space, not unless they were desperate. Which meant something terrible was following them to drive them into a place like this. Which also meant she needed to know more.
“Mr. Powell, I want a detailed scan of one of those ships. I wish to know who they belong to.” Her voice was clear as day as it rolled across the bridge, and the scruffy looking man at the scanners nodded.
“Aye aye, Commodore.” He said, voice scratchy and quite fitting for his appearance. There was silence for a time, the only sounds were the gentle hum of the engines or the soft beeping of consoles. “Ships identified, sending your way ma’am.”
“Thank you, Mr. Powell.” She said, tilting her gaze downwards at the screens as the requested information was delivered. The brow over her cybernetic implant rose considerably, before her brow furrowed as she connected the name of the species with recent happenings.
Her target was a Sulair merchant ship, the Sulair being a strange hybrid of beaver and otter. Not really of course, but that is what they most closely resembled to humanity. A peaceful sort, always on good terms with humanity as well, seeing as just about every human being in existence found them awfully cute. It didn’t help that they were half the average height of a human either.
But what made her brow furrow was just what was happening to them. It was no secret that the Vhel-Turi were on the move again, but their targets were unknown at this time. They were always careful to block any and all communications out of an area while they were attacking, so no calls for help were ever received. One day your friends amongst the stars simply ceased talking, and existing in their original form. And they would surely be interested in keeping the Sulair silent, as they had many, many mutual defense treaties with the Republic that would see humanity entering into war with the Vhel-Turi once more, something those savages most certainly wished to avoid.
But she couldn’t base her next move off a mere assumption, she needed proof, even as she felt righteous anger starting to rise in her gut.
A clawed metal finger tapped lightly on the arm of her throne and she glanced up at the black screen filled with stars on the wall opposite her.
“Mr. Powell, please run a detailed scan of the battle damage, give me a name.”
“Aye aye.” He said, hunching over yet again. It didn’t take long for him to get an answer, and it caused a hint of anger to enter his voice. “Vhel-Turi weapon signatures confirmed.”
Well that settled it. She felt her cheeks flush with rage even as she kept her outward appearance neutral. But that didn’t stop the grin of malicious glee from spreading over her lips. Standing, slowly, she braced herself upon a cane that was nearly as ornate as her throne. Her robotic hand smoothed out her coat and she rapped the end of the cane against the deck, drawing the attention of the entire bridge crew.
“Then let it be known, we sail into battle with our most despised foe. Disseminate these orders to the battle group. Protect the civilian fleet at all costs, destroy the Vhel-Turi and plunder their ill gotten wealth. Show no quarter!” Her voice boomed, and she could see her crew was growing all the more excited with every word. “Spool up the FTL, all hands to battlestations! Jump on my mark! FOR GLORY AND PLUNDER!” Her voice rattled the room, making the deck vibrate beneath their feet. But it was quickly drowned out by the deafening cheer that arose from every soul aboard her ship and those under her command.
As one they turned and assumed battle formation, before they leapt into the stars and towards a most glorious battle indeed.
– – – – – –
“Captain! The Keltri’s Fury just went down!” My sensor officer reported, sending another wave of hopelessness through us. That was the fifth military escort we’d just lost since the Vhel-Turi Subjugation Force had arrived. We only had three more escorts left and already the enemy was taking shots at the engines of the civilian ships. We were doomed, there was no hope left and all I could wish for was a kinder fate for my family than most would get. I was very nearly about to order a surrender when the same officer spoke up.
“New contacts! Dead ahead…. Humans sir!” He sounded excited, hope returning to his voice even as it swelled within my own breast.I stood, my broad, flat tail thumping the deck as it typically did when I was about to give an order.
“Hail them immediately!” I practically yell, my voice cracking in a way I just knew those humans would adore.
“We can’t, the Vhel-Turi are still jamming our communications and-” He paused, watching as the jamming cleared up thanks to counter-jamming from the human ship. “Scratch that, comms are clear and we’re being hailed already.”
I thumped my tail again, and that was the cue to put the human on the screen. I expected the well maintained and pressed uniform of a human naval officer, instead I came face to face with what was clearly a pirate. An intimidating one at that.
The woman's face was damn near perfectly symmetrical, were it not for the large, bulky augmentation over where her left eye should have been, the lens of the cyber-eye glowing a dull red. She wore her mostly black but streaked through with red hair in a very long but also high ponytail, and her right arm was replaced with a wicked looking black cybernetic, the clawed fingers were done in gold and it looked like it could easily peel off the armor of a Vhel-Turi Berserker.
What was perhaps most striking was her garb, she wore a long coat, colored mostly black though with golden accents, a series of blood red sashes strewn over her chest. Her presumably still organic left hand was covered by a black glove and it clutched a cane, upon which she leaned. All in all, she looked professional, even for a pirate.
“I am Commodore Victoria Higgens of the Corsair’s Delight. It appears you are in dire need of assistance. We are here to provide said assistance.” She said, and I blinked. Pirates did not render aid, and privateers wouldn’t either, unless ordered to. So clearly they would be extracting some sort of price from us later, once the fighting was over.
It was better than slavery though, I was certain we could pay any price when the bill was due.
“I am Captain Evun Oridaa of the Sulair Merchant Vessel Perock. We are indeed in need of dire assistance, anything you can provide us will be deeply appreciated. The Vhel-Turi had destroyed our homeworld, we’re all that’s left of our species! Please help us!” I plead, and I expected some sense of satisfaction from the human, instead all I see from her is a cold anger. An anger that was not directed at me.
“Help is on the way, push your engines as much as you c-fzzzt-an. Do not engage Vhe-crrzt-uri ships.” Her voice was distorted as the Vhel-Turi switched up their jamming, and soon the link was broken. But that didn’t matter, our cries for help had been heard and help was on the way.
I watched as the Corsair’s Delight went from an unknown designation in our sensors to that of a friendly, then another appeared beside it, then another and another, till there were at least fifty pirate vessels moving in perfect formation around their flagship.I did not feel quite as hopeless now that they were here, but the battle would be hard fought indeed.The jamming was cut through yet again, all of our ships given a single order.
We did just that, pushing our engines as hard as they could, disengaging safety limiters and risking overloads just to obey that order. We watched as the far larger Vhel-Turi fleet closed the distance, and then we got front row seats to the chaos that unfolded.
It looked, at first, like a completely disorganized mess. Our ships detected the humans running quick yet highly detailed scans of the enemy ships, lifesigns scans at that, as though hunting for our missing people. Some unseen hand linked us into their tactical net and in doing so provided us with minimal comms. We could only receive, not broadcast.
“Sulair lifesigns detected on twenty enemy ships. Boarding crews prepare for combat, man the harpoons and standby for intrasystem FTL jumps.”
“This is Poseidon’s Scorn, targets acquired and locked in. Red Sea and Tainted Horror, form up on us, load the broadsides! All ahead full!”
“Sanguine King, launching all fighters and boarding craft. Main batteries online, preparing for salvo fire.”
“Uncultured Swine and support group preparing for FTL ramming maneuvers, all hands brace brace brace!”
And finally there was the voice I had been waiting for, holding my breath without even realizing. I dreaded to think of the chaos these humans would sow, but they were outnumbered by a full one hundred and fifty ships, many of which were far larger than anything the pirate fleet had at their disposal.
“This is the Commodore. All ships, show them no quarter. Engage at will! FOR GLORY AND PLUNDER!”
And just like that, ship contacts on sensors blipped out of existence, only to reappear within the enemy formations. It was instant chaos, and I was glad our few remaining military escorts had launched some drones to observe these brave humans.
What we saw wasn’t bravery, but a whirlwind of rage fueled insanity. Three human destroyer sized ships dropped out of FTL, screaming straight for a Vhel-Turi battleship. Their armored prows taking hit after hit from the Vhel-Turi main guns and shrugging them off like it was nothing, before plowing into the much larger ship in perfect unison. Metal twisted and shattered, the savage hull of the battleship buckling under the combined strain of not one but three ships ramming it at the same time. Such was the force of the impact that the three ships pushed it screaming into another, their broadside weaponry pounding at anything they could easily target just to add insult to injury.
From another group of human ships swarmed rickety looking snub nose fighter craft descended upon the far more put together fighter craft of the Vhel-Turi, tearing them to shreds with crude kinetic and laser weaponry. Cluster missiles streaked from the wings and split apart, taking down entire squadrons in a shingle shot.
And the rest of them? The rest were sailing in circles around their targets, pounding away with their broadsides while others separated the mighty Vhel-Turi capital ships from their support craft, destroying them through the use of hunting packs. We watched as several human ships were gutted, as they were civilian craft that had been refitted to serve as gunboats. We watched in awe as ships would disable certain craft by destroying their propulsion and taking out the weapons, only to fire thick cabled harpoons into the hull, drawing them in for hard docking.
We couldn’t see what happened next with those ships, but we could hear the sounds of gunfire and the screeching of the reptilian Vhel-Turi as their ships were boarded, human pirates, most of which were ex-military, sweeping through in kill teams. Then came a most glorious message.
“Slave pens located, beginning extraction. All other teams, prepare to scuttle the ships, leave nothing behind.” The voice was cool and collected, but even I could hear the disgust for these savages in their voice. At least our people were being rescued, that was all that mattered.
The battle, if you could even call it that, lasted for an hour. In that time, of the fifty pirate vessels that came to our aid, sixteen were lost. As for the Vhel-Turi, they lost well over one hundred and twelve ships, fleeing as the last of their slaves were reclaimed. When it was over, any pirate vessel not bearing our people picked over the broken hulks, executing any survivors with extreme prejudice. It was cruel and against the law, but they were pirates, and pirates simply don’t care about the law.
Still, I felt no sympathy as I watched them depressurize escape pods. No sympathy at all. With our people returned, we were escorted by those that remained to the nearest human controlled station, one with a heavy military presence. Before the human navy could respond to the pirates, our saviors had all jumped away, leaving us in the care of the military. Naturally we were well taken care of, but us captains that had survived the exodus were debriefed about the nature of our saviors.
They didn’t reveal much, not even after everything we told them. But as the last officer stood and made to leave, I stopped them with an earnest question.
“Who exactly rescued us? Are they privateers?” I asked, and the man shook their head slowly.
“No… no they are not. They’re proper pirates. You’re lucky you weren’t targeted after the battle.” He said, and left me to stew with that little bit of information. Weeks later, I would oversee the re-colonization of my species on several uninhabited planets within human territory, planets and systems they could afford to lose were now ours. It was a generous gift indeed, though we would be sure to repay them for the kindness they had shown, when we could.
And I’ve decided, though they were pirates, we shall never forget the actions of the Corsair’s Delight and her captain.
– – – – – –
The officer that had interviewed Captain Evun stepped into his quarters aboard the battleship Cain, settling into a comfortable chair and pulling out a small tablet. With a deep and reluctant sigh he typed in a password and opened a secure channel. The face that appeared on the screen was one he knew well, a single green eye, accompanied by a red cybernetic eye peered at him across the lightyears.
“Well well, if it isn’t the esteemed Captain himself. To what do I owe such a pleasure?” Victoria said, adding a hint of disgust at the mention of his rank.
“Hello to you to, Victoria. Still a raging bitch I see.” His tone was deeply exasperated.
“And you’re still a government sellout, so nothing’s changed I guess.”
“Nope, nothing has. Though clearly you have a soft spot in your heart for tiny otter people.” He grinned, and she squinted at him.
“So what if I do, it was the Vel-Turi, you know I couldn’t just sit back and let them be taken, not after…” She paused, and he didn’t need any context. He knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Aye… I knew you couldn’t. They’re doing fine by the way, we’re going to set them up on some worlds we aren’t using, make sure they’re well cared for.”
“Good… That is good to hear. At least you’re useful for something.” She said, the tone of disgust fading immediately. Now she just sounded tired. “And what about those beasts? Are you going to do anything about them?”
“As far as I know, we will. The Sulair have invoked practically all of our mutual defense treaties, not that they really needed to. I doubt even the galactic council will be able to hold us back this time.” He said, and Victoria nodded, pleased by this answer.
“Excellent, then perhaps we’ll get to see if that shiny ship of yours lives up to the name. See you on the battlefield.”
“Victoria wai-” But he was a bit too slow, the connection cut and so he tossed the tablet onto his cot, groaning and staring up at the ceiling. “Stay safe… sister.”
submitted by In_Yellow_Clad
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2023.05.31 16:46 Western_General6965 ALL IN FOR THE YOUTH
Yukti Goyal emphasizes on the prominent feeling of self-satisfaction upon helping one get a chance at better opportunities and a better future through a speech. The speech also focuses on encouraging the educated population to be a part of initiatives like Pehchaan the Street School and help them achieve their dream of a more prosperous world where every child gets the opportunity to learn.
ANTARA- Everyone, I kindly request you all to please be seated. Today, we have a very special guest with us. She is no celebrity, or a politician. She is a kind-hearted spirit, who has filled thousands of hearts with hope. An angel in human disguise, who dreams not of success, or money, but of a prosperous world where every child has the chance to read, write, and learn. Please welcome Ms. Shweta.
SHWETA- I would like to thank Ms. Antara for the incredibly kind introduction she deems me worthy of. I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude towards the audience for giving me some of their precious time. I am Shweta Arora. I am not a saint. I am not a hero. But what I am is a doer. I am a giver. I choose to not sit idly and waste my life just dreaming of a better world. I choose to not simply wish for someone to come and fulfill all my desires. I choose to accomplish my dream of helping as many children as I can to get a better education and a better future, myself. I was born in a rich but down-to-earth and kind family. My parents used to take me to the nearby temple every morning, and we used to donate old clothes and some food to all the little children who were underprivileged and needed the world to be kinder to them. One day, a small boy came to me and asked whether I enjoyed school or not. I told him that it was hard but very fun. The little boy quietly whispered that he always wanted to read books and study. The longing I saw on his face was so heart-wrenching that I could never forget that look. This one little moment has fueled my aspiration to provide a finer education and numerous opportunities for a greater chance at success. I believe that if we, the society, will not take a step towards helping those in need, then there is no stopping this world from moving backward, instead of forward. Pehchaan The Street School is a non-profit organization that shares my dream of a world where every child, who desires to learn, has the opportunity to receive a better education. It not only works towards this aim itself, but it actually gives the entire society a chance to contribute to this noble cause by becoming a volunteer, an intern, or a member. The organization believes that “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It does its best in reaching out to the neglected children of society and help them make their ‘PEHCHAAN’, which means identity. It provides the underprivileged youth with educational resources, opportunities, and financial aid. The organization ensures that education is accessible to all, regardless of their gender, caste, race, location, etc. Pehchaan The Street School has become a safe haven for thousands of children who receive an abundance of love, support and care from the organization. I hope I motivated many of you to step up and bring a chance. Thank you.
submitted by Western_General6965
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2023.05.31 02:29 sofiiachart I fell in love with a guy who was a girl all this time
Hi Reddit users! My name is Sofia. English is not my native language, so it can be bad and too formal sometimes. I hope that I will not embarrass my English teacher on the Internet and the translator will not let me down ;).
I'm a newbie in Reddit community, this net isn't very popular in my country. I sign up and write this post to tell you my story and hear your opinion and advise. I can't speak about this with my friends and especially parents, because I don't want to disturb them. Only 3 my close friends know about this situation, but they have no idea what is happening right now. I would be very happy if people with similar experience would share it with me. Maybe this can help me somehow
Okay.. On May 28, 2022, I was scrolling through my Tiktok feed and saw a video where girl asked to drop your id in a comments for bringing people to the Telegram chat. I already had the experience of being in chatrooms, most of my friends were abroad and I really lacked communication with others. That's why I sent my id and I don't regret it at all, because this chat became a real 2nd family for me (fortunately, there were no russians there, but there were people from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, etc.)
When I talked a little, a guy with Spike Spiegel avatar joined the conversation (it was thanks to him that I became so fond of "Cowboy Bebop" lmao). We were so different and so the similar at the same time. He was much more relaxed and confident than me, but we had almost the same problems and life experiences, so we got off on the right foot with him. Even the results in the stupid tests on the uquiz were identical with us. We became good friends almost immediately. I always waited for his messages and his thoughts, because they often coincided with us. So the fact that I fell in love with him was not surprising and very natural. However, there were some things, which made me wary (although I constantly tried to throw anxious thoughts out of my head):
- His name - Zhenya. I should admit that Zhenia is a short non-formal form of 2 names - Evgen/Evgeniy(male) or Evgenia(female). Therefore, this form of the name is quite non-binary and is used by both men and women. Also, I know that his real name was Julian (feminine form - Juliana, Julia), and he later changed it to Evgeniy in documents. But even here the form of the name Zhenya was used, although less often. (Sorry if I spelled these names wrong)
- His pronouns - he/she. He said that he didn't care how people addressed him on the Internet, but he usually used the he/him, that's why we all addressed him that way. Zhenya also used the passive voice of verbs and the infinitive when talked about himself and if necessary, he used verbs in the masculine gender. In the chat, we addressed each other as "you" in a respectful manner (like "Sie" in German language).
- He spoke very little. Yes, it was part of his character - he didn't like to talk about himself for no reason and that made him a great listener. Unfortunately, I only now realized that he did it also in order not to say something superfluous.
- His interests, hobbies, and behavior fit more within the "boy" boundaries than the "girl" ones. Of course, this sounds very subjective and a bit stereotypical, but I've never met a girl or woman who likes Resident Evil games or old Japanese motorcycles (by no means judging female readers who like those things, I do too their). It was also about his behavior, manner of correspondence and experiences that usually happen with men.
- Zhenya never sent his photos. There were photos of nature, the sky, the streets, anything but my own( he has just sent photos of his hand and eye). He promised us for a long time that he would definitely send them when he bought a new camera or simply when he could, but we never saw them. Of course, no one pressured him, but everyone was very interested. Honestly, me too, but even if there was far from the standard of world beauty, I wouldn't give up my feelings for him.
Probably all these points were pretty obvious cause for concern. And I was worried. Although my defense mechanism or just cockroaches in my head kept saying and saying that all this is complete nonsense and not worth my attention.
I reached such a peak of feelings for him that I was absolutely not concerned about the appearance , only the person himself and his personality. I only had to fall in love with the personality. But not everything was so terrible (I thought so), because Zhenya described himself in words. Yes, it was quite silly to believe this, but I was a fool in love. I sat like a policeman with my drawing skills (I studied for 5 years at an art school and graduated from it) and composed his photo robot. I didn't get anything( It was reminiscent of putting together the characters from books - you understood their features in appearance, but could not imagine them together.
As I said above, members of the chat have literally become my second family and close friends. They began to dream of me. Everyone was beautiful, alive, as if they just came out of photographs, and so real that I remember these impressive dreams down to the smallest details. Zhenya was there too, with a blurred face, his incredible reddish-blonde hair and with soft dark hands with thin fingers. One day he did dream clearly to me. I was able to see in my dream all the things that I could not put in a heap for so long. That day I cried a lot, literally everything that I had kept inside for so long came out of me.
When I was having a bad time, I saw him online and decided to write about my well-being. He did not mind and helped me a lot. I started writing to him in private messages more often. If someone looked at our correspondence, they would say "Damn, they've been dating for 100 years!" We very often wrote to each other "I love you", words of thanks and support. He loved to listen and praise me. Every day I wanted to confess to him more and more, but I was afraid of it. I was afraid of his reaction or that our friendship would simply end. I could talk about it for a long time, but one event melted everything into place.
It was May 28, 2023, we were celebrating the chat's birthday. After greetings and wishes, we just started texting and reminiscing about how the Internet led us. Then the girl from the chat wrote: "Just imagine what phrases we will say to each other when we meet for the first time..." I wrote "OMG, Zhenya is a woman???", and he replied "Well, it's generally canon" . We were stunned because we thought it was a joke. He said he would explain everything now and logged off. During the 2 hour wait, my internet friend and I texted about this situation. She said that she frankly did not care what Zhenya used in the toilet, but she was worried about how he would tell us about it if his "joke" turned out to be true. I agreed with her words, but a volcano erupted inside me. In short, and as you already understood from the title of the post, it turned out to be true. Zhenya was a girl all this fcking time. I crashed.
I decided to confess to him right away what I felt for him. He apologized a lot. I, in turn, said that it was not his fault, that I would accept him as he is and apologized for my stupidity. He thanked.
Three nights have passed since then, all these nights I had nightmares. During the day, as if out of habit, I thought about him, but at one point I suddenly cut myself off and clearly said in my head "Sofia, THAT Zhenya does not exist, you stupid btch!!!!!" I do not blame him in any way, he did not tell this not because he did not trust us, but because he was afraid of condemnation. I'm not going to dump him after he's opened his soul, so what kind of friend am I? He said that he was most afraid of my reaction, because he simply did not understand what it would be. We are too alike.
I will understand and forgive. Everything except his stupidity and naivety. Everything was so obvious almost immediately, but I was under the influence of emotions. It was my first such serious crush, and even now I continue to love Zhenya and I don't know what to do. I'm hoping to get a job this summer and start saving up to go see all my internet friends. I have to hug them all, not only in my sleep. I'm sorry that the post is so long and rambling, but while I was writing all this, I felt a lot better. Please, if you had a similar experience, share it with him. You are not alone, and your memories can help others. Be kinder to people, because “You can only see things clearly with your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.
submitted by sofiiachart
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2023.05.31 00:41 FalcsDondarrion Ferment Redwyne, Scion of the Arbor
Discord Username: myra#3994
Character Name and House: Ser Ferment Redwyne
Appearance: Red hair, already going grey at the temples. Slightly shorter than average height. Has become a bit overweight because of his problem with drinking. Walks with a slight limp because of a hunting accident when he was a teenager. His eyes are a light green.
Skills: Addict, Courtly (e), Cautious, Subtle, Sailing
Talent(s): Fishing, Playing Darts
Starting Title(s): Ser
Starting Location: The Feast
Dragon Name: N/A
Dragon Size: N/A
Family Tree: Redwyne Echo
Alternate Characters: N/A Auxiliary Character:
Discord Username: myra#3994
Character Name and House: Ser Addam Flowers
Appearance: Tall and lanky, his height is about 6 feet. His skin is a light brown, his head is always shaved. He has a light mustache most of the time, although he occasionally shaves it.
Skills: Sailing (e), Shipwright
*Starting Title(s): Ser
Starting Location: The Arbor
Ferment Redwyne was born to his father Bertrand Redwyne and his mother Rowena Tarly in the year 164AC. He was born with a head of bright red hair, and promptly spent the first year of his life either sleeping or screaming as loud as he could in either despair or a plea for attention, a pattern that would repeat many times throughout the rest of his life.
His early childhood was unremarkable. He was taught the standard curriculum for noble children and did neither particularly good nor particularly badly in his learnings. He did manage to excel in his courtly manners, as he found conversing with people rather easy, but that was the only area where he particularly stood out. One problem that arose early in his life were the harsh demands and high expectations that his father Bertrand had for him. Bertrand was a man who never felt comfortable or satisfied, constantly pushing forward and looking to improve. Ferment however, even at an early age, was nothing but complacent in life. This terrain would be the sight of many battles between father and son.
An example of this dynamic is a hawking expedition the two of them went on when Ferment was but 14 years old. Ferment had never particularly liked hunting - always preferring fishing - but his father thought that a skill in hunting was a particularly important skill for a man to have. Given Ferment's lack of interest, he found himself not paying attention as their horses plodded along. Upon noticing this, his father exploded in a fit of rage, which so shocked Ferment that he fell off his suddenly spooked horse and landed on his leg awkwardly, breaking it. This broken leg never quite healed correctly. Ferment was never quite able to run at full speed again, and walked with a slight limp.
As Ferment aged more, he found a strong hedonistic pleasure in drinking and laying with women. He found himself focusing more and more on maximizing his own pleasure, even if it was often to the detriment of his reputation and the way his own family thought about him. The biggest offender in this respect was probably when he had his first bastard in 185AC, named Willem Flowers. Having a bastard is far from respectable, but what made it far worse was that the mother of the bastard was the sister of his brother Robert's wife. Her name was Alys Redding. The two of them had no real affection for each other, merely impulsively laying together after a particularly drunken feast, but nonetheless she had a child nine months after. Bertrand and Robert were both furious at him, leaving Ferment the black sheep of the family. After this Bertrand quickly scrambled to find a marriage for his idiot son, quickly finding a suitable candidate in House Swann. Bertrand's hope was that marriage would calm Ferment down, and corral some of his more unpleasant impulses.
He met the girl but once before the splendid ceremony in the sept of Vinetown. Her name was Cyrenna Swann. She was not the most attractive girl in the world, and Ferment was cautious at first because of his dislike of Bertrand and his controlling nature. But over time he began to truly love the girl, her easy-going nature was similar to his own, and her own kind heart and sense of empathy went far towards improving Ferment as a person. His drinking lessened, he never cheated on her, and his family gradually warmed up to him again. They had one child in the year 189AC, a girl named Helicent.
These happy times quickly changed though when Cyrenna sadly passed away during childbirth. She had had a stillbirth only a year before, which brought both Ferment and her much pain and heartache. Nonetheless they still wanted more children, and they both had high hopes before those tragic 3 days of painful labor that ended her life. That child was stillborn as well, leaving Ferment nothing to hold onto.
This was the final straw for any modicum of self-control that Ferment had. He quickly went from only having a minor problem with drinking to a major one. He indulged himself in gambling and whores. With his father and wife both dead, there was no one to nudge him towards self control any longer.
Every day was but a blur of hedonistic self-indulgence, for years upon years. He had his second bastard in the year 190AC, his third in the year 195AC. Neither of the women who were the mother of his bastards had any liking for Ferment, and he had no affection towards them either. They were simply the natural result of this sort of behavior. It hurt Ferment all the worse because of the death of his wife, in a kinder universe these would be his trueborn children.
His life has continued like this up until the present day. Permanent stagnation.
Addam Flowers was born in the year 190AC, the bastard son of Ferment Redwyne and Kojja of Jhala. Being both a bastard and half Summer Islander stamped him with dual stigma from birth, and seemingly from birth this stigma proved a major motivator for him.
From a very young age, he was a remarkably ambitious individual. Ferment fathering yet another bastard was not a welcome sight to the Redwyne nobility, but nonetheless they took adequate care of both him and his mother. At the age of 15 they even got Addam knighted. But these things were taken as a slight by the young bastard, he felt as if he hadn’t truly earned the knighthood. He wanted to make a name for himself, and make a name for himself with his own merits and on his own terms.
He had this goal in sight from a very young age, and from a very young age he recognized that the most effective way to make a name for yourself on The Arbor was to involve yourself with ships. Whether that entailed captaining a ship in the military Redwyne fleet, becoming a merchant and sailing the globe, or whatever else, the sea was the solution to his problems.
Following this line of logic he joined the Naval Academy at the young age of 13. He proved a remarkably fast learner, and many older sailors hailed him as a natural captain. Because of this he was granted his first ship to be captain of as soon as he became a man, at the age of 16.
This is the situation he is in now. Captain of a warship at only 17 years old, constantly hungry for ways to further his own ambition. Dreadfully hard on himself, dreadfully bitter towards his father and the other members of House Redwyne.
Redwyne family tree
Vargo is a sellsword from Tyrosh, he stumbled onto Ferment in a tavern in Ryamsport a decade past. Ferment liked him and hired him on the spot, and he has followed the Redwyne scion ever since.
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2023.05.30 06:30 farmer_giles91 12 Days Honeymoon in Tokyo & Kawaguchiko with tips and observations
I just had my honeymoon (originally scheduled for Jun 2020). My wife and I are in our early thirties. It’s my wife’s first time in japan while it’s my fourth. I’ve benefitted immensely from stalking Tokyo travel reddit and would like to return the favour. I’ll provide some of my tips and observations to the end (skip to the end if the itinerary doesn’t interest you), some of which I think haven’t been mentioned before.
Thank God pretty much everything went to plan, and my wife thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We spent 12 days in Japan, most of it in Tokyo and 2 nights in Kawaguchiko. Many people were surprised to know that we’d be spending most of our trip in Tokyo, but I thought it was just fine because Tokyo had a lot to offer. My wife and I aren’t big on visiting shrines or ticking tourist hotspots off a checklist. We don’t shop much, but we did a lot of it simply because it’s Japan and we bought lots of quality-of-life items (not fashion) for ourselves and others. Given how much my wife really enjoyed the trip, I think others with similar interests could find something helpful too. Pre-trip planning
Planning during the trip
- It was out first leisure trip in years, and my wife's first trip to Japan. I wanted to show her my favourite parts of Japan, and took months trawling through reddit posts and trip reports, watching youtube videos, and just soaking in all the things before deciding on an itinerary that I thought my wife would enjoy. It was almost exclusively planned by me, and I would consult my wife along the way.
- Other than the hotel & flights, I booked the highway express bus to Kawaguchiko one week prior.
- Decided on the airport limousine bus to bring us from the airport to the city a few days prior.
- Studio Ghibli tickets booked one month in advance. There's a good guide available on reddit already. International tickets were quickly sold out, so we used a free VPN to get onto the Japanese site which had more tickets & timings available. Simply Google translate the entire page.
- Booked a cooking class on cookly months prior.
- Did Visit Japan QR two days prior. It takes some time, so do it earlier rather than later.
- Added all places of interests in a Google list, and all food places in another Google list. I tried the custom Google maps at first but didn’t feel the UI was easy to navigate.
- Planned itinerary based on location proximity, and also highlighted parts that were interchangeable in case we wanted to switch it up (which we did).
Day 0 (Wed) 17 May - Arrival at Haneda Airport to hotel in Shinjuku
- The Google maps foods list was always just for consideration: if we had time or were craving something. We didn't hard-code food places into our daily plans. But when food was the primary activity (e.g. visiting Tsukiji market), we'd determine to visit particular food stalls. Otherwise, just needed to do a cursory Google review check on whether a random food place is worth eating it. As a principle, we didn't want to spend time queuing >20m for food.
- I'd plan the next day's itinerary the night before, considering fatigue, interest, and proximity. I would create a brand new Google maps list for the next day, including potential food places.
Arrived in Haneda late, about 11pm. Clearance was quick but baggage took 30mins. As I wouldn't make my stipulated airport limousine timing, I had no choice but to cancel my airport limousine and take the metro to our hotel in Shinjuku. I tried Apple wallet’s Suica at first. It worked seamlessly but I felt that a physical metro card was just faster so I eventually switched over. We reached after midnight, so do let your hotel know in advance if you anticipate arriving at odd hours. Day 1 (Thurs) - Shinjuku exploration
Originally planned to visit Tsukiji on day 1, but given that we arrived late the previous night, agreed with my wife to change the plan and spend the first day doing the Shinjuku itinerary.
Day 2 (Fri) - Kappabashi St., Fabric Town, Akihabara
- Walked to a popular Tsukumen place at 11. Queued for 20mins and it was an interesting experience as there were lines of people standing right behind watching you eat. Wife said it was her best Tsukumen ever!
- Sekaido for art & stationary supplies: My wife does art so it was a haven for her. We spent a few hours there!
- Tokyu Hands Shinjuku: Wanted to look at more stationary/home/fashion stuff but two floors were under renovation.
- Omoide Yokocho: A quick walkthrough of this famous street for salarymen which comes alive at night. Many tourists.
Day 3 (Sat) - Cooking class in Shinjuku, Shibuya
- Kappabashi Dougu Street: looked at kitchen supplies aimed to find a nice nakiri knife! (If you want to buy a knife, do research on what knife you need beforehand).
- Fabric Town: My wife just passed a seamstress exam so she eagerly anticipated visiting fabric town, we spent a few hours in Tomato.
- Akihabara (Animate, Bic Camera, Gyukatsu Don): It was drizzling the entire day so it was not the most comfortable lugging that many bags around a wet Akihabara in the evening. Wife wasn’t interested but I wanted to let her experience this unique culture. Had dinner at a popular gyukatsu don (beef cutlet that you’d have to cook yourself). It was our first time eating gyukatsu. It was so tender and juicy and mmm. But it was a long one hour wait. It was after this episode that we decided we were not going to queue this long for food again.
Day 4 (Sun) - Komazawa Church, Harajuku, Shibuya
- Private cooking class in Shinjuku: Our host was great! We were invited into his cosy house and he taught us how to make Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, and a Japanese salad. I paid careful attention to the menu beforehand as I wanted to learn dishes I could easily recreate back home (i.e. not choose dishes that depended on seasonal Japanese ingredients). My wife absolutely loved the experience of getting to know a local and understanding his life story, Japanese culture, and hearing some of his horror stories of foreign guests. We got more food recs from him to understand where the locals really ate at.
- Shibuya 109: Paid $5 for a drink to have a bird’s eye view of the Shibuya crossing. It was Saturday so the crossing was at its full force. Even if you think this is touristy, it’s amazing to see that many people like little ants crossing a street. There are several nice locations here to take some artsy shots.
- Ishibashi Music Shibuya: absolutely loved the vibe in this music store. Back home, I’d been thinking about getting a particular keyboard but never got a chance to try it. I was able to play this particular one undisturbed and feel like I could go on for hours without any pressure from staff. Bought a few Japan exclusive guitar picks as gifts.
- Shibuya Tokyu Hands: This was amazing. I thought Shinjuku Tokyu Hands was the flagship store. So I only stumbled into this because I urgently needed to pee and someone said Tokyu hands had toilets. We were confused as its name was rebranded to simply "Hands" with a new logo. If you only have time to visit one Tokyu Hands, visit the Shibuya one. Each floor had 2 sub-floors so that’s a ton of floors! Lots of quality-of-life improvements one could get from this store. My wife got a buckwheat pillow.
- Shibuya Loft: After Sekaido and Tokyu Hands, I didn't think there was much daily life products/art/stationary to look at. But Loft was very different. Similar to Tokyu hands but seems more modern and fashionable. Worth visiting together with Tokyu hands! It also had packaged food available! It was late and my wife and I concluded that we didn’t have to to explore all the floors and that we’d return to Shibuya again.
Day 5 (Mon) - Tsukiji Market, Ginza Muji/Uniqlo, Tokyo station
- Church in Komazawa: not a tourist activity, but we linked up with some partners from our home church and attended service at a little church held in a nursery. It was an amazing and encouraging experience to hear the gospel preached in a foreign language.
- Harajuku: Way too crowded. I had anticipated this as it was a Sunday, but thought to just try. Takeshita street was so packed my wife feared there would be a stampede risk (it wasn’t that bad). We did queue 20mins for pretty tasty crepe. After checking out all the recommended streets (e.g. cat street, uru-harajuku), my wife simply felt that she couldn’t stand the Harajuku crowd and the vibes. So we decided to go back to Shibuya again!
- Shibuya JINS: I didn’t mention this but previously in Shinjuku and Shibuya, I had been checking out recommended optical shops in the vicinity for a particular style of glasses. Japanese-made glasses are highly-rated, but I couldn’t find something at the right price-point. At JINS, I found a design I liked. Though not made in Japan, it cost me less than 5000 yen. Took them 1 hour to make it. For some reason I loved the vibes at Shibuya, and I earmarked it to return again later.
Day 6 (Tue) - Tokyo National Museum, Fabric town revisit, Akihabara revisit, Ochanomizu
- Tsukiji market: wanted to arrive before 8 but arrived at 8.30am. Thankfully the crowds weren't that bad yet. Everything we tried was lovely. Potato/corn fishcakes, strawberry mochi, tamago, wagyu beef, uni inarisushi (my first time trying uni - wife loved it but I didn't like it), unagi. But the star was Masa burger (thanks to Paolo from Tokyo), which we waited till 11am to try. By then, the tourist buses had come and the streets were packed. But Masa burger was in a corner and we were their first customers. We tried fried codfish burger + homemade ginger ale. Both were was so well done and the fried cod was so crispy yet fresh and tender. It was also nicely completed with very refreshing salads! It was soo good we had it twice.
- Ginza Uniqlo/Muji: we wanted to take a look at some of Uniqlo’s exclusive items. Apparently they do have exclusive t-shirts for each region (e.g. Harajuku, Shibuya, Ginza), which tend to be collaborations with well-known food places in the area. However, they were always white in colour (cheap to produce) and not made-in-Japan-quality. Muji @ Ginza was a disappointment, not a lot more than the usual.
- Tokyo Station Ghibli store & Tenugui hunting: Went to Tokyo station to check out the Ghibli store and to look for a particular traditional tenugui (Japanese towels) store as my wife were hunting these down to give as gifts.
- Shinjuku Ichiran & Mister Donut: We returned to Shinjuku for Ichiran ramen, specifically at 5+pm. No crowds at all. Yummy! We then saw a Mister Donut, and recalled news in our home country that when it had its first opening in my country, people queued 5 hours for it. We thought to try it to see what the fuss was all about. Cash only, but the donuts were wonderfully textured and not too sweet. My wife doesn’t like sweet stuff, but mister donut really hit the sweet spot (no pun intended).
Day 7 (Wed) - Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, Mori Museum, Ginza Wakamatsu, Shinjuku
- Tokyo National Museum: We had a good time learning about Japan’s early history, and discovered that so much that we know of Japan resulted from Chinese/korean influence.
- Fabric town & Akihabara revisit, Ochonomizu: We decided that this was likely the right time to go back for items we missed out on or didn’t have time to see. My wife went to fabric town again while I went to Akihabara’s Yodaibashi camera, which I felt to be better and with more varied things than Bic Camera. I then went to nearby Ochanomizu to look at more music and sport shops. We met up again at Shinjuku for another Gyukatsu Don before heading to mister donuts again.
Day 8 (Thurs) - Kawaguchiko
- Shinjuku Gyoen Garden: lovely large garden grounds. We spent almost an hour just lying under a tree and watching clouds float by. Wife was doing some rough sketches of the garden. We had mister donuts from last night for breakfast.
- Mori Museum: Saw the exhibition of Heatherwick studios, which was inspiring and educational. Paid for the rooftop access to have a quick view of Tokyo from 50-ish floors up.
- Ginza Wakamatsu: Because of one of the Uniqlo-ginza-exclusive t-shirts, my wife was curious about this traditional Japanese dessert. So we gave it a check and realised it’s been around for more than a century. There was a short line (mainly Japanese elderly). The shop interior transported us back decades. It felt surreal eating a dessert that the Japanese ate centuries ago. Unlike modern desserts, this Japanese dessert certainly doesn’t excite and overwhelm one’s taste buds immediately. But there’s an old charm to it.
- Shinjuku Okadaya fabric: Returned to Shinjuku as my wife wanted to check out another of their famous fabric stores. Prices were more expensive than fabric town, but had somewhat different items.
Day 9 (Fri) - Fuji Q Highland, Shimoyoshida Honcho St, Batting Cage Planning for Fuji Q & Morning Jog:
- Bus to Kawaguchiko: Packed light to Kawaguchiko, and forwarded our remaining luggage to our final hotel in Tamachi. The Shinjuku hotel staff were very helpful. I was merely inquiring on how luggage forwarding was done, but the staff picked up the phone, called my Tamachi hotel to confirm the booking, and prepared the documents for me. All I had to do was roll my luggage the next night to them and make payment. Took our 7:45am bus to Kawaguchiko and managed to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji when we were on our way there!
- Cycling In Kawaguchiko: We lugged our bags to our ryokan and headed out again. My wife was quite hesitant about cycling overseas and I was also worried it’d tire her out too much. I debated between cycling or simply taking the sight-seeing bus. Eventually felt that it was worth trying to cycle. We unexpectedly walked by an e-bike place and decided, why not? Neither of us had tried an e-bike before and that could reduce the effort required for my wife. So we did and boy was it fun! It took a while to get used to the e-bike but it really reduced a lot of effort up the hills! I barely perspired at all thanks to the e-assist. Kawaguchiko had pretty narrow roads so it wasn’t the easiest to cycle. But I had plenty of road-cycling experience back at home so I was not daunted. We borrowed helmets from the e-bike place but saw that we were the only tourists that wore them. Yes, I'd recommend wearing helmets when cycling.
- Kubota Itchiku Art Museum: Cycled here knowing that this museum would interest my wife. It had a garden free for entry and it was really quaint, quiet, and charming! The pond had a singular vibrant-coloured Koi swimming in it. Museum entry requires tickets. On this trip, I realised that visiting museums tired me easily. It could be because I spent time reading each description. I told my wife to go ahead as I waited outside. She eventually took 45m in the museum and was so enthralled by it. She even bought a heavy hard-cover book of Itchiku Kubota’s kimono art :/
- Momiji Corridor: was just 50 meters away from the museum. Still beautiful with only green leaves, but I’d imagine it would be majestic in Autumn/Spring.
- Oishi Park: Many colourful flowers! It’s a pity that it had been cloudy the entire day, and Mt Fuji was not visible. That would have made the cycle perfect. Had a peach/plum ice-cream. Park was crowded with tourists.
I didn’t plan to go to Fuji-Q highland before the trip. Always felt it a bit of a waste to visit amusement parks overseas. That’s until I realised that Fuji Q had some of the most exciting (I mean world-record-holding) rollercoasters in the world. Maybe they don't hold the records anymore, but that intrigued me enough, because most amusement parks only had 1-2 coasters. Problem was that wife is terrified, and she said cycling on the streets of Kawaguchiko was already like a coaster ride for her. Still, I'm really thankful she encouraged me to go and said she was happy waiting and taking pictures for me. So I decided I would reach at opening time, and buy time by paying for the fast passes and try their top three coasters. The night before, we felt that we had to make decisions on our itinerary as it was our last day at Kawaguchiko. If Mt Fuji still wasn’t visible the next day, we'd go to Oshino Hakkai, if it was, we could try going to Shimoyoshida to get a nice picture.
Day 10 (Sat) - Kichijoji, Ghibli Museum, Kichijoji Jazz bar
- I went for a morning jog and as the path brought me along the river's perimeter, my jaw dropped when I saw Mount Fuji towering into view. I raced back to tell my wife (about 6am) and we both trekked up to a viewing spot to enjoy the view. This made it more urgent to not spend too much time at Fuji Q as we didn’t know how long Mt. Fuji would be visible for.
- Fuji-Q Highland: Was absolutely amazing. Yes, I blew a lot of cash here buying fast passes for the three available coasters. But they were some of the craziest coasters. Took Eejanaika, Fujiyama and Takabisha. Total time it took probably a little more than 1 hour with the express passes. It was so good, but so fast that I have little memory of it, except that there was a 90 degree climb to the top for Takabisha and I had a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji while climbing to the supposed world record of 79m for Fujiyama (this was 2 days before the news reported that Fujiyama got stuck in the middle of a ride and the people in the carts had to climb down :o). Had more time to take a few other rides, and enjoyed all the Naruto statues around for fun photo-taking. What I really enjoyed about the park was that it was mostly filled with Japanese tourists; in fact, there was a Japanese school having an outing there. It was nice to see excited students running about. If I could spend the day here, I'd take the three coasters multiple times to imprint the sensations in my head. But I'm still thankful I got to try some of the world's most thrilling coasters!
- Shomoyoshida Honcho St: This destination was simply to take the famous street view of Mount Fuji with Japanese shops lined in the foreground. It’s not easy to get to, and there was quite a walk. We noticed there weren’t much people around, and most shops were closed. But when we reached the destination, there were many tourists right at the particular traffic light. So much so there was a grumpy Japanese traffic police person managing the crowd. We saw the worst of tourists that day. People were disobeying traffic laws and just running in the middle of the road just to get a shot. We then chanced upon a hidden udon shop and it felt like we were transported back to the 50’s! It was super old school, people sat on raised platforms, and several elderly customers were watching the tele while eating. There was only one udon option available, with free cabbage top-ups. We learnt that the shop had been around for 73 years. We actually headed back to Fuji-Q Highlands to take a 4D 'plane ride' with Joe Hisashi music in the background. Since my wife actually wanted to ride something, I was happy to agree to her request. Ride was very ordinary but wife actually felt terrified at times lol. Rushed back to the hotel for a private onsen booking.
- Batting Cage: I had never played baseball/softball and my home country doesn’t have a baseball culture. Yet I had seen batting cages in Japanese drama and always wanted to try. Loved it! My technique was probably pretty bad! I did well at first but as I tried faster balls, I tired out and failed to hit any haha. Some teens beside me were knocking out 120km/h balls out of the park! We ended the day eating ramen outdoors with a view of Mount Fuji.
Woke up before sunrise for a run and to attempt to catch a sunrise picture of Mount Fuji. Streets were completely empty. Even ran to the famous Kawaguchiko Lawson for a picture. Headed back for an onsen bathe (note: we never used the room's shower, and always went for an onsen bath throughout our stay in Kawaguchiko as it was just too convenient). Took a 7am bus to return to Shinjuku.
Day 11 (Sun) - Tokyo Sky Tree, Shinjuku, Back to Kichijoji, Shibuya
- Kichijoji: Arrived at Kichijoji at about 10am. Wife really loved the vibes there. We tried the Tsukuba suisan fish cakes which were really tasty, and my wife was intrigued that a line had formed at the adjacent store named Ozasa. Apparently they sell traditional Japanese desserts and locals would go there as early as 5am to get a ticket. So we queued 15m and managed to get three boxes worth of the snacks! Tried the Amane Taiyaki fish-shaped bean paste snacks, another traditional dessert. It was a small lovely old shop.
- Ghibli Museum: Requires a long walk through Inokashira park. Ghibli was fantastic. Many people have been saying recently that it’s over-rated, and that it doesn’t cater to foreign crowds and most things are in Japanese. We similarly struggled with that at first. But we found out that if you asked the staff, they actually had English language exhibition booklets ready for every exhibition! That was a revelation. And we managed to understand almost all the exhibitions by asking the uniformed staff (except the short film, which had minimal dialogue anyway). I mentioned this to one foreign group and they were really grateful for that. But I saw that many other foreigners that probably came earlier were just bored or simply going crazy at the Ghibli shop. My wife bought the museum book (which also has English explanations of each exhibit), and we understood Miyazaki’s vision for the museum - to make it suitable for kids and adults, with no pre-determined route, allowing for play, exploration, to help people be inspired by the artists’ process. Through that, we saw that every thing in the museum was intentionally designed, all of the exhibitions, cafe, shop, and garden. Reading that helped me appreciate and enjoy the museum much more.
- Roaming Kichijoji and Some Time Jazz bar: My wife and I split up to roam kichijoji. I checked out some sports shops and saw that their prices were lower than Ochanomizu. We reconvened for dinner at Sometime Jazz bar. I’m picking up Jazz piano but had never been to a jazz bar. Booked it one day before, but was sad that our table position only allowed us to see some of the drummer and the pianist’s expression. Still, it was a very hip place for jazz cats and we had a wonderful time. We only sat through the first half of the performance that night. Note that there are seating charges, so that + dinner added up to quite a lot. But we rationalised that this was akin to paying for a performance. Checked into our hotel in Tamachi.
It was a crazy day where we simply hit the places we wanted to revisit regardless of proximity. Headed to Tokyo Skytree in the morning to check out another Ghibli store in hopes of getting another Ghibli shirt; reason was because I ended up buying one at the museum I really loved (made in Japan, beautiful colour, perfect fit. I hesitated at first because I couldn't try it). If you’re not going to the Ghibli museum, this is probably the best store available for Ghibli goods. Alas, the museum's items were really quite exclusive. Headed to Shinjuku to try curry udon, then to Kichijoji to try satou beef balls and dangos and to make some purchasing decisions on some sports equipment. Then we ended up at Shibuya (my favourite place!) to the mega Don Quijote and Tokyu Hands to shop for gifts for others. It was a lovely end to our trip! Day 12 (Mon) - Back home
Best trip ever, says my wife. Tips for travellers
- Spread out your itinerary: I originally planned to front-load all the must-see tourist stuff and leave the remaining days for shopping. But in May, Ghibli Museum was closed for two weeks so we had no choice but to schedule it at the end of the trip. That was a better arrangement. It felt that each day was distinctly different, and we could remember the highlight of each day. Also, be specific about where you want to go. Don’t simply put locations, e.g., Visit Harajuku, or visit Shibuya crossing.
- Plan your itinerary in consideration of weekend crowds: Places like Tsujiki market, Ghibli Museum, Fuji-Q Highlands and other stuff are likely going to be very crowded on weekends. If you want to shop in Harajuku or Shibuya, try to avoid weekends. I opted to put the cooking class and ‘less-exciting’ Museums on weekends.
- Carry more cash than you think you need: In my experience, the cash-to-card ratio was about 40:60. Considering that all metro card top-ups require cash, you'll need quite a bit of cash! Sometimes even bigger restaurants are cash only.
- Bring foldable tote bags, and use lockers where necessary: If you’re buying stuff, packing them in tote bags makes it easier to lug around. Bigger shops will charge you for bags. If you just arrived from one area with bags and are going to explore another, use the lockers. Most metro stations likely have lockers and they are really affordable and convenient.
- Travel light by planning to do laundry: I only brought four sets of clothing, and we did laundry every 3-4 days or so. It’s really convenient, about 200 yen per 30m wash, and another 200 yen for a 1h dry. It’s worthwhile to check if your hotel has coin laundry available.
- Buy discriminately: Many people say the kind of things available at places like Don Quijote or Uniqlo are mind-blowing. Fact is, most of them are made in China or elsewhere. About 95% of the items we saw in Daiso were made in China. In fact, many items in Kappabashi street were made in China. You’re more likely to get value for money by buying a made in Japan item. Sometimes the shop will highlight if a product is Japan made. But other times, you have to scrutinise the fine print. Learn to look out for these three words in Kanji: 日本製. This is where the camera function of Google translate is immensely helpful. This was not available or widely publicised when I last visited Japan years back in 2016, so use this tech to your advantage and scrutinise the fine print!
- Plan your toilet trips if possible: If you know you’re headed to low-rise areas like Tsujiki, Fabric town where it’s just shop after shop, it’s going to be hard to find a toilet. Make sure you relieve yourself beforehand at the train station. But if you still need to go, try to find a multi-storey building and chances are, there’ll be toilets available there.
- Avoid queuing for food by timing right: In general, I found that most popular food places that required queuing had queues mainly consisting of foreigners. I wonder if this is because of the reddit/youtube/google maps review effect (not a lot of Japanese review on Google I think). So if you have to queue, there's a good chance you're competing with other foreigners. Simply put, almost all food places open at 11am, so be there at 11, or have early dinner at 5pm and perhaps you may avoid the queuing.
- Scrutinise Google maps to figure out the different train types: for daily travel, there could be local, rapid, and express trains. Local trains stop at every station. Rapid skips a few, and express trains likely only stops at key location. They make a big difference to travel time, and to your comfort. When Google maps recommends a route, scrutinise the detail to ensure what kind of train they are recommending. It gets confusing at the station as the platforms on your left and right may end up at the same location, but one could be a local train and the other an express train.
- Learn just 2 essential phrases: It always felt weird for me to speak Japanese because I felt like a try-hard. But this time I did - just learn to say thank you in Japanese (arigato gozaimasu). The other essential word is - summimasen - excuse me/sorry. Useful for if you need to exit a crowded train, or if you need to get someone’s attention. We survived with just these two phrases. As our cooking teacher told us - it’s better to say something in Japanese than say nothing at all. For the rest, you can use Google translate app’s picture function.
- Other misc tips: as mentioned, bring trash bags. Some shops explicitly tell you not to walk around and eat their food. So the solution is to finish the snack in front of the shop, and say, “summimasen, can you help me to throw this trash?” That helped us avoid carrying trash around a lot. As a traveller, you’re gonna get a lot of carbs (my curry udon meal included a bowl of udon + a bowl of rice...) and fried food. To get more fiber, try the basements of shopping centres and get yourself some fruits. Also, if you exercise regularly like me, you'd be concerned about getting some exercise. I did pre-trip research on pools/gyms/parks to visit. But visited none of them. With what little hotel room space I had, I settled with a daily morning routine of 100 squats and 100 pushups. That and walking an average of 18k steps daily helped. I actually lost some weight somehow.
- Drinking culture in Japan: we saw quite a few drunk people in the streets. Some of them at the parks. I had never really seen drunkards much in my home country (it could be because I don’t stay out late). When we walked by a bar area with our cooking instructor at 10am, he told us some of the people in them had been there overnight. At Inokashira park, we saw a lady dressed in office wear face planted on the ground. Her friends tried to help carry here elsewhere but her entire body was limp and almost lifeless.
- The Japanese sleep late: when we arrived, we were still on the train to our hotel at 11:50pm. But the train was still packed with salarymen in suits and many others. In fact, it seemed the later it was, the more crowded the trains.
- Foreigner influx and how we stick out: there were way more foreigners this time than the last I visited Japan. I commented to my wife that I felt more immersed in Japan on the metro or at places like Tokyu hands as I could hear Japanese being spoken around me. But at tourist spots and some museums, I felt like I could have been in any other country. I tended to feel very uncomfortable when large groups of foreigners were around. I had to tell myself not to be hypocritical as I was a foreigner myself. But I suppose one reason is that there were many inconsiderate foreigners. Speaking loudly, making brash comments, and just not behaving like visitors. We saw a foreign couple locked in a head-to-toe embrace on a picnic mat in a park full of families. And they chose a spot right next to the footpath. Many foreigners also leave unkind Google reviews for places just because it’s not up to their expectations. I get it, we worked for our holiday and are paying customers, and there is often an innate tendency to feel entitled or complain when something isn’t up to our expectations. But I think it helps to remember that we are like visitors in someone’s home. Be self-aware, don’t speak loudly, note the traffic customs, where to stand on the escalators, how to behave etc.
- Japanese men have great hair: the Japanese men’s hairstyle feels frozen in time. I didn’t see the typical Korean-inspired center-parted hairstyles in Asian guys nowadays. And balding men were a small minority somehow. As someone whose hairline is slowly receding, I was envious to see many Japanese men have wavy long hair deep into their 60-70s! My wife commented that the women's hairstyles were more or less the same - dyed, curled etc. But the men were rocking so many styles!
- In-person shopping still matters: as the days went by and as my wife and I began to covet the "made-in-Japan" label, we realised that we hadn't done such shopping in years since online shopping became prevalent. I also recall people commenting that you could get these goods online anyway, so why bother shopping in Japan. Well, physical shopping makes comparison easy, it allows you to ask for recommendations, and enables you to know the items's size, feel, and look on you (if buying fashion items). It also makes discovery of new items possible. I'm not a huge shopper or a foodie, but in Japan, it's worth it to be one simply because the Japanese are thoughtful about their craft and tend to produce quality that's quite unmatched. I suppose it's a blessing in disguise that our honeymoon got delayed 3 years, as we are now well-aware of our post-wedding lifestyles and the items we'd need in the kitchen/around the house.
- Reading culture is strong: in a week when I read reports that leisure reading had declined in my home country, I was pleasantly surprised to see many people reading hard-copy books on the train, many of them even had personalised leather book covers. Kinokuniya was also teeming with life. As a bookworm, this is a great encouragement. And I wish English language books came in such compact sizes too, although I think that's due to the limitations of the language. As Japanese characters can be read vertically, that allows for more play on possible book sizes.
- No one culture is worth idealising: Japan remains my favourite country to visit as a tourist, but I've come to see that Japanese culture - like any other culture - has its flaws. That's simply because people are flawed. Yes, their service culture is impeccable, especially when you're served by middle-aged super helpful and super kind ladies. But on every Japanese trip so far, I've always had at least one unkind or impatient service encounter. On a day-to-day basis, people don't really apologise if they bump into you, and may not give up their seats for the elderly too. My cooking teacher says the Japanese are extremely polite in person but would rant and give very bad reviews anonymously at home. I've come to just enjoy their products, service, and their views of certain ways-of-life as a tourist, but stop short of idealising their culture. There are kind and unkind people in every culture. That said, I would still say on average, the Japanese may be more civic-minded than most. That doesn't mean they are innately kinder or warmer people, but simply that they are more self-aware of how their actions are perceived by others.
I've decided not to mention the specific food places as far as possible because I think there's more than enough recommendations available elsewhere. I also think sometimes that we get a bit fomo if we build up too many must-go spots. Enjoy the process of discovering new places! But feel free to ask me more if you like.
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2023.05.29 08:07 ericksonconor Journal snippet:
Just felt like sharing a snippet from a journal entry I made earlier:
I’ve had a fear of demons since childhood.
Being taught about demons and the devil and how they’re evil and want to steal your soul from a young age fucked me up. It was terrifying to me as a child. Then I started hearing about Horror movies like The Exorcist, or other possession flicks, which intensified the fear. This was further reinforced during a bad LSD trip.
When I was a kid I couldn’t understand why God would allow someone to be possessed. Why would he do that? So I figured it was a punishment. Scared straight type thing, right? But God is gentle and loving, right? Why would he cause such immense fear to cause someone to change? I feel like he would gently guide you in the correct direction.
Another irrational fear from childhood is the Faustian bargain. I assume it’s because of my OCD. It was something that gave me the creeps as a child and pre-teen when I read Faust, and my OCD latched onto the anxiety and uncertainty and started giving me intrusive thoughts like:
“Don’t state your desires in your head, a demon will grant them and you’ll lose your soul.”
Or even an intrusive thought directly asking a fictional demon for something.
I don’t think God would allow something so stupid to happen. I have been afraid of this scenario for years and have suddenly come to realize it’s absolutely idiotic. Why would God allow such a loophole? And even if something did come from a demon, I wouldn’t know and I would thank God anyways so why does it matter?
I also have an extremely distorted since of divine punishment. Growing up, mom and dad were extremely strict and mistakes and things such as bad grades were met with anger, yelling, and visible and audible disappointment. So I grew to assume that God would act the same way, since he was my “Father”. (Adding this for context: I went to church service and Sunday school a few times as a child so I was under educated on God’s personality and more so had obedience drilled into me through fear of demons and hell) So the mindset of:
“be perfect or your parents will be disappointed in you. Same with God. He’ll punish you for being bad, just like your parents”
Grew in my head like a weed.
When I had my first mental breakdown, in the presence of that friend group, I needed support badly, but they all pushed me away, and even cut me off (with the exception of (fake name here) “Adam”.). So that mindset quickly evolved into:
“be perfect or your parents will be disappointed in you. Same with God. He’ll punish you for being bad, just like your parents, not only that, the people you love and care about will abandon you and leave you alone in the hardest times. ”
But I don’t think God will allow me to be abandoned so ruthlessly again. My current group of friends are great. And although, because of the history mentioned, I don’t entirely trust them to be 100% honest with my struggles and emotions, I’m learning bit by bit to trust people again. It’s out of my hands. The people who are meant to stay, will stay. Like “Adam”. So if this group abandons me as well, I’m sure at least one person will stick around as well. I trust God not to leave me in the cold again.
Not only that, I have learned my lesson with the drugs and only want to stick with weed and maybe caffeine, but reduce the caffeine amount. No alcohol, haven’t had it in months, almost a year. I want to quit nicotine entirely. nothing harder than weed. I also plan to ask to have the Ritalin removed from my prescriptions, I don’t like the way it makes me feel and it’s physically and mentally addictive.
As for smoking weed? What a joke. I don’t even know why I’m so afraid God is gonna be mad about it. He allows people to drink alcohol and even says a sad man is allowed to ease his emotions with alcohol. Why would weed be any different? Then there is the verse in Genesis that mentioned any herb with seed was for humans to use. Cannabis is an herb with seeds. Let’s continue onto the medicinal properties, I don’t know many but there’s appetite increase, anti cancer, helps ease anxiety and ptsd, helps puts depressed people in an eased and or euphoric mood.
Now with me, how does it help? I can’t handle my stress properly. I forget the name of the disorder, and I suppress any emotion I deem to be “embarrassing” or “unwanted” or more simply “bad”. And then take it out on myself for having them. When I get stoned I can ease those painful feelings, rationalize and accept my emotions and move past them. My physical stress fades. Not only that, it eases generalized anxiety, and social anxiety. But it does increase my irrational anxieties such as demonic possession and divine retribution. I won’t lie about that.
I was even kinder to chuck today while I was stoned, and that dog infuriates me. (I’m not abusive to him or anything but I have a short temper with him because he’s too excitable and doesn’t listen.)(Mom’s dog, wasn’t trained). I was also able to confidently tell the truth about something I deemed would irritate a friend and I wasn’t even judged or mocked. Hell I even started this journal. I say with all this progress after 11 years of stagnancy, God is probably pretty proud of me.
I’ll cut it off here since it’s a wall of text. But it was nice to get my emotions out. Any thoughts guys?
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2023.05.28 05:01 roofralf Hay, Pinas!
Hi, throwaway account because some people might recognize me haha. So, they say there is no place like home - and in my case (or our case), it must be the Philippines. Well, it's not.
I've been living in a foreign country for years and recently had to come back. You know those expat nostalgia stories that we often read online? Well, that is not the case for me. I mean, of course, I enjoyed seeing the people who are dear to me and eating the cuisine I was accustomed to, but that was it. Except for them, I simply hate being here, and I look forward to getting out. The Philippines is a good country to visit from time to time, but not a viable country to live in. My time here in the Philippines brought me a lot of realizations, including the fact that this country is really devoid of opportunities for people to do something meaningful. We can only do so much - especially in a nation populated by (at least) 31 million people who are so adamant about keeping the existing order. We can only romanticize our daily struggles, resiliency in the face of adversities, and strength, and at the end of the day, we are still a group of people who have been actively deprived of opportunities to develop to our full potential. Well, idk, I just want to vent, I guess. I take comfort in the knowledge that my stay here is temporary, but I pity those who are compelled to live a reality in a country like this. I wish for this miracle to knock some sense into the consciousness of our people and make them realize that we deserve a better, kinder, and more conducive environment. Until that day, I think I will live my life elsewhere. Tahanan, after all, stems from the root word 'tahan," which connotes home as a place where all pain ceases to exist. The Philippines is simply not that place.
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2023.05.26 23:34 Determination7 The Skill Thief's Canvas - Chapter 4 / 5
He needed to find out more about Lord Aspreay.
Before that, however, he needed to get some rest.
Adam slept peacefully in his cell that night. He could tell the room had been designed to be a bit uncomfortable – although it was somehow still an improvement over his last dorm room. At least here he wouldn’t wake up in a panic over how to pay for rent. Sure, the mattress was hard, but that was fine.
Being jarred from sleep by two armored men painfully chaining his wrists together? Considerably less fine.
“Good morning,” he drowsily told the guards, as they held him up by his arms. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
Tenver opened his mouth to reply, yet Esteban spoke faster and sharper. “Time for your judgement.”
Adam’s annoyance faded quickly. Compared to dragging himself out of bed at 3 A.M because fire drills were scheduled in the middle of the night for some fucking reason, he honestly didn’t mind this too much.
Instead, he took the time to glean whatever information he could from his surroundings. As Adam walked, the two guards led him down windowless, cold stone hallways. The only adornments he could spot were the numerous paintings lining the walls. Each depicted a full-body portrait of a well-dressed, handsome-looking man. He was standing proud, flanked by swords taller than himself that were stabbed into the ground.
“Hmm,” Adam muttered to himself, as he examined the paintings. All of them were close to identical; likely the result of Lord Aspreay wanting to intimidate prisoners with his ‘noble’ visage.
“Would you quit wasting our goddamn time?” Esteban shouted. Adam had been cooperative on their journey, but every time they passed by one of the portraits, he would come to a sudden halt and take an extra half second to inspect it. Those small pauses were adding up to a priceless amount of time. It wasn’t advisable to keep a Lord waiting. “You’ll see the real deal soon enough – stop gawking and start walking.”
He yanked the chains forward. Adam stumbled and almost fell flat on his face, barely managing to catch himself with his hands. His shoulders fared the worst, as Esteban kept his arms raised the entire time, pulling Adam’s muscles upward. With a little more pressure, his shoulders might have dislocated.
This is the guy Tenver says isn’t a terrible dude? Really? When Adam looked up, he was surprised to see that Esteban didn’t appear like he was mocking him. If yesterday he’d seemed nervous and hot-blooded, today he seemed flat and robotic. It was professional to the point of being fake, hinting at the stress that plagued his mind.
That didn’t make Adam any less furious. I know Tenver told me you don’t have a choice, but…I don’t give a shit.
It wasn’t how he usually processed situations like these. Life had a way of muting his emotions – a fact Adam knew better than anyone. He wouldn’t have lasted this long without developing a few defense mechanisms. As such, it was legitimately hard to make him upset at something.
People like Esteban, though, had a gift for it.
Tenver shot him a pleading look. Adam smiled appeasingly in response, hoping to convey the thought: ‘Don’t worry, I understand.’ Of course, what he actually thought was: ‘I’m going to punch this man in the face someday.’ The guard’s relieved expression showed he’d interpreted the former.
“Sorry,” Adam lied, with a smile. “I just wanted to know what the lord presiding over my fate looks like, you know?”
Esteban grunted. “Yes, yes. Keep walking. We’re almost there.”
In truth, Adam couldn’t care less about the lord’s appearance. What he was most curious about was how the paintings had been done. From what he could tell, while they were extremely similar copies of each other, each one had clearly been inked by hand. Even leaving aside clear indicators of ink, and accounting for the brief time he was afforded to glimpse at each painting, he could see some small differences or mistakes that weren’t present in all of them.
He made a mental note to append his tablet notes.*—*There is (probably) no printing press in this world. At least not one capable of reproducing paintings. This might reflect the technological level I’m dealing with.
Which was strange, since he’d seen a fucking vending machine in the woods earlier. That monstrosity had pissed him off more than Esteban ever could. Food and shelter, all yours for a low, low price! Oh, what’s that? You’re broke? Sorry, better luck next time!
Adam exhaled and took a moment to refocus his thoughts. Outside of that…thing, the level of technology here seemed downright medieval. If this supposedly greedy lord couldn’t afford identical copies of his paintings, then it probably couldn’t be done, period. Unless the man thought handpainted portraits were more impressive than printed ones, but somehow Adam didn’t think a ‘lord’ would care about expressions of individuality; just whether his extravagances would sufficiently awe visitors.
Aside from all that, there was one other detail he’d noticed – the very first, actually. A glaring issue about the paintings that was impossible to miss.
They all really, really sucked.
He’d just started to make a mental reminder to append his notes when Esteban slapped his shoulder and said, “We’re here.” The guards opened an ornate set of double doors, revealing a sight that made Adam stop cold.
Until now, a part of him had held onto the idea that he was still somewhere on Earth. That despite the monsters and magic and strange powers, he could lie to himself and imagine that this was all ‘just’ a weird government experiment. Not even eating, sleeping, and bleeding in this world had fully shaken that notion.
Somehow, it was the Throne Hall, the least fantastical thing he’d seen since getting to this place, that sealed the deal. Maybe it was exactly the mundaneness of it all that convinced him. Maybe it was just the last drop in a continuous stream of oddities that had worn down his sense of reality.
Either way, the dimly lit hall banished away those fears – and summoned new ones.
There were more candles than Adam could see in a single glance, yet they still weren’t enough to brighten the vast, windowless room. Walls made of stone had been decorated in the cover of thick, polished wooden panels, scarred by the dents of time. Six long, rectangular tables stretched throughout nearly the entirety of the Hall, separated in the middle by a red carpet that trailed from the double-door Adam and the guards entered from, all the way to a raised platform whereupon a lonely throne sat.
Thereby ruled Lord Aspreay.
While the lord was less of a perfect specimen than the paintings would have someone believe, his noble features weren’t a result of artistic liberty. Aspreay’s jawline was sharp, his eyes piercing, and his hair dark, although his skin wrinkled with the scars of time. Posture wasn’t his priority; he made a point to raise an impressive chin at their arrival, he leaned to one side, head on hand, elbow on chair.
“All may rise,” the lord declared. “The accused will kneel.”
It was here that Adam noticed the shadowy, hazy figures sitting at the tables. Until now, he hadn’t been aware of their presence. They projected elegance without arrogance, with men sporting trimmed mustaches, women displaying finely braided hair, and everyone dressed in fine silk.
Except for the fourth table, populated by moving, full suits of armor that Adam hoped contained people inside.
He quickly took note of his surroundings. Save for the fourth table, all contained the same type of men and women, and including the fourth, all displayed a lavish amount of food. It was closer to a feast than to a casual midday meal. Not that someone would have noticed from their disinterested eyes, as no occupant in the room appeared to consider the feast anything special.
At that moment, Adam’s mind flashed back to the decayed city, and to the lost souls that wandered its withering, cancerous streets. They starve, but these people…
With that reticent thought, he walked forward. Guided by sharp eyes at his back and red carpet beneath his feet, Adam marched toward the throne and briefly met the lord’s eyes. In that moment, he glimpsed a variety of emotions. Disgust, of course, and disdain too – but there was something else there as well. Something he couldn’t quite place.
There was no time to study further. He fell on one knee, hands still tied behind his back, and looked up at his judge, jury, and possibly his executioner.
How the hell was he supposed to address this guy? Adam often went for a more casual style of speaking when he got nervous. ‘Yo, ah, lord dude, we good?’ came to mind. Which probably wouldn’t be the right thing to say – although it would definitely be the last.
I should try to be more…formal. What counts as formal in this world? Maybe ‘Nice to meet you, sir’? No, that sounded too…Earth-like. Considering how medieval the place seemed, he should try to speak differently. Screw it. Not enough info to make a reasonable guess. Just going to try to be polite. “Thank you for seeing me, sir.”
Aspreay laughed. “Sir, he calls me.” The lord grinned at his servants. “You hear that?”
“Aye, my lord,” a dark-robed man said, sheepishly clasping his hands together. “Think ignorance enough to make him guilty?”
The lord shook his head. “It betrays his birth, not his guilt.”
Adam drew a deep breath. There’s no time to lose my shit over this. Don’t panic. Analyze. Make a plan. What did that exchange tell you?
It was apparent that the lords disdained his ‘Earthly’ way of speaking. While Tenver didn’t tend to speak too differently from Adam despite being a noble, it was easy to read between the lines here. Speaking like a normal person made you sound like a commoner. It gave the lords a convenient way to look down on him.
Fuck that. Decipher what they said. Pretend it’s a code.
Adam wasn’t a linguistics major, but he understood the concept of ‘Nominal Sentences’ well enough. When compared to modern English, this fancy medieval speech was just them omitting words they deemed unimportant.
It was the extreme, quasi old-timey equivalent of saying “I consider Eric my only friend.” The ‘to be’ is omitted between ‘Eric’ and ‘my’ because the context is already understood. Nobles probably found certain words fine to ignore because they shared similar backgrounds, culture, and education. It was probably why they looked down on ‘common’ speech.
Adam grit his teeth. Fine. I’ll play your game. “My lord – forgive me if I misaddress your title.” Fancy medieval speech, omit words. Why not toss in some stupid metaphors while I’m at it? “My memory is lost, and my mistakes bloom in the spring of my recovery. How should my tongue address?”
Lord Aspreay snickered as a smile crept across his face. “You have forgotten your name, but not your manners. That, I appreciate. ‘My lord’ is fitting for your station. Should your banished memories prove your rank higher, then ‘Lord Aspreay’ or ‘Lord Aspreay Walsiege will suffice.”
The lord raised an eyebrow. “Although…I don’t think we need worry much about that possibility. ‘My lord’ will do.” He spoke disdainfully, yet without the intention to insult.
Which almost made it worse.
Aspreay reminded Adam of the occasional guest artist he’d seen at class. The kind who would pridefully explain why their art was better than whatever the students had created, more focused on admiring themselves than acknowledging the existence of – let alone insulting – another work. Not all guest lecturers were like this, but it felt like every semester always had at least one of those types.
Perhaps Lord Aspreay was the fate-mandated replacement for this half of the year, Adam dryly thought.
“I understand, my lord,” Adam replied, closing his eyes and lowering his head in a bow. Stay calm. Keep analyzing. Aspreay had lowered the quasi-medieval speech a bit after their initial verbal exchange. Maybe Adam could talk to him like something resembling a human being now. Or at least like a theater major who’d had too many drinks. “I thank you for your patience and place myself under your wise judgement.”
The lord appeared pleased at that. A moment later, the black robed servant from earlier approached him from behind and handed him a parchment. Aspreay grabbed it with one hand, lazily eyeing it without taking his elbow off the armrest.
“Do you know what you are accused of?” His voice seemed colder all of a sudden.
“No, my lord. I fear I’ve lost my memories.”
“A terrible fate to be suffered…or a prohibitively lucky coincidence.” ‘Too lucky to be believed’ was the omitted ending, Adam thought.
Lord Aspreay sat up for the first time, leaning forward to eye Adam suspiciously. “Two crimes you are accused of. Carrying word of our city to another, and carrying contact of the forbidden beasts into the city.”
In other words – being a spy and getting close to a monster. Better to start with the former.
“I have not and could not carry word to other cities,” Adam said calmly. Almost too calmly. Why am I not nervous right now? “But I assume just claiming as much is hardly enough proof for you, my lord.”
Lord Aspreay smiled. “I question neither your wit nor your manners, but your integrity is another matter. You understand my position, yes?”
“Understand? God, no. I barely understand the world around me, my lord.” Adam flashed a grin at the end. “I can guess, however.”
“Guess, not understand…good, very good. Tell me of what you surmise. Let us work together, shall we?” Lord Aspreay spoke in a friendly tone, as if he wasn’t contemplating ordering Adam’s execution. “Why do you think I fear your allegiances?”
“Because of my entry point to the city,” Adam said. “Lacking in memory, I had no idea there was a proper checkpoint to follow – so I just tried entering the city through the barrier. I imagine spies would do that?”
“They would,” Lord Aspreay nodded, as if playing along with a game. “Even if you have no memories, it should stand to reason that spies would prefer to enter a city unaccounted for. Members of the spy class, generally speaking, are the only ones who can attempt to pass through the barriers without much fanfare.”
An immediate, bright thought popped into Adam’s head. “Ah –my lord, though my hands are chained, if you would have your men check…you will see that one of my hands is quite burned. Would a spy burn their hands upon touching the Barrier?”
The lord turned his head to one of the tables. “Is that true, Esteban?” Adam didn’t turn around to see the response, but he saw Aspreay nod thoughtfully. “It does make you an unlikely spy. Mayhap merely a lackwit…but not likely, considering this conversation. Although a crafty spy might endeavor to use such an injury as justification.”
The nobleman let out a loud, thoughtful sound as he rubbed his chin. “Nevertheless, my immediate opinion is that such actions do not become of you.”
I…think that means he doesn’t think I did it? Adam dared to feel optimism. “Then you agree–”
“–However…unlikeliness does not mean an impossibility. If I am not certain you are a spy, prudence would have me execute you regardless, no?”
Adam somehow remained composed. He values propriety. Keep steady. Panic, and he’ll lose interest. “Even if I am likely innocent?”
“Even if I think you innocent,” he agreed, “I cannot place my subjects – those I know to be innocent – at risk.”
“You would bloody your hands?”
“I am a lord.” He spoke as if this were enough. At Adam’s blank stare, he added, harshly, “My duty is often to paint red with my sword.”
I’d wager you never color it with your own ink. Adam bit his lip. Great, the theater kid is infecting me.
After that momentary annoyance, the next emotion he felt was fury. This man’s logic was absurd. He was willing to kill innocents on the off-chance that they were guilty? Asshole. It was hardly difficult to administer harsh punishments from atop a throne and surrounded by feasts.
In spite of everything, Adam remained calm. If he wasn’t respectful, this wouldn’t work. “That makes sense. My lord is most wise.”
“Oh?” There was some amusement in the lord’s words. “You speak truly?”
“Of course, my lord.”
Aspreay harrumphed and swaggered as if expecting Adam to raise an objection. He looked like the kind of man who enjoyed drawing the ire of his inferiors. Evidently, he wasn’t used to commoners agreeing with him.
“I do not expect you to risk your city to save my insignificant life,” Adam continued, “but you are a kind, noble man. You would not take my life if there was a way to ensure the city wouldn’t be affected.”
“And I suppose you have a way in mind?”
“Yes. Keep me imprisoned.”
The hall went silent.
During that period of respite, it was finally quiet enough for Adam to notice how many people were muttering in the background. Though he couldn’t see their faces, he had to imagine they looked as shocked as the Aspreay. “You would sentence yourself to an eternity in a dungeon?” the lord asked in disbelief.
It honestly wouldn’t be too different from college. “No. Until my memories return. At that point, I would be able to explain my background and adequately convince you that I am no spy. And until then…well, even if I were a spy, I would do the city no harm while locked in that cell, right?”
“And you would be content with that arrangement?”
“I have lost my memories,” Adam said. “I have nowhere to go, nor the ability to feed myself. The jail cell would be a luxury.”
“Perhaps.” He nodded. “But feeding you would cost us coin – you may not know this, but the city suffers. We must curb our expenses.”
Unsaid in the lord’s explanation was: ‘And immediate execution is cheaper than a long term prison sentence’. Despite sounding as if he fully believed himself to be reasonable, he’d moved from his people’s safety to a monetary justification in the blink of an eye, as if they were one and the same. Worst of all, he seemed unaware of the hypocrisy of worrying over expenses when this ‘trial’ practically had a buffet readied for its guests.
I want to strangle this bastard, Adam thought, his chained hands twitching. With a smile, he said, “Ah, but there is more to say, my lord. Would you allow me to make an offer?”
“By all means.”
“I saw on my way here that you are an admirer of art,” he said. “You have collected many portraits of yourself.”
“What of it?”
“I am a painter,” Adam proudly stated. This was the first thing he said today that didn’t sound like bullshit to his own ears. “And I can do better work than what you have right now. By a significant amount.”
If the earlier silence had let Adam know that other people were muttering, now he was painfully aware of the dozens of whispers in the background, so many that they added up to a hazy cloud of noise pollution. That was fine. He’d expected this reaction.
Lord Aspreay barked out a laugh. “You claim to have no memory and expect me to find no issue with you claiming to be a painter?”
“Why not?” Adam asked sharply. “You take no issue with me being able to walk, and I’ll go as far as to say you’d never be confused that a bird can fly. Why question that I can paint?”
“Romantic,” the lord replied in a droll tone. “Yet lacking in substance. Can you prove it to me?”
“Can you give me a canvas, oil, and ink?”
It was here that, for the first time, Aspaready appeared to truly consider Adam’s words. The lord narrowed his eyes and leaned back in his throne. “And if you fail to meet my expectations?”
“Then my lord needs not bother executing me – if I fail to impress someone whose expectations were set by those paintings, then I will gladly slice my own throat.”
Adam was intentionally trying to be dramatic, but he found himself surprised at how much he meant the words. It wasn’t like he felt particularly confident in his oil painting skills. By most definitions, he was an average artist, and while he enjoyed oil painting, he struggled with it. Pencils and styluses were kinder to him than a brush.
Still, the paintings in this world had no perspective at all. They were flatter than what Adam’s old roommate thought Earth was. The full-body portraits of Lord Aspreay had shown no depth between the bushes, rocks, the man himself, or the sword in his hand. The image looked flat, like an old medieval painting.
People often said that perspective in art wasn’t invented until the 1400s. That wasn’t true. Many old drawings showed a semblance of depth and perspective, to varying degrees of success. It was true, however, that Filippo Brunelleschi codified the technique into a mathematical science during the 1400s. Before then, the quality of 3D spaces in art was inconsistent.
"Perspective" in art is an illusion. A carefully crafted trick honed over many generations. Be it either a lack of interest in the trick, or a lack of opportunity to learn from each other, the fact remained that many old paintings looked extremely flat.
And – in Adam's opinion – boring.
Modern perspective would seem like magic to them. A boring, “realistic” style would greatly impress them – especially since the bar for realism was set so goddamn low. Adam might not be particularly tall, but he could still stand upon Da Vinci’s shoulders to reach new heights.
Well, Brunelleschi’s shoulders in this case, but the point stood. This was a world that lacked a printing press and appeared to have a medieval understanding of perspective.
More importantly…art is a luxury, isn’t it? Adam suppressed a grin. Tenver told me your Talent decides everything. Your job. Your skills. It’s how you earn Orbs, how you earn a goddamn living. Non-vital Talents are reserved for sworn servants of rich lords.
Having an artist must be almost as expensive as being one.
And Lord Aspreay, rich as he was, still lived in a dying city suffering from a literal tumor. Tenver had described this place as a remnant of better days; the current dumping ground of the Empire that even trading caravans tried to stay away from. Aspreay could posture as he wanted, feast at the cost of his people’s lives if he dared, but his luxuries were limited not by Orbs, but by availability. Having a proper court painter would be a luxury few lords could boast.
“As I understand,” Adam continued, “my second crime is coming into contact with the creatures outside. Yet I seem not to have been infected by them, right?” He was just guessing that the creature was infectious, but between the tumor and the comments he’d heard, it sounded like a reasonable enough assumption.
“Thus far,” Lord Aspreay conceded. “But that could yet change, if symptoms were to…not to mention, the crime of exposing yourself to such risk, of exposing the city to such risk is–”
Adam raised his head in a dramatic motion. “A foul deed that one should pay with their own life!” he loudly proclaimed. Beneath his clothes, he covertly tested his Ink, making sure it could still shoot out of his hand if necessary. Time to go for broke. “And I will pay that price!”
“You will pay with…your life? Speak plainly!”
“Twenty years,” Adam said. “Even if I regain my memories and I am deemed to be a free man, I will pay back your kindness with twenty years of my work.”
The lord fell into quiet contemplation. Adam could see the gears turning in his head. Yes…this should be a good deal for you, shouldn’t it?
If Adam was incompetent or not a painter at all, then some rope around his neck would easily sort things out. But if he really was as talented as he claimed...well, then having him legally enslaved for twenty years would be the bargain of a lifetime.
Sure, most people would probably view it as horribly exploiting a vulnerable young man, but Adam figured Aspreay was too much of a 'lord' to think of it that way.
Not that I have any intention of staying here for twenty years, Adam mused. But I do need money, food, and shelter. And if his gambit failed…well, Adam was still reasonably certain he could break his chains and attempt an escape. He liked his odds at winning over the lord better than escaping a city full of guards, though.
“You will not leave this building until your memories return?” Aspreay asked, with a thoughtful tone.
“And even after regaining your memories, you will work here for twenty years?”
The lord paused. “What guarantees are there that you would not try to harm me – or other members of my court? Your artistic duties would have you standing closely by our side.”
“You are free to keep my legs chained if you wish to limit my movements.”
After another long pause, Lord Aspreay nodded to the same cloaked servant from earlier. Once more he fetched a piece of parchment, but this time he brought it not to his lord, but to Adam. “What’s that? A contract? I–”
The servant didn’t allow him to finish. The next thing he knew, the cloaked old man had absently stabbed him in the arm with what looked like a bird’s feather, but felt like a knife.
Before Adam could so much as mutter a curse, the servant put the bloodied feather to his parchment. A second later, he looked up to Aspready with a smile. “My lord – he lies not. This man is truly a painter by the name Adam. He shows no sign of spying abilities.”
“Is that so? Consider yourself lucky, Adam the Painter. A single use of that parchment is quite expensive in these parts.”
Which was probably why they hadn’t used it before starting this ‘trial.’ Then again…this had always been closer to a negotiation than a trial. If Adam hadn’t piqued his interest, then Aspreay probably wouldn’t have bothered, even if it was free.
Don’t let your emotions get the best out of you. Focus. Anything odd about that parchment? For one, it seemed that the parchments were single-use, unlike his tablet. For another, it looked like they couldn’t see his Rank or abilities. This plan could have gone horribly wrong if they were able to tell how low his “Talent” was.
But most of all…none of them looked shocked that he was a painter. Surprised, yes, but not shocked. If merely coming into contact with monsters was grounds for execution, then shouldn’t they feel strongly about someone who could seal the beasts inside his drawings?
Maybe that wasn’t something most painters could do.
“I accept your noble commitment to the city!” Lord Aspreay announced, with a booming declaration. “On your feet, Adam! Roland, unchain him – no, no, you need not bother with his feet. Look into his eyes! Feel the man’s honesty and devotion to justice!”
You’re so quick to trust me now that you’ve confirmed my Talent doesn’t involve fighting, Adam thought, with resentment. Wonder if you’d still be so trusting if you knew I could turn my blood into ink, stab you in the throat, and spider-man my way out of here.
Thunderous applause echoed in that shadowy room. Lord Aspreay himself led the effort, with every man and woman rushing to join him. It was an expected response; when a lord clapped, you clapped with him, regardless of your own opinions.
As Adam was unchained by the robed man, he and Aspreay continued to stare at one another. He shoved down the disdain threatening to surface, and instead portrayed the expression of a placid, agreeable, lowly artist who understood his place. That was who Lord Aspreay wanted to see.
Let him think Adam was that man. For now.
At the very least, he was glad to be able to move his arms again. He focused on that emotion as he joined Tenver and Esteban at their table – it made it easier to flash somewhat of a genuine smile at them.
“Thank you,” Tenver whispered as he made space for Adam to sit down. “I know it’s a huge sacrifice you’re making, and that this isn’t fair. But you did the right thing to keep yourself alive. After a while, I will talk to Lord Aspreay to reduce your years of servitude. I promise.”
Adam found his smile more genuine now. “I appreciate that.” He wasn’t planning on staying even a tenth of that term, but he considered it a nice gesture nonetheless – if a bit on the naive side. “Can’t complain, honestly. Got to keep my head.”
“It’s still not right.” Tenver’s whisper lowered to a mutter, his eyes burning with intensity. “I know…” He trailed off and shook his head. “It’s rude of me to say that I know. But I can imagine how hard it is to have no idea why suddenly your life is in someone else’s hand.”
Considering what you told me last night, maybe you really do. “Just gotta keep my head down and look for a brighter tomorrow, right?”
“Of course.” Tenver laughed. “That’s simply how life is. Even if you didn’t volunteer to live under those rules, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them. You have to understand them. Understand him.”
Ah, if only you knew. “Planning on it. Getting to know Lord Aspreay is my top priority.”
“As it should be.”
Adam didn’t miss that Tenver went from philosophical to practical without missing a beat. “The lord is an odd man, but even the maddest of men have their own internal laws that they follow. It will be easier to live with him once you learn what his are.
“Doesn’t sound like you’re pleased about it.”
Tenver didn’t drop his smile, but he did add a slight tension to it. “Doing the right thing is rarely pleasant. Nevertheless, I became an Imperial Guard for a reason. If the system cannot be changed, then I will save people from within it.”
Too optimistic, Adam thought. You can’t help people from inside a broken system. It’s just going to break you down. He didn’t allow his bitterness to show, though. Much as the whole thing was a foolish aspiration, he had to admire the guy for trying. “I’m glad this city has you, Tenver.”
“Thank you, Adam. And before I forget – here you are.” Tenver pulled out Adam’s backpack from under the table and handed it to him. “You seemed very concerned about this earlier, so I figured you’d prefer to have it by your side than leave it alone in the cell.”
“I really do,” Adam excitedly said, pulling his tablet out. “Thank you. Didn’t realize how nervous I was feeling without this.”
Partially because of its connection to his powers, and partially simply because it was expensive as hell. Not that he could buy another while stuck in this world. His tablet was, in every sense of the word, irreplaceable.
“Aren’t you worried?” Tenver gestured at the tablet. “There’s a lot of food and drink here. Won’t they ruin the fabric on your canvas?”
“Fabric?” Adam asked. He only allowed his confusion to last a moment. No way he could afford to look suspicious right now. “Ah…yeah. Don’t worry about it. Painters work in mysterious ways.”
He quickly shifted his eyes around the room to see that most people – the few who spared him any glimpses at all – seemed to be regarding him the same way: not as someone holding an unknown device no one had ever seen before, but as a weirdo who was carrying around an empty canvas.
After briefly turning the bright screen toward Tenver and seeing no reaction, Adam immediately drew out his stylus and wrote a new assumption into his notes.
—People in this world cannot see the tablet. They see a canvas instead. Unclear on the limits of the illusion or its exact shape. Maybe consider testing–
“–PLEASE! I BEG YOU, MY LORD!”
Very few things could divert Adam’s attention when he was focused on his tablet. The fact that he found himself looking at the source of the scream meant everyone else must’ve been already paying attention to it for some time. Only now did he see the kneeling woman, standing where Adam had been a few minutes ago, pleading her case to Lord Aspreay.
Except he seemed more annoyed now. “Woman, be reasonable. Guilty of a crime, by your own admission. Why should you avoid punishment?”
“He – he was also guilty,” she said, pointing in Adam’s general direction. “And my lord showed him mercy. I only ask that you show me that same mercy.”
“Adam did more than ask for mercy. He bought it with his talent, wit, and reason. I give you the same chance, peasant. Have you anything to offer me?”
“Offer? My lord, I’m from Austern. Ever since the city fell, I’ve done nothing but wander and look for a new home. I heard tales of Penumbria, its rapid growth in the Empire, its kind lord–”
“A liar,” Lord Aspreay said. His voice was calm. Too calm. “Not only do you come into my city illegally, not only do you come without bearing gifts, but you also lie. Place yourself in my position, my good woman. A lying criminal demands to further strain your limited resources…would you entertain her?”
“My lord,” the woman began, in a shaky voice, “I beg of you. I am no liar. Truly, I am from Austern!”
Here the lord leaned forward, a frown on his forehead. “That I do not doubt. But if you ran from Austern, you would have passed Coimbrago and Almadares first…and here,” he tapped at a piece of parchment, “we have reports from those cities that you indeed did.”
At that last bit, the woman gasped, causing the lord to smirk in response. “Are you surprised we were aware of that much? Did you think we, at the dumping grounds of the empire, are so dumb and uneducated as to not know our surroundings?”
She went pale. “My…my lord…”
“They turned you down. And so you came to Penumbria, your last choice.” The lord’s face contorted in fury. “You insult my city by thinking of it as lesser than those whoreson-led cockroach nests, then dare to ask for mercy? No!”
The woman was trembling. “As you said it yourself, my lord, those cities were closer to my fallen Austern. I stopped there because I feared the monsters–”
“My decision is made.” The lord stood up. “Your crimes are not so severe as to forfeit your life. Nonetheless, you are not welcome into my city.”
Lord Aspreay raised his hand. Adam felt the entire room tense. With a flick of his wrist, the lord beckoned the hapless commoner forward, his voice low and menacing. The accused woman hesitated, sensing the danger lurking in the motion.
Before she could react, the lord unleashed his magic, and the walls of the throne room yawned open like a gaping maw.
A powerful, invisible force like a mighty tornado threw the woman off her feet, her limbs flailing as she hurtled through the opening. Her terrified scream echoed long after her body disappeared in a dizzying, spinning blur. Somehow, whether through instinct or a power he didn’t understand, Adam knew the woman had landed outside the barrier.
Lord Aspreay stood at the threshold, his features twisted in an eerie smile. “Begone from my territory,” he spat, his voice echoing across the courtyard.
And with that, he closed the walls behind him, stone moving itself into place as if alive.
Lord Aspreay Arcanjo
Talent: Domain Lord (Baron)
Skill: Dominion (Baron)
None can enter this domain without the Talented’s permission. Those without permission are forcibly ejected outside. Complete control over his palace’s stone. Has perfect knowledge of who resides inside his domain at all times. Cannot die while inside his domain.
“That is why,” Tenver whispered, “I said you did well.”
Thanks for reading!
submitted by Determination7
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.26 20:09 Casual_Gangster Fragments of a Mirrored-Voice For a Friend
Ich habe Tote, und ich ließ sie hin und war erstaunt, sie so getrost zu sehn, so rasch zuhaus im Totsein, so gerecht, so anders als ihr Ruf. Nur du, du kehrst zurück; du streifst mich, du gehst um, du willst an etwas stoßen, daß es klingt von dir und dich verrӓt. O nimm mir nicht, was ich langsam erlern. Ich habe recht; du irrst wenn du gerührt zu irgendeinem Ding ein Heimweh hast. Wir wandeln dieses um; aus unserm Sein, sobald wir es erkennen.
I carry the dead, and I let them go and was surprised to see them so confident, so soon at home in death, so satisfied, so unlike their reputation. Only you, you turn back; you brush me, you skirt by, you want to bump against something, so that it sounds of yourself and betrays you. Oh, don’t take from me what I am slowly learning. I am sure; you wander when you are moved toward any one thing out of homesickness. We transform this; it is not here, we reflect it from within our being as soon as we recognize it.
You hear the river as a song, so you begin humming.
We can’t remember the words, so, with your voice,
sinuous, sweeping over its rocks, I’ll write them later.
Instead, I skip rounded sandstone across the shore.
We found comfort living the same day; I still
have not written for you, since following deer
with your eyes. Now, at the arrival of this world,
please, take from me what I am slowly forgetting.
das geht uns an; an einzuordnen wird die Arbeit sein, die wir mit allem tun. Doch das du selbst erschreckst und auch noch jetzt den Schrecken hast, wo Schrecken nicht mehr gilt; daß du von deiner [Stimmen] ein Stück verlierst und hier hereintrittest, [Claire], hier, wo alles noch nicht ist.
this concerns us; this setting in order will be the task for which we give everything. Yet, that you yourself were frightened and still now are terrified, where terror has no meaning; that you lost a fragment of your voice, and have entered here, Claire, here, where everything does not yet exist;
I walk around your body, a rising,
falling voice. Silent, the Cuyahoga river
reaching, reaches for the hollow sound
of morning bells; and from its broken jaw,
our laughter leaves with your certainty.
Where glowing waters fill the swaying grasses,
your body is a garden of water where
we meet blooming lilies.
Sag, soll ich reisen? Hast du irgendwo ein Ding zurückgelassen, das sich quält und das dir nachwill? Soll ich in ein Land, das du nicht sahst, obwohl es dir verwandt war wie die andere Hälfte deiner Sinne?
Tell me, should I travel? Have you left something behind somewhere that tortures you and that longs after you? Should I leave for a country that you’ve never seen, though it was joined to you like the other half of your senses?
Lightly packed, I came to meet our departure.
What do you hear when the owls are hunting?
Your speech, a meadow of dull glass.
What can you see when they rest?
Ich will auf seinen Flüssen fahren, will an Land gehn und nach alten Sitten fragen, will mit den Frauen in den Türen sprechen und zusehn, wenn sie ihre Kinder rufen. Ich will mir merken, wie sie dort die Landschaft umnehmen draußen bei der alten Arbeit der Wiesen und der Felder;
I want to ride its rivers, want to walk its land and ask about its oldest traditions, want to speak with woman in their doorways and watch as they call for their children. I want to see how they wrap the landscape around themselves with the old work of the fields and the meadows;
There, we gathered the grasses into indifference.
We scatter ourselves like loose
seeds into harsh wind.
Dann aber will ich, wenn ich vieles weiß, einfach die Tiere anschaun, daß ein Etwas von ihrer Wandung mir in die Gelenke herübergleitet; will ein kurzes Dasein in ihren Augen haben, die mich halten und langsam lassen, ruhig, ohne Urteil. Ich will mir von den Gärtnern viele Blumen hersagen lassen, daß ich in den Scherben der schӧnen Eigennamen einen Rest herüberbringe von den hundert Düften. Und Früchte will ich kaufen, Früchte, drin das Land noch einmal ist, bis an den Himmel. Denn das verstandest du: die vollen Früchte.
Yet, then, when I’ve learned this much, I want to simply watch the animals, so that something of their movement glides into my limbs; want to have a little of myself in their eyes, which hold me and slowly let me go, calmly, without judgment. I want gardners to recite to me Many flowers, so that, in the fragments of their bright names, I can carry over what remains of their hundred fragrances. And fruits, I will buy fruits still within the earth and until they reach the sky. Because you understand this: full fruits.
White-throated sparrows watching
the blackberries deepen and swell;
where your violet memory, receding along
its simple surface, stalks the violence of color,
your body is an empty cathedral
where its canopy gives way to a thousand fleeing,
Und sahst dich selbst zuletzt wie eine Frucht, nahmst dich heraus aus deinen Kleidern, trugst dich vor den Spiegel, ließest dich hinein bis auf dein Schauen; das blieb groß davor und sage nicht: das bin ich; nein: dies ist. So ohne Neugier war zuletzt dein Schauen und so besitzlos…
And you saw yourself, at last, as a fruit, removed yourself from your clothes, carried yourself before the mirror, let yourself down onto your gaze; that stayed before you, wide, and said not: I am that; no: this is. So without curiosity, at last, was your gaze and so unpossessive…
As the distance between us contracts and widens,
we feed eachother bruised strawberries.
Your eyes held, holding, me to their light
and heavy orbit; complete.
The mirror measured by your brush,
with your newly accepting skin, blushing.
Komm her ins Kerzenlicht. Ich bin nicht bang. die Toten anzuschauen. Wenn sie kommen, so haben sie ein Recht, in unserm Blick sich aufzuhalten, wie die anderen Dinge. Komm her; wir wollen eine Weile still sein.
Come here into the candlelight. I am not afraid to look at the dead. When they return, they have a right to rest themselves just as anything in our sight. Come here; we can be silent for a while.
I’ll measure my breath with yours;
interrupted, the light withdraws into
the slight hesitation of your departure.
Where the restless clouds, flowering, fall
into night, your body is a tower of red grasses
where the ripples rest in their brief shadows.
Erschrick nicht, wenn ich jetzt begreife, ach, da steigt es in mir auf: ich kann nicht anders, ich muß begreifen, und wenn ich dran stürbe. Begreifen, daß du hier bist. Ich begreife. Ganz wie ein Blinder rings ein Ding begreift, fühl ich dein Los und weiß ihm keinen Namen. Laß uns zusammen klagen, daß dich einer aus deinem Spiegel nahm. Kannst du noch weinen? Du kannst nicht. Deiner Tränen Kraft und Andrang hast du verwandelt in dein reifes Anschauen und warst dabei, jeglichen Saft in dir so umsetzen in ein starker Dasein, das steigt und kierst, im Gleichgewicht und blindlings.
Don’t be frightened if I, now, understand; here, it rises in me: I can do nothing else, I must grasp it, even if I first die. Grasp that you are here. I understand. Just as a blind man recognizes their surroundings, I feel your path and know it by no names. Let us mourn together that someone took you out of your mirror. Can you still cry? You cannot. The force and rush of your tears in your ripe gaze transforms you and it was there that every fluid inside you realizes its full being, rising and circulating, in balance and blindly.
I still cry, but I know
how the fragments of your mirrored-
voice will gather into refuge. Turning
into your body, I look out
from your voice.
Da trugst du dich ab und grubst aus deines Herzens nachwarmen Erdreich die noch grünen Samen, daraus dein Tod aufkeimen sollte: deiner, dein eigner Tod zu deinem eignen Leben.
There, you wore yourself down and dug out from your heart’s nightwarm soilbed the still green seeds, from which your death should sprout: your own, your very own death that is your own life.
Here, our countless faces passing
and following eachother across the street;
our countless voices recalling the sound
of past names from within their skulls.
This small death, among many, holds
the earth beneath us.
Weißt du, wie dein Blut aus einem Kreisen ohnegleichen zögernd und ungern wiederkam, da du es abriefst? Wie es verwirrt des Leibes kleinen Kreislauf noch einmal aufnahm; wie es voller Mißtrauen und Staunen eintrat in den Mutterkuchen und von dem weiten Rückweg plötzlich müd war.
Do you know how your blood reluctantly returned when you called it back to its incomparable circuit? How it confused the body’s narrow circulation to take it up once more; how, full of mistrust and wonder, it entered the placenta and was, at once, exhausted from its distant return.
As our lives part from their brief reunion,
our voices relearn the shapes of their former bodies.
You take back your hand. I take back mine,
and my blood excitedly leaves
behind its rushing, clotting names.
Wie war dein Leben kurz, wenn du’s vergleichst mit jenen Stunden, da du saßest und die vielen Kräfte deiner vielen Zukünfte schweigend herabbogst zu dem neuen Kindkeim, der wieder Schicksal war. O wehe Arbeit. O Arbeit über alle Kraft. Du tatest sie Tag für Tag, du schlepptest dich zu ihr.
How your life was short, if you compare it with those hours you sat and the varied forces of your many futures, weakly arcing down toward the new child-seed, that was, once again, fate. Oh, sore labor. Oh, labor beyond all strength. You did it day after day, you dragged yourself to it.
Yet, even holding emptiness and torn by teeth,
I hear that you do not suffer.
Confined, confiding, in me; the mirror
that could not carry your gaze beyond
my own. Where their stained petals
perch across a blue dream, your body
is a prison without walls where grasses overhang
and the canal is reflected in your paneled voice.
Hörst du, daß ich klage? Ich möchte meine Stimme wie ein Tuch hinwerfen über deines Todes Scherben und zern an ihr, bis sie in Fetzen geht, und alles, was ich sage, müßte so Zerlumpt in dieser Stimme gehn und frieren.
Do you hear that I suffer? I would like to toss out my voice like a cloth over the fragments of your death and keep pulling at it until it is torn to pieces and all that I say must walk and leap, shining, in this voice.
The fragments of your voice
carried and covered in our many deaths.
I only suffered, at first, because, I could not speak
with this voice; a voice incomplete
without letting you walk away.
Now, the full fields rush backward
from the train window into a heavy sky
where I am writing this to you.
How can our voices carry over from our dying?
Wir haben, wo wir lieben, ja nur dies: einander lassen; denn daß wir uns halten, das fällt uns leicht und ist nicht erst zu lernen.
We have, where we love, yes, only this: letting eachother go; because that we hold eachother comes easily to us and is not all to learn.
Where the sky collects furious eyes and budding days,
your body is a tree, loosening its hair, rising
into desire, whose crying limbs shake into fever.
Our ankles swinging over lake Ontario,
I saw dark suns nest in your eyes
as we whispered 80,000 words at dawn.
Wenn du noch da bist, wenn in diesem Dunkel noch eine Stelle ist, an der dein Geist empfindlich mitschwingt auf den flachen Schwallwallen, die eine Stimme, einsam in der Nacht, aufregt in eines hohen Zimmers Strömung: So hӧr mich: Hilf mir. Sieh, mir gleiten so, nicht wissend wann, zurück aus unerm Fortschritt in irgendwas, was wir nicht meinen; drin wir uns verfangen wie in einem Traum und drin wir sterben, ohne zu erwachen. Keiner ist weiter. Jedem, der sein Blut hinaufhob in ein Werk, das lange wird, kann es geschehen, daß er nicht mehr hochhӓlt und daß es geht nach seiner Schwere, wertlos. Denn irgendwo ist eine alte Feindschaft zwischen dem Leben und der große Arbeit. Daß ich sie einseh und sie sage: hilf mir.
If you are still here with me, if in this darkness There is still a place where your spirit tenderly resonates on the flat sound of a voice alone in the night, stirred up into the currents of a high chamber: so hear me: help me. See, we slide like so, not knowing when, back from our stride into something we never meant; within us, we are enlarged like in a dream and, within, we die without waking. No one is further. Anyone who has raised their blood into a lengthy work that they can no longer keep from continuing and that it pursues their severity, uselessly. Since somewhere there is an old feud between our lives and the great labor. That I look at you and you say: help me.
How? Help me realize how to continue
walking without our conversation.
No one is closer. No one can be closer.
Help me sleep without forgetting how
our small dreams rise, then disperse,
again, into their distinct smiles.
There, where our path ends, there is a new friendship
between our lives and their labor.
Komm nicht zurück. Wenn du’s ertrӓgst, so sei tot bei den Toten. Tote sind beschäftigt. Doch hilf mir so, das es dicht nicht zerstreut, wie mir das Fernste manchmal hilft: in mir.
Do not return. If you can endure, stay dead with the dead. The dead are busy. But help me, so that it does not scatter you how the distant sometimes helps: in me.
Where the flesh of morning fades though
thinning leaves, your voice is the body of an uninterrupted
sky, rushing with seabirds where your
pulsing bark meets changing water.
We walk and talk in half-circles like a blunt
hook torn from the throat. You wear
my coat through the night with a harsh
but enduring light. I try to speak with our we
, yet I have forgotten how our voices
undress, slipping into the confidences
of another life. I splice our pleasures and sufferings
you graft them like tongues onto
lilac bushes, brilliant and motionless.
Co-existing in the Summer Starving Girl Breakfasts I Have Had Longing
these are new translations of Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Requiem Für Eine Freundin”
scattered alongside fragments of letters
submitted by Casual_Gangster
to OCPoetry [link] [comments]
2023.05.25 16:45 aden-jeager Nature of Chaos, Chapter 5 (A Warhammer Fantasy and NOP Crossover)
This story is a crossover between u/SpacePaladin15
's Nature of Predators and Creative Assembly's Warhammer Old World. It is by no means canon or my creation. I have followed the NOP story and several fanfics for over a year. I am also a massive Warhammer fantasy fan. I decided to contribute to the list of Fanfics. Also, this will be my first story written for the public eye, so I welcome any criticisms. Without further adieu, let us get into the story. Memory Transcription Subject: Sawrin, Gobjib Exterminator. Location REDACTED. Date(human standard time) September 29th 2136
I do t know when it happened, but I had fallen asleep during the night. It wasn't a good sleep. I had a nightmare of horned things chasing me through a forest, I could feel them all around me, but every time I focused on them, I saw only trees. At first, I thought they were the Beastmen again, but these horned things felt more malevolent and conniving. As I ran, I eventually saw one rise in the shadows; its glowing red eyes glowered down at me, and just as it reached for me, and its long, inky black claw touched me, I woke up to Sorna shaking me.
" Wake up, Sawrin!" She urged.
I opened my eyes to find myself breathing hard and my heart racing. My quills were fully extended, and a few holes were torn in the mattress I didn't realize I was on. "Did I hurt you?" I asked with worry.
Seeing that I was awake, she visibly calmed. " No, I'm ok, but you were whimpering and beginning to panic. I thought it would be best to wake you before you hurt someone or yourself. " She explained. " Was it a nightmare?"
I nodded " I was being chased through the forest by something horned, Beastmen, but every time I tried to focus on it, I couldn’t see it until the end when you woke me, but even then, it was still only a shadow." Looking around, I realized we were the only ones besides Serula's body in the room." Where did the Human go?"
Sorna lowered her tail," I don't know, I woke up, and he was gone. The dwarf was here, though, and said that Eric's friend was here, and he was explaining things to him downstairs."
" So then he's probably in the main room," I said, stretching.
"Yeah, probably." Sorna agreed.
" Then where did the dwarf go then?"
" To get Eric and to tell them I was awake; they should be back any moment."
" Oh, great," I said sourly.
Sorna but me with her tail. "What is your problem with them? They Have been kind to us; they saved our lives and even got us a place to stay that isn't outside."
" They are predators, or have you forgotten that?"I said simply.
" Predator or not, you at least can be kinder to them. And another th….." she was cut off as the door opened; Eric stepped through the door first and nodded to the both of us.
" Good to see you both awake. I would like the two of you to meet someone. " Gesturing behind him, a tall, regal-looking predator stepped through the door. It looked similar to the human except for a few key features. First, its hair was long and silky smooth with white coloration. Its skin was fairer and less marked than the dwarf or the human, and it had pointed ears. Its eyes were also different; where the human had generally warmer eyes, and the dwarf had hard eyes, this predator's eyes were cold, almost reptilian, in a way; the way it watched my every move set me on edge in a way the human and the dwarf did not. In its hand, it held a long slim staff, clothed in splendid robes with gold thread and tassels on the shoulders. The gold made patterns on the fabric, depicting wide eyes, faces, and swirling suns." This is Eldicir, the mage that advises the Elector count of Talabecland and a loremaster." He explained and then gestured to the two of us. " The poofy looking one is the Venlil named Sorna, and the hedgehog is called a Gojib. His name is Sawrin."
Sorna wavered her tail in greeting while I simply stared. The new predator simply stared back. " You said they can understand us but cannot speak to us without the device?" It asked in a silky smooth, but calculating voice.
Eric nodded" Yes, I can hand you the one I've been using if you want."
The new predator nodded. " That might be wise. It will make conversation faster," it said with a tight smile. Holding its hand out, Eric reached into his own ear, removed the translator, and handed it to the new predator, who slid it into his ear.
Once it was in, Sorna was the first to speak. "So, are you a human?"
The new predator shook its head. " No, I am an REDACTED."
Sorna's tail drooped in confusion. " A what?"
" The name means High Elf though we call ourselves Asur. " The elf explains.
Sorna nodded in understanding. " Why are you here?" I asked, doing my best to keep the question conversational instead of aggressive, for Sorna's sake.
I fail. The elf raised an eyebrow. " I am here to fix a situation before it becomes dangerous."
" And what might that be?"
The elf gestured to Serula's body. " I do not know how much stock is placed on your souls; however, in this world, your souls are very valuable."
" Like, the afterlife? You worried about our friend's soul and if it made it to a predator afterlife?" I asked, not quite believing what I was hearing.
The elf shook his head. " No, I worry he is not safeguarded from the Ruinous powers."
I stared at him blankly. Sorna, however, spoke up. " But, I thought they were things like the Beastmen." She said, confused.
" They are agents of Chaos, but not its true nature. Because of limitations in our world, Chaos God's host cannot stay in our realm for extended periods; their influence on our world and the spiritual is still strong. "
I began to laugh. “I'm sorry, but you're scared that some boogie men will take our friend's soul that we don't even believe in? " I asked. This was too much, these predators may have saved us, but they were crazy. Religion had died out for the most part in the federation Because we grew past it. Yet, they believed that spirits hunted souls.
The souls of the dead and the Beastmen were their agents? This was ridiculous.
" You find this amusing?" The elf asked with a chuckle of his own.
" I really do. Yes, the fact that you think gods are out there to get us is preposterous! They don't exist. Souls are just something people came up with to make sure people were good.
Eldicir shook his head. " You wish for proof them?"
I snorted. " Like you could give me any.
Nodding as if accepting the challenge, the elf began to mutter and closed his eyes. Light played around the elf's staff, and, more terrifyingly, shadow shifted around his hand. When his eyes opened, I gasped in surprise as my quills rose. Glowing white orbs of energy replaced his cold eyes. In a motion faster than I could react, its hand flashed out and grabbed my head. In just a shot of time, I lost feeling in my limbs, and my vision darkened. I felt nothing. Error…..Error, transcription corrupted, Memory Lost. Talabecland, Taalagad, the Ten-tailed Cat. I.C. 2505.
Eldicir opens his eyes and finds himself standing in a forest. I could have been anywhere, but that did not matter. What mattered was the little Gojib standing about ten feet from him. His eyes were wide in fear and confusion, his quills standing on end. He stepped toward the frightened creature, pushing a branch out of the way, the only audible sound announcing his presence. Sawrin took a breath. " How…. What did you do?! Where am I?" He asked in a panic.
Eldicir smiled. " You don't recognize it?
" My, my nightmare." Sawrin looked around, trying to remember. Eldicir saw the realization, and terror bloomed across the Gojib's body.
" Very astute of you, Sawrin. This is your dream recreated through The Grey Wing of Uglu. Can you notice anything different, however?" The elf asked, enjoying this a little.
Sawrin was silent momentarily before speaking, "Well, you are here.
" Yes, and what else?"
He fell silent again, trying to figure out what he was missing. " There is no Beastmen in the shadows."
Eldicir nodded. " Yes and no. There never were any Beastmen. The thing that chased you was something far worse."
"One of the dark gods?" Sawrin asked, half-mocking this time.
" No, nothing so powerful, but a Daemon, yes.
Not surprisingly, I watched Sawrin stiffen in fear. " But it didn't look like an Arxur."
The elf shook his head." No, they wouldn't. The Arxur, like you and I, have needs. A Deamon is above such limitations.”
Gojib's eyes went wide. " But, then, where is it?"
" As of now, I am keeping it at bay, as it is a weaker Deamon, though still to be feared. I will let you see it, then tell me it is just a superstition.
"What!?" Sawrin exclaimed in a panic. With a gesture, a dark presence settled over the elf as his many wards began to glow. Stalking in the shadows, they. They Could now make out a form; this time, however, it was not hiding in a dream but was there while they were awake. The detail was also more apparent, and Eldicir steeled his heart for the form he says. Slinking in the shadows as a tall figure with spike-like vertebrae running down its back, it looked sickly thin, except for the toning that was muscle. Not an ounce of fat was on its whole frame. Its hands ended in long sharp claws that could easily rend flesh and bone. Its head was dominated by thorns and spikes, which outlined its head. I. The center of the face, a triangular pit of a nose, could just be seen under two eyes that glowed like embers; the hate, malice, and rage in them were unmistakable and sent Eldicir's skin crawling. From there, its long forehead bore a pyramid shape with a line through the top and horns growing from it that was the Mark of Korne. Beyond the head grew two massive horns that mimicked the mark.
Sawrin, understandably, was utterly terrified. He stood there petrified as it stalked to the edge of the shadow, a long prehensile to get sliding out of its fanged maw. The Gojib quickly stumbled backward but fell to the ground with a cry. " Please, make it go away, please!" It pleaded as the Deamon rushed forward, ready for the kill. With a wave of his hand, Edlicir threw blinding light at it. The thing screamed as the light burned and pushed it back, flaming Icor spilling from multiple wounds made by the magical attack. Then, it was over. The Deamon was gone.
" Is it just superstition now?" My l Memory Transcription Subject: Sorna, Venlil communications specialist. Location REDACTED
I gave up trying to fight against Eric fifteen minutes ago and resolved to cry into my hands. When the elf touched Sawrin, his entire body stiffened, his eyes rolled back into his head, and he lost all color. The only reason. I think he didn't fall over because Eldicir was holding onto him. The shadows and light still swirling around him. Now and then, the shadows spiked, or light flashed, but they stood there for a long time.
Credit to Eric, he did his best to comfort me, but unlike the other humans, he was hard, but in his build and because of his armor. But his scratching still felt good. About an hour after Eldicir grabbed Sawrin, the glowing and shadows diminished around the elf, and color began to return to Sawrin. Within a few moments, the elf stepped forward and gently laid the Gojib on the bed. Sweat beaded on Eldicirs forehead as he stood back up, taking a deep breath.
" What did you do to him?" I asked.
Eldicir glanced at me and then spoke. " I gave him the proof he so desired. I showed him the thing that puts your friend's soul in danger. "
" It…. It's true. " I heard a weak voice say. To my surprise was Sawrin. Eric let go of me, and I ran over to him. His whole body was shaking with fear, his eyes wide and quills twitching randomly.
" What did he show you?" I asked comfortingly, doing my best to wrap my tail around him.
" We went back into the dream. He showed me what was chasing me. " He began before his mouth worked, but no words came out.
" He showed you the Beastmen?" I promoted.
Sawrin shook his head as tears came to his eyes. " N… no. It was, it was." He didn't finish before bursting into tears. And burying his face into the bed. After a bit, he managed to get calm down enough to speak. It was horrible. The hate, the evil it radiated, it wanted me, it called me by name, the things it wanted to do, just. The Arxur is child's play compared to it." He said, on the verge of sobbing
" What you saw was a Bloodletter of Khorne. A lesser Deamon, but still very dangerous." Eldicir said calmly. " They are drawn to violence, anger, and rage. I placed wards on you to keep you safe, but you still attracted its attention. You must deal with your anger towards predators, Sawrin."
Sawrin nodded but said nothing as he continued to sob in despair. " So, a Bloodletter is a Deamon? " I asked, confused. Sawrin nodded but said nothing as he continued to sob in despair.
The elf nodded. " Yes, it is one of many. However, blood letters are Daemons of Korne, the Chaos god of blood, battle, and rage. As such, his Daemons are drawn to such things." He said solemnly.
"Why did you show him this?" I demanded, unable to bare seeing Sawrin in this state.
" To show him what would find your friend's soul if we did not intervene. But we fear something else if the soul is caught." The elf says.
" What else do you fear?"
If the Daemons get the soul, they may learn of your realms and will seek it out. And if that happens, then this war you fight would be the least of your worries; you, like us, will fight extinction, not enslavement, but outright eradication at the hands of Chaos."
I stared in shock as the implications dawned on me. If it got out, what we had just found would bring horror and despair to our worlds and homes, leaving many shattered, if not dead. I looked at Sawrin. He had shaken himself to sleep to some relief, though his body still trembled from what he had experienced. " Then do what you must. " I said softly.
Warhammer Vocab! Elector Count
-An Elector Count, who may be male or female, is the feudal ruler of one of the Empire's constituent Electoral Provinces, the primary subdivisions of the realm. Loremaster- extremely powerful mages of the high elves, often from the Loremaster of Hoeth. Ulgu
- the name for the grey wing of magic. This magic is associated with illusions, shadows, and trickery. Hysh
- The name of the white wind of magic, or light magic. It is often seen as healing, exorcism, and protective magic. Korne
-the Chaos God of war, hatred, rage, wrath, blood, martial honor, strength, and murder.
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2023.05.24 13:26 buisnesshiba Love completes us
2023.05.24 00:40 No-Wait-307 Love completes us
2023.05.23 22:38 CottonPlant99 Drumsticks for a poorly playing punk?
I've recently become the drummer in an amateur punkband. The music is very fast and aggressive, and i find my drumsticks break often. (I'm trying to adjust my playing to be kinder on them!) I've no idea what type of sticks i'm using, simply taking from the mountian that the lead singers drummer dad has kindly donated to us. Is there a type or material of drumstick ideal for this type of music/playstyle?
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