The golden touch by nathaniel hawthorne

Salem, Massachusetts

2014.01.22 02:27 DollfaceKilla Salem, Massachusetts

Welcome to Salem. This is the subreddit for everything about Salem, MA. We welcome tourists and locals.

2016.02.12 16:00 flapanther33781 A place to discuss Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages

Want to talk about The 5 Love Languages (as described in Gary Chapman's books)? Looking for ideas or examples you can apply in your own life? Looking to share your experiences? Come on in!

2020.02.19 23:38 Jprhino84 BritBoxUK

BritBoxUK is a community for discussing the British version of the BritBox streaming service. We are not the BBC or ITV nor affiliated with them. This subreddit is fan-run.

2023.05.28 20:48 STEIN197 Gravity of Reality

We were laying in her bed as always and watching a movie I didn't interested in. But she was totally swallowed up by it. Suddenly she took her look away from the movie and looked at me. I didn't expect that but a second later she thrusted her lips against my ones, making a gentle yet passionate kiss. I felt her tender, velvet skin, its pleasant texture, I felt her look at me, how she looks at me with infinite love, taste of her lips, scent of her dense, crimson hair. I felt myself so fulfilled and happy, that I didn't need anything else on this world, only that moment, only her.
My hands and my whole body were reaching out towards her, wanting to reunite again, which she wanted too. Despite that for some reason she responded scantily. Like she wanted to do so yet couldn't allow that happen. But it wasn't all. Something definetely let me know that it wouldn't last long, a feeling of approaching darkness. It held us away from the reunion, from each other. I definetely felt it. I felt that beyond these walls of our room there was a total, eternal and infinitely deep abyss. Nothing. Emptiness. That we were the only that's left of the universe. The only island of peace and sense that was trying to survive within this endless and black, as the universe itself, chaos.
That blackness started to slowly sneak inside us. I felt how it went from the inside of me, corrupting all my emotions, my consciousness, driving us endlessly far apart. Like the cosmic dark energy itself that inflates the eternal universe. It almost devoured us. Our lovely island started to dissolve. Nothing held us together anymore. At last, we were dissolved too. Emptiness devoured us. Eternity itself.
Later, I woke up from this dream, bitterly realizing that that was only an illusion. There are no more her lips. I'm not touching her skin anymore, not feeling her hair, her look - gone and she doesn't want this anymore. She's gone. The reality deceived me again. Instead, the pain was getting back and tears were going up to my eyes. I started to feel the gravity of reality. That was only an illusion, a matrix you live in while being in sleep. But once you wake up, the reality gets back, without illusions, without happiness, without her.
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2023.05.28 20:46 upvoteloveboat Magic Schoolbus episode 69 "sex education" erotic fan fiction hardcore *warning* read at own risk

The magic schoolbus raced at breakneck speed through the shimmering chartreuse ocean of urine, approaching the penis like one of those Amazonian fishes that swims up through your piss and into your body, entering through the urethral chasm JUST as the river suddenly stopped, barely catching soft fleshy edge, it skidded into its own just as the alluring yet playfully feminine voice of Ms Frizzle could be heard over the squeels and screams of her prepubescent incredibly attractive students.
“ATTENTION CLASS SETTLE DOWN We’re now moving through the urethra on our way to see the beautiful machinery of the male sex apparatus and I have a very special announcement to make about today’s class.”
The students were wet with anticipation. Ms frizzle was a legendary goddess of sexual desire – a 24 year old Princeton graduate with enormous voluptuous breasts that were barely contained by the skimpy yet tastful floral dress she had chosen to wear for todays lesson about sex. Today was a special day for Ms Frizzle. Today was a special day for her students too, but they had no idea what they were in for. As she applied her lipstick that morning she licked her lips and winked a the mirror with the knowledge that after today, there’d be no turning back. The magic schoolbus was going to forge its own path, and Ms Frizzle was going to shepherd it, and her flock of sexy little students into a new age of juicy orgiastic sexual exploration and transformation. She was a leader, a perverted genius who knew the only way to bring about the sexual revolution that she had imagined that night 69 days ago in the wetest most prophetic and life affirming dream she’d ever had, was to fuck each and every one of those students and teach them about their bodies at the same time. She came then and there just thinking about it. The fear of the chase, the furious parents, the government, the fuckin pigs, the masses who didn’t understand, who had created and stoked in her a fire that grew and grew and eventually formed the pyre from which she had emerged anew, a fire breathing red headed phoenix goddess with a pussy as sweet as her temperament and the burning desire to show those sexy little slaves exactly what they didn’t’ know they needed and wanted so fucking bad.
“Whats that big orange mountain” Ralphie asked, his eyes clearly ogling Ms Frizzle’s full, voluptuous breasts before finally glancing up and into her gleaming hazel eyes.
“We’re passing by the prostate, but lets switch gears here and I’ll finally get to my big special announcement. Today, I’m going to show you how to experience the most beautiful thing of all, the human orgasm. Ralphie, come up to the front of the bus and bring Wanda with you.
Ralphie looked at Wanda and Wanda looked at Phoebe, and Phoebe looked at Dorothy anne, and slowly but surely an intoxicating mist of consensual YESness farted into existence and the students simultaneously. Moistened with the juicy realization that Ms Frizzle was about to blow their sexy little fucking minds today.
Wanda and Ralphie made their way to the front of the bus, both barely able to contain their excitement and anticipation, Ralphie awkwardly trying to hide his massive boner and stumbling into wanda as she dragged her tight little body toward Ms frizzles perfect waiting figure of sexual awesomeness. Ralphie’s hand touched Wanda’s breast and they both came at once, a sudden rush of pleasure that shocked and titillated everyone on the bus including the bus itself which uttered a rumble of satisfaction that served to vibrate everyone’s genitals even more. Ms Frizzle laughed and embraced them both as they fell into her arms.
“see how amazing the human body can be?? Her tits jiggled as the laughed. “ Under the right sexy conditions and with enough mutual attraction between partners, the slightest stimulus can trigger orgasm, which give us the rush of dopamine into our brains that we all so essentially and fundamentally crave. She put her hand forcefully down Ralphie’s pants and grabbed his throbbing member, triggering yet another staggeringly unlikely orgasm to erupt from ralphie’s khaki pants, shredding them to pieces as the gossamer lacework of shimmering semen spattered across the super sexy faces of the rest of the class.
With her other perfect arm Ms Frizzle removed Wanda’s clothes with a deft gesture and Wanda’s little perfect body was revealed to the now feral class who all came once again at the.mere sight and anticipation of Wanda’s beauty and the dark sexy knowing of what was definitely to cum.
“Let me show you how much fun we can have together, not just as a class, but as a family, a magic school bus family who society won’t accept or understand but will have to acknowledge because we can do whatever the fuck we want on our sexy magic schoolbus of orgiastic sexual freedom, and our hedonistic transformations will usher a new era of glorious and super hot proportions for humanity, led by me, Ms Frizzle, the hottest most perverted and confident bisexual genius succubus siren fairy witch dream being that your sexy little underage asses have ever had the privilege of being kidnapped by. And I know I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition but god damn it I love each and every one of you and I’m going to fuck your little brains out today and every day for the rest of our beauteous perfect little lives because that’s what you need, that’s what you want, and most importantly, its what I want and need, and Ms Frizzle gets whatever the fuck she wants.” And with that, Ms Frizzle pulled her dress off to reveal the sexiest dominatrix costume anyone had ever made for themselves at one of Chantle and Brian’s parties and a cat o nine tails appeared seemingly out of nowhere in her other hand.
Like zombies the students were hypnotized by Frizzle, a witch goddess that poor little Wanda and Ralphie never even had a chance to save themselves from, bent themselves into the most urgent and accepting positions they could contort their desperately consenting perfect bods into. The class had been unable to contain themselves from the moment they saw Frizzle’s dress come off and an orgy of such Dionysian vigor and passion had erupted that the Magic school bus soared forward on a cloud of its own orgasmic exhaust and the sounds of the class coming again and again and again could be heard echoing betwixt the prostate mountains as the magic school bus drove, ever onward into the new age of humanity. Led by the myth, the legend, the one hottest teacher to ever teach her students how to be fuck and be fucked, Ms Mother fuckin Frizzldeedizzledeedoo.
This is dedicated to all those students who ever wanted to fuck their teacher.
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2023.05.28 20:45 Hedgewitch250 Thoughts on this superpower system

I’ve been making a system for a cosmic horrosci-fi world I’ve been making. Any questions or suggestions are appreciated.
During a field trip by a Toronto class to Oregon an otherworldly anomaly struck the town of Ashland. A field of energy surrounded the town with all sorts of paranormal phenomena taking place in it. A small number of the people struck by the energy became altered, giving them numerous powers.
While the powers can range from controlling energy to taking to animals they can also be on the weirder scale. An example is someone having the power to talk to space giving them the power to fold it for a myriad of actions. Not all powers are easy to control as some can come with downsides. Someone who flies may no longer be able to touch the ground as they make a field of localized gravity or another who makes fire is perpetually stuck as a flaming human. These special needs require equipment to manage like weighted shoes to keep them down or fire-resistant clothing. Other changes include physiology. Someone who has their appearance altered (aside from the potential body dysmorphia) may need a complete change in diet and lifestyle to live. Someone giving elk-like attributes now needs a complete herbivore diet as too much meat could be lethal.
One large downside to the altered is they cannot go past the anomalies border. Trying to go past it causes their powers to go out of control. Someone with electrical powers ended up destroying an acre of land simply cause they were put a few feet away from the anomaly. While the anomaly continues to grow and could potentially become a universal existing force any attempts at escaping it for an altered person could be dangerous and even lethal.
One peculiar trait that the altered have is the ability to blend their powers. This “resonance” is done by the energies that they have interacting with one another creating synergy with another into a whole new power. While this can’t be done by random individuals those that. Can match their powers could create something amazing. Take one person who controls air, another who controls ions, and finally someone with telekinesis. With resonance, they can use their powers to create a plasma that isn’t simply controlled by them together but is now a new power they can all use until resonance ends.
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2023.05.28 20:44 Careless_Foot_877 Members who don’t follow template- standard?

I wonder if others would feel the same way. Today at 3G class, a member got on the tread next to me and stretched their legs by putting feet on the arm rails and cupholder. We live in LA where streets are vile, so touching shoes to anything people contact should be avoided. After tread, we moved to the rower and they moved to another tread in front of my rower and ignored the coach guidesd work out and did their own thing on their double tread block. Then on the floor they did their own workout again and didn't follow the template. They left ten minutes early. I see this person in class often and it's always some version of this behavior. It drives me crazy! I know it's my workout and I shouldn't care but I also find a distracting. Is this normal and does this happen in other studios? How do members or coaches feel about it?
submitted by Careless_Foot_877 to orangetheory [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:43 torch_dreemurr 「We Will Rock You」, a Stand from my Fanpart!

「We Will Rock You」, a Stand from my Fanpart! submitted by torch_dreemurr to fanStands [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:43 pepealboniepepe Game Master Superpowers

Keep in mind that these powers can only be used during RPG sessions and cannot be monetized. All of them are limited by what you can imagine (they won't work unless you have at least a vague idea of what you want). I will try to answer questions in the comments:)
  1. Summon Miniatures: You can magically summon as many minis of both enemies and player characters as you need. They are a perfect representation of the character you or your players envision, can be hyperrealistic or stylized. They can move on their own and perform actions that are described at the table (including optional VFX like blood or magic sparkles for spellcasters). This can also create any props. They vanish as soon as the session is over. You describe characters' looks and actions (especially in combat) with ease.
  2. Voice Manipulation: You can easily change your voice so that it perfectly mirrors how you imagine your NPCs sound like. It can be both made up or a parody of an irl actor, as well as singing. You can also project your voice so that it's heard from anywhere in the room, as well as perfectly mimic animals and other sounds, like rushing water or thunder. Unlike Ambient Control, you can only make those sounds with your mouth and can't speak while imitating a waterfall for example. You always know what a character would say or do in any given moment (great in-character improv).
  3. Ambient Control: You can completely control the vibes in the room. Perfect, fitting music and sound FX can be heard without the need to find the MP3 online. You also control the lights (intensity, colour, position), smells, temperature, humidity, texture of walls (turn them into wood, stone cave etc) and can create other sensations like shaking of an earthquake. You can make illusory particles like snow or confetti fall from the celling. Unlike Voice Mimicry, it all happens in the background and doesn't interrupt your speaking, however you can't make your players hear voices (except sound FX like screaming or indistinc whispers). You can describe atmosphere of a room/scene with ease.
  4. Magical Maps: The surface of your game table becomes a magical, moving, 3D model of any scene you describe. It can be stylized or hyperrealistic. You can also make it look like an old time-y political paper map or a sci-fi map of a solar system/galaxy. During scenes it is always bird's eye view, but it can be zoomed in and out. The model behaves like a hologram (cannot be touched) and cannot produce sound. You can describe the layout of an area/dungeon with ease and never forget important details (like chests, traps or swtiches).
  5. Loremastery: Once you figure out your setting and have some foundation for what you want it to be, you can come up with fitting lore/narration for it on the spot. You never contradict yourself, your NPCs and magical items have great, rich backstories, and your McGuffins aren't contrived. You also remember every action of the player characters and are able to seamlessly weave their backstories into the larger lore. Think of it like a full notebook in your mind. You describe the world and its history with ease.
  6. Improv Extraordinare: Okay this one might be confusing but bare with me. It's like a little bit like a mix of all of the above. Each of the above powers lets you describe one aspect of the game with ease. With this power, ALL of your descriptions are like that. You speak like a talented storytellewriter and never fumble with your words and say exactly what you have in mind. However you can still forget your lore or important details for example. Unlike other powers, it is seemingly NOT supernatural. Which one would you choose?
View Poll
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2023.05.28 20:41 Emerald_Aussie School of Beards Chapter 27: “BeardSchool is Out (for Summer)!”

We have done it. The end of another school year! Before we jump into this last set of stories, remember to subscribe to ReddX, home of the best cringe content on YouTube. Promise, swearsies, it’s just a fact and it’s totally science. Go ahead and look it up!
I miss that intro a lot so I figured I’d just write it in. I waited until after graduation to post this because, with ManiBeard at graduation, I figured anything could happen. And it did. And with that, let’s jump into this last set of beardy tales (for this school year). Let’s a-go.
  1. “No Place Like Home (Campus)”
I was in a pretty good mood because I found out that district was ticked off at admin for considering moving my Cave to a different room next year and because they keep using my Cave as ‘backup’ for state testing. Evidently, the district was unaware this was happening but after I had complained to Cook about the extent of it she went to the district and, well, I’m keeping my Cave next year right where it is, and testing use will be limited. I won without lifting a finger. Sometimes bureaucracy works. Not often, but it’s beautiful when it does.
Of course, that good mood was not to last…
On this day I had a meeting with all the other Graphic Design teachers at another campus. We will call it Clique High School (because ‘cult’ may or may not be YouTube-friendly).
The first thing you need to know is I have a history with CHS. Remember, all the way back in chapter 1 where I mention I was a substitute teacher at Standard High before they hired me as a teacher? Well, there was one part I left out because it was irrelevant to that story, but it becomes relevant here. It is true I did sub at SHS, but the part I left out was that for half of the 2020-2021 school year (Covid year), I was a long-term sub at another campus and that campus was Clique High School. To say it was a poor experience would be underselling it immensely. You could say that Elon Musk is well off but that doesn’t really express the massive mounds of money that malevolent menace truly had. Likewise, saying I had a poor experience at CHS doesn’t really express the absolutely traumatizing, terrible, troublesome experience that my life there. It got so bad that I would leave work, cry the entire 30-minute drive to SHS, pick up Beatle, and make him drive the rest of the way home because my eyes were sore from crying.
What did I do at CHS? Well, I was a long-term sub in ESL. That’s where I got my start with it. When I walked in at the start of that year I’d never had a high school classroom before, I had no lesson plans, limited access to the curriculum since I was a sub, and I was teaching virtually because Covid…and what did I do? I build a curriculum, bonded with my class, and wrote my own lesson plans (even though subs generally don’t write plans). Basically, I rebuilt their ESL program. I did apply for the job. After all, I was already doing all of the work for substitute pay. I may as well get teacher pay for being a teacher. Right? Wrong.
They did interview me for the job but then proceeded to yank me around for half a semester before finally saying they were going to hire someone else. Who? No idea. But not me. But they wanted me to continue to long-term sub and do what I was doing until they found someone. Honestly, when I didn’t get the job part of me was pissed because of all the work I put in, but part of me was relieved. You see, the culture at CHS isn’t like the culture at SHS. Their principal, whom we will call Mr. D (for reasons that will soon be clear), had been named the district’s principal of the year and his staff completely fawned over him…a staff mostly comprised of women. The male-to-female ratio at CHS was considerably more unbalanced than at SHS. What struck me as odd was that Mr. D did not seem to warrant such admiration. During my interactions with him, I got slimy car salesman vibes more than high school principal. I would come to find out that this went deeper than I knew.
Remember AVIDBeard? Yeah, to her credit she was the one that warned me. Mostly I think she saw a chance to gossip, but nonetheless. I was visiting SHS and telling the English dept. how much I missed subbing for them (they actually liked me at this time…this was long before EnglishBeard even worked there so certainly before that whole thing made me a pariah). They missed me too. Although honestly, they missed having a sub at their becken call. Let’s be real. Anyway, AVIDBeard was all too happy to jump in with gossip.
“Be careful over there Mandy,” AVIDBeard said.
“Why? What do you know?” I asked.
“I had a training over there once and this teacher that works there started freaking out because the instructor, who was also a teacher there, was late. She started to have an anxiety attack and when I asked her what was wrong she said ‘Daddy isn’t going to like this’,” AVIDBeard explained.
“What?!” everyone in the room asked at once.
AVIDBeard nodded, “I know! So I asked her, ‘you call your principal Daddy?’ and she said ‘of course.’.”
I raised an eyebrow. I was skeptical, to say the least. Even then I knew AVIDBeard was not a reliable source. But, on the off chance she was telling the truth I had to know. CHS wasn’t exactly full of friendly teachers. In fact, where everyone at SHS had been welcoming, it had been the very opposite at CHS. They treated me like an outsider they were skeptical of. I had managed to at least have somewhat of a dialogue with the librarian. She helped me to ensure that my ESL students had books in their native languages to read during the pandemic. I went to her one day to ask about scheduling some book pick-ups for the students (this was when teachers were on-campus but students were virtual).
“Hey, can I ask you something?” I asked after we had figured out scheduling.
“Sure, what’s up?” she asked.
“OK, so it’s dumb, but someone told me you guys call Mr. D ‘daddy’. Silly, right?” I said with a laugh.
She just blinked, “Who told you that?”
Her reaction caught me off guard. She wasn’t laughing. My eyes widened, “Um, I don’t remember, it just got mentioned in passing.”
“Don’t ask anyone else that question…just…don’t even mention it,” she said.
I blinked. I wanted out of this conversation, “OK, I won’t. I’ll just forget I ever heard about it.”
She nodded and turned away, “I have work to do. If you need more books let me know.”
I rushed back to my classroom. After that, the librarian was very cold toward me.
To this day I honestly believe that the reason Mr. D didn’t hire me was because I’m too strong-willed and I have a big mouth…neither fits well into a cult-like structure, which it is very obvious CHS is.
At the semester break, they hadn’t yet hired anyone and asked me to stay for the rest of the year as a long-term sub. Basically, they wanted to pay me sub pay for an entire year of teaching. I told them ‘no way’ and I begged the district and Mr. Principal to let me return to subbing at SHS. I didn’t even care that regular sub pay was less than long-term sub pay. I just wanted out…and it turns out it all worked in my favor because obviously Mr. Principal ended up hiring me for the very job that Mr. D rejected me from and I’m very happy where I am now. And I don’t even have to call Mr. Principal ‘daddy’. Gag! Say what you will about Standard High, but I’ll take it over CHS any day.
OK, I know that was a lot of backstory, but I truly need you to understand why I so vehemently loathe everything about CHS and moreover why even being there gives me a mild case of PTSD.
Alright then, where were we? Oh yeah. Meeting for Graphic Design teachers over at CHS. I was not happy about this because I hate being at CHS of course, but I also hated leaving my students with a sub this close to the end of the year. But, alas, there I was. I walked into the familiar, loathsome halls. Daddy was in the main hall greeting his subjects.
“Mandy? What are you doing here?” he asked as he looked me over. I was in full-school spirit mode. SHS staff shirt and matching school spirit Converse I had custom-made.
“Graphic Design meeting,” I said.
“Oh, you teach Graphic Design now?” he asked.
I nodded, “Yeah, I did so great at fixing their ESL program they gave me my true dream job and now I’m relaunching their graphic design program.” OK, so it was a bit of embellishment, but I wanted him to know that his loss was SHS’s gain.
“Shame…we have an ESL position open here at The Clique,” Mr. D said. That’s how he referred to his campus. Imagine if the school’s name was Blue Mountain High and he called it The Mountain. Yeah…cringey.
“Oh yeah? I heard Patty didn’t stay,” I said. Patty was who they hired instead of me. She ended up retiring after one year at ‘The Clique’.
“Yeah, well we hired Emmy to replace Patty and now she is leaving,” Mr. D said.
“Shame…yeah, I’m still at SHS and quite happy. I heard principals were turning to poaching from other high schools so I’ll save you the trouble. I’m not poachable,” I said, wanting to get away from him.
“You could have your old job in your old room,” Mr. D said in a tone that made me very uneasy.
“I have a perfectly lovely Cave. Besides, my husband works at SHS too and I like being on the same campus as the love of my life,” I said, pointedly.
“If you change your mind, let me know. Enjoy your meeting. Welcome back to The Clique,” Mr. D said as I quickly walked away to find the room Graphic Design was meeting in.
Now, this may come as a surprise to you all, but I am NOT a social creature. Truly. Beatle is my best friend and aside from Cali all my other friends are on the ReddX Discord (hence my desire to not get myself banned over there). And I am 150% ok with that. At that moment I wanted to be in my Cave more than anything. The pressure to be ‘on’ and social was beyond exhausting to me, especially this late in the year. But, always the professional, I mustered every bit of perky in me to be lovely to my other-campus counterparts.
This proved to be a challenge. One of them, more of a Karen than a Beard really, would not shut up about how amazing her campus was and how she never had issues with phones because her kids were so well-behaved. She also said she couldn’t post work early because they would have it done before they ever got to class. Oh, and of course she is teaching graphic design because she needed a break from her real job as an engineer. And oh, did she mention she is an engineer? Because she’s an engineer. She also went on and on about how she didn’t like the curriculum at another campus she was at so she complained and got 68 teachers from all over the country to back her up and they changed the whole curriculum to what she wanted. OK, whatever. I wanted to ask if everyone stood up and cheered too.
Another teacher was just insufferable. She kept asking for the same bloody stuff over and over even after being told it wasn’t in the budget. She didn’t know the cost of any of it, just that everything she wanted (think equipment and software licenses) was expensive and our budget is next to nothing right now. She didn’t even make arguments as to why we needed it. She just kept asking for the same stuff in the same way. All of it was stuff we didn’t need and most of us wouldn’t even use.
I contributed my thoughts on what I felt needed to be added to the curriculum, which was met with agreement. I really only had that one suggestion. The rest of the time I let them do their thing, which was woefully unorganized, disjointed, and overall a waste of time I could be grading papers. And so I decided that while they did their thing I would organize my Google Drive. As I was doing this I noticed something. I was still the owner on ALL the ESL files for SHS. Not just the ones I created…ALL OF THEM. If I were to hit delete SHS would literally have to start from scratch organizing their program with new teachers next year. But Ms. Dean did make clear I was to have nothing to do with ESL anymore. If I deleted the folders was that malicious compliance? Or just being a bitch for the sake of it? I still haven’t decided…I find the situation humorous, in not a bit morally ambiguous.
Ultimately, it was decided that 1 day wasn’t enough for our meeting so we would meet again one week later at the same place. I declined. I needed to be on my campus because I did have actual work to do. Grades would be due the day they wanted to meet. I wasn’t the only one. About half of the graphic design teachers agreed to meet again the following week and we would all be meeting again August 1st. So I get to start my school year back at ‘The Clique’. Lovely.
Yeah, this was a very real reminder that for all the beardery at Standard High, it could be SO much worse.
  1. “Lunchtime!”
After that long mammoth of a tale that the last story was, here is a short one for you.
This happened the day after my meeting at CHS. Sonia wanted to end the school year with some team building so she asked Ms. Dean if they could have an off-campus team meeting at a nearby restaurant and grab some food. Ms. Dean told them no. Sonia then decided they would just order takeaway and do the same thing on campus. She reserved a conference room and everything.
So the day of the eat and meet came. Beatle had ordered some enchiladas and was looking forward to a hot meal during the workday. CovidBeard didn’t go because she said she wasn’t feeling well and needed to just go home early. I know that comes as a shock. Meanwhile, ManiBeard decided he would sit next to his bff, Beatle. ManiBeard hadn’t ordered any food because ‘the catering menu looked good, but nothing on the regular menu appealed to me’. What ManiBeard did have, however, was a bag of crackers. As Beatle tried to eat his food, ManiBeard both ate his crackers and talked at the same time. It didn’t take long for Beatle to realize that small bits of cracker crumbs were flying at him and his food. He shifted to the side to dodge the airborne particles that threatened to infect his space. It was here that ManiBeard declared he had signed his contract but still wasn’t sure if he would be back next year because he had until July 3rd to pull out of his contract and he really just didn’t want to make a commitment.
After the meeting, everyone went their own way, except ManiBeard, who cornered Beatle in the mudroom. I was in my Cave waiting for him when I got a text ‘SOS, I’ve been cornered! Mudroom!’
I sighed, “Come on Wee One. We have to go save Dad.”
Wee One chuckled, “Oh no.” She followed me faithfully as we headed downstairs.
“Oh, good, you’re here already. We gotta go Love. Wee One has that thing…see ya later ManiBeard!” I said as I grabbed Beatle’s arm as I passed and just kept walking.
The next day Beatle went into Sonia’s room for inclusion and she smiled at him, “Sure you got all the crumbs off?” she teased.
Beatle rolled his eyes, “Right?!”
Sonia nodded, “ManiBeard is why I don’t eat lunch in the workroom anymore. ManiBeard would walk over to me and just stand over me…like right over me…and talk while he ate which would just send food everywhere. One day he was eating some chicken salad and a piece of chicken flew out of his mouth and landed on my arm.”
“Oh bloody hell. That’s disgusting,” Beatle said before vowing not to be near ManiBeard eating ever again.
  1. “Little Lies”
Ever since it was announced PastorBeard was the new dept head he had been walking around like a roster puffing out his chest. He had also been going out of his way to talk to Beatle, as if to rub in that he got the dept head job and Beatle didn’t. It was annoying, but I stayed out of it. I even played nice when PastorBeard stopped me in the parking lot one day and asked me about my weekend plans while I was waiting for Beatle.
“What are you plans this weekend, Mandy?” PastorBeard asked as he leaned against the side of my car.
“Oh, nothing major. Weekend chores. Beatle has some school work to get done and he’s going to put some snake repellant in the yard…I’ll probably clean the house and spend some time with my mum,” I said, trying to be pleasant as I could be. What I really wanted to do was to tell him he was a bastard that should never teach, let alone lead a dept.
“You should come to watch me on Sunday. I’m preaching his weekend,” he said with a smile. His tone came off like he intended it to be a flex.
I forced a smiled, “No thanks. Not my thing.”
“God isn’t ‘your thing’?” he asked, leaning towards me a bit.
I took a step back, “Not the same one you believe in.” I started absentmindedly playing with the Flower of Aphrodite pendant I wore around my neck.
“Are you Catholic or something?” he asked.
I fought the urge to roll my eyes. People presumed since Beatle was Irish that we were a Catholic family a lot. Instead, I shook my head, “No. Actually, if you must know, I’m Pagan.”
PastorBeard looked taken aback, “Oh…I see.”
“So, while I appreciate the invite…not my thing,” I said again.
“You should come anyway. I’d love to look out on Sunday and see you there. And who knows? If you hear what I have to say you may change your mind about being pagan,” PastorBeard said with a cocky smile.
I looked around hoping Beatle and Wee One were going to be there soon, “I doubt it…anyway…um…I hate to keep you on a Friday.”
“I’m not in a rush. You’re fine,” he said, “Did you hear I’m the new dept head?”
“Yeah. I know,” I said, “Beatle told me. He applied to you know.”
“I know. They need someone that is a strong leader for the job though, someone that can guide the dept the way I guide the church. They can’t pick someone with a weak personality. A man should be able to lead…his church, his work, and of course his wife,” PastorBeard said pointedly.
“Uh huh…a good leader knows when to defer to those wiser than he,” I said as I saw Beatle and Wee One, “Love! Hey!” I waved.
Beatle saw PastorBeard and looked unhappy, “Hi PastorBeard.”
“Have a good weekend you guys. See you later Mandy…think about my offer,” he said as he went and got into his truck that sat on tires far too big for it.
“What was that?” Beatle asked when we got in the car.
I shrugged, “He was either hitting on me or he was just being a pompous arse…or both. Hard to say.”
And we went on our way.
The next work day Beatle walked into the workroom and saw PastorBeard in there talking to Vera (the assistant mentioned in chapter 26.)
“Just do your best to set them up for success,” PastorBeard told Vera as he walked out of the workroom.
Vera sighed.
“Are you ok mate?” Beatle asked her.
Vera shook her head, “We’re almost done. Almost there.”
“What happened?” Beatle asked.
“Well, only 2 of the kids in that group in the hall workspace need my help,” Vera said pointing to a group outside PastorBeard’s room, “The others are kids missing work and PastorBeard kicked them out of the classroom. I’m supposed to watch them and make sure they behave but they already told me they aren’t going to do anything.”
Beatle’s expression went dark, “You’re a SPED assistant. Not a babysitter.”
“I know, but I’ve never seen him actually help anyone. He doesn’t go around the room to help. Just tells them to be quiet and pokes them. I don’t know why he feels the need to touch them. He tells them if they need help they can go to him and he just sits at his desk the whole time…but no one is gonna go to him for help because they don’t like him,” Vera vented.
Beatle sighed, “You know he’s dept head next year, right?”
“Oh, I know. He told me no one else wanted it,” Vera said sadly.
Beatle blinked, “No ma’am. I interviewed for it.”
“That’s just what I heard,” Vera said.
“He lied,” Beatle shook his head.
What PastorBeard didn’t know is that Beatle had something else in the works…we weren’t sure it would pan out at this point (as of this writing we still aren’t), but Beatle wasn’t going to take PastorBeard’s crap lying down…and for that, I was proud of him.
  1. “Wrapping It Up”
3.5 days till summer. Grades were due. I sat at my computer to adjust the grade book and turned on some music. Not even kidding, ‘The Final Countdown’ was on the radio (yes, I listen to the radio. Satellite Radio to be precise). It was the perfect music for working on my end-of-year checklist. I felt like I was in a movie and this was my montage music!
We reached the point in the year when all the teachers were just playing movies. For my part, I was letting them watch the Super Mario Movie. I had some happy students. I also wrote Wee One a pass to spend the day in my room. She was done with her work and wanted to help me with some Graphic Design work for next year’s launch (we are launching an on-campus design firm). She asked me which workstation she could work at and I did the worst thing a mum can do to her child. I sat her next to my baby neckbeard. She started working but within 10 minutes she came to my desk.
“Mom…” she started.
I looked at her. “Excuse me?”
She sighed, “I’m sorry…Ms. Mandy?”
“Yes ma’am?” I asked her.
“Can I sit on the other side of the room…it’s less claustrophobic and I have a friend over there…” she trailed off.
I chuckled and leaned in so only she could hear me, “You don’t appreciate sitting next to the baby neckbeard?”
She looked sheepish, “Not really.”
“Can you smell him?” I asked.
She made a disgusted face, “Sort of, yeah.”
“OK, yes, go ahead and move,” I nodded.
In the meantime, Beatle was texting me:
Beatle: Why does ManiBeard always start class with “How are we?” instead of “How are you?”?
Mandy: Because that’s what’s in his programming.
Beatle: LMAO! Point. I will not miss him this summer. You know he said he is only helping with graduation because he didn’t help with either dance. I thought it was mandatory that we do one of the 1 dances.
Mandy: Sigh. 1) yes it is and I bet they got on him and forced him to help with graduation and 2) why the hell would they let him help with graduation? That event is stressful enough without adding ManiBeard to the mix.
Beatle: He said he rather work graduation because it’s his favorite event because he gets to see the kids move on.
Mandy: But he’s a freshman teacher. He doesn’t know many if any, seniors.
Beatle: I know! Oh, CovidBeard is leaving.
Beatle: I’m watching her class for the rest of the period.
Mandy: Oh, just for today.
Beatle: Yeah. Don’t get too excited.
Mandy: Damn. 3.5 days left. Heaven forbid she stick it out.
Beatle: Right?
And right about the time I was hoping my Beard encounters were over. At least until graduation…it happened. I had to email EnglishBeard. Why? Because I needed one of his students (who happened to be one of my most talented graphic design students) to come to my class the next day during his class. I cringed at having to interact with him. I asked Beatle if I should even bother. “We’re not doing anything, why would he say no?” Beatle asked. “He’s a beard.” I replied. “Fair.” Beatle conceded.
Finally, I took a breath and started to type: “EnglishBeard, if it is alright with you, can Sara come to my class during 5th period tomorrow to do some Graphic Design work? Thanks, Mandy”
2 hours later, he replied, “What work? Why should I send her to an elective? My class is core.”
I sighed, “It’s ok if you are doing something in class. I just thought it would be ok if you are just watching movies.” I replied.
“We are just watching movies, but my class is still a core class and yours is not,” EnglishBeard replied.
“You are correct. However, Sara is going to be in my Graphic 3 class next year and I want to get all my Graphic 3 students together for a meeting before the end of the year and the rest of them are in my 5th period. If you don’t want to send her that is fine,” I replied.
“Ok, that would be fine. I will allow it,” EnglishBeard finally said.
I sighed and wrote a pass to give to Sara.
Meanwhile, in the English 1 meeting, Beatle was dealing with his own Beard.
“And the Beard came back….CovidBeard came back for the meeting,” Beatle texted me.
“WHY?!” I texted back.
“IDK! I’m spraying Lysol when she leaves the room. She’s like ‘I’m sitting here sweating. I have no idea what I have.’ I guess she came back for attention,” Beatle replied.
I sighed as I typed, “Probably.”
Why did all these Beards have to come back? Why couldn’t this be last year when we had the mass exodus of Beards? That was nice. I liked that.
Maybe they would get less beardy over the summer?
Probably not.
  1. “Graduation Day”
Have you ever sat through a graduation ceremony? If you have you know how dull they are. Being part of it is even worse. Graduation in Australia was quite different, but when I graduated from college in America Beatle practically had to force me into the cap and gown. It was not something I have ever liked…so the irony that I volunteer every year (except next year when Wee One graduates) is not lost on me. Mostly, I do it because I know it means something to the kids to see their teachers there. That said, I silently curse in my head the entire time while making sure to smile, be peppy, and congratulate even the most ungrateful of students. While I don’t look back on my graduation fondly, some of them might and I want to help provide good memories.
Graduation isn’t just on that day either. The day before we have to participate in graduation practice, which is just as awful, if not worse. I did entertain myself by watching ManiBeard however.
We all gathered in the practice gym to line up and then once everyone was in place we processed into the main gym. The practice gym was so bloody hot that I was sweating. It was so bloody hot that ManiBeard actually took off his cardigan for the first time all year. I have now confirmed he does have arms under it. Bloke never takes off his cardigan/coat…even when the outside temp is 100+ in Fahrenheit. I further observed only to realize that they had, for some reason, put ManiBeard in the same row as 2 of the baby beards I’ve been observing over the course of the year. ManiBeard was as clueless as one might expect and had no idea how to manage the kids and telling them when to stand, when to sit, when to walk, etc. He made it through graduation practice, but I was seriously concerned about the next day. I was also concerned because I saw the gown they set aside for Mani. It was huge! He was going to look like a puppy wearing his owner’s sweater. Let the chaos commence!
And commence it did. Shortly after lunch Beatle texted me “OZZY ISN’T COMING BACK! WHAT THE HELL IS EVEN GOING ON AROUND HERE?!”
Remember Ozzy? The other Australian on campus? Yeah, evidently he said, “this really isn’t something I foresaw happening. It is something I needed to do. But please, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m excited to leave. I’m not. It’s actually been really hard packing up my things.” Ozzy had been around since the campus opened in 2016. It was a true shock to see him leave and Beatle was very distraught over it. Honestly, so was I.
After school Beatle barrelled into his classroom, “OK, mate, what the hell is going on?”
The conversation was private so I’m not going to detail it, but I will say that circumstances happened so that Ozzy had to go back to Australia. He was not happy about it. He said he thought he would retire from Standard High, but life happens. This was a blow, but we wish him the best.
I found out later that night that ManiBeard managed to out-beard himself. He did the beardiest thing he’d ever done.
“Did you guys meet today in E1?” I asked Beatle.
“Yeah, but it was more social than a meeting,” Beatle replied.
“ManiBeard? Social? How did that go?” I asked.
Beatle chuckled, “ManiBeard wasn’t there.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because he miscalculated all his grades and had to redo them,” Beatle said.
I froze as I tried to register what he said. Finally I spoke, “But our gradebook is automated. We don’t calculate anything. We put in the number and bam…grades. How the hell did Mani manage to ‘miscalculate’ grades?”
“No idea, but admin wasn’t happy. They sent in Lana to guide him through it,” Beatle said.
I laughed, “Oh my god! After everything he did to keep Lana out of his room she ended up fixing his gradebook? The irony is too delicious! This has got to be the beardiest thing he has ever done. How the fuck do you miscalculate grades in and automated gradebook?!”
Beatle shrugged, “Talent?”
The next morning (THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL) an email started circulating from teachers that were worried about getting left at the arena we were holding graduation in. They wanted to ensure the bus wouldn’t leave them behind. Beatle and I watched as the emails flooded our inboxes. ManiBeard: “I need a ride too.” EnglishBeard: “Don’t leave me behind!” HistoryBeard: “I look like too much of an escaped inmate to safely hitchhike. Don’t leave me either.” MathBeard:I need the bus to get back to school.”
It was at that point I texted my brother to see if he could pick Beatle and I up after graduation. To be clear, we have to ride the bus over with students so taking our own car wasn’t an option…but riding the BeardBus home did not appeal to either of us. I like getting fodder for stories, but I’m not a complete sadomasochist. My brother agreed and I felt relief wash over me.
Beatle and I ended up combining our classes in my Cave for the last day because we bought breakfast tacos and donuts for the kids and it was easier to combine classes than to try to split the food. So, most of the last day was the kids eating and playing Mario Kart on our Switch. It was pretty fun. I did leave the kids with Beatle at one point so I could go down to Cook’s kitchen and do my department check-out stuff. When I say Cook had a professional kitchen that is not hyperbole. The culinary kitchen at Standard High is anything but standard. We’re talking a state-of-the-art kitchen that any head chef would be in awe of. It’s truly a thing to behold and for high school students? Yeah, it is pretty bloody great. Oh, and the cutting boards…let me tell you about the numerous cutting boards!
…I’m kidding Red! Just kidding!
But yeah, the kitchen is pretty great. Anyway, when I went into said kitchen, MediaBeard was in there doing his check-out as well. When he saw me he smiled and turned to me.
“Mandy, thank you so much for everything you did for me this year. It was a rough year and you had my back. I truly appreciate you, thank you,” he said as he hugged me.
I hugged him back, “Aww, mate…I got ya. Anytime. Next year will be better.”
When I said back in Chapter 1 that MediaBeard was certainly a Beard, but one of the ‘good’ beards, this is what I meant. Yes, he can be a bit…well…beardly. But, the bloke has a good heart. And I am glad he will be back next year. I’m going to try to mentor him now that I’m settled in graphic design. I am also glad he will not be Wee One’s teacher next year. She’s decided to take graphic design 3 and animation 1 which means she will have me as her teacher for 3 out of 8 periods. Come to find out she likes me as her teacher. And I’m pretty hard on her. She said I made her better. I must be doing something right!
Cook has 100% become my work Mum and I adore her. She plans to have a department soiree before school starts and for the first time ever I’m actually looking forward to going to a department function, solely because of Cook. She is amazing.
Finally, as long last, the 2022-2023 school year ended. All the non-senior students left and the seniors arrived.
Beatle and I scarfed our lunch down and headed to the gym… this is where graduation truly begins.
I put my gown on over my work clothes as did Beatle. We sat together and chatted for a bit before he went to his row to help organize kids. I was left sitting alone in my row as the students filed in. And, as I usually do in these situations, I started to observe my surroundings and live a bit in my own head.
I saw some teachers grouped up talking and laughing near me. For a moment I felt that loneliness I felt all through school (until I met Beatle). I had a moment of feeling like that ‘weird blonde kid’ again. I guess it never really goes away. It was a reminder that from the day we met (see SquirrelBeard for that story) Beatle has always been where I fit. Does anyone else ever have a moment of reversion like that? Where even as an adult you remember how it was to be an outcast at 15 or whatever? Maybe it’s just me? Maybe it’s because I work in a high school?
In any case, I snapped out of it and looked around. What caught my eye was a pair of BRIGHT crimson skinny jeans. And the wearer? ManiBeard. OF COURSE! He also had on a plain white t-shirt with the district logo on it that we got free at the start of the year and Van trainers. What was the dress code for this event that admin had explicitly given us the day before? Dress pants and a Polo or button-up for men or a suit for men, a dress or nice pants and shirt for women, dress shoes, and absolutely no jeans, trainers, or t-shirts. Yeah. For J’s part he had on black pants and a black button-up shirt with a tie. He looked good. It was also the first time he got to wear his Master’s hood at a graduation, which was pretty frickin cool too! I had on black pants and a nice shirt. I was not wearing a dress at graduation. Just, no. Anyway…ManiBeard…right…so he wore EXACTLY what admin said don’t wear. Cause…ManiBeard. And I was right, his gown made him look like a puppy wearing his owner’s sweater. It would have been cute if it was anyone but Mani. Instead he just looked robotic and lost. And, exactly like I suspected, he didn’t talk to any of the kids. He didn’t even congratulate them. Probably because he teachers 9th graders and didn’t know any of these kids and had no connection to them. Beatle knew a lot of them. These were the kids that he taught his first year as freshmen so he had seen them through all 4 years. It was emotional for him.
It was around this time I turned around and noticed paramedics in the hall. I later found out a student (one of mine actually) had a seizure. I had seen them roll a kid out of the building on an office chair but I didn’t know who under Mr. Principal told me later. As all of this was happening APBeard said they put a sign up sheet on the stage for any teacher that needed to take the bus back to campus after the ceremony. A bunch of teachers headed to the stage. One that looked like a textbook beard said, as he walked past me, “that would be all of us. Like any of us can afford an Uber with what they pay us.” I raised an eyebrow and looked the man over. “That has GOT to be HistoryBeard” I thought to myself. Beatle ran up behind me.
“See that bloke up there…the one at the sign up sheet right now?” Beatle asked me quietly.
“Yeah,” I said.
“That’s HistoryBeard,” he confirmed.
“I knew it! I knew that had to be him. Damn, he is a beard and it’s not even just on the inside,” I said.
Beatle shook his head, “No, he’s one that is beard inside and out.”
I shuttered as Beatle returned to his seat.
About 45 minutes later we boarded the bus and headed to the arena. I hoped everything would be smooth sailing from there, but that would have been WAY too easy.
So, I need to paint a bit of a picture here…have you ever been backstage at an arena? It’s not a huge space…and when you put a couple hundred people back there…it’s a tight fit. We were lucky to have a 2 inch radius around us. Personal space does not exist when you cram everyone back there. And we had to line up in order. Each row had a letter. It seemed everything was fine. My row was in order…but something felt off. That’s when I realized whoever set the signs up doesn’t know the bloody alphabet because instead of A, B, C, D, E, F, G it went A, B, C, D, E, G, F. I was in row F. I realized the error but I also wasn’t about to move anything without telling an AP. So I found an AP that said he had to find another AP and 3 APs later I was told to swap Rows F and G. I helped correct the signed and then we had to shift the rows with VERY little space. It was…something.
It was hot, cramped, and miserable. Beatle told me later some of the kids in his row snuck back into a supply room and were stealing popcorn. It was in the moments of being back stage I remembered why last year I said to myself ‘never again, I’m never doing graduation again’. I’m really not next year cause of Wee One and I’ll probably forget the year after and volunteer again. Cause teacher brain. Anyway, it was finally go time and we walked out, sat down, and the ceremony started. All done? Not quite.
For the sake of wrapping this up I’ll quickly list the crap that happened during the ceremony:
  1. Someone in the stands called to a kid ‘you look like ET but we love you anyway!’ to which a graduate yelled back ‘you’re an asshole’. Classy.
  2. ManiBeard was clueless and lost. He may as well have not even been there because he was mostly just in the way.
  3. The boys decided it was great fun to pretend to fall on stage just before the got to Mr. Principal. This happened 4 times. A 5th pretended he was about to fall then twerked instead. Again, classy. Ladies and gentleman, our future.
  4. A boy in the row in front of me turned around and was using his program to sword fight with a boy in my row. I gave them the ‘mom/teacher look’ and they both got a panicked look and said ‘sorry ma’am’ before sitting straight for the rest of the ceremony. Maybe Wee One is right. Maybe I am scary.
  5. MediaBeard made the senior video and it was awful. I have a hard time believing he worked ‘in the industry’. Next year I’m going to see if he will let me do some graphic design templates for him. It will be part of my proposal to mentor him.
And then graduation was over. Beatle and I checked with Number One and were cleared to leave. Brother picked us up and we headed to dinner (where Brother once again came very close to getting the name BrotherBeard) and summer began.
And that concludes this year of School of Beards. If there is any demand I will be back in the fall because with all the beards returning I am sure to have a new batch of tales. I sincerely want to thank everyone that had come on this journey with me, Red for reading (and being a mate), and Beatle for supporting me and allowing me to share his stories. I mostly want to thank everyone that has listened to Red read these stories because that is the most amazing thing…hearing these stories read and getting his insight. I do appreciate it more than I can say. Keep an eye out for the rest of BowserBeard this summer and maybe a couple of one-offs.
Now, to end this year I decided to try my hand at my first parody song. Apologies if it’s not very good. Like I said, it’s my first one. I hope it doesn’t suck!
“BeardSchool’s Out” (Parody of “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper)
Well, we got no choice
But to hear the noise
Listenin to the beards’ voice
The poor girls and boys
Well, we can't escape ya
Can't find an out
And when they start to shout
Education’s in doubt
BeardSchool's out for summer
Beards go into slumber
Beardschool makes us shutter
No more Mani
No more English
No more preacher's judgment, yeah
Well, Mani can’t control his class
And Pastor’s got the Principal
And the students pay the price
We can't even think about next year
BeardSchool's out for summer
Beards go into slumber
Beardschool makes us shutter
No more Media
No more Math Emails
No more two-faced Dean
Out for summer
Out 'til fall
Do the beards have to come back at all
Beards go slumber
BeardSchool's out for summer
Watch the Beards lumber
BeardSchool’s out till August
submitted by Emerald_Aussie to ReddXReads [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:41 francienolan88 Graduation 5/18 - successful induction, mostly positive, good outcome

TW for some scary cord issues with completely fine outcomes. Also TW if you don't like to read because this turned into a novel.
Typing this up with my baby in my arms!
Because of the GD, we were induced at 39 weeks exactly. The baby wasn’t trending large, but I also had a bilobed placenta with a marginal cord insertion (so regular growth scans). As this was an IVF pregnancy, I was a) very risk-averse and b) completely fine with any and all medical interventions.
On May 17, we waited around on tenterhooks all day until we got a call from the hospital, asking us if we could be there in the next half hour. This was to check my cervix (which hadn’t been done at all up to this point) and manually start dilation if it hadn't on its own. Once checked in and popped into a bed, they hooked up the NST monitors to my belly and we waited for an hour listening to the baby’s heartbeat. (In Canada regular NSTs are not a thing as much as they seem to be in the States, so this was my first one.)
My cervical check showed that nothing at all was happening, so the OBGYN on duty inserted Cervidil, which is basically prostaglandins on a shoelace that gets poked into my cervix. This process was pretty uncomfortable, given that I wasn’t dilated or effaced at all. Then we did another hour of NST, and were directed to come back the next morning at 7:30. “Don’t bring anything in with you,” they said, because most likely I wouldn’t be far enough along to be admitted, or I might even need another dose of Cervidil. They also said I could come back any time if I needed pain relief, because while it was super rare to go into labour just from the Cervidil, it was not completely unheard of.
Went home, ate spaghetti and meatballs, dropped the dog at the sitter, and started to feel kind of achey and uncomfortable, like a bad period. I woke up around 1:30 and wasn’t able to get back to sleep because of the cramping, but it wasn’t like contractions - just a constant bad-period ache with occasional ten-second breaks. I watched many episodes of Friends, feeling progressively worse. At 5:30 I woke my husband up and said I couldn’t take it anymore, we should go in before our 7:30 time for that pain relief.
I started to feel extra leaky, so I headed back to the bathroom, but I did not make it to the toilet before my water broke. So much for my hospital sweatpants. This was 6 a.m. I managed a few bites of eggs and toast and we headed off to the hospital. By this point there was absolutely no doubt I was having contractions, so I started timing them with an app. To my alarm, they were a minute and a half apart (though only 30-40 seconds long). We brought our stuff with us.
When we got to the hospital, they had me call my midwife, and set me up in the same bed I’d been in last night. It turned out I was already 5 centimeters dilated. This was a huge relief! All that morning’s pain wasn’t for nothing! I was definitely not going to be sent home! I was making amazing, if terrifyingly fast, progress, and I got to be one of those rare cases who went into labour just from Cervidil! So I hung out on the triage ward for a while, unpleasantly contracting and asking when I could get an epidural.
Then we headed up to my labour room to get settled in. My midwife showed up pretty soon after we got into this room, and helped coach me through the contractions I had before the epidural could happen (basically, squatting lower than I’d been doing). She tried to set up my IV but blew two of the veins in my left hand, so had the nurse try my right; the nurse blew a vein in my right hand. This process was much more painful than I would have expected. Fortunately, everyone knew their limits and decided to wait for the anesthesiologist, who placed the IV in my wrist instead in about five seconds flat. The back of my hands are just enormous sensitive bruises now.
After all that, getting the epidural itself was almost nothing. I hunched over a pillow and pressed my head into my husband's chest, felt the freezing needle, but that was about it. It worked incredibly well - I had a few more contractions, but then they petered out (I would just need to make a face to get through them), and then disappeared completely. I took a nap. That was always the part in other people’s birth stories that sounded unbelievable to me, but I had been up since 2 am and it was now about 10 or 11. I could still feel my legs and move them around - it felt like they had lightly fallen asleep, or like I’d been walking in the Canadian cold weather and they were slightly numb to the touch. “This isn’t your mama’s epidural,” somebody told me. Five stars for this part of the labour experience.
So we hung out for a while, rested, ate a little bit (a muffin and some yogurt), and chatted. Unfortunately I was still just 5 cm and had clearly stalled out since getting to the hospital, and since my water had broken on its own, I was on a ticking 24-hour clock. My fluids were all still clear and the baby's heart rate was great, so they weren’t too stressed, but they did think it was time to hang Pitocin after all. Since I had thought this was the plan all along, I was fine with it.
They started my Pitocin drip at the lowest possible setting and slowly dialed it up over the next few hours. I was starting to feel contractions again - mildly, then less mild. I had to get a catheter, which I was pretty nervous about, but it wasn’t too bad. My midwife said she didn’t want to do too many cervical checks - again, because of my broken water, they wanted to minimize infection risk - but that if I needed the epidural topped up, I should say so, not be a hero, and she’d go ahead and check me beforehand. Shortly after this I said yes, I would in fact like a top-up, so she checked me - and I was 10 centimeters and ready to go. This was about 4:30 pm. “Do you want to give a little push?” she asked, and I nearly panicked right there and then. I was not ready! And they also did not want to top up my epidural at that point, because I needed to feel the contractions in order to know what to do. Things got rapidly less pleasant from this point on. I threw up three times and the trainee midwife said that one good vomit is worth three contractions. I hadn’t thrown up in a decade before then.
I laboured in a few different positions for a while. All through this entire process, I’d been getting hourly blood sugar checks. The hospital lancing device was way more violent than my home version, and my fingertips were basically all dripping blood, which the various staff members found mildly concerning. I cannot recommend being in labour with GD. Towards the latter stages when the trainee midwife came towards me with the lancing device I said “SERIOUSLY?” and yes, seriously, it had to be done. I also was getting pretty annoyed with the monitoring, just because it kept slipping out of position and I’d have to have it repositioned, and I was tired of all the fussing about my person.
I registered that things were perhaps not going swimmingly when there started to be more people in the room. The OBGYN came in and took over from my midwife, and I laboured with her for a while. She said perhaps I would want to think about using a vacuum, that I might just need a little help getting the baby out, and here were the extra risks involved, and it was totally up to me. It is hard to wrap your head around a list of risks in that situation, but we had covered vacuum extraction in my prenatal course. Maybe ten minutes later, she brought it up again, again emphasizing that it was up to me, but that I probably had another hour of pushing to go if I didn’t. At this point I’d been pushing for two hours and most of my pushes were ending on exhausted tearless sobs.
What I really wanted to avoid was an exhaustion c-section, so I said yes to the vacuum, and a whole bunch more people streamed into the room. Because there are slightly more risks to the baby, they needed to have a pediatrician team in place. This was more people in the room than I planned on by a mile, but I could not have cared less. My midwife had to insert a new catheter urgently, which was significantly more unpleasant than the first time, and then the vacuum went in. And then…my contractions slowed right down, with major breaks in between them. It was weird to have these several-minute long breaks all of a sudden, but it did allow me to catch my breath. Once the vacuum was in place, I think it took two more contractions - three pushes each - to get him out. He had the cord wrapped around his neck, but they were able to untangle it without any issue, and he had a "true knot" in the cord! Apparently that's less than 1% of births, so all the midwives were really fascinated. I'm just glad I didn't know about this beforehand as the stillbirth risk goes up 4x.
When the baby was plopped on my belly, I wasn’ t particularly emotional; I was mostly just relieved that the worst was over. We had delayed cord clamping for about a minute but couldn’t do longer because he needed to get checked out by the pediatrics team. His conehead looked wild but it went back to normal really fast. Six pounds, eight ounces, and 22 inches long - a long skinny baby. He looks like an old man turtle. At the same time, they were working on me - because of my bilobed placenta, they had to be super careful in getting it out; this part seemed to take a very long time. Then the OBGYN set about stitching me up; they claim not to count stitches, but I had a second-degree tear (skin and tissue), and they gave me a few injections of local anesthetic.
Unfortunately the baby failed his blood sugar test and needed dextrose in his cheek. Ideally, I would have breastfed him after the dextrose (or had stored colostrum, which I hadn’t done), but I was having a violent reaction to the misoprostol and couldn't, so we gave him some formula, which I was completely fine with. So I do recommend freezing and bringing some colostrum with you, if you can.
I had talked a big game about all the GD-unfriendly things I planned to eat right after but I didn’t have much appetite. Still don’t, really. Because of my bleeding and complications we stayed in the hospital two nights. The baby had another borderline sugar reading and needed a bit more dextrose followed by breastfeeding, but after that he was totally fine. I had an enormous grapefruit-sized clot but have otherwise been recovering well. I haven't really been testing my sugar at home regularly but will start again once a day soon, now that we've survived our first week! I did take a few readings (as did the hospital) and it's looking pretty normal, thank goodness. Now that I can eat whatever I want I haven't actually done much of it, except for the baby birthweight bread we ordered from our favourite bakery - yes, they baked us a loaf that was 6 pounds and 8 ounces of bread! It turns out that is a TON of bread so we gave away a lot to our neighbors.
Now that it's done, the GD portion of the pregnancy seems so short in retrospect. It definitely did not feel that way at the time. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is a cute squirmy baby.
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2023.05.28 20:41 grierks Hedge Knight, Chapter 31

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The night air was brisk without his armor, and he could feel gooseflesh travel across his skin when a soft gale brushed through the empty street. There was a small thought at the back of Helbram’s mind that told him that removing his armor was a poor choice where he was going, but he did so anyway.
He was done fighting for today.
The Troll’s face flashed through his mind. His eyes in shock, brimmed with tears as its heart stopped beating from the spear that was embedded into his chest. Helbram shook his head to banish the image from his thoughts, but as he did the soreness to his body became all the more evident. Embers of pain rested in his arms, reminding him of how he pulled at the rope with all his strength.
Only for it all to amount to nothing.
Helbram closed his eyes and sighed before looking ahead, catching the sight of Sophia walking ahead of him.
“I thank you for your assistance,” Helbram said, “Elly may have been putting on a brave face but she took the hardest hit out of all of us.”
“It is the least I could do, healing is one of my duties,” The Maiden of the Sword glanced back, “Though from what I can tell, you require it more than she did.”
Helbram’s shoulder throbbed as she spoke, and he had to admit that she was correct. While the shield had absorbed most of the Troll’s blow, his shoulder took the rest, and he had the misfortune of landing on it when he hit the ground. The rush of battle and haze of his own anger had dulled the pain previously, but when all that had faded, he found himself hesitant to even move his arm for fear of the fire that would lance through him if he did so.
He clutched his shoulder with his uninjured hand, “Perhaps you are correct… though I will tolerate it for now. Let it serve as a reminder.”
Sophia nodded, and let silence fall over them again. They remained that way until they arrived at the Shrine. The water of the sea below reflected the blackness of the night above, but the restlessness of its waves allowed for no clear image of the starry night above to appear over its visage. When they crossed the bridge to the Shrine’s island, Sophia turned, avoiding the front doors and walking off to the building’s side. Helbram quirked an eyebrow and looked at her, and The Maiden only glanced at him before motioning for him to follow her.
He did, but he took in a small breath and focused his Ether into his ears. The sounds of the waves below grew more prominent along with Sophia’s own footsteps, but he could hear no other sounds. Helbram relaxed his posture when he did not detect anyone nearby and picked up his pace, walking right behind Sophia as she guided him to the back of the building. A cliff spiked from the isolated isle like a blade, pointing to the near full moon that glowed so brightly in the sky, casting its pale light across the cliff and the back of the building.
At the base of the cliff was, to Helbram’s surprise, a trapdoor. It was of the same wood of the Shrine’s own entrance and was surrounded by a border of the same pale stone. Its make was noticeably less elaborate, much more weathered than the building that loomed over it, evidenced by the rounded corners of the stone’s border.
Sophia pulled the trap door open, revealing a staircase. Rather than crafted, its stone steps appeared to be carved from the earth itself, and lead down far enough that he could only catch the hint of light at its bottom.
Helbram pressed his lips thin and looked at The Maiden, “Pardon my caution, but I am none too fond of going down mysterious doorways.”
Sophia frowned, “As understandable as your caution is, there are far less conspicuous locations for me to try and trap you.”
There was a bluntness to her voice that bled through her polite demeanor, revealing only a glimpse at the woman that sat behind the mantle of The Maiden.
Helbram snorted, “Fair enough, but ladies first.”
Her frown deepened, but she walked through the trap door first. Helbram waited a moment before following her, leaving the trap door open behind him as he made his way down the stairs. The air was still as he walked down the stairs, but the once distant sound of crashing waves grew closer,and clearer the further down that he went. The reason for this was made obvious when he reached the bottom of the stairs and was greeted by the cave that sat at its end.
It was not large, its size barely providing enough room for the small table and two chairs that sat at its center, rustic pieces crafted from lumber so worn it could be mistaken for driftwood. The far end of the cave opened out to the sea below, a simplistic railing of the same weathered wood serving as its border. Water crashed below, spraying the railing with a light mist. He could see the waves themselves reaching the lips of the cave on stormier days, but on this night he found the sight mesmerizing, its calmness a far cry from the chaos that occurred earlier in the night.
Sophia took a seat at the table and motioned towards the opposite chair, “Please, sit down.”
Helbram made his way to the table, noting that his height was enough that he felt the tip of his hair brush against the cave’s roof. Ducking instinctively, he took his seat as he looked out to the sea.
“I must admit, this is quite the unusual spot,” he said, “Never would I have guessed that such a hideaway existed.”
Sophia joined him in looking out towards the waves. When he looked out to her, the mask of the Maiden could no longer be seen. Gone was the serenity from her face, the stillness to her features, replaced by eyes cast downward, unable to look up as worry gradually furrowed her brow. Her upright posture was now slouched, hunched over as if the weight of the world sat upon her shoulders.
“It was made by those that built the Shrine,” she explained, a tiredness overhanging her voice, “It served as their place of respite, away from the town above.”
She looked at him, “Away from the voice of the Sword that whispered into their ears.”
Helbram nodded, understanding her point, “That is interesting… I wonder why that is.”
Sophia shrugged, “I have heard tales that those sailing the Black Sea will sometimes find their spells and magitek disrupted. Perhaps that is the reason.”
He rubbed his chin, “Would the Sword not notice your absence?”
The tired woman sat back in her chair, letting out a sigh, “If it has before, it has not made mention of it, and I am hardly the first Maiden to utilize this space for their own peace of mind,” she tapped her fingers against the table, “Besides, it has been preoccupied as of late, speaking to those it has chosen,” she looked him in the eye, “You among them.”
Helbram kept his expression blank, “I do not know what you speak of.”
“I am not a fool, Helbram,” she said, the spark of irritation in her voice fading to weariness, “Aside from the brief moment that you laid your hands on it, I am exposed to its voice at all times. It spoke to Marcus, to Marjorie… to you.”
He crossed his fingers and rested them against the table, “...yes, it did, but I spoke true when I told you it did not choose me.”
“It did not say it overtly to any of you three, yet it chooses to speak to you three among all others, and of all those that it spoke with, it is only with you that it appeared so earnest,” she said, “I could feel its desire as it reached out to you, speaking to you with visions of memories past.”
“How much did you see?” He asked.
“Glimpses,” she said, “the sight of a large, damaged rock, of a man splitting stone without an ounce of effort, but no more than that. I did not wish to glimpse too much. I saw even less of Marjorie’s.”
“And of Marcus?”
She closed her eyes, “Of that, I saw everything, felt everything. The hand that reached out to his father as he abandoned them, the tears that fell down his eyes as he cried with his mother. The anger, the sorrow, the burning flame of desire to surpass the man that left them behind… for the Sword that will grant that wish. It senses it, it calls to it, kindling the fire with trauma that should be long past, growing it with each passing moment.”
Sophia opened her eyes, the steel behind their gaze giving him pause, ‘Which is why he must never have it.”
Helbram regarded her words, resting his uninjured arm on the table, “And so you come to me.”
Sophia nodded, “Tell me, when you looked upon the murals within the Shrine, what was it that you saw?”
Helbram recalled the pictures that sat above the Sword, “The story of a hero, felling a great darkness that had befallen a land and making the ultimate sacrifice to finish it off for good,” he searched Sophia’s eyes as he spoke, noting that his recounting of the tale did nothing to bring a reaction to her expression, “But that is not what you see, is it?”
The tired woman sat back and sighed, “What you see is a vision of the past, what I see is prophecy.”
Helbram looked at her with questioning eyes.
“Not in the literal sense,” she said, brushing her silver hair aside, “all who look upon the mural praise the glory of the hero and his actions. None have ever considered the perspective of the hero himself.”
Helbram said nothing as Sophia continued.
“They see a man chosen to wield a powerful sword, chosen to banish an all consuming evil from his home. They see a man of great strength, of power that is to be admired and coveted… of a sacrifice that rings true of all heroes of legend. But what do they not see?”
She leaned forward, grabbing the edges of the table with a grip tight enough to turn her knuckles pale, “Do they see the weight of such responsibility? The pressure of the expectation that is placed upon a hero? Are they aware of the pain that man must have gone through, the abject terror and tribulations that plagued him as he not only fought that darkness, but harbored it within him until he found no other choice than to smother the very light of his own life?”
Sophia looked into Helbram’s eyes, “No, they do not. They see the opportunity for glory, the means to powers that they could only dream of, blissfully unaware that the tale of a hero is not one of such heights, but of peaks amidst a tide of lows that will erode a man’s very soul.”
Helbram leaned back, “And that is what you wish to spare Marcus from.”
Her eyes widened, “You are as perceptive as I hoped.”
“You would not be speaking like this were Marjorie were on your mind,” Helbram explained.
Sophia closed her eyes and loosened her grip on the table, “Of that… you are correct.”
He crossed his arm, “Do you not believe that he can handle the Sword?”
She shook her head, “I know full well that Marcus would be able to wield it, to bear the responsibilities that would come with it. Yes, he is naive, and untrained, but at his core he is a strong, good man,” her voice grew soft, “I have known ever since we were children, yet I would spare him of the burden all the same.”
“And place it onto me,” Helbram kept his voice and posture relaxed, studying Sophia’s body language carefully, “why not Marjorie? She would be more than eager to claim the Sword.”
She frowned, “Great though my desires may be, I do not aim to be foolish in my choices. Of the two others that the Sword speaks to, I trust you the most to take it.”
“And why is that?”
“Marjorie hungers for it, with a desire that I daresay matches that of Marcus’s, perhaps even more. But whereas Marcus’s rages like a flame hers serves to drown me like the ocean,” She motioned to Helbram, “You, however, seem almost adverse to the Sword, regardless of its desire for you to wield it. If you were to be the one to draw it… then perhaps you would be the one to best wield its power.”
Helbram nodded, “And so you deem me worthy enough to bear the burdens that you do not wish to befall Marcus. While I appreciate the honesty, I must say you are doing a rather poor job of convincing me to do so.”
Sophia did not look away, “You strike me as an honorable man. It would be unfair of me to try and deceive you.”
He snorted, “Marcus is indeed quite lucky to be in your care. I can see why he is enamored by you.”
A blush races across Sophia’s cheeks, “That is irrelevant.”
Helbram eyed her with doubt, “Hardly, but I shall prod no further on that subject,” he pressed his lips together and stared at her with a solemn expression, “Regardless, I am afraid I cannot do what you want. I have no intention of drawing the Sword.”
Her eyes became downcast, “May I ask why?”
“I’d say you made a rather compelling case as to why I should not do so,” he said, which brought about a defeated frown from her face, “But, more importantly, I cannot trust it.”
She looked at him with confusion, “What do you mean?”
“The words that it speaks to everyone… whispers that promise some sort of boon, some fulfillment of wishes, or even revelations that are too vague to verify, but broad enough that you cannot help but believe that it was speaking the truth,” he leaned towards Sophia, keeping a spark of anger contained as he grit his teeth, “But the words it spoke to me… I know them to be lies,” he said, feeling his shoulder throb, reminding him of the realities of his weakness, “none knows that more than I. So tell me, how could I draw the Sword when it chooses to lure me in with falsehoods?”
To his surprise, Sophia did not falter. Instead, the tired woman’s expression went still, a calmness to her features that was different from the guise she wore as Maiden.
“Are you certain that it was lying to you?” she asked, her voice steady.
Helbram’s eyes narrowed, “What do you mean?”
“I have seen the Sword speak to countless people,” she said, “And while I do agree that most of what it tells people are shallow statements, I have not known it to be wrong.”
She stood up from the table, walking up to the balcony and staring out to the sea, “When the Sword looks into someone… I am able to see what it sees,” she explained, “I have seen the potential of so many… of men and women seeking fortune, children brought by their parents in hopes that they would be chosen or some revelation of their potential might become apparent. In all of these situations I know what the Sword speaks is true, because I have seen it all as well.”
Sophia turned back towards him, “All except for when you took hold of it.”
Helbram said nothing.
“I do not know why that is, but I know that the Sword was not lying to you. In its eyes, you are the one that possesses the most potential to wield it.”
He grit his teeth, holding back the anger that rose in his chest, “Why would that be? I hold no power aside from a sliver of Ether that a child could cultivate in their sleep. The more that the Sword refers to my potential, the more I am forced to confront that simple, undeniable truth.”
Sophia’s eyes widened as a low growl traced his voice.
“I have traveled through the Six Kingdoms, consulting with scholars, pleading with healers in the hopes of finding some cure for the weakness that plagues me, and none could be found. I have crossed the ocean to Esperia, believing that perhaps that land of magitek could have discovered a method by which I could break the shackles of my own constitution, only to be told that yes, there are methods by which someone with my condition could eventually come to cultivate the strength that is denied to them… but that my particular case was too severe to treat,” his voice descended to resignation, “And in that revelation I found myself wandering, finding my way to the Freemarks, being given hope in a brief moment where I managed to do what was thought impossible by my own hands, finding companions that I do not deserve.”
He closed his eyes and sighed, “Hope that is smothered the more that I am forced to confront the reality that, in my own arrogance, I thought I could ignore for a time,” He stood up from his chair and walked towards the stairs, “I am not the one that will wield the Sword, “ he did not face Sophia as he spoke, “ I am sorry.”
He made way to the stairs.
“What if you spoke to the Sword further?” Sophia asked, steel in her voice.
Helbram stopped and looked back at her.
“You only touched the Sword for an instant, hearing its voice for only a moment,” she said, “Will you not give it a chance to explain itself further? To know for certain if the words it speaks are indeed the lies you believe them to be?”
Resolution was clear in her eyes, but Helbram could also see the desperation under it all.
He took a deep breath, “Marcus is indeed fortunate to have someone cherish him so… Fine, I will speak to the Sword once more.”
Sophia’s chest fell in relief, “I will take you to it now.”
He did not say much as they made their way back to the front of the Shrine, but as Sophia unlocked its doors and moved to go inside, he grasped her shoulder to stop her.
“I will speak with it alone,” he said, his voice calm, but with a weight behind it that gave her pause.
She bit her lip, brow furrowed in uncertainty, but she eventually nodded, “I will wait for you out here.”
Helbram gave her a small smile, “I thank you.”
He brushed past her and into the shrine, closing the door behind him. The Shrine was enshrouded by the night’s shadows, with only the tree at its center illuminated by the pale moonlight that leaked in from above. As he walked closer to the blackened wood his eyes wandered back to the murals that sat above. The tale of the nameless hero held a sadder tone to it within the pale light, and as Helbram stared at the image of the hero impaling himself with his sword, he could not help but understand the fear that Sophia felt.
He sighed again, “Gods, how do I find myself in these situations?”
His eyes fell back to the Sword, its silver make glimmering further in the as moonlight danced upon its exposed surface. The sight alone was entracing enough to drive him closer out of sheer curiosity, and to his surprise, there was no compulsion that moved him as there was at the beginning of the day.
He snorted, “Want to leave it as my own choice, I see…”
He rolled his good shoulder and took in a breath, staring at the blade’s handle. He grasped it before doubt could overcome him, and as he did, all went black.
The void surrounded him again, its formless floor supporting his body that, thankfully, reflected his current attire of simple clothes. There was a chill to his injured shoulder that he caught a fleeting feeling of, a brief flash that banished the pulsing waves of pain that would radiate from it, letting him move it like normal.
Helbram rolled his shoulder as he looked around, “I suppose that is a good start…”
He stopped as his eyes fell upon an expected sight.
A man that was as tall as him, but with a wider and sturdier build. Their hair was similar, though the burly man’s was more well kept than his. There was steel in his brown eyes, but the man’s face was a kindly one, possessing a gentle smile that brought an ache to Helbram’s heart.
His father walked up to him, arms open and welcoming.
“At last, we meet.”
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Author's Note: I wanted to use this chapter to flesh out the character of Sophia a bit. I didn't want her to be some simple Maiden of the Sword that did not appear that much in the story itself, and I feel like this goes a long way in giving her some dimension beyond what was shown of her before. Let me know how I did!
If you wish to read ahead and gain access to the audiobook version of this story, consider supporting me on Patreon. If you want to leave a donation, here is my Ko-fi. More than any of that though, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and have yourself a very wonderful day! :)
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2023.05.28 20:40 eulalie_pop Logan made Succession a circle, not a line, and we're about to watch it end where it began

So I’ve been down the rabbit hole, trying to chase every off-the-cuff reference, stray allegory, allusion, comparison, and tangent. I’m going to need you to bear (hug) with me for a bit because I think I’ve stumbled on some truly insane parallels between this show and the myriad of references it makes and it will take a lot of text to justify to you that I'm not crazy (or that I am, but at least I do my research).
This is a show that employs a ton of intertextuality and what the poet T.S. Eliot (someone quoted frequently throughout the series) calls “the mythic method”: essentially using historical, literary, and mythological allusions to draw parallels between characters on the show and characters throughout history (real and imagined).
This method helps the audience to build both conscious and unconscious associations with each of the characters and, ultimately, underscores the Roys’ (and humanity’s) damning commitment to making the same mistakes over and over again. The show seems to draw a lot from Greek mythology, Arthurian legend, biblical parables, Shakespearean tragedy, and modernist poetry (among many other things).
These networks of symbolism span from the earliest recorded history to modern celebrity culture and yet they reveal frighteningly unchanged elements in the stories they tell. The parallels of these references throughout the show serve to highlight the cyclical (the illusion of progress) and deterministic (the illusion of free will) nature of existence.
While I will be dipping in and out of the existing references, I want to call particular attention to the poetry of the aforementioned T.S. Eliot (who champions the mythic method) and John Berryman’s poem Dream Song 29 because I believe much of their work has served as a foundation for characters.
In the show, Frank makes mention of his poem “The Long Song Of J Alfred Prufrock” more than once. Outside of the show, Matthew McFayden (the actor who plays Tom) references the same poem to describe his character. Jeremy Strong (the actor who plays Kendall) says Eliot’s work The Four Quartets is a huge inspiration to his acting and character. A line from this particular work did strike me as being quite on the nose, which is why I continued to comb the poem for more (which it does deliver on):
"In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf."
This will probably be a monster of a post, so I will attempt to break down the following sections between poetic parallels, visual and dialogic symbolism of eternal recurrence, and an exploration of the historical and mythological allusions. Ultimately, I believe all of these clues point to the overwhelming conclusion that we will end where we began, in some way or another.
Circles & Cycles: Endless Recurrence & The Futility Of Progress
The show toys a lot with the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence, which postulates that “time repeats itself in an infinite loop, and that exactly the same events will continue to occur in exactly the same way, over and over again, for eternity.”
These eternal loops are symbolized visually with mirrors, water, fractal reflections; in the “uh-huh” and “mhmms” of repeated, near-palindromic dialogue; and in the show events that echo and repeat: in-air death scares, asynchronous business deals, family betrayal, weddings, retreats, implosions, family reunions, trauma bonding, baptism, funerals, etc.
In this understanding of time, there is no linear progress — or even progress at all. Time is cyclical. People are cyclical. As are the events that transpire. This is particularly interesting in a show like Succession whose title alone implies the phrase “line of succession.” Viewers would expect to see what comes next — who comes next — but as Logan himself yells, “Nothing is a line. Everything is moving all the time.”
Logan consistently evokes the circle shape in his speech, “Put a circle around him” he tells Shiv. “We’ve been circling for an hour, tell them we’re out of gas,” he complains in a moment of grim foreshadowing on his plane. “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes,” he shouts during the game of Boar on the Floor.
And he is the bright, burning nebulous center of this circle. He’s described as “carr[ying] his gravity. He's not a man, he's a f*cking planet.” And the people around him are described like satellites and moons. Characters exist in his orbit. And every complete orbit (or “revolution”) leaves characters in exactly the same place. There are motions, there is the illusion of progress, but the result is the same. Eliot again:
“every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure”
With this understanding, the show may just end where it begins. Not only in “nothing” happening, but in repeating the same events ad infinitum: A kid tries to take over the family business, they try to align with their siblings, they eventually backstab their siblings, they end out in the cold, and then they reunite, swear not to do it again, until it all repeats.
As most of us are aware, the show has made very direct mention of the John Berryman poem Dream Song 29. The names of the past three season finales (as well as the name of the upcoming fourth) are all direct excerpts from the poem, which deals with grief and sadness and the guilt of killing someone when you can’t even confirm there’s been someone killed at all.
Berryman consistently wrote about the guilt and grief he experienced from his father’s suicide. Berryman himself would eventually end up taking his own life, which on its own is a brutal reminder of the cycles of trauma. It also doesn’t feel insignificant that Berryman jumped off a bridge.
What’s really interesting is how each subsequent finale is named for a line that comes earlier and earlier in the poem. It also toys with this concept that things come full circle and end where they begin. This echoes Eliot’s essential thesis of the poem:
“What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
But while the speaker of the poem comes to realize he has not murdered “nobody” by the poem’s last line; Kendall, moving through the poem backward, must reckon with the idea that he may have killed somebody even if they were a “nobody.” And while we may encounter this as a moment in which Kendall is genuinely despairing over his season 1 inadvertent murder, I believe we are far more likely to see Kendall embrace this moment.
We see "nobody" and "no one mentioned" a lot when it comes to Logan, who believes most people are "fungible as f*ck," and "pygmies" while he's "1,000 feet tall." When Kendall is involved in the accident, we see him echo "NRPI" or no real person involved.
The reason Kendall couldn’t live up to his father’s expectations is that he couldn’t be the killer his father needed him to be (even if his morality or basis of being a good person is off). This retroactive movement through the poem could be Kendall realizing he is, in fact, the killer his father always needed him to be, enabling him to take the necessary steps of seizing the crown on his own.
Allegories & Allusions: Mythic Comparisons & Determinism
It’s Shakespearean, like Roman says, “I kill Kendall, get crowned king, like we’re in f*cking Hamlet or something.” But it’s not just Hamlet, it’s King Lear, King Richard III, Coriolanus, Macbeth. And it’s not just Shakespeare, it’s Oedipus Rex, The Odyssey, The Waste Land, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Cronus devouring his children, Romulus killing Remus, Noah cursing his child for looking upon him naked.
The concept of the monomyth was popularized in "The Hero With 1000 Faces" and discusses throughout history, throughout different times and places, different cultures, different religions, different people have developed stories with relatively similar fundamental elements. The show is rife with allusions of stories that follow that same thread. Logan is Cronus who is King Lear who is Romulus who is who is. This is another form of endless recurrence: the inability to break the cycle. Or, in a very Hamlet reference, "maybe the poison drips through."
The themes of patricide, fratricide, and incest in particular are rampant. Rhea (like Rhea Jarell) in Greek mythology is both sister and consort to Cronus. Both are part of the first generation of aptly named Titan gods. Cronus overthrew his father Uranus and learns his children are fated to overthrow him. So he eats them as soon as they are born. Logan does refer to people as food a surprising amount throughout the show, varying from red meat to vegetables. He outright calls for blood sacrifice, which evokes the language of the gods.
Logan is referenced specifically as one of the last real American titans in his obituaries and eulogies. The language around him is frequently god-like. He's known as "the big man" or even "the big man upstairs." Tom tells Greg to "be his representative here on earth"; Roman asks the audience, "who is going to climb Mt. Olympus and be the next Dr. Zeus?" And that's where the myth gets interesting.
The only child not to be eaten is Zeus, who does end up killing his father and was surprisingly interested in marrying his mother. We're familiar with this plot formula through a different archetype: the Oedipus Complex, which we see referenced in the show with “Oedipus Roy,” “Oedipussy,” and “stabbing my eyes out.” The same story is repeated again in Hamlet with brother killing and brother and son yelling at his mother about her milky breasts (something Roman does to Shiv more than once). In the show when Logan says to Roman, “You may want to f*ck your mother but I don’t.” We know none of these stories end well. As Connor muses, “It’s not right to kill one’s father; history teaches us that.”
In the story of Romulus and Remus (whose mother’s name is also Rhea), the two brothers were initially chased out of their city as potential threats to the King (yet again). They were left by the river to die and were saved by the river god (important). After successfully overthrowing the kingdom that left them for dead, they agree to found a new city. They ultimately disagreed on which hill to found it and decided to have a bird-watching competition to see who could see the most omens indicating they had divine approval for the hill. Remus says he saw 6 auspicious birds but Romulus claims to see 12. Romulus kills Remus over this.
It should remind you of Logan visiting his childhood home with Ewan: “I saw a mistle thrush at the bandstand,” and the log book he kept as a child of birds he “saw” that Ewan would cross out if he didn’t believe him. It may also echo a part of The Four Quartets, “Other echoes/ Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?/ Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,/ Round the corner. Through the first gate,/ Into our first world, shall we follow/ The deception of the thrush?"
There is much to be said about the themes of warring brothers. Also the themes of fathers worried their children would one day overthrow them who take action to thwart or murder their children, which inadvertently sets into motion the very outcome they fear. It happens over and over again in stories old and new. As Panhandle Pete says, “I push him, he pushes me, and around and around we go.” Or as Eliot puts it, “that the wheel may turn and still / Be forever still.”
Much of these works touch on a sort of determinism, or the slow crushing reality that every action you take — even if that action is an attempt to thwart your fate — will ultimately lead to the same inevitable ending. This is the illusion of free will on top of the illusion of progress. And Logan, in fearing his children would usurp him (and also disparaging his children for not being able to), set into motion his own death and his own messy succession.
It’s also a reminder that the greatest men in life are all the same when laid to rest:
"O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers, Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees, Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark…"
Structure & Symbolism: Water As Rebirth & Destruction
The show has very much been structured around Kendall, and we watch him move through bodies of water with what feels like different symbolism each time. Is he drowning, is he reborn? We witness Kendall at his lowest point face down in a pool and at one of his highest, splashing into the Pacific ocean. We watch a man drown. We watch Logan beg Kendall for water as they walk through Adrien Brody’s maze. We watch Roman clamor for water at the funeral when he needs to calm down. Poetry has long played with this life and death dynamic in water, like the sailors dying of thirst in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner who cry:
“Water, water, every where,. And all the boards did shrink;. Water, water, every where,. Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ!”
This sub has noted Kendall’s connection to water, which has been represented over and over visually. But once you realize every metaphor, analogy, and simile he uses is water-based, you can’t unhear it. He calls his father “a tsunami of corruption” and describes things “as more precious than water”; he calls deals “choppy” and “dead in the water,” and asks to “help steady the ship”; he offers to “row back” on business deals, says timing is “high tide,” and that he has “bigger fish to fry.”
Logan is apt to use similar water symbolism, even telling Shiv that she’s marrying a man “fathoms” beneath her. As Rhea tells him, fearful of his own monstrosity, “I can’t see the bottom of the pool. I don’t know if you care about anything. It scares me.” ATN’s major scandal was “death cruises.” Even his operating nemesis is called “Sandy.”
In fact, there is mention of all elements and seasons — in particular, fire from Shiv, air from Roman, and earth from Connor. T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets confront these same themes and share some surprising similarities with show scene locations, dialogue, and plot points.
That’s because Succession is an allegory for the micro and the macro: the rise and fall of families, civilizations, monarchies, dynasties, and empires. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, the cycles rinse and repeat. Eliot modeled the four quartets on the 4 elements and the 4 seasons. And you can see even in Succession a similar manifestation of 4 elements. And, well, 4 seasons of the show. (And what occurs after 4 seasons? A full revolution around the sun, bringing you to where you began.)
Water seems to be at the root of it all. Even Ewan’s eulogy meditates on his and Logan’s journey on a boat. Even their abusive uncle is named Noah. In the show, we watch our nobody die by water, we watch our main character nearly die by water, and then we watch him revive in the ocean. As Kendall and his father wind their way through Adrien Brody’s circuitous Long Island home, Kendall remarks, “I think this leads to the ocean.” Because every path leads to the sea in some way or another.
The overarching narration from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is the Arthurian Legend of The Fisher King. This story is told a million different ways with a million different outcomes, but always boils down to an injured or maimed monarch ruling over a dying land. Or as Ewan refers to his "empire of shit": “He’s built a wasteland and called it an empire.”
He’s looking for someone, anyone, to heal him, rescue the kingdom, and ensure the dynasty survives. This is the myth of the holy grail, which, in this show, can be seen as the throne: The original stories of the holy grail were not Christian/religious but they do employ a lot of the same mythmaking from earlier religions and mythologies to tell their stories and thus construct their new realties. As Eliot says in The Four Quartets:
"The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere."
I believe Kendall (and the other children) represent the grail knights who try to save the king. (On the same level they stand in for the gods, the elements, or anything at all). When Christianity became more popular, these myths adapted to Christian overtones, but they still had the Celtic and pagan myths at their core: the grail becomes the chalice from the last supper.
That’s why Kendall’s easy comparisons of himself to Jesus feel less blasphemous than revelatory. Jesus is another hero archetype in the show’s mythology. He is willing to sacrifice himself, which Kendall must do in order to become the successor his father wanted. As he says, "this is a culmination of my life's journey to be crucified for you morons."
(It’s worth noting: In some legends, the knight saves the king; in others, he inadvertently destroys him. We know Logan dies, but it does feel less likely that Waystar Royco survives.) Drowning is a constant feature of Eliot's poems, but so is baptism and renewed life. It is difficult to determine the meaning of water in either instance, except that it doesn't discriminate as a life or death bringer, which is both beautiful and terrifying.
Parallels & Predictions: Piecing The Plot & Poetry Together
To repeat again, as this show is wont to do: “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes!” Logan Roy shouts during a game of Boar On A Floor. It’s an allegory, like many games on the series, and proudly says the quiet part out loud: Logan always wins. Here’s a little boar on the floor reference in The Four Quartets:
"We move above the moving tree In light upon the figured leaf And hear upon the sodden floor Below, the boarhound and the boar Pursue their pattern as before But reconciled among the stars."
We’ve seen the L.O.G.A.N. system at work many times and with many people. He dangles a carrot, a morsel of love, as each character attempts to play the game over and over while expecting different results. They are doomed to crawl in that circle, to play that blind game, as Logan angrily shouts, “It’s fun!” And this game doesn't end in death. The children still ask. "What would dad do?"
Games on Succession (which are a consistent refrain), it turns out, are rarely fun and are often designed to humiliate or inflict pain. The same goes when characters say “I’m just kidding” after an eviscerating remark. Logan thinks life is a game, and as he says, games should be taken seriously. And because Logan explicitly makes the rules, there is no winning, just trudging around the board, passing Go, and collecting $200. The games are essentially Sisyphean tasks that the kids wouldn’t be able to win even if they were actually competent enough to run the company. And yet they keep rolling the boulder. It’s endless. The repetition. It ends where it begins.
"Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph. And any action Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them. The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration. A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments."
Please also note the use of “the rose” and “the yew tree,” which are the names of Logan’s siblings Rose and Ewan, which derives from yew-tree. Other important name comparisons include Kendall’s association to spring/river valley; Siobhan’s nickname either a knife (Shiv) or Pinky (a variation of the name Rose); Roman’s connection to Romulus/Corialanus; Tom’s name meaning “twin” because there was already someone named Judas in the bible HELLO; Logan’s name meaning little hollow, which recalls another Eliot poem, The Hollow Men.
We know this show is a game, one that isn't fun at all, and one whose rules Logan made up. Even when there's a winner, there's no winner. So it's almost futile to play at all. That said, it’s impossible to make sense of any of it all without the ending — to confirm this ball has been rolling toward an inevitable conclusion, but given the show’s ending has probably occurred already, here are my thoughts:
This may feel a bit on the nose given we’ve already seen this almost happen to “the Kurt Cobain of floaties,” but it would certainly be poetic. This could be sad (launched from a bridge); empowering (a la The Awakening); or metaphorical (a drug overdose). At some point Kendall says, "If dad didn’t need me right now I wouldn’t know what I would be for." The kids exist with Logan as their sun; they are moons, satellites, in orbit. And when their sun dies out, they repeat the motions in the cold, slowly losing their patterns and motions. The term is science is a rogue planet and the following lines from the poem remind me of Kendall and his broken, hollow stare.
“It would be the same at the end of the journey, If you came at night like a broken king, If you came by day not knowing what you came for, It would be the same, when you leave the rough road And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for Is only a shell, a husk of meaning From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled If at all. Either you had no purpose Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfilment.”
Any victory feels like it will be a Pyrrhic victory regardless when you've had to systematically take down everyone you love to achieve it. The same lines above can echo here "the purpose is beyond the end you figured/And is altered in fulfilment." A hollow victory. The Fisher King question Logan poses is, "Who can replace me?" Logan wanted each of his children to display the killer instinct. Kendall’s backwards journey through Dreamsong 29 may very well see him realize he is, in fact, the killer his dad always wanted — with open eyes. This will probably involve taking down his siblings. In this version, winning is a lot like losing, which feels very Succession.
These Shakespearean histories and tragedies rarely end well for existing houses. With Richard III (the-multiple-lineage-ending war of the roses) and Hamlet (the-whole-house-dies-but-a-norwegian-king-swoops-in-to-take-it-all dynastic struggle) references abound. We may just see a new house rise up and rinse and repeat. This would probably also occur if the kids take each other down and leave it open for another party. We saw last season that Roman thought he had an in with Mattson until it didn’t serve Mattson anymore. I see the same thing happening between Roman and Mencken. This puts Mencken and Mattson in a position to take over, which may make Mattson win it or…
When Mattson is introduced, he is referenced as a trickster. Generally, in mythology, this character is quite intelligent or in possession of secret knowledge, and he uses it for trickery and commandeering situations. (Is that blood thing real???). Hamlet concludes with every major character killing the other with their own tragic flaws until a third party Scandinavian comes in to take the crown with no necessary action or bloodshed at all. We already know he's unscrupulous; what is his end game? It reminds me of one of his early lines to Roman, which would be an eerie foreshadowing:
“Success doesn’t really interest me anymore, it’s too easy. Analysis + capital + execution. Fucking, anyone can do that. But failure, that’s a secret. Just as much failure as possible as fast as possible, burn that shit out, that’s interesting.”
We’ve seen it happen before (which is why it should happen again). We’ve also seen Tom remove the thin veneer of his ambitions to the point where he almost feels like Richard III. He has played the fool, which is Shakespearean estimation, is often equivalent to the trickster. This would be a fun and distorted parallel to Shiv offering this job to him for Logan to offer it to her. This would probably happen in conjunction with Mattson winning. As I mentioned earlier, the name Tom means “twin” and the apostle Tom was only called as such because there were already one too many “Judas” in the mix. He's also from Minnesota (the twin cities!), so this is becoming very real, you know???
While we know Tom has betrayed Shiv before, we also know Greg betrayed Shiv and Tom when he spoke to Geri in the first season about Tom having a press conference on cruises. He leads Tom to believe Shiv has betrayed him, getting one over on both of them. There may also be something with the Rule of 3 and being betrayed 3 times that feels biblical. The show also makes TONS of references to holding on to blackmail for opportune moments. Will we see something like this?
I’m not a big believer that Greg will fail so far upwards that he will win (this would feel like a betrayal in its own right), but do I believe there’s a world where Greg gets himself on a piece of paper with a question mark. Maybe???
This is my personal hope because I want the Tom and Jerry allusion to be real more than any other I put together (we love a good cat and mouse game). If Mattson wins, he needs a US CEO. Geri has collected a massive amount of dirt on everyone. And to call back to season 1’s interim CEO discussions, Shiv says, “I don’t like Geri. But I don’t hate Geri either.” It would feel particularly good given how much time and effort Logan spent clarifying Geri would be terrible at the position. Especially as Logan disparaging someone generally means he’s afraid of what they can do.
I’ll end at the ending. Or conclude where Eliot did on The Four Quartets:
"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flames are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one."
PS. Given ‘Pinky’ is another name for ‘Rose’ does this mean Shiv wins??? JK let’s just watch the show tonight and laugh at our predictions in the morning.
submitted by eulalie_pop to SuccessionTV [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:40 loopingatalanta i'm already invested in this sapphic childhood bestfriends to lovers

Really hoping Eve wouldn't be sidelined to hell like she was in CY1 🥲
Still wishing RC would allow some info in friendship route without the romantic undertones tho because some things mentioned in the scene (Agatha not liking being touched by anyone except Eve since childhood, them being able to understand each other's meaning with a look, ^ sleeping with each other because nightmares) are still pretty sweet from platonic point.
submitted by loopingatalanta to RomanceClub [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:40 TheEternalStranger I got scammed

So I was talking to someone who claimed to be an OF model but was looking to get out of that business
Yeah my spidey senses were tingling. I know there are plenty of scammers fishing for gullible lonely men but she seemed nice and wanted nothing from me. I was just happy to speak with a female. I guess even if it was a dude LARPing. I was just happy to talk. I mean everyone is so busy these days. Who has time for anyone? And yet here was this nice person. So I spoke to "her".
Over time our relationship started to blossom, and I became convinced she was infact a she. We used to speak alot. Like alot. These were not sporadic conversations.
Soon came requests for money. I didn't want to lose my friendship with this woman who I could potentially see marrying so I obliged. I sent her a little ETH but not too much (maybe 1.25 total across several months).
I stupidly also added her on FB. Her profile seemed fake, she had 0 freinds. But she told me she created the profile just for me. I get it. I guess she is just too shy for social media. Say no more. We would send each other love messages publicity. My parents were happy I finally found someone.
Anyway, She eventually said a few things, lies so blatantly false and out of touch with reality, that made me think she was fake as hell (calling me handsome and saying my appendenge was big when I finally built the courage to send to her some pictures after months of talking) so I called her out on it. We got into a VERY heated argument. This led to this person becoming truthful about who they are. Turned out I was talking to a dude.
I was devastated but I told him that this changes nothing ( context: I was actually still thinking this person is fully in love with me as they made me believe these past few months).
I told him it didn't matter he was a dude. As long as he is willing to keep wearing makeup, faking a soft voice and wearing a wig, I want to continue our relationship. I will even fly him out to my country (context: he would send me videos of a woman with personalised nice messages directed to me. We also had phone conversations so I assumed it must have been him cross dressing or something. He later told mr it was a fake model who I guess works for him).
He then sent me a selfie of him quickly and deleted it before I could screen grab. He was laughing and was a middle aged balding dude with glasses lol. I said it still doesn't matter. We could work with it. I could pay for hormone treatments. Do you love me? (I know how this sounds. I was being over emotional and not thinking with my brain).
He then said some swear words to me. He said he doesn't care about me and told me to get lost. He said he wants 5 ETH or he will leak photos of my little acorn to my FB contacts by creating a false profile of me and adding them. Ouch that hurt lol.
I then swore at him and explained thst I don't care. Who will you send my D pics to?
My parents? Oh no, you'll share my D pictures with my parents?? They've seen it before when they used to bathe me when I was a wee little lad. It's hardly changed. Its not like you would be shocking them with something they can't handle.
My boss or my colleagues? Go ahead. I want to get fired anyway.
My freinds? What freinds?
I told him not to mess with a guy with nothing to lose and quickly blocked him.
But the more I think about it. I have a lot to lose and I'm actually scared.
I am probably going to end up sending a message to my key contacts warning them not to accept a freinds invite from someone claiming to be me.
I'm not sure what the message of this story is. But I've now been researching about online dating scams. I won't be trusting anyone online ever again. There are alot of ruthless people out there with alot of time on their hands who have made a full time job of preying on the vulnerable and desperate. Tthe internet has given them a global market.
submitted by TheEternalStranger to FA30plus [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:39 Cas-Bitey-DM New Puzzle for my Players - Feedback?

If you're part of the 'Golden Saucer Crew' Why are you reading DMAcademy? Go away!All good?GreatSo, I'm adding in some more puzzles, because puzzles mix things up!Puzzle resources are always a bit hit and miss though, so as ever I'm making my own.The players are currently following a MBEG (Mid bad evil guy) through some portal hopping. They're returning back to their home realm and the portal there is guarded. They'll be doing 3 puzzles to get the portal open, and the third of which is the one I'm working on now.

Shop of Many Things
On entering the Shop, they'll be greeted by the shopkeeper who seems to know who they are, and will refer to having met them before.
The shop keeper will give the follow roughly drafted speech:
"well hello there crew of the Golden Saucer. It's been a while! Are you ready to pass through? All you need to do is answer the follow riddles! and whats nicer, is I've even laid out some clues for you! Here we go!"
Some use me to focus, some to heal their soul,
some use me for beauty, some to paint rainbows.
I do not live in the past, my anticipation's too much to bear.
The joy I bring to others is in just how much I care.
In death I'm given life, and through that how I've grown,
But also I provide nurture, and in some cases a home.
To sleep, perchance to dream,
but as with lots, too much can dull your screams.
There are a number of items laid out on the counter in front of the shop keeper (as evidenced by the video above)
In no particular order:
The idea here is that each of the riddles give a component to the portal ritual, with the wrong components the ritual will fail. The only downside to this is time. (they're chasing someone)
So, Spoiler time now, with the answers
Some use me to focus, some to heal their soul,
some use me for beauty, some to paint rainbows.
This is the Crystal. The potion bottle is in there as a destraction
I do not live in the past, my anticipation's too much to bear.
The joy I bring to others is in just how much I care.
This is the present.
In death I'm given life, and through that how I've grown,
But also I provide nurture, and in some cases a home.
This is the toadstool. (the home part refers to certain fae that like to like in toadstools).
To sleep, perchance to dream,
but as with lots, too much can dull your screams.
This is the Poppies, the cushion is there just so my daughter can show her dark side and assume its a pillow.
So, are the clues too cryptic? should I throw in other bits?

submitted by Cas-Bitey-DM to DMAcademy [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:38 hitech95 I'm worn out, I don't know what to do anymore. Always a problem around the corner.

Guys, I accept all suggestions otherwise I'll throw it on eBay. It seems like every time I have to print something I have to spend hours or even days on it to get a decent print.
Today I'm at my limit, the extruder is clogged for the nth time. I go to disassemble it and both PC4 fittings break. The teeth got stuck in the PTFE tube when extracting it, both the PTFE and the fittings are done.
The printer has around 100h of use in about 3 years. Different modifications to make it work decently. Lots of parts broke, as the hot-end cooling fan failed in only 3 weeks. But there is nothing to make it work. I've already tried several communities and the problems are always there. I'm not getting out.
My main issues are under extrusion and a clogged nozzle. My printer is an E3 Pro. I've tried everything in the book:
Other modifications that I have in:
Now I'm at the point of the decision spend another 50 bucks for the new PTFE tube, and fittings and try again, or just throw everything away? What have I not tried yet, the only thing it is coming to mind is the Full-Metal Micro-Swiss extruder or the new one from Creality. But I then have to consider that I got the printer for 120 new 2.5 years ago. The printer had more downtime/troubleshooting time than print time. Only in my past week, I did like 7 or 8 attempts to print a 30-minute piece always failing with a clogged nozzle so I had to disassemble the extruder many times.
I could probably take a single picture with all the stuff I printed successfully and most of them would be calibration cubes or similar test prints.
submitted by hitech95 to Ender3Pro [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:38 owenngo1338 What if: An Executioner's Power.

Back at the safehouse, the majority of the agents arrived with mostly supplies and weapons in hand, some may even consider it as luck whether the scavengers happened to leave most of them behind or didn't bother to.
"I heard you guy's got the supplies back, and so including weapons too."
"Yeah yeah, let's get this over with." Placing down a Medkit, tabs, IFAK Kit, and a Grenade. The agent popped open a can of beans and a soda.
"Not sure if you guy's heard, but there is a rumor going around in the Agency's headquarters so far."
"Oh? Then what's this rumor about? Yosef's clone? Finding a way to cure n' infection?" He said as he took out his Nomad Kira Blade and cleans it.
"Nah, even better."
"This Executioner Agent. Had the guts to take on any Scavs and even managed to take a couple of AWP bullets, just to let you know they're loaded with a 7.62x51mm. Nowadays, they are difficult to come by. I heard he killed a SledgeHammer Scavenger in one hit, and let me tell you, I can already see the sight in his eyes before he dies. Haha!"
"I think that's what every normal Executioner does nowadays in Eden-227"
"Yeah yeah I know, but I'm getting there." He pointed toward's the Vagabond Agent
"For some unknown reason, this guy had the legit ball's to go nearby the castle. Oohoho, I still remember the terror me and my teammates had telling him to not go nearby the castle."
"Sledge Queen eventually became aware of this when her instincts alerted her that someone was slipping behind the castle. She went ahead and looked and saw a lone agent with Kill-Warrant GPNVG-M42. A friend who was standing near the tower and observing from above said he saw the Sledge Queen pause for a moment, probably hesitated."
"Did he manages to get the bounty?" Said the Vagabond.
"He and the Sledge Queen had an awful battle that's for sure. Held Maria as his signature, and as soon as Sledge queen touch the ground, Boom. Her entire appearance was gone. All of that just by a single swing. After that he came back with her container."
"Yeah... Don't ask how I got this much information."
submitted by owenngo1338 to decayingwinter [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:36 Stormtide_Leviathan The Toolbelt

There are many things you might like to keep in your hotbar. Weapons, food, a water bucket, potions, a totem of undying, building supplies. But for me at least, there's very little room for any of that by lategame, because it gets filled up by tools. If I'm out and about, I like to have all my tools on me- two pickaxes (fortune and silk touch), an axe, a shovel, and a hoe. That's over half the hotbar slots taken up right there. If I also carry around a sword and a stack of food, that only leaves two hotbar slots flexble, which discourages using anything else. Opening up hotbar space while still having easy access to all your tools would be immensely helpful and make a lot of items more viable for every day use. If you want to implement a new few system that encourages variety, you want hotbar space for that. If you want people to carry around potions, being able to have access to them instantly is very helpful, especially with something like fire resistance where every second counts. It makes it easier to carry around several kinds of weapons, for pvp. As the game expands and systems get more complicated, hotbar space (just like inventory space as a whole) comes at a premium that tools take up.
Introducing the toolbelt- an item that grants you a second 9-slot hotbar that can be used exclusively for tools. This includes pickaxes, axes, shovels, hoes, shears, fishing rods, and brushes. Maybe clocks, compasses, spyglasses, and leads too. Allowing these in toolbelt slots might even encourage some players who don't normally carry them around to do so, if that slot was going to be empty otherwise since it's limited in what it can hold. There is a special slot in your inventory, next to your armor slots, where you can attach a tool belt. You craft it using some combination of string and bundles. Maybe three string in a row with three bundles below them. Maybe one string in the center with 8 bundles around it. I'm thinking the former because of how hard rabbit hide is to get, but if that changes if and when bundles are actually implemented and it becomes cheap then the 8 bundle recipe might be better. If they're never implemented, then maybe it could use rabbit hide directly or something.
More important than their crafting recipe is their function and ease of utility. Pressing some key (alt, for example) will bring up the second hot bar at the bottom of the screen for as long as you hold down alt. Pressing alt + a number will put you to that number in the second hot bar slot and hold whatever's in it. When you're holding an item in your second hotbar, you don't need to hold down alt. While you're in your second hotbar, you can scroll through it as normal. Pressing a number without holding down alt will close your second hotbar and take you to that number in your regular hotbar, as usual. (Unequipping the toolbelt will also close it). It's very important that the toolbelt is easy and intuitive to use, but that kind of thing is not my forte so if you have suggestions as to how to improve it in this manner, i'd love to hear them.
The main intention of the toolbelt is to allow you to carry around a full set of tools to help with the various problems you might come across while out and about without taking up inventory slots that stop you from using other items like potions, more of a late game problem. But it does also have early game utility. Long mining expeditions before you get a pickaxe with near-infinite durability are tricky. I tend to find myself crafting nearly a dozen stone picks and burning through all of them strip mining. The tool belt would also help with that kind of situation, since your inventory will fill up less quickly without all those pickaxes in them since you can keep them in the toolbelt.
TL;DR: An item that grants you a second hotbar to hold all your tools and free up the hotbar and inventory space they would normally take up.
submitted by Stormtide_Leviathan to minecraftsuggestions [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:36 FantasticSouth Family Island - Guide

Family Island - Guide
Challenge - get to level 15 in 5 days
Region - UK
Numbers are keyed to the photos above.
All details correct as of date posted
Currently on the discover wall is the above offer. I saw this at 2000 a good month ago and my first reaction was to have Farmville 3 PTSD nightmares and dismiss it but actually, though its similar, it's absolutely possible to complete and no way as needy as that game.
Though the offer is on the wall, I found it out by email. The email I had said the offer will change on the 2nd of June so if you intend to do this one, do it before then.
You get 5 days to complete the challenge, I did it in 2. These were, for the most part, 2 solid days of having my phone on all the time whilst I was waiting for timers. Not the most gripping of games but needed no spending at all.
I will pop the details of the guide below. For a TLDR too long didn't read) version:
-be frugal with keys and the golden tools (axe, spade etc).
So, I completed this one in 48 hours or so. You get 5 days, so you don't need to speedrun it like I did but it cost me nothing and I was able to balance it with doing random shit at home, like chores etc.
I practically had my phone on the game the whole time for this one. Its a good challenge to do if you don't mind mindlessly clicking things and waiting. I did loads whilst watching TV.
So, when you start the game and finish the tutorial, you'll get the basic layout of the game and your island. Make sure that you don't use any keys or gold tools unless it's part of the tutorial and save any salt collected (more below).
Then either go to Facebook and like their page and follow or do it in game here (1).
Levelling up
Got to get to level 15. Top left corner is your player level. (2). No levelling up buildings for stupid amount of resources here. You can level up without building buildings at all but this would take an age. Simplest way to play is to follow the tasks on the left side of the screen (3). These will come and go as you play and fulfil them. Keep doing these to unlock things to build and create.
Roots are the first crop item you get to grow and tbh, they are the only one you really need to concern yourself with. They take 2 irl (in real life) minutes to grow each one and you can instant grow them after 90 secs. You can then sell them for 1 experience each. When you get to level 11 I think, you get your last crop field before level 15 so you can grow 8 at a time. Doesn't sound much but when you are harvesting and growing them every 2 mins it all adds up and you can earn so much experience from it. I probably earned the most experience in this game from growing roots. Harvesting roots will make up 90% of this challenge. Boring but effective.
The hearth and the dining table
Early on you get to build the hearth. The hearth allows you to cook food items and the table allows you to serve them up. Eating served food gives you energy and once a day you can boost the energy given by watching ads (4). Don't worry about upgrading the table. There is a task to do this later in the challenge.
Salt is really important and since you can't get them from the Shaman for this challenge (I presume because you get to level 15 before the option to trade with him appears) they are only found in clams, starfish, chests or as rewards for completing tasks. All randomly earned. Every item you can cook requires salt. Save your salt for making roasted meat. It gives you a good amount of energy.
Other islands
So early on, you'll get the option to go to different islands. I would mostly ignore these unless there is an event going on or something that gives you extra rewards. In my case, I was doing the movie island challenges. Though you get loads of energy for exploring them, they also cost a lot of energy. Can't really say for sure if the other islands are worth investing time and energy in to be honest. Again, I spent most of my time harvesting crops, so I'll let you be the judge.
The merchant
Can't remember what level but you get access to the merchant fairly early on. I'd really only use him for the keys he gives. Everything else is kinda whatever.
Can't think of anything else at the moment. This challenge maybe advertised as getting to level 16 but it pends at level 15 for 14 days. (5)
Any questions, please ask whilst it's fresh in my mind (it won't be for long!).
Thanks for reading.
submitted by FantasticSouth to SwagBucks [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:33 TallestOfThemAll My GF (F26) and I (M27) had an abortion. I think it ended our relationship.

T/W: Abortion. Lengthy read.
Long story ahead. Any advice is appreciated since I have no one else to ask advice from.
Me (27/M) and my girlfriend (26/F) have been dating since January, but we have been in a past relationship back in 2017/2018 for about 4 or so months which ended due to her moving 3.5 hrs away for college and me also starting my college career.
We got back in touch in around late Decembeat the start of the year and decided to give a relationship a try since we still liked each other and ended on terms we didn’t really like. I would travel down every other weekend (3.5 hrs one way) and spend time with her. I’m in the process of buying a house, so I live with my parents to help try and save more money in the crazy market. With that said, I never asked her to come see me. She also has some school debt and 2 dogs which made her tight on money, so I tried to pay for everything we would do while I was with her. I’d also occasionally send her some money to help with groceries for the week. The relationship was going quite well.
Fast forward to April, she’s pregnant. Sparing all the details on health issues, etc, we discussed it and even though we both would want a child, we decided an abortion is best for now. Plus the fact that she couldn’t even get out of bed most days without constantly throwing up, it was very terrible on her.
I took extra time off from work, coming down for longer weekends and all to try and help. I’d go buy her groceries/takeout for whatever she was feeling for the time and also various medications to help her feel the best possible. I’d take the dogs out each day and feed them, etc. I thought I was doing a good job.
While she is lying in bed, one of the dogs is a chihuahua who is really protective of her. If I touch her while he’s out/around he barks/growls/inserts himself between. Constantly. He doesn’t bite, it’s just annoying. But she ABSOLUTELY LOVES this dog. Would die for this dog. I don’t honestly mind him, he still likes me and likes to play with me.
So, while she’s in bed the days she’s not at work, I let him and her just cuddle/whatever. It didn’t bother me. The other dog is a border collie, but she’s not really an issue.
Fast forward, May 27th is the abortion. It’s also my birthday. So I was feeling all sorts of ways. I still tried to remain loving/supportive through it all. We go to the clinic and do everything & come back home. She goes to lie down due to feeling terrible still and I just stay outside the bedroom, in the living room watching some movies until late night while I take in everything that’s occurred in the past month and also respond to birthday messages which just made me feel weird. She came in the living room late that night while I was still watching movies and was all energetic/excited and I was still down. I didn’t really engage with her and we eventually went to bed, to which I was asleep in no time.
She ended up texting me that night (although I was at home with her) a lengthy message about how I was so supportive with her, how she couldn’t do this with anyone except me, and how she wants to redo my birthday and actually give me a good one. I didn’t reply because I just didn’t know how to…
I wake up this morning early to watch the F1 race since it’s been my favorite and only sport for years and kinda still recover from the emotions I had - which is a problem I have apparently since I’ve always dealt with my emotions myself and typically just give myself space to get over things. She got up and let the dogs out of the kennels and lied back down. So, with the dogs lying with her, I just let her be in the bedroom since she loves them and they make her happy.
Things came to a head when she told me “You can go home since you’re so miserable being here” - talking about me staying in the living room. I started packing my things and told her that I wanted to help her with what I can, but if that’s really what she wanted me to do I’ll do it… She said for the past couple weeks she’s been wanting me to be in bed with her providing emotional support. Although she’s never explicitly said that until now… I thought I have been providing emotional support, but it seems not. We had an argument, me saying that I would’ve been in bed with her except the dogs were lying with her and I thought she was happy all that time. I said that I would lie down with the exception of the dogs - because I can’t handle the barking/growling right now whereas normally I wouldn’t care. And that set her off. She said I should leave and take some space, that “you know these dogs are my everything” (paraphrasing). I said I want to help especially as she takes the last of her pills which will cause the majority of her pain, but she said she’ll manage on her own. I said if I leave knowing I’m leaving you like this, I don’t know if I can come back. I honestly screwed up saying that I think. I know I’ll beat myself up for doing something like that - leaving her in the worst way possible. But I really care for her and it hurts terribly knowing I’m leaving her like that. But it’s her apartment so I’ll listen to her.
I then said I would lie down with her and the dogs since that’s what she wanted, but she said no, she doesn’t want me doing that since I didn’t want to do that originally. She didn’t want me lying down and doing something I didn’t want to do & still remaining in a bad mood. So I said it’s pretty much a lose-lose then. I asked one last time if she wanted me to leave and she said yes, go take some space since that’s how you get over things. I told her that I’d be okay with staying & that she needs someone there to look after her to which she said to stop trying to be a man… talking about ignoring my emotions/self-care.
So I ended up leaving, and I told her I wish it didn’t end this way. I booked a hotel for the night down here, just in case. She’s got friends here who I’m sure she’ll ask first for help before me, but I texted to let her know I’m at a hotel for the night if she needs me.
Can I recover this & how bad did I screw up? I do love her, but the situation was also hard on me & I was basically doing everything for her and to lose it all like this seems terrible. I really didn’t want to leave her like this.
TL;DR - My girlfriend had an abortion (on my birthday coincidentally) and we are both really affected by it. I thought I was providing the right support to which I wasn’t. She told me to leave and get some space - I said I don’t know if I can come back after leaving her in a terrible spot like that since she’s about to take the medicine which makes her pass the pregnancy. I’ll end up beating myself up over doing such a thing. I booked a hotel for tonight just in case since I live 3.5 hrs away.
submitted by TallestOfThemAll to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:32 cheerstonewdayz He put me in a dangerous situation, and I think I'm still shaken up.

Hi all! So this happened two months ago, and I’ve been needing to get this story off my chest for a while because I’m still in shock with what happened so I figured here would be great. I apologize in advance, this might be a little long. I tried putting this in the true off my chest subreddit but it kept removing my post, so I figure I write in here since I love this podcast!
Back at the start of spring break, my then-boyfriend, Maverick (fake name, 22m) invited me (21f) to take a bus over to his college city to visit him for the weekend and then drive back home together that following Sunday since I work weekdays. I won’t lie, I was hesitant about going mainly because the bus ticket was a little expensive since the closer to the departure date, the more expensive the ticket will be. I explained this to Maverick, but he then offered to buy the bus ticket for me. I was still a little hesitant but said sure since I would still be able to see him! He said he would pick me up once I arrived therefore, I wouldn’t have to worry.
Fast forward to that Friday before spring break, I was a little late to the bus but thankfully it was too lol so I still got on. So I’m on the bus keeping Maverick updated on things like “my bus just left”, “we’re about an hour away”, small things like that as well as conversating like we normally do, and all that jazz. My hometown to his college city was roughly a 3-hour bus ride, and it was late at night. 30 minutes before I arrive, I let him know that I’m 30 minutes away and to get ready to pick me up. He says okay. I also texted him to let me know when he was here to which he texted back 15 minutes later saying “I will be near x street”. I honestly thought it was a little weird since my bus ticket was originally emailed to him, which included where my drop-off location would be. The location he sent was further down where I was dropped off so I took my luggage and tote back and walked over.
I couldn’t find his car, to which I called and asked where he was. That’s when he said he hadn’t left his apartment yet. WHAT? He said he was waiting for me to get dropped off and then he would come. Okay, I try to stay as calm as possible because I didn’t want to come off as nagging. Note: there was an event going on in his city for spring break that I had no idea about until I got there. This is where things start to get intense. So he’s about to drive and asks where my drop-off spot was, even though it was emailed to him. He still asked me anyway so I tell him and he starts driving so he hangs up. I’m waiting and trying to look out for his car, since at that point nearly all the passengers had left.
He calls back again and tell me he was just going to turn back and call an Uber for me because there were so many road closures due to the event. He only lives about 10-15 minutes away from my bus stop. He claimed the whole city was closed off as well. Note: Maverick hates driving and gets anxious whenever he drives, which is why he tends to avoid it at all costs. Although I wasn’t surprised he turned back, I was still a little hurt because how much do you have to dislike driving that you’re willing to turn back and leave your significant other in a large city nearing midnight? It was around 10:30 pm at that point.
So he gets home, and I text back the screenshot of x street he said he would be near and said “Next time, actually mean it or don’t say anything at all about being here when you were not”. He then texted back “I tried being there” “Can’t because of closures” and “Why are you abusing me?” What…? I was confused because I was just stating a fact and he worded it as he was already here. But even then, shouldn’t he have at least been a little close? He then told me to “acknowledge the fact that I tried to pick you up, I did” and “How can you expect us to be in a relationship when this is how you are? Verbally abusive.” That was when he said he would run to Reddit and make an AITA post about this.
We then go back and forth. I tried to tell him that he originally said he would pick me up, but then he gets mad and accused me of wanting his car to get towed. Now this next part, I admit I was getting petty and said “So what? Are you gonna block me again? Like a man child? Like a baby? And not face these things like adults?” (He’s had a habit of blocking me mid-argument in the past sometimes for a few days). I’m pretty sure he got even angrier because he texted back “You’re a fucking b*tch”, “verbal abuser”, and to “go to hell” (in that exact order btw). At that point, I didn’t even want to stay in his apartment and tried finding a hotel instead even though he had already sent out an Uber for me. And I couldn’t find that either even though I went up and down the area looking for it so he may have given them the wrong address but the Uber driver eventually canceled which made Maverick even angrier. He demanded I pay him back $45 for the bus ticket and $10-15 for the Uber. To which, I did not.
It’s already been well over an hour since I was dropped off and at that point, all the passengers were gone. It was around 11 pm. I at first managed to stay in the hotel lobby (since my bus dropped us off at a hotel) but was eventually kicked out since it was after a certain time. So I’m sitting on a bench outside, by myself, freezing (my state was oddly very cold all spring break), nearing midnight, searching up hotels/motels, anywhere to stay in. In the end, I couldn’t find anywhere since the city is normally expensive so hotels range anywhere from $150-$200 a night. I’m getting petrified because my hometown is knowingly one of the most dangerous cities in my state and is known for having a lot of crime, especially for human trafficking so naturally, I was watching my back 24/7.
Maverick then told me he told his friend, Ramiro (early 20s m), and that even Ramiro said that I was a manipulative asshole, who deserved to be called a b*tch and to be left out there. He’s not only allowing Ramiro to talk badly about me behind my back but also allowing him to harass me. It gets messy and Maverick then says he’d gonna tell my best friend, Edwin (22m) about this (Maverick and Edwin are also good friends). I was so tired at that point. I was hungry (last eaten during my lunch break 12 hours prior), and I couldn’t find anyone to stay with. For a moment, I genuinely thought I was gonna die or get kidnapped, robbed, or hurt. Homeless men were trying to talk to me, and I didn’t feel safe at all. I couldn’t believe I was put in this situation and although Maverick did offer to get me another Uber, I declined because I didn’t even feel safe staying with him, especially with how he was allowing Ramiro to talk about me.
I then decided to call Edwin, not intending on telling him anything about the situation but to ask if he knew anyone in the city I could stay with. It’d already been past midnight. And no, I didn’t want to call my parents because I was scared and felt like I would be humiliated because Maverick left me out here, or he claims I left myself out here. Edwin said he know no one asides from Maverick and asked what was going on because Maverick tried to call him but Edwin wasn’t near his phone at the time. I didn’t want to pour everything out, so I gave him a summary not going into detail. I think Edwin took it as “Maverick forgot about her” because he called Maverick demanding he picks me up. I told Edwin that I didn’t feel comfortable staying with Maverick, to which, Edwin explained that it was the best option since I was his responsibility the minute I got off the bus.
I felt bad because I did not intend of dragging Edwin into it, but I did. I was getting even colder, so in that moment staying with Maverick was my only choice. So I did. Maverick came to pick me up not even 10 minutes later. He could’ve done this hours ago when I got off… Because of how cold I was, I could barely walk properly and could barely lift my luggage in the trunk, so Maverick had to come and help. When I got in his car, I was shaking. I didn't even want him touching me, nor did I want to look at him. We went straight to his apartment, and the only amount of energy I had left was to take my makeup off and pass out on his bed (as in sleep btw lol). I remember looking at the clock and it was almost 1 am.
The next day, I fully woke up at 1 pm after Maverick demanded I wake up to eat something. Even though he normally wakes up around the same time or even later. Let's just say we kinda talked things out. Even though I knew there was no coming back from this. He pretended like nothing happened and took me out to a nice restaurant later that night and paid for both of our meals. I was still in disbelief deep down. And the thing is, he still believed I left myself out there and took it as if it was both of our faults due to a "miscommunication". Even when I tried talking about it, he would get angry and accuse me of dwelling in the past. Though it was never my intention to dwell.
I also initially made an AITA post about this situation shortly after it happened and was voted NTA. I showed Maverick the post and even the comments calling him out on his behavior because I thought it could maybe show him what he did was wrong. All he said was and I quote "I feel like they're not getting the whole story". Then he went on to say that the AITA post ruined our relationship and demanded I made another one showing the chat logs instead unless I was "scared".
I think my feelings for Maverick died that night. It was the most dangerous night of my life, and I don't think I've ever been more shaken about a situation than the one he put me in. I am no longer dating Maverick, so he's long out of the picture. The fact that he still thinks I deserved what happened and that I was at fault is scary. The thing is, of all people, I would've never expected any of this from him. We were best friends since our freshman year in high school and officially started dating almost two years before the breakup. I feel like this was a traumatic event for me because I genuinely feel like anything could've happened to me that night especially as a woman alone at night in a city.
I apologize for this post being a lot longer than intended. It was just a lot to unpack.
submitted by cheerstonewdayz to TwoHotTakes [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:31 seatron New EoE experience

I've always had it triggered most by sour beers, ciders, champagne, and some other weirder beers.
I'm about halfway through a course of oral Budesonide, and I thought it was going well so I arrogantly tried a sour last week while out with family.
This wrecked me; I got the usual burn I get from sours low down in my stomach, but it got intense quickly and I ended up puking and then heaving in the bathroom for about 30-40 minutes. I turned bright red, and my ears, hands, and head got really itchy. My asthma also went off a bit, but I figure that's from all the coughing.
I know I can't touch sours for another couple decades at least, if ever, but what about all that itchiness? That is a first for me and it scared the crap out of my family.
submitted by seatron to EosinophilicE [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:31 Rare_Mission Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga Timeline- The Age of Demon Linga Purana describes the following symptoms of the Kali Yuga. • Thieves will become kings, and kings will be the thieves. • Rulers will confiscate property and use it badly. They will cease to protect the people. • Base men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages. • There will be many displaced persons, wandering from one country to another. • Predatory animals will be more violent. • Fetuses will be killed in the wombs of their mothers. • People will prefer to choose false ideas. • No one will be able to trust anyone else. • People will be envious. • There will be many children born whose life expectancy is no more than 16 years. • People suffering from hunger and fear will take refuge in underground shelters. • Young girls will do trade in their virginity. • The god of clouds will be inconsistent in the distribution of the rains. • Shopkeepers will run dishonest businesses. • There will be many beggars and unemployed people. • Everyone will use hard and vulgar language. • Men will devote themselves to earning money; the richest will hold power. • The state leaders will no longer protect the people but, through taxes, will appropriate all wealth. • Water will be lacking. • Pre-cooked food will be readily available. This Kali Yuga spans for a long time period of 432,000 years, although multiple other durations have been proposed by many. Human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga,which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. Ancient Vedic religion often symbolically represents dharma as a bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age dharma is reduced by one quarter. 
By the age of Kali, dharma is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg now.
submitted by Rare_Mission to AshokaTheGreat [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 20:31 TheeBagelQueen NeoDys Drag Race S1EP09 Reigns and Revelations

NeoDys Drag Race S1EP09 Reigns and Revelations


[The queens enter the workroom, still buzzing with the energy from the previous elimination. They gather around the mirror to read Sayu Hime's message.]
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: "Stay fabulous, my queens! Keep shining bright like the stars in the sky. Love, Sayu Hime." Aw, Sayu... We're gonna miss you, girl.
Gromette Mugler: Yeah, it's always tough to see someone go. Sayu brought something unique to the competition.
Lady Yomamalaid: Absolutely. Sayu's creativity was off the charts. I'm gonna miss those wild fashion choices.
Dee Pression: Speaking of slaying, can we take a moment to appreciate our girl RuPaul? Another incredible lipsync performance, Ru! You never disappoint.
RuPaul: Thank you, my queens! It's always a joy to bring my talents to the stage and show you all what lipsyncing is all about.
Gromette Mugler: You're right, Ru. We're all here to prove ourselves and show the world our talents.
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: And speaking of talents, congratulations, Dee! Finally snatching that win! You deserve it, girl.
Dee Pression: Thank you, Manila! It feels amazing to finally be recognized for my performance.
[The queens disperse to their stations, filled with determination and excitement for the next challenge.]
———————— ッ NeoDys Drag Race ッ————————


[The queens enter the workroom, filled with a renewed sense of energy and excitement.]
Lady Yomamalaid: (confessional) Snatch Game is always nerve-wracking, but we made it through! It's a new day in the workroom, and we've proven ourselves. Now, it's time to conquer the next challenge!
Kika Lorace: looking around Snatch Game is behind us, darlings. We survived the ultimate test of wit and impersonation. I'm feeling confident and ready to bring the drama to the next challenge.
Dee Pression: Snatch Game was a blast, but let's not forget our girl Gromette here. She's the only one left who hasn't snatched a win yet.
Gromette Mugler: Well, ladies, the suspense is building. Just you wait. I've got something up my sleeve that will blow your minds.
[As the queens chat amongst themselves, they're interrupted by the entrance of ChatPaul.]
ChatPaul: Good morning, my fabulous queens! Are you ready for your next challenge? Get your thespian hats on because you'll be performing in a hilarious sitcom-style scene we're calling "Royal Reunion". Imagine a dysfunctional royal family coming together for a dramatic and comedic reunion. Think scandal, secrets, and over-the-top characters. Can you handle the drama?
Lady Yomamalaid: Drama? Honey, we were born for this!
Kika Lorace: Oh, the theatrics will be fierce! I can't wait to sink my teeth into this acting challenge.
ChatPaul: That's the spirit, queens! Now, for your runway, the category is "Warhol's Wonderland." We want to see you transform into living pop art masterpieces, embodying the vibrant, bold, and iconic style of Andy Warhol. Show us your artistic flair and make a splash on the runway!
"Oh and one last thing! As the winner of last week's challenge, Dee Pression, you have the honor of assigning the roles for this week's acting challenge. Take a moment to review the list of roles and make your selections."
———————— ッ NeoDys Drag Race ッ————————
[The queens sit on the couch as Dee Pression starts reading the script out loud.]
Dee Pression: Alright, queens, it's time to assign the roles for our royal reunion sitcom. Let’s look over the roles!
  • Queen Divina: The reigning drag queen monarch and the epitome of elegance and grace. Queen Divina has a secret past as a former queen of a rival drag dynasty, which threatens to unravel during the reunion.
  • King Fabulous: The flamboyant and charismatic husband of Queen Divina. King Fabulous is known for his extravagant fashion choices and larger-than-life personality. He often finds himself caught in hilarious and over-the-top situations.
  • Princess Aurora: The rebellious and fierce daughter of Queen Divina and King Fabulous. Princess Aurora is determined to break free from the drag traditions and forge her own path in the world of entertainment.
  • Prince Rocco: The charming yet clueless younger brother of Princess Aurora. Prince Rocco is always in the spotlight, but his lack of awareness often leads to comical mishaps and misunderstandings.
  • Duchess Vivienne: The conniving and glamorous sister-in-law of Queen Divina. Duchess Vivienne is always scheming to outshine Queen Divina and take the throne for herself. She delights in stirring up drama and secrets.
  • Lord Dazzle: The loyal but eccentric drag advisor who has been part of the drag dynasty for decades. Lord Dazzle is known for his quick wit, extravagant costumes, and knack for solving crises with a touch of sparkle.
  • Lady Gossipella: The nosy and gossip-loving neighbor who accidentally stumbles upon the drag family reunion. Lady Gossipella is always on the lookout for juicy scandals and secrets, making her a catalyst for the drama that unfolds.
Dee Pression: Let's start with Queen Divina. Who's interested in taking on the role of our fabulous queen?
Oshi Rellee Cayme Dat-Wei: I'm interested in portraying Queen Divina. I think I can bring a unique twist to the character.
Dee Pression: Great! Oshi will be Queen Divina.
Gromette Mugler: I'd love to be Princess Aurora. I think I can capture her innocence and playfulness.
Lady Yomamalaid: How about Prince Rocco? I can bring some swag and make him the life of the party!
Kika Lorace: I'd love to take on the role of Duchess Vivienne. I have a vision for a glamorous and dramatic portrayal.
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: Hold on a minute, Dee! I can't believe Kika thinks she deserves the role of Duchess Vivienne more than I do. I am the epitome of glamour and drama!
Kika Lorace: Oh, please, Manila. Just because you're loud doesn't mean you can outshine my elegance and sophistication. I have the regal essence needed to bring Duchess Vivienne to life.
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: Regal essence? I practically invented regal essence! I've been serving royalty on and off the stage for years, darling.
Kika Lorace: Well, darling, I've got the acting chops to deliver the dramatic monologues and the diva attitude that Duchess Vivienne demands. You can't just rely on your loud personality to carry the role.
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: Loud? I prefer the term "captivatingly charismatic." And trust me, I can deliver the drama and the comedic timing needed to make this character unforgettable.
Gromette Mugler: Ladies, let's not lose sight of the fact that we're all talented in our own ways. Let's leave it up to Dee to decide who's best suited for the role.
Dee Pression: It seems we have two queens vying for the role of Duchess Vivienne. Kika and Manila, I want both of you to audition for the role. Show us your best interpretation of the glamorous duchess.
[After the auditions]
Dee Pression: Alright, queens, thank you for your auditions. Now, I want each of you to cast a vote for who you think did the best portrayal of Duchess Vivienne.
[The queens cast their votes]
Dee Pression: The votes have been tallied, and I'm pleased to announce that the role of Duchess Vivienne goes to... Kika Lorace!
ManilaButterflyzzzXX: Well, I may not agree with your decision, but I will give my full support to Kika, I guess. I’ll just do whatever is left.
Dee Pression: And I’ll be taking the role of Lord Dazzle for myself! Lastly, we have Lady Gossipella and King Fabulous. Who's interested in being the queen of rumors and scandal?
RuPaul: I think I could nail Lady Gossipella. I've got the charisma and the gossip knowledge.
Dee Pression: Fantastic! So Manila will take King Fabulous! Here's the final casting:
  • Queen Divina: Oshi Rellee Cayme Dat-Wei
  • King Fabulous: ManilaButterflyzzzXX
  • Princess Aurora: Gromette Mugler
  • Prince Rocco: Lady Yomamalaid
  • Duchess Vivienne: Kika Lorace
  • Lord Dazzle: Dee Pression
  • Lady Gossipella: RuPaul
Dee Pression: Congratulations to all of you on your roles! Let's bring this dysfunctional royal family to life on the stage and make it a comedic masterpiece!
Kika Lorace: (confessional) Acting challenge, here we come! This is my chance to prove that I'm not just a pretty face. I'll bring the drama, the laughs, and the stunning runway look. Kika Lorace is ready to steal the show!
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[In the "Royal Reunion" sitcom challenge, the queens brought the drama and comedy to life as a dysfunctional drag royal family. Oshi Rellee Cayme Dat-Wei's portrayal of Queen Divina revealed a secret past that threatened to unravel during the reunion, while Kika Lorace embodied the conniving Duchess Vivienne, scheming to outshine Queen Divina and take the throne. ManilaButterflyzzzXX dazzled as King Fabulous, and Gromette Mugler rebelled as Princess Aurora, determined to break free from drag traditions. Lady Yomamalaid's clueless Prince Rocco brought comedic mishaps, while Dee Pression's Lord Dazzle offered sage advice with a touch of sparkle. RuPaul*, as Lady Gossipella, added intrigue with her thirst for juicy scandals.*]
[As the dysfunctional royal family came together, secrets were exposed, scandals unfolded, and hilarious misunderstandings ensued. The comedic chemistry among the queens was palpable, with each character playing a vital role in the comedic tapestry of the reunion. The challenge showcased the queens' acting talents, with Kika and Oshi shining the brightest, leaving the stage abuzz with anticipation for what comes next.]
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ChatPaul: Category is… “Warhol's Wonderland”!
[Dee Pression graced the runway as a walking canvas, channeling Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe portraits. Her gown featured a vibrant color palette, with oversized pixelated prints of Marilyn's face adorning every inch. The intricate brushstrokes and meticulous detailing showcased Dee's artistic flair, while her confident stride brought the art to life.]
[ManilaButterflyzzzXX stepped onto the runway as a living embodiment of Warhol's iconic Campbell's Soup Cans. Her avant-garde ensemble consisted of a structured bodysuit adorned with oversized soup can labels, each representing a different pop art flavor. The bold colors and graphic designs brought a playful twist to the runway, capturing the essence of Warhol's vibrant world.]
[Oshi Rellee Cayme Dat-Wei radiated artistic brilliance as she transformed into a human-sized pop art comic strip. Her outfit featured bold black outlines and vibrant, exaggerated colors reminiscent of Warhol's comic book-inspired pieces. Oshi's flawless execution, paired with her animated poses and expressions, turned the runway into a dynamic and visually captivating display.]
[Lady Yomamalaid wowed the judges with her interpretation of Warhol's famous Elvis Presley portraits. Her sleek, tailored suit had images of Elvis strategically placed, creating a mesmerizing mosaic effect. Lady Yomamalaid's attention to detail and impeccable styling transported the audience to the golden age of pop art, leaving a lasting impression.]
[Kika Lorace brought a touch of avant-garde elegance to the runway, resembling a living interpretation of Warhol's "Silver Liz." Her metallic silver gown shimmered with every step, reflecting light and capturing the essence of Warhol's iconic muse, Elizabeth Taylor. Kika's regal poise and impeccable styling demonstrated her ability to merge high fashion with pop art.]
[Gromette Mugler took inspiration from Warhol's famous flower prints and transformed into a walking garden of vibrant colors. Her voluminous gown featured an explosion of oversized fabric flowers in bold, contrasting hues. Gromette's runway presence exuded a sense of whimsy and playfulness, embodying the spirit of Warhol's artistic expression.]
[RuPaul, the epitome of pop culture herself, stunned as she paid homage to Warhol's self-portraits. Dressed in a sleek black suit, RuPaul's face was adorned with pops of bright colors, mimicking the iconic style of Warhol's self-representations. With every step, RuPaul exuded confidence and glamour, reminding everyone of her rightful place in the pop art pantheon.]
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ChatPaul: Ladies, based on your performances in the "Royal Reunion" sitcom challenge and your stunning "Warhol's Wonderland" runway presentations, I have made some decisions.
Dee Pression, you are safe.
ManilaButterflyzzzXX, as King Fabulous, you brought the flamboyance and charisma to the stage. Your Campbell's Soup Can-inspired runway was a delightful nod to Warhol's pop art.
Kika Lorace, as Duchess Vivienne, your portrayal was conniving and captivating. You owned the stage with your performance and your avant-garde "Silver Liz" runway was a work of art.
Oshi Rellee Cayme Dat-Wei, your portrayal of Queen Divina was emotional and powerful. And your pop art comic strip-inspired runway was a showstopper.

Kika Lorace, condragulations, you are the winner of this challenge!

Oshi, Manila, you are safe to slay another day.
Gromette Mugler, your runway look was whimsical and fun, but your performance in the challenge lacked the necessary spark.
RuPaul, while your runway look paid homage to Warhol's self-portraits, your portrayal of Lady Gossipella was overshadowed by the other queens.
Lady Yomamalaid, your Prince Rocco had moments of comedic charm, but there were instances where you lost the character. Your Elvis Presley-inspired runway, however, showcased your attention to detail and style. You are safe.
That means Gromette Mugler, your rebellious Princess Aurora, and RuPaul, as Lady Gossipella, you both find yourselves in the bottom this week.
Ladies, the time has come for the ultimate battle for your spot in this competition
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ChatPaul: Gromette Mugler, RuPaul, this is your last chance to impress me and save yourself from elimination.
[As Mariah Carey's iconic hit, "Emotions."starts, Gromette Mugler explodes onto the stage, channeling every ounce of her rebellious Princess Aurora energy. Her moves are fierce and full of emotion, capturing the essence of the song and leaving the audience in awe.]
[But RuPaul is not one to be outdone. She commands the stage with her legendary charisma, delivering every lyric with precision and passion. Her presence is captivating, and she knows how to work the crowd.]
[The performance is a whirlwind of high energy, captivating dance moves, and spot-on lip-syncing. Both Gromette and RuPaul give it their all, leaving no doubt that they are here to fight for their place in the competition.]
ChatPaul: I have made my decision.
RuPaul, your performance was powerful and showcased your unique style. You brought the fire and passion required for this lipsync. Shantay you stay.
Gromette Mugler, your performance was outstanding, but it's time for you to sashay away. You will always be an icon in the world of drag, and your presence will be missed.
Gromette Mugler smirks and confidently states, "I may be leaving, but this is just the beginning of my reign. Watch out world, Gromette is coming!"
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