Weather mexico cancun november
2013.09.25 17:16 cheapinvite1 Swinger Travel
If you want to have sex on your upcoming vacation, this is the subreddit for it!
2023.06.04 05:15 Stalker_Six-Two Decently historically accurate mexican bandido
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Hat - Bolero Hat No. 4 Bandana - Bandana No. 28 Bandoliers - Espinal Double Bandolier No. 4 Coat - Leather Jacket No. 2 Vest - Traditional Vest No. 2 Shirt - Collar Over shirt No. 11 Gun Belt - Bandit Gun Belt No. 1 Offhand Holster - Bandit Holster Pants - Cabrera Pants No. 3 Spurs - Vaquero Spurs No. 4 Half Chaps - Military Half Chaps No. 2 Boots - Stovepipe Square Toe No. 2
I based it off of the how to make a historical Vaquero video from Man vs History and from what I gathered from historical photos of bandidos and Mexican revolutionaries I found that these options were viable and the bandido just like the vaquero was utilitarian instead of trying to find a fashion sense. The sombrero was obviously used for the shade and rain which it comes from the word Sombro which is Shadow in English, these men would wear neckwear for the dust and to put it over the horse's eye. The Bandoliers were common just for more ammunition and storage of smaller items, bandits/vaqueros would wear leathewool for the warm weather, they used vests with standard equipment so the traditional is bests for this particularly Tan, Black and Brown. Collar over shirts were common amongst bandidos in Mexico and Texas during the last 1800s around the time period of red Dead and we're also common for businessmen, gamblers and cowboys. The gun belt and holster were the ones I found on some photos of bandidos and revolutionaries such as Emilano Zapata and were also found in some del lobos in New Austin. The Cabrera pants were based on the Calzone pants but could also work with the leather pants and bandito pants. Spurs were pretty much a standard for pride at least with vaqueros but they used it for better control of the horse as to not full kick the horse. Half Chaps and Stovepipe Square Toe Boots were found on revolutionaries, bandits, and Vaqueros were using this for leg protection and leg support. That's the basic history of these clothing but if you would like to see more Mexican inspired outfits or america outfits I would be happy to show y'all more, I'll try to make Emilano Zapatas clothes next post and have a good day y'all. Here's the video for a vaquero - > https://youtu.be/0yL4O8W6IIc
2023.06.04 04:40 solveig_is_best_girl I think my allies are using my military access in a country to invade that country I'm not at war with and wanted to keep alive :(
2023.06.04 04:08 247FunD Heading in November I know its below the Hurricane belt and have been to Carribean islands numerous times. What should I expect weather wise? Heard Curacao is beautiful year round. Thanks
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2023.06.04 03:41 Ok-Journalist-7554 Planning trip to Georgia from Mexico 🇬🇪🇲🇽
Hello! I'm planning to travel with my husbandto Georgia for the first time. We're both from Mexico but living in the EU.
We have a couple of questions for anyone who is willing to answer them.
- Is OctobeNovember a good month to visit Tiblisi and the monasteries near Kutaisi? We heard it's low season.
- Are flights routes safe (from Istanbul) with everything going on with Ukraine/Russia?
- What's the safest/most convenient way of crossing to Armenia?
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2023.06.04 01:58 Coconut-Dance-Party Hotel Recc for 40th birthday
Hey y’all, hubby and I have never been to Mexico. When we were in Punta Cana a few years back, we had very poor AC in our room. The coldest we could get the room was 27°C/80.6F at night. I developed a very bad heat rash which ruined my experience.
So, we’re going to try Cancun in November and are looking for a hotel that is:
1) All inclusive 2) Good Food 3) and has good AC in the rooms
Thanks in advance!
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2023.06.04 01:58 divinestar91 My adventure and lessons learned in going from Cancun > Xplore
I am a 31 year old asian american and wanted to share my experiences with everyone.
Background: i have never been to cancun before nor stayed at an all inclusive resort. Prior to coming to Cancun, i was traveling in Mexico City & Merida for a week and had a blast. Great food, coming out at midnight to look for tacos and going for the thing that smells the best has taught me that Mexicans are the most hardworking and hospitable people on earth. i’ve traveled to western & southern europe, SE and east asia.
Main plot: i booked a ticket to xplore but thought i had to go to xcaret because on the ticket says “por xcaret”. when i booked the ticket, i didn’t know that it would be difficult going and figured i would just wing it. i got to the cancun resort (fiesta americana) and asked how can i get to xplor. they were HARD pushing for me to sign up for a tour even though i told them i already bought the ticket online, then they just skipped straight to “take a taxi”. i’ve read how bad taxi drivers can scam tourists, and as a chino gringo, there is no way i can even fake nativeness with my junior high spanish.
in the end, after a lot of research, i compared the price of ubering straight to xcaret and compared it to the tour price that is provided for the hotel. UBERING IS CHEAPER THAN TAKING THE HOTEL TOUR. in order of affordability:
1- rent your own car. gamble with the cops 2- when you buy your x ticket, accept the transportation option 3- take the hotel zone bus to downtown cancun, take ADO to playa del carmen, then take the local van that will drive close to Xplore/Xcaret. it’s a white van with the destination written in the front of the car in big letters. it costs 25-30 peso to get in. you just wave it down when it’s driving your way. 4- uber 5- hotel tour
i ended up taking option 4 to go to Xcaret and the uber driver told me that uber drivers won’t be there when i try to leave and they will “abuse” tourists and charge 3x the price of uber. only taxis. this, to me,implies that taxis and theme park has a monopoly on tourist transportation there.
when i arrived at the park, i found out i actually booked Xplore rather than Xcaret and i google mapped how long it would take to get to Xplore. it was a 15 min walk. yet no one at the park wanted to tell me which direction to head towards to reach the right direction. they all wanted me to take the taxi. i opted to go my way and walk.
when i reached xplore, the guy taking my registration finally told me how to leave if i didn’t book transportation when i bought the ticket. he explained that i can take the COLECTIVOS white van to playa del carmen. from there, i can take the ADO back to Cancun.
if i had taken the taxi to leave, it would have taken $100-300 usd depending on the taxi drivers mood to go back to cancun. with the white van, and buying ADO ticket to go back, it only cost about $8 (25 peso + 220 peso) usd to go back to cancun.
thanks for reading, i just wanted to share my experience in case anyone else doesn’t like to get ripped off when traveling.
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2023.06.04 01:33 Hyperballadatopos The amazing, but tragic story of Princess Isabella of Parma, a very young lesbian, feminist princess from the 1760s! This story sounds like a movie, but it’s all true.
I just thought I will share this historical person’s story. Ever since I’ve heard this story for the first time, I’ve been fascinated by it. So, are you ready for the most amazing, but saddest historical story ever? Here it is (mostly from Wikipedia):
Isabella Maria Ludovica was born on 31 December 1741 at Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid, Kingdom of Spain as the first child of Infante Philip of Spain and his wife, born Marie Louise Élisabeth of France. At age 18, she was forced to marry a man for political reasons: Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress followed a marriage policy intending to strengthen the relationship between the Houses of Bourbon and Habsburg. When Maria Theresa's eldest son and heir, Archduke Joseph came of age, he was presented with a list and portraits of marriageable princesses fitting his mother's political goals and he picked Isabella.
After the wedding, it became apparent that while Joseph fell in love with her, she did not reciprocate his feelings, remained reserved towards him and found more fulfillment in her relationship with her sister-in-law, Archduchess Maria Christina, 'Marie' or 'Mimi'. The two quickly developed a very close relationship and spent so much time together that they earned a comparison with Orpheus and Eurydice. Despite living in the same place, they exchanged countless letters and small notes in French. Only those written by Isabella have survived (those of Marie were burned after her death) but even these amount to almost two hundred.
The two sisters-in-law liked each other from the time they met, but it seems that Isabella was also romantically and sexually attracted to Marie early on. The latter's feelings developed more gradually. Maria Christina was most likely bisexual: when she met Isabella, she was recovering from her love for Louis Eugene of Württemberg, after their relationship had been ended by her mother who considered him inferior to an archduchess.
In the beginning of their relationship, she addressed Marie formally, but soon started calling her mon cher ange, 'my dear angel', mon plus précieux trésor, 'my most precious treasure', ma consolation, 'my consolation', and many other nicknames. She also regularly portrayed the two of them as a heterosexual couple, in these depictions, Marie was Eurydice and her was Orpheus. The two women agreed on dates in hidden places. If the weather prevented Joseph going on a scheduled hunt, the sisters-in-law cancelled their date in hurried, disappointed notes. Isabella once wrote: “I am told that the day begins with God. I, however, begin the day by thinking of the object of my love, for I think of her incessantly.”
They were also clearly worried to keep their relationship a secret, with Isabella writing a letter in March 1761 to remind Marie of her 'given word' not to ever talk of something, „for there is nothing in the world as shameful as going against nature”. While earlier historians dismissed the heated language of these letters as a fashionable, overly emotional expression of friendly love, (who surprising…), later it became consensus that the two had a secret lesbian affair. In the 19th and 20th century, a few historians tried to publish the censored versions of the letters, leaving out the parts that proved that they've been more than friends. We had to wait until 2008 to have the whole thing published. They censored parts like these:
"All that occupies me at this hour is to say if I could only see her, what sweetness it would be, what happiness, what inner satisfaction I would feel, if I could only contemplate that nose turned with such grace and attractiveness, which has so often carried me away, that mouth so suited to console with its kisses, those eyes whose language is so touching. I forget where I am, I forget those with whom I am. I think only of this new desire that I seek to satisfy, whatever the price."
"I love thee like a madwoman, in a holy way or diabolically, I love you and will love you to the grave."
"The face is a little sick, but your favourite place is not."
Isabella was a very intelligent and well-educated woman especially interested in philosophy, morality, music, history, physics, and metaphysics. She was also artistically inclined, painted, drew, sang, played the violin (something rare even among men), and wrote poems and studies. She studied mechanics, worked on various machinery, and enjoyed doing sports. She distributed much of her income to the poor.
Her physical appearance was the opposite of fashionable among noble ladies: she had olive skin and short hair. (!)
Isabella was also „melancholic”, as depression was known in the 18th century. Despite her usual liveliness and love of sports, she had sudden periods of being unable to move and sitting in her place staring in front of herself. It has been suggested that her problems, probably a form of bipolar disorder, were hereditary. Her mother's death also had a horrible effect on her, and she soon became convinced that she would not live for more than four years from then. Burdened by her marriage, difficult pregnancies and homosexual desires, she became suicidal. She admitted in a letter that she would feel 'great temptation' to commit s_icide if it was not forbidden by the church. As reasons for this she listed that she felt she was good for nothing, only did bad things, and saw no way for her salvation.
It seems that Marie was the great love of Isabella's life, who was not romantically or sexually attracted to her husband, but Marie looks to have been more reserved but did return her feelings. This inequality made Isabella unhappy in the relationship, while their shared perception of homosexuality as sinful led to feelings of guilt. Isabella also felt guilty because she did not return the love of her husband and properly fulfill her duty as a wife. This worsened her depression and convinced her that the only solution was death. She wrote to Marie that „only the Almighty knows how gladly I would part with this life in which grievance is inflicted upon Him daily”.
As an archduchess, it was her duty to produce an heir as quickly as possible, and everyone except for her was delighted when she became pregnant in late 1761. While not enthusiastic about pregnancy, she was still relieved that she did not disappoint her family. Her pregnancy was especially difficult with many physical symptoms accompanied by depression and a lingering fear of death. This was only worsened by her inexperienced husband not understanding her problems.
On 20 March 1762, she gave birth to a daughter. The court rejoiced at the birth of the imperial couple's first grandchild, and Joseph especially adored the baby. How Isabella felt about her child is unknown, but she only made one fleeting mention of her in her most intimate correspondence, and a friend said that her love for her child 'did not show much on the exterior'.
Soon, she was pregnant again, miscarrying in August 1762, and once more in January 1763. Maria Theresa was so worried by this that she counseled Joseph to wait for six months before trying for a son again, so that Isabella could recover. She became extremely thin, had a continuous dry cough, and experienced pain in her sides. Her pregnancies and especially her miscarriages had deepened her depression, which in turn eroded her will to live. Her death anxiety was aggravated by the well-known risks of child birth.
Isabella left many writings from the time of her marriage, analysing her life, her philosophy and the state of the world around her. She wrote her own, humorous autobiography under the title Les Aventures de l'étourderie, 'The Adventures of Amazement'. In her "Christian Reflections", she contemplated many religious questions and especially death.
Isabella also wrote a highly critical piece examining the status and behaviour of men in highly patriarchal contemporary European society, titled Traité sur les hommes ('Treatise on Men'). She argued that women were at least as good and capable as men if not better and mocked the male sex. Somewhat humorously, she described men as 'useless animals' only existing to 'do bad things, be impatient, and create confusion'. Based on her experiences, she concluded that men 'deprived of feelings, only loved themselves'. In her opinion, a man is born to think, but instead spend their lives 'with entertainment, yelling, playing heroes, running up and down, in other words, doing nothing but what flatters his vanity or requires no thought of him'.
She summarised why, in her opinion, men were nevertheless above women in society: firstly, so that their 'faults can make [women's] virtues shine brighter', secondly to become better every day, and, thirdly, 'to be endured in the world, from which, if they did not hold all power in their hands, they would be exiled entirely'. In conclusion, Isabella argued that the 'slavery' of women is caused by men sensing that women are superior to them.
One of Isabella's writings is a study titled „The Fate of Princesses”, in which she wrote that princesses were the 'victim of the a minister's unfortunate policies', saying that it was for some public good. She criticised the idea of allying countries through marriages, saying that this cannot lead to a lasting alliance. „They want to marry her off. She is therefore condemned to leave everything behind, her family, her homeland, and for whom? For a stranger, for a person whose character and way of thinking she does not know, for a family who will perhaps only look at her with jealousy, but in the best case with suspicion”.
Her "Reflections on Education" was Isabella's rejection of the traditional upbringing of children, and specifically a condemnation of the cruel tutors of her brother, as well as of their parents who put them in charge. In Isabella's opinion, the use of violence against children only reveals the adult's lack of understanding and talent in pedagogy. Instead of these methods, which she said had been gaining in popularity, she argued for kindness. (Again, remember, we are in the mid 18th century..…)
In 1763, she was heavily pregnant again, and reports of smallpox cases were made around Vienna. Isabella developed a fever, and it soon became clear that she had caught the disease. The fever induced labour three months early, and on 22 November, she gave birth to a second daughter. The baby was baptised as Maria Christina, as Isabella had requested, but died the same day.
Following the birth, Isabella was rarely conscious, but displayed a courage bordering on indifference. On 26 November, the doctors had to tell Joseph that Isabella was agonising, and she died on the next day at dawn, one month and three days before just her 22nd birthday. There is no record of Marie's reaction to Isabella's death. She stayed next to her until the end, and took care of her daughter until the girl herself died at seven.
According to a letter by Maria Theresa, Isabella entrusted her papers to her mother-in-law shortly before her death, saying that 'not everything was viewable' for Joseph. In what could be called her last will and testament, Isabella wrote a long letter to Maria Christina. This was a part of her preparation for death, as she was certain that she would die young and even looked forward to this. The Conseils à Marie ('Advice to Maria') consisted mostly of descriptions of their family members, including Maria Theresa and Joseph. Those advises helped her to become the only one of the empress' children to choose her own spouse and marry for love as she married Prince Albert Casimir of Saxony and lived a happy life with him.
After Maria Christina’s death at age 56, a miniature of Isabella and her daughter was found in her prayer book. On its back, she had written the date and cause of Isabella's death and that she was her best and truest friend who had 'lived as an angel and died as an angel'.
So this was the story. And the most tragic part I believe is: imagine what her life could’ve been in our lives, in the times of gay marriage, feminism, antibiotics, therapy, etc.. Just imagine how happy her life could’ve been. I’ve been fascinated by this story for a long time. How did this girl end up in the 1760s? She lived in the times of George Washington! She should be a historical heroine on Sappho level.
I really believe that her life should not be forgotten and I wish more people knew about her.
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2023.06.04 01:22 moishepesach Maggie May, Sincerely
Ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh-ba Ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh-ba Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely 'Cause I love you so dearly, please say you'll be mine -The Moonglows Part I - The End
This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. If I keep saying it maybe it will be true.
But it was happening. Tough times. Humpty Dumpty times. Out of gas in the desert with no bars times.
And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than a Tijuana root canal; she walked in. Out of the sweltering Mexican heat, into the dim bar, she came; the only thing standing between me and the blinding light. I heard a couple of gunshots somewhere in the distance.
I still remember how the sun illuminated my 2pm rise and shine, shit-faced full of no caffeine afternoon after, hair of the dog; tequila shot and beer. Like I said, tough times on the Ponderosa, Hoss.
Every time I think of that moment, I stand transfixed in time. Unable to move, frozen in-place tighter than a suckered kid’s tongue to a Chicago lamppost in a February ice storm. Maggie had long ago won my heart’s devotion only to betray both me, and it, in ways still inconceivable to my sauce pan of a brain.
So, a couple of months ago, my life in post-apocalyptic ruin, I did what any red-blooded American would do; I flew across the border to CDMX to drown my sorrows in tequila and cheap living. And now, incomprehensibly, here she was; back, again like the September monsoon. Had the bitch air tagged me?
It seemed with Maggie my heart’s devotion was not enough. Everything she wanted and received soon became a dull knife; just ain’t cutting. Mags had to have it all, all the time. And I thought she had gotten all of me and more. Who’d think she’d want to pick at the carcass? But inexplicably, there she was like my constant migraine, the one that never really left the base of my skull.
Without a word Mags swooped in close like she missed me and now hadda kiss me.
Then, quicker than lightning showing off, she plunged her delicate-boned hand deep into my chest. She then removed it with even greater alacrity holding it high above her jet-black mane. She waved it for all the bar to see, my still beating corazón
in it, color-coordinating against it’s will with her manicure, making what looked like vague Italian gestures.
Nobody in the bar paid us any mind.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but avert my horrified gaze into my now exposed chest cavity, only to witness darkness within darkness gazing back at me.
,” a voiceless voice greeted and saluted.
I looked up at Maggie. She took the seat opposite mine. Then reaching over with her free hand commandeered my tequila and knocked it back quick. Her encore was to grab my beer and drain it with all the mud she could muster into my eye. Then, with a satisfied look she dropped the now emptied bottle on the wooden table hard enough to make a thud.
Maggie then met my stare. My cardia beating peripatetically in her freshly manicured right-hand she made an elaborate shrug, her face smug as a tyrant’s fart.
I remembered wondering what the fuck was keeping my cardio so vascular. It sure as fuck wasn’t clean living. Then, that voiceless voice had yet more to say.
“Now what, Spenser?” it asked.
Now, it was now my turn to shrug. Surprisingly, despite being a now certifiably heartless son of a bitch, I, too, had something to say. So, I said it.
“You’re fucking diabolical, Maggie.”
My words of judgment echoed clear, permeating deep into the abyss, then back again at Maggie. She caught my words easier than a kitten catches smiles. She just shrugged again. It was starting to get annoying.
“You ruined me,” I added just to be doing something.
The shrug undulated down from her tan and toned shoulder through her arm, finally coming to a full stop at her finger’s tips.
Waving my heart at me with more vague Italian gestures Mags asked, “How can you be so sure, Spenser?” Part II – The Middle Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine
... This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. My new mantra wasn’t working.
Six months ago, I thought Maggie was the answer to my dreams.
Swooping down like an angel to shower me with attention and affection. Dinners with wine. Hot sex. More hot sex. No strings attached. Getting to know you pillow talk.
Now, there’s one thing I need to add. I met her through a dating app but as it turned out we both worked for the same nonprofit. We didn’t know each other as it’s a fairly big company but it turned out I supported the code for both her projects. This turned out to be one of many coincidences.
We both hated our jobs. We both liked writing short stories but never could sell a thing despite writing dozens and dozens. We both could dance salsa, on 1 and 2 and loved to hablar en español que no era muy guapo.
We both wanted to run away to Mexico city and live the Bohemian life.
Coincidences like we both grew up in NYC and had issues with our respective families of origin. And while she was Chinese-American and I was Russian-American both our fathers were born in the same year and were obsessed with Woody Allen. We both had much younger siblings we didn’t speak to.
Yeah, we had both grown up with weak fathers and selfish narcissistic mothers in common. And worser
still, we had both experienced unstable living situations in high school. In my case, I was kicked out of the house for smoking weed.
In Maggie’s case, I never really was sure what went down but the best I could get out of her was at 13 she got pissed at her mom for cheating on her dad and left the house with nowhere to go. She ended up with family friends or relatives but the details were always murky and I was not the nosey type.
Her words to me were, “My mother’s emotional IQ is low. I raised myself.”
Impressively, she had made it through the Ivy League and seemed to be someone down to earth I could spend time with. But truth be told from the minute I saw her profile picture I was hotter than a Texas chili sprout for her.
It was some kind of primal attraction I thought I was long past entertaining. It wasn’t lust. It wasn’t love. It was like the thought of coming home to a family I never knew I had or that even could exist.
This shit made old me feel like young me again. But, as oft is the case in life, there was a problem. I was old, broke and probably about to lose my job. I was in IT and I was having problems with my manager being a psychopath; for reals.
It wasn’t mere conjecture as he had a reputation of getting people fired, or worse, making their lives so miserable they would quit; even with no prospects. I had been the focus of his sabotaging efforts and it had been having a bad effect on my mental and physical well-being.
This had taken a turn for the worse and I was catching a lot of passive aggressive hostility on the project Maggie supported.
Anyway, she was the bright spot in my otherwise mostly solitary and emotionally bleak life. And she lived nearby. She had an ex and kids and shared custody but I never met them and she didn’t really talk much about it except to say once, “You should need a license to have kids.”
I never had quite known what to make of some of the things she said, but like I said, I was under her spell. And I liked it.
And the icing on top? I had a dominant kinky side and that was a fire Maggie poured gasoline on every chance she got. She was worse than an arsonist in Underoo
One weird thing about Mags was her knitting habit. If we weren’t fucking or eating she was knitting. Even at restaurants and bars.
One day in November, with the sun golden in a sky so blue you thought you could touch it I asked, “What are you knitting?”
Maggie gave me a wry look. She got out of her chair and seemed to be examining my bald head which I had shaved just that morning.
“A hat,” she replied.
But as the holidays rolled around things started to change. One Sunday morning as we were having coffee Maggie looked around the crowded steamy café.
“Everybody’s hooking up for the holidays,” she remarked.
I didn’t really know what to do with that one so I let it be.
But as the days went on there was a change in the weather. Fewer texts. Less sex. Maggie going out of town to some vague destination. Sending me sexy pictures of herself in Santa outfits after I caught the flu during Christmas.
A few days after Christmas I got a text late one night.
“Is it okay if I come by?”
“Very okay,” was my reply.
Maggie showed up with chocolate, red wine and the hat she had been knitting. Orange Afghani wool softer than a golden retriever’s fur. She put the hat on my head and then removed all my clothes.
“Let’s celebrate Christmas, Spenser.”
And, we did.
When we were done and lying head-to-head, I said, “I love my hat.”
Maggie said, “I made it especially for you. No matter what, don’t lose it.”
It was another one of those weird Maggie things she said, like, “I used to shoplift,” and shit like that.
“Promise me you’ll hold on to your hat, Spenser.”
Maggie observed my face, then nodded as if confirming something to herself.
Then we did that thing again.
That was the pinnacle. Things quickly went downhill for no reason I could discern. Texts unanswered and when answered; kind of abrupt-like. Being unavailable. Stuff with her kids. Time away in Connecticut for some vague reason. After that I began feeling like the weakest card in a gambler’s hand.
But Maggie kept shoe horning me in at odd times, giving me just enough crumbs to keep me on the hook. And as we rode the roller coaster down everything always seemed to center around alcohol. And sex. More and more debauched sex. Finally, by New Year’s Eve things were getting straight-up weird no chaser.
“You know that thing we talked about?”
By her tone I knew what she meant. I nodded cautiously.
“You want to try it?”
Maggie dropped a smile on me that would have had the serpent in the garden applying for unemployment.
“Yes,” she said.
So, we did.
I thought I had been imagining things. I thought we were back at the pinnacle. I could feel the love drug course through my veins. Things couldn’t be better. Or, so I thought. Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so The Following Monday
The next Monday I was called into what turned out to be the most fucking bizarre moment of my fifty-eight years on this planet; and I’ve had some bizarre fucking moments growing up in south Brooklyn in the 1970’s; believe you me.
The company’s CIO, compliance officer, head of legal, head of HR and my evil manager, Conte Rugen were all in attendance, cameras ROLLING.
It appears I was being dismissed after 8 years loyal service for sexual assault, extortion, harassment, hate speech, insults to farm animals and every fucking other offense against God and man one could commit in these holiest of holy United States of America.
And just who had I… who had I.. victimized? Who had I preyed upon? Harassed? Gone full nutso on?
They had the goods. Recordings. Video. Ropes. Whips. Chains. Bad Spanglish. Maggie screaming, “No, papi! No!!!!”
I believe I was, what is known in legal parlance as, summarily fucked.
Nobody wanted to hear my side. How things were taken out of context. Things we had mutually consented to out of exciting and bonding trust and exploration.
“Did I have consent agreement?” I parroted back in shock to the head of legal.
“Did you get one when you fucked your mother in the ass before she shat you out?” I added just to keep my mouth from puking.
I was in bombshell shock. Maggie was my angel. Our situationship was supposed to be fucking healing from our abused childhoods and here I am now some kind of Tarantinoesque, Mr. Fucking Rapist? And my fucking manager once bragging about throwing a cat out a window when he was a juvenile delinquent?!?
There would be charges pressed. I would need an attorney. I might be arrested.
And it all happened faster than you can say, “Blue Monday, How I hate Blue Monday”.
And then Maggie sued the company. Take no fucking prisoners, Maggie. Disco-fucking-inferno burn that mother down we don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn Maggie. I wondered if her ex had been left on food stamps after the divorce.
A few months and my life savings and retirement account after that the criminal case got pleaded down to misdemeanor assault and I was able to arbitrate with my employer and Maggie’s lawyer leaving me with some clothes, my passport and precisely enough plastic to fly into the sweltering Mexican heat. So, fly into it I did. Part III – The Beginning Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go
“I wish you’d stop waving that thing at me,” I said gesturing at my heart with my chin.
“You’re still upset,” Maggie said. It wasn’t a question.
“You fucking abused me. You fucking eviscerated me. Yeah, you could say I’m a little perturbed.”
“But you’re still wearing the hat,” she said smiling.
“It’s a bad ass hat,” I said. It was after all. Why cut off your nose to spite your face?
“I put a lot of time and thought into it,” she said. My heart continued to beat in her hand. ... Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go ...
“Look,” she said waving my heart at me.
“I really wish you wouldn’t wave that around like that.”
The voice in the abyss in my chest spoke. It said, “Wait for it.”
Maggie said, “Spenser, you poor fucking sap. You hate your fucking job. You try to do the right fucking thing and speak up and you get kicked around like a dog. You try to love hard and you get beat up and left in an alley. You try to write books and start businesses and you end up bankrupt or dead.
And now look at you! You don’t have a care in the fucking world. You don’t have a shitty job. You are in beautiful Mexico City with the girl of your dreams. You say your heart was hardened? Well, I say it feels pretty fucking soft and sweet to me. Like the hat I knitted you. With the pom pom. And you know what?”
“What?” I heard myself murmur?
The abyss in my chest said, “Yeah, what?”
“Well, one the fucking pom pom has a beacon so I knew where you were the whole fucking time you sap. So I can tell you this true. And I will. So here I am in fucking Mexico sweating my tits off. And I am telling you this," she said nodding at my cardio, "is a very good heart. And I am putting it back where it belongs.
There is nothing wrong with it and now nobody can hurt it again. And if you want to write a book now you have something, and someone,” she added with a wry smile, “to write about.”
Then lightning quick Maggie put it back in my chest and removing her hand made a quick flourish gesturing for the waitress.
“Botella de tequila, por favor!”
I looked down at my chest. Everything seemed to be the way it had been before she ripped out my heart. Only different.
I was about to speak. Maggie raised a hand.
The waitress appeared like a wraith and put down a bottle of Don Julio and two fresh shot glasses and two cold ones.
Maggie poured two shots and pushed one at me with the hand that had been holding my cardio captive. She then fished around in her pocket and found her phone.
“What the fuck, right," that's what your thinking, Spenser. Yeah, what the fuck is right. Look at this baby boy,” she said and then pushed her phone next to the shot glass.
I was looking at what appeared to be a bank balance that appeared ready, willing and able to face fuck an extraordinarily tall giraffe. I felt the migraine disappear like a bad dream.
Maggie gave me a wry smile.
She pushed the shot glass closer to me and picked hers up. I felt my elbow bending. It felt okay.
She tilted her shot at me and said, "Here's looking at you, kid," and took the shot. I drank mine.
We put our glasses down.
“You can negotiate anything," she said, then added, "sincerely.”
And then, then she kissed me. Oh say you'll be mine Oo-eee, oo-eee-oo, ooi-ooi-ooo Sincerely
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2023.06.03 23:09 TheConversati0nalist 360 photo at resort in Mexico
2023.06.03 21:43 Mysterious-Bowler-33 Buffon/Donnarumma Match Worn Dual Patch 4/7
2023.06.03 21:23 SnooCapers8495 Is medical cannabis legal in Mexico ??
I’m coming to Cancun with my family from the uk and have my prescription for cannabis. My airline letting me bring it. The consulate for Mexico in the uk says it’s ok.
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2023.06.03 20:43 FraGarMar51 Rijeka in Winter
I'm staying in Matulji from November till January. What should I expect regarding weather, beaches, general cost of living, transportation among the region?
Thanks in advance!!
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2023.06.03 20:33 YoungNConfusedd Trying to come back
I am 24y old female who struggles with meth addiction. I felt forced to transfer custody of my 2y old daughter to her father. Her father and I met when I was 19 and he was 25, I truly feel like he groomed me. I was so lost and alone, moved to MN from TX/Mexico because I wanted to work for a better life for myself. My mom loves to sabotage my success and make me feel worthless/defective and he seen that and took care of me in every way possible. I believe he is a narcissist, been in therapy for 3 years, Medicated for 2..any how he has my daughter and he uses her as a pawn to hurt me. I get 8 hrs every other Sunday and he constantly threatens me to terminate my visits. I relapsed, got kicked out of treatment, my car don’t work. It’s always been so hard for me to function and to care about myself, and now it’s WORSE. I lost my mini me, the one person who motivated me to be consistent and stable, to have routine and to be sober and stay at home living the family life I never had. I don’t know why I’m making the post I guess. It’s so hard for me to take care of myself when every part of it feels wrong. I want to sabotage and destroy myself and my life because pain and suffering is what I know best and what I feel like I deserve. I just asked my sponsor for help..i took my meds today. I have been unable to handle the trauma responses when I get triggered about my daughter. Every time I have a negative interaction with my ex abuser i go into an episode, crisis and then relapse. I want to see my daughter but i don’t believe I am able to handle speaking to him. I can go to court in November, but i have to maintain sobriety to even be considered. I miss my daughter every single day it’s hard even to have a visit because all I can think about it’s the pain I will feel when she leaves. Thanks for reading I guess. Simple, easy helpful coping tasks are appreciated. #FuckCPS
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2023.06.03 20:29 menno_girl Canadian citizens looking for a change.
My partner and I have been living in Montreal for the last 5 years. I am originally from Toronto, he grew up in Montreal, we met while living in Vancouver, and we have also lived in Kingston. We are looking for a change in lifestyle and weather and want to rent, and eventually buy, a place somewhere else. My partner has remote work and I am an english teacher and yoga instructor, so we can work anywhere. We are drawn to Mexico but we are not sure where to go. We have been to Tulum, Puerto Vallarta and PDC, none of which are places we would live permanently because of the heavy tourism. We are looking for a place probably away from the beach, affordable property, relatively safe (we have lived in Paraguay and Tanzania before we met each other, so we are ok with places most people would call "unsafe"), a local arts and music scene, warm locals, medium-large sized towns, some expats and tourists but not a place where it is dominated and controlled by tourism. We are drawn to latin culture and we are open to anywhere in latin and south america. Any recommendations?
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2023.06.03 19:34 redditnamesucks A fortuitous slip: Did Vietnam's Vice Minister of Education slip and fall to his death? Or did something else happen?
The morning of October 17th 2019 was a cool and bright autumn day, two words rarely used to describe the treacherous Hanoi’s weather, when Lê Hải An arrived at his workplace, the Ministry of Education on 35 Đại Cồ Việt street, Hai Bà Trưng district, Hà Nội. Normally, he would have had a big breakfast at the office canteen then head off to his office at the second floor where he would spend the rest of his day trying to solve the numerous problems plaguing Vietnam’s education.
At 7:10 AM, someone spotted a figure falling from the 8th floor. There was a blood-curling smash; the figure was declared dead on impact. It wasn’t hard for people to identify the man.
In just a few hours, public media across Vietnam would declare that Vice Minister Lê Hải An had died. The reason?
He slipped and fell off the balcony.
The story I am about to tell you is not just a simple fall.
The story I am about to tell you sounds like something out of a conspiracy theory, the one spewed by tinfoil hat wearers on the street, the one peddled by shock websites and fringe extremist forums, the kind that would make you think it was a rejected Hollywood script and not real life. And I must admit, I have to work with secondary foreign sources with many being biased and some outright spewing baseless conspiracy theories. Many original sources had been removed or edited, forever lost into a memory hole resembling that of 1984. In trying to be faithful, I've removed a lot more "fantastical" elements that have no proof to be cross-checked; I will do my best to paint a complete picture of not only who Lê Hải An was, but the treacherous world around him, a nightmarish jungle of political infighting.
To those who don’t believe, I ask you to just give me the benefit of the doubt and remember this one thing:
“This is Vietnam.” PART 1: The model teacher
In Vietnam, we have this saying: “Tôn sư trọng đạo” meaning “To worship your teachers and to respect your study.” A teacher was not simply a teacher; he/she was the paragon of society, the enlightener, the one who upheld all the virtues of society, who embodied such virtues, and who passed on such virtue to younger generations.
Lê Hải An was one such man.
Born in April 1st 1971 in Hà Nội, An was the son of Lê Hải Châu, a famous educator whose mathematics book was once the golden standard of Vietnamese mathematics education. In fact, if you were in Vietnamese highschool in the 90s to early 2000s, you would have used one of his books. For his contribution, Châu was awarded the title “The People’s Teacher,” a once highly prestigious prize reserved for the most devoted teacher. Given his family’s background, An was said to be set for life.
But An did not take the easy way. He challenged himself continuously, was handpicked as a government-sponsored student to study Mining and Geology at Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography. Even late in his career, he still pursued his passion for the mining industry, successfully defending a thesis on the application of neural networks in the oil industry at the Heriot-Watt University.
Given his background and training, Lê Hải An was made a professor at the Hanoi University of Mining and Geology. At first he was a teacher at the Petroleum department, but rose steadily through the rank. To his students, he was a knowledgeable yet compassionate teacher who never sought to exert his authority; to his colleagues, he was a man of honor, of dignity, representing the paragon of teachers thought to have been lost. Nobody complained when he was made the University’s principal; nobody complained when Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc appointed An to be the Vice Minister of the much troubled Ministry of Education.
Well, maybe not nobody. PART 2: You have to go to Hà Giang and take the national exam
For every Vietnamese students, nothing struck the fear of God in them worse than the word "National Exam." Not as competitive as the Chinese Gaokao or the Korean Suneung, it is the stuff of nightmare that have made and broken life. Students competed for the sweet sweet spot at the Police Academy and Military Academy (It is in fact more difficult to become a cop or an army officer in Vietnam than to become a doctoteacheengineeIT technician); parents wait anxiously for their children's performance to show off to friends and families; educators wait for the top scores to make their annual achievement look good so they can attract better students to their high school.
Exam season rolled around, and the results were released by July 11th 2018. As soon as the scores came out, all of Vietnam was shocked.
Of all the 64 cities and provinces, Hà Giang scored the highest in the national exam, with the highest number of “Thủ Khoa” or “The top scorer.” This, to many, was a surprise: not only Hà Giang was the poorest province in all of Vietnam, it traditionally had high illiteracy rate, high dropout rate, low graduation rate, low university admission rate, and so on and so forth. The fact that during the same year Hà Giang had the highest rate of failure to graduate from high school also raised eyebrows.
And Hà Giang was not the only province. Sơn La and Hòa Bình, two other terrible performers, also scored suspiciously well, outmatching province such as Thanh Hóa-Nghệ An-Hà Tĩnh who have been known as "Đất Học" or "The land of the studious."
Immediately, people began to cry foul. There was a lot of anger: a lot of students who had worked their whole lives were in danger of losing their spots to some “irregularities.” A common saying began to emerge: “Em phải đến Hà Giang thi đại học” or “You have to go to Hà Giang and take the national exam.” Investigations were launched into the Ministry of Education just one day after the score was released.
Quick investigation revealed that this was not just some "irregularities" but a systematic scheme, raising scores for test-takers: some exam takers received a nine points out of a total of ten points boost for individual exam, and some had their total points raised by thirty points out of a total of forty. Not only that, the exam-takers who benefitted from this were some of the most powerful people in Vietnam. Take the case of Hà Giang: one of the person whose scores were raised was Triệu Ngọc Mai, daughter's of Triệu Tài Vinh, General Secretary of Hà Giang. The Triệu clan ruled Hà Giang as a fiefdom of their own, holding most important positions; they had strong ties with the Minister of Education Phùng Xuân Nhạ, a widely-hated and despised figures for his bare-faced corruption and mismanagement, and the President of Vietnam Trần Đại Quang. People were expecting the investigation would go to nowhere - afterall, who dared to incur the wrath of the President of Vietnam?
Then, out of nowhere, Trần Đại Quang died.
On September 21st 2018, the fit and healthy Trần Đại Quang suddenly passed away from “a rare and unknown virus which he contracted during his trips.”
No more explanation was given. One month later, on November 3rd 2018, Lê Hải An received Decision 1475/QĐ-TTg from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc himself, making him the Vice Minister of Education and in charge of the National Examination scandal PART 3: His final moment
For the next year, An worked with diligence, doing his best to hold the perpetrators accountable. By the numerous newspaper articles, it was clear he was the one leading the charge while his superior, Nhạ, kept a low profile and only appeared on the media every now and then to make some empty speech. He worked hard, showing up at his office early and having breakfast in the office’s canteen to save time, then immediately dived into work in his office on the second floor. His work yielded results: 16 bureaucrats were arrested, 222 exam takers were exposed, large sums of bribes were confiscated. To many, perhaps An included, it wasn’t enough. Everyone knew the big fish Nhạ was still out there, and everyone was itching to see him fall.
It was on the morning of October 17th 2019 when Lê Hải An arrived at his workplace, the Ministry of Education on 35 Đại Cồ Việt street, Hai Bà Trưng district, Hà Nội. We had little idea of what had happened on that day, but what we knew painted a very strange picture.
Normally, An would go straight to his office on the second floor, rarely having any reasons to go anywhere else. And, given the early hour, most other offices would be empty.
Yet, on that day, An seemed to have gone to the eighth floor. There was no record of what he was doing there or who he was meeting; the floor also had no camera. Photographs of the crime scene showed a table which supposedly An had sat - this table had an almost empty glass of cold tea, a cigarette pack, and an ashtray with ash in it. Another table was photographed with an old red gym bag and a nylon bag containing non-descript items; next to this table was a chair with another plastic bag containing non-descript items on it. All the tables were seated next to a balcony which was about 80 centimeters tall. An was described to be 180 centimeters tall, and when his body was discovered it was lying parallel to the building from which he fell from next to a tree but seemingly did not hit it.
Given all the evidence, by 8:30 AM it was concluded that An slipped and fell. No more investigation was made PART 4: The truth won’t set you free
Of course, the conclusion did not satisfy anybody.
On one hand, there is very low trust for the Vietnamese police who have shown their ineptitude and willingness to fake evidence time and time again. With miscarriage of justice cases such as Hồ Duy Hải and Huỳnh Văn Nén fresh in every one’s mind, the police’s conclusion lost even more credits. The fact that the police quickly concluded An slipped and fell only at most two hours after they were notified of the accident and refused to investigate any further reek of a cover-up.
But, even with the benefit of doubt for the police, the idea of An slipping and falling was deemed unthinkable to many. For one thing, people did not understand why An went to the eighth floor when his office was on the second floor. If he was there on business, what business could it be at such an early hour (government offices in Vietnam often begin work at 8:00 AM if not 9:00 AM.) If he was there to meet someone, who was that someone and why was he not investigated? No investigation was made into his phone or email either.
Then there was the balcony.
The balcony was described by some to be eighty centimeter tall, which would make slipping a feasible case for someone 1.8 meter tall like An. However, images from the crime scene show a police man standing next to the balcony and the balcony reaching his chest. Given that the minimum height to be accepted to the police academy is 1.64 meters, we are looking at a 1.2 meter tall balcony at the very least. It will be very hard to slip and fall over, unless someone was leaning over it. But why would anybody do such a thing? Some suggested he was drunk and tired and this could have been the case, but with no toxicology report done on him there was no way to make sure.
Some commentators also pointed out that even if An leaned out and fell, his body would have landed in a perpendicular angle with the building block he was falling out from. Yet, in the crime scene image, he was shown lying parallel to the building, as if he had rolled over on his side. There were no obstacles on the way down so his falling body could not have hit anything. The only thing in his way was a tree, but the branches were very frail and images did not show any conclusive evidence that he hit the tree on his way down.
So, if he did not slip and fall, what else could have happened?
Suicide was also suggested and has remained a strong contender. It must be remembered that An was an important man being surrounded by enemies. He had a very heavy burden to shoulder and had to endure political shenanigans from all sides. Perhaps, the pressure had broken the hitherto earnest teacher who had not had a taste for the wild political arena. So, he decided to go to the eighth floor, climbed over it (which could have required him to drape over the balcony, explaining why his body was found parallel to the building) then let himself fall.
Of course, some don’t agree with the idea. They pointed out he was a very happy, very respected man with a long and promising career, a loving family, and a dedication towards a higher calling. Men like him, they said, rarely killed themselves. While this could be true, this “proof” is very weak as many successful men have committed suicide. Perhaps, he was only showing himself to be happy; perhaps there was something else going on with his life that we would never know.
Finally, and perhaps the most pervasive, is the idea An was killed. Of course, given that this theory was born out of circumstantial evidence not any real evidence, this belongs more to the conspiracy theory bin. The temptation was there: An was leading the crusade against some very powerful individual, many of whom had both the power and desire to get rid of someone like An. If the former President himself could die so mysteriously while in office, who was to say An was safe? The police’s quick conclusion and refusal to investigate any further as well as the image of a supposedly official letter from his wife begging for police protection (now scrubbed off the internet) only added more flame to the fire.
So, assuming An was killed, who had killed him?
The obvious answer to many would be Nhạ: he was An’s boss, he was investigated by An, he could’ve lost his power and friends and influence. He wanted An dead, had the means to do so, and was therefore the prime suspect. The many clans whose children’s road to power An had dashed such as the Triệu clan also had axes to grind with An.
However, there was another suspect.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the man who had appointed An to the position himself.
Before this all happened, Phúc was rumored to be in a power struggle with President Trần Đại Quang and the Ministry of Public Security. After Quang’s death in 2018, Phúc was trying to court Quang’s Department of Public Security to his side. The new head of this Department was Tô Lâm (The man who was videoed eating at Salt Bae’s place in London while Vietnam was under lockdown and starving.) Perhaps, as a gesture of peace, Phúc sold out his subordinate as an “apology.”
Ultimately, given that these theories are born out of the lack of evidence and the coincidence, we cannot accept them as “reasonable.” PART 5: Farewell
On the 21st of October 2019, Lê Hải An’s funeral was held. It was a simple affair and yet it attracted thousands of mourners, ranging from the Vietnamese elites to his students. To many, the loss of An was a great loss to this world. Even without his work to clean up the Ministry of Education, he was an honest, hard-working, humble man who had always tried his best to live up to the image of the model teacher that had become so rare in modern Vietnam. The fact that such a good man had to die so early only rubbed more salt into the open wound.
But time will fly. Life will move on, heals will wound, stories will be forgotten, people will forget. Lê Hải An will one day fade into obscurity, and with him the question:
“What happened to Lê Hải An on October 17th 2019?” Source
 https://vnexpress.net/thu-truong-giao-duc-va-dao-tao-tu-vong-3998189.html Shameless self-promotion
In the next episode of "The Mysteries of Vietnam," we will return to a re-write and updated version of the first case I wrote about years ago: did Hồ Duy Hải murder two innocent postal workers at Cầu Voi post office, or was it the work of a serial killer on the loose? And why is the Vietnamese government intervening in the case?
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2023.06.03 18:36 Creepertermnade MY NCR Game
2023.06.03 17:47 KuwabarasHeadband Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire, Says US Must Build Up Ukraine’s Military - antiwar.com
Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire, Says US Must Build Up Ukraine’s Military https://news.antiwar.com/2023/06/02/blinken-dismisses-calls-for-a-ceasefire-says-us-must-build-up-ukraines-military/
The Secretary of State called for Washington to continue to put militarism before diplomacy
by Kyle Anzalone - Posted onJune 2, 2023
The US will focus its efforts on arming Ukraine and not attempting to bring the war to a negotiated settlement, America’s top diplomat said. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out a plan to massively expand Kiev’s military before talks begin.
In a speech delivered in Finland on Friday, Blinken stated, "The United States – together with our allies and partners – is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine’s defense today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes." He continued, "We believe the prerequisite for meaningful diplomacy and real peace is a stronger Ukraine, capable of deterring and defending against any future aggression."
Blinken dismissed the idea of even a temporary pause in the fighting. "Some countries will call for a ceasefire. And on the surface, that sounds sensible – attractive, even. After all, who doesn’t want warring parties to lay down their arms? Who doesn’t want the killing to stop?" He said. "But a ceasefire that simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he’s seized…It would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim."
The Secretary of State offered an ambitious vision of Kiev’s future military capabilities. "America and our allies are helping meet Ukraine’s needs on the current battlefield while developing a force that can deter and defend against aggression for years to come." He added, "That means helping build a Ukrainian military of the future, with long-term funding, a strong air force centered on modern combat aircraft, an integrated air and missile defense network, advanced tanks and armored vehicles, national capacity to produce ammunition, and the training and support to keep forces and equipment combat-ready."
It is unclear how long it would take to build the deterrence force envisioned by Blinken. American arms stockpiles are dwindling as Washington attempts to transfer Kiev enough military equipment to keep its army fighting. The US additionally has plans to significantly increase arms transfers to Taiwan.
Blinken claimed, "Our support for Ukraine hasn’t weakened our capabilities to meet potential threats from China or anywhere else – it’s strengthened them." In November, the Wall Street Journal reported, "US government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island."
Additionally, the White House may not have the support it needs in the Capitol for such a massive military buildup in Ukraine. Blinken asserted that "in America, this support is bipartisan." However, at the beginning of May, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said future support for Ukraine would be contingent on success in Kiev’s long-planned counteroffensive.
Since McCaul’s statement, Ukraine has slowly lost more territory to Russian forces, including Bakhmut. Zelensky committed endless resources to the city in a months-long battle despite the advice from his Western backers. The White House is now preparing for the counteroffensive to fail.
Washington’s strategy, as laid out by Blinken, calls for arming Ukraine and weakening Russia. "Russia is significantly worse off today than it was before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – militarily, economically, geopolitically," he stated, adding, "President Putin has diminished Russian influence on every continent."
However, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of US European Command, told Congress in April that Moscow’s ground forces are "bigger today" than before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year.
While the White House has attempted to isolate the Kremlin, Moscow has weathered Western sanctions by developing relationships in the global south. On Friday, Russian officials met with prospective members of the BRICS coalition, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and the UAE. In September, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said in a meeting with Putin, "The relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the US, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger."
Blinken justified the Biden administration’s commitment to a militaristic approach by claiming the White House attempted to engage the Kremlin in meaningful diplomacy before the invasion of Ukraine. "President Biden told President Putin that we were prepared to discuss our mutual security concerns – a message that I reaffirmed repeatedly – including in person, with Foreign Minister Lavrov." The Secretary of State continued, "We offered written proposals to reduce tensions. Together with our allies and partners, we used every forum to try to prevent war, from the NATO-Russia Council to the OSCE, from the UN to our direct channels."
In April 2022, Biden administration official Derek Chollet admitted that the White House refused to negotiate with the Krem[l]in on Putin’s core concern, Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. "We made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns," Chollet said, adding that the administration didn’t think that "the future of Ukraine" was one of those issues and that its potential NATO membership was a "non-issue."
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2023.06.03 17:31 Bluebird_Observation I didn't know that the AUS could join the Entente :0
2023.06.03 16:35 Tauseefahmad123 OrbitOs Pack 50 Widgets including
2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs
I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
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2023.06.03 12:44 autotldr Officials Find 45 Bags Of Human Remains In Mexico
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original
reduced by 66%. (I'm a bot)
Updated Jun 1, 2023, 04:31pm EDT. While looking for seven young people who went missing in May, authorities in Jalisco, Mexico, discovered 45 bags of human remains-and are still searching for more-amid an ongoing crisis that has resulted in 80,000 missing people since 2006. Summary Source FAQ Feedback Top keywords: Jalisco#1 state#2 crime#3 people#4 bag#5
The remains of both men and women were found in a ravine outside of the city of Guadalajara in western Mexico, according to a Wednesday announcement from the Jalisco state attorney's office.
Jalisco neighbors Guanajuato, a central Mexican state in which 53 bags of remains were found in November 2022 after a dog carried a severed human hand into town.
Jalisco is on a "Reconsider travel" list with six other states, and U.S. employees are restricted from traveling in certain parts of Jalisco.
"Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state," and U.S. citizens have been victims of kidnapping there, the State Department warns.
Dog carrying severed hand leads to discovery of 53 bags of human remains in Mexico's most violent state.
Post found in /worldnews.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
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2023.06.03 10:26 mndtravels A Comprehensive Guide to Planning Your Spiritual Journey to Yamunotri Dham & Its Surrounding Areas
Embarking on a spiritual journey can be a transformative and enlightening experience. One such destination that holds immense spiritual significance is Yamunotri Dham and its surrounding areas. Nestled in the breathtaking Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India, Yamunotri Dham is considered one of the holiest sites for devout Hindus. This comprehensive guide will take you through the essential aspects of planning your spiritual journey to Yamunotri Dham
, including the best time to visit, transportation options, accommodations, and the must-visit attractions in the surrounding areas.
The Importance of Yamunotri Dham
Before delving into the details of planning your journey, let’s understand the significance of Yamunotri Dham. It is believed to be the source of the sacred Yamuna River, which holds great religious importance in Hindu mythology. According to legend, Yamuna is the sister of Yama
, the god of death. Taking a dip in the holy waters of Yamunotri is said to cleanse one’s sins and provide spiritual liberation.
Best Time to Visit Yamunotri Dham
Choosing the right time to visit Yamunotri Dham is crucial to make the most of your spiritual journey. The temple and surrounding areas remain open to devotees from May to November, with the peak season being from May to June and September to November. The weather during these months is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius.
During the winter months, Yamunotri Dham is covered in a blanket of snow, making it inaccessible for most travelers. It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season, as heavy rainfall can lead to landslides and road blockages, making the journey challenging and unsafe.
How to Reach Yamunotri Dham
Planning your travel logistics is essential for a hassle-free journey. Here are the transportation options to consider when heading to Yamunotri Dham:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Yamunotri Dham is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 210 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach the town of Hanuman Chatti, the base for the trek to Yamunotri.
- By Train: The closest railway station to Yamunotri Dham is Rishikesh Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Rishikesh, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Hanuman Chatti.
- By Road: If you prefer to travel by road, you can drive or take a bus from major cities like Delhi or Dehradun to Hanuman Chatti. Regular bus services operate from these cities to Hanuman Chatti, making it a convenient option for many travelers.
Accommodations in Yamunotri Dham
Finding suitable accommodations during your spiritual journey is essential for a comfortable stay. Here are some options to consider in and around Yamunotri Dham:
- Hotels and Guesthouses: There are several budget and mid-range hotels and guesthouses available in the town of Hanuman Chatti and nearby areas. These accommodations offer basic amenities and are ideal for those seeking a comfortable yet affordable stay.
- Yatri Niwas: The Yamunotri Temple Committee operates Yatri Niwas, which provides simple and clean rooms for pilgrims. It is advisable to make prior bookings, especially during the peak season.
- Camps and Tents: For an adventurous experience, you can opt for camping or staying in tents near Yamunotri Dham. There are camping facilities available in locations like Janki Chatti and Hanuman Chatti. These camps offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the serene surroundings.
- Dharamshalas: There are also Dharamshala (pilgrim rest houses) available in Yamunotri Dham, providing basic accommodations at affordable rates. These are maintained by local authorities and are a popular choice for pilgrims seeking a spiritual and budget-friendly stay.
Now that we have covered the essentials, let’s dive into a comprehensive guide to planning your spiritual journey to Yamunotri Dham. This section will provide you with a step-by-step approach to ensure a fulfilling and memorable experience.
Step 1: Research and Prepare
Before embarking on your spiritual journey, it is important to conduct thorough research and gather all the necessary information. This includes understanding the religious significance of Yamunotri Dham, learning about the local customs and traditions, and familiarizing yourself with the dos and don’ts of the pilgrimage.
Step 2: Plan Your Itinerary
Once you have gathered the necessary information, it’s time to plan your itinerary. Consider the duration of your trip, the time required for the trek, and the places you want to explore in the surrounding areas. It is recommended to allocate at least 2–3 days for your visit to Yamunotri Dham to fully absorb the spiritual atmosphere.
Step 3: Pack Essentials
Make a checklist of essential items to pack for your journey. This includes appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, comfortable walking shoes, personal hygiene products, medications, and any religious items or offerings you may want to carry for your visit to the temple.
Step 4: Stay Hydrated and Nourished
During the trek to Yamunotri Dham, it is essential to stay hydrated and nourished. Carry an adequate supply of water, energy bars, and snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout the journey. It is also advisable to carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at designated points to minimize plastic waste.
Step 5: Trekking Tips and Safety Measures
Trekking to Yamunotri Dham requires physical endurance and stamina. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Start your trek early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.
- Pace yourself and take regular breaks to rest and acclimatize to the altitude.
- Follow the designated trekking path and avoid taking shortcuts.
- Carry a first aid kit and basic medication for emergencies.
- Respect the environment and do not litter. Dispose of waste responsibly.
Step 6: Immerse Yourself in Spirituality
Once you reach Yamunotri Dham, take the time to immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere. Participate in religious rituals, offer prayers at the temple, and take a dip in the holy waters of the Yamuna River. Engage in self-reflection and meditation to connect with your inner self and experience the serenity of your surroundings.
Step 7: Explore the Surrounding Areas
Yamunotri Dham is not just about the temple; it offers stunning natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. Take the opportunity to explore the nearby attractions, such as Surya Kund, Divya Shila, and the scenic trek to Saptrishi Kund. These places offer breathtaking views and are perfect for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions about planning a spiritual journey to Yamunotri Dham and their answers: Q1: Can I visit Yamunotri Dham with my family?
Absolutely! Yamunotri Dham is a family-friendly destination and welcomes visitors of all ages. It is a great opportunity to embark on a spiritual journey with your loved ones and create lasting memories together. Q2: Are there any medical facilities available in Yamunotri Dham?
While Yamunotri Dham is a remote location, there are basic medical facilities available in nearby towns like Hanuman Chatti and Janki Chatti. It is advisable to carry any necessary medications with you and consult a healthcare professional before your trip. Q3: Is photography allowed in Yamunotri Dham?
Yes, photography is allowed in Yamunotri Dham. However, it is important to respect the religious sanctity of the place and be mindful of others’ privacy. Avoid using flash photography inside the temple and follow any guidelines provided by the temple authorities. Q4: Can I visit Yamunotri Dham during the monsoon season?
It is not recommended to visit Yamunotri Dham during the monsoon season (July to August) due to heavy rainfall and the increased risk of landslides. The terrain becomes challenging and unsafe, making it difficult to undertake the trek. It is best to plan your visit during the peak season from May to June or September to November. Q5: Are there any restrictions or dress codes for visiting the temple?
Yes, there are certain dress codes and restrictions to be followed when visiting the temple. Both men and women are required to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and legs. It is advisable to carry a shawl or scarf to cover your head as a sign of respect. Footwear should be removed before entering the temple premises. Q6: Can I hire a guide for the trek to Yamunotri Dham?
Yes, if you prefer assistance and guidance during the trek, you can hire a local guide. They can provide valuable information about the route, share interesting facts about the place, and ensure your safety throughout the journey. Hiring a guide can enhance your overall experience and make the trek more enjoyable.
Embarking on a spiritual journey to Yamunotri Dham and its surrounding areas is a truly enriching experience. From the religious significance of the place to the breathtaking natural beauty, every aspect of this destination is bound to leave a lasting impression on your mind and soul. By following this comprehensive guide and planning your trip effectively, you can ensure a smooth and fulfilling pilgrimage to Yamunotri Dham, connecting with the divine and finding inner peace amidst the Himalayan serenity. source : Chardham Yatra
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