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2016.05.12 17:27 chillaxin4life Milwaukee's Bicycle Community

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2023.05.28 23:36 RangerFrank Deathworld Commando: Reborn-Vol.7 Ch.158- New This, New That.

CoverVol.1PreviousNextMapsWiki+DiscordRoyal RoadWebNovelTapasKo-FiFandom/wiki
Good afternoon party people.
As a reminder, I will be going on vacation starting tomorrow. I will be gone and away from my computer and duties, so tomorrow's chapter is coming today.
There will not be a chapter Monday, June 5th. I'm uncertain if I will post at all during the week of June 5th. It all depends on when I get back and how I feel after a long plane flight.
Regardless of what I do, we will return to our regularly scheduled posting starting June 12th.
I'll miss you all, and I hope you all have a wonderful week. And for those of you in the state, I hope you enjoy having Monday off.
And for those of you who just can't wait...well...buy me a drink and get some chapters on Ko-Fi >:)
---
Kaladin Shadowheart’s POV
I finished buttoning the top button on Mila’s coat and stepped back to appreciate just how well it matched her school uniform. I had to say. I had done a great job without even meaning to.
She looked positively adorable in all red with her little hat. Even her ears poked out from the top, and now that her hair had grown more, it really helped fill her face out. She looked up at me with piercing blue eyes and an expectant look. I couldn’t help but chuckle and pat her on the head.
“You are too cute for your own good,” I told her.
A smile bloomed on her face, and she hugged the hand patting her. “Daddy is even prettier!”
Prettier, huh? Should I be happy that I’m pretty? I think I should. Better to be a pretty daddy than an ugly one, I guess.
“Are we ready to go?” I asked the person standing in the doorway with a smile on her face.
Mila ran over and hugged Sylvia. “Sylvia is pretty too!”
Sylvia stroked Mila’s hair, and her smile brightened even more. “Thank you, Mila,” she said softly. “Let’s go, shall we? We don’t want to be late for our first day of class.”
Today was the first day of school, so we were all dressed up in our school uniforms. It had been a long time since I donned the red and gold jacket of Forward University, not since I had reunited with my family. In that amount of time, I had missed a lot of school as well as essential tests and such.
It was a shame, but to be honest, I didn’t exactly need to attend classes, nor did I need to graduate. As far as I was concerned, my family came first, and I fully intended to accept whatever consequences came my way, even if that meant expulsion from the university.
However, that never came to pass as Bowen explained that all was well. Students missing class for important reasons was common enough and wouldn’t negatively reflect on them if they had sufficient proof and explanation. But that meant I had to make up all those tests, which was a hassle and something I didn’t want to do.
In the end, Bowen suggested that I simply take the tests I missed. If I passed them, then there was nothing to worry about, and I could continue with my studies as if nothing had happened. Apparently, Forward University did offer advanced placement tests in specific scenarios. After all, it would be useless to have a student take a class they didn’t actually need.
Either way, I’m not looking forward to it, even if I can pass the tests with ease.
“Hey, what is Professor Garrison doing here?” Sylvia asked as we made our way down the stairs.
Professor Garrison was at the front door, talking with my parents. He looked apologetic as he lowered his head after speaking a few times. Our eyes met, and he gave me a quick nod of greeting as well. Come to think of it. I hadn’t parted ways with him amicably the last time we met.
I didn’t mean to do that to him. Professor Garrison had always been good to me, and I appreciated him as a person, friend, and mentor. But at the time, I couldn’t let him threaten my family like that. I had my priorities, and I wasn’t afraid to handle those who wanted to threaten my family, even if they were friends.
“Good morning, Professor,” I said with a friendly nod.
“Good morning, Kaladin, Sylvia, and Mila. I’m sorry to bother you before classes, but I thought it would be best to do this now…I should have come sooner, though,” he said, regret laced in his voice.
I looked at my mother, and she just smiled softly and tilted her chin down. I figured they must have already talked and apologized. If Mom and Dad weren’t mad, then neither was I. Besides, I understood where he came from. It would be hard just to let the person who killed your comrades walk around, even if it was years ago.
“I’m sorry for my outburst in class at that time. I shouldn’t have acted so harshly toward you or your mother. And I definitely shouldn't have drawn my weapon. I’m sorry, Kaladin,” Professor Garrison said with a bow.
I patted the man on the shoulder and just smiled at him. “No need to worry. It appears that everything has already been forgotten and forgiven. And I never harbored any ill will toward you, even after that event,” I told him.
Professor Garrison slowly looked up at me. His green eyes were wide behind his glasses, and his eyebrows were high on his face. He looked genuinely shocked at something.
“Is something the matter? Is there something on my face?” I asked as I wiped at my cheeks.
Professor Garrison shook his head like he was clearing his thoughts with force. “No, no, not at all. I was just a little surprised, that's all.” Then he started laughing, and he even grinned. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen or talked to you, Kaladin. You seem like a completely different person now. No, maybe I should say you’ve finally grown up? No…that’s not quite right either…huh,” he mused with a shrug.
“Hopefully, in a good way?” I asked.
“Yeah…definitely in a good way.” His eyes turned to Sylvia, and he raised an eyebrow. “In a good way?”
“In the best way,” she told him.
Is that so? I think I’ve changed a little, hopefully for the best. If I got any worse, things would probably get ugly fast.
Professor Garrison nodded to himself in satisfaction and then chuckled. “Alright, you three, get to class. I'm going to stay here and talk to your parents for a bit. I might be a little late, so let everyone know for me.”
“Yes, Professor,” I said with a grin.
Mila and Sylvia said their goodbyes and see you laters, and we made our way outside. Forward University was buzzing with energy today as students and staff walked around campus. Even in the early morning hours, the place was truly alive for the first time in months.
We walked through the teacher and staff homes until we reached the main pathway. There were so many students out and about the walkways were actually shoulder-to-shoulder. But as we approached a four-way intersection, there was suddenly a massive traffic congestion of bodies.
Everyone was oohing and awwing as they talked amongst themselves. I followed their eyes and looked up at the giant statue that had been erected in the last few weeks in the new park that had been built. I didn’t pay much attention to it because, frankly, I didn’t care…but now I wish I did.
I gawked at the black marble statue in embarrassment. It depicted what could only be described as me, wearing fancy armor and driving a spear into a Dragon’s skull while I sat atop it triumphantly.
Never in my life had I expected to see me…like that. That’s not even how events played out. My spear never went into the Dragon’s head, and I never stood tall over it. The last time I checked, I was dying while being crushed inside of a rock face.
I really hope there are no statues of me anywhere else…
“Sylvia…remember when I asked if you knew what was going on here…did you lie?” I asked in disbelief.
Sylvia giggled to herself as she looked up at the statute. “I did, sort of. I never imagined it would be taller than the trees.” She tilted her head to the side to look at me. “I think they did a fantastic job. They really caught your general vibe and got your face almost perfect. I probably would have made you a little more handsome, though…maybe make your hair a bit longer.”
I sighed deeply. It was true. Whoever sculpted my face had done a good job at replicating it, which was better than them screwing up and making me look like a fool or too much like some fantasy hero. At least they didn’t have me yelling to the heavens or grinning like a fool. The expression was best described as stoic, which was appropriate considering the event and the number of people that had lost their lives.
“Wow…Big Daddy,” Mila mumbled to herself.
“Please don’t say that out loud, Mila,” I begged.
Then it started.
“Hey, is that him?”
“It is him, right?”
“Yeah, that’s Voker—”
“No, that’s Kaladin, you idiot.”
From there, the voices picked up exponentially, turning into a single block of loud noise. I felt all the eyes in the general vicinity flick toward me as the information of my arrival spread through the crowd. It didn’t help that I was taller than the average person which meant it was easy to spot me in a group.
“Let’s just keep walking,” I muttered.
Thankfully the crowd of onlookers did not impede our walking. They even parted to the sides to let us through, which was both good and bad for various reasons. Mila tightened her grip on my hand, most likely nervous at all the attention she was getting.
Instead of just leaving her be, I picked her up, and she instantly held onto me tightly. I personally didn’t care about fame or the attention. People have gawked at me for as long as I can remember in both of my lives, so this was nothing new. However, it clearly upset Mila, who only had bad memories of large crowds staring at her.
Sylvia and I hastened our pace to class, leaving the onlookers behind us.

“Wow, he actually came to class for once. It’s a miracle,” snickered Varnir.
“Indeed, it has been some time since we have all been together, has it not?” Sylas said thoughtfully.
“I suppose it has been a long time since all of us have been in class at the same time. Even Jen is back with us,” Ren said with a warm smile.
I almost forgot what it was like to be in this class…it’s good to see everyone is happy and healthy again.
Jen had put back on some healthy weight and looked far better than she had during winter. Some color had returned to her face and hair, and she smiled as she sat next to Tsarra. It was also nice to see that Tsarra wasn’t hiding under one of her spells. Perhaps Jen and Varnir would slowly whittle down her shell.
There was a solid thump as Professor Garrison dropped a stack of papers on his desk. He stared out at us, and the entire class went silent. The Professor let out a deep breath and walked to the front podium.
“It’s good to be back, everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful, rest-filled winter break with your friends and family. I also hope that you did some studying,” he joked with a grin.
A few students groaned in annoyance, but Professor Garrison continued with his trademark smile. “So…we have much to talk about today. As you all know, today is the first day of classes despite there being no lecture. So for that, I welcome all of you to your final year here at Forward University and congratulate you all for being in Class Onward. As your teacher, I am proud of every single one of you for the trials you have overcome this previous year. We all know just how difficult of a year it was…”
The Professor trailed off for a moment before heading to the chalkboard and writing down a name. “As you all have heard, the tournament with Sandervile is being hosted in Luminar this year, which means we are going to be incredibly busy these next few months with training. Of course, those of you who have no intentions of competing will not be forced, but those of you who are interested will have to compete in the school’s preliminaries to be selected, as is tradition.”
That applies to everyone but me. As the sole person who received a golden ticket so to speak, I’m exempt from this preliminary, which is nice.
Professor Garrison pointed at the name on the board. “I’m sure you are already aware of all this. His and Her Majesty have changed this year's venue to the coastal city of Flumare. I’m sure this came as a surprise to many of you, and rest assured. It was a surprise to us as well. We only learned of this change around the same time I’m sure most of you did, especially with the addition of Saber Academy and with Tel’an’duth joining us this year. And I’m here to say that for contestants who qualify, nothing will change. The school will house, feed, and equip you free of charge, as they have done every year. For the students who are interested in traveling to the venue, the school is offering free tickets as well as free passage to the city. However, lodging is another matter that has still yet to be resolved. I’ll release the information as I get it but don’t worry too much. I'm sure we will figure something out.”
A few students whispered amongst themselves. But what the professor had said was true. For the first time ever, Tel’an’duth was sending students to the tournament, which was as historical as it sounded since this entire tournament was devised to raise and nurture students to fight against Tel’an’duth.
But now the times are changing. And Queen Maxwell was making her moves.
The professor moved to his desk and grabbed a giant scroll. He unraveled it and laid it across the board for all to see. “Now, this is probably what most of you have been waiting for, our new student standings.”
He gave us a few moments to look over the list. In all honesty, there wasn’t too much of a drastic change overall. However, the top five students had changed significantly, and everyone else sort of moved to reflect that change, staying within one or two spots of their previous ranks.
It was also nice to see that Jen had actually stayed the exact same. It was probably due to the Dragon incident keeping her out of school for so long. If she were to be punished for that, it would have been a heartbreaking penalty.
But…there was a new number one on the board…which I didn’t think was necessary.
“I’m sure that there are very few of you who have complaints about the new number one student. Honestly, giving reasons as to why he shouldn’t be number one would be hard. Well, maybe besides his constant absences,” Professor Garrison said with a grin as he winked at me. “Academically, Kaladin has achieved top marks since his arrival last year, only ever stumbling in his Beastmen language studies. And as for his merits outside of the class and in physical examinations, what else is there to say? Please, everyone, give a clap for our new number one student.”
The class erupted into claps and a few cheers as everyone turned to me. It was a relief to see that people weren’t in an uproar over it. Which I thought would happen since I had missed so much school. But perhaps I had just become too much of a figure to be denied that spot.
I even looked at Lin, and she just winked at me. She had no qualms about relinquishing the position she had maintained all these years. However, I did feel somewhat bad for dethroning her.
“Daddy is number one!” Mila said as she sat up in my lap and hugged me.
Well, this isn’t so bad.
“Now, now, then. We will go over the top five as it has changed the most. Linnetia Paine, although you are now second, I hope you are not discouraged in the slightest,” he said as he eyed Lin.
Lin bowed her head graciously. “Being second to the Dragonslayer is hardly a downgrade. On the contrary, perhaps it’s even more of an upgrade. I have no problems with my ranking, and I am more than happy to congratulate Kaladin,” she said, her voice kind yet firm.
As expected of the next head of the Paine family. I almost forgot that Lin was a noble now.
Everyone clapped at that, and Professor Garrison continued. “Congratulations to Arene Maxwell for successfully holding onto the third-ranked position. In such chaotic times, I believe that shows just how much you have grown.”
Ren bowed her head while everyone clapped for her. “Now, to our new fourth-placed student, Tsarra Tel’an’duth, congratulations on your new ranking. You have by far improved the most out of any previous student. Even though you were not officially recognized for your act of bravery against the Dragon, the school has decided to do this much for a hero. You have also shown incredible growth in your magic, officially reaching the mage rank of Grandmaster. And as to be expected of a princess, your academics are outstanding, and the school has even published your book on illusion magic.”
The room erupted into clapping once more, and I watched Sylvia put a hand to her chin. “She wrote a book? That’s impressive,” Sylvia muttered quietly to herself.
“Is it that surprising? I think she is more than capable of that,” I told her.
“I guess we have two very different images of her then,” Sylvia whispered.
Tsarra, at first glance, seemed to be a shy, introverted girl. And that was because she was. Although she had changed steadily since I met her, her nature was still much the same. However, she became a completely different person when it came to reading books.
And it turned out it wasn’t only reading books she was passionate about but writing them too.
I turned in my seat and clapped for her, but Tsarra looked about ready to explode. Her face was redder than her hair from all the attention. I was afraid she would burst a blood vessel with how hard she clenched her jaw.
Well, some things change. And some things don’t.
“And, of course, another congratulations is in order to our new fifth-ranked student, Varnir Shadowstone. Varnir, you are easily the second most improved student in Class Onward, only falling short of Tsarra slightly in academics, which you have improved greatly in and in outside achievements. However, your prowess in your physical testing has improved dramatically. Once again, congratulations, Varnir,” Professor said, his voice full of praise.
“Hey, look at that! I almost caught up to you,” Varnir said with a chuckle as he hugged Tsarra by the shoulder.
If Tsarra wasn't embarrassed already, that was enough to kill her. I watched as the air around Tsarra wobbled and warped, and she disappeared completely in a blink of an eye. It was amazing that she lasted that long in the first place.
Sylvia grumbled some things under her breath about beating Varnir on the first day of school but still being ranked below him, and surprisingly, even with the clapping, Professor Garrison heard her. “Sylvia, I imagine many people are confused as to why you are only ranked eighth. It’s no surprise that you played a critical role in the Dragon incident, and many people, including myself, owe our lives to you. I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for saving us. Also, your physical prowess is something to remark on. If we based rankings solely on that, you would be in the top five, no questions asked. However, we take more into account. To be honest, your academic abilities fall short of the class average, which is nothing to be ashamed of. And if rankings were to be recalculated today, your outside achievements would have doubled even more considering your involvement with Dragonheart Foundation. Regardless of your rank, we should all congratulate President Sylvia of the Dragonheart Foundation, who will give us a speech tonight at the school banquet.”
Everyone in the class clapped loudly for Sylvia. It seemed that despite her being a Vampire, many students felt that she had done something remarkable, which was the absolute truth. Sylvia deserved all the praise and more.
“Congratulations, Miss President,” I said with a grin.
“Shut up…” she whimpered, her ears burning red.
“Sylvia is number two to Daddy!” Mila squealed as she rolled off my lap and into Syliva’s arms.
Sylvia looked surprised for a moment but hugged Mila back, the two of them touching heads. “I guess being second to Daddy is okay…” Sylvia muttered.
Professor Garrison took a swig of water and let out a deep sigh. “Sadly, we don’t have time to go over everyone’s rankings today. We would be here all day if we did. For those of you who have complaints or want to know how you were ranked, please head to the counselor's office. They will give you your breakdown there.” The professor clapped and put his hands on his hips. “Now, onto the next and hopefully last article for today. I would like to welcome three new students to Class Onward. And before you ask, I understand that it’s a bit late to be accepting new students into our class. And the school agrees. It’s best to consider these three as… short-term transfer students with exceptional skills and circumstances. Although they will not graduate with you, they may just become teachers one day, so please treat them well and warmly welcome them to our class.”
Everyone clapped once more as the door to the room opened. I was clapping as well, only to stop in surprise. I’m sure I had a dumb expression on my face as I watched the two familiar faces walk in. I had no idea they would attend Forward University, let alone join the class. They had somehow managed to keep this a secret.
The first to walk forward was none other than Padraic. The young Dwarf looked dashing in his gold and red jacket. He left the jacket hang open, exposing the black dress shirt underneath.
He had his trademark grin as he eyed me across the room. I’m sure he was positively reveling in my surprise. And I had a feeling he was about to say something outrageous in an attempt to embarrass me.
Professor Garrison motioned for Padraic to introduce himself, and the Dwarf cleared his throat as all eyes turned to him. “It’s good to meet all of you and all that good fun. My name is Padraic Whitehelm, and to be honest, I’m really only here to use the forges and the school’s resources, and since I had to take classes to do so, I figured I would join the class with my brother from another mother and my two future fiancees. So uh…yeah, that’s it, really.”
Oh, he boldly declared that. At least his embarrassment was targeted at…wait…two fiancees? Who's the second? Did I miss something?
I thought that as I looked back at Jen. Much like Tsarra, she was beside herself as she hid her face in her arms. It seemed she wanted to run away. I scanned the room for the second so-called future fiancee, but it didn’t seem like anyone was reacting to that statement, so I had no idea who it was.
The class clapped somewhat awkwardly but was more or less mumbling to each other. Padraic’s brazen entrance no doubt shocked quite a few students. But that was Padraic for you. He never cared what others thought of him.
Professor Garrison chuckled awkwardly to himself. “Well, that was something. But a little background on our new student is that he not only passed the entrance exam but tested in the top one percent of advanced mathematics, not only in this class but the entire school. Padraic here also impressed both the forge and smithing teachers, earning their respect with a single demo. As well as being an Opal adventurer with three years of experience.”
With a little more context, it seemed that assuaged anyone’s worries, and they put more excitement into their applause. I had no idea he placed so high in math, but Padraic was always good at it. Even back in the day, he took to math faster than Cerila. But that was only when he was actually focusing and not goofing around or teasing me…
And good for him on impressing two teachers at Forward University with one demonstration is definitely something to be proud of. He did make my new bow, which was expertly crafted.
Next up was also a surprise. She looked stunning in her uniform, and it was hard to look away. Her long snow-white hair flowed down to her hips as her new jacket fit snugly around her upper body, accentuating her athletic and curvy physique. And her white and gold skirt was—
“Why is her skirt shorter than everyone else’s? What’s with that crap?” Sylvia growled in a low voice as she glared down at Cerila.
It’s uh…true…Cerila’s skirt, for some reason or another, was shorter than the norm. And it only exposed her long toned yet pale legs even more as she chose to wear short white socks.
I felt Sylvia’s glare turn to me in my absence of a response, but I just kept my eyes forward, fully intent on not meeting her gaze. I felt that no matter what I said, I would be wrong. And it would only open me up for criticism. So the best course of action was to say nothing.
Cerila went over to the board and quickly chalked up a hand that was leaving a head, as well as her name. To an untrained eye, it looked to be as if she drew someone saluting followed by her name in Human. But it was actually a depiction of someone signing hello.
And it was accurate as well as being well drawn. I guess years of drawing on that tablet are coming into play.
Once she was done, she turned around to face the class and repeated the motion for the sign. From there, Professor Garrison took over. “First of all, please welcome Cerila to the class. Although she can’t hear any of you, the gesture still has meaning for her.”
The class looked confused, and a few people muttered to each other, but after a pointed glare from the teacher, everyone quickly gave a round of applause to welcome her. “As some of you have guessed, Cerila is deaf and can not hear you, but that does not mean she can’t talk to you. And although you may think of this as a hindrance, Cerila has lived her entire life this way and has not only adapted but flourished. She passed the school’s entrance exam and tested out of master-level language classes for both Elvish and Human, being able to read and write fluently to the level of a translator. Not only that, Cerila is fluent in a completely new language called Sign Language. As a result, she is able to communicate in everyday conversation with others despite not verbally speaking a single word. She also shows martial prowess that is to be recognized, as she has achieved the adventurer rank of Topaz in only three years. For those of you who are unaware, that is an accomplishment beyond what a normal person is capable of, especially someone so young.”
Upon his further explanation of Cerila’s exploits and achievements, the room did a collective nod of approval and gave her one more final applause. Cerila flashed a stunning smile at everyone, and with Padraic next to her, the two of them walked straight up the steps and toward me.
“Are they really going…what a pain,” Sylvia grumbled quietly to herself.
Sure enough, the two took open seats to my left, with Cerila right next to me. She smiled brightly at me and even let out a noise that was the same as her giggling. she asked.
I told her.
Cerila was about to sign to me again, but I poked her as Professor Garrison cleared his throat loudly. “Now then, would the final student please introduce himself?”
The third student had been quietly standing to the side. At first glance, he seemed…odd, and I found it hard to tell how old he was for some reason. He wore the school uniform just the same as everyone else, and as a tiger Beastmen, he didn’t appear to have overwhelming physical size but was a rather average build. His tiger-like ears poked out from his long hair that was poofed up while being the color of brownish dried blood.
But the oddest thing about him was those dark-tinted glasses he wore over his eyes…they seemed almost like sunglasses, which was weird since we were indoors and the room could hardly be described as bright.
The Beastmen had a proper air about him, almost like a noble, which was all but confirmed as he dipped into an elegant bow straight out of a book on manners.
“My name is Malachi Talgan, and I am the crown prince of the Principality of Nul. It’s an honor to be here,” he said in a velvety smooth voice.
Malachi also took his glasses off, exposing his unswirling Vampiric blood-red eyes to the class. But unlike Sylvia, who possessed entirely crimson eyes, Malachi’s eyes were like that of a half-moon of red, leaving the rest of his iris a dead-looking white color. Of course, I only had two other Vampires besides Sylvia to compare to, but Malachi’s eyes had far more red than the Vampire who kidnapped me and even more than the Vampire diplomat I saw in Sandervile.
And did he just say his last name was Talgan?

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submitted by RangerFrank to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 22:38 SnooSprouts6852 How do I get out again?

Idk if this is the right subreddit, I don't use reddit often; I just want some sort of advice, or maybe just to rant, or both...
I'll try not to give my whole life story, just the basics, I'm sure you all know how it goes.
The TL:DR; version is that I (31f) just moved back in with my dad after living abroad for 5 years, I lost my job and had to leave the country/return to the US and now have nowhere else to go.
I'm kind of a chronic failure and still struggle to live properly as an adult even after all of these years, but I do not want to stay here! I feel like a spoiled ungrateful teenager but my dad is super controlling, treats me like a problematic child and as though if he takes his eyes off of me I'm going to become a drug addicted serial killer (side note the most "rebellious" thing I've ever done was sneak down to the basement and play a video game for more than my allowed hour a day, or spend my allowance on junk food), and says things that freak me out sometimes; he's also gone into fits of rage in the past over the most stupid things that lead to him getting violent, and giving outrageous punishments in the name of "tough love". He says he's changed but I think the only thing that's changed is that his wife and daughters have all left him so he hasn't had anyone to take out his issues on...until now. I've only been here two weeks and have seen red flags and I already want to get out.
I sent an email to the department of human services yesterday asking for help but I'm wondering if anyone else here has any ideas or experiences.
Now for the rant section;
I'm on the autism spectrum, I may have adhd, obviously have been dealing with depression/anxiety, and have been given a c-ptsd diagnosis before as well. I think my upbringing may have messed me up too because my parents never married, broke up before they had me, and basically passed me back and forth my entire life like a hot potato. My half-siblings all grew up to be fine, self-sufficient individuals; I'm the only failure and have never really felt like I fit in with either family.
I'll skip to adulthood; I was constantly being put down and treated like a burden by both families for not being able to find a job and move out after graduation. My mom's side couldn't help financially with school, and my dad's side could, but wouldn't because i didn't seem "serious enough" (couldnt get FAFSA because both sides were well off enough). Eventually I met a guy online who promised to take care of me and ended up going to live with him out of state, which pissed them off even more. That was ten years ago.
I broke up with that guy, and ended up couch surfing for years before becoming completely homeless and living on the streets at 23. Thankfully I found a homeless youth support system who helped me get back into school, which led to a temporary teaching opportunity oversees that I managed to get into. After that was over I came back to the states to finish my degree but it wasn't going well at all, and I wanted so desperately to go back overseas. I decided to try to get into school there instead and poured myself into language studies.
At this point my dad said that he could help me with the financial part (because he could see that I was "serious now"), which was weird, but a blessing. I managed to get through school and even managed to land a job as an illustrator in a good company when I graduated, which was huge! Until that point I had only worked retail jobs that never lasted more than a month or two, and the temporary teaching job which lasted 4 months.
The problem is that I completely struggled at this job too, and after my year-long contract was over, they decided to tell me one week before I needed to renew my visa that they wouldn't be renewing the contract because I wasn't performing to their standards. I honestly dont blame them though, I was struggling with so many mental and physical health problems and definitely had trouble keeping up with all of my coworkers.
My dad (who has since gotten divorced) told me I could come back and live with him in one of his spare bedrooms, and that I could take as long as I needed to figure things out, and that he had totally changed and wasn't "crazy" anymore. I'm not so sure.
For starters, ever since I got back he's been monitoring everything I eat, checking the calories and telling me what is "good" and "bad" and refusing to let me get anything that he deems as "bad" (anything with oil, sugar or carbs basically). He gave me an earful about how I was killing myself and that I needed to make better choices because I wanted a blueberry muffin. What he does deem as "good", he'll only get in small amounts and tell me if I'm hungry and out of food while he's at work, I need to "just sleep it off"; meanwhile he'll load the fridge with his pre-made meals. My mom was going to come up to visit me before I got sick, and he said "don't let her buy you a bunch of food".
This is the man who used to sit down in front of the TV and eat two large pizzas by himself multiple times a week, and would go through weird diets regularly (like eating nothing but green shakes until he couldn't handle it anymore) in an attempt to be "healthy". Even after he "cleaned up" he's called me while I was overseas and told me about how he's getting a donut or how he likes to get three large cookies from a particular store and eat them in one sitting.
On the one hand I know I let myself go over the past ten years (after being ruled with an iron fist over the first 20...go figure), and that he just wants to help me be healthier. On the other hand, I feel like he's projecting his past insecurities onto me and trying to force me into only the "good" parts of his new lifestyle, without letting me balance it with the same indulgences he gets.
I would go shopping for myself (not that I have any money, I did apply for EBT though), but I've always lived in cities with good public transportation, and since I have terrible situational awareness I'm terrified of driving and never learned (no car either). This was fine when I could take a bus, but now I live a 40-minute walk away from the nearest bus station or shop, and another hour by bus into the main city. I have had some snacks delivered from grocery stores delivered by uber eats while he was out with what money I did have but I was so scared of him finding out that I ate them all in one sitting and gave myself a really bad stomachache...anyway, enough about food.
He doesn't want me to see any sort of counselor because "all they do is keep you dwelling on your bad feelings so you'll give them more money" even though he sees a counselor. I've been really sick the past week but he wouldn't help me get to a doctor because "what are they gonna do, poke you around a bit, give you some pain killers and send you back home? You'll get better on your own" (turns out it was covid btw). I asked him to get some cold medicine on his way home from work one day but he didn't because he "didn't feel like going to the store". Fair, but I'm sitting here feeling like I'm on my death bed my guy, and you won't let me just get it delivered because you "need to do things your way"? Ghghghghghghgh
Medicine in general, especially psychiatric, he says I shouldn't be taking at all and that I just need to make better lifestyle choices, even though one of them is for an underactive thyroid which I can't really do much about...
He's been asking me weird things like why my sister won't talk to him (I have no idea) and for me to help him be on better terms with her, or what I think about my mom, what I do and don't like about her, etc. He keeps telling me that he's trying to hang out with my step-mom (the woman he divorced while I was overseas) and complaining that she keeps turning him down and asking me what I think he should do and if I've talked to her and what did she say, etc.
The icing on the cake is that yesterday he asked me to write down Maslow's hierarchy of needs with examples, twice because he wanted a copy too, and no I can't just send him the image because "inconvenience is good for you". He wanted to "have a talk" about them, told me about how he will provide the bottom row, and at the end he said:
"I just don't want you to run away. Like I don't want you to go off and live with your friends, or your cousin, or your mom. I'll still love you if you do, but it will be hard to."
Am I the only one who thinks that's basically a huge red sign saying "get the fuck out of there"? He always talks about how he didnt get enough love from his mom but is he that desperate for female attention that he wants to trap his adult daughter (the only one who still talks to him regularly) in his house for the rest of his life? Isn't the group of five or so girls (including my mom) that he calls every night before bed enough...?
I want to get out of here so badly. This is just some of the stuff that's happened in the past two weeks or so that I've been back in the states. I have dozens of stories about how he's flown off the handle and gotten violent, thrown a bag of dog shit at me while we were out walking the dog together because of a conversation that started about me not liking salmon, ridiculous tantrum behavior that I had managed to push down while I was gone but is starting to resurface and make me scared. And the fact that he seems to want to trap me here makes it even worse.
I do digital illustration work that I would love to do to try to save money (it was literally my job for the past year) but he hasn't let me set up my computer at all yet because he says I should "take time to process" and that "it will only be a distraction", saying that I'm just going to use it to play games all day. I feel incapable of doing any other kind of job because a) the transportation issue and b) I've never had success being employed in the past. I'm afraid if I do set up my PC he's going to smash it in a fit of rage one day and leave me with no outlets. He gets mad about the weirdest stuff, like the aforementioned salmon conversation, or how I keep apologizing or thanking him for helping me with things etc. (what? My mom always got mad at me for forgetting to say thank you for stuff, I'm so confused, my autistic brain cant wrap itself around this)
He's expressed disapproval with me getting any help from the government aside from health insurance, so I've been trying to contact the DHS secretly but I don't know how much help they can honestly provide. I've been told that I definitely qualify for disability benefits (SSI) but I've also heard that once you get on them, you're basically locked into a life of poverty which I also don't want; I want to be self-sufficient and make my own money if I can, I just don't know that I'm capable of it right now, or at all in the long term. I also hear that it can take years to get accepted into any financial aid or affordable housing program, but I don't know if I can stay sane for years... does anyone have experience with these kinds of things?
Sorry for the long post but I feel panicked and like I need so much help getting somewhere..
submitted by SnooSprouts6852 to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 22:09 farkingidiot I wanna go biking on Memorial Day!! In Dayton!

My wife and I have been making an ever expanding bicycle tour of every trail system in our state (Indiana) we can. So far, we've done Fishers, Noblesville, Lafayette, Bloomington, Plainfield, Greenfield, Columbus, Kokomo, Carmel, Avon, Zionsville, Westfield, Shelbyville, Franklin, Anderson, Ft. Wayne...I think that's the tally, so far. Now we're hoping to make our first out of state trip.....to Dayton!!
I think we're parking at Wegerzyn Park, then plan to ride south through Triangle Park, Island Metropark, past Deed's Point Metropark, crossing over Mad River to Riverscape Metropark, then into downtown.
We usually go into a town/city, ride the trail and take a detour into downtown to see the sights. So, a few questions for you all, if you wouldn't mind helping out:
  1. We LOVE murals, sculptures/statues and public art. Seems like there are quite a few murals on fifth street downtown? I'm trying to do some last minute research, but is there anything special we should keep any eye out for? Especially downtown.
  2. I think I know the answer, but are there any pastries shops/bakeries downtown we can check out? We love getting macrons, cookies, lemons bars...you name it. In know it's a holiday, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.
  3. Any cool stuff on the trail we should watch for? Sculptures? Bridges? Anything?
  4. Any places downtown with outdoor seating for lunch?
We don't get to actually travel, due to commitments at home, so we've been making day trips while biking to serve as a stress reliever so we can get out of our heads and not think about things for a while. Any help anyone can give is VERY appreciated.
submitted by farkingidiot to dayton [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 21:48 leofire97 JAPAN TRIP REPORT

Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka-Kobe
Just wanted to preface this and say that for my partner and I, jet lag became our friend. We got up super early with ease and did everything we wanted to do. So if jet lag is something worrisome for you, think of it as a positive 🙂
**all prices are in Canadian dollars which is 1:100 Japanese yen.
*sorry for any grammatical / punctuation errors
Takeaways:
-Fruit is expensive as heck in Japan!!!
-Bring plastic bags for garbage with you!!
-Going to the washroom & “dropping off your kids at the pool” is a * religious * experience
-Splurge on kobe beef & omakase!!-Get a bullet train / shinkanssen pass. We found that it was extremely worth it for the days we were in Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Kobe as we used it everyday on the JR lines. For an entire week we did not replenish our Suica.
-Japan has this Peach water that tastes like REAL fruit juice. Identical to when you bite into a peach. GET IT!
-For money conversion, I found that my credit card gave me a better rate than converting my cash. However, cash is still king in Japan, especially in the markets.
-The japan metro/JSubway system etc is overwhelming at first however, we learned it the first day. Google maps was my bestie.
-The culture shock is huge. Japanese people are very dutiful. Everytime we needed help, locals would always go out of their way to make sure we got to our destination, even if that meant a 10minute detour for themselves. Japan is also very forward looking. I was impressed with how I was handed a sheet to put over my face to avoid my makeup getting on the clothes when trying things on.
-Comme les garçons does not let you try on their shirts 😣
8 May 2023 (Monday)Canada -> TOKYO
We checked in for our flight on air Canada as well as the Japan website.Highly recommend downloading Ubigi as an air sim and getting the suica card on your iphone wallet! Suica saved us a lot of time and we just tapped as we went along.
9 May 2023 (Tuesday) TOKYOArrived in Narita airport
I highly recommend getting the airport limo bus. I used this link: https://www.klook.com/.../2274-narita-haneda-airport.../...Service to and from the airport cost us 45$ canadian total per person and was a great choice since we did not have to worry about transfers on our first day in Japan. Lots of leg room, AC & WIFI.Our airbnb was near Okubo station. I loved our location as it was 1 stop away from shinjuku station and we had the best ramen. Restaurant is called Gomaryu.
10 May 2023 (Wednesday) TOKYO / shibazakura festival
Our trip was slightly changed as seeing Mt Fuji was important to us and this was the only day we knew for certain would be sunny! Initially, I had planned a chill day but we rearranged everything and went to the Shibazakura festival. I highly recommend going as it was beautiful with tons of Instagramable photo spots and great food vendors.
11 May 2023(Thursday) TOKYO / DISNEYLAND
I booked tickets for us on Klook for Disneyland.I have never been to any Disneyland but this one was truly magical! My partner and I cried after the beauty and the beast ride. We got to the park at 8am and werent let in till 9am. We were one of the first 10% of people who arrived. Keep in mind that people who stayed at the Disney resort got a 15mins head start so once it was our turn, we ran towards the B&B ride to which there was already a 3hr wait immediately. Paying an extra 20$/pp was a no brainer and 10000% worth it. Honestly never experienced nostalgia and magic to this degree. Also want to give a shoutout to the tower of terror 10/10 and 10mins lineup. The starwars ride was also superb for what it was. Alien mochi was worth the hype.

12 May 2023 (Friday) TOKYO / tsukiji market & sumo performance
Tsukiji market was worth visiting with the variety of food. I do not recommend getting anything “a5 wagyu” or sushi as it is not the freshest. I learned the hard way that not all sushi is made equally in Japan so splurge on an omakase (more on my experience later).I booked a sumo experience with klook: https://www.klook.com/.../75397-sumo-lunch-experience.../...Amazing meal (I still think about the katsu we had) and show! Was very intimate and got to fight the sumo wrestlers! This day was a core memory for sure.We also visited the unicorn gundam statue which was UNBELIEVABLE!!
13 May 2023 (Saturday) TOKYO
This day was supposed to be relaxing… but we somehow did 30k steps. We went to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (so beautiful and amazing starbucks!), Meiji Jingu shrine, imperial palace & yūshūkan museum (ww2 history & samurai)
14 May 2023 (Sunday) TOKYO bullet train to yunessan
This was the first day we had for activating our shinkansen pass. We travelled to an onsen in the mountains of Hakone. It is called Yunessan onsen and it was AMAZING. It is the onsen where you can bathe in wine, coffee, sake, green tea etc. We for some reason did not have high expectations but it superseded everything. We paid extra for the fish bath where they eat your dead skin (so ticklish and a crazy experience) and we went to the adult part of the onsen where everyone is naked. Here we found ourselves submerged in lemon water while it was raining with a view of the mountains. Truly a sublime experience
15 May 2023 (Monday) TOKYO -> KYOTO We walked everywhere this day.Saw the emperor, checked out Kinnkaku-ji (Golden Temple), and Yasaka shrine (had the best matcha soft serve)
16 May 2023 (Tuesday) KYOTO We Travelled to Fushimi Inari shrine (super busy and touristy but worth it!), nara park to see the bowing deer , saw the Todaiji temple and visited the famous mochi making place called nakatani mochi shop and saw the show! Best mochi I had all trip. We decided not to go to the Arashiyama bamboo forest as it did not seem worth it from other people’s reviews.
17 May 2023 (Wednesday) KYOTO -> OSAKA Kuromon market had everything similar to Tsukiji market in Tokyo. One thing i loved here were the sweet potato chips that had sugar and salt coating. We also visited a micro pig cafe and the animals seemed very happy. Dotonburri had so many food options.
18 May 2023 (Thursday) OSAKA -> KOBE -> OSAKA My partner had a religious experience here as we both had the best beef of our life. We had kobe and wagyu beef at mouriya honten in Kobe (we travelled here using our JR pass so it was *technically free*). I wanted to take some time to note how amazing the hospitality was and that the chef cooked our beef in thirds. He made sure that every slice of beef we put in our mouth was still hot and watched as we ate to gage when to start searing the next slabs of beef. I WAS AMAZED!!! Total spent here was $240 CDN.Next we visited the zoo in Osaka and it was only 5$ CDN! (500 JAPANESE yen). I have never seen a red panda before so that was the highlight for me!After this we did mario kart in the streets of Osaka/Dotonburi. https://www.klook.com/.../8590-street-go-kart.../...I originally wanted to book it for us in Tokyo but it was booked out for a month!! However, the tour guides were amazing and it was a blast. I am not sure why others advised against it and that local Japanese people are annoyed by this activity because I found everyone waving at us, smiling and taking videos. 10/10 activity.
19 May 2023 (Friday) OSAKA. I never had soufflé pancakes so I made a reservation for us at Happy Pancake in Osaka. WAS DELICIOUS AND THE LINE WAS SO LONG FOR PEOPLE WHO DID NOT MAKE A RESERVATION. Also the fruit was really worth it as I said before, Fruit is very hard to come by.The rest of the day was for exploring Dotonburi and shopping.
20 May 2023 (Saturday) OSAKA -> TOKYO Free day!We had michelin ramen for 15$ in … A SUBWAY STATION. Ginza kagari! The creamiest broth with chicken and truffle. It was life changing to say the least. We go there at 4pm and the line only formed after we left.
21 May 2023 (Sunday) - Last full day 🙁 TOKYO We had an omakase booking at Sushi Yajima and I was so happy. It is run by a old couple who speak PERFECT english. The freshest fish and each person only paid 44$! I made sure to research this place and many other omakase experiences and this was worth way more than what we paid for. The husband was making the nigiri for us and he said the funniest things! He was plating tuna for my partner and said: “This fish is Viagra. You are strong man so you don’t need it, but I need it” HIGHLY RECOMMEND IF YOU ARE ON A BUDGET AND WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE BEST SUSHI IN JAPAN. 😂
22 May 2023(Monday) TOKYO ->back home
submitted by leofire97 to JapanTravel [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 21:26 Thirsha_42 Tight Money Ch 14

Here is chapter 14 of Tight Money.
Special thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating the universe and allowing fan writers to join the fun.
Additional thanks to u/BiasMushroom, u/YakiTapioca, u/cruisingNW, u/SavingsSyllabub7788, u/YaaliAnnar, u/White_Dragon_Coranth, u/Illwood and u/Redundant-Honse for letting me use elements from their fanfics in mine.
Leena and Dani finish the dinner with with the parents and we get a quick look into how things are going on Venlil Prime.
Thanks to u/Saint-Andros, u/cruisingNW and blankxlate for proofreading this chapter.
I love your comments so please tell me what you think so I can get better or if you have suggestions for future snippets of life on Venlil Prime you would like to see me cover, leave it in the comments.
First Previous
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Memory transcription subject: Liara, Prime News Reporter
Date [standardized human time]: November 3, 2136
My prompter counted down as my stage lights brightened, and I watched the camera light go live.
I took a deep breath and began the interview, “From Prime News, it’s ‘How I Built This,’ the show that dives deep into the stories of remarkable entrepreneurs and their journey to success. I’m Liara Raz and on today's show: how Ricardo Mota Esparza and Vye turned their small machine shop into a life saving business and helped reconnect Venlil Prime with its industrial past.”
Kotaka pointed right, and I followed him to Camera Two.
“A few days ago, my ear trimmer broke. Not a big deal, I’ve had it for ages and it served me well. When I went to the store to get a new one… nothing. There wasn’t a single trimmer to be found. I tried to order one with the same result.”
I watched a few tails of the audience swaying in agreement, it seems that trimmer comparison landed! I’ll need to give the writer a fruit bowl sometime.
Back to Camera One, “As I looked into the reason, it turned out that we got all of our small motors from Fahl and with the border closed for trade, we didn’t have the ability to make our own small motors. We know how to make these motors, but we don’t have the machines to manufacture them. And with fabricators in short supply, I, like so many of you, have had to go back to using scissors.”
Ears back, flick the tail. They are just as unhappy as you.
“Today, we have a special guest joining us in the studio who is helping to change that. Please welcome Ricardo Mota Esparza, the co-founder of Predator Parts Machine Shop on Venlil Prime. Ricardo, it's a pleasure to have you here.”
Quickly switching to a positive affect, I turned my attention to the man sitting across from me in the studio. Following Talen’s example, the studio had positioned the chairs to face each other instead of the camera. I had thought the human would be covered in oil and stained pelts but his clean appearance showed I still needed to work on my own biases.
He wore a tight, light green chest-pelt that traveled down the length of his arms, only revealing the caramel skin of his hands. There was an outline in the pocket on his chest pelt where he had stashed a small data pad. Below that, the human also wore dark blue coverings that stretched all the way down that ended just above his feet, which were dressed with foot coverings of a golden yellow color of which contrasted harshly against the drab interior of the studio.
“Just ‘Rocky’ please. And thank you, Liara, for having me. It's an honor to be on your show.”
Good, let’s keep this relaxed and show everyone there is nothing to fear. Rocky had a deeper voice than any other interview subject I had met before, but there was a light airiness about his vocalization that was quite pleasant.
He took our pre-broadcast rehearsal well. He smiled through closed lips, careful not to show his flesh-tearering fangs. His movements were slower than they had been when he arrived; his hands gesticulating with every word. This might be easier than I thought.
“Rocky, let's start from the beginning. You were a machine shop worker on Earth when you joined the exchange program, correct? What was your first impression of your partner Vye?”
Rocky started moving his arms as he spoke and it was mesmerizing to watch his body language despite my inability to comprehend any of it. Without a tail, it made sense that humans would come up with another solution, I just didn’t expect it to be so… beautiful.
It’s like I’m watching a master Strayu chef kneading fresh dough; or a conductor directing an orchestra.
“Oh, we hit it off right away. We shared a lot of interests and talked about everything under the sun. Vye was working for a fabrication shop as an apprentice when he signed up to meet me in person. We had a great time on Station 2 and we tried to maintain contact after the program as well. When news that the Federation had started assembling ships to attack Earth, I was on one of the first flights to Venlil Prime.”
“I imagine it must have been hard to leave everything behind you and flee here. Can you tell us a bit about those difficult times?”
Please don’t say anything violent. Just stick to the talking points and you will be fine.
“I would rather not discuss that. Like most people, I lost loved ones and everything I had built when it was all destroyed by the Federation, but Vye was there for me from the moment I landed.”
I tried to keep my tail from curling, this was going more smoothly than nearly half of my past interviews! Just like we rehearsed, he skipped over the messy details and dived right into their industry.
“Vye encouraged me to find a new purpose and start anew. He is a crazy guy and wicked smart. He realized what was happening with the machines after Federation borders closed and trade was cut off. He had been working on establishing his own shop before I arrived, and needed an extra set of hands. Working with Vye gave me… focus. Focus enough to help me through everything.”
Lucky guy. Whew, okay, the hard part’s over.
“That's truly inspiring, Rocky. So, how did you and your business partner go about setting up your machine shop on Venlil Prime?”
“Initially, Vye and I tried to secure funding and supplies from the UN embassy, but the bureaucracy proved challenging. We then decided to approach the Venlil Government directly, explaining our vision to help both humans and Venlil who lost their jobs due to closed borders and Federation attack. They agreed to provide two old fabricators and a small grant to kickstart our venture very quickly.”
“That's remarkable! By bridging the gap between humans and Venlil, you not only found support but also a mutually beneficial collaboration. How did it all begin?”
Come on, you are doing great! Remember to highlight humans and venlil working together.
“With the fabricators, Vye and I started manufacturing parts for another brand-new fabricator while we advertised our services with flyers and ads on Bleat. Our first client was a farmer who was on the brink of losing his harvest due to broken harvester drones. He took a chance on us, and we delivered quality parts in just a couple paws.”
Excellent answer. Rocky adjusted himself in his seat and I knew he didn’t mean to, but it was clear just how strong he was as his muscles flexed underneath his tight chest-pelt. He looked at me expectantly, reminding me I needed to ask the next question.
Glancing at my list, I prompted him, “It sounds like your dedication to quality and timely service quickly gained attention. How did your business grow from there and who came up with the name for your business?”
That wasn’t in the talking points! Why did I ask that? Speh! I had to make a conscious effort to control my tail and ears so as not to give away my mistake.
“I knew you were going to ask about that. It’s stupid. Vye and I couldn’t decide on which name to use, so we each picked our favorites and then we flipped a coin. Vye won so we named the shop Predator Parts Machine Shop.”
“The name was Vye’s idea?”
Thank the sun and stars, Rocky I could nuzzle you. You really saved my hide with that answer.
“Yeah, he wanted to stand out from other shops and create a brand. A deal’s a deal so he got to pick the name. Word spread within the farming communities about our affordable, high-quality results. We hired more workers, both experienced and untrained, to keep up with demand. Within three weeks, we rented out the rest of the building and started training human refugees as mechanics and repairmen.”
“It's incredible how you turned adversity into opportunity, Rocky. What motivated you to empower unemployed venlil and human refugees, and help them rebuild their lives after all the turmoil that has happened since first contact?”
Rocky’s eye fur rose and he looked to his side, up and away from the camera. I had seen many humans do this when they were thinking. It was a cute quirk. For how dangerous they were supposed to be, they seemed like children in some ways.
“After the Federation's attack on Earth, many of us humans were left with nothing to return to and venlil were still hurting from the Federation’s decision to cut off all trade. It was a chance for us to come together, learn from one another, and create a new future. We hired Venlil workers to train humans in fixing common equipment, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.”
“Your story is truly inspiring, Rocky. However, I understand that there have been some challenges along the way. Could you share a recent incident that reflects the lingering fear some still have towards humans?”
Now to drive it home. Rocky sat up and intertwined his digits in front of him as I asked my question.
“Certainly, Liara. Just this morning when I was covering for our receptionist, I received a phone call at our office from the Capitol Spaceport. The caller hung up as soon as I answered and ignored my call back. I had to contact Mr. Cass at the main office in the Capitol Spaceport to find out that their fabricators are broken. It's a reminder that despite the progress we've made, there are still people who harbor fear and uncertainty.”
Bunch of morons stuck in the past and holding the herd back.
“It's disheartening to hear that some remain fearful, but your efforts are undoubtedly making a difference. Looking back on your journey, what are your reflections, Rocky?”
Now let's finish strong.
“The path we've walked has been challenging, but it has also been rewarding beyond measure. We’ve built a thriving business, repaired machines of all kinds, and provided employment opportunities to those in need. Our customers are mostly welcoming and appreciative, but there is still work to be done in breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.”
“Rocky, your story serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of unity. Thank you for sharing your journey with us today.”
“Thank you, Liara. It was a pleasure being here and sharing my story.”
“And that concludes our interview with Rocky Mota Esparza, one of the remarkable entrepreneurs behind a thriving machine shop on Venlil Prime. Join us next time on ‘How I Built This’ as we uncover more extraordinary stories of innovation and determination. Until then, stay inspired and keep building. Goodbye!”
Memory transcription subject: Leena, Human Refugee Host
Date [standardized human time]: November 6, 2136
“Leena, your father and I were worried when you said that you found someone and moved in together so quickly but now that we have met her, we are happy that you have found another mate.” My mother flicked her tail and waved her ears in an outpouring of support.
But I was floored. Mate? They thought that we were together? I bloomed intensely, the heat radiating from my face felt like a furnace. Dani’s eyes widened, her reddening expression betraying a mix of shock and confusion; and was that a smile on her face?
Dad swayed his tail warmly, “We understand how most people are concerning humans but you don’t need to worry about that from us. We are your parents and we love you no matter what, and we are happy to meet the pr-... the human who captured our daughter’s heart.”
Mom followed up without skipping a beat.
"We've noticed how close you and Dani have become and we are happy for you but we are a bit concerned that you didn’t tell us you were being pursued by anyone."
I don’t know what was more difficult to process, the incorrect belief that we were a mated pair, the joy and support I was getting from my parents, or Dani’s stifled laughter at the whole situation. Captured my heart? Being Pursued? Had they rehearsed this?
“What? No, Mom, we're not... I mean, we're just… she’s…”
I stumbled, trying to find the right words to clarify the situation. I stole a nervous glance at Dani, looking for a lifeline and finding none, before turning back to mother.
Mom continued with her ears facing me, "Leena, your father and I were the same way. We knew we were soul mates the moment we met! We moved in together only a few [months] later; we understand the whirlwind of romance. You’re a grown woman and we’re so proud of you.”
Not to be outdone, Dad added his own thoughts.
“You’re moving much faster than we did, but we are happy you two are starting a life together! And the way Dani loves your children, it seems like they have built a real relationship of trust despite the… differences.”
I flicked my tail in confirmation. "Yes, she's been wonderful with them. They've grown fond of her in just a few days, and she's been like family with m- with them bu…"
Dani couldn’t help herself, she had to make things worse, the opportunity must have been irresistible.
"Oh, Leena, my love, you're making me blush!"
She closed one eye quickly while she looked at me, enjoying the lightheartedness of the moment with a gentle smile, but she didn’t seem to understand what my parents meant. Before I could respond to her jest, Dad leaned forward, his eyes gleaming with excitement.
"Dani, you know this isn’t the first time Leena has tried to keep a secret from us. When…”
Sun and stars I know what he is going to say, “Dad, please!”
“...she was 6, she met a boy in school and they became fast friends. Well, being as young as they were they thought that nuzzling meant they were a mated pair, so Leena comes home and asks us how to make a Vyalkit. We told her how we made ours and the next day, she and the boy were shaved so close you might have thought they were applying to become exterminators!”
Dad loved that story, he told everyone he could, but it was never any less embarrassing.
“Needless to say, her secret ‘husband’ didn’t stay a secret for long and we set her straight.”
Mother turned her gaze on me, moving her ears in sympathy, but I saw how her tail swayed during dads retelling.
“You don’t need to keep your relationship a secret from us. We know how other people feel about humans. Just know that we don’t care that she is a woman, that she isn’t a venlil or even that she’s a predator. We just want you to be happy.”
Dani's laughter escaped her control, and she erupted into a fit of giggles. I couldn’t resist her infectious laughter. She was too full of joy in the face of what was one of my most embarrassing moments so I picked up a soft toy and playfully threw it at her, hitting her square in the head to my surprise.
"Okay, okay, I confess, " Dani managed between laughs. "Leena and I are secretly in love, and we're announcing our relationship tonight."
My eyes widened, a mixture of surprise, embarrassment, amusement and horror.
"Dani!" I bleated helplessly.
Mom and Dad exchanged glances, their tails swaying faster.
"Oh, Leena," Mom said, her voice filled with joy, "we're so happy for you. Love knows no boundaries, and we accept your human mate with open arms."
My ears fell flat against my skull, and all I could do was stammer. "But... but we're not..."
Dani burst into uncontrollable laughter before I could finish the sentence. My eyes narrowed, and I threw another soft toy at her in defiance.
"I can't believe you!" I exclaimed, my voice laced with both amusement and annoyance. "You're enjoying this way too much."
Dani wiped away tears of laughter, finally gaining control of herself. "I'm sorry, Leena. It was just too funny not to go along with it for a moment."
"You're terrible, Dani!"
Taking a deep breath to regain composure and control, I put both paws on the table.
"Dad, Mom, let me explain. You see, after Dani saved Tas and Vissa following the stampede, I didn't mention her because I hadn't seen her since we met at the hospital. When Governor Tarva made her announcement, I went to the park with Tas and Vissa to get some air, and that is when we met again. We talked and since she needed a place to stay, we agreed we could help each other.”
My eyes fell towards the table, embarrassment coloring my features again. “I'm sorry I didn't tell you she moved in sooner. I've been preoccupied with finding work and money troubles. We’ve become friends, and she offered to rent the spare room to help me financially."
Amidst Dani’s laughter, Mom and Dad shared a puzzled look, their excitement dying down. Dad spoke up first, his voice filled with curiosity.
"Wait, you mean... you and Dani are not in a relationship?"
Dani shook her head, “No, I’m just renting the spare room. I love children and without a job right now, I have lots of time to help Leena. There is nothing going on between us.”
My mother’s blush brightened slightly as she realized her mistake. "O-Oh, we misinterpreted the situation, I apologize. But we're still happy that you've met someone like Dani, Leena. It seems she's been a wonderful presence in both your life and the childrens’."
I looked at my mother with my ears perking up. She looked at me lovingly, expressing genuine joy through her features.
"Yes! I appreciate your understanding. Dani truly has been amazing but we are only friends, nothing more."
"Darling, we're sorry for jumping to conclusions. We love you, no matter what. Whether you find love with a venlil or a human, we just want you to be happy."
I couldn’t help it when my blush deepened, feeling a mixture of love and appreciation for my parents over their proclamation of support.
My father smiled warmly, "Well Dani, thank you very much for being a supportive friend to our Leena. I apologize for our confusion." He chuckled guiltily.
She nodded at him with a smile on her face. This turned out better than I had hoped given the start of the meal! The tension melted away as the confusion and mistakes were cleared up.
"Thank you, Dad, Mom. I'm grateful for your understanding."
Mom placed her paws onto both mine and Dani's, her gaze filled with love. "Leena, we love you no matter what. If you ever find someone who truly makes you happy, regardless of their species or gender, we will support you."
I was overcome with gratitude and pride in my parents, my tail swayed back and forth, "All of your support means the world to me."
Dani added her own reassurances and I hoped she wasn’t too upset with me throwing things at her.
"Leena, you have a wonderful family." Dani admitted.
The room filled with a sense of joy and relief, and laughter slowly replaced the tension. The misunderstanding had been cleared, and we enjoyed the rest of the claw after the humorous mix-up. During the rest of the meal, I stole quick glances at Dani. I felt a mixture of gratitude, concern and something else that I couldn’t quite describe. She was so full of life and joy and understanding.
Later while lying in bed and reflecting on the conversation we had during the meal, I didn’t know how she could be so happy after her world had been attacked, and everything she knew and loved was destroyed. I had been mortified with how things went during the meal at the moment but she just laughed and made light of it all.
Thank you Solgalick.
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submitted by Thirsha_42 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 21:14 SwissCheese4Collagen The !s Fertility Tour Part 2: BabyMoon Booglaoo / Hawaiian Getaway Leaving Our Son For a Week

The !s Fertility Tour Part 2: BabyMoon Booglaoo / Hawaiian Getaway Leaving Our Son For a Week
Howdy folks, The !s beat OfNostrils to the punch on the Tube this week fueling my theory about Kath!'s Kompetitive Nature. If she didn't beat her to the birthing suite, she was going to get that Friday night scheduling slot. OfNostrils is up next in my queue of recaps.
But anyhow, they open with Jed! calling Tru! "Chickies" which, is repeated before the end of the 20 second intro as he is passed off to his grandma on Kath!s side. At least Tru! in staying with Grammy! we won't be hearing "chickies" every five seconds. Tru! Is handed off to Grammy! after being fussy and crying the entire first half of the intro. When I comment that Tru! Learn how to cry in Italy and he has been throwing a tantrum when he sees the camera, Baby Swiss says that Tru! gained consciousness too early, he must be replaced...Too bad his parents don't recognize or care that he doesn't like being on camera. They fly over the Grand Canyon and Jed! Steves shows it to us through the window.
Tru! is the opposite of the Baby on Dinosaurs, he's a Grammy!s boy
Jed! successfully pulls off the \"hang 10\" move with his hand.
They arrive in Hawaii for their anniversary trip, it's the first time leaving Tru!. Kath! says that Tru! is doing well and so are they. Well no shit, you're in Hawaii and he doesn't have a camera stuck in his face.
They walked through the "drizzles" to find breakfast, McDonald's if I were a betting woman, Kath! does her very best Mary Anne from Gilligan impersonation beachside. Meanwhile Jed! tries to comment on how Hawaii is the prettiest of the 50 states, but the captions think he's hungry and change it to steaks. He gets as mushy about the beach and mountains as his brother J'Obnoxious James did about Switzerland.
I'm scared to know what he thinks is a good steak.
\"Let's Go Cruisin' \". Let's not. Kath! wisely films while Jed! \"cruises\".
The !s pickup an "SS Camaro", even though as a car salesman Jed! should know that you usually do the model then the trouble but can't draw that too long because student yammer on about how convertibles are the most rented car in Hawaii. Of course they are, it's perpetually 80° and sunny. People are on vacation, and want to treat themselves. Kath! however has a different theory, she says "it's a must because it's so beautiful here." The captions once again prove they have no love for Jed! as they turn "let's go cruising" into "let's get crazy". Kath! gets some scenery J'B roll as Jed! drives up the tip of the island. The wind tries to do us all a favor and blow so loud that it almost drowns out Kath!'s voice as she states that Jed! is going to set up his drone to flyover for Hawaiian scenery content Non-tent. After Kath! splashes in a couple of beautifuls and gorgeouses into the conversation the drone takes off and gives us the scenery footage.
Judd aka Jed! #3 in Home Adrone 3: Hawaiian Vacation!
The next day begins with one of the craziest sentences I think I've ever heard is Jed! states that he was "burnt to a pulp". Apparently Jed! got sun poisoning because he didn't wear any sunscreen for three hours of Hawaiian beach time. Proving that Blame Shifting was a key subject studied in the Wisdom Booklets, his excuse is that there wasn't sun at home because it was winter and just now turning into spring. Kath! had no problem putting some sunscreen on herself. Either way they hike up to Manoa Falls, a "big" waterfall which ends up being tall but not wide. The !s also point out streams, and shades of green...the way they made it sound was like it should have been basically Niagara Falls on steroids. Kath!s magic pregnancy shirt takes her from eight months to four months. This is not a conspiracy, we know these fools actually get knocked up though, I just want to know where she got the shirt because it is extremely slimming. She says the hike is not as easy as it set on yelp and not just for pregnant people but also for people with sun poisoning. Both said it was worth it.
Burnt. To. A. Pulp. like, is his brain just a MadLib or did he Chat GPT this vlog?
No Sunscreen + Toxic Masculinity + 3 hours in Hawaiian sun = S-U-N P-O-I-S-O-N-I-N-G.
I've never wanted these jokers to link a product so bad before. That shirt is magic.
Did he bring the whatsits pops this time for her?
Kath! flashes leg in the convertible and tries to flash "hang 10" but ends up more in the area of "call me" as they head to, oh Lord, they're going to go to Pearl Harbor. Let's see what bullshit they have to say about this. They stop for lunch as Jed! shoves a giant burger in his mouth. As they walk up to the USS Missouri Jed! states that he is read all about Pearl Harbor, of course he has. I trust SOTDRT's history lessons were also from the Wisdom Booklets and probably have some story about how a sailor prayed his way through the attack on Pearl Harbor or some shit. Great. Kath! is excited to see it, not sure why you would be excited to see something like this but not my vlog. She's also happy it's cloudy and they are going to be inside to give their skin a break from the sun.
They read the engraved plaque about the surrender on the USS Missouri deck. Both say that this is it "this is where World War II ended" Jed! says that "it ended right here, well here the deck not here Hawaii" basically. They go inside and Jed! states that he learned something new about Pearl Harbor. I can't tell if he learns something new every day and this is a common experience to him because he didn't learn anything as a kid or if he just doesn't learn anything wonders through life perpetually just avoiding knowledge. He was named one of the one that was supposed to be good at school with SOTDRT, and both he and Kathy mentioned they don't like reading the things in museums but that's the only places they go to. Well let's see what they learned from this museum shall we?
What happened to all the BeAuTiFuL sUnShInE?
The !s begin to tell the story of the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor, states that the planes and a lot of boats were destroyed and damaged. Since the US thought that the Japanese are going to come back invade Hawaii. Both told a different aspect of the invasion defense plan, Jed! mentioned the barbed wire on the beaches and asked Kath! to explain the second part which was marking Hawaii on all of the money so that the Japanese couldn't use captured US dollars to devalue Hawaii's economy. Of course these chucklefucks don't even come close to explaining it that succinctly and it sounds like the Hawaiians printed Hawaii on all the money that if they invaded, then no one could use it. These poor children, we can only hope Kath! doesn't have the patience for homeschooling and they get shipped off the public school. Although knowing her rich ass she's gonna send to a J'boarding school she has to. Jed! blathers on about how he had no idea that Hawaii was an invasion target, despite saying he read all about it.
\"Very Interesting\"....what does he even mean? Is Obama not allowed to have any association with restaurants?
Off they go to Hawaiian shave ice, Jed! points out that there's "lots of flavors, so Hawaiian". Among the options listed are Waiola Rainbow and an Obama Rainbow. I will absolutely lose my shit if either of them picks the Obama Rainbow option but my official bets are that Kath! will take the Waiola Rainbow and Jed! will pick something like Grape. Of course Jed! makes some weird comment about how it's interesting that there is an Obama rainbow option, and discovers Obama is from Hawaii as a cashier salesman on his recent American History knowledge. See what I mean? Does this happen to him every day or is he just like constantly oblivious? Turns out, Jed! picked strawberry and lemon lime for his shave ice, which is basically the figure red pop and Sprite combination so a fundie Shirley Temple? Kath! on the other hand, proves she's pregnant by choosing bubblegum and banana. Yeah, now I really need to know where she got that shirt or Kayte #5 was standing in on the hiking scenes. Kath! mentions that the shave ice is not like "shaved ice", a.k.a. snow cones, which she says are "Icy", while shave ice is creamy. Almost like gelato, huh?
I wouldn't have picked either combo, what is wrong with their tastebuds?
Since it's a rainy day the next day they end up at Kualoa Ranch, Where Jurassic Park movies and most importantly, according to Jed! Christian movies like Soul Surfer have been filmed. They show us, but it's raining so they don't want to go. Back to the car they go where they show mountains on one side and on the other side of the road like they aren't in a state comprised of tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Next day, they rent scooters like they wrote in DC a couple of years ago and had a blast. After that they drive around until they get to their last day in Waikiki.
Was Kirk Cameron in that movie too?
Rain and Scooters: A Hawaiian Lurv Story
She better hope he puts the top up.
The !s toss the extra suitcases that won't fit in the trunk of the Camaro into the backseat. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? I hope they buckled the little bastards in before they flew out of the car. As it is, suitcases are so packed according to Kath! that she has to wear big giant floppy hat. Between that and the suitcases, I'll be surprised if it all makes it to the airport with them.
The !s get preferential service from Southwest Airlines being allowed to pick her seat and board first due to what the airline employee calls "her temporary disability". Excuse me, Southwest Airlines employee but that's a "precious blessing from the Lord, an arrow for Big Head Jed!'s quiver" thank you very much. The !s take advantage of it, though and happily scurry onto the plane.
Did she buy a shitload of clothes even though they didn't get their luggage lost again?
They get to the condo in Maui, floppy hat securely on Kath!s head. Jed! finds the pool as Kath! shows off the garden. They get dressed for dinner because it is their second anniversary and they're going to a fancy restaurant. Jed! says "these have been the best years of both of their lives". Kath! chimes in that "it's not just a cute cliché either". Whatever you say kids. What are they having for dinner you might ask? Kath! sings "Italian!!!!!!".......this damn bitch was just complaining, in ITALY, about how she didn't want to eat Italian food. Anyways she goes and gets American Italian food by ordering Carbonara, because now she's "always curious about it after Italy". Meanwhile Jed! orders a pizza margherita. Mr. Swiss guessed they had pizza.
I'm surprised Jed! didn't ask her what cliché meant when she was popping off from the couch.
Who wants to bet that Ra! already has a matching smocked dress to match Kath!...?
The next day, they're going snorkeling with turtles and hopefully whale watching, if the whales haven't left for the summer. Jed! tells us to "stick along" as Kath! tells us Jed! has never snorkeled before. The convertible wasn't all it was cracked up to be or Maui was out of them because now they just have a plain old Impala. Kath! jumps in the water first and shakes her head no when Jed! asks if it's cold. They jump in and take some underwater non-tent.
J'Chad...
For the last day in Maui they take the road to Hana, a 3 to 4 Hour drive. Jed! comments that stops along Hana Road it can be up to 10 hours. Rookie. They do stop along the way when they find a horse, Jed! asks for bread and Kath! hands over what appears to be a Bundt cake in Saran wrap. Jed! breaks off the tiniest little crumb to give this horse. Apparently this was a trick, because the next thing you know they get stopped by a rockslide. Maybe you should give them the whole piece a cake to the horse then maybe the rockslide wouldn't happen but whatever. Jed! gets out to get the rocks out of the road and wishes all he had to do was sweep cracker crumbs up.
We get to their last meal in Hawaii which is at a Chick-fil-A, go figure. They say "Truett" three times, Probably hoping to make the owner appear like a genie out of the styrofoam cups. They promised to take us along for the ride and catch up with us when they get back to Arkansas. Caaaan't wait. As Kath! speed walks through the airport, Jed! comments that Kath! is usually a slow walker, but in her excitement to see Tru! she is hauling ass. It's been 12 days, and she is ready to her son. Meech could never, but there is a wrinkle in Kath!s plan. She states that Tru! will probably be more happy to see Jed!, but he doesn't want to see either of them. Not only does he cling to Grammy!, he leans away from his mother a second time, and then tries to pull himself back to Grammy! by clinging to her shirtsleeves. He doesn't even look happy when Jed! holds him and calls him "Chickies" one more time.
Oh, I'm pretty sure he remembers you and he knows it's back to filming.
And that's the end of the Hawaiian baby moon/anniversary vlog, so now I guess all we have to do as far as The !s are concerned is to wait for Ra!s appearance to be announced. It's cracking me up that Tru! is so pro-Grammy! Thanks for your patience this week, and if I missed any typos let me know. Mr. Swiss said we should have set the dictation software to a Southern accent since I was just on vacation and I'm way more on the Kentucky end of a Kentuckiana accent right now. But otherwise, this method should make it way quicker to do recaps once I get everything set up and dialed in. Thanks again, have a great day and a better one tomorrow!
submitted by SwissCheese4Collagen to SnarkyRecapsBySwiss [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 21:01 Empereur_de_autisme Ballad Of The Dissident - Chapter 17

Thanks to u/BlueFishcakes for the SSB universe.
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Chapter 17 - Sur Les Quais
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- 18th of April 2024,12:55, Salem district, Sweden -
After a little around an hour, twice as long as it would normally take when you didn’t have to avoid alien border guards. Adam had gotten into Salem, he’d just driven past the “Salem Kommun '' sign that had yet to be changed for the past forty years, even with the invasion. Now it was just the last stretch until he reached his destination, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to get to, that being the most northern part of Salem. From his current position in the most southern tip of the municipality just outside of the Salem suburbs.
It had taken long enough for the weather to go from slightly chilly and perhaps a bit cloudy. To dark clouds almost akin to something you’d see in winter and then rain. However it was still an ok 15 or so degrees out making it almost subtropical. Well, about as subtropical as Scandinavia could get anyway.
Why he needed to be picked up was a mystery to Adam, but Adam could at least tell that it must be very urgent, hence why he went in the first place. But with that said it was still incredibly random, on his way to pick up his brother he realized something else about the entire thing which was odd. Which is that for François to have gotten to Salem, especially that far up into Salem, without driving there himself, or getting help from dad, he’d have to have taken a boat.
Because clearly he hadn’t driven there himself because if he did he wouldn’t have needed to be picked up in the first place. And if he had actually driven out there for whatever reason and his car broke down, he’d have mentioned that as the reasoning behind needing to be picked up. Which doesn’t even go into why the fuck go to Vitsand? There is literally nothing there, even if he wanted to do something nefarious there isn’t anything there so there would be no point.
Meaning, unless he suddenly gained teleportation powers, or someone else dropped him off there for some reason? He had to have used a boat to get there. Thing is, there are no commercial boats going there, and there never have been.
Sure, a large portion of the public transportation system has disappeared on earth, especially places that had pretty complex systems, such as Scandivania and in particular Stockholm. And all of the destroyed infrastructure in question is being switched out for similar systems seen in the wider empire, at least from what Adam has been able to read about it. But even before the invasion, SL never had commercial boats out to Salem at all, because the part that Salem has bordering lake Mälaren.
Has nothing of interest whatsoever, the only things that border the large lake in Salem are a couple beaches, a village (Vitsand) which is barely a village since its a couple houses, a dock and a golf course. And then some vacation homes or large villas only inhabited by the affluent.
So François had to have used a private boat, meaning unless he bought one very suddenly and it broke down near Vitsand, which would be awfully convenient, he likely stole it. But Adam knew his brother well enough to hear if he’s in a manic episode or not, mainly because when François had an episode anything out of his mouth would usually just be incoherent or alternatively deranged babbling combined with constantly being out of breath for some reason.
So, unless he did in fact buy one and it just so happened to break down near enough to Vitsand that he docked just outside of there. He stole, but likely for a good reason, or because he was desperate to get away from something.
Which to be fair, could have been instigated by his aforementioned mental issues but on the phone he at least seemed fairly normal, actually more conversational than usual even. Which when he thought about it, made Adam a little concerned as it would play perfectly in hand with the fact that François did something, likely highly illegal. But again he likely didn’t have the ability to plan thoroughly if it was anything relating to him being insane. So if he did something illegal it would have been premeditated, because if he were to go on a rampage, most likely. In Adams opinion, it would be somewhere near to where he currently lives, not all the way down here.
But alas, there isn’t much need in dwelling on it. It likely wasn’t worse than what he himself had tried to do so to give himself some ease of mind he tried to think of something else. And with that Adam stopped basically driving on autopilot and instead began observing his surroundings a little more, partially because they finally got a little interesting.
This was the first time in a while that he was in the little humble town he grew up in. Sure, he’d crashed at his parents' place in Salem right after the attack at Karlsborg as he had nowhere else to go and shortly after moving out of Salem driven up again for his brother's birthday. But even when he crashed at his parents place he quickly moved away from there not long after. Mainly because he actually wanted some personal, private space for once so, once he got a job opportunity and found an apartment nearby the aforementioned workplace, he moved away from home pretty quickly.
But before that it had been another year or so before he’d been home, because his occupation pre-invasion, didn’t really lend to a lot of free time. Well occasionally he’d get days off, but the base of operations and or training facility was always too far away for him to feasible travel home since the days off were never more than two at a time, three if he got very lucky. So what would happen instead was, whomever he wanted to meet in his time off would have to travel to him. And if the training center wasn’t out in Lappland, which it occasionally was, his parents would take it on themselves to drive to where he was. Meaning he’d really not had a reason to be in Salem in a considerable amount of time, at least considerable in relation to his age.
And, as the last time he was here, once he started paying attention he noticed a trend, one he disliked, fairly quickly. The purp fuckers which were rare everywhere else Adam had been post-invasion, seemned to plentiful here, and he hadn’t even reached town center yet, he was just strolling through purple suburbia. But as he thought of it, that might just be because the local governess from what his little brother had explained, has been fairly relaxed and surprisingly competent.
It was odd that this many people were out, especially considering the weather. Maybe the almost subtropical weather suited shil’s better? Adam had heard their home planet, at least before it became dominated by buildings, was largely like the amazon.
Another thing he’d realized was that the purple district wasn’t really even protected. He’d just accidentally driven through there without thinking about it since taking the route that goes through town center was so natural for him. Sure, he could see armed guards here and there but there were no walls and no military checkpoint you had to get a permit to pass through. So Adam, for the first time in ages. And it seemed to have expanded, he thought, the buildings themselves didn’t seem to have changed that much, besides becoming purple. And that right down from the parking lot of the shopping center there was now a big, purple, town square.
And prior to said town square there was nothing there but a field. And as he drove past the shopping center he realized it hadn’t really changed much at all either like most other buildings he had seen thus far. It was now a lot more purple, had a ridiculously tall roof and looked like it lacked the character and charm it did before. But Adam had personally seen, especially the singular time he’d driven through central haninge post invasion, that the shil’s really don’t give half a fuck about local buildings codes & styles.
And he was only able to drive through the purp zone because he had to deliver some specially made furniture to some noble woman who happened to live there. So she fixed Adam’s employer a one-time use pass into the purp zone which was handed down to Adam who was the one delivering the item and that was that.
But Adam could distinctly remember just how soulless and brutalist everything looked. And while central Haninge hadn’t been the prettiest it was still rather sad to see it all gone. And Shil’vati architecture really just looked as if the Soviets had a kink for the colour purple but were also somehow, even more boring. Most of the buildings near the center are now two or at most three story apartment blocks with stores on the bottom floor. Sure they look sleek and clean but Adam would prefer a literal shack without running water or electricity to those apartments.
But maybe that was just the people hater in Adam’s head speaking though.
So with all that said that likely meant, that Salem's local governess, whatever her name may be.
Was holding back and restricting shil’vati architects, not letting them fuck with the local area too much. And the little Adam had heard specifically about her doings from his little brother made her seem like a moderately tolerable purp?
One of the things his brother had also mentioned was that purps were basically everywhere.
Instead of boarding themselves up in the face of natives that hate them with a passion, the purps in Salem. Likely forced or otherwise convinced by the local governess, actually began integrating into society itself. Moving into and renovating, and or building new housing right next to human households. Unlike literally everywhere else Adam had personally been, not that it was a very exhaustive list but it was a very strong trend within shil’ settlers to avoid humans as much as possible.
And the town center didn’t even have walls or anything which was very strange in relation to literally the rest of the entire planet. But since it's a green zone they probably don’t deem it necessary Adam realized.
And all of this, sadly, is likely why the place was one of the first in the country, and in Scandinavia in general, to turn green. He quickly continued on, however, from the shopping center and began going north instead, to Vitsand.
But the center of town didn’t end as quickly as he thought it would, not nearly as quickly. Because now there was row after row of small, three story apartment buildings lining the street.
And likely more behind just the ones he could see too, but they weren’t all just apartments either, some were shops that had both the literal alien runes plastered on them with normal Swedish text underneath. It appears that their ugly architecture, similar to the apartments in central Haninge. Can be built if there was nothing there prior, which is at least better than destroying buildings just to plop down ugly prefabs that make people want to cry.
But not long after passing the new constructions, the center of town seemed to fade away being replaced by suburbs. And a disturbing amount, somewhere probably around every 8-10th or so house, was very sleek and purple looking. Although he realized that most purps likely lived just in and around town center so the further away from central Salem you got, the less purple houses you’d see, in theory anyway.
As he finally began leaving Suburbia not long after something stuck him, he had not seen a singular, fully human couple. Not that many people were out but the only people he’d seen near central Salem, especially the ones sitting around the new town square. Were either shil who happened to be alone, full shil family with kids or a human man and (sometimes plural) shil women.
He hadn’t seen a single human woman, obviously they still lived there, it's not like they spontaneously combusted just because of the purps somehow turning Salem green, so maybe they just didn’t feel comfortable around there? Which would make sense, he did also just realize he didn’t see a single alone human guy either. So likely it could also just be a snowball effect where purp fuckers find out Salem is very safe for the invaders and those whom happen to find themselves in relationship with said aliens.
So they move to little ol’ Salem with their partner, and then they spread the word to their purp fucker friends and the cycle continues. But even then the underlying reason that the snowball can begin to form and eventually become a giant truck sized ball of ice and snow is because there is snow on the ground in the first place. Meaning that this fucking governess is damn effective. Even if she seems to be less radically speciest than the others which gives Adam a slightly better opinion of her. Still this is probably the leading reason for her success, which actually makes her more of a threat to a sovereign humanity than the chucklefuck in charge of Haninge for example.
But, Adam finally came onto the open road away from the main town. So he let his mind drift to the music which happened to be on the radio instead. Which wasn’t anything of interest to him in particular as Adam has always disliked most songs which played on the radio but at least it was usually acceptable.
One thing he started thinking about was the gym, because his mind couldn’t sit still for more than a minute of course. But on that topic, he hadn’t worked out in a while he remembered. He’d considered getting a gym membership but he’s legitimately a little concerned about getting harassed by purps, especially after what happened recently. And it's not like he has the space, nor the funds for a home gym.
But, as he finally began thinking about more benign stuff that had nothing to do with the planet's new overlords. He saw some people pretty far ahead walking towards his direction. But, one of them appeared to be just a little bit purple, he couldn’t really confirm anything until he got close especially as it was raining rather hard now, but as he did as he did so, he began growing a bit concerned.
Because the male holding hands with the freakishly tall alien girl who looked to be of similar age, him being likely 16-18, looked an awful lot like Adam's Little brother, Andreas. Last time he saw Andreas was at his 16th birthday earlier this year so he likely had changed a little bit in appearance during that time, meaning it could be him, Adam mused.
But the closer he got the more concerned, and irritated he grew, because it really did look like Andreas. And while Adam himself wasn’t the best at keeping away from shil women, he was at least aware enough of the situation to not go hand in hand in public. Well this wasn’t really in public in that sense since there was nothing but wheat fields where they were currently walking.
But still, even if he shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses he couldn’t avoid getting mad at his brother, if that was him. Which Adam sincerely hoped it wasn’t. Andreas, if it was him, didn’t seem to notice Adam however as he passed the two. His little chance of inner peace now ruined because he’d likely be thinking about whether it was him or not for the rest of the day.
Worst part is, that reminded Adam of the fact that Andreas was supposedly far up into Salem for some reason, something something classmate from his new high school.
Adam had even gotten texts from his dad briefly after nearly getting molested by a marine asking if he was available to pick up Andreas.
And now that he thought of it, that was the final nail in the coffin in Adam’s vague hope that it wasn’t his brother. The chance of it not being Andreas, was so small that it was very safe to assume it was in fact, Andreas. Especially considering that almost no one lives in this part of Salem, bar a couple affluent families who happen to own lots of farmland or forest.
So, Adam's immediate theory was that Adam, for a second time, went up here with his new “Classmate” if she was actually his classmate. He just hoped mom wouldn’t catch wind of this, for Andreas own safety.
Now he wasn’t more than seven minutes away from François though. Which made him realize that François would probably get a fucking heart attack if he saw Andreas with a shil. He’d probably get one just looking at the residents in and around Salem considering that almost half of them are human guys with small harems.
Adam also hoped that by some miracle He wouldn’t see them on the way down while François was in the car because he would actually lose his shit if he knew Andreas was a purp fucker. Not that Adam had anything confirmed obviously, but to him it was almost confirmed anyway.
So now that he was only a couple minutes away, Adam decided to try, key word here being try, to focus on driving instead of what he just saw….
[Next]
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2023.05.28 18:29 Fine_Veterinarian_26 For Rent $8,499 Updated 6 Bedroom 2.5 Bedroom Two Level with Two Decks and Outdoor Space!

For Rent $8,499 Updated 6 Bedroom 2.5 Bedroom Two Level with Two Decks and Outdoor Space!
DESCRIPTION
Welcome to this wonderful Cow Hollow updated unit! Located in a two-unit building on a quiet street, this spacious two-level unit offers the comfort and convenience of a single-family home. With a private entry, the unit features a total of 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, along with a living room, dining room, and an in-unit washer and dryer.
Lower Level
The lower entry level showcases two large bedrooms, each with doors that lead out to a sizable outdoor deck. A full bathroom and a washer dryer are also located on this level, providing added convenience.
Upper Level
Upstairs, you'll find an updated kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances, including a dual oven, gas stove, and dishwasher. The kitchen flows into a spacious dining or living room with French doors that open up to an additional outdoor deck, perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining. The main bedroom on this level features an attached full bathroom, while there are additional bedrooms and a half bathroom to complete the upper level. The additional living room, equipped with its own door, holds the potential for conversion or partial partitioning to create a sixth bedroom.
Outdoor Space
The property also offers a large shared backyard for your enjoyment. Basement storage is available for an additional fee.
Location
Situated on Greenwich Street between Divisadero and Broderick, this rental is conveniently located within walking distance to hiking trails, bars, restaurants, museums, shops, and yoga studios on Chestnut, Union, and Fillmore Street. Additionally, it is just a few blocks away from popular attractions such as the Presidio, Palace of Fine Arts, Marina Green, Fort Mason, and Crissy Field. The Golden Gate Bridge is easily accessible from this location, allowing for convenient transportation options.
KEY FEATURES
Full listing available here https://rentals.ambatiproperties.com/listings/detail/52d5239c-3486-4847-9232-46c47ab1ba04
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2023.05.28 18:09 aayafit 2-Room Apartment for Rent in Marina Village Herzliya * Approximately 50 square meters with an additional 4 square meter balcony * Requested price: 7,800 ILS per month, with a maintenance fee of 1,200 ILS +972-54-4421444

2-Room Apartment for Rent in Marina Village Herzliya * Approximately 50 square meters with an additional 4 square meter balcony * Requested price: 7,800 ILS per month, with a maintenance fee of 1,200 ILS +972-54-4421444
2-Room Apartment for Rent in Marina Village Herzliya
  • Approximately 50 square meters with an additional 4 square meter balcony
  • Requested price: 7,800 ILS per month, with a maintenance fee of 1,200 ILS
  • Building amenities: swimming pool, gym, and 24/7 guarded parking
This beautiful 2-room apartment is located in the heart of Marina Village, Herzliya. The apartment is spacious and bright, with a large living room, a separate kitchen, and one bedroom. The balcony offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The building is well-maintained and has a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, a gym, and 24/7 guarded parking.
This apartment is perfect for a couple. It is close to all the amenities of Marina, including restaurants, shops, and bars. It is also a short walk to the beach and the marina.
If you are looking for a luxurious and convenient place to live, this 2-room apartment in Marina Village Herzliya is the perfect choice for you. Contact us today to schedule a viewing!
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2023.05.28 17:34 Gargus-SCP Related Works - Wesley Dodds as The Sandman (Jan-Jul 1941): Troubled Sleep

After a 1940 defined by gathering strengths and refinement across the feature, the early months of 1941 bring a few troubling portents behind-the-scenes for Fox's affectionately termed Grainy Gladiator. Nothing ruinous in itself, but signs of an upcoming radical shift away from what the character represented to start.
For one, the April issue of Adventure Comics (#61) brings with it a new cover feature, Ted Knight AKA Starman, courtesy writer-artist Jack Burnley. Already the second lengthiest entry in the book at nine pages, Starman quickly managed what neither Sandman nor Hourman could during their respective years as star attractions and upgraded to a full thirteen pages by his third appearance in #63. For context, Sandman only went from six pages to ten with its upgrade, while Hourman has remained rockstaedy at eight pages, and neither took down another non-superhero supporting feature to justify the page increase like Starman did Barry O'Neil and Mark Lansing. Moreover, from Starman's second appearance on, he is only drawn by Burnley; writing duties now belong to the Sandman's own Gardner Fox.
Which loops in with two other issues at play over Wesley's tossing, turning figure. Starting with issue #61, available online sources no longer fully agree who wrote what for the Sandman feature. You must understand, outside superstar figures with major pull like the creators of Superman or Batman, very few creative teams are properly credited in these Golden Age comics - my credits the last few posts have all been crossreferenced across numerous wikis and databases who owe their credits to investigative work by fans like Jerry Bails back in the 1960s. Such work was sadly not exhaustive, and while a few places (like DC Continuity Project and Wikipedia) state or else imply Fox stayed on as writer for the next few issues, from June to November there is no consensus as to who penned the stories.
I shouldn't be surprised if Fox's involvement terminated with the March issue, for April also saw All-Star Comics shift its format slightly, with Fox writing all nine interior stories for the 64 page mag in addition to his duties on the longer Starman feature. Man would have to work double time to keep pace, even if Sandman didn't drop to eight pages with #62 in May. Either way, Fox is certainly gone following #64 in July, as that issue features the final story drawn by regular artist and co-creator Creig Flessel, who departs to work on Shining Knight later in the year. As I say, things are changing fast for Sandman, and not all changes seem necessarily for the better. Best, however, to take the stories on their own level before drawing any final conclusions!
Coverage note: This entry goes to July rather than June for the sake of my sanity. If I stopped midway through the year, I'd only need cover seven features here, but the back half of '41 would require coverage of eleven. A nine-nine split feels much more feasible.
Orchids of Doom - Gardner Fox, Creig Flessel, Chad Grothkopf
Once again, a socialite friend to Wes and Dian is at the center of a minor mystery with big implications - namely, how can Pedro Nogades, father to Carla, rightly claim he breeds otherwise purely wild orchids in captivity? Investigating as the Sandman, Wes and Dian find a dead man in the Nogades greenhouse with his head stripped to the bone, and in following another fellow who sniffed an orchid before promising a shipment of such to some ruffians on the bad side of town, see his own face dissolve to bare skull. A visit to the police chemist reveals the orchids on the dead men's persons were laced to release a deadly flesh-eating gas on exposure to natural air, which is enough probably cause for Wesley to enlist Carla's boyfriend Bill in staging a raid on the Nogades manor. Some close shaves and fisticuffs end with the group discovering a diorama of the local coast, laid out to assist enemy agents in an invasion. Pedro is put away and the orchids revealed as concealing microfilm copies of the coastal plans, but how do we square the mystery that started it all? Simple: Nogades was no botanist, and called the flower by the wrong name when concocting his cover story!
An alright yarn to kick of the calendar year. As per usual when Fox tries for a somewhat complicated mystery, he's no adequate means of tying off loose ends other than large blocks of text, but it's lively and keeps the situation evolving with decent justifications for mid-story action and dragging Bill along for further fisticuffs. Hooking the entire mystery on, "Oh, the bad guy misspoke," is a tad lame, if understandable in the context of Fox's passion for slipping general knowledge flexes into his stories. Flessel and Grothkopf get some good mileage out've the skull imagery that crops up whenever the flower kills, and I rather like the brief bout of fisticuffs towards the end. The minor social awkwardness when Bill gets in the car with Wes and Dian is pretty good too, and I'm sorry to report I can't add this story to the "Wesley getting shot" count, as the bad guy only plugs his hat. Kinda funny having a Golden Age Sandman story involving orchids given Neil's own pre-Sandman work with Black Orchid, innit?
The Story of the Flaming Ruby - Fox, Flessel, Grothkopf
There exists a ruby of blazing red, which has driven men to rage and madness wherever it appears, and today it sits in the hand of a young man in the local jeweler's shop, who flashes it cross Dian's vision. Later in the evening, she wakes in a trance consumed with the urge to kill her father, stopped only by Sandman as he rushes in from investigating a similarly queer case. A bank teller friend from his private life has found himself driven to steal from the vault and deliver it to some crooks on a lonely road every night, all after one of those men flashed him the ruby. Wes and Dian are unable to stop this night's transaction (on account of the ruby briefly turning Dian against Sandman), but seeing the gem in action gives Wes an idea on how to counteract its effects, and go into battle during the next drop armed with blue cobalt glasses. A brawl puts down all the blackmailers except one, but Wes opts instead to go after the head of the operation, knocking him out and lurking in the dark to catch the last as he reports in, revealing the bank teller! Turns out the ruby DOES have hypnotic properties and was used to assist their robberies, but the teller - hoping by playing at the victim to lure Sandman into his cohorts' midst and rub him out - spoke as if he remembered the whole experience, where Dian forgot herself on every exposure. Oops!
Same basic mystery structure and resolution type here as last month, complete with overly-wordy explanation, although I find the hook of pitting Dian and Wesley against one another gives it a minor leg up, as does the relatively straightforward nature of the criminal operation compared to planting microfilm in deadly flowers. There's a more even balance between the rush in bust 'em up style of crime-fighting the feature has developed and the stealthy skullduggery I think suits the character best, with nice action art to match each. Dian has some silly faces whenever she wakes from her hypnosis, and the four panel sequence of Wes halting her murder attempt works pretty well. This is, unfortunately, the final pencil-inking collaboration between Flessel and Grothkopf, and much as I've kvetched over the second man's solo work, I'm sorry to see the back of him in this capacity. When the two were in proper tune, they were the best artistic team Sandman enjoyed yet.
(Stop dodging bullets, I want to see you gunshot.)
Mystery at Malay Mac's - Fox, Grothkopf
Hey, a rare post-Hourman, pre-redesign cover appearance! That's always nice. "Hello, officer? Yeah, coupla chucklefucks right here, the alley off Fourth, can't miss 'em."
What's this? Dian breaking into a notorious criminal slumlord's safe in the bad part of town? A safe, as Wes discovers after he scares the lady off, filled to the brim with poison gas! Evidently not, as Dian is sound asleep when Wes arrives at Belmont manor to investigate, and a subsequent visit to Mister Mac reveals the only person who'd know the safe was booby-trapped is a local kidnapping organizer. Some blind, flailing fists turns up the girl, Dian's perfect duplicate, snatched from out of state to replace Dian and gain leverage over the cops. Too bad the kidnapper's made of strong stuff, knocking out Sandman and taking both woman for a ride to get back at Mac. Fortunately, Dian leaves Wes a trail of jewelry out the window, enabling him to follow and take down all the crooks with one throw of his gas pistol, revealing in the process 'twas Mac himself who tipped Dian's duplicate to his safe, in hopes of spoiling his rival's big plot.
Art-wise, this is probably Grothkopf's best work for Sandman to date. His tendency to exaggerate is translated into some properly goonish faces for the villains and really, really strong action poses, with some properly atmospheric shots sprinkled in for good measure. He cannot draw the gasmask for piss, but there's such an improvement I almost thought this was a Flessel joint before checking the wiki credits. Makes me wish we could see what he'd do if he kept on as a solo artist - free from the impulse to treat the feature as a cartoon, he produces damn fine work. As a story, this makes good time to mention my misgivings with Wesley's tendency to burst through windows and start swinging long before he thinks to use his sleeping gas. While it's great fun to describe and hype up as the mark of a madman who's even cooler as the badass normal than Batman, it also encourages a faster degradation in the character's identity. I'm sure you'll notice it's been yonks since lurking in the shadows and thinning the ranks by knocking them out in advance has factored into the stories. That Wes handles the bad guy by literally clonking him over the head with the gas gun rather than pulling the trigger speaks to the influence other, punchier superhero features have exerted over the strip.
The Menace of the Metal Gun - Fox?, Flessel
From aboard a mysterious aircraft, a madman fires upon the city with a metal-melting ray that dissolves the skyscrapers into slag! Alerted to Doctor Borloff's activities, Wesley meets with swift defeat when the rogue scientist melts his gas gun and escapes in his cylindercraft to terrorize afresh. There IS a bright side, as seeing the ray firsthand gives Wesley some idea how to counteract its effects, and he sends Dian and her father warning for the local airforce to coat their planes in sand as a silicate buffer against the ray. Alas, only one officer heeds his message, leaving Sandman alone to get aboard the machine via his new wirepoon gun and defeat Borloff from within. For his brawling process, a good midflight fight is nothing if the hero gets tossed out an open door, but fortunately he can grapple onto the lone surviving plane, recover his bearings, zip back up, and put a stop to Borloff's dreams of world conquest once and for all!
Action is the name of the game here, and even without Grothkopf's inking enhancements, I think Flessel does a fine job on his own. I'm wary of the wirepoon in the future, as by year's end it will completely replace the gas gun as Sandman's sidearm of choice in further drift from the original Christman concept, but taken as a neutral in its debut, giving Sandman greater aerial mobility does lead to some cool shots and enhance the sense Wes goes stark bananas in the mask by pulling some stunts that would almost certainly pull his arms from their sockets in real life. There are, however, some particularly stiff action shots, and in one panel Flessel cocks up the design on the mask worse than Grothkopf last ish. Based on the opening vignette, Borloff decimated millions of innocent lives in addition to all the planes he melted out of the sky, making him easily the deadliest foe Wes has faced to date, and in turn making the "We did it, gang, everything is bright and peachy again!" ending sorta offputting. They'll have to organize mass funerals tomorrow, Wes. Show a little respect.
For America and Democracy: The Grey Shirts - Fox, Grothkopf
In the top-level story, the JSA learn of their mission for the FBI: a group of Nazi insurgents known as the Grey Shirts are plotting subversive and destructive activities all across America, and are now posed to badly destabilize the nation in a series of disruptive attacks. Each is assigned a mission at critical points cross the nation, though given the widely-ranging disparity in their powers, their usefulness to the cause varies equally wildly. The Atom humiliates some goons spreading Nazi ideology at a single college, Hawkman barely prevents the destruction of an aviation plant in California, and Hourman's defense of an Oklahoma oil field ends with him toppling one of the oil towers to stop his quarry. Meanwhile, Green Lantern detonates a zeppelin secretly jamming radio transmissions nationwide, the Spectre casually annihilates some otherworldly vampiric globes sympathetic to Hitler's cause, and Doctor Fate uses his magic to out every single spy on the eastern seaboard. Uneven efforts or not, the group converge on the Grey Shirts' ringleader, and with a little help from Johnny Thunder, turn him over to good ol' J. Edgar Hoover's custody. Alas, Wesley does not get the blood he's thirsting after.
(Also Doctor Fate alerts Wesley to the identity and location of the ringleader before his mission starts rather than letting him figure it out on his own like everyone else. Prick.)
For his six-page leg of the assignment, the Sandman is off to El Paso, Texas to assist a local newspaper under threat from the Grey Shirts for printing pro-democracy and anti-Hitler editorials. Of course, this being Wesley Dodds on the job, he gets this information by roughing his way into the newspaper offices, then acts on it by beating on the guard at the Grey Shirts' camp and pounding down a band of brainwashed young men to prove he's a better American than them. After sending the wannabe Nazis for a whirl by running their bomb shipment off the road, Wesley doubles back to completely break the recruits' spirits, daring them to prove their hard enough by shooting an unarmed man in Hitler's name, chiefly himself. When none can cut the mustard, he marches them back into town with collars strapped to his car, and inspires the lot to join the Army to a few shirtless bars of "God Bless America."
Cripes but jingoism produces some heady results, doesn't it? I'm not sure I can rightly condone the ridiculous levels of patriotism on display here, even against such classically anti-American enemies as Nazis, yet at the same time, look at this and tell me it isn't the hardest shit you'll see all week. Again, though I've my misgivings about Wes as a brawler no matter how entertaining the results prove, there's something endearing about him being so raring for a fight his first move is to altercate the receptionist at the place he's assigned to defend. On the whole, Grothkopf's final Sandman contribution also shows refinement from his earlier works, the broader, thicker elements of his linework now tempers on a somewhat more grounded approach. Certainly the Sandman himself keeps a consistent look better than he does in any other issue published thus far this year. I DO notice he reused Flessel's design for the District Attorney wholesale on the newspaper publisher. Since he's going and heading out on a job well done, let's not hold it against him, eh?
The Purple Death Ray - Fox?, Flessel
At the nightly planetarium show, a member of the audience screams and falls down dead, stricken by a litany of strange symptoms with no obvious cause. Wesley, believing the man was killed by a death ray, examines the auditorium's projector, only to find no obvious alterations or fault. Undeterred, he purchases himself a seat next to the murdered man's for the next show, which is now occupied by another fellow who received a last-second courtesy invitation. Acting quickly, the Sandman reexamines the projector from the shadows and finds a replacement bulb screwed into the socket pointed directly at the man's chair. With assistance from his wirepoon, Sandman swings down and wrenches the man from his seat just as the show starts, the bulb bathing his seat in deadly radiation. On learning the man is a former judge and the deceased a former DA, it's not long before Wes ferrets out the killer; it's the cashier, a former scientist sent to jail for misappropriating university funds years ago, out for revenge and now stopped cold.
See, while I'm skeptical about the growing presence of science-fiction elements in the series, they make fine fodder when they play to Sandman's strengths. Lurking high above a crowd of people seeking the answer to some deadly mystery is exactly Wes' bag, and plus or minus some strange mask drawings, Flessel captures that thrill of closely examining a big deadly machine in secret before it fires. I'd submit the page where Sandman saves the judge from the beam as an easy contender for best of the year thus far, and the shot where Wes pushes Dian away from the killer's bullet is another fine piece of work. My memories of this one before sitting down to reread and write were a lot chillier, probably because I wish the series remained in crime pulp rather than raygun pulp, but a good outcome is a good outcome. Seriously, though, why is the mask going so bobble-eyed of late?
The Voodoo Sorcerer - ???, Flessel
As Dian and Wesley tiff over his interest in an exotic dancer they know through a mutual friend, the woman's tail-lashing dance is interrupted when she sees a great glowing triangle materialize before her eyes. With the shock straining her bad heart, the Sandman brings her to boyfriend's house, where he reveals the triangle is a voodoo witch doctor's means of accusing someone of murder - just as news comes over the wire that the man the woman lashed with her costume tail has died! Smelling a rat, Wes rushes to the scene of the crime to find the taile barbed with poison quills, only for the titular sorcerer to bumrush him out the window. It's a big misunderstanding, thankfully: he's as shocked by the murder as Sandman, and only summoned the triangle on suggestion from an acquaintance, forgetting the dancer would know its significance through her partner. By happiest coincidence, this provides Wesley the solution to the mystery right quick, for only his friend's chauffeur would have motive, opportunity, and knowledge to frame his employers and their associates for the murder of a stock broker who owed them money.
Hmm, ah, see, on the one hand, it IS nice that the voodoo guy is innocent of everything except a lapse in judgement and the real twist is an unassuming little man exploiting the mystery and fears around the craft to cast suspicion off his person. On the other hand, eek, yike, zoinks! None good. Bad, even. Outside unfortunate depictions of non-white persons from the 1940s, the story's pretty weak for a murder mystery, as numerous elements are evidently known to the characters well in advance, yet only made clear to the reader right before they become relevant, like the exact identity of the murdered man. It's only eight pages, so there's little opportunity to piece information together on your own time, and as such it is heavily reliant on narrative cheats to generate cheap surprise. About the best thing here is the big page-dominating panel of Wesley swinging through the city on his wirepoon, unconscious woman tucked under arm. Kinda hard to convincingly raise my dander about what it means for the character and his feature when it's successfully operating on the long-standing principle of "masked mystery men swinging on a wire through skyscrapers looks really cool." S'like a solid fifth of the formula behind why Spider-Man is so enduringly popular.
(Also not a big fan of how Wes dismisses Dian from participating in the case without any adequate reason why. She calls him out over it, even, and nothing in the story justifies his decision to fly solo on this one.)
The Unseen Man - ???, Flessel
Dian's purchase of paints from a local hobby shop includes quite the unusual accidental item: a paint that turns anything and everything invisible on contact. Determined to solve this mystery on her own, Dian investigates the shop with the dealer's cooperation, only for the dread Unseen Man to get the drop on her. Fortunately, Sandman is there to save her because he won't let Dian do anything on her own; unfortunately, Dian doesn't know Wes can see her attacker through his blue cobalt lenses and pulls him away, thinking him mad and letting the Unseen Man go free. As reward for her screw up, she's targeted in her home the next night, only for Wes to barge in again, having anticipated the only possible secret identity for the crook would make him likely to strike back at Dian. It is, unsurprisingly, the hobby shop owner, who Wes turns over to the police before heading out to patent his invisibility paint with the United States Army.
Alright, it's definitely not Gardner Fox writing anymore, because I cannot imagine Fox treating Dian so poorly. I gave her some dignity in summary, but this story is plain dumping all over her as a fussy, incompetent tryhard who fails at investigating on her own on account her womanly ways. Just look at the sheer antagonism between her and Wes; you two are partners, she's saved Sandman's skin like a dozen times, worn his costume and wielded his gas gun to do it once, even! Don't try to BS me into thinking Wes would run this paternalist "let me handle it, Dian, I wear the pants in this relationship" crap on her. You're only alive because she's worn your fucking pants. Otherwise, 'nother instance where the story and art alike don't give me much of note. I reckon Flessel was about done with the series with Fox gone and sorta phoned in his last few assignments. They're nowhere near the standard of his early solo artistic duties on the title. There IS another good wirepoon swinging shot, if one counterbalanced by a crummier instance with yet another weirdly-proportioned mask.
The Mysterious Mr. X: The Kidnapper's Union - Fox, Cliff Young
The Justice Society are bored. Bored, bored, bored. Why are they bored? There is no crime. Not a single ruffian or scoundrel or roughneck lawbreaker anywhere in the city! Where did crime go? Crime has taken an enforced vacation, courtesy the plans of big crime boss Mister X (hats off), as prelude to his scheme for taking out the JSA and putting all his criminal enterprises back on easy street. It's quite the collection of rackets out against the superheroes - an arsonist ring for Flash, a jewel snatching gang for Hawkman, leader of the phony fortune teller underworld against Doctor Fate, even hard-pressing gym membership shakedowns for the Atom! Naturally our heroes triumph, though every one also encounters a strange little man idly strolling through their battlegrounds. He's so omnipresent despite his mousiness, he's even there when they convene at the police station to organize Mister X's (hats off) arrest. Except this unassuming slip of a man? He IS Mister X (hats off), and with the Justice Society having taken all the fun out've crime, he's turning himself in to live comfortably on the state's dollar in jail. WHOOPSY-DOODLE!
For his six-page part in the game, Sandman must contend against the kidnapper's union, who naturally enough have abducted Dian to get his attention. Not only have these lowlives taken Dian hostage (though she doesn't particularly mind), they've taken out phony accident insurance claims against themselves should the hero injure any of them en route to his untimely death! Nobody quite expects Wes to avoid the sniper-guarded roads to their remote hilltop hideout, though, and a quick wirepoon swing over the canyon (complete with Mister X - hats off - sighting) puts him right in the criminal den. From there, it's a simple biff wham boom to take down the punks and disarm their supporting fire. Alas, Sandman is once again only in the loop on the true nature of the threat against the JSA because someone notifies him from their own investigation, this time Flash via telegram. Let him do his own detective work, you pricks!
Right. You see these panels? You see Dian being calm and collected in the midst of a kidnapping operation? You see Wes trusting her with a submachine gun to keep watch on the fools who mean them harm? Yeah, THAT'S Fox writing Dian. Whoever's writing the Adventure feature at this time ought've taken notes. Artistically, Young makes a fine replacement for Grothkopf and Flessel in Adventure - he can match the first for goons, the second for action, manages a nice turnaround effect before Wes swings on his wirepoon, and even gives us a by-now all-too-rare heavy shadow shot on Wes and Dian. I'm a big fan of the lead kidnapper who calls the JSA the "Justiss Sassiety," and find this instance of Mister X (hats off) the second best in the book, behind only his appearance in the Hourman story, which I think speaks for itself. Probably the only time I'll express preference for something Hourman related over Sandman.
The loss of all three major contributors to the Sandman feature across early 1941 and the crunch down to eight pages has certainly made the Adventure Comics side of the Sandman line a rockier experience. It's still possible to derive enjoyment from the wonky mysteries and higher-concept criminals, but one must accept atmosphere and and particularity have been near-entirely sacrificed for generalized bombast and louder appeal. Don't misunderstand, I've become a fan of Wesley Dodds, Fist-Swinging Bullet Sponge, and my past praises for him aren't diminished by the realization of what this has done to his integrity as a character circa today's stopping point. The trouble is, while I enjoy this half-mad, impossibly reckless read on the character, it simply no longer bears any resemblance to the early days' lurking and creeping through the seedier parts of town. There's a great series of justifications running through the Sandman concept - he's no powers, so he uses the gas gun, so he needs the gas mask, which hides his identity so perfectly it frees him to wear the ordinary business suit, which highlights his vulnerability. Fling him around like a ragdoll who knows no fear of injury or death, although I'll clap for the bravado of it all, I must object if it means any notion he should be sneaky or cautious degrades.
Especially if it means the gas gun vanishes from the character. It hasn't met its final end just yet, but for this seven month block it's proven a very perfunctory aspect of the strip, hung by his side and occasionally brandished without acting as an integral part of the action or storytelling. The wirepoon has subsumed its function as the sidearm, and while I must stress there are plenty aces shots of Wes swinging that fully justify its prominence, taking precedence over the thing that makes him the Sandman, Crimefighter What Fights Crime By Putting The Criminals To Sleep plain rubs me the wrong way. Be awful nice i we could have both without the new toy putting the old out to pasture, y'know? It's not led to anything I'd full-throatedly object over just yet, but... ach, you'll see next time. Speaking of...
Next time! 1941 comes to a close as Wesley picks up another feature to his name, and also a stupid, ugly new costume!
(Previous write-ups: 1939, 1940 pt 1, 1940 pt 2)
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2023.05.28 17:25 dafuq343 Shuttles were not very reliable yesterday

Just an FYI for people planning their Yosemite vacation around taking shuttles especially the green one.
Yesterday we had to wait for 4 shuttles at stop 9 to get on onboard as they were are all too crowded. 3 of the shuttles came within 5 minutes and the 4th one took about 40+ mins. Nobody forms a queue at the stop, so you just have to get in to the shuttle somehow.
Going back to stop 9 from Happy Isles was a disaster. We finished our hike at around 7:30pm and waited for almost an hour before a green shuttle came. When we reached Curry village, the driver said that the shuttle is going out of service so asked all of us to get down. Within 5 minutes there was one more green shuttle which showed up. That driver said that he too was going out of service but he could take us two stops ahead where there was another green shuttle waiting. That shuttle was packed but we managed to squeeze in and finally reached our stop around 10pm. There were people who couldn't get in and were left behind, I hope there was one more shuttle which showed.
I understand that it was a long day and the drivers are tired but the park should have planned better. If you are not doing reservations then the shuttle system should work well. Zion has a great shuttle system and RMNPS has a great timed entry reservation system, Yosemite should do either one.
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2023.05.28 17:23 darkerenergy Trip Report: 18 days + Golden Week (25/04 - 13/05)

Tokyo - Yokohama - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka - Tokyo

Hi all, going to go through our trip covering golden week and time around it (: It was myself (F21) and my partner (M24) and the reasoning behind the timing was mainly due to bank holidays in the UK being unfortunately placed perfectly in line with golden week this year! Despite this, I feel we actually got pretty lucky with it all. I'll put an emoji to note which days were for golden week but for the tl;dr we weren't affected that much.
Other important contexts, both interested in Japan for a few different reasons. Anime isn't a small one but I'm also a huge fan of the Yakuza games, he's into the JDM car scene, and we just enjoy travelling in general. We didn't do many things like Universal, Disneysea etc. but hopefully there's some things in here that people will enjoy hearing about! I'll go through some tips/recommendations for the casual readers first before going into the trip in depth - please let me know if there's anything else you want to know about!

Tips + Recommendations

Yamato Takkyubin Luggage Forwarding If like us you are going to be staying in quite a few different places, this service is so so so good I cannot overstate it. We had two big suitcases and one smaller one, we sent just the big ones for two of the trips and then for the final trip from Osaka to Tokyo we sent all 3 and just used our backpacks to bring essentials for the night.Pretty much all hotels will allow you to use the service, some may request you pay them with cash for the actual service but for all but one of ours we could use card. We sent Yokohama -> Kyoto, then Kyoto -> Osaka, then finally Osaka -> Tokyo. There are options for same day delivery I believe however we did both the next day and for a few days later. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer if I can!
Trip Planning I've been fortunate to be able to travel a lot so wasn't nervous about the actual travel, however Japan is such a far away country that I didn't want to go and get there then not know what to do and waste my time. In the past holidays with family were more about relaxing on a beach, or with my partner our city breaks are short as they are other European countries and so easier to return to if we wanted. I wanted to take a different approach to this trip so I made a big Google Sheet and Google Map with all the places I wanted to visit/see. It was never meant to be a strict itinerary as some people I showed seemed to assume 😅 But it really helped me to visually see where things I wanted to go to were, and then make a rough plan in case I did get stuck at some point.Anyway it was a really good idea in hindsight and I'm very glad we did it for this trip as our first time going! Here's a picture of the map looks like, we didn't necessarily do everything but we did most things - https://i.imgur.com/2xLyy7Y.png. I used mymaps.google.com, to be honest there's definitely betteeasier to use tools out there but I got this to work for me so I stuck with it.
Walking People aren't kidding about the amount of walking, although I think our top amount was still under 30k so don't worry too much. That said, if you don't walk a lot anyway then your feet are going to hurt. My partner was fine, I was awful. I thought my shoes would be fine and apparently they weren't so if you can pack walking boots please do. The other thing is I think the way you walk affects it too, my partner and I both had multiple pairs of shoes with us but where his converse boots were fine, the soles of my feet were awful in the same types of shoes 😭
Driving I am not a driver but my partner is. He has a full manual UK driving license and insurance, and so for Japan all he needed was to get the International Driver's Permit a little before we went. We rented a car for three different occasions, two times from the same place then the final was for a JDM rental. All was fine, the JDM place was confused for a moment as my partner has a Polish passport + UK license but we translated Poland for him and after that there were no issues! You'll need to check what you need depending on where you're from, it's easier for us due to the same driving side although when we rented for Daikoku and the Nagoya drive they did give us an automatic so just be aware of that if you want to request/drive manual. The rental places we used were Orix rent-a-car for the Daikoku and Yokohama -> Nagoya trip and we had a Mazda 2. For the JDM rental we used Omoshiro.

Trip Report

Tokyo

25/04 - Airport, Shinjuku hotel, Shinjuku We followed a similar first day that I'm sure many of these reports will begin with - arrived at the airport, we had filled out the VJW forms and had both QR codes ready to go. Immigration had about an hour wait so longer than normal but we were also near the back of our plane and there was at least another full plane in front of us. Actually going through immigration was a complete breeze. Once through and picked up our luggage, we got a Welcome Suica, then headed to Shinjuku. We reached our hotel about 4 hours early for check-in, wasn't sure what to do for that time but they were happy to take our bags until we could go to the room (something that is consistent with all the hotels we went to thankfully). Jetlag was pretty bad, I was flagging by afternoon but we pushed through it and took the few hours to just walk around and see the sights. We spent some time in Hakone-yama before heading back to the hotel and getting cleaned up/accidentally falling asleep too early.
26/04 - Akihabara, Golden Gai Of course woke too early by not being as proactive as we should've with warding off jetlag but used that to leave early for Akihabara. After getting some breakfast we saw the Yodobashi Camera and went in there for about an hour just looking at all the floors 😅 It was raining a ton but it surprised us with how warm it still was and quickly realised why people prefer umbrella with no raincoat!! Spent pretty much the whole day in Akihabara, went round a ton of shops and also went into our first of many many arcades we'd go to. We went back to the hotel to return the items we'd bought then walked to Golden Gai as our hotel was about a 15-20 minute walk ^^ Had some delicious ramen, unfortunately didn't drink as my partner was finishing antibiotics for the first few days but it was still great to be there. Slept a lot later which was good.
27/04 - Kabukicho, Shinjuku National Garden This was more a day for me to fufill my Yakuza game sightseeing. Being so close to Kabukicho I was so excited to visit a city and be able to make my way round without a map loool. It was just the end of the blue festival so the iconic arch was still blue although I did get to see it red at the end of the trip so I wasn't too bothered about that. We went around Kabukicho, the square, again spent tons of time in the arcades and discovered how much we enjoyed the MaiMaiDX machines. Ended up getting one of the passports that save your progress and give you an extra play so if you like arcades then I recommend them!! After this and some lunch, we were going to do a walk to the national garden then realised I went the wrong way so we took the train. As a side note here, the Suica and train system is so useful. Very similar to using a card for the underground except it's actually clean. Walked around the national garden, it was very sunny and warm. Didn't know it had it before going but there's a starbucks in the middle of the garden and we managed to join the queue about 10 minutes before they stopped taking new orders. Had a nice time watching the sun set in that garden before heading back to the hotel.
28/04 - Teamlabs Planets Wasn't something I was going to initially go to however I checked out tickets the day previously and saw some for this day and decided we could do it as we had a ton of free time. I had chosen 2:30pm for an entrance time however it was such a nice day so we left early and spent time just walking around the docks. It was so so sunny, the area didn't have loads going on however it was still very pretty. We spent time in the parks and walking alongside the water. Teamlabs was pretty cool, I did enjoy the water based sections although dodging both influencer and family photos might detract from your experience. This was also where I realised I'd already become the stereotype tourist and was sunburnt :') I guess I had to learn my lesson physically and I did thankfully stop any further burning after this with diligent sun cream appliance afterwards pretty much every day. After this we went back to Shinjuku and after food we packed up ready to go to Yokohama.

Yokohama

29/04 - Bashamichi, Daikoku, Cosmo Clock ✨Showa Day Left our hotel at 11 and hadn't yet discovered the wonders of luggage forwarding so we brought all our bags with us on the train to Yokohama! Not too bad though, we got to our hotel a little early but they took our bags as we went and had lunch before the room was ready. Went around Bashamichi (another game location lol) before taking the train to central Yokohama. We had pre-booked the rental cars all before we left to ensure availability but there weren't any problems. This was also my partner's birthday which is something the rental staff realised whilst we were sorting out all the documents 😆. For Daikoku, we didn't need to pass through any ETC gates from Yokohama but it was the first time on the Japanese roads. It was a little nerve-wracking at first as there's very slightly different rules to UK roads but in general driving is fine. We reached Daikoku PA around 20 past 6pm, and it was about 2 hours until police moved everyone along. My partner was in dreamland with the cars that we saw, if you're into the JDM scene at all or just a petrolhead then you'll love it but it is a bit of luck with what you'll see. After we left Daikoku, we went back to our hotel. We'd checked in with them previously that we could keep the car with them as the hotel we had chosen had parking available for an additional cost. We left the car at the hotel then went out for drinks and to see the cosmo clock. Didn't ride it but it was very cool seeing it all lit up over Yokohama. We bar hopped a bit, then went back.
30/04 - Recovery... Not much to say about this day, my partner was fairly hungover so we returned the car to the rental place and then spent the day just chilling at our ryokan hotel and around Yokohama. No drinks this time round as we had a very long trip the next day!!

Nagoya (Road Trip from Yokohama)

01/05 - Expressways, Onshi-Hakone Park, Expressways, Shinshiro, Expressways, Nagoya I'll condense this one a bit otherwise I'll type forever but this was a really fun time. The driving totaled almost 6 hours by the end so it's not for the faint hearted haha. The point was that we'd stop a few times along the way though which is what we did end up doing. We sent our luggage with the forwarding service (to the hotel after Nagoya as we were just staying the one night), then had an early start as we went to the car rental for 8. We chose the same place we rented from for Daikoku and had the same sales rep sorting out any documents so it was a bit quicker although this time we did get a quick explaination on the toll gates. Anyone going on the expressways will need to know how to use them, we were a bit confused the first time but once you've done it a couple times it'll be smooth sailing (and it's such a good system for people with the automatic cards too). We left Yokohama and set our location for Nagoya. We went for about 2 hours before stopping in Odawara for a quick snack and pee break. Pretty overcast day but despite this we still decided to do a stop in a park on the way and went to Onshi-Hakone Park. It was very cool/bit scary going up the winding mountain passes but wow the views are incredible. We spent again probably a couple hours at the park, had some lunch, no view of Fuji but we could see a lot of the other mountains around which are breathtaking in their own rights (: It's right on Lake Ashi so we did get to see the pirate cruise going round. After this break we did another couple hours or so driving before stopping slightly outside of Shinshiro. Something I will say about the expressways is that it is insane how fast people go 😂 We're not about to try anything so it was sticking to the 120 on the signs for us but people just whizz by. Anyway, we stopped at a familymart in this village for a quick break and I know I've said it already but the views are so beautiful. It's green in the UK but it's something else, I kept wondering if it's just viewing through rose tinted glasses/greener on the other side but I don't think that's true at least about those countryside views. It was also one of the reasons we wanted to do the road trip instead of train at least this time round, we could stop in these places and take it in. After our stop there, it was back onto the expressway until we reached Nagoya. It was roughly 6pm when we reached Nagoya, we had intially booked the car for the whole day with return the next morning but they allow early return with Orix so we did that instead before finding our hotel and having some dinner. Not too much time in Nagoya but it was the first time seeing the bullet train which was cool. Nagoya itself has some nice sights, we were thinking about going to Liberty Walk the next day but instead we just decided we'd head to Kyoto once we left the hotel.

Kyoto

02/05 - Shinkansen, Kyoto, Nishiki Market It was a really lovely day and we were taking the shinkansen for the first time. The shinkansen from Nagoya is only 34 minutes but we did end up buying reserved seats as the station was pretty packed. This is probably the main thing we noticed with Golden week, everything else was busy but not insanely so. Nagoya station was a lot busier but otherwise fine. We didn't have JR passes as when I used the online calculator it didn't come out to be worth it for our particular travel so it was full fare for us. The shinkansen itself was good, we would be using it again for Osaka back to Tokyo but due to Nagoya being closer to Kyoto I didn't reeeally think I'd need to book early. It's probably a good idea still lol but it worked out fine for us to book same day despite how busy Nagoya was. Once in Kyoto we took our time walking down to our next hotel. This was another ryokan style so that was nice, we also passed a garden which we noted to go to the next day (Shosei-en Garden). Our luggage had arrived and was waiting for us at the hotel already so we got refreshed then went out for the evening. We went up to Nishiki market then walked back towards our hotel again. Had a sushi train small dinner as we hadn't had any sushi yet and I've also only had a train once before. It might not be the best Kyoto had to offer but wow was it still better than anything I'd had in the UK!! We then spent hours once again in an arcade, if you like games the MaiMaiDX machines really are addictive :')
03/05 - Shosei-en Garden, Higashi Hongan-ji, Tō-ji Temple, Nijō Castle✨Constitution Memorial Day We woke up early, had breakfast at the ryokan, then went straight for the garden. It was a beautiful day once again so plenty of suncream applied. The Shosei-en Garden isn't the biggest but it's so beautiful, they have this pond that looks so still but my partner spotted a turtle and then you start to see more and more. They have some historical buildings around the place, we spent about an hour there before going to the next place. We walked down the road to the next place, this was Higashi Honhan-ji temple. Both locations weren't really that busy to be honest. Seeing this temple was nice but personally I did prefer the gardens. We next went Tō-ji temple. This is one of those locations that are on the 'must-do in Kyoto' but I did like it a lot. The 5 story pagoda was a cool sight. It wasn't so busy although we were going around lunch time so hungry crowds were likely taking a small break (: We spent an unreasonable amount of time just looking at the koi fish in the moat not even in the temple area 🎏 Finally we went to Nijō Castle. This was quite busy although we were one of the latter groups going around as it was nearing the end of the day. Another of the listed must do's but again I would say it's a cool place to see. If you do go, the tour around the main house is interesting and if you decide to climb the walls there's some nice sights of the area around. We finished up this day heading back to the market area and had dinner including a matcha beer. I'm not really a massive matcha person but I was up for trying all the different things, the beer sort of just tasted of normal beer but it looked exactly like a matcha-green coloured guinness.
04/05 - Arishiyama ✨Greenery Day This wasn't really a packed day as we were heading to an airbnb for a couple of nights. We used the luggage forwarding from the ryokan where they were concerned that we wouldn't get our luggage as soon as we wanted due to Golden week. I then let them know we were looking to get it sent for the 6th and they completely relaxed and said that would be perfectly fine 👌 For context if you've not been to Kyoto, the train system is alright but pales compared to Tokyo. Getting to our airbnb wouldn't be too long, about an hour, but as we didn't really have anything planned and only had our small suitcase with us we decided to walk to the next airbnb instead and waste time along the way. This way when we arrived it wouldn't be before check in time and it would keep us out and about. The walk was about 3 hours total although we lengthed it by stopping a few times. There were some celebrations happening due to Greenery day and Children's day being the next day. We stopped to listen to some music, stopped to have a starbucks, then finally we reached out airbnb in Arishiyama. The place was really nice, and it was fun to have a whole place for a few nights instead of a hotel. If you're wanting to, looking at airbnb's is a completely valid option when staying in Japan - you just might get warned before you arrive not to talk or laugh too loudly or the neighbours might complain/call the police 😅
05/05 - Fushimi Inari Shrine ✨Children's Day Initially were going to do both the bamboo/monkey forest and Fushimi Inari but ended up leaving a little later than planned so just committed to only Fushimi Inari. I was expecting fairly large crowds considering the day and the station was..... not great. That said, the station was very small and so although it was crowded we were also out of there fairly quick. This review of Fushimi Inari is going to follow almost everyone's - it was busy at the bottom and as you go up you'll get a lot less people. Even it being Children's day didn't stop us getting moments of just myself and my partner being alone so don't be deterred if the bottom is busy! Beautiful views, we did the full routes going to the top. It was a bit tricky at times but it's not a race, and you'll feel good doing the full thing. We reached the top, were able to partake in the prayers there, then had a great time going back down. There was a little area near the end with a bunch of cats; we turned a corner and saw one and a bunch of people crowding round to take a photo. Maybe only a few steps later you realise there's about 4 more just chilling around the place. It was a cool experience and definitely worth doing at least once if you're there.

Osaka

06/05 - Local train, Dotenbori, Den-Den Town We took a train from our airbnb to Osaka and went via the local train rather than the shinkansen. It was fine, we reached Dotenbori and our hotel was not far from the station. We got there a bit early again but our room was already available and our luggage had arrived too (: After getting refreshed we went out for the afternoon to Den-Den Town. This is Osaka's version of Akihabara, and we spent a lot of time with my partner looking in all the card shops. It was pretty rainy but not really a problem between the Lawson's umbrella and ducking into lots of shops ;) We spent time in an arcade for a while before heading out to Dotenbori market area and the bridges for the evening/night. Yet again another location in the Yakuza games so I had fun pointing out different places like the Mega Don Quijote or the crab restaurant. We had some food and ended up in a drinking place that used a QR code and website for ordering to the table which was dangerously easy to use haha. Had some really tasty sushi there too, I'll try and find the name if anyone is wondering! Took tons of photos there, the rain at night gave the city that classic look reflecting the neon lights everywhere.
07/05 - Kobe day trip We went to Kobe for the day, lots of rain but the main market area is all under cover so that was handy. My partner was looking for a new phone which he found, we also went to one of those places where they grill the food in front of you for dinner. It was great going in a scruffy elevator up to the restaurant and stepping out onto a really beautifully designed restaurant, and it wasn't very busy so we were able to go without reserving beforehand. Kobe itself is cool although we didn't explore too much outside the market areas due to just how hard it was raining, I think it was the heaviest on this day unfortunately.
08/05 - Nara day trip, Todai-ji We went to Nara and although the advice is to go early, we went for more mid-day time. It wasn't crowded at all so that was fortunate. We ended up walking past that famous mochi stall that you see on all the tiktoks of Nara. I wasn't expecting to see the making of the mochi and wasn't going to wait for it either however they started about 2 minutes after we found the stall so we did stay and watch and it was cool to see in person (: We tried the mochi, it's pretty good although for me it was a bit too dry from the powder. Was still tasty!!! Walked through towards the deer park and saw the pagodas around. When we reached the deer park of course we had to get some crackers and feed them. Oh my god they're so pushy!! It was actually so funny to interact with them, one tried to nibble me and we got headbutted a bit when we had the crackers but once you've given them all out then they'll leave you 😆. We sat on a bench for a bit and watched some other poor souls go through the same thing. Saw quite a lot of young fawns too which is cute. We kept walking up to Todai-ji, stopped for an ice cream, then went to the temple to see the huge Buddha statue. It was a good experience to see this temple, but at least for me it wasn't my favourite part of the trip. I know for many others though it's really great to see so don't knock it off your list if you're interested in it! I'm glad I went once but probably won't return. Spent some more time just chilling around Nara and looking at the temples and shrines around the place. We went back to Osaka for around 4pm. Spent the evening in Osaka again, no rain this time! Oh this was about the time I was developing a sore throat, a little bit nerve wracking but fully vaccinated + boosters and have had covid previously so was fairly certain it wasn't that. Even so, my partner was coughing a bit which is the start of the cold we both had for the rest of the trip 😔
09/05 - Osaka Aquarium, Dotenbori I didn't put the aquarium on my plan initially but we had another spare day in Osaka and I do like visiting aquariums + my partner likes penguins a lot and they had a lot there. It was a cool experience, a lot of families as to be expected but it wasn't packed so lots of opportunities to see the animals and fish :) The two whales were very cool, they're so massive. We also got to see their rockhopper penguin conservation area, you could see them sitting on their eggs. I recommend the aquarium to any families planning to be in Osaka, it's pretty easy to get to and the station gives clear directions on where to go to get to the aquarium and the nearby lego park. After the aquarium we went back to Dotenbori and looked around the various book-offs as my partner was looking for screen protectors. If you're interested in any Japanese media I can recommend them too, I found some games in there that were a lot cheaper than you find in the West in much better condition. Our coughs worsened by evening which wasn't great, we weren't doing much more in super crowded areas but it's obviously not good anyway. We were wearing masks everywhere beforehand but it made it more important. We did end up getting some Bron, if you're in Japan and have a cough then I do recommend it but just be aware that it contains codeine. We got some from a place that specifically had a pharmacy section, you bring the box to the cashier and they'll give you the actual bottle from behind the counter. Really really great stuff, much better than anything you can get without a prescription in the UK which was annoying as my cough was subsequently worse for about 5 days once I got back!! It's pretty much gone now though (lasted longer likely due to asthma but it was gone for my partner after a couple days of being back). Overall I really enjoyed Osaka, all the cities we went to were cool but for me Osaka was my favourite :)

Tokyo

10/05 - Shinkansen, Airbnb We left Osaka for Tokyo and took the Shinkansen back. We did splash out a bit and took the green car with seats on the Fuji side. I fell asleep for most of the trip but woke in time to see Fuji for the roughly 6-7 minutes it was viewable for. It was my only time to see Fuji due to the weather being almost clear that day aside from a single cloud going right across the mountain. It didn't block the peak though so I don't feel too robbed 😆. If/when we visit Japan again I would like to see it again closer but it was still a great sight. Once we reached Shinagawa station, we switched to the local train to head to our airbnb in Shinjuku once again (although closer to Shibuya this time whereas we were more North before). We were staying in a pretty close knit residential area but did a bit of a hello to the neighbours which was nice. We had done the luggage forwarding again but had set it to come the next day so we would be the people available for receiving it. Spent the time around the airbnb and also tried having an uber eats delivered (which worked great lol).
11/05 - Shibuya, Shinjuku We spent most of this day around Shibuya as we wanted a few souvenirs for family and also hadn't visited Shibuya properly. Went to the crossing, then spent time mainly shopping and going around one of the Donkis. Pretty rainy again but not a problem for a shopping day.
12/05 - RX-7 Day Trip (Lake Hinuma, Ibaraki Flower Park), Kabukicho We used Omoshiro Rent-a-car for the RX-7 (for those interested, here's the car - https://i.imgur.com/HRX4DYy.png ) and they were great. We had it pre-booked again before we arrived in Japan as it's a pretty sought after car to rent. Bit banged up but nothing major, and we had it booked for I think 8 hours? We did return it a little early as we didn't really have anything else to do and didn't want to be late with a return as the shop closed at the time we'd be returning it. A funny part of the terms you agree to is no Initial D style driving. For the trip itself, we didn't have anything major planned so I made a makeshift plan to just go a bit out of Tokyo and visit somewhere different. I found this lake on maps that'd be not too far, didn't realise until we were there that it's less a lake for sights and more for fishing 😅. No worries though, as the main reason was to get some driving in and enjoy having the car (which was achieved!). Got some snacks from a 7/11 then went off. We had a lot of time left so we drove to Ibaraki flower park, yet another quick find from scrolling around Google Maps. It was a very beautiful park, they have a rose market there as well as selling some fresh produce. It's a small charge to go in the park but it's worth it for the hour or more you might spend there and will go towards the park maintenance. Also being the middle of Spring of course it's going to be beautiful with all the new blooms (: We spent time there admiring the countryside and being sad about going back home the next day. We went back to the rental place afterwards, also during this drive was the time where we were finding it so funny how we were sticking to the speed limits in this beautiful car and being overtaken by massive trucks going so much faster. We did have a moment that was like from a movie though, we entered the expressway after the tolls and as we were pulling in an older Honda NSX was being driven next to us. The guy driving looked over and gave us a nod with a straight face before pulling ahead a little so we could be behind him. We ruined that movie mood by both being so excited by how cool the moment was but hey it's one of those things that won't be forgotten at least!! He zoomed off a few minutes later but we weren't risking anything to keep pace ahaha. We returned the car then went back to Shinjuku for our final evening in Japan. We went back to Kabukicho and I was able to see the arch in red :') Took photos of the karaoke place that's in the games, would've gone in but my throat was killing!! So we just stuck to being outside. We went back to the area around our airbnb, had our last dinner there then went and packed up ready to go home.
13/05 - Home :') Our flight was leaving a little before 9am so we were leaving the airbnb for 5ish. Early start but as we'd gotten packed up it wasn't too bad of a walk to the station. Grabbed our train, it was fairly early on one of the lines that goes direct to the station so we were able to get on with ease. The train was rammed by the time we reached the station. No problems getting through the airport, got to our gate and then flew home.

Final Notes

I had such a good time in Japan, I loved being there and hope to return within the next few years if life permits!! We definitely missed some of those 'must-do's' such as Osaka Castle, any of the theme parks, Arishiyama Monkey Park, actually doing Karaoke, and some of the food options due to my own anxieties walking into places lol. That said, I don't regret the things we did end up doing and it just means I'll have to fit some of those into my next trip 😉. Although my partner would like to visit more Northern areas like Hokkaido or Sendai so we'll see!
We didn't have probably as much packed into each day as could've been but for me this was perfect and a great time for my first time. If you managed to read all this then thank you very much, and please let me know if you have any questions about the trip!! I'll be happy to answer. Thanks for reading!
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2023.05.28 17:21 VernonKazama My Mario Kart Wish List 📃

~ 1. Introduction ~
Here is a detailed description of my wishlist for a Mario Kart 9 or 10/X (if Tour is considered the 9th installment) I don't expect everyone to like all my ideas. This is just a wishlist. I obviously would be happy with any Mario Kart Nintendo decides to put out but in a perfect world, this is what I would want for it to be the best Mario Kart imo. I hope you enjoy.
*= Thoughts, Personal opinions, New ideas for modes, mechanics, driver outfits, vehicles, items, options, etc
🔒= Locked. Must be unlocked by in game requirements or DLC
~ 2. Mechanics ~
~ Single Player / Multiplayer 》1P》2P》3P》4P》
Grand Prix》Class Optimization》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Circuits》Cup Select》 Class Optimization options: Engine: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》All¹》All Mirror¹》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》² Drift: Automatic》Manual》³ Items: Normal》No Items》 Camera: Normal》First Person》
*¹ - All and All Mirror options are only available in Grand Prix. After a Circuit has been selected, It'll play each Cup in order of that specific Circuit.
*² - All race and battle modes will feature either a Solo Dash or the new Double Dash option similar to Mario Kart Double Dash for extra replayability and character combinations.
*³ - Even if not many people liked Automatic drifting, it was there for a reason for you to choose. Some liked it. Some didn't. It should be the player's choice.
*⁴ - Camera can also be changed freely during the race from the pause menu.
Time Trials》Driver(s) Select》Circuits》Cup Select》Course Select》 Race Solo》Race Against Ghost》View Ghost》Online Ghost》Upload Ghost Data》
• VS Race》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Customized Race》Circuits》Cup Select》Course Select》 Customized Race options: Engine Class: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》Frantic》No Items》No Items and Coins》Custom》 COM: Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro¹》 COM Vehicles (Solo)²: All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 COM Vehicles (Doubles)²: All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Courses: Choose》In Order》Random》 Race Count: 4》5³》8》12》16》32》64》All》 Laps: 1》2》3》4》5》
*¹ - Added a Pro difficulty to make the CPU feel more of a challenge.
*² - Wanted to split the vehicle selections between Solo Dash and Double Dash drivers. Solo Dash drivers will now only select between Karts and Bikes and Double Dash drivers will only select between ATVs and new Buggy vehicles. *Buggys are essential similar to the designs of the Karts used in Mario Kart Double Dash. ATVs are now bigger in size to help fit the idea of 2 drivers on one vehicle.
*³ - The original Super Mario Kart had 5 courses per Cup so I brought that option back for custom races.
*⁴ - Wanted to make the option available for players. These courses will be excluded from Laps option and be set to default when selected: ⁿ⁶⁴ Wario Stadium, ⁿ⁶⁴ Rainbow Road, ᵍᶜⁿ Baby Park, ᵍᶜⁿ Wario Colosseum, ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Loop, ³ᵈˢ Maka Wuhu, ³ᵈˢ Rainbow Road, ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mount Wario, and ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Big Blue.
Battle》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Customized Battle》Course Select》 Customized Battle options: Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》Frantic》Skilled》Custom》 Round Time: 1 Minute》2 Minutes》3 Minutes》4 Minutes》5 Minutes》 COM: Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro》 COM Vehicles (Solo Dash): All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 COM Vehicles (Double Dash): All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Courses: Choose》In Order》Random》 Round Count: 3 Rounds》5 Rounds》7 Rounds》¹
*¹ - I shortened the rounds. Anything past 7 rounds is too much imo but that's just me. Also being a little bias cuz I'm not a fan of battle mode.
~ Online Play 》1P》2P》
Worldwide: Grand Prix*》VS Race》Battle》
Regional: Grand Prix*》VS Race》Battle》
Friends》Create Room
Tournaments》Menu. Menu options: Create a Tournament: Icon》Name》Rules》Time Settings》Other》 *Rules options: Mode: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》Balloon》Classic Balloon¹》 Renegade Roundup》Bob-omb Blast》Shine Runners¹》Coin Runners》 Shine Thief》Thunder Cloud Tag¹》Random Battle》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》No Items》No Items or Coins》Frantic》Skilled*²》Custom》 Round Time (Battle only): 1 Minute》2 Minutes》3 Minutes》4 Minutes》5 Minutes》 COM: No COM》Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro》 Vehicles (Solo Dash): All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 Vehicles (Double Dash): All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Camera: Normal》First Person》 Smart Steering: Smart Steering OK》No Smart Steering》 *Time Settings options: Frequency: Weekly》Daily》Fixed Period》 Start Day: Sunday》Monday》Tuesday》Wednesday》Thursday》Friday》Saturday》 Start Date: Dependent》 Start Time: Dependent》 End Day: Sunday》Monday》Tuesday》Wednesday》Thursday》Friday》Saturday》 End Date: Dependent》 End Time: Dependent》 Round Count: 4 Rounds》8 Rounds》16 Rounds》 Group Shuffling: Don't Shuffle》Every 4th Match》 *Other options: Player Rating: Any Rating》0-2999》3000-9999》10000-99999》 Public/Private: Open to Everyone》Code Required》
*¹ - Scroll down to Battle section for more info.
*² - Skilled Items for Battle mode only.
Search by Code Search by Type Active Tournaments
~ MKTV
My Replays. View saved replays from previous races or battles on and offline. * You can now save more than just 6 replays.
Online Replays*¹ View shared replays from others online
Spectate*²
*¹ - Should've already been added in the first place.
²* - View recent online races or battles replays. Earn coins by voting who'll be 1st. * Literally stole this idea from Smash.
~ Other Details
~ 3. Characters and Vehicles ~
~ Characters
68 Total Drivers (including DLC) 32 Total Alternate Drivers. 100 Total Individual Characters.
~ Drivers
Mario》Metal Mario 🔒》Tanooki Mario 🔒》Fire Mario 🔒》Ice Mario 🔒》Dr. Mario 🔒》 - Mario (Classic) 🔒 - Mario (Builder) 🔒 - Mario (SNES) 🔒 - Mario (Sunshine) 🔒 - Mario (Tuxedo) 🔒 - Mario (N64)*🔒 - Metal Mario (Gold) 🔒
Luigi》Penguin Luigi 🔒》Fire Luigi 🔒》Gooigi*🔒》 - Luigi (Classic) 🔒 - Luigi (Golf) 🔒 - Luigi (Builder) 🔒
Peach》Pink Gold Peach 🔒》Cat Peach 🔒》Fire Peach*🔒》 - Peach (Wedding) 🔒
Yoshi - Light-blue Yoshi - Black Yoshi - Red Yoshi - Yellow Yoshi - White Yoshi - Purple Yoshi - Pink Yoshi - Orange Yoshi
Bowser》Dry Bowser 🔒》Meowser 🔒》 - Dry Bowser (Gold) 🔒
Donkey Kong Jr. - Donkey Kong Jr. (SNES) 🔒
Koopa Troopa》Koopa (Freerunning) 🔒》 - Red Koopa (Freerunning) - Blue Koopa (Freerunning) - Purple Koopa (Freerunning) - Gold Koopa (Freerunning) 🔒
Toad》Cat Toad 🔒》Captain Toad 🔒》 - Toad (Pit Crew) 🔒 - Toad (Builder) 🔒 - Toad (Astronaut) 🔒 - Toad (Blue)* - Toad (Yellow)* - Toad (Green)*
Donkey Kong 🔒
Wario 🔒 - Wario (Biker)*
Daisy 🔒
Birdo 🔒 - Birdo (Light Blue) - Birdo (Black) - Birdo (Red) - Birdo (Yellow) - Birdo (White) - Birdo (Purple) - Birdo (Green) - Birdo (Orange)
Baby Mario 🔒
Baby Luigi 🔒
Toadette 🔒》Peachette 🔒》 - Toadette (Explorer) 🔒 - Toadette (Builder) 🔒 - Toadette (Astronaut) 🔒
Paratroopa 🔒 - Green Paratroopa*
Diddy Kong 🔒
Bowser Jr. 🔒
Waluigi 🔒
Petey Piranha 🔒
King Boo 🔒 - King Boo (Luigi's Mansion)
Pac-Man 🔒
Ms. Pac-Man 🔒
Blinky 🔒》Pinky》Inky》Clyde*》
Dry Bones 🔒 - Dry Bones (Gold) 🔒
R.O.B. 🔒 - R.O.B. (Famicom)*
Shy Guy 🔒 - Light-blue Shy Guy - Black Shy Guy - Green Shy Guy - Yellow Shy Guy - White Shy Guy - Blue Shy Guy - Pink Shy Guy - Orange Shy Guy
Mametchi 🔒
Baby Peach 🔒
Baby Daisy 🔒
Rosalina 🔒
Funky Kong 🔒
Mii 🔒
Honey Queen 🔒
Wiggler 🔒
Lakitu 🔒
Don-chan 🔒
Baby Rosalina 🔒
Iggy 🔒》Roy》Lemmy》Larry》Wendy》Ludwig》Morton》
Link 🔒 - Link (Champion's Tunic)
Villager 🔒 - Villager (Female)
Isabelle 🔒 - Isabelle (Winter)*
Inkling Girl 🔒 - Inkling Girl (lime green) - Inkling Girl (magenta)
Inkling Boy 🔒 - Inkling Boy (purple) - Inkling Boy (teal)
Pauline 🔒
Hammer Bro 🔒》Boomerang Bro 🔒》Ice Bro 🔒》Fire Bro 🔒》
Monty Mole 🔒
Dixie Kong 🔒
Nabbit 🔒
King Bob-omb 🔒
Kamek 🔒
Chargin' Chuck 🔒
Poochy 🔒
~ Newcomers
Noki ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Noki (Green) - Noki (Pink) - Noki (Yellow)
Pianta ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Pianta (Pink) - Pianta (Yellow) - Pianta (Purple)
Professor E. Gadd ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Toadsworth ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Luma ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Luma (Blue) - Luma (Pink) - Luma (Green) - Luma (Cyan) - Luma (Red) - Luma (Purple) - Luma (Black) - Luma (Orange)
~ DLC
Sonic the Hedgehog ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Miles "Tails" Prower ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
King K. Rool ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Kaptain K. Rool*》
Krunch ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 * Would be an excellent choice for a surprise DLC character to those familiar w/Diddy Kong Racing
Zelda ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Sheik*》
Kirby ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
King Dedede ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Captain Falcon ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Samus ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Zero Suit*》
Geno ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
~ Vehicles
Available parts. The parts available are listed here in the order shown in the vehicle customization screen, with the following notation: ¹ = Changes color, depending on the character. ² = Changes color for the Koopalings. ³ = Changes color for Daisy, Baby Daisy, Rosalina, and Baby Rosalina. (DLC) = Part is only available as downloadable content.
~ Karts (Solo Dash)
Standard Kart¹ 4-Wheel Cradle 8-Bit Pipe Frame¹ Apple Kart B Dasher Badwagon Barrel Train Biddybuggy (Buggybud)¹ Birthday Girl (Royal Ribbon)²/³ Blue Falcon Blue Seven Booster Seat (Baby Booster) Bruiser (Growlster) Brute Bull's-Eye Banzai Bulldog-W ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ Bumble V Cact-R Cact-X Cat Cruiser Cheep Charger Cheep Snorkel Circuit Special¹ Clanky Kart Classic Dragster (Nostalgia 1) Cloud 9 Crawly Kart Cucumber Dasher II Daytripper (Royal Racer) Dozer Dasher Dragonfly Dry Bomber Egg 1 Flame Flyer Gold Mantis Gold Pipe Frame Gold Standard (Gold Kart) Green Apple Kart Honeycoupe (Dragonetti) Hurricane Jet Cruiser Jetsetter (Aero Glider) Jumbo Jetter Kiddie Kart¹ Koopa Clown² Landship ² Light Dancer Light Tripper Mach 8 Mini Beast (Concerto) Mushmellow Offroader P-Wing Paintster Parade Kart Penguin Slider Pink Mushmellow Pipe Frame¹ Piranha Prowler Poltergust 4000 Power Flower Prancer Prop Kart Quickshaw ROB-BLS Rambi Rider Royale Shooting Star Sky Pop ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ Sneeker (Bounder)¹ Snow Skimmer Soda Jet Sports Coupe (Sports Coupé) Sprinter (B Dasher Mk. 2) Star Broom Steel Driver Streamliner Streetle Super 1 Super Blooper (Turbo Blooper) Surf Sailer Swift Talon Tanooki Kart Tea Coupe Tiny Titan (Rally Romper) Tiny Tug Tri-Speeder Wario Car Warship Wild Wing Wildlife Yellow Taxi Zucchini (Gherkin) Speed Star ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Whirlwind Sport ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Egg Mobile ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * Was inspired by this image I found. Source Reminds me of the Egg Mobile with Monster tires White Cat ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Dark Schnieder ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Car¹ ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * Source * the number in the center will be replaced by driver's logo Dragoon Kart ⁽ᵈˡᶜ * Source
~ Bikes (Solo Dash)
Standard Bike¹ Bit Bike (Nanobike) City Tripper¹ Flame Rider Hurricane Jet Bubble (Bubble Bike) Master Cycle Zero Mr. Scooty (Mr Scooty) Phantom Quacker ROB-LGS Shooting Star (Twinkle Star) Sugarscoot (Bon Bon)¹ The Duke Varmint Wario Bike Zip Zip (Rapide) Zipper Wheelie Bike ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Bullet Bike¹ Comet Dolphin Dasher Flame Runner (Bowser Bike)¹ Jet Bike Mach Bike¹ Magikruiser¹ Master Cycle Sneakster (Nitrocycle) Sport Bike¹ Yoshi Bike¹ Zinger Sting ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * just an idea I had for a new bike based off of a beta imagine for Donkey Kong racing. Source * the number in the center will be replaced by driver's logo. Bike version of the Prop Kart
~ ATVs (Double Dash)
Standard ATV (Standard Quad)¹ Bone Rattler Inkstriker Spear (Torpedo)¹ Splat Buggy Teddy Buggy Tyrant Wild Wiggler Hovercraft¹ ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
~ Buggys (Double Dash)
Standard Buggy ¹ Banisher Bolt Buggy Bullet Blaster Coach³ * Heart Coach/Bloom Coach from Mario Kart Double Dash DK Jumbo Fire Buggy¹ * Red Fire from Mario Kart Double Dash Goo-Goo Buggy¹ Koopa Dasher Koopa King Para-Wing Pipe Buggy¹ Piranha Pipes Turbo Birdo Turbo Yoshi Waluigi Racer
~ Tires
Standard (Normal) 8-Bit Standard Ancient Tires (Ancient Tyres) Azure Roller Bicycle Tires Blue Monster Blue Standard (Normal Blue) Button Capsule Crimson Slim Cushion Cyber Slick Drum Gold 8-Bit Standard Gold Tires (Gold Wheels) Heart Rings Hot Monster (Funky Monster) Iron Leaf Tires (Leaf Tyres) Metal Monster Mushroom Mushroom Off-Road Red Monster Retro Off-Road Roller Slick Slim Snorkel Tires Sponge Triforce Tires (Triforce Tyres) Wood (Wooden) Yoshi Tires
~ Gliders
Super Glider¹ 8-Bit Jumping Mario Beast Glider (Ghastly Glider) Bowser Kite Butterfly Sunset Cloud Glider Crimson Crane Droplet Glider Eggshell Glider Eggshell Glider Fare Flier Flower Glider Gold Glider Great Sail Hylian Kite MKTV Parafoil Oilpaper Umbrella Paper Glider Parachute Paraglider (Breath of the Wild) Paraglider (Parafoil) Peach Parasol³ Plane Glider Ribbon Swooper (Swoop) Waddle Wing Waluigi Wing Wario Wing Magic Carpet ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Wizpig Glider ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Example at 00:31 Tails Flier ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Knuckles Glider ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source Gunship ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
~ 4. Items ~
× – Does not appear in Battle Mode.
~ Items found on the track
Item Box - Gives the player a random item. Items given are based on the player's distance from first place. * I would like for them to look either similar to how they looked in Mario Kart 64 or Mario Kart DS' design.
Coin - Gives the player a small boost and increase top speed when more are collected, up to a maximum of ten.
Rupee - The equivalent of a coin, used for Hyrule Circuit and Zelda related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Bell - The equivalent of a coin, used for Animal Crossing. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Cash - The equivalent of a coin, used for Splatoon related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Balloon ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Diddy Kong Racing related course. Source
Item Box (Capsule) ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Sonic related course. Source
Star Block ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Kirby related course. Source
Banana ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Donkey Kong Country / Diddy Kong Racing related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
Ring ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Sonic related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
Food ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Kirby related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
~ New Items
Coin Block ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * floats above player for a short time (10 seconds). Hop to collect upto 10 coins. Can only be obtained if player has 0 coins. Replacing the Coin Box item from Mario Kart Tour. Example
~ Returning Items
Banana Peel - When a kart hits a Banana Peel, it spins out. You can carry one behind your kart to protect yourself from a single attack. Can be thrown backward and forward.
Green Shell - Travels in a straight line and knocks over a kart it hits.
Red Shell - Red Shell Homes in on the closest kart in front of the player and knocks it over.
Feather - Causes the player to spin and leap in the air, providing a small speed boost upon landing, akin to a regular trick (characters will also perform a trick animation during the jump).
Mushroom - Provides the player's kart with a small speed boost.
Super Star - Provides the player invincibility from all terrain and items, and also giving a speed boost.
Boo - Unleashes Boo, who turns the player invisible for a brief time, making them impervious to enemy attacks, and steals an opponent's item. Cannot steal Special Items.
Coinˣ - Grants the player two extra coins and a micro boost.
Lightningˣ - Causes all opponents to drop their items, shrink, and drive slowly for a short time.
Fake Item - Looks just like an item box, but when you run into it, it knocks you over.
Bob-omb - Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking over any kart in its blast radius.
Blooper - Sprays ink on all racers ahead and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed.
Bullet Billˣ - Transforms the player into a Bullet Bill, rocketing through the track with auto-pilot, and providing invincibility from all terrain and items.
Spiny Shellˣ - Targets the racer in first place, knocking over all other karts in its path.
Super Horn - Emits a radial shockwave hitting racers, as well as destroying all obstacles, including the Spiny Shell.
~ Special Items
Fireball (Red) - Three fireballs will revolve around your kart. They split up after they're thrown and go sliding ahead. These powerful pyrotechnics can take out multiple opponents at once. Drivers: Mario, Fire Mario
Fireball (Green) - Three fireballs will revolve around your kart. They split up after they're thrown and go sliding ahead. These powerful pyrotechnics can take out multiple opponents at once. Drivers: Luigi, Fire Luigi
Fire Flower - Allows the player to throw fireballs for a short time that cause other karts to spin out on impact. Drivers: Metal Mario, Fire Peach, Fire Bro
Ice Flower - Three balls of ice will revolve around your kart. Throw them all at once and they'll freeze any kart they hit, causing them to slide. Drivers: Ice Bro, Ice Mario, Penguin Luigi
Heart - This protective Heart revolves around your kart for a set amount of time, shielding you from attacks. Any item that hits the player becomes theirs to use. A cute and handy item. Drivers: Peach, Daisy, Villager, Wendy, Mametchi
Yoshi's Egg - This egg rolls down the road and home in on opponents. When they hit and break, they'll drop three more items. Drivers: Yoshi
Birdo's Egg - Homes in on the kart in front of you and crashes once it hits. Three more items will fly out when it breaks. Drivers: Birdo
Chain Chomp - This fearsome beast chases karts with reckless abandon, pulling the player behind it at breakneck speeds. Drivers: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi
Triple Mushrooms - Orbits the player's kart, providing them with three separate speed boosts. Drivers: Toad, Toadette
Golden Mushroom - Provides the player's kart with continuous speed boosts for a short time. Drivers: Captain Toad
Mega Mushroom - The driver grows bigger, which allows them to squash other racers by running over them, making them lose their items and slow down for a moment. Drivers: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Wiggler
Poison Mushroom - A stationary item. Looks like a regular mushroom but If one is run into, the victim shrinks, as if hit by a Lightning. Shrunken racers who run into it revert to normal size. Drivers: Kamek * ngl, i didn't really know who to give this item to
Mushroom Cannon - A cannon designed to resemble a Mushroom. Continually shoots out Mushrooms in front of your kart for a set time. Drivers: Monty Mole, Peachette, Toadsworth
Triple Green Shells - Three green shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Koopa Troopa, Dry Bones, Lakitu, Koopa (Freerunning)
Triple Red Shells - Three red shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Paratroopa, Dry Bones, Lakitu, Koopa (Freerunning)
Bowser's Shell - An awe-inspiring giant shell! As it careens down the road, slamming and ramming into karts, it's the very image of Bowser himself. Drivers: Bowser, Bowser Jr., Dry Bowser
Triple Bananas - Three bananas that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Donkey Kong Jr., Dixie Kong
Giant Banana - Not only does this big banana spin out karts that hit it, but after being struck it breaks into three regular-sized Bananas. Drivers: Donkey Kong
Banana Barrels - Arm your kart with two fully-loaded barrels of Bananas! Continually shoots out Bananas in front of or behind your kart for a set time. Drivers: Diddy Kong, Funky Kong
Thunder Cloud - A thundercloud hovers over the recipient and strikes it with lightning after 10 seconds. The user shrinks to a very small size for 10 seconds, driving more slowly. Before this happens, the user has higher speed and acceleration while not losing speed when driving off-road, and may pass the cloud to an opponent by bumping into them. Drivers: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde * If there was absolutely no choice but to have the next Meta character, it'd be the Ghosts. Having one of the worst possible specials in the game should balance them out.
POW Block - The POW Block appears above the karts as a 2D image, warning players of its arrival, and causes any racer on the ground ahead of the user to spin out and drop their items. * Since wheelies are no longer a thing, it always spins out other racers unless they're in anti-gravity mode or during an in air trick Drivers: Mii, Don-chan
Super Leaf- Gives the player's kart a tail that can be used to deflect items, knock over opponents and collect coins. The tail will disappear after a moment or if the player is hurt. Drivers: Tanooki Mario
Lucky Seven - Surrounds the player with seven items that rotates around its kart. The player receives a Mushroom, Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, Blooper, Bob-omb, and a Star. Drivers: King Boo, Pauline, Poochy, Nabbit, Chargin' Chuck, Pianta, Noki
Boomerang Flower - Can be thrown up to three times, hitting racers forward/backward and when it returns to its user after the first and second use. Driver: Boomerang Bro, Larry
Piranha Plant - Automatically chomps on obstacles and other racers, giving a short speed boost for each bite. Drivers: Petey Piranha
Double Bob-ombs - Two Bob-ombs will revolve around your kart. Throw them both at once. Drivers: Wario, Waluigi, Roy
Bob-omb Cannon - Continually shoots out Bob-ombs in front of your kart for a set time. Drivers: Shy Guy
Giga Bob-omb - After being thrown, it will explode after hitting a kart or bouncing 3 times. It has a larger blast radius than a standard Bob-omb. Drivers: King Bob-omb
Bubble - Briefly envelops your kart and protects you from damage for a set time. While in the bubble, you will get a speed boost and float in the air. Drivers: Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Baby Rosalina, Lemmy
Dash Ring - Tosses out three rings in front of you along the track. Pass through them for a speed boost! Drivers: Rosalina, Luma, Ludwig, Honey Queen
Hammer - Throws multiple Hammers in an arc aimed at karts in front of yours. Drivers: Hammer Bro
Super Bell - A bell rings above the driver, knocking away nearby karts and items. The bell rings three consecutive times. Drivers: Cat Peach, Cat Toad
Capsule - Three colorful capsules surround your kart. They'll bounce at opponents when thrown. Drivers: Dr. Mario
Splat Bomb ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking and spraying ink on any kart in its blast radius and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed. Drivers: Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy
Magical Boomerang ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * Works like a Boomerang Flower that tracks closes kart infront of player like a Red Shell Drivers: Link
Magnet ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * a powerful magnet that pulls opponents towards the player Source Drivers: Krunch
Nayru's Love ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * will surround the racer's kart with a protective shield. Any items that hit this shield will be reflected back at the racer who used them. If a driver using Nayru's Love is attacked with an item such as a Lightning, the racer who used the Lightning item will take damage. Drivers: Zelda
Copy Ability ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * steals Special item from any racer. If no racer has a special item on them, it'll randomly generate a random racer's Special Item. Drivers: Kirby
Dedede's Hammer ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * driver using Dedede's Hammer, will swing it around for about 5 seconds. Any karts hit will be squashed, causing them to lose their item and speed momentarily. Drivers: King Dedede
Invincibility Shield ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * become invulnerable to all damage for a short time. Drivers: Sonic, Tails
Bombs ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * Think Double Bob-ombs, the original Triple Bananas and the Feather item. If used as a protective item, upon the explosion, the player will leap in the air, providing a small speed boost upon landing. Drivers: Samus
Geno Flash ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * works like a Lightning but doesn't strink opponents. Drivers: Geno
~ 5. Courses ~
~ Cups
161 Total Courses
Nitro Grand Prix Mushroom Cup》 Flower Cup》 Star Cup》 Special Cup 🔒
Retro Grand Prix 🔒 Mushroom 🍄 Courses : Shell Cup》Golden Dash Cup》Red Coin Cup》Blue Coin Cup》Banana Cup》Lucky Cat Cup》1-Up Cup》Gold Cup》
Flower 🌷 Courses: Leaf Cup》Turnip Cup》Freezie Cup》Metal Cup》 Lightning Cup》Rock Cup》POW Cup》Heart Cup》
Star ⭐️ Courses: Sun Cup》Moon Cup》Red Shell Cup》Thunder Cloud Cup》Wing Cup》Boomerang Cup》Coin Block Cup》Warp Cup》
Special 👑 Courses: Vanish Cup》Cherry Cup》Mega Cup》Tanooki Cup》? Block Cup》Spiny Cup》Shine Cup》Grand Cup》
World Grand Prix🔒 Lightning⚡️Courses: Egg Cup》Triforce Cup》Crossing Cup》Bell Cup》Propeller Cup》Fruit Cup》Feather Cup》Acorn Cup》Super Cup》World Cup》
Extra Grand Prix 🔒* Excellent idea to introduce courses from the Mario Kart GP series as well as new courses for DLC content
~ New Courses
Nitro Grand Prix: Mushroom Cup 🍄 1. New Mario Circuit 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Flower Cup 🌷 1. beach- or water-themed course 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Star Cup ⭐️ 1. ice- or snow-themed course 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Special Cup 👑 1. TBD 2. TBD 3. New Bowser's Castle 4. New Rainbow Road
~ Retro Courses
Mushroom 🍄 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Shell Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mario Kart Stadium 2. ᵈˢ Yoshi Falls 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Baby Park 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 1
Retro Grand Prix: Golden Dash Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Luigi Circuit 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Shy Guy Beach 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Sweet Sweet Canyon 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Dry Dry Desert
Retro Grand Prix: Red Coin Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Toad Circuit 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Moo Moo Farm 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Riverside Park 4. ʷⁱⁱ Toad's Factory
Retro Grand Prix: Blue Coin Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Luigi Raceway 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 1 3. ᵈˢ Cheep Cheep Beach 4. ³ᵈˢ Shy Guy Bazaar
Retro Grand Prix: Banana Cup 1. ᵈˢ Figure-8 Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ Moo Moo Meadows 3. ³ᵈˢ Cheep Cheep Lagoon 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Kalimari Desert
Retro Grand Prix: Lucky Cat Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 1 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Peach Beach 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Koopa Troopa Beach 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Thwomp Ruins
Retro Grand Prix: 1-Up Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Luigi Circuit 2. ³ᵈˢ Daisy Hills 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 1 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 1
Retro Grand Prix: Gold Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Peach Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Water Park 3. ʷⁱⁱ Mushroom Gorge 4. ᵈˢ Luigi's Mansion
Flower 🌷 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Leaf Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Mushroom Bridge 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Boo Lake 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Twisted Mansion 4. ³ᵈˢ Rock Rock Mountain
Retro Grand Prix: Turnip Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Mario Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Toad Harbor 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Choco Mountain 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 2
Retro Grand Prix: Freezie Cup 1. ᵈˢ Desert Hills 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Mario Circuit 3. ʷⁱⁱ DK Summit 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 2
Retro Grand Prix: Metal Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Mario Circuit 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Frappe Snowland 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Daisy Cruiser 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Shy Guy Falls
Retro Grand Prix: Lightning Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mario Circuit 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 2 3. ᵈˢ Waluigi Pinball 4. ʷⁱⁱ Wario's Gold Mine
Retro Grand Prix: Rock Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Choco Island 1 2. ᵈˢ Delfino Square 3. ³ᵈˢ Music Park 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Mario Raceway
Retro Grand Prix: POW Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Loop 2. ʷⁱⁱ Coconut Mall 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Cheese Land 4. ᵈˢ Shroom Ridge
Retro Grand Prix: Heart Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Toad's Turnpike 2. ³ᵈˢ Mario Circuit 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 2 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Waluigi Stadium
Star ⭐️ Courses Retro Grand Prix: Sun Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Snow Land 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Choco Island 2 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Yoshi Circuit 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Bowser's Castle
Retro Grand Prix: Moon Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Wario Stadium 2. ʷⁱⁱ Koopa Cape 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Yoshi Desert 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mount Wario
Retro Grand Prix: Red Shell Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Daisy Circuit 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Ribbon Road 3. ᵈˢ Mario Circuit 4. ᵍᶜⁿ DK Mountain
Retro Grand Prix: Thunder Cloud Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Sunshine Airport 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Sherbet Land 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Vanilla Lake 1 4. ³ᵈˢ Maka Wuhu
Retro Grand Prix: Wing Cup 1. ᵈˢ DK Pass 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Dolphin Shoals 3. ³ᵈˢ Neo Bowser City 4. ʷⁱⁱ Grumble Volcano
Retro Grand Prix: Boomerang Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Sherbet Land 2. ³ᵈˢ Wario Shipyard 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Royal Raceway 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 3
Retro Grand Prix: Coin Block Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Koopa Beach 1 2. ᵈˢ Tick-Tock Clock 3. ʷⁱⁱ Maple Treeway 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 3
Retro Grand Prix: Warp Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Piranha Plant Slide 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Mushroom City 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Electrodrome 4. ᵈˢ Airship Fortress
Special 👑 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Vanish Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 3 2. ʷⁱⁱ Moonview Highway 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 4 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Cherry Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ DK Jungle 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Broken Pier 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 3 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Mega Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Dry Dry Ruins 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Bone-Dry Dunes 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Banshee Boardwalk 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Vanilla Lake 2
Retro Grand Prix: Tanooki Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Wario Colosseum 2. ³ᵈˢ Rosalina's Ice World 3. ʷⁱⁱ Bowser's Castle 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: ? Block Cup 1. ᵈˢ Wario Stadium 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Koopa Beach 2 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Bowser's Castle 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Spiny Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Lakeside Park 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Dino Dino Jungle 3. ᵈˢ Bowser Castle 4. ʷⁱⁱ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Shine Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Cloudtop Cruise 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Yoshi Valley 3. ³ᵈˢ Bowser's Castle 4. ᵈˢ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Grand Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ D.K.'s Jungle Parkway 2. ᵈˢ Peach Gardens 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Bowser's Castle 4. ³ᵈˢ Rainbow Road
Lightning⚡️Courses 🔒 World Grand Prix: Egg Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Rainbow Road 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Berlin Byways 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Wild Woods 4. ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Yoshi's Island
World Grand Prix: Triforce Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 4 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Los Angeles Laps 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Piranha Plant Cove 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Hyrule Circuit
World Grand Prix: Crossing Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Luigi Circuit 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Sydney Sprint 3. TBA 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Animal Crossing
World Grand Prix: Bell Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Sky Garden 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Singapore Speedway 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Super Bell Subway 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Propeller Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 3 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Vancouver Velocity 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Ice Ice Outpost 4. ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Sky-High Sundae
World Grand Prix: Fruit Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Sunset Wilds 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ New York Minute 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Bangkok Rush 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Feather Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 2 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ London Loop 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Ninja Hideaway 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mute City
World Grand Prix: Acorn Cup 1. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Paris Promenade 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Merry Mountain 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Dragon Driftway 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Super Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Cheep-Cheep Island 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Amsterdam Drift 3. TBA 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Big Blue
World Grand Prix: World Cup 1. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Tokyo Blur 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Excitebike Arena 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Athens Dash 4. TBA
~ Extra/DLC Courses
Extra Grand Prix: Mario Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Mario Highway 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Mario Beach
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Mario Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Splash Circuit 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Tropical Coast
Extra Grand Prix: DK Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ DK Jungle 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Bananan Ruins
Extra Grand Prix: Extra DK Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bananan Labyrinth 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ DK Jungle
Extra Grand Prix: Wario Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Diamond City 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Snow Panic
Extra Grand Prix: Waluigi Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ² Stadium Arena 2. ᵃᵍᵖ² Waluigi Stadium
Extra Grand Prix: Pac-Man Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Pac Mountain 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Pac Labyrinth
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Pac-Man Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ PAC-MAN Stadium 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ NAMCO Circuit
Extra Grand Prix: Bowser Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Bowser's Castle 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Castle Wall
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Bowser Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bowser's Factory 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bowser's Castle
Extra Grand Prix: Rainbow Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Rainbow Coaster 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Rainbow Downhill
Extra Grand Prix: Yoshi Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ² Yoshi Park 1 2. ᵃᵍᵖ² Yoshi Park 2
Extra Grand Prix: Toad Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Peach Castle 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Kingdom Way
Extra Grand Prix: Don-chan Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bon Dance Street 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Omatsuri Circuit
Extra Grand Prix: Bowser Jr. Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Aerial Road 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Sky Arena
Extra Grand Prix: Inklings Cup 1. Splatoon themed course * Splat Circuit 2. Splatoon themed course
Extra Grand Prix: Sonic ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Sonic themed course * Twinkle Circuit Source at 1:00 2. Sonic themed course * Green Hill Zone related course
Extra Grand Prix: King K. Rool ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. King K. Rool/Donkey Kong Country related themed course 2. Diddy Kong Racing related themed course * Jungle Falls or Darkmoon Caverns Source 1 Source 2
Extra Grand Prix: Zelda ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Zelda themed course * Lost Woods 2. Zelda themed course
Extra Grand Prix: Kirby ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Kirby themed course * Fantasy Meadows (from Kirby Air Ride) Source 2. Kirby themed course * Meta Knight's Halberd or The Great Cave Offensive
Extra Grand Prix: Samus ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Metroid themed course 2. Metroid themed course
~ 6. Battle ~
In all games, the engine class of Battle Mode is fixed to 50cc. An exception is the Renegade Roundup mode where it is increased to 100cc.
~ Battle Modes
Balloon Battle》Team Balloon Battle》 Classic Balloon Battle》Team Classic Balloon Battle - Mini Bomb Karts return. Shine Thief》Team Shine Thief》 Bob-omb Blast》Team Bob-omb Blast Shine Runners Coin Runners (Coin Battle)》Team Coin Runners》 Renegade Roundup
Thunder Cloud Tag ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾* - Similar to Shine Thief but reverse. Think of it as Tag. A random player has a Thunder Cloud and must tag others to lose it from above their head. If the player holds the Thunder Cloud when the timer reaches zero, this process repeats until one player remains.
~ Courses
ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 1 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 2 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 3 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 4 ⁿ⁶⁴ Big Donut ⁿ⁶⁴ Block Fort ⁿ⁶⁴ Double Deck ⁿ⁶⁴ Skyscraper ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 1 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 2 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 3 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 4 ᵍᶜⁿ Cookie Land ᵍᶜⁿ Block City ᵍᶜⁿ Luigi's Mansion ᵍᶜⁿ Nintendo GameCube ᵍᶜⁿ Pipe Plaza ᵍᶜⁿ Tilt-a-Kart ᵈˢ Nintendo DS ᵈˢ Twilight House ᵈˢ Palm Shore ᵈˢ Tart Top ᵈˢ Block Fort ᵈˢ Pipe Plaza ʷⁱⁱ Block Plaza ʷⁱⁱ Delfino Pier ʷⁱⁱ Funky Stadium ʷⁱⁱ Chain Chomp Wheel ʷⁱⁱ Thwomp Desert ³ᵈˢ Honeybee Hive (Honeybee House) ³ᵈˢ Sherbet Rink ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Town ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Battle Stadium ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Sweet Sweet Kingdom ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Dragon Palace ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Lunar Colony ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Urchin Underpass ᵗᵒᵘʳ New York Minute B ᵗᵒᵘʳ Paris Promenade B Icicle Pyramid or Smokey Castle ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source 1 Source 2
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2023.05.28 16:55 Desperate-Car-Wife Cars, Trucks, Turbos... Oh My! Part 6

Desperate Car Wife: A Journey in the Making (part.6)
During those 10 years with the Mazda Protege, and since my hubby used it for work a lot after we had our son, he ended up buying a white '94 Nissan Maxima from the same friend that sold him the '72 Camaro back when we first met... It, of course, got the "JB Treatment"... but this time on a budget. This had a lot more horsepower than the Mazda! I actually enjoyed driving it too! Even though it didn't have the same rims or low profile tires or a 6 Disc-CD Changer... it did have some beats and I really liked the G-force when I stepped on it! I don't need a whole lot of hp to enjoy speed.. As I've said before, everything in moderation! I love love love watching others drive with crazy horsepower, but I don't think you'll ever see me drive anything over 300hp!
A couple years later, we would eventually sell the Maxima and got a '95 Dodge RAM 1500... We had this one for only a couple of years and then he eventually sold the RAM because he found a '93 Dodge Dakota Sport that needed to be brought back from the dead... This poor thing had been abandoned in a ditch and sat in a tow yard for 10 years! Needless to say, there were problems galore... literally almost lost a tire a half mile down the road from the tow yard we bought it from, just before I jumped on the freeway! Got the lug nuts tightened and back on the road... Headed straight to the nearest DMV for title and registration... Hour or so later, we walked out on 2 flat tires... Luckily we had a small jack in our other car, so he was able to pull the 2 flats off and drove to the nearest tire shop. 2 tires (balanced and mounted) later, we were back on the road again.. After a few days, we found some rusted out holes in the exhaust system and discovered that the catalytic converter had been removed.. So we got that fixed promptly. Replaced the spark plugs and wires, fixed the E-vap, practically replaced everything under the hood and then some... and still failed smog! Failed it 3 times to be exact! My hubby scratched his head and was mind boggled at the numbers from the failed tests.. Everything that had to do with the smog system was replaced with brand new parts, but it was still putting out high numbers for some reason!! So he googled his readings.... several forums like Cartalk /FBgroups/other auto forums outside of Reddit, and many many replies later, he was told that something had to be wrong with the exhaust system, either the wrong Cat or a hole in the welding... So #1 he found out that the catalytic converter model wasn't correct for the truck! We went back and got that fixed for free by the same place who installed it... #2 after they installed the Correct Cat, and failed to smog AGAIN, we found out there was a hole in the welding job from the NEW Cat!!! Dudes didn't believe my hubby at first, so he asked if he could show them with a mirror, and sure enough.. at the very top of the pipe connecting to the Cat, had a missed weld an inch long!!!
Not too long after that fiasco, maybe a couple of months... The driver's side door nearly fell off when I opened it, getting out! That was one heavy door too! Nearly pulled me out of my seat! PickNPull here we come!!!! Unfortunately, no luck there.. we checked out some from the smaller shops around town and got lucky that we found a red one (the truck was emerald green...). Now we just needed a DIY, cheapest, paint job was in store! He needed 6+ spray cans.... several trips to multiple stores and ordering online to get those dang cans of Emerald Green,, the door was done and looked fairly decent for a spray can job!
Then came the tires... Now I don't quite remember how he got this set, but what I do remember is they were way too big for this little truck! But he loved them and really wanted to make them work.. Still working on a budget, since we drained a lot into the entire exhaust system and everything SMOG related... he gets them on, they are so big and stick out like crazy and couldn't make normal turns without rubbing. I hated it!!! It was sooooooo embarrassing when they rubbed while pulling out of a tight parking lot! Everyone looked when it happened!!! Nothing to see here y'all!!!
He then went on and installed an Alpine stereo system with Pioneer sub (Slimbox) and speakers... He then got the idea to spray paint the hood flat black. It wasn't bad.. but it wasn't great by any means either... his words... not mine!
Needless to say, I found my first Dodge truck that I didn't like LOL. I had been spoiled with power windows and auto transmissions for quite some time by then and really hated the tires, the big shifting stick, how far 5th gear was for me, no power windows, no nothing! I complained about that truck till the day he finally sold it! He turned down multiple cash offers for several years, and then he finally broke when he needed to make room for another truck he wanted... Another truck that I would end up hating for only one reason LOL; it was a biggy in my book! But that's for another post!!
Part. 7 coming soon
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2023.05.28 16:39 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: So this is what government work is like...

My savior human is distraught. I alone would have trouble enough coping with Kit Sutton's absence, but with Nettie Peterson's grief added to mine, it's been impossible to go about my day with any semblance of serenity.
It's quite simple; when Nettie's unhappy, I cannot be content. She finally let me visit her earlier today. That doesn’t mean her overall state has improved, though. We went to talk in the garden, only there wasn’t much talking involved—she merely sat in her mother’s chair, staring blankly at the storm-tossed flower chaos.
“Didn’t you want to fix your plants back up?” I inquired.
“M-hm,” she muttered.
“It’d be a shame if your pretty garden was gonna stay like this.”
“M-hm.”
“If you need help, you let me know, okay?”
“M-hm.”
“I won’t try to eat the geraniums again.”
“M-hm.”
I leaned forward to try and catch her deep brown gaze. “Nettie, please say something. I thought we wanted to share our feelings more.”
“There’s nothing to share,” my savior human answered, her voice dry and monotone. “Kit’s not here anymore.”
“Yes, and I’m upset, too. But either I’m a horribly poor judge of human behavior or there's more to this.” I tilted my head at her. “I’ve never seen you this way. You said you didn’t always want a solution to your problems, and I’d be happy to just sit and listen as well, but you’re not talking either.”
“You don’t get it, do you?”
“Clearly not.”
Nettie let go of a soft breath. “I didn’t wanna tell you. Not until… It’s just that in the last couple days, Kit and I were getting kind of…” She faltered and trailed off.
“Kind of what?” I prompted.
“It’s hard to explain.”
“Please try, if you can. I want to understand.”
My best friend refused to meet my gaze. “See, that’s what I envy you for sometimes. You have an outsider’s perspective. You only see what’s in front of you and you don’t concern yourself with the rest.”
“I am concerned! I’m really concerned about you right now. You’re my best friend, and I’m sorry if I ever made you feel like my caretaker, but I wanna be here for you now. Please. Let me.”
“I… I know, that’s not what I was saying…” She adjusted her bra strap, her hand coming to rest on her shoulder as though she was hugging herself. “If there was something I’d kept secret from you—nothing bad, just something personal—would you be mad at me?”
“I can’t even imagine being mad at you,” I replied.
"That's good to know," she murmured, finally lifting her head to meet my gaze. "It doesn't change things for now, but it's… good to know."
After that, she fell silent again, and I left not much later. I was setting out for a pretty gloomy rest of the day when Frankie Preston texted me, asking to come hang out at the hotel. I've only stayed at a hotel twice, when Nettie took me on vacation with her. The first time was to Croatia, the other to the south of France. My savior human speaks fluent French.
Anyways, I was glad to follow up on the server's invitation. I won't describe the exact location of the hotel he'd chosen, but it was a fairly nice place. I took Kit Sutton's car there, which definitely gave me a weird feeling. In a way, it was nice. It felt like her. The worn seats, the ancient scent tree, the assortment of guitar picks in the cup holder. The empty takeout bag lying in the footwell. When I pulled up to the hotel parking lot, I was almost reluctant to get out. When I eventually did and entered the lobby, I found that I didn't quite know where to go. I opted to simply walk up to the front desk. There was a man sitting behind it, but he didn't look up from his computer screen upon my approach.
"Mm-yes?" he muttered, and it took me a moment to realize he was addressing me.
"Hi," I began.
Something about my voice must have caught his attention, as he abruptly lifted his head to meet my gaze. "Hi," he echoed, a smile forming on his face. I couldn't help but take note of the silvery gleam of his blond hair. It was long and wavy, tied back behind his head. I wondered how it felt. "And you are…?" he prompted, taking me in.
"Sunshine," a voice rang out from behind me. I whirled around, giving Fran a bright smile which, to my delight, he reciprocated. "You have no idea the kind of acquaintance you just made."
I glanced between the two in confusion. The receptionist spoke up first. "Oh. Oh, I see! This is her, isn't it?"
"Yes. Eva, this is… one of the many banes of my existence. He's my younger brother, but only in the most remote sense of the word, I assure you." The waiter gave the receptionist a look that was somewhere between contemptuous fondness and pure contempt.
The other man grinned. "Oh Frankie, my Frankie, you are just the most bitter piece of work there is."
"Younger? You look far older than Frank," I remarked.
"Ouch. But what are looks, really?" He waved me off. "And what is age with creatures like us? Frankie tells everyone he's twenty-two, I say I'm twenty-seven. We just made up these numbers to match our faces. He's existed for way longer, though. That's probably why he's so miserable." He leaned forward, twinkling at me. "Me, I see the world through fresher eyes."
I didn't quite know what to say, so I kept my mouth shut.
"Frankie, won't you introduce me?"
The waiter sighed deeply. "This is… Zion. Zion Boyd. I told him it's a perfectly silly name, but he wouldn't listen. I'm glad Rhonda picked mine for me."
Zion Boyd laughed quietly. "You're an asshole."
"You're an idiot."
"You wanted to hang out?" I reminded Fran.
"Right!" He grabbed my wrist and began steering me towards the winding flight of stairs in the back of the hall. "Ignore him. Forget him entirely, if possible. You're not missing out.”
He brought me up to his suite, a pleasantly large, open space. The tall windows let in the light of the setting sun, painting blushing hues upon the wallpaper. I sat down on the living room couch, switching on the TV not because I was in the mood to watch anything but rather for the background noise. Frankie joined me after a second, placing before me a glass of cold coconut water as he regarded me through thick lashes. "You got something on your mind, don’t you?”
"Your brother."
"Aw crap. That smarmy, handsome piece of shit…" Fran clenched and unclenched his fists repeatedly. "I knew this would happen."
"What? No. I was wondering about what he said," I clarified, shifting uneasily in my seat.
His hands stilled. "Oh." He smiled brightly. "Do tell."
"He called you creatures. And there was something else in there about your ages."
"So? What do you think? Any grand theories?"
I shrugged. "I could probably try to piece things together. But I'd rather hear it from you."
"Ah, would you. Well, I'm sorry, Sunshine, but it doesn't work like that."
"Don't you think I need to know?"
He reached out to poke my sternum with his finger. "No. I give you everything you need. When I decide you need more information, I'll give that to you, too."
I frowned at him, but hadn't yet regained the ability to speak when my phone rang. I reluctantly fumbled it out. It was an unknown number, but I recognized the voice that greeted me from the other end. “Mary Markov?”
“Miss Shirley! Nice talking to you again.”
“To be honest, this is a bad time…”
“That’s of no relevance. Remember when I told you I might get back to you?”
“Yes.” I exchanged meaningful looks with Frankie, who rolled his eyes. He scooted closer to me and pressed his cheek up to mine to listen to the phone call. His skin was almost unnaturally smooth. I swallowed thickly when I felt his jaw working on his bubble gum, moving against mine.
"Miss Shirley?" Mary Markov asked. "Are you still there?"
"Did you say something?"
A sigh. "Look. You want money, I want your help. Come to the address I’m sending you now. It’s a big parking lot by a hiking trail in the woods. I have business there, and I could use the extra manpower.”
“Right now? I’m kind of on a…”
“You can bring the misanthropist with you.”
“What’s a misanthropist?” I inquired.
“She means me,” Fran supplied.
"She does," Miss Markov confirmed.
"We're coming." I ended the call, turning to Frankie. "That's okay, right? Are you with me?"
"Sure. Money's important. It'll be better if you have your own so I won't have to give you mine." He got up to collect our jackets. "At least this way, you won't get stabbed for it."
We took Kit's car over to the meet-up spot. Mary Markov was waiting for us beside a black pickup truck that seemed rather ill-suited for her. She was wearing a blazer, suit pants and dress shoes that were somehow pristine despite the muddy ground.
"There you are," she said, her tone crisp. Pointing her chin at the woods behind her, she added, "I hope you're ready for a bit of a hike."
"What do you need me for?" I asked.
"The Collective you came into contact with. We have reason to believe that they are meeting up here, among other places. There are probably hideouts to be found, and other things, too."
"Like what?" Fran raised a skeptical brow.
"The objects you were hired to guard. They're important; we don't rightly know what they are but they're constantly being kept on the move. There's no doubt the Collective wants them to remain obscure, and they're being clever about it."
"And you're hoping we'll go in there unprepared and just stumble across them?" the waiter inquired.
"Not exactly. There's a particular member of the cult we've managed to keep our eye on, and we followed her here. She's with at least two others, so we believe they're up to something important," Mary Markov explained. "Go in and find them. When you do, stay low and observe. I'll stay here. If anything goes wrong, call me and I will send for reinforcement."
"Why don't you let your agents go in? Why pull Eva into this? Again?"
"Frankie, I'm fine," I assured him, taking a step towards the newsreader. "What do I get paid?"
"You won't be disappointed in the money," she promised, smiling thinly. "To answer your friend's legitimate question—," she glanced over at Frank Preston as though she didn't consider his query legitimate at all, "—you are quite handy. Normally, when humans have to defend themselves and it comes to an altercation, there's… screams. Blood. Gunshots. Bullets are costly. Personnel even more so. When our agents get hurt, it might take months for them to recover. You don't need that kind of time. You're altogether less likely to be injured fatally. Employing you might end up saving us some lives and we'll be sure to make it worth your while."
That's, in short, why I found myself trudging through the mud and brushes alongside a very grudging Frank Preston that night. The storm had taken its toll in the woods, too—our chaotic surroundings reminded me of a larger-scale version of Nettie's garden. Trees had been uprooted and were lying dead in our path like organic roadblocks. The ground was covered with broken branches, twigs and young leaves. The wet soil squashed beneath our shoes every step of the way. With nightfall approaching, there was not much light reaching the forest floor. This certainly protected us from visibility, but it came at the price of my vision. I couldn't really see what was beneath me, so I kept tripping and staggering.
Frankie was somehow as graceful as ever, unbothered as he stepped over roots and rocks as if he could sense them before placing his feet. He was much quieter than me, but he thankfully wasn't smug about it. He kept one hand steady on my shoulder, aptly guiding me away from obstacles and protrusions. After a while, this began to work very well, and I became less noisy the deeper we proceeded into the woods. The server’s grip suddenly turned painfully tight, stopping me in my tracks. I realized why when I caught a glimpse of brightness not too far ahead. My chest tightened when I spotted the beam of a flashlight traveling the forest floor.
“Hush,” Frankie murmured into my ear. “Don’t. Move.”
I stood stock-still, trusting the fingers still digging into my skin.
The light passed over us, nearly reaching us but not quite. I breathed a silent sigh of relief, which died in my throat when a familiar voice carried over to us on the breeze.
“Hurry up already, would you?”
“Don’t… don’t stress me. Why aren’t you helping?” a young woman replied.
“Because it’s your fucking job.”
I felt myself break into a cold sweat. My heart was thumping so fiercely it was beginning to hurt; my pulse racing. Breaking from my rigor, I leaned over to whisper to Frankie. “That’s them.”
“What?”
“The one who stabbed me.”
Fran’s hand disappeared from my shoulder, moving down to quickly grasp mine. The pair before us was still on the move, the light of their torch slowly fading into the distance. “Listen to me,” my partner proceeded to hiss into my ear. “There’s two of them and two of us, but technically it’ll just be you. I’m not gonna leave you on your own, but the most I can do is hold one of them down.”
“But you’re strong…”
“I can’t actually hurt anybody. I gladly would, but it’s literally physically impossible for me. Do you still want to follow them?”
I paused. I didn’t want to. In fact, every fiber of my being was yelling at me to run, to get out of those woods, and yet… “We have to.”
A sigh. “I really feel like I ought to talk you out of this.”
“Don’t.”
“If things get dire, I’ll grab you and bail.”
“I’ll allow it. I’m still doing this.”
“Guess I was wrong. You might get stabbed for your pay this time around, too.”
“This is bigger than just money, Fran.”
His hand wandered back to my shoulder, nudging me forward. “I know. You want to tear this creep apart.”
I paused. “If Markov asks, we didn’t plan on it.”
“Finally, some murderous tendencies in that sunny mind of yours.” The cheer in Frankie’s voice was only a little forced.
I steeled myself as we took up walking once more. Soon enough, we caught up with the two cultists, trailing behind them at a safe distance. I could hear the faint scraping of a wheelbarrow on the uneven ground. The eerie creaking noise was enough to speed up my heartrate once more. Frankie’s words still echoing through my mind, my thoughts were racing. A part of me was convinced I was making a terrible mistake, but there was something driving me on. Whether it was curiosity, an underlying thirst for revenge or illusions of grandeur, I’ll never know. Yet forwards I went. Abruptly, the pair stopped, the wheelbarrow grating to a halt. Frankie instantly dragged me down to hide behind a dead, uprooted tree, and not one second too soon.
The beam of the flashlight roamed the underbrush, its owners remaining blissfully unaware of our presence. “Here we are,” the person who’d attacked me spoke up again.
“Woah,” the woman pushing the cart answered eloquently. Whatever they were looking at was undoubtedly rather impressive.
“You’ve never been here before, have you?”
“No… Does it go as deep as they say?”
“Deeper. It’s a whole-ass tunnel system down there. We’ve spent years prepping for this, remember?”
“Okay. Whew. Well then, off we go. Can you help me lift him up, at least?”
The other person groaned. “Fine.”
Frankie Preston had grabbed my arm. The distant shine from the cultists’ torch bathed him in an almost unearthly glow. He was cowering beside me with tense shoulders, his face a cold, concentrated mask. He wasn’t even chewing on his gum anymore. His wired posture reminded me of a lurking wildcat in a nature documentary. When he turned to look at me, I could almost tell what he was thinking.
Whatever these two had come here to do, it was happening now, meaning that this was our last chance to intervene.
Trying to free my mind from all thoughts of flight, I rose to my feet. Step by step, I made my way out of our hiding spot, instantly drawing the pair’s attention. Two heads whipped around to face me. The flashlight dropped and rolled a little ways across the ground, its wide beam illuminating the small clearing and revealing the reason for the cultists’ venture. There was a dark hole in the ground at our feet, the opening reminiscent of a gaping, toothless maw. My gaze wandered over to the pushcart. Its bulky contents were covered by a large, green tarp. The tall, lanky person slowly raised their hands to their hips, uttering a low, mildly surprised “huh”. The woman, who was stockier and far shorter in stature than them, stood frozen in shock. The eyes that stared at me from behind her black mask were blown wide.
“Hey you,” the tall one said. “I had a feeling we’d meet again soon.”
I didn’t respond. My stomach suddenly burned with a phantom pain. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the person’s gloved hands, trying not to jump when their fingers twitched into the direction of their pocket. Trying to keep my breathing steady, I reached up to unzip my jacket. As it fell to the ground, I felt my tentacles pierce my skin. Simultaneously, my teeth began to elongate, curving outward as they uncomfortably stretched out my gums.
“I had a feeling something like this was gonna happen, too,” my former assailant added, tilting their head at me. “I do love being right.”
The woman, who had been stunned speechless up to that point, let out an ear-shattering scream, but before anything coherent could emerge from her throat, the other person had spun around and struck her square across the face. The blow had come with such force that she crumbled immediately, her shriek dying in a strangled whimper before she hit the ground unconscious. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My mind was spinning, but I forced my eyes to remain hard, praying that my large fangs were twisting my face enough to veil my terror. I lifted myself over the fallen tree, partly employing my extra limbs. The cultist didn’t shrink away, instead taking a large step towards me. Before I knew it, the surface of their mask was scraping against my teeth. Too startled to move, I held their gaze for several seconds. Up close, I could see the only part of them that wasn’t obscured.
There was something very, very wrong with their eyes.
At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Their iris was of a pale, watery color that could not quite be defined as blue. Their surreal milky sheen was enough to send a chill up my spine. And then I realized it. There were only the irises. That black dot that all humans and most other known lifeforms typically have in their eyes, the pupil, it simply wasn’t there.
I stood rooted to the ground, staring into the stranger’s eyes. I thought I could see different colors swirling around in those not-quite-blue orbs. I was abruptly noticing a sudden inability to move on my part. I wanted to lift my arm and shove the cultist away, I wanted to unhinge my jaw and sink my teeth into their flesh, but I couldn’t. I was distantly aware of the heavy rising and falling of my chest, of my heart thundering in my ribcage, but it didn’t feel real somehow. Nothing felt real anymore. The world had turned iridescently turquoise and violent, flashing lights dotting my vision as my breathing grew quicker.
Somewhere in the back of my head, the last waking part of me was screaming.
And then, all of a sudden, everything turned dark again. I blinked furiously, trying to orient myself as the outlines of trees and bushes swam into focus again. The sweet smell of pine needles and damp soil hit me as I emerged from the hypnotic half-slumber. Before me, ramrod straight, stood Frankie Preston, and somehow, the sight of him had triggered the flight instinct in the cultist I had failed to provoke. Our eye contact broken, they staggered back, just as Fran stepped aside. This time, I didn’t throw away my shot. I threw myself at the stranger, lunging forward with my teeth bared. They dodged me by a hair’s breadth, bolting towards the manhole and, within a split second, they had disappeared down the pitch-black shaft. No sound of impact met our pricked ears.
Frankie wordlessly took out his phone, proceeding to place the call to Mary Markov. He walked over to me as they talked, grabbing my hand with his free one and pumping it almost rhythmically like he was trying an unconventional method of resuscitation. His voice and that of the newsreader on the other end sounded strangely far away. After hanging up, he hastily typed something before finally shoving the device back into his pocket. With an almost methodical precision, he wrapped his arms around me and picked me up, holding me close to his chest. My tentacles were hanging limply from my back as my teeth slowly began to reassume their normal size and length. Entangling my trembling fingers in his curls, I must have looked absolutely pitiful. The server sat down on the fallen tree, his grip on me unfaltering as I adjusted to sit on his lap, feeling myself unwind.
We remained like this, not speaking, until we heard steps draw closer. Mary Markov and two of her agents were walking towards us at a speedy pace, the newsreader crouching down in front of us while the two men immediately took to the unconscious female cultist.
“You were in here for quite a while,” she began, her voice drifting in and out of my ears while Frankie’s soothing touch curled around the edge of my senses. “I had a feeling something had gone wrong, so I’d already sent for backup. Good thing, too, I guess.” Her voice held a barely hidden note of accusation.
“Leave her be. She’s obviously in no condition to speak,” the waiter growled.
I would have confirmed this, but I was in no condition to speak.
Mary sighed. “Nevermind then, we’ll discuss this later. For now, let’s check what they were transporting.”
I patted Fran on the back to alert him.
“Feeling curious? Even after all of this?”
I nodded into his nape.
A grunt. “Well, fine. Not like this could have gone any worse, huh.” He stood up and walked us over to the wheelbarrow, closely followed by Mary. The newsreader inspected the tarp, then grabbed one corner and flung it off the cart. A sharp gasp escaped her and I craned my neck to look. Frankie instantly turned around, trying to avert my eyes from the sight that had just been revealed to us, but it was too late. I had already seen the contents. The headless body lying folded in the barrow.
A human with their head removed doesn't look entirely human anymore. I could tell from the stature that it was a male body, but its condition made him feel less like a person. I couldn't help drawing this distinction, even though it made my stomach turn. Rigor mortis having washed over the carcass, he was in a bent, twisted position that would have been painful to anyone still alive. One of his arms, freed from the tarp, was dangling loosely over the side of the cart. One of Mary’s agents gagged and covered his mouth. I shot him a sympathetic glance, though I don’t think he caught it. I was too tired to scream or throw up. Thus quenching any visceral reaction to the gruesome sight, I buried my face in Fran’s shirt once more, closing my eyes.
X
1
2: deadbeat roommate
3: creepy crush
4: relocation
5: beach concert
6: First date
7: Temp work
8: roommate talk
9: a dismal worldview
10: warehouse
11: staircase
12: explanation
13: hurt
14: hospital
15: ocean
16: diner
submitted by girl_from_the_crypt to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 15:44 insane_taco Did anyone else feel like a prisoner? how did it affect you?

TW: Domestic Violence and /Emotional Abuse
Was anyone not allowed to leave the house during childhood, even with another parent? When I was younger, my mother and I were not allowed to leave our very tiny room unless it was for errands w the explicit permission of my father. He rarely let us go out shopping alone.
He never took us anywhere and I spent 16 years stuck in that tiny crowded room.
On top of that, on the rare occasion he felt benevolent, we always ordered what he wanted from the same 3 restaurants or went to the same 3-4 retail stores. Occasionally we would go to the same 2 parks, but he largely preferred 1 over the other.
I truly wish, from the bowels of my heart, that I were joking. Always the same places, and I felt like I was held hostage.
I feel like it… really affected me. I think about the lime green walls of that tiny ass room and I feel sick in an emotionally detached way, and want to vomit. I feel sort of crazy when I think about it, and find that I can’t stop.
idk why i’m writing this… i think i want validation that i’m just… a bit ducked up as an adult that struggles to break from routine. i find myself going to the same very few places and doing the same things very often. i still feel stuck, so to say.
thanks for reading.
submitted by insane_taco to CPTSD [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 15:12 gottaloveagoodbook Asked my dad for space. He never texted back. Uncertain about how I feel.

Warning: Long, TL;DR at end.
I love my dad. He was a great parent. Especially when I was a little kid. He loved to take me and my sibling on adventures. He always listened to my questions like they were the most important questions in the world. He made us breakfast and changed our diapers and told us every day that we were important. He was generous with money, but made sure to never spoil us. He loves to teach us things, even today.
But as soon as I hit puberty, things got tricky. Turns out he loves kids, but isn't so fond of women. Especially when they have different opinions from himself. So when my sib and I grew into opinionated women, the fighting started. We had a long period in my teens and early 20's where all we did was yell in each other's direction and desperately hope that the other person would hear. I tried to actively listen, even when he was making assumptions about my worth, my goals, my health, and my life. But, I must admit, I only successfully listened about 50% of the time. He never did.
When I became an adult and got a place of my own, he started insisting that we meet once a week to touch base and have a nice day out.
So I did. But the success in those outings was always touch and go.
Dad doesn't want to admit he hasn't kept up with his children's interests, so he never wants to plan outings. Don't get me wrong, he wants to have outings with me every week, he just doesn't want to plan them.
After a lot of back and forth, I finally got him to plan every other outing and I would take care of the rest.
I've taken us to world famous food markets, cat cafes, historic cemeteries, art galleries, and regional festivals. The only two outings he has planned in the last three months were going for a walk in a park fifteen minutes from his house and going grocery shopping together.
For a while, I was concerned that maybe I was dragging him to things he doesn't like. But I wouldn't know. Dad has always refused to get a hobby or show a visible interest in any topic. Aside from electronics, which is what he built his career on, I can't tell you a single thing he enjoys on a regular basis.
I know that he has a life of his own, with friends, pets, and a new girlfriend. It's just that he doesn't tell me about any of it. And when he does, it's usually done in a way that makes me upset.
Once, when we were having a nice day out together and had stopped for a meal, he turned to me and told me how glad he was that he had found his current therapist. Because with her help he had realized that it was OK that I had never done anything with my life. He assumed I would take that as a high complement.
All this is frustrating to me. I have told him as such. I've put up basic boundaries with him, like asking him to let me know if he's free to hang out this weekend before the weekend starts so I don't have to schedule a trip and can make plans if he's busy. But even when he respects those boundaries or does what I ask, it all dissolves into a screaming match.
I had texted him on Wednesday if he was free to hang out this weekend.
On Friday he texted back that he could do a walk in the park and lunch in a restaurant. (He knows, but hates, the fact that I'm still masking in public.)
I swallowed my pride. I didn't mention that I have been begging him to plan something other than a walk and food for years.
I told him that we could do that if we got the food to-go and could make it an early picnic lunch in a special park that I've been talking about for months - about 40 minutes away from his house.
He said that was too far away. Maybe next week. Or the week after that.
Now his girlfriend is staying with him this week. She was going to come with us. She has her elderly dog with her, and they're both protective of his safety in public. But I made sure the park was dog-friendly (dogs could be on the property, even though there was no allocated space for them) and I checked to make sure that we were going to go when the park wasn't busy.
And he knows this.
And still he just blew it off.
And I was upset. And sad. Again.
I vented to Mom, and she told me that if it hurt this much to keep meeting with him, that maybe we should stop doing weekly visits. We should still visit, obviously, but maybe only when there was something we were both excited to do.
That I should gently break this to him, and center the conversation around my feelings, but to say that maybe we should only get together if there was a reason to.
So after an hour of agonized writing, I sent him the text.
And over a day later he hasn't replied.
I don't feel mad, per say. I mean, I was expecting him to lash out and he hasn't.
But instead he has just tossed me aside like an afterthought.
Which I knew he was always capable of, but still.
It feels like I've been pushed off the swings, the air knocked out of me, and I'm not quite sure if this is going to hurt in a second.
TL;DR: I send my father a text telling him that maybe we should cut back on our weekly visits. I do this because he keeps pushing my buttons and each time we do get together is disappointing or painful to me. He never responds to my message.
submitted by gottaloveagoodbook to family [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 14:31 AnderLouis_ Hail and Farewell (George Moore) - Book 3: Vale, Chapter 11.2

PODCAST: https://ayearofwarandpeace.podbean.com/e/ep1572-hail-and-farewell-george-moore-vale-chapter-112/
PROMPTS: George does not care about you, whatsoever.
Today's Reading, via Project Gutenberg:
Borde could not enlighten him on that point, and I suggested that he should make application to the publisher of his Prayer-Book and get his money back. There is nobody. I said, like him. He is more wonderful than anything in literature. I prefer him to Sancho who was untroubled with a conscience and never thought of running to the Bishop of Toledo. All the same he is not without the shrewdness of his ancestors, and got the better of Archbishop Walsh, and for the last five years Vincent O'Brien has been beating time, and will beat it till the end of his life; and he will be succeeded by others, for Edward has, by deed, saved the Italian contrapuntalists till time everlasting from competition with modern composers. He certainly has gotten the better of Walsh. And I thought of a picture-gallery in Dublin with nothing in it but Botticelli and his school, and myself declaring that all painting that had been done since had no interest for me.... A smile began to spread over my face, for the story that was coming into my mind seemed oh! so humorous, so like Ireland, so like Edward, that I began to tell myself again the delightful story of the unrefined ears that, weary of erudite music, had left the cathedral and sought instinctively modern tunes and women's voices, and as these were to be found in Westland Row the church was soon overflowing with a happy congregation. But in a little while the collections grew scantier. This time it couldn't be Palestrina, and all kinds of reasons were adduced. At last the truth could no longer be denied—the professional Catholics of Merrion Square had been driven out of Westland Row by the searching smells of dirty clothes, and had gone away to the University Church in Stephen's Green. So if it weren't Palestrina directly it was Palestrina indirectly, and the brows of the priests began to knit when Edward Martyn's name was mentioned. Them fal-de-dals is well enough on the Continent, in Paris, where there is no faith, was the opinion of an important ecclesiastic. But we don't want them here, murmured a second ecclesiastic. All this counterpoint may make a very pretty background for Mr Martyn's prayers, but what about the poor people's? Good composer or bad composer, there is no congregation in him, said a third. There's too much congregation, put in the first, but not the kind we want! The second ecclesiastic took snuff, and the group were of opinion that steps should be taken to persuade dear Edward to make good their losses. The priests in Marlborough Street sympathised with the priests of Westland Row, and told them that they were so heavily out of pocket that Mr Martyn had agreed to do something for them. It seemed to the Westland Row priests that if Mr Martyn were making good the losses of the priests of the pro-Cathedral, he should make good their losses. It was natural that they should think so, and to acquit himself of all responsibility Edward no doubt consulted the best theologians on the subject, and I think that they assured him that he is not responsible for indirect losses. If he were, his whole fortune would not suffice. He was, of course, very sorry if a sudden influx of poor people had caused a falling-off in the collections of Westland Row, for he knew that the priests needed the money very much to pay for the new decorations, and to help them he wrote an article in the Independent praising the new blue ceiling, which seemed, so he wrote, a worthy canopy for the soaring strains of Palestrina.
Unfortunately rubbing salt into the wound, I said. A story that will amuse Dujardin and it will be great fun telling him in the shady garden at Fontainebleau how Edward, anxious to do something for his church, had succeeded in emptying two. All the way down the alleys he will wonder how Edward could have ever looked upon Palestrina's masses as religious music. The only music he will say, in which religious emotion transpires is plain-chant. Huysmans says that the Tantum Ergo or the Dies Irae, one or the other, reminds him of a soul being dragged out of purgatory, and it is possible that it does; but a plain-chant tune arranged in eight-part counterpoint cannot remind one of anything very terrible. Dujardin knows that Palestrina was a priest, and he will say: That fact deceived your friend, just as the fact of finding the Adeste Fideles among the plain-chant tunes deceived him. For of course I shall tell Dujardin that story too. It is too good to be missed. He is wonderful, Dujardin! I shall cry out in one of the sinuous alleys. There never was anybody like him! And I will tell him more soul-revealing anecdotes. I will say: Dujardin, listen. One evening he contended that the great duet at the end of Siegfried reminded him of mass by Palestrina. Dujardin will laugh, and, excited by his laughter, I will try to explain to him that what Edward sees is that Palestrina took a plain chant tune and gave fragments of it to the different voices, and in his mind these become confused with the motives of The Ring. You see, Dujardin, the essential always escapes him—the intention of the writer is hidden from him. I am beginning to understand your friend. He has, let us suppose, a musical ear that allows him to take pleasure in the music; but a musical ear will not help him to follow Wagner's idea—how, in a transport of sexual emotion, a young man and a young woman on a mountain-side awaken to the beauty of the life of the world. Dujardin's appreciations will provoke me, and I will say: Dujardin, you shouldn't be so appreciative. If I were telling you of a play I had written, it would be delightful to watch my idea dawning upon your consciousness; but I am telling you of a real man, and one that I shall never to able to get into literature. He will answer: We invent nothing; we can but perceive. And then, exhilarated, carried beyond myself, I will say: Dujardin, I will tell you something still more wonderful than the last gaffe. II gaffe dans les Quat'z Arts. He admires Ibsen, but you'd never guess the reason why—because he is very like Racine; both of them, he says, are classical writers. And do you know how he arrived at that point? Because nobody is killed on the stage in Racine or in Ibsen. He does not see that the intention of Racine is to represent men and women out of time and out of space, unconditioned by environment, and that the very first principle of Ibsen's art is the relation of his characters to their environment. In many passages he merely dramatises Darwin. There never was anybody so interesting as dear Edward, and there never will be anybody like him in literature ... I will explain why presently, but I must first tell you another anecdote. I went to see him one night, and he told me that the theme of the play he was writing was a man who had married a woman because he had lost faith in himself; the man did not know, however, that the woman had married him for the same reason, and the two of them were thinking—I have forgotten what they were thinking, but I remember Edward saying: I should like to suggest hopelessness. I urged many phrases, but he said: It isn't a phrase I want, but an actual thing. I was thinking of a broken anchor—that surely is a symbol of hopelessness. Yes, I said, no doubt, but how are you going to get a broken anchor into a drawing-room? I don't write about drawing-rooms. Well, living-rooms. It isn't likely that they would buy a broken anchor and put it up by the coal-scuttle.
There's that against it, he answered. If you could suggest anything better—What do you think of a library in which there is nothing but unacted plays? The characters could say, when there was nothing for them to do on the stage, that they were going to the library to read, and the library would have the advantage of reminding everybody of the garret in the Wild Duck. A very cruel answer, my friend, Dujardin will say, and I will tell him that I can't help seeing in Edward something beyond Shakespeare or Balzac. Now, tell me, which of these anecdotes I have told you is the most humorous? He will not answer my question, but a certain thoughtfulness will begin to settle in his face, and he will say: Everything with him is accidental, and when his memory fails him he falls into another mistake, and he amuses you because it is impossible for you to anticipate his next mistake. You know there is going to be one; there must be one, for he sees things separately rather than relatively. I am beginning to understand your friend.
You are, you are; you are doing splendidly. But you haven't told me, Dujardin, which anecdote you prefer. Stay, there is another one. Perhaps this one will help you to a still better understanding. When he brought The Heather Field and Yeats's play The Countess Cathleen to Dublin for performance, a great trouble of conscience awakened suddenly in him, and a few days before the performance he went to a theologian to ask him if The Countess Cathleen were a heretical work, and, if it were would Almighty God hold him responsible for the performance? But he couldn't withdraw Yeats's play without withdrawing his own, and it appears that he breathed a sigh of relief when a common friend referred the whole matter to two other theologians, and as these gave their consent Edward allowed the plays to go on; but Cardinal Logue intervened, and wrote a letter to the papers to say that the play seemed to him unfit for Catholic ears, and Edward would have withdrawn the plays if the Cardinal hadn't admitted in his letter that he had judged the play by certain extracts only.
He wishes to act rightly, but has little faith in himself; and what makes him so amusing is that he needs advice in aesthetics as well as in morals. We are, I said, Dujardin, at the roots of conscience. And I began to ponder the question what would happen to Edward if we lived in a world in which aesthetics ruled: I should be where Bishop Healy is, and he would be a thin, small voice crying in the wilderness—an amusing subject of meditation, from which I awoke suddenly.
I wonder how Dujardin is getting on with his Biblical studies? Last year he was calling into question the authorship of the Romans—a most eccentric view; and, remembering how weakly I had answered him, I took the Bible from the table and began to read the Epistle with a view to furnishing myself with arguments wherewith to confute him. My Bible opened at the ninth chapter, and I said: Why, here is the authority for the Countess Cathleen's sacrifice which Edward's theologian deemed untheological. It will be great fun to poke Edward up with St Paul, and on my way to Lincoln Place I thought how I might lead the conversation to The Countess Cathleen.
📷
A few minutes afterwards a light appeared on the staircase and the door slowly opened.
Come in, Siegfried, though you were off the key.
Well, my dear friend, it is a difficult matter to whistle above two trams passing simultaneously and six people jabbering round a public-house, to say nothing of a jarvey or two, and you perhaps dozing in your armchair, as your habit often is. You won't open to anything else except a motive from The Ring; and I stumbled up the stairs in front of Edward, who followed with a candle.
Wait a moment; let me go first and I'll turn up the gas.
You aren't sitting in the dark, are you?
No, but I read better by candle-light, and he blew out the candles in the tin candelabrum that he had made for himself. He is original even in his candelabrum; no one before him had ever thought of a caridelabrum in tin, and I fell to admiring his appearance more carefully than perhaps I had ever done before, so monumental did he seem lying on the little sofa sheltered from daughts by a screen, a shawl about his shoulders. His churchwarden was drawing famously, and I noticed his great square hands with strong fingers and square nails pared closely away, and as heretofore I admired the curve of the great belly, the thickness of the thighs, the length and breadth and the width of his foot hanging over the edge of the sofa, the apoplectic neck falling into great rolls of flesh, the humid eyes, the skull covered with short stubbly hair. I looked round the rooms and they seemed part of himself: the old green wallpaper on which he pins reproductions of the Italian masters. And I longed to peep once more into the bare bedroom into which he goes to fetch bottles of Apollinaris. Always original! Is there another man in this world whose income is two thousand a year, and who sleeps in a bare bedroom, without dressing-room, or bathroom, or servant in the house to brush his clothes, and who has to go to the baker's for his breakfast?
We had been talking for some time of the Gaelic League, and from Hyde it was easy to pass to Yeats and his plays.
His best play is The Countess Cathleen.
The Countess Cathleen is only a sketch.
But what I never could understand, Edward, was why you and the Cardinal could have had any doubts as to the orthodoxy of The Countess Cathleen.
What, a woman that sells her own soul in order to save the souls of others!
I suppose your theologian objected—
Of course he objected.
He cannot have read St Paul.
What do you mean?
He can't have read St Paul, or else he is prepared to throw over St Paul.
Mon ami Moore, mon ami Moore.
The supernatural idealism of a man who would sell his soul to save the souls of others fills me with awe.
But it wasn't a man; it was the Countess Cathleen, and women are never idealists.
Not the saints?
His face grew solemn at once.
If you give me the Epistles I will read the passage to you. And it was great fun to go to the bookshelves and read: I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Edward's face grew more and more solemn, and I wondered of what he was thinking.
Paul is a very difficult and a very obscure writer, and I think the Church is quite right not to encourage the reading of the Epistles, especially without comments.
Then you do think there is something in the passage I have read?
After looking down his dignified nose for a long time, he said:
Of course, the Church has an explanation. All the same, it's very odd that St Paul should have said such a thing—very odd.
There is no doubt that I owe a great deal of my happiness to Edward; all my life long he has been exquisite entertainment. And I fell to thinking that Nature was very cruel to have led me, like Moses, within sight of the Promised Land. A story would be necessary to bring Edward into literature, and it would be impossible to devise an action of which he should be a part. The sex of a woman is odious to him, and a man with two thousand a year does not rob nor steal, and he is so uninterested in his fellow-men that he has never an ill word to say about anybody. John Eglinton is a little thing; AE is a soul that few will understand; but Edward is universal—more universal than Yeats, than myself, than any of us, but for lack of a story I shall not be able to give him the immortality in literature which he seeks in sacraments. Shakespeare always took his stories from some other people. Turgenev's portrait of him would be thin, poor, and evasive, and Balzac would give us the portrait of a mere fool. And Edward is not a fool. As I understand him he is a temperament without a rudder; all he has to rely upon is his memory, which isn't a very good one, and so he tumbles from one mistake into another. My God! it is a terrible thing to happen to one, to understand a man better than he understands himself, and to be powerless to help him. If I had been able to undo his faith I should have raised him to the level of Sir Horace Plunkett, but he resisted me; and perhaps he did well, for he came into the world seeing things separately rather than relatively, and had to be a Catholic. He is a born Catholic, and I remembered one of his confessions—a partial confession, but a confession: If you had been brought up as strictly as I have been—I don't think he ever finished the sentence; he often leaves sentences unfinished, as if he fears to think things out. The end of the sentence should run: You would not dare to think independently. He thinks that his severe bringing-up has robbed him of something. But the prisoner ends by liking his prison-house, and on another occasion he said: If it hadn't been for the Church, I don't know what would have happened to me.
My thoughts stopped, and when I awoke I was thinking of Hughes. Perhaps the link between Hughes and Edward was Loughrea Cathedral. He had shown me a photograph of some saints modelled by Hughes. Hughes is away in Paris, I said, modelling saints for Loughrea Cathedral. The last time I saw him was at Walter Osborne's funeral, and Walter's death set me thinking of the woman I had lost, and little by little all she had told me about herself floated up in my mind like something that I had read. I had never seen her father nor the Putney villa in which she had been brought up, but she had made me familiar with both through her pleasant mode of conversation, which was never to describe anything, but just to talk about things, dropping phrases here and there, and the phrases she dropped were so well chosen that the comfort of the villa, its pompous meals and numerous servants, its gardens and greenhouses, with stables and coach-house just behind, are as well known to me as the house that I am living in, better known in a way, for I see it through the eyes of the imagination ... clearer eyes than the physical eyes.
It does not seem to me that any one was ever more conscious of whence she had come and of what she had been; she seemed to be able to see herself as a child again, and to describe her childhood with her brother (they were nearly the same age) in the villa and in the villa's garden. I seemed to see them always as two rather staid children who were being constantly dressed by diligent nurses and taken out for long drives in the family carriage. They did not like these drives and used to hide in the garden; but their governess was sent to fetch them, and they were brought back. Her father did not like to have the horses kept waiting, and one day as Stella stood with him in the passage, she saw her mother come out of her bedroom beautifully dressed. Her father whispered something in his wife's ear, and he followed her into her bedroom. Stella remembered how the door closed behind them. In my telling, the incident seems to lose some of its point, but in Stella's relation it seemed to put her father and his wife before me and so clearly that I could not help asking her what answer her father would make were she to tell him that she had a lover. A smile hovered in her grave face. He would look embarrassed, she said, and wonder why I should have told him such a thing, and then I think he would go to the greenhouse, and when he returned he would talk to me about something quite different. I don't think that Stella ever told me about the people that came to their house, but people must have come to it, and as an example of how a few words can convey an environment I will quote her: I always wanted to talk about Rossetti, she said, and these seven words seem to me to tell better than any description the life of a girl living with a formal father in a Putney villa, longing for something, not knowing exactly what, and anxious to get away from home.... I think she told me she was eighteen or nineteen and had started painting before she met Florence at the house of one of her father's friends; a somewhat sore point this meeting was, for Florence was looked upon by Stella's father as something of a Bohemian. She was a painter, and knew all the Art classes and the fees that had to be paid, and led Stella into the world of studios and models and girl friends. She knew how to find studios and could plan out a journey abroad. Stella's imagination was captured, and even if her father had tried to offer opposition to her leaving home he could not have prevented her, for she was an heiress (her mother was dead and had left her a considerable income); but he did not try, and the two girls set up house together in Chelsea; they travelled in Italy and Spain; they had a cottage in the country; they painted pictures and exhibited their pictures in the same exhibitions; they gave dances in their studios and were attracted by this young man and the other; but Stella did not give herself to any one, because, as she admitted to me, she was afraid that a lover would interrupt the devotion which she intended to give to Art. But life is forever casting itself into new shapes and forms, and no sooner had she begun to express herself in Art than she met me. I was about to go to Ireland to preach a new gospel, and must have seemed a very impulsive and fantastic person to her, but were not impulsiveness and fantasy just the qualities that would appeal to her? And were not gravity and good sense the qualities that would appeal to me, determined as I was then to indulge myself in a little madness?
I could not have chosen a saner companion than Stella; my instinct had led me to her; but because one man's instinct is a little more clear than another's, it does not follow that he has called reason to his aid. It must be remembered always that the art of painting is as inveterate in me as the art of writing, and that I am never altogether myself when far away from the smell of oil paint. Stella could talk to one about painting, and all through that wonderful summer described in Salve our talk flowed on as delightfully as a breeze in Maytime, and as irresponsible, flashing thoughts going by and avowals perfumed with memories. Only in her garden did conversation fail us, for in her garden Stella could think only of her flowers, and it seemed an indiscretion to follow her as she went through the twilight gathering dead blooms or freeing plants from noxious insects. But she would have had me follow her, and I think was always a little grieved that I wasn't as interested in her garden as I was in her painting; and my absent-mindedness when I followed her often vexed her and my mistakes distressed her.
You are interested, she said, only in what I say about flowers and not in the flowers themselves. You like to hear me tell about Miss —— whose business in life is to grow carnations, because you already see her, dimly, perhaps, but still you see her in a story. Forget her and look at this Miss Shifner!
Yes, it is beautiful, but we can only admire the flowers that we notice when we are children, I answered. Dahlias, china roses, red and yellow tulips, tawny wallflowers, purple pansies, are never long out of my thoughts, and all the wonderful varieties of the iris, the beautiful blue satin and the cream, some shining like porcelain, even the common iris that grows about the moat.
But there were carnations in your mother's garden?
Yes, and I remember seeing them being tied with bass. But what did you say yesterday about carnations? That they were the—
She laughed and would not tell me, and when the twilight stooped over the high trees and the bats flitted and the garden was silent except when a fish leaped, I begged her to come away to the wild growths that I loved better than the flowers.
But the mallow and willow-weed are the only two that you recognise. How many times have I told you the difference between self-heal and tufted vetch?
I like cow parsley and wild hyacinths and—
You have forgotten the name. As well speak of a woman that you loved but whose name you had forgotten.
Well, if I have, I love trees better than you do, Stella. You pass under a fir unstirred by the mystery of its branches, and I wonder at you, for I am a tree worshipper, even as my ancestors, and am moved as they were by the dizzy height of a great silver fir. You like to paint trees, and I should like to paint flowers if I could paint; there we are set forth, you and I.
I have told in Salve that in Rathfarnham she found many motives for painting; the shape of the land and the spire above the straggling village appealed to me, but she was not altogether herself in these pictures. She would have liked the village away, for man and his dwellings did not form part of her conception of a landscape; large trees and a flight of clouds above the trees were her selection, and the almost unconscious life of kine wandering or sheep seeking the shelter of a tree.
Stella was a good walker, and we followed the long road leading from Rathfarnham up the hills, stopping to admire the long plain which we could see through the comely trees shooting out of the shelving hillside.
If I have beguiled you into a country where there are no artists and few men of letters, you can't say that I have not shown you comely trees. And now if you can walk two miles farther up this steep road I will show you a lovely prospect.
And I enjoyed her grave admiration of the old Queen Anne dwelling-house, its rough masonry, the yew hedges, the path along the hillside leading to the Druid altar and the coast-line sweeping in beautiful curves, but she did not like to hear me say that the drawing of the shore reminded her of Corot.
It is a sad affectation, she said, to speak of Nature reminding one of pictures.
Well, the outlines of Howth are beautiful, I answered, and the haze is incomparable. I should like to have spoken about a piece of sculpture, but for your sake, Stella, I refrain.
She was interested in things rather than ideas, and I remember her saying to me that things interest us only because we know that they are always slipping from us. A strange thing for a woman to say to her lover. She noticed all the changes of the seasons and loved them, and taught me to love them. She brought a lamb back from Rathfarnham, a poor forlorn thing that had run bleating so pitifully across the windy field that she had asked the shepherd where the ewe was, and he had answered that she had been killed overnight by a golf-ball. The lamb will be dead before morning, he added. And it was that March that the donkey produced a foal, a poor ragged thing that did not look as if it ever could be larger than a goat, but the donkey loved her foal.
Do you know the names of those two birds flying up and down the river?
They look to me like two large wrens with white waistcoats.
They are water-ouzels, she said.
The birds flew with rapid strokes of the wings, like kingfishers, alighting constantly on the river, on large mossy stones, and though we saw them plunge into the water, it was not to swim, but to run along the bottom in search of worms.
But do worms live under water?
The rooks were building, and a little while after a great scuffling was heard in one of the chimneys and a young jackdaw came down and soon became tamer than any bird I had ever seen, tamer than a parrot, and at the end of May the corncrake called from the meadow that summer had come again, and the kine wandered in deeper and deeper and deeper herbage. The days seemed never to end, and looking through the branches of the chestnut in which the fruit had not begun to show, we caught sight of a strange spectacle. Stella said, A lunar rainbow, and I wondered, never having heard of or seen such a thing before.
I shall never forget that rainbow, Stella, and am glad that we saw it together.
In every love story lovers reprove each other for lack of affection, and Stella had often sent me angry letters which caused me many heart-burnings and brought me out to her; in the garden there were reconciliations, we picked up the thread again, and the summer had passed before the reason of these quarrels became clear to me. One September evening Stella said she would accompany me to the gate, and we had not gone very far before I began to notice that she was quarrelling with me. She spoke of the loneliness of the Moat House, and I had answered that she had not been alone two evenings that week. She admitted my devotion. And if you admit that there has been no neglect—
She would not tell me, but there was something she was not satisfied with, and before we reached the end of the avenue she said, I don't think I can tell you. But on being pressed she said:
Well, you don't make love to me often enough.
And full of apologies I answered, Let me go back.
No, I can't have you back now, not after having spoken like that.
But she yielded to my invitation, and we returned to the house, and next morning I went back to Dublin a little dazed, a little shaken.
A few days after she went away to Italy to spend the winter and wrote me long letters, interesting me in herself, in the villagers, in the walks and the things that she saw in her walks, setting me sighing that she was away from me, or that I was not with her. And going to the window I would stand for a long time watching the hawthorns in their bleak wintry discontent, thinking how the sunlight fell into the Italian gardens, and caught the corner of the ruin she was sketching; and I let my fancy stray for a time unchecked. It would be wonderful to be in Italy with her, but—
I turned from the window suspicious, for there was a feeling at the back of my mind that with her return an anxiety would come into my life that I would willingly be without. She had told me she had refrained from a lover because she wished to keep all herself for her painting, and now she had taken to herself a lover. She was twenty years younger than I was, and at forty-six or thereabouts one begins to feel that one's time for love is over; one is consultant rather than practitioner. But it was impossible to dismiss the subject with a jest, and I found myself face to face with the question—If these twenty years were removed, would things be different? It seemed to me that the difficulty that had arisen would have been the same earlier in my life as it was now, and returning to the window I watched the hawthorns blowing under the cold grey Dublin sky.
The problem is set, I said, for the married, and every couple has to solve it in one way or another, but they have to solve it; they have to come to terms with love, especially the man, for whom it is a question of life and death. But how do they come to terms? And I thought of the different married people I knew. Which would be most likely to advise me—the man or the woman? It would be no use to seek advice; every case is different, I said. If anybody were to advise me it would be the man, for the problem is not so difficult for a woman. She can escape from love more easily than her lover or her husband; she can plead, and her many pleadings were considered, one by one, and how in married life the solution that seems to lovers so difficult is solved by marriage itself, by propinquity. But not always, not always. The question is one of extraordinary interest and importance; more marriages come to shipwreck, I am convinced, on this very question than upon any other. In the divorce cases published we read of incompatibility of temper and lack of mutual tastes, mere euphemisms that deceive nobody. The image of a shipwreck rose up in me naturally. She will return, and like a ship our love for each other will be beaten on these rocks and broken. We shall not be able to get out to sea. She will return, and when she returns her temperament will have to be adjusted to mine, else she will lose me altogether, for men have died of love, though Shakespeare says they haven't. Manet and Daudet—both died of love; and the somewhat absurd spectacle of a lover waiting for his mistress to return, and yet dreading her returning, was constantly before me.
It often seemed to me that it was my own weakness that created our embarrassment. A stronger man would have been able to find a way out, but I am not one that can shape and mould another according to my desire; and when she returned from Italy I found myself more helpless than ever, and I remember, and with shame, how, to avoid being alone with her, I would run down the entire length of a train, avoiding the empty carriages, crying Not here, not here! at last opening the door of one occupied by three or four people, who all looked as if they were bound for a long journey. I remember, too, how about this time I came with friends to see Stella, whether by accident or design, frankly I know not; I only know that I brought many friends to see her, thinking they would interest her.
If you don't care to come to see me without a chaperon, I would rather you didn't come at all, she said, humiliating me very deeply.
It seemed to me, I answered, blushing, that you would like to see ——, and I mentioned the name of the man who had accompanied me.
If I am cross sometimes it is because I don't see enough of you.
It seems to me that it was then that the resolve hardened in my heart to become her friend ... if she would allow me to become her friend. But in what words should I frame my request and my apology? All the time our life was becoming less amiable, until one evening I nipped the quarrel that was beginning, stopping suddenly at the end of the avenue.
It is better that we should understand each other. The plain truth is that I must cease to be your lover unless my life is to be sacrificed.
Cease to be my lover!
That is impossible, but a change comes into every love story.
The explanation stuttered on. I remember her saying: I don't wish you to sacrifice your life. I have forgotten the end of her sentence. She drew her hand suddenly across her eyes. I will conquer this obsession.
A man would have whined and cried and besought and worried his mistress out of her wits. Women behave better than we; only once did her feelings overcome her. She spoke to me of the deception that life is. Again we were standing by the gate at the end of the chestnut avenue, and I remembered her telling me how a few years ago life had seemed to hold out its hands to her; her painting and her youth created her enjoyment.
But now life seems to have shrivelled up, she said; only a little dust is left.
Nothing is changed, so far as you and I are concerned. We see each other just the same.
I am no more to you than any other woman.
She went away again to Italy to paint and returned to Ireland, and one day she came to see me, and remained talking for an hour. I have no memory of what we said to each other, but a very clear memory of our walk through Dublin over Carlisle Bridge and along the quays. I had accompanied her as far as the Phoenix Park gates, and at the corner of the Conyngham Road, just as I was bidding her goodbye, she said:
I want to ask your advice on a matter of importance to me.
And to me, for what is important to you is equally important to me.
I am thinking, she said, of being married.
At the news it seems to me that I was unduly elated and tried to assume the interest that a friend should.
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2023.05.28 13:28 GJW2019 9 Days in Rome

Just back from a glorious 9 days in Rome. There's no other place like it and I felt so lucky to be able to go, My three initial aims in this trip were: (a) see my hometown hero Bruce Springsteen amongst my ancestral people (they literally sing along to not just the lyrics but the guitar riffs etc too) as well as (b) sink or swim as I continue to practice my Italian language skills (I've been taking lessons with a tutor for 2 years but there's nothing like just being thrown into the world of the language to sharpen up and get very comfortable conversing) and (c) do hours upon hours of photo walks (I ended up averaging 30k steps a day every day aside from the two sick days).
In brief, I split the trip up into two halves: the first half I stayed up on Avantino hill (it's very close to the Circo Massimo, so it was an easy spot for the concert) and the second half in a quiet pocket of Trastevere a block or two west of the river south of Ponte Paladino.My Avantino air bnb host gave me some great neighborhood places in nearby Testaccio (another wonderful neighborhood that tourists don't seem to wander into very much), and I found a fantastic and slightly quirky place for espresso also in Testaccio (I'm an espresso fiend).If you haven't been to Avantino, it almost reminded me of the Italian Beacon Hill (for those familiar with Boston).
It had the feeling of a Tuscan village that just happened to be somehow in the middle of Rome. It's where the famous key hole is that frames St. Peters, as well as the Giardino degli Aranci and Santa Sabina's, which is a gorgeous church from 422 AD. Staying here felt very relaxing and peaceful and even though some tourists did make their way to the keyhole every day, it had a very tranquil vibe, despite the fact that Circo Massimo was 5 minutes north and Testaccio was 5 minutes south.
Given that my favorite thing to do on vacation is just wander around with my Ricoh GR, I would begin every day in Avantino thusly:Get up, have an espresso at Tram Depot (always at the bar), walk around for a few hours and just see what I can find. Maybe I'd get a quick breakfast bite at the outstanding Casa Manco in the Testaccio market.
Then I'd go to for a big lunch at the wonderful Pecorino (also in Testaccio). This lunch would usually last an hour or two. It's a very cozy restaurant and the waiters are all very nice and so I'd often bring a book along with me or a notebook or I'd transfer pictures from my camera to my phone for editing in between courses. Lunch was often my largest meal of the day and sometimes my only "meal" of the day. (In normal life I train for marathons and am in the gym often and I'm super on top of my macros and making sure I get X amount of protein etc...on this trip, this was not the case.)
If I couldn't get into Pecorino for lunch or didn't end up in that area for lunch time, I'd either go there for dinner when they opened, or another excellent Testaccio spot called Perilli's. (There's also Piato Romano, which had excellent food but not quite the same cozy ambience as Pecorino.) I pretty much mainlined Amatriciana and Carbonara along with involtini, braised oxtail, and as much tiramisu as I could politely hurl into my maw. I like establishing some routines or rituals when I travel, especially when I travel solo, to help give the trip some grounding. It's also nice when you are far from home to be able to walk into a place where people begin to recognize you and accept you into their little circle, even if it is temporary.
For the second half of the trip in Trastevere...I got COVID! Sort of. The day after the concert, I noticed a heavy feeling in my upper airway/chest, but I figured it must have been all the second hand smoke I inhaled during the concert (from my observations, Romans thoroughly enjoy cigarettes). I wear an oura ring and while my HRV was low, nothing else stood out. That night though I developed a fever and spent the entire next day in bed. I was bummed, but frankly, after 5 nights in a row of being out from 8am to midnight, I needed a rest day anyway, so it wasn't bad timing. (How's that for spin?)
Not sure what my actual temperature was, but my oura ring said I was 4.3 degrees above my nightly average baseline, so I'm guessing my temperature was around 100-101 as my normal temperature on a thermometer seems to be around 96.6. I spent a good chunk of the next day in bed also, just napping (which was fairly pleasant as the cool breeze came in through the window, carrying the sounds of the three churches on Avantino, not to mention the bird calls and the pleasing sounds of people enjoying their meals on the street below). My baseline temp deviation was only +2 degrees the second night and by the end of the day, I felt good enough to have an appetite, but not quite good enough to stand upright, so I ordered some Trapizzino on uber eats (the polpetti/sugo and the melanzane were both glorious) and that revived me. By the next morning I was better!(In the end, I think this was covid because while I only had the fever for the two sick days, I lost most of my sense of smell sometime Thursday afternoon despite feeling fine. So maybe Covid? In the end, I missed out on a trip to Ostia Antica and a food tour, but the trip still felt extremely full of experiences.)
The rest of my time in Trastevere was great. Just wandering all around those crazy little winding streets, snapping away, always fueled by a caffè from the gruff but character-rich Bar San Calisto or the one across from my apartment, which was called "404 Name Not Found." I did eat lunch one day at Da Enzo which was good but not sure it's worth the hype given how much excellent food I had at restaurants with very little fanfare.
Da Enzo ended up being a great experience though because when they asked me how many and I said, "da solo," they asked if I would share the table if there was another single. I said sure, and ended up being paired up with a fellow endurance athlete, this one from France. Just one of the many fanciful moments that can happen when you travel solo. We also hung out again the next day for most of the morning and afternoon, and this was a sort of theme for my trip: running into people left and right, connecting, and making fast friends.
This is how I found myself getting invited to a Roman birthday party at the Piazza Testaccio one night for what felt like my 10th "out past midnight" night of the trip (again, a far cry from my normal life of "in bed at 9").In the end, what I will take away from this trip are a few things:
-the magic of learning a second language, and noticing your skills improving with every chat. Just the pleasure of hearing the Italian language and getting to practice it all day, every day (while making many mistakes). If you're going to Rome or Italy in general, I highly recommend you try and get yourself up to A2 in Italian. It's such a pleasurable language to speak and embrace, even if it's just at a beginner's level.
-the many conversations I had with shop owners or fellow bar patrons and the high-five I would give myself in my head when they would ask "if you're American, how come your accent is so good?" (Again, I'm a B1 speaker on my best day, but the compliment would always make my day given my beginner's nervousness at the start of the trip). A few times, people even just began talking to me, assuming I was Italian. (I am Italian-American, but having a Roman just start talking to you as one of their own meant a lot to the part of me that loves being Italian and feels a strong connection to the country, even from afar.)
-The Italian crowd at the Bruce show. Just a blast to sing along with them into the Roman sky, surrounded by ruins.-Mornings in Avantino spent in quiet contemplation in Santa Sabina or St Anselmo. A few times, the respective organists were practicing and I got my own concert.-After my two days sick in bed, when I returned to the Tram Depot and Casa Manco for sustenance, the proprietors both asked me one version or another or "tutto bene?" (as if to say, where ya been?). The man at Casa Manco blurted out "buon tornato!" when he saw me approach. Very warm-hearted people and they made me feel at home (along with the Pecorino staff, who were very kind to me and likely a little amused, wondering, why is this random American dude here every day eating for 2 hours?)
-A basic observation: I appreciated how people across seemingly different walks of life all talk to each other as equals. I saw street sweepers chatting with businessmen in the street in a way that would seem less likely in America. Maybe this is a class thing? Perhaps the gap in salaries is not so large like it is in America, and therefore people feel like one giant middle class together? Related: many younger Italians I spoke to told me how hard it was to live in Rome as a young person, as salaries were not very good, and unless you had 1-2 roommates or parents who could pay your rent, you would most likely have a longer commute coming into the city every day.
-The fact that behind every nook and cranny and around every corner, there is something spectacular to see. Whether it's the ruins that stand adjacent to the jewish ghetto in a reminder of the layers upon layers of civilizations that once existed in this city, or just the way the morning light creates a shaft down some medieval cobblestone street, it is a magical place to walk around. By the end of each very long day, my mind was just fried, both from working overtime with trying to speak Italian and from the sheer overstimulation of seeing so much beauty.
Anyway, this was not my first trip to Rome, but it was my first trip in MANY years, and it was precisely the life affirming and humanity affirming trip I needed this year after a rough and precarious start to 2023. Next trip, I will likely fly into Rome, spend 3-ish days there, and then head somewhere to the southern coast. As much as I love Roman food, it would be nice to be inundated with fresh sardines the same way this trip found me OD'ing on carbonara.
To me, this trip really captured the beauty of solo travel: I had plenty of experiences to enjoy my own company, but in my efforts to engage with the language and culture, I was eager to seek out interactions, and many of those interactions lead to further interactions. Whether it was helping an older Italian woman find the church she was looking for and the ensuing 20 minute conversation in Italian as we navigated, or wandering into a green juice place in Rome and expressing my shock and appreciation at the sight of vegetables to the owner that lead into a conversation about my union's current strike or finding an amazing children's book store while searching for a gift for my nephew and talking to the owner of the shop about books for an hour, just seeking ways to meaningfully engage and having a curiosity about the people and places I encountered really made for an enriching solo travel experience, because as Rolf Potts points out, had I been with a friend on this trip, we would have created our own bubble, and this bubble would have kept others out.
This being a solo travel sub, I will say that there's always that early part of the trip where you feel alone and disoriented after arriving in a new place after flying all night, like, "ah maybe I should have broken the trip up, or not made for such a long stay, etc" but whenever I felt that way in the early day and a half, I would just force myself to engage more fully with the world around me. Remember, the satisfaction of this kind of travel comes in the context of being outside your comfort zone, and the area outside that zone can be a little uncomfortable! But by the end, I didn't want to leave. And that's for me where the real magic of travel is.
Anyway, thank you to Rome and it's people for one of the best times in my 39 years.(If anyone is curious, I'll be posting many photos from this trip at my IG@ rovinglumix.
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2023.05.28 12:51 bagelbitesisisisiii Shows, movies, and book tracker for April

Shows, movies, and book tracker for April submitted by bagelbitesisisisiii to bulletjournal [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 08:33 -Bonjour-- More Madeir

From my travel report (2014):
The second trip to Madeira we made to escape the winter. The weather was like a moody diva in winter. It changes not only from day to day, but also within a few hours. So you can never plan anything for the next day, because you should not think, today it is so nice and sunny and warm, it will be the same tomorrow. But if you are unlucky, the next morning it will be completely cloudy, only to possibly be sunny again in the afternoon.
It is always a pleasure to stroll in FUNCHAL's old town. Here times an ice cream to eat, there a coffee possibly with Nata to take. But this should be done when there are no cruise ships in the harbor. Then you see fortunately more locals than tourists in the streets.
For football fans: Christiano Ronaldo, who comes from Madeira, now has his own museum in Funchal - eagerly visited by his - mostly young - supporters...
Funchal is spreading out more and more - the slopes all around are already built on, and in the hotel zone construction continues eagerly. Although it is obvious that in the newly built apartment houses still very many apartments are empty.
The first two weeks we booked apartment at about 350 m altitude with a beautiful view of Funchal. The disadvantage was that it became - especially in the evening - but quite cool. Fortunately we had not only an electric heater but also a fireplace in the apartment.
From up here you can see how Funchal has grown in recent years. It is a huge sea of houses, which goes up to all the adjacent hills.
For the second part of our stay we had chosen an apartment house at Praia do Formosa with direct view to the sea and also to Cabo Girao.
One of the most beautiful and varied gardens of Madeira is located only about 9 km east of Funchal: the Palheiro or Blandy's Gardens. In 1801, the property was purchased by Count Carvalhal. A hunting lodge was built and the count had exotic trees imported from all over the world. The count's descendants squandered the fortune, and so in 1885 the estate became the property of the Blandy family of wine merchants. The villa above the garden is still inhabited by the Blandy family and is not accessible.
The gardens are famous not only for the variety of (often exotic) plants but also for their location on a 500 m high hill with a magnificent view of the bay of Funchal. The Count's hunting lodge was renovated in 1997 and is now the exclusive hotel "Quinta Velha do Palheiro".
The gardens are divided into the main garden, the sunken garden, the valley of hell (Inferno) with mighty fern trees, the rose garden, the ladies garden and the tea house area. There are also ponds with water lilies and beautiful flower beds.
Some of the numerous trees are 100 years old. The garden has been constantly developed. Hibiscus, bougainvilleas, jacaranda, African tulip trees, coral trees and orchid trees grow here. The Blandy family imported proteas from South Africa and had a rose garden planted and a small baroque chapel built. The gardens are also famous for their numerous camellias and magnolias.
The orchid garden, created by an Austrian, apparently has more than 5000 plants and is located below the botanical garden. At the moment the orchid garden is closed, because in the big fire of 2016 in Funchal not only many houses were destroyed, but also great damage was done to the orchid garden.
Carnival is also celebrated in Madeira and by chance we saw a children's parade. It was interesting to see with which eagerness the children were partly "there". Therefore, there will probably be no problem with carnivalistic offspring in Funchal.
The town of RIBEIRA BRAVA is located at the mouth of a wide - sometimes wild (brava) river (ribeira). From Funchal there is a highway to get there. In Ribeira Brava there is a wide pebble beach, and on the other side of the promenade there are cafes and restaurants. In the historic center there are small stores, and here is also the pink town hall from the late 18th century
The Igreja de Sao Bento was built as early as 1440, but was given a new look during the Baroque period. The spire with the white-blue tile pattern and the sphere symbol of the Portuguese explorers is striking.
We still drove to Punta do Sol. This place lies between two high rocky capes. In the old core there are only a few houses and the church, behind it already begin the terraced banana fields. There is a pebble beach and on the promenade you can have a drink in small cafes. Except for us, there were hardly any tourists in the village. But here we drank the best poncha on the island. Poncha (made of honey, lemon juice and sugar cane brandy) is a kind of national drink on Madeira.
The village of Camara de Lobos - situated between two rocky cliffs - is only 9 km away from Funchal. Camara de Lobos is still a typical fishing village with the many colorful boats (xavelhas) that you can admire in the small harbor. A small church was built at the harbor early on, this was remodeled in 1420 and the current Capella Nossa Senhora de Conceicao was built.
There is still fishing and some boat building in Camara de Lobos. However, these are no longer particularly lucrative, so tourism is now a larger source of income. The fishermen in this area mainly catch the black scabbardfish (Espada), which is offered in many restaurants - also in Funchal.
There is a promenade path from the Lido in Funchal to Camara de Lobos since 2011. The path - always with a view of Cabo Girao - is partly concreted and partly laid out on wooden walkways. If you walk in the direction of Camara de Lobos, you can see the approaching waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the left and the partly high cliffs on the right. Not far behind Praia de Formosa there are some beach bars or restaurants where you can have a drink or eat quite well.
Cabo Girao near Camara de Lobos is one of the highest cliffs in the world. More than 500 m the land here falls almost vertically into the sea. Since our last visit, things had changed here, there was now a large parking lot. Then the cafes and souvenir stores were also new for us. And surprising for us was also the glass viewing platform, which exists since the end of 2012. Here you can see that wine and vegetables are grown on the small rocky outcrops. The farmers can reach their fields on the coastal fringe with a cable car. Before the cable car was built, these fields were only accessible by boat.
From Funchal it was not far to CANICO. The original village became in the course of time one of the most important tourist places on Madeira. Large hotel complexes, apartment buildings and villas were built. However, we turned off before we reached the town in order to get to Ponta do Garajau. There on a rock cliff is the 14 m high Christo Rei statue, which was erected in 1927. From here you have a beautiful view of Funchal. Since 2007, there is a cable car nearby that goes 200 m down to the pebble beach.
CURRAL DAS FREIRAS is a small village nestled between huge almost vertical mountain slopes in the heart of Madeira. There is only one road that leads serpentine to the 633 m high valley. Originally the valley was inhabited by nomads and shepherds. Towards the end of the 15th century, the land became the property of the nuns of the Santa Clara convent.
The name Curral das Freiras means "pen of the nuns". In the 16th and 17th centuries, the island was repeatedly attacked by pirates, and the nuns retreated here to the protection of the mountains, which are up to 700 meters high. Here people still live from what they grow themselves on their fertile fields. One of the specialties of the village is chestnuts. They are used to make liqueur, cakes, bread and soups, which are also sold to tourists. On November 1 of each year, the Chestnut Festival is held here.
Not many tourists come to SANTA CRUZ, although this place is certainly worth a visit. There is quite a pretty old town with the church of San Salvador built in 1533 as well as like a large modern market hall just behind the long gray pebble beach lined with date palms.
Just north of Santa Cruz is Madeira Island's airport, renamed "Cristiano Ronaldo" Airport in 2007. Opened in 1964 and reconstructed in 2000, this airport is one of the most dangerous in the world. The 2777 m long runway is built on the rocky coast above the water and looks like a bridge with large concrete supports. A large parking lot has been built below this runway.
Before the landing approach, the mountain massif must be overcome so that the narrow runway can be approached. Unfortunately, there have been numerous accidents, but this is still one of the busiest airports in Portugal.
From Santa Cruz we drove to MACHICO, one of the larger towns of Madeira. Machico profited from sugar cane cultivation in the 15th century and is now a modern town, which is divided into two halves by the Ribeira da Machico. On the eastern bank of the river is the historic fishing quarter with the main square surrounded by tall laurel trees.
The town church of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao in the center was built in the 15th century and partially rebuilt in the 18th century. Opposite stands the town hall built in the early 20th century There are several fish restaurants here.
In the surroundings of the small village FAIAL there is still a lot of agriculture, e.g. wine and fruit growing. The village is dominated by the 600 m high Eagle Rock. Only a few tourists come here, because there is hardly anything worth seeing.
Most people come to Santana to see the famous "Casas de colmo". In total there are still about a hundred of these thatched historic wooden houses. They are very scattered throughout the municipality.
On the way back to Funchal we passed through Ribera fria. Here you can take a short hike up to the Miradouro dos Balcoes, from where you have a beautiful view of the mountains.
The peninsula PONTA DE SAO LOURENCO is 9 km long and 2 km wide. In 1982 it was declared a nature reserve, mainly to ensure the preservation of the fauna with the great variety of birds and the great occurrence of the native flora. The eastern tip of Madeira is barren and windy. One can no longer imagine that everything here was lushly forested.
Then, in spring, a carpet of flowers enlivens the bare hilltops. But also in other seasons the turquoise sea and the rocks in different shades - ocher, rust, gray and green-black - bring color to the area.
The south coast can be easily approached by boats, which is almost impossible on the drastically shaped north coast with its strong winds. There is a paved access road to the parking lot above Baia de Abra. Here you can also take the public bus.
From there there is a popular rocky hiking trail. This hike is absolutely not a walk. There are some climbs, often wooden stairs. You have no shade and are exposed to gusts of wind. To avoid being blown down somewhere, I ducked down and waited out the sometimes strong gusts - really quite extreme.
At the narrowest point with a land bridge only a few meters wide, the rock drops almost 100 m vertically - fortunately the place is secured with a fence.
The hike takes - depending on your condition - 2 to 3 hours. It also depends on whether you only walk to the plateau of Casa Sardinha - administration of the national park - or if you want to make the ascent to Pico Furado. Below the Casa there are some tables for picnics. From there there is also an entrance for swimming, which can certainly be pleasant in the summer.
On the way there are always beautiful views of the sea and the rock formations - e.g. the so-called rock gate. On the south side you can see the cages of a fish farm in the sea. In front of Sao Lourenco there are two small islands, on one of them stands the oldest (from 1870) lighthouse of Madeira.
From the cape we drove to CANICAL, the easternmost municipality of Madeira. This place is still characterized by fishing and boat building. Fishing boats are still built here and there is a large repair yard.
Over the 1000 m high Encumeada Pass we drove northeast to Sao Vicente. Unfortunately the old coastal road to Seixal and Porto Moniz was closed and we had to drive through many tunnels. A few years ago it was a special experience to drive on the narrow and winding ER 101 directly at the coast - on one side the high cliffs and on the other side the sea. But apparently the road has become too dangerous in the meantime because of constant falling rocks.
We got to Porto Moniz , and unfortunately the weather got worse, more and more clouds came up. The sea raged with huge waves to the shore. Porto Moniz is a nice little town located on the northwestern tip of Madeira, a region with high mountains and views of the endless Atlantic Ocean.
From Porto Moniz you can go hiking, for example on the coastal trail "Levada da Ribeira da Janela", one of the best hiking trails in Madeira.
Porto Moniz is known for its volcanic pools. Daytrippers mostly come for these pools filled with sea water.These pools owe their formation to a lava tongue that flowed into the sea here thousands of years ago, creating caves due to the force of wind and waves. The black basalt lava pools form swimming pools and are the attraction of Porto Moniz, because you can swim (swim) in them very well - at least in good weather...
There are two different lava pools in Porto Moniz: the completely natural pools and the western pools, which have been transformed into natural outdoor pools - there are no sharp rocks here. The surrounding rocks of the outdoor pool were built as a terrace , and here you can sunbathe. The pools are open every day - even in winter. But when we were there, there was no one in the water....
The natural pools are not safe because of the black sharp basalt rocks. It is very interesting to watch the waves as they crash against the rocks. The water is sometimes whirled into the air in such a way that it looks like a geyser.
The PICO DE ARIEIRO is the most visited mountain of Madeira, because it is the only one that has been opened up with a road, but it is only the third highest. The road was probably built primarily for the observatory and not necessarily for the tourists. Already the approach through pristine landscape with rugged rock and sparse vegetation is an experience.
If the weather is good, you have a breathtaking view all around. Equally beautiful, however, is the sight of white cushions of clouds hanging between the high mountains. In winter there can be ice and snow on the peaks. Since it had snowed on Madeira about 2 weeks before our trip there, we could still see the sparse remnants on the shaded layers.
From Pico de Arieiro you can hike up to Pico Ruivo (1861 m) if the weather is good. At the beginning, the path is quite wide and in places secured by railings. Some then walk at least to the first viewpoint - the rocky peak Niho de Mata with beautiful views. The entire hike up to Pico Ruivo is clearly difficult, even if there are partially secured stairways since the 1960s. Some of the paths are steep up to 700 m, the rock steps are high, the paths are sometimes narrow and beaten, and it also goes through unlit tunnels. So you should have a good condition and be free from giddiness and sure-footed.
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2023.05.28 08:24 DiscoveryHimalaya Annapurna Base Camp Trek 7 Days - Annapurna Base Camp Trek - Hike to Everest Base Camp Nepal

Annapurna Base Camp Trek 7 Days - Annapurna Base Camp Trek - Hike to Everest Base Camp Nepal
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a popular trekking route in Nepal that offers stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. The trek is usually completed in 7-10 days, depending on the itinerary chosen by the trekker. Here is a sample itinerary for a 7-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m) Take an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which takes about 30 minutes. After arriving in Pokhara, check into your hotel and explore the city.
Day 2: Pokhara to Nayapul to Ghandruk (1,940m) Take a one-hour drive from Pokhara to Nayapul and start your trek. The trail leads through the lush green forests and several small villages before reaching Ghandruk, a Gurung village.

Annapurna Base Camp 4130m
Day 3: Ghandruk to Chomrong (2,170m) The trek on this day is quite steep and goes through stone steps and steep terrains. After crossing the Modi River, you'll reach Chomrong, a village with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
Day 4: Chomrong to Dovan (2,600m) The trail goes through a dense forest and several small streams before reaching Dovan, a small settlement surrounded by lush forests.
Day 5: Dovan to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3,700m) The trail on this day goes through a narrow gorge and several steep climbs. You'll eventually reach Machhapuchhre Base Camp, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
Day 6: Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) The trek on this day is quite challenging and requires some effort due to the high altitude. The Annapurna Base Camp is surrounded by majestic mountains, and you can witness a beautiful sunrise from this point.
Day 7: Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (2,340m) The trek back to Bamboo takes about 6-7 hours and goes through the same route as the ascent. You can take a dip in the natural hot springs at Jhinu Danda before reaching Bamboo.
Day 8: Bamboo to Jhinu Danda to Pokhara The final day of the trek involves a short hike to Jhinu Danda, where you can relax in the natural hot springs. Afterward, you'll trek down to Nayapul and take a drive back to Pokhara.
Day 9: Pokhara to Kathmandu Take an early morning flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu, which takes about 30 minutes. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city or shopping for souvenirs.
This is just a sample itinerary, and you can customize it according to your preferences and fitness level. It's important to note that trekking in the Annapurna region requires a moderate level of fitness and preparation, so make sure to train well and consult with a travel agency for a safe and enjoyable experience.
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