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2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs

I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
“I’m terrible.”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
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2023.06.03 15:37 woof8888 Synology Photo (DSM 7.X) Restore

I use the 3 2 1 backup rule. I have an identical synology machine offsite. My photos are about 70GB in size and the backup runs daily. I also do a Snapshot every day of the Photo folder
I now have to resort to recovery. The metadata in Synology Photos is corrupt. I know that Synology stores the metadata in a database and some of the metadata is stored in the photos themselves as metadata. I have an offsite backup and Snapshot backup I can use.
Can I perform a rollback of the Synology Photo database so that I can get my metadata back? Using Hyperbackup, there is an option to restore photos and also Synology Photos application. There's so little detail here. Does restoring the photos (files) also somehow cause the database to be restored as well? Do I need to restore the Synology application in the screen that follows in the restore process? How can I get my metadata back? (Descriptions/tags/geolocation) The files in the photo folder seem fine otherwise. What is the best option?
It seems that when a restore is performed a form of rsync is not used as the restore process for the photo folder was pathetically slow and so I aborted. Can I perform a restore from snapshot that will also bring back my metadata? I don't seem much info on this anywhere. There's so much talk about backup and little emphasis on the fine details of the restoration process, especially where metadata is involved.
submitted by woof8888 to synology [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:31 PortuondoW My best friend is coming into town (mid- July) and need ideas to highlight Durham.

She use to live here but so much has changed I want to show her some of the new stuff but also pay homage to the classics. She doesn’t care for “fancy” places. Here is what I got so far. Would love your suggestions. •Fullsteam/ Hutchins Garage •Hi-Wire/ Cugino Forno Durham/ Two Roosters Ice Cream •Rooftop Durham Hotel/Queenys
submitted by PortuondoW to bullcity [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:31 AdmirableAd8469 I mitten so much I feel like can’t breath.

He raised me and so did my pop my Aunties etc my mum was too young at the time and I wouldn’t say she chose drugs over me and my sister although it seemed like it but she’d been through turmoil herself like my dear dad. He did the best he could we were myself my 1st cousins raised by a community as they say which included my dad being like a father to my two older 1st cousins as their dad passed at 29 he had a heart attack. I was 10 months at this time. It effected my dad enormously as he was the youngest brother of 4. 1 sister which was like my surrogate mother at the age of only 18/ 19 whom was youngest of all the siblings. after they had already lost the matriarch of the family my nan to leukaemia leaving my pop with 4 almost grown adults and their pending kids. The way they were amazes me still to this day their bond their selfishness. Raising us kids. Fast forward I’m still hung up bcos I did lose majority of my support at the time I was raising my own kids too and not so much of an ideal person to help.So my mum has gone on had multiple kids after myself and sister. I always said I wouldn’t acknowledge these kids bcos of how my mum carried herself later in life not the fact she was held down with us but bcos every child she had in the latter were to different fathers ever one of them kids. Getting back on track my half sister the 3rd eldest out of the others she’s had was always reaching out saying my “mother” wanted to meet her “grandchildren” never felt the need to involve her as drugs are her main priority but my sister I’ve only ever met twice physically would always initiate time bar her the mother. I was busy and she was trying to work from a young age to keep the other younger siblings afloat. She ended up leaving “ our mothers home” leaving the younger two behind but continued to support them all the while keeping in contact with myself and my other sister to the same dad. She got overwhelmed and I feel guilty bcos when she left her bf she had had a safe haven with away from our mother she returned when she felt he had cheated on her while she was cleaning hotels (her job at the time) I heard she was fired because he kept calling showing up. So 3 weeks after this like I said she returned “home”. She had message me to make a date with my daughter her other niece my sisters daughter on her birthday her 19th birthday on the 18th of jan 2021 my other sister couldn’t bcos her daughter was grounded and I at the time had no way of getting my daughter over where Sky was at that time. My sister didn’t get to celebrate her 19th birthday she watched the grinch and told our so called mother she was fine. That mother left the home knowing she just lost her dog and long time bf her “saviour” to go score I guess. I had a phone call at 11:29 pm from my cousin saying my sister had tried to take her life. I told her to keep me updated but called the icu in our town to check on her. They couldn’t give me much info as she was critical at that time and couldn’t give me an answer. I had know one to come sit with my kids at the time so I stayed awake all night u til I got that call. My sister was brain dead so they said she was basically gone. 4 days after going through the motions leaving her poor fragile body in icu bcos the so called mother wouldn’t come to terms with her passing she was already officially announced as passed on the 19th we had to slowly watch her fade and turn her life support of which I still regret for to this day. I wrote this bcos I helped dress only her and my father after death and cannot get over it but my guilt is I choose not to think about them daily. I feel the worst as I know if anyone mentions their names this stinging tears fill my eyes u know when your chest literally hurts and once u start thinking you think of everything. I feel wrong for this especially bcos I didn’t attend her funeral as I knew I couldn’t handle the fake mother although I pushed through organised everything. I only attended my dads bcos I organised that also. Idk I feel guilty I can’t get over this and it might not make sense to most as this is only a part of the story but I look at my dad and my sisters pics ever morning / and can’t get over how I can just. Not think about it. I always thought as kid if my dad passed I would literally die . I can’t though bcos I have kids that depend on me so I don’t acknowledge things I probably need to to heal.
submitted by AdmirableAd8469 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:30 UndeadRalph Euro 2023 summer tour merch

Euro 2023 summer tour merch submitted by UndeadRalph to HollywoodUndead [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:30 tiniestspoon Promote Your Work! June 2023 Self-Promotion thread

Have you written a book? Feel free to promote it here! Post a synopsis of your book and a link to where we can get it. Please don't just post a link- tell us why we should check it out.
Separate posts promoting your book will be removed as spam. Things that count as "promoting":
But we'd love to see most of those things here in this thread. Vloggers, bloggers, and podcasters can feel free to post here too.
If you have a Discord server invite you'd like to share with RomanceBooks, this is the place to link it.

This is also the only permissible place to post if you are discussing your writing or doing research.
Please note - Reddit's automoderator may remove links it suspects as spam - if your comment is removed because of a link to your website that gets caught in Reddit's automod, please reach out to the mod team and we'd be happy to restore it.
Here's a link to the older self-promotion thread if you'd like to check out what was posted before.
Happy writing!
submitted by tiniestspoon to RomanceBooks [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:30 Independent_Toe_5012 Dear Future Engr. KLDL

Sabi nga sa kantang Lifetime ng Ben and Ben, “was there a lifetime waiting for us, in a world where I was yours?” Maybe we weren’t meant for this lifetime? Kaya?
This may not be our lifetime, but… I want to let you know that I still talk to God about you. I pray to God that may everything be well with you and your family. I pray that may He give you peace as you patiently wait for the things that He has in store for you. I pray that may you praise God as you wait for your breakthrough. I pray that may you grow more in the Lord and be the man after God’s own heart.
This may not be our lifetime, but… I want to let you know that I still root for you. I pray to God that may your incandescent love bring life to the people around you. I pray that may you find joy in everything that you do.
This may not be our lifetime, but… I want to let you know that I still pray for your happiness. I pray that may every dawn bring you a day full of delight and wonder. I pray that may you triumph over the battles that you do and don’t talk about. I want to remind you that the Lord who began a good work, will be faithful to complete it in you.
This may not be our lifetime, but… I want to let you know that I pray for your healing. I pray that the Lord will deliver you from your fears, hurts, frustrations, and disappointments. I pray that may you continue to cast your worries unto Him for He cares for you. Whenever you are tired, I pray that the Lord will restore your soul and lead you beside quiet waters. Whenever you are afraid, I pray that may His rod and staff comfort you. Whenever you feel empty, I pray that the Lord will anoint your head will oil and your cup shall overflow.
This may not be our lifetime, but… I will still write poems about you… It does not always have to rhyme, as long as every word, line, and stanza will be for you. You will be my favorite poem.
I hope to see you in another lifetime. Until then..
submitted by Independent_Toe_5012 to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:29 SJdport57 Booking Caye Caulker Hotels

Is it better to book a hotel ahead of time or just walk up in the off season? Context: I’m an archaeologist and after every dig season I visit Caye Caulker for a few days in late June/ early July. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit since COVID and am finally coming back! In the past, I just walked-up for my hotel rooms and was always found a decent place for a great rate. This year I’m coming with my wife and I want to make it a great experience for her. We are looking for a decent room relatively close to the Split or a beach. Can I just walk up like I had in the past, or is booking online a better option for a secure room? If so, should I use a third party site or call the hotel directly?
submitted by SJdport57 to Belize [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:28 funtimeandrefoxy Old/Unused Cutscenes Videos from The Division Resurgence

Note: I've never played this game so I have no idea what the story is.

So I decided to take a look at the game files of the division Resurgence and at one point found 4 videos of extremely unfinished custscenes.

Speaking of these 4 videos, we have the following:

JTF being incompetent as usual
This video shows a battle between the rikers against division agents and the JTF. Most of the video has no audio and it looks like this recording was taken from a development build of the game due to its information. Interestingly at 0:07 it looks like one of the agents is in rogue status (probably a bug).

The jtf uses old vests, it can only
It seems to be +- in the same place as the previous video. Not counting the possible Rikers boss that appears, for some reason the game is running on a chinese windows 10 (is this game being made in china?) on the unreal engine (yes the game runs on that) and is being recorded by Ocam (I've heard that it has a virus but maybe it doesn't). Most of the video has no audio.

This video shows a mission that involves that medieval machete. If you've probably already seen this (, the model of this RPG is very similar to the one used in this video. I wouldn't be surprised that the developers are restoring hacked content like this weapon and class or even the faction itself (I can't say if the latter is true or not as although there is a hacked faction called "paladins" in the game files, only some shader files and a class left in the game files not being enough to prove. Again the audio is missing most of the time.

TEST_MM07B_CS03B_Master.mp4: It's a video similar to the previous one, I didn't find it very revealing.

These videos appear to date from +- July 2022 hence they are in an unfinished state. Unfortunately we will have to do more datamining of the remaining files it will be kind of impossible for me as I don't know how to get the key to decrypt the .pak files of the game (if anyone knows how, you can always talk to me and help me). But well this is all I have for now, what do you think? It's kind of strange that these videos are in the game files but ok.
submitted by funtimeandrefoxy to thedivision [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:28 Spare_Guesso How to I restore backup files(with the below icon) made with an older Win version in Win 10?

How to I restore backup files(with the below icon) made with an older Win version in Win 10? submitted by Spare_Guesso to techhelp [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:25 Icy-Village4742 Destroyed pan question

What’s the best way to restore a bad pan? It was seasoned incorrectly and just has hard build up all over it. I was recommended oven off to strip everything, does that work?
submitted by Icy-Village4742 to castiron [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:24 Teker078 Is this a legit copy of the game?

Is this a legit copy of the game? submitted by Teker078 to chronotrigger [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:22 Bragior Transient Discussion: Kirito

Discussion Schedule and Navigation

Click here for a full list of discussions
Please vote for the upcoming featured discussions

Character Discussion: Kirito

Character Info

  • Artist: BomBom
  • Voice: Yuu Amano
  • Gender: Male
  • Gate: Tokyo
  • Guild: Genociders, unknown
  • School: unknown


  • Liked by: Arc
  • Disliked by: Inaba
  • Likes: Oniwaka
  • Dislikes: Protagonist

3☆ Kirito


  • Title: Stranded Young Boy
  • Element: Zero
  • Attack Type: Slash
  • Rarity: 3☆
  • Party Cost: 8
  • Max Base Stats:
    • HP: 6667.117
    • ATK: 3204.32
  • Max Seeded Stats:
    • HP: 10282.062
    • ATK: 5946.52


Obtain Skill Name Trigger Effect Proc Chance
Default Nebulous After Moving Apply Dazzle to enemies in Thrust range 30%-60%
On Miss Remove 500 HP from self and allies in Slash range 100%
LB1 Craving Solitude When Hit Apply Skill Lock to attacking units 35%-70%
Before Hitting Apply Darkness to hit units 40%-80%
Status Resistance Remove Nourishment, Unction, Blessing, and Regeneration 100%
Before Being Attacked Steal 250-500 HP from allies in front of self 40%-80%
LB2 Hierodulia Denier After Moving Apply Weakness to enemies in front of self 50%-100%
Attack Modifier Deal 100× damage against enemies with Evasion 100%
Attack Modifier Deal 1.5× damage against various statuses 100%
LB3 The Unrevealed On Miss Apply Dazzle to all enemies 15%-30%
After Moving Apply Nullify Debuff to self 45%-90%
  • Hierodulia Denier:
    • Deal 1.5× damage against enemies with the following statuses:
      • Poison, Fatal Poison (including stackable versions), Burn (including stackable versions), Oppression, Paralysis, Fear, Curse, Dazzle, Charm, Freeze (including stackable versions), Countdown, Skill Lock, CS Lock, Bind, Stigma, Double Lock, Break, Nullify Buff, Possession, Weakness, Obstruct, Drain, Darkness, Buff Reversal, Conflagration, Doubt, Madness, Dirt, Weapon Change (Long Slash), CS Weapon Change (Long Slash)

Charge Skill

Name Range Extra Effect
[Whitechapel Murderer] Unending Castle of Fog Slash Restore 300-600 HP + Apply Crit to self

5☆ Kirito


  • Title: Urban Alibi
  • Element: Zero
  • Attack Type: Slash
  • Rarity: 5☆
  • Party Cost: 24
  • Max Base Stats:
    • HP: 8463.829
    • ATK: 4215.791
  • Max Seeded Stats:
    • HP: 12039.444
    • ATK: 6874.876


Obtain Skill Name Trigger Effect Proc Chance
Default Vanished in the Crowd After Moving Apply Dazzle to enemies in Shot range 45%-90%
On Miss Apply Evasion to self 45%-90%
On Miss Remove 500 HP from self and allies in Slash range 100%
LB1 Destitute and Unbound When Hit Apply Skill Lock to attacking units 40%-80%
Before Hitting Apply Darkness to hit units 40%-80%
Before Hitting Boost 4-8 CP to self 45%-90%
Status Resistance Remove Bind, Skill Lock, and Double Lock 50%-100%
Status Resistance Remove Nourishment, Unction, Blessing, and Regeneration 100%
Before Being Attacked Steal 250-500 HP from allies in front of self 40%-80%
LB2 Hierodulia Denier After Moving Apply Weakness to enemies in front of self 50%-100%
Attack Modifier Deal 100× damage against enemies with Evasion 100%
Attack Modifier Deal 1.5× damage against various statuses (see 3☆ for more info) 100%
LB3 Gone in the Twilight On Miss Apply Dazzle to all enemies 25%-50%
After Moving Apply Nullify Debuff to self 50%-100%
Before Being Hit Apply Evasion to self 15%-30%
Phase Start Apply Limit to self 45%-90%

Skill Evolutions

Replaces Skill Name Trigger Effect Proc Chance
Hierodulia Denier Hierodulia-Denying Ripper After Moving Apply Weakness to enemies in Long Slash range 50%-100%
Attack Modifier Deal 100× damage against enemies with Evasion 100%
Attack Modifier Deal 1.5× damage against various statuses (see 3☆ for more info) 100%
Phase Start Apply Dazzle + Dazzle Weakening to all enemies
Apply CS Lock to enemies within a 2-square diamond radius 50%-100%

Charge Skill

Name Range Extra Effect
[Whitechapel Murderer] Unending Castle of Fog Long Slash Restore 300-600 HP to self + Apply Crit++ and Evasion to self + Apply Double Lock to hit units and vertically-adjacent enemies


  • What do you like or dislike about this character, design-wise, story-wise and gameplay-wise?
  • What role does this character have, gameplay-wise?
  • What other characters work well with them?
  • What map types do they excel in?
  • How do they compare to other characters with a similar role?
  • Are they worth investing ATK, HP, level and skill seeds for?
  • How does the character differ between their base 3☆ variant and their higher rarity?
  • How do they compare to other limited characters?
  • How have they improved with their skill evolutions?
submitted by Bragior to TokyoAfterschool [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:22 enjerity "no ads" not working???

so about 2 years ago i bought the $0.99 starter pack in act 1 that included no ads, and it worked perfectly fine back then. i reinstalled the app today and now im getting forced ads apparently????? the weapon and helmet are restored so i dont see a reasons for ads to be appearing
submitted by enjerity to ShadowFight2dojo [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:21 Bragior Weapon Discussion: Majestas

Discussion Schedule and Navigation

Check the Wiki for the full list of the Character Discussion Threads.
Please vote for the upcoming featured discussions:
Newly released/rebalanced characters will be added to the surveys after two weeks of their introduction or implementation.

Weapon Discussion: Majestas

Journal Entry

Created by a famed jeweler known throughout the skies, this staff is used in ceremonies to pray for abundant harvests. The exquisite design of its shaft features grape vines, representing eternal bonds, and pine cones, a motif symbolizing eternal youth.




  • Element: Dark
  • Type: Staff
  • 3★ Stats:
    • HP: 262
    • ATK: 2,020
  • 4★ Stats:
    • HP: 320
    • ATK: 2,440

Charge Attack

  • Name: Lila Schauer
Obtain Effect Duration
0★ Massive Dark damage to a foe. Instant
Restore 5% of all allies' HP (Cap: 750). Instant
4★ Healing increased to 10%. Healing cap increased to 1,500.

Weapon Skills

  • Modifier: Normal
Skill Unlocks Effects
Hatred's Garrison Lvl 1 Medium boost to Dark allies' DEF based on how low HP is.
Hatred's Majesty Lvl 120 Medium boost to Dark allies' ATK and max HP.

Helpful topics to discuss

  • What do you like or dislike about this weapon?
  • What content or teams does it best work with?
  • Is it worth farming for?
  • Is it worth using as a main hand weapon?
  • How does it compare to other similar main hand weapons?
  • Which classes work well with it?
  • Is it worth using as a grid weapon?
  • How many copies of the weapon would you recommend putting in a grid?
  • How does it compare to other similar grid weapons?
  • Can the weapon be used even when not fully uncapped?
  • How has it improved with its 4★ uncap?
submitted by Bragior to Granblue_en [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:21 CSmith89 Rock singer Matthew Shultz from the band Cage the Elephant has accepted a plea deal that allows him to avoid jail time for possessing illegal firearms in a NYC hotel

submitted by CSmith89 to Music [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:20 Jakimcikas First time japan travel report 04.25-05.17

Alrighty, I'll describe my first time travel in japan, what went well, what didn't go well, my overall impression of Japan. We travelled trough quite a few cities, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible as I'm not much of writer. And we've visited quite a few places, so if you'd like more details, comment and I'll go more in-depth :).
A bit about the travelling party. Me(25M) and a work colleague(26M), Lithuanians(Europe) software engineers, reasonably fit and somewhat fluent in english, Omnivores(my colleague is allergic to cheese), our height is around ±185cm.


Cities/islands visited

Tokyo(Shinjuku) -> Osaka -> Nara -> Kyoto -> Onomichi Islands -> Matsuyama -> Hiroshima -> Miyajima -> Kumamoto -> Aso(region) -> Fukuoka -> Nagasaki -> Nagoya -> Takayama -> Magome -> Matsumoto - > Tokyo(Chuo) -> Tokyo(Shibuya) -> Tokyo(Teito) -> Hakone.


I was slightly more conservative with my spending so my expenses are on the cheaper side, my colleague spent quite a bit more, especially on food and booze.
Total amount spent: slightly more than 3k euros in japan + 1.1k euros flights back and forth.
Daily food expenses: 30-40 eur or 5k-7k yen.
Average hotel stay: ~60euro
Food: - Breakfast - usually something from a convenience store. Chicken, power gels, chocolate, melon bread(my favourite), - Lunch - something from a convenience store or a restaurant - Dinner - restaurant usually a ramen place


Museums, castles, shrines, forests, mountains, walks around the city. We did a lot of walking, total around 400km of walking(at leasts that's what google fit shows)
Alright that's a brief summary, now for the more in-depth write up.

My key takeaways

This is it for the TL;DR part. I'll go more in-depth for the rest of the post.

Planning for the trip

We started planning the trip, where we'll go, where we'll stay, what we'll do, expenses, trains, all that you can plan was started to be planned around a month prior to the trip. We created a word doc as our itinerary, that was around 60 pages long. From what I've read on this page about you can't plan everything. Well I believe we did, we might've even over planned :D.
So we booked the following hotels: - Tokyo - Apa Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower(04.25-04.26) - Osaka - APA Hotel Namba Kita Shinsaibashi Ekimae(04.26-04.30) - Onomichi island - TOMARIGI Hostel(04.30-05.01) - Matsuyama - Hotel Patio Dogo(05.01-05.02) - Hiroshima - Wholeearth Ryokan Hiroshima(05.02-05.04) - Kumamoto - Hotel Wing International Select Kumamoto(05.04-05.08) - Nagoya - Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nagoya Shinkansenguchi(05.08-05.10) - Magoame - Magomechaya(05.10-05.11) - Matsumoto - Hotel M Matsumoto(05.11-05.12) - Tokyo - APA Hotel Ginza Kyobashi Tokyo Station Yaesu South Gate(05.14-05.17)
Extra things we bought in advance: - Water proof bags - Hiking boots and socks - Bigger backpacks - JP Rail pass, we booked the trains in advance, but honestly that wasn't necessary even during golden week - Bandages for foot blisters, medicine(for headaches, motion sickness, diarrhoea). - Ubigi eSim internet(10GB was plenty for me throughout the trip) - Sun screen(did not use and got sunburned to a point where I was shinning red) - Portable battery

The trip

Day 1(04.25)

We arrived at the Haneda aiport, exchanged some cash to yen(was at a better course than locally), printed out our JR passes(IMPORTANT TO DO SO HERE, only major stations let you print it out) and went to the metro. We took the train to Shinjuku, and walked to our hotel to check-in. We were quite tired, bought some chicken from lawson and went to explore a few places, a few drinks in golden gai district and ramen in a nearby place. Eventually we ended up at rock bar mother. Really cool place, for each drink you can request 2 songs to be played. After that back to hotel, visit the top floor onsen and sleep

Day 2(04.26)

Got up early, travelled to osaka. Left our luggage in the hotel, we were too early for a check in. We went to see Osaka castle(quite beautiful), tried takoyaki there. More city exploring, then we went check-in. After that we went to see the Umeda Sky Building in the evening(we bought the ticket in advance) very beautiful, it was very clear and beautiful. Got back to the city, got some ramen, went to the hotel and sleep.

Day 3(04.27)

Went to USJ, bought tickets(basic, no express stuff) in advance. We went there 30minutes before opening, and there was already a huge line. We went to Nintendo first, the zone looked very nice, but ride it'd say was okay'ish for me. After that the dinosaur rides, minion land, grabbed chinese food for lunch, went to the harry potter zone, at this point the lines got quite long around 1h to 1h 30min of wait time. After that we went to see Water world where they were doing a play, was really awesome, I'd say a must see even if you don't understand Japanese, the acting is very good. After that we went to Osaka aquarium(no lines, thank god), it was beautiful, cute chonks and other sea creatures.

Day 4(04.28)

Trip to Kyoto from Osaka. We went early by metro, to see the bamboo forest(7:40'ish), beautiful, few people. Walked around the park then climbed the mount a fed the monkeys(50 yen for a bag of fruits or nuts), very cute, tried petting the hand of one, didn't go well got an aggressive show of teeth. After that we visited Ryoanji temple, went to nishi market, we we're running a bit late so we took a taxi to Kiyomizudera, we saw the geish district on our way to there, looked interesting. After the temple we went to a bar and got back to Osaka and then after a bowl of ramen to our hotel.

Day 5(04.29)

We went to Nara, took this hiking track saw the deer, bought some food, did the whole bow thing then fed them. One thing to keep in mind is to crumble the cookie and give it in small pieces, otherwise you'll run out of food to give quickly. They might be very "assertive" and try to take it from you, don't be afraid, just stick your empty arm out to get some distance and that's it . They're not gonna bite you. After that we went to see the Todaiji temple, it was beautiful, the buddha statue was huge. Got back to Osaka, got some ramen, went to the hotel, scheduled to send our luggage to our next hotel and went to sleep.

Day 6(04.30)

Got up early, went to Onomichi, rented some bikes and began our cycling journey through the islands. A lot of cool bridges, very beautiful nature. We cycled to north Omishima port, where we transfered to rabbit island pet and fed the rabbits, got back and cycled to our ryokan and straight to sleeping.

Day 7(05.01)

More cycling, more cool bridges, more beautiful nature. We arrived at Imabari, returned our bikes and took the train to Matsuyama. We ate some stree food, relaxed in the open hot springs for feet. Walked around and went to sleep. To be honest I'd say this was the favorite city of the whole trip for me. I liked the vibe, the people, the food, the nature, the onsen, the layout, the architecture. In general, beautiful city.

Day 8(05.02)

Early in the morning visited a public onsen nearby, then went to see the Matsuyama castle, it was beautiful, tried the orange juice there, it was really good, got back to our hotels, got some dango. Packed our stuff, got a taxi and went to the port and took the ferry to Hiroshima. Checked in the ryokan. Took a train to Hiroshima city center, visited the castle and then the nuclear museum. Get the english audio for best experience. It took me around 2hours to walk through everything, read it and take it in. It was very nerve racking, but I'd say a must see. After that we went out to eat some Okonomiyaki, it was delicious, then back to the ryokan and sleep.

Day 9(05.03)

Went to Miyajima island first by train then transfer by ferry. It was very beautiful, the mountain hike was also fun, the view on top was amazing. When we came down from the mountain there was a low tide, so we could go near the Itsukushima shrine. Got back to Hiroshima, went to the city center for a couple of beers, got back to Ryokan and went to sleep.

Day 10(05.04)

First day of the Golden week, wouldn't say that I've noticed anything different, maybe because we were travelling to the far south of Japan - Kumamoto. This is one of those cities that I also enjoyed more than the big common ones, it looked very nice, had a beautiful castle, was not crowded as Hiroshima, Osaka or Tokyo. We rented out bikes, cycled to Honmoji park(the place near Honmoji park is god damn maze, keep you google maps always open or you will get lost) found a place to eat, visited Lafcadio Hearn House and went to our hotel and then to sleep.

Day 11(05.05)

We rentend a car and went to Aso, highly recommend renting a car here, since the public transport is not that good. The drive was very nice, we went to see active volcano crater, luckily it was not erupting, so we were allowed to get close. Then we went around and climbed the other inactive mountain caps. Climbing that was one of the most fun hikes I've had. It was very windy, you could barely see past 5 meters anywhere, because of the fog. There was no smell of sulfur, so it was safe. We visited Mt. Nakadake, Mt. Takadake, overall the place looked like Mordor, the vibes, the weather everything. After that we visited Ayugaeno Falls, the ravines and everything was just majectic. After that we got back to Kumamoto, gave back the car and went somewhere to eat. Car rental cost around ~7k yen in total. So I'd say a good price. After eating, we went to our hotel and then to sleep.

Day 12(05.06)

We went to Fukuoka, by train, walked around the city, visited Tochoji temple, Fukuoka castle ruins, Ohori park and explored the huge ravine type shopping mall. Went to the science museum(big mistake, it's for kids...). After that we tried Ichiran ramen(originated in Fukuoka so we thought it be better). Was the same as everywhere else. It was rainy so we got back pretty early to our hotel and went to sleep.

Day 13(05.07)

We went to Nagasaki, by train, visited the atomic bomb museum, it was very interesting, just as good as the one in Hiroshima. We took a boat ride to see Gunkanjima, though we couldn't get on the island, because of the weather, it was still very interesting to see and hear the history of the island. Explored the Dutch district, walked around the shops, tried some whale meat. It was raining the whole day, so we also got back quite early and went to sleep.

Day 14(05.08)

We got up early and went got straight to the train station, and caught the train to Nagoya. The longest train ride by far. We arrived at Nagoya, checked in our hotel, went to the city center, visited the castle, it was very beautiful, then we wanted to explore the abandoned tunnel near Aichi. Apparently it was closed, we decided we're going to enter through the exit, like rascals, but apparently after we circled around there was a police officer that was guarding traffic through the bridge and wouldn't let us through. So our trip ended there. After comming back to Nagoya we visited the sky scrapper, it had interesting installations on the windows. We had our stay got back to hotel and went to sleep.

Day 15(05.09)

We went to Takayama, by train, one of the most scenic train rides so far. We strolled around the city center, visited the early morning market, bought some souvenirs, tried some white strawberries, mushroom tee and other local cuisine. Visited Takayama Showa Museum, which was 10/10. You could touch almost everything, the museum gave a great vibe, it was like you were in a house of a family that lived there. There was also an old nintendo with mario kart that you could play, put on a old yukata and take photos. Play pachinko(no money needed), watch an old-school movie. We visited a few sake tasting places, I've found a few flavours that I liked. After that back to Nagoya, eat ramen and sleep.

Day 16(05.10)

We sent out our luggage to Matsumoto, caught a train to Nagiso and then hiked the Nakasendo trail to Tsumago and then Magome where we checked in and stayed at the local ryokan. The hike was very nice and relaxing one of the easier hikes I've had, the places we saw we're quite old and beautiful. At ryokan we met people one American and one from Germany, they had a guitar so we chatted a bit, played the guitar and had a few beers. The dinner at ryokan was amazing, looked very traditional Japanese dinner. Was also very tasty, would definitely recommend this place. After that we went to sleep.

Day 17-19(05.11)

Got up early and took a bus to Nakatsugawa Eki-mae station where we travelled to Matsumoto. We left our bags and went to the RubyKaigi conference. Overall good conference, I've learned somethings, but most importantly I've had bit of time to rest and catch up on some sleep, since we weren't exploring new cities. So overall the following 3 days were wake up -> breakfast -> conference -> lunch -> conference -> drinks -> dinner -> sleep.

Day 20(05.14)

Slept in, had breakfast and travelled to Tokyo by train. Left our luggage at the hotel and moved on to explore the Chou region. Walked around the Ginza, Imperial palace, Yasukuni shrine and went to check in. After that it was getting dark, so travelled to Akihabara to experience the anime night life, was quite bright and interesting. Though the amount of requests to visit a maid cafe was too damn high. If your planning to buy a PS5, a new GPU or Nintendo switch, this could be the place, I saw PS5 with two controllers for 60k yen, with a 10% tax refund that is around 370 euros. After some exploration, got back to our hotel and went to sleep.

Day 21(05.15)

This was our Hakone day trip, we bought the 3 day pass for it, so we could use the train, bus, ropeway and boat. Was worth it, even for one day. We climbed Mt. Kintoki, thankfully the weather was great and we could see Fuji. The climb was very nice, the view was amazing, the weather was great, no bears to be seen. After climbing down, we played some golf that was near there. Travelled back to the station were we used the rope-way to get around the mountains, the view was just majestic, we saw the sulfur pits, the stench was, well strong to say the least, but overall enjoyed the experience. We didn't make it time to the boat, so we had to travel back by bus, which wasn't so bad, since the scenery was amazing.

Day 22(05.16)

Explored more Tokyo, so we went to Teito district, went to the Ueno zoo, National science museum. After that we went to Kaminarimon gate, Asakusa shrine and moved to Shibuya next. There we went to the Yoyogi park, Meiji Jingu shrine, paid our respects to Hachiko statue. The last activity was to visit TeamLabs Planets, which were amazing, one most interesting experiences, not gonna spoil any details, overall great experience, would do it again. As it was getting late we got back to Shibuya, walked around more, had a drink and went back to our hotel.

Day 23(05.17)

Last day in Japan was spent buying souvenirs, snacks and other stuff to bring back home. Packing our luggage, to accommodate for the extras, getting to Haneda airport and back to Lithuania.
I'm very happy I had the opportunity to go on such a trip, I enjoyed it a lot even though, I'm quite the couch potato so 3 weeks is a bit much for me, but nonetheless, wouldn't change a thing.
submitted by Jakimcikas to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:20 ryan89678 My review of the worst hotel in the world (poo stains on bed)

My review of the worst hotel in the world (poo stains on bed)
Hi everyone I stayed at a hotel a few weeks back and it was really dirty especially after shining a UV light we found countless disgusting stains on the headboards and even poo stains on the bed. The hairdryer almost exploded it was that old and there was black mould on the windows.
And that’s just the beginning of it. I tried to post a link to a video I made about it so you could all see for yourselves but links weren’t allowed.
If you want to see the video footage for what I’m saying then it’s on a YouTube channel under the name “Triggered M8” it’s the most recent video.
Genuinely I have never stayed anywhere that has had actual poo stains on the sheets before. It was so bad we decided not to sleep there.
submitted by ryan89678 to ReviewsByRetards [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:19 peeweekid Booked my first international trip - how'd I do?

Hey all,
I've been into this hobby for many years now but never had the opportunity to fly internationally with points.
P2 was also always not into the idea of getting new cards, but I finally convinced her to get a c1 venture this spring and she just got her bonus finally. It was SUPER late in the game for us to begin planning our trip but she has always dreamt of visiting Italy so that was sort of non negotiable.
I was able to secure Swiss J from JFK - ZRH for late August yesterday for 56k + $51 via LM. At this point in the season just about every other option was taken including the EK to Milan even in Y (flex plus rate at least). I'm thinking this will be a fun way to start our trip and even though it's a shorter flight I think it'll be worth it! All the other options to get to Venice (her desired starting point) would have been 30k with a stop in Y so it just didn't make as much sense. I'm thinking we can either grab a quick 1 hour flight to Venice from there for 8k LM or cash, or we could spend a few days in Switzerland by taking a train into the Alps and making our way to Italy there. Any suggestions on beautiful train trips to Italy are greatly appreciated!
Then for the return she'll be flying MXP - JFK direct on EK Y for the 38,750. I'm hoping she'll get 48-hour upgrade options here though, as this wasn't the best redemption (again, just accepting that this late in the game we just have to suck it up. Cash price was about $900 one way at the time of booking so it's still better than paying cash).
As for me, for the first week of September I was able to snag QR J to WDH (Namibia) from MXP for just 55k AA miles!! So excited as the first leg will have Q-suites. On the return I also got QR J for 70k AA with a really awesome 14.5 hours in QSuites from Doha to IAD. Not excited about having to transfer from IAD to DCA to get back home to JFK but I'll keep an eye on the direct DOH - JFK and see if something opens up.
I've never traveled that far (especially the return trip) so I'm super excited and a little anxious about handling such an exhausting trip. I'm hoping QR J makes it an enjoyable and not tiring experience.
All in all, it seems like I'm getting an awesome redemption and if P2 can get the upgrade she will too.
Now I need to figure out what we'll do for 16 days in Switzerland/mostly Italy. Thinking only a few days in Switzerland and get to Venice shortly after that. We're not super high energy travelers so if you have suggestions on places to go with chill, relaxing things to do, that's awesome. I know Italy in August is a big no go but we really had no choice with her work schedule so we're gonna do our best. Hopefully starting in Switzerland and then a few days in Venice will get us to September and it'll all work out.
Also we still have about 60k c1 and 55k AA so if there are any hotel redemptions to look out for in Italy lmk!
Thanks for everything, I really appreciate all the help I've gotten from this community!
submitted by peeweekid to awardtravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:19 iTHATyou Successful first time flying overshadowed by post flight episode.

PTW: Not sure but just in case I put the possible trigger on here. I don’t have much posting experience on Reddit so I hope I’m not committing a bunch of no-nos. Anyways, had a moment AFTER successfully flying. I’m putting a warning on it because I don’t want anyone to add new worries to their fear of flying. If reading about a very emotional moment AFTER flying could affect you, please don’t read!
Short time lurker here!
I stumbled in here just browsing Reddit for some sort of advice or support for fear of flying. I had a flight coming up, several actually, in a week and I’m a 35 year old woman who had never flown and panicked if I even had a discussion about flying. I was to fly from Orlando to Miami, then Miami to LA. So, the pre-flight anxiety was starting and I needed to manage quickly.
I decided to use medication and a flight “care box” as my therapist calls it. It consists of various items and coping mechanisms for managing my anxiety. I had my headphones, music calms me. I downloaded some episodes of my favorite show. I chose a tv show because each episode was 43 minutes long, which helped me manage time during any anxiety over how long I was on the plane. A few game apps, the DARE app, several books, and a sleep mask in case I started to panic I could remove all distractions to re-center myself.
Well, guess what! I managed my anxiety all week just fine. The night before my flight, I was fine. I managed to fall asleep and wake up on time. The way to the airport, I was fine. I made it all the way to the gate, where I finally had a moment to analyze where I was at before the flight, and realized I felt fine. So, instead of taking a full dose of my medication I took half 30 minutes before boarding and decided to take the other half when I got on the plane. I also took half before boarding the second flight.
My experience was…to be honest I think I’m a little shocked. I got on both flights, no problem. I had small moments of anxiety on the flight but nothing extreme. Takeoff didn’t bother me, I actually started laughing the first flight during takeoff. There was a moment where I think the plane was leveling out and it felt like we dipped for a second but it was over so fast that it didn’t freak me out too much. Turbulence didn’t freak me out, and landing wasn’t that rough or anything. The small moments of anxiety mostly came from me nodding off for short periods of time, like seconds or minutes, and having these like little mini dreams or something and then jerking awake in a panic. So, I pulled out all my distractions and stayed awake to put a stop to that nonsense. About 2hrs into the second flight I could tell my anxiety medication had worn off, but I felt fine so I didn’t take any more. After that, I had a few moments of anxiety over how long the flight was. This is where I stopped looking at the time completely, and started watching my tv episodes while doing a jigsaw puzzle on my phone. It might be weird but I just told myself “You have 4 hours left, that’s about 5 episodes, enjoy them.” I also enjoyed conversation on and off with the lady next to me. I even felt comfortable opening the little window cover and taking pics and videos. Landing was fine and overall I felt fine with how both flights went and my experience.
It was after the flights, after getting to my hotel, after fully relaxing that I had some issues. I’m wondering if anyone else has ever had a major moment of “WTF” after conquering their fear of flying?? Part of me felt like I didn’t know who this woman was, like what did I just do? The other part was the fear and anxiety I thought I’d feel on the plane catching up to me, I think. It hit me in my hotel room, hard, that I actually just got on two planes and flew 6+ hours by myself like it was nothing. Who the hell is this woman? Suddenly, after flying for the first time and having no issues, I was panicking. I was thinking of canceling my flight home and just driving. I started shaking and then broke down into full blown tears. I had to talk myself down like “you JUST flew, no problem, and even enjoyed it a little. WTF is happening??” It was the most exhausting, emotional moment I’ve had in a long time. I feel like it’s a combination of a lot of things but also like the after affects of being in fight or flight mode, maybe? It totally killed the joy of having just conquered my fear of flying. Has anyone else ever experienced this?
submitted by iTHATyou to fearofflying [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:18 ryan89678 I Stayed At The Worst Hotel (poop stains on bed and very dirty)

Hi everyone I stayed at a hotel a few weeks back and it was really dirty especially after shining a UV light we found countless disgusting stains on the headboards and even poo stains on the bed. The hairdryer almost exploded it was that old and there was black mould on the windows.
And that’s just the beginning of it. I tried to post a link to a video I made about it so you could all see for yourselves but links weren’t allowed.
If you want to see the video footage for what I’m saying then it’s on a YouTube channel under the name “Triggered M8” it’s the most recent video.
Genuinely I have never stayed anywhere that has had actual poo stains on the sheets before. It was so bad we decided not to sleep there.
submitted by ryan89678 to hotels [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:17 Illustrious-Cat-9257 Hotel Wedding Venues in Bay Area

Looking for hotel wedding venues in the Bay Area for a summer 2024 wedding. Expecting around 200-250 guests. Have folks come across affordable options?
submitted by Illustrious-Cat-9257 to DesiWeddings [link] [comments]