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2023.04.02 07:35 ianjosephrinon The Five “A”s of Autism (A 2023 response to the 1993 article "Don't mourn for us")

The Five “A”s of Autism Ian Joseph Riñon 02 April 2023
This piece is the modern response to the essay “Don’t mourn for us” by Jim Sinclair on the occasion of its 30th anniversary in 2023. The identity-first language (“autistic person”) provided in this essay reflects not only the author’s personal preferences out of brevity, but also the language used in the original article.
A landmark article was written thirty years ago by an autistic individual named Jim Sinclair entitled “Don’t mourn for us”, which was originally addressed to parents of autistic children in 1993. While the date of its publishing is considered obsolete by academic standards, and while the author’s reputation as part of the organisation Autism Network International (ANI) was tarnished by an untoward incident in one of its last events in 2013, the article still reflects the call to fully understand autistic individuals and see autism from an autistic point-of-view.
Understanding autistic individuals has been a challenge when it comes to how they are treated by our rather neurotypical society, and sometimes, are being relegated as mere points of inspiration and example that autistics can live a full life despite their neurotype. Some label this kind of thinking as ableist, while others try to understand the concept while recognising that more needs to be done to avoid this kind of incomplete mindset.
To this end, diagnosed individuals (and those who support them) counter or complement the prevailing discussion and perspective regarding autism. Compared to other neurotypes, such as ADHD, OCD, BPD, etc., autism has been misunderstood as a diagnosis that should be controlled, if not cured. Autistics throughout the past few decades were told to fit into the neurotypical mold; and while some do, it is at a very high cost.
Individuals who have been forced to fit into a neurotypical society are susceptible to pretend they are neurotypical by hiding their diagnosis and behaviours as much as possible. This concept is known to many neurodivergents as “masking”. Out of all neurodivergents, autistics and ADHDers often mask their traits in order not to be branded or slurred for what they see as their natural behaviour. And when they realise that they are actually neurodivergent after years – or even decades – of masking, trying to understand who they are, and how they can fit into a neurotypical world, the ramifications of having to unlearn and relearn themselves would take the rest of their lives.
Since the rise of technology and social media, many autistics have found their voices and have told the world that what neurotypicals perceive about autism is not only wrong but also dangerous. While Sinclair’s 30-year-old article was ahead of its time, it is only now that the world can truly appreciate its message. However, because of the age of the piece and the circumstances that led to the downfall of ANI, autistics have to make a disclaimer regarding the author’s reputation if they cite “Don’t mourn for us”. (Additionally, people have to point out that this particular Jim Sinclair is neither the Canadian indigenous leader and political activist nor the American precious metals specialist.)
Therefore, it is in the best interest of the autistic community to tell our rather neurotypical society that the way people perceive autism and the way they behave while dealing with autistics need to be constantly improved.
It is imperative for neurotypicals to not only be content with reading Sinclair’s article about autism from the autistic perspective, but also to listen to the stories of autistic individuals and integrate them into the discussion because they deserve to be heard. This is perhaps the best way forward in further understanding autism to complement academic research and the stories of people surrounding autistic individuals.
Considering such an approach, those who would like to fully understand autism should go beyond awareness – the first of five “A”s of autism – as there are four others that can be considered as steps people have to do:
Awareness: This is the most basic level that people get involved with in any kind of cause. For autism, awareness is the first step towards understanding autistics, as well as autism and the diverse spectrum it encompasses. Early detection of autism in children is an advantage, but awareness can only get parents and those around them so far, so they need to level up their involvement through…
Acceptance: While second in order, acceptance is the most important step in understanding autism. The concept revolves around the notion that a person is autistic the moment he/she is born, and there is nothing that science can ethically do to reverse or alter it. To rephrase: “If a person is born autistic, he/she will die autistic.” This step also reflects the fact that not all autistic individuals are detected in their childhood. Some autistics get diagnosed in their adulthood – with most of the diagnoses being that of biological females – because their children or grandchildren were diagnosed as autistics first and they either resonated with their children/grandchildren or have masked their neurotype efficiently so far up until their “mask” started to fall off. This means that individuals can also be diagnosed with autism as late as their senior years (60 and above).
Appreciation: Some of the common struggles autistics face on a day-to-day basis include unequal productivity, alexithymia, hyperfocus, sensory overload, and executive dysfunction, the latter of which affects autistics profoundly, especially at work or in school. This is the reason why neurotypicals are called to appreciate the autistics around them and avoid the functioning labels that many of them use to identify the autistics they are conversing with (“high-functioning”) and those who struggle profoundly to do so (“low-functioning”). As an alternative, and to reflect the current support levels provided in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses (DSM-5) regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is suggested that people can identify the masking levels of autistics they encounter, if they insist on doing so: ASD Level 1 (those who need minimal support) can be identified as “High Masking Autistics”; Level 2 (those needing additional support), “Moderately Masking Autistics”; Level 3 (those needing substantial support), “Low Masking Autistics”.
Accommodation: Given these masking levels, neurotypicals are further called to accommodate the needs of autistic individuals in order to properly function while being their authentic selves in the process. For example: by accommodating autistic students or employees with their needs, schools and employers can be assured that the work they would do would not only reflect their creativity in solving problems or identifying solutions, but also their authenticity in their studies and output.
Advocacy: As for the case of advocacy, the reason why this is last in order of the five “A”s is because many neurotypicals jump the gun in advocating for the autistic individuals in their lives without properly understanding how to accept, appreciate, and accommodate them first. For this reason, advocating for autistics is a twofold call. First, neurotypicals should advocate for the autistics in their lives without resorting to patronisation (i.e., “inspiration porn”) or infantilisation (baby-talking autistics because of the questionable notion that they have a mental age younger than their biological one), especially if the autistics involved are adults who were diagnosed later in life (18 and above). Secondly, and as a reflection to the previous point, neurotypicals should recognise that autistic individuals (at least those who are of legal age) can advocate for themselves, and most importantly, allow and support their self-advocacy instead of gatekeeping them. Having said that, however, advocacy is a two-edged sword. Late-diagnosed and suspected autistics (and by suspected, we mean self-diagnosed – especially in countries whose mental health systems are dysfunctional, to put it charitably) should not take this opportunity to self-advocate to lash out their frustrations on the systems that forced them to mask, lest they be relegated as a nuisance to the advancement of mental health discussions, which, in turn, discredits the autistic community as a whole.
In conclusion, understanding and embracing autism is a long, tedious, and never-ending process. Just like barristers and lawyers have their individual and diverse interpretations of their respective jurisprudences, so too are neurodivergents, such as autistics, different from each other. As the old adage said: “If you meet one autistic person, you meet one autistic person.” The challenge of being aware of autism while accepting, appreciating, accommodating, and advocating for autistics is something every individual in the world has to consider at least once in their lives. At the same time, it is important for those who seek to help autistics to consider that, aside from the different wiring in their brains, they are also human beings who deserve an equitable opportunity to become his or her own person free from any prejudice or pity while contributing to the common good as an integral member of society.
– IJR 02 April 2023 Palm Sunday World Autism Day
I have also read Jim Sinclair's article in my latest video. Do check it out. Thanks! (IJR)
submitted by ianjosephrinon to autism [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:34 No-Two3226 A Nerf Blaster that was Made in a Dream

A Nerf Blaster that was Made in a Dream submitted by No-Two3226 to Nerf [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:32 kaluwa123 Thailand travel blog

Thailand is a beautiful country that offers a variety of experiences for travelers. If you're planning a trip, here are some things to keep in mind:

When to Go:

The best time to visit Thailand is during the cooler months of November to February, when the weather is dry and comfortable. However, this is also peak tourist season, so be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices. March to May is the hot season, while June to October is the rainy season.

Getting There:

Thailand is well connected to the rest of the world, with international airports in Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. You can also enter Thailand overland from neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Getting Around:

Thailand has a well-developed transportation system that includes buses, trains, and planes. Taxis and tuk-tuks are also available in most cities. If you're planning to travel to multiple destinations, it may be more convenient to fly, while buses and trains are more economical for shorter distances.
Where to go +++++++ NO.5 BANGKOK
Bangkok, the bustling capital city of Thailand, is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Known for its stunning temples, vibrant street markets, and delicious food, Bangkok is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone.
One of the top attractions in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, which is a complex of stunning temples and buildings that served as the official residence of the kings of Thailand. The Grand Palace is located in the heart of the city, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and is easily accessible by taxi or public
submitted by kaluwa123 to ThailandTourism [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:30 AutoModerator [Get] Allie Bjerk – Tiny Offer Lab

[Get] Allie Bjerk – Tiny Offer Lab
Download the course here:
[Get] Allie Bjerk – Tiny Offer Lab

What You Get:


The Tiny Offer Idea Generation Process

It All Starts With The Right Offer For The Right Audience…
In Module 1, you’ll learn to avoid the mistakes most digital product creators make, that cost them HUGE profits — not to mention months of frustration and wasted time.
We’ll dive in to…
5 reasons you need to be super clear on your WHO before you ever start building out your Tiny Offer Funnel
How to use the 3P Method to easily identify your perfect WHO
The 3 recession-proof niches you must be aware of before you narrow down your options
Simple ways to validate demand and supply for your idea before you create your Tiny Offer
The Stealth Map Method to learn how your ideal client feels, what they know, what they do, and what they buy
Why your competition is irrelevant once you discover your blue ocean

Imagine Your Offer Suite

The Most Crucial Piece Of Your Tiny Offer Success Puzzle Is Your Irresistible Offer…
In Module 2, you’ll set up your 3-part Tiny Offer suite for maximum profits — and maximum results for your buyers.
We’ll dive in to…
The 3 types of problems you need to solve with your Tiny Offer Suite
3 easy questions to ask to generate ideas for your Tiny Offer and a simple system for validating your offer
How to create and name one-of-a-kind frameworks for your offer
Turning your framework into a product and finding the Standout Element of your offer
How to use the Offer Suite Wheel to determine the dollar value of each component of your Tiny Offer

Nail Product Creation

High-Converting Offers Have Pleasing Visuals And Practical Assets…
In Module 3, you’ll create a unique style for your Tiny Offer and get down to brass tacks by building out assets.
We’ll dive in to…
How to brand the Tiny Offer way, including how to select eye-catching colors, fonts, and graphics
The 10-minute logo method that will save you HOURS of head-banging-against-keyboard frustration
The inside scoop on the BEST tools to use for slide creation, video recording, worksheet creation, and other assets
Allie’s Go-to Equipment List with links to everything you need to create a polished Tiny Offer Suite

Your Stellar Sales Pages

You Won’t Get Any Traction Without A Sales Page That Speaks To Your Ideal Buyer…
In Module 4, you’ll learn Allie’s secrets to copy that converts at each step in your funnel.
We’ll dive in to…
A walkthrough of Allie’s Livestream 365 and Client Multiplier Method Sales Pages, so you can understand the flow of the page and use these “swipes” for inspiration
Customizable templates in Google Docs for your main offer sales page, check-out page, one-time offer page, and confirmation page
Customizable video sales scripts in Google Docs for your main offer and one-time offer

Optimize Your E-Mail Sequences

Don’t Downplay The Power Of Emails When You’re Selling Digital Products…
In Module 5, you’ll learn how to circle back and reclaim lost sales and how to deliver exactly what your buyer expects.
We’ll dive in to…
Why potential buyers start buying but don’t finish checking out and how to recoup those “abandoned cart” sales using 3 simple emails
Exactly what to include in your confirmation emails to ensure happy customers
The secret to making sales after the sale by increasing cart value, nurturing your audience, and planting seeds for high-end offers
Customizable templates in Google Docs for all email sequences

Focus On Tech

Tech Doesn’t Have To Be Scary…
In Module 6, you’ll get the step-by-step system for my recommended Tech Stack, learn how to make it work for you, and how to hire someone if you need to.
We’ll dive in to…
How to master creating lists, tags, and automations, so your email back-end flows seamlessly
Setting up your sales page stack using my Clickfunnels template and how to make it your own
The in’s and out’s of uploading and organizing your program assets in a course platform
How to make your tech talk and work together for a smooth customer experience from start to finish

Engineer Your Traffic

Rake In The Sales Before You Ever Spend A Penny On Ads…
In Module 7, you’ll learn the nuances of an organic traffic strategy and pick and choose what works for you from a menu of proven tactics.
We’ll dive in to…
How to get your first 100 buyers without investing in paid ads using the TOL Organic Traffic Strategy
How to make ONE piece of content work 10X harder with a repurposing strategy + Allie’s Content Inspiration Swipe File
The 4-Part High Converting Tiny Offer Webinar + Allie’s webinar slides template
Tactics for a quick cash infusion for your paid ads, and how to create profitable, win-win partnerships

Fund Your Ads

The Paid-Ad Strategy To Put Your Profits On Autopilot…
In Module 8, you’ll walk step-by-step through setting up, creating, launching, and troubleshooting your ad campaign.
We’ll dive in to…
What you need to have in place before you run Facebook Ads to your Tiny Offer and understanding the Ads Manager
How to choose from the 3 types of ad campaigns based on the results you want
How to profile your audience and choose an audience type, plus setting your budget, optimizing your ads, and using retargeting ads
Creating compliant and effective ad copy + creative, and what to do if your ad is rejected or shut down
Bonus: How to advertise your Tiny Offer on other platforms

ROI Multiplier

You’re Building A List Of Buyers — Time To Leverage That…
In Module 9, you’ll learn exactly how to lead buyers of your Tiny Offer down the high-end path.
We’ll dive in to…
How to choose from the 3 types of High-Ticket Offers, map out your framework, and create your assets
Hosting a live webinar to sign high-ticket clients and how to decide on the best webinar call to action
Getting subscribers to register, show up, and buy — it’s all about the emails
Customizable templates in Google Docs for opt-in page, webinar slides, emails, sales page, application page, and more

Recorded Q+A Calls

(Tech, Copywriting, Strategy, FB Ads)
You’ll get to eavesdrop on 12 months worth of expert coaching calls from my high-end Tiny Offer Group Coaching Program. From Tiny Offer strategy, to tech, copywriting, and Facebook Ads, my team and I cover it all. Stuck on a particular point? Search by keyword and you’ll be directed to the exact timestamp in the calls on that topic.

Free VIP Recording of Profit Camp

Profit Camp is a two-day event that is comprised of four value packed sections:
Your 20 Hour Week @ $1k Per Hour
Map Out Your High-Ticket Group Program
Design Your VIP Offer
Create an Irresistible Tiny Offer®

A HUGE BUNDLE of Customizable Copy Templates

Skip the overwhelm and frustration of creating everything from scratch by using my proven best-selling templates!

Tiny Offer® Sales Page Builder

Let me write your ENTIRE sales page for you in just a few minutes using my Sales Page Copy Builder Tool. Simply answer a few questions and my algorithm will write your sales page for you!
submitted by AutoModerator to CoursesBestOf2023 [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:30 AutoModerator [Get] Noah Hunter Dorsey – Upgrade Your Shopify Store

[Get] Noah Hunter Dorsey – Upgrade Your Shopify Store
Download course here:
[Get] Noah Hunter Dorsey – Upgrade Your Shopify Store

Noah Hunter Dorsey – Upgrade Your Shopify Store

What You Get Noah Hunter Dorsey Upgrade Your Shopify Store:
Module 1: Strategy Here, Noah will go into the high-level strategies of creating a killer Shopify store.
Lesson 1: Branding & Psychology Lesson 2: Creating Offers Lesson 3: Product Offerings Lesson 4: Themes & Branding Lesson 5: Seasonality
Module 2: Homepage Your homepage is the most popular page on your site, so it needs to convert.
Here – Noah will give you the templates and frameworks that push curious visitors into shoppers, focusing on maximising your AOV.
Lesson 1: Layout Lesson 2: Banner Lesson 3: Navigation Lesson 4: Free Gift Lesson 5: Social Proof Lesson 6: Products & Collections Lesson 7: Copy
Module 3: Product Page
In this module, you’ll build high-converting product pages that turn shoppers into customers like clockwork.
Lesson 1: Familiarity & Setup Lesson 2: Product Images Lesson 3: Name & Description Lesson 4: Social Proof Lesson 5: Shipping & Offer Lesson 6: Discounts & Upsells Lesson 7: Buy Now, Pay Later Lesson 8: Long Copy Lesson 9: Urgency Lesson 10: FAQs Lesson 11: Recommended Products
Module 4: Checkout
Optimise your checkout system to minimise abandoned checkouts, increase conversions and boost AOV with upsells.
Lesson 1: Express Postage Lesson 2: Aftersell
Module 5: Customer Experience
Here, you’ll optimise customer experience, increasing visitor satisfaction, trust & sales.
Lesson 1: Site Speed Lesson 2: Contact Us Lesson 3: Live Chat Lesson 4: Terms & Conditions
Bonus #1: Review Automation System
Social proof is critical for establishing trust and increasing conversion rates in your store. A single positive review is worth $500 or more.
That’s why you’re getting Noah’s exact review automation process, which he used to get Tommi Skin 300+ reviews.
Integrate this into your business and begin receiving 5-star reviews from your customers.
Bonus #2: Product Photography Masterclass
Noah will give you his free, simple system for taking professional website product photos with your iPhone.
He’ll go over various shots, setups, camera settings, and simple editing tools you can use on your iPhone.
In just 30 minutes, you’ll have many amazing product images for your website and social media that will instantly build trust and credibility with your audience and help you make more sales daily.
Bonus #3: Hiring A Customer Service VA System
Tired of providing your own customer service?
Noah will walk you through his step-by-step process for finding, hiring, and onboarding a rockstar Virtual Assistant in as little as 24 hours (for as little as $4 per hour).
Once set up, they will respond to messages and convert them into customers daily, increasing your revenue.
This will save you hours weekly, allowing you to focus on more important things.
Bonus #4: Canva Design Templates
Here, Noah has got his designers to create Canva design templates for you.
Just drag-n-drop images and text in, export them and upload them straight into your site.
These design templates are built to be as fast and easy as possible to have a stunning website design that looks good and gets purchases.
submitted by AutoModerator to Cheap_Courses_2023 [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:28 basafish Joker is too tame

Joker is too tame submitted by basafish to ChatGPT [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:25 bomberman0210 A Heartbreaking School Dance.

OP NOTE: This was supposed to come out way sooner, but the ban lift on canon characters hasn't lifted yet and this got removed so I'm posting this here. Anyway, This is probably one of my longest EVER birthday stories I've made, but I decided to go all out for the pickle gremlin! :D
Monaca: Today is the day....finally, I get to go to the school dance!!! I can't wait!!! Monaca thought. She was getting herself tidied up and ready to go. She waited for this moment for so long. She was the happiest she could ever be in her life.
Monaca: Eeeeeek, I'm so excited!
Today couldn't be any better. Today was not only her 16th birthday, but it was also the day of the most popular Hope's Peak dance. She managed to score a date that could meet her at the dance area. His name was Nagisa Shingetsu, the smartest book nerd she knew. They ended up getting close enough to finally get his number! It couldn't get better!
She was mostly adjusted, with her sparkly blue dress on her and fingernails polished to match.
Monaca: Alright, it's 4 P.M! I gotta put on my shoes and tidy my hair!
Monaca moved quickly to her closet and pulled out a golden and pristine box of shoes. Opening it up, she saw the azure short heels that would perfectly fit her feet.
Monaca: Ooh, perfect! They're still clean!!!
Monaca slowly and carefully pulled the shoes out of the box and sat down. Slipping out her own shoes that she lounged in, she put on the beautifully blue heels.
???: Monaca! Come on, it's time to go! The dance is starting at 5, we gotta hit the streets!
Monaca knew that voice. It was her brother.
Monaca: Ah! Coming, Haiji!
Monaca made her way out of her room, clicking and clacking against the floor. She managed to dash past Haiji and asked him something.
Monaca: Hey, big bro! How do I look? Do you think I need some makeup?
Haiji:...Fine. Doing makeup will just feel like you're doing too much. Did you wash your face?
Monaca: Yes!
Haiji: Alright. And do you have everything?
Monaca: Yes, I do! I have my ticket in my pocket!
Haiji: Good. Let's go, we gotta hurry! You look good enough already, we can't waste any more time.
Monaca: Alrighty! Thank you so much, big bro!
With a happy smile, Monaca followed her brother outside so they both could head to the school. While Monaca was being driven, she tried to text him.
Hello, Nagisa! You there yet?
10 minutes
No answer. It was weird for a bit, but she tried to ignore it. He had to be already there.
30 minutes
Haiji was slowing the vehicle down...Monaca still didn't see any response from him.
35 minutes
Haiji: Alright, Monaca. We're here.
Haiji: Hey, Monaca! Come on, can't have you sleeping on me!
Monaca: Oh! Sorry, Haiji!
Monaca exited the car and walked up to Haiji's window.
Haiji: Make sure to be safe, alright?
Monaca: A-Alright! I'll see you at 8!
Haiji: See ya!
Haiji seemed to be a bit cheered up as he left. Monaca hurried inside and tried to look for him....She passed people and constantly looked for his blue hair, and nothing.
Monaca: Why?! N-Nagisaaaaaaa?!!! Where are youuuuuu?!!!
She kept running quickly through. At least 40 minutes passed with no sight of him anywhere. He still wasn't answering his texts.
She tried her best to stay calm and happy, but she couldn't find him. Her heart was beating quickly with fear that she got abandoned, and she suddenly bumped into someone.
Monaca: A-Ah!
She nearly slipped on her own feet when the guy spoke up.
???: Sheeesh, no date? What, is he late?! Niiishsishishiiii!
Monaca: S-Shut up!
Monaca quickly turned and ran..She didn't care where, she just wanted to escape. Away from people....away from everything....Nagisa wasn't there. She felt betrayed. She felt hurt. She leaned against a wall in the girl's restroom and began to cry.
*10 minutes later*
Monaca heard someone come in.
Monaca: *Sniff* W-Who's there???
A pink haired girl with the same matching eyes walked up to her.
???: H-Hello? Are you....okay???
Monaca just shriveled into her hold even tighter, sniffling.
???: H-Hey, I don't know what could have happened to you, but you seem very upset.
Monaca: H-He abandoned me....I-I thought he would be here....but he wasn't! N-Now I'm all alone, and I don't have anyone to dance with....I'm just going to be mocked forever....because I was s-stupid....
The teen walked up to her, slowly kneeling down.
???: I with you....if you'd like.
Monaca: *Sniff* W-Wah???
Monaca looked up. The girl slolwy smiled as she tried to make out another response.
???: If it helps you feel better, I can dance with you! I'll make sure you have a fun time, I promise! Here, I can help you up!
The next thing the girl did made Monaca's tears slowly stop. She took a bit of paper towel in one hand and held out her other one, requesting to help her off of the ground.
Kotoko: My name is Kotoko Utsugi. What's yours?
Monaca: M-M-My Monaca T-Towa. You're really....going to help me?
Kotoko: Of course. I can't just let you cry in here all alone. I hate seeing people so upset when I can help them, ya know?
Monaca: I-I don't know what to say....
Monaca lifted her hand and accepted Kotoko's, thanking her with a light smile as she was pulled to her feet.
Monaca: T-Thank you, Kotoko. Thank you so much...
Kotoko: No problem, Monaca! It sucks that your person didn't get here....hopefully I can cheer you up while they eventually, and hopefully DO show up.
Monaca:'re right...
Kotoko: Well! Dry those tears up and get whatever you have to do out of the way. I'll be outside, right outside the door.
Monaca: O-Okay.
Kotoko waved before stepping outside, letting Monaca's mood improve. Kotoko was there for her like no other, and she knew not to waste this chance.
submitted by bomberman0210 to ChurchofMonaca [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:20 LeutnantzurSeeFritz The Exploits of Irving Reese Part 13: A Shower for a stag and hen

(Sorry it took awhile for me to post this to Reddit. Power was knocked out and I had to wait until it came back on to post it here.)
(As here usual, you can find this story and the pervious parts here.)

The New Year rang in as Irving and Enterprise counted the days until their wedding in February.
Irving looked at the calendar and chuckled.
“Huh. It looks like our honeymoon will be on Valentine’s day.”
Enterprise blushed. She never realized the coincidence.
They knew that the wedding was going to be on February 10th.
In January, Oklahoma had her baby shower. Before the baby shower, Oklahoma told the rest of the shipgirls that she was having a boy.
The shipgirls gave her things such as clothes for the baby. Akagi gave her a crib.
After a while, Oklahoma was tired of all the shipgirls trying to feel her belly. Her baby tried to kick as if to tell them to stop, but this only encouraged them to do it more.
Malcolm could sense his wife’s frustration. He leaned in and whispered into her ear.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”
After that, every time a person would try to feel Oklahoma’s belly, Malcolm would give them a death glare that would put the kibosh on that idea.
After the baby shower was over, Oklahoma embraced her husband.
“Thanks, honey.”
She knew she could count on him to protect her and their unborn son.
Soon, February dawned. Irving knew that his and Enterprise’s wedding was right around the corner. He decided on the plan for his bachelor party.
Malcolm couldn’t go, as even though he was his best man, he was busy helping Oklahoma in the late stages of her pregnancy. Denis could go, as he was not that busy. Fritz would go, as he had nothing better to do. Samuel and Warren could go as well.
Irving smiled as he thought about how wild his party could get.
Meanwhile, Enterprise was planning her bachelorette party. She knew Oklahoma couldn’t go for the obvious reason of being eight months pregnant.
She invited New Jersey, Bismarck, Arizona, and Kronshtadt. She knew that the Northern Parliament had a bar that served the best drinks on the base.
Soon, the soon-to-be weds were at their respective parties.
Irving and his group were at the same bar where they had Malcolm’s bachelor party.
“A shame Malcolm couldn’t go.”
Samuel turned to face Irving.
“Eh, He’s gonna be a father soon. What did you expect?”
Irving noted Denis did not drink that much. He was in no state to drive, but he only had a few shots of vodka.
“I cannot process alcohol well”
Irving laughed and nodded. The rest of the group was equally drunk. Samuel was trying to play pool, but he could barely keep his shot straight.
Fritz was dancing on a table, his arms flailing around like a scarecrow in a wind tunnel.
Warren was already vomiting into a toilet in the restroom.
Irving noticed the bartender was looking at him with an angry look. He knew unless he did something; they were going to get kicked out.
Irving grabbed his phone and picked a random contact.
It turned out that the random contact was Heinz.
Heinz picked up the phone. He was in his black boxers. Bismarck had already left to join Enterprise for her bachelorette party.
“Ah, Heinz, my man. Listen, I need a ride back home. Do me a solid and pick me up, m’kay?”
Heinz’s face went blank. It surprised him Irving had his number. It was likely that either Fritz or Bismarck gave it to him at some point.
Heinz hung up his phone. He knew that Irving and his group were most likely at the bar at the Eagle Union part of the base.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Parliament part of the base. Enterprise and her group were busy getting drunk and partying something fierce.
Kronshtadt and Bismarck were busy tearing it up the karaoke machine. Apparently “Bismarck” by Sabaton was on it, and Bismarck did not want to waste an opportunity like that.
New Jersey was already asleep. Arizona was on her phone.
Enterprise tugged on Arizona’s sleeve. She was drunk and could barely speak a few words without slurring them.
“Hey, can you call Oklahoma to pick us up?”
Arizona sighed and texted Oklahoma.
Oklahoma awoke to a phone vibrating. She unlocked it and saw it was a text from Arizona.
“Hey, can you pick us up? We are at the bar in the Northern Parliament part of the base.”
Oklahoma sat up and sighed, which alerted her husband.
Malcolm sat behind her and placed his arms around her belly.
She turned her head and kissed her husband.
“What’s wrong?”
Oklahoma chuckled and felt Malcolm’s hands around her large middle.
“Oh, other than having to pee almost every fifteen minutes, my boobs leaking more than a broken pipe. Louis treating my insides like a soccer ball, my back aching like a geriatric, and now I got to be the drunk wrangler, I’m doing just fine.”
Malcolm froze and raised his eyebrows.
"What if you go into labor while you are driving? What if something happens and you crash?
Oklahoma kissed her husband again as she felt Louis kick inside of her.
“Mal, relax. I’m going to be okay. You treat me like I’m a dainty daylily. Like my water will break as if I so much as sneeze too hard.”
Malcolm calmed down. Ever since Oklahoma had entered the last trimester of her pregnancy, he had been more protective of her.
Oklahoma got up to put on a purple t-shirt with a white unicorn on it and some black leggings. Malcolm followed behind her.
Oklahoma turned around to face her concerned husband.
“Relax, if something happens I’ll call you or the Commander.”
Malcolm and Oklahoma embraced and kissed. Oklahoma made a slight moan. She placed a hand on her belly.
“Relax, it’s just him kicking me a bit too hard. Vestal, Bismarck, and Tirpitz told me I would feel it around this stage.”
Oklahoma grabbed her phone and got into her car. She drove to the Northern Parliament side of the base.
Heinz’s car stopped right in front of the bar in the Eagle Union part of the base. He saw Irving and the others make their way to his car.
Once they arrived, they noticed a very pressing issue.
There were not enough seats for all of them.
Warren piped up.
“I’m going in the trunk.”
Before Heinz could protest, Warren had already placed himself in the trunk and closed the door.
With Warren in the trunk, that left enough seats for the men.
Irving got into the back of the car with Samuel and Fritz. Denis got into the front with Heinz.
They drove to the Ironblood part of the base. They could get Irving’s clothes for the wedding tomorrow.
What mattered now was getting the men to a safe spot to sober up.
And Heinz knew just the place.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma was driving to the bar in the Northern Parliament part of the base. She had to stop to pee at least two times while she was driving.
Oklahoma put one hand on her belly and rubbed it. She knew she had woken up Louis, as he was kicking in anger.
Oklahoma made her way to the bar. She parked the car and waddled to the entrance.
She had to go to the restroom first. Once she finished, she walked to the group.
“I’m here to be the drunk wrangler.”
It surprised the group that it was Oklahoma who picked them up. Arizona stared at her with concern.
“Oklahoma, why are you here? You-”
Oklahoma cut her off. She stared Arizona in the eye, her eyebrows down.
“I don’t want to hear it. Malcolm already gave me the same spiel before I left.”
Soon, the group was inside Oklahoma’s car. Oklahoma decided she would drop off Kronsthadt first, as she was the closest.
Oklahoma parked the car next to the dorm. Yaroslav and Nikolay were ready, and they picked up Kronshtadt.
“Thanks for the lift, Okie.”
Nikolay and Yaroslav carried her to her dorm.
Next up was Bismarck. Prinz Eugen was at the door of the dorms and helped her into the building.
Prinz Eugen nodded at Oklahoma, and soon she drove to the Eagle Union part of the base to drop off New Jersey, Arizona, and Enterprise.
Oklahoma decided she would let New Jersey, Arizona, and Enterprise crash at her place, as she did not want them to be alone.
Enterprise woke up.
“I’m sorry you had to pick us up, Okie. I didn’t want you to be the drunk wrangler as you have so much going on in your life.”
Oklahoma shook her head.
“Enterprise, it’s okay. I already told Malcolm this. It’s not like my water will break if I sneeze too hard. I’m more durable than you think.”
Enterprise calmed down. She knew Oklahoma was a tough cookie.
Heinz pulled up to the parking lot of the Ironblood dorms. He grabbed the group of men and unlocked his trunk to let Warren out.
Warren came out of the trunk and joined the group. They all walked to the elevator and took it to Heinz and Bismarck’s room.
When Heinz opened the door, he saw Bismarck on the couch with a bucket near her. Helga and Joachim were looking at their mother, curious about what was wrong with her.
“What's wrong with Mutti, Vadi?”
Heinz knew he could not explain a hangover to a young girl that well, so he tried to explain it in terms she could understand.
“Mutti is sick, but don’t worry, you won't get sick as well.”
Irving and the other men quickly made it to Heinz’s kitchen. They grabbed any large bowls they could.
Soon, they all vomited. Heinz, Helga, and Joachim all watched this horrible event unfold.
Heinz expected Helga and Joachim to cover their eyes. Instead, they watched as if it was a magnificent spectacle. Joachim looked at his father.
“Did they have some of Mama’s horrible casserole?”
Heinz laughed and shook his head. He knew Joachim was referring to the night when Bismarck made a casserole. It was bad. Everyone was throwing up in the morning, including Fritz and his family, who came for dinner that night.
“No, this isn’t from a casserole.”
Joachim nodded. The casserole was a good thing in his opinion. He got a day off from school for it.
Meanwhile, on the Eagle Union side of the base, Malcolm was holding up a hungover Enterprise. Arizona was carrying a passed-out New Jersey to Oklahoma and Malcolm’s room. Oklahoma was in the front, waddling her way to the room.
Once they reached the door, Oklahoma opened it. Arizona laid New Jersey on the bed in the guest bedroom. Arizona decided that the living room floor was a great place to lie down and sleep.
Oklahoma sat down on the couch. She was exhausted.
Enterprise laid down on the couch and asked a somewhat odd question.
“Can I put my head on your belly?”
Oklahoma nodded and pulled her shirt up to expose her belly. Her navel had popped out, becoming sensitive to the touch.
Enterprise put her head on Oklahoma’s belly like a pillow. She smiled.
“I can hear Lou’s heartbeat. I can even feel him move.”
Oklahoma blushed.
Enterprise asked another odd question.
“Hey, Okie, what’s it like being pregnant? Is it like being hungover?”
Oklahoma raised her eyebrows. She didn’t think about it.
“At first, yeah, it was like being hungover. Then Lou began growing, and I felt him kick. It was cute at first, but then it hurt as he got bigger.”
Oklahoma could see Louis’s kicks from the outside of her belly. She knew Louis would cry his way into the world soon.
Oklahoma placed a finger on her belly to play with Louis. She moved her finger to see if Louis would kick where the finger was. He would do so, making her giggle.
“The worst part is the feeling of having to pee every fifteen minutes, and the backaches.”
Oklahoma turned to face her husband and blushed. He blushed back.
“The odd part is feeling horny. Malcolm had to learn that the hard way.”
She continued to blush. She knew she was sharing the not so fun parts about being pregnant.
“Well, that and the leaking boobs. I swear they have a mind of their own.”
Enterprise blushed as Oklahoma was oddly open about the more suggestive parts of being pregnant.
Enterprise yawned and asked the ultimate question.
“Do you think I’ll make an amazing mother?”
Oklahoma and Malcolm looked at each other with cheerful looks on their faces. Oklahoma stroked Enterprise’s hair.
“I think you would make an amazing mother, Enty. And I also think Irving would make an amazing father.”
Enterprise yawned and nodded her head. She fell asleep.
Oklahoma pulled a blanket on Enterprise. She left her head exposed. Malcolm wrapped a blanket around Oklahoma.
“ Are you coming to bed with me?”
Oklahoma shook her head.
“I think Enterprise needs me out here. She’s gonna need all the help she’s gonna get tomorrow.”
Oklahoma felt Louis’s kicking stop. She knew he had finally fallen asleep. She turned her head to look at Enterprise, who was fast asleep with her head on her belly.
Oklahoma sighed.
She could oddly get used to this.
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2023.04.02 07:20 AutoModerator [Get] Leevi Eerola – Lead Gen 2.0 University

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2023.04.02 07:17 Righteous_Fury224 Sympathy for a Succubus - Meridiana’s Story. Part 6

Ahh, dear reader, hello there! So lovely to see you once more... well figuratively speaking that is… or is it?
After all, I am exceedingly well versed in The Arts. Maybe I am watching you at this very moment, with Clairvoyance or perhaps a Scrying Spell or maybe an enchanted object like the good old fashioned Crystal Ball? The Magus has one you know…
Just teasing… or am I? …teeheehee…
Anyway, this latest instalment comes to you courtesy via a Voice to Text application my Magus recently acquired for me, as he said listening to me speak aloud while typing is too distracting for him. I find that interesting considering his immense mental discipline yet understandable at the same time. After all, extoling ones inner monolog to an uncaring audience would be tedious to experience. Hmm… I’ve just thought of a new torture for the souls of the dammed, specifically for writers who think they are better than everyone around them. How ingenious of me!
In any case, I would prefer to distract him in other ways, mark you.
I also must say what wonderfully inventive creatures you humans are! An application of mathematical code, the base language of reality. It is very much like a spell in its function and nature I would say, that it allows my phone, yes the Magus got me one, to record all I say and transcribes it into neatly typed words on its electronic pages. It’s like having a monk-scribe in your pocket! Unquestionably wonderful!
So as I relax in my fabulously hot, luxurious scented, oiled bubble bath, I can easily regale you with further tales of the adventures I have had thus far on this wonderous blue and brown spherical rock that is third in line from our star. And I do not have to type with two fingers either, which is a massive bonus let me tell you!
If memory serves… ahh yes, we had just returned to the car where I saw a sign of my Magus’s humour on display in the form of his licence plate.
I do have to admit dear reader, I was indeed highly amused. He knows he’s going to hell, he just insists that it be on his terms! I love it! Such confidence, such audacious willpower.
That is exceedingly… stimulating for Succubi.
Ok dammit, it makes me tremendously horny, and I’m not talking about the ones on my head either you know! We are incredibly lusty beings, us Succubi, after all.
I was already in a highly ‘excited’ state when we got to the car, so much so that I had to use my Cell Adjustment Psionic discipline to tremendously dull down my inflamed senses as I did not wish to leave the tell-tale mark of my inflamed passion on the lower back portion of my new dress and also not on the car-seat when I sat back down in the vehicle.
After a few moments, which caused the Magus to glance up at me with a slightly puzzled expression, of standing outside the car (he had no idea nor cared… hmmph!) I opened the door and folded myself back inside the vehicle and resumed my seat. I later learned that I could have mostly avoided this… embarrassment… by actually wearing what you call absorbent lined underwear! I wasn’t wearing panties at the time as I was totally unaware of their existence. I do so now as its much more comfortable in lots of ways and in addition, stops the shiver when an errant chill wind blows unexpectedly up your gusset!
Moving on…
Getting into the car, the Magus paused until I had done up my seatbelt before starting the engine, waiting for another car to pass us by before safely pulling out and sedately driving off. I later learned that we could have gone screaming down the road in a cloud of burning rubber if the Magus was of a mind to. I would have if given the opportunity! Something to look forward to dear reader.
Instead, we drifted slowly through the placidly moving traffic as I watched the sun descend below the horizon of the ocean. I had only been back here on Earth for a few hours but every second was total bliss. I do not think that most of you humans realize how good you have it here. Even those who do not reside in the more developed and advanced nations, being on Earth is special.
There are infinity more worse places you can be, let me assure you of that.
We drove back mostly the way had travelled to this particular beach. This time though it was much later in the day, heading in the opposite direction, I became aware of many more things that had escaped my attention earlier on.
We passed by denser zones and clusters of buildings where I could see various shops, food outlets, restaurants and varying vendors, all brightly lit up now as the daylight was fading. I saw incredibly tall metal poles with blazing, glowing lights illuminating the surrounds with a warm yellowy orange glow making it still easy to see. Electric lighting will never cease to amaze me. Yes dear reader, I can experience a sense of wonder and joy at simple things, even beyond the act of slaughter and soul draining. Would it astonish you that I like flowers? Such strange lifeforms that had developed aromas they use as a method of propagation. Delightful.
Anyway… we shortly crested the hill that we had previous ascended westwards earlier on the way to the beach and I then saw it!
I was awestruck once again.
Towering edifices, glittering, shining buildings monstrously higher than Hagia Sophia was, the most immense human made structure in the world when I was last in it. These glistening towers of glass, metal and stone made that church look like a feeble children’s toy. I could see over a dozen of these buildings of varying size, clustered together in less than a square mile.
The Magus glanced to his left and saw me gaping at them.
“They’re called Sky Scrapers Meridiana. They’re generally office buildings, places of business where people daily work in their wage-slave jobs then go home at night. The buildings are left vacant but light up at night as you can clearly see.”
I turned and gawped at him.
“They’re empty at night?”
I could not comprehend why such space, that had amazing views, would be left empty of an evening?
“Yep. Well most of them are. There will be some that still have people in them, conducting various types of business overnight because its what they do for a living.”
“What do they do?” I asked in a murmur as I turned back to see the vista be obscured by a large set of commercial and residential buildings that we were currently passing.
The Magus shrugged.
“They’ll be doing all sorts of things, financial trading, working back late to do their jobs… various affairs of commerce and such. It’s not that important really Meridiana. I’ll take you into the city another day when we have time for you to be a tourist. Now, if I may, I want to know more about your Telekinesis. I got an idea of how much you can lift, probably over 1400 kilograms at least if my guess as to how much a warhorse in armour with a rider would weigh… maybe more? Probably more but we’ll test that later. Anyway, it’s your fine control skills I’m interested in.”
I turned back to the Magus who was looking ahead, driving us through the busy traffic that had become a factor. I later learned that it was a time of day called ‘rush hour’.
“I am capable of very delicate manipulation with my Telekinesis, especially in regards to the erotic arts,” I said to him with a husky, low, salacious purr.
“That’s cute but I really want to know if you could snatch out of the air and control a very small, fast moving bouncing ball, say the size of your thumbnail?” he asked in an offhand manner as he slowed down due to the traffic which was banking up in front of us.
I inwardly sighed once more. Such a challenge he was!
“Yes I can but why?”
He briefly turned to me and broadly grinned before returning his attention to driving.
“There’s a game that we will ‘play’ after dinner. It is called Roulette. The game features a spinning wheel with thirty seven little slots. Into the spinning wheel a little white ball is spun in and circles around, eventually slowing and bouncing into once of the numbered slots. The slots are alternately coloured red or black and all are numbered from 00 to 36. You can bet where the ball will land, either in red or black and specifically in a numbered slot. If the ball lands in a slot you bet on, you get a payout of thirty seven to one. Ever dollar you bet wins you 37 back. You can also just bet on which colour the ball will land in giving you your money back plus it’s value as a reward. Bet $100, you get your $100 back plus another $100.”
“Dollar... that’s money right?” I said as the implications slowly dawned on me. You could make a fortune from this!
“Yes Meridiana. Dollars are what we use as currency these days. Gold is still used but not in the way you were used to. It’s still valuable as are other precious metals but that’s going to take a long explanation which is a distraction for now. So, do you think you could perhaps catch the bouncing ball with your power, directing it into the number we bet on?”
I thought about it for a few moments.
“I will have to see how the ball moves but I think I could, yes.”
“Excellent. You stand to make us a lot of money tonight. There are other games like card games, slot machines which I’m uncertain that your powers would be able to mess with. Roulette is our hunting ground. We must be careful though.”
I was surprised by his tone of caution. We were power incarnate! What could possibly touch us?
“Casinos hate losing money. Roulette is going to be the hardest one they can prove that we’re cheating on if you use your Telekinesis. We will be closely watched the entire time we are in the casino. There are devices called cameras, similar to Crystal Balls, that observe everything they see, relaying the images back to people in other rooms whose task it is to spot potential cheaters in the casino. They also have people walking the floor, disguised as ordinary folk, always watching everyone else. And I want to avoid the eyes of any infernal beings who may be in the casino.”
“Ahh… I see… a healthy paranoia then, for them and us hmm?”
He nodded once, emphatically.
If you have a fortune, you need to protect it, especially from people like me. His caution in regards to our identity was also most prudent and he was correct that there was a possibility that there may be others of my ilk lurking in the shadows, walking in human form as we often do.
I have to confess dear reader, that I am a master thief as well as an expert assassin, in addition to being an accomplished warrior although I rarely fight in hand to hand combat, preferring seduction, subterfuge and skulduggery as my main methods of killing. Yet still, I can fight and kill extremely proficiently with many weapons, being skilled at one of the highest levels of melee combat, the use of weapons and ways of fighting with them. I’ve been around a while you know? You pick up on things like that if you wish to live as long as I have.
Besides… stabby, stabby, stabby, bash, slash and smite can be loads of fun when you’re doing the stabbing and bashing with a well-balanced blade or mace in your hands. But I digress…
“You have it Meridiana. Yes the casinos’ management are extremely paranoid. We will have to alter our appearance as well before we enter the casino. I shall use a minor low level spell while you can take a new face. We will do so after dinner.”
I nodded then a thought came to me. I asked,
“You said we were going to something called a buffet? I know what the word means as my abilities allow me to understand any spoken language, much like the enchantment known as Tongues. Yet I’m finding it hard to match the word with the concept.”
The Magus raised an eyebrow in interest at this revelation.
“Oh right. Just because you know a word doesn’t mean you automatically understanding it conceptually and in context either. Good to know. Well, a buffet is an enormous array of various foods, hot and cold, sweet to savoury, where you merely help yourself and consume as much as you wish. You pay for the privilege of course.”
“Truly? How much will this cost you?” I inquired wide eyed.
I noticed that we had moved through the traffic and had turned down a descending road and were now going into a massive concrete tunnel along with hundreds of other cars, all slowly moving in the same direction. It was quite honestly astounding that everyone was not smashing into one another. All the drivers were…well mostly were, attentive to their immediate surrounds and situation as we gradually merged our car into the main lane of traffic which was making its way under the earth via the huge yawning tunnel ahead.
Such staggering feats of engineering and construction which would have made the Emperor Justinian weep copious, bitter tears of pure envy. Oh how I wished I could make him see this and realise his idiotic boast was pointless when he finished Hagia Sophia. He bragged that he had surpassed Solomon himself with his church. He had but it wasn’t worth it. Justinian nearly bankrupted the Eastern Roman Empire, all for a useless church and his own vanity.
Still, I shouldn’t care, his hubris ended up sending him to hell anyway so... yay! His actions also exacerbated the effects of the famine and plague that swept the through the empire and western Europe in the year 535 with his stupid desire to re-unify the Roman empire under his rule. You will be pleased to know dear reader, that he is burning in eternal torment for his multitude of sins so it is all good. My thoughts of deceased, vainglorious emperors and their fate were interrupted as the Magus spoke again,
“Hmm? … it should set us back about $80 each I’d should say? A small price to pay in all honesty when you see what is on offer. Drinks will be on top of that price, unless you just have plain water but tonight Meridiana, I shall introduce you to Champagne, one of humanities greatest achievements.”
This was enticing to hear!
“If you say so Magus. I completely believe you as you will not be lying to me,” I said, nodding and trying to think about Champagne.
So many new concepts were entering my mind, it was hard to keep my mind and thoughts in order. I understood that Champagne was a special type of wine, one which had a fizz embodied within it, making it highly regarded but that’s all I could deduce for now.
Also… I had a thought: the Magus could and would never lie to me. The feeling I had earlier, in being able to trust everything he said to me because of the oath he gave to me, was an unfettering sensation.
All my existence I have dealt with bare faced lairs, deceivers, misshapers of the truth who twisted words to suit their own selfish ends. With the Magus, all I had to be concerned with was his agenda, which actually had my interests aligned with his own. Truly remarkable.
I needed that champagne now!
We emerged from the tunnel, traveling with the traffic over wide dark river, again on another immense concrete bridge this time. There was a gigantic colosseum off to our right, all lit up with multiple coloured lights that ran around the circumference of the structure. It was like as though it was enveloped in a rainbow. Frankly, it was amazing to behold.
Beyond that, I could see many more large towers and structures, lining the sides of the vast road we were hurtling along now. The Magus had increased our speed as traffic had thinned out. Never in my life had I moved so fast, well unless I was using a Haste spell to briefly increase my physical speed, which I use in combat if necessary.
I barely had the sense we were travelling in the car at roughly 80kph. Such an odd experience to have for the first time. There was no rushing of wind, no press of air on my face, just comfort and air-conditioning. Marvellous!
After a few minutes later I saw our destination.
Again I was nearly stupefied by the gigantic structure. Multiple massive buildings, all surrounded by lush green, well-manicured and maintained gardens made my jaw go slack with disbelief.
“That’s Crown Casino, Towers and hotel Meridiana. I can see you are impressed. Let me just say that if you think this is amazing, wait until we go to Las Vegas…” he said as he turned the car into the driveway of the complex.
“There’s even more impressive structures than this?”
My mind boggled dear reader. It was almost too much to take in.
“Yep. My city is a small one compared to other around the globe. We will travel to them, in due course. I know you can use your powers of Dimensional Walking, moving through other planes of reality and appearing on a different part of the planet. However, there will be times when we will need to travel together conventionally. Perhaps one day, if I learn the rights spell, we will be able to avoid having to fly in an aeroplane and by-pass the utter tediousness of baggage check-ins, airport security and so on…” he muttered darkly.
“HUMANS CAN FLY!?!” I said in a loud strangled astonished voice.
The Magus chuckled with genuine amusement.
“Think back Meridiana. I said humanity has been to the moon and back. I said we can travel safely and comfortably in a machine, called an aircraft, across the planet. Some ‘planes are huge while others are not much bigger than the car. Oh, that reminds me, we will have to construct an identity for you. We will begin that process tomorrow. You are going to need a passport soon enough,” he said as he found a relatively unoccupied parking area west of the massive structures.
He saw my puzzled expression and mistook it for wondering why we had parked here.
“It’s free to park here and there are hardly any security cameras in the vicinity.”
I nodded dumbly.
“But of course Magus…”
He saw my expression as he switched off the engine. A tiny look of… sympathy appeared on his face. He spoke to me in a soft, calm, soothing tone,
“Take a breath Meridiana. Close your eyes and focus upon the stillness within the vehicle. You are safe here with me. Nothing will harm us. Just breathe and relax, let each breath calm you. With every breath you are at peace within yourself and the world around you.”
I did as he said and instantly sensed my whirling mind begin to centre itself, become still.
I may be an ancient and powerful demon dear reader, however I have been imprisoned for nigh on a thousand years and now have been released into a world that I was unable to recognise at all.
The Magus later told me I was suffering from a psychological malady called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes dear reader, even us demons can get mentally fucked up. I mean, compared to the average human, we’re all demented, tormented psychopaths which explains a lot about ourselves but still… even a psychopath can suffer from mental trauma. Demons can go insane.
I breathed rhythmically, each exhaling breath calming me. With one final exhalation, I opened my eyes, turned to my Magus and softly smiled at him.
“Thank you,” was all I said. I meant it.
He nodded briefly, his intensely burning eyes boring into mine, deeply searching, looking for signs of any madness that may still be lingering within. Well, there’s always the hunger for sex and mayhem, but that’s natural for me.
“Come on, you look fine now, let’s go,” he said as he got out of the car.
I followed his example, releasing my seat belt and stepping out of the car. Closing the car door behind me, walked over to the Magus then I threaded my right arm around his left as we walked off like a normal couple, casually strolling through the car park towards the casino and hotel.
I could hear the noise of all the adjacent traffic all still travelling busily along the massive road that went past the enormous complex. There was the calls of various birds I’d never heard before, the waft of scented flowering plants and the heavy aroma of moisture in the air from the nearby river. I closed my eyes for a second just to let it all wash over me as I sedately walked along with my Magus.
Soon we came to the entrance. Huge dark glass doors magically opened for us upon our arrival. To my right I could see various coloured signage, advertising the types of ‘fast food’ eateries that people could choose to dine at. They were all brightly lit and mostly clean.
It was at that moment I saw my first wretch.
A dishevelled, unkempt, shabby man sat listless outside the fast food eateries upon the low stone wall that contained a small, well-kept garden. He looked up at us as we approached, his eyes full of misery and despair.
“Got any spare change?”
“Sorry mate, no one carries cash anymore,” lied my Magus to him with a conciliatory voice, a sad but brief compassionate smile appeared briefly on his face.
The wretched man’s face became even more resigned. He nodded back in understanding, returning his fallen face back to morosely contemplating the ground at his feet.
We kept walking, leaving the broken man behind us.
I was about to congratulate the Magus in his treatment of the beggar when I had to stop as I was confronted by an incredible sight.
Before us, in the huge well-lit lobby of the building, was a huge pair of MOVING METAL STAIRCASES!
One staircase ascended while another came down from the landing some 50 feet above us. On either side were normal, marble clad stairs that some people were using. Yet many other people were on the moving metal stairs, all just taking the experience of being raised or lowered completely for granted.
“It’s just an escalator Meridiana. A simple machine that makes life a little more comfortable. Take it, go for a ride. I’m taking the stairs as I need the incidental exercise,” he said to me as he pried my clutching hands from his arm. I had been unconsciously gripping him tightly in my amazement at seeing such a machine.
The Magus walked off to the left, climbing the steps briskly while I gingerly walked forwards, watching the metal stairs endless appear and ascend upwards. The hand rail also moved in synchronicity with the metal stairs. I observed as a pair of young women, chatting intently to each other, walked past me and up to stand upon a metal stair which was part of dozens of metal stairs it seemed. I saw them be lifted by the moving stairs, rising above and away from me.
Summoning my courage, I stepped forwards onto a moving stair, wobbled slightly as I was not used to the speed which it moved, making me grab the moving banister tightly to steady myself as I rode my way upwards. I let out a small laugh as it was such a novel experience. The young women in front of me turned around at my laugh, raising their eyebrows at me as well as actually truly seeing me for the first time. Their smiles faded as I grinned back at them.
The young women could see my infinitely superior beauty on full display. They looked hesitant, now uncertain of themselves as they mistakenly believed themselves to be beautiful. They were, passible, not ugly but not worthy of a harem to be perfectly honest. I later learned dear reader that many foolish young women, especially in what you call the western world, regard themselves as queens, rating themselves ten out of ten on a scale of dazzling good looks. These sad women are delusional. I mean, if they were that beautiful, why weren’t their faces on the covers of the glossy magazines I see in various ‘supermarket’ check outs? No matter, vanity and hubris are all ways to damnation and misery. So many people sending themselves to eternal torment simply because they were raised by idiotic parents who never properly taught their children the need for humility. It’s all win-win for the pits you know…
My Magus met me at the top of the stairs, holding out his hand to me and then leading me through the vast interior of the complex.
“That’s the casino,” he indicated to our right.
Looking, I could see dozens of people making their way inside into the brightly lit and noisy interior of the casino. I caught the whiff of desperation, despair, avarice, lust, elation and a strong aroma of human urine. I wrinkled my nose in disgust. Yes, even I have some standards dear reader.
“Magus, why does it reek of piss?” I asked as we strolled by and proceeded into the most immense, glass covered atrium I have ever seen.
“Oh, you can smell that?” He looked intrigued.
I nodded with a mild look of disgust.
“Hah… interesting. Well… some gamblers get stuck on a poker machine. They sit there for hours, desperately hoping that the machine they are playing on will pay out. The poor fools stupidly believe that if they play at the machine long enough, they’ll win big. So they stay seated, ignoring to relieve their bodily urges, to the extent that they prefer to piss themselves rather than abandon the machine that is draining away their money. The poor fools are incapable of understanding that the machine is designed to rarely pay out. Every time they play, it has a simple algorithm that calculates the chance of a payout. Most machines will payout a small amount of money occasionally, thus keeping the gambler hooked in the mistaken belief that the big one is just around the corner. It rarely, if ever, is.”
I stopped, stunned at what I just heard. The Magus stopped and looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“That’s… diabolically genius!” I stuttered as I considered the fiendish brilliance of the whole concept.
Someone had made hell on earth not only possible but also could make a fortune from it as well as breaking people’s souls and spirits in the process! The concept of dangling hope in front of a damned soul, then snatching it away was one of the oldest known tortures of hell. This was a magnificent, a culmination of the perfection of thousands upon thousands of years of the torture, all neatly packaged in a fairly simple machine designed to beggar it’s user and turn them into slaves to it. Gobsmacking was the only word I could think off that fully encapsulated the way I felt at that moment.
“Yes it is, isn’t it? I have always suspected that those machines were most likely invented by a demon. It makes perfect sense,” he said as he shrugged, then tilted his head, indicating we should proceed onwards.
I noddled dumbly as again, I had been totally overwhelmed by the latest piece of information the Magus informed of. I barely registered the hundreds of people all wandering around the massive lobby of the hotel atrium. Many were dressed finely while others, mostly men, were dressed casually. My Magus was one of them, still wearing his novelty T-shirt and hemp pants. They were clean though and his shoes, a brand known as Babuuk, made him look somehow better dressed then the other men who were similarly attired. Maybe it was just his subtle aurora of power, his sheer confidence and his towering Will that made him stand out from the mouth breathers all around us? I guess it was.
We arrived at the entrance of the restaurant and the Magus was greeted was a short Asian woman, dressed neatly in the hotels livery.
I started to realise that there were people of so many different races of humanity all around us. I had come from a time where only what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire was this diverse, and even then it was but a shadow of the heyday of the full glory that was Rome. Here were people from almost all the lands of earth, all happily co-mingling, getting on with having dinner with family and friends. Very surprising indeed.
The Asian woman at the reception counter spoke to us with a friendly smile,
“Good evening sir, madam. A table for two for you then?” she asked politely, her voice tinged with a broad accent I had not heard before. She spoke English yet I could tell that wasn’t her first language.
“Yes please,” politely replied the Magus.
This was something I did not expect. Despite his and my obvious power, he was respectful and even kind to the servants. All of them. He didn’t condescend nor sneer down at the servants of the hotel. It is still something I have difficulty reconciling. I said nothing, just observed. Oh, he has since instructed me not to call them servants, they are members of staff and will be treated with respect until they show they do not deserve it, then they are fair game. I can live with that.
“Table seventy one is ready for you both, have a lovely evening.”
She actually meant it! I could see it in her eyes, she was truly enjoying her task. She was smiling and joking with her fellow staff members, politely greeting the next people behind us with her cheerful friendly demeanour.
In my prior experiences, servants and slaves were a miserable lot but then again, that was understandable. They had no choice as to their circumstances. They had to obey lest they suffer harsh punishment.
As we proceeded into the large dining room, with over a hundred tables of varying sizes, I could see off to my left where the food was.
I stopped again and stared dear reader.
I have been to banquets with Emperors and Kings, Popes and Princes, all sumptuous feasts but nothing was like what I saw before me. Dozens upon dozens of people had plates in their hands, all calmly wandering around the incredible cornucopia of varieties of food that were on display, all brightly lit up for them to simply help themselves to as much as their plate could hold.
Roasted meats, all neatly carved by expert chefs, freshly shucked oysters all seated in enormous silver ice-filled serving bowls, trays upon trays of cooked vegetables of kinds I had never seen before and… a dazzling array of sweet desserts and treats that made me almost go weak at the knees at the very sight of them.
“Come on Meridiana, you’re starting to drool,” whispered the Magus gently into my ear as he dabbed my wet lips with a soft piece of paper that he withdrew from his pants pockets.
Once again I nodded dumbly as I allowed him to escort me to our table. He even seated me, pushing me and my chair in one I had sat down. After he had taken his seat, a young man, quite a handsome one from the Indus I believed?... came over to us, again dressed in the livery of the hotel.
“Good evening, sir, madam. Would you care for something to drink?” he inquired ever so politely.
“And good evening to you sir. Yes indeed, may we please have a bottle of Verve Clicquot, two glasses and a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water?” he asked with a real smile to the servant… no member of staff.
“Of course sir, I shall get that for you immediately,” replied the waiter with a pleased smile at being spoken to so politely.
“Thank you,” said the Magus then he turned to me and asked,
“Do you need a moment Meridiana? I understand this might trigger you again…”
I shook my head.
“No. It is overwhelming… but in a good way Magus. I have to ask, how can a place like this provide so many people with so much food? Even in the height of the Empire, there were magnificent feasts to be sure but… you say this happens everyday, that this is just a Tuesday and not a busy night?”
He nodded.
“This is the age of abundance Meridiana. Many of us, who live in what is known as The West, have dwelt in an age of such wealth and richness that almost all here never think on their incredible luck and privilege to live in such times. They do not know that it will come to an end. Maybe that is a small mercy. All golden ages end as you well know. So I say, let them dwell in ignorant bliss for now. We can enjoy it while it lasts.”
“Huh? Why do you believe that your golden age will end Magus?”
“It’s a long explanation and one I do not wish to go into detail here and now Meridiana but later, I will share my thoughts with you on this. Ahh, here comes our champagne.”
The waiter and another staff member had returned, with one carrying two bottles while the other had a metal bucket partially filled with ice. The waiter from the Indus placed both bottles on our table, displayed the label to the Magus who briefly nodded. Then, the waiter removed the cork from the bottle with an adroit twist of his writ. It made a pleasing pop and I could see a little haze of cold… smoke? lightly emanate from the neck of the bottle. He poured the brightly bubbling and fizzing wine into both our glasses, carefully making sure the foam did not overflow them. He was very good at his task.
“Thank you good sir,” said my Magus to the waiter who beamed back at him with a happy smile. He placed the bottle into the bucket of ice and withdrew, leaving us alone, amidst the crowed dinning room.
The Magus took up his glass, holding it in front of him. I mirrored him.
“Here’s to a good dinner with interesting company and later, ripping the shit out of a casino Meridiana.” He pushed his glass gently forwards, lightly clinking it against mine. I wasn’t familiar at the time with that form of salute and toast but went with it anyway, after all… when in Rome as they used to say.
“That sounds… delightful Magus. I am eager for it all.”
I then took a sip of my champagne and was transported into a realm of heavenly bliss.
It was exquisite.
submitted by Righteous_Fury224 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:16 curioushuman1910 Is it possible to reset?

For me it seems that my depression comes from anxiety, and anxiety comes from a fear of not "already being where I should be." I believe this may be caused by genetic factors but triggered and exacerbated by the circumstances around my teenage adult years.
For context I'm 33 M. I was homeschooled in my life. My parents split when I was 5, dad is a special ed teacher and used to be a pro musician with some success. Mom is uneducated and has low self esteem. Mom remarried neuropsychologist, dad was absent. Mom divorced psychologist when I was 15. Then immediately started dating another guy and decided to move in with him ASAP, I begged her not to as it was too much transition but she chose that over me. I went to a couple years of public school but dropped out and got my GED because I was too depressed. Moved out when I was 18. Worked some random jobs-- vintage store, butcher. Practiced guitar. Took some bs community college courses. By 21 I started a band, ended up touring the country with fair success but it didn't continue to build. I had Quit my jobs and lived cheap during this time. Did that til I was 26/27. Band started to dissipate as everyone was tired of the road. It was a good time sometimes but I had cyclical depression and always felt like I was an imposter, and trying to "be a musician" sometimes felt like it was killing me. I spent some time at my dads house once that band dissipated and I just relaxed and painted and played music and ate well and I was no longer depressed. I met a guy who wanted to play this super niche style of music I was into and bam all the sudden I had a music project again. Did that for 2 years hard. Played 300 gigs (corner of restaurant "blue collar" musician gigs) in 2018 and was totally burned out although I did make a lower middle class living doing it. Super depressed I was looking for an escape and somehow found a friend who got me in at a small tech company testing software. Which despite having no degree or experience I somehow was good enough at. That got my confidence back up and freed me up from the pressure of "being a musician." But after about 6 months I started to long for my own thing and began working to book more gigs and develop my career. By the end of the year I was dying trying to gig all the time and work at the company. Then Covid hit in 2020 and I got laid off and lived on unemployment. With the goal of taking my next music project forward I came out of the pandemic swinging and recorded an album and released it and played all over my region -- festivals clubs etc -- had the best possible 2022 it could've been. Then it was over and winter came and I was depressed again. The idea of continuing trying to be a musician when I go thru these depressions is sickening cause I know I won't consistently do a good job and eventually I'll be bitter.
Anyway I'm ranting telling a snapshot of my life story-- but all of this to say-- I feel as if I've been running in a sort of survival/fight or flight mode for most of my teen and adult life. I've oscillated between periods of extreme focus and energy and productivity --all based around the idea that if I worked hard enough I could get myself to be a "successful" (examples: as a musician that meant to have a team of folks that kept my career on track and I could just perform, and be making 60k + a year and be adored and loved because of my abilities etc.) -- and period of absolute low self esteem, hopelessness and "why have I chosen this path I don't even like music", a soul crushing depression and anxiety cluster that makes me want to not exist. Also to note it's not even fully about the money -- it's like I don't enjoy the music anymore and music is a life consuming vocation when you feel the need to not be broke which I do. I'm not doing bad considering : I have 35k in a Roth, 25 k in a brokerage, and around 60k in cash saved. But I don't feel like I have a life. When I'm loving it I'm fully focused on music and when I'm not I'm desperately trying to find some way to escape.
That's where I am now. I'm on meds and all that too. But apart of me is wondering if I quit my life, go back and live at my dads house where there is always healthy food and nature, get a really good exercise routine going and stop this insane hustle I've been in, then once im recovered calmly go get an education in a field that interests me and would allow me to make decent money and then get a job I feel qualified for and more or less integrate into society in the normal way-- would I cure this awful anxiety and depression that surrounds the uncertainty of "my place in the world " and stress of trying to make money as a musician and set me up with a more sane and structured life? Or would I probably be just as depressed and sad doing anything once the stress / pressure of any job or school came back --no matter if I took time to try and reset my nervous system by taking all the pressure off-- then I'd be like "fuck why did I walk away from the cool music stuff I had built?"
TLDR-- does anyone have any experience with literally walking away from your current life while depressed and recovering with no pressure (a privilege I know) then re entering society and changing how you live/what you do?
submitted by curioushuman1910 to depression [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:15 catloverchris I'm out of the closet, but I feel so guilty.

I came out to my parents today. I used April fools day as a cover up if they got aggressive, but that was not needed. My dad doesn't care that I'm pansexual, but is very negative about me being trans. I don't give two shits what he thinks, but my mom looks heart broken at the fact.
She told me about when I was a small child, 4 or 5 at the time. She put me in a beauty pageant & i "loved" it. Thing is I hardly remember that & I was 4 & the only thing I remember is a slide show, a toy water gun, a old man & wearing a zebra print dress. That's all, but I love my mom & I care about her. I respect her for all the abuse she went through all her life & I feel like a bad person, or that I'm abusive or something like that.
I remember she told me about her suicidal issues & when she would vent to me. I can't help but cry at the idea of me being such a burden to her after years of trying my best to help. When I was a kid I would make little drawings for her when she got sick, so she would feel better. now I feel like she misses her "sweet little mama's girl" & isn't prepared for her "mama's girl" to be her "mama's boy".
I have a baby sister & a older brother, both have autism, so I'm usually in the role of the oldest. My siblings are often difficult & put lots of stress on us, but I'm usually the one who deals with my brother because we're one year apart & I suck with kids. My mother is worried that I'm using being trans as a excuse to get out of work. I try to tell her that I'm not.
Got to admit, being closeted sucked. But the guilt is worse.
submitted by catloverchris to venting [link] [comments]

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2023.04.02 07:14 alex9834 The Haters Guide to the 2023 NCAA Basketball Championship

This tournament sure was...something. In the 14 years that I have followed the NCAA Tournament I have never seen it get this crazy before. This was a complete 180 from last year's Tournament, where we only had Blue Bloods in the Final Four, and a blue blood champion. This year, it is not the case. We have CHAOS.
Now, let us take a look at the failures, and boy do I have a few words for some teams here...
Arizona Wildcats - For the third year in a row, we have a 15 over 2 upset in the opening round. And Arizona was offered up as this year's sacrifice. To be fair, this isn't as big of an upset compared to other 15-over-2 upsets. Believe it or not, I actually saw this coming. The moment Princeton was announced as the opponent, I knew Arizona was gonna go down early. The Tigers just outplayed them and held strong throughout the entire game. Just like in 1996, when they upset defending national champion UCLA in the first round, the Tigers' next upset would unsurprisingly come against a Pac-12 team. Man, 15-over-2 upsets are becoming a staple in March Madness now...future 2 seeds better watch out...
Virginia Cavaliers - This was yet another upset most saw coming, but my god...I'm still stunned by this. Virginia was even leading for most of the game, but then they just imploded near the end. That turnover...what the hell was that?
I swear, Virginia must have sold it's soul for a National Title back in 2019...
Iowa State Cyclones - I swear, the Cyclones are like destined to bow out early in the tournament. It's as if its required by law for them to fall early no matter how high expectations are for them. It wasn't even a contest, the Panthers just straight up slaughtered them. Iowa State is one of the next contestants for my next Legacy of Failure script. But only IF they meet certain conditions...
At least the Cyclones lost to an 11 seed, and 11 seeds at least have moderate success in the tournament.
At least they're not these sorry sacks:
Purdue's Boiler Explosion - What the fuck. What. The fuck. WHAT. THE. FUCK. WAS. THAT. Don't get me wrong, I knew you weren't going to make the Final Four this year. I knew you were going to choke. But as a #1 SEED IN THE FIRST ROUND?! When you were favored by TWENTY FOUR TO WIN?!! Do you realize what you have just done?! This is quite possibly the greatest failure in the history of college sports! This was your ALL-IN year, and you fall to a double digit seed for the third year in a row? Absolutely unacceptable. Matt Painter is on a SEARING hot seat now.
One word, Purdue: NUKE. Blow it up. You aren't winning with Painter. You aren't winning with this coaching staff. You aren't winning this core, and you aren't winning with these mentally fragile players who can't handle a shred of adversity.
Tick, tick, Painter and Lusk. It's time for a house cleaning in West Lafayette. Fucking Purdue... YOU BLEW IT!!!
Memphis Tigers - Penny Hardaway is getting Memphis on the right track. They won the AAC Tournament title over Houston, securing their second straight appearance in the Big Dance. But unfortunately, the Cinderella bug hit them, and it came in the form of Florida Atlantic, who won their first tournament game in school history. Memphis is still an interesting team nonetheless, and I'm eager to see how far Hardaway can take this team in the future.
Iowa Hawkeyes - Congratulations! Your team STILL can't make it past the first weekend of the tournament! This time you get rekt by Auburn. Fran McCaffrey continues to show that he cannot survive come March Madness despite his regular season successes. Iowa, if I were you I would find a new coach already. Fran is not the man.
Texas A&M Aggies - The Aggies had a solid regular season. They came close to winning the SEC Tournament title but got decimated by Alabama. Is this football or basketball I'm covering here? I'm confused. Anyway, it really seemed as if the Aggies had it in them to go on a reasonable run as they were a 7 seed, but then they went to Des Moines and got blown the fuck out by a team that hadn't won a tournament game in 22 years. The failure is always bigger in Texas...
USC Trojans - Despite losing the other Mobley brother to the draft last offseason, the Trojans still snuck their way into the Big Dance yet again. Unfortunately, Tom Izzo's Spartans killed any hopes they had of a deep run. The Trojans failed to conquer Sparta, and it's time for me to break out this scene from 300 again...
Providence Friars - After making the Sweet 16 last year, the Friars had another good team this season and were ranked for most of the latter half of the season. But unfortunately, Kentucky remembered last year's upset at the hands of Saint Peter's and decided to kill any hopes the Friars had of a deep run.
Baylor Bears - Once again, Baylor fails to make it past the second round. Despite maintaining most of the 2021 National Championship roster the Bears still cannot find it in themselves to get past the first weekend again. It wasn't even a contest, Creighton flat out controlled the tempo for the entire game. 2021 had better not have been a fluke for your guys...
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights - Congrats, FDU! You became the 2nd #16 seed to be a #1! Your consolation prize is blowing a late lead to Florida Atlantic in round two. Eh, who cares. You still pulled off the upset. The fact that this only happened 5 years after UMBC's stunning upset over Virginia is the most shocking fact about this too. Now, no #1 seed is safe. We are entering a period in the tournament where even the lowest seeds are now potential contenders. It'll be interesting to see how 2024's tournament goes...
Saint Mary's Gaels - Ah, it's that other WCC team. Congrats on winning another tournament game! Your prize is to get absolutely slaughtered by UConn. Great...
Penn State Nittany Lions - Congrats, Penn State! You won your first tournament game in 22 years! Even though you took the Longhorns to the limit, a big run just wasn't in the cards for you this year. Can we grant another tournament win to Penn State and put them in the Sweet 16 instead of Texas? They deserve it a lot more than Purdue...
Pittsburgh Panthers - Congrats, Pitt! You returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 7 years! You even won a tournament game too! Though all good things must come to an end, and you get upended by Xavier.
Indiana Hoosiers - What in the literal fuck was that supposed to be? Weren't you supposed to make a big run this year? This was the best team you've had in almost a decade and you just decided to crumble like that?! Sure, Miami was playing the game of their lives but it still shouldn't have been a 16-point blowout. Well, could be worse I guess. You could be Purdue...
Kentucky Wildcats - Let's start with the good news first: You were not upset in the first round this time. Instead you get eliminated by your old friends from K-State yet again. Which is good because we don't have to deal with more arrogance from the Kentucky fanbase this time. Nobody like Kentucky, so there was much rejoicing.
Duke Blue Devils - Even with Coach K no longer in the College Basketball world, the Blue Devils still manage to appear in the NCAA Tournament as a reasonably high seed. They managed to end Oral Roberts' foolish ambitions in the first round (I really wanted to make more sex jokes from that...), but then got absolutely BTFOd by Tennessee in the next round. The Evil Empire has been stopped yet again. But they'll be back here again. The Blue Devils never stay down for long...
Marquette Golden Eagles - HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TEACH YOU THIS LESSON, OLD MAN?! Once again, Shaka Smart cannot make it past the first weekend of the tournament. Tom Izzo's Spartans put him in his place yet again. For fuck's sake, it's been a DECADE since Smart's coaching schemes got exposed by John Beilein in 2013. And he still has not gotten the message. Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity, Mr. Smart?
Auburn Tigers - Thanks for allowing us to laugh at Iowa again, Auburn. Now enjoy getting slaughtered by Houston in the next round.
Kansas Jayhawks - For the second year in a row, the defending national champion falls in the second round. Kansas appeared as if they would have this game in the bag, as they led by as much as 10 throughout the game. But then the team just imploded. The Razorbacks fought their way back and managed to eke out the win in the final seconds. Cherish that championship, Kansas. It may be the only one you win for a while.
TCU Horned Frogs - It seems like TCU sports are on the rise as of late. Their football team made the College Football Playoff, and their basketball team entered the tournament as a #6 seed! They even won another tournament game! But unfortunately they failed to make us laugh at Gonzaga again, as the Bulldogs narrowly escaped with the win.
Northwestern Wildcats - Welcome back to the tournament again, Northwestern! Even though this is only your second NCAA tournament appearance, you managed to win another tournament game! But a deep run just wasn't in the cards for you this time. Even after giving UCLA all they could handle, it just wasn't enough. I hope the Wildcats are able to make it back here again someday. Chris Collins seems to have something good going at Evanston. Let's see how things go the next few years.
Missouri Tigers - Congrats, Missouri! You won your first tournament game in 13 years! Your reward is to get absolutely blown the fuck out by another set of Tigers...who were seeded 15th. Come on now. Sure, Princeton was playing the game of their lives, but it still shouldn't have been a 15-point blowout. You're one of the contestants for a future Legacy of Failure script, Missouri. Give me something to truly laugh at and it'll be icing on the cake.
Maryland Terrapins - I'm gonna save the Big Bill Hell's rant this time. The Terps seemed to put a decent fight in the first half, but the Crimson Tide decided that was far enough, and put them out of their misery.
Princeton Tigers - Congrats, Princeton! You returned to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 56 years, and are only the fourth 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16! Third one in a row to do so, in fact! But all good things must come to an end, and there was another team looking to end their own demons. Creighton returned to the Elite Eight for the first time since the year Pearl Harbor happened.
Alabama Crimson Tide - The third #1 seed to fall this tournament. The Tide controlled the tempo most of the game, but the Aztecs eventually took the lead and never looked back. Once again, Alabama's dream to be a champion in both football and basketball like Michigan did in 1989 has not come to fruition. Maybe next year?
Tennessee Volunteers - Tennessee manages to return to the Sweet 16. And that's as far as they go. It's time for them to be upset by an inferior team again, and this time it's Florida Atlantic. The only time it appeared as if the Vols controlled the game was in the first half. But then FAU decided they wanted to go further. They took the lead in the second half, even leading by as much as 10 points, but they didn't relinquish it, making their first ever Elite Eight.
Michigan State Spartans - Congratulations! Your team finally made it past the second round! But the Sweet 16 is as far as you go. And they screwed up big time. This was yet another game where MSU's opponent was doing their best to hand the game to them, but they once again couldn't capitalize on their mistakes. K-State was literally handing them the game on a silver platter. They blew multiple leads and were even pushed into overtime. They even let you stay in the game until the final seconds! But then you just had to fuck up and let Markquis Nowell dance on your ashes, even letting him make NCAA history in the process.
Houston Cougars - What the hell was that, Houston? That has got to be arguably the worst performance by a 1 seed in the Sweet 16 in recent memory! This was the best team you've had since the days of Phi Slama Jama, and you go and do THAT?! Jesus Christ, you're pathetic. It wasn't even a contest, Miami barely even had to fucking try! Well, at least you're joining a real conference in the Big 12 next season. Hopefully the opponents from that conference can toughen you up and make you more formidable in next year's tournament.
Xavier Musketeers - Congrats, Xavier! You returned to the Sweet 16 for the first time in six years! Enjoy getting absolutely mauled by the Longhorns.
UCLA Bruins - Now this was a shock to see. This was the absolute inverse of 2006. The Bruins build up a big lead, only for Gonzaga to come back and build a big lead...only for the Bruins to storm right back and go up by 1. Or not. Maybe this is a repeat of 2006?
"Strawther for the lead...BULLSEYE!!!!"
And the Bulldogs have finally gotten their proper revenge for 2006, where they lost in the West region after blowing a big lead in the Sweet 16. Adam Morrison laughs, and the rest of the country breaths as sigh of relief as they don't have to see Los Angeles win another championship.
Arkansas Razorbacks - Great job, Arkansas! You managed to knock off the defending national champions! Your prize is to get absolutely steamrolled by UConn in the next 23 points. Great...
Creighton Bluejays - Congrats, Creighton! You returned to the Elite Eight for the first time since WORLD WAR II!! And you're on the verge of becoming the first team from Nebraska to make the Final Four, beating out even the Cornhuskers! Imagine that! But it was not to be. The Bluejays built up a decent lead, and were on the verge of becoming the first #6 seed to make the Final Four since the Fab Five Michigan squad in 1992. But they couldn't hold it, as the Aztecs slowly crawled their way back. The Bluejays didn't really make any big mistakes, they didn't foul all that much, but at the end of the day it wasn't enough. They nearly sent the game into OT, but then...a last second foul call gave the Aztecs new life (Refball? You decide.). They would lose by a point. They were THAT close. But I honestly can't be mad at them. Still a successful season though. Hopefully next year you can get over the hump.
Kansas State Wildcats - I swear to god, K-State has to be the most unlucky team in NCAA Tournament history. This was their NINTH trip to the Elite Eight since their last Final Four berth in 1964 and they fell just short yet again. And like in 2010 and 2018, it was to a Cinderella team. First it was Butler. Then it was Sister Jean's henchmen from Loyola-Chicago. Now, it was FAU. Despite having a strong roster, the Wildcats once again could not end their long Final Four drought. Folks like to talk about Purdue being unlucky, but I think the real bridesmaid here is K-State. Just absolutely brutal. Which is why they're a candidate for my next Legacy of Failure script.
Texas Longhorns - This was very much a Days of our Steelers season for Longhorns basketball. Head coach Chris Beard was axed following an incident where he beat his wife (FUCKING IDIOT), and assistant Rodney Terry had to step in and clean up the mess. Thankfully, it was a good hire. Terry helped guide the Longhorns to their best season in ages, as they returned to the Elite Eight for the first time in 15 years. It appeared as if they were on the verge of returning to the Final Four for the first time in two decades! But then, the team straight up SHAT THE BED. Texas could not get anything going at all near the end of the game, as the Hurricanes came back from 13 points down to make their first Final Four. YOU BLEW IT!!!
Though lets be honest here, the refs were absolute dogshit. Calling blatant offensive fouls as fouls on the player guarding, are you fucking kidding me? Still, the Longhorns did screw up and blow that lead. Blame the refs all you want, but you want to know what would have helped? Not blowing a 13 point lead late in the second half. But at least Rodney Terry has shown that he can coach. Hopefully he can lead this Texas team to new heights in the future.
Gonzaga Bulldogs - pukes uncontrollably Fucking hell, are you kidding me? What the hell were you doing all game long? This was your ALL-IN year. You were the top scoring team in the country. You had the best player in the nation in Drew Timme! And you got absolutely beaten to a pulp by the team that beat you in your first Elite Eight appearance 24 years ago. Sure, UConn was playing the game of their lives, but it still shouldn't have been a near-30 point slaughter. You managed to unleash the Pandora's Box of Locusts known as UConn fans on the College Basketball world. Your Legacy of Failure continues. UConn is still getting the best of you after all these years, eh?
Florida Atlantic Owls - Oh my god, it's going to happen! The Owls are about to make history! They're up by 14! Sure the Aztecs cut that lead down to 1 in the final seconds, not to mention the refs are absolute shit, but the Owls are about to make history and become the first 9 seed to make the National Championship! Let's hear it for FAU!
"They don't have their scorers on the's Butler, with 2 seconds, he's gotta put it up and...-buzzer sounds- HE WINS IT!!! HE WINS IT WITH THE JUMPER!!! A San Diego State Miracle!"
OH MY MERCIFUL GOD!!! Well, this sucks. But it was still a successful season nonetheless. The third 9 seed to ever make the Final Four, and it happened in your second NCAA tournament appearance! Well, you'll be joining a better conference in the AAC next year. Hopefully you can make another big run like this again someday.
Miami Hurricanes - Congrats, Miami! You made your first Final Four in school history! And then the fun stops. UConn comes in to spoil the day. I would rip on Miami here, but nothing went right for this at all this game. Nothing. Missing 14 layups in the second half? Christ, that's brutal. Even though Jim Larrañaga tried his best to get Miami's stars on the right track, they were no match for the Huskies. Whenever Miami tried to strike back, UConn said 'Nope!' and put the Hurricanes on lockdown for the rest of the game. Nonetheless, this was a good run for Miami this year. You'll be back here eventually.
Whew, that was a crazy tournament. Now we're finally down to only two. And only one of these teams will be walking away with a championship.
Let's bring out contestant number one...
Connecticut Huskies
The Huskies have returned to the National Championship for the fifth time in school history, and for the first time in almost a decade. The last time they were here, the Final Four was held in the other major Texas metropolis of Dallas-Ft. Worth, and the Huskies became the first 7 seed in NCAA Tournament history to win a National Championship. Now, they are here for more.
The face of this revived UConn squad has been Jordan Hawkins, a sophomore from Maryland who has been this team's leading scorer in their past two matchups against Arkansas and Gonzaga, and it has been a long road for him. During the season opener he suffered his second concussion in his playing career and had to sit out the first two games, but he has thankfully made a full recovery and is playing better than ever. Joining him has been African sensation Adama Sanogo, a two-time first-team All-Big East award winner. He and Hawkins have been the bread and butter of this UConn squad, as both have been leading the team in scoring in a majority of games this season. Sanogo has also been this team's rebounding machine, as he has led the team in rebounds in all four of their tournament games so far. Rounding out UConn's Big 3 has been Andre Jackson Jr., who has been the Assists leader for this team in 18 games including the NCAA Tournament.
UConn has been the hottest team in this tournament thus far, as they've won each of their first four games by at least 10 points or more. Iona? 14-point win. #5 St. Mary's? 15 point win. #8 Arkansas, who just took down the defending national champs? 23 point win. #3 seed Gonzaga, who had three-time consensus All-American Drew Timme? Doesn't matter to them, they won by 28. #5 Miami? Even though the Hurricanes tried to put up a fight, they were beaten by 13. This Huskies team is absolutely unstoppable. The last two teams who won their first five tournament games by double digits both went on to win the national title - North Carolina in 2009, and Villanova in 2018. And it looks like history is about to repeat itself. UConn is hungry for it's fifth national title.
This #4 seed is playing like a #1 seed, and they are for sure the favorite to win it all. Just like every other time UConn has a solid team in the tournament, it's National Championship or bust.
Prepare for their wrath.
But not if their opponents have anything to say about it...
San Diego State Aztecs
The Aztecs have made it to the National Championship game. Exactly as everyone predicted at the start of the tournament. What this team reminds me of is the drug addict that has had numerous chances to get his shit together but constantly relapsed every time. And it's only through a reflection and a last second intervention that he starts to get clean.
For a while it felt as if San Diego State would never make it here. Former Michigan head coach Steve Fisher and his longtime assistant Brian Dutcher spent YEARS building this team into a contender. And the Aztecs have put up many elite teams over the years, but could only go as far as the Sweet 16 at best.
2011 seemed to be their year. They fell to UConn. In 2014, they were a 4 seed. They fell to Arizona. And after a series of first and second round eliminations, they finally got over the hump and made it to the promised land, though just BARELY.
This run has been far from easy for the Aztecs. They escaped by 7 points against Charleston in the first round. In the second they destroyed Furman, who just upset Virginia. Then came the Sweet 16, their opponent was the overall #1 seed in Alabama. It looked like another early exit for the Aztecs again. But then, a miracle happened. They rallied from 9 points down in the second half against Alabama to take the lead for good and make their first ever Elite Eight. And in their first Elite Eight, Creighton pushed them to the limit. However, they managed to overcome another deficit and escape by the skin of their teeth in the last second (Refball? You decide.). Same case in their first ever Final Four. They trailed by fourteen against Florida Atlantic, and it felt as if that was it. But then, the Aztecs pulled off another miracle to win by 1. That miracle's name? Lamont Butler. This team is the Energizer Bunny of the tournament. They will not die no matter how much stress you put on them.
SDSU's sudden appearance in the National Championship feels less like a "Glad you made it here!" and more of a "FINALLY!!". Considering all of the elite talent and top-tier coaching they've possessed over the years, it's still surprising that it took them this long to get here. But hey, better late than never.
Fuck you, Spanos!
The face of this San Diego State team has been Matt Bradley, a two-time First-team All-Mountain West selection. Alongside him is Ghanaian sensation Nathan Mensah, who is known for his immense wingspan of 7'4 ft, and has led this team in rebounds in two of their four wins this tournament. Other standouts on this Aztecs team include Jaedon LeDee, Micah Parrish, Darion Trammell, and Lamont Butler, who has led the team in Assists this tournament.
Brian Dutcher has built a winner this tournament, but we all know what his ultimate goal is - a National Championship. Though it wouldn't be his first. His first title came with the 1989 Michigan team led by Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson, where he was an assistant under Coach Fisher. Now he's looking to win one as a head coach.
The Aztecs seek to become the first team from California to win a national title in basketball since 1995. That year, UCLA won their 11th National Title in school history by knocking off the "40 Minutes of Hell" Arkansas squad, a rather formidable opponent on par with this UConn team. And no team from California has done it since.
Will San Diego State be the team to break that drought, and become the fourth team from the Golden State to win a National Title? Will they become the first non-power five conference team to win a National Title since UNLV did it in 1990?
Will the Aztecs become the first team from San Diego to win a championship in either the pros or college, and break the San Diego sports curse?
And so, here it is. The Big East Empire of Doom, versus the Mountain West's only hope!
Time for battle.
Unfortunately, there will be no miracles this time. I think UConn has this one in the bag. They've been destroying their opponents with ease, like North Carolina and Villanova before them. No matter what you throw at them, they'll just push it aside like a cardboard box. Their 28-point win over a stacked Gonzaga team is proof of this. They always seem to have an answer for whatever their opponents throw at them, and therefore the choice is easy.
UConn will steamroll the Aztecs by at least 10 points and cruise to a 5th National Championship, tying with both Duke and Indiana for the fourth most championships.
Have a nice day.
submitted by alex9834 to UrinatingTree [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:12 Ying-Yang812 Should I (23f) cut things off with my best friend (23f) of 10 years or is the friendship still salvageable?

My best friends and I have known each other for 10 years. Its been the three of us since school. Ill call them S and J in this. All of us have gone through a lot together and grown up a lot since school. I’m in college now while the both of them are working. The issue lies with S. Lately, S has been a lot more difficult to be around.
  1. She’s tends to be self absorbed. She manages to make every point of conversation about her (not that big of a deal but gets annoying).
  2. Doesnt take the time to plan things out and makes everyones life harder because of it. She doesnt plan ahead of time what she needs to bring and how she is going to get to a certain place. Her and I had to walk a long distance bcs she wanted to put her bag in J’s car when she could’ve done it earlier.
  3. She doesnt have a car or license so she often asks us for car rides. She lives 40 minutes away roundtrip. She does offer to pay gas money but it gets exhausting heading out just to send her when there are public transportation, her mom, her sisters and other ways she can use to get where she needs to go.
  4. When we go out to party, she dances with guys she isnt into and then complain our ear off about how the guy wouldnt stop hogging her space while at the same time doesnt make the effort to stop him. I can see she is uninterested in the guy and ask her if shes okay, if she wasnt i wouldve pulled her away but she says she’s fine and have her arms around him and everything and then later complain about him to us.
  5. Partying way too much. We used to go to the club once a month. Now we go every week because of her. The only time i see my bffs are in the club and thats just sad. Thats all she wants to do nowadays. Ive tried initiating outings where we go to cute cafes or do literally anything else but the plans falls through.
  6. Reckless behaviour. She goes to strange random flings houses. Its a new guy every week and both J and I have never met them before. When we ask her where and whose house she’s going to, shes very vague and secretive saying things like “a friend” “someone”. She also doesnt send her location or any info when she does this. She’s lost her phone in the club bcs she put it in her flings back pocket (that she had only met once before) despite me offering to hold onto it. Was literally unbothered about losing her phone and instead took care of drunk fling while I was stuck looking for it the entire night. Mind you he had a group of his friends with him that were more than able to take care of him.
Ive talked to J at length about this and she had way more things to say as S often stays over at J’s house but I’m just sticking to what I’ve experienced. J and I almost had an intervention for her but it fell through bcs although J is annoyed at her lately too, she doesn’t think its too bad though I can see its starting to tick her off. We’re both not good with confrontation. We’ve wracked our brains to see why or what set her off to start behaving like this and we’ve let her know time and time again to talk to us about anything. It could be that shes just trying to act out a bit since she just got out of a long term relationship (they ended amicably).
Idk im stuck in this place of where its not that big of an issue and i can overlook some stuff. On the other hand, its also getting on my nerves a bit however if im the only one out of J and I to bring it up then its going to make it seem like I have something against her. How do I bring this up to her or is it just not even worth the effort and i should cut my losses?
TLDR: My best friend of 10 years has been difficult to be around lately with her excessive partying and reckless behavior and it’s getting on our nerves. What’s the best way to approach this or is the friendship just not worth saving?
submitted by Ying-Yang812 to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:09 BROKENxPHYSICS Advice needed

I am currently in college at 23yo and for the past few weeks i have been dealing with the worst anxiety ever. It started out as anxiety over presenting in one of my college classes. Then it quickly spiraled into health type anxiety. It has given me weird very mild left sided headache but its not really a headache more of a feeling. Then it gave me weird chestpains. The chestpains made me instantly think of heart attack and I then had my first set of panic attacks once a day for two days. I quickly realized panic wasnt worth it as it made me feel like i was doomed, i couldnt make it up the stairs and was about to scream for help. Absolutely terrible experience. After the panic attacks i had really bad chest pain for a day or two which felt muscular. Nowadays i try to stay calm but i always have this thought in the back of my mind that one day i will die. Now all of my pleasures turned into distractions that barely work. I have been seeing a therapist and he is older and wise but at the same time i dont really feel like im making any progress. My anxiety has brought my calm points to points when im not even calm. When im sitting when im at my calmest point. im either rocking, bouncing my leg or twisting my chair back and forth. During my panic i went to the ER and was about to check in but noticed all the people in there ans i didnt wanna stay for 6 hours so i said ill be okay and left. A few days later I went to the clinic he said your heart sounds normal and he gave me breathing exercises to try and they have been decently succesful. Yet it always returns. Just tonight i was playing a game and felt this thumpiness in my chest and instantly had to take a breath and it lasted only 2 seconds but enough to give me anxiety. After that i decided to go for a walk which riled up my anxiety a bit and then It calmed me down decently after 30m. When I returned to climb the stairs every step feels like it will trigger the anxiety but i try not to give in to panic. The only time i feel at peace is when im sleeping now and i try to stay in bed as long as possible because my days are just attempts at distracting my mind. The best feeling is when i just wake up as im still drowsy and worry free and then as i start waking up and the anxiety sets back in. I dont know how to live like this. I just want to be numb to my existence as it scares the hell out of me. But i dont want to use alcohol. My anxieties before this used to just be social anxiety but it was always manageable as I could avoid people or situations. With this new terrible worry I know you can not avoid death and its giving me plenty of physical symptoms. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you for listening.
submitted by BROKENxPHYSICS to Anxiety [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:03 Ying-Yang812 Should I (23f) cut things off with my best friend (23f) or is the friendship still salvageable?

Should I (23f) cut things off with my best friend (23f) of 10 years or is the friendship still salvageable?
My best friends and I have known each other for 10 years. Its been the three of us since school. Ill call them S and J in this. All of us have gone through a lot together and grown up a lot since school. I’m in college now while the both of them are working. The issue lies with S. Lately, S has been a lot more difficult to be around.
  1. She’s tends to be self absorbed. She manages to make every point of conversation about her (not that big of a deal but gets annoying).
  2. Doesnt take the time to plan things out and makes everyones life harder because of it. She doesnt plan ahead of time what she needs to bring and how she is going to get to a certain place. Her and I had to walk a long distance bcs she wanted to put her bag in J’s car when she could’ve done it earlier.
  3. She doesnt have a car or license so she often asks us for car rides. She lives 40 minutes away roundtrip. She does offer to pay gas money but it gets exhausting heading out just to send her when there are public transportation, her mom, her sisters and other ways she can use to get where she needs to go.
  4. When we go out to party, she dances with guys she isnt into and then complain our ear off about how the guy wouldnt stop hogging her space while at the same time doesnt make the effort to stop him. I can see she is uninterested in the guy and ask her if shes okay, if she wasnt i wouldve pulled her away but she says she’s fine and have her arms around him and everything and then later complain about him to us.
  5. Partying way too much. We used to go to the club once a month. Now we go every week because of her. The only time i see my bffs are in the club and thats just sad. Thats all she wants to do nowadays. Ive tried initiating outings where we go to cute cafes or do literally anything else but the plans falls through.
  6. Reckless behaviour. She goes to strange random flings houses. Its a new guy every week and both J and I have never met them before. When we ask her where and whose house she’s going to, shes very vague and secretive saying things like “a friend” “someone”. She also doesnt send her location or any info when she does this. She’s lost her phone in the club bcs she put it in her flings back pocket (that she had only met once before) despite me offering to hold onto it. Was literally unbothered about losing her phone and instead took care of drunk fling while I was stuck looking for it the entire night. Mind you he had a group of his friends with him that were more than able to take care of him.
Ive talked to J at length about this and she had way more things to say as S often stays over at J’s house but I’m just sticking to what I’ve experienced. J and I almost had an intervention for her but it fell through bcs although J is annoyed at her lately too, she doesn’t think its too bad though I can see its starting to tick her off. We’re both not good with confrontation. We’ve wracked our brains to see why or what set her off to start behaving like this and we’ve let her know time and time again to talk to us about anything. It could be that shes just trying to act out a bit since she just got out of a long term relationship (they ended amicably).
Idk im stuck in this place of where its not that big of an issue and i can overlook some stuff. On the other hand, its also getting on my nerves a bit however if im the only one out of J and I to bring it up then its going to make me seem like a bitch. How do I bring this up to her or is it just not even worth the effort and i should cut my losses?
submitted by Ying-Yang812 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 07:02 rtfgjhgjjhfurytgt watch Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Online) Free REDDIT

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It features an ensemble cast that includes Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine. In the film, a young wife living in a 2250s company town begins to believe there is a sinister secret being kept from her by the man who runs it.
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2023.04.02 07:02 Sergirius [PC] H: Water Cooler plan, Cuckoo Clock plan, X-01 Scorched paint plan, T-45, T-51b & T-60 plans & more W: Caps, offers PC

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2023.04.02 06:58 AmberMelville Any help appreciated!

Hi there! I just need a little advice via my cat. We have him booked in at the vet but there’s a bit of a wait unfortunately (over a week) and I’m just posting in hopes for some advice to make him more comfortable in the meanwhile. 4 ish days ago he all of a sudden started being quite grumpy with my younger kitten (growling whenever she is anywhere near him) when they used to be fine most of the time, I didn’t think much of it because she can be a little annoying towards him. Following this he’s started sleeping most of the day and acting quite depressed when he’s usually quite active and chirpy. I’ve now noticed today that he’s walking ever so slightly funny (as if he’s got something up his butt is the best way to describe it). He’s also significantly more grumpy. He is still eating and gets a lot of water through his food as I mix it with broth. I have noticed he’s not as enthusiastic about his food though. He’s been peeing and pooping fine until today, I haven’t noticed him doing much of either. He does get this fishy smell in his back end (I took him to the vets where they pressed out his anal glands and only a little bit came out so they pretty much just said he was just smelly and there’s nothing else wrong) So I haven’t thought much of it. He smells more when he eats more fish but it can be quite putrid. I checked his back end this morning and for once I’m not really smelling much, could this be related and becoming more of a problem? I’m just looking for some pointers of what would be happening because it sucks I can’t get him in until next week and the poor boy is miserable.
submitted by AmberMelville to vet [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 06:57 yohane66 Never walk alone.

I work retail in a pretty busy part of town. I'm scheduled almost everyday and often end up working late into the night. I live pretty close to the store; so I've always walked to and from. On this particular night, it was already in the am. The usually crowded sidewalks were now barren. I was alone out here and honestly…it felt pretty creepy. As I continued to walk, I noticed a guy standing to himself. He seemed kinda strange, all fidgety and staring at the ground. He was dressed in all black and had a hood on, so I couldn't see his face. He made me feel uncomfortable, like I should've taken a different path.
Then again, I had been working all day. I wanted to go home and I wasn't gonna let some weirdo worry me. So I switched my attention to my phone and walked right past him. I wished that was the end of our meeting; but it was just beginning. "Hey man, got a smoke", he asked. I didn't smoke, so I shook my head and kept walking. What happened next though, was downright terrifying. As the guy casually started to follow me. Whats worse, was that I finally got a glimpse at his face…or lack thereof. This freak was wearing a Halloween mask in April. It was one of those scary orange pumpkin mask with bloody teeth. In fact, I think our store sold them.
Knowing his intentions weren't good, I started to walk faster. And of course, he did the same. I considered myself to be a brave guy, and I was getting sick of his game. So I turned around and gave this loser a piece of my mind. "Get out of here before I hurt you…freak!!". Instead of scaring him like I'd hoped; my words seemed to excite the man. "Oooh tough guy, this is gonna be fun", he chuckled. He then pulled an extremely long kitchen knife from his jacket and held it in the air.
My first and only instinct was to run and not stop. He seemed to enjoy this; as he pursued me while giggling like an excited child. I ran from this freak at full speed, but he didn't have any issues keeping up with me. I had never been in the best of shape; and maybe tonight I was paying for it. Thankfully, I saw an alleyway as I was fleeing. I quickly took a turn and sprinted into the darkness. Figuring he wasn't far behind; I dived behind a dumpster for cover. By this point I was out of breath; but I had to stay quiet. I covered my mouth and prayed for this psycho to go away. Unfortunately for me, I heard footsteps coming in my direction. I poked my head out and saw him dragging his knife down a brick wall. He then let out another twisted giggle before speaking again.
"A game of hide and seek? Sounds like a blast my little piggie". He then started to playfully prance around like a ballerina. Humming an upbeat tune while searching for me. There was no other word to describe his behavior except for absolute madness. This masked psychopath was having the time of his life chasing after me. Pretty soon he'd approach my hiding spot, it was safe to say that I was terrified. What happened next however, was something neither of us expected. As a seemingly drunk homeless man stumbled onto the scene. He held a bottle of liquor and gave the psycho a ticked off look. "Hey man, this is my territory here! You need to roll on before you get hurt".
Clearly the old man didn't know what kind of person he was dealing with. Seeing the creepy jack-o-lantern mask made him take a step back. "Hey man, are you on something?", the guy asked. Saying nothing, my stalker approached the man with his knife drawn. I then watched in horror as he plunged his blade into the man's stomach. I watched helplessly as he stabbed this innocent old guy over and over. The blood gushed out like a fountain; his groans of pain were something I'd never forget. I should've tried to help the guy; but I was in utter shock. Watching the life slowly leave this person's body was something I didn't want to see.
Proud of his work; the killer began smearing the fresh crimson onto his mask. Afterwards he let out this creepy moan; feeling utter bliss from killing someone. I couldn't watch anymore; I had to get out of here now! I darted from behind the dumpster in an attempt to escape. Unfortunately though, the killer was closer to me than I thought. As he reached out and slashed my back with his already blood soaked knife. I yelled out in pain, but I did not stop moving. One could only imagine what he'd do if I did. On top of my current circumstances; I had already worked an eight hour shift. I was utterly exhausted and didn't know how much longer I could run. Meanwhile my stalker kept pursuing me; like his stamina was infinite.
It was only a matter of time before I ended up his second victim. Thankfully, as if fate wanted me to survive this night. I came upon a police station, the relief I felt was unreal. Naturally I dashed up the steps and entered into this safe haven. Inside officers sat around talking and sipping late night cups of coffee. I looked back with a smile; thinking my worries were over. However, this nightmare wouldn't end just yet. As the killer ran into the station after me; knife drawn and everything. He had to be out of his mind; it's as if the only thing that mattered to him was taking my life. "Hey, that freak's trying to kill me!!", I yelled out. The officers were quick to react and sprung into action. Within seconds tasers were drawn and the pumpkin masked killer was brought to his knees.
I swear he'd been hit about six times; regardless of this…he kept coming. Now on the ground, he gripped his knife and began crawling towards me. The officers were in shock; meanwhile I was freaking petrified. He crawled and crawled, wanting so desperately to reach me. Thankfully, his body would succumb to all of the electricity flowing through his veins. As he passed out right in front of me; it was finally over. The cops cuffed him up and pulled his mask off. His face was covered in deep scratches and sores. His curly red hair was matted and covered in grease. Everyone could tell this guy was sick; maybe he was on something.
I'd soon be brought to the hospital where I received eight stitches in my back. In the following weeks a lot happened. I was questioned by police, got to pay my respects at the old man's funeral. But things culminated when the trial started. I testified and recounted the entire bloody story. Meanwhile the killer sat with a huge smile as I took the stand. It turned out that he was a nutcase who was extremely obsessed with serial killers. He idolized people that brutally murdered others and wanted to start his own legacy.
Thankfully his bloody dream would never be realized. As he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in an asylum. I'll never forget his final words to me before being taken away in shackles. "Goodbye my little piggie, I'm gonna miss you!!!". I'd never see him again after that. While I was relieved, my life quickly changed. I joined a gym and got into shape; I also started taking self defense classes. I even carried a concealed weapon in case all else failed. I refused to become another statistic. The terror that I felt that night would not define who I am. Next time I was going to be ready, I was going to survive…no matter what.
submitted by yohane66 to scarystories [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 06:56 UnPhoqueSauvage [Theorycraft] Volibear Druid Build (Pulverize/storm druid)

Hello addicted gamers i wanted to share a build i thought of based on pulverize and a storm synergy since giving the tag earth to a spell will also give the tag "nature" to it.

First of all you can see the skill tree right there:

First of all i will explain active skills then passive one:

Active skills:

Wind shear 1/5 : A storm range attack that can apply vulnerable to enemies and give our druid some move speed.

Pulverize: Our damage dealer, we will upgrade it to earth using an aspect and another aspect will allow us to add a big conical aoe that deal +260% damage

Earthen bullwark: Give us a barrier = to 45% max Hp, make us unstoppable and fortify for 18%. A nice defensive cd.

Debilitating roar: reduce ennemy damage by 50% for 4 sec, fortifies our self for 22% life and heals for 4% max HP/ sec for 4 sec

Hurricane: An aoe that deal 17 damage and slow ennemies and have a 15% chance to make enemies vulnerable for 3 seconds.

Cataclysm: A big storm will follow us for 10 sec knocking back enemies and making them vulnerable

Passive skills:

Heart of the wild/ Wild impulses: +3 max spirit (:copium:) and our core skill will cost +15% spirit to deal 30% more damage: We have one spell used to clear the mobs and deal big damage, we need to max is damage output using this passive.

Predatory instinct: +9% critical chance to close enemy. I'm not sure about this one since the big damage dealer from pulverize will came from the shockwave, probably not the best point i can put into my skill tree but i'm not hyped by other one.

Elemental exposure/ Endless tempest: I just wanted +15% of duration on hurricane and cataclysm

Crushing earth: earth skills deal +15% damage to slowed, stunned, immobilized or knock back target.

Safe guard: Crit strike with an earth skill will fortify for 7% life

Stone guard: While you have fortify over 50% HP, earth skill deal 12% increased damage.

Defiance: +12% damage for nature skills to elite

Circle of life: Each pulverize will heal for 3% of our max HP

Natural Disaster: Earth skills deal +12% damage to vulnerable enemies

Resonance: Nature skills deal 6% increased damage. Triple this bonus if an earth skill is the next skill cast after a storm skill or if an storm skill is the next skill cast after a earth skill.

Quickshift: When i transform into a bear using pulverize it will deal +15% damage.

Defensive posture: +15% to all fortify

Earthen might: On lucky hit Restore all spirit and cause attacks to be critical for 5 secs

For the boons spec:
Deer: Wariness +10% reduced damage from elites
Eagle: +10% Max HP
Snake: lucky hit: nature skills have 15% chance to reduce the cooldown of cataclysm by 2 sec
Wolf (our spec): Lucky hit: Dealing damage have 15% chance to restore 10 spirit/ +25% duration on cataclysm

Then we have the aspect:
Helmet: Stormshifter: +2 werebear skills when hurricane is active
Chest: Ballistic aspect: +2 earth skills when fortified
Gloves: mighty Storm: storm skills trigger earthen might
Pants: Mending stone: +6 sec of earthen bulwark duration, killing an enemy will replenishes the barrier
Boots: Ghostwalker: Gaining move speed when unstoppable
2H Weapon +100%: Shockwave: Pulverize will make a shockwave dealing +260% damage
Amulet +50%: Natural Balance: Casting a storm skill will increase by 67% our earth crit damage for 4 sec, casting a earth one will increase our crit chance on storm skill by 18% for 4 sec
Ring: Ursine Horror: Transform our pulverize to a earth AND nature skill
Ring: Retaliation: +40% damage when fortified
Some paragon legendary have been datamined and we can get +85% chance to overpower with those under condition (that's why i don't use overpower in my build).
Do you have any idea about a change whitout loosing the storm side of the build? I will appreciate 60 days until realease. Good luck everyone.
submitted by UnPhoqueSauvage to diablo4 [link] [comments]