Two handle kitchen faucet with sprayer
2009.12.29 18:47 TemtNosce Fix It
From eyeglasses, to office chairs, cherished childhood stuffed animals, and trinkets and toys. Doors, walls, furniture and floors, popcorn ceilings *and* ceiling fans. Appliances, kitchen utensils, drills, chainsaws, and machines of all ilk. Someone here is going to try to help you fix it when it's busted. We're Here to Help.
2023.03.26 13:29 catscoffeelists Chicco corso stroller?
I’ve seen the Chicco Corso Le stroller on sale this week and was wondering if anyone has any experience with it. It seems like a less popular model than the bravo but more suited for my family needs—we need an infant ready stroller that can handle a mostly walking lifestyle (no car seat needed). We have a car but mostly use it to go out of town once a month or two months to visit family so I’m getting a convertible car seat that can stay in the car. The stroller just needed to be compact enough to fit in our trunk and still have room for our luggage.
Let me know. Open to any other recommendations for infant ready strollers (not travel systems) within $450. Thanks!
submitted by catscoffeelists
to beyondthebump [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 13:29 Tawa-online Comparing GPT and NLU: ChatGPT vs. LLAMA
Hello fellow LLM and NLP developers! Today, we're going to delve into the fascinating realm of language models and natural language understanding (NLU) from a technical standpoint. We'll be putting two prominent AI tools under the microscope: OpenAI's ChatGPT and the LLAMA NLU system.
Our goal is to dissect their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, offering insights into how these systems impact and advance the field of AI language processing for developers and enthusiasts like us.
Before we jump into the comparisons, let's briefly discuss GPT and NLU. GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a type of language model that uses machine learning to generate human-like text. NLU, or Natural Language Understanding, is a subset of natural language processing (NLP) that focuses on extracting meaning and intent from human language.
ChatGPT is an AI language model by OpenAI, based on their GPT architecture. It's designed to generate human-like responses in a conversational context. ChatGPT can perform various tasks like answering questions, providing suggestions, and even engaging in casual conversations.
- Highly advanced text generation: ChatGPT can generate coherent and contextually accurate responses, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
- Multitasking abilities: It can handle multiple tasks without requiring explicit retraining or fine-tuning.
- Large-scale training data: ChatGPT leverages a vast amount of training data, allowing it to generate more diverse and knowledgeable responses.
- Ambiguity and verbosity: ChatGPT sometimes generates verbose or ambiguous responses, which may not directly address the user's query.
- Inability to guarantee factual accuracy: Although it's trained on a large dataset, ChatGPT may occasionally produce incorrect or outdated information.
LLAMA (Language Learning and Multitask Analysis) is an NLU system designed to understand and analyze human language. Instead of generating text, LLAMA extracts meaning from text inputs and provides structured information or performs specific actions based on user intent.
- Precise information extraction: LLAMA is excellent at extracting specific information from user inputs and providing accurate, structured data.
- Intent recognition: It can accurately identify user intent, allowing it to respond to various requests or commands effectively.
- Domain-specific expertise: LLAMA can be fine-tuned for specialized domains, making it suitable for industry-specific applications.
- Limited text generation capabilities: Unlike ChatGPT, LLAMA isn't designed to generate human-like text, which limits its applicability in conversational AI.
- Narrow focus: LLAMA may struggle with tasks outside its domain-specific expertise, as it requires fine-tuning for each new domain.
Both ChatGPT and LLAMA offer valuable contributions to the fields of AI language processing and NLU. While ChatGPT excels in generating human-like text and multitasking, LLAMA's strengths lie in extracting meaning and understanding user intent. Ultimately, the choice between these two systems will depend on the specific use case and desired outcome, but now you might have a better idea of which is best for your needs.
submitted by Tawa-online
to LLMDevs [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 13:19 SimbaTheSavage8 I don't think I'm normal, and I'm scared (Part 2)
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to think
even. Emily knows my biological mom?
“Why didn’t you tell me before?” I asked.
Emily’s smile was as thin as ice. “I didn’t think you were ready. Now you are.”
“Ready for what?”
“You’ll know soon enough. Sleep tight, Skye. You have to go to school tomorrow.”
I couldn’t sleep. All I saw, in my nightmares and painted on the ceiling, was Alfie’s face. He whispered my name while I dreamed and wriggled into my happiest memories. I woke up screaming as his body twisted and swelled. We will meet again.
Alfie hissed through a series of clicks.
It was too quiet when I woke up the next morning. I was used to Emily yelling for me to wake up for school or my dad rushing to get dressed for work and brushing his teeth or the smell of burned bacon and pancakes and eggs down from the kitchen. Or at the very least Alfie ringing my ears off to tell me he was waiting too long outside.
But the silence whispered through the halls, sneaking into my room and tickling my heart. I rubbed my eyes and sat with my knees tucked against my chest, watching the sun rise. The sky was lit in gold as the darkness slithered away, but it was as if dawn had never arrived at all.
I got dressed and headed downstairs. At that point I realised exactly why
the house was so quiet and my heart stopped cold.
Most of the stuff we owned was packed up into boxes; and anything that was too big was covered by translucent tarps. Emily and my dad were huddled together in the kitchen. They looked so lost, so hollow, like they’d just come back from Alfie’s funeral and had not stopped crying since.
“Hey morning,” I said tersely.
“Morning,” Emily said. She still wasn’t looking at me. “Did you sleep well or do you still look like a panda bear?”
“Ha ha.” I made myself some coffee. It tasted like muddy water.
Emily looked at the clock. “You better hurry up or you’ll be late for school, Sleepy Skye.”
“But—” The night before was still spinning in my mind. Questions bubbled to the back of my throat, dying on my lips.
Emily placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t worry, Skye. I’ll explain more later when the time is right.”
School felt like forever. All of my classes passed in a blur. Everyone avoided me like the plague, and whispered behind their hands when I walked past. I didn’t really care. I rested my head on my hands and wished Alfie was here. Whispering that everything would be okay. Creak
When the last bell rang I plodded through the halls. The chatter around me had blended into a monotonous stream of nothing. I looked around me and saw Alfie’s face around me, in the couples making out near the lockers, in the teenagers huddled together like penguins.
My heart ached again. Alfie…
My dad’s van was waiting for me at the school entrance, coughing up smoke like an old, retired dragon. It was jammed full of boxes and things wrapped in bubble paper. I was surprised it could even move a centimetre
without something breaking inside.
“Hop in Skye,” said my dad, poking his head out of one window.
“Um, where are we going?”
“To my old place,” Emily explained, poking her head out of the other window. “I—we
—thought it would be good for you, for…for the both of us.”
“After…after…y’know.” Alfie died.
The wind was still once more, as if mourning over him in its deep grief too. I crumbled against the side of the van, letting hot tears stream down my cheeks. Alfie…
Without a word more I climbed into the van and my dad sped off immediately. I gazed outside the window, watching country roads blend into billboards and highways, and let the van rock me into a soothing sleep. “We’re here. Wake up, Sleepy Skye.”
Emily’s house, as it turned out, was a two-storey monster tucked away from the heart of the city. The paint was peeling away and the bricks underneath were slick with slime. Mold crawled between the bricks and stayed there, dying the house green. I turned away and nearly threw up.
“This way,” Emily said, climbing a set of stairs. It was really dark, and everything was covered in shadow. The only source of light was a small Gothic window that shone through the gloom in a weak white arm. Set at the side of the stairwell was a black iron door. I started towards it, but Emily glared at me, so I abandoned the door and followed her.
The second floor was surprisingly well-kept. The floors were swept and the walls clean of dust. Picture frames depicting bugs and scarabs hung onto the wall, polished until it shone. There was even a pot of tea on the table.
“Knock yourself out,” Emily said as she collapsed onto the couch. She closed her eyes.
“Make yourself at home.”
“It stinks,” I observed, wrinkling my nose.
In fact it was the worst stink I had ever smelled in my life. It tore through the walls and floors like it was made of paper and I gagged. I sprinted to the window, stuck my head out and breathed in relief.
Emily raised an eyebrow.
“There’s some…construction going on downstairs,” she explained. “We just got here, so bear with it a little longer, okay Skye?”
“Yeah,” I choked. My eyes were watering. If I could see the smell it would be a big black cloud hovering in the air, howling and shaking in its stinky fury.
“Can I explore the city? I need some fresh air.”
“Go ahead,” Emily said, turning away. “Just be back for dinner.”
I nodded. I had never sprinted out of my old house so fast in my life, rubbing my smarting eyes. Even at the distance I could smell it, and once again I felt like throwing up.
After some time I slowed to a walk and really started to look around. It wasn’t much of a city—and it also wasn’t much of a town—but somewhere in between. It was getting quite late in the day with the sun streaming slowly in from the west, but the town felt…alive in a way. Shopkeepers hollered their wares from the inside of their ornate walls, and people were strolling on the streets, their arms interlocked laughing and whistling.
I tried not to think of Alfie.
A couple of blocks away I saw a large diner, its neon sign beckoning me inside. Getting closer I could smell heaven: char-grilled meats, fresh cakes and cookies, and something else in a fryer or oven.
My stomach growled. I wiped off my drool with my sleeves.
Pushing the door open, I went in.
The diner was abuzz with chatter and laughter; people were toasting each other with glasses of beer and ale. Yet everything died the moment I came in. Time stood still; heads swiveled to look at me and a collective gasp rose from the frozen crowd. I felt like an animal in a zoo as I navigated through the chaos and found a table to sit.
“Don’t mind ‘em.”
The speaker was a living Popeye, with a big, floppy nose and bigger arms that bulged with muscles and fat and a tattoo of a beetle instead of an anchor. He was wearing a greasy, bloody apron and a cap that was too small for a nest of blonde hair.
“It’s been a while since we had anyone new around here. Thirteen years, in fact. Also, hold on…”
He squinted hard at me, his eyes moving from my head down to my legs.
“Are you Skye?”
Goosebumps pricked my skin once more. I looked outside and realised the wind had once again stood still.
“Yes! How do you know?”
The man opposite me thought for a moment, then shouted something to the kitchens. Then he sat down opposite me and grinned, revealing yellowed teeth.
“Your stepmom talks about you a lot. She adores you, you know.”
He cupped my head in his hands and brushed a lock of hair off my head. Tears welled in his eyes.
“You look a lot like your mom. Same face, same eyes.”
He knocked on my face like it was a piece of wood.
“Rock solid too.”
My hair stood up on my skin as I stared straight into the eyes of this man who I just met.
“Y-you know my biological mom too?”
The man’s smile grew even wider. “Let’s just say…kind of.”
He extended his hand. “I’m sorry I haven’t introduced myself earlier. Call me Mr Lancaster. I’m the owner here.”
“I’m pleased to meet you too,” I replied, shaking his hand.
“Boss? Everything is ready.”
One of the waiters skidded to a halt near our table. He was a handsome youth—freckles and curly red hair. He held out a huge plastic bag to me.
Mr Lancaster smiled at me in a way that made my heart melt.
“Fish and chips. And I threw in some strawberry milkshakes as well. It’s one of our best dishes on the menu. Emily is always going on and on about how crazy you are for ‘em.”
“Wow! Thank you Mr Lancaster!”
“It’s on the house too. A welcome gift from me. Tell your stepmom she doesn’t have to pay back a single cent.”
He glanced out at the darkening sky, sweat mopping his brow.
“You better be going now. It’s getting late. See you soon, Skye. You’re always welcome here.”
And with that, he practically shoved me out of the door.
The bell tinkled as I stumbled onto the street, nearly tripping over the food. It was really heavy, mind you. Like a thousand dumb-bells made out of solid gold. By the time I reached my flat my arms ached.
I dropped the takeaway on the floor and sat down on one of the stairs to rest. The sun had completely set at this point; long, thin shadows crawled across the wall to the corners. Soon I was plunged in darkness. I could barely see my hand in front of my face.
My vision suddenly cleared, and I realised I could see. Somehow. Dark shapes shifted and twisted before my eyes, but I could still make out details of every brick, every scratch on the stairs and wall. The takeaway sat untouched before me.
It was like looking through an extremely grainy CCTV.
BANG BANG BANG!
As the bangs echoed throughout the hallway I froze, the excitement of my discovery gone.
BANG BANG BANG!
My name was shouted with great abandon, the call tinged with sorrow and pain. I inched closer and realised that it was coming from the iron door.
Whoever was calling me was thrashing against the door, making the hinges shake. I backed away, my heart in my throat. All the hair on my skin was standing up straight.
BANG BANG BANG!
The stink slapped me in the face, making my nose itch. My eyes didn’t leave the door as I scrambled up the stairs to the main apartment, leaving everything in the dust.
It was only when I slammed the door behind me and sprinted down the hallway to my bedroom did I realise I forgot the takeaway still sitting at the bottom of the stairs.
Oh well I told myself, trying to calm my shaking heart. I can go back in a few minutes.
I’m sure Emily and Dad won’t mind.
The city had fallen asleep. The hustle and bustle seemed to have vanished with the last of the sun. The streets were illuminated faintly with lamps that shone like a halo. My room looked like it belonged in a horror movie.
I lay on my bed for a while, squeezing my eyes shut and listening to my heart beat. The screams had long died down, but I somehow heard them long and clear in my mind, as if blasted by an invisible loudspeaker.
Low and loud, like a foghorn from a ship lost at sea.
“Shut up!” I screamed, my eyes welling with tears. I curled up in a ball and squeezed my head with my pillow. Even then the screams rammed against the sides of my head, over and over again, and I was dizzy from the pain.
Eventually I got out of bed and wandered throughout the house, hoping for something to distract myself from the eternal noise. The apartment was shaded in the same grainy darkness, except for the dining-room, which was glowing invitingly like a crackling campfire. Something clanged and tinkled. Cutlery probably. Either Emily or my dad setting the table. My stomach grumbled. The smell from the diner was making me hungry.
I started towards the dining room but then I heard it. A strange chitter-chatter. Like crickets, even though we lived so far from nature.
It was coming from the pictures hanging on the wall.
I hadn’t paid much attention to them when I first came in, but now it was drawing me closer like a moth to a flame. The bugs chittered again, and their legs twisted and struggled, almost like it was dancing. Looking closer, I realised that all the pictures depicted the same figure. A woman in various poses with the head of a bug with too-large eyes. She was wearing a dress that shone like fire and was glaring at the camera.
I clapped my hand over my mouth. I didn’t know where that came from. I looked nothing like her. I didn’t know her. It was my first time seeing her.
No, no, no! I’m mad! I must be going mad! It’s the screams, I thought, the screams were driving me cuckoo! Making me think crazy thoughts!
I forced myself to look away and shove those thoughts out of my mind. I didn’t know what to believe anymore.
“Skye? Dinner time!”
Emily’s calls broke through the confusing mess in my head. I was grateful that she came to my rescue. Glancing back at the photo of my mum (no, she isn’t! How can I be related to…that?), I scurried down the hallway and into the dining room.
Emily had saved the takeaway.
It sat between us on the newly-dusted table. Emily pulled out foil containers and set one each before me and my dad.
“Mr Lancaster called about the fish and chips,” she explained. “He was delighted to have met you, Skye.”
She ruffled my hair, and chuckled as she handed me a strawberry milkshake. “But it looked like his little delivery girl got cold feet on her first order, eh?”
“Emily!” I groaned. I took a long sip and licked my lips. The milkshake was delicious. Rich, creamy and filled with enough sugar to make my insulin go straight into overdrive.
“Hey,” I noted, sitting down after a while. The pure sweetness of that drink was enough to make my head spin. “Mr Lancaster made some extra fish and chips.”
And it stank too. Almost as much as whatever is behind that iron door.
“Oh, that’s nothing,” Emily said quickly, sweeping the bag off the table and rushing it to the kitchen. “Mr Lancaster always makes me extra. He knows I’m always hungry after midnight!”
I chuckled nervously, feeling the weight of my worries lift off my shoulders. Emily did eat a lot after midnight. A couple of times I had spotted her sneaking to the living room with the television on and a bag of chips.
Yet this particular container stuck out like a sore thumb. Not just the smell, or how big it was compared to the others, but…but, was it me or was it glowing?
I buried that thought into the deepest recesses of my mind. No. I had enough wild and crazy thoughts and visions for one night.
Succumbing to them was not what Alfie would have wanted.
That was not what any of us would have wanted.
Once we had finished dinner, I helped to clear the table and wash the cutlery. Emily turned to me and said:
“I’ve got some things to do tonight. Take care, Skye, and take care of your dad.”
“He does not look well.”
Sick actually. Dad looked like he was going to throw up. He staggered to the couch and passed out on the leather. I couldn’t help but pity him. Fifty-six years old, and all that oil into the fish and chips was not doing his heart any good.
“I’ll look after him,” I promised.
“Good girl.” Emily gave me another thin smile. She pulled on a jacket—a black jacket with a golden rim—and gave me a kiss on my forehead.
“I won’t be long.”
Emily strode out of the house, taking the last box of fish and chips with her. There was something clinking in her pocket, like suits or armor banging together. And just as she stepped out of the front door, she pulled out that something from her pocket. I only saw it for a brief second, but it was enough to make my heart race.
It was a key. But not just any key.
This one was black. Like evil. Like ash. Like the iron door.
It smirked at me as it hid back in her pocket. A shiver ran up my spine.
“Is there a problem, Skye?”
“Yeah. I wanna ask you something.”
I took a deep, shaky breath. There was a lump in my throat and my heart was beating way too fast.
“The iron door on the first floor…what’s behind it?”
“It’s nothing, Skye,” Emily said. Her eyes darted to somewhere behind me and fixed on one of the bug women. “Just some of my old stuff, y’know? From before I met your dad?”
“Now I have to go. I’ll be late otherwise. I’ll see you later, okay Skye?”
I swallowed as I watched her leave. Uncertainty still sat tight in my stomach, wound up like a spring, and wouldn’t let go.
“Dad? You okay?”
No response. My dad was out like a light.
Then his eyes shot open.
They got bigger and bigger. I saw each individual vein popping out and weaving into each other like mini spider webs.
Then it bulged and swelled. His head enlarged to accommodate it.
Chills shot down my spine as I realised exactly what was going on.
Click click click.
His lips split and burst into mandibles. I scrambled over and held his hand.
“Don’t do this to me. Don’t be like Alfie.”
I was crying. I was shaking. Oh god, I was shaking so bad it felt like I was in an earthquake.
Click click click
I scrambled over and held his hand. It only seemed to make it worse, however. I watched as it shrank and turned black and folded into itself.
“Dad! Fight it!”
He hunched over and coughed out so much more blood.
Ack ack ack
His spine was curving over and hardening into a black shell. I dropped his hand and backed away into a corner, my face white.
Ack ack ack.
The floor was blooming. Grass spread thin like a carpet and tall trees grew. I saw red flowers explode onto new branches, like a bundle of fireworks.
My dad clicked and clacked, as if enjoying the new scenery.
My skin was crawling. Literally. I looked down and saw bumps pulsing beneath the folds, marching along to my heartbeat. Then it broke and a cockroach popped out. It took a deep breath, bowed, clicked and clacked in the same rhythm as my dad’s—slow and steady, a pulse—
And I SWEAR I heard the cockroach say:
I screamed. It bounced off new grass and fresh flora.
I’m really going mad now.
I pinched myself, wondering if I was living in some kind of nightmare. But I wasn’t. It was as real as the still lights from the street lamps shining in through the window.
More cockroaches were spilling out from my skin like a dam left unchecked. My dad looked at me inquisitively. Cement was quickly turning into dirt.
My thoughts were clambering over each other as I squatted, paralysed in my corner, watching the cockroaches with my mouth open. My dad—no longer human—crawled into the walls and towards me. Staring at the roaches and slowly reaching out to them. They squeaked and climbed over him.
This was too much. I did the only thing I could think of.
My phone was butter in my hands. My vision blurred and I kept on punching in the wrong numbers.
Thankfully, Emily answered the phone on the first ring.
I took a deep breath and screamed into the receiver. My voice was shaking so bad I was surprised I could say anything at all.
submitted by SimbaTheSavage8
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 13:14 The_Swan101 CFIF #4: The Famous Paleontologist and His Dinosaur Fanfiction
| || | submitted by The_Swan101 to CoolFactIFound [link] [comments]
Early paleontology was rife with speculation. Major breakthroughs in the field entailed discovering a few bones at a time, meaning that most dinosaurs were far more actualized in the public imagination than in reality. This posed a problem to museum curators in the 1860s and 1870s: Do you stick to proper contemporary anatomical understandings of dinosaurs? Or do you embrace the sheer spectacle of the dinosaur as the apex predator of a bygone era?
Predictably, an ethical divide emerged between academics (like Edward Cope, who believed the bones were enough of a marvel in and of themselves) and populists (like P.T. Barnum, who believed that a full skeleton would appeal more to the masses—and their wallets) on how to handle the presentation of dinosaurs. For their part, most museum curators fell somewhere between the two extremes, with a leaning towards paleontology as an art more than a science. Reasoning that more elaborate dinosaur depictions would yield greater profit to funnel into academic research, curators designed exhibits with their educated guess at what dinosaurs might look like. Often, this produced dinosaurs that were unusually lizard-like, or with other bizarre anatomical features, as shown in the drawing below: Source for image: The World Before the Deluge (1865)
Amid burgeoning efforts to commercialize the incomplete image of the dinosaur, one prominent figure stood against all sensationalist efforts. Othniel Charles Marsh was a professor at Yale University, a founding curator at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, and a leading authority in the nascent stages of paleontology. With a discerning eye for authentic fossils (during an era when fakes were rampant), Marsh was a stickler for accuracy in paleontology. Consequently, he was a stalwart for academics, and loathed the sensationalism that swept away the science behind his studies.
Marsh was so outraged by the speculative displays at museums that—starting in 1875—he withheld Peabody materials from any museum that “should engage with [the study of paleontology] in a manner unbefitting or untruthful towards science.” Given the unmatched resources of the Peabody Museum, this was a powerful threat. Othniel Marsh was unsuccessful in his efforts to fully curtail speculative paleontological presentations in museums, but the number of such “artistic” displays notably declined throughout the remainder of the 1870s.
For the remainder of his professional career, Marsh would defend the image of the dinosaur from spurious imaginations. Even today, his legacy persists. Marsh named 19 genera of dinosaur that are still in use, and his initial donations to the Peabody Museum helped establish its modern cultural significance. He is a titan of professional paleontology.
His personal relationship with paleontology was much different.
Tucked away in Marsh’s private manuscripts are various pieces of literature—with the earliest works dating back to 1866—that enter speculative territory. Hidden from his contemporary public’s view, these private speculations were wholly unscientific, insofar that they are most comparable to fan-fiction. Put simply, when Marsh wasn’t engaging in strict, professional scholarship about paleontology, he daydreamed about and invented information about dinosaurs.
One cannot overstate that these manuscripts were only found in Marsh’s private archives. They did not see external publication until long after his death, nor did any of Marsh’s “creativity” seem to interfere with his scholastic endeavors. With that in mind, Marsh was a prolific
writer of dinosaur fanfiction. While the writings began in 1866, the final manuscript dates December of 1898, just four months before Marsh’s death. In other words, he wrote various speculative fiction about dinosaurs for over 30 years.
Predictably, new paleontological discoveries were quickly incorporated into Marsh’s writing. For example, after discovering and naming the genera Diracodon
in 1881, Marsh introduced them within his literary universe in an entry from March of 1882. Characterizing the species within the genera as “[p]ossessing the sturdiness of a father, yet the affable nature of a kindly brother,” Marsh projected a set of traits onto the genera with no basis in reality. In all likelihood, Marsh’s speculations on a given species’ personality were derived from their (often gendered) physiology; the larger dinosaurs were more paternalistic and aggressive, while the smaller dinosaurs were feminine and protective. Of course, a physiology-based interpretation also requires speculation into exactly what a given dinosaur’s physiology would be, thereby marking an immediate contrast between Marsh, the academic—who would surely reject such presumptuous descriptions—and Marsh, the creative writer.
Although I am hesitant to hypothesize too deeply into Marsh’s psyche, it is interesting to note how often he wrote about dinosaurs in terms of their role within a hypothetical family. From the aforementioned fatherly Diracodon
, to the “slender and fertile” Ammosaurus
(a comment that precedes pages of extensive speculation into the species’ reproductive habits and methods), Marsh routinely assessed dinosaurs in a manner that mimicked the structure of the nuclear family. Marsh himself was a lifelong bachelor, making the continuity even more peculiar. Was Marsh’s dinosaur fanfiction an outlet for more deep-seated frustrations about his inability to start a family? Perhaps it is a stretch, but it isn’t an empty assertion.
Othniel Charles Marsh passed away before the turn of the 20th century, but his cultural footprint trudges far into the 21st century. His eccentric hobby was not discovered until long after his death, when a graduate student at Yale University began reading through Marsh’s personal library in 1913. Whether out of respect for the privacy of the dead, or recognizing the dubious implications his creative work would have on his legacy, these personal manuscripts weren’t published until the 1990s, when the quirks of a deceased paleontologist—and dinosaurs as a whole—had long since escaped public focus.
2023.03.26 13:13 Adomanzius Project Savepoint
As I came to, ice-cold blood rushed into my veins like I’d been raised from the dead. My muscles cramped and my head stung like I’d been bashed in the head with a mallet. It took me a moment for the world to stop spinning and for my eyes to start focusing again.
Getting up from the bedroom floor it occurred to me that I had no recollection of how I’d ended up there. The rug under my feet was stained with blood in a thick, moist circle - the smell of iron giving it away instantly. I realized that my shirt was also drenched in blood, although it had mostly dried off already, giving the formerly white t-shirt a very morbid tie-dye treatment.
With the slight beginnings of panic brewing in my dislocated mind, I started walking towards the bedroom door to check if anyone else was here when my foot coincided with something hard, giving my pinky toe a solid uppercut, the pain making me lift the leg up as if it had to flee from its opponent.
It was a handgun. The make and model were not familiar to me, but as I picked it up it contoured itself smoothly to my hand, its coarse and cold handle a sensory delight for my palm and fingers. As I examined it, something inside its metallic mechanism clicked, and its magazine fell to the ground. Giving it a closer look, it looked almost full, like there could still be space for one more round.
Wait, had I been shot?
Frantically I started patting my body like I was giving myself a strip search. I sighed in relief as I found no holes, blood fountains or other indication that a bullet had penetrated my body. But that brung upon an even alarming question.
Whose blood was I wearing?
Slowly, and looking at the ground more carefully this time, I made my way to the door and opened it. I could see the rest of the small apartment clearly from my vantage point. Hallway to my left, leading outside the apartment, a half-opened door to the bathroom a few feet down the hall. Living room and kitchen in front of me, tied together by a small bar. Minimal decor and only essential furniture: a couch, TV, bookshelf. I walked around the quiet apartment, and finding no one else, I returned to the bedroom for no other reason besides that’s where I had woken up. That’s when the biggest question hit me.
Who was I?
I tried and tried to think of the subject, but there was no recollection or even a sliver of familiarity to the concept of ‘me’. It was like I was trying to think of an answer in the midst of an important test at school; although the question undoubtedly had an answer which I’d at some point known, I just couldn’t locate it in my mind, no matter how hard I tried. I sat down on the bed to think of something more useful. As my body weight shifted the mattress, something tiny slid across and touched my thigh just barely enough for me to notice. The object sparked familiarity; it was a USB stick.
With no other clues to go on, I picked up the laptop that was laying on the single nightstand next to the narrow bed and booted it up. Luckily for me, it wasn’t password protected, so I stuck the USB stick in and waited for the system to recognize it, hoping for some clue as to what was going on.
The screen flashed and the drive’s folder popped up. Inside it was only one file, called savepoint.txt.
I double-clicked the file, and for a short while nothing happened. For a second, I thought the system had crashed. Suddenly the laptop’s fans started to roar and the file flashed open in a jagged glitch. The text editing software was still loading pages as it opened, and after a minute or two the fans relented and no more pages were added to the tally. The final length for the document was 12,421 pages, and it began with the following paragraph.
“Your name is Alastair Stephen White, born to Bethany and Richard White on July 2nd 1987. You were born in the United States of America, in the state of Missouri, in the town of Jefferson City. Right now, you are in your own apartment, located in Topeka, Kansas. You live alone. You are safe there. There’s food and drink in the fridge - help yourself.
If you are reading this and have no recollection of the aforementioned information, it is deeply important that you study this document in full and internalize the information within. You may not remember who you are, but that can be relearned - a risk that I knew well to be probable, and that is why I’ve arranged this document for you. The text is formatted to be chronological, so as to reacquaint yourself with yourself in the same order as you had when you lived through the memories within.”
The text went on to describe certain physical traits (the shape of my ears, a few birthmarks) in great detail, which I confirmed to be accurate descriptions of my body. Although I was compelled by the text, it was hard to comprehend what it was for. Either way, whoever had written it had a very intimate knowledge of me physically, which therefore indicated that other aspects of the text held some modicum truth as well. After a few pages of further prologue regarding ‘my’ life, the author had written a long passage about my first memory.
“Your first memory was of a stroke of genius you had as a child, thereby relaying to your parents both their dim wits and your potential in matters of greatness. Thankfully they furthered your education and prospects thereafter.
You were between the ages of two and three, and you were watching Bethany in the kitchen as she cut cherry tomatoes one by one, dropping two halves at a time into the salad bowl. You saw the efficiency that she so horrifyingly lacked and your first real idea sparked itself to life. Bethany went to the other room for whatever, and you climbed up on a wooden stool to reach the countertop. You flipped the tomatoes onto the counter, bunching them up as you did so, and placed the cutting board on top of them. You laid the knife at the edge of the board, between the board and the countertop.
Once Bethany came back, she was confused and started to scold you for touching the knife. No, no NO, you thought, possibly rambling something childlike through your meek lips, and pointed at the tomatoes, not backing down to the wishes of dumb Bethany.
‘Oh,’ she said to herself, surprise in her voice. ‘I do it like this, I get a bunch more at a time. Clever,’ she mumbled to herself as the cogs in her brain finally caught up to speed. Bethany held the fruit in place with the cutting board as she slid the knife across two dozen tomatoes, cutting each one in half with one quick motion. ‘Is this what you meant for me to do, baby?’ she asked, turning to you. You nodded, victorious. This wouldn’t be the first time you had to convince others to do as you said, for you were different. Better.”
After that, the text held each memory that was supposedly mine, written down in great detail, beginning from childhood. How an apple I’d bitten into had a bug on it, fueling my interest in biology at an early age. How, on my first day of school, the teacher called my parents to tell them that I’d be more suited for an upper class, for my education to be more aligned with my skills and abilities. How the other kids wouldn’t play with me because I’d win at any game they’d throw at me. What my childhood home looked like, with all its nooks and crannies. How I felt when Jeremy from school had pantsed me in front of everyone at gym class. How I’d swore to find revenge through success and brilliance.
The level of specificity was so exceptional, it occurred to me that the only possible author for the document could be me. I’d been a child prodigy - someone clinically better than everyone around me - and I’d held others in contempt because of their lack of appreciation and understanding. A dissonance slowly grew in my mind as I read further, for I couldn’t relate to the ‘me’ that had written the document. I’ll be referring to the author as him from now on. He was brilliant, yet horrible.
The document quickly became nearly impossible to read - the man in the pages growing into a pompous prick, mostly boasting about his greatness and lamenting on how no one understood him. As he grew up, he slowly became more introverted and bitter. He couldn’t relate to other kids, teens, or even adults. He was lonely, hating the world for it, while the world hated him back not for his genius, but for being a self-righteous asshole. Although he’d excelled in most everything he did, nothing seemed to satisfy him.
I scrolled through large excerpts of text, occasionally skimming some in an attempt to decipher the egoistic babble within, until I wound up in his college years, wherein he finally started writing about something other than himself.
He’d started to study theology in college, taking random classes between his joyride of a major in biomedical engineering. He did it just for fun - and to be able to discredit religions with an in-depth view of their infrastructures and holy texts. Each religion and sect within - it was all inane to him; a morbid, practical joke thrust upon the weak minded.
That is until he read about the Bardo Thödol, a Tibetan buddhist funerary text, and for whatever reason, he immediately regarded the text in high acclaim. In short, the Bardo Thödol is recited to a dying person to guide them through death and into a successful rebirth. He said that the ancient text held astounding similarities to the principles of death and life within living organisms.
“They knew things in great detail we have only now uncovered through expensive, back-breaking research. The text is astonishing by all accounts, and its convoluted nature and lack of proper translation has kept it somewhat hidden from modern society.”
That was the beginning of his research, which he soon started calling project Savepoint. Below I’ve highlighted relevant passages from the document relating to his research for a chance at conveying his thought process, and how Bardo Thädol relates to what we know of death in modern times.
“-- and so, there are three bardos, or gaps, when any living thing dies, and it must go through each one to achieve rebirth. The first bardo, also known as the moment of death, is essentially basic biology; the subject experiences hallucinations of luminosity and shapes, as well as vague, overall positive feelings. This is in part due to the neuroprotective activity of the brain's serotonergic system.”
“During the second bardo, the subject is said to become reckoned with by ‘wrathful’ and ‘peaceful’ entities. This correlates directly with the fleeting moments of brain activity after death, wherein the brain releases a concoction of different chemicals in a fell swoop akin to tripping on mushrooms. Existential thoughts are often copious during such strong, mind-altering experiences, giving credence to the deities as innate human morality presenting itself in different physical forms, often called ‘good’ and ‘bad’”
“-- and therefore the mystery lies within the last gap, sidpa bardo: rebirth. The sacred texts regarding the first and second bardo correlate directly with what we have come to know about death - an unprecedented finding in and of itself. For them to have had access to such information with such clear evidence would indicate that the third bardo exists as well, even if humanity has yet to uncover and quantify its existence in the realm of traditional science. During this phase, the subject is selected for rebirth among one of the six realms, all according to their karmic projection --”
“There are thousands of people who have been clinically dead, and then brought back to life. In some cases their return to the living world has come minutes after they’ve become braindead -- and they return to their own body. At first it seemed a direct discordance within the teachings of the Bardo Thödol, but once I researched the most common attributes of experience from victims to such trauma, it all made perfect sense. The victims had accidentally bypassed their karmic projection, breaking the 49 day cycle, and wound up back to their own bodies -- and what if I could recreate that scenario? What if I could make a surefire way of returning back to my body after death, thereby reaching near-immortality? Reverse the bodily harm which had taken the life? Once I reached this conclusion, it was just a matter of execution, preparement, and patience.”
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if these were the ramblings of a lone genius gone mad, or something which could potentially be an actual scientific discovery. It was apparent that he had worked on his theory for years, slowly accumulating research as he found new translations of texts and built a vast collection of evidence. Weirdly enough, it started to make sense to me -- although the hypothesis was outlandish, each piece of the puzzle supported one another. He was convinced that there was a system through which any person could prevent their death in the immediate moments after it has happened and return back to life, and frankly, I was beginning to be convinced as well.
He started spending less time on his actual studies, instead allocating most of his time on project Savepoint. Even so, he seemed to do fine in school, on account of his innate brilliance and lack of any social life. Other people were barely ever mentioned by name in the document, besides Bethany and Richard once each year when he’d go and visit them out of obligation. His ego seemed to become severely bloated, as evidenced by the following snippets. Although the text had been mostly written to ‘me’, it had slowly shifted into the first person, betraying its original intent of speaking to the reader directly.
“I am the catalyst. I will change the world. What should they call me? Perhaps the Immortal Man -- no, that’s dumb. I’m not a superhero. At least I will get a Pulitzer prize --”
“No wonder I’ve felt social ineptitude. I should have realized. How could a God be entertained by man? Soon they will all see.”
After years of nonstop work, he concluded his research, and began to prepare for death. He wanted to be the first subject of project Savepoint, further proving that he needed no assistance from anyone except himself, and proving to himself that his theory held true.
It was evident that there might be complications along the process of death, and that is why he wrote the savepoint document. According to him, there was a significant chance that after death, when he came to, he’d have no memory of who he was, or what he had done during his life - his whole life swept under the rug.
That’s why he needed to write it down; to protect his legacy and his achievement. That’s why I was reading it right now: the proof that I, Alastair Stephen White, had killed myself and returned to life using a bastardized version of ancient knowledge. In case things went awry, he wanted me to learn to be him, so that I could share his legacy and live his life as accurately as possible.
Apparently the USB stick hadn’t been the only place he’d injected the document into. There were several more alongside hard drives throughout the house along with digital copies located in every device within the apartment. According to him, there was even a printed copy next to the bookshelf. The fridge was stocked, the upcoming month’s rent paid, and an alibi given to his parents and teachers. Scrolling down to the last page of the document, he revealed his final plan.
“Tonight, I will update the cloud-based files with this final version of savepoint.txt, and distribute plentiful copies of it around the apartment. I will take the gun and insert it into my mouth, pointing straight through my brain - the most surefire way of killing myself. If all goes according to plan, I will wake up at some point thereafter, returned from the dead, having successfully hacked the cycle of rebirth to target my own body instead of another.
This will be my savepoint. This document holds within it all that I am, and all the research and evidence I’ve gathered. There are two distinct risks present in what I’m about to do. 1) The rebirthing cycle continues uninterrupted, and Alastair White dies, his essence given to another lifeform. 2) The hack is successful, but in returning the essence of me, the kyenay bardo is wiped from existence to relocate its clone. Simply put, some or all of my memories and sense of identity will be gone.
Tonight, I will face death, the final frontier.
This is my savepoint. Bring this to the world, Alastair. Show them that we are God.
His plan was airtight, except for one glaring omission. Not once did Alastair White even hint that his post-death self would hate what he read, hate the man behind those words, and despise his opportunistic ‘research’. It’s daring to call his experiment a success, for although his body had been sprung back to life as he’d promised, the monster that had created it hated itself.
I will not tell you the specifics of how he achieved what he did, for the sacrifice was great - and not just to him. What I will tell you is that it took months and months of intense preparations, which not only hurt himself but others as well.
I will not finish his work. He will be known as a lonely lunatic, and savepoint will be nothing but a vague story of a man who tried to defeat death, all his fervent research and preparation for nothing.
I am Alastair White, and I intend to continue this life instead of dwelling on death.
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2023.03.26 13:10 varJoshik Cursed Rulers: Parallels Between Auberon & Emhyr
Final part in the series about the mirroring act between the three Aen Elle elves & their Continental counterparts. Previous works: Black Knights: Parallels Between Eredin & Cahir Love(less) Sorcerers: Parallels Between Avallac'h & Vilgefortz
“Emperors rule their empires, but two things they cannot rule: their hearts and their time. Those two things belong to the empire.” “The end justifies the means.”
Leaders of the highest order for their people, both rulers pursue the greater good at the expense of decency and their own humanity. A greater good to be achieved through similar means – by begetting the child who is prophesised.
In the Witcher, both Auberon and Emhyr are embroiled in a plot of siring the child of prophecy with Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon – their blood relative. Genetically, the incest is a matter of degree: Emhyr is Ciri’s biological father, Auberon Ciri’s ancestor 8 generations past. Symbolically, however, the degree collapses with Auberon because a few human generations are meaningless to elves. They call Ciri Lara’s daughter, effectively deeming Ciri Auberon’s granddaughter. But the reader – not unlike Ciri herself – won’t know about this until the very end of the tale.
Notionally, both rulers bind their actions with Ithlinne’s prophecy. The problem with prophecies is they decouple arguments from verification, lending themselves to the rationalization of all and any action. At least insofar as knowing
the future accurately
is impossible. This is the case for humanity, it is not the case for elves. Elven prophecies were made by
the elves and for
the elves in the first place. Consequently, the degree to which each ruler knows the prophecy to be true and believes in it differs. For Emhyr, mystical secret knowledge of the universe is irrelevant in comparison to political expedience: reason of state is what the tomorrow will bring. The Nilfgaardian Emperor is neither a mystic nor a fatalist. Contrary to the Alder King – a Sage, a ruler, and an elder – who has witnessed and likely verified some of what the Seers have prophesised. Elves conceive of the nature of time as cyclical in which the fate of things is tied up in the endless repetition of endings giving birth to new beginnings, the dance of attraction between life and death, two sides of the same coin which form the singular eternal truth of existence – change is only an eternal reoccurrence and re-arrangement of all. Auberon, you see, is a bit of a mystic. And even without Seers privy to secret knowledge, an extraordinary life span reduces the elves’ proclivity to black swan fallacy
, or at least pushes the error probabilities. But at the end of the day, mysticism takes the cake.
The idea that either ruler must be the progenitor, however, comes at the instigation of an outside force.
Shortly after Ciri’s birth Emhyr is visited by a sorcerer. Emhyr has a strong aversion to mages; he was cursed by one. Even so, Vilgefortz proves himself capable of helping him regain the Nilfgaardian throne and is straightforward about what he wishes in exchange – gratitude, favours, privileges, power. Vilgefortz tells Emhyr about Ithlinne’s prophecy – a version about the fate of the world; a human interpretation. Then he plants the seed as to what Emhyr should do to steer the fate of this world. Naturally, he has his own agenda. It is not a huge leap of imagination to conceive of Auberon having been similarly persuaded by Avallac’h (an elven Knowing One who thematically parallels the human Vilgefortz
). Not only are Avallac’h and Auberon tied by broken familial bonds, they are each a participant of the Elder Blood programme; and each, a Sage. Avallac’h serves nearly as a double for Auberon, his own fate also tied with Ciri’s. And Auberon is a “willing unwilling” in his arrangement with Ciri; implied so in his rage when he reveals Ciri ought to be grateful to him for lowering himself to the endeavour at all. There is an alternative.
Neither the Emperor nor the Alder King is pursuing the incestuous course of action out of lust. But both have the option to waive being the sire. Ithlinne’s prophecy is not explicit about the father of the Swallow’s child. For elves the match is backed by science. For humanity – pragmatism.
Emhyr has ordered to wipe out the Usurper’s name from the annals of history and is cementing his earthly power, conquering and ensuring the succession laws play out in his favour. Not only is he legitimatizing his rule over Cintra – the gateway to the North – by marrying its last monarch’s granddaughter, by keeping it in the family, he is also consolidating his rule among the Nilfgaardian aristocracy. The Emperor’s concern lies with the dynastic struggle for power: it is his blood that should rule the world and because history is bending its arc according to Nilfgaard’s dictation that means surmounting the Nilfgaardian succession laws. From such perspective, not
fathering Ciri’s child would create numerous problems. Ciri as Emhyr’s heir would remain behind any other male offspring he might have (with any Nilfgaardian aristocrat). Ciri might not be acknowledged as a legitimate successor in Nilfgaard in the first place as she is a foreigner, born in Cintra at a time when her father was not yet an emperor; a bastard, effectively, and a girl besides. Ciri’s husband, moreover, may have designs on power himself and his remaining under Emhyr’s control, or Ciri’s control, is not a guarantee. It is difficult to be the correctly-shaped chess piece in a game of interests of the state. That a widely recited prophecy about the fate of the world can lend an aura of destiny to the brutal political machinations undertaken to seek retribution and pursue earthly power is convenient; a descendant who will be the ruler of the world – a bonus. But to get there sacrifices must be made.
‘Cirilla,’ continued the emperor, ‘will be happy, like most of the queens I was talking about. It will come with time. Cirilla will transfer the love that I do not demand at all onto the son I will beget with her. An archduke, and later an emperor. An emperor who will beget a son. A son, who will be the ruler of the world and will save the world from destruction. Thus speaks the prophecy whose exact contents only I know.’ ’What I am doing, I am doing for posterity. To save the world.’ - Lady of the Lake
Notably, the manner in which the Emperor claims to understand Ithlinne’s prophecy does not make guarantees that a father’s incest with his daughter will ensure his progeny will one day save the world. The saviour is a few generations away and the causal arrow between now and then is not direct: the son could die, could father a child with a genetically non-fitting partner, could be sterile, or could turn out to be a daughter altogether. Not to even begin with what the world needs saving from in the first place; again, elven prophecies were written by the elves and for the elves. Emhyr var Emreis is neither an elf, a geneticist, an idealist nor a mystic. He is an autocrat.
Elder Blood is the creation of elves and it is elves who understand how their genetic abilities play into handling what was foretold by Ithlinne. Emhyr’s daughter, the Lady of Time and Space, is the descendant of an Alder King who has utilized Hen Ichaer
in the past and whose ambitions lie in an altogether different ball park than that of an Emperor of one single world. Appropriately to the Saga’s love for subversion, it is ironic that human understanding of elven prophecies remains on the level of poetry, while elves – the irritatingly poetic, mystical species – can read the science elevating the prophetic jargon into something more. Which regardless does not invalidate the problem with prophecies: they lend themselves to the rationalization of action, frequently covering up the real horses the powerful might have in the race. Legitimatization of the ruler’s right to remain the leader of their people is relevant in Auberon’s life too. More on that when we return to the Fisher King parable and the nature of curses upon the two rulers.
Role & Relationships
Let’s take a look at the characters’ personalities. Appearance: a play of contrasts
A very tall, slender elf with long fingers and ashen hair shot with snow-white streaks. An elf with the most extraordinary eyes – as on all Elder Blood carriers – reminiscent of molten lead. A man with black, shiny, wavy hair bordering an angular, masculine face that is dominated by a prominent nose (hooked, presumably, or Roman if you like). The Emperor of Nilfgaard does not resemble an androgynous elf by any means. But this does not mean nothing remains in him of the elven gene pool. Not only does Emhyr’s etymological origin link with the Romano-Celtic world underpinning all things elven in the Witcher. Nilfgaardians are effectively the Romano-Brytons. The human population in the South of the Continent mixed with elves heavily, retaining a lot of elven law, customs, language, and DNA. As Avallac’h says about heritability, “the father matters,” and Emhyr was one half of the equation for getting Ciri. Rex Regum - King of Kings
The readers are probably more familiar with the imperial system and how that features in the depiction of Nilfgaard. Auberon Muircetach’s position as the Supreme Leader
of the Aen Elle – as opposed to merely a “king” – is instead much more reminiscent of the station of a High King.
Ancient and early kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland boast many High Kings (e.g. Ard Rí Érenn
Brian Boru, Ard Rí Alban
Vortigern, King of the Britons, etc). The High King was usually elected and set above lesser rulers and warlords as an overlord in a land that shared a high degree of cultural unity. Emperors usually ruled over culturally different lands (regularly obtained through recent or ongoing conquests). In character such high kingship was sacred: the duties of the ruler were largely ceremonial and somewhat restricted, unless war, natural disaster or any other realm-wide occasion created a need for a unified command structure. The Irish High King, for example, was quite straightforwardly a ruler who laid claim to all of the land
of the Emerald Isle. Noteworthy, because the ruler is frequently seen as the embodiment of the land, associated with the health and well-being of the realm that the land sustains. In quasi-religious terms, High Kings gained their power through a marriage to, or sexual relationship with, a sovereignty goddess
; frequently, a mother goddess who was associated with the life-giving land. As one of the most frequently studied elements of the Celtic cosmology, this feature is instantly recognisable in the outlook of the elves in the Witcher and factors heavily into Auberon’s relationship with Ciri. Ciri who is the avatar of the Triple Goddess
– the Virgin, the Pregnant Mother, and the Old Woman Death. As Sapkowski notes in Swiat króla Artura. Maladie
“…no Wiccan mystery in honour of the Great Triple, cannot be performed, [without] the goblet and the sword. Grail and Excalibur. The rest is silence.”
Through the Triple Goddess’ interaction with her God-counterpart (a ruler who briefly assumes the role of the god
) is showcased the eternal cycle of life – one which cannot be realised without the interaction of the cup (feminine) & the sword (male). Excalibur is the symbol of rightful sovereignty and its wielders are frequently powerful men, but Ciri is a woman and a woman is the Grail, bringing salvation and new life. To possess the Grail is to legitimize oneself as the ruler, as the leader, protector, and father figure of the realm. Thus a King of Kings must do exactly that. A protector, a father figure, and a druid (wise man) merge into a symbolic whole in the Supreme Leader of the elves.
(But Ciri is also the witcher girl and owns a sword, unyielding before the matter of her gender. And though many a men might take her for the Lady of the Lake, she is not about to part with her sword.) The realm is all
From early age, Emhyr’s father instilled an understanding in his heir that nothing counts more than the interest of the state. The blood of the Emreis family must be on the throne. Fergus never abdicated, not after torture, not even after his son was turned into a mutant hedgehog in front of his eyes. Love for his child did not sway Fergus from having his son suffer in the interests of power and the realm. This is how the shard of ice in Emhyr’s heart forms. Auberon, equally, “thinks of England” when attempting to regain his daughter’s legacy and restore their people’s power. The circumstances of Lara’s demise, however, beg the question about the Alder King’s role in facilitating or enabling the conditions that let things spiral out of control and break beyond repair. The stakes were infinitely higher for Auberon than they are for Emreis’ dynastic struggle. But what would an answer to this question change? In their cold hearts these characters see themselves each as duty-bound.
Ambitious and gloried, they nevertheless occupy different stages in their lives.
Emhyr’s ambition burns bright and fresh. Auberon’s has dwindled into a shadow of the past; buried under having witnessed and lived through the sacrifices that a ruler makes in the name of power. Emhyr chooses to seek retribution and power beyond what would befall him should he accept his life as Duny (the cursed, pitiful Duny), the prince consort of Cintra. Never losing sight of his goal, love and human happiness become temporary phases and means to an end, and Emhyr returns to Cintra only in the form of flames and death to pursue his daughter in insane ambition. The White Flame retains an active disposition; a lust for life. Neither Emhyr nor Auberon gallop at the head of their armies though, leading instead from the rear. They have lackeys for carrying out their will remotely (e.g. Cahir and Eredin). Emhyr, however, is said to be otherwise highly involved in the ruling of his empire, even if many revolutionaries who had helped him on the throne had hoped he would remain but a banner of the revolution. In contrast, the Alder King has more or less withdrawn from life and active service. In presence of Avallac’h and Eredin, Auberon appears much more like the standard Emhyr had refused to become. Of course, many decisions the equivalent of which Auberon has already made are still ahead of Emhyr, including as concerns the freedom of his daughter. A ruler’s heart
Did Emhyr believe that he would be able to see Pavetta in Ciri and thus push through with the incest? Did Auberon hope to glance the memory of his wife in the eyes of Lara’s “daughter” and manage in this way? As already noted, neither ruler is pursuing their plans out of lust, but as lust must be induced for the act to bear fruit I cannot help but wonder what these characters must do to themselves to follow through with their plans. Because the love that is called for between a woman and a man in order for new life and hope to be born is in this instance abnormal. Yet it is undoubtedly love
that plays a huge role in determining both Emhyr’s and Auberon’s eventual fate.
Until the emergence of false-Ciri, Emhyr var Emreis is said to have had numerous ladies in the imperial court. Little is known about Auberon’s disposition, but by the time Ciri starts frequenting his bed chamber it has become evident the image of a dowager king fits the elf like a glove; disaffected with romantic dalliance, he is still aware of the courtly intrigue and expectations surrounding it.
The next evening, for the first time, the Alder King betrayed his impatience. She found him hunched over the table where a looking glass framed in amber was lying. White powder had been sprinkled on it. It’s beginning, she thought. … At one moment Ciri was certain it was about to happen. But it didn’t. At least not all the way. And once again he became impatient. He stood up and threw a sable fur over his shoulders. He stood like that, turned away, staring at the window and the moon. - Lady of the Lake
Emhyr’s marriage to Pavetta, Ciri’s mother, was an unhappy one. In his own words, he did not love “the melancholy wench with her permanently lowered eyes,”
and eventually would have had the vigilant Pavetta killed. Inadvertently, Emhyr caused Pavetta’s death anyway.
‘I wonder how a man feels after murdering his wife,’ the Witcher said coldly. ‘Lousy,’ replied Emhyr without delay. ‘I felt and I feel lousy and bloody shabby. Even the fact that I never loved her doesn’t change that. The end justifies the means, yet I sincerely do regret her death. I didn’t want it or plan it. Pavetta died by accident.’ ‘You’re lying,’ Geralt said dryly, ‘and that doesn’t befit an emperor. Pavetta could not live. She had unmasked you. And would never have let you do what you wanted to do to Ciri.’ ‘She would have lived,’ Emhyr retorted. ‘Somewhere … far away. There are enough castles … Darn Rowan, for instance. I couldn’t have killed her.’ ‘Even for an end that was justified by the means?’ ‘One can always find a less drastic means.’ The emperor wiped his face. ‘There are always plenty of them.’ ‘Not always,’ said the Witcher, looking him in the eyes. Emhyr avoided his gaze. ‘That’s exactly what I thought,’ Geralt said, nodding. - Lady of the Lake
After Pavetta’s demise Emhyr hounds his own daughter to the ends of the earth, killing her grandmother, burning down her home, and driving Ciri into an exile from which she never fully recovers. An exile which kills the innocence in her; the snow-white streaks in Ciri’s hair are from the trauma. In contrast, Auberon does not seem to even know what became of Shiadhal – his partner and the mother of their daughter together. On the verge of death he confuses Ciri for Shiadhal and says, “I am glad you are here. You know, they told me you had died.”
The Alder King recalls Shiadhal affectionately, in the same loving breath as he recalls their daughter Lara. Lara whose exile – voluntary or not – killed her.
When Ciri was six years old, Emhyr took a lock of hair from her and held onto it; out of sentiment and for his court sorcerers to use. One of Auberon’s last lines to Ciri involves tying a loose ribbon back into Lara’s hair.
In regard to their brides-to-be, both rulers are saddled with fakes. A fake Ciri-Pavetta and a fake Shiadhal-Lara. But Emhyr’s and Auberon’s attitude toward the fake is diametrically opposite. Emhyr sees false-Cirilla as “a diamond in the rough.” Auberon calls Ciri “a pearl in pig shit, a diamond on the finger of a rotting corpse.” For Emhyr, a diamond is the essence of his poor peasant girl. While a pearl in pig shit, for Auberon, remains the essence of Ciri. Neither ruler can entirely ignore the social vigilance extended toward the ruler’s bedchamber either. The idea of a “foreign bride” is frowned upon among the Nilfgaardian aristocracy; it decreases their ability to influence the Emperor. Ciri’s social status at Tir ná Lia is never explicitly addressed, but the presence of human servants – all of whom that the reader sees are female – and casual xenophobia from Auberon himself does not make it hard to venture a guess.
‘If I were … the real Cirilla … the emperor would look more favourably on me. But I’m only a counterfeit. A poor imitation. A double, not worthy of anything. Nothing …’ - False-Cirilla Lady of the Lake
‘It’s all my fault,’ she mumbled. ‘That scar blights me, I know. I know what you see when you look at me. There’s not much elf left in me. A gold nugget in a pile of compost—’ - Ciri Lady of the Lake
The Alder King is unable to bring himself to love Ciri. The Emperor relents, caring for his daughter at last as a father should at the very end, in the one moment where it matters. Moreover, Emhyr ends up eventually marrying his own reason of state and comes to love the false-Cirilla. The contrasts do not end here. Real Ciri threatens to tear Emhyr’s throat out for what he is planning to do to her (unknowing that he is her father), yet with Auberon Ciri turns submissive and grows attached. She weeps over Auberon’s corpse and vows vengeance on Eredin for killing the Alder King. Ironic as Auberon never intended to let Ciri go, while Emhyr does let his daughter walk free. The shard in Auberon’s heart never melts. It shifts in Emhyr’s.
In their last meeting with the girl, both rulers implicitly reveal their blood relation to Ciri.
Cursed Rulers of the World
Emhyr’s tale begins and is framed with a curse. Likewise Auberon’s. And for both it is love in its different manifestations that will shift the curse just enough to offer closure. For healing largely entails obtaining closure.
‘They were silent for a long time. The scent of spring suddenly made them feel light-headed. Both of them. ‘In spite of appearances,’ Emhyr finally said dully, ‘being empress is not an easy job. I don’t know if I’ll be able to love you.’ She nodded to show she also knew. He saw a tear on her cheek. Just like in Stygga Castle, he felt the tiny shard of cold glass lodged in his heart shift.’ - Lady of the Lake
The reference to H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale of the Snow Queen is self-evident. Emhyr var Emreis is an Emperor whose heart has been pierced by a shard of ice. In the Saga the legend is elven and refers to the Winter Queen who conducts a Wild Hunt as she travels the land, casting hard, sharp, tiny shards of ice around her. Whose eye or heart is pierced by one of them is lost; they will abandon everything and will set off after the Queen, the one who wounded them so gravely as to become the sole aim and end of their life.
There are two ways in which to interpret the way Sapkowski applies the legend of the Snow Queen in the Saga. First, as a complement to the author’s stance that in life - where most things are shit - the Holy Grail is a woman, because it is the love of a woman and the hope a woman instils that often makes men act in inconceivable ways; love is the great motivator and the great balancer of scales. Almost as powerful as death. Or more so?
‘I would not like to put forward the theory that hunting for the wild pig was the primordial example of the search for the Grail. I don’t want to be so trivial. I will - after Parnicki and Dante - identify the Grail with the real goal of the great effort of mythical heroes. I prefer to identify the Grail with Olwen, from under whose feet, as she walked, white clovers grew. I prefer to identify the Grail with Lydia, who was loved by Parry. I like New York in June… How about you? Because I think the Grail is a woman. It is worth investing a lot of time and effort in order to find it and gain it, to understand it. And that’s the moral.’ - A. Sapkowski Swiat króla Artura. Maladie
In this reading, we find the framing to the stories of Geralt and Yennefer, Lara and Cregennan, Avallac’h and Lara, and many others. Including the story of Ciri herself – for Ciri is ultimately the author’s Grail in more ways than one. More than one party goes to great lengths to solicit her favour in a guise that includes elements of a love relationship but not the heart of it.
Secondly, we can interpret the legend in universal terms: the shard of ice is the definitive experience of our lives which distorts reality and makes the rest of our lives spin around it in one way or another. For Emhyr, such an experience could have been the trauma experienced in his youth. Fergus’ uncompromising death conditioned the boy early on to sacrifice personal feelings to the cause and let the only true feeling in his heart remain forever locked behind the ends a ruler must go to unthinkable lengths to achieve. Fergus did not deem his son above suffering for a cause and the son learned the lesson. Until…
In Andersen’s Snow Queen, Gerda manages to find her brother Kai in the Snow Queen’s castle, but despite her calls his heart remains cold as ice. Only when Gerda cries in despair do her tears finally melt the ice and remove the piece of glass from Kai’s eyes and heart. In the Witcher, the shard in Emhyr’s heart moves first upon witnessing his true daughter’s angry tears. For the second time – in thanks to the bogus princess of Cintra; his poor raison d’etat.
It brings us to the defining contrast in Emhyr’s and Auberon’s stories, and it concerns alleviating the suffering of those are bound to you by blood or love.
Recalling another case of incest that resulted in Adda the strigga, we may remember that the Temerian king recognises that his daughter is suffering and insists on disenchanting her instead of killing her. Realising that your own blood – who has been thrown into this world of suffering thanks to you – is suffering and consequently choosing to do something to alleviate this suffering fortifies the Saga’s faith in enduring human decency. Geralt himself is thoroughly vexed by the prospect of letting the same evil happen to Ciri that happened to himself and does everything within his power to prevent it (failing, trying anyway). Here lives the redemption of man, and in redemption his rebirth.
‘They passed a pond, empty and melancholy. The ancient carp released by Emperor Torres had died two days earlier. “I’ll release a new, young, strong, beautiful specimen,” thought Emhyr var Emreis, “I’ll order a medal with my likeness and the date to be attached to it. Vaesse deireadh aep eigean. Something has ended, something is beginning. It’s a new era. New times. A new life. So let there be a new carp too, dammit.”’ - Lady of the Lake
As Emhyr and false-Cirilla take a stroll in the gardens after Stygga, they pass a sculpture of a pelican pecking open its own breast to feed its young on its blood. An allegory of noble sacrifice and also of great love – as False-Ciri tells us.
‘Do you think—’ he turned her to face him and pursed his lips ‘—that a torn-open breast hurts less because of that?’ ‘I don’t know …’ she stammered. ‘Your Imperial Majesty … I …’ He took hold of her hand. He felt her shudder; the shudder ran along his hand, arm and shoulder. ‘My father,’ he said, ‘was a great ruler, but never had a head for legends or myths, never had time for them. And always mixed them up. Whenever he brought me here, to the park, I remember it like yesterday, he always said that the sculpture shows a pelican rising from its ashes.’ - Lady of the Lake
It is difficult to set aside our trauma and not pass it on to our children. Letting our children be free to choose and not sacrificing them on the altar of our fate is to rip open ourselves, calcified and bound to our path, and to feel all of it as we grope in the dark to feel for them. Emhyr’s father might not have gotten it entirely wrong, though his mind at the time was set on making his child an extension of himself. The cycle of death and rebirth begins and ends within that to which we give birth. Giving our children a chance before it is too late, we also give a chance to ourselves. By finding it in his heart to extend to his daughter the courtesy his father Fergus never extended to him - by letting Ciri free - Emhyr lets the part of himself that has defined his entire life die. His end stops justifying the means. He breaks the cycle on the edge of the precipice to which he has brought them and thus allows for the possibility of new beginnings for himself and for Ciri.
In a sense, False-Cirilla and Emhyr get the ending Ciri and Auberon might have gotten if –
The story of Auberon Muircetach achieves a fundamentally different resolution.
‘What does the spear with the bloody blade mean? Why does the King with the lanced thigh suffer and what does it mean? What is the meaning of the maiden in white carrying a grail, a silver bowl—?’ - Galahad Lady of the Lake
Galahad asks the questions that the innocent Perceval in his Story of the Grail
failed to ask, thus losing his chance at freeing the Fisher King from his curse. And the Fisher King is the guardian of mysteries, among them the Holy Grail. But it is not because of gain that a chivalric knight with a shining sword should seek to free the Fisher King from his curse, but rather because it is a human thing to do. Sapkowski claims to be partial to Wolfram von Eschenbach’s rendition of the Grail myth in Parsifal. Wolfram’s message, according to Sapkowski, is the following:
‘Let’s not wait for the revelation and the command that comes from above, let’s not wait for any Deus vult. Let’s look for the grail in ourselves. Because the Grail is nobility, it is the love of a neighbor, it is an ability for compassion. Real chivalric ideals, towards which it is worth looking for the right path, cutting through the wild forest, where, as they quote, “there is no road, no path”. Everyone has to find their path on their own. But it is not true that there is only one path. There are many of them. Infinitely many. … Being human is important. Heart.’ ‘I prefer the humanism of Wolfram von Eschenbach and Terry Gilliam from the idiosyncrasies of bitter Cistercian scribes and Bernard of Clairvaux…’ - A. Sapkowski Swiat króla Artura: Maladie
The unimaginable sadness in Auberon’s eyes belies the suffering of the Alder King who is the avatar of the Fisher King
. In the Witcher’s story between elves and humans, it is the elven males who all
share aspects of the Fisher King’s fate, because they are the keepers of their Grail – the protectors of elven women. Auberon’s wound is wrought by time: by surviving his wife and daughter, by the witnessing of the fading of his ambitions and the results of pursuing them without success. He has lost his line. The Fisher King’s injury represents the inability to produce an heir. A ruler who is the protector and physical embodiment of his land, yet remains barren, sterile, or without a true-born successor, bodes ill for the realm. The Alder King’s injury consists in having lost control of the source of his people’s power, leaving the elves imprisoned and scattered across two worlds. Auberon’s personal tragedy, however, subsists in the lost power having been functionally manifest in a daughter.
‘Lara.’ The Alder King moved his head, and touched his neck as though his royal torc’h was garrotting him. ‘Caemm a me, luned. Come to me, daughter. Caemm a me, elaine.’ Ciri sensed death in his breath. - Lady of the Lake
Elder Blood is indeed an accursed blood because it enslaves its carriers to its purpose. Emhyr has a theoretical chance to walk away from the pursuit of earthly power; the construct is social. Elder Blood, however, has a particular and real, magical function, and in virtue of being a genetic mutation it is embedded in the gene-carrying individuals. Functionally, Elder Blood allows to shape fate with degrees of freedom unimaginable for an ordinary individual. It’s a difference comparable to the one between a character in a story and the story’s author. Therefore the Aen Saevherne – the carriers of the gene – are bound
to the thing they carry within their DNA that allows them to a greater and lesser degree shape the fate of reality. However dearly Auberon, or Lara, might have ever wished to untie themselves from their own essence, it seems impossible. The loss of control over power then is quite simply so pivotal as to necessitate a moment of original sin.
As already witnessed by way of the legend of the Winter Queen, the original “myths” of the Witcher world usually originate among elves; humans, the interlopers, push themselves into those myths only later. This creates an interesting conundrum. In Parsifal, the Fisher King is injured as punishment for taking a wife who is not meant for him. A Grail keeper is to marry the woman the Grail determines for him, which – if we equate woman with the Grail – is what the woman determines. Unfortunately, we know nothing about Shiadhal, so we cannot verify if this part of the legend dovetails. But generally, in a wholly elven world which may have matriarchal tendencies, in lieu of worshipping the mother Goddess, such cosmology is relatively unproblematic. Except suddenly there are humans too. And Auberon – the highest leader of elves and the father of the new scion of Elder Blood – is indirectly injured because a human sorcerer – Cregennan – turns himself into a Grail keeper (in place of another, special elf) by taking a woman not meant for him.
‘Witcher,’ she whispered, kissing his cheek, ‘there’s no romance in you. And I… I like elven legends, they are so captivating. What a pity humans don’t have any legends like that. Perhaps one day they will? Perhaps they’ll create some? But what would human legends deal with? All around, wherever one looks, there’s greyness and dullness. Even things which begin beautifully lead swiftly to boredom and dreariness, to that human ritual, that wearisome rhythm called life.’ - Yennefer Sword of Destiny
Cregennan’s injury is to die. But what about the original Fisher King figure? What is Auberon’s original sin in this?
I see two possibilities. It could be that Auberon in his ambition hastened his daughter’s way into exile and, in a display of his displeasure, never made any effort to ease his daughter in to the personal sacrifices they, as Aen Saevherne, must make; walking without blinking to the end of the path Emhyr turned away from. It could equally be that Auberon, instead of locking Lara up in a tower to protect her from the folly of youth, let her go to Cregennan. It could be an amalgam of both, and the misjudgement of a father who allows
freedom, who feels for his child, and is rewarded with an irreversible injury is probably the greater tragedy.
Because, regardless of the origin of the curse upon Auberon, one thing does not change – the icy eternity in the Alder King’s heart never fractures.
‘‘Zireael,’ he said. ‘Loc’hlaith. You are indeed destiny, O Lady of the Lake. Mine too, as it transpires.’ - Auberon Lady of the Lake
Ciri passes through the shadow world of the Alders; a manifestation of fate. Her footsteps sowing discord and movement and change into the immutable, time-locked amber of the elven utopia. Her presence providing the trigger that will unshackle the past from future in a world where for a long time nothing has changed, died, or been reborn. She is destined and destiny, annihilation and rebirth, the grain of sand in the gears of the great mechanism; a strange girl. The child of hope and the Goddess who ought to be Three. Lara, the true daughter of the Alder King, is dead. Emhyr’s daughter still lives. There is nothing Auberon can do for Lara anymore and thus the ice in Auberon’s heart has crystallised. Emhyr still has a chance; he is where Auberon once was. And yet, there is one thing Ciri, the witcher girl with a sword of her own, can still do for the Alder King.
‘Va’esse deireadh aep eigean… But,’ he finished with a sigh, ‘it’s good that something is beginning.’ They heard a long-drawn-out peal of thunder outside the window. The storm was still far away. But it was approaching fast. ‘In spite of everything,’ he said, ‘I very much don’t want to die, Zireael. And I’m so sorry that I must. Who’d have thought it? I thought I wouldn’t regret it. I’ve lived long, I’ve experienced everything. I’ve become bored with everything … but nonetheless I feel regret. And do you know what else? Come closer. I’ll tell you in confidence. Let it be our secret.’ She bent forward. ‘I’m afraid,’ he whispered. ‘I know.’ ‘Are you with me?’ ‘Yes, I am.’ - Auberon Lady of the Lake
The only way Ciri the Grail knight will be able to find her true self – the Grail – is to cure the suffering Alder King from his curse. Ciri’s presence in the world of the Alders is after all also part of her coming of age story. Through becoming Auberon’s destiny, Ciri must close the circle for him and bring closure. He would never let her go because the shard in Auberon’s heart is no longer able to melt. Auberon does not follow the motif of alleviating the suffering of one’s blood and/or love; and he dies. The roles are reversed, in fact. It is Ciri who realises Auberon is suffering. So Ciri must do what only she can do, because remaining human is important. Heart is important. The sacrifice a ruler makes on the altar of power includes his own heart, which is why there should never be only one, but always two; always.
‘Time is like the ancient Ouroboros. Time is fleeting moments, grains of sand passing through an hourglass. Time is the moments and events we so readily try to measure. But the ancient Ouroboros reminds us that in every moment, in every instant, in every event, is hidden the past, the present and the future. Eternity is hidden in every moment. Every departure is at once a return, every farewell is a greeting, every return is a parting. Everything is simultaneously a beginning and an end. ‘And you too,’ he said, not looking at her at all, ‘are at once the beginning and the end. And because we are discussing destiny, know that it is precisely your destiny. To be the beginning and the end. Do you understand?’ She hesitated for a moment. But his glowing eyes forced her to answer. ‘I do.’ - Lady of the Lake
Death Crone to Auberon Muircetach, Ciri never becomes the Mother Goddess in the Saga. It is a choice she must make for herself and the choice still lies ahead of her. The predicate to making such a choice at least for now, however, she achieves; she goes her own way. In a sense then, both rulers are father figures, who through their choices “beget” the child who is destined. Perhaps this too the Knowing Ones knew, and for this reason Auberon never could have budged, never could have changed his mind in regard to his purpose in the long and winding story of his life. Something is ending, but something is also beginning. A good ruler is responsible for the flourishing of their realm, for providing hope. It is Ciri’s role to be the beginning and the end, and though there might be ways in which to nudge the hand of Fate, whatever is destined must happen. Destiny, however accursed, must run its course.
That is the hope and the release.
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2023.03.26 13:06 Impressive-Work-5770 Cat rizz
2023.03.26 13:03 Hennessy007 Will go with Nikon Z30 over Sony A6600. Can you convince me not to??
In a quest for a new camera for primarily stills it came down to these two and I would like to see your opinions. But first let me point out a couple of things that are pulling me closer to Z30 🙂 - I don’t depent of EVF and honestly, I don’t need it that much. Beautiful articulating high res screen is just fine with me - Nikon Z30 can be found in a TWO LENS kit (16-50 and 50-250) for just over a $1000 and considering how well rhese lenses perform, that’s just insane! - They do not use anti-aliasing filters on this camera and photos look very sharp, I’ve compared them to A6400 (the same sensor as in A6600) and they look somehow better to me - The lack of IBIS is not a big deal since I will not record videos as much and paying over a double the price for mainly IBIS with A6600 is not normal - Sigma announced their “Trio” lenses for Nikkon Z mount and that is one more plus - Ergonomics are so much better and camera feels excellent when handling - Colors seem better on Nikon Z30 compared to Sony A6400 (again, the dame sensor as in A6600)
This is not an Ad for Nikon or Sony. Just would like to see your opinions regarding all this 🙂
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to AskPhotography [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 13:02 Anxious-Abrocoma-630 does this loss effect other relationships?
I have not been the same since the loss of my soul dog. I've gone through loss before but nothing so horrible as losing him. he was my world. and my world just doesn't feel the same. I can hardly carry a conversation with anyone, I just don't care enough, I don't care enough to speak my opinion, to laugh, to react. I just have no energy to care. I also have a long distance relationship, and hes going through his own stuff amd sickness, and has not checked in on me at all, we've hardly talked. (for a while) like will go over a week without even a text.
I dont think I will come back from this, and im thinking it's also relationship ending. I don't feel he understands what it's like to love an animal to this point so he won't understand the loss, and he wasn't there during one of the 2 worst times in my life (losing my dog and I assume losing my mom will be the two worst times I ever experience) I just feel disconnected from everyone and I don't really care enough to put in the effort to keep relationships, including my romantic one. has anyone else had relationship changes after their loss? I am in another country and I have my mom with me but literally no one else, I don't have any friends here, so maybe that changes how I handled things, but it's the circumstances I'm in so it's how it is, has anyone else ended a relationship after losing their soul animal?
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2023.03.26 12:59 Venom-99 GOOD LORD
So I tried doing Alka-Seltzer shots two nights ago and yesterday afternoon. Last night was a pretty low dose, so it felt good, but nothing transcendent. Coincidentally, my friend (who’s also my ex) decided to stop using yesterday. Pretty much by default that meant I’m quitting too, because I want to be supportive and she was always the middleman for getting our supply.
However, we still had at least half a gram unused and stashed in my car. Knowing I’m off work today and Monday, and that it was presumably gonna be my last opportunity, I said “fuck it” and took a shot using about 90% of it on my way to my bartending job. After 15 minutes of a really mellow come up, I got hit with a sledgehammer out of nowhere. Instantly, I knew I made a mistake.
I’ve snorted, smoked, and hot railed before this, and never once started tweaking. But for the love of all things holy, I was a wreck for 3/4 of my shift. Sweaty as hell, pupils massive, fingers too jittery to handle money, messed up vision, couldn’t feel my teeth at all. I’ve gone to work high before, and had no issues appearing sober, but last night was BAD. I could tell people were looking at me funny. Seems like I was talking too fast, because people repeatedly didn’t understand me.
Then the worst part was that my ex and I were on the verge of getting back together, and now she’s rightfully pissed that I did that. I’m brainstorming on how I’m gonna unfuck that situation. Got home and did this weird thing where I’m dreaming without actually sleeping for a while. Now it’s been 13 hours and I’m still kinda high. Craziest part is that it was actually reasonably enjoyable. That method is next level fucked.
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2023.03.26 12:40 baek12345 Combining IPF and Inner Child/Reparenting Work
I am relatively new to IPF and the Three Pillars method and started practicing IPF meditation on my own. In parallel, I am also seeing a therapist who recommended that I do inner child work as I encounter strong anxiety from childhood issues/experiences. His recommendation is kind of a reparenting approach where my adult self is taking care and speaking to my child self to soothe it and give it what it did not get when I was young.
Now, in parallel, in IPF, I envision this child self to interact with ideal parents but as a child.
My question is how to combine the two approaches? Especially given a certain trigger situation or anxiety in the present which can be linked to a fear from childhood. How do you handle this? Do you envision your ideal parents to soothe the child also for such situations in the present? Or the adult version of yourself? Or both depending on the situation? (What factors define it?) Or do you integrate those topics in your next IPF meditation?
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2023.03.26 12:39 mittenclaw I’ve had an epiphany about overwhelm, and I feel like it might help others out so here it is
TL:DR - It seems like you can solve overwhelm by getting things done on the to do list. I tried and failed at that for 2 years! The root cause was the underlying lack of resolve that was getting used up by other things, including just living with adhd. I didn’t fix it until I took care of the underlying cause.
— Burnout and overwhelm
I got my diagnosis late last year after putting it off for 5 years. Trying to recover from the trauma of the pandemic, and work burnout broke me, so I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. The burnout looked like this:
- Emotions all over the place. Each day of the week was like a different Mr Men book - happy, exhausted, angry, weepy, hyper.
- The overwhelm was constant and huge. I felt like I was always living under the shadow of my huge and panic stricken to do list.
- Meltdowns were a weekly occurrence over the slightest thing. Huge arguments with people close to me over tiny things that would escalate until I had to disassociate under a blanket or cry for hours.
- All my problems felt permanent and unchangeable, and I had absolutely no ability to prioritise the many different things so it all felt like urgent shit that needed to get done now, and yet none of it was being addressed.
I spent 2 whole years thinking that attacking the to do list was the solution. I simply had too much to worry about and cutting the list down would fix it. I was angry at my partner for not helping to shorten the list. I made paper and digital to do lists that were so huge they would be no use to anybody. Imagine the following plus about 1000 other task variations:
- plan my entire future for the next 10 years
- book vacations for the year
- decide on 5 options for where I might want to live in 2 years time
- declutter my entire house (listed out meticulously corner by corner)
- buy new towels (even though the current ones are ok)
- make a book of my favourite recipes
- Restring my guitar
- Make a list of names for my future dog
Essentially hundreds of things with no prioritisation despite ranging from planning my entire life, to absurdly optional or tiny things that could quite frankly never be done and everything would be fine. BUT IT DIDN’T FEEL FINE.
It felt so overwhelming and insane and I scratched around in circles for TWO YEARS freaking out over it all and yet making no progress. I would somehow get a few things done but the finish line always seemed to get further away, and with it went any sense of accomplishment, or hope that I would ever again exist outside of this vortex of overwhelm. The actual solution
Two things changed this year:
- I found the right meds for my ADHD. Not a miracle cure but I do feel less overwhelmed
- I left a job that was a terrible fit for me (or anyone tbh) and found a much better one.
What’s the point of this post, what’s the epiphany? Well it just occurred to me that I spent a full two years of my life fixating on the wrong issue.
The cause of the problem was a lack of bandwidth, resolve, energy, fuel. If everybody in the world gets through their day running on mental juice, well us ADHD people have to use 80% of that juice just having an ADHD brain. We have to shepherd thousands of unnecessary thoughts around in our brain just to do something simple like make a cup of coffee or cross the road. It’s like running a car with a massive hole in the gas tank. Other cars can run just fine but we run out of juice much sooner because most of it has gone out the adhd hole.
The solution is maximising the juice, and minimising what it gets used on, so you have enough for yourself to feel like you can handle things. I was like a chef in a restaurant kitchen that didn’t have any food in the fridge. No wonder I felt panicked all the time. If you were a chef in a kitchen full of food, you could get the most complex order but still feel ok about solving it because there’s food available in the stores to do it.
Well the food in my case was resolve. Mental energy.
It’s easier said than done to cultivate more of this, but with hindsight, I was working a horribly stressful job that was using up all my measly portion of mental energy each day. At the time I knew it was bad but I had no idea that it was dominating my entire life this way. Instead I thought I had to find a new place to live, have a 5 year plan, sort out my finances, possibly even be in a different relationship. None of those things were urgent or catastrophically important. It turns out finding a job that didn’t use up every last drop of my mental reserve was actually the urgent thing.
I wrote this post because even though there are some great videos out there on recovery from overwhelm etc., I watched them and it still didn’t dawn on me. I thought I could improve my resolve by having a day off, or a hot bath. But it needed much more drastic action including being on the right meds and changing jobs and working schedule. I was just being asked to do way too many things that were hard for me.
The How To ADHD channel has a great video on “the wall of awful” and the downsides of forcing yourself through it. I was forcing myself through for months on end. I had individual walls of awful for several things each day: early work meetings even though adhd sleep is terrible, constant task switching that destroyed my brain, being micromanaged which took away all dopamine from autonomy or sense of accomplishment, long unneccessary video calls where I was forced to keep the camera on and couldn’t fidget or even doodle/“take notes”.
It seems silly now, but those things are gone and all of a sudden I feel ok about my future. The to do list items will get done when they get done. Some of them might never get done or not even belong on the list and that’s ok.
I feel like this has been quite rambly but I hope it’s helpful to someone. I wish someone had shook me months or even years ago and said, you need to patch up the hole in your gas tank first before you start panicking about driving cross country.
Well done if you got to the end!
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2023.03.26 12:35 ThrowRAaakin Have I reacted wrong when my girlfriend (20F) and my friends (21M, 20F) got into an argument ? What should I do the repair the damage ?
So there were three days where we went on a short holiday with one of my friend, his girlfriend and my girlfriend. They had an argument, I did not fully take one's side and now it's getting worse.
The story :
One day, me and my girlfriend wanted to go spend a week-end on holiday, two hours away from where we live. I suggested we invited one of my friends and his girlfriend, who my girlfriend had known at the time and was getting along with. At first, she was reluctant because she had a lot of work and was willing to go only if she was allowed to work. I tried to convince her, and we agreed to go with them.
From now on, here are the names I'll use (not real names) : my (20) gf is Gabrielle, 20, and we've been together for a year and a half. My friend is Josh, 21, and I've known him for 8 years, and his gf is Hannah, 20, and they've been together for something like 6 months.
The plan was as follows : go get Gabrielle 45 mins away from our home town, get some groceries, then drive to the destination for two hours. Upon arrival, I realized I had the wrong keys, so I had to awkwardly apologize, call my parents to let them know, and go to another apartment for which I had the keys. The next day, we met with my uncle who was also spending a few days near us and had the keys to the first apartment. We headed back to the initial place, spent a day there and got back home.
Here is what went wrong :
First thing, of course, I had forgotten the key, which clearly started things wrong, I know that. Gabrielle was angry because I was not taking action fast enough and not apologizing, since I did not know how to react at first.
After that, we had to cook for dinner, which went fine, we had a drink and headed to bed. The next morning, Gabrielle had to work, but we had just finished eating breakfast and were doing some kid's puzzles for fun. She told me she was not happy about it because she didn't have enough room on the table and it was too noisy. She thought we should have either been more quiet or go do something on our own, since we agreed she had to work. After 30 minutes or so, Josh and Hannah went to their bedroom and I had to do the dishes on my own. When they got back, they helped put about a plate and a fork in place at best, so not much help from them.
During the day, we met with my uncle, and headed to the second apartment. We got our stuff out of the car, set everything up and ate some left-overs for dinner. I don't quite remember what happened during the afternoon, but I know it wasn't that interesting, it was pouring and Gabrielle was working.
In the evening, no one was starting to cook dinner. Gabrielle was hungry and as she finished working, she came in the living room asking why no one was getting dinner ready. Josh and Hannah started cooking, and I cleaned the area, dressed the table, etc.
Dinner was taking way too long to get done (everyone agrees on that), which Gabrielle was not happy about later on. When she came back one hour later, she started handling the cooking since it was too slow. After dinner, everyone headed to bed because of how late it was.
The next morning, I was again doing all the dishes of the previous day alone. At the point, Gabrielle was getting mad because it was not an environment in which she was able to work, and Josh and Hannah were way too chill for her. She needed to have a more stable schedule (not eat super late, not have to play the mom for things to get done, etc). I told her that she had to work and they wanted to relax, and everyone wanted to spend their holiday how they pleased. She had to understand that they wanted to relax, and they had to understand that she had to work.
Josh and Hannah woke up very late, pretty much ate breakfast instead of dinner, and it messed up the entire schedule. At this point, we hadn't gone out at all, didn't check anything out (even though we knew the area pretty well) and Gabrielle was getting fed up. In the afternoon, we had an argument, and she decided she wanted to go back home by train (which would almost take 4 hours). We were planning on leaving at around 5.30pm, and it was 2pm. I told her it was not a good choice, and she told me she was tired of Josh and Hannah not helping around and generally us not being responsible.
We were arguing outside and when we got back to the apartment, Josh and Hannah had not done much to clean the place : they basically packed their own stuff and that's it. They said they were heading outside for a walk since we did the same and came back 20 minutes later.
When they left, Gabrielle was basically raging. She screamed loudly that my friends are assholes, they fucked up the holiday, she didn't want to see them again, she was not going on holiday with them again, etc. I said I understood and agreed that they didn't help much but she didn't have to scream like this. For context : she started screaming when Josh and Hannah left the place, so they heard her for a few seconds while walking down the stairs.
A few minutes after they came back, she packed her bags. She was about to go get the first commute to the nearest station, and Josh asked her why she didn't even say goodbye. She did, said sorry for not saying it and that she was very mad about what they did. I walked with her to her commute and she left.
I got back to the apartment and told Josh and Hannah that she was fed up of all this. Josh said that she had to calm down and asked me how our relationship was going. I said that even I did not know, since she often gets mad (not as hard as she did during the holidays though) and it feels like we do not understand each other. We discussed a bit, cleaned the apartment and headed outside to leave.
At this point, I asked Gabrielle where she was at. She said she and the people around her had missed the train since the doors were closed and no one could open them. I suggested we come pick her up, since she had 4 hours of train to do and we only had 2 hours by car. I asked Josh if he was okay since he was the one driving, he said yes but that he wasn't pleased about it. We picked her up and got back home.
[FAST FORWARD 1 MONTH LATER TO TODAY]
My group of friends are heading out tonight, and Josh said he wasn't feeling like inviting Gabrielle until this was sorted out. He asked me if I wanted to join the message group since Gabrielle wasn't on it. I said yes but that I didn't know what to do at this point. I didn't read the messages and waited for the week-end to talk to Gabrielle about it (she studies in another city and her week was already stressful enough).
Gabrielle is still mad that they made a group without her, which I understand to be honest. I probably shouldn't have joined it. She's saying I shouldn't go out with them because I should be on her side, or that I should bring up the subject if I go out. I told her that I didn't think bringing this up with the group was a good idea, but she's really mad that I did not defend her more.
She has already had a discussion with Josh where they argued. They then had another discussion a few hours later and she said it was somewhat sorted out. She apologized for getting so mad, but he didn't quite apologize for not helping around.
My point of view is that I don't want to fully take one's side. I think she shouldn't have screamed bad stuff about Josh and Hannah, that they should have helped more and we generally should have been better organized. I don't want to sacrifice Gabrielle for my friends, and I don't want to sacrifice my friends for Gabrielle.
She's still mad at me for not being on her side, and according to her, being on her side doesn't mean I must think she was right to be so mad. Pretty much like a kid engaging a fight and the other kid defending himself : taking the second's kid side doesn't mean you think he should have hit back, but I don't see how this resembles our situation.
TL;DR : my girlfriend is mad that I didn't take her side in an argument with my friends. I don't think I should have fully taken either's side and she's mad about it.
What are you guys' opinion ? Should I have been more on her side ? How should I have reacted ? What have I done wrong ? How can I repair the damage ?
submitted by ThrowRAaakin
to relationship_advice [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 12:26 ShadowDragon8685 [Ace is the Only Sane Pirate 13]Doctor Dick Feynman, I presume?
Ace was stunned. She almost felt disassociated from her own scaled hide; mentally she was still processing, even as, somehow, she found herself smoothly walking down the ramp to the navigation console, relieving the human who was at it.
She recovered quickly as she found herself reviewing the controls. They were all laid out, smooth and reasonably intuitively so. It wasn't even that she was entirely unfamiliar with taking command of a capital starship; she had, from time to time, taken the captain's post of the Arcadian Endeavour, to say nothing of the helm, but still, she was gobsmacked that Najia trusted her so readily as to just ask her to take the helm.
She looked the controls over again. The ship seemed ready to sail. "The helm is operative," she said. She was, however, unfamiliar with the ship class; fortunately, her station included a comprehensive overview. As Large vessels went, it was on the small size; the Arcadian Endeavour would handily outgun it; two Large Pulse Turrets, eight Medium Bolt turrets, and, on her stick, 2 'Medium Meson Streams'. She was vaguely familiar with Meson Streams as being the Protectorate's special signature weapon, but she thought that M weapons might be a bit lightweight to be the 'main armament' on an L vessel. "All systems seem to be reporting operational."
Ace looked uncertainly at the human woman standing the gunnery console next to her. She, too, had a slightly uncertain look, but, after a moment's double-checking, nodded firmly. "Gunnery confirms, all stations reporting green, C-Captain," she said, looking back up at Najia, who nodded firmly. "Ace, take us out. Let's track down Boso Ta's mysterious interloper."
Ace nodded firmly, and throttled the Destroyer-class vessel in reverse. The ship accelerated with surprising speed; nothing at all like the ponderous heft of the Empyrean Curs' home. The mammoth headquarters station receded into the distance, and she made a slight hiss to clear her throat. "We are away, Najia. We should begin scanning for this interloper if you wish to locate them." "Right. That's... Actually on this console," Najia recalled after a moment, her hands flying over the console. She'd done this before, a few times, but she still felt like such an imposter standing on the bridge of a ship this large and giving orders, even though she could - and did - order fleets of such ships around. Still, the long-range sensors came up, and in moments a ping found itself. She pushed it to Ace's station. "Let's go see who, or what, is creating such a fuss around here," she said. She felt vaguely self-conscious, running down what was probably some Teladi smugglers with a high-powered transmitter rig in some M freighter with a fast escort frigate.
Ace, meanwhile, was quite enjoying herself. The ship she was testing was spritely, responsive, without having the ponderous over-steer problem the Baku-class M Freighters had. Even the mighty Terran engines couldn't push a ship this large into T-drive immediately, but in regular drive it accelerated and decelrated rapidly. She quickly brought the ship to the appropriate course to intercept the sensor return, and, swooping past the headquarters station on course, activated her Travel drive. As with any large vessel, there was a considerable charge-up period while the ship's engines built power. However, it was rather less considerable than that of most ships in its class. She had time for a glance at the shipyard slips, and noted that a very large ship was under construction, and quite rapidly too - from its lines, it could only be one of old Professor Nakagawa's Nagoya-class Battleships. Ace found that amusing; Najia's people certainly worked fast.
The ship took off with suddenness that surprised her, the pitch of the T-Drive warmup reaching its crescendo. All attention back to the fore, Ace sucked in a sharp breath as they accelerated, rapidly intercepting the interloping signal. It wasn't hiding very well, Ace thought; if indeed it intended to hide at all. She targeted it as soon as it was within range; to the bridge the computer announced "Okinawa: Research Vessel."
Najia groaned audibly, glancing down; there was a transponder with a name. Oberth. "Dick Feynman," she muttered to herself, suddenly feeling a welling-up of outrage. What, she wanted to know, was Dr. Feynman doing in her system, lurking around her anomalies, without so much as dropping by to say hello? Woah girl, Najia thought to herself, taking a half-step back and a deep breath, wondering where that outburst had come from. Then she thought back to all the tiny little microaggressions Professor Feynman had bestowed upon all of his students; to say nothing of his research assistants. She snorted, loudly, as Ace pulled the Koshirae up alongside the Oberth, and she commed it. The skipper's face appeared on-screen.
"Yes; this is the research vessel Oberth. Can we help you?" Najia nodded to him. "Please put me in contact with the commander of your expedition," she said, firmly but politely. "Very well, one moment." The captain passed her through without further comment; he was clearly annoyed with the professor, since he didn't seem to recognize her, but he was still passing a random passer-by - in a destroyer admittedly - straight to the Professor.
Moments later, the professor himself appeared in the comms window, also on the bridge; just as she recalled him from before. "I am Dr. Rick Feynman, Chief Scientist of the Oberth and in charge of Project Genesis," he said, annoyedly and hurriedly. Najia waited for the other shoe to drop. It did so in a few moments, and he gawped openly at her. "Wait, Najia Takio?! Is it really you?" Najia smirked. "In the flesh, Professor." Unsaid, was that he hadn't even tried to contact her. He was either as oblivious as the Maestro of the Empyrean Curs, or he hadn't wanted to contact her. She was actually betting on the former. "Well, I'm glad you made it," he said. "We didn't expect biological matter to have survived this transition."
Najia blinked, and felt disassociated for a moment; she could just about feel the weightlessness of being cast adrift in her suit again. He had expected the transition, and hadn't warned her, or any of the others he had sent out in suits - whose fates she still didn't know? She was on the verge of exploding at him, quite possibly more literally than figuratively, but he continued on speaking blithely. "As I was saying, we are looking into how this station got here. Our research vessel is currently observing anomalies and gravimetric shears in this region."
That's it? That's... It? Najia felt stunned, and she shook her head. She felt on the verge of a schoolgirl explosion of anger, but looked to her side. Marta looked just as furious as she did, but she was maintaining. Selaia, the shipyard temporary master, was standing ramrod-straight, disciplined. Composed, with military bearing. Najia filed that away to ask her about later, but she looked back to the comms panel, and willed herself to the composture that Captain Kevlin had adopted. Be like her, she told herself. The Commander.
"Professor Feynman, I think it's time you told me exactly what Project Genesis is; after all, I almost died for it." There was a blink. He had, at least, the good graces to look somewhat embarrassed. "I'm sorry to inform you that you currently lack the required clearance to access that information, Najia."
Najia had very minimal military training; just the three-week Segaris reserve militia training course that every Pioneer university student got. Between that and the example of Captain Kevlin standing to her side with her feet braced proudly, her face schooled and her arms crossed behind her back as an example, however, Najia managed not to erupt in fury. Below, she saw Ace's tail lash in agitation, but Ace, too, was remaining face-forward, eyes on her controls.
"Is there anything else, Ms. Takio?" Najia considered laying down all the reasons she felt she should be granted clearance to access that information, ranging from the fact that her ships and her production facillities were providing the majority of the Pioneers' construction supplies and she had fantastic trading relations with them, to - again - the fact that she'd almost died for the project - to the fact that, within five minutes, she could have a fleet - a literal fleet of warships training their guns on Oberth.
That last one was, she thought, an argument most compelling. Part of her - a part of her she quickly pushed down - was inclined to simply order the boarding ships in-system to seize the research vessel Oberth by force and have Dr. Feynman dragged before her in irons. That was a sentiment every university student who'd ever had to deal with an insufferable professor would certainly sympathize with. She very much doubted that anyone she knew would even object, but she simply took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.
"In that case, Professor, what are you doing here; what do you need?" She somehow managed to maintain the composure she was projecting, she thought; though if she could involuntarily kill with her eyes over a comm screen, she was sure he'd fall dead with his head vaporized to a stump. Obliviously, or else with such a remarkable degree of awareness that he pretended to be oblivious, Dr. Feynman brightened and said, "we are currently lacking antimatter cells we need to complete our observations. If you can organize a delivery to this vessel, we'll be able to greatly advance our timetable."
Najia nodded, curtly, and cut the comm channel. She let out the seething huff she wasn't aware she had been holding in, and took a step back. "Captain, you have the Conn," she said, quietly. "I have the Conn," Captain Kevlin said, taking the center console as Najia walked to the aft railing of the 'smoke pit,' taking it in her hands and squeezing for a long few moments. "There's a conference room aboard, ma'am, if you need long-range communications capability," the captain said to her, with a glance over her shoulder. "Also, your two personal S-class craft were loaded onto our pads before you arrived. Should you require them." Najia recognized what the Captain was saying to her; she was semi-subtly suggeting that Najia take her anger somewhere the crew couldn't see it. Najia half-seethed at that, but she recognized the wisdom - and nodded. "Thank you, Captain. I do need the comms, in fact. Ace, Marta, with me please."
"I could kill him," Najia said, the moment the door closed behind her. Marta, ahead of her, sat on the edge of the conference table and snorted. The room was essentially a copy of their ships' standardized mess halls, but without the kitchen. "You and me both. Sanctimonious little..." "Why do you not, then," Ace asked, turning a chair around and sitting in it, drawing her feet up to the edge of it, curling her tail around her legs. "He has clearly given you cause for outrage; not mere ire or annoyance, but clear outrage. He is also utterly oblivious to the fact that, whatever you were relative to him when last you met, you are, now, the master of a vast organization and due far more respect - and information - than he provided. The Maestro would likely order his ship siezed, that he himself be seized, respect beaten into him, and then have brought before him in chains to answer the questions he refused to answer before."
Najia paused for a moment, and leaned back on the wall of the conference room, taking a deep breath, huffing and letting it out slowly, hugging herself self-consciously. Less the 'ordering a beating to a prisoner' part, she had considered that very course of action. "Is that what you want me to do, Ace?" Ace let out a soft, hissing trill, and shook her head. "No. That would be... Very out-of-character for you, I think." She blinked at that, unsure why she didn't want to see Najia order that course of action, when it was what her piratical upbringing was telling her that Najia should do - would be within every right to do.
"Yeah, well... I considered it," Najia said, "less the beating part, anyway." "He's keepin' secrets from you. Spook stuff," Marta pointed out. "Considering how you almost died in the name of this Project Genesis, you damn well deserve some answers. Frankly, I wouldn't blame you in the slightest if you did order the ship seized and searched for those answers. And if we took Doc Dick prisoner in the process, well... I mean, I wouldn't, you know, condone it if you happened to say that they shouldn't be too concerned with being gentle when they grabbed him, I don't think I'd raise a fuss about it, either."
Najia broke into a laugh, and then face-palmed, sighing heavily, and grinning. "No. As cathartic as it might be..." She sighed, heavily. "As deeply, deeply cathartic as it might be..." She trailed off, then shook her head vehemently. "No. He is a prick, though." Marta snorted. "No arguments from me there. I can't tell you how many times I daydreamed about force-feeding him his own lectern in class." She smirked at Najia. "And I know you felt the same way."
"Mmmhmm. So, fie." She pushed off from the wall, sat in the chair next to Ace, and pulled up the comms, back to the station, intending to explain the matter to Boso Ta. The Boron's head appeared in hologram above the table. "Ah, Assistant! It appears that they are researching the same anomaly which brought the station over here," Boso Ta said, preempting her. He continued on, quickly, "Most of the gravimetric charge dispersed during that event, but they brought quite an array of equipment to examine the traces. Let us hope that this satisfies their curiosity and leads to their departure." Najia snorted at that. "Don't bet on it. I know this asshole, he's... Well, he's up to something. I'll arrange to deliver him the stuff he wants and get this moving, but, don't get your hopes up." She sighed, and decided to be nicer to Boso Ta, if only because she had been reminded of just how not-nice Dr. Feynman had been to her. "Is there anything else you need, Boso Ta, that we can act on at present?"
"Ah, yes," Boso Ta said, brightly. "We are prepared for teleportation trials to begin. Well, we have already tested them," he admitted, "with nonsapient life forms; your Professor Nakagawa is quite the researcher. He and Station Manager Peterson have quite ably assisted my research here whilst you were off endeavoring in Avarice. We've been waiting to offer you the opportunity to be the first sapient teleportation subject of our revived teleport project."
Najia blinked. "Well..." She paused, and huffed, and the table's comm system chirr-upped. It was Peterson, and Najia added her to the conference call. "Tsukiko, what's this about me being a guinea pig?" Tsukiko let out a huff, interrupted in the middle of something she was about to say; her shoulders slumped, and she grinned, wryly. "Okay, not really a guinea pig," she said. "We've tested it in-system with mice, and dogs. We sedated them first," she said, "and then sent them through un-sedated, too. No ill effects we could find. I hate to say it, but Boso Ta is... Kind of a genius."
Najia held back a snort at that, and Tsukiko smirked at her. "So, it's safe, as near as anyone can tell?" "Oh yes. There's no evidence of any sort of atomic or molecular irregularities in scans of the animals taken on either side of the teleport, and a veterinary specialist who examined the animals before and afterwards indicated there was no sign of any lasting trauma from the experience," Boso Ta interrupted. "I felt that being the first sapient to go through the system would be your due, for the work you've put in to bringing us to the point where it is possible. Najia Takio; first human to use a teleport intentionally... Developed by us, anyway."
Najia snorted at that, and smirked. "I'll think about it. Do we need to retrofit anything?" "Oh, no," Tsukiko said. "Or, rather - and this is actually kind of mind-blowing - the actual teleport hardware itself is... Frankly miniscule. There is a refit needed, but it's already been done; we just started fitting them into the lifts of larger ships and the airlocks of Small-classes."
Najia blinked at that. She hadn't even known about it? "As a standard...?" "Indeed, as a standard option! This would, needless to say, greatly simplify personnel transfer logistics."
Najia laughed at that, and looked at Ace. Ace was stroking her crest, and looked... Thoughtful. Marta looked fascinated. "Shit, Ninja Taco, if you ain't gonna go for it, I will. But what'd you want, Professor Peterson?" Tsukiko laughed, blushing slightly. "Please, Marta, how many times do I have to tell you to just call me Tsukiko? You're harder to break of that habit than Najia was. Anyway, I called because the Golden Flea and the ship Ninja Taco are getting coded comms signals from the Empyrean Curs."
Ace let out a high-pitched trill at that. "Please, you must tunnel the comm from the Flea here with all haste." Tsukiko punched a button on her desk, out of view, and a holographic comms-panel came up in front of Ace. Ace studied it - it looked to Najia like gibberish - for a moment. "This is the recall signal. Maestro wants us back on the Arcadian Endeavour immediately, unless we are presently under surveillance by the authorities." Ace looked back to her. "It looks like the Maestro has his plans aligned and is ready to do something adventuresome."
Najia took in a deep breath, and nodded. "Alright." She squeezed her hand in a fist, and stood up. "We - or, I at least - are going to teleport back to the station. Boso Ta will get his test - and Boso Ta... Good work. Please proceed with teleportation research as far as you can take it." Boso Ta did a somersault in his tank, gleefully, at that request. "Oh, with pleasure, Assistant!" Najia looked at Ace. "Shall we try this teleport thing?" "Yes, let's!" Ace stood, and had a positively gleeful look. "This sounds... Fun."
Najia could only smile at that, and nod. "Right. Have the Flea and 'Chipmunk's' ships brought to the pads," she directed. "Actually, no; send all of my Chipmunk ships ahead; have them dock on the defense platform at the 18B gate, the Endeavor tends to hang out there anyway." She stood. "So... Just... The lift?" "Just the lift," Boso Ta confirmed. "Though, in the very near future, we suspect we'll be able to initiate the teleport from arbitrary locations."
Najia nodded. "Alright. A quick stop before we go." She smiled, heading for the lift.
A scant few minutes later, Najia was in the as-yet-impersonal-and-unfinished ready room, with Captain Kevlin. The two of them eyed one another warily, for a long few moments, and Najia pointed two fingers at her, starting the conversation. "You're not just some shipyard-working spacer," she said. "You stand like you're professional military." "And you stand like you're a free-wheeling, over-inflated sorority sister who lucked out and won the lottery," Kevlin shot back at her, smirking.
Najia blinked. She blinked again. Then she laughed, hard, curling her arm around her belly, the other hand reaching out to rest on the hull next to the window. When she looked up, she grinned. "Okay, now I know you're not a spy. No spy with a brain in their head would say something that's as likely to get them fired as anything else." Selaia smirked at her. "Unless I'm a very good spy who's compiled a massive psych profile on you."
"Which I strongly doubt," Najia shot back. "But you're also not afraid of being fired." Selaia shrugged. "No, I'm not. Working in your shipyard is nice, yes; probably the second-best job I've ever had, but I'm not going to kiss your ass and be a yes-woman. I won't do that for anyone."
Najia straightened up, and peered into Selaia's eyes. They were, not hostile, but hard with resolve. She smirked slightly, and nodded. "Good. I don't like yes-women, they fuck things up. So, you think I'm, what -" "An irresponsible, idealistic child who managed to, through luck and probably some skill, wind up controlling a growing paramilitary business empire," Selaia shot back, walking around her, eyeing her up. Najia snorted at that. "Child? Seriously?"
"You're not a veteran. You're not a politician. You're not a businesswoman. You might be doing a credible job pretending to be those latter two, but you're a university student who got lucky, and is good at putting on faces." Najia bristled, but shoved it down; the Argon-born starship operator was abrasively blunt... But she was airing doubts Najia herself had. "Harsh," Najia said. "But... Not entirely untrue. So, why are you still here, if you don't like me?" There was a long, quiet moment. "I didn't say I didn't like you," Selaia said, softly. "But you are all of those things." She smirked.
"And you like that, then?" Najia smirked back. "What got you discharged, presumably dishonorably, from the Argon navy? Your big mouth that can't seem to shut up? Called a superior out on some bullshit that you couldn't stand to let stand?" "You'd think that, but no; fraternization." Selaia met her gaze, levelly. "Though I was on the thinnest of ice before that for, as you say, speaking my mind." She walked around Najia, appraising her. "Are you planning to sack me? Should I grab my go bag and begone?" Laughing, Najia shook her head. "No! I was actually going to ask if you wanted the ship for real, not just for the trials."
That, at least, took Kevlin aback for a moment. She walked away, paused, turned. Looked Najia up and down again, slowly. Najia felt self-conscious about it, raising her eyebrow, as the other woman crossed her arms over her chest. "Do I have to get on my knees for the job?" Najia blinked at that. It struck her out of left field, and she rocked back on her heels. "I - I'm sorry... What?" "Do you expect me to put out - sexually - for the position," Selaia repeated, slowly, her voice... Almost unnervingly neutral; uncannily, composedly so. Najia gawped at her for a long few moments, her mouth hanging open. Closed. Open. Closed. She reached up and rubbed her face with her hands for a few moments. "I... I'm sorry, I - what kind of - where did you - what gave you..." She took a deep breath. "No. Emphatically no. What on or off Earth gave you that idea?"
A few moments that seemed like almost an eternity passed, then Selaia shrugged, and seemed to shrink in a bit, relaxing. "Frankly? You have a reputation as a party girl that goes back to Segaris and has followed you here what with all the Segaris Pioneers you're hiring away, preferentially beginning with your old circle of school pals - with whom you're pretty obviously in a, what did the Segaris call it, 'polycule' with. Your politics can only be described as 'liberal to an extreme,' given the way you run your stations domestically, and I overheard a snippet of one of your small craft pilots describing, very bluntly, you going down on her in the cockpit, after offering her the job. She was discussing this with the captain of Fenrir, who compared notes with her. I took that to infer that you liked to be sexual with those captains you personally offered a job to."
Najia flushed red, her jaw dropping, and looked out the window again, at the gas giant hanging in the distance. She groaned-and-laughed at the same time. "Fatimah and Xiaowen... I am going to scold them for gossiping somewhere public," she said, laughing so hard it brought tears to her eyes, and rubbed them out of her eyes. Then she heaved a heavy sigh. "And that didn't chase you away?" "I didn't expect I'd ever run into you personally," the shipyard expert said, "and frankly, given the dizzying breadth of corruption a kid with suddenly-unlimited power could get up to, being a little skeevy with grown adults is on the low end." Najia face-palmed again, harder. "Alright, look," she said, turning around. "Fatimah, Xiaowen and I are old friends from Segaris University. Yes, we're a thing, a big, messy, multi-tentacular thing that we're not ashamed of, but you've rather taken the wrong end of the stick there. It was roleplay, what they were discussing, pure and simple. A few moments of kink snatched from the jaws of some really messy, pressy schedules, between attempts to make the galaxy an overall better place and setbacks. Yes, I pretended to abuse my position and money to make them, for want of another word, perform to keep their jobs. And later, Fatimah turned that exact position around on me, while Xiaowen tied me up and -"
"Enough," Selaia said, laughing; finally her composure had broken, and she'd flushed, chuckling and holding her hand up. "Okay, I get it... I apologize, miss Takio. Clearly, I was badly mistaken." "... Najia, please," Najia said, blushing and grinning. "Since you already know me so well anyway."
Selaia snorted at her, and smiled, wryly, nodding. Najia met her eyes, for a long few moments. "So, that fraternization that got you kicked out of the Argon military..." "When you're a military intelligence lieutenant and a famous, well-liked starship captain insinuates that your career might stall out by standing on your feet but might go places on your knees, you weigh your options," Selaia said, bluntly. She pushed off the desk, and pushed past Najia, staring out the window herself. "So I started delivering reports from under his desk instead of in front of it. I hated myself a little, at first... Then he started telling me to sit up on his desk after. That was a little..." She huffed. "I dunno. Then his wife found out."
Najia winced. "Oh, damn. And monogamy is a big thing in Argon space, I take it?" "Well, yes, but she didn't blow up quite like you're expecting. She blew up at him all right - for not telling her and sharing me with her immediately. I got caught by my immediate superior - the one who didn't like my mouth - going to her home, who tried to use the thing to bring me, the captain and his wife - a defense industrial contractor - down. They had political connections, and when all was said and done, I basically took the fall for everything. The Lt.C who found out I was basically being half-bribed, half-blackmailed into being a kinky, connected couple's toy got to quietly resign, the captain got promoted to commodore, and I got the option to take an administrative discharge with my commission revoked for conduct unbecoming, or get totally shafted at a court martial and take the fall for everything, doing prison time."
Najia blinked at that, and winced. "That's... That's..." "If you give me a pity look, I swear I will punch you in the loins and tell you to take your offer and shove it." Proper fire glared in the skipper's eyes as she turned to look at Najia. Najia stepped back, her jaw half-dropping, and then she shook her head, laughing. "No - no! I was saying, 'that's a shit sandwich.'"
Selaia snorted roughly at her, and turned back to look out the window. "Yeah... Yeah, it was. Anyway, that was then, then I wound up here. I signed on a freighter to forget my past, made port here, decided to take a job in the shipyard because it paid better than the freighter, was work I could do, and the habs here are wonderful. Then I found myself in front of you, and, well... Sorry, for thinking you might be kind of a hump."
Najia snorted. "But not so much of a hump that it was an automatic deal-breaker, huh?" She scratched her head, craning to look up at the Oberth hanging 'above' them. "Yes... No... Maybe? I don't honestly know what I was going to say if you said yes," the Argon woman admitted. "At first, when I first... When I found the whole 'prostitution is legal and regulated' here thing, I was skeeved out. I tried to leave, but, there weren't actually any ships that would take me that day. Then I wound up actually finding out that one of my coworkers - someone I was kind of chummy with - was turning tricks on the side, and... Well, we had a chat about it. He was from Segaris, and thought it was no big deal. And, well... I... Kind of... Had whored myself. I didn't feel good about it then. I still don't, but... I was... Well, willing, I suppose, to at least see if the offer you made, the way you made it, made me feel greasy about it like it did back then, or if it was... I don't know; open? Honest?"
"Well, I'm glad to have pleasantly surprised you - though I am totally going to kill Fatimah and Xiaowen for gossiping in public," Najia muttered without sincere heat, continuing "and no... I'm really not going to demand that someone put out for a job. You just... Impressed me with what I saw, in the admittedly very brief time that I've known you, but hey, I'm the kind of impulsive idiot who takes a leap of faith based on her gut instinct."
"Then, in that case..." Selaia turned to her, and smirked. "I'll skipper this ship for you for now, but I want something bigger when it's available. And not assigned to a reaction force or routine escort or defense duty or something." Najia snorted again, and laughed. She took a step back, and looked Selaia up and down again, smirking and grinning. The formerly-Argon military intelligence woman didn't look particularly extraordinary, but she shifted to stand at 'parade rest,' arms folding behind her back, eyes piercing and patient. "Setting terms, huh?" Najia smirked. She looked like she was considering it, but Selaia had impressed her - and she was also the first hire she'd had who had a formal military background outside the Segaris Pioneers. That perspective could be useful. She crossed her arms. "It just so happens I'm planning to build more ships," she said. "Some of them will be quite large." She extended her hand to Selaia, who took and shook it, firmly. "You wouldn't happen to be planning to construct a Centaur II Battleship, would you?" Selaia asked, grinning at her. Najia laughed. "That depends; if you have the full plans for a Centaur II* in your back pocket, I'll make sure you get the first one out of the yard."
Laughing now, the other woman reached back with her free hand, and dramatically patted one of her rear pockets. "Damn, I appear to have left those plans in my other trousers." She let go, grinning and shaking her head, sighing. "Sorry, again, for... You know." Najia shook her head. "Jeeze, are you ever gonna stop beating yourself up for it?" She shook her head, laughing exasperatedly. "I don't know," the Captain answered bluntly, laughing and wryly face-palming. "I thought for sure that you were either going to say yes, or you'd fire me on the spot for even asking. And now I'm asking myself, do I even deserve the post?"
"For, what? Being willing to entertain the idea?" Najia shook her head, and, taking a bit of a risk, reached out and laid her hand heavily on Captain Kevlin's shoulder, squeezing it. "It's not like I'm running a state military with rules against fraternization or anything. What I care about is; can you do it, and are you someone whose general... Mmmmmh... It's not exactly right to say 'someone whose morals I like,' so much as..." Najia trailed off for a moment; Ace's morals were certainly questionable, even by her standards - in some cases especially by her standards - but she had bonded with her, trusted her. "Someone I feel I can trust to continue to be someone whose actions I like. If you wanna be woo-woo about it, someone whose spirit I like. And you? I have a good feeling about you; I've been wrong before, but... Not often."
Selaia snorted at her, looking at her, then looking back to the window. "And you'd trust someone who was willing to go down on you to get the post?" "As its own qualification, no. But it doesn't make me distrust you," Najia said. "Especially with how you were prepared to evaluate how a 'yes' answer made you feel and then tell me to take that offer and shove it. So, we good? You want to skipper a ship for me?" "Just that simply? No... Strings attached?"
Najia laughed, and turned, leaning against the windowsill and looking at the other woman's head in profile, smirking. "Do you want strings attached?" Selaia started at the question, turning to look at her. She worked her mouth a few times, but couldn't seem to find words; she did, however, flush warmly, looking somewhat guilty, and swallowed. "Okay, look; you're conflicted, obviously." Najia took the professional spacer's hand, squeezing it carefully. "Like I said, the job is yours if you say yes, no strings attached. Completely separately from that, if you are interested in, you know, the idea of getting to know me more thoroughly, that's, you know, a matter we can bring up later. And if you're not, then I'm not going to mention it again."
Flushing, Selaia turned away from her, but kept her hands in hers; squeezing Najia's hand, tightly. "This is so fucking unprofessional of me to even be considering," she huffed. "Sure it is. And you impressed me by being able to put on and take off the 'Professional Selaia' almost instantly. I bet you could summon 'Captain Kevlin' back in a moment."
Selaia blinked at her, turning her head to look at her. She drew her hand back, took a deep breath, and faced the window again. Folded her arms behind her back, and executed a crisp right-face, her face schooled into stern impassivity. Her eyes were mirthful, but the rest was the very picture of the woman Najia had seen standing by at attention while she indulged herself in helming the ship personally. "Just like that," Najia said, grinning brightly. Her grin softened Selaia's demeanor, and she smiled in turn. "You're a deep well of passion who can put on 'military bearing' in a moment. And you're not a yes-woman. That's what I need."
Working her jaw slightly, Selaia relaxed, chuckling and sighing; she flushed again, and sighed. "Thank you," she said. "For the opportunity; for not getting pissed at me, for... Well, for being understanding, and tolerating me being an aggro neurotic about it when things didn't go the ways I'd seen them going." "It's fine," Najia assured her, holding her hands up, placatingly, and to her surprise, Selaia took them, squeezing. "I, um... I..." Flushing and looking away, Selaia swallowed. "Is that offer going to be on the table if I need to sleep on it?"
Najia laughed, grinning and shaking her head. "Oh, you're amazing. Yes, absolutely; sleep on it. Hell, I have to get going; places to go, pirate clans to infiltrate. Fun stuff! Speaking of which, please make the ship combat-ready and take it to the Windfall/Eighteen B hardpoint to dock. I'm not saying I expect anything to go down, but..."
"Understood." Selaia looked back up; she remained flushed, but smiled. "That, I can do." She squeezed Najia's hands, and Najia squeezed back, then let go. She pivoted on her heel, slipping out of the Ready Room and headed for the lift; Ace and Marta had disembarked said left and were standing to the side of the corridor, with Marta telling Ace an anecdote from when they were still young class-taking students at Segaris U. "Well that took longer than expected," Marta said. "Everything good?" "Everything's good," Najia said. "And we have a new captain. I figured she should keep Koshirae for now. So, how does this lift-teleporter work?"
"Like this," Ace said, stepping into the lift. She pressed a button, and Najia felt a strange, yet familiar sensation start to take hold; like the feeling she got just before the headquarters had transported itself. Like falling in all directions at once; then, with a bright flash, she found herself in another lift. Blinking, Najia felt herself up for a few moments, then strode out; they were on one of the landing pads at the headquarters, and standing above them was the Golden Flea. Her jaw dropped. "That... That... Was both incredible, and..." "Somehow underwhelming," Ace concluded with her. "It was not wholly without fanfare, yet somehow, I anticipated... More."
Najia nodded. "Right. So, how should we do this?" She looked to Ace, who smiled at her. "We stagger the arrival of Chipmunk's ships and mine in the vicinity of the Arcadian Endeavour, as though we had scattered, lain low, and were returning from somewhat different places." Najia nodded. "Right. And, I wonder... Would it be possible to fit the Flea with a teleporter?"
"Indeed it would," Ace agreed. "I asked Boso Ta if this was possible and he said it was very simple. He delivered the equipment to the Flea before I had finished asking, in fact, though I do not think I will be able to install it and fly home simultaneously." Najia grinned at Ace, and Ace grinned back at her, adding, "but, if you wished to fly back with me, one of us could tinker, while the other flies."
Najia grinned at Ace, and looked back to Marta. "That sounds good to me. Would you please take the Jackdaw and -" "Head on ahead while the two of you fiddle with Ace's ship and snuggle up naked while the ship is on autopilot?" Marta asked back, smirking. Najia flushed, glancing around; there was nobody within earshot. "Mmmm-hmmmm. You ain't foolin' noone, sister." Marta grasped Najia, pulled her close, and kissed her. Najia felt herself melt into the grasp, kissing back instinctually, embracing her oldest friend and turning her head to meet the kiss. Then it ended, Marta pulled back, and stepped back, looking down at Ace with her hands on her hips.
Ace blinked, peering up at the far-taller, stronger human. For a moment, she was concerned she would be threatened again, then she sucked in a sharp breath as Marta reached under her arms, grasped her chest, and simply lifted her to eye-level, then hugged her tightly. Ace let the breath out slowly, tentatively returning the embrace, and asked, "I... thought you distrusted me," she commented. "I did," Marta said, bluntly. "But Najia, apparently, took a chance on you, and figures you're alright. She's been right about that kind of thing a lot more often than I have." Marta squeezed her, and Ace sucked in a breath in alarm; the human could probably squeeze her so strongly that she passed out, yet she didn't squeeze so hard she hurt. It rather felt like being in Najia's arms, in fact. "So, I'm guessing you're one of us now. That ain't gonna be a problem with, you know, the whole pirate clan, is it?"
There it was; the proverbial shoe. Najia swallowed, glad that Ace couldn't see. She had been studiously not raising that point. "It will not be, provided... Provided I am not asked to betray the Curs. Membership in a pirate clan is... Voluntary, for the most part," Ace said. "I will not betray them." She looked back at Najia. "And, I think, neither will you." "But you are willing to leave them... For us?"
"For you," Ace said, reaching out with her tail, wrapping it around Najia's arm. "And, perhaps, the rest of you, in time," she added, looking at Marta, trilling softly. "But I will have to see the Maestro's big scheme through." "Family. I get that," Marta opined, setting Ace down. "Y'all fly safe. We'll filter in like a disorganized rabble."
Ace nodded, and turned to board the Flea. "What took you so long, anyway?" "Oh geeze." Najia followed the Teladi pilot. "It's a long story."
submitted by ShadowDragon8685
to X4Foundations [link] [comments]
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submitted by FLASHDEEN
to forex_token_official [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 12:17 AnotherTAA123 I think this person is into me, but they're poly and I'm not
Three months ago, we went on a date, I asked if they were okay dating someone mono and they said no. They said they're waiting on job opportunities and were willing to leave the state if they got and saw this as an opportunity to explore and try poly. They even had someone in mind already. We ended off on pretty good terms and we said we would be friends. Honestly got super duper stressed out from life and I just couldn't handle trying to keep a friend that I genuinely wanted to date. At the time they mentioned something about a drawing group that I was really interested in, and they told me that they'll let me know when the drawing group next meets up. We slowly stopped talking, more like I kinda played cold to try to make them lose interest in me.
Three months later, they invited me to the art group drawing session and I ended up going. I know asshole thing to do, but I decided to go. They tried to hug me as soon as I got in, and I kindly declined on the account that I was really sweaty but told them they could later. They seemed super excited to see me. There was a really talkative guy talking to them so I kinda ended up talking to everyone else. When we started drawing, I offered the room that I'd draw their OC because all I did was ever draw mine. The person that invited me told me that they'll draw mine in return. I told them that they didn't need to. (My OC is ugly as hell and a pain in the ass to draw). But they ended up drawing my OC like for the entire night, (two-three hours) multiple small sketches in their sketchbook while I worked on a really time consuming painting of their character. They liked some of my paintings on twitter, and I did the same. They sent me a message and I responded a few times till I stopped. I didn't realize they sent me a gif at the end. (For references 99% of the time artists do this, and usually don't send a message from my experience.)
I ended up trying to leave around 12. And they announced that they'll follow suit. Which was interesting, because they said they'll leave around 1 earlier. They said to me they wanted to leave with me, but realized that they needed a few minutes to gather their things. They told me I could go if I needed to. I told them I'd wait and started gathering my stuff.
When we got outside they asked me if we were going in opposite directions. When I said yes, they looked hesitant as if they wanted to say something more. I told them I'd at least walk them to the train station. I noticed they were very close to me and stuff as we walked but not necessarily flirty in conversation. They seemed potentially a bit nervous and giddy, like super smiley. They hadn't mentioned that they were seeing anyone romantically, but did mention that they were going to a concert the next day with a friend. I'm not sure if they were gonna leave the state still, but they were looking for a new place to move to. When we got to the train station we hugged. As we said our goodbyes, I could've swore they opened their mouth to say something but instead left.
I feel like they're still into me. But honestly I'm just not interested in poly. I tried it, and when my partner at the time said they just got done screwing someone else through text, my heart sank and I broke up with them that weekend. (We both talked about it beforehand so it was with consent). I just have issues with it personally. Not sure what to do. I am still really interested in them and I remember how absolutely enamored I was when I saw them for the first time in person. I'm not sure how to handle this if they tell me they were still interested in me. I feel like I'd make them feel bad if they went monogamous for me.
submitted by AnotherTAA123
to offmychest [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 12:12 Emotional_Teacher712 AITA for telling my mom and her husband they had no right to touch my locket?
BG on the locket. When I was 5 my dad bought me a locket with pictures of him, my mom, my sister and brother (both older). When I was 7 my dad and sister died in a car accident. My locket became something so treasured I wore it all the time and didn't care if it was a formal event or not.
When I was 8 my mom remarried. Mom's husband is Jeff. Jeff had a 1 year old called Nathan whose mom was not in the picture. Mom and Jeff than had two daughters together pretty quickly. My locket was something they all knew about because they'd see me wear it. Mom asked me a couple of times to add Jeff, Nathan and the girls and I told her I didn't want to. So when I was 16 mom and Jeff bought me a new locket with their photos in it. I never wore it put I put it in a jewelry box I own. There were some comments and tensions that I never wore the new one. My half sisters were upset about me not changing which one I wore all the time. I explained why the original was special and they told me the new one was more special because it included them. My mom was annoyed at me for how I handled it and Jeff bitched at me for not appreciating what they did for me.
I'm 19 now and I live in a small apartment. My brother lives with his girlfriend. A couple of weeks ago we stayed at my brother's house and when I woke up that morning, my locket had been moved (I don't wear it to bed in case it breaks). Went about my day and that weekend. When I got home a couple of days later I wanted to look at the photos inside and noticed they'd taken out my dad's photo and tried to squeeze in Jeff, Nathan and the girls. I was angry. I called mom and asked her if she'd seen my locket and she told me I drove them to do what they did because I was selfish and inconsiderate and broke their hearts for the last three years by showing which locket I favored and which family I favored as well. She hung up on me.
I tried to calm down went over to their house (mom and Jeff's) and I told them they had no right to touch my locket. Jeff told me they had every right to show a more accurate representation of my family and that I was hurting Nathan and the girls by wearing something that didn't include them when I had something that did. I lost it. I told them they did not have that right and they do not get to tell me who I carry around in my locket or not. I told him he would never be deserving of a spot, told mom she had lost her spot and then I left saying they needed to stay the hell away from me.
My brother couldn't believe they did it. Sided with me. Told mom to accept we didn't feel the way she wanted us to feel. Mom and Jeff said I was an asshole. Mom said since dad bought it while they were married she also bought it and had every right to interfere with it.
ETA: Just wanted to add that my original locket is set up where you can add little sections to it to add more photos. I just never chose to do that because I wanted it for the people I always considered my core family (or the people I was closest to). Part of me wants to remove mom now since this happened.
submitted by Emotional_Teacher712
to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 12:06 polyaddictia Should I handle a toxic, unwelcoming work environment/coworker diplomatically with my SM as a mediator, or just quit (WARNING: LONG READ)
I’ve been working with Sherwin-Williams since September 2022. I got hired at the same time as a worker who will be henceforth be named as “Problematic Co-Worker” or “PC”.
I want to preface this by saying that I am not a confrontational person at all. I try and get along with every person I work with at every job. I am not the most extroverted person, but I think if you asked my previous co-workers at my old jobs they would say I am a chill enough guy who tries to stay out of drama. I was training at two other stores until I was transferred into a new store that opened in November 2022. It was at this store that I met my main group of co-workers I would be working with for the foreseeable future. I am on good terms with both of my managers, and one other co-worker, since I worked with him at another store beforehand.
This is also where I would began working with Problematic Co-worker. I do not think PC is a bad person, but frankly, she can be very rude and passive aggressive. It’s like she has had a chip on her shoulder against me for some reason since the beginning. The only reason I can think of is one time I saw a phone on a shelf unattended in the warehouse while I was stocking items. I looked at it to see if I recognized who’s it was, and I didn’t, so I left it alone, thinking whoever left it there left it in that spot for a reason. However, the next day it was told to me by PC that it was her phone and it was “fine” and that “it just got cracked”in a rather upset tone. I understand being upset over this, but I simply did not think it was my place to mess with anyone else’s phone, especially when they may have put it there on purpose.
Over the next few months working at this store and with PC, despite my efforts to be non-confrontational, and polite, I have still invoked her ire. I will admit, I have made some dumb mistakes in regards to matches, not understanding some POS functions, and handling some customer service situations. And believe me, I truly feel guilty for being dumb. However, PC will handle these situations by looking down on me like I’m a complete idiot. It’s demoralizing, to say the least. However, despite the harsh lessons, I believe I’ve learned a lot working at SW and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m really enjoying my job and getting satisfaction out of helping customers.
All that said, PC continues to be rude to me over almost anything and everything. I do not talk back to her or get into any verbal altercations. I thought we were making some progress by working Saturday’s together alone (she’s the third key) and having some moments of relatability and amicability. However, a few weeks ago, I hit my head hard enough to draw blood across my brow. I felt very woozy and sleepy for a couple of days due to the concussion. When I had a bit of a communication misunderstanding with a customer on whether they wanted a match or “more of this paint” (they brought a half used five gallon in) and said customer had to clarify what he actually wanted, PC pulled me aside and told me “you need to wake the fuck up”.
As it turns out, a doctor’s visit did confirm I was experiencing post concussive syndrome, one symptom being excessive sleepiness. After I came home from that shift I passed out for a solid 14 hours.
I had become used to dealing with this behavior from PC as part of her temperament. Until a couple days ago, the toxicity reached its peak. I was dollying a three stack of fives on truck day. While unteething the stack, the top two tipped over. I panicked, thinking I caused a spill or leak. Thankfully, the fives were not compromised. No paint was spilt. It happens.
I guess PC saw or heard this. I quickly find myself in a catch-22, damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. She begins to grill me over this. If I say yes, I did tip a couple of fives over, my head gets chewed off before I can even explain myself. If I lie and say no, she will see right through my BS and get even more ammo to use against me. I feel like an immoral asshole, but since I felt like I fucked either way, I maintained my innocence.
We tried to avoid each other after this SNAFU. I took an order over the phone for a contractor. 16 gallons in total IIRC. I put in the order, tint it and shake it all by myself, set it aside, and get back to work. Contractor arrives. Now here’s the pettiness that really just made me wanna quit on the spot. PC insists on not only billing him out, but rolling out his order to his truck, in the typical passive aggressive manner. It’s at this point, 10 minutes left in my shift, that I decide to just quit. I clock out, explain to my very kind and understanding SM that I’m quitting because I can’t work in a toxic unwelcoming environment anymore. I believe my SM says she understands (she probably got both sides of the story), and lets me leave for the day.
I know I am not wholly innocent here, I definitely fucked up a few times. But I simply can’t handle working with someone that hates my guts and makes me feel unwelcome working at this store, despite my efforts to be a better worker. When I checked my schedule and saw that I was supposed to work this Saturday with just me and PC, open to close, I decided I’d rather de-escalate by calling my manage and explaining that I wasn’t showing up and I would be emailing her a formal notice of resignation.
After a day of clearing my head off and some deliberation, I’ve considered taking to my manager again, and organizing a sit down with Problematic Coworker so we can reconcile our disagreements, agree to a truce, and hopefully work together to create a more positive workplace environment, settled with diplomacy and mutual respect. Any advice on how to handle this, or should I just up and quit for better employment opportunities?
submitted by polyaddictia
to sherwinwilliams [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 11:56 wolfey_banjo Suggestions for hosting to two clients
I'm looking to host my PC to two separate clients outside of my network and I'm wondering if there are any good setups or things I should look out for. I'm only focused in gaming purposes, where I could essentially stream my game to the two clients who could play simultaneously with me in couch-coop games.
I tried this out in the past, with my PC hooked up by ethernet streaming to two CCwGTVs, but I ran into a few issues. Both clients on the CCwGTVs had major input lag, frame stuttering, and audio quickly cutting out. I was only trying to stream 1080p video at 30 fps, which I assumed my PC specs could handle.
I currently have an NVIDIA RTX 3060 with 16GB of RAM, and my internet is 300 mbps download and 11 mbps upload.
What are some things I could do to make streaming better? Are there certain settings in either the host or client Parsec apps that I should change? Could I improve streaming if I increase my RAM on my PC? My goal is to get a fairly consistent stream to both clients at 1080p/30fps, but I'm willing to go down to 720p/30fps.
submitted by wolfey_banjo
to ParsecGaming [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 11:54 FauneSumo4591 Some of my Unpopular Crash Opinions.
- Crash Bandicoot 1 is the strongest game in the trilogy (at least the original), mostly because of it's difficulty and focus on platforming.
- Crash Bandicoot 3 is the weakest of the trilogy (still a solid platformer, but i don't like it as much as 2 or 1). I don't really like the vehicles all much (especially the bike & underwater levels), they should've focused on the platforming... and because of that i don't like TWoC (the vehicles are much more boring and tedious there, except the atlasphere).
- Quantum Masks > Power-Ups. Among the Power-Ups we've got in CB3 and TWoC, i only like the double jump as it opens more for the gameplay. There was some power-ups that were busted like the Death Tornado Spin and the Wumpa Launcher, to the point it made the difficulty rather redundant, and some that have no reason to exist like the Super Belly Flop & Sneaking Shoes... i prefer how CB4 limits the usage of the Quantum Masks, to avoid breaking the balancing with the level design. From now on, special abilities should be handled like the Quantum Masks i think. Otherwise, you have to design your levels with the Power-Ups in mind to the point of making them not feel like you're breezing through the level design (like the Future Tense level, from example).
- The Titans duology (CoTT/CMoM) are the only PS2 Crash games that are worth a damn.
- CB4's art style is the best one yet. While i think NST & NF are great remakes, i don't really think making the original PS1 art style look more realistic (which is what NST & NF did) was a great idea as it resulted in some of the characters looking rather uncanny or not as good as they could've been such as N. Tropy or N. Gin for example...
- I prefer the Alt. Tawna over the original one. The original Tawna barely appeared after CB1, until Crash Boom Bang (we ain't gonna talk about that one), and she had the same amount of personality as a wall until CTR2019. The Alt. Tawna feels and looks much cooler in my eyes and she's also nice to play as in CB4.
- The Alt. Tawna should straight up replace Crunch as the 3rd bandicoot member, i think. If the devs plan on reintroducing Crunch, they should keep him on the evil side. Maybe they could overhaul the Elemental Masks and unleash their potential?
- I unironically like hearing Crash Bandicoot talking... yeah (like the endings of CoTT/IAT). I quite like Crash a bit in the Skylanders show, to be fair.
- I think Crash Tag Team Racing is the worst game in the entire series (worse than Boom Bang i'd say), period.
submitted by FauneSumo4591
to crashbandicoot [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 11:45 wavy-dingo There are next-gen chemical weapons that causes deep depression and anxiety
For the most part, when someone poisons someone else, they want revenge or to stop them from doing something. If that poison kills them, there is a body and an investigation could take place. If that person willingly commits suicide themselves, the investigation will look elsewhere at causes unrelated to a poison.
Depression brings about the same effect, but without the suspicion. In fact, police really don't care about crimes that don't involve someone being dead since they can barely handle those crimes. At an event for a cause that people want to stop, you could potentially poison everyone with some kind of depression inducing drug, and nobody would even consider the actual cause. People rarely want to share with their friend and/or work groups that they are struggling with their mental health.
Keep in mind, this is not regular depression, but a deep depression that essentially stops someone in their tracks. Struggling to get out of bed and care for themselves. Science has studied the chemical causes of depression to treat it, but that same research could be harnessed to create new drugs to destroy people. They wouldn't write that article or continue their research. They wouldn't keep working. It would all cease, and all without a single investigation into it.
All of the journalists that killed themselves, they may have been targeted by this next-gen chemical weapon. Iris Chang and Gary Webb are two popular journalists fighting for good causes whose lives ended shortly due to suicide.
What could society even do to stop these type of weapons since they could be impossible to detect?
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2023.03.26 11:36 VossWasser CMV: Downvoting is not constructive in any way, but commenting over the disagreement is
There’s nothing more passive aggressive than downvoting a post or comment on Reddit because you disagree with them on something, but then never saying anything about why you disagree. It’s like, giving someone a dirty look and then walking away. What good does that do? I propose a new system instead:
Every time someone downvotes a post or a comment, then they are forced, by the software of the app, to submit a response for why they disagree
This solves two issues:
- Most people will find that it just isn’t worth being angry about things that aren’t all that important.
- For the people that do care, or for the disagreements that do matter, it encourages debate and truth-seeking.
There is nothing “truth-seeking” about a bunch of down-facing arrows, but by encouraging healthy debate, we can make Reddit a better site for everyone.
Edit: Rebuttal to Comments The downvote system is junk removal
I would agree with you, but by natural human inclination, we downvote things that we personally disagree with even if it does contribute to the debate.
Downvoting is a privilege that was given to everyone on basically every social media site, however, we’ve abused it greatly, and there’s no way of fixing it besides implementing the system I’ve suggested.
Junk is ultimately up to the moderators to deal with.
The moderators are the janitors of the restaurant, and we the reddit’r’s are the one’s who order from the restaurant, so to speak. If there’s a mess that needs cleaning, the the janitors handle it. It’s not worth your time as the customer. People just use cliches while debating
I think this is actually a symptom of downvoting, and social media in general: we’ve lost the ability and patience to debate a topic thoroughly. Instead, we just downvote.
By encouraging people to debate, we’ll come to see each other eye-to-eye, even if we disagree. This is more a matter of learning how to properly debate. Avoiding the issue and dismissing someone, even if they’re just using cliches, doesn’t solve the issue. It only makes it worse. What about subreddits that encourage debate?
What works for certain subreddits cannot work for all of Reddit. In subreddits where the whole purpose of it is to debate topics thoroughly (such as this one), and there’s a common decency between each user, then implementing this feature may not be as necessary. In other words, there are exceptions.
However, the upvote system works fine by itself as the sole contributor to a democratic topic-rating-system. And besides, stating why you disagree is what we should
do. We should respect each other enough to correct someone of what you believe to be an incorrect view
submitted by VossWasser
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