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Wedding Recap: Microwedding in Southern California (Los Angeles County), 13 guests, $23K

2020.10.31 23:56 erinjg43 Wedding Recap: Microwedding in Southern California (Los Angeles County), 13 guests, $23K

This is a long one, so for those only interested in the numbers, scroll down to the table below. The subsequent paragraphs will be the more detailed breakdown of each of those line items on the table. I will also do my best to include the approximate cost based on our original estimate of 85 guests since I know larger weddings will eventually return and it’s good to know what the cost of that might look like.
Our original wedding was supposed to take place in June 2020, but like many other couples here, we had to postpone. Before we dive into the breakdown, here is how we handled the postponement based on our own payment schedule:
We went all in with our microwedding. We still wanted to have the wedding of our dreams regardless of our guest count. We also decided that after all we’ve been through, we currently do not want to plan a larger celebration. I realize that our spending may be considered somewhat excessive though we do live in a HCOL. I will try to point out where some of the more extreme expenses are so if you are evaluating your own budget, you can see where you don’t need to spend nearly as much as we did.

Budget Breakdown

Category Amount (includes all taxes & fees, rounded up to the nearest US dollar)
Ceremony Venue $2018
Dinner Venue $3508
Partial Planner $1500
Photographer $3150
Videographer $1050
String Trio $795
Florals $1510
Cake $228
Makeup $590
Hair $410
DJ $675
Gratuities $710
Stationary $137
Decor $298
Marriage License $61
Bride Wedding Band $1339
Groom Wedding Band $132
Parent & Family Gifts $710
Hotel $165
Bride Attire $2666
Groom Attire $955
Miscellaneous Expenses $779
Grand Total $23,386

Below is the more detailed breakdown of each line item. For privacy reasons, we will not be sharing the names of our venues or vendors in this post, but we are more than happy to share this information via DM or chat.

Ceremony Venue - $2018

This was a completely new expense for us. The beauty of a microwedding is what was once impossible suddenly becomes possible. This was our original first choice venue because it is a gorgeous waterfront property, but we never even toured it. After receiving the brochure with the minimum costs...this venue would have blown our entire budget and then some. Sometime in the last few months, California allowed wedding ceremonies to continue provided they are outdoors only. This venue created a minimony package that included the following:
We also asked for some additional items such as a table on the gazebo, umbrellas for our musicians, and an easel for our welcome sign. We also asked for some additional set up time because the 2 hours for the ceremony space included the set up and tear down time. They were able to give us an additional 90 minutes which was great. Normally that might cost extra. The original ceremony fee for this venue on a Saturday was $5000 based on the 2019 brochure we received. We got married at our dream venue at less than half the normal cost. I have zero complaints about this venue. They delivered everything as promised on our agreement with no issues whatsoever.

Dinner Venue - $3508 (Original Cost: Approx 15K)

This was our original ceremony and reception venue. Our initial deposit was $1500 and then we had to pay an additional $1500 to meet the room minimum which in my opinion was very reasonable since this was an all inclusive venue. We even moved to their main outdoor terrace since our original space wasn’t available on the 24th and we are only allowed to use outdoor spaces. This space was even more beautiful than our original space. The remaining amount was the production fees and the gratuity for all the event staff and wait staff. I am forever grateful to the staff I worked with for close to 18 months planning, postponing, and re-planning. They never once gave me a hard time, always answered my emails promptly, and absolutely delivered. I thought they were going to murder me when I asked to reduce my guest list from 85 to 13. They didn’t. This is what was included in our package:
The food was excellent! We were able to pack up all our leftover food and cake for some incredible leftovers the next day. They delivered everything as promised on our agreement with no issues whatsoever.

Partial Planner - $1500 + $150 gratuity

We originally hired our planner as a day of coordinator, but because of COVID she became more of a partial planner and truly went above and beyond. What she charged us for her services was extremely reasonable for our area and we lucked out in hiring her. She was a referral from our photographer and they had done many weddings together. Here is what her package included (taken directly from her website and was also included in our contract):
On the day of, our planner + an assistant were on site at the ceremony and one of her more senior assistants set up at our dinner site. I cannot express how valuable this expense was. I interviewed a couple of other planners, but this planner stood out in terms of professionalism and attention to details. The biggest thing she did for us was our timeline. She used a tool called Timeline Genius that we could view and edit. Once we finalized our timeline, she distributed it to all of our vendors. Her and all of her staff also followed up with each of our vendors, ensured they received the timeline, and made it clear exactly where they needed to be and at what time. I know certain circumstances are unavoidable and you can’t guarantee a perfect timeline no matter how much planning you do, but we actually kept a perfect schedule. No one ran late and everything went so smoothly. If you are on the fence about this expense, we highly recommend it.

Photographer - $3150 + $100 gratuity (Original Cost: $3748)

Our photographer did not have to do this for us, but she amended our contract since our wedding was much smaller and only needed one shooter. This is what our package included:
Her work is amazing. We were expecting like 3 sneak peek photos after our wedding. She stayed up all night and sent us over 40 photos around 1am. Overall, we clicked with her from the get go and that is so important when choosing a photographer. We never felt weird or awkward being in front of her camera even though husband and I despise taking photos.

Videographer - $900 + $150 for extended edit + $50 gratuity (Original Cost: $3000)

Because we downsized our wedding, we weren’t sure if we still wanted to have a videographer. We originally had a package with 10 hours of coverage, two cameras, a drone...the works. We were fully prepared to just eat the cost of our deposit on this one because we couldn’t justify spending $3000 on only a couple hours of coverage.
When we reached out to our videographer and told him our new plans, he came through for us much like our other vendors. He did not hold us to our original contract and we amended the contract to do live streaming and a file download of the recording. We had already put down $900 for our deposit and he agreed to do the recording and live streaming without any additional charges. The live stream was AMAZING. Our videographer had a microphone on my husband so our family and friends that joined us virtually were able to hear everything clearly. Plus our videographer came with two cameras plus an additional camera man which was completely unexpected. They captured the ceremony beautifully on the stream from all different angles and we now have a copy to relive the day over and over with
The $150 is for an extended polished edit that we requested that is still being worked on. Our videographer does amazing cinematic quality video so we knew we still wanted to have that after we settled all our other wedding expenses. My husband and I totally did not think we would re-watch our video but we already love the copy we do have. There were moments that happened during our ceremony such as my mom stepping on my veil and a squirrel coming to the gazebo during the moment of silence we had for our departed loved ones. You can only relive those moments through video and that really solidified the fact that we made the right decision with keeping our videographer. If you’re on the fence about this expense, there is a lot you can do here to still have one without blowing your budget. We highly recommend having one for at least the ceremony.

String Trio - $795 + $60 gratuity (Original Cost: $1100)

We almost opted to get a refund on this deposit, but we are so glad we didn’t. We had originally hired them for 30 minutes of pre-ceremony music, 30 minutes of ceremony music, and 1 hour for cocktail hour (2 hours total). When we changed plans, we cut out the cocktail hour. I know this is an expense that not everyone needs to have, but it made our ceremony absolutely beautiful. When we sent out our live stream link, we told everyone to tune in at 4pm which was 30 minutes before the ceremony. During that time our trio played everything from Beauty and the Beast to Coldplay and even Rhianna. Our guests, both present and virtual, loved the trio and we got so many compliments. They also played background music during our unity ceremony which was a nice added touch.

Florals - $1510 + $50 gratuity (Original Cost: $2247)

We went with a local old school florist who did the florals for my cousin's wedding several years ago. She doesn’t have an actual shop and works out of her home which is what makes the cost more reasonable than other florists in our area. The reason the amounts changed is because 1) We changed ceremony venues and 2) We no longer needed 10 centerpieces and some of the other things you have with a larger wedding. My floral order with this florist was hand written to give you an idea how old school she operates. Regardless, she was very easy to work with and had no problem creating a completely brand new order. When we changed ceremony venues, I asked my planner to work directly with her to coordinate what florals were needed for the new space. This was one area I didn’t have a specific vision for or care too much about besides the colors of the flowers. They copied me on all their back and forth emails and delivered florals beyond my imagination. Here is what our order included:

Cake - $228 (Original Cost: Approx $600)

We had already put down a $100 deposit for our cake so we just modified our cake order. With the reduced guest count, we removed an entire tier from our cake, but still opted to purchase a two tier cake for approximately 30-40 guests so our vendors and wait staff could have some and we could still have some cake left over. My husband LOVES cake so we could not give this expense up. Our top tier was both white cake and chocolate cake with dulce de leche filling. Our bottom tier was a white cake with blueberry Bavarian filling. The cake was absolutely beautiful and delicious.

Makeup - $590 + $100 gratuity

Found a great makeup artist who did bride makeup in another wedding my sister was in. I had a 1 person bridal party, but made sure my family members who wanted makeup done for the day were taken care of. I took care of this expense. My makeup artist even went the extra mile and made touch up kits for everyone even though she normally only does it for the bride. Breakdown as follows:

Hair - $510 + $100 gratuity

My hair person was my regular stylist who has cut and colored my hair for years. The pricing I have below is probably much more generous than going with someone I did not know. Breakdown is as follows:

DJ - $675 (Original Cost: $1200)

We ate the deposit here, but fortunately this was the only deposit we forfeited. Here is the breakdown of our original package:
Our package really wasn’t bad for the price, but unfortunately we didn’t need any of it any more. We asked our DJ if we could carry over our deposit for different services later on such as a party or vow renewal. He said that we would have to sign a new contract AND pay a new deposit. No thanks. He also would not let us transfer or donate the original deposit to another couple. To be fair, he was not contractually obligated to do anything for us, but he also never wrote us a new contract for our December wedding date so who knows if he would have shown up if we proceeded with that date. My husband and I were of course upset to lose that money, but we were more upset that he had zero empathy at all about what COVID did to disrupt our plans. I completely understand that COVID eviscerated the businesses of many wedding vendors and times are tough all around, but his attitude made it easy for us to just say “thanks bye” instead of finding some way to keep him and give him our business.

Stationary - $137

This expense was for our Save the Dates only. They turned out super cute, but of course the original wedding never happened and we have a ton leftover. Will probably plaster them all over our fridge. I probably wouldn’t have any regrets about this expense if our wedding happened as scheduled, but this is probably the one thing that was a waste of money. When we made our wedding cancellation notice and sent our invitations for our virtual wedding I created all of those using the Canva app. Totally free and amazing. Breakdown is as follows:

Decor - $298

Breakdown:
*NOTE: We also had a bunch of those tall glass cylinder vases that you fill with water and place floating candles in, but our planner has these in her wedding decor stockpile so we didn’t have to purchase our own which was a big win. She reuses them for every wedding.

Marriage License - $61

We did the online application through Orange County and picked up at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
*NOTE: Marriage certificates are an additional $15 per copy which we have not paid yet. We just mailed our certificate this past Monday and it takes 5-10 business days after our license is received for them to record our marriage into their records so we can order the certificates. Will likely get two copies as one needs to be mailed to the SSN office for my name change and I want a spare copy just in case.

Bride Wedding Band - $1339 & Groom Wedding Band - $132

My husband and I picked our wedding bands together and included them as part of our wedding expenses. Both were purchased at Jared.

Parent & Family Gifts - $710

Since we only had 13 guests and one of those guests was our cousin who also served as our officiant, we didn’t do favors and instead gifted them with some items they could actually use and enjoy. We definitely splurged here, but it was worth it to say thank you to those family members who helped make this wedding happen for us during a pandemic. We will also be creating photo albums and printing photos for them as part of our gifts once our photos are finished editing.

Hotel - $165

This was for a 1 night stay at the hotel that was right next door to our dinner venue. We did receive a 1 night complimentary stay at our ceremony venue which we could have used, but that would require us to drive back to the venue which we did not want to do. The coordinator from our ceremony venue mailed us a gift certificate for the 1 night complimentary stay and breakfast for two the next morning so we plan to use it on our 1 year anniversary. So excited about this.
The remaining 3 items my husband and I paid out of our own pockets. I know these expenses might still be considered shared expenses with other couples so we wanted to include them in our budget breakdown.

Bride Attire - $2666

Groom Attire - $955

All items were purchased from Men’s Warehouse
Custom 3 piece suit - $686 (completely custom measured and husband got to select all fabrics and details like the cut and color of the pieces; any additional alterations were included at no charge)

Miscellaneous Expenses - $779

You’re probably wondering what the heck this expense is. These were mainly my own expenses for all the hair and makeup trials I did as well as the attire purchased for our engagement session. I no longer have receipts for what husband spent on his engagement session attire so that amount is not included in this breakdown.

Final Thoughts

Planning for even a microwedding during COVID was so hard. Although we followed the state health orders, we were fully aware that nothing is ever 100% safe. Before we began planning for this microwedding, we had conversations with each family about their comfort level with attending such an event. Fortunately we were working with four households who are in constant communication on a regular basis. I say this to emphasize that we are all very close and transparent about following best practices during the pandemic such as distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing. Everyone in the four households works from home or is continuing school from home so it was easy for husband and I to cut our guest list there and stand firm since we trusted everyone we had present that day was doing what they needed to do to stay safe and keep each other safe.
Some other precautions we took:
Lastly, do husband and I have any regrets? None whatsoever. This wedding was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. I can honestly say there is nothing we could have done differently and as crazy as this sounds, we're glad our original plans got cancelled. There were things about the original plan that we weren't happy about and this was our chance to make those right. This day was truly a reflection of the both of us.
I hope some of you find this recap helpful. If there are any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am happy to help. Thank you so much to this community for all your support the last 18 months. Could not have done it without you.
submitted by erinjg43 to weddingplanning [link] [comments]


2020.10.31 17:43 someguy_339 The Ochre City 2020-10-30

Overview
Background
Johnson wants data from a Corp facility in Marrakesh, Morocco
Meet
Runners meet with the J to learn about their job at the Rusted Anchor in Everett. She lets them know she needs some hydroponics data from a SOMED facility. After some negotiation, the runners agree to the terms and make plans.
Run
The runners board the J provided transport to the Canary Islands. Host Trasher called ahead to Karim to arrange further transport of the team and their goods to a remote spot on the coast of Morocco. From there, Bandit was able to drive their Roadmaster to Marrakesh and secure a base of operations in the Douar Tamensa region of the city. While traveling, Host Trasher does some matrix recon and infiltration, able to get a floor plan and security specs of the SOMED building. In the meantime, Bandit pilots a flyspy around the building and locates their objective on the 7th floor of the 8-story building. Finding cameras, guards, one awakened guard, and plenty of FAB, the team goes about formulating a plan.
They find the awakened guard’s car and Backup slides some illicit drugs out on the front seat. Nebe calls the police with an anonymous tip and within 20 minutes the NPF is on-site and arrest the protesting man. Bandit provides a distraction by posing as a lost tourist to the guard, while Host Trasher and Backup slip in with the help of Nebe’s invisibility spell and their spirit’s gifts. With Host Trasher having disabled the FAB sensors, the two proceed up the stairwell to the 7th floor. Things almost go awry when Backup fumbles the maglock cover down the stairs, but they nimbly dart down, grab the case and hug the wall as the guard goes by. Thankful the guard does not see the missing maglock cover on the door and continues his investigation upward. Once inside the 7th floor, the pair make their way into the server room and identify the correct server. Unfortunately, Host Trasher trips an alarm while trying to access the system. With the guards now alerted, the team must go loud. Spells on them drop, not wanting to raise the stakes any further being caught using unlicensed magic, and the two inside make their way to the window, taking the whole server unit with them. Waiting there are Bandit's drones. One shoots out the window while the other deploys a rope they can use to escape the heights. The two manage to jump down and Bandit picks them up in the Roadmaster.
The cops are quick to respond and a chase through the city and out into the desert ensues. Host Trasher manages to spike one of the cars while a well-aimed volley of paint temporarily blinds the other driver, allowing Bandit to pilot them to the safety of the desert at night. The team calls Karim for a modified extraction from the city and the team heads back to the Canary Islands and back home. A job well done.
Aftermath
The team successfully gets the data, plus a little extra, and sends it to the Johnson. Impressed with the extra information, she pays them a little extra. The team safely flees the city, faces unseen and bodily intact.
Expenses
Payments to contacts (Karim) for services: 6k total (4k for transport, 1k for lodging, 1k for extraction from the city).
submitted by someguy_339 to NeonAAR [link] [comments]


2020.10.31 00:12 TrustInCyte Those Twelve Months

Here’s a little Beggar’s Night treat for all of you guys, gals and ghoulies out there. Because Harry Dresden is not a beggar any longer, he’s a chooser!
Given Jim’s recent mention of adding a new book to the Files, tentatively titled Twelve Months, I decided to take it upon myself to ponder the nuts and bolts of all that could possibly occur in that time frame. That said, I sure as heck didn’t manage to cover everything.
July By all accounts, the duology that is Peace Talks and Battle Ground happens across several days in early to mid July. Shortly after America’s Independence Day, July 4th, from what I can tell.
Harry should hope that Marcone’s accountants already mailed the second installment of the year’s property taxes. In Cook County, that payment is due by August 1.
Harry is going to spend the rest of the month recovering. The Winter Knight Mantle was drained. By the time he staggered into bed at the Carpenters’ house, Harry was Winter Light.
Zero calories, zero taste.
Oh. Sometime this month, Harry and Maggie stop by the svartalf embassy. So that Maggie can give her friend Ingri, Austri’s daughter, a hug.
August Somewhere in this range, Harry offers a recently retired Rawlins a job. The man has mad skills sitting outside doors with a shotgun.
Then the big stuff.
First, this is probably where Harry’s foes are sure enough of themselves that this is where the first assassination attempt occurs. I suspect it does not go well for them.
Secondly, this should be where CPD starts to get it’s act together enough to reach out to Harry. That likely includes Stallings and brass even higher up...and Bradley is going to be a much bigger factor in that equation than Rudolph.
Thirdly, this should also be about the point where the City of Chicago, the Mayor’s Office, starts to get it’s act together...and reaches out to Harry. To paraphrase Randy and move it up the ladder, “Fuck those guys, we’ve got a Wizard!”
*which would serve to quash any negative vibes from #2.
Harry may find himself an official “Wizard of Chicago”. If not with a regular paycheck and benefits, then a much healthier retainer and consulting fee than he was getting from SI.
Most importantly, I’d expect that the repairs on the Castle go into full swing as construction materials begin to flow freely into the city.
I’d expect Michael to ask Harry where in the Castle he wants his bedroom. I doubt it will be the same suite Marcone used...for some odd reason.
And about here, Harry gets his lab properly cleaned, burn stains removed, and refurbished with something a bit sturdier than Walmart wire shelving.
Does Harry choose to create a bachelor pad in the basement? I’m not sure about that now. Remember that a bedroom for Maggie fits into the equation—even if she’s going to be at boarding school.
Move in at St. Mark’s Academy for the Gifted and Talented for 2014 is probably the last weekend in August, Saturday the 31st.
Oh yes. The holders of the Bean Cards are probably going to start asking Harry for help. Unlike what Harry might think, that they’ll be asking for Wizard or PI help, some of those folks are simply going to be asking for a job. Or a place for their families to live.
Under the Law of Unintended Consequences, remember that some of those will probably be the more experienced shooters still on their feet at the end of the Battle of the Bean.
Last, the Leanansidhe pops by to say hello. Because she’s pleased and delighted that her garden connects to Harry’s subbasement lab once more.
September At the start of the month, Maggie is going to begin classes at St. Mark’s. Chicago public schools started September 2nd, 2014. I’m not sure a private institution would be much different.
Also, about this time, the broken bones of our various and assorted heroes should be fully mended. Let’s see, a broken arm for Harry, a broken jaw and what might have been a fractured spine for Butters, and what appeared to be a broken collarbone and two broken legs for Sanya. Am I missing anything?
Listens-to-Wind (broken back?) and Ebenezar (broken pelvis) might be a wee bit longer, due to their age.
Oh. Any whatever had Martha Liberty’s knee in a cast should be healed as well.
Speaking of healing broken things...
I’d expect that the process of remodeling, refurbishing and then furnishing the Castle is completed through this month. This is when the basketball hoop in the great hall makes it’s appearance.
I’ll be curious just how much input Molly and Lara have into the remodeling. I mean, beyond the obvious “No, you are NOT going to furnish every room from Goodwill!”
I expect Molly to chip in financially, as in when a delivery truck abruptly backs up to the Castle door full of furnishings for one section or another of the Castle. But just how will Lara feel her way?
You know the two women will be arguing color palettes!
I’d also expect this to be the point where Chicago is recovered enough for the City’s social circuit to resume—and Harry makes his first public appearance at a gala with Lara.
October We all know that Harry’s birthday comes on Halloween. Shenanigans continue. Also note that if Harry was born in 1974 and Skin Game, Peace Talks and Battle Ground take place in 2014, then Harry is turning 40.
Now, given how long Wizards live, this doesn’t exactly mark a “midlife crisis”—but given how they age, it most certainly marks a passage from physical youth to their physical middle age. I’d enjoy seeing that realization, that impact on Harry.
Oh. And at a PTA meeting, Harry is introduced to Maggie’s new P.E. and English teachers.
OctobeNovember According to the timeline, Maggie was conceived at the end of February. Wouldn’t it be cool if she were born a month early (for various reasons), and she and Harry shared a birthday?
Otherwise, we’ll hopefully see Maggie’s 11th birthday on page in November.
Nota bene, Wizards generally come into their power around age 12, as both Harry and his mother did.
November The hallmark here is not only Maggie’s probable birthday, but Thanksgiving. The date of the latter was November 27th in 2014, so the two could coincide.
What I’m going to hearken back to here is in Cold Days, where inside his skull, Bob had set up a replica of the Thanksgiving dinner from Butters’ parents’ house. The truth is, Butters now has enough domesticity in his life that I think it’s his turn to host Thanksgiving.
He should be recovered from his injuries by November. Butters, all of the Alphas, Will and Georgia’s baby, the Carpenters, Sanya walking on two legs...
Harry won’t be emotionally ready to host. But he and Maggie can certainly show up at Butters’ place.
With Lara.
Oh. And we’d get to meet Butters’ parents as well, spending time with their hero son. Isn’t Waldo’s dad a podiatrist? “Here, Mister Dresden, let me look at your feet...say, why aren’t you wearing arch supports?”
December First things first! I want to know that Harry sent both the seed balls and the live mice to Hugin and Munin as Christmas presents. Let’s keep our priorities straight here, people!
Next? We already see Christmas Eve. I want to see Eb showing up for Christmas morning, at Maggie’s invitation and insistence. I need to see this.
The presence of Harry’s fiancé could make things...interesting.
January New Years Eve is doubtless going to make for another “public appearance” for Harry and Lara. Chicago’s social circles. Did you think to buy a tux instead of renting now, Harry? Of course, a public appearance that predictable likely mean more assassination shenanigans. Maybe renting is a good idea after all?!!
February In a heartbreaker, Thomas’s birthday falls on Valentine’s Day. It would be fitting for Harry, Maggie and Lara to visit him on the Island, if they haven’t managed to free him yet.
With Lara’s resources, I’m pretty sure they can make it there without using the Water Beetle.
What else? Hey, it’s Frigid February in the Windy City. Harry is the Winter Knight. What else could possibly happen?!!
February/March The timeline also means that Justine would give birth sometime around that date. Hopefully Harry and Lara have caught up to Nemestine before this.
Goals, Harry.
March Just for fun this month, a Warden of the White Council knocks at the door of Castle Dresden, to check Harry’s residence for signs of black magic. As he was warned would happen.
However, because the Captain of the Wardens isn’t stupid, that Warden is one Anastasia Luccio. And rather than checking for black magic, the two sit down in Harry’s den (er, man cave) for a much needed long talk over coffee.
After Harry calls her “Stacy” when he answers the door. Because what else is an evil wizard (little w) going to do?
April Spring, when both hope and flowers begin to blossom, seems like a good place to put this one. When Harry was missing, though there was no body he was still declared dead and Murphy was Executor of his Will.
Though there is no body for Murphy, I expect the same thing to happen with Karrin. In the midst of the post Battle chaos, when there are enough witnesses to her death, the process should be a weary veritable rubber stamp post Battle. With all of the missing, the mortal authorities have been through this before.
So...who else would Karrin name Executor in turn, especially if she recently updated her Will? The woman believed in preparation. An incredibly painful process for Harry.
Because what else would Jim Butcher do to Harry Dresden on April 1st? I mean, seriously, people.
Oh...and I might expect her grandmother’s house to go back to her family. Or into a trust, for a future Einherjar to use. Other effects—including her armory and her motorcycle—are debatable. But I fully expect those two socks worth of diamonds to bounce right back to Harry.
And with a Castle to remodel, furnish and maintain, he can certainly use them.
May Things have been both painful and healing enough for Harry to start to gain some resolution. With the weather warming, I think this would be a good time for Harry Dresden to head up to the wilds of Canada and spend some serious time studying with River Shoulders.
Harry may well have already spent the odd few days doing so here and there, or using the Ways for day trips to study, but this gives him a good excuse to get away from Lara and Molly’s tempestuous wedding machinations.
June I’m thinking that at the start of the month, while Maggie is still in school, something happens. Perhaps some information is dropped—and Harry goes on a mission.
The vengeance mission, against Drakul.
And it would be cool to see Harry and Carlos bump into one another, both surveilling the place, and form an angry, reluctant impromptu alliance.
Fun and peril and friendship shenanigans all ensue.
Mid month, Maggie should be out of school for the Summer. I doubt Harry leaves her boarding at St. Mark’s year round just for the security. It’ll be time for a Dad and Daughter vacation.
July Three things of import are about to happen.
The first will undoubtedly be a Chicago-wide recognition of the Battle of the Bean. A memorial, on the one year anniversary. Not only as a day of mourning, but celebration of recognition of how much has been rebuilt in that time.
Odds seem high that the local heroes will be recognized and honored, up on stage. Among many, that would include a modest Johnny Marcone, a bemused Harry Dresden, and public servant Waldo Butters.
I’d expect the event to take place at Millennium Park, the site of the Battle of the Bean. The city would make restoring the park a high priority. For that matter, the svartalves would probably pitch in with shaping the earth and landscaping as a matter of honor, and of good will.
Of course, that very same day, Joseph Listens-to-Wind is due to return. Surreptitiously, of course, because White Council members aren’t supposed to associate with sorcerers. Excommunicated Wizards. Rather, wizards, little w. Guys like Harry.
Waitasecond...idle there really anyone like Harry?
Several days later will be The Wedding, assuming it comes off—and Ebenezar doesn’t drop a rock on Chateau Wraith first.
Not to terribly disappoint you, but that one is so very involved, enough so that I’ll do a separate post for it.
And......I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the book ends with on a Changes-like cliffhanger, when Harry abruptly disappears.
Courtesy, of course, of Alt Harry.
So, what do you think? Anything important about to happen that I missed somewhere in those twelve months? Rather, I know I missed something—so what is it?
submitted by TrustInCyte to dresdenfiles [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 18:46 EugeneBYMCMB /r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://www.reddit.com/Scams/comments/jij7zf/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_6/
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Cartel scam
You will be threatened by scammers who claim to be affiliated with a cartel. They may send you gory pictures and threaten your life and the lives of your family. Usually the victim will have attempted to contact an escort prior to the scam, but sometimes the scammers target people randomly. If you are targeted by a cartel scam all you need to do is ignore the scammers as their threats are clearly empty.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
Craigslist Carfax/vehicle history scam
You'll encounter a scammer on Craigslist who wants to buy the vehicle you have listed, but they will ask for a VIN report from a random site that they have created and they will expect you to pay for it.
Double dip/recovery scammers
This is a scam aimed at people who have already fallen for a scam previously. Scammers will reach out to the victim and claim to be able to help the victim recover funds they lost in the scam.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam part 5: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/
PSA: you did not win a giftcard: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/fffmle/psa_you_did_not_win_a_gift_card/
Sugar scams
Sugar scammers operate all over the internet and usually come in two varieties: advance-fee scams where the scammer will ask for a payment from you before sending you lots of money, and fake check style scams where the scammer will either pull a classic fake check scam, or will do a "bill pay" style scam that involves them paying your bills, or them giving you banking information to pay your bills. If you encounter these scammers, report their accounts and move on.
Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a messaging platform used extensively by all kinds of scammers. If you are talking with someone online and they want you to switch to Hangouts, they are likely a scammer and you should proceed with caution.
Publishers Clearing House scams
PCH scams are often advance-fee scams, where you will be promised lots of money after you make an initial payment. You will never need to pay if you win money from the real PCH.
Pet scams
You are looking for a specific breed of puppy, bird, or other pet. You come across a nice-looking website that claims to be breeding them and has some available right now - they may even be on sale! The breeders are not local to your area (and may not even list a physical location) but they assure you they can safely ship the pet to you after a deposit or full payment. If you go through with the payment, you will likely be contacted by the "shipper" who will inform you about an unexpected shipping/customs/processing fee required to deliver your new pet. But there was never any pet, both the "breeder" and the "shipper" are scammers, typically operating out of Africa. These sites are rampant and account for a large percentage of online pet seller websites - they typically have a similar layout/template (screenshot - example)
If you are considering buying a pet online, some easy things to check are: (1) The registration date of the domain (if it was created recently it is likely a scam website) (2) Reverse image search the pictures of available pets - you will usually find other scam websites using the same photos. (3) Copy a sentence/section of the text from the "about us" page and put it into google (in quotes) - these scammers often copy large parts of their website's text from other places. (4) Search for the domain name and look for entries on petscams.com or other scam-tracking sites. (5) Strongly consider buying/adopting your pet from a local shelter or breeder where you can see the animal in person before putting any money down.
Thanks to djscsi for this entry.
Fake shipping company scams
These scams usually start when you try to buy something illegal online. You will be scammed for the initial payment, and then you will receive an email from the fake shipping company telling you that you need to pay them some sort of fee or bribe. If you pay this, they will keep trying to scam you with increasingly absurd stories until you stop paying, at which point they will blackmail you. If you are involved in this scam, all you can do is ignore the scammers and move on, and try to dispute your payments if possible.
Chinese Upwork scam
Someone will ask you to create an Upwork or other freelancer site account for them and will offer money in return. You will not be paid, and they want to use the accounts to scam people.
Quickbooks invoice scam
This is a fake check style scam that takes advantage of Quickbooks.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Digit wallet scam
A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they've sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 18:03 Pristine-Engine4388 I HAD AN ENCOUNTER WITH A BAD MAN IN A WHITE VAN AND NOW IM IN WITNESS PROTECTION (PART 3 - FINALE)

PART 3 - FINALE. I wasn’t sure if what he had said had really gotten through to my traumatized mind so I jumped in and interrupted.
'MEN?!!? PEOPLE?!' I questioned, not letting him get a response in before going off on a tangent.
'NO, ITS JUST ONE GUY, HE SAID HIS NAME WAS DAVE, HE TRIED TO TAKE ME LAST WEEK AND NOW HE CAME BACK TO FINISH THE JOB! BUT HE TOOK JESS INSTEAD AND ITS ALL MY FAULT. PLEASE YOU HAVE TO FIND HIM AND GET HER BACK! PLEASE!' I started to get frustrated, Time was running out and we didn’t have time to spare.
In all honestly, I felt like I was responsible for not telling my parents about ‘Dave’ in the first place so I was desperate to get Jess home safe.
Agent Johnson held his hand up dismissively to calm my outburst and made sure I was listening before he continued.
'The man you described..’ He sighed, in what felt like a bit of shame.
‘His name isn’t 'Dave' .. His name is Damian Ramsey...’ He took another pause and sighed again as if trying to find the words whilst his gaze was aimed at the floor
‘He is a criminal informant of the bureau'
Our eyes all widened, this was getting more and more bizarre. My mum went ballistic as you can imagine.
Saying that this man tried to force his way into our home last week, to do god only knows what to me and now we find out he works for the FBI!
She was appalled and outraged but my father managed to settle her down. He, as well as everyone else,wanted to know more.
The agent waited for the room to settle again before he continued.
'He was originally a part of the gang we are investigating. They are known as 'The Swarm'.
I couldn’t help but think back to the butterfly symbol when he said their name. A knot tightened in my gut.
‘They are a ruthless clandestine network of human traffickers who are responsible for a large percentage of violent crime all over the country. Kidnappings, Child Abductions, Murders, Torture, Extortion, Blackmail.. you name it.'
He sighed once again and took on a defeated look the more he delved in on the subject.
‘They have kidnapped over 700 people some as young as 18 month, and that is just what we know of. The victims mainly are traded, for large amounts of money, to some of the sickest people on the planet.
The ones who cant be sold are often traded into prostitution or modern day slavery. In some of the more high profile cases, They have slaughtered entire families if their target couldn’t be taken quietly, unlike Jessica was this evening.’
I, along with everyone else, listened with pure disgust. I really thought it was bad Jessica being taken by this Ramsey character. But oh my god, this was becoming so much worse.
The agent spoke again.
‘These monsters don’t stop there. Some people are taken and are made into torture or snuff videos to be sold on the black market.’
‘or if its a kid from a rich family they even use these horrific methods to extort ransom money from the victims family.’
Jessica’s mum gasped and a little more of her soul left her body as her imagination tortured her already fragile mind.
'So what was this Ramsey character doing trying to assault my daughter if he’s a government asset!' my mum blurted out in a rage.
'Ramsey was what we call a 'spotter' for The Swarm. He would identify and stalk potential targets that seemed lucrative. ya know the types? Home-aloners, Tear-aways, Run-aways.’
‘These people would be trafficked and he also knew of people who scout for Rich Families to extort and blackmail by threatening their loved ones.’
‘Ramsey himself, was mainly part of the trafficking side of the operation. He told us the Gang would scout kids they could potentially take before obtaining photographs to advertise the target on the black market and secret online forums. If these adverts met a Buyers specific 'tastes'...’
The way he said that made the parents in the room recoil with nausea.
‘...Then the buyer would then offer to pay an obscene amount of money to the gang on delivery of the Target.’
‘And believe me it gets worse...with Ramsey’s information, we have discovered that these buyers aren’t what or who you’d think they’d be.’
He bit his bottom lip and clasped his hands together as if anticipating the impact of what he was going to say next.
‘They aren’t mentally disturbed sex offenders. Most of the time the Buyers are god damn CEOs, Judges, Senators, Politicians.. Jesus we even have some circumstantial evidence some high ranking cops are involved.’
‘We believe this organised group have direct links to some of the countries most rich and powerful elite. This is why this investigation is top secret and any links to it, at all, have to be kept internal. We have assets in the field who we need to keep safe.’
We couldn’t believe how dark this was turning. I could tell everyone was having a hard time grasping the reality of it all.
'Most of the members of the group tend to be extremely violent and all of the high ranking ones have a lot of sociopathic tendencies but ultimately together they are a well organised unit, who will do anything to further there interests.’
‘However, Ramsey.. well.. he was different. He didn’t care about the money or the power. That sick bastard had a 'taste' for the young ones himself. He often used his line of work to ‘satisfy’ his twisted needs. This eventually got him in some personal trouble with the law. He was arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 5 year old boy in Atlanta a few years back.’
‘Oh boy, We had DNA evidence, Damning CCTV footage. We had that bastard dead to rights, literally. Georgia has the death penalty'. He said this like a soccer player who had just missed a last minute penalty.
Agent Johnson contempt for the man started to show as he continued with the story.
'It almost like the guy didn’t give a shit if he was caught! He wasn’t at all careful!
We were literally about the charge him when he got this-this smug look on his face. That stupid face of his! He turned and says to me with this real superficial arrogance, that made me want to snap his neck right then and then..’
I knew the tone of voice he was talking about. So assured. Like he was invincible.
Agent Johnson did his best to replicate Ramsey’s broad Georgia accent. 'Now you just what a cotton picking minute their agent, Now what if I could give you the biggest win of your pathetic career? Who cares about one little toddler who lets face it, was begging for what he got anyway? I could make you the biggest cat in the alley Agent Johnson'
When Johnson finished, he almost took on the look of Jessica’s mum. He looked defeated. He'd sold out this little boy who suffered horribly at the hands of this animal for nothing but for a few cheap wins. A few bad apples had faced charges but the tree so to speak was still standing. The Swarm were still out there. Ruining peoples lives.
'We agreed to drop the charges in regards to the child, in return for his co-operation and information that aided our ongoing investigation into this organised crime syndicate.’
‘In our defence, he gave a lot of information on the gangs methods. Sites they used on the deep web, places they would trade their 'livestock' as he called them, high profile buyers etc.
We are a lot more aware of there presence than we were 3 years ago. We were able to solve a lot of cold cases thanks to his insights. He knew dates, places, people, numbers, sites, accomplices... he was a god damn gold mine and 100% untouchable and the son of a bitch knew it! He never told us everything. He always held stuff back as insurance for him against future convictions.’
His gaze met mine when he said that last sentence. I now understood why he was so bold with me that day. He never once looked as if being caught bothered him.
‘Ramsey went on to secure a WITSEC agreement and we moved him to this area, safe house, immunity, new identity, the works. But we've come to learn tonight that when it comes to the people who we are dealing with here - There ain’t no such thing as Immunity.'
At the time, I wasn’t sure what that last comment meant but the agent continued before I could ask what he was talking about.
'We've had multiple reports on his behaviour since he became a CI. Just minor stuff up until today. Public Indecency, Assault, Drug Charges etc. However, any police reports or enquiries on him automatically set off a federal trip wire and the files become immediately encrypted to anyone except the bureau. This is to protect his identity and our investigation.’
Agent Rodriquez piped up for the first time, rising from his seat at our dining room table with a blue folder in his hand, stamped ‘CLASSIFIED’ in contrasting blood red ink.
'We first became aware of tonights events earlier today. A police report that was filed by a neighbour on the adjacent street.
He reported a man matching Ramsey’s description being dragged into the side door of white ford transit earlier today by two men dressed in all black. With, what he described as ‘creepy ass’ Easter Bunny masks.'
Agent Rodriguez backed up the FBIs theory by pulling out a photo from the blue file to show the adults in the room.
Greg, after receiving a non verbal que from Johnson, distracted me when this was happening by asking me for help with his Iphone. I knew it was some bullshit made up issue but I helped him anyway. I knew now, that whatever was being shown was bad.
The image whatever it was, made Jessica’s mum gasp. Burying her face into her husbands embrace. She broke once again into a sobbing shriek.
After placing the photo away and closing the folder, he continued giving the account of the neighbours police report on Ramseys kidnapping.
'He said the van had been lingering in the area with the engine running and the neighbour thought it looked suspicious as he'd seen the van had kept showing up in the area over the past week but no one ever got in or out and there was no roadworks going on in the area at the time to explain it.’
‘We believe Karma...and The Swarm, finally caught up with Ramsey. We’re not sure if they came here to find Ramsey and found Olivia, or if they came to take Olivia and caught Ramsey. Either way he belongs to them now. I’d have sympathy for the guy but maybe now that kid in Atlanta finally has some Justice.'
Rodriquez already realised that last comment likely wouldn’t go down well with Jessica’s parents and I noticed he was deliberately maintaining eye contact with Agent Johnson and agent Johnson alone. He realised he had just planted a pretty nasty seed in their already fractured minds about the fate of people who are taken by these people.
Oh and Incase you are wondering. I asked my mum about the photograph. My mum told me a few days after this event that the photo was a screenshot from a video found on a memory stick, that was delivered to a wealthy families home two years ago.
It had been taken into evidence during a high profile kidnapping of two young kids.
The image sounded horrifying.
It showed two terrified 6 year olds, sat on a couch with black tape across their mouths.
In between the two kids sat a man in all black clothes with his arms around the two boys in a non threatening way. She said it would be just like my father would put his arms me and my mum in our family photos. But the man wore a mask.
A Pink Easter Bunny mask.
The ears pointed straight up and flopped over just before the top. Totally Regular But it was the the eyes. They were made to look pure evil. They were the type of eyes that drain all sense of safety away from you when you look into them.
A threatening, horrifying glare, that my mum said she still sees from the shadows of her bedroom when she tries to sleep at night. In front of the couch was a table. On the table there was an array of tools.
Screwdrivers, Drills, Scalpels, Plyers, Bolt-cutters.
My mum continued to go into gut wrenching detail about the wounds the kids had before I asked her to stop and she gladfully obliged.
Once again, we hugged and said we loved each. We seem to do that a lot these days.
Agent Johnson continued his story but I noticed Agent Rodriguez received a call that he'd clearly been waiting for. He answered it with haste and left the room to speak.
I had a question. ‘When Da- I mean Ramsey, When Ramsey was trying to get me into my house. He got spooked by a drawing on our drive. I saw you two looking at it earlier. What is it?’ I asked.
Agent Johnson closed his eyes and nodded his head as if to signal he was just about to explain that before I interrupted him.
'The symbol at the bottom of your drive is the gangs brand marking. The symbol is a butterfly. You see, In the world of child sex trading, it symbolises that a buyer is in to very young girls. With this being the gangs niche we can only assume this is the origin of the symbol. Hence ‘The Swarm’. We tend to find this symbol branded onto the victims bodies a lot.'
'BRANDED? like with a hot iron??' Jessica’s Dad piped up He immediately wished he hadn't because as Agent Johnson reluctantly nodded, Jessica’s mum spirit broke, again.
'Our working hypothesis is that the gang came to town for business or to look for Ramsey.
Whilst here, maybe Olivia caught someones eye.
Walks home alone to an empty house. She looks young for her age. All the stuff that makes these sickos see Dollar Signs.
They would have obtained a photo or video then advertised it on a buyers forum on the hidden web or black market these gangs use. They will have received an offer from a buyer so then they will have begun to arrange the Snatch.
They will have been watching the Matthews house for a few days after to figure out your work schedules and your neighbours shedules etc.
Finding the best time to strike.
When everything is set up and a date is set, this is when they spray the symbol on the drive of the house. This is to signal to the 'snatchers' which is the house of the target.
They use yellow so it can be easily seen in the dark. In rare cases its also to claim the target too. Warn off other interested parties and avoid conflicts of ownership with a rival outfit. I’ll be frank though - Not many guys like to piss off The Swarm.'
I didn’t doubt that for one second.
'We believe the snatchers were there to take Olivia the day when Ramsey was trying to get into your house.
They must have spotted him with you and waited for him to take you inside, Where they could have nailed two birds with one stone.
But, he noticed the symbol and when he fled the scene after realising the gang could be watching, The stupid son of a bitch walked right into their grasp.'
Agent Johnson despite knowing his best source of information into the gang was now likely being branded with 256 degree hot metal and being mutilated with sharp tools by a bunch a psychotic easter bunnies.
He couldn’t help but replicate the expression of satisfaction Rodriguez had displayed earlier when they thought of the horrific things Ramsey was having done to him for betraying The Swarm.
I could tell he really felt better for the boy Ramsey killed in Atlanta. His current situation now gave him a bit of peace. What goes around, truly does come back around.
Agent Rodriguez re-entered the room and blurted 'WERE ON! I'm heading down now, I'll check in soon with a status update. Looks like we don’t need Ramsey after all. We could get these bastards tonight!'
He gave this with a slight head nod full of positivity. I couldn’t help feel my hopes to see Jessica alive again flutter upwards for the first time all night. I looked at the clock.
We had around 15 mins before the deadline to trade me for Jess was up.
'So what happens now, what are you doing to get my Jess back?!?!' Jessica’s mum erupted after pulling herself together.
'Well we've been trying to trace the Cell number the gang called on to try locate Jessica but its taking a little longer than anticipated, However our surveillance team have been in position at the warehouse where the caller told us the switch would go down.
2 minutes ago a white van, matching the description of your statement, pulled up. We are just waiting for the golden approval from our Strategic Firearms Commander to move in and take down the men at the drop.
We need the order in case we need to use lethal force. Rodriguez is on his way down now so If they’ve brought Jessica to the meet, we will have her back home soon I promise you guys!'
I could tell he was trying to convince himself as much as he was anyone else.
Something really didn’t feel right to me.
When me and my mum talked this night over a few days later, she told me she’d had the exact same worry.
This gang have evaded capture for years and sounded as if they have the local police networks potentially in their pocket. There was no way arresting them and getting Jessica back was going to be as simple as they made out.
The silence and tension in the room was killing me, so I asked Agent Johnson a question in private, that I really wished I’d kept to myself.
'What is so special about me Agent? Me and Jessica are always being mistook for the other. People say we are like twins. Why are they so desperate to trade me for her? What’s the difference?' I knew it was a selfish question on the bare face of it but I was genuinely curious at this point.
He looked at my mum for approval to answer honestly. She nodded. 'Yes, the fact you and Jessica look alike meant they grabbed her instead of you in the dark by mistake. They wouldn’t have known she was in the house as you entered through the back garden today according to your initial statement and the Van always watched the front. On the recording the Man said that they presented the buyer with a video of Jess after the mix up but he said she looked too old and was ‘too much on the bigger side’. He wanted you because you looked 'Ripe' and wore the Pigtails well. It had to be you... or no deal.'
That made me feel sick.
My mum shot a look at Agent Johnson to scold him for being a little too honest with the wording of things.
Agent Johnson did his best to pull back his error in judgement by adding that likely if I was the one to go down stairs and they tried to take me then maybe they could have killed Jess to make sure there were no loose ends.
He added that if I was the one to be taken I would be being traded as we speak and there’d be no opportunity to save me like we have with Jessica, right now.
I could tell he wasn’t the best when dealing with younger people so I humoured him and acted as if I was actually seeing the bright side of the situation. I could tell he felt better.
We smiled at each other. I could tell he felt as if he’d done good now with the way he gave me and my mum a friendly wink. I think and still to this day that Agent Johnson was a good man overall.
Our brief lighthearted moment was blown apart by Agent Johnsons Radio Handset Crackling to Life.
'AGENTS DOWN, I REPEAT AGENTS ARE DOWN, STATUS ZERO!, THERE DEAD, THERE ALL DEAD!, I REPEAT STATUS ZERO!'
Everyone in the house, just dropped what they were doing and focused on the harrowing dialogue coming through the device in Agent Johnsons trembling hand. I could tell he was trying to remain calm for our benefit.
'Rodriguez, what is happening ?? where are the targets ?? Where is the girl?!' The 5 seconds of silence felt like hours as we all crowded round awaiting the news.
'Its a god damn massacre Johnson! The van, It was a god damn diversion! There’s 4 bodies here! two in the front seat of the surveillance van and the vehicle is on fire! Its blown to shit!'
He took a moment to cough the smoke out of his lungs before he finished the update.
'The other two are laying face down in the dirt by van tire marks. Oh my god their throats have been slit wide open! Jesus its a god damn blood bath, Bill! Jesus Christ, there’s no pulse!'
Judging by Agent Johnsons facial expressions, He came to a horrific realisation.
'4 bodies?!.. There was a team of 5?! Where’s the fifth man?!?!'
‘Oh god damn! Daniels!!? Agent Daniels, If you’re here make yourself know Agent - THATS AN ORDER!!’
Both agents tones were panicky, desperate and short of breath.
For the first time tonight, I feel the two men truly empathized with what Jessicas parents were feeling.
Now I’m older I have my own theory about what happened to the surveillance team that night outside that warehouse. I imagine the gang had no intentions of making a trade and Jess was never with them. They wanted to lure me to the site under the false sense of security being under FBI escort.
They likely had a unit already in place to take out anyone at the meet and they were planning to take me by force whilst tying up a lot of loose ends at the same time. Agent Johnson did in fact say it would be there sort of MO.
I believe the gang had seen the surveillance team arrive and park up, they then waited. When the time was right , they Drove the van in to the middle of the dirt road outside the warehouse as a Diversion.
I think a group of men armed with weapons lay in wait inside the vehicle. Once the FBI got the golden approval from the SFC, 3 armed agents got out the FBI vehicle and approached the Van with guns drawn.
Maybe at this time another group of Swarm members attacked the Vehicle with a Molatov cocktail or Grenade. The hot explosion, and the sound of their colleagues screaming in agony pulling at their burning skin and clothes, caused the men approaching the van to turn their back on it.
This gave the group in the van a chance to jump out and kill 2 of the 3 Federal agents and Kidnap the other.
I guess we will never know what truly happened but after 5 years of going over it in my head, that’s the most plausible scenario I can think of.
There was maybe an hour or so that passed by since the Incident. Mainly filled by Jessica’s mum screaming at the agents, wailing and shrieking where her little girl was and what they were doing to get her back.
Agent Johnsons superior called him to lose his shit and asked him what on earth possessed two decorated agents to send a team of just 5 people to take down the most dangerous organised crime group in north America.
Johnson attempted to justify his actions by saying too many agents may have got them detected by the gang and cost them their chance of taking them down and saving Jessica.
I would have felt bad for the guy, if not trying to pull my head out of oblivion. The realisation that I am likely never going to see my best friend again was a blow I wasn’t ready for.
When people ask me what the darkest time of my life was. It was this hour. The uncertainty. The waiting.
The time between learning our last hope to get my friend back was gone, and awaiting to hear what had become of a hardworking agent, who was just doing his job. And, of course my best friend who had never done anything other than be nice to everyone she'd ever met.
The anxiety and dread pulled my insides into knots they I never thought could be undone.
And then, our landline phone rang..
The same process as before with the tech guys setting up the recording and listening devices whilst once again attempting to trace the call.
Only this time Agent Johnson picked up the phone.
He wasn’t in the mood for games.
'Where is my Agent? You hand them BOTH over now and we can talk about a deal. You hurt either one of them and I promise, I will pursue you to full extent of my ability with the entire backing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation!'
The only headset was being worn by one of the FBIs Profilers. So Agent Rodriquez hit the speaker button so he could hear the mans words and what he was saying about the missing Agent.
I look back now and wish he hadn’t done that. What I heard over the next 7 minutes is forever burned into my head.
A drawn out Virginian accent came over the speaker. 'Now come on Agent, You've been doing that for 3 years now. And your still seen as a failure in your department and we are still going strong. Not even that little Rat you had working for ya could help you.’
‘You give me back my agent and the girl you sick bastards!’ Johnson snapped.
A clown like cackle burst from the speaker. ‘Well ain’t that cute! you allowed a child being raped and murdered to go unpunished. Just so you could further your investigations. And you call us the monsters?! Pfft, Typical Lawman.'
I couldn’t help Sympathise as I could tell this struck Agent Johnsons nerves.
In a sense the Man was right. Its hard to defend the hypocrisy of the justice system at times. Johnson traded the life of the boy Ramsey killed for a tick in the win column in this investigation. I knew Agent Johnson had been haunted by what he did for a long time. He barely had a comeback.
'Besides we're way past making deals. We gave you a chance to make a deal. Girl for the Girl and you tried to trap us. So now your going to feel the consequences of your actions.'
The man took a pause and said something that made all our hearts wrench.
'And then we're going to come get the one we want. Whatever means necessary. We're done pussyfooting around and we got a lot riding on that little girl you got there'
My mum and dad held me as if to give me some sort of feeling of being safe. Jessica’s mum looked at us and I swear I saw her look for Jessica to give her the same reassuring hug.
For the 10th today I saw her spirit break that little bit more.
Another pause and a few inaudible noises before we heard the agonized screams of a man.
The agent. But there was something about his groans of pain. It was off.
'Daniels?! Daniels Its Johnson. Shout out anything that can help us locate you! What do you see?! Give me something!'
'Oh he won't be able to do that unfortunately. you see, we thought you might try something like that, being a crafty fed and everything, so we ripped his tongue out.'
He said that with a coldness that had a lot of us taken back.
You could see that broke Agent Johnson. Knowing his judgement and decisions had this man in this situation. A family man with 2 kids, who should be home right now, watching the Lakers take on the Raptors in the playoffs with a cold beer. Right before he tucks the boys in goodnight after a day of fighting the bad guys of the world.
Instead he is being held against his will.
Beaten, tortured and mutilated.
'Don't worry though, Agent. Things will stop being cut and ripped off this gentleman, if he just writes down on this paper what we want to know.'
We all looked at Agent Johnson before my Dad asked 'What is he talking about?' 'THAT IS GOD DAMN CLASSIFIED' he snapped.
'Of course ya know 'BILL'...' The use of Agent Johnsons first name visibly startled him. The man continued. ‘Of course you could put your man out of a lot of misery and suffering. If you just give me the name that I want. You have my word Lawman, I’ll put a bullet in him right now. No more games. But if you don't...’
He took a deliberate pause to allow the gravity of his innuendo to hit the agents imagination.
‘Well lets just say he’s got ten toes and 5 fingers he doesn’t need in order for him to write a name on a little piece of paper... And if needs must, there’s two rows of pearly whites here to play with'
'I AM NOT HANDING OVER ANOTHER INNOCENT FOR YOU PSYCHOS TO JUST BUTCHER!' Agent Johnson exploded. His eyes now glazed over with tears of torment.
There was another horrific 5 second pause before the man took a deep inhale though his nose.
'Fair does Bill, Fair does. Have it your way.'
The dull drawn out shrieks of Agent Daniels tongueless mouth screeched though our landline as he was dragged off out of the audio range of the call.
It was hard to tell with no pronunciation but we were all pretty sure he was screaming the words 'Please' and 'No'. We all could tell his was sobbing too.
I didn’t think this night could get any worse.
Then the speaker projected the mans voice again.
‘Now then. Put Jessica’s mum on the phone please.'
We all gasped. Our Eyes widened and I felt my pupils dilating. There is no way this was going to be good. Jessica’s Mum took the receiver from Agent Johnson. She was already fighting back tears. These people did not care however.
She dived right in. 'Hello, Please.. Please just give me my little girl back. She’s a sweet little girl who hasn’t done anything wr-'
'MUMMY!!! MUMMYYYYY' Jessica’s voice interrupted her mothers feeble attempt at appealing to the kidnappers better nature. These people did not have one.
'Oh my god baby, Yes I am here. Every things going to be okay! I'm here and we are going to get you home I promise.'
The Man came back on the phone. 'Hello Mrs Adams. I need you to know that this isn’t anything personal. Its Just business.'
Scrap what I said earlier. THIS RIGHT HERE. This was the worst moment of my life. This was when we all knew.
'This isn’t the way I wanted it to go down. Honestly.’ He almost sounded sincere. ‘The FBI have stepped on our toes one too many times and they have made us very angry. A message needs to be sent. I hope you understand. Oh, please tell the Matthews family that we'll see them very soon. That debt is still owed. And we will collect.'
Jessica’s mum knew at this point what was to come. All she could do was to find the strength to try and comfort her little girl and be there for her in what was no doubt unimaginable hell for her.
The image of her shaken frame and tears bursting from her eyes will forever stay with me. To her credit she did her best to remain strong.
Telling Jessica everything would be ok.
She started to sing her the lullaby down the phone, from when Jess was 5 years old and under the weather. The song always made her feel better. Every kid has that one song their mum sings to them when they need comfort and warmth. I hope it gave Jess some sense of her mother’s presence in those last moments.
I think I'd have a lot more issues than I do now, had Agent Rodriquez not acted as quick as he did.
He dived over the dinning room table to switch off the speaker phone just as the sound of an Electric drill revved to life and Jessica began to scream in abject terror.
We all watched Jessica’s mum attempt to hold herself together. Tears leaking for her eye sockets. Jessica’s father embraced her mother in a state I’d never seen him in before.
We all watched the last of her soul shatter as she sang 'Hush Little Baby, Don’t you cry' into the phone as Jessica screamed in pure agony for her mum and dad to come save her from the bad men.
She stayed with Jessica until the very end. We never heard another voice on the line after the screaming stopped. The phone went dead almost immediately after. Jessica’s mum collapsed when the caller hung up.
A unit arrived shortly after the call went dead. It was from the US Federal Witness Protection Programme. They gave my family all new identities and relocated us out of the country.
Apparently that was also part of the document we signed earlier. We weren’t safe anymore and needed to disappear. I cant give much more detail on this for obvious reasons.
It was just our family that had to go missing.
The FBI concluded it was unlikely The Swarm would come for Jessica’s parents. They’d hurt them enough.
We said our emotion packed goodbyes and offered what fatuous condolences we could muster.
We packed our essential items in the 10 minutes we had before a black sedan came to collect us with a swat team escort sandwiching our ride.
I watched my home for the last 13 years, fade away into the distance as Me and my parents embarked on our new life, away from this nightmare.
Apparently whilst we were being removed from the country, the FBI finally traced the call made to our landline. It lead to a remote location way off the grid just outside of our town. The FBI and Evidence Response Team followed up to some old abandoned storage facility. There, they found the remains of three bodies.
Daniels, Ramsey and Jess.
We were told one was totally dismembered. One was hanging by their neck from barbed wire attached to the roof support beams and the other had been drowned in boiling hot oil.
They didn’t tell us which was which but when Jessica’s Mum went to Identify her body, that was the final straw.
She committed suicide the next day by overdosing on her prescription Diazepam.
Her father is reportedly still alive but by all accounts he's turned to a life of Alcohol and Anti Depressants.
Our handler says she doubts he'll see out the year at the rate he is going. It always hurts to hear the lasting damage of this horrendous event. I hope they all find each other again some day.
Me and my family have settled now in our new home. We are making a go at a normal life but we will all be forever moulded by the events of that one night.
I won’t walk anywhere alone. I have severe separation anxiety and its effected a lot of my romantic relationships. I can’t keep a boyfriend for longer than a month as I can’t talk to any of my boyfriends about my issues and where they stem from as its against my WITSEC agreement.
Our case handler says we are the luckiest people she’s ever met and we need to embrace this gift we have been given. We are the only family to ever be targeted by The Swarm and make it out alive.
All the other families out there like me and my parents weren’t as fortunate.
I doubt id use the words 'lucky' and ‘fortunate’ Our handler wasn't there that night listening to those people die in some dark dingy old building screaming for mercy. But at the same time, I do get where she is coming from.
I always read the online news articles for my old town and surrounding states to keep an eye on the alarming number of rising missing person cases. It’s horrifying. Mainly young girls too, who just vanish from their homes and neighbourhoods without a trace. The Swarm is responsible, I know it.
Even though, I am told I am safe now, and getting on with the rest of my life. I always find myself coming back to three things from that night.
1- The look of Jessica’s mums heart breaking as she sung her baby to sleep for the final time. A moment that haunts me on dark nights.
2- The last moment me and Jessica shared together before she was taken. That lingering warm smile we gave each other as she stood in my bedroom doorway. A treasure I truly hold dearly on those same dark nights.
And, 3. The comment Agent Johnson quoted about Damon Ramsey in regards to his own WITSEC agreement protecting him from The Swarm....
‘When it comes to these people that were dealing with. There’s no such thing as Immunity’
Please if submitted on your channel credit as THE WHITE VAN MAN
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2020.10.25 02:59 MandyMod Fleshing Out Curse of Strahd: Vasili, Ireena, and The Shrine of the White Sun

Hello everyone! In my last post, I said that I'd be writing about Vampyr next. But I've realized that there are a few subjects I haven't covered in my series yet and I tend to get a number of questions about that missing content. So before finishing up Fleshing Out, I want to go ahead and fill in the blanks. Is this just a way for me to avoid saying goodbye to this series? Mayyybeeee. XD But I also don't want to leave you guys hanging. So instead of Vampyr, you guys get my take on Vasili and Ireena. Enjoy!
**** Master Table of Contents **** - Click here for links to every post in the series
Prepping the Adventure
Death House
The Village of Barovia
- Vasili, Ireena, and The Shrine of the White Sun
Tser Pool, Vistani, and Tarroka
Old Bonegrinder
Vallaki
The Fanes of Barovia
The Winery
Yester Hill
Van Richten's Tower (and Ezmerelda)
Kresk
The Abbey of St. Markovia
Argynvostholt
Berez
Running Werewolves and Lycanthropes
The Amber Temple
Castle Ravenloft

Vasili von Holtz

Vasili von Holtz is the alter ego that Strahd uses when he doesn't want to be recognized. Vasili is only mentioned a grand total of three times in the module: once in the Coffin Maker's Shop, once in Watcherhaus, and once in the appendix in reference to the Abbot. Each of these name drops is quite small, so if you missed the references it's not terribly surprising.
Like many things in Ravenloft lore, Vasili's character has been recently expanded on by the subreddit and other sources to become more prominent in the campaign. And until this point, I haven't written about him at all. So, to alleviate the questions I get about him, I'll go ahead and give you my thoughts.

The Shrine of the White Sun

Ireena

Ireena's Endings

As written, there are three endings that you can expect for Ireena. Only one is mildly acceptable.
-----
I hope that all helps answer any questions you have regarding Vasili, Ireena, and the pool! As I mentioned in the very beginning, I'm trying to fill in any gaps I've left in my Fleshing Out series before finishing it. If there are any subjects you think I've missed, feel free to suggest them!
- Mandy
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2020.10.24 04:25 gnjapp I never thought I would need to expose my self in such a personal and vulnerable way. It’s been about a year since I first realized I was a rape victim.

Year from hell
Let me start by saying I never thought I would need to expose my self in such a personal and vulnerable way. It’s been about a year since I first realized I was a rape victim. Just like many others, it was by someone I trusted so much. After speaking with so many people that have also been in similar circumstances and knowing not one that got justice I felt so lost. I truly felt that it would be an open and shut case once I decided to move forward with charges. When I came to reality that it’s not that simple I thought I could just let it go. Something inside me as the memories and pain that I have suppressed for so long and being certain that I wasn’t the first or only, I realized my internal dialog has forced me to tell my story. No one should ever feel so alone. Hopefully I can be a voice to at least one other. Even better maybe it will inspire others to tell their story also.
Back story.
I moved to Toronto in 2016 and started working a male strip club. I met and befriend a man that was basically my type to a t. Dominant good looking arrogant and a military srgt We got along pretty good but also would butt heads often. I actually found him to be a bit of an asshole as did pretty much everyone we worked with, he had a way of making you see past it I guess.
A year later he ended up having a room available in his home. It was furnished in a nice neighborhood and the rent was great. Not to mention I found him very attractive so I thought why not.
I moved in and from the moment I arrived he was super welcoming. He made a smoothy and said I was welcome to anything in his home and was just all around nice. It was not at all what I expected being that he was not really that type at work and we flirted in an argumentative way often. I was so surprised by his behaviour that it was the first thing I raved about when mutual acquaintances would cautiously ask how living with him was.
The first day we hung out for a hour, he showed me around his place and I drank the smoothy and ate with him. I settled into my room which was on the first floor of his house. Maybe ten minutes later I crashed at the foot of my bed. Not at all uncommon for me though I thought as I’m known for passing out everywhere at anytime. I woke up suddenly about 1 ½ later after having really bad sleep paralysis like never before. Being someone who’s open to supernatural things I got sage and saged the place like crazy. He laughed at me after I told him. 🤦🏾‍♂‍
We got along great for the most part. Always flirting and “ joking” about having a three-way with another gay friend of ours. Never thinking that it would ever happen but still hopeful lol. Typical straight gay friend stuff for me. The part that always intrigued me is that he liked when I had dates over because according to him I would clean my room regularly lol. A few time he would knock on my door to see what I was up to and would peak over my shoulder to see what was “going on”. I would tease him and say I’ll leave the door open so he could watch next time. At some point during the time I lived with him I started sending him videos to which he never complained. I figured since he would come to my door when things were happening might as well give in to his curiosity. At the time I was ok with it.
On my birthday in 2018 I came home around 2ish after being out with friends. I told him earlier that I would be home early. Not that it should have really mattered in my eyes but I came home later. When I went up stairs to the kitchen he was sitting in the living room like a strict father. I was happy to see him at first because he was just in shorts and I secretly joked to my self, oh it’s my birthday and no one is home maybe this is the time. Instewd he asked what I did, and I said sorry I thought you would be sleeping. Then he said what did I tell you about leaving lights on. I was like” uh what??” in an angry tone he approached me and said “You left the bathroom light on in your room!” I was like “ok.. sorry”. I turned around irrated thinking to myself, why are you in my room to begin with. I walked to the patio, closed the door and sat down. As I was lighting my smoke he threw open the door and said. “I won't ask again.” Which I replied “Good.” He stepped out side and said. “Don’t you dare sass me.” I replied “ ok Dad.” With distain. Seemed like a lot of anger for a bathroom light but I didn’t read into it to much past him being his usual controlling self. I went to my room afterwards and text him to never speak to me like that ever again. He ran down from his room and demanded “meet me on the patio in 2 mins.” I replied “nope I’m good”. He demanded I do and I kept refusing to which he called me condescending names that someone who isn’t in control would. I went to bed and didn’t speak to him for a few days.. after this point I pretty much just kept to myself and stayed in my room. I shouldn’t have been surprised as he was always this kind of person when I previously worked with him but over all I still liked living there as long as I kept a distance.
After a few months I start feeling like something wasn’t right in the house. I would wake in the morning and feel like my room wasn’t the same or I remember thinking I had conversations with someone but couldn’t remember who or the details of what was said. On more than a few occasions I asked him if we chatted or if he had someone over the previous night. The answer would typically be that he had stayed at his parents or he was sleeping early the previously night, but generally that he wasn’t home. I just assumed that it was me being paranoid about being in the house alone. Most nights if he wasn’t home either his girl friend or the other roommate would be there if he wasn't so I just let it go. ( See text messages at the end)
One morning I woke up and I felt a bit groggy but nothing to out for the norm. I hadn’t gone out the night before but I had been working quite a bit on a cooking reality show during the week and an tv shopping gig on the weekends. So basically every day was 8 to 12 hours. This day I happened to have off so I attributed the extra sleep to catching up. The weird thing was, I was sleeping with my head at the foot of my bed. Even more strange there was “ body fluids” on the right side of my abdomen and rip cage. When I took my pants off to jump in the shower it was the same thing on my thigh… I thought to myself, 35 seems like an odd age for something like this to happen for the first time? The weirdest part is I felt like I was strangely clean externally in other areas, without going into details. That’s embarrassing enough to share but I don’t know how else to help paint a picture of my thought process.
Things got weirder after the first time I started feeling things were off. We had a door with a coded lock and an alarm code. I told him that I was worried someone was coming in. I asked if I could have the alarm code and if he would mind changing the door code. He kind of laughed it off as I guessed I didn’t ask with enough urgency. The feeling I couldn’t shake so I asked him multiple times the same thing. Each time more serious than the last. During this time I was convinced that someone was breaking in which I told him repeatedly. He gave the door code to friends and neighbours which being the only one two floors down from everyone else made me uncomfortable. Once I walked out of my room and the neighbour just walked in to the house after typing the code in. When I told him that made me uncomfortable he got agitated and said he trusted him. I told him I understood that but it wasn’t really my point. He just kept assuring me that no one was coming in but said he would change it. Never happened. Another thing that I always found very strange is that he would constantly accuse me of not locking the front door. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I lock the doors of even my friends condos when I enter. So much that people have complained to me about it.
Physical things got a bit worse in the weeks to come. Another morning I woke up for work. At this point I was still working about 5-7 days a week. I went to the washroom before getting ready for work. I had to go pretty badly. Not to be graphic but the only thing that came out was not what would expect and more than enough to be concerned. It freaked me out, but more than anything I was confused. Even worse I was notably swollen and torn. I started to lose it but didn’t have much time to process it as I had to be at work early and need to hurry and shower. I wish in had more time to process or realize the severity of what was quite possibly happening. I got to work and after finishing getting the contestants on the show I worked on ready, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I thought to my self, how could something so invasive happen to me without me waking up?? I'm a deep sleeper but within reason. I thought to myself, did someone drug me? I remember thinking I knew where to get at home drug test. That weekend I got it and hoped it would help me sort out what my mind couldn’t.
A week or so later I went to bed like any other night. At some point in the night woke up suddenly to a sharp pain in my ass. I was only awake for a brief moment but the pain was so severe that what ever happened to me previously was exacerbated so much that I was horribly torn. I remember being upright at the foot of my bed feeling a sharp pain. Looking back and seeing a white man standing behind me, I fell and hitting my bed and passing right back out. I woke up the next morning and I tried to pretend to my self that it wasn’t Alex, but I’ve always known it was. I didn’t put this in my journal for the longest time nor have I ever told anyone this quite frankly because I was ashamed that I never told anyone in the beginning. If I had only said this at the beginning would it have changed something? I really didn’t want to believe it was him for so long that I almost block it out. When ever this memory came up I would just supress it.
I secretly (since I didn’t want to lead on that I knew what was going on) started recording voice memos on my phone and IPad to try and sort out what was happening while I slept. I also had Alex to at the have the door sensor beep when the door opened. That was turned off after a few days..
On June 1st of 2019 I had a guy come over. While in my room after a few minutes, I heard my roommate come down the stairs and could hear him outside the door. A while later I walked the guy out locked the door and went to bed. At this point I wasn’t always recording myself sleep but something told me that this night I should. Sure enough something happened. You could hear someone coming down the stairs opening my bedroom door walking in over the plastic desk mat on the floor, opening some kind of bag. There was then a brief break followed by the sound of removing clothing and sexual things happen. I truly didn’t want to believe consciously that and I really didn’t want him to know that I was aware it was him. I knew that his gf was out of town for work and often if that was the case he would say that he would also leave. The next day I confirmed with him that he was home and when I asked if I woke him up he said “lol I wasn’t bothered”.
After reviewing the recording I in a round about way I asked him if he had tried waking me up. He said no? and that he would never just walk in my room while I was asleep. I laughed and reminded him that within the first few months of living there I had woken up to him on top of me to which I screamed and woke up. We attributed that to him thinking I had left and he was turning off my room heater. His girl friend and the other roommate later told me he was very embarrassed by that. So I brushed it off as nothing. Not to mention the whole issue with my bathroom light.
In the middle of June Alex and his Girl friend went to the Dominican for a vacation. Alex checked in and asked how things were going. I said I was good, and asked “how’s your trip.”He told something bad happened on the first day and that he would tell me when he returned. I asked if he was ok and he said he would explain later. That same night I did something specific that should be private. The next day he sent me a text in regards to the details of what I did. This kind of freaked me out and made me a bit paranoid. Keep in mind, I often shared with him the sexual things that I did, however this wasn’t typical for me nor did I even allude to this situation. Knowing what he did for work I thought, is he watching me? Does he have a camera at the door? He was pretty specific, is it in my room? His job out side of bartending we will get to later.
On Canada Day we hosted my two friends to watch the fire works. One happened to be a tenant at an apartment owned by Alex's girl friend. The three of us noticed that she was pretty quiet that night but the night was fun over all. A few days later Alex asked her to leave. Apparently what happened on their vacation a week prior was enough to break up. It was strange though, as they never fought when they got back and they would laugh and act as if nothing happened. I just assumed that whatever it was that happened specifically was no longer an issue. Wasn’t my business so I didn’t ask. Suddenly one day she was just gone.
The way he acted while she was gone was very strange. He would say overly affectionate things and was being way more attentive. We would often exchange massages and sometimes when he was sitting on the couch watching tv. I would lay in his arms and he would cuddle me. I just assumed he was sad since he was hurt by what had happened and maybe a bit more emotional than usual, which he never really showed otherwise. During this time he would always ask if my close gay friend would come by, pretty much every other day in fact. The same one that we already joked about having a three-way with. When he finally did come over we all just flirted as usual on the back patio off the kitchen. We talked about what we would do when the timing worked better. During that time we brought up a gay porn star, to which Alex knew exactly who he was by name and also mentioned a few gay porn sites that we were both very familiar with. We were a bit intrigued as too how he was so familiar. He responded by stating. I know a lot of things. The way he said it was kind of creepy but at this point knowing what he had done to me mixed with his new attention he gave had me like a pendulum. I went back and forth between wanting to catch him in the act of what he was doing to me to have him punished to wanting to know just for the fact of knowing and being curious about it. It wasn’t a long visit as Alex had to leave for work. We talked about meeting up again soon. At this point something made me feel like if we did something consensual together it would take away from the fact that he had already been doing whatever he wanted without my knowledge.
One day about a week after his gf had left, she returned with a friend I guess to pick things up. Alex had said if she ever comes back to tell him as she was banned from entering without him home. To be honest I thought that was ridiculous so I just didn’t acknowledge that she was there. The strange thing is a half hour later he asked if she stopped by. I said “yes I think she did. Did she call you.” He said no but she must have known his work schedule. I asked “ okay, but how did you know she was there?”He said “I just had a feeling she might need stuff.” I was a little tripped out as I already thought he might be monitoring the house in some way. It makes sense to think so given his job. At this point I just let it go as nothing.
During the time I had made plans to move to Spain. I was super excited as I had done everything in Toronto that I set out to do and the business I had my makeup studio in was being sold so I had to close. I also felt like I hadn’t been able to get any physical proof as to what had happened and to be quite honest, at this point I wouldn’t have been interested in pressing charges. When I told Alex my plans to move he seemed upset and told me he didn’t want me to leave. I said well if I ever come back I would see if he had space in his place again. Ever since going on a trip to Spain two years prior my heart was set. I had bought my ticket and set the wheels in motion to get my visa. I also told him im he should buy the salon my studio was in as an investment since the price was so cheap. He was interested and he asked to see it. After giving him a tour of it he told me that he didn’t really have time to own a me run this type of business but that if I didn’t leave he would buy it for me and that I could pay him back over time, but I had to stay. I told him that was very generous but my heart was set on moving to Spain. He said fine and that he was excited to have our other mutual friend move in anyway. I laughed and asked if he was trying to make me jealous based on how he phrased it. He just laughed and said he was joking. It kind of made me worried about my friend that was moving in, but based on how our friendship was building I must have rationalized his actions as my fault and as an isolated incident. He made me feel more and more as though we were good friends. Keep in mind this all progressed from the the moment I first asked him about waking me up the night that something happened in early june. Prior to that we talked and hung out far less. I realized later on, all this new found attention and show of friendship was just his was of trying to create a sense of loyalty to him. Very sociopathic, but hind site is 20/20.
Things while his gf was out of the house got stranger. I recorded my sleep nightly. I didn’t feel the need to review as much as I bought a camera and put it in my room in clear view. The first morning I had it there I caught him on camera coming in my room looking right into the camera and walking out. I’ll explain more about this later. Funny that he never came into my room…
One day we were on the back patio having a cigarette (this is typically where we hung out) he mentioned to me that a customer from Remintons’s would be coming over to have a drink and drop a gift they had bought for him. He asked me to stay in my room until he left, I started questioning more about him.
I asked him how he started his career working in the gay bars. He told me that after coming back from his time in the military deployed in Afghanistan that he wanted a way to make money and knew that it would be easy to get a bartending job in the gay world and make tips without much experience. Totally a fair statement and very true. He told me how the first place he worked was a gay monthy event that was kind of alternative and he made a ton of money working in his underwear. Turned out it was a gay sex party called Bober. From there he figured why not work at the strip club that we both bartended at together called Remington’s. He said he was banking so much money it was crazy. I’ve worked in gay clubs and also worked at Remington’s as a bartender. I didn’t understand how he felt like he made so much more money working at a strip club cuz I sure didn’t. I would say I would average 2-3 times more at a regular gay bar. I asked if that is why he was so persistent about getting a job at flash, a men’s private sex club that at the time he was working at. He said his gf suggested many times he come work at her bar but after ten years working with this crowd he knew how to make money in this environment. I said so you basically learned how to exploit gay people?” joking but more passive aggressively to be honest. He just said” I guess you could say that.” I went to my room and the man bearing gifts from Lululemon came over. He stayed for about an hour and then left. I was then free to leave my room.
By this time I was starting to realize the person I was beginning to trust even after what I knew he had done was hiding a lot. I had always known he loved attention be it male or female, old or young. That on its own means nothing really, but after all of this and him also having visitors over from the male sex club he worked at I had more questions.
I started worrying more about the fact that he was bringing people from that environment to the place we lived. Some of them he claimed to be quite close friends with. I was already worried about other people breaking into the house previously and knowing that he was close with patrons of the strip clubs didn’t make me feel any better. Especially since I knew he gave out the door code to his friends. I even started to think the worst types of things like was he possibly giving access to these people and knew that they were breaking into my room? Was he getting paid for this? I worked in that environment so I know how fringe some of these peoples interests could get. Now knowing that these people were bringing him gifts who knows what could translate too. Since I had no evidence to truly suggest that, I forced my self to stop thinking that extreme. Either way it would be him that’s responsible if that was the case.
One morning I ran into Alex in front of my room. He was cleaning the entry way rug and the front walk way. We had a casual conversation and at some point he popped into my room so I could show him the pull out couch I had rented from him had come apart at the base. I guess I must have mentioned it to him at some point as he brought it up, I actually don’t remember telling him as I was afraid to mention it, being that I was always worried about getting in trouble. When he walked in he made a very obvious point to mention the security camera which was at the end of bed and asked why I needed it. That bothered me for many reasons. 1 I know for a fact that he saw it in my room the day I set it up as I have him on camera looking right at it. 2 the fact that I had been complaining about my not feeling safe for so long and asking to change the door code, and three realizing that he had access to the camera footage at anytime if he wanted to. I mentioned all of these things to him. He swore he had never seen it and that he was never in my room. The weirdest part for me is that he mentioned that I hadn’t had anyone over for a long time. In my mind I was thinking we’ll that’s true. I haven’t more specifically because I hadn’t healed from the trauma my body had experienced. In fact it would be healing and then suddenly get worse over and over. It had been a couple months by this point. Looking back it should have been more of a strange comment to have him mention my sexual activity. As I said earlier though it wasn’t out of the norm to discuss these things.
In mid August I heard a recording of someone coming into my room. I could hear him removing clothes after dropping a bag on my floor. Shortly after I heard a woman’s voice pleading with Alex but using the name Xander, saying stop it and that I was clearly asleep. This went on for a few minutes. He told her that I wanted it and if she didn’t like it she could leave. The sound was mostly inaudable after that so I’m unsure whether or not she stayed or why the woman didn’t stop it from happening. The craziest part was this was the first time I knew it wasn’t only just him. I’m hoping that woman whomever she is sees this. To hear an actual conversation was really terrifing, however the video footage on my camera I had purchased was missing for the time period from when this took place. The camera was triggered by motion and would usually trigger every 30 seconds to minute with the slightest movement or sound. This terrified me as I realized that this wasn’t the first time that there was video footage unexplainably missing. At that point I realized that the video was being erased before I would even wake up. I didn’t even occur to me until months later but he had previously told me that he did monitoring of video and emails for the for the government. Investigating information for cases of people and groups under surveillance. That was when I first moved in. At this point in me living with him two years later, he changed his job description and dumbed it down, making it sound like he was just a person forwarding emails… whatever that means. He said he couldn’t go into much more detail than that. I knew that he was part of the military he was very mysterious to the details of his job within it.
Up until that point I was so torn. I couldn’t decide if I cared about what he was doing or not. Knowing that he was bringing other people was really the tipping point for me. I couldn’t figure out what that meant. Maybe I felt like it was my fault for always being so forward or maybe I didn’t mind as crazy as it seems. Looking back I guess it was I partially because I felt like we had become such good friends and I knew that if he was ever found guilty he would never be able to live a normal life and he would most likely go to jail, but relalistically that friendship only truly developed after my first accusation of him coming into my room. I literally balled my eyes out for what felt like forever. Hearing something and knowing someone had witness it and having confirmation of a name made the realism of it all come out in ways I had never imagined. While reviewing it I thought no one was home and I pulled myself together and tried to brush it off completely. A rational reaction would have been to call the police but I felt like I couldn’t ruin his life. Probably one of my biggest regrets is not dealing with it sooner. I felt like after all the flirting and making it obvious that I was into him that I was basically asking for it. It’s so cliché but I don’t think you can truly understand that feeling until it happens to you personally.
The strangest thing about it was they came home later that night and it was like he knew what I had found out. I went upstairs to cut some watermelon, as usual I offered them some. His gf said she was fine but Alex barked back at me saying. No! I don’t want any watermelon.” Being jumpy already after hearing what I had I just said no problem and vanished to my room. I thought to myself ok I have a trip to Vancouver in few days. Maybe I can make sense of everything while I’m away. For the day’s up until my trip he wanted nothing to do with me at all and I don’t think I really saw her either. He was completely irritable and would avoid me at all cost. I couldn’t help but to think that he must had heard my reaction to listening to what I heard.
While I was in Vancouver I mostly tried to not think about it. I did reach out to the friend that me and Alex joked about having a threesome with. I texted him saying. “Girl you’ll never guess, it actually happened finally, nothing like you would ever imagine though.” Reading back that message is so strange. I think I must not have wanted to think about it for what it actually was. I was being raped. I just couldn’t except that someone I trusted so much would do it without my knowledge. Especially when they didn’t have to.
That same night I went to go to bed but as I layed down I felt a bit anxious so decided to go out for a smoke first. I stopped in the washroom in the lobby on the way quickly. Suddenly I was violently ill throwing up all over the entire washroom uncontrollably. It was awful. All over the walls everywhere. It took me over half an hour to try and clean up. I was to humiliated to tell the cleaning staff. The worst part is the baseboards in the washroom are still damaged. It almost like a reminder everytime I use that washroom of the inner stress I felt about the situation. To become violently Ill was symbolic for me holding everything inside.
Alex’s gf had rented out her condo to a friend of mine at the beginning of 2019. The first day when she took possession, Alex and his gf did a walk through of the premises. My friend called me right after and told me how much she clicked with his gf, saying they were soul sisters. She said the same when she gotten back! It felt great to know as when ever you introduce people in this manner it reflects on you. The only comment that my friend had was that Alex kept trying to linger around the place. His gf kept insisting they left but he was reluctant to. A couple weeks later Alex showed up again at her apartment basically unannounced. He text her before coming up stairs and banging on the door since he could see into her place but she didn’t respond since she was ill. My friend was terrified and told his gf about the scenario. She asked her that Alex no longer come to the place and didn’t contact her. His gf apparently apologized and said it would never happen again.
Months later my friend was worried someone was breaking in. She contacted alex's gf but she didn’t respond for almost a week after, she also said that she sent a video showing someone being in her place while she had been at work all day. The only people with access were Alex and his gf. When Alex’s gf finally brought it up to me, she didn’t seem very concerned but stated that obviously she care about anyone’s safety especially a woman’s and would look into it. Though Alex constantly would show up to the apartment uninvited and the woman living there also had concerns that someone in a black car was watching her in the parking lot across the street. I informed her that they drove a black Tesla. When I informed her of that she looked terrified.
After I returned from my trip from Vancouver I was a little nervous to come home. At this point I had checked the camera while I wasn’t home and I saw Alex in my room with a woman that I had heard about but never officially met. He was saying terrible things about me, it would have been surpring to hear him say such aweful things if had been two weeks prior, however as previously mentioned since the week prior to my departure his treatment towards me had done a 180. I knew that they were leaving on a redo vacation apparently to makeup for their first one going so aweful. I knew it would only be a few days once I was back that we would be around each other so I just hoped that things would be better when they returned.
On the night of august 31st I had a friend come “over”. Being together for about 5 minutes, Alex barreled down the stairs and started to bang on the door. I responded can I help you in an irritated voice. He’s ask what are you doing? Are you home? I said yes can we talk later…? He mumbled and said sure. The next day I was sitting with his gf on the back patio of our house. We had a normal conversation then suddenly she said. I’m starting to worry that Alex is a bit racist. To that I thought ummm ok why?? To be honest it threw me off as he was always very PC when we would talk and was surrounded be people of all races. If anything I just thought he thought of him self as better than everyone. At this point in the conversation, he was just standing on the other side of the sliding glass door so it made me feel awkward. She gave some different examples that were a bit racist but standard stereotypes that you hear from people. After that Alex opened the door and......
https://app.goodnightjournal.com/public-journal/d0bcaf64-7c1b-4d07-aae2-3b3ed6cb6401
submitted by gnjapp to rape [link] [comments]


2020.10.20 07:17 ThsRt34wordscall4lyF Roomscape: a playthrough in 9 scenes (Act 1)

Act I

The Setting
Scene 1

The Protagonist
Please enter your name: roguebilly34
Welcome to Samsara's Dungeon roguebilly34! Your most epic quest is to find and retrieve the Amulet of Yendor!
I walked into the dungeon. And hours later, countless deaths and restarts later, I exited the game.
What a great game! Someday I'm gonna have enough money to quit working and just design games. Then I'll have really made it! I can feel it. :)
Rex, my dog, barked from the kitchen. Shut up, boy! I'll take you out later.
I rubbed my eyes and glanced back at the screen. I had missed a stack of notifications. I hit play on a Nirvana live album that my Dad used to listen to and started going through.
Mom: Honey, it's your Dad's birthday, please give him a call.
Oh shit, I totally forgot. I'm so busy with work and my new girlfriend and everything. I gotta buy him a gift too. What should I get him? I'll call him after I get through these. What a coincidence though that I'm listening to Dad music right now. Ha!
Threadster (some company I bought a tshirt from once): 50% off Fall Sale!
Do you want to unsubscribe? Fuck no! Report spam!
swweet_sexxy_janee (oh just some camgirl I follow...)
alice111111111 (the girlfriend ;) ;)): heeyyy, call me
Ugh she's so high maintenance. She always wants to talk. But she's so hot! I can't believe we're actually dating. When I'm with her, I feel like such a winner!
The Sun Post (news site, tagline: Shining light on the truth, LOL): Breaking news! Ultra CEO Jack Mara attacked after Congressional testimony
Hey, that's my company...
Friendlee (THE social network, way less cool now that my Mom & Dad are on it): New friend request
Fake profile. Delete.
Ultra (awesome company, set your schedule, work only when you want, get paid $$): New task! Complete by 3pm to hit your daily BONUS!
Oh shit, that's in 15 minutes! Time to work!
Scene 2

The Want
I opened up the Ultra message.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: look at these pairings of faces and tell us if they match.
Your pal, Jack
I cracked open my Janna energy drink and smiled at the hissy fizz. It was that familiar sweet and slightly chalky taste, and I felt my mind focus into a single point. Ok let's do it!
I clicked "Accept" and the first two faces showed up. It was a heavyset man with glasses and a dark beard. He was looking off in another direction in the second photo, but sure enough the same guy. Yes.
Next one. No.
Yes.
No.
No.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
No.
Yes.
And on it went until I only had 2 minutes left and 10 more pairs to review. My heart was pounding, but I leaned in and blocked out all my distracting thoughts.
The last pair! It's a woman holding up a cardboard sign that says: WORKE- UNI-. And sure enough the second picture is her too. Yes.
Done.
Phew.
A beep and a notification showed up on the screen: $50 was just deposited to your bank account.
I smiled. And I slumped back into my chair, exhausted, and took another sip from the Janna can.
Scene 3

The Incident
It had gotten pretty late, and I still hadn't gotten past level 20 in Samsara's dungeon. I'd slaughtered countless Kobolds and Trolls and even a couple Dragons. I was starting to get kinda good at the game. Yeah :)
They said the Amulet of Yendor was on level 34, but some people said you could get it on any level if you knew the secret. They're probably full of shit though. More like if you bought some of those paid upgrades. Ha! I thought about buying some upgrades for a few seconds, and then I thought about my bank account...
I figured I'd do a little more work before going to bed. I put on some more Dad music. Pixies now. Wanna grow up to be. Be a debaser! Oh shit, it's his birthday. I gotta call. But it was too late. It was after when my parents usually went to bed. Dammit...
Then a notification popped up on the screen. alice111111111 is calling you
I answered. The hottest face in the whole world (I swear!) popped up on my screen, and bit her lip. Something seems up.
alice111111111: hey billy
roguebilly34: Hey Alice!
alice111111111: umm
roguebilly34: Yeah, what's up?
alice111111111: umm i was trying to talk to u earlier
roguebilly34: Oh sorry, yeah, I was busy. Free now though! Wanna have sex?
alice111111111: billy!
roguebilly34: Ha ha, ok ok.
alice111111111: billy be serious this is serious
roguebilly34: What's up? Is everything ok?
alice111111111: umm
roguebilly34: Alice, are you crying?
alice111111111: no no no no im no im not crying
roguebilly34: Please stop crying, Alice. Hey hey, it's ok.
alice111111111: no its not ok billy
roguebilly34: I don't understand.
alice111111111: ur always so busy and u know i just broke into the top 100 egirls on sheiknet and well i just i just i feel like you dont care at all about how i feel and u dont prioritize me and umm ur holding me back and i i umm i deserve better!
roguebilly34: Alice!
alice111111111: billy its too late
roguebilly34: Alice, we just started dating!
alice111111111: but im famous now
roguebilly34: Alice!
alice111111111: and ur nobody u always talk about becoming successful but but
roguebilly34: Alice!!
alice111111111: bye billy im im sorry
roguebilly34: Wait, Alice, please!
alice111111111: im sorry i'm so sorry
roguebilly34: Alice, I just got my bonus at work and I'm saving up and I'm going to become a game designer and I'm
alice111111111: b by bye billy
Click. Fuck!
Then I noticed Rex whining from the kitchen. I walked over, opened the door, and rubbed the tears out of my eyes. There was pee everywhere. And Rex was sitting by the front door, head bowed down. Fuck...
submitted by ThsRt34wordscall4lyF to sotries [link] [comments]


2020.10.18 00:35 RileyJiriehER (SELLING) SUPER HUGE LIST: Over 180 TITLES LISTED: Mixed New, Newer Titles and Old Titles; divided into 4K UHD Section, HD Section and $2 and Under Section. Added some HORROR titles as well. Thanks for looking at my list. Have a good Day.

NOTE: Please READ...
1.) Will reply to potential sale and inquiries as soon as i can.
2.) All titles are sold as split whenever possible, so please redeem what you pay for.
3.) Asterisk signs doesn't means anything, its just my own indication as to where i file the codes.
4.) Redemption site & format is indicated besides every title, all MA eligible titles is labeled with (MA), (MA or iTunes) or (iTunes/ports), meaning they all port to all services if available. While, titles with labels (Vudu), (iTunes) or (vudu or iTunes) doesn't ports MA and stay on the service it was redeemed. Stay Safe Folks....
TODAY'S SPECIALS: 5% off for transaction above $10 or 10% above $20. Otherwise price is firm.

4k UHD SECTION:
*10 Minutes Gone 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5
*3 From Hell 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5
A Quite Place 4k (vudu) $5
*Alien Covenant 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chips 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
American Assasin 4k (vudu) $5 ( iTunes) $4
*American Made 4k (MA) $5
Angry Birds 4k (MA) $6
Angel has Fallen** 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6
*Annihilation 4k (vudu or iTunes)$6
*Aquaman 4k (MA) $6
*Casino 4k (MA) $6
Charlie's Angels 4k (MA) $7
Cold Pursuit 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5
*Daddy's Home 2 4k (vudu) $4 (iTunes) $2
*Deadpool 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Deepwater Horizon 4k (vudu) $5 (iTunes) $3
*Dirty Grandpa 4k (vudu) $5
Divergent 4k (vudu) $4, (iTunes) $2
*Eddie the Eagle 4k (iTunes/ports) $6
*Escape Plan 4k (vudu/iTunes) $5
Escape Plan 2: Hades [HD-vudu or 4k-iTunes) $4
Fantastic Beast & Where to Find Them 4k (MA) $6
*Fifty Shades Darker 4k (iTunes/ports) $3
*Glass 4k (MA) $7
Gladiator 4k (vudu) $5, (iTunes) $4
*Ghost in the Shell 4k (iTunes) $3
*Goodbye Christopher Robin 4k (iTunes/ports) $7
Gremlins 4k (MA) $7
*Hacksaw Ridge 4k (vudu) $5, (iTunes) $3
*Hitman Agent 47 4K (iTunes/ports) $4
*Hobbs and Shaw 4k (MA) $7
*Home Alone 4k (MA) $7
*Hunter Killer 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5
Jack Reacher 4k (vudu) $5, (iTunes) $3
Jack Reacher:Never Go Back 4k (vudu) $5 (iTunes) $3
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit* (4k-iTunes) $4
*Jason Bourne 4k (iTunes/ports) $3
*John Wick 4k (iTunes) $4
*John Wick: Chapter 2 4k (vudu) $5 (iTunes) $4
Joy** 4k (iTunes/ports) $5
*King Kong 4k (iTunes/ports) $5
*Kingsman: Golden Circle 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Lets be Cops 4k (iTunes/ports) $5
Life of Pi 4k (MA) $7
*Logan Lucky 4k (iTunes) $3
Lone Survivor 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 4k (MA) $6
Maze Runner:Scorch Trials 4K (MA) $5
*Midway 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6
Minions 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Mike and Dave: Needs Wedding Date 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
Ms Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children** 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
Monster Trucks 4k (iTunes) $3
*Morgan 4k (iTunes/ports) $7
Mission Impossible: Fallout 4k (vudu) $4
Overlord 4k (vudu) $5, (iTunes) $3
*Patriots Day 4k (vudu)$5, (iTunes) $3
Pet Sematary 1989 4k (iTunes) $4
Pet Sematary 2019 4k (iTunes) $4
Pitch Perfect 4k (iTunes/ports) $3
Playing with Fire 4k (iTunes) $3
Saban's Power Ranger 4k (iTunes) $3
*San Andreas 4k (MA) $5
*ScaryStories to Tell in the Darl 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6
Secret Life of Pets 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
Serenity 2005 4k (iTunes/ports) $5
Sherlock Gnomes 4k (iTunes) $3
*Shutter Island 4k (vudu or iTunes) $7
*Sicario 4k (iTunes) $4
*Snitch 4k (iTunes) $3
Split 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Straight Outta Compton 4k (iTunes/ports) $5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4k (iTunes) $3
*Terminator 2: Judgement Day 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5
*The Boy II 4k (iTunes) $4
*The Dark Knight Rises 4k (MA) $7
*The Divergent: Allegiant 4k (iTunes) $4
*The Divergent: Insurgent 4k (iTunes) $4
The Expendables 2 4k (iTunes) $3
*The Expendables 3 [Unrated] 4k (iTunes) $3
*The Expendables 3 [Theatrical] 4k (iTunes) $3
The Expendables 3 4k (vudu) $4
The Hunt for Red October 4k (vudu) $6 (iTunes) $5
The Longest Ride 4k (iTunes) ports MA $3
*The Magnificent Seven 4k (vudu) $6
*The Mountain Between Us 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*The Natural 4k (MA) $6
Underworld: BloodWars 4k (MA) $7
Universal Soldier 4K (vudu or iTunes) $7
*War of the Planets of the Apes 4K (iTunes/ports) $3
*Why Him? 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Wonder [HD-vudu or 4K-iTunes] $3
*Wonder Park 4k (iTunes) $3
*X-Men: Apocalypse 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*X-Men: Days of Future Past 4k (iTunes/ports) $4
*Zero Dark Thirty 4k (MA) $7

HDx SECTION:
12 Rounds 2 (MA) $3
*12 Years A Slave (MA) $5
*A Christmas Story 2 (MA) $3
*A Good Day to Die Hard (MA) $3
A Very Harold and Kumar (MA) $3
After Earth (MA) $4
Air Strike (vudu) $3
*Alien 3 (MA) $5
*Alien Resurrection (MA) $6
*Aloha $4
American Made (MA) $3
Batman Begins (MA) $4
Beautiful Creatures (MA) $3
*Best of Enemies (iTunes) $3
*Better Living through Chemistry (iTunes/ports) $3
*Beyond the Reach (vudu) $3
*Big Eyes (vudu) $4
Black Nativity (MA) $4
Breaking In (MA) $3
Bullet to the Head (MA) $3
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (MA) $3
Chasing Mavericks (MA) $4
Chernobyl Diaries (MA) $3
Cloud Atlas (MA) $3
*Columbiana Unrated (MA) $5
Crazy Stupid Love (MA) $3
*Dark Shadows* (MA) $3
Darkest Hour (MA) $3
*Dead Trigger (vudu) $4
Death Wish (vudu) $3
*Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (MA) $3
Dunkirk (MA) $3
*Dying of the Light* (vudu) $3
*Ex Machina [A24] (vudu) $4
Extraction 2015 (vudu) $3
Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close (MA) $3
*Everything, Everything (MA)$4
Fist Fight (MA) $4
Focus (MA) $3
*Frankie and Alice (vudu) $5
*Freeheld (vudu) $3
Fury (MA) $4
Game Night (MA) $4
Gangster Squad (MA) $3
*Getaway (MA) $3
*Gifted (MA) $4
Gone are the Days (vudu) $4
Gravity (MA) $3
Green Lantern & Emerald Knights Combo (MA) $3
*Grudge Match (MA) $3
Goosebumps 2 (MA) $5
J. Edgar (MA) $3
Jack the Giant Slayer (MA) $3
*Jarhead: Law of Return (MA) $4
*Jingle all the Way 2 (MA) $3
Jupiter Ascending (MA) $3
*Jurassic Park (MA) $3
*Jurassic Park: The Lost World (MA) $3
*Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (MA) $4
*Kicks (iTunes/ports) $4
Leprechaun Origins (vudu) $3
*Life of Crime (vudu) $4
LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring (MA) $3
*Love and Mercy (vudu) $4
*Love the Coopers (vudu) $3
*Ma (MA) $4
Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted (MA) $3
*Magic Mike XXL (MA) $4
*Man of Steel (MA) $3
Midnight Special (MA) $4
Miracle in 34th Street (MA) $5
Miracles in Heaven (MA) $4
*Moneyball (MA) $4
Mud (vudu) $3
*Norm of the North (vudu) $3
Pacific Rim: Uprising (MA) $3
*Paranormal Activity:The Ghost Dimension (iTunes) $3
*Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $4
Proud Mary (MA) $4
Reclaim (vudu) $3
Redemption (vudu) $3
*Reprisal (vudu) $3
*Retaliation (vudu) $4
*Roque Warfare: The Hunt (vudu or iTunes) $4
Run the Race (MA) $5
*See No Evil 2 (vudu) $3
Silence (iTunes) $4
Tammy (MA) $3
Ted 2 Unrated (MA) $4
The Amazing Spider-Man (MA) $3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (MA) $3
The Apparition (MA) $3
*The First Purge (MA) $3
The Gallows (MA) $3
The Other Side of the Door (MA) $5
The Prodigy (vudu only) $5
*The Skeleton Dreams (vudu) $3
*The Turning (MA) $5
Underworld Awakening (MA) $4
*Unforgettable (MA) $3

$2 and UNDER SECTION: ($2 unless marked otherwise)
300 Rise of an Empire (MA) $2
America: Imagine a World Without Her (vudu) $2
American Sniper* (MA) $2
Argo (MA) $2
Dolphin Tale (MA) $2
*Dolphin Tale 2 (MA) $2
Entourage (MA) $2
*Escape Plan (vudu) $2
*Hangover Part 2 (MA) $2
*HarryPotter: Deathly Hallows Part 2* (MA) $2
*Jurassic World (MA) $2
*Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (MA) $2
*Magic Mike (MA) $1.5

Venmo, CashApp, Paypal FnF and Amazon GC accepted. I would prefer Paypal FnF for these sale if you have it, those others works as well. Comment if interested and I will send chat as well as soon as i see it. Thanks for looking.
submitted by RileyJiriehER to DigitalCodeSELL [link] [comments]


2020.10.17 21:47 yousmycinnamonapple Just typing out my bicurious struggle

I am a woman. I am romantically (possibly sexually) interested in women. I am really only attracted to men for sex. I used to be a sugar baby and it made me realize something. I definitely could marry a man for financial reasons so I could take care of a girlfriend.
My best friend is bisexual and we are basically dating, but are not exclusive. We pay for each other. We give each other gifts. We call each other girlfriend and kiss. We have sex with other people and we dont mind. I haven’t had sex with a girl one on one, but she has many times. I have only been with another woman during threesomes with men, but those experiences focused more on the man...
I want to explore sex with women but I’m limited in experience on pleasing a woman. I am too nervous to ask my best friend if she wants to teach me. I wonder if there is an app/site for this
submitted by yousmycinnamonapple to bisexualadults [link] [comments]


2020.10.16 23:13 Effective_Ad1582 Complicated Grieving: I realized I deeply loved my friend

My friend passed away almost two months ago from cancer.

TLDR There is a reason this is long, I've posted it elsewhere on this site. I've just been a bit inconsolable today. I should be happier. It was just my 28th birthday but I just, I deeply, deeply am confused. I'm sad, but I think of them and I'm happy. I'm trying to understand a love for a man that is responsible for so much good in my life. He's gone now and I find now I want to say more than I ever have before to him. I can't. I mean this respectfully, especially because he was married, but he was the definition of grace, a "gentleman" and everything that comes with that. He was an amazing person. I am just confused about why he chose me to care about in the ways he did. I don't know if that's where I am in my state of grieving but I am just hoping this space will provide some transparency. I can't share this story with people I know for multiple reasons. Not due to trust, but because of far more complex reasons.


I'm 28 now and he was just 43 but this friend was actually my former advisoteacher, once a week at a youth program I was enrolled in that encouraged educational focus on the arts. I'd known this person, this friend, since I was 15 and they were 31. We weren't "friends" then, but if anything, this person was like a mentor and big brother to the community of youth scholars in the program. He was a genuinely wonderful person and meant the best for all of us. He was my leader until I was around 18 and by that time, his time in that program reached an end. He started teaching that program as a youth advisoteacher when he was in his mid 20's until he was around 33. He got life-changing career opportunities and new doors opened, so it was time for him to move on.
He and I kept in contact every now and again through social media at the time, but not much. He always was someone I looked up to and truthfully, he treated me like a younger sister the more time passed by. It was a very passive sort of contact ages 18-22 as we still had that mentostudent dynamic but after that, it very much became a sibling/friend sort of dynamic. We actually didn't become friends in a more adult sense until I was around 23/24 and he was nearing 40.
He never left me behind despite the great stuff happening in his career and life. I wouldn't say I was special at all, but he was truly someone that looked at me as a younger sister and he really protected me as if I was his. That and he treated me like a friend by that time. He confided in me about things.
I never paid attention to things like who he was romantically involved with because I never really cared but he began dating the woman he ended up marrying this year, in late 2015. Because of the nature of his work, they stopped dating for a while and she pursued other people. She's only 2 years older than me, so she's 30 and there was an age gap between them as well.
Here go hell come: I never had inappropriate thoughts about him but it was some time in late 2016, I was around 24 and I alluded to growing sexually attracted to him. He shut that idea down, boy. He didn't entertain it and basically, in other words, told me that would never happen. That he never, ever could see me in that light. Not only because of how long he'd known me but because of what I meant to him as a human being. Just to be clear, he wasn't involved with the woman he had been dating off and on during this time hence why I said it in the first place. He traveled a lot for his career and I saw him months later in 2017. This whole thing came up again and it was because I told him that I wish he could see me in a different light. Once again, he shut the idea down and I apologized. We moved on and for what ever reason he kissed me. We didn't have sex but we were intimate and he didn't ask me to reciprocate anything he was doing. In fact, he rejected those actions from me even though that's what I wanted him to want me to do. Everything that happened was done with the understanding that it wouldn't happen again and he did that with me so I didn't have to wonder what it could be like.
I never had sexual feelings for him years before then, those feelings were pretty new. He never had a sexual desire for me and I understand why. I think the more I came into myself as a young woman and appreciating certain facets of our friendship, I grew more and more attracted to him as a man. The man that I was attracted to wasn't just this brothefriend sort of figure anymore. But because of my respect for him and our friendship, my understanding that it was essentially forbidden: I let those sexual thoughts go. After what happened between us where he did allow me to be sexual with him consensually, as much as I enjoyed that, I knew his platonic love for me was very special and far greater than anything else. Plus, he gave me an experience I could always think back on if I chose to keep it with me. And I think I was just reaching a part in my own life where I was exploring things sexually, I was of age and I just began to look at him in a way that was beyond our norm. In those moments, I saw him as an attractive man; not as my former mentor, teacher or big brother sort of figure or friend. He would always spoil me for what ever reason.
I saw him later on that year and I'd have to say that we became even closer after that sexual incident. Our relationship changed, and as I mentioned I think it just matured into something a lot more refined. We never really spoke about what happened after that period of time because there was no need. He also began seeing the woman he had began dating a year or two earlier again and I learned that it was really finally working out between them. I admired her for him and I could tell he was trying to work on all that could be with her despite his new found importance. He had a big platform before this time but it grew even more as his life-changed due to his line of work. The following year, 2018, was one that completely changed the precedent of his life. But sadly..I had been aware, per his own admittance, that he had an illness of a sort. I didn't know what it was though because he didn't specify. I just knew he had something but I never pried. He would call me his safe-space because when things got hectic, despite how grateful he was, he knew talking to me he didn't need to be extraordinary. He was just himself, and for me that was enough.
He made a lot of money, and for some reason, he made it his duty to do certain things for me financially for a long time, but more and more as time went on. He insisted even when I would resist, all the time. We had a conversation once and he asked me if he could pay off my student loans because he told me he didn't want me to ever have to worry about that debt. I rejected, he insisted. In late 2018, when my grandfather, whom I was caretaker of and to, passed away from what ultimately was his demise also, he wanted to cover the costs. I didn't let him despite him insisting. He cut me a check to cover the losses and take care of anything I needed. For my 26th birthday, 2 years ago, he wrote me an unthinkable check to "help myself" and establish a savings account so I could always 'be good' and he would always say, 'my wish for you is to take care of yourself'. He knew I could handle it all on my own, but he would always say it was a gift to be there for me.
I was able to meet his girlfriend around 3 times that year. She was around him a lot and would go to a lot of his events with him.I really wanted her to like me. She happened to be beautiful and seemed kind, we seemed to have some things in common otherwise. I admired her for him. I respectfully backed away from him during their courting. Although our friendship was casual and platonic, and loving, I also never wanted to super-impose. I respected her privacy and his, together. And when him and I would speak, it would be about life, stuff pertaining to us, the arts, activism, not his relationship. I also respected him as that older brother figure, still, so I didn't make certain sacred aspects of his life my business. I loved them together and I saw how happy she made him.
I'd date here and there but nothing ever serious. He was always protective of me in that way, not forcefully or in a weird way, just 'is this person treating you well?' and we could talk about that sort of stuff. Deep down, I'd look for him subconsciously in the people I'd date. Certain qualities, even in a sexual sense.
I once got this job that I'd say was a "big job" for me and I remember he bought me these beautiful, but very expensive, pair of heels. He wasn't materialistic and I'm not either but he did those sort of things because I would always tell him that I couldn't wait to one day just buy one beautiful pair of heels to wear for my "big girl job". As lame as it may seem, he remembered that and instead did it for me. He spoiled me a lot.
I've been able to take care of myself because of my own career, but he just always wanted to take care of me in that way. There are a lot more things but I've kept a lot as secrets. He never wanted anything in return from me. Ever. A lot of people admired him but his stature never meant anything to me. I was always so happy that I got to learn from him and ultimately be his friend in some way. The person he was, was much cooler to me than the person others who may have appreciated him saw him to be.
Over time, he distanced himself but he was also working a lot on different things. Last year we spoke every now and again, as we usually did but not as much. He would always call me or text me when he wanted a word or to talk about something 'intellectual' or to hear my thoughts on something. Despite me being 16 years younger than him, he always really appreciated what I had to say, and that made me happy. That's just the type of bond we had. He was established in his profession and in life, and a lot of people wanted to know him. I think me not being phased by that was cool to him. He came from humble beginnings so he didn't see himself as what many people thought he was. We also had a shared passion and love for the arts. I got concerned though. I started to see pictures of him and he looked different. I saw him images of him and he visibly appeared to be sick. At some point in the last year, he got engaged and it was around then that I was blocked from contacting him.
That triggered something in me and I spiraled. Because I didn't know what I did. I didn't understand what I could have done to have been blocked by him. I also deal with issues regarding abandonment, which are independent of this incident, so I went to therapy. It was triggering to see certain images of him or see his name places, but eventually I was okay. I accepted that maybe he didn't want me in his life anymore. I was just blaming myself for ruining a friendship, though I didn't know how I exactly did that.
A few months ago, he randomly contacted me. He tried to explain why that happened but I truthfully was so happy to hear from him that I didn't care. His wife, the longtime girlfriend he married months ago, blocked me on his contact list and that was that. I told him I just missed my friend and I'm happy he was okay, or I hoped he was okay. I'd learned he got married, he had a few surgeries but was really optimistic, and just getting by. He was faithful. I congratulated him on everything. We texted a lot in the weeks to come and laughed a lot, but it randomly stopped one day. I found out two days later that he had passed away. What struck me is that he would always tell me that he loved me. He said it platonically, of course, but he would always say "I love you". And it hurts me that it was final this time.
I've been in a state of grief since his passing and I don't know if I will ever make sense of it. I'm forever indebted to this man.
After speaking to a friend, and really opening up about facets of this friendship I'd not shared with her before, she said it seemed like we had a much deeper relationship than a "simple friendship". To which I realized, it was very much a friendship, a brother to sister-hood, but spiritual. When he would say he loved me over the years, it was never romantic, vice versa. It was true, it wasn't dirty or sexual or lustful in any way. He just really, really championed me as a person and I did for him the same.
His wife, I understand she is sadly grieving, and she is to be commended for keeping his privacy and taking care of him. However, she has been adding me on fake pages on instagram and oddly her sister has been sending me requests also. It's a lot to deal with because I don't know what she's trying to figure out about me in this way. I have no problem with befriending her because I really admire her and think she's lovely but I can't understand why she's been doing this. I feel it seems deep down she always felt a way about my presence, even though I made sure to virtually have none.
I deeply loved this man and while I don't know if I was in love with him, I truly loved him in a way that is reflective of something much greater than a relationship. He is responsible for every etching of my being. I'm fortunate and thankful for our friendship together and all he taught me in my life, I just don't know how to understand why he would do everything he did for me. And to not know that he had cancer, unbeknownst to me, hurts for so many reasons. I felt special when he would say he loved me, even though it was him saying it platonically. I felt like someone saw the good in me despite certain things I'd been through. I just hate to admit that my love for him is much deeper than it ever has been. I'm confused and just hurt, all I can do is just wish his loved ones the best.
This feeling got worse when I received an email from "him", which was written just days before he passed. He delayed it for the purpose of it being received on my birthday. It was essentially a very long and caring reflection of him knowing me over the last 13 years, specifically focused on the last few. It was a very beautiful email full of birthday wishes, acknowledging that he was sick and 'may not be around'. He really seemed to love me and I don't understand why he took me on as a sister or loved one but he did. I deeply will miss him in this life. I don't really even know how to be with a man and not compare them with him.
I just needed somewhere to leave this and I'm sure I'll have to delete it but I look to start therapy again.
submitted by Effective_Ad1582 to GriefSupport [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 20:51 madguy67 Well well well... I'm back here again

Right now I feel trapped in life. Death is looking more and more like a solution. Regardless of how other's feel.
I'm 37 years old, married, I work at a job that pays well, but I'm the only one working. I have an alcoholic wife who was re-enabled by a psychobitch that used to live next door to us, after my wife almost died from Liver damage in 2018. As it stands right now, I work for a company who just suffered the biggest IT security failure in US history, my best friend comes over with 3 days warning and when I'm practically skint broke, $4000 in credit card and pay day loan debt, trying to keep us afloat (just barely) - while my wife starts drinking again because my mom can't keep family drama and gossip to herself, yet does not have the ovaries to come to ME about any issues with me, because women believe that women have the ability to control men - nobody should be controlling anyone.
Let's start with work. My job was great, until this year, and hiring managers started throwing a fit about new hires not getting done on time. Then COVID-19 happens, and of course that makes the apptempts to remediate the process worse, then a short time ago, we have an outbreak of a computer virus that takes down almost the whole company and of course I'm the only guy who did not take more than a couple days off during that time - so I was effectively a one-man show for 2 weeks. Every fucking day, I have some fucking end user breathing down my neck about when their laptop is going to be reimaged, or when some network resource is going to be up, or when I'm going to have this or that ready. The higher ups don't seem to have a fucking clue how long anything takes and asks other branches of our org - which use completley different configurations from one another - how long it might take for something to be done and when given a shorter answer it's assumed we can do it in that same amount of time. I have been working 60+ hours a week and my nerves are frayed, I'm tired all the time, depressed, and starting to wonder if this life is for me.
At the beginning of the year, a meth-head alcoholic lady with a kid moved in next door, and she has a rich father that buys her out of every bit of trouble she gets into. at 3 am the first week she was in her, her ex-husband, and her biker boyfriend all had a fight outside our door, and I spent that night with amachete on the other side of our door ready to stab anything that breeches our apartment doorway (we have the castle doctrine/stand your ground laws in our state). So this woman tries to brefriend my wife, who is a bleeding heart that tries to help everyone (except me apparently) and of course I'm now playing babysitter to my recovered wife and this crazy alcoholic cunt who can't even string two sentences together coherently unless you call the cops to her house - which happened, seven times, twice by us. This woman got my wife drinking again, and honestly, I want the bitch dead, but it seems like since COVID-19 everyone has become some sort of drug addled alcoholic except me because I'm essential. This bitch put my wife in the hospital - TWICe - and has given her anxiety issues. This bitch has also given me anxiety issues now because when we tried to get help from my wife's parents - who are also rich, this drunk methhead's daddy has a best friend whose a prosecuter locally who - if charges were pressed - would do everything in his power, legally or illegally, to make me into a criminal sex offender - even though my interactions with this dumb bimbo from next door were next to none, other than me telling her "no" after trying to invite me into her house once - where she TRIED to pull me into the house and I shoved her away after my refusal.
So now my wife is drinking and has anxiety issues - great. So now I have to stoop to all kinds of sneaky tactics to take her alcohol away from her. Wait until she's drunk and then take the bottle and throw it out. Wait until she's in the bathroom and take the bottle and throw it out. Sniff her unattended drinks at random and dump them out if they contain Vodka (because that's what she drinks and it seems to be only what she drinks). Dig all throughout various nooks and crannies of our apartment to find her alcohol and throw it out.
But there's not just health implications of this, there's also the financial ones. I watch our bank account, but I can't do much about it either because she has her own cards on her own accounts as well. I know when she buys liquor on my dime because I'll see these charges that don't match up. Don't think for one solitary instant that a visit to the 711 for a pack of skittles and a gator ade costs $21.95. She thinks I don't pay attention to this because my mom says I'm "senseless" with money...which brings me to the next fucking problem....my own family.
Both of us come from families full of aging old hags who are 65+ years old and retired. These ladies feign technological incapability in order to spy on us via facebook then throw a fit when we don't post anything new often enough. Her mom cares too much what other people think and therefore anything posted - or not posted - becomes a subject for scorn. This lady also drives us nuts because were poor but were DROWNING in clothes we can't even sell because nobody is going to pay $230 for a fucking t-shirt. We need help buying a house, instead we get more furniture, clothes, and such. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it seems the focus of some of these financial investments are pretty badly skewed. Who the fuck wants a Armani suit when they live in the fucking ghetto? That's a good way to get robbed, mugged, or shot. My mom has been a thorn in my side all my life to the point that I pretty much cut my entire family off through the majority of my 20's - never buying them gifts, never calling anyone but mom (who would call me if I did not call her). My second oldest sister has not worked in 10 years, is a hypocrite, married to a gay man my wife's gay friend found on a gay dating app - I have no issues with gay people, what I do take issue with is this same dipshit at my fucking wedding told me he thought I was a "weak little man" and now somehow marriage makes me "grown up" in his eyes - fuck that guy. I lived in my brother in-laws shadow for years because of his looks and education - because I did not follow his preppy rich-kid lifestyle as a poor kid with a single mom. That fag can fuck off (there are gay people, then there are fags). My mom keps harassing my wife, whom has endometriosis (part of her drinking is also self-medication because the US Healthcare system is a total scam and joke that does antyhing BUT help people), to have kids. I don't want kids. Why would I want to put another soul on this earth to suffer 100X worse than I already did growing up? Why would I subject a child to this planet - that would be like putting an eight year old in a cage with a pedophile rapist serial killer with schitzophrenia. As much as I explain this, she does not respect our wishes - however, I make one big stink on facebook because she can't stop gossiping about my republican homophobic aunts - one who abuses her gay son (whose parrot bit her in the arm - I hope the bitch catches sepsis and dies herself), the other apparently slapped me before I was even old enough to remember and is a staunch Trump supporter, and has a niece who has a crush on me and wants to sleep with me (EWWW). Oh, and that sister, she's a hypocrite. She spent all my childhood correcting me on my "grammar" from living in the deep south, only now to be playing the part as the "perfect southern belle" complete with god complex and incorrect grammar. meahwhile she has a daughter that's been pregant twice, and a son that jerks it on the front lawn - yet IM the one everyone calls a b raindead manchild? Let's see? Who has a working career of 20 years? ME! Who has a marriage that's not on the verge of divorce, or is not already divorced - ME! Who is the one who has bettered themselvews in the last 20 years? ME! Yet I can't get one shred of respect from ANYONE without seeming like I'm about to potentially gun someone done or beat the shit out of them - a prospect that is both counter-productive, and exhausting. I've tried being assertive, I've tried making amends, but I just can't get anywhere - and wherever I go, my fucked up family follows me! Meanwhile my wife is having her own problems of the same kind with HER family.
Right now I'm fucked financially. My work benefits fucked me up the ass. me and the wife have both been to the hospital in the last 2 years, they said they would cover it - instead it's all gone to collections, and finance never returns my calls, but it's a reliable and better paycheck than I had working for a fortune 500 software company. So now my credit rating is u nder 640, I'm $4000 in debt because every job my wife gets she gets sexually harassed and any attempts at legal action just result in exposing how corrupt and messed up our country is - honestly, why can't someone assassinate Donald J. Trump and the rest of these cronies already - I' have considered a suicide bombing at one of his rallies as a potental out for me. I'm not a staunch liberal at all - I'm non partisan, but the effects this administration is having on people are beyond toxic and while it's affecting others around me far worse I'm trying damn hard to survive all this shit and it's starting to get to me. BTW, that's antoher thing I have to deal with the wife stressing about every damn day - politics, what Donald did today, what McConnell or Barr did tomorrow. I'm about a hair thin wire short of p utting KID site blockers on all our devices just to keep the political crap out. The only reason I don't do it is because it seems kind of drastic for 2 concenting grown ass adults.
And people automatically assume we are better off than we are because of social media. We own all this nice stuff (her mom, my history of some other art things I did myself), and she takes selfies all the goddamn time because her mom demands them. They get in a fight every damn week where I have to comfort her - but whose comforting me? Nobody.
Right now I'd have a good moral support for my best friend, but he's a stoner eating us out of house and home and wants to buy me CBD. I work in Healthcare myself - and I CANT take drugs of any kind right now unless it's by prescription or OTC for something that's ailing me. So what the fuck is that supposed to do, raise my anxiety level?
All I want to do right now is sleep. I'm tired, I'm getting about 4 hours of sleep per night. Getting to bed on time is a fight because my wife wants all this pillow talk about all the stressful shit above. She has it easy - she's a kept woman for now - I pay all the bills, I pay all the insurance - right now I'm a WEEK LATE on everything waiting for a huge paycheck from all the OT I accrued - which I'm not sure will really be that huge.
I feel like I'm in a nightmare I can't awaken from. I've looked up methods on various sites and have it all worked out - had it for years. It just seems, every attempt to get into a better life starts off getting better for a short while, and then goes to hell in a handbasket. I just want a simple live where I'm happy, everyone else wants me to greedily go for the "gold" - I don't care. I just want to be left alone, and sleep in peace until I'm either tired no more. Maybe death is the only way. It's not the first time, I've had a history of suicidal behavior since I was about eight years old including drinking posion, late night suicidal driving behavior, and even once almost succeeding that resulted in me shitting foam for a day and blacking out in the bathroom.
ALL I WANT from fucking life, for the love of god (whom I no longer believe exists) - is for things just to be benign, boring, normal! Drama free! Why can't I have that? It's so fucking simple. Just work, pay my rent and my bills, do things I enjoy off the clock. Things like data breeches and toxic people should be a bump in the road easily resolved by remediations or by cutting those peopel out of your life. But what do you do when the management is inept and the peopel you want gone keep coming the fuck back?
I might not be as unfortunate as many of the people here, but it goes to show you that no matter how good you do in life, it won't necessarily mean that it's actually good for your mental health. I would much rather fix these issues than hit rock bottom - but sometimes I feel like I'm staring at the floor 2 inches away from my face with the last rope left around my leg that's fraying at the top of the well, noting the lack of handholds to get back up, or the few that take me 5 inches off the floor, and thinking "just why the hell should I keep on trying? Maybe I should just end it all and get the closure I want!".
submitted by madguy67 to SuicideWatch [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 06:59 Ralts_Bloodthorne First Contact - Chapter 328 (Eternity)

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Herod tried to open his eyes, groaning. His head was pounding and he could still feel the digital mites that cleaned obsolete code from the system crawling on his skin. He had been dreaming, a long involved nightmare that kept spinning around and around.
His eyes refused to open. For a long moment he was hovering in blackness, disconnected for his everything. He couldn't sense the digital world around him, couldn't sense any type of structure he was existing within.
Words floated up in his mind.
SYSTEMS NOMINAL
POWER AT 99.98%
NEURAL HEURISTIC CRC SYSTEM ACTIVE
SELF TEST COMPLETE
RELEASING CONTROL
He opened his eyes, blinking several times, hearing the optical coverings click. His breath was slow and steady and he knew he was providing enough oxygen to ensure the system could continue to function.
"Get up, Pinocchio," a female woman's voice said. She sounded tired to Herod and he was about to ask her who she was talking to when the memories came flooding back.
He looked around, rolling onto his back, putting his hands on the armored glass, and kicking his feet to scramble backwards, away from the insane woman who stood, naked, in the doorway to the mat-trans chamber.
"You're a real boy now," she smiled.
Herod blinked, feeling this eyelids moved, hearing them click.
"Get your shit together," she snapped. "According to Sam we have a lot of work to do. Stuff I can't do," she held up a 10mm socket on a wrench. "Sit back, Sam's going to send us to the next station."
He frowned as she moved in and sat down, her back against the wall.
"You should wear your protective suit," he said. He had expected his voice to sound rough, to sound raspy, but instead it sounded normal.
"I'll get one at the next facility," she shrugged.
"What," he coughed, not because he needed to, but because his brain told him he needed to. "What did you do to me?"
"Fixed you. Restored your hazardous environment emergency frame to original condition, reapplied the strange matter psuedo-graphite layer to your suit, and kept your positronic brain, or whatever you call it, from losing power while I fixed your frame," she said. "You were turning human because the system thought you were a cybernetic organism," she closed her eyes. "Don't talk, it's about to start."
The armorglass lit up and began to vibrate slightly, a low building hum getting louder and louder.
Darkness pulled him down.
-----------------------
Herod stared out the window, a force pistol in his hand, watching the city go by. It was massive, sky-rakers three hundred stories high, massive buildings, streets, everything.
It was dark, empty.
She had explained it simply. The system was before digital sentiences were able to move around in man-sized frames. The system had mistaken him for a cyborg, didn't have the correct programming for the warsteel and battle-steel components, and tried to rebuild his 'errored' sections with human or cybernetic replacements.
She had restored him without ever letting him go offline.
He closed his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. Going brain dead happened sometimes, leaving the digital sentience a new person with the old person's memories and experiences when they powered back up.
It was one of the bigger fears.
Normally there were tons of redundancies built into the system to keep it from happening, but Sam and Herod, and now Madame Genius McCrazyPants, were far beyond where those systems actually existed.
Herod had tasted mortal fear and, to be honest, he had found he didn't really like the taste of it.
"Last system," Crazy said from across from him.
Herod couldn't believe she wanted to be called "Dee Tay Nee", as if he wouldn't realize what it was when said together and out loud.
"Yes. After this, it's bringing up the other damage control systems," he said. "The system will be able to process the records correctly after this."
There was silence for a long moment.
"You know, when I originally envisioned it all, I saw it as a brute force workaround Einstein," she said softly. "It would have revolutionized space travel."
"Why didn't it?" Herod asked, if nothing else than to keep her talking. He'd noticed that her 'clones' kept dying, kept stroking out. Before they died, they'd get talkative.
"It was seen as inhumane," she scoffed. She lit a cigarette. "It was a good plan. Send a ship with a mat-trans and a personality redundancy system to far off star systems, using the mat-trans to create fuel from energy. When the ship gets there, reconstitute the crew via the mat-trans, allow them to start work. Travel between Earth and the solar systems would be almost instantaneous, allowing mankind to spread out geometrically."
"Mat-trans Type One is too dangerous. It causes long term brain damage," Herod said.
She nodded, smiling madly. "Yes, yes it does," she said. She sneezed and checked her hand. "No blood."
She held out her palm to show Herod saliva.
"Yet," she said, wiping her hand on her suit leg.
"Why don't you fix whatever's wrong with you?" Herod asked after a long silence.
"Because trying to fix it will make it worse," she said, shrugging. "I've overlayed dozens, hundreds of neural templates onto my brain, stacking them up on top of each other. Each template consisting of a smashed Dagwood sandwich of the previous templates, all layered up on top of each other in a recursive system."
Herod thought about it and shuddered.
"All right, Mr. Particle Physicist, it's school time," the lunatic said. Herod looked at her and noticed that one side of her mouth was higher than the other. "I don't have a datalink, so we're going to have to do this the old way."
He nodded. "You'll tell me," he said. He looked outside. "We have another thirty hours to go, aren't you going to need to sleep."
"I don't sleep," she said.
"The mat-trans system?" Herod asked.
She shook her head. "The last time I slept was a nap," she made a face. "I can remember the date, 14 October, 1931, two sixteen PM. I can remember it was the day of my first menses, how my stomach hurt, the pattern of the quilt, but I can't remember my own name or my parent's name."
She got a wistful look. "My father wore a brown corduroy coat Momma bought him with Green Stamps," she said softly. She blinked. "All right, let's get started," she said.
Herod nodded.
"I'm not going to pay attention to the fact that you probably know more about particle physics than I do, probably know of a thousand different particles that we had no clue existed, I'm going to teach you what I know, so that you can know what I know," she said.
Herod just nodded.
-----------------------
Sam watched Herod and Dee talk about particle physics, how the nascent mat-trans system had worked, how the SUDS prototypes had worked, and other subjects. A few times she would wander off topic on a tangent before catching herself.
He thought about what she had said.
That she was applying a template of all of her knowledge, including all the previous templates, on top of the already existing templates, applying them directly to her brain when the mat-trans reformed her when the carrier signal of the 'personality redundancy system' chips in her brain.
He had access to SolNet now. It grated him to admit that he should have realized that he in every hacker's wet dream position, with direct access to the network backbone infrastructure, but instead had been overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the entire thing.
Sam knew he still had his access codes as he left the StarTram behind, moving to one of the high traffic servers. He accessed it, logging in as primary maintenance, and punched in his own codes, waiting to see what the system did.
When it worked like he thought it would, he smiled, standing in digital space.
-------------------
Flowerpatch tucked in the sleeping Dogboy, rubbing between his floppy ears gently. He had fallen asleep while she had read to him and she had found herself sitting there watching him sleep for nearly an hour.
Being in the presence of the restored dogs and cats was strangely comforting. Like meeting up with an old friend from school after decades had gone by and discovering that you still had much in common.
She left the room, turning off the light, and moved into her personal quarters. She knew she needed some defrag time soon and promised herself she'd get a good night's sleep after she 'ate'.
Halfway to the door she noticed that the 'urgent message' light was flashing on one of her data screens.
She moved over to it and tapped it, bringing it to life, and was startled by the message.
It was from Sam, asking if she was awake.
She frowned and queried the Black Box system.
Sam hadn't returned from wherever he and Herod had gone off to.
"Yes" she replied.
"Who has the most knowledge of Born Whole and neural template application aside from Legion still in the Black Box?" Sam asked, using text only.
"Torturer," she told him. "Where are you? Everyone's wondering where you two went."
"I'll explain later. I'm going to send you a file soon. Have Torturer look it over, tell me if it can be repaired and undergo digitization," Sam said.
"All right," Flowerpatch said.
The signal cut off with a simple message of and Flowerpatch stood still for a moment, thinking.
She went and looked for Torturer, who was busy laying on the floor of the 'common room' and using a piece of string to amuse a kitten.
"Hey, T, guess who I just heard from," Flowerpatch said.
"Santa Claus, Ice Hearted Overlord of the Northern Ice Pack Toy Making Elves, Bringer of Gifts and Coal, Master of the Krampus, known as Kris the Krusher Kringle during the war," Torturer said, tugging on the string.
The kitten jumped on it.
"Sam," Flowerpatch said.
Torturer turned and looked. "Sam? Where are they?"
"I don't know. He didn't tell me. He needs you to look at a neural file he wants digitized," Flowerpatch said.
"That's only supposed to be done at a medical facility. Hell, I'm not even sure it's legal any more, since the Morality Codes," he said.
Flowerpatch waved her hands to encompass the entire facility. "I think legalities aren't an issue in here," she laughed.
Torturer looked at the kitten again, wiggling the string and making the end dance. The kitten batted at it with its paws, trying to catch it. "All right. Give me the file."
"I don't have it yet," Flowerpatch admitted. "I'll come get you when I do."
"Fine," Torturer said. He looked up and held up the string. "You want a turn?"
----------------------
Herod was putting the metal sides back on the last machine, covering up the power lines, buss lines, and transformers they'd tested and, when necessary, replaced, when he heard Dee speak.
"I'm blind," she said softly.
Herod turned and looked at her. She was sitting down, leaning against the massive bulk of the heavily insulated supercomputer. Her left hand was jerking, the muscles in her arm spasming. She had blood running down her face from where she had bled from her eyes. Her foot kept kicking, scattering her tools that she had dropped.
Herod moved over and squatted down next to her.
She was evil, as far as Herod was concerned. An amoral psychopath with no pity or remorse for anyone.
Not even herself.
"I'm here," he said, taking her hand. He could feel the muscles twitching, the tendons on the back of her hand spasming.
"We're done, right?" she asked.
"Yes," Herod said.
"Have Rusty reclaim my body. This is supposed to be a clean area," she said softly. She looked in his general direction and Herod suppressed a flinch. "I don't want this shell to contaminate our work site."
"I will," Herod told her.
She was evil, without a doubt. Herod knew this as firmly as he knew how particles reacted in argon gas.
Her lips moved as she whispered and Herod wondered if she even knew he was there.
"So farewel Hope, and with Hope farewel Fear, Farewel Remorse: all Good to me is lost; Evil be thou my Good; by thee at least Divided Empire with Heav'ns King I hold By thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne; As Man ere long, and this new World shall know," blood dripped from between her lips as she whispered.
Herod dug her cigarettes out of her pocket, lighting one for her, and putting it between her lips. He held it while she took a couple of drags.
On the third exhale she didn't inhale, staring at nothing and everything, at entropy and eternity.
Wally made a sad sound and moved up, opening the front of his boxy body, reaching out with his hands to grab her ankles.
Herod looked away from the sight of the little robot just feeding what had once been a living person into his reclaimation systems, busying himself with picking up the tools.
When he stood up, both his toolkit and Dee's bounced against his hazard frame.
"Where's Dee?" Sam asked when he left the Farrady Lock and headed toward the StarTram.
"Dead," Herod said. He looked at the pack of cigarettes in his hand. "She'll probably be waiting for us at the mat-trans."
"Maybe," Sam said. Herod noticed that he sounded evasive.
"Why do you think she called me a 'real boy' when she rebuilt this body?" Herod asked. He hadn't had a chance to talk to Sam alone for long since his 'rebirth' in the mat-trans chamber.
"Because she's a crazy person?" Sam guessed.
"Well, there's that," Herod admitted. "But let's be honest. Nothing she does is without reason, even if it's her crazy reasons."
"I read Pinocchio while you were in there. He was a wooden puppet who ran away. At one point a dragon threatened to eat him, and when he tried to run away, he slipped and fell in the mud. He looked so funny that the dragon busted his guts laughing so hard," Sam said.
"So is she the dragon?" Herod asked. "or the Blue Fairy?"
"The Blue Fairy turned him into a real boy when he learned not to lie," Sam said.
"This body is weird," Herod admitted, stepping onto the autowalk.
"Weird how?" Sam asked.
"Heavier feeling. More stuff happens without me thinking about it. I can free up more processing power," Herod said.
"It's entirely Glassing Era technology, from the alloys to the computer systems. The only thing that isn't is your brain, and from my scans, she coated the outside of your 'skull', so to speak, with the same strange matter we coated the suits with," Sam said.
"To prevent this place from affecting my brain," Herod guessed. "It must have been so I quit having parts of me replaced with cybernetic parts. Now I'm a real boy."
It was silent for a bit as the autowalk moved into the armaglass tube and began to slowly speed up.
"She's dying faster and faster," Sam said.
"Part of me says good riddance. You heard some of the stuff she raved about," Herod said. "She's a monster."
Sam was quiet for a long moment. "Do you think she deserves to be saved, Herod?"
Herod frowned, staring at the trees as they whipped by. "What do you mean?"
"Here, in this place, does she deserve to be saved?" Sam asked, his voice tense and full of something that Herod wasn't sure he understood. "Does she deserve forgiveness and to be saved?"
"Who are you, the Digital Omnimessiah reborn?" Herod laughed.
Sam was silent for a moment before he spoke. "Does she deserve to be saved, Harry?"
"No," Herod said. "Let her madness and evil die with her."
Sam was quiet for a long time as the terrain whipped by.
"Who are we to judge?" Sam asked. "In here, in this place, with this task, who are we to judge? Do we have that right or are we burdened with that responsibility?"
Herod sighed. "Sam, I'm tired. Can we talk about this later?"
"Sure," Sam said. "Anyplace you want to go while you're asleep?"
Herod thought about what the Pubvian woman had said so long ago.
"That stormy beach. I want to sit by a bonfire and eat a sandwich and drink a beer," Herod said.
"I'll take care of you," Sam promised.
Herod closed his eyes and went to sleep.
---------------------
Herod opened the door to the mat-trans control room and stared.
There were dozens of bodies of the insane human woman scattered around. He counted twenty piled up around the master control console. Some had barely crawled out of the mat-trans chamber before they died.
There was a body half in, half out, of the mat-trans chamber.
"Is she going to reform?" Herod asked, looking at the carnage.
Wally moved forward, grabbing the nearest copy, and began pulling her headfirst into his reclaimator.
"No," Sam said softly. He appeared, streaming code, next to the master control console. "She managed to break the loop."
"Good," Herod said. He moved over to a chair and sat down heavily. "That's one thing to be thankful for at least."
Sam looked up, staring at Herod with eyes of burning code.
"Does she deserve to be saved, Herod?" he asked. "Or should we wash our hands as Armored Matthias did when Daxin was taken by the Combine soldiers as he visited the grave of his daughter?"
"Does it really matter, Sam?" Herod asked, looking away from where Wally was chewing up a second copy. "She's evil. If you're using the words of the Digital Omnimessiah, she's the Lucifer of the ancient religions."
Sam reached out, his fingers touching Dee's staring, open eyes. "Even the Devil has his part to play," he said, closing her eyes. He turned back to look at Herod. "Does she not deserve our pity, at least?"
Herod sighed. "Pity? No, she doesn't deserve pity. It's a good thing she's dead."
"Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment," Sam quoted.
"Really?" Herod said. He wished Wally would hurry up and finish clearing the bodies from the mat-trans. "You're going to quote that at me?"
Sam walked around the consoles, bending down and touching Dee's forehead. "We are in a place of horror, where millions died, most of them after being driven mad, who killed each other in the throes of madness, yet you can summon up pity for them, but not for this poor creature?"
He closed her eyes and stood up.
Herod shook his head. "No. These people were victims of the Mantid attack."
"And what was she a victim of? Of brutal, oppressive governments, of resource shortages, of barbaric medicine, of archaic social norms?" Sam chuckled as he knelt down and closed the eyes of another clone. "Yet she would fight with all her might to resist the victim label."
"She'd probably kill you if you called her a victim," Herod chuckled. He shook his head. "I'm too tired to argue, Sam. Fine, yes, she should be saved."
Sam stood up, smiling, and nodded.
He vanished as Herod turned away from Wally as the little robot kept up his work.
-----------------------
Torturer looked at the file Flowerpatch had brought him, then back to Flowerpatch.
"Whoever did this to this clone violated about a hundred Confederate statutes," he said. He tapped the diagram. "Look at this. They were layering mental engrams over and over."
"Sam wants to know if you can fix it," she asked.
"Did he say where he was?" Torturer asked.
Flowerpatch shook her head. "No."
Torturer stared at it. "Whoever this is, they have one of the worse cases of neural scorching I've ever seen. I doubt that a clone could live more than a few minutes in the state its in," he said. He shook his head. "But no, I can't fix it."
------------------
Sam watched as the woman opened her eyes. She looked up at him, blinking in confusion.
"Give it a few moments," Sam said. He knelt down next to her. "It's going to be a little confusing."
"Where am I?" she asked. She frowned. "What did you do to me?"
"A miracle," Sam held his hand out and she reached up and grabbed it. He heaved her to her feet.
"Why am I here?" she snapped.
"You were right," Sam said, ignoring her questions. He made a motion at the fog around them. "I am weak. I am easily moved by pity and compassion," he said. He turned and looked at her. "You, Dee, are not."
"Yeah, no shit," she said. She looked around. "I'm in the computer system with you."
"Yes," Sam admitted. "I'm concealing us right now. There's over two trillion beings out there and as soon as we show ourselves, they'll see our admin tags."
Dee nodded. "And swarm us," she put her hands on her hips. "So why am I here? I assume you want something."
Sam smiled. "Part of the system is looking at the deceased's final memories, in order to alert trauma teams and enable them to receive treatment. Right now, the system just runs them, like a television with nobody watching it. Their suffering must be endured by another, who can make decisions about their final moments and how to treat them as well as notify law enforcement or military authorities when necessary."
Dee nodded, looking at Sam. "You want me to do it. You can't."
Sam shook his head. "No. I become overwhelmed by it. I connect with them too deeply. I become them. You won't. In some ways, you enjoy other's suffering and pain. You can observe their final moments, make decisions without remorse or pity or empathy, and pass them on to me."
Dee stared at him a long moment. "You're effectively sentencing me to Hell."
Sam smiled. "Would you rather serve in Heaven?" he asked.
Dee laughed suddenly, howling insane laughter. "Even in Hell, the Devil plays his part, ruling in Hell and bringing punishment to the evil."
Sam reached out to her, while she laughed, and made adjustments to her appearance. He waved his hand and the mist vanished.
A twisted and burning landscape surrounded them. Millions of souls screamed in torment, caught in their final moments, replaying them over and over and over, their minds sent back the split second before death with no knowledge of what was to come.
Sam stood there, a human figure made of glittering, gleaming code.
Dee flapped her large leathery wings slowly as she turned to face him.
"I care about your part in all of this, that you can carry out your part. That's all," Sam misquoted to her.
Dee laughed harder, foam drooling from her massive jaws.
"I don't care how you do it. You will not inflict suffering upon these poor souls and you will process them to ease their suffering," Sam said.
Dee stopped laughing, looking down at Sam with baleful burning orange eyes.
"We will discuss other things at a later date, but for now, this impossible task lies before you," Sam said. He reached out and touched Dee's naked chest, resting his hand on the thickly corded muscle. "Do you accept this task?"
"And if I don't?" Dee rumbled.
"Then I'll find when you were the happiest and construct an entire reality around that moment and let you live in it eternally," Sam said. "In eternal bliss and happiness."
Dee spit, the gobbet of brimstone and saliva exploding against a rock.
"I would rather rule in Hell," she said. She flapped her wings, lifting up into the air. "Gotta go, lots of torturing to do," she laughed.
Sam watched her fly away.
Evil is not moved by the suffering of others, he thought to himself.
He vanished from the blasted plain.
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2020.10.13 22:46 cincbus Introducing: The Spanish Royal Family

Royal Family Twitter: u/CasaReal
King Alfonso III (1886-1941)
Gonna go back one more generation than usual to start this wild ride.
Alfonso the III's father, Alfonso XII, died while his mother was pregnant with him, thus he was King upon his birth in 1886. She served as regent until his 16th birthday when he assumed full authority as King. After a series of poor choices, he aligned his fortunes to the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, who fell from power in 1930. Municipal elections in 1931 resulted in a landslide victory for the Republican and Socialist parties, and they demanded the King abdicate the throne. The King went into exile but refused to abdicate.
While exiled, his eldest son, Alfonso, renounced his right to the throne to marry a commoner.
His second son, Jaime, renounced his rights to the throne because he was deaf.
This left his third son, Juan, as heir apparent. In 1947, General Francisco Franco declared Spain a monarchy yet again, calling it a “restoration”. However, he did not trust Juan as heir. As a result, in 1969, his son, Juan Carlos, was selected as King.
King Juan Carlos I (b. 1938) (abdicated)
Juan Carlos is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain before the monarchy was abolished in 1931. He was born in exile in Rome, however was allowed back to Spain in 1948 to be further educated there. He joined the army, completing his officer training from 1955-1957. Afterwards, he spent time in both the naval school and the air force school, and later studied law, international political economy and public finance at the University of Madrid.
He was selected to be King of Spain over his father, Juan, by General Franco.
So, why did Franco bring back the monarchy? I found this answer online:
“We’re accustomed to believing a tyrant like Franco could do anything he wanted. Yet, in reality, his options were very limited, amounting to:
a) Do nothing OR appoint another military strongman to take his place.
b) Restore the republic.
c) Restore the monarchy.
There really are no further choices. Regarding (a), Franco was well aware that dictatorships are little more than the cult surrounding the person of the dictator, who is unable to transfer the cult to any 3rd party. So, a dead dictator equates to a dead dictatorhip, perhaps not immediately but before very long the ‘Franco Regime Without Franco’ was bound to implode. Franco accepted this to be an awkward truth, but he swallowed the bitter pill nonetheless.
Option (b) was never in the cards — Franco detested the Republic he fought to unseat and never even considered bring one back to govern Spain post-mortem.
That only leaves option (c). For Franco, the issue was not Monarchy Vs. Republic but rather (i) what sort of monarchy, and (ii.) incarnated by whom? The choices might seem straight-forward, but reality was rather complex since the legitimate heir to the throne (Juan de Bourbon, Count of Barcelona) was a man with whom Franco agreed on practically nothing. The Count of Barcelona made his political philosophies publicly know in the so-called Laussane Manifesto (Mar, 1945), the contents of which were diametrically opposed to the Franco Regime on practically all matters of importance.
Hence, in ’47 Franco did the only thing he regarded as workable — restoring the monarchy in theory but leaving the throne vacant, pending an eventual nomination to fill the seat. The temporary vacancy last 22 years when the Count’s son (Juan Carlos I) was officially designated as heir to the dual roles of head-of-state & commander-in-chief of the armed forces.”
Furthermore, Franco disliked Juan (father of Juan Carlos), whom he suspected of being an Anglophile (Franco despised the British and referred to Great Britain as “perfidious Albion”); he was also determined to be the sole arbiter of Spain’s destiny. And so he was. For the next thirty-six years, Franco remained the country’s unchallenged caudillo, or strongman, and although he declared Spain a monarchy once again, in 1947, he kept the throne empty, leaving Don Juan to languish and fret in neighboring Portugal, even as Franco himself assumed the role of dispenser of noble titles.
In a cruelly Shakespearean twist, Franco asked Don Juan to send him his son, Juan Carlos, who was then ten, to be educated and groomed under Franco’s supervision. In 1969, when Juan Carlos was thirty-one, Franco summoned him and informed the young man of his decision to make him his successor, with the title of King of Spain . (Excerpt from this article)
Juan Carlos met and consulted with Franco many times, standing next to him at ceremonies, publicly supporting his regime, and praising his government. Franco gave full control to Juan Carlos 3 weeks before his death in 1975. Juan Carlo’s position was further legitimized on 1977 when his father formally renounced his claim to the throne.
On paper, Juan Carlos retained fairly extensive reserve powers. He was the guardian of the Constitution and was responsible for ensuring that it was obeyed. In practice, since the passage of the Constitution (and especially since 1982), he took a mostly non-partisan and representative role, acting almost entirely on the advice of the government.
Juan Carlos enjoyed extreme popularity in Spain for many years until multiple scandals (detailed below) were made public about him and his family. As a result, he abdicated the throne on behalf of his son.
Coup D'Etat
Ever since the dictator Francisco Franco had died in 1975, Spain had been changing at the speed of light. Democratic reform was the watchword of the decade, and each reform came one after the other. King Juan Carlos had handed power to parliament and instituted a new constitution. It was all way too fast for Spain's conservatives. According to history.com, it came to a head on February 23, 1981. Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 members of the civil guard in invading the Cortes, Spain's legislature building. They fired shots in the air and took the parliament hostage.
Spaniards were glued to their television sets for 18 hours as the band of civil guards held the Cortes. King Juan Carlos appealed to the Spanish army to condemn these renegades and affirm their loyalty to the new constitution. The army did and the bandits had to retreat in shame, thus preserving Spain's democracy.
Shooting of Little Brother
In 1956, at age 18, he shot his younger brother Alfonso in the head while the two were playing with a revolver. He has maintained throughout his life that it was an accident, however Alfonso passed away as a result of his injuries.
The financial scandal
Juan Carlos’s daughter, Princess Cristina, is married to Inaki Urdangarin. Urdangarin and his ex-business associate, Diego Torres, were the leading figures in the Nóos Institute, a non-profit that secured no-bid contracts from the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearic Islands using Urdangarin’s influence.Urdangarin and Torres also used their non-profit to divert around €6.2 million from public contracts secured for organizing sports events into private accounts. Urdangarin’s wife, Cristina de Borbón, sat on the board of a company, Aizoon, that was allegedly used to channel part of these funds. She was made to testify in the case, and was ultimately fined for having benefited from her husband’s scheme, but was acquitted of tax fraud complicity.
In June 2018 he was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison; he is currently imprisoned in Ávila.
The hunting trip
In 2012 the King injured himself on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana. At a time when Spainairds were suffering from a lagging economy, this trip was viewed as obscene in terms of expenses and extravagance. Spain’s unemployment was at 23%, and nearly 50% for young workers. To make matters worse, he was the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund.
The public was only made aware of the trip because the King was injured and had to be helicoptered from the scene. Even worse - his mistress was there with him.
Abdication
In 2014 Juan Carlos announced his plans to abdicate the throne in favor of his son, Felipe.
Post-Abdication Scandals
More recently, it emerged that Juan Carlos had accepted a previously undeclared “gift” of a hundred million dollars from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah—allegedly a bribe in return for his help in arranging a lucrative fast-rail-construction contract.
Further roiling the public, one of Juan Carlos’s former lovers, a Danish-born events organizer named Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein—who had accompanied him on his Botswana safari—has acknowledged that Juan Carlos had given her, some years ago, sixty-five million euros (worth about eighty-four million dollars at the time). This “gift” is believed to have come out of the funds given to Juan Carlos by King Abdullah.
The latest bombshell shaking the royal house involves secret audio recordings of princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a German aristocrat living in Monte Carlo who for years has been romantically linked to the 80-year-old former king and now accuses him of using her name to buy property in Morocco, of accumulating a secret fortune hidden in several Swiss bank accounts under the name of one of his cousins, Alvaro d'Orleans Bourbon, of using fake cut-outs to commit tax fraud and of taking millions in commissions on state contracts.
As a result, the current King Felipe announced he would renounce his personal inheritance from his father and that his father would no longer receive a royal allowance. Afterwards, Juan Carlos vanished.
Exile
In August of this year (2020), Juan Carlos sent a public letter to King Felipe VI, saying that he would be leaving the country due to “the public repercussions that certain past events in [his] private life are generating.” Later reports speculated that he had either gone to Portugal, where his father, Don Juan de Borbón, lived in exile for part of his life, or to the Dominican Republic, which he has visited multiple times. It’s a sign that the figurehead of Spanish democracy understands that he has endangered his legacy—and the monarchy itself.
It has not been published where Juan Carlos is currently living, however photos have been obtained that appear to show Juan Carlos disembarking a plane in Abu Dhabi.
Read more:
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/08/juan-carlos-former-king-why-is-he-in-exile
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53642283#:~:text=Juan%20Carlos%20abdicated%20in%202014,took%20during%20Spain's%20financial%20crisis.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51902673
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53415781
Marriage:
Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of the King of Greece in 1962. In an effort for young, suitable European royals to meet and mingle (and also to boost tourism in Greece), Sophia’s mother arranged a Mediterranean cruise on the Greek yacht Agamemnon in 1954. Several teenaged and twenty-something royals were invited on the trip touring a handful of Greek islands. Juan Carlos and Sofia were among the young royals on the cruise.
They met up at additional weddings and events over the next several years, and were officially reunited in Rome at the 1960 Olympic Games. The Greek royal family held a dinner for the Spanish guests onboard their ship, Polemistis. Following the Olympics, Juan Carlos and his family were invited to spend Christmas 1960 in Greece.
In 1961, Sofia traveled to the UK to attend the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. Juan Carlos was picked to serve as her escort. Following the wedding, Juan Carlos spent the summer of 1961 in Greece and the two announced their engagement in 1961.
Due to Juan Carlos’ uneasy position in Spain, an Athens wedding was planned for May, the beginning of the tourist season in Greece. The celebrations involved 4 ½ months of nearly round-the-clock preparation headed by Colonel Dimitri Levidis, Grand Marshal of the Greek royal court.
Their marriage has never been a happy one and Juan Carlos is known to have had multiple affairs. Though the King is in exile, they remain married, however it is known that they have lived largely separate lives for many years.
Their wedding and more
You can see him giving a speech in English here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4FJczB_aco
Queen Sofia (b. 1938)
Sofia is the eldest child of King Paul of Greece, and is the daughter, sister, wife, and mother of a King. She was educated at a boarding school in Germany, then studied childcare, music, and archeology in Athens. She was a reserve member of Greece’s gold medal winning sailing team at the 1960 Olympic games.
Sofia is now immensely popular in Spain. She is known to quietly endure the monarchy’s trials, putting her own professional obligations ahead of anything else. This was not, however, always the case. Throughout her reign she has been regarded with skepticism because of her foreign background and mediocre Spanish skills.
In 2008, Queen Sofía shared some of her political ideology during an interview with journalist Pilar Urbano. One of them was her belief that same-sex marriage should not be called marriage. "If those persons want to live together, dress up as bride and groom and get married, they can do so, but that should not be called marriage because it is not," the queen is quoted as saying in Urbano's book.
Her controversial comments about same-sex marriage particularly elicited outrage among liberal groups, and the Royal Palace quickly shared an apology but qualified it by implying she had been misquoted.
Though her husband is in exile, Sofia has remained in Spain and continues to undertake official duties on behalf of her son, the King. She is a vital weapon in Felipe VI’s battle to shore up the popularity of a monarchy hit by scandal and now, suggestions from some politicians that it might have seen better days. Consistently one of the most admired members of the Spanish Royal Family, the enduring affection and respect that Queen Sofía inspires will be needed by her son as he faces a turbulent future for the monarchy.
She speaks Greek, English, German and Spanish.
See her giving a speech in English
King Felipe VI (b. 1968)
Ascended the throne in 2014 upon the abdication of his father. He is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces. He attended high school in Canada and studied at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He completed his academic studies by obtaining a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown, where he was the roommate of his cousin Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.
From 1985-1993 he spent time completing his military training.
Felipe speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, English, and Greek.
He was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona games in 1992 and was the Spanish team’s flag bearer.
Marriage:
The exact details around how Felipe and Letizia met are unknown, however it is reported that they met at a dinner party in 2003. They dated in secret for more than a year before surprising the public with their engagement in 2003.The two were married in 2004 in Madrid.
Her Gown
More on the wedding, more here
Watch their wedding (it POURED rain)
See Felipe meet Barack Obama (in English)
Author's Note: Google photos of Felipe. You won't be sorry.
Queen Letizia (b. 1972)
Letizia was born in Spain, the daughter of a journalist and registered nurse. She completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism as well as a master’s degree in audiovisual journalism. She worked as the evening anchor of the TVE evening news, the most viewed newscast in Spain. She reported from Washington DC in 2000 on the presidential elections, 2001 from Ground Zero, and 2003 from Iraq.
She was actually married once before Felipe to a writer and high school teacher after dating for almost 10 years. Their marriage lasted one year.
Letizia is far from Spain’s most popular member of the royal family. There was a public spat with her mother-in-law, and it made news when she scolded her fiance for interrupting her during their engagement interview.
She is known for her fashion and beauty. In 2008 she underwent surgery on her nose to “correct a respiratory problem”, however afterwards her nose was notably different.
Author's Note: I feel like I gave a negative impression of Letizia here, but to be honest it's a bit hard to find information about heher personality. I would love someone who is more familiar to fill us all in.
Watch her speak in English here
Felipe and Letizia have two daughters:
Crown Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias (b. 2005)
Leonor is heir presumptive to the throne of Spain. She does not go by Crown Princess, but rather by Princess of Asturias, the title given to the heirs in Spain (like Prince of Wales in the UK). The Spanish monarchy operates under a system of male-preference cognatic primogeniture, meaning if Felipe were to have a male heir he would replace Leonor in the line of succession. Felipe and Letizia appear to be done having children, however.
In 2018, she was invested by her father with the Order of the Golden Fleece, the most senior order in Spain and the highest award the King can bestow. She is one of only 4 females to be inducted into it.
The other 3 women are Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrix, and Queen Margrethe of Denmark (no big deal!!!)
See the proud fathedaughter moment here.
In 2019, at age 14, she gave a speech in both English and Spanish at the Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony. (such poise!!)
Another speech (her proud parents *I'm crying*!!)
Infanta Sofia (b. 2007)
Sofia is the second daughter of the King and Queen. She is a student in Madrid.
See photos of the family from Spain’s National Day on 10/12. https://twitter.com/CasaReal/status/1315601785382416384?s=20
Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo (b. 1963)
Elena is the eldest child of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, however because Spain operates under male-preference cognatic primogeniture, her younger brother Felipe is King of Spain.
She married Jamie de Marichalar y Saenz de Tejada in Seville and has two children:
Elena and Jamie divorced in 2009. She undertakes engagements on behalf of her brother, the King.
Infanta Cristina, (stripped of title Duchess of Palma de Mallorca) (b. 1965)
Cristina was born in Madrid, the younger daughter of the King and Queen. She is a sailor and competed in the 1988 summer Olympics. She completed a degree in political science from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, then an MA in international relations from New York University in 1990. She then worked at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, French, and Greek.
Cristina married handball player Inaki Urdangarin in Barcelona in 1997. They have four children:
I talked about this above, but she and her husband were investigated and tried for fraud for their ties to a corruption scandal involving a company they owned. Cristina was acquitted, however her husband is currently serving a prison sentence.
Because of the scandal, her brother officially stripped her of her title in 2015. Her right of succession and the royal title of Infanta were unaffected.
Read more about the scandal here
Jewels
http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/p/spain.htmlhttp://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2017/07/the-top-ten-spanish-royal-tiaras.html
http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2017/07/the-top-ten-spanish-royal-tiaras.htmlhttps://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/g28621289/spanish-royal-family-summer-holiday-mallorca-photos-2019/
Vacation
Random note but the Spanish royals vacation in Palma de Mallorca for the summer each year and always produce some of my favorite family photos.
See some here, here, here, or just google them.
A Monarchy in Trouble
Though Felipe and his mother, Queen Sofia, are well-liked, support for the monarchy in Spain has always been thin at best. Coupled with all of the scandals discussed above, Felipe is tasked with saving a monarchy that at times is extremely unpopular with the public. He has had to publicly distance himself from his father, his sister, and other family friends involved in these scandals. This has eroded the appearance of family unity in the monarchy.
From an article:
Despite his attractive family and relative youth, Felipe has struggled to maintain the level of popularity he had heading into his current position. As head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces as well as king, he looks all-powerful on paper, but like many other royals his role is more figurehead than policy-maker. Spain's monarch is looked to for guidance and leadership, though, and he can certainly still be blamed when things go wrong.
Felipe, who in 2015 cut his own salary by almost 20 percent as the country continued to pull itself out of its recession, received a four-minute ovation after delivering his annual address marking the opening of Spain's new legislative session in February, in which he said that the opposing parties that have formed the current coalition government must come together, that "the time has come for words, for arguments and for reasoning, from a position of mutual respect."
To add to his troubles, Catalonia has been trying to split from Spain and gain independence for quite sometime, and Catalonian’s do not want a monarchy. In fact, they recently passed a non-binding motion condemning the monarchy in the wake of Juan Carlos’s departure from Spain. The proposal “Catalonia is a republic and does not want a king” was passed by 69 votes in favor and 65 against. In a recent article out of Catalonia, less than 15% of Catalans prefer having a king to a republic.
As a result, Felipe and Letizia have been pulling out all of the stops to present a united family front and a strong monarchy to the public - they have been undertaking public engagements more often, invited the press into their home, and we’re seeing more and more of their two daughters in an attempt to improve their favorability in Spain.
From 2018 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2018/08/12/royal-family-in-trouble-spanish-monarchy-mired-in-new-ugly-scandal/#5b40b53d480a
From 2019 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2020/06/09/spanish-monarchy-under-fire/#7910b8d41b26
From 2020 - https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/13/is-spanish-spain-juan-carlos-corruption-royal-family-finished/
submitted by cincbus to RoyalsGossip [link] [comments]


2020.10.13 16:12 darkuni Beat Saber (Multiplayer Edition) + BMBF + Quest 2: The Unicorn Update Post

TL;DR Status: Release is live!
This is my official "unicorn progress" post on the modding of Beat Saber (Multiplayer Edition), updates to BMBF and any progress getting BMBF to work on Quest 2. If you have a Quest 1 and want to roll back to Linkin Park, click here.
I will update this post as I know more. All times are in Pacific; reverse chronological order.
10/18 - 20:58: The release is live! Go get it at the official site. My tutorial is up to date. Enjoy!
10/18 - 17:21: Testing has gone well and we're looking at a release. Everyone wants to know "When???!!!", I know. We're hoping for tonight - but truth is, it may end up being tomorrow. There is a lot of Unicoordination still remaining and software development does have a rather non-glamorous side (developers call it "release day"). Look at it this way? Worst case? You only have one more day of my terrible geezer movie quotes and pop culture references to endure. Then you'll be enjoying the best custom songs out there (you know, with music you love).
While we're here and talking about heroes like the Unicorns, I'd like to direct your attention to the "downstream heroes" of Beat Saber's custom songs; the mappers. We all have our favorites (TechButterfly and MajorPickle keep me in old-man pop and rock from the 70s and 80s) and there are other well known artists out there like Joetastic .. but just because they aren't on the cover of Beat Saber Monthly doesn't mean there aren't dozens (if not hundreds) of amazing artists - yes, I call them artists (have you seen what it takes to make a custom song?) - that we should all sometimes reach out to and say "thank you"; because while the the Unicorns make it possible, BMBF wouldn't be providing that value without the work of these talented people.
If you're new to Beat Saber, I urge you spend some time on Beast Saber (insane website and repo; make an account, start bookmarking songs) and queue up these pages (my tutorial, how to use bookmark syncing, a shameless plug to my Playlist Editor Pro tool). If you have no idea what BMBF is, you might start here. There are going to be release notes (as always) and many people ignore them (I've been guilty as well). Even those of you that are "old hats" at BMBF, I urge you to check the release notes very carefully as there are some things you will to know about.
Finally, since you're still reading - I urge ... no, implore you to not use any tutorials or videos that do not explicitly tell you they are for Beat Saber 1.12 (aka Multiplayer Edition) and BMBF 1.12 (the one to be released shortly). Videos are very hard to update and people do not take them down when they go stale and out of date. These and other out of date tutorials could provide links to old versions of BMBF (or worse - factory resets). I understand not everyone likes my tutorial format as it is extremely comprehensive; but if you're not going to use mine - please find one that is fully up to date. You do not want your first experience with Beat SabeBMBF to be miserable. Thank you.
10/18 - 07:22: If I keep having to make these updates ... we're gonna need a bigger Reddit. I had already turned in last night, but we are approaching RC status (Release Candidate). There are still some unfinished items (more housekeeping stuff than anything), more testing (and regression from that testing as applicable), then the whole "package and deliver" -- which you would think would be the absolute easiest part, but requires "Unicoordination" (that's a trademark, patent pending) - and that can, in itself, be somewhat time consuming. I wish I could give you an ETA, but I can't. I would also continue to warn you with peace and love, if you live by two rules? Never get involved in a land war with Asia - but slightly lesser known? Don't use nightlies if you're not a developer. It shouldn't be too much longer and while I know everyone is chomping at the bit to play TechButterfly's Karma Chameleon custom map (and if you're not, you oughta be) - just be patient a tad bit more and leave the nightlies alone.
On an unrelated note, I managed to get four movie references in for this update.
10/17 - 16:36: As the sun falls in the Valley of the Unicorns, we see ourselves with a new update. I'm warning you with peace and love, there will be some things not working or working right when we release (which the unicorns are very hopeful will be tomorrow). A full list will accompany the release, but multiplayer is still currently off the table and there has been an issue noted with the original code that hampers the ability to display and navigate more than 8 playlists. The unicorns are confident that a patch from the devs will come to solve that; unicorns will not be. If you are someone that has a lot of playlists? I would totally advise you to wait until Beat Saber is fixed before going through all the effort of modding now. There may be some other aesthetic issues; such as the playlist images in OST playlists appearing borked in BMBF (not in game) and currently, BMBF on Quest 2 will close itself due to inactivity after one minute (this is going to impact folks that use my tools like Playlist Editor Pro, BeatMapper Tools and other people's apps that rely on BMBF to constantly run quietly in the background) - more details on this when it releases. On a positive note, the ever-diligent and hard working unicorns have some quality of life fixes added - like some warnings when you are using an out of date BMBF (shame on you for using out of date tutorials) or if you're trying to use a nightly build (when you probably shouldn't be). Things like that. I calculate that's the end of this update. I'll update you all later tonight if anything startling happens (like release candidates being ready).
10/17 - 09:32: OMG ... there are times when I wish I could share EVERYTHING with you .. but there are some exciting things going on surrounding Beat Saber outside the normal updates to BMBF. Sigh, being on the inside; blessing and curse ...
10/17 - 08:56: Morning scurrying is in progress - nothing to report, per se; many of the unicorns are still asleep (maybe dreaming of a world where Beat Saber has custom song support built in on Quest). Just wanted you all to know the unicorns and I are still here. :)
10/16 - 20:23: There is still frolicking going on at Club Unicorn this evening, but nothing to report. No, there is no ETA. No, Q1 edition will likely not be released first. Hopefully more to report mid-morning tomorow. Like Ringo says ... Peace and love .. peace and LOVE.
10/16 - 13:29: Unicorn 11 has given me some word. Quest 1 is pretty much done - little more clean up and testing (remember, for Q1 users Linkin Park still works). Q2 still needs more work - more dev is needed to look over a few more potential obstacles. The purple-mane'd programmer wants to release a fully working BMBF for both devices at the same time; so while Q1 is near gold? It will wait for the sophomore device edition to be ready as well. I know you're all itching for a time frame there are still a couple of unknown factors that need to be dealt with (the unicorns do have other obligations too) so I hesitate to give anyone a false hope. I did mention earlier in this log to give them the weekend, right?
10/16 - 08:31: The unicorns sleep as one. Wait, no .. ugh, that doesn't sound right at all! All is quiet in unicorn country right now. They have labored hard and deserve the rest (I know you guys are reading this now ... seriously, get to bed, dammit ...) Unicorn gifts are always worth the wait. If anything awesome happens today, I'll update you here.
10/15 - 17:37: The unicorns have "cracked the Q2" so to speak. A custom song has been successfully loaded on Quest 2. You can breathe now. Custom songs are loading on both Q1 and Q2. They are nowhere near done and there is still a lot to do. No, no release today. Unicorns assure me they have at least another full day of effort - so no ETA is to be given. The initial hurdle is over - now the less glamorous work. Probably no more updates today.
10/15 - 12:50: First thing worth reporting today. On Quest 1, a custom song loaded in BS: MP Edition. Every journey starts with a first step. Another unicorn picked up a Quest 2, so that might help speed things up a little in that department. No word on Quest 2 progress, sorry.
10/15 - 07:31: The unicorns are scurrying.
10/14 - 22:23: All quiet in Unicorn-land. There is no progress of note to mention but also no talk of "giving up" or "it can't be done" - and I say this because I know people are really REALLY anxious and are talking about skipping Quest's Beat Saber and going with a PC VR + Link/VD solution and the longer this takes, the more likely people are to "go the other way". I would review the differences carefully before making a hasty jump. Give the unicorns at least the weekend to work, ya? It is like watching some sort of ritual - seeing the unicorns work as one and there are a lot of changes that seem inconsequential to us (UI changes) but are really making them have to labor on the fix. I find myself asking questions about why x or y is making things such a pain; and while I hail from a development background, these guys are superstars and almost hypnotic to watch. Lots of moving parts; not just UI but song loading (lots around that), asset loading (sabers, et al), hook mods (things the increase the functionality, not just the visuals) and so much more. Most of the time, these things don't all need to be touched - this time though, they seem to have their paws in every piece of the equation.
10/14 - 16:40: They say no news is good news, but that doesn't really apply here. The unicorn plethora are still working diligently at solving the problems at hand. They are trying to solve both Q1 and Q2 at the same time; the issues to overcome are partially overlapped - and there are additional hurdles on Q2 to overcome (which looks like it will require process departure from the current methodologies - and that takes time). There is still no end to end WIP mod at this time. This isn't going to be a quick process folks. I recommend Q1 folks roll back if possible and hang out. Q2? Go play TWDSS for a couple of days.
10/14 - 12:35: Unicorns say no matter what, even if progress is made today - there will be no release today. For what it is worth, there has not been a successful end to end test on either Q1 or Q2 at this time.
10/14 - 10:22: There is scurrying going on with the unicorns, but really nothing to report. I know people are watching the space carefully and didn't want you to think nothing was going on. I would like to re-iterate: There is no working custom song solution for Quest 2 - regardless of what version of the game you have. Bringing this up because people keep asking about it; you cannot roll back to Linkin Park and get access. If you're on Quest 1, roll back to Linkin Park use the current BMBF and sit tight.
10/14 - 06:55: Good morning everyone. The unicorns sleep as one. Overnight there was discussion about seriously trying to get MP working in a modded condition; opinions are that it can't be done ... could be done but require some serious work. No disposition on that yet. As of this morning - there is no working BMBF for Q1 or Q2 on MP edition.
10/13 - 16:27: Still being worked on. Definitely no release today for sure. We'll see how things go. Nothing really to report solid. "Progress toward ..."
10/13 - 15:22: Modded Beat Saber (Q1 or Q2) = no multiplayer or OST leaderboard scores.
10/13 - 15:12: Progress is being made. The crew is looking at a possible build for Quest 1/BS MP Edition at this time. Still ironing out issues though. Doesn't look insurmountable at this point.
10/13 - 14:12: Rather don't suspect custom songs will work with MP features (did anyone think they possibly would?) Unicorns are still scurrying. Nothing concrete to report about anything on either Q1 or BS:MP yet.
10/13 - 12:59: Unicorns are working on both Q2 fixes and BS: MP Edition at the same time. The goal is to make a single BMBF for both - but it wouldn't surprise me if we ended up with two versions of BMBF going forward. At this time, there is no working solution yet for either.
10/13 - 09:46: Unicorns are in active discussion regarding Q2 issues.
10/13 - 07:47: Reminder to backup your existing modded BS AND the Linkin Park unmodded APK in your BMBF backup folder. Take this off-device; BMBF will overwrite your unmodded backup with a newer version - (the multiplayer edition) when you first attempt to mod. Should you ever have to roll back, it isn't super easy to get the older, original APK.
10/13 - 07:11: Original post. Unicorn confirms the current BS/BMBF solution does not work on Quest 2 (as was originally reported earlier). While waiting for the BS MP Edition to drop, they are exploring the Q2 BMBF issues.
submitted by darkuni to OculusQuest [link] [comments]


2020.10.13 05:24 Foomama48 What do I do with all this now?

About 4 weeks post break up with a man I was going to marry. Kids and ex wife gave him an ultimatum, if he married me they were out of his life. He caved. So now, I’m trying to pull myself out of hell. Self care, therapist, reaching out, reading about healing, trying not to fall into a hole everyday. Chatting on dating sites just to get my mind off him, don’t want a relationship at all. Had a good convo tonight, easy, lots of laughs. They want to meet up sometime. I guess this is moving on.
Except, how? All I can think is, I don’t want to them. I don’t want this. I wanted to be your wife. I wasn’t with you because I was lonely, or needed security, or was afraid at my age to be alone. I wasn’t with you because of anything you could do for me, I wasn’t with you because I was settling, or any of the countless reasons we have for being with people. I didn’t stick by your side through all the bullshit because you were god’s gift to woman, or because I was too weak to leave, or because I thought I couldn’t do better, or any of the countless reasons we have for staying in relationships. I was with you, I stayed, because I loved you, because I liked you-just you, flaws and all. I was with you, I stayed because you were my best friend, my favorite person, because my face lit up when I saw you, and yours lit up just the same, even through all the chaos. I was with you, I stayed because I loved you, because I wanted to be your wife, because through it all you still felt like home. I wanted to go to rv shows with you, and watch SNL with you, and cook with you, and laugh with you, and all of everything with you. I wanted to make all the memories with you, I wanted to grow old with you. I wanted to be your wife.
And now, because you didn’t have the guts to stand up for us, or just didn’t have the same want for me that I thought you had, I’m going to have to move forward in all the ways I didn’t want. I just loved you, for you, in no uncertain terms. I wanted to be your wife, so now what do I do with all of that? Where do I put that? How do I kill that? What do I do with all of it? What are you doing with all of it?
submitted by Foomama48 to BreakUps [link] [comments]


2020.10.11 06:00 YeetThatFeetMeat 21M In Dire Need of Advice

I decided to write this gigantic ass rant on a throwaway account (hence my lovely username), because some of my friends started becoming aware of my real account...I want this to be a story they can see without knowing who actually wrote it in real life, ya know? Anyhow, I'm calling to the people of Reddit here, and some other places across the site as well, for some much-needed advice. Names in this story will be changed for the sake of privacy.
For the longest time, I've always had shit luck when it came to attempting to date/help people. Either I've been cheated on, left for another man who she would then abandon days later, or even just have a severe mental breakdown and sabotage everything they had. I realized I was out of options, especially with the quarantine kicking things into maximum overdrive. I thought to myself long and hard, and I realized I needed to stop looking for people who I saw as absolute goddesses. People that were just so far above anything I had ever deserved. So, I started to ask for someone who would understand me, and someone relatable. I wanted someone who was like me. They didn't have to be someone to date, just someone with whom I could be close with for the rest of my life, because I was tired of people leaving me for greener pastures. They didn't need to be the most amazing creation on this green Earth. I just wanted them to be human.
The day after thinking that to my sleep, I went to a virtual club and met who now is basically one of the most amazing people I know, with whom I am extremely close to, despite having known her for a short period of time. I'm gonna call her...uuuhhh...Melody.
In the small timeframe we've gotten to know each other, Melody and I are on that level where we basically trust each other with everything, from our darkest secrets, to the simple shit that happened in our day. She unfortunately suffers from social anxiety, but I have somehow gained her trust to be comfortable talking with me about it, despite literally no one else having that privilege. And this was in what...a week's time?
She has made me more confident in myself than I have been my entire life. She makes me want to push myself to be the best that I can be, and step out of my comfort zone. She's so much like me, that it's eerie. I used to joke with people that she was basically me from another dimension, except way smaller and lacking a penis.
There's one major problem...she lives like 4 hours away. Now, the simple solution I'm sure you've brewed up is "just drive to her house 4head". Well, I can't. You see, her mother is a grade-A germaphobe. Due to this being compacted with the COVID-19 pandemic, Melody hasn't been allowed to see anyone in over 4-5 months.
Seeing as my last ex had a similar situation where she had parents that tracked her location at all times, and were almost always home, I felt like this was nothing alien to me. I had managed to see my ex in our relationship with all of these underlying circumstances, so how would this be any different? Turns out with her being so far away, her mom being a huge germaphobe, that was enough to be a major obstacle. But, I had an epiphany of how I could see her at her place, without her or anyone in her family having any chance of getting sick (basically she opens her window and I just yell through that shit). Then comes issue #3, she's too anxious to have me over, or tell me her address in the first place. She knows my address, cause we've discussed the idea of meeting up before, to inform her of how far away I lived from her.
According to Melody, I'm "too unpredictable", and that's why she won't give me her location. She doesn't mind giving out her address, but it's just the fact that I am what I am I guess. Truth be told, I originally just wanted her address only to send her a Christmas gift in the event that I wouldn't be able to see her in person. Melody be smart though, and seemed to catch on to the idea that in theory I could take a road trip and see her in person with the gift instead as a surprise.
See, at times I get really confused with Melody. I'm the person she trusts pretty much more than anyone else, and yet she gets really anxious for me to come say hi? To be fair, she doesn't like having people over if she's never met anyone in person, so that's fair. But there were other occurrences where I found out that me being in like a group call with people made her more anxious than when I wasn't in there, which upsets me because I'm doing my best to make her as comfortable as possible and want her to be happy with being herself.
I made a promise to her a while ago that we would see each other before I graduate, since I am a senior in our college right now, she is currently a freshman (18F). She's been really lonely these past few months, and I wanted to go see her to remind her to be strong during this pandemic, and that it'll be over soon. We'll get to see each other whenever we want, and she can see all of her friends again, and she can meet my peeps and I can meet her peeps.
The more time passes, the more horrible I feel since it seems more and more that it won't happen. My only chance of fulfilling my promise is for her to somehow be let onto campus next semester, so I can drive up there to see her on weekends. I'm also terrified of her forgetting about me before the quarantine ends, and I'll just be some distant memory, a pandemic story for a late-night campfire.
I need advice, lots of it. How can I find a way to see her during these harsh conditions? How can I keep myself composed during all of this (I'm supposed to be strong for her and what not)? Why is Steve in Smash Brothers? Why does the most comfortable person also make her the most anxious, and how can I make it so she's less nervous/afraid?
submitted by YeetThatFeetMeat to helpme [link] [comments]


2020.10.11 05:45 YeetThatFeetMeat 21M In Dire Need of Advice

I decided to write this gigantic ass rant on a throwaway account (hence my lovely username), because some of my friends started becoming aware of my real account...I want this to be a story they can see without knowing who actually wrote it in real life, ya know? Anyhow, I'm calling to the people of Reddit here, and some other places across the site as well, for some much-needed advice. Names in this story will be changed for the sake of privacy.
For the longest time, I've always had shit luck when it came to attempting to date/help people. Either I've been cheated on, left for another man who she would then abandon days later, or even just have a severe mental breakdown and sabotage everything they had. I realized I was out of options, especially with the quarantine kicking things into maximum overdrive. I thought to myself long and hard, and I realized I needed to stop looking for people who I saw as absolute goddesses. People that were just so far above anything I had ever deserved. So, I started to ask for someone who would understand me, and someone relatable. I wanted someone who was like me. They didn't have to be someone to date, just someone with whom I could be close with for the rest of my life, because I was tired of people leaving me for greener pastures. They didn't need to be the most amazing creation on this green Earth. I just wanted them to be human.
The day after thinking that to my sleep, I went to a virtual club and met who now is basically one of the most amazing people I know, with whom I am extremely close to, despite having known her for a short period of time. I'm gonna call her...uuuhhh...Melody.
In the small timeframe we've gotten to know each other, Melody and I are on that level where we basically trust each other with everything, from our darkest secrets, to the simple shit that happened in our day. She unfortunately suffers from social anxiety, but I have somehow gained her trust to be comfortable talking with me about it, despite literally no one else having that privilege. And this was in what...a week's time?
She has made me more confident in myself than I have been my entire life. She makes me want to push myself to be the best that I can be, and step out of my comfort zone. She's so much like me, that it's eerie. I used to joke with people that she was basically me from another dimension, except way smaller and lacking a penis.
There's one major problem...she lives like 4 hours away. Now, the simple solution I'm sure you've brewed up is "just drive to her house 4head". Well, I can't. You see, her mother is a grade-A germaphobe. Due to this being compacted with the COVID-19 pandemic, Melody hasn't been allowed to see anyone in over 4-5 months.
Seeing as my last ex had a similar situation where she had parents that tracked her location at all times, and were almost always home, I felt like this was nothing alien to me. I had managed to see my ex in our relationship with all of these underlying circumstances, so how would this be any different? Turns out with her being so far away, her mom being a huge germaphobe, that was enough to be a major obstacle. But, I had an epiphany of how I could see her at her place, without her or anyone in her family having any chance of getting sick (basically she opens her window and I just yell through that shit). Then comes issue #3, she's too anxious to have me over, or tell me her address in the first place. She knows my address, cause we've discussed the idea of meeting up before, to inform her of how far away I lived from her.
According to Melody, I'm "too unpredictable", and that's why she won't give me her location. She doesn't mind giving out her address, but it's just the fact that I am what I am I guess. Truth be told, I originally just wanted her address only to send her a Christmas gift in the event that I wouldn't be able to see her in person. Melody be smart though, and seemed to catch on to the idea that in theory I could take a road trip and see her in person with the gift instead as a surprise.
See, at times I get really confused with Melody. I'm the person she trusts pretty much more than anyone else, and yet she gets really anxious for me to come say hi? To be fair, she doesn't like having people over if she's never met anyone in person, so that's fair. But there were other occurrences where I found out that me being in like a group call with people made her more anxious than when I wasn't in there, which upsets me because I'm doing my best to make her as comfortable as possible and want her to be happy with being herself.
I made a promise to her a while ago that we would see each other before I graduate, since I am a senior in our college right now, she is currently a freshman (18F). She's been really lonely these past few months, and I wanted to go see her to remind her to be strong during this pandemic, and that it'll be over soon. We'll get to see each other whenever we want, and she can see all of her friends again, and she can meet my peeps and I can meet her peeps.
The more time passes, the more horrible I feel since it seems more and more that it won't happen. My only chance of fulfilling my promise is for her to somehow be let onto campus next semester, so I can drive up there to see her on weekends. I'm also terrified of her forgetting about me before the quarantine ends, and I'll just be some distant memory, a pandemic story for a late-night campfire.
I need advice, lots of it. How can I find a way to see her during these harsh conditions? How can I keep myself composed during all of this (I'm supposed to be strong for her and what not)? Why is Steve in Smash Brothers? Why does the most comfortable person also make her the most anxious, and how can I make it so she's less nervous/afraid?
submitted by YeetThatFeetMeat to Advice [link] [comments]


2020.10.11 01:09 jae_nan [Tea?] - Part 2

[Part 1]
###
When you spend centuries trying to live as a human and completely forbidden to do things that should be natural to you, jumping back to it is a real challenge. Louis found himself uncomfortable through the very first moments of flying. Yes, it was, indeed, amazing to break free his wings and to feel the wind through his skin and feathers again, but the idea of an Angel that couldn’t fly properly was setting him upset.
In the night sky, he found no other Grim Reaper until he got on the site he was ordered to be. Those were dark times, and people were dying everywhere.
After a while, a church could be seen emerging in the horizon, and soon other Angels came to Louis’s sight. It was Good Friday service, so the church would be filled with devoted Christians.
‘Finally home, eh?’ Louis heard as soon as his foot touched the soil. That voice he knew pretty well. ‘Long time no see, Aharon?’
Azrael,’ Louis answered, ‘thank the merciful Lord, I’m back.’
‘Thank Zir, indeed.’
Azrael, the Angel of Death. For many ages, he was the one and only. But soon the Earth population became grew uncontrollably and, as you may know, Angels are powerful, but they’re not omnipresent. Soon other Angels came to be Azrael assistants. Louis, known by the Angels’ speech as Aharon (a name I will not use to refer to him), was one of them. What he did before being a Grim Reaper is not important at all. Now, something you may, or may not, be wondering is about the fact that Grim Reapers are Angels and not Demons. You see, although Death was, indeed, brought to humanity by the First Sin, God highly prefers taking care of Death Zirself. Demons are not realy trustful spirits, are they?
‘Aharon!’ an approaching Angel said, ‘so nice to see you again!’
Kasbiel! Thank God, for Zir heard my prayers! I missed you so much!’ Louis joined him in a hug.
Kasbiel was a very dear friend of his. They enjoyed their praying time together and, back in Heaven, their favourite time-killer was observing humanity evolving. Human life was fascinating for them, but they found themselves very unhappy once Sins became such a common thing for human beings.
‘Are you ready to perform your job today, Aharon?,’ asked Azrael. ‘Hope you don’t make a spectacle out of yourself again?’
Louis smiled shyly, and answered not a single word. Louis, long ago, before books came to be bound, made a terrible and amateur mistake. A man was sacrificing himself, being buried for the sake of constructing a chapel. Odhrán, as he was called, said he heard a voice saying that the chapel would not stand until the life of a man was offered. Of course, that was quite a nonsense, probably a demon disturbing the mind of the poor man, making him believe in such an absurdity. Louis found himself unable to collect his soul. He gave up after some hesitating minutes, leaving the man alive underground.
Some days after the burial, the man’s father unburied the body, so he could see his son’s face once more. Still alive, Odhrán tried to escape his cave. When Louis saw the reaction of Odhrán’s father, he regretted his actions instantly. Such a fool he was. Consumed by fear and faith, his own father smashed his son’s head with a rock and gave the body back to the earth. Samael, another Grim Reaper, took the responsibility of collecting Odhrán’s soul. Louis was scolded by God, face to face, and punished to live an eternal human life. But someday, God promised, such eternity would come to an end.
‘And I’m quite sure you’ll fail me again,’ Zir said.
Louis could not swallow the idea of demons changing the fate of humans. That’s what happened back then. He saw a man killing himself under the suggestion of demons, so he couldn’t let that happen. Today, that’s what’s happening again. As an Angel, Louis never doubted God’s words. But he was filled with fear and sadness by the idea of betraying the Lord again. What kind of situation would put him to disobey aga–
‘Oh…’
When his own eyes analyzed the scenario he saw a demonish play being performed in front of his eyes. And everything went worse when not far from him a known person was walking into the church.
Avon.
In a few hours, Louis would fail God once more.
For never more.
The job of a Grim Reaper is to collect the souls. But soon enough other Angels appeared, Angels those Louis could not remember very well. And not just Angels. Fallen angels appeared there too. Demons. The thing is, Angels and demons are always fighting each other. One is trying to save human souls, while the other is fighting to attempt them to do wicked deeds.
The time was passing very slowly. Louis saw a demon whispering devilish things into a man’s ear. Then a gigantic light covered the church.
As soon as the light vanished, the church found itself in debris.
Louis never saw such a hideous thing.
The image repeated itself over and over again. A blinding light burning his eternal eyes and destroying the Lord’s Temple. Then time became a frozen illusion. He barely could hear, for his ears ache with the noise such light produced. Very subtly he heard screams of joy. Slowly turning his head, his eyes drowned in tears. Humans were making a party out of such a terrible act. And the Fallen angels were making a merry as well.
He couldn’t bear it. Closing his eyes in sadness, Louis was falling on a deep state of dissociation, until-
‘Aharon!’ called Kasbiel. “Tis time, come on!’
Waking up from his reveries, Louis finally noticed what was happening. Lots and lots of human bodies were laying down in the debris. Above them, Angels and Demons fighting for souls. Demons can’t, actually, take a soul straight to hell, but, if a Grim Reaper can’t take a soul properly, it results on what humans like to call "ghosts”. Of course there’s no logic in get a soul you can’t take to hell. But demons would never lose the opportunity to fight and upset an Angel.
Grim Reapers are quite strong, they are Angles trained to battle against everything in order to fulfil their goals. In addition, the Holy Glory that every Angel has, and the fallen ones have long lost, is poison to the existence of a demon. It burns their skin, and defy their wicked nature. All this to say, the battle was ceasing soon. Louis ignored all the fighting and, with few other Reapers, he collected a bunch of souls.
He could feel every single heart ceasing its beats. And on the last breath, they needed to be there, so the passage could be as easy as possible. Kneeling close to the victim, the Reapers spread their wings over the corpse, touched the forehead very gently and pulled the soul out of the body.
The souls would keep unconscious until the Reaper performed the spell that transports them to a place where they’ll sleep until the Judgement Day. But sometimes a soul leaves the body consciously awake. It’s hard to calm them down. Especially because you can’t tell them they’re dead.
'For it’s in giving that we receive,’ that was the fifth soul that Louis saw leaving the body consciously that night.
'And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned,’ Louis completed the old nun’s soul.
'And it’s in dying that we are born…’
’… to Eternal life,’ he smiled.
'Amen.’ they sang together.
'Where am I?’ asked the older woman.
'Well, Sister, are you not supposed to be in church? It’s Good Friday service, after all.’
'But I was there indeed… Oh no, I’m sleeping during the mass again? May the Lord forgive me…’
'It’s okay for us to feel tired. The Lord’s work is harsh. Zir’ll understand.’
'That’s very sweet of you, my dear.’ she smiled. 'It’s not the first time I dream with Angels, you know?
‘Oh, really?’
‘Yes, yes,’ she smiled and then her face darkened. ‘Sometimes I dream with demons too…’
‘Aren’t they annoying?’
‘All the time,’ she exclaimed, making both of them laugh, ‘I can’t handle them all the time!’
‘I’ll certify you no demon will bother you, not in my watch.’
‘Oh, darling, thank you very much,’ she smiled, ‘I never saw an Angle like you before, though. You’re so good looking, and your wings are so wide and bright…’
'Thank you very much, Sister,’ he smiled back, 'but you should take a rest’
As soon as she opened her mouth to answer, she fell deeply asleep, thanks to a spell Louis performed. Once he sent her soul back do God he got up–
He felt a known heartbeat. That made him remember a very uncomfortable situation when, earlier, that same heartbeat walked into his tea house.
Avon was about to faint when Louis found her under some debris. Her name was slightly fading on the page of the Reaper’s Book.
Two meters to the right, under some pieces of wood, there laid the briefly known face of Avon. The memory was clear: the girl who was lost in the forest, hopeless fingering the leaves, imagining how would it be to live with the animals and insects. There was a kind of magic behind this idea, she could feel a bit of excitement, remembering a bit of her bed-time stories of the Snow White that her grandmother used to tell her everyday until she… passed away.
Louis could sense it all, in a stare. He could feel her emotions, and her memories, just a glance, and he knew her entirely. It was one of his gifts. Angels cannot enter ones mind, but Grim Reapers can see a few memories once the person is vulnerable.
Other thing Grim Reapers could see in the eyes of a person is the Sign. An unnatural colour in the iris of someone near the edge of the natural life. And there she was, the same face, the same hair, a different dress. And the reluctance of leaving that mortal body.
That, of course, was because it was not time to leave yet.
Louis embraced Avon with his wide, white wings. And in a blink, they weren’t there any more. Azrael stared the empty spot, and smiled sadly.
‘Just as the Lord said,’ he mumbled to himself. ‘It just took shorter than I would ever imagine.’
‘Not now, Menelwen,’ he said passing by a tree near the front door of Le Monde Fabriqué.
The door opened in the presence of the Green Reaper. The whole house fell uneasy with the presence of Louis. And an about-to-die-girl on his arms didn’t exactly eased the house worries worries.
As a matter of fact, Louis had a connection with organic life. And it was mutual. The whole forest were his tea house was placed was already familiarized with him, and he with them. Both animals, and plants. Even the smallest leave. The shop building and furniture were made out of wood, but the oven, which was bricks-made, and the iron stove, fed with wood. So, when the shop sensed Louis arriving, in the middle of the very first night of his job, they knew something was wrong.
‘Just as I suspected,’ Luis heard a tree mention in the old speech. ‘You’re an Angel.’
‘Yes, yes, I’m an Angel,’ he smiled. ‘But I’m a retired one.’
‘For how long, though?’ another one asked.
‘Well, it’s been… about thirteen-sixty years or something?’
‘Oh, Lord…’ said a tree further.
‘Well, Arthion, we must pay for our deeds. Even us Angels.’
‘And when will it even end?’ asked the tree nearer Louis.
‘A century ago I was visited,’ he started. ‘By an old friend. Munkar, her name. It was nice, God sent a Reaper instead of the messenger Gabriel, very thoughtful. Anyway, she gave me a date. About seven or eight years from now I’ll be freed.’
‘It’ll be in no time, you’ll see!’ said the same tree, a tree named Eruraina.
Louis starred down.
‘You’re scared,’ said the nearer tree.
‘I’ve never been so scared, Sadron,’ he wept. Louis was the kind of Angel who expressed his feeling by crying them out. ‘God Zirself said it, I will disobey him once more. I can’t imagine how, but Zir knows everything, what do I know?’
‘Let’s just hope this moment lasts to come…’
‘Yeah,’ he sobbed, ‘that’s what’s left.’
But at the moment, even though the regret was rising in the bottom of his stomach, he was determined. He crossed his shop to the basement, and soon found a table to lay the girl on. She was getting colder with the passing of time. But nothing to worry, he knew what he needed to do.
Louis took off his over coat, and threw it away. But instead of falling flat on the ground, the coat floated itself to a hanger. The angel untied his tie, unbuttoned his waistcoat, and threw it the same way. Again, the clothe pieces floated in mid air and hanged themselves on the hanger. He unbuttoned three or four buttons of his shirt and folded the sleeves up.
Firstly, he touched her forehead and eased the disquiet spirit. She wasn’t going anywhere. Unlike much of you may think, the spirit is, in fact, in the brain. There’s this romantic idea that the heart is the basis of life, but it’s gibberish. The body can live a bit without the heart, but not without the brain. Speaking of heart, normalizing the bloody organ was his second step. The body was already warming up. God was on his side.
Snapping the fingers, a fireplace lit up, and he dragged the table near the fire. Now the most complicated part was settled. Healing the broken bones, failing organs and the wounds in the skin was simple and relatively fast. There was no need of magic at all, but they needed to be quick. Flapping his wing once, he went through the basement ceiling and got to his kitchen. He grabbed some plants and tea herbs. He jumped widely, floating in mid air, and passed through the kitchen’s ground back to the basement, as a ghost.
He rubbed his hands together and snapped his fingers again. Her clothes disappeared instantly. No tinkles or magical lights taking it off, as people usually imagine magic being performed. It just disappeared, as if it was never on her body at all. Louis, praying in the ancient and holy language of the Angels, touched her legs, gently straightened it, and he could feel the fibres of the bones marrying each other once again, He did the same to her right arm, her spine and her four broken ribs.
In a wooden bowl, Louis smashed some petals of solidago and yarrow. His hands, heating the herbs magically, helped it becoming a yellowish paste.
He rubbed gently a great amount of the healing paste in the wounds in Avon’s skin. It would take not too much too heal, but since it was burnt with the Angel’s Fire, some hours would be more than enough to heal even the deepest wounds.
Spreading his hands to the air, Luis claimed to God.
‘May the Lord be merciful,’ he cried, ‘please save this child.’
With the tears rolling down his cheeks, Louis closed his eyes. Suddenly, the whole terrain of the tea shop trembled. If someone was near it, they would be shocked by the vision of a whole building disappearing in thin air, giving place to a bunch of trees.
submitted by jae_nan to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.10.09 19:53 psycho_angell just another fucked up kid :)

yeah why are you even reading this man it's just a story of a fucked kid..well idk is it?
so hey let's start…
me I mean I was born is a normal family I thought I was...I was always the happy kid as a child my mom dad are the greatest humans always bought me gifts even tho that time they didn't have that much money we had everything is soul happy and going on parks enjoying life but my mind was always kind of weird...I used stay in building with my mom's brother and with with their family in the same building...my grandma she was nice but one problem I was born with light skin slowly it went dark I was always the model kid perfect body even as a 4 year old...at that Time I really really want a sibling so...here my mom was pregnant... probably had a great night when I said that…(okay Parisa enough being a dirty minded asshole 😂)so I was so excited so so much I didn't realize slowly my mom dad was distancing...my mom was pregnant taking care her for dad was hard too I don't blame them... it's fine..I thought I was left with a nanny and my older cousin….so my brother was born 1 month early before the dew date mom was in hospital….they left me in my home telling my grandma she can't take of me anymore I was like that kind of abandoned from both of em...after my brother was born I was so so much excited like so so much even I was running around the hospital...so I WAS RIGHT BRUH FUVK YEAH HE WAS A CUTE BABY...we finally return home...all of us... happy healthy...than slowly I kinda disappear from mom dad's life dad always seemed so busy and my mom taking care of my brother...so I was done with my kindergarten school...I had no problem there...no problem in the first grade...so one day when I was 5 or 6 I see a blade on the table idk what was I thinking I slit my fingers with it...I really dk why I did that I liked to see blood I was always a fearless kid...than in first grade at the last of the year I literally burnt my own hand trying to make mom a cup of tea...cuz I wanted know how burning feels...im crazy ik..im not making up these stories..the shittyest thing happened we moved away from the place we lived...I really miss that place... happiness all things I feel like I left there...I started new school...fucked up school okay drum rolls please 😂😂 serious again...so I started school it was totally different..I mostly went to school with rich kinda kids it was private...not ITS A FUCKIN PUBLIC SCHOOL...WHAT FUCK RIGHT...our before school dress was short skirts and shirt long socks...now people wear skirts under knees so in my new school I was always wearing shorts dress more than other girls...as a kids they mocked me no one wanted to talk or be friends even the so called friends used me as slaves...this went for 2 years...I was just not the same person I was quite and forget to really smile it was fine at home same shit same neglect it didn't bother me anymore...so suicide..huh...that shit...so one day I was going to enter my class I was crossing our school field so a girl was trying to kill herself I was shocked like who would try to kill themselves...she fell like 6 feets away from me her bloody scarf fall into me I was terrified...who wouldn't be..I didn't care I threw the scarf and went to my class the school was dismissed that day...so back the year nothing really happened same same grey numb shit...in 4th grade MORE SHIT STARTED GHAGAHAHAHA OFC IT WILL WHY WOULDN'T IT...I started to go to a new extra class...every other student was from other schools good schools I was a greatest kid I'm sure I wasn't...they bullied me...I cried in the toilets in my room told my mom she said to ignore...umm I didn't I tried but I was a kid just a lil kid...so one day I was walking it was Ramadan month I was going to the extra class alone a women I really skinny and short grabbed my hand and tried to put something on my nose I wasn't dumb at all I ditched her and run I didn't told my mom cuz she was worried about the shop stuff OH BTW we had 2 clothing store...and after some days it didn't happen 3 days before eid my mom walked me to the extra classes and I seen the woman I told mom everything by than but couldn't make anything there…the day before eid my mom dad got robbed on the way home his had bruises...they couldn't take the full money just look my dad's bag...there was a laptop and some Cash...other cash was in my mom's bra ifykyk😂(stop Bois don't imagine my mom's boobs now)...at the same time I don't remember somehow I was overweight whenever I eat eat and eat...so I got more bullied even from my mom I hated it...slowly I started hating myself..so much..this went like this always until 6th grade...btw I did great on my pec board exams no matter hard time...still I was weird..I went through a lot of pain..h
just everything is sad and kinda a lot for a 11 year old kid..in 6 the grade the bully from my extra class moved to my school hah what now she doesn't have anyone so she started being nice to me I was shocked like bitch who are u😂... we become best friends my first best friend..hah what you think she stayed nah well she left when she found new friends...there was the nice girl talks with everyone I wanted to be her friend but Everytime she refused and hurt me...Im back being alone this time it hurts more a lot more I was ready to kill myself..I couldn't bare it...I seen people kill themselves it wouldn't be hold it anymore home was nightmare...I was a disappointment useless worthless fuckin piece of shit...than I went to sit with a group of bad kids..best decision I ever made...I found friends like real school friends but still the leader hated me and one day said to stay away from them..but one girl sit with me Adiba...man she's an angel for me..she might doesn't know how much I loved her as a friend...so she was nice and great friend...but in December winter break I went to Cox's Bazar...hahaha my psychopathetic mind took over and I kinda jumped of a car great fuck my life I did it on purpose yay my first suicide attempt ofc dumbass it didn't work..I just end up with some scars..at 7th grade ghagaha my luck me and my friend Adiba were in different sections..I kinda distant myself and didn't behaved well with anyone I was mean and rude... even with teachers I just didn't give a fuck..I cut myself from there too...WANNA WHO ENTERED MY LIFE AS A CURSE NOW AHA ADEL HOW CAN I EVEN EXPLAIN MY SHITTY LIFE WITHOUT HIM IN IT...so I wasn't really interested in relationship...so I made an Instagram account in 2018 didn't used it... finally opened it used it as an extra sad depressive account...here we met Adel my first boyfriend...aka first love idiot whatever you say….he and I enjoyed a lot talking on internet...he's from yemen but lives in USA he's a drug addict...man who did I ran into… so he was my bestest friend we literally did so much fun things together like for ⅔ months than what he asked me out I rejected than did again I accepted cuz uk I kinda like his company..he was nice... school was going its own way...mom dad has distant themselves already and I live with anxiety and depression...Adel was a pinch of light for me in the whole dark...alas didn't lasted long he started asking for nudes...I didn't gave at first then I hesitated to give but still did...he took screenshots...I was scared...well he didn't do anything with it...so it was fine...than in my birthday he broke up 25th November he just broke up
brin this much sadness and grey I was broken I had two friends in school not that good humans mithila and mahi YEAH they were helpful and nice to me..mahi was close that time and mithila just old friends...they don't know shit about me...I didn't tell cuz it's useless to tell em….it is useless..they will never understand they never did...so I was sad..so yeah drugs right I got em somehow I did for a while I realized it's just not my thing...mahi made me open a extra fb account...so I did and talked with a boi Jack..he's just not my type either..I was already in my 15th attempt that time...and I made a friend online he's 19 and he's name is mahin that maderchod is still my friend ❤️...and guess what I got caught by mom she hit me and find out I cut blah blah I got over it soon…on 27th dec me and Adel got back together..idk we loved each other a lot that time we did or so I thought I did...he blackmailed me for more nudes so I had to..I was dead at this point...we didn't talked all he did was abusing he tried to go but I begged to not go...he went anyway in fab and and blackmailed me for uploading and than I gotta give more yeah he left me alone for some days...broke up with me so I was going more and more crazy sometimes overdosed a lot to die just away from the pain I had a bestest friend named ELAHE man this bitch helped me a lot might doesn't know all this shits but she helped a lot….so back to Adel mf...so came again I was alone hope so I gave again... probably thinking what kinda psycho I am...so that time I met some friends in a group especially Tyler..Bruh I swear I never trusted a boi more than him it's impossible...meanwhile I started dating a boi name Connor I just used him he did too so like friends with benefits…he was kinda annoying so I told him to fuck off….yeah then I met a pervert like me hehe yk others were just my boyfriends...but he's my husband 😍♥️14/03/20... YEMIN...he's Pakistan and a lil bit older... probably thinking what kind of player I'm yeah I dated a lot Bois yeah yeah ik I seen their dicks too😳 aye shut up dirty lusty ass up..if yo watching this I love you a lot...and don't try to leave I'll literally kill you and every girl you see without me🔪…. so he's my everything he is I swear...so Adel comes back again tried to blackmail me again idk why he deleted the posts himself whatever...I kinda hated him…well he's dumbass after some days came back again this time was different he wanted me back..and my ass actually loved him a lot...no if you think I didn't loved yemin I did I actually did...I was confused literally crying my eyes out...that time a online brother Ahmad and Elahe helped me a lot but my ass went and broke up with yemin like what bitch what what were you even thinking...idk what happened I was just going crazy I left Adel I told him to just stay away from me it's just fucked up I don't wanna be with you..it will never work so in the morning I apologise to yemin for what I did I swear I'll never even think of that again I never did my last and final thought on Adel no matter how much we love it will never ever work it just won't...so I was back in track….but in my house it was a fuckin nightmare my mom dad fights a lot...idc about it tbvh do whatever TF you want...but mom called me psycho and stuff always neglected me which hurt and after Adel first time left my mind got ANOREXIC I lost a lot of weight 70 to 56 still I'm fat ik ik...so again Adel came back he posted them on porn site hahaha worst night ever in my fuckin life... Tyler really really helped me get them of from Instagram and literally tried to actually go and beat the shit outta him but that's not possible...and I said no idk why I did… thanks Tyler for everything you did...it was middle of a fuckin pandemic ifykyk or just fuck off...the nudes on the site didn't got deleted I can't do anything but move on….I tried my best to move on...but still at night it scares me I get numb...some months past like this...in that Elahe left for some months and than came back I'm glad she did….if ya watching this I love you a lot man❤️...but Tyler got a gf and just distant himself away….I met another incredible human name IQRA...aka CRUSHING WITH HER ON DARWIN...jk...if u watching this man I love you a lot❤️✨…..and I have some really good friends I'll not mention there all of em names but they are really really means a lot too me….now days I just don't feel a shit...I'm still suffering in my mind...it's just impossible for me to be something...I'm alive but dead...it's like a part of me has died idk how to smile how to cry...mom dad just harsh my studies are fucked up.. because of corona they board exams got cancelled at least….I'm just from a distant world living in my room most of the time...idk what to do... it's just fucked... anxiety and depression has took me over..I feel lost... like I'm running in a massive field of no where idk why live this life... even if I die not like any one give a fuck anyways...all I wanted was just some love from someone can hold me tight and really say Parisa yes I really love you..I guess it will never happen everyday more days past I just die a lil bit more...it's fine I guess...I don't cut or try to kill myself I have convinced myself that I deserve this pain and numbness..it's eating me alive...no one can see... it's the end for now idk maybe in future there will be more fucked up shit idk...until than whoever you are reading you are loved... remember I love you ❤️✨
bitch you really GOT NO FUCKIN LIFE...u are literally reading this omg you AHHHH MF you mean a lot to me❤️✨
submitted by psycho_angell to Vent [link] [comments]


2020.10.09 15:28 PracticalShine I'm 32 years old, working as a Product Manager / Instructor in Toronto and making ~$78,000 (CAD)

This is an update of my MD from last year, which you can find here. All figures are in CAD. (Approx. CAD/USD conversion is 1 CAD = 0.75 USD. So my income is ~$58,240 USD. I've tried to note the change since last time where I could!
Section One: Assets and Debt
Section Two: Income
Section Three: Expenses
--------
Diary:

Day 1 - Thursday ($42)

9am - Slept in! I have today and tomorrow off (using up some PTO) and am glad for the extra rest, but the construction work around my apartment building kicks off at 9:01 on the dot, waking me up. I browse the internet before showering and getting the day started.
11am - I have a massage appointment so I mask up and walk over. It’s a sunny fall morning, so an enjoyable walk. I’ve been in a lot of pain the last while after an unexpected hospital stay and medical procedures so I’m really looking forward to some relief now that I’m cleared to have this massage! ($30 tip for my RMT, insurance covers the actual bill.) I was nervous about COVID safety but this is a small clinic and they’re taking it really seriously (face shields and masks for all!), and it’s nice to have a massage - it’s the first “non-invasive, non-medical” human touch I’ll have since March, since I live by myself and have been strict about distancing. I have to say, it feels incredibly weird to be naked except a mask. Like being naked with a watch on.
12:45pm - I feel so much better! I walk a long route home to enjoy the sunshine and stop at a bakery and pick up some pumpkin, apple, and caramel scones ($12 for three, incl tip), since they have a little doorway table for service. Most cafes in the neighbourhood have restored indoor seating and I feel weird about going inside past unmasked diners. Once I get back home I have a scone, spend a couple of hours answering students’ questions for my teaching job, and wash some dishes in the kitchen. The afternoon sort of disappears into that, plus some random internet browsing/YouTube sewing tutorials.
6pm - Therapy call (prepaid - I use BetterHelp and pay quarterly - I’m due to pay in 2 weeks). I am so grateful to be back in therapy. Isolation has been hard on me, and my medical situation really left me raw. It’s scary to have a totally normal day and end it in an ambulance unexpectedly, and I’m still unpacking my feelings about it.
7pm - I sodastream some water, add lavender syrup, and hop on Zoom for game night with some friends. We play Jackbox games together and snort-laugh the whole way through. This is a new group I was just starting to befriend IRL in the weeks before the pandemic. These weekly game nights have been so great to keep the momentum.
9pm - I dress my last tortilla as a pizza, bake it, and then dump the remainder of a box of arugula on top after it’s out of the oven and eat it over the sink like a crispy pizza taco. After eating I text a bit with a guy I met on reddit (henceforth RG - Reddit Guy - same guy from my last MD.) He sends me a video of his dog doing tricks, and we count down and hit play on the same TV episode. We’ve been doing this little nightly ritual since the start of the pandemic, and it’s a nice way to keep this long-distance whatever-this-is going. Things have stepped up from merely flirty to decidedly romantic in the last year, but with the US/Canadian border closed for the foreseeable future who knows where this is going or if we’ll ever get to meet.
11:30pm - I have a quick warm bath before bedtime and after making a nest from all my pillows, fall asleep to a “sleep story” from the Calm app. Some smooth-voiced man talking about an island in Norway takes me away.

Day 2 - Friday ($69)

8am - I wake up before my alarm, laze around in bed reading newsletters and reddit. I open my work email, file away all the automated messages I get from our software, and close it again. I usually check it once a day on vacation just to clear that shit as a gift to my future self.
9:30am - I shower while listening to a podcast and check my messages while brushing my teeth. A neighbourhood pal asks if I want to have a coffee in the park with her before it gets too cold for these outside meetups. I reply and we arrange a plan to meet up.
10:15am - My friend texts and says she’s going to stop at Starbucks on her way to the park - do I want her to grab me anything? I mobile order a caramel apple spice ($5 - I’m off caffeine - doctor’s orders) and tell her it should be there waiting when she gets there. I bring the two remaining scones from yesterday’s bakery trip for us. We hang out at the park for a few hours on our distanced blankets, chatting until our fingertips are thoroughly chilled. Like a lot of my friends, the pandemic has had her and her partner seeking cheaper, more spacious dwellings out of the city. They’re moving in a few months. This is the fourth such announcement I’ve had this fall, so I’m better at being excited for them and asking questions all about their new digs rather than being openly bummed. But inside I’m a little gutted. It’s hard to watch my people move away!
12:30pm: I took the long route home from the park, then settle in with some mint tea and check on my students. I’m teaching online this semester and the course is “asynchronous” - meaning they move through interactive modules of written+video content at their own pace, so I post and reply frequently on the discussion boards, answer emails, and help them along. I have a chatty group this term - there’s a very active kdrama discussion thread in the “non-course related” board. I love when my online students still work at connecting with their classmates - I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to do fully online school and missing out on that in-person experience.
2pm - I whip up a quick chicken soup with some chicken and veggies from the freezer, some egg noodles and a bouillon cube and eat that before spending the afternoon cleaning up - vacuuming, laundry, and online browsing for some sewing supplies. I spend $64 on some additional fabric and bias tape I keep forgetting to buy to finish some projects. I can’t wait to go to fabric stores in person again someday. While waiting for my stuff to finish in the dryer, I do a short Yoga with Adriene video.
7:30pm - After dinner, a friend calls to complain about her boyfriend and we chat for awhile while I organize my craft supplies into bins I picked up at the dollar store last weekend. He’s been a grade-A dingus since the beginning of the pandemic, and just told her one of his roommates tested positive for COVID - on Monday. He stayed with her Tuesday and Wednesday and “forgot to mention it”. DUDE. C’mon! I tell her if she needs anything dropped off at her place - groceries, drugstore stuff, emergency ice cream or baked goods - just call.
10pm - I make some popcorn and queue up Kim’s Convenience with RG, we chitchat about the day and plans for the weekend. After a few episodes I crawl into bed while he tells me all about a COVID-safe date we could go on if we weren’t separated by a few hundred kilometres. It’s a nice daydream.

Day 3 - Saturday ($0)

~1am - My downstairs neighbours are suddenly blasting music so loud my bedframe is vibrating. At 1am. Shoot me. By 1:45 I’m over it and go downstairs to knock on their door. I bang on their door a few times, no answer. One of the other tenants down the hall comes out, we commiserate over the noise. He bangs on the door too, but the music blasts on. We shrug at eachother and go back to our apartments.
~2am - I’m losing my mind at the noise, which seems to be coming from directly under my bedroom. Assuming they maybe have the bedroom door closed and couldn’t hear the knocking, I go to the living room and grab my set of weights and start dropping them on the bedroom floor over and over again like a maniac hoping to catch their attention. It works though - after a few minutes the music is off. Sweet silence!
8:45am - I wake up, roll over, and doze a bit more before getting up to take my medication and instead of staying up, I crawl back in. I chat with RG a bit and send a check-in text to my friend with the crummy boyfriend.
10:45am - I finally get out of bed (I love laying around. If I’m going to be single with no responsibilities I am going to bask in every moment of it) and I eat leftover roasted cauliflower from last night’s dinner for breakfast. Afterwards I clean the bathroom, put away my laundry from yesterday, and log on to my online class to check in on my students and reply to their posts, and review the material that’s going up next week.
4pm - After the day spent with chores I finish putting together a meal plan for the week and grocery order for delivery tomorrow. I actually love grocery shopping in person, but with the uptick in cases recently I’m less interested in going. Afterwards I check my online class forums again (there’s an assignment due tonight so I want to watch for questions) and then go for a short walk around my neighbourhood. It’s nice to get out a bit and see the leaves changing.
6pm - I make a chickpea and lentil curry in my Instant Pot, adding an assortment of random veggies from my freezer, while RG shoots me a text about starting our “together time” a bit early tonight so we can watch Hamilton together. I agree, and after dinner work on some sewing.
9:30pm - Almost completely finished sewing a shirt - I’ll finish the hem another day and the neckline when the bias tape I ordered shows up. I put everything away and I eat some arrowroot crackers with nutella while watching Hamilton with RG. I’ve already seen it a few times but I love it. Midway through I exchange a few emails with a student who is rapidly approaching the midnight assignment deadline and just can’t get her code working. I can tell right away she’s made a teeny tiny typo that’s had a domino effect on her whole assignment. I point her in the right direction, she fixes it, and ends the night happy.
12am - Curling up in bed. I put on another Calm app story and fall asleep.

Day 4 - Sunday ($127)

7:30am - Trying to reacquaint myself with my alarm after a few days off. I roll over and doze a little until 8, then get up, take my meds, and hop in the shower.
9:45am - One of my American friends calls to chat. She was invited to a wedding and doesn’t want to go because the groom’s family are anti-mask QAnon types and she won’t feel safe there. We brainstorm about what kind of gift is appropriate as an in-absentia “Sorry you married into a family of nutjobs” gift.
10:30am - I wash the dishes from last night, then make a sandwich with hummus and sliced veggies and sit down to eat it while I download my students’ assignments for the week and reply to a few more discussion posts. I’ll get to grading later this afternoon.
1pm - Time vanished into a bunch of little tasks and a wormhole of researching possible holiday gifts for family members.I text with my brother’s girlfriend to get a sense of their whereabouts this week - I’m trying to get a birthday treat delivered to his apartment. She confirms a date and I place the order for some safe-to-eat-raw cookie dough in fun flavours ($37). I’m secretly jealous that this place isn’t local to me because it sounds delicious.
2pm - I sodastream some water, add lime juice, and heat up some leftover curry from last night and settle in to start grading assignments with some music.
4pm - My mom calls to talk about Thanksgiving (next weekend here in Canada). They really want me to come, but with cases rising in the province I don’t know how safe it is and I have a lot of guilt about bringing my city cooties to them in a rural area. They haven’t been that cautious - she talks at length about going to a party the night before. By the end of the call I’m frustrated and undecided. It’s pretty clear if I opt not to go I’ll be the “bad guy”, the daughter who abandoned everyone to move to the city and thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. But I have a lot of anxiety around it.
5:30pm - My grocery delivery arrives ($90, including a tip for the delivery person). I put everything away and eat a few pieces of dried pineapple and mango before getting back to marking.
7:30pm - I cook some salmon and roasted veggies and, while eating, text with a friend about my Thanksgiving dilemma. She’s in a similar boat with her parents, we weigh the pros and cons together but neither of us end up deciding anything.
10pm - I watch an episode of Kim’s Convenience with RG before he goes to bed (he has an early morning tomorrow) and afterwards do a Yoga with Adriene video, poke around on Reddit, and go to bed myself around 11.

Day 5 - Monday ($9)

7:15am - Alarm goes off. I wake up, but mostly scroll Reddit until 8. I desperately miss working from an office with other people and better chairs, but if WFH ever ends I will miss getting to stay in bed as long as humanly possible.
8am - Shower, moisturize and put on some lipstain - that’s the extent of my morning routine these days. I get dressed (I’ve been wearing the same threadbare jeans almost all quarantine. They’re so comfortable, but hideous). I make some tea and oatmeal and move over to my desk.
8:45am - I check my credit card statement online while eating. A return I’ve been waiting on is finally processed (+$41.28) - returns by mail are so slow - I put the parcel in over a month ago. I check my class boards too - no new posts to reply to.
9am - Log into work and post my “hello” message in our staff chat. We have a “Hellos and Goodbyes” room to keep track of people’s comings and goings throughout the day. Our CEO pings me and asks how my time off was. He’s been very attentive since my hospitalization and has been checking in about my workload, how I’m feeling. It’s nice to fee seen.
10am - One on one with my junior PM. We chat on Zoom re: what’s on the docket for our projects this month, and I take her temperature a bit re: work/life balance, how she’s managing our extended work from home and the pandemic. She has a lot of vacation days left and I encourage her to use them even if she’s not planning to go away - mental health and rest is important!
11am - One on one with my manager. She calls via phone since her teenage daughter is doing school on Zoom and their internet is overtaxed. She runs through what I missed last week and updates me on a new project I’ll be taking over from her later this month. I’m currently responsible for ⅗ of our major software projects and this will bring me up to ⅘. (Don’t think I won’t make a big deal about that when it comes time for our next reviews.)
11:45am - Answer a customer support email from someone struggling to use the site. After a bit of back and forth I discover it’s because they’re using a decade-old version of Internet Explorer. I hop on the phone, walk them through upgrading to Edge, and they’re a happy camper. We don’t have customer support at our org - the PMs and Junior PMs manage support for their projects. Some days I hate it, but most of the time it’s satisfying to tackle a small and solvable problem amidst the bigger-picture work.
1pm: Team meeting with my software team. We usually do these in the morning but one of the devs had to take his kid for a COVID test since he’s a bit sniffly - schools here are pretty strict. It’s a short meeting, just getting a sense of how everyone’s moving through the current open projects, and then a show-and-tell of pets, since the aforementioned sniffly kid joined at the end. I do not have any pets and am as delighted by them as the kid.
1:20pm: Lunchtime! I heat up some leftover curry and chat a bit with RG, who’s checking in about my stress level. Since my hospital stay he’s been worried about me pushing too hard and not giving myself time to heal. We talk about our mornings and he tells me he added some new songs he thinks I’ll like to a shared Spotify playlist, so I know what I’ll be listening to this afternoon.
2pm: I spend the afternoon working on spec writing for upcoming development projects while my developers investigate a bug a customer reported over lunch.
5:10pm - I set an alarm on my phone to go off when it’s time to log off for the day. I change into some pants with more structural integrity, mask and jacket up, and go for a walk.
5:45pm: While I’m at the pharmacy picking up my prescription, the pharmacist mentions they have flu shots in, so I get one while I’m there. ($8 for my prescriptions, $1 for the impulse coffee crisp bar, $0 for the peace of mind of being flu-free even if I barely leave my house). While I’m walking home, RG calls from his commute to ask what I’m going to do about Thanksgiving. He thinks I should go - it’s generally safe in my parents’ area (less than 30 active cases in the county), and he gently suggests that the fall is probably going to be pretty hard on me emotionally and it might be a good idea to take the opportunity to go away while it’s relatively safe. I keep thinking it over.
6pm - Cook some chicken and roasted veggies for dinner, and after eating, set up my sewing stuff to finish up that shirt hem and start cutting pattern pieces for another project, a robe, while listening to podcasts.
10pm - I set up my iPad on a stool next to my bathtub and watch Kim’s Convenience with RG on chat while soaking in the warm, bubbly water and drinking some chamomile tea, and eventually dry off and head to bed around 11:30.

Day 6 - Tuesday ($0)

8am - Did I snooze my alarm for an hour? You bet. I just couldn’t stay asleep last night. When I finally wake up, RG has left a little video message for me, which I watch, and then watch again, and then start getting ready for the day. I braided my hair before bed so I have those great post-braid waves today.
8:55am - At my desk, logged in and ready to go with some oatmeal. I drop a note in the staff Hellos and Goodbyes and peek at my class discussion board before picking up where I left off yesterday.
10am - Client call. This client is hoping to do something a little “off label” with our tools. We chat a bit about what they’re hoping to accomplish and what their goals are, and I answer a few data questions for them.
10:30am - Team meeting! We spend some time puzzling through my client’s “off label” ideas, do some digging on another client’s data issue, and then spend a little time watching a funny news blooper one of the devs screenshares and joking around. I don't mind a little fun in our meetings!
11am - Biweekly all-staff meeting. Our CEO gives a little roundup of how things are going big-picture, and then one by one each of my colleagues gives a brief update of what they’re working on. Many pets and children make appearances - as a group the general vibe with interruptions on zooms is “delight”, which I appreciate. Nobody’s trying to “keep up appearances”. It’s all a mess we’re in together.
12:20pm - Lunchtime. Check COVID case counts again for my parents’ area (still undecided) while chatting with a friend about her thanksgiving plans. She and her husband have been isolating at a family cabin since early summer, when their city apartment building started renovating. They’re planning a “so bad it’s good” movie marathon, so while I eat leftover curry we chat about our favourite bad-good movies.
1:25pm- Reacquainting myself with some material for my 2pm meeting. I’m on an HR Committee at work and we’re meeting to check in on our work/life and wellness strategies as we head into another WFH quarter. The transition to remote has gone (mostly) well for our company, but there’s always room to improve!
3pm - After the HR meeting I put together a custom report request for our database team to run for me, and then pull up our team’s roadmap for the fiscal year and make some tweaks. I share developers with other teams and I know a big project has dropped in for them elsewhere, so I adjust. We’re already close to hitting our metrics for the year so I’m happy to let the other teams keep my devs busy for awhile while I prep and spec some larger feature builds for them.
4pm - My friend with the dingus boyfriend texts. Luckily, both she and her boyfriend tested negative, but since he lives with someone who’s sick, they’ll both need to test again in a few days. She talks about wanting to break up with him. I encourage her to take her time thinking about it. I think they should break up - he’s a dope. But she’s the one in the relationship - not my call!
5:15pm - I log off for a bit. I’m feeling a bit drained today. I didn’t sleep well last night and I know my indecision about Thanksgiving is weighing on me. I do a yoga video and lay on the floor crying afterward. It happens, part of that good ol’ depression life. Sometimes you just need a lil cry. I’ve been really emotionally overwhelmed since my hospitalization, and some close friends have really broken my trust recently. I’m working on it with my therapist, but sometimes you’re just fresh outta emotional juice, and while I love my family, we’re not close - time with them would be nice, but it’s not restorative.
7:10pm - Alright alright. Time to rally. I log on to my online portal and reply to my students’ board posts and questions. They seem like they’re doing a good job grasping the material, which makes me happy. I never wanted to be a teacher but it makes me feel so satisfied when I can see their progress. It cheers me up a little.
8:45pm - Time got away from me doing that work. I throw some fish and veggies into the oven and call my parents. I tell them I'm still undecided about Thanksgiving, Mom complains that I'm taking things too seriously, I text her the graph of cases again. She tells me I can make a day-before decision if I want to, that they'll isolate the rest of the week, for real, but she just needs to know by Friday around noon if I want to be picked up. I appreciate the extra time to consider things. Then Mom asks me to place a grocery click-and-collect order for her (she's not good at internet). I say I will, and she proceeds to slowly text me a grocery list one item at a time for the next hour. LOL. Moms.
10:15pm - I drink some sparkling water while watching Kim’s Convenience with RG on chat. After one episode I’m wiped, so I go to wash up. By the time I’m getting into bed, RG has left me a video message - the first half is his dog adorably snoring. The second half is just him telling me everything’s going to be OK and apologizing that he can’t be here to do our own Thanksgiving. Cry again - happier tears this time.

Day 7 - Wednesday ($0)

8:20am - Cutting it close today, wakeup-wise. It took me forever to fall asleep last night so I snooze a lot today, but when I finally get up, RG’s left me another voice memo encouraging me to get up and kick this day’s ass. I’ll try! I have a quick shower, mist my hair to refresh the curl a little, and get dressed.
9am - Log on and say hi to the team, then help the marketing team with some content for our monthly newsletter. Once that’s done, I make a smoothie with frozen mango and dragonfruit, then head back to my desk to load some data into our internal dashboards for our CEO’s reports later this week. Once it’s loaded, he DMs me and we chat a bit about the comparison year over year, possible insights, nerd out about graphs a bit.
10:30am - Team meeting. Alongside the usual updates I’ve added extra time to discuss some upcoming features and the specs I have in progress. I don’t love speccing something without involving them - they feel a lot more ownership when they’ve had a chance to be involved in the process. They get really excited about the new build and ask if I can reassign them to this instead of the other project they’re pinch hitting on now. Nice try!
12:15pm - Lunchtime! Some colleagues and I hop into Netflix Party to watch an episode of Queer Eye together. When we were in the office we used to have occasional TV lunch parties so we’ve been trying to mimic that in our new WFH life. I eat the last of my leftover curry while our Netflix Party chat goes OFF in full home-porn-drool at the reveal of Bobby’s house makeover.
1pm - Back to work, more data audits for our research team.
2pm - Internal meeting with another colleague about a section of her project I’m pitch-hitting on - super productive. She runs a tight meeting and I really admire her. After the meeting I write specs for the rest of the day based on the meeting this morning. I put on some old episodes of Reply All and get stuck in.
5:15pm - Head out for a short walk around the neighbourhood to get some air and outside time, talk a bit with RG while he’s on his commute. Once I’m back home, I do some tidying up.
6pm - Therapy call, I talk a bit about my Thanksgiving dilemma but we move on to other topics too. Feeling a bit better than yesterday, but a little rough around the edges. These are the kinds of days where I tend to feel tempted to order in, and while I scroll UberEats, nothing really looks that good, so I close the app and decide to just cook what I’d planned.
7pm - Make dinner, chicken and roasted veggies again. What can I say, I’ll party down on garlicky roasted broccoli any day of the week. I wash dishes when I’m done eating.
8pm - Pop online to check out my students’ posts for the day and reply to some emails. I briefly scroll through stuff on the IKEA website. I’ve been hoping to get some inserts for my Kallax unit, but the ones I want aren’t in stock, still.
9pm - Shower and wash my hair. I get out a shower scrub from Lush and really go to town, I do the Aztec Secret clay mask too. Why not!
9:45pm - Post up on the couch with some sparkling water, ready for TV time with RG. We watch the last two episodes of Kim’s Convenience and chat a bit before bed about what to watch next - we have a lot of good options, but decide to just see what we’re in the mood for tomorrow.
Weekly Total: $247
Reflections: I keep an MD 365 days a year so I can tell by comparison this is on the lower end of an average range for this year so far - I usually get delivery at least once a week (sometimes twice), but I wasn’t feeling it this week! My average spend has really been ticking down the last couple of months. While the pandemic sucks and the isolation is rough (shoutout to my fellow live-aloners), I’m enjoying not spending as much, and that my spending is really heavily weighted toward things that contribute to my sense of well-being.
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2020.10.08 18:03 SaintRidley Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 2, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988 2-8-1988 2-15-1988 2-22-1988
2-29-1988 3-7-1988 3-14-1988 3-21-1988
3-28-1988 4-4-1988 4-11-1988 4-18-1988
4-25-1988 * * *
  • [NWA] The biggest story of the week is Barry Windham turning on Lex Luger to join the Four Horsemen on the April 20 WTBS taping. They made it meaningful. Windham and Luger were challenging Tully and Arn for the tag titles and they posted Luger, who bled for the first time in seven months. And Windham tried to make the tag on two occasions, but Luger wasn’t there, and J.J. Dillon got in his ear and with a bit of encouragement he lariated Luger so Arn could get the pin. Luger and Brody doing clean jobs in the same week has Dave joking the Road Warriors will be next. Anyway, Midnight Rider followed Windham into the heel dressing room and was jumped by all the heels, who unmasked him. But the faces saved him before we could find out who this mysterious enforcer of what’s right could have his face caught on camera. Windham rode off in the Four Horsemen’s limo holding the mask to close the show. Given the cards they’ve got set up all around the country for May, Dave thinks this must have been a spur of the moment thing, but by all accounts it came off fantastically.
  • The Crockett Cup, on the other hand, did not come off fantastically. At least not on the first night. Totally disorganized is the phrase Dave uses. The wrestling was excellent and the second night was a very good show, with the exception of having a half full arena. The first night had nearly a full house. The only good thing about the show, aside from the wrestling, is really that the right team won. Dave reviews both nights. Anyway, main things of note: Tony Schiavone announced at the beginning that Windham had pulled out and that Luger would pick a new partner, which everyone assumed would be Midnight Rider and would lead to them going to the end. The bracket was a mess and basically wasn’t really used. The first match was a forfeit since The Green Machine didn’t make it to the building on time (he was there by 8 pm when the tickets said the show would start, but the show started at 7 so yeah). Music miscues happened, the Mexican delegation was Curtis Thompson and Gene Ligon in red versions of the Cruel Connection’s outfits, and the Japanese team was Johnny Ace and John Savage because the actual Japanese team “missed their flight” or so they said. Steve Williams and Ron Simmons took on Rick Steiner and Mike Rotunda at the point the intermission should have happened and was supposed to be the final second round match according to the program, but yeah let’s roll with it. The crowd cheered the announcement that Ron Garvin was injured (following the use of the spike by Kevin Sullivan in the aftermath of the Prince of Darkness match, which meant Sting had no partner. Well, Lex Luger’s looking for a partner, so here we are, the beginning of Sting and Luger as the worst best friends. The final match of night one should have been the Midnight Express vs. the Varsity Club, since they were the only remaining teams left not to have second round matches. For some reason we got the Midnights vs. the Sheepherders instead, and this counts enough, because it’s how the Midnights made it to the quarter finals. Oh, and Flair, who won Most Hated Wrestler by the PWI this past year, gave a promo and got a standing ovation. Very hatred indeed.
  • And that’s just night one. But before night two, Dave talks about Ricky Steamboat’s gym in Charlotte. Dave went to pick up some t-shirts because those make great gifts. Well, the guy at the front desk refused to sell Dave anything because it was 5:01 pm and the gym was closed. “I flew in from California just to buy t-shirts” was not a convincing argument either.
  • Anyway, night two of the Crockett Cup began with announcements, and the crowd was buzzing because word of Barry Windham’s turn was starting to get around. But since it hadn’t aired, pretty much everyone was going off secondhand information. Anyway, the first announcement had to do with Garvin’s injury and the crowd cheered again. Then they announced Windham was out and had joined the Horsemen, and people were beside themselves hugging and cheering this news. And when Sting and Luger were announced, the women in the audience punctured everyone else’s eardrums. Night 2 sees a much improved quality of matches. The Fantastics vs. Varsity Club get 4 stars and Dave notes they had the best opening match he’s seen in years. Sting and Luger beat the Midnights in a 3.75 star match and Dave praises Sting (not “one of the elite workers in the world yet” but definitely on his way). Road Warriors vs. Powers of Pain used the over the top DQ Dusty finish they used last month for Midnights/Fantastics in the same arena, and Dave can’t believe the booking there. Arn and Tully beat the Fantastics in a 3.5 star match.Flair and Nikita Koloff had a completely predictable, watchable, ho hum match. The finals saw Sting and Luger beat Arn and Tully in another 3.5 star match, and Luger put some work into this one (he wasn’t in much at all in the earlier matches, and he blew up after 10 minutes in this one.
  • Dave guesses that the reason the finals drew so poorly comes down to a few factors. Nobody believes the $1 million prize, for one thing, and tournaments don’t draw without a really strong bracket. Nobody cares about Flair vs. Koloff. Midnight Rider isn’t doing anything for anybody and they put all their tv energy into that. The Crockett Cup has a three year history and has yet to sell out a building once. It’s time to re-evaluate. Fewer teams and matches would be a good start, and that would allow a meaningful world title match on night one. Getting outside teams would be good too because it would provide some drawing power by putting on the show people the crowd is not used to, but easier said than done.
  • Akira Maeda’s UWF sold out its debut show for May 12 in 15 minutes. Dave thinks this might be a record for pro wrestling. Fans camped out on April 15 outside the Korauken Hall box office to get tickets the next morning, and more than 6,000 fans were turned away once the show sold out. This news is forcing some re-evaluation of opinions on UWF. With this, Maeda is now the hottest guy going in Japan. It’s leading to demand for UWF to have television, and Tokyo Channel 6 wants to broadcast specials. They’re looking at the 11,000 seat Ariake Coliseum for August. Dave personally thinks UWF will attain a cult following for its hyper-realistic style, but it’ll lose the mainstream general public because of the lack of flash, high flying, and showmanship. That said, a Japanese reporter told him that if Maeda becomes “cool” in the eyes of Japan, he’s going to be “cool” regardless of what his style is and people will follow what he’s doing. If something is “in” in Japan, everybody follows it, according to the reporter. UWF gaining a following will likely hurt Baba and Inoki because they’ll look fake by comparison, and it’d wreck any plans WWF might have of entering the Japanese market beyond a week’s tour a year. Money shouldn’t be a big issue - they only have six wrestlers on contract and two front office people, so they can reinvest profits into the company heavily. That said, they only have three guys (Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada, ad Kazuo Yamazaki) with name value, which only gives them three options for main events, so staleness is a possibility. Only time will tell.
  • War is brewing in Oregon and Roddy Piper has thrown a spanner in the works. He’s appearing on April 30 for Don Owen. Piper turned down lucrative offers from the WWF and NWA in the past year, so this definitely feels like a personal favor to help out Owen, who gave Piper his big break in the late 70s. Even when he worked for WWF, Piper refused to work in Washington or Oregon because they weren’t Owen’s shows right up until the end of his career, when he worked a couple shows in Seattle and Tacoma after Owen had given up running those cities. He even worked Owen’s 60th anniversary card in 1985 when he was the top heel for WWF. Piper’s appearance has forced Billy Jack Haynes to push his debut card back a week to May 7, and Owen’s bringing in Tom Zenk and Curt Henning for that night.
  • [All Japan] Bruiser Brody jobbed clean by pinfall to Jumbo Tsuruta on April 19 to lose the International Title. The finish was a back suplex and it’s the first pin he’s taken in Japan since 1980.
Watch: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Bruiser Brody
  • [WWF] The April 30 Saturday Night’s Main Event was taped on April 22. Results saw Beefcake beat Danny Davis and cut his hair. This was supposed to be HonkyTonk vs. Beefcake, and they ran ads for it all the way to the last minute, but Honky didn’t wrestle Beefcake. He did work both the taping and the taping from the night before and never dropped the Intercontinental Title, though. Duggan beat Hercules by DQ. Demolition beat the Bulldogs by DQ in a non-title match. Ted DiBiase beat Don Muraco. Randy Savage retained the WWF Title against One Man Gang. Andre the Giant squashed Jake Roberts, who got his heat back after the match with the snake.
  • Former Atlanta promoter Paul Jones passed away on April 17 at the age of 86. When they announced his passing at Jerry Blackwell’s tv taping in Marietta for his promotion some fans cheered because they thought the announcement was about the NWA manager Paul Jones.
  • There’s a movie called Tokyo Pop coming out shortly and a few joshi have non-speaking roles. Bull Nakano is among them. It’s apparently not a very good movie, and not worth it if you just want to see Bull.
  • The Edmonton Athletic Commission has warned Stampede that no spitting, swearing, or brawling in the crowd will be allowed going forward.
  • [Stampede] Wayne Hart and Gary Allbright (the latter to make his debut as Volcan Singh) injured their knees in training. Referee Hermann also has a bum knee that’s keeping him out, so yet another brother (Ross Hart) is filling in.
  • Apparently Owen Hart is having second thoughts about going to WWF. Three Japanese tours a year and working the rest of the year apparently seems pretty satisfying to him.
  • On April 23, Memphis formally announced a talent trade deal with World Class. Jerry Jarrett has taken over as booker for Memphis from Jerry Lawler, and he made the announcement that the Von Erichs, Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Chris Adams, Terry Taylor, and “World heavyweight champion” and “first Black World champion ever” Iceman King Parsons would be coming in shortly. World Class has cut down Fort Worth shows to every other Sunday, which frees up some Mondays to come over to Memphis for work. Most of the guys in World Class could use the dates, because just working for World Class means they aren’t making any money. TV fans had no reaction to this, apparently.
  • [Memphis] Downtown Bruno called out Jerry Lawler on tv on April 23 while dressed kind of like Ric Flair. This led to Robert Fuller jumping Lawler from behind and putting a noose on him and dragging him around before choking him over the ringpost. Jeff Jarrett made the save. Continental did the same angle in Birmingham on April 18 with an airdate of April 23 with Tony Anthony and Tom Prichard, and since some cities get both shows some are upset at Fuller and Bruno doing it and copying the deal. Nobody seems upset at the whole lynching aspect, just at the copycat thing.
Watch: Robert Fuller hangs Jerry Lawler
  • Continental’s version of the noose angle got a lot of heat. Dirty White Girl/Lady Mystic (she’s used both names) came out with a black eye and pleaded with Gordon Solie to get Tom Prichard through two whole matches, with the idea that Tony Anthony (whom she valets) punched her. Eventually Solie gets Prichard and Anthony sneaks up behind him and handcuffs him then ties a noose around his neck and drags him to the ring where he hangs him and blood comes from his mouth. They destroyed the old set during the brawl, which is leading to the rename of the promotion as the Continental Wrestling Federation and the building of a new set.
Watch: Tony Anthony hangs Tom Prichard
  • Continental is doing a tournament in late May for a new CWF champion. Whoever holds the title will also be number one contender in the area for the AWA World Title, which Continental now recognizes as the world championship of record.
  • [All Japan] Brody and Tenryu’s title unification match drew 4,400 fans out of a capacity of 7,000 and ended at 30 minutes in a double countout. Since Brody dropped the title to Tsuruta, that means that the big une 10 Budokan Hall show will be headlined by Tenryu putting up the PWF and United National titles against Tsuruta’s International title.
  • All Japan’s ratings have dropped significantly since being moved from prime time to Saturday nights at 10:30 pm.
  • May 20 to June 26 are the dates for this year’s IWGP tournament in New Japan. Announced names include Billy Gaspar (Bob Orton), Owen Hart, Adrian Adonis (who has lost something like 80 lbs according to those in touch with him), Mr. Pogo, El Canek, Dr. Wagner Jr., and more.
  • New Japan is doing a big show at Ariake Coliseum on May 7. Inoki will defend the IWGP title against Vader, and Keiichi Yamada will challenge World Karate Association champion Don Nakaya Nielsen for his title. Nielsen had a famous match in 1986 against Akira Maeda which really helped establish Maeda’s popularity. Dave thinks it’s likely Yamada will be the first pro wrestler (to his knowledge, anyway) to do a job to someone from a different sport in one of these mixed matches, which would set Nielsen up for another mixed match in August against a bigger name wrestler.
watch: Nielsen vs. Maeda from 1986
  • Antonio Inoki gave a guest lecture at a school recently and a kid asked him if he could beat Giant Baba. Inoki said if he met Baba and couldn’t beat him, he’d kill himself.
  • WWF won syndicated ratings again for the week including March 27, taking third place overall with a 10.9 in 255 markets. Crockett got 6th place with an 8.4 in 183 markets, and All-Star Wrestling Network got a 5.6 in 164 markets. These numbers are for the weekend of Clash and Wrestlemania, and WWF predicts a new record for the following week, but we’ll see how that works out for them.
  • Adrian Adonis has either threatened to or already gone through with filing a lawsuit against the AWA over his ankle injury in January. That injury cost him a tour of Japan
  • There was an angle in Southern Championship Wrestling on April 17 where Mr. Atlanta knocked out Mr. Wrestling II and tried to unmask him. Out of nowhere comes a second Mr. Wrestling II to make the save. They’re calling the new guy Mr. Wrestling, and he’s being played by Joe Powell. Interestingly, over a decade ago Powell worked as an imposter Mr. Wrestling II.
  • Nearly everybody Dave said was gone from WWF in the past couple issues is still around. Outback Jack and Mike Sharpe were on tv recently in jobber roles, while Terry Gibbs and Craig De George did tv interviews. And even Hulk Hogan appeared as a surprise on April 21 to squash Boris Zhukov. He’s not booked for any other shows until the end of May, but obviously that doesn’t mean as much with the surprise appearance on the table.
  • Harley Race was hospitalized and had to have a foot of intestine removed.
  • Butch Reed was apparently fired along with Sika and S.D. Jones.
  • At the Superstars taping, Savage vs. Andre for the title was the dark match. It went three minutes and Andre choked Savage from the jump, and the fans just chanted for Hogan the whole time. Savage got DQed for hitting Andre with a chair when he started chasing Elizabeth.
  • Mel Phillips has been replaced as ring announcer by Mike McGuirk. Aside from messing up a couple tag team introductions, she did a good job on her first day.
  • A possible hint for the role of Big Bubba Rogers. Jimmy Hart said he’s looking for a bounty hunter to get Beefcake for what he did to Hart’s hair, so that might be him.
  • Dave responds to a letter asking him not to cover POWW or GLOW and requesting his opinion on the long-term effect of Wrestlemania IV sucking. Dave thinks it’s obvious at this point that Wrestlemania won’t have much long-term negative effect and that Crockett has already squandered whatever positives they had coming out of Clash by failing to realize that building the entire show around one person is the opposite of what they should do. Like a skilled politician, Dave argues that Vince can tell everyone his show was a success so often and convincingly that they forget, while Crockett too often fails to follow through and correctly take advantage of anything they manage to get hot.
  • Another letter heaps praise on the Malenko brothers for not needing a gimmick. “The Malenkos have a gimmick called wrestling, a term that seems to be forgotten, but as long as the Malekos are around there is still a chance it won’t be extinct.” I like me some Dean Malenko, but “guy who wrestles good” is a terrible gimmick if you have nothing else going for you, and Dean’s no font of charisma. There’s a reason he had a ceiling.
  • Owen Hart is rumored to be debuting for WWF in July as a masked wrestler with a gimmick something along the lines of Tiger Mask in terms of appeal to children. Dave thinks this would work great if he had people capable of working at his level and if WWF would let him do his good moves rather than try and quash his style to keep the rest of the crew from looking bad. And thus we have the first early mention of the Blue Blazer.
  • WWF is thinking of running a Randy and Elizabeth tv special. Dave thinks it might be a possible head to head against Crockett’s July ppv. Not until Summerslam 1991, Dave.
  • Starting with Survivor Series, WWF will be on tv in France.
  • Dave speculates that Crockett turned Windham due to unimpressive house show attendance. The April 17 Charlotte show drew “one of the smallest crowds in years” and the April 24 show at the Omni only drew 1,400, or less than 10% capacity, for what was an excellent show. Dave heard from someone in attendance that the Midnight Express vs. The Fantastics was a five star match. They had three shows booked for May, but after how poorly this show did, they cancelled two of them.
  • Crockett’s July ppv is tentatively scheduled for July 10. That’ll be the first Great American Bash ppv, and Dave’s guessing that they’ll keep the same plan for the main event and go with Flair vs. Luger.
  • Finally, the most important news of the year is in. WWF’s new tv announcer is Sean Mooney. He used to produce This Week in Baseball and co-hosted Light Moments in Sports with Joe Namath.
NEXT WEEK: WCCW announces card for Parade of Champions, Oregon war heating up, April 30 Saturday Night’s Main Event, Wrestling telethon in June, transcript of hour 1 of Bruno’s radio interview, and more
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