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2023.06.04 19:06 ThisDudeisNotWell Being a woman was not easier
I tried to post this and uses the wrong flair. Sorry mods, dyslexia. Misread the rules on discussion posts.
On a different post I was asked as a trans guy (ftm, assigned female at birth and medically transitioned into a man) if being a woman was easier.
No gents, sorry. It wasn't.
I don't think my experience is really one-to-one comparable to being a cis man. I don't think being a man is actually that dramatically easier than being a woman in terms of the social conditioning. I'm also not a very masculine man to be honest, and that does affect my experience of manhood also. Other trans men who are more traditionally masculine, anecdotally, do say they are treated better however.
The core I think of what cis men who ask me questions like this are trying to get at though is whether or not people were generally nicer, more gentle in the way they treated me when I was living as a woman. Mostly because they see women getting approached with romantic prospects instead of having to seek them out and wish that would happen to them. And the answer is no.
From a very young age you become very aware as a woman that men will be "nice" in a very conditional way that really ends up being more threatening than anything. You have to play a kind of 5D chess where you have to communicate that you are not DTF and rebuff unwanted advances without inciting him into violance. Straight men will interpret politeness as signs of interest sometimes, so you have to be just rude enough to show him you're not interested while not so rude he'll attack you. Or if you're tried be extremely rude and prepare yourself for a fight, which I ended up doing once or twice while drunk knowing full well I was going to get hurt.
I have nothing against straight cis men shooting their shot in social situations where it was appropriate. I, as someone who was also at a bar to pick up chicks, tried to show men who approached me as much respect as I could. As an example, I never let a guy buy me a drink just to get free booze, and I bought some dudes who already bought drinks before coming over to talk to me a drink back to so he'd break even. Many men were respectful and kind to me, I don't want to paint them all as assholes, but maybe even 10% even refusing to let a dude buy me a beer he took as some kind of insult. Even my experience as a woman is not representative though, because I was willing to be more confrontational and willing to risk getting beat up way more than most women I know are.
And that's just in social situations where getting hit on was appropriate. I have a collection of creepy love letters men had handed me at my old shitty fast food till job, most of them graphic, two of them containing death threats. I (stupidly, without thinking it through) stopped to try and help a guy vomiting on the street while walking home at night, and he ended up texting his buddies (who were just a block or two away) to come and help him try to physically force me into his car to "take me to a party at his house" while calling me "the woman he wants to marry." A dude followed me home screaming at me the whole way after he mistook me for the call girl he ordered, I guess, and I had to duck into a convenient store until the police showed so he wouldn't know what building I lived in. A drunk old man straight up tried to grab my tits on the train then said "beat the living daylights out of me if I was his daughter" infront of a crowded car of bystanders. Because I reflexively beat his hand away from my chest. That's just some of the serious stuff, none of the casual harassment of some dickweed trying to flirt with me while in the line at the fucking grocery store or whatever and getting mad that I'm just ignoring him.
A popular trans woman YouTuber I'm worried might trigger some people if I say her channel name described the constant barage of male attention you get as a woman as the "firing squad of dicks" where as being a man feels like radio silence sometimes when looking for a romantic connection. I feel this is a pretty accurate way of describing it. Personally, not having to face that "firing squad of dicks" anymore feels like a massive relief. My perspective is biased as someone who doesn't struggle with flirting and dating and has gotten used to being the one that makes the first move, but to me it's a huge relief.
If I'm wearing a medical mask and my beard and mustache are covered I still get mistaken for a women sometimes. And to be frank, as much as it sucks to be misgendered, it sucks way more getting fucking catcalled again. In that kind of death by a thousand cuts kind of way. Because as much as I'd love to scream shit back at every asshat who does that shit both now and before I transitioned, I probably wouldn't have a face left to break at that point if I did.
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2023.06.04 19:05 Jcb112 Wearing Power Armor to a Magic School (33/?)
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A staredown soon ensued.
One that neither of us seemed to be willing to let up on.
But as far as staredowns went, this one was pretty evenly matched as neither of us really had the ability to ‘blink’, or at least as far as an outside observer could see.
My whole schtick was pretty obvious, the tinted lenses were more or less just doing the job for me, taking blinking out of the equation entirely and adding a solid plus ten to my intimidation base stats.
The shadowy cloaked figure’s approach was just downright bizarre though, as instead of eyes, there were just these two trapezoidal ‘lights’ that I assumed were supposed to be a placeholder for his actual eyes hidden somewhere underneath the shadowy void casted by his hood.
A void which was downright pitchblack, and completely impenetrable to the naked eye.
The figure gave off a surreal vibe as his rogue-like attire, coupled with the hood and the impenetrable shadow it casted, looked like it’d been ripped straight out of a Castles and Wyverns art book or a high-fantasy comic. The pitch-black void that obscured his face, and those two trapezoidal eyes that hovered and shifted with increasing scrutiny, just didn’t look real
While most would leave it at that, I wasn’t one to leave a mystery hanging, I was a human with an entire visual sensor suite to work with for crying out loud. So before I even knew it, I reflexively went to activate my night-vision cameras. Only to see that the shadowy effect covering up his face was still
This led me to only one solid conclusion. ALERT: LOCALIZED SURGE OF MANA-RADIATION DETECTED, 140% ABOVE BACKGROUND RADIATION LEVELS
A quick localized environmental scan made it clear to me that this was yet another one of the Nexus’ weird mana-fueled acts of tomfoolery.
“What say you, first years? Are you here for healing, or are you here for a visit? For as I have stated, the healing wing is not
accepting visits at this point in time.” The hooded figure answered with this strange mix between a sing-song voice and an attempt
at sounding gruff and gravely.
“We have an unfulfilled point of personal privilege that requires addressment.” Thacea stepped up to the plate, promptly placing herself by my side, then taking several steps forward. “Along with an unresolved conflict which requires immediate resolution by the party with which the aforementioned point of personal privilege was evoked but was halted due to unforeseen circumstances
.” The princess began flexing her courtly-talk with the hooded figure, which clearly seemed to have some
effect as he reached up a single gloved hand up to where his chin should
be, only to have his fingers disappear as soon as they entered the dark shadowy effect currently covering up his face.
“And with whom is this unresolved matter incurred?” The figure inquired plainly, though the way he spoke shifted to something a bit more accommodating, perhaps even a little bit more hospitable than the gruffer tone he’d initially directed towards me.
“An apprentice, good sir. Apprentice Larial to be precise.” Thacea clarified politely, using what I could only describe as this flighty, chirpy, almost haughty
tone of voice that was an exaggerated version of the cadence she used during our first interactions together.
“Hmm…” The hooded figure replied with a concerned grumble. “I was
going to waive this particular
matter, allowing the fair lady-” He paused, before making a point to stare at both me and Thalmin. “-and her two knights
to pass on through, under the points of exceptional circumstances.” He continued in a less restrained, more flighty cadence. “However, you must excuse my inability to do so, my lady. My hands are currently tied via the powers that be, and I simply cannot grant your request.” The man began weaving a string of apologetics, giving Thacea a genuine and polite bow in response. “I must apologize for this discrepancy in expectant decorum.”
This didn’t make things any better for our circumstances though.
And it was clear Thacea understood this as she continued pressing forward.
“May I have your name and title, my good sir?” Thacea chirped lightly.
“Appointed-Deputy Magistrate Sir Arlan Ostoy, Senior Apprentice of the Transgracian Academy for the Magical Arts. May I have the honor and the privilege of requesting your
name, my fair lady?”
“Princess Thacea Dilani, of the Aetheronrealm, First Year and Scholastic Peer of the Transgracian Academy for the Magical Arts.” Thacea replied with a full bow, and a half-curtsy of her own.
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance.” The shadowy figure bowed yet again
“The pleasure is all mine, Sir-Magistrate.” Followed by yet another
bow by Thacea.
There was some serious song and dance going on here, and one that I was observing with bated breath.
“Might I inquire further as to the particular reasoning
behind this unfortunate
and unseemly inability to respect the rights of expectant decorum?” Thacea quickly shot back.
“As I have alluded to, your highness, the powers that be prevent me from furthering the natural solution to your particular grievances. If this were any other instance in time, at any other location or place, I am sure this matter would have been resolved in an expedient and timely fashion. This situation, as you have alluded to yourself, results from a very particular set of unforeseen circumstances
. Circumstances which currently dictate my actions in a manner which just so happens to be in conflict with your points of personal privilege, your highness.” The man’s posture, the way he stood, even the way he talked seemed very particular
when addressing Thacea.
It was at that point that something changed. I didn’t know what, and I wasn’t sure why, but Thacea seemed to be shifting towards a tactical retreat, as she clacked her beak several times before addressing the both of us. “This is absolutely preposterous, I will need a moment to clear my mind but when I do return…” Thacea turned towards the magistrate/guard/apprentice person yet again. “There will
be words exchanged.”
At Thacea’s prompting, we all left the room, but not before slamming the door behind us shut in a similar manner to Ilunor’s drama-filled exits.
We continued walking away from the medical wing at a steady pace, until another privacy screen was suddenly brought up. ALERT: LOCALIZED SURGE OF MANA-RADIATION DETECTED, 275% ABOVE BACKGROUND RADIATION LEVELS
“I have a plan.” Thacea began. “And this is entirely relying on you two having the physical prowess to back up your military backgrounds.” She continued ominously.
“Oh princess, you sully the Havenbrock name if you believe my mercenary heritage is in any way, shape, or form a mere decorative mantlepiece.” Thalmin responded with a sarcastic, yet excitable tone.
“I assure you, Thacea, I think my training has almost every eventuality accounted for.” I added with an affirmative nod.
“So what’s the plan?” Thalmin barked out excitedly as we stopped right in the middle of this long, wide hallway connecting the main castle with the medical wing. Thacea was quick to answer this question by wordlessly gesturing to a lone door on the right side of the hallway.
Windows lining either side of the hallway made it clear that this entire structure was just an elevated bridge connecting the main castle to an entirely separate compound.
This made the presence of a door smack-dab in the middle of its length sort of bizarre.
Upon entering it though, we were treated to an open-air rooftop terrace with a few seats and benches. The whole outcropping gave us an unparalleled view of the roaring waterfall beneath the Academy, and a direct line of sight to the medical wing and its five distinct towers.
The princess continued walking silently as we reached the edge of the terrace’s balcony, overlooking the sheer cliff face at a height that more or less put me in mind of your typical open-air rooftops on your typical Acela Corridor skyscraper.
“I’ve observed that the medical wing seems to consist of a large tower-atrium, with several more towers connected to it via additional corridors. Similar to spokes on a wheel. As you can see from this vantage point, it seems as if most rooms have private balconies. If we cannot make our way to the apprentice via conventional channels, then I plan to reach her via more unconventional
means.” Thacea turned towards me with a hardened look in her gaze. “Emma, is your… insect artifice ready for use?”
My eyes widened at that, as I nodded affirmatively. “Just for the record, we call it a drone.” I quickly corrected Thacea. “But, yes, I can designate individuals and targets for it to track down or follow. However, I can’t just have it poking around in every room since there’s no guarantee that the drone will be able to get a lock on them. There’s too many variables involved that would get in the way of the drone actually being able to zero in on a person’s face. From the beds facing the right way, to bandages possibly covering up her face, to-”
“I don’t want your artifice to observe every balcony and window, Emma. That will most certainly take too much time, and as you’ve stated, there’s no guarantee of actually identifying a face considering the multitudes of factors involved.” Thacea interjected. “What I plan to do is to return to the Deputy-Magistrate, and to attempt to reach a compromise that he will
abide by. I plan for him to take us
, or rather, your drone
straight to the apprentice.”
“And how will you accomplish this?” Thalmin whined,his head tilted in curiosity.
“I will draft a letter, addressed directly to the apprentice, and request that it be taken straight to her room. This way, the Deputy-Magistrate will in a sense be able to accomplish his obligations to the Expectant Decorum, and in doing so he will lead your insec-, drone
, straight to the apprentice’s room.”
I stared at Thacea with wide eyes, as her back and forths with the deputy-magistrate began taking on a completely different meaning in this new light.
“That way, we can find out exactly
which room the apprentice is in.” I replied bluntly.
“Correct. However, from there, I cannot say my plans are in any way foolproof.” Thacea replied with a sullen coo.
“Well go on, princess, it sounds pretty good so far!” Thalmin urged.
“Ascertaining the apprentice’s room is only half
of the stated objective. Actually getting
there is another matter entirely. Because depending on where the apprentice is located… my idea for the latter half of this quest involves you two scaling your way towards her room.” The princess spoke with an immense level of trepidation. “On the exterior
aspect of the castle, if that needed to be said.”
My heart skipped a beat as the princess laid out her plans. I looked across the absurdly spindly hallway-bridge that this little terrace was somehow attached to, and towards the five towers that made up the medical wing.
Thalmin did the same, although his face seemed to indicate that he was at the very least, considering the plan at least somewhat seriously.
“Alright.” I muttered out loud, instinctively trying to place a palm on my forehead, only for the glove to bonk
straight off. “I have several ideas
. First, we might be able to do this remotely. I’m thinking once we find out which room she’s in, we fly in a larger drone, one carrying with it a deployable holographic projector or some other two-way communications device so that we can talk to her remotely.” As soon as I spoke that idea out loud however, things started to fall apart. “But because of how thick the walls are, and considering the distance between the tower and our dorm, I might have to deploy repeaters
in order to daisy-chain the connection all the way back to the dorms. I mean, we can’t just set up shop out here in the open after all. At which point we’d have a continuous chain of signal-repeater drones flying all across the Academy… which wouldn’t be ideal. No, scratch that, that won’t work.”
The pair stared at me with varying degrees of confusion, but seemed to have collectively decided to ignore the idea after I’d scrapped it.
“I say we just climb it!” Thalmin yelped out, but not before another idea hit me. One that could
work, but that required me consulting Thacea first.
“I mean, we could
, but…” I turned to face Thacea. “What’s the Academy’s policy on noise? Or rather, do you think we could get away with something really really
loud, buzzing outside of the towers?”
Thacea once more stared at me with a look of just utter confusion, but shrugged it off and went with it anyways. “I would highly recommend against
generating too much noise for this particular quest, Emma. It would most certainly garner a lot
of unwanted attention.” Thacea spoke plain and simple.
I couldn’t help but to groan internally in frustration at that. That makes flying over there a no-go… it would’ve made things so much easier though…
“Alright, well, that more or less places us in a very awkward situation with not a lot of options available to us, huh?” I thought to myself outloud again, as I craned my head over to an excitable Thalmin.
“I guess I
have to climb on over.” I stated in no uncertain terms.
?!” Thalmin responded with a shocked and incredulous bark
. “There’s no way I’m allowing you to climb over there yourself without assistance or-”
“Thalmin, there’s no need for you to climb on over with me.” I interjected. “This whole mission is hedged on me talking to the apprentice one-on-one. Remember the gardens? The apprentice wouldn’t allow you anywhere near us when we started talking. It’d be a waste of time, energy, and more importantly… a huge risk to your safety. I don’t want to risk your life needlessly, Thalmin. Not especially for a fight that isn’t your own.”
“Well you’re part of our peer group, so it’s my
fight as well.” Thalmin replied with a dejected growl, but eventually relented. “But you’re right, Emma. I hate to admit it, but you’re right.”
I nodded at Thalmin’s slowly. “Besides, there’s an important job I need you to do.” I began scrounging through one of my pouches, and began palming for my spare in-ear earpieces. “I need you on lookout, to keep me aware of anything fishy developing in case I need to pull out.”
Thalmin looked over the side of the terrace, towards the raging waters beneath this side of the Academy as he let out a sigh. “That shouldn’t be too hard. Hardly anyone will be passing by this terrace, and beyond that there’s no way anyone can spot you from below, given there’s nothing
but the cascading rapids below us. There’s no one that can spot you from here, save for perhaps the foxes in the library. We’re most certainly on the right side of the Academy for this quest, that’s for certain.” Thalmin pointed at the library in the far distance.
“Oh, I’m not too worried about anyone seeing me. I’m more concerned about someone compromising my extraction point, i.e. this little terrace here.” I acknowledged.
“But, surely you must be worried about someone seeing you scaling the walls…” Thalmin scanned me up and down, as if wanting to comment about my size but- “You’re massive
“Okay, first off, rude
.” I spoke sarcastically, and raised both hands up for added effect. “But in all seriousness, I have another device that can mask my visual presence.” I pulled out a plastic-like poncho from one of my pouches, activating it, and revealing its active-camo properties as it projected whatever was behind it, albeit with some
imperfections. “It isn’t perfect, but from afar it should actually work pretty well.”
Both Thalmin and Thacea stared at each other in utter shock as they saw this.
“I think… this is a matter worth discussing another time, Princess.” Thalmin interjected with a polite exasperated breath. “But I expect a good explanation for this one, Emma.” Thalmin pointed a finger right at me.
“In any case, I will be diverting the Deputy-Magistrate’s attention by preoccupying him with needless and vapid chatter. This should take attention away from the apprentice and your intrusion, Emma.” Thacea quickly added, and promptly tied this whole impromptu operation up nicely.
“Alright, let’s get this show on the road then. We’ll head back to the dorms and get that letter drafted so-”
“Already done.” Thacea interjected, bringing up a parchment that she promptly began sealing into an envelope.
“Wait, when did you-”
“Whilst we were talking, I used a dictation
spell. The letter is written and signed.” Thacea spoke nonchalantly, as she held a neatly sealed envelope in one of her talons.
“Wait, what, when did you, how did you-?”
“I carry a quill and extra parchment in my bag of holding. This is to account for any eventuality where a statement in writing, a legal affidavit, or a notarized letter may be required.” Thacea responded a-matter-of-factly.
“Alright then.” I tapped the pouch with the INFIL-DRONE, the small little thing peeking its head out much to the visible disgust of the pair. “So we’re ready for phase one of the operation. Misdirection and information gathering. We’ll go in, drop the letter, and have the drone do its thing. After that, we wait for the drone to return, and we’ll take it from there on whether or not we can continue with Phase Two: penetrating the enemy lines.”
“What would be stopping us from continuing with phase two?” Thalmin quickly asked.
“Well, simple. If the apprentice is still conked out from her injuries, there wouldn’t be any point in attempting to meet her. So hopefully, she’s going to be in a good enough state to talk to. We’ll know when we get the drone footage back.”
“Fair point.” Thalmin nodded.
“So, is everyone ready to begin?” Thacea asked.
A series of affirmative nods later, we began our quick walk back over to the atrium. The Transgracian Academy for the Magical Arts, Extraction Point Alpha (Open Air Terrace Overlooking the Medical Wing). Local Time: 1420 Hours.
That took way
more time than I’d initially thought.
In fact, it took so long that I was beginning to wonder how two people could have an unending conversation where nothing of value was spoken and nothing of value was gained.
It was basically elevator small talk, but written by the same writers who wrote Bridgerwesson Lane, and adapted to a theatrical release with a trilogy that ended with a movie arbitrarily cut up into a two-parter.
I honestly zoned out for a few moments during those hours, as I decided to use the spare time to review the grappling hook and mountaineering gear I’d be using on this little quest.
Eventually however, the Deputy-Magistrate relented, at which point I let loose the INFIL-DRONE to do its thing.
It’d been twenty minutes since we left and made our way back to this open-air terrace, and all of us were waiting with bated breath for the results the drone had in store.
“So, how fast can that drone
of yours fly anyways Emma-”
Thalmin was immediately cut off as the drone in question buzzed
right by his ears, causing them to flick this way and that, before flattening out entirely.
“Speak of him and he will come.” I chuckled, as I outstretched a gloved hand over for the little drone to perch atop of.
Once again, the pair stared at it with a look of mild disgust, and then panic as it crawled all the way back into its docking port, and began uploading the data we needed.
“Alright, let’s see what we have here.” I spoke to no one in particular before shifting my attention to the EVI. “EVI, isolate and replay relevant footage, and calculate the target’s location.” “Acknowledged, parsing…” “Location Parsing. Footage isolated. Play Footage?”
I immediately pulled out my data-tab for the gang to be able to watch as well, as the footage began just as the Deputy-Magistrate, and by extension the drone, arrived at the apprentice’s room.
The door, and all details posted in the front were all captured, and so too was the state of the apprentice revealed to us in short order as I braced myself for a mangled and bandaged-up mass of broken bones.
What I instead saw, was… still
a heavily bandaged up figure. However, the most important thing was that they were awake.
And what was remarkable, was the fact that they were able to move
without assistance. As the apprentice reached over to receive the letter wordlessly, shifting a bit in bed as she did so.
“This is a letter addressed from a Princess Thacea Dilani of the Aetheronrealm. I have fulfilled my duties and obligations as per the Expectant Decorum. I will now take my leave, Apprentice Larial.” The deputy-magistrate spoke with the same air of overbearing properness, seriously making me consider whether or not this was how he was all the time
Whatever the case may be, the apprentice seemed to be healed enough to move her arms at the very least, as she grabbed the letter and spoke hoarsely back in response. “Thank you Senior Apprentice.”
There wasn’t much to the footage beyond those interactions, but it was good enough for the purposes of this mission.
“Alright.” I spoke, as I pocketed the tablet. “We have our answer. The apprentice seems healed up enough to speak to, so phase two of this operation is a-go.”
The pair nodded in response, just in time for the EVI to be done with whatever calculations were needed to determine the apprentice’s precise location.
I turned to the tower, as the room and its balcony was highlighted.
It was just about five stories above from where we were.
Meaning it’d be a hell of a climb.
“The room’s about five floors up.” I announced with a sigh.
“Are you sure you can make that journey, Emma?” Thacea responded worryingly. “I… I will be honest, Emma, I am having some second doubts about this whole idea. The concept just came to me as flying between tall structures and towers is just second nature to us Aetheronrealmers. Considering the heights involved, and your inability to fly, I’m wondering if this whole quest was a folly of my own shortsighted-”
“It’s fine, Thacea.” I cut the avinor off. “I can do this, trust me.” I placed a single hand on the princess’ shoulder, and squeezed it once for effect.
Meanwhile, the EVI began doing what it did best: attempting to minimize the risk associated with my hairbrained schemes, as it deployed the suit’s primary lookout drone in order to start mapping out the best possible route forward.
This spooked the pair yet again, as they both jolted backwards.
Thankfully, the drone was deathly silent, so it shouldn’t bring too much attention to it.
It was at this point that I brought out a pair of earpieces I was scrounging my pouches for earlier, one for Thacea, and another for Thalmin.
“These will help you stay in contact with me throughout the climb.” I stated plainly, as I attempted to latch it onto my own ear for demonstrative purposes, only to realize that I could not, given the suit was in the way.
I sighed, as I turned towards Thalmin. “Do you mind if I put it on for you?” I asked sheepishly.
“Erm, what is
“It’s…” I paused, as I attempted to find the best way to describe this without taking up too much time. “It’s a communication artifice, Thalmin. It’ll allow us to talk to each other remotely, relying on that drone there-” I pointed at the lookout drone still flying away from us. “-to relay our voices to each other.”
Thalmin, as expected, looked at me with an expression of partial dumbfoundedness whilst Thacea seemed completely transfixed by the earpieces I held in my hands.
“So it’s like a hearing-sense?” Thalmin responded with a questioning bark.
“Look, I’ll just demonstrate.” I managed out with a sigh as Thalmin reluctantly nodded and allowed me to begin hooking in the earpiece, looping it around his fluffy triangular ears.
This inevitably resulted in my hand brushing over the lupinor’s fluffy head a few times, which seemed to elicit some large
tail-wags and a dulcet rumble.
I tried to ignore that, as I pulled back and began demonstrating. “I’ve turned off my speakers, can you still hear me, Thalmin?”
“Yes, I can.” The lupinor spoke after clearing his throat.
I turned my speakers back on immediately after. “Alright, I’ll get into the specifics of how it works later, but as for now, just know that I can hear whatever you say.”
“I’m afraid I don’t think that artifice
will be compatible with my… anatomy, Emma.” Thacea spoke calmly, as she pointed at several aspects of the earpiece that required an actual ear canal to fit into, and an earlobe to loop around.
“This complicates things a bit, but it shouldn’t be too
difficult. How long do you think you can keep up the distracting conversation with the deputy-magistrate for, Thacea?”
“We just went through several hours discussing nothing in particular, I can most certainly continue that trend from dusk till dawn.” The avinor spoke confidently, and frankly, rather proudly. “The issue lies not in how long I can manage to maintain the conversation, but in how long it will take you to accomplish this quest, Emma.” Thacea shot back.
“An hour.” I nodded confidently. “Twenty minutes to scoot my way over there, twenty to talk to the apprentice, and twenty to get back.”
“I’ll make that two
hours then.” Thacea responded without a second thought. “We need to account for potential complications, and an extra hour of senseless dialogue will most certainly not be an issue for me.”
With an affirmative nod from me, and an approving glance from Thalmin, I now turned towards the exterior of the two hundred foot corridor leading to the concourse, and the extra five hundred feet it would take to get from the atrium to the tower in question.
It was at that last minute that the EVI brought out another suggestion, one that was formulated with the aid of the new datasets provided by the FEBNPMS lookout drone that had been busy mapping out the best route forward.
It was… an inherently riskier approach, one that my aunt would definitely not
approve of, but it definitely beat scaling a wall and wedging spikes into it.
“Actually… I have a better idea than simply scaling the walls.” The Transgracian Academy for the Magical Arts, En Route to Medical Wing Tower C, Room 705. Local Time: 1430 Hours. “Grapple secure.”
I will never forget the feeling of falling
The very wrong
feeling that came with leaping off of solid ground into empty sky, of suddenly seeing
the world whizzing by me.
It was a visceral
feeling, a gut-churning sensation, dominated by an overbearing sense of impending doom that takes over your terrestrial brain that wasn’t designed to feel the ‘freeing’ sensation of being unbound to the ground beneath you.
Leaping over from the edge of the terrace was the worst part of it. But after that tentative jump, things started to become just a little
The Academy’s proclivity for over-aggrandized architectural design would finally serve a purpose beyond just decorative aesthetics.
Because it was clear that the walls weren’t really designed to ward off anyone daring to scale them. As there existed several, if not hundreds
of these little greebles and outcroppings that served no purpose but to act as decorative pieces on the side of the castle. Some held stone flowers, whilst others had lamps or other light pieces of varying designs.
No matter what they were, or what meaning they held, all were equal and valid targets in the eyes of my grappling hook.
As I dangled there from the first outcropping, held in place by a single high-tensile cable, I looked up to see Thalmin looming over the edge “EMMA?!” I heard him shout in a panic. It was clear that he was unable to see anything, as my light-refraction cloak was currently doing its job well.
“I’m still here, Thalmin. You can’t see me but I’m dangling from this weird outcropping that looks like an overinflated vase.”
“NEXT TIME, BE SURE TO INFORM ME AS TO THE NATURE OF YOUR IMPOSSIBLE ARTIFICES BEFORE USE, UNDERSTOOD?!”
“Of course. You’ll know if I’ve fallen if you hear a long scream followed by a large splat
“That’s not funny!”
I chuckled nervously in response, before turning to face the grueling, gut-churning journey ahead of me. “Humor’s my way of dealing with stress, and trust me, I have a lot
of stress to work through right about now.” First Previous
(Author’s Note: Hey guys! Time for some unconventional solutions courtesy of Emma and the gang! We're going to meet the apprentice one way or another! I hope you guys enjoy! :D The next Chapter is already up on Patreon if you guys are interested in getting early access to future chapters!
[If you guys want to help support me and these stories, here's my ko-fi
! And my Patreon
for early chapter releases (Chapter 34 of this story is already out on there!)]
submitted by Jcb112
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 19:00 AutoModerator /r/GoPro Weekly Questions Thread - Ask all of your questions here!
Welcome to the /GoPro Weekly Questions thread!
This is the place where everyone, beginner or advanced, should ask your general GoPro related questions, or ask for help troubleshooting! We encourage you to post here rather than make your own thread, as this is a great place for us veteran users to answer your questions regularly, it minimizes basic question clutter on the main page, and allows users with discussion threads to stay on the front page longer before getting bumped off over time.
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- If you have a problem, don't just describe it... SHOW US! Telling us you have some "blur" in your image could be ANY number of things, but showing us might help us figure it out for you quickly and easily. Upload some samples to youtube or imgur!
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Remember to check out the wiki
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2023.06.04 19:00 MelanieAntiqua Ship Wars 7- Tournament Edition; The Grand Finals
Here are the results of yesterday's matches: Nuts & Dolts defeated White Rose Bumblebee defeated Renora
The matchup between the two biggest Ruby ships was close, as many would suspect, but ultimately Nuts & Dolts won out, banishing White Rose to the Shadow Realm (by "Shadow Realm", I mean "Bronze Match"). Meanwhile, Renora gave Bumblebee its closest fight yet, but was still not really a match for the bees. Here
is a link to the bracket, and congratulations to the winners of the two Final Four matches, but first: Bronze Match: White Rose (Ruby x Weiss) vs. Renora (Nora x Ren)
Yesterday, we had a rematch of the first-ever championship. Today, our bronze match is the Ship Wars 2 championship match all over again. 12th-seeded White Rose is taking on 6th-seeded Renora. The two ships haven't met since that fateful battle. And now, they face off in this rematch with the fate of the world at stake. Well, actually very little is at stake. Basically, the winner of the bronze match gets their name at the top of the completed bracket on Challonge, next to the winner and runner-up, with a bronze medal to go with it. Ship Wars 6 bracket for an example of what I mean
. While there might not be all that much at stake in the bronze match, the winner still gets something
. So, which ship will be there at the top of the bracket for years to come, to greet anyone who randomly wants to look at old Ship Wars brackets for some reason? Will it be the champion of Ship Wars 2, Ship Wars 4if, and Ship Survivor II, but, despite its large fanbase and many contest accolades, rarely gets much fuel on the show itself? Or, will it be the ship that already had its first kiss, multiple songs dedicated to it, and is an endgame ship so obvious that people saw it coming from Volume 1, but which, let's say hasn't had the best track record in shipping contests (including this one, seeing as it's in the bronze match right now instead of the championship)? These two Big Four ships are kinda polar opposites in that way. Both the contest-winning ship between two characters CRWBY doesn't let talk to each other anymore, and the contest-cursed ship between two characters who have basically been joined at the hip for the show's entire run are massively popular. Which of the two will claim the third place title? Here
is the poll for this match. And now, the moment this has all been building up to, CUE THE MUSIC! (I felt like closing out the final battle of the "Melanie Saga" of Ship Wars with the song that closed out the final battle of the "Klaus Saga" of Xenoblade. I was finally able to find the time to finish the Future Redeemed DLC last night
(well, there's still a few Super Bosses I haven't beaten yet, but I'll get to that later. I beat the DLC's main story is what I mean), so this song is fresh on my mind)
Grand Championship: Nuts & Dolts (Ruby x Penny) vs. Bumblebee (Blake x Yang) With how this contest has been going, it seems fitting that the final battle would simply be between Seed #1 and Seed #2. Both of these ships accomplished much to get here. Nuts & Dolts gave Enabler its traditional first-round exit, avenged its Ship Wars 1 loss to Frosen Steel, defeated Ladybug (the ship that the last two champions also beat on their path to the title, it might be worth noting) and Crosshares, and then proved itself as the top Ruby ship by defeating White Rose. Bumblebee, meanwhile, annihilated Gemstones, Jailbirds, Faunus Pride, and Land of Lesbos like they were nothing (despite the latter three of those ships being notable contenders in past tournaments), and then solidly handed Renora a repeat of the first championship match. Will our champion be the twice-sunk ship ending the Top Seed Curse in my final tournament, or will it be the now-canon Bees bookending my time as hostess by winning both my first and last tournaments I run (honestly, either option seems like a downright poetic way to go out)? Which of the two sisters, Ruby or Yang, will join Weiss in the Three Wins Club? Who will be the newest member of the Two Wins Club, Blake or Penny? Is it time for beep-boop or buzz buzz? What exactly is the difference between magic and a semblance, anyway? All these questions (well, except that last one) are about to be answered today!
Here is the poll for this match!
Here is the schedule for the remainder of the tournament:
June 4th: Grand Championship
June 5th: Final Results
- Championship: Nuts & Dolts vs. Bumblebee
- Third Place: White Rose vs. Renora
And now, after more than a month of buildup, let the grand finale begin!
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2023.06.04 18:58 MisterSnippy The Walled City of Walls
   
In the past there were many Walled Cities, more than the six we have today. The first to be built is much contested, and any [Scholar] who gives a definitive answer is assuredly lying, but it is well-known that Salazsar is the youngest, starting out as a mining town so-to-speak. Sadly, several of the original Walled Cities have fallen, the causes of which are also much debated, but from those that fell was a Walled City that stood out from the rest, so great it was that all traces were wiped from history, until I happened to uncover them. A Walled City to rise above all other Walled Cities, more impervious than Manus, more magical than Fissival, a lust for gold to rival Salazsar, growth to match Oteslia, fantastical inventions that rival Pallass, and trade-routes greater than Zeres. Let me tell you a story about the fabled Walled City of Walls.
Originally the Walled City of Walls was a small fort, constructed in the middle of a grassy plain, where a small garrison of [Soldiers] lived. They defended their fort and nearby town with pride, but as they had such a large area to defend, they struggled to stop invaders from going around their fort and attacking the nearby settlement. In those days we did not yet build walls around our cities, and people were constantly threatened from [Bandits] and [Raiders] who sought to pillage and steal! The valiant [Soldiers] did their best to repel the attacks, and defend the plains, but there were just too many [Bandits] and other ne'er-do-wells!
Then one day a [Mason] stopped outside the fort, and yelled up at the [Soldiers] manning the battlements. He said, "My name is Zezzyzil Wallbuilder! You [Soldiers] have been fighting so hard to protect these lands, I want to help you by building a wall so high that not even dragons can fly over it!"
His words were ridiculous, but resonated with the tired [Soldiers], who would do anything to stop the invaders, and the [Captain] agreed to let him enter and use spare materials to improve the fort.
Zezzyzil got to work, and by dawn of the next day, the walls of the fort had grown by five feet. The [Soldiers] were astounded, and they thanked Zezzyzil for his work, but instead of leaving he spoke again, "I have done all I can with the materials you have here, but if you can gather more stone I can expand the walls further!"
They had seen proof of his Skills, and decided to send a few men to the nearby village to gather more materials.
The townsfolk trusted the [Soldiers] who had protected them time and time again, and rushed to gather whatever they could for the project. Stone was taken from abandoned houses and carted over to the fort, where soon a large pile sat in the courtyard. The top of the pile was as tall as the fort's walls, and was everything the villagers could spare. Once again Zezzyzil got to work, and by dawn of the next day a wall ran through the plains, dividing it in half.
The villagers went to see the result of Zezzyzil's hard work, and were amazed with what he had accomplished, but before they could cheer, the [Mayor] of the town approached Zezzyzil and begged, "Oh great Zezzyzil, you are clearly of a high Level, and have done so much for all of us! I will pay you what little gold I have, and I feel ashamed to ask, but if I give you all the stone from my house, will you expand the walls further?"
His offer shocked the [Soldiers] and the townsfolk. Zezzyzil thought for a moment, rubbing a claw against his chin, and then replied, "You are willing to sacrifice your own home for the good of your people, I admire your noble spirit, and so I agree and will take the stone to expand the wall."
The [Mayor] laughed with delight, handing a bag of gold to Zezzyzil, and returned to the town to tear down his house and cart the stone over. However, word spread of his deed, and by the time he returned there was a pile larger than the one before, sitting outside of the fort, behind the new wall. All of the villagers had taken the stone from their homes and brought it there, for Zezzyzil to use, for being safe from [Bandits] was better than comfort.
As before, night passed, and by dawn an even larger wall had been built, surrounding what used to be the village. The townsfolk no longer had homes, and had all crowded into the small fort, which was now safe from [Bandits]. Zezzyzil did not leave, as they thought he would, and instead chose to stay with the [Soldiers] and [Villagers] and help them maintain the walls and further expand them.
Time passed, and gradually more Drakes moved into the fort, seeking shelter and safety behind the large walls. Eventually, the fort turned into a small city, and one day Zezzyzil left when it was clear the citizens could continue maintaining the walls without him. The citizens threw him a parade and lavished him with gifts, and then Zezzyzil was gone, followed by a stream of flower petals and coin.
The town had not had an attack in years, but still kept expanding the walls, using knowledge that Zezzyzil had given them. By now the walls surrounded the entire plain, constantly being built taller and taller, thicker and thicker. Quarries were dug where more stone could be excavated, and expeditions were sent to a nearby mountain to get more material for the construction.
As the town was safe and growing, [Merchants] started to pass by, bringing with them goods from faraway lands, bringing the city great fortune, turning it into a local hub for trade. A few clever [Merchants] took note of the citizens peculiar tradition, and started to sell the city more stone and wood for their work.
The walls by now were almost one hundred feet tall, and the city grew more prosperous the taller they became. It became common for ordinary buildings to look fortified, with ramparts, crenels, and merlons on even homes of the poor, stylized after the walls that protected them. But the good times were not to last, and a group of [Bandits] had heard of the city, and worked in secret to undermine its defenses.
The [Bandits] knew that even though the walls looked imposing, they had no enchantments to strengthen them, and so they observed from afar until at last they discovered a weakness in a section of the walls. Like lightning they rushed towards the city, but no alarms sounded, and no [Watchmen] yelled out. They had gotten too comfortable, too used to their safety, and thought that it would just be another group of [Raiders] breaking themselves upon the walls.
The damage to the city and its populace were horrible, and although the [Soldiers] and [Guards] managed to beat the [Bandits] back, they were shaken. The walls were not as safe as they had thought, and it was only a matter of time before a worse attack occurred.
The highest Level townsfolk gathered, and pooled their resources together, just like how the original villagers did. Renowned [Enchanters] and [Architects] were hired to teach the townsfolk their ways, and more [Guards] and [Soldiers] were hired to man the walls and keep the city safe.
By now the town's desire for safety was feverish, every alleyway was surrounded by walls, the streets were lined by walls, the [Guards] lived within the walls. The work of every citizen was related to building walls, expanding walls, and maintaining walls. A school was created to teach citizens how to enchant, so that never again would their walls be damaged.
The city kept growing and expanding, and by now the walls were five hundred feet tall! People from afar started to call it the Walled City of Walls, and the citizens wore the name with pride, leaning further into their ideals. The first Wall Lords arose, promoted from the original fort garrison for their great work for the city. The mountain they had been mining for stone turned out to be rich with gemstones and other resources, and the Wall Lords used this money to keep expanding the walls and better equip the [Soldiers] and [Guardsmen]. Great gardens were built to feed the city, ensuring that they could live while cut off from the outside world. New construction methods were pioneered to aid with the building of the walls.
But gradually the attitude of the city started to change. All of the original space within the walls had been used up, and there was nowhere left to build but out. A second wall was built, then a third, then a forth. Decades passed as the city crept past the plains into the forests, swallowing up other villages and towns. And then first war happened.
The name of the town is unknown, but they were unhappy with the expansion of the Walled City of Walls. They marched their valiant army over, trying to stop the construction and expansion, but the Walled City retaliated with force, and crushed the small town, resettling the villagers and forcing them to join.
The Walled City of Walls had never attacked anyone before, they had always been a defensive state, and were shocked with how easy it was to crush the small town. One of the Wall Lords proposed that they keep expanding as far as they could, not letting any force stop them. After all, the more the walls expanded, the safer the city was.
Armies marched, destroying nearby villages and towns, clearing the way for [Masons] and [Geomancers] to come and create more walls. Hundreds of [Woodcutters] cleared forests, making it easier for the walls to be constructed. The city ever grew, and the original walls were now over a thousand feet tall, and still growing. Constant lines of materials were gathered, and any land that wasn't being lived on was mined and carved out. Any stone that wasn't useful for the walls was instead used for decoration and for the construction of smaller houses.
But word spread of what the city was doing, and it reached Zezzyzil. By now he was an old Drake, over 150, still doing work as a [Mason], trying to help small towns and villages. When he learned what the city was doing he was furious, and returned as quickly as he could. He asked for audience with the Wall Lords, and to his shock, they refused.
The current Wall Lords were descendants of the original [Soldiers], and none of them knew of Zezzyzil. Zezzyzil found that the city had forgotten him, and not a soul in the city remembered who he was or what he had done for them. He stopped to think, rubbing his claw against his chin, and then that night, he went to work.
And by dawn of the next day, all of the walls were gone, and in their place stood the original small fort. Without their walls to protect them, many citizens chose to leave and head elsewhere, deciding it would be too much work to rebuild them, instead working to build small walls around other towns. The Wall Lords tried to hold onto what they could, but it was too late. They sat in the peaceful plains, staring at lines that marked where the walls used to be, and left. Thus was the fate of the Walled City of Walls.
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2023.06.04 18:49 TahaymTheBigBrain Anyone think KB is on copium for this?
I was watching KB and Mr. Beat interview each other
(great convo by the way, great podcast listen), and I heard KB mention that he thinks the next big progressive social awareness would be Native American rights.
Obviously that would be great, and Canada/Australia are way ahead in that regard compared to us, however I don’t really think that’s feasible without a HUGE amount of discussion over it, hundreds of times more than we get today. Even the Supreme Court eroding their rights further was barely discussed last year at all.
I’m pretty active politically, and I never see anyone talk about Native Americans at all, and in public life the only time I hear them mentioned it’s a caricature of them. Secondly, Native Americans are barely in American life at all, so I find it rather unlikely even in the future when their population further dwindles that there will be a movement for them.
Canada and Australia have comparatively much higher percentage of Natives and are much more progressive as countries so I can see why it’s discussed more there and they also don’t have as bad of systemic racism, but for America I don’t see it as really possible.
I think that when KB was researching for his video pushes for Native American rights seemed much more at the forefront of his consciousness which made him say that, just a guess. I know he lurks here sometimes so it’d be cool to see what he thinks (apologies if I misconstrued your answer at all KB). What do y’all think?
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to KnowingBetter [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:46 moishepesach [RO][HR] Sincerely
Sincerely Ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh, ba-doh-ba Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely 'Cause I love you so dearly, please say you'll be mine -The Moonglows Part I - The End This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. If I keep saying it maybe it will be true.
But it was happening. Tough times. Humpty Dumpty times. Out of gas in the desert with no bars times.
And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than a Tijuana root canal; she walked in. Out of the sweltering Mexican heat, into the dim bar, she came; the only thing standing between me and the blinding light. I heard a couple of gunshots somewhere in the distance.
I still remember how the sun illuminated my 2pm rise and shine, shit-faced full of no caffeine afternoon after, hair of the dog; tequila shot and beer. Like I said, tough times on the Ponderosa, Hoss.
Every time I think of that moment, I stand transfixed in time. Unable to move, frozen in-place tighter than a suckered kid’s tongue to a Chicago lamppost in a February ice storm. Maggie had long ago won my heart’s devotion only to betray both me, and it, in ways still inconceivable to my sauce pan of a brain.
So, a couple of months ago, my life in post-apocalyptic ruin, I did what any red-blooded American would do; I flew across the border to CDMX to drown my sorrows in tequila and cheap living. And now, incomprehensibly, here she was; back, again like the September monsoon. Had the bitch air tagged me?
It seemed with Maggie my heart’s devotion was not enough. Everything she wanted and received soon became a dull knife; just ain’t cutting. Mags had to have it all, all the time. And I thought she had gotten all of me and more. Who’d think she’d want to pick at the carcass? But inexplicably, there she was like my constant migraine, the one that never really left the base of my skull.
Without a word Mags swooped in close like she missed me and now hadda kiss me.
Then, quicker than lightning showing off, she plunged her delicate-boned hand deep into my chest. She then removed it with even greater alacrity holding it high above her jet-black mane. She waved it for all the bar to see, my still beating corazón in it, color-coordinating against it’s will with her manicure, making what looked like vague Italian gestures.
Nobody in the bar paid us any mind.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but avert my horrified gaze into my now exposed chest cavity, only to witness darkness within darkness gazing back at me.
,” a voiceless voice greeted and saluted.
I looked up at Maggie. She took the seat opposite mine. Then reaching over with her free hand commandeered my tequila and knocked it back quick. Her encore was to grab my beer and drain it with all the mud she could muster into my eye. Then, with a satisfied look she dropped the now emptied bottle on the wooden table hard enough to make a thud.
Maggie then met my stare. My cardia beating peripatetically in her freshly manicured right-hand she made an elaborate shrug, her face smug as a tyrant’s fart.
I remembered wondering what the fuck was keeping my cardio so vascular. It sure as fuck wasn’t clean living. Then, that voiceless voice had yet more to say. “Now what, Spenser?” it asked.
Now, it was now my turn to shrug. Surprisingly, despite being a now certifiably heartless son of a bitch, I, too, had something to say. So, I said it.
“You’re fucking diabolical, Maggie.”
My words of judgment echoed clear, permeating deep into the abyss, then back again at Maggie. She caught my words easier than a kitten catches smiles. She just shrugged again. It was starting to get annoying.
“You ruined me,” I added just to be doing something.
The shrug undulated down from her tan and toned shoulder through her arm, finally coming to a full stop at her finger’s tips.
Waving my heart at me with more vague Italian gestures Mags asked, “How can you be so sure, Spenser?” Part II – The Middle Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine
This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. My new mantra wasn’t working.
Six months ago, I thought Maggie was the answer to my dreams.
Swooping down like an angel to shower me with attention and affection. Dinners with wine. Hot sex. More hot sex. No strings attached. Getting to know you pillow talk.
Now, there’s one thing I need to add. I met her through a dating app but as it turned out we both worked for the same nonprofit. We didn’t know each other as it’s a fairly big company but it turned out I supported the code for both her projects. This turned out to be one of many coincidences.
We both hated our jobs. We both liked writing short stories but never could sell a thing despite writing dozens and dozens. We both could dance salsa, on 1 and 2 and loved to hablar en español que no era muy guapo.
We both wanted to run away to Mexico city and live the Bohemian life.
Coincidences like we both grew up in NYC and had issues with our respective families of origin. And while she was Chinese-American and I was Russian-American both our fathers were born in the same year and were obsessed with Woody Allen. We both had much younger siblings we didn’t speak to.
Yeah, we had both grown up with weak fathers and selfish narcissistic mothers in common. And worser still, we had both experienced unstable living situations in high school. In my case, I was kicked out of the house for smoking weed.
In Maggie’s case, I never really was sure what went down but the best I could get out of her was at 13 she got pissed at her mom for cheating on her dad and left the house with nowhere to go. She ended up with family friends or relatives but the details were always murky and I was not the nosey type.
Her words to me were, “My mother’s emotional IQ is low. I raised myself.”
Impressively, she had made it through the Ivy League and seemed to be someone down to earth I could spend time with. But truth be told from the minute I saw her profile picture I was hotter than a Texas chili sprout for her.
It was some kind of primal attraction I thought I was long past entertaining. It wasn’t lust. It wasn’t love. It was like the thought of coming home to a family I never knew I had or that even could exist.
This shit made old me feel like young me again. But, as oft is the case in life, there was a problem. I was old, broke and probably about to lose my job. I was in IT and I was having problems with my manager being a psychopath; for reals.
It wasn’t mere conjecture as he had a reputation of getting people fired, or worse, making their lives so miserable they would quit; even with no prospects. I had been the focus of his sabotaging efforts and it had been having a bad effect on my mental and physical well-being.
This had taken a turn for the worse and I was catching a lot of passive aggressive hostility on the project Maggie supported.
Anyway, she was the bright spot in my otherwise mostly solitary and emotionally bleak life. And she lived nearby. She had an ex and kids and shared custody but I never met them and she didn’t really talk much about it except to say once, “You should need a license to have kids.”
I never had quite known what to make of some of the things she said, but like I said, I was under her spell. And I liked it.
And the icing on top? I had a dominant kinky side and that was a fire Maggie poured gasoline on every chance she got. She was worse than an arsonist in Underoo Town.
One weird thing about Mags was her knitting habit. If we weren’t fucking or eating she was knitting. Even at restaurants and bars.
One day in November, with the sun golden in a sky so blue you thought you could touch it I asked, “What are you knitting?”
Maggie gave me a wry look. She got out of her chair and seemed to be examining my bald head which I had shaved just that morning.
“A hat,” she replied.
But as the holidays rolled around things started to change. One Sunday morning as we were having coffee Maggie looked around the crowded steamy café.
“Everybody’s hooking up for the holidays,” she remarked.
I didn’t really know what to do with that one so I let it be.
But as the days went on there was a change in the weather. Fewer texts. Less sex. Maggie going out of town to some vague destination. Sending me sexy pictures of herself in Santa outfits after I caught the flu during Christmas.
A few days after Christmas I got a text late one night.
“Is it okay if I come by?”
“Very okay,” was my reply.
Maggie showed up with chocolate, red wine and the hat she had been knitting. Orange Afghani wool softer than a golden retriever’s fur. She put the hat on my head and then removed all my clothes.
“Let’s celebrate Christmas, Spenser.”
And, we did.
When we were done and lying head-to-head, I said, “I love my hat.”
Maggie said, “I made it especially for you. No matter what, don’t lose it.”
It was another one of those weird Maggie things she said, like, “I used to shoplift,” and shit like that.
“Promise me you’ll hold on to your hat, Spenser.”
Maggie observed my face, then nodded as if confirming something to herself.
Then we did that thing again.
That was the pinnacle. Things quickly went downhill for no reason I could discern. Texts unanswered and when answered; kind of abrupt-like. Being unavailable. Stuff with her kids. Time away in Connecticut for some vague reason. After that I began feeling like the weakest card in a gambler’s hand.
But Maggie kept shoe horning me in at odd times, giving me just enough crumbs to keep me on the hook. And as we rode the roller coaster down everything always seemed to center around alcohol. And sex. More and more debauched sex. Finally, by New Year’s Eve things were getting straight-up weird no chaser.
“You know that thing we talked about?”
By her tone I knew what she meant. I nodded cautiously.
“You want to try it?”
Maggie dropped a smile on me that would have had the serpent in the garden applying for unemployment.
“Yes,” she said.
So, we did.
I thought I had been imagining things. I thought we were back at the pinnacle. I could feel the love drug course through my veins. Things couldn’t be better. Or, so I thought.
Oh Lord, won't you tell me why
I love that girlie so
The Following Monday
The next Monday I was called into what turned out to be the most fucking bizarre moment of my fifty-eight years on this planet; and I’ve had some bizarre fucking moments growing up in south Brooklyn in the 1970’s; believe you me.
The company’s CIO, compliance officer, head of legal, head of HR and my evil manager, Conte Rugen were all in attendance, cameras ROLLING.
It appears I was being dismissed after 8 years loyal service for sexual assault, extortion, harassment, hate speech, insults to farm animals and every fucking other offense against God and man one could commit in these holiest of holy United States of America.
And just who had I… who had I.. victimized? Who had I preyed upon? Harassed? Gone full nutso on?
They had the goods. Recordings. Video. Ropes. Whips. Chains. Bad Spanglish. Maggie screaming, “No, papi! No!!!!”
I believe I was, what is known in legal parlance as, summarily fucked.
Nobody wanted to hear my side. How things were taken out of context. Things we had mutually consented to out of exciting and bonding trust and exploration.
“Did I have consent agreement?” I parroted back in shock to the head of legal.
“Did you get one when you fucked your mother in the ass before she shat you out?” I added just to keep my mouth from puking.
I was in bombshell shock. Maggie was my angel. Our situationship was supposed to be fucking healing from our abused childhoods and here I am now some kind of Tarantinoesque, Mr. Fucking Rapist? And my fucking manager once bragging about throwing a cat out a window when he was a juvenile delinquent?!?
There would be charges pressed. I would need an attorney. I might be arrested.
And it all happened faster than you can say, “Blue Monday, How I hate Blue Monday”.
And then Maggie sued the company. Take no fucking prisoners, Maggie. Disco-fucking-inferno burn that mother down we don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn Maggie. I wondered if her ex had been left on food stamps after the divorce.
A few months and my life savings and retirement account after that the criminal case got pleaded down to misdemeanor assault and I was able to arbitrate with my employer and Maggie’s lawyer leaving me with some clothes, my passport and precisely enough plastic to fly into the sweltering Mexican heat. So, fly into it I did. Part III – The Beginning Sincerely, oh you know how I love you I'll do anything for you, please say you'll be mine Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go
“I wish you’d stop waving that thing at me,” I said gesturing at my heart with my chin.
“You’re still upset,” Maggie said. It wasn’t a question.
“You fucking abused me. You fucking eviscerated me. Yeah, you could say I’m a little perturbed.”
“But you’re still wearing the hat,” she said smiling.
“It’s a bad ass hat,” I said. It was after all. Why cut off your nose to spite your face?
“I put a lot of time and thought into it,” she said. My heart continued to beat in her hand. ... Oh Lord, won't you tell me why I love that girlie so She doesn't want me But I'll never never never never let her go ...
“Look,” she said waving my heart at me.
“I really wish you wouldn’t wave that around like that.”
The voice in the abyss in my chest spoke. It said, “Wait for it.”
Maggie said, “Spenser, you poor fucking sap. You hate your fucking job. You try to do the right fucking thing and speak up and you get kicked around like a dog. You try to love hard and you get beat up and left in an alley. You try to write books and start businesses and you end up bankrupt or dead.
And now look at you! You don’t have a care in the fucking world. You don’t have a shitty job. You are in beautiful Mexico City with the girl of your dreams. You say your heart was hardened? Well, I say it feels pretty fucking soft and sweet to me. Like the hat I knitted you. With the pom pom. And you know what?”
“What?” I heard myself murmur?
The abyss in my chest said, “Yeah, what?”
“Well, one the fucking pom pom has a beacon so I knew where you were the whole fucking time you sap. So I can tell you this true. And I will. So here I am in fucking Mexico sweating my tits off. And I am telling you this," she said nodding at my cardio, "is a very good heart. And I am putting it back where it belongs.
There is nothing wrong with it and now nobody can hurt it again. And if you want to write a book now you have something, and someone,” she added with a wry smile, “to write about.”
Then lightning quick Maggie put it back in my chest and removing her hand made a quick flourish gesturing for the waitress.
“Botella de tequila, por favor!”
I looked down at my chest. Everything seemed to be the way it had been before she ripped out my heart. Only different.
I was about to speak. Maggie raised a hand.
The waitress appeared like a wraith and put down a bottle of Don Julio and two fresh shot glasses and two cold ones.
Maggie poured two shots and pushed one at me with the hand that had been holding my cardio captive. She then fished around in her pocket and found her phone.
“What the fuck, right," that's what your thinking, Spenser. Yeah, what the fuck is right. Look at this baby boy,” she said and then pushed her phone next to the shot glass.
I was looking at what appeared to be a bank balance that appeared ready, willing and able to face fuck an extraordinarily tall giraffe. I felt the migraine disappear like a bad dream.
Maggie gave me a wry smile.
She pushed the shot glass closer to me and picked hers up. I felt my elbow bending. It felt okay.
She tilted her shot at me and said, "Here's looking at you, kid," and took the shot. I drank mine.
We put our glasses down.
“You can negotiate anything," she said, then added, "sincerely.”
And then, then she kissed me. Oh say you'll be mine Oo-eee, oo-eee-oo, ooi-ooi-ooo Sincerely
submitted by moishepesach
to shortstories [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:42 DrPurpleMan “Next week will be fun. We can't wait to show you the first Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay reveal video! Lot of your questions will be answered 👍”
2023.06.04 18:41 No_Assumption_9558 What is this species of ants
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So im new to ants i found out abou ants by the ants canada youtube channel and recently i thought about having an ant colony and i went to search through my garden and found this ants species I live in portugal, alentejo i did my search and i tink they are camponotus or carpenter ants however i did not found them in the wood , i also have another question and is that they are on their period of allades almost finishing and i want to know wher and when(like what time of the day i can find them and wher most likely it can be) or i if i need to use something to get the queens . submitted by No_Assumption_9558 to ants [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:25 Cool_Eth E254 Discussion Thread: These Women Came Within 8 Feet Of An Alien That Crashed In Varginha Brazil
These Women Came Within 8 Feet Of An Alien That Crashed In Varginha Brazil
In the early evening of January 20th, 1996, rain was falling over the city of Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Three girls were walking through a vacant lot when something made them stop in their tracks. It was a small, oily brown alien, cowering in fear. What followed was a bizarre series of alien and UFO sightings that left people clamoring for answers. Did the Brazilian military cover up the first known human contact with an extraterrestrial being?
submitted by Cool_Eth
to MileHigherPodcast [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:20 SereinaMearcy Is my father legally required to financially help me during my studies?
Good evening everyone,
Before I ask my actual question, I need to provide some background information so that the answer is not simply a "yes" or "no," as the situation is somewhat complicated.
When I was young, my mother experienced domestic violence through my father. She divorced from him. At that time, my father was unemployed, and my mother had a poor lawyer who only focused on the divorce. The lawyer did not suggest legally securing that my father would have to pay child support once he had money in the future. It didn't occur to my mother either, as she was understandably emotionally distraught due to the situation and just wanted to put the whole thing behind her as quickly as possible.
As a result, my father hasn't really contributed much financially over the years. Of course, he would give me gifts, such as my electronic piano, electric guitar, or laptop. Meanwhile, my five-year-younger brother had his ice hockey hobby financed (around 100,000 CHF over the years, if not more).
Both parents received social welfare assistance over the years. My father simply lived off of it and never worked. My mother worked as a hospital cleaner during the day and as a waitress in the evening for a while. Now she is "only" working as a cleaner. Financially, she barely makes ends meet for us.
My paternal grandmother earned a good income during her life. She owned a beautiful apartment in the center of a Swiss city. However, she was very old and had Alzheimer's. Since she lived on the other side of Switzerland, it was not possible for us to take care of her. She was placed in a nursing home, where she lived for a few years. My father had to finance it because her money was essentially "frozen" due to her Alzheimer's, and he couldn't access it. Unable to continue financing the nursing home, he was forced to sell the centrally located apartment. He sold it for at least 800,000 CHF.
A few months later, my grandmother passed away. My brother and I inherited 20,000 CHF each. My father inherited much more, but he wouldn't tell us how much. I estimate it was over 100,000 CHF. That was 2 years ago. Today, he told me that he now has "only" 80,000 CHF left. He didn't say where all the money went. Although he bought a car, a caravan, and a motorcycle, the sum of the disappeared money doesn't add up. Additionally, he doesn't have to pay rent as he owns a two-story house with a large garden.
Now he plans to move to Colombia this year because the cost of living is cheaper there, he speaks the language, and he has a daughter there. The latter was completely new information to us. If he moves to Colombia, he also won't have to repay his debts to social welfare, for some reason. Before moving to Colombia, he will sell his house. He should get at least 1,000,000 CHF for it.
Now, here's the problem. I want to go to university next year. My mother is unable to financially support me. My father doesn't want to support me financially because he doesn't have to - he's not obligated to pay child support. My question is: Can I take legal action against him to make him contribute to my university expenses? I will need around 1,000 CHF per month. Of course, I could wait until his death, but I would still need to find a way to finance myself until then. I'm also afraid that I won't inherit much because he favors my brother, and he not only has a daughter in Colombia but also one in Canada. I don't know if my two unknown half-sisters also have a claim to the inheritance. There is also a risk that he will squander all the money before his death.
So, the two questions are:
- Can I take legal action against my father and ensure that he supports me financially during my studies? I live in Switzerland and parents are usually required to support their children until they are done with their studies.
- Do my two half-sisters have a claim to the inheritance? They had very rare contact with our father throughout their lives.
submitted by SereinaMearcy
to LegalAdviceEurope [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:19 any_ordinary_boy Apollo Capital Assets
Hello! Getting to the question:
I recently saw an ad on youtube that promised that I would be helped to pass my funded challenges within a month with a guarantee.
I had a phone conversation with a guy and to put it briefly, I'm going to buy a bot. This bot costs 4000£, if you pay with crypto which is about 4643€. So I'm supposed to pay 50% before I get anything and 50% after l've "generated" $60,000. So now I've to invest the equivalent of about 2320€ just to know, if this is even real or fake. But that's a lot of money for me that's why l'm asking this here.
Has anyone had any experience with these guys? And by that I mean has anyone already spent this money and have the answer I'm looking for? That would be a huge help for me :)
submitted by any_ordinary_boy
to Daytrading [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:01 falafelest Is anyone else bothered by the amount of “fluff” in the reunion?
There’s so many things to get through, and bits they had to cut out due to time. So why is there so much fluff!?! Like it took 5 mins for Raquel to come to the stage, they kept in the 2 mins of dead air before Tim answered the Scheana question, lots of flash back scenes we’ve seen a bunch and the list goes on.
I’d honestly prefer they edit like the kids on YouTube do (cut out any second of dead air and just constant talking) how does everyone else feel!?
submitted by falafelest
to vanderpumprules [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:53 MasThomp007 I'm probably saying goodbye to Duolingo with a one-hundred-day streak.
Don't get me wrong, 100-day-streak isn't impressive at all. And that's not the point of this post.
The reason why I'm (probably) leaving Duolingo is that, it's wayyyyy to slow-paced.
I learnt German as my third language in the university. We basically learnt all A2 grammar in three months, and in the next semester B1-B2 grammar in another 3 months.
I would say that's hasty, and honestly I didn't remember too much about what I'd learned in uni (at least I have a general impression of the German grammar system).
But the same three months on Duolingo gave me what? Not even full A1 grammar.
I spent one hundred days learning how to buy organic cucumbers and whose dog is having a party with its colleagues. And I wouldn't know how to differentiate zu, nach, in (basically like the differences between in, into, and to in English) if it were not because of these YouTube tutorials I watched.
And more atrociously, Duo didn't even teach the difference between a static in (in some place, followed by an dative noun) and a non-static in (into some place, followed by an accusative noun). We learned these in uni like literally in the first week of the course. And yet Duo be like "nah you just have to figure that yourself".
In a word, immersion isn't a panacea. Learning a foreign language requires some kind of grammar input (at least for me).
Another thing I hate about Duo is their pricing opacity. They spam you with "a free 14-day trial" without any mention of the actual pricing of their premium service. I had to Google that to know it's actually pretty expensive. This is another reason that discouraged me from using it further.
The ultimate reason why I decided to give up Duolingo is that, I tried Busuu tonight.
I'm legitimately shocked that they teach regional dialects and tons of different expressions Duolingo never bothered to mention in the second unit, let alone the much more detailed explanations for mistakes you made (Duo even locked the discussion board where people question the "official" answers).
All in all, after trying some different German learning apps and YouTube channels, I have came to the conclusion that I have literally wasted 100 days on Duolingo repeating the same awkwardly phrased sentences again and again, while not making any real progress.
I'm not saying Busuu is perfect. I did some research on it and people say it has the same problem Duo has. I just chose to opt out of this learning illusion Duo is creating.
Agree with me or not, it's at your liberty. But I'm out.
submitted by MasThomp007
to duolingo [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:36 Kobussy I honestly aspire to the levels of purity of the spacebattles and beast lair userbase. They only ever argue about nerd shit and it never gets too serious.
2023.06.04 17:14 heine789 About YouTube's official artist channels
Hello, so I recently linked my youtube with distrokid to try and get a official artist channel, and I sent in my application a week ago but no response yet. I read over the rules again and it says I need to "
- Have at least 1 official music release on YouTube delivered and distributed by a music distributor or label
But whenever I check YouTube Music on my song it gets posted on another channel that's not mine (cause it has older songs on there that are not from me, so I have stopped checking youtube music and only post it manually on my own channel, but since distrokid haven't posted any songs on that channel themselves does that mean I will get declined?
It also says
But my channel has gotten a false claim on a song (which I have disputed but no response yet), does that also lower my chances of getting it?
submitted by heine789
to DistroKidHelpDesk [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:04 mommaimpostingagain One day online for the first time in over a month. I feel physically sick.
Can’t believe I used to do this every day. Just spent an hour or so scrolling the top rsp posts for the last month and I feel a dull weight and a nauseous sense of dread in my stomach. My very body is rejecting this website. Same for a quick sojourn to Twitter and YouTube to check in on the old accounts I used to find entertaining. I realize now this is how I felt all the time, for years. Disgusting.
For context, see my last post: https://old.reddit.com/redscarepod/comments/12z172f/months_ago_i_turned_off_my_phone_data_and/?ref=share&ref_source=link
In short, I turned off phone data and home internet late last year. A little over a month ago I traded my smart phone for a dumb one and only go online (on a library computer) when I need to for checking email, paying bills, looking up practical information, etc.
Wasn’t sure how hard it would be to totally disconnect. When I made that post I was half expecting to return to the sub in failure and shame, but the last month has gone surprisingly smoothly. Even during the rare opportunities I’ve had I to jump back on Reddit, twitter, YouTube, there was no desire.
When I made that post I said I’d come back in 30 days and share how it’s going, but after a month I didn’t have the ability or inclination to do so. Right now I’m sitting at a friends house, on his internet. I have time to kill and a tablet at my disposal, so here I am, a little belatedly.
Let’s get some things out of the way first: yes, I have self control issues. I was given unfettered access to the internet at a young age and it shaped my life and personality in ways I’m not proud of. Maybe you could call me an internet addict. That feels a bit dramatic to me but maybe it’s accurate. I don’t really care what you call it, the fact is, if I have internet at my constant disposal it is detrimental to my well-being.
Since I have failed at using in a healthy way I’ve just stopped using it entirely. It’s that simple. RSP snark-posters will clown me for that, and that’s okay, but for those who are regarded enough to take any of it seriously I hope you can take just one lesson from this post: Maybe it’s shameful to be weak, to be addicted, to find yourself unable to help yourself, but it’s a million times more shameful to cling to bad habits and poor life choices because you don’t want to be made fun of for admitting you have a problem. Especially if it’s rsp posters you’re trying to impress.
Now to the internet stuff.
I stand by everything I said before. For me, quitting casual internet use has been overwhelmingly positive. Every step toward total cessation has been a good one, and at no point have I felt like I’ve gone too far. Completely cutting myself off (or almost completely) this past month has only made the experience better.
I read like I’m in middle school again. Every day. I go to the library and pick out a stack of books that look interesting, or that I’ve always wanted to read, and I finish them.
My guitar, which used to sit untouched for months at a time, is my constant companion. I was never good, but at this rate I think I will actually get there.
I sit and listen to music now almost as much as I did in college. It’s harder to discover and listen to new stuff without the internet, but the effort makes the appreciation that much deeper. Can’t remember the last time I listened to an entire album straight through but I do that all the time now.
I go outside now as much as I’ve always wanted to. Hammock and book sessions at the park. Walks and bike rides. Sitting out on the front porch with tea in the mornings. I used to go to work, come home and sit on the couch, repeat, every day. I still do that sometimes, but the need for stimulation drives me outdoors more and more often and the lack of phone distraction makes me appreciate it so much more.
It isn’t, of course, a magic pill that has solved all of life’s problems.
I haven’t been completely transformed, I’m not perfectly self-actualized and my life hasn’t blossomed into a idyllic pastoral trad dream state. I’m still neurotic and anxious and impulsive and driven to distraction. My attention span is still fucked (but getting better). I still struggle with the mundanities and indignities of day-to-day life.
I’ve missed some appointments. Still struggling to actually use a calendar. I wasn’t great at that when the calendar was on my phone either, but I have to admit I’m a bit worse when it’s on my wall instead.
I have gotten slightly lost a couple times without gps. Often I rely on my girlfriends phone when we’re going someplace together and I feel like I’m cheating. I know my city pretty well and I can always get home or to some other known landmark, but it can be stressful when you aren’t sure exactly where you are and you have someplace to be.
I miss being able to look things up immediately. Sometimes I write something down to google later and forget about it by the next time I go to the library. I check out reference books when I need to, but there are information sources online that just can’t be matched in print. Sometimes the library doesn’t have the books or movies I want either and I just have to deal with it.
Been more social than before, but certainly there are some difficulties. People are almost always positive/envious when my lack of internet and social media presence comes up (I promise I’m only a little obnoxious about it), but there’s a certain amount of suspicion as well. If I wasn’t in a relationship already I imagine I’d be disbarring myself from dating any normal, online woman. Don’t really see that as a downside tbh.
I feel more isolated and lonelier now. Don’t get me wrong, I spend more time with friends now, but the inherent loneliness of my average western lifestyle is more painful and harder to ignore. I think this is a good thing. I see it this way: the loneliness is my brain (soul?) telling me that there is a deep problem in my life that need to be addressed. Distracting myself with internet usage was akin to someone with chronic pain taking daily painkillers instead of addressing the root cause. Not only did it allow me ignore the fundamental problem, but the analgesic itself was slowly destroying my mind and body.
It’s been only half a year since I went 90% off, and only a little over a month since I brought that up to almost 100%. I’m not sure how it’s going to go in the future. I have a feeling that the positive changes are going to escalate instead of plateau over the next few months, but I don’t know. One thing I do know for sure: I have zero regrets. This was the right decision for me, and I wish I had done it years ago.
The point of this post wasn’t to brag, or to show off how much better I am than you. I promise, my self-esteem is basement level and I hope, for your sake, that you don’t ever feel envy toward any poster on rsp. I made this post for one reason:
I know there are a lot of people on this sub who are like me. You struggle with social media, internet, phone usage, etc. You don’t like its place in your life but you struggle to do anything about it. You wonder if you could give it up entirely but you’re unsure if you could, or if it would help. I can’t answer that for you, all I can do is reiterate what I’ve said above.
Logging off has been overwhelmingly positive in my life. I have no regrets, and I’m someone who regrets everything. It’s very possible. It’s not even that difficult. Even if you can’t completely turn it off (work, health, etc) every step away is a positive one.
Have a lazy day ahead of me so I’ll hang out and respond if anyone comments, but after that I’m deleting this account and not looking back. It was unpleasant to scroll through this last months top posts. Whatever I used to get from this subreddit, I no longer get it.
submitted by mommaimpostingagain
to redscarepod [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:02 Number9Robotic Can I get some pointers for what in my mix is making my tracks sound so quiet on Youtube?
Hi, amateur music maker here, thanks for your attention! I've been making instrumental electronic music for a while, but a constant pain in the tuchus I've been receiving is the fact that in FL Studio, my mix sounds decent, but no matter what I try, whenever I upload them to Youtube, the site's auto-normalization kicks in and makes the maximum volume far quieter than my raw file, often making my mix sound super weak and disappointing. Here is a raw file of a house-style track I'm working on
. Based on tests that I find from uploading it to Youtube myself (which I won't link here due to it being against the sub rules) what I can tell by right-clicking the video, the maximum volume is being lowered by 27% (constant loudness 2.8 dB), and it sounds much flatter than I'd like it to, kicks and stabs aren't nearly as strong.
Again, I'm an amateur with no education on this and have been solely relying on reddit and google searches as teachers, but I keep finding inconsistent potential answers as to what could be the problem and how I can fix it. I keep finding info that it has something to do with LUFS, but while analyzing the file relative to other, more professional Youtube uploads (my means of comparison is using the built-in analyzer of Davinci Resolve, a video editor -- I'm not loaded enough to afford LUFS reader plugins lol), it seems like others can get away with worse LUFS but still sound loud and gorgeous on Youtube. The references I used for comparison are YT's uploads of Caroline Polachek's "Welcome to my Island", deadmau5' "Hyperlandia", and Kane West's (no relation to the other guy don't worry lol) "God Breathed Acid", which have much higher constant loudness (between 6.0 to 6.5 dB) and have an even lower maximum volume (over 50-ish%), but they sound far more vast, clean, and punchy than my mix -- even for the Caroline Polacheck song despite also being much more compositionally dense, and kane west is an indie whose joke is that he relies largely on MIDI-style instrumentals but they also sound lush and dense and make for a really loud acid house banger -- so I'm really stumped.
I suspect it may also have to do with just the particular synths and samples I use, but again, I don't really know what I'm doing that could be leading to problems. Folks say "mix with your ears, not your eyes", but things sound pretty okay to me and yet the computer and automated algorithms say otherwise, and I'm getting so tired of fighting against this invisible, unknowable wall making my attempts to sound fun and punchy instead sound like it has anemia. Even when in a vacuum I can be like "maybe this isn't as bad as I think it is", listening to someone else's song on Youtube followed immediately by checking on how my song sounds mix-wise is a really demotivating feeling. Last time I tried asking about this, I was told that the difference in mixes is that they're "more professional", except 1) that doesn't give me a better understanding or actionable guidance of what I can correct myself with, and 2) several non-professionals still sound better than me on the site, so that makes me even more confused.
These may be super fundamental questions and I hope it's not too embarrassing for me to ask, but basically I'd like to know a few things:
- What is going on with my mix that could be causing Youtube to keep quieting everything down? (and why doesn't it seem to affect others?)
- How can I correct my mix and potentially remedy it so it sounds cleaner without having to change everything compositionally?
- What can I keep in mind for the future when starting new projects to avoid this problem again?
Thank you very much for your time and expertise in advance!
submitted by Number9Robotic
to mixingmastering [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:57 PraetorArcher Is number prediction in MNIST an example of "strong" or "weak" emergence
I apologize if this question is somewhat banal, tried searching for an answer but haven't been able to find a good one. Just like the title says, for a MNIST neural network, is the property of number prediction an example of strong or weak emergence?
I subscribe to emergence defined as qualitative change for quantitively change and my intuition tells me that the number prediction was a strong emergence up until someone examines the hidden layers close enough
. But I would love to hear from proponents of strong emergence about how this might not be the case.
submitted by PraetorArcher
to consciousness [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:57 Majestic-Avocado3899 Tips for getting a job as a wastewater operator in training
For anyone interested in starting as an operator in training interview I've interviewed for a couple government plants in different states and both were quite similar.
Usually a panel interview consisting of a few of the following: hr, the plant director and maybe your operations supervisor.
Government job interview questions are more regulated and are done right off a sheet of paper. I would expect at least two people. Usually they will take turns asking questions and they will all write down your answers as you are speaking.
Questions are quite simple and straight forward. They are behavioral but sometimes even less detailed. Things like:
How would you think safety is important here?
How do you handle conflict with a coworker?
Are you good with technology?
What I did is just prep for the top 20 common behavioral questions and really go over your answers so it's easy to pull stories and examples that pertain to the question.
There were about 10 questions overall for my interview.
Have 5 good questions lined up, things about the plant, the progression, how they got into the shitty business, the schedule / benefits, day in the life. I asked what are some traits the top operators have and they seemed to be really taken back and impressed, a normal question I thought but I'm thinking they must not get too many questions like that.
I also went to the website and learned the process how they treat at the plant and memorized it. Definitely watch some videos on youtube or just learn the general process how wastewater treatment works.
I wore Khakis, and long sleeve button up and boots - business casual.
It's an entry level job and they know that you know it as well. I had no certification I was super interested in the process so I came prepared and probably seemed more interested than most.
I've loved it more than any job I've had. Could change...who knows. But I actually enjoy coming to work, that's something I haven't experienced before. I've quite literately worked 50+ jobs in my life and made the shift to wastewater at 27.
I work 4 10s and the work isn't laborious although some things you do have to muscle. Things like old valves, moving pipe, pulling hoses and fire hoses....but it's nothing if you have worked anything physical before.
I work with all guys, most older. Everyone at my plant is extremely cool and helpful. I've also done some cool stuff I didn't expect like operate dump trucks, fork lifts, skid steer, telehandler ect.
It's a fun job if you don't mind getting a little poo on you occasionally. You got this!
submitted by Majestic-Avocado3899
to Wastewater [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:56 DeltaFoxOfficial How to determine if a motor is 12V 24V or other?
submitted by DeltaFoxOfficial
to Motors [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:49 Andoni95 N5 from zero in 30 days (Reflections, methodologies, and pedagogy)
| || | submitted by Andoni95 to languagelearning [link] [comments]
I started learning Japanese on March 22 2023. At the time of writing, It has been about 70-80 days since. Currently I would place myself at N4 level (now studying N3). I became very inspired to study Japanese after (a) visiting Niseko (Hokkaido) and (b) reading a post on Reddit about someone
who claims to pass N1 from zero in 8.5 months.
The purpose of this post is to offer (a) alternative perspectives to learning Japanese, (b) prove that it is possible to learn quickly, (c) challenge some of the existing recommendations. This post is part one out of eight articles detailing my journey to N1 from zero in 8 months. Disclaimer, this post will be very long and ranty!
This post will cover some of the study techniques and experiments I’ve conducted for the first month, as well as the results of my experimentation and insights. As for the elephant in the room, I’m currently studying N3 after 60+ days into my Japanese learning journey. I’m sure many are skeptical or might presume that I have bad mastery of N5 and N4 content, but by the end of the post, I’m confident that I would have responded to them. This post is not created to discouarge anyone >< I just wanted to see if my studying tips can inspire or resonate with other people.
I started watching anime since Naruto. I think that was 15 years ago. I’m not particularly obsessed with Japanese culture but I do follow the mainstream anime like Bleach, Tokyo Ghoul, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and most recently Demon Slayer. So I do possess 15 years of acclimatising to the sound of Japanese anime speech. However my Vocab is very limited. I know how to count from 1-99, konnichiwa and itadakemasu, and a couple more words that I might remember if I was prompted. I also know the hand signs from Naruto. Apart from that, I consider myself truly zero in Japanese knowledge.
While your brain can only hold 7-9 items in the short term memory at once, it does not mean you cannot study more than 9 items in a day.
I see most people on Reddit recommending 15-20 new cards on Anki. Personally I think this pace is way too slow, especially for the beginner. Most typical N5 vocab deck would have about 600-700 cards. 15cards/day means that it would take 40-50 days just to see all the cards. I also came across a study that says our short term brain cannot store more than 9 items at a time. This would seem to support support the recommendation of 15-20 vocabulary cards a day. While reading Moonwalking with Einstein, a book on the capabilities of the human memory, I read about a story of a guy who could draw the landscape of New York with shocking precision after flying pass the city on a helicopter once. The book also hinted at the idea that we possess some form of photographic memory.
And so, i tried to do about 50-100 new cards a day. Within 10 days, I’ve seen all the N5 Vocab. Around day 15 or so, i became concerned that cramming so many words in a day would mean that the retention rate will be low. So I tested myself on those 700 words and I think I got about 85% correct.
Personally i was very happy with that score. I thought I could do a lot worse. So clearly, trying to learn 100 new cards a day wasn’t detrimental to retention rate (I will address my thoughts on burnout on a later point). What is happening?
My hypothesis is that while we can’t store more 6-9 items in our short term memory, it doesn’t mean that when we study our 10th,11th, 20th or 100th item, our brain would completely reject the input. You are still imprinting something
onto the brain. What this means is that while you should not expect to see a word once and remember it forever, it says nothing about the upper limit of how many words you can simultaneously start on the first stage of the SRS system. We all know that SRS takes time to turn short term memory into long term memory. It could take weeks or a few months. But if we can start 100 words on the SRS system vs 15-20 words, and there is no significant cost to doing more words, then starting 100 new cards a day will bring us to our destination much faster.
When you read about many people agreeing that 15-20 new Anki card a day is a good pace, or that it takes 300-500 hours to pass N5, then it sets the expectation of what is normal. The reason I was able to Master N5 in approximately 150-200 hours and learn all its vocab a couple of weeks is because I did not pay attention to what other people can achieve.
How I use Anki https://preview.redd.it/wdwqgc0ok04b1.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=89548a0e0972cfd2cde0c48a58515bfb9fef829b
From my survey on Reddit, it seems that people get overwhelm by the amount of reviews on Anki. And I think this reveals that the are doing reviews differently from how I do it.
When I do my Anki reviews, I only entertain two state of minds when marking the flash cards. The first is I know the answer (the answer pops into my brain instantaneously) and the second is I don’t know the answer (mind is blank). I do not try to recall the answer. Recalling takes time. If I try to recall the answer, it might take me upwards of a minute or two to remember it (and even then, I might still be wrong). Instead i like my Anki reviews to be snappy. It feels like I take about a fraction of a second to answer my Anki cards, although the Anki statistics tells me that I take 4second per card. Still fast either way. At 4s/card I can do 900 reviews in one hour.
Next is how I use Easy, Good, Again and Hard. The rule of thumb is to be more liberal than strict. I try to use Easy, instead of Good as much as I can because I don’t want my reviews to pile up. I almost never use Hard even if I get the card completely wrong. Speaking of reviews pilling up, we need to define what marking an Anki item as Good or Easy means to me.
For a lot of people it means aiming for perfection. That means that the person only click Easy or Good if his answer exactly matches the back side of the card. For myself I set an extremely low bar, as long the vague feeling of what I think the answer is somewhat matches the answer on the back side, I’m happy to give it a Good at least. Why? Because it’s the nature of Anki or SRS system to return cards you previously click Easy and Good. I don’t have to worry about being too forgiving on myself and being ignorant about the fact because I can always count on the card to return eventually. And if I a card I previously marked as Good, came back, and feels difficult, I would then make a mental note to study it in greater detail. Secondly, a lot of the 700 words in a typical N5 vocab deck are so common that you will encounter them all the time in the wild. This is called organic or natural
SRS. If you are strict on your Anki at this stage, it can be quite an overkill in hindsight. Of course it may not feel like an overkill in the beginning because you are still gettting cards wrong.
Burnt out https://preview.redd.it/14138x4yk04b1.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4fcb57dc6279850cc5debec8871dbbb8aabbf90 https://preview.redd.it/yo4br6nyk04b1.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=c15be37671fe334cb577a8e9ac33974933f00689 https://preview.redd.it/vnsx0umzk04b1.png?width=3840&format=png&auto=webp&s=c69555aa237a3e6bcf538db3014ef410aee3f34b
Okay what about burnout. Surely I might be overdoing it, and wouldn’t burnout eventually catch up to me. Yes and no. I think the phenomenon of burnout is highly exaggerated. I don’t like to use the word burnt out whenever I’m feeling “burnt out” because it has a lot of negative connotations and because negative connotations can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. Instead, I prefer to use the phrase, “I’m tired now”. I kind of compare myself to Shonen protagonists where there’s this big villain coming up and then some special training to level up. The special training is usually quite intense, and sometimes dangerous, and they will eventually be quite tired by the end of the training. But these protagonists always reemerge stronger with new abilities and can now overcome stronger foes.
Similarly, whenever I study too much, I would just acknowledge that I’m tired, watch some anime and something different. I’m usually okay by the next morning. I attribute my ability to resist burn out my thoughts and attitude.
Consistency, multimodality learning, and resourcefulness Okay the N1 tango book is really too difficult for me. I bought it thinking i could get a headstart on N1 while concurrently studying N3. Its just too much at this point.
I only believe in one kind of consistency, and that is that you have to show up almost every day. But I don’t believe in the kind of consistency that requires me to be on a 365-day Anki/wanikani/immersion streak. This is also one factor that helps to protect burn out. When I feel like doing textbook learning, that’s what I’m going to do. If want to do pure Bunpro and Anki for the next 3 days without reading any textbook, that’s what I’ll do.
I also believe in the idea of multimodality learning. I use everything at my disposal:
All the textbooks (Genki, Minna no nihongo, Tae Kim)
YouTube videos (Misa ammo, game gengo, tokiniandy)
Doing active immersion with anime
Changing my phone language to Japanese (this one unfortunately is a bad advice. I recommend to stay away from this if you are still at N5)
Instagram and TikTok accounts of Japanese tutors
Websites (tofugu, human Japanese, Japanese tutors’ blogs)
Apps (wanikani, language reactor, bunpro)
Japanese grammar dictionaries
Discord or Reddit or forums
There’s often this debate on which is better, Genki vs Minna vs Tae kim. If cost or ability to procure them is not an issue, why not use all of them? It’s okay to have one source as your primary source. Mine was Genki 1. But when I wanted to understand a nuance that Genki does not explain well enough, I’ll usually consult my other sources. And if I’m bored of Genki, I can easily switch to Tae Kim, for a change of scenery. If I don’t feel like reading, Misa or Tokiniandy is there for me.
My observation is that many people are usually only using one modality to acquire a new skill. This is causing their journey to be unnecessarily monotonous.
Sloppy learning and conjugations
One very integral component of the Japanese language is conjugation. It’s especially important for the N5. Conjugations can allow you to express many meaning in Japanese. Learning how to conjugate accurately is going to be a struggle for any beginner(think godan and ichidan verbs and conjugating to masu, te, negative forms, etc).
A lot of Japanese textbook and assessment will make you do drills. I skipped all of them. Rather than trying to brute force your way to memorizing conjugations I employ a technique called sloppy learning(this phrase is borrowed from “Japan Like A Breeze” on patreon). I define sloppy learning as learning just enough to acquire the essence of the concept.
For example, ,whether the verbs is in its polite form, short form, negative form or past tense form etc, can be easily recognised by looking at the last few syllabus of a word. If a words end on a “ta”, it must be past tense form. If it ends on a “masu” it must be the polite/long form. This concept can literally be understood in 5 mins.
Thus for me. When conjugating oyogu (泳ぐ）into past tense form, I just conjugate it as oyogu-ta (oyogu +ta) Or sometimes oyota. Now oyota is wrong of course. But that’s all I need at this stage. I desire to understand Japanese, not to get full marks on conjugation drill table. You must always try to look at the big picture. Trying to do well on conjugation drills is an opportunity cost. Ultimately one needs to judge what is worth spending effort on. Hence the idea of sloppy learning is to be deliberate about what to focus on.
Once I can consistently remember that masu means polite and ta meant past, this is where I try to conjugate them correctly. Conjugations is difficult because they all don’t behave like ru verbs. You cannot simply drop the ru at the end of a word and append ta or masu to them. Oyogu for example doesn’t even have a ru ending.
The path I chose was to hope that I can organically (I like this word a lot, but it also sometimes means magically) , know how to conjugate correctly one day. And to a certain extent I acquired some intuition on conjugations without any active involvement from my part. I soon became aware that if a word ends in a gu or a ku, then instead of a ta, it might be ita or ida.
The break through came on day 35. When I couldn’t endure the fact that I wasn’t able to magically acquire conjugation intuition for free. So i goggled “why are godan verbs conjugate the way they are”. And Tofugu came to the rescue.
Essentially they introduced three concepts (a) double consanent with small tsu, (b) assimilation with n, and (c)consonant removal. After that article, conjugating became a breeze. In hindsight, my ability to conjugate only costed me the time to read one tofugu article (and one month of passively intuiting the conjugation patterns) Because I did not spend time on conjugation drills, i was able to progress to the other grammatical points in Genki 1. I didn’t remain stuck in one place for too long.And this is another aspect of sloppy learning. You learn just enough to move on to the next level, you don’t aim for perfection.
Your brain can’t do everything at once. Your brain cannot remember that masu means polite form, and all the rules for conjugating verbs to masu in one sitting. If you try to do that, you can remain stuck, despite already understanding the general idea of conjugation. Better to move on and let the intuition develop. If you judge that the intuition is not going to progress or progress quickly enough, you can always intervene later by supplementing with new knowledge.
Mnemonics when I get something wrong too often
Often there will be a vocab or grammar point that I always can’t seem to latch on. No vague feelings, no guesses, just an empty mind. When this happens, it can be a scary feeling. It may feel like you are not good enough.
Really the solution is very simple. Just add one more inferential step. When I first encountered the word bengoshi（弁護士） , my mind does not produce any intuition or pictures or feelings. What I did was to create a mnemonic, a story. How to relate a lawyer to the sound ben go shi? I managed to came up with “when the judge announces his judgement, the bench(jury) goes “shhhh””Sorry, I know it’s really bad. But when I created that story, bengoshi never stumped me again.I’ve seen a lot of criticism of mnemonics that I don’t agree with
- ‘they are not for me”>>I’ve seen people said that Anki is not for me. Srs is not for me. While I believe in individual differences and effectiveness in different methodologies, I feel that sometimes people decide too quickly what is or isn’t for them. What is optimal may first have a learning curve in the beginning. And instead of saying that something is not for me and moving on to the next thing, we need to consider if it isn’t we ourselves that should change to make it fit for us.
- “If I’m trying to memorize something, how does adding more things to remember help. Now I not only have to remember the word, but I need to remember the story to remember the word.”>> Between a story and a random string of number “89779012879” , the brain can remember the short story more easily than the string of number despite the story consisting of more words. It’s just how our brain works.
On active immersion
Active immersion means trying to pick up words or trying to understand what is being said in Japanese media like anime or novels. Passive immersion means enjoying the content without really worrying about improving your Japanese.
On day 21 I tried active immersion with Weathering with You. I came to the conclusion that active immersion is not efficient for the new learner. I can imagine myself doing a lot of sentence mining and active immersion in the future (spoiler, I’m now on day 70-80 and I’m immersing a lot more now). But definitely a hard no for me to recommend new comers as the only and primary form of learning Japanese.
Why textbook learning and structural learning is important for fast gains.
Textbook learning is great for fast gains because it prioritises for you. Textbooks are not prepared by a random person. They are usually prepared while respecting certain pedagogical principles in mind by a team of qualified academics. While appealing to authority doesn’t make it correct, we should at least be cognisant that the textbooks might be doing a few things right.
One of those pedagogical principles is incremental or progressive learning. Building knowledge upon what was previously learnt.
Another principle is foundational concepts. A textbook will usually introduce foundational concepts that act as a scaffold for everything else as early as possible. And because textbook learning is progressive, it means that the difficulty is always going to feel just about right. In active immersion the difficulty can be wild because it does not respect your level of Japanese proficiency.
Completing N5 in 30 days.
In this 30 days, I was not only learning Japanese, but also learning how to learn. They call it building a plane while flying it hahahah. The principles outlined here helped me to finish N5 content at an insane rate. I was spending about 6-8 hours a day on Japanese (in chunks). So one point not stated here is time. There's no way around time investment.
On the 30th day I did a lot of mock tests and I performed quite well (80-90% correct).When I started on N4 on day 31, I was really surprised by the bump in difficulty. I gave myself 30 days to clear N4. That was the hardest 30 days in my Japanese learning journey. I’m fact I had a better time when I was studying for N3 on day 65 onwards. In my next post I’ll share why N4 was harder than N5 and N3 for me and share some more insights. Hope this has been helpful in offering new perspectives. Thank you for reading this long rant of mine.