Strip club near
Clever names for non-existent strip clubs
2014.06.14 02:43 Clever names for non-existent strip clubs
Feeling clever? Like innuendos? Come up with some strip club names!
2008.08.06 03:21 Stripclubs - Customer Strip Club Discussions [NSFW]
Have questions about how strip clubs work? Wanna know what happens in the champagne room? Discuss it here!
2020.10.28 18:44 Pixlash CelebStripScenes
NSFW Sub for movie scenes with female celebs stripping, strip-dancing or just general undressing
2023.06.02 21:30 LordBeeWood Anyone close to Lorain County want to play Dnd?
I live over near the Avon area. 27 NB and I want to make friends to play games and DnD with where I also dont have to go all the way out to Lakewood. Any clubs or anything over here? There isnt anything on MeetUp thats closer then Lakewood and I dont want to go all the way out there just for an hour or two of gaming.
submitted by LordBeeWood
to Cleveland [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:26 DemoTester47 Lies and Jealousy
Something I noticed when I am researching games my kids want to play to make sure it is appropriate people on Reddit, Quoara and other websites that people lie and say some games are inappropriate when they are not. Like my kid wanted to play Batman Arkham series so I searched it up and it was someone saying it had nudity and tons of inappropriate stuff but that wasn’t true. Like GTA I play it from time to time and my kid wanted to play it and on the internet someone said the nudity in online is mandatory but that is a lie and think of this as the same for movies like the Batman 2022 someone said that half the movie takes place in a strip club. Now my theory and so are my kids is that adults are jealous that kids have these awesome movies and video games so they lie so they can’t play them. What are your thoughts or theories about this?
submitted by DemoTester47
to videogames [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:12 Tomtomorrow9 trip report: Coe Trip over Memorial Day weekend
I posted pics separately but imgur link is here: https://imgur.com/a/QJYSL7D
. Am discovering I am not a reddit-whiz. Here is my trip report.
Quick summary: Basic route: went from HQ to China Hole, up Narrows Trail, right on Bear Mtn Road to County Line Rd., left on that then Right on Chaparral trail, then short right on Red Creek and left on Robison Creek, then Right down Orestimba Creek Road, Right at Hartman to Mississipi lake, South on Willow Ridge Road, right on willow ridge trail and back to HQ. I think total mileage about 45 miles with some detours and about 6,200 feet elevation gain. For Coe a lot of people, but still able to camp by myself every night. Weather was perfect: lows upper 40s highs b/w upper 60s and mid 70s. Bugs: minimal, bothered me about an hour total around sunset over 5 days, had a couple bites, didn’t use deet. Water – plentiful in China Hole area, available in Red Creek with good flow but I don’t know how long, not much in upper Robison creek but plenty lower down in creek, plentiful Orestimba creek. For me, Coe is usually too hot and dry after Memorial Day but I think this year may be an exception if anyone still wants to give it a shot while they wait for snow to melt in Sierra.
From HQ to China Hole, up Narrows, past Miller field and Arnold Horse Camp, right on Bear Mountain Road, camped just above/North of Water Gulch right before Bear Mountain Road crosses East Fork Coyote to begin steep climb up Bear Mountain. I don’t know maybe about 8 or 9 miles all flat and downhill with of course some slower creek walking which I like.
There is a lot of flat space there. Water was flowing well and clear. Pro tips: don’t mash your finger with rock while putting in stakes. Don’t get both your hiking socks and camping socks wet. Not that I did that…I am much smarter than that.
Saw a couple people on way to China Hole, and two more b/w Los Cruzeros and Bear Mountain Road intersection. No one after that.
– Up up up Bear Mountain Road. Though steep I kinda liked it. Might have been worse going downhill ‘cause knees. Lots of what I think is mountain lion scat some disturbingly fresh. Lots and lots of pretty views. Didn’t see a soul. Just for kicks, took second right, first right after Bear Mopuntain peak Trail, on to first turn off for Bear Springs trail, thinking I’d see if I could find Spring. Gave up after about ¾ mile as seemed blocked by brush and didn’t want to poke around to find trail. I know people go frequently on bear spring to mississippi lake - maybe the second right at County Line road is better bear spring trail route - or maybe if I had poked around a bit I’d have found trail. I dunno.
- Then left on County Line road. You get to some barbed wire as is private property but look to your right and can easily step over and continue. Though feels weird/questionable to do this, I believe is completely legit as long as stay on trail to pass through the private property. Was feeling like a real explorer but then humbled by crossing path with high school group out for graduation trip. They were cheerful and was good to see them having fun.
-Then right on Chaparral Trail. I knew it’d be steep and was not a great trail but was worse than I expected, perhaps partly because was getting tired and it was getting hot. A real knee-buster in places. Often blocked by growth. Easy to lose trail (though I was tired and bombing down it so maybe if I was more careful would have been better). I lost it pretty badly at one point and got stuck doing some real bushwacking through shrubs to get back on it – scratching up my clothes and self a bit. Pro tip: don’t do this. Didn’t see anyone.
- At bottom of Chaparral trail, took right and found first shady spot by Red Creek. No one there. It is really pretty valley plain with a lot of flat spaces for camping. Very very nice. I was tired and it felt like mid-70s. I figured I was probably covered with ticks so stripped down put all my clothes save boxers in permeable bag (senchi bag) with rock in it to allow the creek to wash everything off. Then took washcloth bath in creek. Water flowing well though was not a ton. I don’t know maybe up to my ankles. While airdrying in sun in my boxers while creek washed my clothes, high school group came by again – awkward. Hung up my clothes to dry a bit (but not too much as wanted them a little moist to stay cool) and hung out enjoying the sun on my skin. Pro tip: if your skin hasn’t seen sun in I don’t know a year, uhm, don’t do this, you will get a burn. But again I would not do this. I am much smarter than that.
-High school group continued down red creek road and camped out of site/sound at intersection of Robison Creek trail. I walked around Red creek a bit but mostly just hung around then cowboy camped in bivy. Got a lot of dew and outer bag and borah bivy alarmingly wet but I was dry inside and worked out okay. Really pretty stars. Nice afternoon and evening.
- All in all was I don’t know maybe 8 or 10 miles for day
-Went south on Red creek and in only .2 or so left on Robison Creek trail. High school group was camped there as well as another group of 3 or 4. Robison creek trail was somewhat encroached with grass but easy to follow and pretty and I was excited to be in Orestimba. After a couple miles or so you hit upper portions of Robison creek and trail follows creek northeast. At upper creek, not much water, I guess you could pull in an emergency but not really flowing and gnarly looking to me. Followed creek trail and as you went down flow got good. Lots of crossings. At intersection of Pinto creek is pretty field with lots of flat spots for camping. Would be nice to camp there one day. Saw party of 3 or 4 that had camped at beginning of Robison trail.
- Around intersection of Orestimba Creek Road and Robison Creek and trail, found a secluded portion of creek and took another bath and clothes washing. This time happily no high school group sauntered by while I was in boxers.
- Then took right on Orestimba Creek Road. About 2 miles to Rooster Comb Trail. Didn’t see anyone. It was okay - pretty but not especially so.
- Took Rooster Comb Trail. I think because I was getting tired and I was mentally disrespecting it because I had taken it before, it seemed eternal, and, being an idiot, I managed to lose the trail a bit which slowed me down. Though it has grass encroaching a lot, it is pretty, and if you pay better attention than I did I think you will not have trouble following.
- At bottom of Rooster Comb trail, stopped and refilled/drank water. Saw a big snake - 3 or 4 feet. Think it was a gopher snake as didn’t see rattle and head didn’t look super triangular but am not sure. This part of Orestimba Creek Road is a big plain, and there was a lot of clear flowing water. I have never seen it with so much water. It gave me a chuckle as I walked south on this part of Orestimba Creek Road down this wide valley on Saturday memorial day weekend and looked all around and didn’t see a single other solitary soul. But the high school group was about a mile further down Paradise Flat. Again though it was fun to see them having fun.
- I continued past Paradise flat, past intersection with Long Ridge Road, until got to intersection where if you go left you go to Mustang Pond. I took right and waded up Red Creek and quickly took first left at fork in about .2 mile where if you follow creek and creek walk push through some brush there are some nice flat spots about I don’t know .4 mile in. No one there. A little buggy and flow was disappointing but still water was okay. Had a real nice quiet evening. This time draped my poncho tarp over my bivy in case a lot of dew again. Didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. Outside of quilt still alarmingly wet but again comfortable/dry on inside.
- Not sure how far all this was maybe 9 to 12 miles.
- Followed creek south to where it intersects with Orestimba Creek Road. Followed road south and took right on Hartman trail. It is very very steep but was easy to follow and quite pretty. I really like it though if going the other direction could be hard on knees. Saw 3 or 4 people so it seems at least on Memorial day weekend gets a lot of use.
- Stopped for lengthy hangout at Mississippi Lake where I saw two other parties. Dried out quilt. Not a lot of places with good easy water access. Lake is big and pretty but a lot of stuff in water – pre-strained with bandana over intake and it left bright green circle. If you are arriving to it tired, be prepared to walk another mile or so to find a spot. I’m more used to drinking from creeks and Sierra lakes; I guess this is just normal for non-alpine lakes. Thought about staying as this was where I told the rangers I would stay and looked like might rain, but it was only about 2:00 and I had not been far so decided to take my chances with finding a spot later on.
- So, went south on Willow Ridge. Didn’t see anyone on it. I liked it lots of pretty views. But lots of steep ups and downs and was much harder and more tiring than I expected. Threatened to rain the whole time but other than some sprinkles never did.
- Took right on Willow Ridge Trail. As usual, slightly overgrown/narrow in places, need to watch out for poison oak, steep, but okay. Saw 2 fellas coming up, also an e-bike rider flying up as if by magic. Also some beautiful wild turkeys.
- As came down Willow Ridge Trail toward bottom could see the eastern most campsite at Los Cruzeros (which is my favorite place to camp around there). Was thinking who knows maybe no one will be there. But no – four tents! I didn’t think even three would fit. Also a lot of people at other Los Cruzeros sites. Starting to think my “plan” (or rather vain hope) of “just finding some spot” on a holiday weekend close to the trailhead may have been ill-advised. Anyway, took a right thinking I’ll camp at Miller field. One party camped there. Started to camp near them as I was getting tired but I hate sharing camping so went a bit further and found a small mostly flat spot by myself with a really nice view up the valley a little further up just past around corner from Miller Field. Set up camp around 5 and happily didn’t see anyone all evening. Really pretty nice evening with creek babbling nearby.
- Not sure of mileage for this day but maybe 9 or 10 miles.
- Got up and went down the creek through the narrows took right at China Hole trail and quickly hoofed it back up to HQ and van. As usual, very pretty. Saw 2 or 3 pairs or groups of people on way back. Maybe 7 or 8 miles or so from where I had camped.
submitted by Tomtomorrow9
to norcalhiking [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:11 throwawayprincabana 24, taking medicine off the table, approaching end of undergrad. Now what?
I am unhappy pursuing medicine due to the financial and time drain it demands, but am completely lost on what to pursue now. Three semesters away from completing a biology degree, I still believe I can turn things around this summer, find a career path, and secure a fall internship that helps me support the life I want. Open to switching majodoing a masters for the right path.
- Unable to sustain the path to medical school due to lack of financial, academic, emotional resources to maintain GPA/coursework throughout undergrad. Currently have 3.1 GPA.
- Lack of time for anything beyond studying and working to support self, resulting in burnout, depression, and poor ADHD symptom management.
- Long-term goal: Earn enough to own a space for quality time with loved ones, support creative hobbies for spiritual health, have a career I love, and achieve financial stability (e.g., covering ADHD counseling, dental care, weekly spending money, savings, investments, nature trips).
- Dislike non-profit work as it was overall low-paying, did not allow me to meet financial aspirations.
- Dislike research/academic work for the same reasons as non-profit work.
- Dislike teaching as, again, overall low-paying, and I struggle to stay awake/focus on work at home with after a long day. I don't think I can keep up with grading every night.
- Dislike nursing or allied health, I eventually want to own or run the entity I work so I can make an impact on the industry I'm in.
- Seeking a career involving spoken communication, decision-making and leadership, evidence-based problem-solving in a team, with room for creativity. Extra points if I get to work with children or live by proxy of work near water or a forest region.
- Dream to work abroad in Sweden for a year before settling down.
- Experience in lab research, non-profits, education, pharmacy, and teaching abroad. Extracurricular involvement in international relations, Spanish/Chinese language and culture, running a club/podcast, and mental health advocacy. Psych minor.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
To clarify: I enjoy the medical environment and working with physicians, the feeling of teamwork, regular problem solving and scientific analysis/thinking/use of research, the use of anatomy/physiology, and the ability to share "love" with and empower others. (what a gift this is exists as a profession for those that can access it? wow).
However, I continue struggling academically, mentally, and want to plan ahead to a future I want where I can meet my long-term goals. Going into debt beyond the 30k I have to get a masters to fix my GPA, being depressed from 25 - 32, and waiting until I'm 30 to start having quality time in relationships I crave will not allow me to do that. My family is scattered across the globe, and they are not easily accessible when I need them in person.
submitted by throwawayprincabana
to findapath [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 21:08 AccomplishedKale795 Ben Gross : The Cat Dad
Ben had never thought that he would ever be a cat dad, not since he saw his own father run over his cat when he was only five. But yesterday, history almost repeated itself when he almost ran over two stray kittens while driving himself home from the graduation ceremony.
It had happened only a few hours ago - despite the fact that in an attempt to impress his dad, who was in the passenger seat, he had tried to be extra precise while backing out of his parking spot, he missed a little something in his way.
However, before the disaster could happen, a shrill scream made him slam the brakes.
"STOP! You'll run over them, STOP!"
He jumped out the car and ran to the back, to find Shira looking slightly wary of a cardboard box near one of his back wheels. Inside the box were two kittens.
"BEN!" she shrieked on seeing him, her arms flailing in an almost comical way, "You almost killed them!"
Ben picked up the box, and noticed that there was a small slip of paper inside it.
"You should be more mindful of how you treat animals, Ben! We're supposed to share the planet with them, not-"
"Here, hold it for a moment" he interrupted, holding out the box for her to take.
She did not comply. Instead, she scooted away with a scared look on her face.
It took every last ounce of resilience inside Ben to not roll his eyes. Here she was, lecturing him about being 'mindful' with animals, when she was too disgusted to hold a box with two tiny, malnourished sleeping kittens.
Balancing the box in one hand, he pulled out the slip of paper and opened it.
"Take care of them, please" it read.
Take care of them. Hm. Someone left them here to be found.
After a moment of pondering, he made his decision.
"I'll take them to a shelter." he told Shira, opening the car door to put the two kittens inside.
"Wait!" Shira exclaimed, pulling out her phone and positioning herself as if to take a selfie.
"Shira, I'm really not in the mood to-" Ben began protesting, but the sound her phone made told him she had refused to listen to him. She skipped away, typing what he was sure was a story about how she saved two innocent kittens.
Her followers will like that, for sure.
Still, I'm rescuing two kittens from certain death. That's a good deed.
His good deed, however, remained unfinished, because the shelter did not have any space for cats and could not take in the two kittens. Ben was forced to take the kittens home, with the reassurance that his dad would find a place for them somewhere else.
And now here he was, having cleaned and fed them with Patty, trying to figure out what variety they were while shovelling spahgetti into his mouth.
"Oh, Ben! My sweet boy has graduated!" a saccharine voice suddenly spoke.
Vivian Gross, unlike his dad, had chosen to be absent from his graduation ceremony, where he and Devi had jointly recieved the title of valedictorian. His dad had hugged him tightly and exclaimed how proud he was of his son with tears in his eyes. Ben knew he would remember that moment and smile till the day he died, he would be forever grateful for it, but it didn't quite erase the truth - he had expected his mother to show up. This was not a PTA meeting, not a debate tournament, not a club presentation - he has graduated high school. This was important. Today, for one day, he was important.
Apparently not important enough for his mother to abandon her regenerative healing spa appointment.
He did not want to admit it, but a sinking weight had appeared in his chest when his dad had informed him that his mom wasn't coming at all, and it had only dulled slightly since then. On hearing her voice, the weight re-appeared with full force. She pulled out a chair and sat beside him at the dinner table.
"No phone! Be respectful when your mother wants to talk to you, alright?"
Ben immediately put his phone down.
"So, have you thought about college, honey? Where would you like to go?"
Ben tried his best to not let the sheer disbelief show on his face. After all, 3he should have seen this coming.
"Uh, yeah, I - I applied to Columbia. The acceptance letter arrived two months ago. I got in. I'm pretty sure I told both you and dad?"
"You did? Oh, I must have forgotten! Typical me, forgetting things all the time."
It isn't normal to forget what ivy league your son got int- no, no Ben, don't be ungrateful. Don't say anything.
Well, I'm not being ungrateful here. She should've known this.
Before Ben could decide whether or not to convey his true feelings on the matter, Vivian cut the conversation short by pulling her phone out of her purse and beginning to scroll through it. Whether she ignored or didn't hear his scoff, he did not know.
After some time, she spoke up again.
"Oh, you and your girlfriend rescued kittens today? That's so nice!"
"Shira! She's your girlfriend, isn't she? I'm one of her followers! Very sweet girl, understands the importance of self-care very well."
He opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out for a bit.
"Mum" he began, drawing a deep breath and trying to control the quiver in his voice "Shira and I broke up two years ago, in sophomore year."
You'd know that if you knew anything.
"Huh? Oh! So you haven't had a girlfriend since?"
"No." he mumbled back, realising it wasn't worth it to explain anything to her. If his mom didn't care enough to know everything that had happened in his life in two years, then he didn't care enough to tell her either.
Ben had always thought the fault was in him. After all, he was richer than most kids in his class, he knew that - he had everything. And yet he felt unhappy. He felt unhappy despite having everything, hence he must be ungrateful.
But he had come to understand he was anything but ungrateful. His dad was the one who was always busy, but he had tried - he had become a better parent. He had been there for Ben. He had showed up.
His mother had chosen not to, and it certainly wasn't his fault. Mothers didn't behave like that - he had met Nalini Vishwakumar. He had to fight the urge to yell some sense into Devi every time she said she hated her mom.
She's ungrateful. I'm not.
This realisation had made him colder towards his mother. He realised it, but was even more hurt by the fact that she didn't notice this at all.
"Well, what did you end up doing with the kittens anyways?"
"The shelter didn't have space for them, so I brought them home. They're in my bedroom. I'll keep them until Dad finds a spot for them." he said.
The silence that followed made him look up from his plate, to find his mother staring back at him with disgust.
"You let stray animals into my house?"
"Stray - what? But you just said it was a nice thing to rescue them!"
"It is! For somebody else! If you wanted a cat we could get you whichever you liked from a breeder!"
"I don't want them! They had been left in the parking lot! They would've died there!"
"They could be diseased, you know."
"They're not. I had them checked and vaccinated at the shelter. There's a veterinary clinic right beside it."
"Still, Ben, get rid of them right away. There will be no random abandoned strays in my house."
Bold words, calling it your house, when you're never in it yourself.
She left the dining room in a huff, mumbling exasperatedly to herself.
Left alone, Ben made a decision. Sure, it was driven by hurt and anger, but he would do it anyways. She hadn't come to his graduation, had she? She hadn't listened to him. Why should he listen to her?
For the first time in his life, Ben Gross was going to disobey his parents. He was going to keep those damn cats.
Ben woke up the next morning to the sounds of two kittens rolling around and yawning in a box, and realised he was a bit conflicted - taking care of a whole live animal was no joke, especially since he couldn't ask for help from Patty and his dad.
Hiding them from mom isn't really a problem.
The thought of his mother brought back some of the rage he had felt the night before.
He was keeping those kittens, for sure, but for now, he didn't know where to start.
After an hour of research, Ben had a list and a day full of errands to run.
Why are there so many litter box varieties in this world?
Ben had never known such confusion in his entire life. He was the class valedictorian, had won multiple awards and first place prizes, had gotten into a freaking ivy league, and yet had never faced something so difficult.
In front of him were five tub-like containers - each of a different colour, shape and size. One of them had a transparent lid, another one had a coloured lid, one of them had all these little knobs and buttons on the side, another one had a tag that said 'CAUTION : Be careful of electric wires'
He had angrily told the salesman to leave him alone after the idiot had attempted to sell him seeds for a parakeet, and now he had no one to ask for help.
Or maybe not.
He whipped out his phone and dialled a number.
Ben was regretting his choice.
Paxton had been standing beside him for the past five minutes, brow furrowed and completely silent.
Ben had suddenly realised that he did, indeed, have friends, friends he could ask for help. Only, his friend seemed even more lost and confused than he was.
"I- Wait, does that one say be careful of wires? I thought litter boxes didn't need electricity!"
"So did I! That's why I called you for help!"
"Me? What would I know about this? I've never had a pet!"
"But then why did you agree to help me?"
"Dude, I thought the box was too heavy for you to carry!"
"What's too heavy to carry?"
Trent had showed up out of nowhere, but Ben was somewhat used to him appearing out of thin air.
"Nothing. We can't figure out what to do here, which one of these litter boxes should I buy?
Trent looked at him with confusion. "Bro, you know these are for, like, cats, right? You can't use them."
Ben closed his eyes while Paxton held in a laugh.
"Yes, Trent, I know. I have two kittens at home. This is for them."
"Oh!" Trent said, rolling up his sleeves "Well, none of this fancy shit. What you need is a smart, durable, and simple solution" Spinning around, he called out - "Yo, does anyone here know where the Paw-fect range is?"
A girl in an apron appeared in the aisle, gesturing at them to follow her. She lead them to a different part of the store - a section that seemed entirely dedicated to the company Paw-fect.
An hour later, they were walking out to Ben's car with three large shopping bags.
"Dude, how do you know all this stuff? I mean, you basically told us what varieties of cats there are based on hair length. Where did you find that out?" Paxton asked Trent, not being able to place when precisely Trent had become an expert on cats.
"I spend a lot of time watching commercials on youtube, bro. I know exactly how to look after bunnies and dogs too."
Ben smiled to himself, getting inside the car. He rolled down the window and bid his friends goodbye before driving off towards home.
A month had passed since that fateful day when he discovered his two beloved pets in that parking lot. Now, a month into the summer, he felt he had become somewhat of an expert cat dad. Well, enough of an expert to be worthy of a 'Best Cat Dad in the World' mug, the purchase and use of which had earned him some inquisitve glances from his father, but no questions.
He had hidden the kittens away inside his room, making sure to keep it locked at all times.
So far he was managing spectacularly. He had told Patty that he would clean his own room from now on, in preparation for college, and she had not discovered the kittens yet. To his dad he had said that the same shelter they had visited on graduation day had found an empty spot and accepted them.
He had developed a routine - everyday when Patty went out for grocery shopping, he would empty the litter boxes, fill up water and cat feed in the dispensers and brush their fur. He had installed a lock on his door, and made sure to leave it locked whenever he went out.
So far, so good. Nobody knew - not his dad, not Patty, and definitely not his mom, who had only been in the house for two days in the entire span.
The doorbell rang, telling him that Paxton and Trent had arrived to meet the cats.
"Oh, welcome! Ben is upstairs!" he heard Patty tell them.
Footsteps got louder and louder till Trent finally burst through his door.
"Where are they? Where are my nieces?"
"Trent, dude, not so loud man!" Ben warned, but he couldn't stop the smile from coming onto his face.
When he had found them, the two kittens had been on the verge of death. Thin and sickly, with dull fur, they barely had any energy at all, and would stay lying around and yawning all day long. Now, Ben had nursed them back to health, and they were happily climbing up their scratching post.
The only complaint he had was how aloof they stayed all the time. They made absolutely no efforts to return his affection and made no effort to get close to him, and bolted any time he tried to pet them.
He would call them ungrateful, but they weren't humans after all. Perhaps this was just how cats behaved.
"So, what are their names?"
Ben looked at Paxton for a moment before realising - he hadn't named them yet.
"You haven't thought of names yet, have you?"
They both sat down on his bed and began gazing at the cats carefully.
This went on for some time. Just before Ben was about to interrupt, Trent finally spoke up.
"The white one is Taylor and the ginger one is Sadie."
On recieving confused looks, he explained further "She reminds me of Taylor Swift and she reminds me of Sadie Sink. Name your kids after great people and they shall become great themselves."
Before Ben could say anything in reply, the cats noticed that they had visitors in the room and bounded towards Trent. Jumping onto him, they began licking his face.
"Hey! They like the names!"
"Well," Ben said, smiling "Taylor and Sadie it is."
The very next morning they had little silver collars with Taylor and Sadie engraved on them, hanging around their necks.
Ben stood as if ready to tackle, glaring at the white kitten. Taylor glared back - no one would make her take a bath if she did not want to take a bath.
A moment more of glaring, and Ben jumped onto her. Taylor let out a yowl and shot off towards the bed.
"Come back here, you little rascal! Don't get my bed all muddy!"
But Taylor refused to listen. Jumping on the bed, she left her muddy footprints all over the white sheets.
Ben had accidently left the window cracked open the previous day, and the more mischiveous one of his cats had taken the opportunity to escape out into the rain-filled muddy backyard. Ben had been trying to get her to take a bath in his tub ever since, but getting a cat near water was proving to be more difficult than imagined.
"You were fine with soaking around in the rain yesterday - what's the problem with my tub? It's still water!" he exclaimed as she attempted to run away from between his legs.
She was not succesful, however, for in that second Ben bent over and caught her.
She growled again as he held up her little kicking and squirming frame in victory.
That very moment, the door opened, revealing Patty on the other side.
Ben gulped - he had forgotten to lock the door.
"I can explain-" he began, but he was cut short.
"Oh little prince, did you really think you could keep a cat in this house for two whole months without telling me? Who do you think kept them clean this whole time? Come one, hand them over, I will give them both a bath."
Shocked, Ben handed Taylor over to her.
"Does-does Dad know?"
"Of course! He really liked your 'Best Cat Dad Ever' mug."
As Patty took the kittens away, Ben smiled to himself. So his dad did know him well enough to know his secrets after all.
The news had put a damper in an otherwise splendid morning.
Ben had grown out of wanting his mother to return home. Now, he didn't feel anything but frustration when she was around, didn't wish for anything but for her to leave. It was better when she was away.
But that morning Patty had told him that she would be returning home for a whole week.
Way to ruin a boy's day.
He was shuffling about his room, reluctantly trying to find his jacket so he could go out and buy something nice for his mother.
Ever since the reveal that both Patty and his father were well aware of his pets, Ben had let them run free in the house. The very first day the two had run across the hall while he was they were eating breakfast, and his father had simply smiled in response.
Now he headed downstairs, calling out to them, but neither of them appeared.
Shrugging it off, he left for the grocery store. A box of chocolates would do nicely, he thought.
Ben returned home to chaos.
His mother was apprently screaming at someone in the living room.
As he got closer, he could make out the words more clearly.
"How could you let those...those creatures stay in our house Howard? He picked them off the street!"
Of course, the very first thing she did after returning home was berating his pets. Anger bubbled up inside him, but he pushed it back down and entered the room smiling. His father was sitting on the couch, massaging his temples, while Vivian stood in front of him.
"Mom, you're back! I got you chocolates." he said, trying his best to fake happiness, holding out the box.
His mom didn't take it, and instead crossed her arms and glared at him.
"Ben, I told you to get rid of those cats."
"But you didn't listen to me! They were in my house! I went to the fridge to get myself water and I found them rolling around on the kitchen floor!"
Ben paused for a moment.
"I wanted to keep them."
"I don't care! I told you to get rid of them! You have to listen to me, I AM YOUR MOTHER!"
Well, it's not like you ever behave like a mother.
"What did you just say?"
Did I say that out loud?
"What did you just say, you ungrateful brat?"
That was what did it. Something inside Ben's chest shattered into pieces. His eyes filled up with tears as he stared straight at his mother, having waited far too long to say what he needed to be said.
"I SAID, you never behave like a mother! You didn't show up to your only son's graduation ceremony, you didn't know that I got admitted into a ivy league, hell , you didn't even know who my girlfriend was! THAT IS NOT HOW MOTHERS BEHAVE! If only you actually had time left for me after all your retreats and spas and treatments, maybe you would realise you know nothing about me!"
Ben did not wait to find out her reaction. He did not turn around to face his dad who was calling his name. He did not look at Patty. He simply bolted up the stairs to his own room.
Locking the door, he jumped onto his bed with shoes still on, and buried himself under the covers. Trying his best to not let the tears fall, he tried to call his cats.
"Taylor? Sadie? Are you there? Taylor?"
Not one peep. They weren't here either.
For the first time in a long time, Ben felt absolutely alone. He had his dad, he had his friends, but he had never had a mom. She was right there, down the stairs, the woman who had given birth to him, but he had never had a mom. And for whatever reason, that was enough to make him feel the way he did.
He lay quietly for some time, not letting a single tear or a single sound escape. He refused to cry.
Suddenly, he felt something weighing down the bed beside him.
Taylor and Sadie both made their way underneath the blanket, finally lying down right beside Ben.
He turned to his side and tried to pat Taylor's fur. He gently touched her with his hand, afraid that she would run away any moment.
But she didn't. Instead, she let out a content purr and curled up into an even smaller ball of fur.
They were here. They were here with him.
He could not hold back the tears any more. But even through the sobs, he began to smile.
"Take good care of them Patty!" Ben called to his housekeeper as he hugged both of his cats one last time.
"I'll be back for Thanksgiving and Christmas, alright?"
He finally got up to leave when Patty began hounding him about being late to the airport.
He got into the passenger seat beside his dad.
His mom hadn't spoken to him since his outburst that day. He had tried to get a hold of her, but had always come out empty handed.
Still, having let all of it out had left him feeling lighter than ever. This time, he noticed, he didn't really care about his mother's absence.
"I left all the instructions for food and water on a checklist on my desk. Vet visits every month, and -"
"Ben, relax, we got this. You're going to college, be excited."
Ben smiled and looked out the window one last time as the car started, at the two little fur balls that he had come across by accident, who had ended up claiming rather large pieces of his heart.
What's more, they had ended up healing large parts of it as well.
"Yeah, I'm so excited." he said, looking at the road ahead.
Author's Note : I am so sorry for being SO LATE, but I have an excuse - I kept deleting and re-writing over and over again because this is the first time I'm showing something I've written to someone else. I'll be doing the other two prompts over the next two days as well.
Well, this ended up being sappier than I had thought earlier! Anyways, I always appreciate constructive criticism, but please be kind.
Thank you for reading!
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2023.06.02 21:08 OceanRadioGuy What are my chances in getting accepted into an MPP straight from undergrad with only a fellowship? Any recommendations to strengthen my app?
Next year, at 26 years old, I will complete my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from an average California State University (SJSU), making me slightly older than the typical graduate. I've secured a Government Fellowship for this summer with a major Bay Area county focusing on data privacy. My expected grad GPA is around 3.6, which is decent, but not exceptionally high.
My extracurricular involvement isn't extensive, I haven't participated in an array of clubs, volunteer work, research, or non-profit activities that I believe many top-tier applicants may have. Nonetheless, I'm eager to know my chances of admission into these competitive programs and any suggestions to bolster my application would be greatly appreciated.
Edit: I have nearly no quant/stats background because my major required bare minimum math. I'm studying hard to get a solid GRE score to make up for it.
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2023.06.02 21:07 Anchorage_skim How can i make friends around here?
I’m 19 for reference, most of my friends went to the army, or to colleges away from home. I would usually join a sports team or a club but my CC offers none. I really don’t have a lot of friends so i’m looking to pick up hobbies i could do with other people? Any ideas? I live near Sinai
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to longisland [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:59 opinionated-dick What is actually structurally wrong with Spurs?
Is it Levy’s personable relationship with the players? The fact the fans are so desperate for trophies? That Arsenal did so well?
I don’t get it, but I don’t see all the picture. I see a club who started off with a renowned manager, one of the top 3 strikers anywhere in the world, a brand new stadium.
It feels a bit like after Poch nearly won the CL and the team seemed to give up?
Like what actually keeps happening?
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to PremierLeague [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:56 LIS1050010 Guide: How to Grow Your Own Food
For all of human history, people have managed to feed themselves, either by fishing, hunting, gathering, or subsistence farming. Nowadays, we can simply head to the grocery store to buy our meals. However, growing your own food is both rewarding and money-saving. If you’d like to grow your own food, make sure you research the climate in your region, create rows for your crops, and harvest when your food is ripe to enjoy the food from your garden.
Growing Food in Your Climate Grow most leafy greens and vegetables during a warm summer.
If you have temperatures above 75 °F (24 °C) during the summer, plant your vegetable crops in May or June. Make sure they are planted after the threat of frost is over.
- Lettuce, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes are all great options to plant in the summer.
Legumes do well in a temperate rainforest and are a great source of protein. Plant fruit in the early spring in a moderate climate.
Most fruit, like apples, oranges, lemons, and limes can be grown on trees in a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) area. Start with planting a fruit tree in a pot to monitor the soil and water intake, and then transfer it to the ground after 1 year during the early spring. Most fruit trees will not start bearing fruit until they are 2 to 3 years old.
Grow winter grains in a cold, wet climate.
- Vine fruits, like grapes, can be grown anywhere with a trellis that they can climb.
If you live in an area that gets below freezing and has a lot of precipitation, plant grains like rye. Rye is able to withstand the cold temperatures and the heavy rainfall that will happen in many areas of the world. Plant your rye in the early fall before the first frost hits.
Farm summer grains in a warm, moderate climate.
- Winter grains will usually give a higher crop yield than summer grains.
Summer grains, like corn, do best during warm weather. If your summers get hot, plant corn in May or June and let it grow over the summer months. Corn does especially well in the midwest area of the United States.
Let root vegetables mature during the fall.
- Rice needs a tropical climate to grow. Southeast Asia is the best climate for rice crops.
Potatoes, beets, radishes, and other vegetables that grow underground prefer to grow during the colder months. Plant root vegetables in July or August to prepare for a fall harvest. You can grow these even if the threat of frost is near, since they are hearty enough to withstand it.
Planting Crops Make sure your soil pH is between 5.5 and 7.0.
Test the pH of your soil by using a test probe or paper strips to determine the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Most food grows at a pH of 5.5 and 7.0. If your soil is below 5.5, add dolomite, a type of crushed mineral, to make it more basic. If it is higher than 7.0, use pine needles or peat moss to make it more acidic.
Break the ground with a plow or a tiller.
- You can find a test probe or strips at most garden stores.
- You can buy dolomite at most garden stores.
Clear away any large stones, roots and limbs, heavy accumulation of vegetation, and other debris before tilling. Use a rototiller or a plow to disrupt your soil and turn over the top layer. This will make the nutrients in your soil more readily available and allow the top layer of soil to refresh itself.
- To sustain a 4-person family, use 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of land to grow vegetables and grains.
On a small plot of land, you can use a pick, shovel, and hoe to till your land instead. Lay rows with a hoe or a plow.
Mark out the area you intend to plant. Use a hoe or plow to create a slightly raised bed in the loose soil in a line across the length of the plot. Next, make a shallow groove cut in the soil with your rototiller and a furrow attachment. Do this until your growing area is covered in rows.
Place your seeds in the furrows at the depth they require.
- You can rent rototillers and their attachments at many hardware stores.
The depth of planting may vary according to your choice of plants. Check on the back of your seed packet to find out the best depth for your plant. Make a small hole with your fingers and place 2 to 3 seeds in each hole.
Cover the seeds in soil and gently pack down the dirt.
- Plants like legumes and melons, squash, cucumbers are planted between 3⁄4 inch (1.9 cm) and 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep, and corn and potatoes may be planted 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) to 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) deep.
- You can also start seeds indoors and transplant them after they have sprouted.
This will prevent the seed bed from drying out in the sun. Use the palm of your hand to press down on top of the seeds you planted. Make sure they are covered all the way so they don’t get eaten by animals. Continue this process until you have the number of rows you planned on planting.
Managing and Harvesting Your Crops Water your garden every day during the summer.
The sun can dry out and kill your crops if they do not have enough water to replenish themselves. Use a garden hose or a sprinkler system to water your crops thoroughly every day from May to September. If the temperature reaches above 90 °F (32 °C), water your crops twice a day.
Weed your garden if it is getting overrun.
- Winter crops like rye do not need to be watered unless it is a particularly dry winter.
Because you are planting this crop in rows, you will be able to walk the center area between rows. Remove any weeds by hand that sprout up during your growing season. Make sure you get the root of the weed when you pull it so that it doesn’t grow back.
Deter pests with fences and natural sprays.
- Weeds are much easier to pull in loose or wet soil.
- Try not to disturb the roots of your crop as you weed.
If you see leaves that have been eaten, it could be a sign of insects or vermin. Use a chicken-wire fence to keep out small animals like mice and rabbits. Remove and kill insects as you find them, or use a natural deterrent like peppermint oil to keep pests away. Tip:
Make a peppermint spray by combining 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 gallon (3,800 mL) of water. Mist the leaves of your crops once a day to keep common insects away. Harvest your crops when they are ripe.
Many common garden vegetables are harvested as they become ripe, and continue to produce throughout the growing season with proper care. Grains, on the other hand, are most often harvested when they are fully ripened and dry on the plant. Use sharp, clean gardening tools to pick or cut your crops so you don’t damage the plants. Preserve your food if you can’t eat it all.
If you have grown grains, use barns which will keep your stored harvest dry and safe from insects and vermin. A combination of storage and preservation methods are the best way to reduce food waste. Drying, canning, freezing, and bedding are all viable options for storing food.
- Bedding is a method for storing root crops such as potatoes, rutabagas, and beets. Lay your root crops in a dry, cool location on a straw bed.
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2023.06.02 20:39 Mandilonlon I Know That Girl - Strip Club Audition starring Casey Calvert
2023.06.02 20:33 foilist4587 Any tips for a left handed short(170cm) foilist against taller righties?
I've found it quite difficult to fence a particular person at the club I go to, he started fencing way before me, been doing it since 2019, when i've only started late last year. Im not nearly as good as him but he hates fencing lefties and I do score hits against him with bouts usually ending up as 15-9 to him . He is very agile and aggressive and rarely goes on the defense but his main weakness is falling prey to counterattacks like ducks or stop hits and flesches early on into his attack and 90 percent of his fencing is footwork. I am more of a defensive fencer but my coach urges me to attack more. What kind of hits would you think get on him and how do I have to change my fencing to beat him
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to Fencing [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:29 Pyrobroseidon Good location for Batchelor/Stag Party?
I’m attending a buddies wedding later this month In London, and his Batchelor party is scheduled for the Wednesday before. The Batchelor’s preference is more low key, not a big club or party guy, and we are trying to put together a fun day/night for him, the only rule being no strip club or strippers. Our general plan right now is a nice dinner, and a pub crawl. Do you all have any recommendations for specific places or areas? The group will be comprised of friends from several countries and college buddies.
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to london [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:22 Inside_Bodybuilder98 Young Player Looking For Advice
I (14 yo male) started really getting into soccer about 5 months or so ago. I have a golf net in my backyard and some cones that i used to train nearly every day. I now also go every other day up to my local pitch and practice basics on a u16 goal. I have some questions, and I wanted to see if you guys had some ideas. 1. Should I be worried about doing specific drills, or just using the ball often? 2. Should I join a club, or my high school soccer team? And if a club, would they let me on the team even if I wasn't that good? 3. Should I focus on my strengths, and how i can use them, or my weaknesses, and how to elevate them? If there are any other tips you have, please tell me as well!
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to SoccerNoobs [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:11 Demonicking101 We Need a Deathworlder! Pt 66
Chapter Sixty Six: Plotting with Puppy
Entering into the entrance hallway of the apartment Simone tentatively holds up her hand to inform the other two women to wait.
”Something wrong?” Chak asks before looking down at Zrume who sits at her side vigilantly.
The animal’s ears perk up and nostrils flare silently, keeping her own tabs on the situation.
“Hope not, but…” Simone replies in concerned thought, “While I was stranded on the Gratt homeworld and just getting to know Meeki, she was chased and attacked by big burly dogs like Zrume here. Not the same breed of course, but I wanna check in with her before waltzing in, you know? Her only experience with dogs being like that, she probably needs a warning.” she informs.
Chak’s eyes widen slightly and she quickly nods.
“Oh, of course. Yes, that’s a good idea.” she agrees before placing a lower limb on the mutt’s big head.
“Surprised you accepted taking it! You seemed very scared of it at first.” Sonla comments, having been keeping her own distance from the animal thus far.
“She’s a little scary, certainly. Definitely intimidating in size and stature…” Chak grants, “But that look in her eyes… she’s without a doubt a very good natured girl.” she says while gently petting the dog.
“I think so too, but we’re gonna have to be careful introducing her to everyone and make sure she knows who’s a friend. Don’t want her thinking any of them approaching you is of concern.” Simone says before walking ahead to enter the apartment, “You guys wait here, I’ll just be a sec.”
Entering the apartment proper, Simone looks around the circular center hub space. There’s a faint smell of pizza in the air as the empty boxes are still resting on the counter island in the kitchen area. However there is no sight of either Gratt or Terran outside their disheveled mess in the center media couch.
Simone would have felt a but more concerned with how late the three seems to be sleeping in, but the evidence around reveals that they just have been up late having fun while they can.
However, knowing that she still can’t surprise them with the pouch, she walks over to the Gratt’s room and knocks her knuckles against it.
Though when Troy answers it dressed in nothing but a blanket Simone looks over to the other room doors confused.
“Oh, morning dude. Sorry, did I forget who’s room is who’s?” she asks in a chuckle.
“Nope.” the sheepish man replies as he rubs the sleep from his eyes, “Uhm… shoot. Yeah, uhm… Meeki and Nodrin are just waking up too, need me to get ‘em out for ya?” he says as his cheeks redden.
Simone’s eyes gradually expand in realization as she tilts her head enough to see the partially collapsed fortress of pillows and blankets. Nodrin pokes their head and upper torso out from the draping wall in a stretch, while another pair of loving Gratt hands massage their torso in the usual process of separation.
“Hmmmm… morning good Simone.” Nodrin groggily utters as they more fully pull away from their softly chittering partner in a crawl out.
Returning her eyes back to Troy to grant the nude Nodrin a bit of privacy, Simone clears her throat and rubs the back of her head.
“Wow… It looks like you guys had a hell of a time. Uhm… congrats? It seems like it went well. Right, ahh… Yeah...” Simone rambles with several streams of thoughts going through her mind, but she eventually snaps to it by raising her voice slightly, “Meeki? Nodrin? I need you two to get dressed and step out asap. There’s something I need to run by you guys before Chak comes into the apartment.” she calls out to the Gratt before winking at Troy and stepping away and scavenging one of the few remaining cold slices of pizza in the fridge.
“Okay!” Meeki’s voice replies before Troy closes the door to get dressed himself.
Simone updates Chak on the situation with her Lens as she leans against the kitchen island, and only waits for about a minute before the three hurry on out more appropriately garbed. For the most part.
Troy is still shirtless as he wanders out and approaches the kitchen area and starts digging through the cupboards.
Meeki and Nodrin run up to the island by Simone and sit up on the stools. The female wears a gray shirt that’s way too big for her, answering why Troy’s outfit is incomplete.
“Well I’m not seeing much guys, we can try ordering in again. But there’s enough to work with here for some quick and dirty pancakes. Not seeing any syrup or jam, but I think I can make something real quick with these frozen fruit packs in the freezer. Maybe I’ll just throw ‘em into the batter and see if it works out?” Troy tells the duo, seeming to have picked up a conversation they were having while getting dressed, “Oh! And bacon! At least… something that looks like bacon. Definitely not from a Terran animal so I can’t be sure if it’ll cook the same.”
“Sounds much good!” Nodrin agrees as they rest their head in their hands, watching the half dressed Terran get to work, very much enjoying the show.
“What we need to discuss?” Meeki inquires the nearby redhead.
Simone nods before finishing off the slice in her hand.
“Chak and I brought some new friends back home with us, and I wanted to give you a heads up. Probably should’ve messaged ahead… but let’s just say we were a bit distracted. One of them is a Vorook named Sonla. She’s a bit of an infiltration expert and I have a good idea of what she can do in case things don’t go to plan. That said, hold back on details with her for now.” Simone says, to which the Gratt nod, “And… the other is a security service animal that was gifted to Chak by the Z’ah’tuck ambassador. Long story.”
“And I thought we had a wild night… Did you even manage to have that date?” Troy says over his shoulder as he mixes wet and dry ingredients in a bowl.
“Yes, actually. It was amazing, all this other stuff happened afterwards. Anyway, Meeki, Nodrin. I want to clear it with you before bringing the animal in because… it’s a dog. Meeki, I know for a fact that your introduction to dogs was harrowing to say the least, because they were the animals those Gaia people used while invading your home.” Simone addresses the two green folk, seeing a bit of confirmation of her concern in the responding fearful Gratt eyes looking to the entrance door of the apartment.
“The four legged beasts with fur?” Meeki inquires a bit nervously.
“Yep. But I assure you that this one will mean you no harm. Those Dogs that attacked you before were raised and trained to do so. But dogs themselves are domesticated animals that are broadly safe to be around, as long as you don’t make yourself a threat to them. And even then, they may just cower from ya rather than fight. That said, Chak’s new dog Zrume is trained to be a kind of bodyguard. It’s important to know to not act aggressively towards Chak when she’s ‘on duty’, alright? However I’d like to socialize her with you guys here in a sec while she’s ‘off duty’. You know, to make sure she understands you two are friends and permitted near Chak in times of crisis. Is it okay with you two to let them in?” Simone elaborates.
“So… this dog is nice?” Meeki questions for full confirmation.
“Chak called her a sweetheart herself. And I completely agree. As long as you don’t bum-rush Chak for some reason as soon as she walks in, you will be perfectly fine. Just don’t stare into her eyes until she’s comfortable around you. For dogs direct eye contact can be seen as a threat.” Simone answers, “Ready?”
Meeki blinks as she watches the door for a moment longer.
“Yes. Is okay to bring them in.” she nods.
The redhead pats Meeki’s shoulder reassuringly and messages Chak, informing her that she is cleared to enter.
Everyone within the apartment turns to get a look as the entrance opens up to the Cali princess holding a leash to an animal that weighs more than she does.
Meeki relatively takes hold of Nodrin’s hand, but otherwise remains calm as the god is brought closer to the kitchen area.
Chak stops and pulls up a list of provided commands that the canine is trained in.
“Zrume, at ease. Safe zone.” she states firmly, hoping that she did it correctly.
Immediately, Zrume’s posture loosens and even becomes a little wiggly as as she looks down and begins sniffing the ground and nearby furniture within range of the leash’s allowance. Although the leash straightens out, the gentle creature doesn’t pull against her owner’s grip, instead simply shifting her focus to something else.
Quickly that focus comes upon the two Gratt still sitting on stools. Coming closer with caution, Zrume approaches the strangers carefully.
“Lower your hands with palms out, let her say hi first.” Simone advises.
Nodding Meeki slowly obliges, twitching slightly as the animal starts to sniff her clawed hands. Then in a side-rub against Meeki’s legs the dog opens its mouth in a relaxed grin exposing her tongue.
Feeling like permission is granted, Meeki starts to pet Zrume’s shaggy fur along her vertical back.
Nodrin then lowers their hands as well for another sniff-inspection before being enthusiastically allowed to join in on the petting.
Meeki’s nerves gradually fade as the animal proves to be indeed very friendly and well mannered. Nothing like the animals that intended to tear her to shreds way back when.
“Hello Zrume.” she says in a relieving sigh.
At the sound of her name being spoken by this new person the dog arches her head back and up at the Gratt female. Her expression being only what can be defined as ‘goofy sweetness’ with big expressive eyes and a heavy swinging of her happy tail.
Simone covers her mouth, trying to not snort a laugh upon seeing the dog’s dorky nature. Removing her bag from her shoulder she turns to look at Sonla who has been very quietly looking around the apartment and the folks within.
“And this is Sonla. Sonla, this is Nodrin, Meeki and Troy.” the redhead introduces with a moving hand gesture.
The monkey-like lizard stood up from walking on her knuckles to give everyone a wave.
“Hi.” she says a bit awkwardly.
“Welcome to the circus!” Troy greets as he pours his pancake-fruit mixture into a heated and buttered pan. Leaving it for just a moment he leans over on the island and gives the Vorook a big smile, “Want any pancakes? I might have made a bit too much batter while trying to even out the texture.” he offers.
“I’m an obligate carnivore, so no thanks.” Sonla replies as she settles back on her thickly scaled knuckles.
“Oh, sorry, right. My bad.” Troy chuckles as he rubs the back of his neck, “Uhh… what about some bacon? The animal is uhm…” he turns sound to closely read the chilled packaging for the answer, “Premium cloned loamph? Not really sure how ‘premium’ cloned stuff is, but we got it!”
The man flips the package in the air with one hand while the other gives the lizard lady a thumbs up.
“Yes!” Sonla immediately replies as she maneuvers up to the remaining stool by the island, and adjusts it to compensate for her shorter stature.
“You got it!” Troy says with a finger-gun before turning around once more to tend to his cooking.
After a short while seeing the dog is handling the situation well, Chak takes off the leash. Zrume takes this opportunity to step away from the Gratt and further explore the space around her.
“She’s very nice.” Meeki says as she watches the animal sniff around everything that was in her path, “She play or no?” the Gratt inquires curiously.
“Oh yeah. I imagine she’d be happy to play things like fetch and tug-of-war. In fact Chak already ordered toys, food, a bed and a waste pad system to be eventually delivered to the Kwip-chap.” Simone answers before her fiance pressed up against her in a side hug.
“It’s only sensible to be prepared now, rather than later.” Chak defends in a chuckle as she keeps an eye on the pouch, “I just hope the children will like her.”
“I’m sure they will.” the redhead replies as she gently rubs the Cali’s back.
Meanwhile Sonla finds herself staring up directly at Nodrin with an unreadable expression.
“You… alright?” Nodrin asks.
“Why do you have four eyes?” Sonla bluntly counter-questions.
“Ah- uhm… because I was born with four? As most Gratt are. Four eyes not all that strange when it comes to other species. Truba, Carvv and Hallo as examples.” Nodrin answers, confused by the question,
“Well duh, but I mean why does your species have four eyes evolution wise?” Sonla clarifies, “Carvv and Hallo have four to see different light spectrums, and Dillo needed six to look upwards for falling debris in sandstorms and cliffsides. Runeani have eight! I think that is because they needed good depth perception.”
“Oh, so you much study biology science?” Nodrin assumes.
“No. It’s just kinda creepy to look at without context.” Sonla bluntly responds with a shrug,
Nodrin leans back a bit, finding themself a bit offended.
“Much rude… but if it make you comfortable to be around us then I’ll answer the best I can.”
“Sorry. But yes, it’ll help.” Sonla says, although to the Gratt her tone can stand to be a bit more apologetic.
“Very well. They help get more clear vision in dark places. Mostly they help us with close inspection and far distance seeing.” Nodrin explains before pointing at their pair of eyes furthest from the center of their face, “But outer eyes are much special. Our ancestors were aquatic animals and so Gratt’s outer eyes still have extra clear lids to see underwater.”
“Oh. Aquatic?” Sonla questions, “Where did head fur come from then? Are you like mammalian?” she adds with more genuine curiosity.
“I… don’t know…” Nodrin admits, “Gratt study past ancestors much, but we still know little. Though hope new tech from the stars can help with all our sciences.”
“I saw Terran article that said we closely resemble… uhm…” Meeki inserts herself into the conversation before trailing off as she forgets the classification used, “One moment…” she utters as she navigates her Lens to find the article she found, “Ah! Synapsids! Not exactly like, but much comparison. So we are compared to ‘Mammal-like reptiles’.”
Sonla blinks before looking back as the roar of bacon hits a hot pan.
“Huh… Neat!” she replies, “Vorook can’t really swim very well. We tend to sink and even if we don’t we are too top heavy so our heads get stuck underwater. Very funny to see, but also sad. But we are really good at climbing! We can hold on to and dangle from things for long periods of time!”
“But not holding on to speeding shuttles roofs, huh?” Simone teases, as she maneuvers her positioning to get a better line of sight on the sizzling bacon.
“N-no… Well maybe, if it didn’t get so cold so fast.” Sonla says,
Troy looks back at his fellow Terran with a furrowed brow.
“What did you guys get yourselves into?” he says as he breaks into a bewildered laugh.
“I’m sure you’ll know soon enough when you get the chance to look at the news. But by the end of it Chak managed to secure overwhelming Z’ah’tuck support for her and her efforts to take back the throne. Like… military support. Granted, they have a lot to gain from it, but so do we.” Simone reveals as she finds herself a bit closer to the plate where the man was putting down the greasy strips of crispy goodness.
Chak then lets out a genuinely humored giggle that borders on outright laughter.
Confused, Troy looks to Simone then to his other side where Chak is looking. Having somehow sneaked up on him, Zrume sits there while gazing up at him with big pleading eyes with a little line of drool dripping from her maw. Noticing that he is boxed in he turns to Simone and aims his tongs out at her.
“You already pillaged our leftovers, you can wait a few minutes for bacon!” he states sternly in his fake parental tone before turning to the dog.
“Sorry pupper… way too much sodium for you. It’ll upset your guts real bad.” he sweetly apologizes.
As he addresses the canine, Simone swiftly reaches over and silently snatches two hot strips from the plate and retreats back before he is able to notice.
“You motherf-” Troy laughs once he sees both Simone and Chak snacking on the stolen goods, but knowing he would do the exact same drops it immediately.
Simone smirks in victory as she wanders over to the circular center couch to make herself comfortable as they all wait for their other Terran comrades to return from their own mysterious mission.
“Well that wasn’t a complete disaster…” Brandy mutters as she strides ahead of Thorn and Devin with her arms crossed while marching into the apartment entrance hallway.
“Hard to believe we weren’t caught after that water tank collapsed… Almost didn’t have the time to scrub us from all the crossing security footage.” Devin groans in a low grumble.
“Getting caught? How about -oh you know- nearly crashing that tanker shuttle into a residential area!?” Brandy snaps back.
“Not my fault that the pilot passed out.” Devin argues.
“Sorta was, that kinda happens when you jumpscare a Zernth from behind like you did.” Brandy counters.
“It was either lose the target or try to convince the Zernth to turn left.” Devin sighs before he feels a mechanical hand press on the back of his shoulder.
Pushing him to hurry up, Thorn catches up with Brandy where he plants his other hand.
“Mmhmm. Not our best work. But we got the bastard and actually convinced the Squilla ambassador to help us out in our little operation here. Other than some spilled water, we managed to pull it off without a hitch. I say we all learn from the experience and get to what’s further down the trail. Remember what’s at stake.”
“Yeah, you’re right. But still… it’s those stakes that make every mistake feel like I’ve wronged the entire universe. Like it’s heavier than it has any right to be.” Brandy replies as she reaches the door, “One fuck up and who knows how many people will be hurt from it down the line…”
“Aye… but in the grand scheme of it all your actions have had the same weight your entire life, because it led you here doing what you’re doing. Still, you're right, it’s a lot to bear on the heart.” Thorn grants, “My advice? Take a note from Simone’s book. Just keep moving forward and rest in the arms of whoever you want to hold ya.”
“I honestly don’t know how she copes. It’d drive me into a downward spiral of stress and paranoia going through half of what she has.” the woman huffs as she reaches to open the door via indicator.
“Don’t compromise who you are, and preserve your capability to love throughout all of the hell life will march ya through. It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it because that’s how you win life.” the old man states right before the door opens.
“Yooo! Bout time! You guys want some cold pancakes? I can reheat ‘em if you’d like!” Troy cheers from the couch with two Gratt resting at his sides.
“I hope you three have moved from the couch at some point…” Brandy says with an exaggerated eye roll, “Have a good night?”
“Yeah we did!” the man answers both of Brandy’s sentences at once.
“I’m going to set up to get our finalized planning underway. Ten minutes.” Devin notifies as he peels off to his room.
“Good. I hear we have a new member to the crew?” Thorn says as he strides in with his hands on his hips.
As if summoned, Sonla’s head peeks out from behind the other side of the couch.
“That’s me! Master infiltrator Sonla at your service!” the Vorook introduces herself, now standing proudly upon the headrest.
“Master eh? Good… We’re definitely gonna need a master’s handiwork in our lil’ operation.” Thorn chuckles as he scratches at his five o'clock shadow.
“We were also told that we have a doggie?” Brandy asks as she looks around for any trace of the animal.
“Yup! Simone and Chak were just showing her off to their kids in a call.” Troy explains as he thumbs to their room.
As if summoned by Troy’s opposable digit, the door opens with Chak once again holding the leash of the dog.
“Welcome back, I hope everyone is alright?” the princess inquires as she guides Zrume out to meet Brandy first, “At ease, safe zone.” she reminds the animal.
“Why hello there! Oh my goodness I’ve never seen a breed quite like hers before! Like a big pitty and… African painted dog maybe? Has the color at least. Definitely some others mixed in there too, hint of mastiff or something else chunkier? But still all the pretty in a fluffy package!” Brandy says as she scratches under the dog’s wide neck, which is very much approved.
Though the angle of Zrume’s ears change to one of caution and alertness. Turning her head towards the old man who had yet to approach she released a low growl.
“It’s okay Zrume, safe zone.” Chak assures, but the animal’s stare remained intense on the cybernetic man.
Seeing the confusion and concern on everyone’s faces, Thorn raises his hand.
“Don’t worry about it, dogs and I don’t really mix. A shame really, but it’s something to do with how my non-organic bits emit a sound they find very agitating. Like a walking annoying dog whistle. I’ll see if Devin can do anything about that, but in the meantime it’s best if the dog and I keep separate.” he explains.
“Oh damn. Yeah I guess dogs never really approached you before. Bummer. I guess while we sort things out we’ll have her chill in our room.” Simone says apologetically.
“And I’ll bunk up when she needs some runnin’ around time.” Thorn nods back appreciatively, “She’s downright adorable by the way.”
As Chak turns back around to lead Zrume back in her room for the time being, Troy’s eyes go wide and he points at Simone dramatically.
“Shit dude I almost forgot! Someone came asking for you by name.” he reveals.
Looking to him with a bit of fear in her eyes Simone gave him her full attention.
“Who?” She demands.
“Don’t worry I never confirmed you were actually here and she seemed… not like the people we’re up against. She was a tall thin lady who said she was a friend of yours from your academy days? She left a contact card and before you ask, yes I scanned the hell out of it. She seemed to really really want to talk to you.” the man explains as he feels around his pockets and when he finds nothing he shoves his hand down the crevice of the couch until he victoriously pulls the card out of the furniture-void.
He holds it out to which Simone accepts hesitantly.
“Yeah, okay…” she mumbles while looking at either side of the card.
“Just be careful, our options of people who we can trust from your military career are thin at best.” Thorn cautions.
“I know. And… I think I know who it is. Honestly I have no clue how involved she is, if at all… but it’s quite the coincidence she shows up now of all times.” Simone admits.
“Is she gonna be a problem for what we’re planning to do?” Brandy asks.
“If she has nothing to do with the Terran terrorists, then I don’t think so. I’d ignore this completely, but I ought to at least know what she wants to talk about, clearly she knows I’m here anyway. No point in avoiding it, especially if she seeks me out during our operation regardless of her intentions we’re asking for trouble. The other big issue of course, is that she’s still with the Terran Union. This could just be a ploy to get me arrested and into Union custody.” the redhead says as she taps the card in the palm of her other hand.
“Then wherever she wants to meet I’ll come with you.” Chak announces as she returns to her Terran, “I’ll even request for Ambassador Zrreak’s attendance if possible, or at the very least have a representative of his there to show that arresting you would be a terrible political nightmare for the Union.” the princess adds sternly with an affirmative nod.
“Damn you're so hot when you get like this…” Simone replies in jest to alleviate her own nerves, “But yeah, I appreciate it.”
“But first before any of that potential shit-show…” Thorn says as he crosses his arms, “It’s time we put our main plan to paper. We have a president to possibly kidnap and hold at gunpoint after all.”
“Oh… wow. That’s a bit more than ‘less than legal’...” Sonla mutters with wide eyes “Good thing I’m a master of explosives too…”
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2023.06.02 19:59 Loose-Source-2583 in the stripped club
in the stripped club. straight up "jorking it". and by "it", haha, well. let's just say. My peanits .
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2023.06.02 19:57 claudia_grace Eugene Women's Social Club - Picnic in the Park!
The Eugene Women's Social Club is having a picnic in the park this Saturday (2:00 p.m.) at Hendrick's Park. There's a pavilion there called F.M. Wilkins Shelter. Let's meet near that.
Things to bring: Picnic blankets, beverages, snacks/food, and anything else you'd like to have at an outdoor gathering (frisbee? bubbles? jump rope?). Also, the park is dog friendly, so if you have a friendly dog you want to bring, we'd love to meet people's pooches!
If you haven't yet, please join our discord server here: https://discord.gg/n4UPuHB6
Looking forward to seeing y'all!
submitted by claudia_grace
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2023.06.02 19:36 4ShotBot My Roommate is Slenderman Part 25: (Revised)
Part 24: https://www.reddit.com/Viidith22/comments/13taoss/my_roommate_is_slenderman_part_24_revised/
It had been a day or so and I hadn’t gotten a response from Megami. There are spurts where we don’t talk, she tends to be pretty accident-prone with electronics. Sometimes the frequency she’s singing goes haywire and fries it. But it had been a good five months or so since we last spoke. Taking a shot in the dark, I called Rachel.
“What is it, Terry?” She grunted, “I’m a little busy.”
“I need to talk to Megami, but she’s been MIA since the whole ‘Maerod’ situation.” My mind shot back to what Jones had told me, to watch out for “her,” momentarily questioning whether or not Dexter’s team had been dumb enough to keep her alive.
There was a pause, the line was silent. Then, a sigh, “Actually, I’ve had the same problem. I figured she just broke another phone, or was pissed at me for… Well, I’ll keep an ear out and let you know if I hear anything. What do you need her for?” She grunted again.
The line went silent again, then an exasperated sigh, “Good luck, be sure to bring The Doctor with you. You know how you can get.”
A flush of anger pulsed through me, but I took a deep breath, “Sure.”
She shrieked, “Oh shit!” The call ended.
I thought over the list of everyone, wondering what I was gonna do. I had actually intended to have Doc and Megami be the last two after Smudge, no one else would really work. Chad wasn’t right for the type of incognito mission we were doing, Abraham wasn’t available, Rachel and Sepratine just didn’t quite mesh with what we were doing, Megami was supposed to be the last one to fill out the party. I mulled it over, but I still owed David, the huuldefolk, a favor from the Maerod raid. I would’ve called Jacob, but he was in another country doing who knows what.
My phone rang as I stood, leaning against the couch, “Jones, something wrong?”
He chuckled, “Not in the least. You got your group together?”
“We’re one short.”
“No problem, bring everyone by tonight, we need to prepare on our end, and Dexter sent us a bit of backup.” He hung up.
I called up Doc and Smudge, telling them to be at my place and ready by the time dusk rolled around. Heading to the bathroom I downed my meds, trying to shake off a weird feeling that slowly crept up on me. As if something was going to happen when we got there. It was more than just a bad feeling, but a conviction, I knew something would happen, and it made me uncomfortable. One of the pills I took was supposed to ease it, but when it got that bad, it meant my brain had already determined some kind of outcome. It’s not a superpower or anything, more like enhanced intuition. It only happens when my brain has the information to go off of. But there’s a disconnect between my conscious and subconscious, so whenever something like that happens, I just have to wait for it to come to fruition.
Stepping into the office, I looked around, “Where’s the new guy?”
Xavier looked up, baffled at the sight. Then Jones stood, walking over to greet us, the bags under his eyes less defined, “He’s in the back getting himself something to eat. Smudge, nice to see you again, you haven’t aged a day.” Smudge chuckled at that, “You must be The famous Doctor, I want to thank you for coming. I’m sure you’re a busy man.” He outstretched his hand, but Doc just gestured between Jones and me.
“You see, that’s how you should greet me. You really ought to get a notepad out, you might learn a thing or two about how to respect your elders.”
“If I remember correctly, I’m about 2,000 years your senior. When did you start your… questionable medical practices again? 16th, 17th century?”
Doc ignored me, angrily shaking Jones’s hand, “Nice to meet you, lad! Glad to hear somebody thinks highly of me, even if it is a meager thinskin.”
“Me and my dislocated fingers thank you for that.” As he brought his hand back, Jones uncomfortably pushed his fingers back into their sockets one by one. “So, who were you planning on bringing? You said there was going to be another?”
“Right, had my sights set on a Siren, she’s pretty skilled and can be silent when the occasion arises. But I couldn’t get ahold of her.” I paused, “Actually, you’ve got your ear to the ground, you heard anything about someone named Megami? It’s been a few months since we talked, I’m kinda worried.”
Jones was a mannequin, despite trying to seem calm, his eyes flicked to Xavier before shooting back to us. He leaned against his desk, reaching for his coffee mug several times, not looking away from us, before finally grabbing it, and raising it to his mouth.
I stared hard at Xavier, a few moments later, he cracked, “Look it was a life or death sit–”
My legs tightened, I could feel the meds pushing to the side as I grew, stepping over to him in two long strides. He threw out his hearing aid, grasping his one intact ear as he held himself up with his free hand on the desk, “You killed Megami! Tell me why I shouldn’t give you the same treatment!” Something grasped my waist, then each of my legs. They were trying to push me back. When I released a tentacle to shoot Xavier through the head, I felt a prick stab into it. I fell limp, shrinking back down instantaneously.
Much calmer, I looked at my surroundings, Doc stood over me, making sure I was fine, Smudge looked between Xavier and me, wondering how he should react. Then I saw Xavier, Jones standing beside him, and on the other side of the desk, just across from us, stood the blonde buzzcut, and scarred musculature, of a Texan soldier. “Fucking Tucker.” I chuckled with disdain, “Of course.”
“Wish I had my H.O.P.S. but unfortunately it was destroyed along with the U.S.P.M. You’re one terrifying son of a bitch when I’m not in a full suit of armor, I’ll tell you what.” Looking close, I noticed he was wearing one of the older exosuits they used to wear. It was clean, but there were scuffs in the black paint job here and there.
“The U.S.P.M is just a bad fucking omen at this point.”
“Hey, we didn’t kill Jeff, and we didn’t kill Megami. So why don’tcha chill the fuck out.” Tucker crossed his arms, staring at me.
Smudge let out a jittery sigh, “You know, Jane’s death wasn’t necessarily the fault of Jeff.”
I looked at him, “Are you really going to side with the thinskins on this one?”
“Terry, behave yourself. We’re only here for Joseph’s sake. After we’re done you can go wipe out the US government. But we’re here for a reason. Doctor back me up here.”
“I’m neutral in this, I don’t care much for anyone.”
“And yet you’re here to help save Joseph.”
He sighed, “Joseph is okay I suppose. But I’m here because Terry gave me a deal on a pixie a month or so back.”
Smudge and Doc continued their back and forth as I stared at Xavier, he stood upright again, fixing the aid back into his ear, “I don’t blame you, Terry, I’d kill me too. I even did. But at least wait till this is over, yeah? I wanna slip in one last good deed if I can.” He blinked tears back as he put on a ski mask.
“When we’re done, I’ll thank you, but you better hope we never cross paths again.”
“I could say the same to you… I could.”
The air was still for a minute or so, even Doc and Smudge had stopped their bickering. “Well then.” Tucker smacked his hands together, making a metal clink, “Y’all ready to kick some shit in?”
“How long is the drive? I’ll need at least an hour to recover.”
Jones answered, “Hour and a half to two, you’ll be fine. We’ve got guns in the van, all suppressed. I had a mutual acquaintance of ours send us a care package yesterday. Regardless, I say we should all keep our blood inside our bodies.”
Tucker joined in, “Speaking of, I managed to scrounge the materials to make up some of those SIOM rounds. I left them in the van, along with the last resort.” He winked at me.
Jones nodded, “We should be good to go then, you guys oughtta join us in the van, less conspicuous.”
I nodded, “Yeah, that’d make the most sense. I’ll be taking the lead when we get there though. Which reminds me, you never sent me the schematics.”
“Oh, yeah, I’ll send them over. Are you gonna have enough time to put a plan together?”
“Yeah, I already know how we’ll follow into the building. I was thinking Tucker at first, but without his suit, he’s basically just a liability.”
He rolled his eyes, “Yeah, we’ll see about that one.”
As the van slowed, Tucker pulled on his combat gloves. He was decked out in full gear that I hadn’t really noticed till we got in the van. A flexible vest that was essentially a skin-tight long-sleeve shirt, meeting his wrists. His pants were tight and were made of the same fabric as his shirt.
We came to a complete stop as he slung his rifle around, clicking off the safety on his Bizon. Doc clapped his book shut, and Smudge stood.
“Alright, everyone up, we need to get to the gun cases.” Jones had come back through a door-sized hole connecting the back of the van to the front. He’d already pulled his mask over his face, the only color that came from him was his remaining eye and parts of his lips, only revealed by small, cut strips in the fabric.
We stood, sidestepping so he could get to the guns behind the seats. One by one we filed out the back.
Xavier hopped out the back, followed by Jones who stared at Tucker for a moment, “Did you uh… Did you put a new scope on this?” He raised his PS90 which held an ACOG and a suppressor.
“Oh yeah, it’s kinda like a thermal scope. But instead of heat it picks up… well I don’t actually know. But you should be able to see anything invisible or not.” Xavier inspected his own gun, “Sorry guy, I only had enough for Jones and me. You should be fine, but just cause you don’t got a fancy scope don’t mean you can go missing your shots. Them rounds’re expensive as hell.”
“Well, let’s get going, I’ve got the map down, I know how to get there. Second floor of their basement has the data. Unfortunately, we have no idea what security looks like, so we have to be cautious if we intend to stay hidden.”
Tucker spoke, “Just to be clear, you’re upfront, Jones is behind you, then the Doctor, then Xavier with me covering our asses.”
“Smudge is behind Doc, and while I’d like to have Xavier in the back–”
Xavier rolled his eyes, “Well I’d like to have you in back.”
Tucker sighed, “Anyhow, guess it works. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll have a huuldefolk I can put some rounds through. Release some of this tension.” He shot his gaze between Xavier and me.
“Well let’s head out. Smudge, you’ll be able to keep the cameras down right?”
“Based on what you said about their layout I should be able to, but I won’t be able to keep us hidden from the perception of the guards once we’re inside. There are far too many electronics I need to keep down so if we run into anyone inside the building, we need to kill them and hide their bodies to avoid being caught. I can’t keep the entire building down, so I can’t stop them from setting off an alarm if we miss anyone.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem.” Tucker lifted his gun.
“Let’s hope those sights are as powerful as you say.”
Before long, we were on our way. We’d parked some distance out so as to not draw any attention. Taking the lead, the only noise I could hear was the occasional snapping of twigs as we walked through a forested area. Despite having come in contact with the exoskeleton previously, it still surprised me how stealthy Tucker could be wearing it.
Breaching the treeline, I held up my hand. Surrounded by a gravel driveway stood a three-story tall modern office-style building. Men patrolled around the lot, all wearing tactical gear. Focusing on the shadows, I could tell there were hidden guards as well, those ones were wearing light, flexible clothing and minimal if any weapons.
“Smudge,” I whispered, waving him up with two fingers.
“Yes.” As he looked out, he seemed to understand, “This will be a tough one if they aren’t all humans. Seems like there are about 30 guards that may see us. If even one of them is around a five, I won’t be able to blind all of them from our presence. If Rachel were here we’d be able to determine such a thing, unfortunately, we don’t have her spiritual sense.”
“I might be able to help with that,” Tucker whispered from behind us.
“What kind of bullshit caused you to break formation without my asking.”
“As I said, these scopes can sense alternative forms of energy. I have a few frames of reference, I know what civies look like through this thing. Smudge, if you can point out all the hidden ones, I’ll be able to tell you what we’re dealing with.”
Smudge looked at me, then shrugged, “Alright, if you’re certain.”
“We’re good to go then? That was the last one?”
“So it would seem, that scope of yours ought to be reliable.”
“If we don’t get by, you have my full permission to do whatever you want to Xavier.”
Jones butted in, “I believe that’s up for me to decide. I still need him around.”
Smudge whispered at a frequency that’d set dogs off, “Enough bickering, you’re worse than when I have to babysit Chad and Rachel. Everyone get in formation, it’s easiest on me if we go in single file.” Getting back into position, he spoke up, “Sorry Terry, I know you’re leading, but, well you get it.”
I nodded back to him, “Everyone ready? No piss breaks past this point. If you have cold feet, just head back to the van.” I looked back to Xavier, to which he flipped me off, signaling me to start.
I wasn’t worried about the situation until we got about ten feet from the door. One of the two guards standing beside it looked over at us. I signaled everyone to stop, and the guy continued to stare. A few moments later, he shrugged, facing forward again, and we continued on through the door.
There was no one in the immediate vicinity, though there were several cameras pointed toward us, blinking.
Smudge said one word as he took a deep breath, “Break.”
Nodding, I signaled for the three of us up front to take the right wall, and the other three to take the left.
Once Smudge caught his breath, he stood back up, and we all got back into formation, right as a guard turned the corner. I shot a tentacle out, grabbing him by the throat and snapping his neck, all while bringing him closer so we could hide the body.
That was when an alarm went off, “FUCK! Keep the humans hidden, Doc and I can handle ourselves.” My brain froze time, trying to figure out what happened. Eventually, it clicked, heart monitors, a precaution not even Maerod took.
“Leave me out of it Smudge, I can handle myself too. You need all the focus you can get.” Tucker stepped up, aiming down sights.
The door bashed open before I could get my tentacles out. Turning, Tucker already faced the door, dropping people in one to two rounds a piece.
Turning back toward the dead body, I headed on, alarms blaring overhead. Bodies came and went. Despite how badly we’d apparently messed up the plan, I knew where the database was, and I refused to let anyone stand between me and it.
Each step I took was further than the last, “KEEP YOURSELVES SAFE, I’M GOING FURTHER IN!”
“Not without me you’re not!” Metal clattering rang out, “IMBECILE!” Doc caught up to me as I flung several bodies out of the way.
“Watch where you’re throwin’ em!” Tucker yelled out, “We shouldn’t split up!”
I was already at the staircase making my way down when something smacked across my face. Turning to my right, I saw a lanky man with his hands in his pockets. He was slouched as if bored.
“FINE, GO DOWN, I’LL MEET YOU THERE!” Swinging a tentacle at him, he made a popping motion with his mouth, the limb slammed into a wall. Shooting them all at him, he blew air out in a circle, then at me directly, lunging at me as he threw me off balance. He kicked me in the chin, then down on my head, knocking me to a knee. A second later I was thrown into the air, then to the ground.
“Damn man, you look like you could use a hand.” The strange man stood over me, offering me his right.
I took it, spinning him around, snapping his arm, and flinging him against the wall, where lay motionless. I stabbed him in the head, then the heart just to be safe. Scoffing at his arrogance, I headed down the stairway.
When I got down to the second basement floor, there were already several dead bodies strewn about. Everyone was hiding behind metal tables. Tucker injected Doc with something, sitting beside them was a heaving Smudge.
I put my tentacles away, and a sudden burst of gunfire came from the back of the wide-open office room. A few bullets hit me, but I was already too tall, they crumpled on impact.
“THEY GET AHOLD OF YOUR FORMULA!?”
“Fuck that’s loud, yeah, there was a leak a few months back! Doc ain’t doin’ so hot!”
“That’s, The Doctor, to, you.” He spoke each word with individual breaths.
Walking toward the guards, they panicked. With a thud hitting my chest, one of the men screamed, “We need you up here!” Looking down I found a pinless grenade, which I kicked, knocking one of the men unconscious. Bodies tumbled over one another as it exploded, sending shrapnel everywhere. A few pieces stuck in my face, but I headed straight for the room.
“YOU’LL WANT TO GET BACK! SOMEONE IS COMING FROM DOW–” The ground gave out from under me, falling a few floors, I was kicked into a wall in a dark room, aside from the hole. Landing on my feet, I looked around, rubbing my side. I felt something wet, where I’d been hit. Then I saw who it was. A scaly humanoid, each scale tipped with a tinted blue, serrated prong. His shadow fluctuated, then its eyes sprung open, and a black mist shot me. I blocked with my tentacles, but they were cheese to a grater.
“Kenet himself breaking in here? Must think you’re hot shit!”
I grunted, springing off the wall, using a shredded tentacle to slam the scaly man with a table. Sure enough, the mist formed into a shadow-walker, same as Jacob. I slammed my fist into his face before he could react.
“I NEED SOME LIGHT DOWN HERE!”
But the scaled man already rebounded, swinging his pronged fist at my face. I managed to block with my arm, but it was getting stiff.
“DOC, I NEED YOU!”
I heard Tucker to my left, “He’s still recovering, close your eyes!”
Before I could tell him I couldn’t close my face, a clinking sounded, and I saw a small metal canister roll into view. A blinding light took over, banging nine times, each followed by a flash. Then several gunshots.
Accepting the pain to come, I grabbed the scaled man, flinging him into the ceiling, dazing him. The shadow-walker was already dead on the ground, three bullet holes planted in his skull.
“Got any weaknesses on the other one? Never seen anything like him.”
“SKIN TRANSFORMATION, WE MUST WEAR HIM DOWN!”
The prongs tipping his scales had already shrunk considerably. Stumbling to his feet, he glanced down at the motionless skinwalker, “Goddamn.” His scales evaporated, leaving behind a hollow man, standing still, “Ju–”
Tucker put a bullet right between his eyes, “Didn’t have to ask buddy.”
As we turned to head back up the stairs, a thud reverberated from behind us. Turning back, Smudge lay, face first, and uncovered. He wore a full-body outfit ensuring no skin was revealed, but my concern was on whatever had dropped him down. Aside from the alarms, it was eerily silent. They landed on Smudge, hopping off, and kicking him into the wall.
The black suit was almost a fabric, but it was certainly mechanical. Parts at joints stuck out slightly, giving him mobility along with full body protection. At his neck, the material fluctuated, phase shifting at the slightest movement. The entire front of his helmet was a velvet red visor, the changed to a light blue when the light reflected just right. He had several weapons littering his body, including two hook swords, an unknown kind of pistol, a pump action shotgun, and a few others; all of which were as black as his armor.
I had to lean my head and chest down to avoid hitting the ceiling. I couldn’t move anymore, and Tucker looked a little nervous, “DOC! YOU ALIVE!?”
A German accent replied with a chuckle, “He was already dead.”
“Yeah, right.” Tucker said, “What’re you waitin’ for big guy?”
Shooting out my back, I held the odd man at tentacle point, Tucker readied his carbine, and the man retrieved his hook blades.
“Come, let me get this over with.”
Tucker stammered, “B-be careful.” He swapped magazines, “This guy is radiating like a human.” He fired a round, I felt it slide between two tentacles, and as it hit the man in the visor, an explosion errupted. I engaged, picking the man up by the leg, but before I could fling him, pain shot through it, the tip was sliced off. Tucker fired two more rounds, both exploding as they met their target, filling the room with a cloudy haze. I took a deep breath, forcing myself to move, but I felt like a turtle.
Suddenly, my leg ripped up, I held in place, stabilizing with a few tentacles, then smashed where a crack had formed on his visor, but he swung his other blade down, cutting it in half. A rapid succession of explosions slowly knocked the man back, and for the first time, he looked at Tucker, throwing one of the hookblades at him, it was angled for his face, but he snatched it mid air, then lunged at the man. He slammed the blade down on his shoulder, spinning it around and hooking the back of his arm, yanking him in, Tucker punched full force. In an instant, Tucker was against the wall, falling face first into the tile floor, leaving ceramic to crack the area around him.
The man chopped the last of my tentacles down as he approached me. When they were practically useless, he put the remaining blade away, pulling out the pump action shotgun. He shot me in the face six times before throwing the gun to his side. A small stream of black ooze dripped down my chin, and I had a hard time seeing anything in front of me.
“Damn, you’re one tough fucker, I’ll give that much.”
Pulling out his pistol, he proceeded to unload every round into my forehead, despite being ordinary metal, something about them kicked like a mule. When that gun was out, he dropped it, looking to his right, seeing where Tucker had dropped his gun.
“I wonder, how will you hold against explosive rounds? Not well?”
As he picked it up, I felt something prick my back, a familiar sensation made its way toward my heart, like organic WD-4D.
“You’re awfully quiet over there. Lost will to fight?”
“You’re an asshole!”
“Please, stop, I’ll shit myself.” He let out an antagonizing laugh, “You’re strong, but you’ve too much a stiffy going on there.” He let off a round into my face, nearly knocking me down, but I staggered just enough to stay in place.
“Wow, this has some nice kick to it, perhaps I’ll join the military after this.” He shot three more into my face, with each explosion, my skin peeled away just that much more, my brain rattled, but my limbs loosened.
By the fourth round, I regained some mobility, walking toward him. He stepped back, switching the gun to burst fire. I maneuvered around three bursts, only getting hit three times, each one in my torso. Those explosions seemed to boost the Doc’s serum, and I was able to grab the man by the head, crushing his visor with the palm of my hand. “You rely too much on your gadgets and luck. Neither will get you out of this.”
The helmet cracked, and blades shot out, slicing my fingers off. He pulled his remaining hook blade and slid under me. A sharp pain hit the back of my skull, then a cracking reverberated through my head. A metal clattering followed, and when I turned, the man stood there, shocked. He lunged back, throwing several kunai at my face, but I ducked them. With my full range of motion returned, I slung one of the tables at him, flinging him into a wall front-first.
Walking over to where he’d dropped Tucker’s rifle, I snagged it, and walked over to the man. He staggered back to his feet, a broken nose and a shard of ceramic sticking out of his eye. I held the gun to his forehead and fired, his head bursting like a pipe bomb.
I stumbled over to Tucker, dropping his gun beside him, and dropping to one knee. I smacked him in the face a few times, “You still alive?”
He rolled onto his side, “Kinda wish I wasn’t.” His face was covered in small cuts from the ceramic tiles, “Wish I’d had my Odyr suit, couldda kicked his ass. Fuckin hell what a dick.”
I sat beside him, “Hopefully he was their last line of defense, I think your gun gave me a concussion or something.” The room spun, my stomach on a Ferris wheel.
“Wow, the Doctor was right.”
I turned to the stairway, Xavier held Jones’s arm around his neck, helping him stand, “What happened, is Doc really dead?”
Tucker staggered his way to a standing position, “Nah, that stuff I gave him slows heart rate. He was too stupid to check for a full minute. He should still be alive, don’t worry.”
“And you two?”
Jones cleared his throat, “Smudge hid us, but he was worn down.”
Hearing that, I turned back to see Smudge, still laying flat. I stood, stumbling over to him, checking his pulse. It took a bit, but eventually, I felt a weak heartbeat. “DOC, YOU ALIVE UP THERE!?”
“I suppose!” He groaned.
“WE NEED YOU DOWN HERE! SMUDGE IS IN BAD SHAPE!”
A faint hint of a sigh made its way down the hole. I picked Smudge up, and moments later, Doc landed on the ground, a leg giving out from under him.
Some time passed, and we patched ourselves up as best we could before heading back up to the proper floor. Jones was able to walk on his own, but his right leg was in bad shape. I carried Smudge on my back, and despite Tucker’s several broken bones, he was walking just fine, occasionally stumbling from a torn tendon. As far as Doc went, the only sign he showed he was injured was his panting. Fortunately, we never ran into anyone else aside from the odd straggler, and we managed to grab the data we needed.
With the stressors passed, we laughed and joked, trying to bring ourselves back down from the adrenaline high. Exiting the building, I spoke up, “Xavier, I’m not going to forgive you, but I will thank you.”
He looked over at me, “To be fair, it was the Doctor’s idea.”
“That’s why I’m not forgiving you, anyone could’ve done it.”
“Oh, fair enough. Guess you could’ve done it too aye Doc?”
“That’s Doctor.” He let out an exhausted sigh, “In theory, but by the time I got around to it, who knows if Terry would still be alive. For a thin-skin, you did well.”
That’s when a limo pulled up through the gravel headed right for us, stopping just in time to not hit us, “Doc, wake Smudge, have him get you guys out of here. NOW!” I set him on the ground behind me.
“Well, I certainly hope he’s feeling up to it.”
“If not, you guys need to run.”
The back door opened, and a man in a suit stepped out. Pulling off his glasses, he tossed them in the back seat before closing the door and signaling the driver to leave. They couldn’t get away fast enough.
“Terry, son of Charles, I was under the impression you wouldn’t get involved with us. But after the Maerod incident, we decided we should implement additional security measures. Seems we should’ve invested more heavily into that. What was your intent here? If you had just called on Charles and told him about us, I’m certain he could’ve turned the entire building to mist.”
“If you know that, why’d you come to see for yourself, you can’t kill him. Or are you really that arrogant?”
The man laughed, “Because the alarm is still going off. If he had come, there would be no signal sending the alarm. You’re strong sure, but even three assassins managed to do this to you. Hence the difference between you mortals and us gods.”
“Didn’t realize living for 3000 years classified me as mortal.”
“You know, it’s interesting. Even after thousands of years, some still feel the need to attach themselves to this world. It’s as if they’re unaware of the insignificance of this world, this solar system, galaxy, supercluster, hell this universe! If you will live to see it all end, then what’s this part of it matter? They get animals to give themselves more meaning, call them pets. They feed the animal, water them, domesticate them, protect them. But they also prevent them from living in their natural habitat. Pulling the animal from where it belongs to give themselves a sense of purpose, it’s selfish wouldn’t you say?”
“Sure, I guess in a nihilistic sense.”
“So why are you here? To retrieve your pet? As I’ve said, there’s a transmitter in there, I saw what you pulled. Data on where your pet is. Why not just let him live in his terrarium?”
“He’s one of us now.”
“Due to your interference.”
“What are you really doing here!?”
“That’s the question of the day is it not? Quite frankly, I think Maerod was right to kill her. You’re far too attached to this world, though I suppose you are still a mere child. You could be so much more wise, and yet you refuse to allow it, you latch onto what’s been lost when you could focus on what you could have.”
“Sounds to me like you’re not quite past your own insignificance.”
He sneered, “Are you certain that’s your final answer?”
“I guess so.”
“Gods, the apple really does fall right to the roots.” The grass around him shriveled to dust when he charged me. Time stopped as the gleam in his eyes froze me, each fist pummeling me to the dirt, creating a deeper crater with each fist.
Then I was back in place, so was he. I’d never felt it so strong before, but I couldn’t deny the reality, he would kill me. Unlike Maerod, that man had absolute control over his soul, a feat all my attempts couldn’t achieve. All I could do was hold him off until I had an opportunity to slip out of his perception.
The grass around him slowly disintegrated, ready for his lunge, I leaped into the air, grabbing him mid-air with my tentacles and throwing him full force into the building. I sprung myself to the forest, latching onto a branch and engrossing myself in the tree, doing what I could to suck as much energy out. It wasn’t long before I was forced out. The tree crumbled to dust and I lept from it, charging the man with what little extra energy I had. He stood still, tanking four punches to his face. He kicked me back, nothing but a streak of blood running down his nose.
I lunged back searching for another tree. I found one a ways back, flinging myself at it, I fell into it and absorbed the tree’s power. I forced myself and found I could suck it out of other nearby trees. Until I was once again forced out, the trees crumbling in decayed mass, “You’ve gotten a bit stronger, Charles must be so proud.”
“What are you trying to achieve? Is losing your HQ really that important?”
He stepped toward me casually, “The same thing Maerod was trying to achieve, and really all the other gods in this disoriented country. However, no, killing you isn’t punishment for the damages, it’s for the audacity it took for you to do it. Entering my domain and destroying my primary facility? That takes balls, unfortunately, the rest was only a few inches.”
I tried to leap back again to gain a foothold, but all nearby trees crumpled to dust. Seeing no other way, I charged him again, but just as I came face to face, I spun and sidestepped, launching a single tentacle for the back of his heart, but on impact, it turned to dust.
“Unfortunately, the rest of you won’t be so easy to get rid of.” He turned, jumping, and once again, I met his bloodthirsty gaze. My skull cracked on impact, and when my head hit the dirt, a crater was left behind. He stood over me, “I’m gonna be on his shitlist for this one, but really, it’ll be worth it.” He pointed a finger gun at my head, and as the darkness closed in, three gunshots followed by a familiar light filled my senses, and when I could see again, his head was missing, the body still standing up-right, three bullet holes oozing blood at different angles...
I staggered to my feet, adrenaline keeping me awake. I looked around, seeing everyone but Smudge scattered around, “RUN! HE’S GONNA BLOW JUST FUCKING RUN!” I used my tentacles to move, sticking them in the ground and launching myself, then staggering to my feet. I headed in the direction the van was in, and a few seconds later, an intense blue light erupted from behind me, the shockwave hitting immediately after.
Part 26: Coming Soon!
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2023.06.02 19:33 nonomnismoriar44 Mechanic damaged car wheels, almost fell off when I drove it, refusing to pay.
Had an oil change and tire rotation. Attendant told me the wheel wasn't aligning properly after the rotation and I should drive it straight to a tire specialist. Wheel started to come off on the drive, and I had to pull back into the shop and call a tow truck. Tire specialist said nuts were over tighted nearly double the manufacturer recommended foot pounds, bolts were completely stripped, and the bearings were broken (all of this is in writing.) $900 repair, and original company refuses to pay. Had an out of town attorney send a certified letter requesting payment or lawsuit will be filed; still no response from company.
Tried to find a local civil litigation attorney but has not responded to my call yet. Just wondering if the company is liable for more than the $900 repair, as I had to borrow a car for 5 days during the work, and feel my life was endangered by being told to drive to a specialist when the wheel nearly came completely off.
Taking time off work to go to court or hire a lawyer would put me out an additional amount and doesn't seem worth it for $900. Just very disheartening that a company would act in such bad faith and apparently has little/no remorse for risking customers lives.
Any advise would be appreciated.
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2023.06.02 19:09 Flat-Profession5332 Las Vegas Strip Frustrations
I do not understand why on earth somebody would want their package delivered on the Las Vegas strip. I wish people would understand these casinos are absolutely NOT meant to be navigated through like that with uber, amazon, etc. and the strip has done nothing over the years to make it any easier. First delivery right off the bat is at Mandalay Bay. You think as someone that lives here I can navigate to a FED EX near the Aquarium. Nope. To start, the address isn’t correct, so the map pin is on the complete other side of the casino. If you know ANYTHING about these casinos they are not just walk in one way and out.. So I’m walking around the entire casino asking workers who don’t even know themselves where anything is. Next package is to a locker in the “same” casino (not really) but again the pin is wrong and no one is able to help out. No casinos for the next 6 packages, but traffic and construction is everywhere because I’m directly in the center of this freaking city. Then we get to Treasure Island… Another casino. There was zero info on where to put it, so I had to call support because I was not going to deal with it, and the customer said to leave it at the front desk as if that’s some thing I can just do. Lo and behold I get to the front desk and they don’t take packages… Shocker. And that was the end of it for me lol called support and y’all can wait to get your packages another day I guess. 🤷🏻♀️ I don’t know what the point of this post was other than to rant but I don’t think I’ve ever had a shift that bad. I can usually get through 10-15 in one hour but I only got to package 10 and it had been 3 hours already… Please for the love of God if you are in Vegas and you want a package delivered please GET IT DELIVERED TO A LOCKER AT A SEVEN ELEVEN DOWN THE GD ROAD NOT IN A CASINO THAT BOTH YOU NOR AMAZON KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.
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2023.06.02 19:07 SourPatchSweetheart A strip club I dance at in St Louis is charging $30 for water any time we are "with a customer".
So, you can imagine that if a dancer is a good worker and constantly seeing customers, then water is ALWAYS $30. You could leave a customer, go to the bar to refresh yourself, and be denied water because the bartender doesn't know if you're just trying to get the drink cheaper or not with the last customer you sat with.
This means dancers get ridiculously drunk and dehydrated. It's unsafe, and it's just ridiculously scummy. Is there anything I can do to report this? Who would I go to? I don't know a lot about the legal process, but even just telling me where to start helps a lot.
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2023.06.02 18:51 miarrial Russia: the Church strips museums, with the Kremlin's blessing
Link in French – Russie: l'Église dépouille les musées, avec la bénédiction du Kremlin
In recent weeks, Russia's two main museums have announced that they are handing over two of their most famous artifacts to the Church, a sign of its growing influence with the Kremlin, which is counting on its support in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia: the Church strips museums, with the Kremlin's blessing
In recent weeks, Russia's two leading museums have announced the transfer of two of their most famous artefacts to the Church, a sign of its growing influence with the Kremlin, which is counting on its support in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine.
While the transfer of these national treasures to the Church pleases believers, art experts denounce a political move that jeopardizes the future of pieces as precious as they are fragile.
The shock came in mid-May, when the Patriarchate announced President Vladimir Putin's decision to hand over Andrei Rublev's icon of the Trinity, a national emblem dating back to the 15th century.
The most mysterious of Russian icons, whose perfect harmony has drawn crowds to Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery for a century, is to be exhibited from June 4 in Christ the Savior Cathedral, near the Kremlin.
The painting will then go to its original monastery of the Trinity-St. Sergius in Seguiyev Possad, the "Russian Vatican" located 70 km from Moscow.
At almost the same time, the renowned Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (north-west) announced that it was handing over the tomb of Prince Alexander Nevsky, a true national hero who lived in the 13th century, to the monastery that housed it before the Bolshevik revolution.
"In these geopolitical times (...), the sacred value of the monument is more important than its artistic value", explains Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage. "National "plinth
These presidential donations come against the backdrop of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine, actively supported by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, an ally of Mr. Putin.
By transferring these relics to the Church, the President "wants to give Russia back its foundation", Leonid Kalinin, until recently in charge of religious art at the Patriarchate, told AFP.
As was the case centuries ago, religious symbols are now an integral part of the conflict.
In April, during a visit to a Russian-occupied region of southern Ukraine, Mr. Putin offered soldiers a copy of an icon, the original of which was sent to a church dedicated to the armed forces.
In this context, Rublev's Trinity, with its three angels seated at a table around a common cup, becomes a symbol of the country's unity.
"Contemplating Rublev's Trinity helped Russian princes to overcome the discord of the world," Lev Lifshits, 80, author of numerous works on early Russian art, told AFP.
Last July, this icon had already been exhibited for three days at the Trinité-Saint-Serge monastery. Kremlin-Church alliance
But in the face of the art's defenders, the Church can count on a master asset: Vladimir Putin, who counts on the Patriarchate's help to rally the population in the midst of the conflict with Kiev.
The alliance between the Kremlin and the Church in times of trouble is not new: in 1943, despite official atheism, Stalin "rehabilitated the Orthodox clergy and reopened 10,000 churches" in the USSR, notes Mr. Kalinin.
According to a widespread Russian legend, Stalin even flew a plane carrying a miraculous icon over Moscow to unite the nation at war with Nazi Germany.
In this context, for Mr. Lifshits, the transfer of Rublev's The Trinity to the Church is "political".
"The Kremlin's decision means that the political situation there is perceived as extremely serious," adds Russian political scientist Georgi Bovt.
"Still no victory (over Ukraine), the army is no match for him, all that's left for Putin to do is ask God to help him", like the rulers of yesteryear, he sums up for AFP. "Risk" for the works
Above all, however, art experts are alarmed by the danger posed to the works transferred to the Church, where conservation conditions will be less professional.
The transfer of Rublev's Trinity "risks destroying it", warns Mr. Lifshits. After the icon was exhibited at the monastery in July, experts noted 61 signs of deterioration, despite the protective capsule.
If it leaves the museum again, "the next generation will no longer see it in its current appearance", expert Lilia Evseeva of Moscow's Museum of Icons told AFP.
The return of this artifact to the Church has provoked a mobilization of the Russian Academy of Sciences: last week, some twenty scholars denounced its "disastrous condition", making it "impossible and inadmissible" to move it.
In a sign of the tension surrounding this debate, the priest Leonid Kalinin was abruptly dismissed from his post last week, after suggesting that a copy of The Trinity should be exhibited in the cathedral, pending the creation of a high-performance protective capsule.
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2023.06.02 18:44 DeadMemesNowPlease Lindsey Horan on the Snacks Podcast
Lindsey appears about 19 minutes in.
What is covered.
2 Her brother's upcoming wedding to an Indian. It will be a 3-4 day event in Denver.
3 Portland did not party nearly as hard as her World Cup championship or Champion's League winner team celebrations did.
4 A short summary from PSG to now. Lindsey is not advocating for 18 year olds or older adults to move overseas. She is home sick, but has been having a good time this time in France, but has missed her family and support group.
5 Training drills talk, and how American stick out over in Europe. No one in Europe is keeping score on the training drills but the Americans do.
6 Then, world cup talk. Excited for the youth of the national team squad. Glad to have Sauerbrunn to lean on for leadership advice. Club/Country differences. Horan gives her player to watch recommendation for the upcoming world cup.
7 A little bit about French National Team coach replacement, and if having the month off after the season or mid season is better for the world cup.
8 A snack or pass game of 7 options only 3 passes. https://open.spotify.com/episode/7BYS2gJV5cSs5jQ1HBg9K8
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