Hot springs nc 28743

Hot Springs, North Carolina

2018.09.12 02:46 AbsolutTBomb Hot Springs, North Carolina

A subreddit for Hot Springs, North Carolina
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2018.09.12 00:13 AbsolutTBomb Wears Valley, Tennessee

A subreddit for Wears Valley, Tennessee
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2018.09.05 02:49 AbsolutTBomb Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

A subreddit for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee, North Carolina
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2023.06.03 16:40 bitonegreat [4K Ai Concept Look Book] The sister who went to the hot spring 温泉に遊びに行った姉 온천에 놀러간 누나,룩북 溫泉旅行

[4K Ai Concept Look Book] The sister who went to the hot spring 温泉に遊びに行った姉 온천에 놀러간 누나,룩북 溫泉旅行 submitted by bitonegreat to ailookbook [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 16:39 He_isnt_here Mixing Ammonia and Bleach

When I was a child we had annual inspections and were required to ensure the house was spotless. My mother's go to cleaning solution was 4 cups of Clorox Bleach, 2 cups hot water, and 2-3 cups ammonia. We were asked to cover our faces with wash cloths. But working with the cleaning compound still made our eyes water, hands sore, made us dizzy, and would have coughing fits for a few weeks. We took breaks every 20 minutes, or when we started getting to dizzy to scrub hard enough.
I'm 27 now, and was about to do some spring cleaning. I payed attention in high school chemistry, but I just made the connection of the dangers gasses we may have been inhaling at that time. We used it yearly from the age of 4 until I turned around 10-11 ish. Should I be worried about any long term effects if I feel overall healthy?
submitted by He_isnt_here to medical_advice [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 16:37 SchemesOfMiceAndMen [H] Past Humble Bundles, Tropico 6, The Ascent, Walking Dead Saints, Resident Evil, Aliens Fireteam, Grid Imperator, Outward, Control, F1 2020, Hot Wheels [W] Momodora, Jack Move, Lists, trades

Hello! I have a bunch of old Humble Bundles and some other keys up for trade. I have them organized 2 ways: 1) by specific humble bundles, 2) alphabetized at the very bottom. Hopefully that makes it easier to find what you are looking for!
I'm mostly interested in trading with people who plan to activate immediately instead of retrading later.
Humble Non-Choice Bundles :
In Your Face VR
Superfly
Battle Group VR
Zenith: The Last City
Humble Spring into VR Leftovers
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality
Humble VR Emporium Leftovers
House Flipper VR
Zero Caliber VR
Scary Games to Play in the Dark
Propnight
The Blackout Club
Them and Us
SCP: 5K
Amazing Adventures
Beyond a Steel Sky
Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo
Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot The First Cases
Resident Evil Decades of Horror
Resident Evil HD Remaster
Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster
Humble Capcom
Strider
Bionic Commando
Street Fighter V
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Humble T1D
Walking Dead Saints and Sinners
Bartlow's Dread Machine
Super Meat Boy
Rad
Pine
Gauntlet Slayer Edition
Humble Extras
Oxenfree
Vikings Wolves of Midgard
Gabriel Knight 3
Battalion 1944
Deadbeat Heroes
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition
Oh My Godheads
Niche
Magicat
Evergarden
Equilinox
To the Moon
Sims 3
Sims 3 High End Loft Stuff
Sims 3 Late Night
Sims 3 Date Night
Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 Uprising
Medal of Honor (Origin)
Burnout Paradise (Origin)
Mirror's Edge Origin
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 Uprising Origin
Popolous Origin
Humble Choice Bundles:
April 2023 Choice
Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp
Revita
Founders' Fortune
October 2022 Choice
Disciples Liberation
Epic Chef
Railroad Corporation
Golf Gang
August 2022 Choice
The Ascent
Hot Wheels Unleashed
Gas Station Simulator
In Sound Mind
Humble June 2022
Phoenix Point GOTY
Siege Survival Gloria Victis
GameDec
Pumpkin Jack
I am Fish
Humble May 2022
Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom
Command and Conquer Remastered Collection (must activate by June 7th)
Spellcaster University
Embr
Humble April 2020 (5 Choices Left)
This is the Police 2
Raiden V Director's Cut
Driftland: Magic Revival
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
TruberBrook
Shoppe Keep 2
Capitalism 2
Humble June 2020 (5 Choices Left)
Supraland
Grid Ultimate Edition
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice
Felix the Reaper
Men of War: Assault Squad 2
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones
Overload
The King's Bird
Humble August 2020 Leftovers
Wargroove
Little Big Workshop
Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition
Humble September 2020 Leftovers
Golf with Your Friends
Vampire the Masquerade Coteries of New York
Fun with Ragdolls the Game
Strange Brigade
Catherine Classic
Humble October 2020 Leftovers
Tropico 6 El Prez Edition
Iron Danger
Autonauts
Shadows Awakening
Fantasy Blacksmith
Goat of Duty
The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day
Basement
Humble November 2020 Leftovers
Darksiders 3
Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
Crying Suns
Darksburg
Rover Mechanic Simulator
Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt
Humble December 2020 Leftovers
Shining Resonance Refrain
Zwei: The Arges Adventure
Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection
Tabletop Playground
Humble January 2021 Leftovers
PC Building Simulator
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Warhammer: Chaosbane
Total Tank Simulator
Not Tonight
Vampire TM: Shadows of New york
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
Humble February 2021
Outward + The Soroboreans + Soundtrack
Endless Space 2 Digital Deluxe
Trine 4
The Wild Eight
Train Station Renovation
Boomerang Fu
Werewolf: Heart of the Forest
Humble March 2021
Control Standard Edition
Xcom: Chimera Squad
Elex
Kingdom Two Crowns
WWE 2K Battleground
Hotshot Racing
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind
Cyber Hook
Pesterquest
Wildfire
Boreal Blade
Ageless
Humble April 2021
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts
F1 2020
Shenmue 3
Main Assembly
Rock of Ages 3
In Other Waters
Aven Colony
Colt Canyon
Skully
Popup Dungeon
Humble May 2021
Darksiders Genesis
Hellpoint
Cook, Serve, Delicious 3
Fury Unleashed
Size Matters
Retimed
Family Man
Vane
Humble Alphabetical List
Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot The First Cases
Ageless
Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo
Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Autonauts
Aven Colony
Bartlow's Dread Machine
Basement
Battalion 1944
Battle Group VR
Beyond a Steel Sky (might keep)
Bionic Commando
Boomerang Fu
Boreal Blade
Burnout Paradise (Origin)
Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box
Capitalism 2
Catherine Classic
Colt Canyon
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 Uprising
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 Uprising Origin
Command and Conquer Remastered Collection (must activate by June 7th)
Control Standard Edition
Cook, Serve, Delicious 3
Crying Suns
Cyber Hook
Darksburg
Darksiders 3
Darksiders Genesis
Deadbeat Heroes
Disciples Liberation
Driftland: Magic Revival
Elex
Embr
Endless Space 2 Digital Deluxe
Epic Chef
Equilinox
Evergarden
F1 2020
Family Man
Fantasy Blacksmith
Felix the Reaper
Founders' Fortune
Fun with Ragdolls the Game
Fury Unleashed
Gabriel Knight 3
GameDec
Gas Station Simulator
Gauntlet Slayer Edition
Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition
Goat of Duty
Golf Gang
Golf with Your Friends
Grid Ultimate Edition
Hellblade Senua' Sacrifice (might keep)
Hellpoint
Hot Wheels Unleashed
Hotshot Racing
House Flipper VR
I am Fish
Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
In Other Waters
In Sound Mind
Iron Danger
Kingdom Two Crowns
Little Big Workshop
Magicat
Main Assembly
Medal of Honor (Origin)
Men of War: Assault Squad 2
Mirror's Edge Origin
Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp
Niche
Not Tonight
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition
Oh My Godheads
Outward + The Soroboreans + Soundtrack
Overload
Oxenfree
PC Building Simulator
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind
Pesterquest
Phoenix Point GOTY
Pine
Popolous Origin
Popup Dungeon
Propnight
Pumpkin Jack
Rad
Raiden V Director's Cut
Railroad Corporation
Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster
Resident Evil HD Remaster
Retimed
Revita
Rock of Ages 3
Rover Mechanic Simulator
SCP: 5K
Shadows Awakening
Shenmue 3
Shining Resonance Refrain
Shoppe Keep 2
Siege Survival Gloria Victis
Sims 3 origin
Sims 3 Date Night origin
Sims 3 High End Loft Stuff origin
Sims 3 Late Night origin
Size Matters
Skully
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts
Spellcaster University
Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Strange Brigade
Street Fighter V
Strider
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones
Super Meat Boy
Superfly
Supraland
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality
Tabletop Playground
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
The Ascent
The Blackout Club
The King's Bird
The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day
The Wild Eight
Them and Us
This is the Police 2
To the Moon
Total Tank Simulator
Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt
Train Station Renovation
Trine 4
Tropico 6 El Prez Edition
TruberBrook
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Vampire TM: Shadows of New york
Vampire the Masquerade Coteries of New York
Vane
Vikings Wolves of Midgard
WWE 2K Battleground
Walking Dead Saints and Sinners
Wargroove
Warhammer: Chaosbane
Werewolf: Heart of the Forest
Wildfire
Xcom: Chimera Squad
Zenith: The Last City
Zero Caliber VR
Zwei: The Arges Adventure
Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection
Fanatical, GMG, other Keys:
Aragami
Assassin's Creed Odyssey Gold (requires Uplay login)
Atari Vault
Biped
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead
Cat Lady Card Game
Clustertruck
Crown Trick
Deponia Doomsday
Dustforce DX
Everspace
Everspace Encounters Dlc
Everspace Upgrade to Deluxe Edition
HoPiKo
Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?!
Horizon Chase Turbo
Kill It With Fire
Liberated
Monster Slayers
Monster Slayers Advanced Classes Unlocker
Monster Slayers Fire and Steel Expansion
Monsters Den Chronicles
Moon Hunters
Neon Abyss
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition
Quest Hunter
Shadowhand RPG Card Game
Shieldmaiden Remix
Skyhill
Slain Back from Hell
Spirit Hunter Death Mark
Starpoint Gemini Warlords
Swords of Gargantua VR
Tangledeep
The Dark Eye Memoria
The Long Reach
Tokyo Xanadu eX+
Wayward Souls
XIII Classic
I'm mostly interested in trades. Let me know what you got! Thanks!
submitted by SchemesOfMiceAndMen to SteamGameSwap [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 16:00 MonsterCuddler Review round up

Below you will find reviews for books I've read in the last few months that I felt strongly about one way or the other
A Darker shade of magic- V.E Schwab
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the worldbuilding in both in the large and small scale. The multiple London's were introduced well and made me instantly more curious about the overall world. I was obsessed with the coat that flipped in and out to different styles. I sew, the clothing details like this always amuse me. Not necessarily five stars, but I don't regret giving the author a chance. I'll hunt down the sequels eventually.
The Mask of Mirrors M.A carrick.
I read this book at the semi-last minute to finish out my bingo card for last year. I reviewed it on Goodreads, but forgot to post anything on Fantasy. I started this book and knew almost immediately it would be a book that I loved (Unlike Baru. Baru is well written, but I do not love Baru.) I have a soft spot for con artists that struggle morally. I also was *obsessed* with the mystery of who the Rook was and kept guessing wrong, alongside Ren. The world felt distinct and not like a copy paste fantasy setting. I got so invested I ended up reading the second one even though I didn't need to for Bingo. My biggest wish would be a decent map so I can understand the colonialism/ cultural mash up better. I'm bad at picturing geography.
Priest of Bones- Peter McLean
One of my first bingo books for Bingo 2023! I enjoyed the characters and the setting. It doesn't qualify for the queernorm square, but I felt it dealt with the LGBT details respectfully. The concept of a priest ganglord was incredibly entertaining and liked that his followers were allowed to be injured both physically and psychologically rather than springing back up like NPC support fighters. It made the fact that they were veterans of a war feel more believable. I'm definitely willing to read at least one sequel.
No Gods for Drowning- Hailey Piper
I actually checked this out from the library the week before 2023 bingo and then found out it qualified for at least one square. I primarily picked it up because I don't see enough fantasy murder mysteries and the title was eye catching. This book was a hot mess that I barely finished. I genuinely went online part way through the first few chapters to make sure this book wasn't part of an established book world etc. Everything * outside* the murdering was just this side of nonsensical. For instance, it is a *big* deal that one particular character won't kill people. Are you really telling me everyone else in this city is secretly super into murder and only one woman is immune from the impulse? At times it felt like the same author was writing everything (consistent prose) but all plot decisions were being made by an improv troupe. (Please don't tag the author etc. I am sure they are a lovely person; this book was just a frustrating experience for me.)
The Library of the Unwritten- A.j Hackwith
Absolutely obsessed with this book. The betrayals they burned, the victories they were satisfying. I never expected a book about a librarian to be action adventure adjacent. I will be hunting down the sequels ASAP. I stayed up late twice trying to finish this book. I want Brevity to be my friend and want to give Leto a hug. The dialogue was fun, the characters made me care, and I love the idea of a library in Hell. 5 stars.
submitted by MonsterCuddler to Fantasy [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:53 snoopdoge90 Question about proper bed leveling with CR Touch and my experience with the Aquila X2 H32

Hi! I just purchased an Aquila X2 with H32 board the previous week. Simply loving it so far. I've already used half a kilo of PLA and no bad prints on stock, thanks to the information provided in this sub and the sticky post.
I have a question about proper bed leveling using the knobs with CR touch and Alex' firmware. So I'll start with that, and share my experience and tips with other new Aquila X2 H32 users further in this post.
Bed leveling question
I don't know if I'm correct, but CR touch feels like a correction for bed warping and improper manual bed leveling through the knobs. Therefore, proper manual bed leveling is still important, but you don't have to do this frequently anymore because CR touch can correct for this.
How can I manually realign my bed manually with the knobs in Alex' firmware? Cause I want to do that 'the stock way'. With stock, it would home using the Z-axis end stop sensor. From there, I just re-calibrate the bed using the A4 paper method. That way I can keep my the springs / silicone bed spacers in the proper working range. But with Alex' firmware, homing the Z-axis would depend on the CR touch sensor and whatever inproper calibration was done to the bed.
Sharing my experience with other new Aquila X2 H32 users
Since everything went well, I've already bought and applied some upgrades after a week of usage. I noticed I needed to calibrate my bed after every print, so I bought the official Creality CR Touch module and silicone bed springs. On recommendation of this sub, I also bought the Creality metal extruder upgrade kit because this part seems to have a high failure rate. I picked the upgrade kit which also included the Capricorn bowden tube, since I want to print with other materials soon with higher temps.
Although the sticky post provided great information for the stock machine, it did lack some information about the upgrades everybody recommends here. At least in text form. I hate watching 15 minute YouTube videos for an answer that could be written in two sentences.
My first and only failed print was after replacing the bowden tube. It failed the PLA extrusion mid print. The tube was probably too long since both ends were cut perfectly round. The stock tube is 40 cm. My tube was cut at 50 cm with the idea to leave some spare to cut off when needed (e.g. the hot-end side of the tube). I had no problems anymore after cutting the tube length back to 40 cm.
When replacing the extruder, my tip would be not to tighten down the extruder gear attached the servo during the assembly process. This should be your last step so you can align the gear with the filament guiding bearing.
Another thing what bothered me is is firmware upgrade process. Yet another long YouTube video. The firmware upgrade is needed for the CR Touch upgrade. The official firmware for auto leveling (Aqulia X2 H32 BLtouch Firmware V5.3.3) sucks. Its unstable and freezed mid print. Therefore I switched to Alex firmware. Although not supported anymore, I love the stock Aquila X2 (non CBL Touch) firmware. Alex firmware is based on the source code of the latest official Aquila X2 H32 V5.1.8 firmware.
With the official Creality CR Touch upgrade, manual calibrate your printer bed and print a mount first before installing the upgrade. The included mounts are not compatible with the Aquila X2. I've printed this mount with X-axis tab. If you want to use the supplied bolts, use a M3 tap for the holes. You can also your own M3 bolts and nuts without a tap. Install the CR Touch upgrade. The CR Touch cable will fit easily through the bigger cable sleeve if you undo all tie-wraps. When accessing the H32 board, route and cable manage the cable around the board to not obstruct the fan.
I think it's good the know that lowest point of the CR Touch sensor lies higher than the nozzle. But the metal pin of the CR Touch will elongate itself when activated so you don't have to worry.
Here's a quick manual text written manual to flash Alex' firmware for tech-savvy users. If you need a step-by-step guide, please watch the videos. The mentioned downloads are the latest available versions. It will probably stay this way since these downloads are not supported by Alex anymore.
After this your printer is ready to be calibrated with the CR Touch module. It's quite easy. I don't know it's significant or necessary, but I did preheat everything to account for thermal warping.
  1. From the main menu, go to prepare.
  2. Go to preheat.
  3. Choose PLA.
  4. Wait till everything is preheated.
  5. From the main menu, go to leveling.
  6. Check leveling active.
  7. Go to create new mesh.
  8. Choose confirm to save the mesh.
If there's a huge discrepancy between each measuring points, please level your bed using the knobs (and I have a question about that, see later this post). Open the mesh viewer to view this data.
  1. From the main menu, go to leveling.
  2. Go to mesh viewer.
  3. Check viewer show values.
  4. Go to mesh viewer.
I don't understand why people here are sometimes asking for Z-offset values. I think that's completely wrong to ask, right? This value is completly specific for each individual printer.
  1. From the main menu, go to prepare.
  2. Go to Z-offset.
  3. Choose home Z-axis.
  4. Check live adjustments.
  5. Get a piece of typical 80 g/m² A4 paper and place it between the nozzle and bed.
  6. Increase / decrease the Z-offset value. The perfect value is the value where there is some slight resistance moving the A4 paper. A microstep up would result in the A4 paper moving freely. Please note you have a few options to move the Z-axis. With microstep up, microstep down and setting a Z-offset value. Please note for the latter you have to push (confirm) the knob to apply the Z-offset value for live adjustments to work.
The next thing for me is PETG printing or OctoPrint. Thanks again for the resources!
submitted by snoopdoge90 to VoxelabAquila [link] [comments]


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2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs

I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
“Yep.”
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
“I’m terrible.”
“Why?”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
submitted by obeliskposture to stupidpol [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:35 DarthLancelot [M4F] LOOKING FOR A LONGTERM ROLEPLAY PARTNER!

Hi! I’m a 25 year old looking for a longterm roleplay partner (18+)! I’m open to a variety of ideas, but some of the ideas I have are as follows:
  1. It was a hot summer day and we were just arriving at a the festival. We had driven a ways from our home out to the desert for a huge show. We had everything all pack and were eager to have some fun, the night ahead would certainly be one to remember…
  2. It was a late evening and I was driving over to your place for a sleepover. I grumbled to myself as I thought it would be a lame party and there would be so many people that I’d have no time to talk to you. However, when I got there I rang the bell and when the door opened there you were wearing a sheer nightgown with no trace of anyone else in sight. I gulped and went inside as you coaxed me in…
  3. The sound of water dripping from the roof of the cave was quite loud, you and I made our way through several caverns as we soon came to a cool spring. We had been on a cave tour, but somehow got separated from our group. We now were wandering aimlessly through the cave system, desperate to find out way back…
Thanks for reading these! If any of these scenes are of interest to you or you’d like to discuss other ideas feel free to reach out! Hope to roleplay soon!
submitted by DarthLancelot to roleplaying [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:26 AccountantSecure3349 seasonal depression ALWAYS hits during the summer

I'm not sure if its just me, but over every summer I get really depressed and lethargic. The hot weather outside bums me out, and I can't go on long walks anymore because its so fucking hot and there are mosquitos everywhere. And on top of this, school is out, meaning I lose a lot of structure and routine. Idk, spring/summer always brings out the worst in me.
I miss fall and winter, where I could comfortably wear my hoodies and sweaters and winter coats. Where it would snow outside and actually look scenic. Idk, thoughts?
submitted by AccountantSecure3349 to infp [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:20 Jakimcikas First time japan travel report 04.25-05.17

Alrighty, I'll describe my first time travel in japan, what went well, what didn't go well, my overall impression of Japan. We travelled trough quite a few cities, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible as I'm not much of writer. And we've visited quite a few places, so if you'd like more details, comment and I'll go more in-depth :).
A bit about the travelling party. Me(25M) and a work colleague(26M), Lithuanians(Europe) software engineers, reasonably fit and somewhat fluent in english, Omnivores(my colleague is allergic to cheese), our height is around ±185cm.

TL;DR

Cities/islands visited

Tokyo(Shinjuku) -> Osaka -> Nara -> Kyoto -> Onomichi Islands -> Matsuyama -> Hiroshima -> Miyajima -> Kumamoto -> Aso(region) -> Fukuoka -> Nagasaki -> Nagoya -> Takayama -> Magome -> Matsumoto - > Tokyo(Chuo) -> Tokyo(Shibuya) -> Tokyo(Teito) -> Hakone.

Expenses

I was slightly more conservative with my spending so my expenses are on the cheaper side, my colleague spent quite a bit more, especially on food and booze.
Total amount spent: slightly more than 3k euros in japan + 1.1k euros flights back and forth.
Daily food expenses: 30-40 eur or 5k-7k yen.
Average hotel stay: ~60euro
Food: - Breakfast - usually something from a convenience store. Chicken, power gels, chocolate, melon bread(my favourite), - Lunch - something from a convenience store or a restaurant - Dinner - restaurant usually a ramen place

Activities

Museums, castles, shrines, forests, mountains, walks around the city. We did a lot of walking, total around 400km of walking(at leasts that's what google fit shows)
Alright that's a brief summary, now for the more in-depth write up.

My key takeaways

This is it for the TL;DR part. I'll go more in-depth for the rest of the post.

Planning for the trip

We started planning the trip, where we'll go, where we'll stay, what we'll do, expenses, trains, all that you can plan was started to be planned around a month prior to the trip. We created a word doc as our itinerary, that was around 60 pages long. From what I've read on this page about you can't plan everything. Well I believe we did, we might've even over planned :D.
So we booked the following hotels: - Tokyo - Apa Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower(04.25-04.26) - Osaka - APA Hotel Namba Kita Shinsaibashi Ekimae(04.26-04.30) - Onomichi island - TOMARIGI Hostel(04.30-05.01) - Matsuyama - Hotel Patio Dogo(05.01-05.02) - Hiroshima - Wholeearth Ryokan Hiroshima(05.02-05.04) - Kumamoto - Hotel Wing International Select Kumamoto(05.04-05.08) - Nagoya - Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nagoya Shinkansenguchi(05.08-05.10) - Magoame - Magomechaya(05.10-05.11) - Matsumoto - Hotel M Matsumoto(05.11-05.12) - Tokyo - APA Hotel Ginza Kyobashi Tokyo Station Yaesu South Gate(05.14-05.17)
Extra things we bought in advance: - Water proof bags - Hiking boots and socks - Bigger backpacks - JP Rail pass, we booked the trains in advance, but honestly that wasn't necessary even during golden week - Bandages for foot blisters, medicine(for headaches, motion sickness, diarrhoea). - Ubigi eSim internet(10GB was plenty for me throughout the trip) - Sun screen(did not use and got sunburned to a point where I was shinning red) - Portable battery

The trip

Day 1(04.25)

We arrived at the Haneda aiport, exchanged some cash to yen(was at a better course than locally), printed out our JR passes(IMPORTANT TO DO SO HERE, only major stations let you print it out) and went to the metro. We took the train to Shinjuku, and walked to our hotel to check-in. We were quite tired, bought some chicken from lawson and went to explore a few places, a few drinks in golden gai district and ramen in a nearby place. Eventually we ended up at rock bar mother. Really cool place, for each drink you can request 2 songs to be played. After that back to hotel, visit the top floor onsen and sleep

Day 2(04.26)

Got up early, travelled to osaka. Left our luggage in the hotel, we were too early for a check in. We went to see Osaka castle(quite beautiful), tried takoyaki there. More city exploring, then we went check-in. After that we went to see the Umeda Sky Building in the evening(we bought the ticket in advance) very beautiful, it was very clear and beautiful. Got back to the city, got some ramen, went to the hotel and sleep.

Day 3(04.27)

Went to USJ, bought tickets(basic, no express stuff) in advance. We went there 30minutes before opening, and there was already a huge line. We went to Nintendo first, the zone looked very nice, but ride it'd say was okay'ish for me. After that the dinosaur rides, minion land, grabbed chinese food for lunch, went to the harry potter zone, at this point the lines got quite long around 1h to 1h 30min of wait time. After that we went to see Water world where they were doing a play, was really awesome, I'd say a must see even if you don't understand Japanese, the acting is very good. After that we went to Osaka aquarium(no lines, thank god), it was beautiful, cute chonks and other sea creatures.

Day 4(04.28)

Trip to Kyoto from Osaka. We went early by metro, to see the bamboo forest(7:40'ish), beautiful, few people. Walked around the park then climbed the mount a fed the monkeys(50 yen for a bag of fruits or nuts), very cute, tried petting the hand of one, didn't go well got an aggressive show of teeth. After that we visited Ryoanji temple, went to nishi market, we we're running a bit late so we took a taxi to Kiyomizudera, we saw the geish district on our way to there, looked interesting. After the temple we went to a bar and got back to Osaka and then after a bowl of ramen to our hotel.

Day 5(04.29)

We went to Nara, took this hiking track saw the deer, bought some food, did the whole bow thing then fed them. One thing to keep in mind is to crumble the cookie and give it in small pieces, otherwise you'll run out of food to give quickly. They might be very "assertive" and try to take it from you, don't be afraid, just stick your empty arm out to get some distance and that's it . They're not gonna bite you. After that we went to see the Todaiji temple, it was beautiful, the buddha statue was huge. Got back to Osaka, got some ramen, went to the hotel, scheduled to send our luggage to our next hotel and went to sleep.

Day 6(04.30)

Got up early, went to Onomichi, rented some bikes and began our cycling journey through the islands. A lot of cool bridges, very beautiful nature. We cycled to north Omishima port, where we transfered to rabbit island pet and fed the rabbits, got back and cycled to our ryokan and straight to sleeping.

Day 7(05.01)

More cycling, more cool bridges, more beautiful nature. We arrived at Imabari, returned our bikes and took the train to Matsuyama. We ate some stree food, relaxed in the open hot springs for feet. Walked around and went to sleep. To be honest I'd say this was the favorite city of the whole trip for me. I liked the vibe, the people, the food, the nature, the onsen, the layout, the architecture. In general, beautiful city.

Day 8(05.02)

Early in the morning visited a public onsen nearby, then went to see the Matsuyama castle, it was beautiful, tried the orange juice there, it was really good, got back to our hotels, got some dango. Packed our stuff, got a taxi and went to the port and took the ferry to Hiroshima. Checked in the ryokan. Took a train to Hiroshima city center, visited the castle and then the nuclear museum. Get the english audio for best experience. It took me around 2hours to walk through everything, read it and take it in. It was very nerve racking, but I'd say a must see. After that we went out to eat some Okonomiyaki, it was delicious, then back to the ryokan and sleep.

Day 9(05.03)

Went to Miyajima island first by train then transfer by ferry. It was very beautiful, the mountain hike was also fun, the view on top was amazing. When we came down from the mountain there was a low tide, so we could go near the Itsukushima shrine. Got back to Hiroshima, went to the city center for a couple of beers, got back to Ryokan and went to sleep.

Day 10(05.04)

First day of the Golden week, wouldn't say that I've noticed anything different, maybe because we were travelling to the far south of Japan - Kumamoto. This is one of those cities that I also enjoyed more than the big common ones, it looked very nice, had a beautiful castle, was not crowded as Hiroshima, Osaka or Tokyo. We rented out bikes, cycled to Honmoji park(the place near Honmoji park is god damn maze, keep you google maps always open or you will get lost) found a place to eat, visited Lafcadio Hearn House and went to our hotel and then to sleep.

Day 11(05.05)

We rentend a car and went to Aso, highly recommend renting a car here, since the public transport is not that good. The drive was very nice, we went to see active volcano crater, luckily it was not erupting, so we were allowed to get close. Then we went around and climbed the other inactive mountain caps. Climbing that was one of the most fun hikes I've had. It was very windy, you could barely see past 5 meters anywhere, because of the fog. There was no smell of sulfur, so it was safe. We visited Mt. Nakadake, Mt. Takadake, overall the place looked like Mordor, the vibes, the weather everything. After that we visited Ayugaeno Falls, the ravines and everything was just majectic. After that we got back to Kumamoto, gave back the car and went somewhere to eat. Car rental cost around ~7k yen in total. So I'd say a good price. After eating, we went to our hotel and then to sleep.

Day 12(05.06)

We went to Fukuoka, by train, walked around the city, visited Tochoji temple, Fukuoka castle ruins, Ohori park and explored the huge ravine type shopping mall. Went to the science museum(big mistake, it's for kids...). After that we tried Ichiran ramen(originated in Fukuoka so we thought it be better). Was the same as everywhere else. It was rainy so we got back pretty early to our hotel and went to sleep.

Day 13(05.07)

We went to Nagasaki, by train, visited the atomic bomb museum, it was very interesting, just as good as the one in Hiroshima. We took a boat ride to see Gunkanjima, though we couldn't get on the island, because of the weather, it was still very interesting to see and hear the history of the island. Explored the Dutch district, walked around the shops, tried some whale meat. It was raining the whole day, so we also got back quite early and went to sleep.

Day 14(05.08)

We got up early and went got straight to the train station, and caught the train to Nagoya. The longest train ride by far. We arrived at Nagoya, checked in our hotel, went to the city center, visited the castle, it was very beautiful, then we wanted to explore the abandoned tunnel near Aichi. Apparently it was closed, we decided we're going to enter through the exit, like rascals, but apparently after we circled around there was a police officer that was guarding traffic through the bridge and wouldn't let us through. So our trip ended there. After comming back to Nagoya we visited the sky scrapper, it had interesting installations on the windows. We had our stay got back to hotel and went to sleep.

Day 15(05.09)

We went to Takayama, by train, one of the most scenic train rides so far. We strolled around the city center, visited the early morning market, bought some souvenirs, tried some white strawberries, mushroom tee and other local cuisine. Visited Takayama Showa Museum, which was 10/10. You could touch almost everything, the museum gave a great vibe, it was like you were in a house of a family that lived there. There was also an old nintendo with mario kart that you could play, put on a old yukata and take photos. Play pachinko(no money needed), watch an old-school movie. We visited a few sake tasting places, I've found a few flavours that I liked. After that back to Nagoya, eat ramen and sleep.

Day 16(05.10)

We sent out our luggage to Matsumoto, caught a train to Nagiso and then hiked the Nakasendo trail to Tsumago and then Magome where we checked in and stayed at the local ryokan. The hike was very nice and relaxing one of the easier hikes I've had, the places we saw we're quite old and beautiful. At ryokan we met people one American and one from Germany, they had a guitar so we chatted a bit, played the guitar and had a few beers. The dinner at ryokan was amazing, looked very traditional Japanese dinner. Was also very tasty, would definitely recommend this place. After that we went to sleep.

Day 17-19(05.11)

Got up early and took a bus to Nakatsugawa Eki-mae station where we travelled to Matsumoto. We left our bags and went to the RubyKaigi conference. Overall good conference, I've learned somethings, but most importantly I've had bit of time to rest and catch up on some sleep, since we weren't exploring new cities. So overall the following 3 days were wake up -> breakfast -> conference -> lunch -> conference -> drinks -> dinner -> sleep.

Day 20(05.14)

Slept in, had breakfast and travelled to Tokyo by train. Left our luggage at the hotel and moved on to explore the Chou region. Walked around the Ginza, Imperial palace, Yasukuni shrine and went to check in. After that it was getting dark, so travelled to Akihabara to experience the anime night life, was quite bright and interesting. Though the amount of requests to visit a maid cafe was too damn high. If your planning to buy a PS5, a new GPU or Nintendo switch, this could be the place, I saw PS5 with two controllers for 60k yen, with a 10% tax refund that is around 370 euros. After some exploration, got back to our hotel and went to sleep.

Day 21(05.15)

This was our Hakone day trip, we bought the 3 day pass for it, so we could use the train, bus, ropeway and boat. Was worth it, even for one day. We climbed Mt. Kintoki, thankfully the weather was great and we could see Fuji. The climb was very nice, the view was amazing, the weather was great, no bears to be seen. After climbing down, we played some golf that was near there. Travelled back to the station were we used the rope-way to get around the mountains, the view was just majestic, we saw the sulfur pits, the stench was, well strong to say the least, but overall enjoyed the experience. We didn't make it time to the boat, so we had to travel back by bus, which wasn't so bad, since the scenery was amazing.

Day 22(05.16)

Explored more Tokyo, so we went to Teito district, went to the Ueno zoo, National science museum. After that we went to Kaminarimon gate, Asakusa shrine and moved to Shibuya next. There we went to the Yoyogi park, Meiji Jingu shrine, paid our respects to Hachiko statue. The last activity was to visit TeamLabs Planets, which were amazing, one most interesting experiences, not gonna spoil any details, overall great experience, would do it again. As it was getting late we got back to Shibuya, walked around more, had a drink and went back to our hotel.

Day 23(05.17)

Last day in Japan was spent buying souvenirs, snacks and other stuff to bring back home. Packing our luggage, to accommodate for the extras, getting to Haneda airport and back to Lithuania.
I'm very happy I had the opportunity to go on such a trip, I enjoyed it a lot even though, I'm quite the couch potato so 3 weeks is a bit much for me, but nonetheless, wouldn't change a thing.
submitted by Jakimcikas to JapanTravel [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:06 msmith_thekid Sauna Club (Part 4)

Sorry for the delay. Time’s become one of the many things in my life that I can no longer keep a firm handle on.
It’s been what? Maybe a fortnight since that first Sauna Club.
A week after that was the whirlwind of events that changed my life beyond recognition.
The day that Andy went missing & the night in which I came so close…so damn close to saving Jen’s life.
All I wanted to do was lose a bit of weight…and now I have. I’ve nearly shed everything in my life that was weighing me down.
After today you won’t be hearing from me again.
I’m truly sorry.
The morning after Jen died I woke up in a state of shock. Standing up I had to peel myself from the bedsheets. My back was a mess of burst blisters and pustulated skin. The rest of my body was pink all over except my feet. They were black…The soles looked like dried lava, charred to a crisp but with dark red veins cutting through. And for how hideously burned I looked I was freezing. My teeth wouldn’t stop chattering.
“Look at you” I’d wheezed at my reflection. Even my voice was wrecked. That world had stolen everything from me. But it didn’t matter. I’d get it back.
I called my wife and told her that I’d just tested positive for Covid.
“You sound terrible Mike” She’d said with a sigh, but she didn’t really care.
“I feel terrible. Maybe you should stay away a few days until I’m in the clear?”
“You sure?” feigning sympathy…her trademark.
“Yeah…I’ll be fine. Call you when I’m on the mend.” I hung up then. The first time in my life I’d ever cut her off. I didn’t really care what she had to say any more. My heart beat for someone else now. Only Lydia and I understood the truth of this world, and that strange world beyond. I’d made her a promise. I was going to finish my sauna and together we’d go back.
I spent the rest of that day googling, watching youtube videos and chatting with strangers on reddit about how to put the finishing touches to my sauna.
The next day I left my house for the hardware store.
I hadn’t realised how much people would stare…gasp even when they saw the ruins of my skin. At least I was finally losing weight though. Nothing fit any more. The steam in that world was washing me away. I didn’t care. Soon I’d have Lydia by my side and then what would anyone else’s judgement matter.
Finishing the sauna took the best part of a week. I’ve never been a practical guy. In that week I heard more from Lydia than my wife. She checked in daily to see how I was getting on and when we’d be ready to return to that world of fire and fate.
I insulated the small wooden shed as best I could so that it would contain the heat and smoke, built a small fire bin to contain the coals, bought a bucket for the water, 2 small benches and a sand timer for the wall. I roughly laydown paving and put in a grate for drainage.
It wasn’t much to look at, but it would do the job. For days I soaked the wood until the whole thing was saturated enough not to go up in flames with us inside the moment I sparked the coals.
And then last night I text Lydia to say we were good to go.
An hour or so later she arrived. For a moment she stood on the doorstep staring at me and I had no idea what she was thinking. It wasn’t the same face of shock and disgust that everyone else gave me now but…something else…Something that makes more sense now.
She was changed too.
She had been so bloodied the last time we left the Sauna. Bleeding from a hundred scratches all over. She had healed but the scars were everywhere. She was no longer the perfect blond gym girl I’d met two weeks ago…she was better…she was mine.
I knew that it was cheating the first time I laid eyes on her, the first time she’d touched my leg. What difference would it make if we fucked in my marital bed? So we did.
As we lay there afterwards I traced my fingers along the scars on her perfect body and wished that it was her I’d married…her that was pregnant…carrying MY baby.
It was then we heard the car pull up on the driveway. My wife was home.
“I’ll meet you out there” I said calmly. Lydia nodded and left the bedroom making her way towards my sauna. I wanted my wife to catch her in the kitchen…to see her naked body and KNOW that both of us could fuck up this marriage if we wanted to.
But Lydia managed to slip out of the house just as my wife arrived.
“Mike?” she whispered tentatively in the kitchen “Whose car is that?”
“I’ve got a friend round. We’re trying out the sauna.”
“What? You don’t have-” she flicked the kitchen light on and gasped as she caught sight of my face.
“WHAT THE FUCK?” She screamed. The state of my burnt swollen face bringing tears to her eyes, whatever love she still had left for me draining away. That was fine. Whatever love I had for her had died on the backseat of my car.
I looked at her swollen bump and knew we were finished.
“I’ll tell you tomorrow. I’m busy now” I said coldly and I could see my words rattled her. She didn’t recognise me any more. I hardly recognised myself.
“What happened?“ she kept repeating and I just shrugged.
“Go to bed.” For the first time in my life she actually listened to me. She slipped away into the dark of our room and closed the bedroom door. Too scared and disgusted to be around me any longer.
I took off my robe and followed Lydia out into the garden. If she was worried about the state of my DIY sauna she didn’t say anything. She didn’t say anything at all. We both knew why we were here and what had to happen next.
Spin the sand timer.
A ladle for each of us.
And then the smoke engulfed us. I was surprised at how well this small hotbox shed was working. In the back of my mind I thought that maybe the magic wouldn’t follow us here. That maybe I’d missed a step or that maybe the whole thing would just go up in flames.
But it worked.
I was alone travelling through that thin film of white heat that separated our world from the sauna place. Perhaps that was the nature of the ritual: That it has worked for so many people throughout the centuries if you have the fire in you and believe.
As I waited for the smoke to clear I tried to hold in my mind why I was coming to this dangerous world once more.
For Lydia – to find out what kept her coming back here again and again and what it was that was tearing apart her body.
For Andy – to find out what had happened to him and why he now seemed to belong to this place.
For myself – To steal something, anything…some divine knowledge from this place as vengeance for Jen. And get away with it.
The smoke cleared and I knew we’d arrived. It was different though, in all the ways I thought it would be. Just like the Sauna in the gym had become a warped reflection of itself, so had my DIY shed. The only difference was the door to the outside world. There was no poolside view, no horrible visions of those watchers and their nets, just the sound of a ruined world rushing by and screams. So many screams. Through them all I could hear the voice of Jen.
‘HELP…PLEASE HELP MIKE. THEY’RE HURTING ME.’ Her old voice cried endlessly. This place had already tricked me once though...so I turned my back to the door.
Lydia was already several steps up and about to leave.
“Lydia wait” I wanted to stop her so we could come up with a plan for how we would manage this visit “I want to help you.”
Lydia gave me a weird smile that I couldn’t read and with a shrug she disappeared into one of the corridors.
“Wait!” I called again and followed her up a few steps not knowing why she would just leave like that…
I could feel again how different this place was. The gym steps had been hot but still had a smooth varnish finish. These steps were rough and splintered. I starred into the corridor and gulped. Remembering what had happened last time I faced this gauntlet alone. There was no sign of Lydia and the corridor was dark but I set off anyway. I’d found Jen, I could find Lydia.
The tunnel twisted and turned, with more tributaries than last time, more maze like. Stairs leading up and down, passages to crawl through or clamber over, tight spaces to squeeze into and long painful drops.
The passage forked and forked and forked and at each junction I had to guess at the right direction but in truth I was lost and all the while the steams grew thicker around me, until it was like I was wading through them.
Then I heard the sound.
A sort of rhythmic creaking and groaning and a woman gasping. I realised that it was coming from the passage parallel to me. Like how Andy had helped me before…
The sound grew louder and then multiplied. Another groan coming from below me…and then another to the right.
I pushed my face the slats and tried to peer through to see the cause of the noise but in my heart I already knew. I knew that groan and that voice…and I’m man enough to know the tell-tale sound of creaky springs and a rickety bedframe.
It was my wife.
And when I peered through the gap I could see myself and her wrapped up in each others arms. Some how on the other side of this wall was my bedroom at university and I was seeing into the past. I was seeing the first time the two of us had sex. It was drunk and fumbling but even then I’d known she was special.
I moved to the other side of the room and through the slats saw a different past. Our honeymoon suit and the sex we’d had there.
I pulled away, confused why the mists were showing me this… things I already knew to be true. Below my feet I could hear more sounds, more groans more pleasure…but less familiar to me. Sounds of enjoyment that I’d never made my wife elicit. I ducked down into the swirling mists that had gathered around my waist and crawled on my belly across the wooden floor. I pressed my eye down to the slat, dangerously close to the splinters and peered until I could see the shapes writhing.
My wife and…
My brother. The two of them pounding away in my bedroom. In my bed.
I wrenched away, unable to watch it, gasping…and as I gasped I felt hot white tendrils of smoke crawl down my throat.
There were so many new sounds to hear…all across the floor before me…more pockets of sound and I couldn’t help myself. I crawled on, listening at each new noise and then seeking out the shape of the next man who would make me a cuckold.
My wife and her boss.
My wife and a man I’d never seen before.
Another stranger
And another.
Each time I gasped…each time sucked in more white heat.
I stood up gasping for air. If these visions were true…how many other men had my wife slept with? I’d known in my heart for a while that the child she was carrying wasn’t mine but…I thought always thought that in this place I might find out who the father was and have satisfaction in that…have revenge with that knowledge but…
Did she even know? In her nights out in the town, night after night she made a joke of me. A joke of our vows.
Did she even care who the father was, so long as it wasn’t me! How little satisfaction did I give her that she would fuck ANYONE.
I wretched and thin coil of steam coiled out of my mouth and into the world.
How long had I been here? Breathing in these mists.
This place was getting inside me.
Clouding my judgement.
This room had broken my heart and given me no satisfaction…Only more doubt, more betrayal, more confusion…more resolve to find Lydia. To save Lydia and start my future anew with her.
I pushed on blindly down tunnel after tunnel, hell bent on finding her before the time ran out.
“MIKE!” Lydia’s voice screaming, loud, hurt and close by.
“Keep calling Lydia…I’m coming. I’ll find you”
She did “Mike, Mike, Mike” as rhythmic as the groans of my cheating wife. Finally I turned a corner and found her.
Lydia lay with her back against the wall of a terracotta chamber. The sight of room not made of wood took me aback.
I ran to her.
Deep gashes covered her body, like something had sliced deep into her arms and legs and across her stomach. I couldn’t bear to look but I knew that the gauges were dangerously deep. Lydia was bleeding more than a human body could take.
“What happened!” My eyes tried to take in the room quickly looking for the source of the danger, seeking out an attacker in the darkness. My brain remembering what Lydia had said the first time we’d come here. “Every maze has its minotaurs.”
“My brother Mike…I came here to get him back.” Lydia spoke slowly, her words slurred and woozy.
“Where is he?” I cradled her, not knowing which gash to try to stem.
“Dead…he died so young…my piece of shit dad…” the thoughts tumbled out of her mouth erratically “But I can get him back…I just need to…feed the flames…”. Lydia raised an arm to point at a large black pit in the middle of the room.
I’d ignored it at first, taking it for just another one of the sauna’s coal pits, but this one seemed different. Set into the stone work of the floor and surrounded by a selection of craftman’s tools: pliers, hammers, blades, tongs, scalpels, ancient looking drills. Rudimental but efficient and delicately laid out on a piece of linen.
This was a Smiths room, and in the centre was the furnace. The coals inside blazed but they weren’t black…they were a crimson red, and they throbbed like organs…and they seemed to be swimming in a small pool of-
I heard a crack and then I felt the pain that belonged to it and collapsed to the floor.
I looked down and saw that my knee was no longer where it should be.
Lydia had a mallet in her hand that I’d some how missed before and with a violent twist she had stroke me across the leg. Now she was trying to push herself to standing above me.
“But I can’t give the fire all the ingredients it needs…not alone…I’ve been feeding it blood…every time…but…I can’t give it my bones…my skin…my eyes…I can’t give it that and still be there to love him…to love him in all the ways that SOME ONE SHOULD HAVE” Lydia screamed and the words echoed down the corridor.
Her body shook with the exertion and every time her muscles clenched a fresh squirt of blood oozed from her wounds. There was a mad glint in her eyes
I understood now.
I understood why someone as beautiful as her had been showing an interest in a fat idiot like me. She’d just been fattening me up for the slaughter.
She didn’t love me. Just like my wife…I was just another useful stooge to her.
For a moment I lay there, waiting for the mallet to come down on my head…I thought about just rolling over and letting the fire pit have me. At least in death I could be useful to someone. At least Lydia would get her brother back…
Then a fury rolled across me, a rage I never knew I had inside. Like all the mists I’d swallowed were bubbling up inside me and I decided then that I didn’t want to die.
Not yet.
“Fuck you.” I grabbed the nearest implement to me and flung it at Lydias head as hard as I could. The pliers caught her in the temple with a hard crack and I watched her teeter backwards towards the furnace. She caught her balance on the very edge and as she wobbled I saw a long dribble of blood cascade from the cuts in her arms and into the fire pit. The cloud of red mist exploded into the room curls of crimson smoke snaked their way upwards like tentacles.
Standing was harder than I’d anticipated with my knee on the wrong side of my leg, but I had no choice. Not if I wanted to live. Leaning hard against the wall I stumbled away as quickly as I could. Back out into the corridors and away through the maze, with no mind on getting back just getting away!
I paused when I reached the first crossroads. Breathing hard and checking behind me to see if Lydia was following but there was no sign of her.
I leaned against a wall trying to catch my breath and wondered if there was a way I could set my knee.
The blade entered my back and I don’t know how deep it travelled before I realised what was happening. I peeled myself off the skewer and turned around. Through the slats in the wall I could make out Lydia on the other side. She had stabbed through the partition with a long ceremonial blade.
“Come back to the room Mike. I can fuck you while you die?”
I blinked in disbelief and pain, trying to work out whether she had already killed me…
“It was going to be Sak…that fucking himbo…but he went and killed himself before I could” Lydia let out a weird little giggle. “So it’ll just have to be you…come on Mike…Look at you…you’ve got plenty of body to spare…do something good for once in your life and die…die so my brother can live.” Lydia plunged the sword again through the slats as hard and fast as she could and the tip buried itself in my gut. Shallow, but enough to hurt.
The sword was long and could reach me through the wall. I had to run.
This time Lydia was following. Alternating between screaming and laughing. Matching me step for step on the other side of the wall. Periodically she would thrust the sword again, opening up a new nick on my body, but her aim was bad. Neither of us could move quickly…both of us were bloodied and hurt as we moved down the corridors.
I thanked the stars for this small wall between us but was already wondering what I’d do if these corridors merged? If I rounded a corner and found myself face to face with the girl I had once loved…who had now become the very minotaur I’d most feared. Could I kill her before she killed me? Did I have that in me…
The corridor forked the other way and my relief was immeasurable. I ran and found Lydia’s voice growing fainter away from me. I ran, ignoring the grating sensation in my leg and the blood pumping out of my back.
I ran until I found myself back in the chamber where this all began. I ran so quickly that I couldn’t stop myself. I stepped out and realised that there was nothing below my foot apart from a cavernous drop down to the stone floor below. A bone breaking drop that would have proved fatal were in not for the arm that grabbed me.
I dangled for a moment…one foot out over the abyss before the person pulled me backwards.
Before I could thank my saviour I heard Lydia’s voice again and my blood froze.
“Please Mike…no one will ever love you like I do…Who else would want to fuck that flabby burnt body of yours…please? Let’s be broken together…” Lydias voice fluttered down from the end of the tunnel and I realised she had caught up with me.
Her body came exploding out of the mists as she charged at me like a bull…the ceremonial blade outstretched and ready to run me through.
I was too tired to save my life any more but again the hand pulled me backwards in the nick of time.
The sword carved through the spot where I had been standing moments before, followed by Lydia…her momentum carrying her over the edge. I could see the shock on her face as she realised there was no more floor and then she fell. Down past the arena like steps on all sides…a drop that there was no surviving. Her head bounced on the penultimate step and her spine curved around until she kicked herself in the face and then the jumbled mess that had once been Lydia crashed to the floor.
The crunch was terrible, even from up here.
I peered out over the ledge at the ruined remains of Lydia’s once perfect body.
“Muh…Mi…ke…mmmm…Miiiii….Mike. Mike…Muh” the sound drifted up…as her mouth moved and the remnant of her brain tried to make a final thought. Her limbs were contorted at impossible angles, bones poking through the skin, a shattered wreck. It seemed cruel that the universe would so thoroughly break something that had once been so beautiful. Lydia was now a twitching blob, just waiting for death to take her.
And it did.
As I watched the door to the sauna opened and in walked one of those cloaked watchers. The sight of them struck a fear in me. I didn’t realise they could come in here…I had thought that this world would keep us safe from them…but it had no interest in me.
The watcher entered, hand in hand with a small boy…a child no older than 5 years old…with the same sandy blonde hair and mousey features as his sister.
The boy looked up at me for a moment and the same look of mad hatred that Lydia had given me crossed his little features. Then his hand made contact with the coal pit and he was gone. Back to the living world. Lydia had got what she’d always wanted…but it had cost her everything.
The watcher scooped up her decimated body, her mouth still uselessly trying to make words, her eyes desperately roaming around the room…still not certain that she was dead.
The watcher took her all the same. Out and away through that exit that didn’t belong to us…out into a sandstorm of red winds beyond…and then the door closed and Lydia was no more.
Andy touched me gently on the arm and with a sad nod began to climb up and away.
I watched him go…I hadn’t seen him properly in a fortnight, but he looked so different.
Older. Less sinewy…and more barrel like. Somehow more…stately. There was no mistaking that it was Andy, but he was no longer the retiree that took care of his body…he had someone how become one of the sad ailing old men who spend their lives basting themselves and cooking in a…
He looked like a roman emperor
“Are you coming?” He said in a voice that had changed as well. The cheeky fun all gone and replaced with a strange solemnity.
“Coming where?”
“Up” Andy smiled.
“What’s up there?” I asked dumbly.
“A group of men…much like me…we sit and chat…and watch the world go by. But we really see it Mike. We see it all…this world, and more…their pasts, presents and futures…we sit at the top of the sauna and we pass our judgements and where we can…we help.” Andy looked at me sadly “we try our best. You’ve lost so much Mike…so much weight…there’s barely anything tethering you down any more…you’ve done well. There’s a seat up there for you. If you want it.”
I stood. Not knowing what to do or say…I tried to picture the summit. The top of this upside down pyramid of steps and the committee of fat old men who sat there.
A group of men who had stepped out of time to stare down into the mists below and see the world go by. A ring of men with wrinkled skin and withered dicks.
Is that what I wanted to become?
“Can I think about it?”
“Of course.” Andy smiled “you know where to find us.” And up he went…away into the darkness.
I went back down, down to the coals even though the timer had long since run out.
I touched the coals and found myself in my home DIY sauna again…the walls and ceiling on fire…Lydias corpse on the floor, burning away gently, and clutched in her hand that long ceremonial blade, beginning to glow red.
I left quickly and closed the door behind me.
Smoke billowed into the night air as my Sauna turned into a bonfire.
And now I’m here. Letting you know how all this ends.
I think I’ve got another few more moments before my little sauna collapses…enough time to spin a timer one last time, pour a ladle on what remains of the coal pit and get back to that other world…
I’ve been on the bottom of life for so long…just another one of you fucking losers and I’ve had enough. I’m going to join the men who sit at the top…those men who sit in judgement on all things…
But before I go back I’m going to pass judgement here. My unfaithful wife is still asleep in the room next door and now… she’ll never wake…her nor the bastard inside her.
I’ll have my revenge on her for…and all the women who tried to take from me.
Lydia’s ceremonial sword is still hot on my lap…I’ll wake her just before I do it. I want to see the look in her eyes.
All I wanted to do was lose a bit of weight…and she’s the last thing to go.
submitted by msmith_thekid to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:05 irish026 Happy Phillies Day! NFS/NFT The start of my Bryson Stott Rainbow and some other Phillies

Happy Phillies Day! NFS/NFT The start of my Bryson Stott Rainbow and some other Phillies
Finally was able to track down the 1/1. Memorial day camo and Orange refractor are in the mail, but I still need the SSP, Advanced stats, Vintage stock, Black, and Father’s Day parallels.
submitted by irish026 to baseballcards [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:02 spence425 Beginner watering advice

I am by no means an arborist...just trying to get better. I have 5 acres of land on which our home was built, but it used to be a field, so initially there were no trees. I have invested in some sizeable trees that are flourishing, but now trying to fill in with starters (bare root from arbor day, 1 or 5 gallon saplings from local sellers, etc.).
Some of these are far from the house and I'm wondering if a slow trickle from a five gallon bucket is sufficient.
For freshly planted I'm doing a bucket every three days, and for those planted last fall, a bucket per week.
Any suggestions other than dragging a hose around to all of them?
Located in the middle of Michigan, currently in the midst of a hot and dry spring.
submitted by spence425 to arborists [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 14:45 Haebeom1321 Disable auto pause?

Is there a way to disable auto-pause when alt-tabbing? I just want to browse while my character's soaking in the hot spring.
submitted by Haebeom1321 to coralisland [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 14:34 apolloarthur Replacing flex tube at shell fitting.

Repairing a hot tub that suffered a winter freeze. I was able to remove the insulation on this hot springs gleam. Found all the leaks without issue but this last fix is giving me problems. The flex pipe shattered up to the fitting of the intake at the shell. Is there any way to replace or repair this pipe without removing and replacing the suction port at the shell?
https://imgur.com/a/ub0JhLo
submitted by apolloarthur to hottub [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 14:30 RDO_CoyoteJack 03 June Daily Challenges

03 June Daily Challenges submitted by RDO_CoyoteJack to RedDeadOnline [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 14:06 audioinside Visiting KK, Lahad Datu & Sandakan

Made a list of places to visit in the 3 cities, would like to hear from locals which places are a must visit, can skip and avoid all all costs.
Sandakan: - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre - Rainforest Discovery Centre - Sim Sim Village - Central Market - Sandakan Heritage Trail (including William Pryer Monument, Chartered Company Memorial, Goddess of Mercy Chinese Temple, Sam Sing Kung Chinese Temple) - Kinabatangan River (river safari) - Sandakan Memorial Park - Gomantong Caves
Lahad Datu: - Danum Valley Conservation Area - Tabin Wildlife Reserve - Menara Kayangan - Lahad Datu Scenic Drive - Madai Caves
Kota Kinabalu: - Sabah State Museum - City Mosque - Signal Hill Observatory Tower - Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre - Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park - Kota Kinabalu Night Market - Kota Kinabalu Waterfront - Mari Mari Cultural Village - Mount Kinabalu - Tanjung Aru Beach - Sunday Gaya Street Market - Handicraft Market (Filipino Market) - Atkinson Clock Tower - Poring Hot Springs
ps: heard the gumantong caves are closed in Sandakan
submitted by audioinside to Sabah [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 13:46 SodiumBombRankEX Ako went to Hot Springs 227 instead (@SANsan_san321)

Ako went to Hot Springs 227 instead (@SANsan_san321) submitted by SodiumBombRankEX to BlueArchive [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 13:05 Routine_Bunch_5842 Clothing styles in Turkey

Clothing styles in Turkey

What to Wear in Turkey: Packing List and Outfit Ideas

Many people wonder what to wear in Turkey or if there is a dress code for women. When I went to Turkey in May, I did a lot of research on the temperatures and climates in each region and planned out my outfits for each day. Here are some of the outfits I wore:

https://preview.redd.it/5wrw2w95cs3b1.jpg?width=780&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c587658593b7208f0b9ba7084c7fcb8ebe0bd139

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is known for its hot air balloons, but unfortunately, they didn't fly during the four days I was there due to windy conditions. However, I still got to wear my long maxi dress from Lulus, which looked great with the colorful setting in Cappadocia. I also wore white shorts and a sheer smocktop on hot days, and an anatomy outfit with a windbreaker jacket on cold and rainy days. I brought a long sleeve midi dress and a bathing suit for the hotel's jacuzzi.

Antalya

In Antalya, which is on the southwestern coast of Turkey, I wore a black top with white shorts and a kimono for evening walks in the historic town. I also wore a long beach resort dress from Lulus and a sporty black dress from Athleta for exploring the ancient city of Perge.

Tips for Dressing in Turkey

  • Check the weather and plan your outfits accordingly.
  • Bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Wear lightweight and breathable fabrics.
  • Opt for slimming dresses to flatter your figure.
  • Accessorize with comfortable shoes, such as white sneakers.

Conclusion

Turkey is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and climates. With a little research and planning, you can pack the perfect outfits for your trip and take gorgeous photos in each location.

My Fashion Choices During My Trip to Turkey

During my trip to Turkey, I visited various cities including Kosh, Pamukale, Khao Khan, and Istanbul. I made sure to pack comfortable and stylish clothes that would suit each location.

Kosh

Kosh is a charming beach town known for its beautiful beaches and scuba diving. I wore a colorful and cute resort-style top from Revolve with beach coverup pants that had an elastic waistband at the back. I also had a dress from Amazon that I wore with a belt while walking around the resort.

Khao Khan

As we made our way to Pamukale, we stopped by the little town of Khao Khan for some photos. I wore white shorts with a bell-sleeve top that was off-shoulder.

Pamukale

Pamukale is famous for its thermal springs that resemble snow and ancient ruins. For the thermal springs, I wore a red and black bikini from Amazon that would pop in photos. I also wore a black wrap skirt over my bathing suit when we visited the ancient ruins. I also had colorful beach coverup pants from Lulu's that I wore for an extra day in both Kosh and Pamukale.

Istanbul

In Istanbul, I made sure to dress appropriately when visiting mosques. I wore a headscarf that I purchased from Amazon and a long skirt with a black top. I also had a jean jacket for the colder mornings. For other days, I had dresses with pockets that I paired with a silk scarf in my hair. I also had a dress for the rooftop terrace at the Henna Hotel in Sultanahmet.

Footwear and Essentials

For footwear, I only needed flip-flops for the beaches, sandals for beach towns, and sneakers for hiking or more walking in Istanbul. I also had my bandolier, which is a crossbody iPhone holder with a pouch for credit cards and identification, and my Pacsafe antitheft backpack that fits a lot and has antitheft features.
In Turkey, people wear a variety of clothing styles that reflect the country's diverse culture and modern fashion trends. The clothing choices can vary depending on the occasion, location, and personal preference. Here are some common clothing items and styles in Turkey:
Traditional Clothing: In rural areas and during cultural festivals or ceremonies, you may find people wearing traditional Turkish clothing. This can include garments like the "fes" (a red cylindrical hat), "yelek" (a vest), and "shalvar" (baggy trousers).
Modern Western Clothing: In urban areas and daily life, many people in Turkey wear modern Western-style clothing, similar to what you would find in other parts of Europe or North America. This can include jeans, t-shirts, blouses, dresses, suits, and skirts.
Islamic Clothing: Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and you will often see people wearing Islamic clothing, especially among women. Some women choose to wear a "hijab" (headscarf) along with modest clothing, while others may wear more conservative clothing styles such as "abayas" (loose-fitting robes) or "chadors" (full-body cloaks). However, it's important to note that Turkey is known for its diversity, and not all women wear Islamic clothing.
Business Attire: In professional settings and workplaces, people in Turkey typically follow a formal dress code. Men often wear suits, dress shirts, and ties, while women may wear formal business attire such as suits, dresses, or skirts paired with blouses or shirts.
Casual Attire: For casual occasions and leisure activities, both men and women wear comfortable and relaxed clothing. This can include jeans, shorts, t-shirts, blouses, casual dresses, and skirts. Turkey has a warm climate in many regions, so lightweight and breathable fabrics are popular.
Seasonal Clothing: Turkey experiences diverse climates across different regions. In coastal areas, such as Istanbul, Izmir, or Antalya, people wear summer clothing during the hot months, including shorts, dresses, t-shirts, and sandals. In colder months, especially in central and eastern regions, people wear warmer clothing like coats, sweaters, boots, and scarves.
It's important to remember that Turkey is a diverse country with a mix of cultural influences, and people's clothing choices can vary depending on factors such as age, lifestyle, and personal beliefs.
TRAVELLING TOPIC
submitted by Routine_Bunch_5842 to u/Routine_Bunch_5842 [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 13:02 AutoModerator [Megathread] Restyle and Customization Challenge Features & Mini Announcement!

[Megathread] Restyle and Customization Challenge Features & Mini Announcement!
Normally Saturday is our New User thread but our weekly threads (Hot Takes, New User, and Restyles/Customization Challenge) will be delayed until June 16, for Hot Takes and New User, and July 1 for Restyles/Customization Challenge.
For two reasons:
  1. A break while reassessing the use of other threads in this sub (additional info will be posted at a later date).
  2. Specific to the challenge theme, more time to for you guys flex those creative muscles without having to rush to get something done in a week.

Instead we're featuring everyone who participated in this weeks challenge theme!
You guys made some amazing restyles for this weeks challenge, and it'd be a shame not to feature any of them.
AND, if you didn't get a chance to participate in the previous themes, or if you did and just want to do more, all this month you can post your restyles or customizations for ANY of the past themes. We'll do a special multi theme feature in the announcement for next months theme.
Previous themes:
Rainbow
Complementary Colours
Day-to-Night
Seasons

The theme of the week was 🌸☀️SEASONS 🍁❄️

u/Odette-Kingsley


u/Herbicidna

u/LianaLovesgaming

u/the_actual_stegosaur

✨ Next Month ✨

  • The theme will be, "Airport Couture"
    • More details will be posted in July, but the next theme will now be posted in advanced to give you guys more time to prepare.
  • As always drop suggestions in the comments for future themes. You don't have to participate to suggest a theme, and themes will still be chosen randomly.
submitted by AutoModerator to RainbowHigh [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 13:02 Temporary-Energy7021 Some Of My Arena/Mutt Ideas

I’ve been planning this for a bit but I’m probably never going to write this into existence so here it is.
ARENA: The arena is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The mountains are scattered with hot springs, caves and tunnels (most blocked by walls of ice). Most of the land is covered in forest and thin-frosted streams. The Cornucopia is located in the centre of a frozen lake.
EVENTS: 1. After most tributes are dead, a storm will brew. All tributes in the forest will be safe. However, the higher the altitude climbs, the worse the weather will get. All the tributes in the mountains will be forced to take shelter in the tunnels/caves. When this happens, multiple rigged rockfalls will trigger and trap them inside. This will divide the remaining tributes into two groups: those in the forest and those in the mountains. Creating split footage.
EVENTS: 2. The arena becomes hotter. The snow-covered trees in the forest will begin to melt, revealing a thick layer of wax underneath. All tributes in the forest will suffer intense heat. While this is happening, the tributes in the mountains will be trying to escape. The melting ice will slowly flood the tunnels.
EVENTS (FINALE): 3. The wax-covered trees will start burning. Emitting a putrid smell that induces vomiting. The wax is explosive and will burst like fireworks.
MUTTS: 1. Owls that vomits green bioluminescent fluid on tributes. The fluid will glow at night and reveal their hiding places. It is invisible during the day and wears off quickly. Mutated in the Capitol, the fluid will slowly kill them (the owls). They live for only two weeks.
MUTTS: 2. Deers. Pretty fast. Their hoof-prints are mutated to look like tributes’ tracks in the snow. Creates paranoia.
submitted by Temporary-Energy7021 to Hungergames [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 12:30 JoshAsdvgi “The Invisible Gift”

“The Invisible Gift”

“The Invisible Gift”
by Takatoka
While strolling in the quiet darkness after midnight on the sacred Manataka (Hot Springs) Mountain in 1982, the vibration of the trees and all manner of things seemed to speak to Grandfather Lee Standing Bear Moore in a cacophony of movement and sound.
He came to a place used a hundred times in the past for ceremony, so he thought it was a good time and place to offer up prayers and chants to quite the dissonance he felt.
The vibration was strong like a big wind and he felt uneasy.
His great-grandfather learned at an early age to feel and hear the vibrations of the stone people and over the next 95 years he honed his ability to interpret the frequency language of natures vibrations for the purpose of diagnosing people in need of healing.
Over the years, Grandpa learned to use a variety of stones, each having a unique vibration, to read ailments.
Selecting a stone from the windowsill, he placed one an inch or two away from the body. He discerned pictures inside the patient's by “listening” for frequencies.
He could hear or feel the location, size, weight, consistency, color and a dozen other pictures of the affliction causing pain or suffering for the patient.
Using that valuable information, Grandpa was able to create successful treatments with herbal and mineral medicines to bring balance back into the body.
Grandpa crossed over and the family lost much of the knowledge and art of using vibration to heal.
Three generations later, g-grandson Standing Bear Moore began searching for answers and ran across a plethora of modern medical information about vibration.
Today, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment is used to non-invasively diagnose a large variety of symptoms.
He realized immediately that Grandpa was using the natural magnetic resonance (vibration) of stones and the earth to ‘hear’ inside the bodies of sick patients using ‘frequency languages’ – without the use of expensive medical technology and equipment.
Bear has attempted to duplicate Grandpa’s lost art many times and has achieved some limited success.
However, his knowledge of ‘hearing’ the vibration of stones and other elements of nature is not sufficient to diagnose and benefit others.
His years of exploration of this wonderful phenomena of Creator’s many gifts has produced other good results about understanding the experience of ‘hearing’ or feeling natures vibrations – sufficient enough to sometimes know what they are communicating.
It was on the great Manataka Mountain that late night in 1982, that the combination of “hearing” the vibrations all around him, the confusion it produced in his mind and racing thoughts about spiritual visions came together like a loud clap of thunder.
Everything in the world vibrates.
Every grain of sand, plant, tree, stone, fish, bird, insect and humans – all manner to things in the universe posses a unique vibration he calls the ‘language of frequency’.
He discovered that all manner of things must be grounded to the Earth Mother in order to maintain a balance of frequency – an electro magnetic field that surrounds and permeates the earth allows all vibration to maintain its unique frequency.
Thus, the language of frequency, unique to each minute part of creation produces a constant output of discernable vibrations – all traceable and verifiable by modern science.
"...Mankind could once speak to all of nature..."
It is said that man once possessed the ability to speak with the animals.
It is said Adam and Eve spoke with the animals in Eden.
Lee Standing Bear Moore is convinced this myth is true.
But then he adds the idea that mankind could once speak to all of nature using frequency language.
Somehow mankind lost that ability by listening to himself rather than to God's creation. Today, he wonders if Creator is laying the ground work to allow humans to again speak with all things born on Earth Mother.
Will this miraculous event occur when mankind achieves higher mass consciousness?
Dwelling often on ‘frequency languages’ and sometimes seriously experimenting to find vibrations he calls "songs of light" or "nature's dance" emanating from familiar trees, stones, animals and humans, Bear knows that he is not the only one led to these wonders. The world of vibration healing is everywhere these days.
Some practioners do it correctly when they remember that God is The Source and never fail to give thanks and provide a sacrificial gift.
Others, who take credit for knowing something about vibration's Songs of Light and charge money or demand a donation for ineffectual 'energy healing' are fooling themselves and others.
Bear is not crazy, he is just fascinated with the idea of communicating with the Creator of All Things in a different way.
“God gave us this invisible gift,
now it is time for mankind to learn everything that Grandpa knew and used for the glory of the Creator of All Things,
” said Lee Standing Bear Moore.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]