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Reentering the Dating Scene After Divorce Jennifer is a single woman who recently divorced. Even though she has decided to wait a few years until her daughter is grown to reenter the dating scene, she’s confused about how to proceed. However, reentering the dating scene after a divorce doesn't have to be a recipe for a nervous breakdown -- especially if your first step back into the dating world is through online dating. Many newly single daters say they chose niche, ... Mintel estimates that 5.2 million people in the UK are using online dating sites and, as thousands can testify, it really is possible to find love online. Plus, it takes the embarrassment out of asking someone out on a date. After all, they wouldn’t be on an online dating site if they weren’t keen to meet someone new. 2. Change your Routine Continued Adult Dating: Your Reality CheckÂ While some women find it easy to end one relationship and start another, for others letting go -- and starting again -- can be difficult and painful. Talk about you Dating Experiences When I first started dating online, I kept it as quiet as I could because I was afraid of what people would think. When I eventually started sharing my experiences, many of my friends were suddenly interested in setting me up on dates. I quickly realized that most people love to play matchmaker. This is important: reentering the dating scene is going to be a slow and emotional process. If you jump into anything too early, you risk shacking up with the first person who pays you attention ... With dating apps and sites, with empowered and successful women who want to pay their own way, with the women being the one who asks you out first, but in many ways things have stayed the same. Remember that at the heart of things, the goal is for two people to meet and make a connection with each other.
Positive Dating: like r4r but for people with STIs
2017.10.17 06:39 ChillLikeThatPositive Dating: like r4r but for people with STIs
2020.09.23 14:38 443610Booking Bayley's Loss of the SmackDown Women's Title - and Her Subsequent Return to Raw - Part 4/Finale: Emancipation
Parts 1, 2, and 3 Build to Fastlane 2021 (This event is on February 21, 2021. It replaces Elimination Chamber.) RAW - January 25, 2021 The road to Wrestlemania 37 is now officially upon us. Stephanie McMahon is standing in the ring, and she is pissed AF. Why? The Monday Night Church have tainted Raw's championships by interfering in each other's matches, and she wants all that to end. So she gives Seth Rollins and his followers a caveat: If any members lose their titles in ANY fashion, INCLUDING outside interference, they are out of the Church. And there will be no rematch clause for them. Naturally, Seth Rollins comes out with his group, displeased. He explains that his flock means much to him, and the gold they wear symbolizes the unbreakable bond among them. He dares Stephanie to destroy his greatest creation, "because as they say, united we stand; divided we fall." (Later in the night, Keith Lee chooses Universal Champion Roman Reigns as his Wrestlemania 37 opponent. And their confrontation is chock full of epic trash talk. Digs, insults, all the big boasts befitting of a clash of two behemoths.) SmackDown - January 29, 2021 (If you are expecting Lee-Roman 2.0 here, sorry, but you will be disappointed. This segment won't have epic verbal warfare, but rather agony and tears, so prepare your tissues as well.) Rhea Ripley is in the ring, and she is very happy. She thanks the fans for continuing to believe in her; if not for them, she may not have won the Rumble. But now SmackDown's resident Nightmare has a decision to make. First out is the SmackDown Women's Champion, Sasha Banks. Since Survivor Series, she has notched retentions against Nikki Cross, Zelina Vega, and Charlotte Flair, establishing herself as a highly popular face champion. But deep inside her smiling façade lies a worried soul, and it does not take long before she tells Rhea that even though she no longer checks up on Bayley, she still misses her and the good times they had together. She recognizes that Bayley may lash out at her again for doing it, but all she wants to know is if Bayley is still in a good place - Right on cue, Bayley appears with Seth Rollins, Austin Theory, and the AOP. And Sasha starts crying. Now she knows: Rollins and Theory - those two men - they literally kicked her down at Survivor Series; they violently denied her the catharsis of getting her friend back - and they showed no remorse in doing so. She despairingly speaks: "No, Bayley! Why?! Those monsters with you - THEY ATTACKED ME; WHY WOULD YOU BEFRIEND THEM?! Do you not know that with them, you've become a worse monster than the one I made?!" But Seth is having none of Sasha's pleas. "MONSTER?! I'm no monster; I'm a SAVIOR! You don't get the full picture, do you, Sasha? "At Survivor Series, Raw was about to embarrass itself AGAIN, just as I had been fearing. Drew and his fellow champions got pinned, and the women's team was WIPED OUT. Then, in my match, I was on the verge of defeat, but then these prodigal sons (points to Austin and Akam and Rezar) came, and together, we put Raw on the cusp of redemption. "But there was still one more obstacle - and it was YOU, Sasha (points at her). You think I did not know you wanted to 'redeem' Bayley? You think I did not hear all your pleas to her, your promise to make her grovel so that you two could be friends again? I did! And it angered me! To think you could undo all my efforts to save Raw... And for what? Your self-gratification? How selfish of you, Sasha, how selfish of you. Only you would have benefited from Bayley's 'redemption'. "And as much as Bayley hated groveling before you, I hated it even more. Another of Raw's champions groveling before the enemy, right after the others had been humiliated beforehand? No, just no. There was no way I would let that happen, so I did what I had to do: stop you and your selfish plans for the Greater Good. Now do you get the full picture?" Alas, Sasha Banks won't. "No, Seth, this isn't about you. This is about my old friend Bayley. Bayley, why did you join Seth and his group?" Finally, the Matriarch speaks. (Get ready, guys. This is heartbreaking.) "Why? Since we're in the same place again, might as well show you now." The Titantron cuts to a never-before-seen video of Bayley backstage. It is dated November 2, 2020, just minutes before Bayley's defense against Naomi. Suddenly, Seth Rollins appears. Bayley tells him, "Oh, hi there, Seth. Look, I have a title defense tonight." He responds, "I know, Bayley, but I can't help but see my old self in you - someone who is still rejected despite giving his all." "But I strive to be a role model, not just for myself, but the fans. And it doesn't matter if they hate me now; they will eventually come to accept me." "I hate to tell you this, but judging by your demeanor, I can sense that you will become just like me in the past. But worry not; I am here to save you. Join me, and you will become more than a role model." "Let me think about that. I have so much in my mind right now. Like, I am also facing Sasha at Survivor Series." "Ok, I know. I am a patient man. I can wait until Survivor Series for your decision." The video ends. Bayley tells a still-crying Sasha, "You know, Sasha, at the time I met Seth, I was still angry and bitter at losing to you. Then he showed me a way to heal, to become better than I was at that point. At first I was unsure, uncertain of what to do, but something happened..." Another never-before-seen video starts playing on the Titantron. This one is dated November 22, 2020 - Survivor Series. Just as she is heading out for her match against Sasha Banks, Bayley encounters Seth Rollins again. She immediately tells him, "Seth, I am ready. I will join you." The Messiah is surprised. "Really? What led you to that decision?" "The women's Survivor Series match. My peers were just embarrassing out there. How can I be a role model if my peers fail like that? I can't fail like that in my match against Sasha. So please, help me - and I will help you in return." "Ah, at last, you have awoken from your slumber. Thanks to me and my prodigal sons, Raw is now on the cusp of redemption after a very bad start, but you are the last piece of the puzzle. Worry not, though; when you fall to your lowest, we will come to your aid. But until then, good luck." The video ends. As she enters the ring, Bayley continues, "The rest, as they say, is history. But I guess the attack on you was also your wake-up call, because look where I am now. I am now part of a loving family. I have their back; they have mine. I am happy with them. I am happy where I am now. So please, Sasha, forget about me and find your own happiness. You will only hurt yourself by continuing to dwell on me." But Sasha can't be placated. She is still sobbing. "Ok. Now, admittedly, I have been watching your recent matches, and I see in you a very good champion. I see in you the role model I could never be. But that is all I want to know. "Look, Sasha. I am no longer angry with you. In fact, I am happy for you. You avenged yourself on me, and you finally have the long title reign you can be proud of. But that is all. I no longer want to remember all the pain we've dealt each other. I have found my place; can you not be happy for me? Please, Sasha. Be a good girl and keep on forging your own path, okay? Continue being the role model I could never be." Bayley is fighting back tears herself at this point. Sasha's response is just agonizing. "I can't be happy for you, Bayley, not as long as you are still like that." "So what do you want, then? What will make you happy? Sasha, you must answer this question. You can't just cry over every problem; you must speak up." Sasha turns to Rhea, who hasn't said anything ever since Bayley entered the scene. "Rhea, do me a favor and defeat Bayley for me. Redeem her for me. I no longer know how else I can get my friend back..." Rhea is initially surprised at such an offer: "Well, Sasha, I am not usually one to work for others, ..." ...but she eventually agrees to it: "...but if this is what your old friend has become, sure. I accept." Rollins is irate. "Seriously, Rhea?! You will do Sasha's bidding? You know she can and WILL betray you once you -" But Rhea cuts him off: "This does not concern you, you jerk! Anyway, Bayley, if you are to be redeemed, you must face your worst nightmare. That is why I choose you as my opponent for Wrestlemania 37." Bayley responds, "Are you sure? Are you sure you want to oppose me and my family? Then so be it. But be warned: they have my back, and I will not merely lie down for you." And she sadly leaves the ring. Three days later on Raw, two major surprises occur: first, Lana wins a battle royale to become Bayley's next challenger. Then, the AOP lose the Raw tag titles to Humberto Carrillo and his now-face cousin Angel Garza after Seth and company, having been held back by security from attempting to interfere, arrive at ringside too late. Without "help", it seems each of the Church's members can't cut it alone. Pissed, the Messiah and Austin Theory challenge the Mexicans to a title match at Fastlane, hoping to avenge their fallen brethren. Fastlane 2021 Bayley's match is the third to last on the card, and surprisingly, Lana takes the fight to to the Matriarch, who has to fight more smartly, knowing she won't get any outside assistance. But then the Ravishing Russian hits the ref while attempting a kick, which allows Bayley to roll out of the ring, grab the chalice, and strike her foe across the head with it. As the referee recovers, Bayley connects on the Maternal Plunge... 1... 2... 3. Bayley def. Lana to remain the Raw Women's Champion Later in the night, Bayley attempts to interfere during the Raw Tag title match, but Rhea Ripley stops her. As a result, Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza retain, but Seth Rollins and Austin Theory are not ousted from the Church because their singles titles were not on the line. And in the main event, Big E wins a six-person elimination match to become Seth Rollins' Wrestlemania 37 opponent. Road to Wrestlemania 37 The following night, Austin Theory loses the US title to Dominik Dijakovic after Big E and Rhea Ripley prevent Seth Rollins and Bayley from interfering. And just like that, the Church is down to just two. At the double contract signing on the go-home Raw, Bayley tells Rhea, "You know, Rhea, in hindsight, you were in some way right to choose me. I and Seth are the only ones left in our group; all our brothers are gone. But we two cannot fail; otherwise this church will collapse, and what will become of us?" Rhea responds, "I am glad you are seeing the writing on the wall, Bayley. Your time is winding down; at Wrestlemania, a new era will begin." Wrestlemania 37 This is it. This it where it all collapses. Earlier in the night, Sasha Banks finally has her Wrestlemania moment, defeating Shayna Baszler by submission to remain the SmackDown Women's Champion. Immediately afterwards, Big E has his crowning moment, hitting an avalanche Big Ending to win the WWE Championship, and just like that, Seth Rollins has been ousted from his own church, his very own creation. Bayley vs. Rhea is the penultimate match (Keith Lee-Roman Reigns headlines), and it is a tale of two personalities. Rhea is brimming with confidence; Bayley knows this is the end, but she keeps a defiant façade. As for the match, it is an all-out war, but eventually the Nightmare hits an avalanche Riptide... 1... 2... 3. Rhea Ripley def. Bayley to become the new Raw Women's Champion It is over. The Monday Night Church has finally fallen. The fans can relax now; Raw is under new leadership. Rhea Ripley celebrates at ringside with her newly-won title, but before she can head up the ramp, something catches her eye... It is Bayley, standing alone, dejected. Her title, her brothers, the bonds she had forged with them - they are all gone. And she can't take them back. Rhea, feeling empathy for Bayley (the Nightmare had agonizingly lost the NXT Women's Title to Charlotte Flair almost a year ago), reenters the ring. The now-former Matriarch stares at the new champion, then at the crowd... ...and then, to everyone's surprise, she extends her hand, just as Seth Rollins did four months ago. Rhea is initially surprised, but ultimately accepts it. Bayley then reels the Aussie into a hug and whispers the exact same words Seth Rollins uttered after she accepted his hand at the conclusion of Survivor Series: I expect much of you. After a while, Bayley lets go, but before she leaves the ring, she gives Rhea these cathartic words: Oh, yeah. By the way, I'll be going away for quite some time... Just tell Sasha I said hi, okay? Rhea is stunned. Finally, after months of refusal, Bayley has decided to accept the olive branch and reconcile with Sasha Banks. The Aussie has successfully played her part. As Rhea looks on with a smile, Bayley walks up the ramp... ...back to Sasha Banks... ...and back to the light. EPILOGUE Raw - July 19, 2021 The Man is back! Becky Lynch basks in the deafening cheers of the crowd; she wasn't expected to appear this soon after welcoming her first child, but she could not shake off the competitive itch. She talks about a lot of things: motherhood, Seth Rollins, the title picture, and so on. But one thing is for sure: she is just happy to return to doing what she loves - It seems Becky Lynch is not the only shock returnee tonight - SUDDENLY, FOUR MASKED FIGURES BLINDSIDE BECKY LYNCH! They smugly pose over her body, then unmask themselves - RONDA ROUSEY, SHAYNA BASZLER, JESSAMYN DUKE, AND MARINA SHAFIR! THE FOUR HORSEWOMEN OF MMA ARE HERE! Ronda and company prepare to beat Becky down - BUT HERE COMES CHARLOTTE FLAIR! Granted, they haven't had the best of relationships, but Becky and Charlotte are Horsewomen, first and foremost. The two try to take the fight to their MMA counterparts, but it is 2 on 4, and they are struggling to get any meaningful blows in - IT'S BOSS TIME! Sasha Banks had dropped the SmackDown Women's title to Wendi Richter Memorial Battle Royal winner Dakota Kai five days after Wrestlemania 37, but it does not matter now. What matters is her fellow Horsemen are out there, badly needing her help. She slides into the ring and joins the fight, but the problem is, it is 3 on 4, and it is soon rearing its ugly head - WAIT, WHAT?! NO WAY THIS IS HAPPENING - It is true! Five years after her first main roster match, the good ol' Hugger has returned, ponytail and all! Bayley races down the ramp and into the ring and unloads on Shafir. Just like that, it is 4 on 4, and soon enough Ronda and her buddies are retreating through the crowd, tails between their legs. They did not see this coming. But back in the ring, the Four Horsewomen of WWE exchange awkward looks. Fate, it seems, has brought them back together. All of a sudden, Bayley hugs Becky, then Charlotte, making amends with them... ... but there is one more person inside the ring: Sasha Banks - a woman Bayley has known more than any other, with the possible exception of her mother. Bayley stares at her old friend, enemy, soul sister, confidant, whatever word you can imagine... ... and it happens. Bayley tearfully hugs Sasha, telling her, "I am truly, deeply sorry for hurting you... Do you forgive me?" Sasha can only tearfully hug her back and reply, "Yes, I do... Please, let us never be apart again..." And they cry onto each other's shoulders for a long time. Eventually, Becky and Charlotte, who have been standing between the two this whole time, join the embrace. Raw ends with Bayley - yes, the good ol' Hugger Bayley - doing her double high-fives pose with her fellow Horsewomen, all those twenty months in the darkness finally... ...completely... ...and firmly behind her. THE END
2020.09.23 06:11 443610Booking Bayley's Loss of the SmackDown Women's Title - and Her Subsequent Return to Raw - Part 3: Metamorphosis
Parts 1and 2 Build to Starrcade 2020 (This replaces TLC and is on December 20.) Raw - November 23, 2020 Seth Rollins is in the ring with his church, and he is very happy, even if the fans aren't. The Messiah claims that last night went as he had foretold. Raw, especially its male champions, was going to be embarrassing again, at least early on, but he was on a mission, and failure was never an option. And thanks to those prodigal sons Theory and the AOP, he brought Raw to the precipice of salvation. Austin is next on the mic. He says he lost his way some time in June, and exiled himself from Raw because of it, vowing to redeem himself in Rollins' eyes. He rebuilt himself in NXT, but to his dismay, he was not included in its men's Survivor Series team. So he did the next best thing. He entered the pre-show battle royale and won it, hoping to use the momentum from the victory to convince Seth to welcome him back to the Greater Good. And to sweeten the deal, he brought the AOP with him. And it worked. Seth Rollins thanks Austin Theory for the explanation, but before the Messiah can start talking about Bayley's role in his plan, Carmella comes out. And she does not mince words: "Why, Bayley, why? Those men attacked your old friend Sasha; why are you with them? If Sasha were me, if she were in my shoes, she'd be weeping over what you've become! Do you not see? You are no role model; you are a monster!" Bayley replies, "I hardly know you, Carmella, but you are right: I am no role model, at least not anymore. But you are also wrong: I am no monster. Seth here has turned me into something higher than a role model: a matriarch for you to follow. Now, as for why I joined Seth and his flock, you are not in a position to know, so please, stop asking me." "Dammit, Bayley! This is not right. If Sasha could not redeem you, I will. I am challenging you for the Raw Women's Championship. Perhaps losing your title will make you open your eyes and realize you have been treading a worse path than you ever have." "Sure, but it is next week. Right now, I have other things to do." Later in the night, Bayley helps Austin Theory win the Unites States Championship from Apollo Crews. While Theory is feigning an injury, she punts Crews between the legs, allowing Austin to hit the ATL for the big win. Post-match, the two smile at each other. It seems Bayley has found her place. The next week, Bayley vs. Carmella headlines Raw, and it is just agonizingly brutal. Towards the end, Carmella hits Bayley with THREE STRAIGHT superkicks and a Mella Buster. She then sets up for the Code of Silence, but then Seth Rollins and Austin Theory rush down the ring. While Theory distracts Carmella and the referee, Rollins hands Bayley a chalice. Bayley gets back up and strikes Carmella from behind with it, then plants her onto the mat with what she now calls the Maternal Plunge. 1... 2... 3. Bayley def. Carmella to remain the Raw Women's Champion After the match, Asuka finally returns after just over a month out. She barks, "I am back, and I want my title back! You and me, Starrcade, TLC!" Bayley is unfazed. "There is no TLC event this year, only Starrcade, but sure. You want a callback to the past? TLC match it is. But I am warning you: I am now part of a family. I have their back, and they have mine." Over the next two shows, the AOP regain the Raw Tag titles against the Street Profits (again thanks to "help" from their stablemates), and Seth Rollins and Bayley continue to build momentum heading into their respective rematches with Drew McIntyre and Asuka. Starrcade 2020 Asuka is WAY more competitive this time around. She matches Bayley blow-for-blow, and the newly-rechristened Matriarch is feeling it. But she refuses to back down; she cannot fail Seth Rollins and his vision for the Greater Good. Eventually, Bayley is down and out, and Asuka is all alone. She scales the ladder... ...but then Austin Theory and the AOP emerge through the crowd. Akam and Rezar tip the ladder over, sending Asuka crashing down, then decimate her with the Last Chapter. Meanwhile, Theory helps Bayley back up, and everything else is just a formality. Bayley def. Asuka to remain the Raw Women's Champion Later in the night, the entire Church help Seth Rollins defeat Drew McIntyre and regain the WWE Championship. While Austin and the AOP distract McIntyre and the referee on the apron, Bayley reenters the ring from behind and kicks Drew between the legs. The referee does not see the low blow, and Rollins completes his prophecy with the Curb Stomp. The show ends with the entire Monday Night Church posing triumphantly with all of Raw's championships, not minding the very loud boos from the crowd. They have been helping each other over the past weeks; now look where they are. Post-Starrcade The following night, Seth Rollins, alongside the Monday Night Church, opens Raw. Amidst an ocean of boos, he mocks the fans for refusing to believe that he and his flock would take Raw by storm and become its new standard-bearers. He, Austin Theory, the AOP, and Bayley each put themselves over as the greatest and most powerful they have ever been, and warn prospective challengers that they will feel the divine retribution of the Greater Good unless they adapt now. Over the next few weeks, a new challenger to Bayley emerges: Bianca Belair, who has been on a roll since arriving on Raw. She was the red brand's last woman out in the women's Survivor Series match, and she is looking to parlay the momentum into a title reign. The two immediately develop enmity towards each other, and it all culminates in a title match on January 18, a date which Bayley strategically chooses. Raw - January 18, 2021 (To all Bianca Belair fans, don't be angry at me for what I will do.) Bayley-Bianca is the main event, and it is just full of fire. Bayley showcases the technical prowess that got her noticed in the indies, while Bianca impresses the audience with her natural strength and athleticism. They exchange big moves and near-falls, and soon enough the EST hits the KOD... 1... 2... ...but then, in a mirror of what happened at Survivor Series two months ago, Seth Rollins and Austin Theory pull the referee out of the ring. The AOP then ambush Bianca and flatten her with the Last Chapter. Bayley, who had rolled out of the ring during the run-in, slides back in and drapes herself over Bianca... 1... 2... 3. Bayley def. Bianca Belair to remain the Raw Women's Champion NO FREAKING WAY. Bianca Belair had that match won, and with it the Raw Women's Championship, but then the Monday Night Church just had to intervene. The fans are furious; they may as well be pelting Rollins and company with food, drink, and garbage. But to the Messiah and his flock, it does not matter. What matters is they have each other's back, and it pays dividends. At the Royal Rumble, Bayley helps Seth retain the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre, distracting the referee long enough for the Messiah to sneak in a low blow, then finish the job with a Curb Stomp. Later in the night, Rhea Ripley and Keith Lee win their respective Rumble matches. (Get ready, guys; the next part is the last, and you won't believe what happens.)
The game will be available for download soon;) - Please read these instructions carefully, carefully, and throughout (ง -_-)ง -- Moving trees? There is not and will not be a tree removal or tree cutting feature. --. To view tree information, click on "Shovel" and then click on the tree. -- 【Exchange seeds】 Click on the seeds and then shoot Rich Fu, you can give the seeds to other mountain friends. If Rich Fu has in his hand what other mountain friends have given him, he will pass it on to you. -----. 【Slide】 operations are all full-screen slidable, including the seed bar. ----. 【Cloudy】 Cloudy fairy trees only appear in cloudy weather, but are invisible in other weather. 【Rain】 On rainy days, you can click on the pavilion and then click on the Old Farmers logo in the upper right corner to adjust. See the forum highlights post for more details. ---. 【I can't see the commercials. I can't show the tape.】 The ad server is abroad and takes time to load. 5-10 minutes is normal, longer is impossible to load. Depending on the network, ads cannot be loaded on some dates. -----. 【No planting/no reservation】 It's offline! Please exit and re-enter the game. -----. 【Planting】 16 hours for the seeds to germinate, 48 hours to grow, no need to turn on the game and wait! -----. 【Get your card】 You don't have to open the game on time to get your card after booking! After the time has passed, you can even open the game and receive it! A day later, a week later, a month later!!!! -----. 【Sheshen】 Sheshen is the oldest tree currently. Relates to unlocking the plot. -----. 【I didn't get my card】 Please exit the game to reenter and be patient for a minute or so. Note: Look at the reservation screen and make sure there's a red flower marking yesterday's reservation! -----. Q: Can I show what the tree will look like when I grow it? A: No way, yo! Enjoy the fun of not knowing anything about Soo-hee! --- Q: If you collect constellations? A: First you need a bottle of Starlight. Look for Muyoung Fu to see the ad and choose a bottle of light, there is a certain chance to get starlight. Then at night, click on the starlight, drag the screen to the top, and double click on the top of the sky to clear it. When you see the pentagram logo, you can start collecting constellations! Double-click on a star and then click on other nearby stars; stars of the same constellation will be lit blue and stars not of the same constellation will be dimmed red. Light up all the stars of the same constellation to collect that constellation. Constellations can only be collected one per day. The constellations will be explained when Mumu Fu is present. You can log into the game during the day and then change the system time to collect the constellations at night. When the constellations are not displayed in full, you can adjust the system time back and forth for about 1 hour to rotate the starry sky. After adjusting the time, you need to wait half a minute to enter the game before it will be refreshed. --- Q: Can I speed it up? A: Not at all. ---. Q: Why are cards issued regularly? A: Because every hour the whole network has the same tree species oh! For example, on February 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., all players who reserve this time will receive a Peachtree card, but with a different card face~! Also Rich Fu carries 6 fixed tree cards per day, so if someone is given a Peach Tree card, that means you have at least a 1 in 6 chance of getting a Peach Tree from Rich Fu! (In case Rich Fu brings a rare tree species, don't miss your chance!) Q: So? A: So we recommend playing this game with friends and family! Check out what tree everyone received and you can choose the same time as the koi appointment yo! Q: Can elders who don't play the game also play? A: Yes! The font size of all commonly used words is large to make it easy for people of all ages to read ~ and the way the game is played is so simple that it's 100% easy to learn! If it still doesn't, just play for a few more days! If the game colors are not friendly to some players' color perception, please report back to us as well! --- Q: What can I do after planting a tree? A: Have you reserved a new card? Q: Make an appointment. A: Then shut down the game and wait for the tree to grow up! When the tree grows, you can collect bird calls from the tree. --- Q: Is the background moving around? A: No, that's gravity sensing, and it's very interesting once you get used to it. The vertical orientation only works when you are vertical and the phone screen is flipped down, so you can experiment with the angle yourself. It's definitely not right to play with it lying down. By the way, split screen and screen rotation are not supported. --. Q: Got the props and don't know where to use them? A: All items are used to "renew" (increase the number of days a tree exists)! All together with the seeds. If you can't find them, don't worry, it's the permission to use condition wasn't met! For example, it takes 50 bird calls and time to load the video tape... and you need to click on the hoist first. Q: And the way to use it? A: Click on the item → click on the tree → click on the green sun renewal button --- Q: The piano music in the game is? A: The Spring score is Chopin's 'Spring', B. 117 and Waltz in A minor, B. 150 Summer Waltz in A flat major 'Farewell', Op. 69 no. 1 and Cantabile in Bb, B. 84 Autumn Contredanse in Gb, B. 17 and Mazurka in G major, B. 16 no. 1 Winter Largo in E flat major, B. 109 and Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 no. 2 Guitar Caazapá (Aire Popular Paraguayo) --- Q: Tell me, what else can I do? A: Now that you've asked the question in good faith, I'll be merciful and tell you this: watch the sunrise at 7:00; collect bird calls from the woods during the day; watch the sunset at 7:00 p.m., and watch the live stars at night! Wait, wait, wait. Take your time to find out! --- [Card Issuing Mechanism] Each season issues a current season card and a previous season card: summer for spring and summer, fall for summer and fall, and so on. In the hands of Muyoung Fu is the Four Seasons card, which can be exchanged for gifts or to watch advertisements. -- For example, if you make a reservation for 0, 12, 21 on March 1, 2020, you will get a card for 0:00, 12:00, 21:00 on March 2, 2020. After the time, you can get the card: after 0:00, you can get the card of 0:00, after 12:00, you can get the card of 12:00, and so on. There's no need to wait the whole time, you can collect them all after the time expires, a day, a week, a month and so on! -- There is a high probability that you will be given a card if you don't have a reservation: You will be given a card based on the time of your last reservation, i.e. based on the ❀ symbol on the reservation screen. For example, if the flower is marked 6,7,18, you may give a card that is dated 6,18 on the day of login, you can only get it after the time. The maximum number of cards to be gifted is two. -- The flower marker has nothing to do with whether the card has been received or not: the flower is just a marker for the last reservation, it will be marked there whether the card has been received or not. The red flower indicates a reservation made yesterday, and the pink flower indicates an earlier reservation (such as the day before yesterday, or a month ago, it will be shown with or without the pink flower).
2020.09.22 22:25 Danny-OnOptions permissions under 21 years old?
Hello everyone, I have been looking to sell covered options on some of the long term positions that I own, or plan to own. As a mathematics student, and decently experienced trader (thousands of trades, 1k -> 27k) I fully understand the risks associated with selling options, but I also understand that in certain cases it could be a very lucrative, especially with the high volatility in todays markets. As an example, by selling Oct 16 GE 6.5 C for the current price of 0.24 each. I would profit approximately 13% in the case that they are executed since my GE shares were purchased for 5.97 each. Since I don't plan on selling for at least a couple years I am not worried about being "locked in", nor am I worried about being executed since that would just be a good chance to reshuffle and reenter my positions, possibly at a later date. I'm just wondering if there's a way to do that with IBKR since I already have the ability to do so with Questrade (their commission fees suck), and its still a year or so before I turn 21.
2020.09.22 01:38 AvatarKanolCroatian Chart: "What's Love Got To Do With It" holds #1, "Rain on Me" #4, "Midnight Sky" #6, "Break My Heart" #9; Week 37
Top 10 on the Official Charts:
Kygo, Tina Turner – "What's Love Got To Do With It" (=) SECOND WEEK
Jason Derulo & Jawish 685 – "Savage Love" (=)
Topic ft. A7S – "Breaking Me"(+2)
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande – "Rain On Me" (-1)
Joel Corry ft. MNEK – "Head & Heart" (-1)
Miley Cyrus – "Midnight Sky"(+10)
The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights"(+6)
Regard ft. Raye – "Secrets"(+1)
Dua Lipa – "Break My Heart" (-1)
Harry Styles – "Watermelon Sugar" (-3)
• "What's Love Got To Do With It" keeps #1 for a second week, this is the the song's 7th week on the chart • The songs that hit #1 in 2020; "Blinding Lights" (14 weeks), "Rain On Me" (9 weeks), "Don't Start Now" (6 weeks), "Physical" (3 weeks), "Savage Love" (2 weeks), "What's Love Got To Do With It" (2 week), "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (1 week) • "Savage Love" stays stable at #2 in it's tenth week on the chart • "Breaking Me" by Topic & A7S rises to #3, this is it's 28th charting week • "Rain On Me" falls slowly to #4, future gains seem unlikely • "Head & Heart" dips a bit to #5 after it's #4 peak the previous week, still a strong future #1 contender • "Midnight Sky" jumps 10 positions to a new #6 peak, becoming the first top 10 for Miley Cyrus since "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart" • "Blinding Lights" reenters the top 10 at #7, achieving an enormous 33 weeks inside the top 10 • "Secrets" after entering the top 10 last week achieves a new peak of #8 • "Break My Heart" falls to #9 in it's 23rd week on the overall chart and it's 22st week in the top 10, it continues to cannibalize it's sister single "Hallucinate" in radio play • "Watermelon Sugar" falls to top #10 in it's 14th week on the chart Other points of interest in the top 40: 11 Ava Max – "Kings & Queens" (-5) FALLING peak #6 15 Katy Perry – "Smile" (=) STABLE peak #15 20 Dua Lipa – "Hallucinate" (-6) FALLING peak #11 21 The Weeknd ft. Doja Cat – "In Your Eyes" (-2) FALLING peak #11 31 Ava Max – "Who's Laughing Now"(+4) RISING peak #31 NEW PEAK 34 Taylor Swift – "cardigan" (=) STABLE peak #34 83 Kylie Minogue – "Say Something" (-16) FALLING peak #67 92 Katy Perry – "Daisies" (-27) FALLING peak #12 Here is the top 10 on Croatian Deezer: Deezer Daily Chart 21/09/2020.
Relja, Rasta – "Genge"
Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion – "WAP"
Topic ft. A7S – "Breaking Me"
The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights"
Maya Berovic – "Honey"
Devito, Teodora – "Vudu"
SAINt JHN – "Roses (Imanbek Remix)"
Hurricane – "Folir'o"
MC STOJAN, HURRICANE – "Tuturutu"
Internet money, Gunna, Don Toliver, NAV – "Lemonade"
I strongly support the new Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy (1) that the Federal Open Market Committee has adopted. It incorporates the lessons we have learned from the prior recovery and gives the Committee sufficient flexibility to make up for periods of low inflation in order to achieve our dual mandate goals. However, I voted against the FOMC’s September 16 policy statement because, while I believe the statement is a positive step forward, I would have preferred the Committee make a stronger commitment to not raising rates until we were certain to have achieved our dual mandate objectives.
In recent years, we have repeatedly believed we were at or beyond maximum employment only to be surprised when many more Americans reentered the labor market or chose not to leave, increasing the productive capacity of the economy without causing high inflation. To me, maximum employment is the point at which the labor market is just tight enough to deliver 2 percent inflation in equilibrium. If we were to push the labor market harder, we would end up with inflation greater than 2 percent. By this definition, even in January 2020, we had not yet reached maximum employment.
Why did we consistently make this error? First, we heard repeatedly from businesses who complained that they couldn’t find workers. Some said we had a “historic worker shortage.” At the same time, wages were only rising modestly. I learned that businesses want qualified workers at wages they are used to paying. If they can’t readily find workers at historical wage levels, then they declare a worker shortage. The fact that wages weren’t climbing more quickly helped me to see through their complaints and realize that there was likely still slack in the labor market.
This language is an example of outcome-based forward guidance, where the Committee indicates it expects to keep rates at the effective lower bound until certain economic conditions are met. I support the adoption of outcome-based forward guidance [...] My preference, however, would have been for this new forward guidance to be stronger. Specifically, this new language still relies on the Committee to assess whether we are at maximum employment and whether inflation is expected to climb. As I just reviewed, those are difficult judgments to make in real time.
2020.09.18 22:28 ThrowRAPandemiaMy [30M] wife [28F] and I nearing our end, potentially due to the pandemic and health
Throwaway for obvious reasons. I married my wife in October after an amazing year together. 2019 with her was easily the best year of my life after a long, long time of darkness. Everything was great up until about April, when things got tough. I am now finding it hard to separate whether we are just a bad match and rushed into things, or whether we are just having hard times due to the circumstances. My wife is originally from Mexico, so we did rush a little bit on getting married (got married after ~1 year of spending every day together). I don't believe her reasons for marriage to be impure. She had left the country and came back many times to continue seeing me, and was starting to get many questions when reentering, so we had a talk and it was basically the only way to ensure that she could stay here legally. After her 6 months visa was up, we decided to get married and start the process for a green card. In case you are unaware, while the application is processing, you cannot leave the country, and you cannot work. She is a very motivated person, so she took on a nanny job under the table. Yes, its technically illegal, but the family that hired her was aware of her situation and that she had an application for a work visa pending. She is a very motivated and self-driven person, so having *something* to keep her busy was very important to her. She is also very close to her family. Since she married me, she has not been able to go home. Before that, the longest that she had ever been away from home was maybe 2 months. In the beginning, her family was able to visit us here and she was feeling pretty good about that. Then COVID happened. She was no longer able to work as a nanny safely, so we agreed that she should tell the family that it is not a good idea for her to continue working for them. They still wanted her because the mom was a healthcare worker. However, in March, that seemed like a huge risk, so she has been doing nothing since then. It has also been since December since she saw any family last, because it is not safe to travel between Mexico and the US right now. I think this has caused her a ton of stress and that she is potentially depressed now. Beyond that, significant health issues came back in late April/early May. She has something called endometriosis, which basically means that she is constantly growing cysts in her reproductive area. She had this five years ago, got a surgery and told that was the end of it. Apparently, they were wrong, as it was back. The pain was debilitating. She was unable to see a doctor for almost a month because of COVID, and had to rely on ibuprofen and Tylenol to deal with the pain. After seeing a doctor, they confirmed it was back, and bad, and that she needed surgery right away. It was another month until she finally got scheduled due to COVID. This caused some distance between us, because we had been unable to be intimate since her pain started. After surgery, they quoted 6ish weeks before we could start trying again. It has been 12 weeks since her surgery, and we have only attempted once, which she said caused her immense pain. Reading online about others with the disease, it seems like this is many not completely abnormal. However, she is not interested in any intimacy right now because of this. I have pushed her towards therapy, as her doctors recommend it every single time that she sees them, but any time I mention it she claims I am trying to blame her or that I don't accept her. I understand that she is in pain - physical and mental. I understand that she is having a rough time. She also has zero patience and many mood swings. Some of this is due to her now being on hormones to stop the growth of cysts, but she is seriously a different person right now. If I show any amount of uncertainty or disinterest in a subject, she will get angry and say that she doesn't care and that she doesn't want to do it anymore. Example: today we were going to go on a lunch date, and I suggested a place but said I had to check a work meeting for the time. She got angry and we had a huge fight over nothing. She is making vague comments about wishing she could go home but she can't, and when I ask if she is wanting to leave me, she only keeps repeating that I know shes not happy and that she can tell that I am not happy. Of course I am not happy. I need intimacy, we need space but we're trapped in an apartment together, we usually travel/concerts/bars/etc very often but this year we have done none of that due to COVID. I am not happy right now, but I understand that her situation is stacked against her. Conversations without fighting have been hard. This was not normal behavior before her endometriosis came back. Sure, we argued sometimes, but never about stuff like this. I also hate to say it, but if sex is off the table long term, this won't work. She saw her doctor yesterday and came to me, crying, saying that she thinks that I am going to leave her because she doesn't want sex. I told her that i love her, and that I am waiting for her to get better, but at the same time - I really want to say something like "I understand your needs, and I want you to understand mine too. Oral -- or something -- right now would make me feel a whole lot better, and relieve a lot of tension and distance between us'. But I know that she will not be able to hear it. I don't think couples counseling will work, either, because shes largely been ignoring advice of her doctors. They are all telling her that she has no physical symptoms that should be preventing her, and have given her exercises, stretches and things to try, but she hasn't tried any of it. Its getting to the point where I am starting to doubt whether it is physical pain or just emotional, even though her symptoms sound so similar to other endo patients. I'm having a really hard time expressing myself without her feeling blamed. I think a lot of our problems are caused by circumstances that are out of her control, but are related to her situation. It's not her fault, but I feel like I am doing a bad job of explaining how it effects me. What should I do?
Your honor, If it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly. You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today. On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends. Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance weird like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college. The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party. When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence. Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me. I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions. After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else. On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs, and then I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes. My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweats, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my vagina was sore and had become a strange, dark color from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours my sister held me. My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find my sister. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry. I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real. I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For one week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer. One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize. This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me. This can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings. At the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extra-curriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened. The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up. I was not okay. The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a lineup, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know. He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub. Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us speaking, a back rub. One more time, in public news, I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it. I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused. I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation. When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. That’s so damaging. His attorney constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing. Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his attorney saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right? This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering question like: How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, we’ll let Brock fill it in. I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who didn’t even take the time to ask me for my name, who had me naked a handful of minutes after seeing me. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now. And then it came time for him to testify. This is where I became revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember. So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so. He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, Can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the clear. Even in this story, there’s barely any dialogue; I only said a total of three words before he had me half naked on the ground. I have never been penetrated after three words. He didn’t claim to hear me speak one full sentence that night, so in the news when it says we “met”, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that. Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. If she can’t do that, then no. Don’t touch her, just no. Not maybe, just no. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency. According to him, the only reason we were on the ground was because I fell down. Note; if a girl falls help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls, do not mount her, hump her, take off her underwear, and insert your hand inside her vagina. If a girl falls help her up. If she is wearing a cardigan over her dress don’t take it off so that you can touch her breasts. Maybe she is cold, maybe that’s why she wore the cardigan. If her bare ass and legs are rubbing the pinecones and needles, while the weight of you pushes into her, get off her. Next in the story, two people approached you. You ran because you said you felt scared. I argue that you were scared because you’d be caught, not because you were scared of two terrifying Swedish grad students. The idea that you thought you were being attacked out of the blue was ludicrous. That it had nothing to do with you being on top my unconscious body. You were caught red handed, with no explanation. When they tackled you why didn’t [you] say, “Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.” I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen. Also, if you really did think they were dangerous, you just abandoned a half-naked girl to run and save yourself. No matter which way you frame it, it doesn’t make sense. Your attorney has repeatedly pointed out, well we don’t know exactly when she became unconscious. And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet, fine. His guilt did not depend on him knowing the exact second that I became unconscious, that is never what this was about. I was slurring, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place. Brock stated, “At no time did I see that she was not responding. If at any time I thought she was not responding, I would have stopped immediately.” Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I was literally unresponsive, then you still do not understand. You didn’t even stop when I was unconscious anyway! Someone else stopped you. Two guys on bikes noticed I wasn’t moving in the dark and had to tackle you. How did you not notice while on top of me? You said, you would have stopped and gotten help. You say that, but I want you to explain how you would’ve helped me, step by step, walk me through this. I want to know, if those evil Swedes had not found me, how the night would have played out. I am asking you; Would you have pulled my underwear back on over my boots? Untangled the necklace wrapped around my neck? Closed my legs, covered me? Tucked my bra back into my dress? Would you have helped me pick the needles from my hair? Asked if the abrasions on my neck and bottom hurt? Would you then go find a friend and say, Will you help me get her somewhere warm and soft? I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the Swedes had never come. What would have happened to me? That’s what you’ll never have a good answer for, that’s what you can’t explain even after a year. To sit under oath and inform all of us, that yes I wanted it, yes I permitted it, and that you are the true victim attacked by guys for reasons unknown to you is sick, is demented, is selfish, is stupid. It shows that you were willing to go to any length, to discredit me, invalidate me, and explain why it was okay to hurt me. You tried unyieldingly to save yourself, your reputation, at my expense. My family had to see pictures of my head strapped to a gurney full of pine needles, of my body in the dirt with my eyes closed, dress hiked up, limbs limp in the dark. And then even after that, my family had to listen to your attorney say, the pictures were after the fact, we can dismiss them. To say, yes her nurse confirmed there was redness and abrasions inside her, but that’s what happens when you finger someone, and he’s already admitted to that. To listen to him use my own sister against me. To listen him attempt to paint of a picture of me, the seductive party animal, as if somehow that would make it so that I had this coming for me. To listen to him say I sounded drunk on the phone because I’m silly and that’s my goofy way of speaking. To point out that in the voicemail, I said I would reward my boyfriend and we all know what I was thinking. I assure you my rewards program is non-transferable, especially to any nameless man that approaches me. The point is, this is everything my family and I endured during the trial. This is everything I had to sit through silently, taking it, while he shaped the evening. It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity and validity of this suffering. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself. You are guilty. Twelve jurors convicted you guilty of three felony counts beyond reasonable doubt, that’s twelve votes per count, thirty-six yeses confirming guilt, that’s one hundred percent, unanimous guilt. And I thought finally it is over, finally he will own up to what he did, truly apologize, we will both move on and get better. Then I read your statement. If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there. You are very close. Assault is not an accident. This is not a story of another drunk college hookup with poor decision making. Somehow, you still don’t get it. Somehow, you still sound confused. I will now take this opportunity to read portions of the defendant’s statement and respond to them. You said, “Being drunk I just couldn’t make the best decisions and neither could she.” Alcohol is not an excuse. Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked. Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal. Everyone in this room has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much, or knows someone close to them who has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much. Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference. You said, If I wanted to get to know her, I should have asked for her number, rather than asking her to go back to my room. I’m not mad because you didn’t ask for my number. Even if you did know me, I would not want [to] be in this situation. My own boyfriend knows me, but if he asked to finger me behind a dumpster, I would slap him. No girl wants to be in this situation. Nobody. I don’t care if you know their phone number or not. You said, I stupidly thought it was okay for me to do what everyone around me was doing, which was drinking. I was wrong. Again, you were not wrong for drinking. Everyone around you was not sexually assaulting me. You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing, which was pushing your erect dick in your pants against my naked, defenseless body concealed in a dark area, where partygoers could no longer see or protect me, and own my sister could not find me. Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this. You said, During the trial I didn’t want to victimize her at all. That was just my attorney and his way of approaching the case. Your attorney is not your scapegoat, he represents you. Did your attorney say some incredulously infuriating, degrading things? Absolutely. He said you had an erection, because it was cold. I have no words. You said, you are in the process of establishing a program for high school and college students in which you speak about your experience to “speak out against the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.” Speak out against campus drinking culture. That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognize consent. Campus drinking culture. Down with Jack Daniels. Down with Skyy Vodka. If you want talk to high school kids about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less. Drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Goes along with that, like a side effect, like fries on the side of your order. Where does promiscuity even come into play? I don’t see headlines that read, Brock Turner, Guilty of drinking too much and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Campus [Sexual] Assault. There’s your first powerpoint slide. I have done enough explaining. You do not get to shrug your shoulders and be confused anymore. You do not get to pretend that there were no red flags. You do not get to not know why you ran. You have been convicted of violating me with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol. Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct. Lastly you said, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life. Ruin a life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today. See one thing we have in common is that we were both unable to get up in the morning. I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All-American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, who waited a year to figure out if I was worth something. My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you, the pain became so bad that I had to tell my boss I was leaving, I needed time because continuing day to day was not possible. I used my savings to go as far away as I could possibly be. I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning. I used to pride myself on my independence, now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being. I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry. You have no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak. It took me eight months to even talk about what happened. I could no longer connect with friends, with everyone around me. I would scream at my boyfriend, my own family whenever they brought this up. You never let me forget what happened to me. At the of end of the hearing, the trial, I was too tired to speak. I would leave drained, silent. I would go home turn off my phone and for days I would not speak. You bought me a ticket to a planet where I lived by myself. Every time a new article [would] come out, I lived with the paranoia that my entire hometown would find out and know me as the girl who got assaulted. I didn’t want anyone’s pity and am still learning to accept victim as part of my identity. You made my own hometown an uncomfortable place to be. Someday, you can pay me back for my ambulance ride and therapy. But you cannot give me back my sleepless nights. The way I have broken down sobbing uncontrollably if I’m watching a movie and a woman is harmed, to say it lightly, this experience has expanded my empathy for other victims. I have lost weight from stress, when people would comment I told them I’ve been running a lot lately. There are times I did not want to be touched. I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak. I want to say this. All the crying, the hurting you have imposed on me, I can take it. But when I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first. Your attorney’s closing statement began, “My sister said she was fine and who knows her better than her sister.” You tried to use my own sister against me. Your points of attack were so weak, so low, it was almost embarrassing. You do not touch her. If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. You should have never done this to me. Secondly, you should have never made me fight so long to tell you, you should have never done this to me. But here we are. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on. Your life is not over, you have decades of years ahead to rewrite your story. The world is huge, it is so much bigger than Palo Alto and Stanford, and you will make a space for yourself in it where you can be useful and happy. Right now your name is tainted, so I challenge you to make a new name for yourself, to do something so good for the world, it blows everyone away. You have a brain and a voice and a heart. Use them wisely. You possess immense love from your family. That alone can pull you out of anything. Mine has held me up through all of this. Yours will hold you and you will go on. I believe, that one day, you will understand all of this better. I hope you will become a better more honest person who can properly use this story to prevent another story like this from ever happening again. I fully support your journey to healing, to rebuilding your life, because that is the only way you’ll begin to help others. Now to address the sentencing. When I read the probation officer’s report, I was in disbelief, consumed by anger which eventually quieted down to profound sadness. My statements have been slimmed down to distortion and taken out of context. I fought hard during this trial and will not have the outcome minimized by a probation officer who attempted to evaluate my current state and my wishes in a fifteen minute conversation, the majority of which was spent answering questions I had about the legal system. The context is also important. Brock had yet to issue a statement, and I had not read his remarks. My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured. Had Brock admitted guilt and remorse and offered to settle early on, I would have considered a lighter sentence, respecting his honesty, grateful to be able to move our lives forward. Instead he took the risk of going to trial, added insult to injury and forced me to relive the hurt as details about my personal life and sexual assault were brutally dissected before the public. He pushed me and my family through a year of inexplicable, unnecessary suffering, and should face the consequences of challenging his crime, of putting my pain into question, of making us wait so long for justice. I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, and of the consequences of the pain I have been forced to endure. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing. Unfortunately, after reading the defendant’s statement, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct. I fully respected his right to a trial, but even after twelve jurors unanimously convicted him guilty of three felonies, all he has admitted to doing is ingesting alcohol. Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence. It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of promiscuity. By definition rape is the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction. The probation officer factored in that the defendant is youthful and has no prior convictions. In my opinion, he is old enough to know what he did was wrong. When you are eighteen in this country you can go to war. When you are nineteen, you are old enough to pay the consequences for attempting to rape someone. He is young, but he is old enough to know better. As this is a first offense I can see where leniency would beckon. On the other hand, as a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative. The fact that Brock was a star athlete at a prestigious university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a strong cultural message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class. The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship. If I had been sexually assaulted by an un-athletic guy from a community college, what would his sentence be? If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? How fast he swims does not lessen the impact of what happened to me. The Probation Officer has stated that this case, when compared to other crimes of similar nature, may be considered less serious due to the defendant’s level of intoxication. It felt serious. That’s all I’m going to say. He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life. A year has gone by and he has had lots of time on his hands. Has he been seeing a psychologist? What has he done in this past year to show he’s been progressing? If he says he wants to implement programs, what has he done to show for it? Throughout incarceration I hope he is provided with appropriate therapy and resources to rebuild his life. I request that he educates himself about the issue of campus sexual assault. I hope he accepts proper punishment and pushes himself to reenter society as a better person. To conclude, I want to say thank you. To everyone from the intern who made me oatmeal when I woke up at the hospital that morning, to the deputy who waited beside me, to the nurses who calmed me, to the detective who listened to me and never judged me, to my advocates who stood unwaveringly beside me, to my therapist who taught me to find courage in vulnerability, to my boss for being kind and understanding, to my incredible parents who teach me how to turn pain into strength, to my friends who remind me how to be happy, to my boyfriend who is patient and loving, to my unconquerable sister who is the other half of my heart, to Alaleh, my idol, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me. Thank you to everyone involved in the trial for their time and attention. Thank you to girls across the nation that wrote cards to my DA to give to me, so many strangers who cared for me. Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget. And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.
2020.09.16 14:52 RoboNinjaPirateSamsung A71 Loses Wifi Connection after about 1 day until I reboot?
I recently got an A71 UW 5G, (The Verizon variant of the A71) and about every day the wifi connection to my router drops. After rebooting the wifi connection will be good again for about 1 day, then the problem reoccurs. Reconnecting manually, forgetting and reentering the password does not work to fix it, even temporarily. I have tried making sure the router (Google Wifi) is up to date and rebooted. I have tried the Randomized Mac vs Phone Mac settings, it occurs with both. No wifi connectivity issue with other devices or phones in the house, including 3 Samsung A51s that my sons have. (Not the exact same phone, but probably the most similar to it in my house.) Any suggestions on what might be causing this or how to correct it?
Thursday October 3, 2019 Things got serious the day I installed surveillance cameras. That night, after I kissed my wife, Deanna, goodnight, I retired to my home office to edit a video for YouTube. Just after 1 a.m., a high pitch shriek fills the house and jolts me out of my chair. I immediately run to Deanna, toward the scream. As I dash down the hall I'm hoping she is just having night terrors. Later, when I watched the surveillance video, I saw something different. I saw something pulling her leg. Intently, I watch, waiting for it to happen again. I see the gentle rise and fall of Deanna's breaths as she sleeps soundly. She tosses and turns a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary. She snuggles into our waterbed with her right leg hooked around the comforter exposing her foot. Suddenly, her leg kicks as if it were yanked. She's startled, but tries to fall back to sleep. Our surveillance cameras have audio, so I could hear her grumble, "Vince, don't pull my leg. I'm trying to sleep."* I must admit, messing with her is something I regularly do, but not that night.* Moments later, Deanna is forcibly pulled to the end of the bed. Jarred awake, she clings to the sheets trying to fight it off. It lets go, freeing her to scurry back to the headboard. She gasps and balls her limbs around her body like a child. Surveillance Footage capture of Deanna pulled to the foot of the bed. She scans the room attempting to make sense of what just occurred. Gaining a presence of mind, she creeps toward the foot of the bed to investigate. Slowly, she approaches the edge, grasping a fistful of the comforter for safety. She peers over but sees nothing. Relieved, Deanna rubs her face as she reassesses the room. She turns to my side of the bed and gulps, it must be there. Cautiously, she peeks over that edge, but again finds nothing and breathes a sigh of relief. As she lingers over my side, the bedroom door behind her creaks. She turns and sees the door closing. Quickly, she sits up to glare at it. The door moves again. In a panic, with revved-up breaths, she calls for me. A hushed gasp at first, until she builds up the nerve to scream, "Vince!" I fly out of my chair, blaze past the dogs and down the hall. Deanna shields her face in fear as I rush in spouting out a million, "What, what, what's!" I kneel at her side and grab for her; she jumps. Voice cracking, she mutters, "Do you see it?" She drops the covers a bit to peek. "See what?" I ask. "There's someone behind the door." Fixated, she whispers, "Its shadow is right there." I look over my shoulder, but I see nothing. Then, chillingly, Deanna cries, "She's looking right at us!" Her words cause my hair follicles to rise, even though I still don't see a thing. I stand up to approach the door. Deanna begs for me not to. I proceed, not knowing what she expects of me instead. Once at the door, a cold draft flows over my body and I realize the door movement must be from an open window breeze. I look back to Deanna, she exclaims, "Oh my God. She's right behind you!" Frozen, I slowly turn; then with a sudden whoosh, the door slams! Deanna screams.
Before I go any further, I should rewind a bit, to a simpler time -- a time before the security cameras were installed, because the story doesn't start or end here. My name is Vince Rocca. I'm 46 years old. I have hippie shoulder-length, nearly black hair and brown almond shaped eyes. I also rock an awesome goatee. I'm in decent shape, but I could stand to lay off the donuts. My wife Deanna is six months older than me, but is often mistaken for a much younger age. She has long brown hair and brown eyes. She is tall and leggy, with a slim build, and tries to workout six nights a week. I'm a reality television editor. I routinely mold piles of mundane footage in to fun entertainment. I can assure you that reality television is not fake. Sure, the story is sometimes guided, but it is definitely real. In general, people naturally do front a hyper-realized version of themselves for the cameras. But even with the best, guided, most sensational character, it can often take 10-hours of footage to produce a good 3-minute segment. Vince sitting in front of a computer edit desk. Deanna is a Registered Veterinary Technician at the Los Angeles Zoo. Her duties involve everything from anesthesia to X-rays. She has done it all, from darting tigers to elephant trunk washes. Her favorite task is caring for the hospitalized animals. Be it a harbor seal or a vulture, she prides herself on finding ways to make their stay enjoyable. Deanna drawing up a syringe in front of a zoo Gorilla enclosure. We met in the eighth grade. I vividly recall the moment I first saw this stunning brunette. The leaves were turning in the warm autumn sun at our California junior high school. She crossed the quad in a pink Town & Country shirt as her long, tan legs jutted out from under a white miniskirt. I wish I could say I locked this down immediately, but we didn't start dating until two years later at the age of 16. We have since been inseparable and are blessed to celebrate 30 years together, with 21 of those as husband and wife. I've heard people describe Deanna as shy, reserved, and quiet. However, she's always game to ham it up in the silly videos we post on the Internet. I, on the other hand, am often described as outspoken, boisterous, and loud. You could say opposites attract, but I really think we're the same person. We live in Granada Hills, California. It's a lovely suburban community adjacent to Northridge, which became famous in 1994 as the epicenter of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake. In 2009, we purchased an awesome 2700 square foot 3 bedroom 3 bath home that was originally built in 1965. The house was a bank repossession and sat empty for nearly a year as the previous owners had succumbed to the subprime mortgage collapse. Exterior photo of the house from across the street. Because of that recession, we were able to afford this huge house that even includes a den/game room. The house sits on a hill, with neighbors on each side and government land behind it. Bordering that land and us is a ravine with the dry Los Angeles River at the bottom. The large property includes a pool and a six-car parking lot, all nestled behind a sixteen-foot tall gate. We are kidless, sans for the two fur-babies, which probably lends to our low-stress, youthful spirit. At the very least, being without kids definitely gives us the freedom to travel the globe and enjoy our vacations. Back in 2014, I started editing our vacation videos as if they were reality TV shows and posted them to YouTube. This was before VLOGS were commonplace, but looking back, that's exactly what these were: Travel VLOGS. For those not up on the term, a VLOG is a Video LOG, much like a BLOG is a written weB LOG. As time went on, we traveled more and uploaded more, shooting everything became routine. I point this out so you understand that it's not unusual for me to always be filming.
1 YEAR before Night #1
Monday October 22, 2018 We started a little home improvement project, a project that would eventually turn out to have dire consequences on our relationship. The whole front of our house is brick, but under our bedroom window is a weird wood accent. The wood looks like a headboard surrounded by molded wood trim. I assume this exists because a patio door was an option when the house was first built. Today, we're going to exercise that option and install a French door. The wood accent under the front window. Deanna enjoys smashing the glass into pieces. She even takes charge of the sledgehammer to blast holes between the studs so we can get our hands in to leverage the drywall out. I happily run the camcorder, as she pounds and sweats. Deanna swings a hammer into the drywall. One particular opening catches her eye. She peers into the wall and declares, "There's something in there." She quickly reaches in and pulls out a little wooden box. I snatch the box from her and hear a rattle inside. There doesn't seem to be a hinge or an opening. It appears to be two pieces of wood magically joined together by triangular teeth. The box measures about two inches square and one inch thick with a religious cross chiseled into the lid. Closeup of the box. Deanna immediately identifies it as a puzzle box, then declares, "I think you're supposed to give it a whack." I figure she' joking, so I hand her the box. She takes a moment to inspect it, then with a WHACK she slides the box open. Deanna whacking the box on her left palm. Frankly, the box alone blows my mind. There is a metal ball that engages a magnet and binds the box closed. Take a whack at it, and the ball shifts to another magnet allowing you to slide the box open. It's pretty ingenious. Detail shots of how the box opens. More exciting than the box, is the contents. Deanna joyfully inspects a shiny silver necklace with an angled cross charm dangling from it. The cross is unlike a normal cross, but it isn't a sinister upside-down cross either. It hangs at a tilt, almost like an italicized lowercase t. Deanna immediately exclaims, "It's a Portate cross!" My head rattles, "What the hell is a Portate cross?" "A Portate Cross is a wooden cross that the accused drags over their shoulder to the crucifixion site. As you watch the accused drag this cross, it is at an angle, or portate." Deanna holds up the angled Portate cross as Vince VLOGS. I'm literally taken aback. I don't know why she knows that. I don't know how she knows how to open the box. I look to her for answers. She smiles coyly at my bewilderment and seems pleased with herself. I take a closer look at the cross. The necklace looks well-made and could possibly be white gold. I wonder aloud if the cross could pay for our renovation. Deanna scoffs at this notion. I roll my eyes; as if she knows everything. She snatches the treasure out of my hands and walks off with it. I ended up making two VLOGS out of the renovation. You can see them here: Replace a window with a French door Part 1 VLOG 118 Replace a window with a French door Part 2 VLOG 119
3 WEEKS before Night #1
Thursday September 12, 2019 Eleven months have passed. The year was good but nothing too remarkable happened. I spent most of my time editing back-to-back TV shows. We did manage to take a quick trip to Florida for a veterinary conference. I was able to eke out a single VLOG from that trip on Gatorland. Over the next few months I cranked out a few more Daily VLOGS and How To videos, but I stalled around May and spent my Summer hanging out with Deanna, floating around our pool. I came across that wooden box; it had fallen behind some shoes in the back of our closet. I took both the cross and the box to a pawnshop for appraisal. The shop clerk confirmed that Deanna is right, it ain't white gold. The guy identified the box as an Impossible Dovetail Puzzle Box. Apparently it's a pretty common puzzle, but Deanna has never been the puzzle type, so I still don't know how she knows its secret. Tonight, while eating dinner, Deanna recounts the events of her day. I look down at her chest and see the Portate cross around her neck. I ask, "What's with that?" sparking a religious debate. Now might be a good time to mention that we're both atheists, or at least, I thought we both were. I should also clarify -- as there is often judgment when I say I'm an atheist -- I don't worship the devil, and I don't hate God. I just don't believe in either God or the devil for that matter. I also don't believe in ghosts, goblins, spirits -- none of that stuff. I have nothing to fear. I sleep soundly at night. Have you ever noticed that the devil only attacks the God-fearing folk? I've never heard of an atheist being haunted. I don't have anything against those who subscribe to religion, but if you believe in one, you fear the other; and that fear is what gets you. If you don't believe, there is nothing to hurt you, so you're safe, and you've got nothing to fear. Anyway, I find it odd that Deanna, whom I've known my entire life, is wearing a trinket that epitomizes religion. Her defense is, "I think it's nice," so I guess what harm could it do? As the night sets in, I leave Deanna home alone while I venture off to a filmmaking mixer. I go to a couple of these a month. Some are educational events about new technologies; others are just drinks and chats. Tonight's event is the drinking kind. At tonight's mixer, I meet Christina. She's an attractive 24-year-old Hispanic girl who is a fan of my VLOG and an aspiring Assistant Editor. Assistant Editor types tend to be introverted, dorky by-the-numbers nerds. Add booze, and they can be very unique. Christina is just that, dorky and tipsy. We immediately hit it off. I mean, she is a fan of my VLOG, and I tend to like people who like me, because obviously they have great taste. Back at home, Deanna isn't having as much fun. She wakes from a nap on the living room couch to the sounds of whispers coming from the kitchen. Frightened, she flips on her phone camera video light and proceeds to investigate. Slowly, she tiptoes across the dining room, as the whispers increase in volume. She can see through the dark kitchen into the game room on the other side. The dim moonlight illuminates something in the doorway. She can barely make it out, then it becomes clear: on the other side of the kitchen, in our game room, stands the silhouette of a person swaying in the dark. Startled, Deanna flicks on the light, and it disappears. Unnerved, she turns on all the lights in the house and double checks to ensure the security alarm is set. It is armed and shows no faults. Realizing she has succumbed to an overactive imagination, she makes an attempt to VLOG in the kitchen while she prepares some comfort food. She removes a bowl from the cabinet and turns back toward the camera to pour in cereal. Behind her the cabinet drifts open and a cup falls out, plummets to the ground and shatters. Deanna jumps while holding cereal box as cup flies out of cabinet. Our cupboards have magnetic closures because 50-year-old cabinets have weak hinges that tend to drift open. In addition, Deanna often double stacks the coffee cups in an unstable manner. We both assumed this combo led to the broken cup. But now, when I look back at the footage, it clearly looks like the cabinet door is completely closed with the magnet engaged. The door then pops open on its own, and the cup doesn't fall out, but flies out, almost like it's thrown. Startled, Deanna laughs off the broken cup. She acknowledges for the VLOG audience that it is probably from double stacking the cups. She sweeps up the shards of ceramic and takes them out back to the trash. She even VLOGS the whole adventure. As she approaches the trash bins, she freezes and turns toward the pool, straining to listen. She turns back, then to the pool again. Blood drains from her cheeks, out of nowhere with a sudden burst, she runs back to the house. She trips and falls. Her phone camera goes black as it flies through the night air, then slides across the pavement before coming to a dead stop. The phone picks up her distant whimper as she repeats, "Oh my toe, oh my toe." She comes into view hovering over the camera and reaches down to pick it up. The phone is still recording and shows glimpses of her foot as she limps. Her right big toe is messed up pretty bad. I mentioned before that Deanna is an animal nurse. Her primary job is at the zoo, but sometimes she is needed in the field for freelance clients. Because of this she has a toolbox of stuff at home, which consists of various drugs, medicine, and needles. I could have never done this, but Deanna possesses a courage that puts me to shame. She draws up a syringe of Lidocaine and shoots it into her toe to numb it. She even VLOGS the whole thing. Deanna is about to insert the tip of a three inch needle into her right toe. She actually films a massive three-inch needle as she stabs it into her foot. Three INCHES! I asked why the needle was so big, she said she had a surplus of them and didn't want to waste a smaller needle in case she needed one for an animal injection. Bless her heart, her toe is mangled, she's in pain, and she still puts the critters before herself. The video shows Deanna inject herself in three places. She then taps her toe to confirm numbness. Once satisfied, she takes a pair tweezers and gives the nail a gentle pull. It breaks away like the separation of Velcro. She pulls her nail completely off her toe exposing a bloody mess of skin underneath. This is disgusting, and I have no idea how she did it. What happens next is the icing on the cake. Deanna settles down on the living room couch to VLOG a summary of the evening. She explains to the camera that she's freaked out, but she is just going to watch TV while she waits for me to arrive. She leans forward to grab the television remote off the ottoman. When she falls back into the couch, there's a woman sitting next to her. Deanna screams, jumps to her feet, and staggers away from the couch. She turns toward the woman: nothing is there. Startled, the dogs wander in confusion, trying to figure out what's going on. Ghost on couch scaring Deanna. I arrive home to a brightly lit house. She gives me the rundown, illustrating with videos. I laugh incredulously as I watch a video of our game room. She claims a dark figure stood in the doorway. I see nothing. She also claims a ghost sat next to her on the couch. I play the video back and watch her scream like a lunatic for no reason. It's silly. She's angry that I don't believe her. To placate her, I stifle my laughter, listen, and nod. I don't believe in ghosts. But if you tell me you saw a ghost, I do believe that you believe that you saw a ghost. I just never thought Deanna would be the one telling me she saw a ghost, or how she describes it, "A shadowy figure that glows in a ghostly fashion with steam rising softly from her body." Friday September 13th, 2019 I regularly journal. The inspiration came from a Robert Rodriguez book, which ultimately led me to write the filmmaking book "Rebel without a Deal." If you're interested, it's available on Amazon, not that this is a sales pitch. The book's subject matter has nothing to do with the events I'm recounting here; I only mention this so you don't judge me as a sissy for keeping a diary. In celebration of Friday the 13th, I decide to digitally insert a ghost into Deanna's couch video as a fun VLOG treat. I called Christina from last night's networking event. She lives nearby and I know she is between gigs. She comes over, and I film her on the couch acting like a ghost. I edit her in to Deanna's couch video and I even make her transparent with a ghostly mist. Detail image showing how the ghost was composited into Deanna's video. After Deanna gets home from work and settles in, I show her my creation, expecting to get a laugh of approval. I totally misread the situation though. Deanna is still pissed that I don't believe she saw a ghost. I don't understand why. I mean, there is video footage showing nothing there. She insists that I should believe that there was a shadowy figure of a legless woman sitting right next to her. I chuckle again at the thought of a legless woman, responding with, "She would be easy to run from." Deanna retaliates and accuses me of something with Christina. This is absurd. So what if Christina is cute? I've been with Deanna for 30 years, and there's no reason not to trust me. Besides, I think Christina might be slow. As I mentioned before, Assistant Editor's are unique. Some people might define them as being on the autistic spectrum. Well, Christina seems to fit that bill. What I had mistaken for inebriated behavior turns out to be "special" behavior. I'm not sure if Deanna believes me, but in hindsight, she might be thinking that she's been with me for 30 years so there's no reason for me not to believe her. Saturday September 14, 2019 After 10 years, the ceiling fan in our bedroom finally made its last revolution. Michael came over to help me swap the fan out and film the installation of a new one. Michael is my best friend. He's been in the VLOG before and regularly does the podcast "GetConVinced" with me. He is a teacher of special needs kids but is best described as a Jesus look-a-like. Michael helping install fan. Michael is outside the French door gathering tools when Deanna enters the room. She broke the chain on the Portate cross and asked me to fix it. I tell her to throw the necklace out. This sets her off. She now claims she isn't an atheist. She says she was always unsure and only identified as one to appease me. I have no clue where this came from. We've been together our whole lives. There has never been any indication that she believed, or that I would judge her for believing. Michael reenters the room and cuts our conversation short. YouTube enables you to upload a video today and set the premiere for a later date and time. This allows me to finish a video in the middle of the night and upload the file, but not notify viewers of it at two-thirty in the morning when they are probably asleep. I set this video to premiere on Sunday, September 22 to start the week, but later I discovered that I mistakenly chose October 22 instead. How To Replace and Install a Ceiling Fan I understand if you're asking, What does a ceiling fan have to do with this story? Unfortunately, that will make sense soon.
Saturday September 21, 2019 The pool is 98 degrees, and it's a warm, sunny California day. So before winter sets in, we're having people over for an end-of-summer BBQ. To my delight, Deanna's friend Amy brought her 18-year-old daughter Jenna and three of Jenna's girlfriends to the BBQ. These bikini clad hotties frolic around the pool and really bring on the sorority vibe. Not that I'm complaining, as it's a fine sight to see. Four Bikini girls wave for Vince. I show a group of our friends the ghost I comped into Deanna's couch footage, and they laugh. Deanna seems to have lightened up and recognizes the humor in the video. I think she might be okay with me using the footage in a VLOG. My buddy, Marty proposes the idea that we have a seance tonight. He is a hardcore Metal Head and a die-hard Horror movie geek. He even owns a company, PlayItByFear.com that sells horror paraphernalia. So it's no surprise to any of us that he suggests a seance. He assures us it is safe and fun. Deanna recoils at the idea, but Amy is onboard, stifling any objection Deanna might have had. As the festivities wind down and the younger girls leave, we move the party into the house. I set up four cameras around the living room and have my phone attached to my three-axis gimbal. Everybody seems up for the seance, even Deanna, but Tom is totally against it. Tom is a stand-up comedian and an actor. In 2003 I cast him in my first movie, Kisses and Caroms. He has been on numerous TV shows and most recently in the Progressive Motaur commercial. Tom loves to joke, so I'm not sure if this anti-seance stance is just a routine. Also, Tom lost his father a few years ago, and later, when Tom was under anesthesia for an operation, he claimed his dad visited him. So Tom's spiritual beliefs may have fluctuated recently. Tom Ayers rejecting the seance. Tom and Amy get into a bit of a back-and-forth debating God, ghosts, and religion. I don't know if I'd call it an argument, but it is a bit heated. Just as Amy is gaining ground on Tom, Deanna shushes everyone. She hears something. I hear it too. It's a whisper. Being the man of the house, I get up to investigate. I creep down the hall toward the whisper. I can almost make the hushed noise out..."I like your..." is what the words sound like. I realize that everyone else stayed seated in the living room and I have no one backing me up. I'm alone in the hall. My heart is hammering out of my chest. Still, I press on down the dark corridor. The light switch is on the opposite end from me. Even if I could reach it, I don't know if I would turn it on, for fear of seeming like a wimp in front of everyone. The end of the hall splits in three directions. To the left is another hall that leads to our other bedrooms/home offices. Straight ahead is a guest bath, and to the right is a second doorway to the game room. I freeze a few feet shy of this junction. The light switch is still a good foot out of reach. I again hear the whisper coming from the left hall. I can make the words out now. It whispers, "I like your dogs." I white knuckle my gimbal. Everyone in the living room is silent. Everything is silent as I listen intently. Then with a sudden, "Boo!", Bill jumps out from the right side and scares the crap out of me. I ain't gonna lie -- I was frightened and momentarily believed Deanna's story. In retrospect, I feel bad for teasing her, because my mind quickly entered a heightened state, and I was in a house filled by people. I can only imagine how she felt alone in the dark. Still, there turned out to be a logical explanation, and it was Bill. Bill sitting between Deanna and Amy on the living room couch. Bill is our neighbor. He's also an actor most famously from Comedy Central's "Workaholics". Those who are fans of the show will be delighted to know that in real life, Bill is very similar to his character on "Workaholics". He's strange, but he also seems to get the joke. Bill is the kind of guy in a horror movie that the girl mistakes as a creep, but turns out to be the nice guy trying to help her. After scaring the crap out of me, Bill graces us with a story. He claims that one night before we moved in, he heard noises coming from our house. He looked over the wall and saw a bunch of cops. He overheard one officer say that the guy who lived in my house, Jose, shot his wife, Patricia, in the kneecaps, then hung himself. Bill explains Jose shot her in the knees so her hobble would always remind her of that day, but instead, Patricia bled out and died. In the moment, I play along with the story. It's fun and it's freaking Deanna out. Tom seems to buy into it too, asking me how I didn't know this when I bought the house. I quickly pass that off by explaining, the house was a bank repossession, and the bank doesn't have to disclose anything; you buy the house as-is. Truth is, I'm not buying Bill's story at all. For one, how would the police know the reason Patricia was shot in the kneecaps? If they arrived before she died, would that really be her last words? Most likely, Bill is playing off Deanna's ghost video; he was in the mix when I showed it earlier while joking that a legless ghost would be easy to run from. Bill also couldn't remember the date. That seems like a pretty traumatic thing that would remain etched in your brain. Granted we've been in this house for 10 years, so if this happened, it happened over a decade ago, but these were Bill's nextdoor neighbors that he knew by name. So I'm not buying his story. Monday September 23, 2019 I finish the vlog of Deanna's couch ghost and upload it. Since this VLOG is in the Halloween spirit, I set the premiere date for October 11th. Summer Bikini Pool Party Daily Vlog 132 Tuesday September 24, 2019 I decide to prank Deanna for a follow-up video. Over the last few days I've teased her with Bill's story. I've been telling her the ghost of Patricia is haunting our house. Tonight, I'm going to crank it up a notch. It's one in the morning, and Deanna is sound asleep in our bedroom. I creep in and set up a couple of cameras and a small light. Next, I open the French door. The fall temperature is about 60 degrees outside, which is a good 15 degrees cooler than the house, providing just enough of a chill to be eerie. I slide into bed and Deanna rolls over toward me, but doesn't open her eyes. I poke her head to wake her up. She groggily asks, "Why'd you open the door?" "I didn't open the door, did you open the door?" "No, I was sleeping." "I was sleeping too. I woke up and the door was open." Deanna is now at full attention, trying to suss out the situation. I rev-up my breathing into a labored pace. We both gaze at the open door waiting for something to happen then, "Boo!" She jumps, I laugh. Deanna rolls away mad, but I'm not finished yet. I impersonate a decrepit woman's voice to scare her even more. I groan, "I'm coming for you, Deanna." Deanna wincing in bed, her back is to Vince and the open French door is behind them. She winces and begs, "Don't do that voice. It's creepy. Stop." Slowly, I inch my finger toward her face. I can feel her squirm and twitch. I tap her cheek, and she explodes with a scream. I antagonize her with a belly laugh, but my celebration is stopped short by a knock at the front door. I'm confused because the driveway gate prevents people from getting to our front door. Deanna sits up, as I quickly lock the French door. My phone is already recording and rather than fumble with its light I grab a flashlight off my end table. Deanna cowers into the comforter as I proceed toward the foyer. I peek around the corner into the hall. To my shock, the front door is wide open. "Hello?" I muster. "Hello?" No response. My heart tightens at the thought of someone in the house. I don't want to step any further in fear that a person is hiding around the corner in the living room with an axe. I contemplate grabbing Deanna and escaping out the French door. I don't know what to do. The silence is broken by the "thwock" of a ball as it bounces in through the door. I jump back. My throat knots up. Who the hell threw that? What the hell is going on? I'm petrified. I can't take my eyes off the door. The open front door from Vince's iPhone VLOG camera. Our dog, Pismo darts in and grabs the ball. I literally feel my throat fall to the floor and I almost collapse, but I regain my composure to put on a confident front for Deanna. Pismo doesn't seem bothered, so there can't be any danger, right? I mean, dogs are supposed to have a sixth sense about this stuff. At least that is what every movie depicts. I push the front door closed, secure the deadbolt and set the alarm. I figure Pismo got out through the French door, ran around, found her ball, and pushed open the front door. Our front door is 50 years old and never had a traditional latch. Instead, the door uses a ball catch latch, which is a ball bearing that can be easily pushed open or closed. Front door knob and ball catch. Wednesday September 25, 2019 I cut together last night's prank video. The addition of some music and sound effects really sweeten it up. I'm able to pitch shift my creepy woman's voice to sell the scare. I think it turns out pretty well. Changes with YouTube algorithms have caused video views to suffer, so I decide to premiere this one a couple weeks after the last video. That will put this closer to Halloween and give the last one a chance to rack up some eyeballs. Halloween Prank Daily VLOG 133
Friday September 27, 2019 I take the dogs for a walk, and standing in my driveway is Christina. I didn't call her, but I ask how long she's been here? She never breaks focus on the dogs, and responds, "not long." I suppose it's possible she just arrived as I walked out. Christina squatting on the sidewalk petting Pismo. Today, her intellect really shows. She riles up the dogs yelling, "Chase me, chase me. Come on," and keeps skipping in front of them. She acts like a child. I feel bad. She's a sweet girl and means no harm but she is odd and annoying too. Tuesday October 1, 2019 Sixteen security cameras and two DVRs were delivered today. Deanna has been against outfitting the house with cameras. She feels like they will be watching her. I think they'll be great to watch the dogs and capture any spontaneous silliness that might occur to make for a good VLOG video. Plus they're a good way to combat potential stalkers like Christina.
Thursday October 3, 2019 Today I finished the security camera install. When Deanna gets home, I show off the cameras to her. She's not pleased. I anticipated this, so I present her with the repaired Portate cross. I came across the broken necklace while I was running wires. One of the chain loops had split so I gave it a quick mend. This turned out to be just what I needed to soften her stance on the cameras. Later that the night, I pass out on the couch. I'm sound asleep when something slides down my forehead between my eyes and onto my nose. It feels like a feather caressing my skin, but then it settles on the bridge with pressure. It comes into focus. It's a long, dirty, brittle fingernail. The rough frayed edges press harder digging into the bridge. I begin to feel the collapse of my septum. The pressure causes the nail to bow, then snap, the nail breaks off. My eyes pop, I see her hovering over me, I fly off the couch and almost hit the ceiling. Deanna laughs, "I bet you're glad we have video cameras now!" I'm disorientated; I expected to see the owner of the dirty nail, but I quickly conclude what transpired. It was Deanna dangling a plastic spider on my face. The finger was a dream. "Funny. Ha ha," I groggily reply. "You wanna step up the game? It's on now." Deanna laughs it off as she heads to the bedroom. This is the night Deanna's leg is first pulled, and the door slammed. I recounted that event at the beginning of this story and see no reason to copy and paste it here. Surveillance Footage capture of Deanna pulled to the foot of the bed. After the door slam, I try to explain to Deanna that the wind blew it shut, but she doesn't believe me. She rocks in bed and begins to pray. I've never seen her pray. I know as a kid she attended a private Christian school, but I understood that was because her mom taught at that school. This meant Deanna got to go for free and her mom could watch over her. I didn't realize the prayer had stuck. I finally set Deanna at ease by getting into bed with her to watch Friends with the lights on. At some point, she nods off. Around 3 a.m. I turn the volume down and close my eyes. Friday October 4, 2019 Deanna is about to leave for work. Normally, I would sleep later in the morning, but I want to touch base about last night. We briefly chat in the kitchen over coffee. She appears fine and seems to realize that last night was silly. I joke that she needs more Sexy Time. She responds, "Sexy Time tonight?" It's a date. After Deanna leaves, I pull up the security camera footage on the computer to review last night. I also watch her spider prank. It's pretty good. I fly off the couch like a scaredy-cat. After getting a good laugh at myself, I take off to meet Tom for lunch. I chat with Tom about his beliefs, and what Deanna might believe. I postulate, can an atheist and a zealot be married? Isn't it like a vegan and a meat-eater? They're too fundamentally different to be together. Tom insists vegans and meat-eaters can be together and I shouldn't compare them. He concludes with the revelation that I'm a knucklehead. I begin to wonder. Deanna's one of the smartest people I know. She even made the Dean's List in college. Maybe I am wrong? Maybe there is a God. I don't verbalize these notions to Tom, because I think he'll eat them up. Deanna gets home from work early for date night. We split a pizza and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. She really pounds the wine like water. After dinner, she leads me into our bedroom. I'm able to gauge that she isn't really that drunk. She's just drunk enough to do a bit of a cabaret dance, but not so drunk that she falls over. After her dance, she charges me and tackles me onto our waterbed. I've got my hands all over her, as we kiss and make out. Suddenly, she loses interest in me and looks to the door like something is there. I try to get her to refocus on me. She's receptive, but a moment later she looses interest again. I explain it's just the dogs, and regain her attention. A moment later, I hear something too. We both stop and gaze at the door. I can make out a whisper, or possibly a grumble -- noises that can't come from the dogs. I'm about to push Deanna's half-naked body off me to investigate, when CRASH! The ceiling fan tumbles down on us. Debris falls everywhere as we both scurry out of the way. I'm aghast. I know I securely mounted this thing to the ceiling. How could it fall? Deanna shushes me. "There's something in this room. I can feel it," she insists. Suddenly, she grabs her pillows and declares she is not sleeping in here and storms down the hall. She spends the night in the spare bedroom, which is also her office. I throw the fan off the waterbed and momentarily consider getting the ladder to inspect the ceiling, but decide I'm too drunk for that. Instead, I fall back into bed and spend the night alone. I decide to assemble Deanna's leg-pull footage into some previously unused VLOG footage. Some days I start to VLOG and don't finish. Some days, only one interesting thing happens, but it's only a small bit that doesn't end up anywhere. I'm now going back to assemble those stray bits into what I think will be an awesome Halloween VLOG that can end with Deanna's leg pull. This is creepy! Daily VLOG 134
2020.09.14 20:31 SaltFishing9A Christmas Journey. In Prose. Being an Infinity Train/A Christmas Carol Crossover: With apologies to Charles Dickens. Stave 1: The Train From Nowhere.
Belle was gone, to begin with. There could be no more denying that. The temporary heartbreak from which she had walked away that December Afternoon on the outer rim of Hyde Park and that she had assured the unfortunate wretch whom she had, perhaps justifiably, inflicted it upon would be just that, was incomparable to the more permanent trauma which she now bore within her chest, like an accused iron maiden around her soul. Scrooge was undoubtedly both the cause and the victim of this painful affair, for pain was no more a stranger to him than a mother, ever dutiful by the fireside of a nursery is to her children, fast at rest after experiencing her affection and kindness at play and dining during the hours of the day. Needless to say, the power which Cupid and Venus had held over once two infatuated lovers, Romance, was as dead as a doornail. Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, in the tragic nature for which it so deserves that, here at least, Romance was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge minded that Belle was gone? Of course he did! How could he feel otherwise? For many weeks, the rue of his ''release'' lingered and would reoccur, quite unwelcomed but often regardless. And yet, in all outward verbalisms, as his wife who would never be had so assured him, he had dismissed the event as an unprofitable dream, from which he declared to be truly glad to have awoken from in time, lest domestication and family thereafter descend upon his survival, seeking to be the avatar of his ruination. For, although a young man in the prime of life, Scrooge had done all to convince himself of the frivolous impracticality of such things as these. His needs, in all departments, were met and well met. These being, to make an account in full, his profits, his trade, his security and his sole friend and partner. Marley fulfilled this last position to the best of his ability and his work ethic therein had succeeded all of Scrooge's expectations for he was, although two years his senior, in much the same mindset as his younger collaborator in many a matter of the mind, if not, in some forms, the vault. The subject of ''domestic bliss'', however, was no different to Marley than it was to Scrooge. So, therefore, upon Belle's departure, did he gladly rejoice, though with dignified disregard, at what he perceived as Scrooge's ''deliverance from the ball and chain.'' The mention of the lovers' separation brings me to my second point. Much in the way love had perished that day, the man whom Scrooge had been accustomed to being for the past several years, was himself, dead. At some point during his 31 summers, the same event had occurred to Marley, though Scrooge had, out of respect, never sought to divulge the details of the instance from his friend's recollection. In both cases, neither man sought to revive such deceased personalities. To themselves and, indeed those who had once so proudly professed to know them, the men who had experienced those life-altering occasions, would never again be the men who had so recklessly promenaded into them. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. The concern the two had established had been in businesses for but two years by the time I can confess this tale to truly begin. There it sat, in the throbbing commerce heart of The City for years afterwards with the familiar sign above the door: Scrooge and Marley. (The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley.) From the point of view of more traditional perspectives, it made little sense that the younger of the two should, in any way, have his name placed in higher regard than the elder partner, although it was generally known that it was Scrooge's incalculable cognition of figures and money changing that had brought the firm to such notoriety in so small a space of time. Those with such philosophies, nevertheless, insistently referred to the practice as ''Marley and Scrooge,'' but both men answered to both names. It was all the same to them. Oh! But they were tight-fisted hands at the grindstone, Scrooge and Marley! The years had seen the nobler aspirations of their salad days die off until, at length, only the master-passion, the master vice, Gain seemed to remain. By degree, they had gradually altered themselves into what the debtor ever fears and that the philanthropist ever pities. Squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous sinners! Near hard and sharp as flint, which no steel would or could now strike out generous fire, Secret and self-contained and, if not for each other's company, as solitary as oysters. Naturally, as the eldest, Marley had first succumbed to the ailments of the self that such a life produced as well as that of the soul. The cold within him froze and mismatched his outer appearance to his true age. Sunk his cheeks, dried his lips, beaked his flattened nose and shortened his deep brown hair, to where he now wore the remnants in a familiar pigtail which became, save for his rounded spectacles, as days of hours of working in darkness had mildly affected the use of his eyes, his soul distinguishing trait. Scrooge's own refrigeration had produced similar alterations as this. His own cheeks were as equally submerged, his eyes red, his thin lips blue, his chin, uncannily pointed at the tip, so that his head near resembled a flattened crescent moon with a blunted top. Upon the wiry, brushed plot of black that covered most of said top was a thin streak of silver, no thicker than a stalk of barley. An emblem of tension and senectitude. Each man carried his own increasingly low temperature always about with him. They iced the office in the dog-days and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas. The only indication remaining that the two men were, indeed, members of the same race as those they so often walked past in the streets with their eyes turned down, was that they were still, for the time being, governed by nature's laws. Whilst external Warmth and Chill did little to influence them, foul weather was just this to them as it was to all of humanity. Bitter winds and falling snow remained more intent on their purposes than they and yet, the prevailing fear among all was that, with the coming of their winters, the Heaviest rain and snow would boast of the advantage over them in only one respect. They often "came down" handsomely, and Scrooge and Marley never did. The usurious and withdrawn reputation of the dyad soon proceeded them. Nobody ever stopped them in the street to say, with gladsome looks, "My dear Scrooge, how are you? And you as well, Marley my good fellow! When will you both come to see me?" Few beggars implored them to bestow a trifle, few children asked them what it was o'clock, few men or women ever once in all their life inquired the way to...such and such a place, of Scrooge or Marley. In truth, the only minute difference that either man had against the other, was in terms of spending. Whilst Scrooge firmly and unflaggingly took as gospel the notion of making one's fortune and keeping it by way of what he viewed as ''logical meagerness,'' at times to the extent of near malnourishment and hypothermia, due to the piteous fires at his own lodgings, Marley was, although hardly benevolent, more prone to selfish indulgence to a certain degree. He indulged in certain sins of gluttony and of the flesh whenever the urge took him, and paid little mind to those outside who scavenged the ashcans for a crust of bread. While some may regard these distinctions as that which would inevitably rend asunder the fabric of such a friendship, Scrooge shared too many an opinion with his older companion to truly take offence and while he, at times, would feel compelled to make some offhand judgment over Marley's ''Flirtation with Flavour,'' these times were few and often forgotten. Once upon a time— a week and a day from all the good days in the year, Christmas Eve—Scrooge sat busy in the counting-house, awaiting the return of Marley from his customary journey to Capel Court. It was cold, biting weather, yet bright with fading sunlight and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, though owing to the shortened days of winter, the sky was already beginning to turn amber and ruddy with the setting of the sun. As was customary, the signs of winter evergreen with its pinecones and berries, the holly, ivy and mistletoe, had been hung early in honour of the blessed day and all about could be seen signs of play, glad tidings and goodwill as the light from the fading day flowed generously through the windows of neighbouring offices, as if peach cider being poured into a goblet of crystal. But Scrooge paid this little heed. His eyes, squinted from want of blinking, were, like his nose, lost in a series of open ledgers upon his desk, which he eyed with an expression of impatience and pique. His own office possessed a small window of iron bars with small holes at the base for the changing of money, from which Scrooge might keep his eye upon the Bookkeepers as well as the Head Clerk. In the case of the former, there were 10 in total, some old, some young, some with families some without, all with their noses deep in their registries while the Clark, a young, short, willowy lad of 19 years, who sat nearby them in a dismal little cell above, a sort of tank, was copying letters. There were two coal boxes between both employer and employee. Both were of regular size, yet both fires were so meagre, that the junior clerks, shivering with frost upon their stools, found their ink begin to ice over in their pots, their own fire being so slight that it appeared to be made of but 5 coals. Scrooge's window gave a commanding view of the Head Clerk, who's own scuttle sat next to his desk. Scrooge and Marley regulated the usage of the coal at all times. The Clerk could not replenish it without the employers' sanction and so surely as the clerk laid hand upon the shovel, the disapproving, iron gaze of the master would instantly cause him such fear for his position as to send him dejectedly back to his books. The opening of the door and the purl of the brass bell altered Scrooge to the return of Marley from his chore. Past the staff he strode, never giving them so much as a wish for the upcoming season. Under his arm, he carried sought after financial tabloids, obtained from his return journey, which he brought into the counting-house before roughly laying them upon the table before the younger partner. "The Exchange is closing on the 24th early, I hear.'' This the elder said as he sat at his place at the table, facing the younger. " To "Honour the Season," or so says the Beadle.'' "Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!" He said this last word with such sincerity, did Scrooge, that for a brief flash of time, one could see themselves sympathizing with such a statement. ''Eh?" came the reply. "Which Humbug per-say? The Beadle?'' ''Christmas, to be sure!" Said Scrooge with slight indignance, for he had always respected the Beadle and his work with the constabulary, particularly when the lawman's great staff fell upon the unwitting heads of long-overdue debtors. "No doubt the Royal Exchange will follow suit." "And so it must, by law." Marley reasoned. "But, if you'll forgive me for this point, I do not recall you ever using such language towards Christmas as you have with other festivals." "I can only regret such a delay," returned the younger man, "with the deepest of remorse! I ask you this, Jacob. What good has Christmas ever done you or I? What is it but a mockery of commercial enterprise? A time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? Look at the staff accounts for yourself and see how near this damned holiday has come to ruin us!" Saying this he slid across the table the tome detailing staff payment. Marley, without hesitation, began reading the open pages. Upon doing so, his sultana skinned lips drooped, his head shook with the greatest disappointment as a few stay "Tsk tsks" exited through his teeth. "You see now then?" sneered Scrooge bitterly through closed teeth. "This is what Christmas means to us, my friend! Our Bookkeepers, barely worth their salt, slacking, gossiping idly of personal matters whenever our backs are turned to them, rather than putting their minds to honest imperial capital! Picking our pockets every 25th of December, to top it all! How can we be taken seriously as either Moneylenders or Merchants under such circumstances, I ask you? Humbug!" "Come now." Replied Marley, with a hint of fright, brought on by his companion's outburst. "My dear Ebenezer. Surely, you don't think I am against you on this point? The mad frivolity and foolishness of the season have always caused me some form of revulsion! The beggars, the devil take them, holding out their hats and ratting their cups, the maddening din of children singing carols at one's doorstep, without invitation to boot! Not to mention, the demand for abundant charity at our expense!" "And so it shall be always." replied the resigned Scrooge. "'Till a new age of enlightenment dawns upon us. But, back to the matter of the dolts, if I may..." "Yes! Of course." said Jacob, dutifully. "Perhaps then a reduction in staff, a streamlining if you will, is overdue? I suppose it is so. As you say, we have been taken advantage of." he added, taking from his own inkpot a pen of modernity and putting the bib to a blank, lined sheet. Doing so, he tapped the side of his hooked nose with the end of the stylus, his thin eyebrow arching, causing him to appear both interesting and interested all at once. "Hmm, yes. What say you then, Ebenezer? A half reduction in staff? No? Perhaps only a third reduction will be necessary?" "99.9% reduced." corrected Scrooge coldly, in such a tone as to cause Marley's pen to fall silent. "All excused, save for one." "Cratchit?" enquired his elder tradesman. "Cratchit." confirmed the younger. His eyes cast a glance beyond the barred window, where the young Cratchit, Head of the Clerks, was dutifully continuing his work at a record pace, almost as if in a dream, as the bookkeepers slowly and meticulously toiled whilst speaking of the blessed day ahead. "There!" said Scrooge with hushed determination. "Out there upon that stoop sits the key to our relief! An idiot he may be, but in mind, he's as old and wise as we shall be in 10 years. You were wise, Jacob, to bring him on as you did. I see this now and I apologize for ever doubting you." "Dear Scrooge." reassured Marley. "There was never anything to forgive. I admit I had mild doubts to start with myself. Of course, the boy could easily keep this business in continuation long after we are gone, and I have spoken to him on this subject many times, yet he possesses no desire to take our places. Curious, isn't it?" "Yet," Scrooge quickly countered, "He's precise, quick and rarely questions. As loyal as a dog and with half the intellect. He needs no underlings and requires no other company than our own. Why, he alone could easily handle the numbers and juggle the books for many a year solitarily. Let us keep that which is needed and endeavour to do without the dead weight!" Saying this he took a pen which had, by no deliberation, been left out to dry and dunked it back into it's well with such force, that Marley was almost ceased by the urge to cup his hands around it, less it smash on impact with the nib. "First-rate!" said he with a nod of false wisdom. "Now then, are there any other...'' But his sentence was stifled by another clink of the doorbell. This was followed by a small, meek figure of middle-age, curled, brown hair thinning on top and fattish below. So thin and ragged were his clothes, that it might have almost been appropriate to have him brought up on a charge of indecency. He was so timid and so full of stress, this tenant of one of many houses, the title deeds of which the company held so, that as he approached the front desk, the lesser clerks could only hang their heads and say a silent prayer for his divine protection. "It's Applegate." said Scrooge with an underlying sense of abhorrence. "No doubt seeking to explain his lapse in mortgage payments and obtain another costly delay. Stay put, Jacob. I shall attend to this." The partner gave an understanding nod, as Scrooge rose from his chair slowly, but with intent. Carefully ceasing a simple, yet thick wooden cane from his stand, he opened the door, expressing to the hapless Applegate, in all subtlety, how unwell the older man was met in terms of his lack of payment upon a house he and his family claimed to so cherish. "Please, Mr Scrooge!" begged the tenant with little hope but with quick delivery. "I know you're very angry about this and I didn't mean to fall behind in the payments. Lord knows, it bein' so close to Christmas n' all. Oh, please don't shout at me, sir!" Scrooge didn't shout. On the contrary! He spoke not a word as he began to gently lead Applegate by the scruff of his coat, away from the desk, past the two rows of clerks, past the solemn Cratchit and towards the front door. "That and, of course," continued to desperate Applegate, "Little Gwen. Her lungs aren't right. The Doctor takes his share, don't 'ee? I mean you can yell and scream and, of course, you're right, but it won't do no good! 'Cause I'm the stone you can't squeeze blood from and that's the..." His last word, that being "Truth", was cut short as Scrooge, with a passion, deposited him outside and slammed the door in his face. And yet, this poor man, Applegate, filled as he was with Christmas Spirit, still saw it fit to thank his Landlord and Creditor for not raising his voice to him. Upon marching back towards the Counting Office, said Creditor heard the voice of Cratchit, raised in early but glad Christmas greeting towards the unfortunate debtor. "There's another fellow," muttered Scrooge; upon reentering the hole. "Our clerk, with thirteen shillings a week, a widowed mother and engaged to a girl without a Half Crown to her name, talking about a Merry Christmas. I'll retire to Bedlam." "You are quite still sane, I think." reassured Marley, who now, perhaps from the lateness of the day was, himself, sounding quite tired of these affairs. "Now, as I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted, is there any further business I should be aware of?'' "Indeed there is then." replied Scrooge, retaking his seat. "You are aware, I hope, of the situation regarding the auctioning of the Fezziwig Savings Bank's main warehouse?" "How could I not?" came the answer. "It seems but only yesterday that you and I left our apprenticeship there to start all of this. I was not the least bit surprised to hear of the bank's bankruptcy after Old Fezziwig's death. It was only a matter of time, given his foolish ways." "As I well recall," said Scrooge, "It was you, Jacob, who was quick to point out how reckless Fezziwig's addiction to charity was to us in the long term." "And rightfully so!" cried Marley with great pride. "In truth, I dare say that his soft weak brain and soft heart left more accounts overdue than paid than any other venture in the city! Ruination was a judgment upon him. I am grateful, Ebenezer, that I was able to persuade you to join me in taking our leave from his asylum of future paupers before it was too late." "Be that as it may," Scrooge said with concern. "there currently sits in the East End a barely maintained warehouse going cheap. For the changing of money, it holds no value, but I have come into possession of a great quantity of meat from an abattoir in Essex. With the right refrigeration and storage, we can easily make it of use to us. I've prepared a bid for the Auction already, but with your wise advice in business matters, I believe we can secure the building without fail." During the detailing of his plan, Marley remained seated. Not speaking, but silently nodding and grunting with interested affirmation, as if an emperor on his throne, hearing the light of some lesser aristocrat for he did, after all, quite value what little seniority he held over Scrooge. "I also hear," he said at length, "that you are not the only interested party determined to lay hands on the property." Scrooge slowly gazed up at his friend with slight annoyance, as if he had been dreading this item of conversation since the occasion of the upcoming sale had been brought up. "Are you referring to the big planned by Belle Fezziwig, per-chance?" he inquired slowly. "I do." "What of it?" snapped Scrooge, somewhat defensively. "It matters little to me, I assure you, if you somehow believe I have any consideration left for her." "Of course not." soothed Marley. "I mention it only that it comes to mind just now. No doubt, she intends to revive the old family ways, for women-owned businesses are, I hear, quite fashionable nowadays, provided the woman is unmarried, of course." "She intends," barked Scrooge correctively, "to continue the self-destructive policies of her father. That which has left her without inheritance. Foolish girl! Humbug to her as well! No doubt, she sees the bank as her birthright. Regardless, she must and will be corrected!" "And we shall be the firm hands that do so!" finished Marley with a thump to the table. "Shall we deal with both affairs tonight?" "Here?" "At my own chambers." Marley insisted. "As they are closer to here than your apartment and more well lit than the counting-house. I take it you have an ideal date for the booting of the excess staff?" "The 25th of this month, as it happens." replied Scrooge with hushed finality. Then, in a grotesque bid for humour, he added. ''Owing to the season, shall we send off the severance in Christmas Cards?" A sly and wicked grin crossed Marley's face as this was uttered. "A braver move," said he, mock poetically "was never made on such a "Holy" Season." To this, naturally, Scrooge answered with yet another "Bah!" before following once more with "Humbug." But this he said, not only quietly so as not to be heard, but with a cold, hollow smirk. It was as if, in that instance, the Devil had taken them both in his grip, with little intention of giving either man any form of release. Time passed on. Soon, the spirit of evening herself made her grand but silent entrance with her star drenched, glittering cloak to banish the sun entirely with gentle persuasion and so, with her arrival, came the fog. So thick it was that people ran about with flaring links, proffering their services to go before horses in carriages, and conduct them on their way. The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at the moneylenders out of a Gothic window in the wall, became invisible, and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds, with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. The cold became intense. In the main street, at the corner of the court, some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes, and had lighted a great fire in a brazier, round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. The water-plug being left in solitude, its overflowings sullenly congealed, and turned to misanthropic ice. The brightness of the shops where holly sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows, made pale faces ruddy as they passed. Poulterers' and grocers' trades became a splendid joke: a glorious pageant, with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. The Lord Mayor, in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House, gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor's household should; and even the little tailor, whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets, stirred up tomorrow's pudding in his garret, while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. All the while, Scrooge and Marley waited with patience for the hour of shutting to make itself known. Soon enough, this hour came and upon the bitter admittance of this from their masters, the unsuspecting Bookkeepers happily relayed the proclamation to their gracious leader. Soon, all was a buzz as the grabbing of coats, hats and canes comenced in earnest, Bob Cratchit, naturally, supervised all as the employees made ready the work of closing up. Bob, seizing his own hat and coat, ever eager to return home to his widowed mother to talk of the day's events and discuss, at great length, the upcoming Christmas season with his beloved Emily, was most eager of all that the job should be done ahead of time. "Your work this week has been somewhat exceptional, Cratchit." Scrooge said unemotionally, approaching the head clerk. "No doubt, I shall have no choice before long but to raise your salary by two shillings." The Clerk smiled. The employer didn't. "No doubt, your standing within the company should be raised also." added Scrooge. "I would hope not to be promoted too soon, sir." The Clerk responded, nervously, praying he did not sound ungrateful. "I might be quick to forget where I came from. Mr. Marley has often stated..." "Mr, Marley and I have discussed this." interrupted Scrooge with deadpan disinterest. "You shall be keeping your current employment with the firm. It's your position itself that will be raised in importance, though I cannot explain the full details to you at this time." The clerk professed that he understood that his master had his reasons for such secrecy, whatever they may be. Needless to say, he was also quick to express his gratitude afterwards, unaware of both Scrooge and Marley's true intentions in the matter. Following this exchange, the two owners left with younger trailing behind older and then, when on the wider streets, side by side, departed without so much as a "Good Night" to their faithful workers. The office was cleared within minutes. All of the lesser clerks gladly wished their head an early Merry Christmas before going on their way to wait ever impatiently for the day to arrive. Some had still a great deal of purchases to enact for both gifts of the heart and feasts of the stomach. Others, wiser and more readily prepared than the younger and more lackadaisical of their workmates, returned home to try for eight days more to resist the temptations of gluttony for the sake of the Saviour's birthday celebrations and instead, pay more the little attentions to the families they had longed for the whole day. Others still, on their way to either of these aforementioned tasks of the heart, found themselves gloriously tricked into being children again either by tempting ice slides, helping with the construction of snowmen, or quickly becoming unsuspecting soldiers in a battle of snowballs. Bob Cratchit himself, did as I have described previously and at once was off like a shot to where he and his dear mother lived in their poor, but warm abode in Camden Town, where he soon made plans for his marriage to his beloved, due the upcoming Spring. Scrooge and Marley took their usual dinner at their usual Inn, whist pouring over the Newspapers, both Financial and Informative. But Scrooge's mind or cares could not have been more removed from either his meal or the goings-on abroad, for his concentration was firmly locked upon the matter of the Fezziwig Warehouse and the Auction, among other matters. I must, therefore, ask you to recall, if you can, that Scrooge had done all in his own power to remove the phantasm of Belle Fezziwig, his former master's eldest daughter and his former fiance from his haunted memory. This, as you may well have discerned from him and Marley's earlier discussion, had failed miserably and Scrooge was no more telling the truth to his partner when he'd stated that Belle's daily life meant nothing to him now than if he had declared that Cheese was a breed of Rhinoceros that dwelled at the Bottom of the Ocean. In truth, it was Scrooge's desperation to escape the memory of his own regret that had been the cause of his shifted behaviour. It had all to do with a comment Belle had made regarding his past self and driven by a dangerous combination of spite and pride to separate said past self from his current state, in much the way as the great outlaws of Sherwood are reported to have been driven by both patriotism and honour to victimize the rich, he now sought to inflict the same humiliation on Belle in the name of less noble ends and intentions. What better way then, than by spiriting away Belle's birthright and make doubly sure that in the eyes of not only her but himself and all others, that he was, after all, quite the irredeemable, underhanded miser. Undoubtedly, it was this surge of ill will that had strengthened his resolve to dismiss his bookkeepers, as while Scrooge had, in the past, been reasonably lenient and, perhaps in his own mind, Kind and even soft-hearted towards them, in spite of the cold attitude he displayed outwardly, their removal from his life would surely alienate himself further from Belle and thus, his own foolish youth. Soon, he would have security of the mind as well as from the bailiff. Yet, even now, Scrooge felt a sense of dread that perhaps, in some way, things were not to work out as he would like. The fog of the evening was darkened more-so by the coming of night. Making their way past begger women and a group of young boys singing carols at them, the two men made their way from the tavern to Marley's dismal chambers. A lowering pile of building up a yard it was, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again. Despite this, the suite was not as gloomy as one would think it to be, owing to Marley not being as unreasonably thrifty as Scrooge. So, he walked ahead, due to having the only key to both the iron gate which stood like an enormous, black sentry in defence of the dwelling and the house itself, while Scrooge, with vengeful self-reinvention still firmly on his mind, lagged behind in the courtyard. The fog by now was so heavy, that he was forced to grope with his hands to find his way around. No easy feat to be sure, and it was certainly this that caused him to overlook a small stone in the far right-hand side of the yard, which sent him tumbling to the ground and the account books which had been holding and that held therein the rough draft of his plans for the warehouse purchase as well as the blank pages to relay the matters of termination, tumbling through the air before landing in a mound of snow. Upon hearing his friend's cry and fall, Marley looked over with the full intention of helping Ebenezer to his feet. He quickly drew back at once though, upon seeing the near demonic anger upon Scrooge's own face that caused his triangular chin to seem like some sort of triangular dagger of skin and bone. A lesser man might have flown into a violent rage at such an indignity, but Scrooge held strong, suppressed the passionate emotions as he squeezed his eyes tightly shut and breathed heavily through his teeth. All the while, his enraged mind thinking up newer and more callous acts on which he would perpetrate upon his customers and it was within the instance where Scrooge was about to strike a pile of snow, imagining it to be the face of Applegate, as he was never one to strike a woman, that the event occurred. Now, it is a fact that Marley's home was located at a fair distance from the nearest railway station. This being at a time where the companies lacked the permission to penetrate through either the West End or The City itself. Locally, the nearest convenience was to be found at Euston a borough away. It is also a fact that, even if this was not the case, no director or Cheif Engineer in existence would be so grasped by lunacy, as to have tracks placed through the streets of the city itself, let alone across a gentleman's courtyard. Let it also be borne in mind that both men were, in most cases, possessed of as much health mentally as you or I, (this I say with the hope that you are as described, as a mind is a woeful thing to lose) and then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that as Scrooge was about to perform assault on the lesser elements, that suddenly and without warning, in a flash of mellow light and seemingly out of the Aether, both he and Marley heard the unmistakable sound of a train passing right by their ears! Scrooge let out a scream, half of panic half of confusion and scrambling away from the clattering and ringing behind him, found both himself and Marley staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed in awe at, as ludicrous as it may sound, a long line of railway carriages in the street outside the yard! To those more enthusiastic about the composition of railways and their traction than this aetherial event, I will describe, with goodwill, these coaches to the best of my ability. They were, in all appearance, of London and North Western origin. 4 wheeled and Standard. Boxy in design and cream painted above with the usual Maroon below. What so set them apart from their brothers and indeed, what made the men so fearful of them was that from their narrow windows, a dismal green light, like that from a bad lobster in a dark cellar, shone through with such intensity that the passengers within, if passengers there were, could not be seen from a distance, or up close. Upon thinking about said occupants, Scrooge's heart quickly skipped a beat in horror. He may have grown cold to man's destitution, but he was not so cruel in conscience as to be unaffected by such a seeming disaster as this! Yet, when he came towards the train, expecting to see the houses on the right side of the street damaged or reduced to rubble, he instead discovered, to his own astonishment, that rather than having demolished the neighbourhood, the train had seemingly melded into it, as if it had been built into the street itself. Not even the dirty gravel road beneath its axels had been the least bit disturbed. Stranger still, this train had been travelling at a pace faster than any had known to history and yet, in spite of this incredible record-breaking feat, the engine that had performed it and was so richly deserving of a royal banner from Her Majesty herself, was not to be found. Indeed, as Marley joined the trembling form of his partner at the open gate, both men looked left and right, but could see nothing but the carriages, stretching on seemingly into infinity. The men gaped at it in terror and wonder. It was as if the world has been turned on its head and all sanity had been, conceptually, abolished. "I-it's Humbug!" stammered the unnerved Scrooge as he closed his eyes and shook his head to try and rid his vision of the apparition of the train. "I-I cannot believe it! We mustn't believe it, Marley! Do you hear me? We mustn't believe!" "But I do..." whispered Marley fearfully shaking his head, eyes wide as if his mind was slowly unwinding into madness. "I must. You can see it also, can you not, Ebenezer? How can we doubt our senses when both faced with this?" "Talk sense, Man!" Cried Scrooge attempting to slam shut the gate and finding, much to his chagrin and fear that by powers far beyond his own, he could not. "This is nothing more than a shared hallucination, most likely brought on by the stress of dealing with our moronic clientele! Perhaps compounded with a disorder of the stomach! This..."train" might be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of Raisin than of Rail about this, whatever it is!" Marley turned his head to look at Scrooge. His features now chilled, not by avarice, but by horror. He now suspected the train to be some sort of sign that they had not made it to his home alive and that this express had come to ferry them to the rings of perdition. Now, he was grasped with the fear that Scrooge's ill-timed decision to crack a joke had offended whatever force was driving it and that their serviced journey would be nearly as torturous as the destination and therefore, most likely Parliamentary. But how much greater was his horror when, as if blasted by a sudden arctic gale, the iron gate was pushed asunder, sending the men backwards as, without the aid of any visible porter, the middle door of the middlemost carriage swung violently open! This was quickly proceeded by a small, crude block of wooden steps which, held on by latches, fell from the doorway to the street with a dull thud. Unlike the illuminations beyond the windows, the door revealed pitch darkness and nothing else. The first and foremost instinct of both men, as it very well might have been your own, was to attempt to run from this unknown transportation to the safety of the house behind them, though Scrooge showed this less-so than his terrified partner, although his expression had now altered to one of noticeable worry. Yet, as both men stared into the mysterious light of the doorway, a crazed resolve possessed them both. It purged them of fear and of common sense, leaving behind only child-like curiosity in its wake. With their mental barriers and will removed, the men found themselves walking, as if in a trance, out of the yard, across the street and up the wooden stairs towards the blackness of the open doorway. For a brief microcosm of a moment, there was an instance where Marley, who was in front of Scrooge and whose feet were on the top step, regained his senses and might have attempted to jump from the block and run down the street screaming into the mist, had it not been that in that instance, the pure darkness within the corridor was rapidly replaced, in all sides but the centre, by a vortex of pure light that, as if the horn of Gabriel sent to call the faithful and unfaithful up to the final judgement, transcended the boundaries of its domain, leapt upon he who stood with the ferocity of a snake and, with a sharp squeal, dragged him by hideous vacuum into the recesses of the coach! At last, Scrooge's outward courage fell away upon witnessing this nightmarish sight! He screamed out Marley's name in fear and despair and with tears forming in his eyes, he attempted to turn and flee from the railless abomination. All too soon, he found it impossible to do so, as the vortex dragged him, stumbling, up the stairs and through the doorway. In desperation, Scrooge grabbed with his right hand the edge of the door while his left shot towards the handle of its neighbour! There he was, trapped in the iron grip of a force unknown to man, with the familiar world he had so taken for granted out of reach! I cannot begin to tell you what jumbled, bizarre thoughts of confusion went through Scrooge's mind, for in the space of only three seconds, his grip gave way and with a terrifying scream of pure, primal fear, uttered only by the shaking sinner upon his death-bed, Ebenezer Scrooge found himself hurtling through light for but a brief moment, before, in the next, all fell once more to darkness!
Since day one, this women has been so caddy and impolite to me. She dated my boyfriend’s brother on and off for 6 years. They recently reconciled following a one year break. I met the family at about the same time she reentered the family dynamic. From the get go, she’s been belittling and condescending, talking down to me and dismissing what I say. In conversations, she won’t even look me in the eye or if I say something, she will literally stop listening and have a conversation with someone else. If I say something about a member of the family, she’s quick to correct me on my view or experience and in this weird power move exert her authority or sort of prove she knows the family better than I. Or at least that’s how it comes off. I have no idea what her intentions are. We were discussing politics with the family and the conversation got heated. My boyfriends cousin (42/m) is pretty closed minded and said some outlandish and offensive things. I stood my ground and got worked up. We weren’t disrespectful to one another but we did get loud. But regardless, we broke the tension with laughs and it wasnt a negative experience at all. Well, my bf’s brothers gf left the conversation and started crying. I approached her to ask what was going on and if I did something to hurt her. I really wasn’t expecting her to say “yes” because this cousin was saying some really hurtful things that I know she’s sensitive about and has strong feelings about. She said yes. I was the source of her emotions because she didn’t like the way that I was talking to this cousin about politics. She felt I needed to come from a place of calm and educating. I apologized for getting worked up. I explained that I feel very strongly about these issues but I hear what she says and appreciate her saying something because I never would have known otherwise. She obviously wasn’t having my apology and seemed thrown off by my response. Then she told me to stop apologizing. I fully recognize the best way to change minds is with respectful discourse. However that wasn’t the venue to do this and regardless of what I say, this cousin isn’t going to listen to his cousins new gf and say “I’ll go ahead and change my 36 years of political views because this woman told me so.” I left crying because I am exhausted at trying to get this woman to like me. I don’t understand why I was the target of her emotions when this cousin was practically saying that women shouldn’t have the same rights as men. Why didn’t she get upset at him?? I care about my partners family and their perspective of me. I’m afraid that I’m going to be labeled as this person whose rude to my bf’s brother’s gf. I’m afraid of how this relationship will affect my relationship with my partner’s family. I don’t get it. I’m trying so hard to get her to like me but I also don’t want to put myself in a position to be just disrespected in every interaction. Is there something I’m not seeing?? Help me understand.
2020.09.10 20:23 PutridMarionberryThe Cost of Having a Baby
During my pregnancy I kept a log of all of everything I spent related to my pregnancy and preparation for the baby. I've included a brief explanation of each expense. If I got a used item or was gifted something, I tried to give a rough estimate of the retail cost of the item new for context. I added some notes about why I bought a specific item. Feel free to ask any questions! For some added context: I live in a HCOL area, with a high sales tax (Seattle), which drives up the cost of items purchased new. This is my first child, so we didn't have any baby stuff before I got pregnant. Our combined annual household income is roughly $350k. We definitely did not go into this with the intention of trying to prepare for baby as cheaply as ptossible, but we did try to save money/avoid buying new where we could. There is a very active Facebook parenting group near me and I was able to acquire lots of used items for free or at a reduced price through that group. I also have very good health insurance and my job has very generous (paid) maternity leave so saving for leave was not a factor. All medical bills were paid out of an HSA. We also converted our large walk in closet to a nursery (which involved installing a window, ripping out the shelving, and repainting the room). The project was stopped and restarted several times due to COVID-19 and ended up being finished about 3 weeks before I went into labor. I did not include these expenses as part of the baby expenses. Because our nursery is very small, we were pretty constrained in what kind of furniture would fit which made it generally harder to find used furniture. (Note: to make the chart easier to read, I deleted my date and category columns. I've included summary totals at the bottom). EDIT: I realized I missed two medical bills (one for my follow-up blood work, TDAP vaccine--which is given late in pregnancy to provide some protection for the baby--and second Rhogam shot), and the baby's bill for the (routine) medical care she received at the hospital. I have added those in and updated the totals.
Estimated Cost to Buy New
Expecting Better and Crib Sheet by Emily Oster
You're supposed to start taking them before you're even pregnant. I started about 2 months before we started trying.
For morning sickness
My brand of prenatals were on sale, so I bought a whole bunch.
Ashkenazi Jew Genetic panel - partially covered by insurance
Partially covered by insurance--this is my portion. I am of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Thanks to inbreeding back in Europe, we have a really high incidence of a lot of nasty genetic diseases (like Tay-Sachs). I opted for the genetic screening panel to see if I was a carrier for anything for my own sanity.
Supposed to help with stretch marks
Pregnancy body pillow
Skin care items
I normally use a tazarotene gel as my only skincare product but stopped because it is not recommended during pregnancy. I began breaking out like CRAZY during the first trimester (seriously, I felt like I was 15 again) so I invested in a bunch of pregnancy-safe skincare products.
8 week labor and newborn care class. Ended up being virtual due to COVID and not worth it.
ErgoBaby carrier and newborn insert
Gifted by my parents for the holidays (~$170 new)
Rhogam Injection - partially covered by insurance
You can have a different blood type than your baby (depending on the father's blood type) which is no big deal for Rh positive people. For Rh negative people, if the baby is Rh positive, you can create antibodies that could hurt the baby/future babies. The Rhogam shot addresses this. I am O- and had some light bleeding late in my first trimester, so I got the Rhogam shot earlier than usual in my pregnancy since you need to get it as soon as there is any chance of intermingling blood. I'll need to get a second one later in my pregnancy
I got a bag of maternity clothes for free from my local FB parenting group--a bunch of tops, a few pairs of maternity sweatpants, one pair of shorts, and a pair of pants. It's mostly casual so I can't wear it to work, but I'll need casual clothes for the weekends!
Motherhood Maternity near me was going out of business, so I bought my entire work maternity wardrobe, a pair of jeans, and some extra nursing clothes (everything was 40-80% off). I am an attorney so I need well-fitting professional clothes, especially since I have an arbitration scheduled for May (when I will be 7 months pregnant). Of course, due to COVID, I ended up working from home and mostly wearing my usband's sweatshirts so some of this barely got worn. But I did end doing my arbitration (via Zoom) so at least my maternity suit got some wear.
Used snoo + extra sleep sacks and extra sheets
We got a used Snoo and lots of accessories from someone in my local FB group. Plan is to resell it when we're done having kids.
My boobs have grown (and my band size is increasing, as my rib cage expands) so maternity/nursing bras were a must.
We got a Patagoina ultralight tote bag to use as a diaper bag on the recommendation of people in my local FB parenting group. Definitely unnecessary, but the bag was on sale at REI and I couldn't resist.
BOB jogging stroller
Hand me down from SIL
BOB stroller chicco carseat adapter
Hand me down from SIL. Only downside is that we're locked into getting a Chicco infant carseat (which is not a huge deal)
Hand me down from SIL. Literally the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in
Baby Bjorn travel crib
Hand me down from SIL
Baby bjorn bouncer
Purchased used from my local parent group ($200 retail). We live in a small house and the bouncer folds up, so this seemed like a good fit. The used ones on Craigslist and FB market are all in the $120-$150 range, so the price seems in line with what we'd want to pay.
The First Years Newborn to Toddler Tub
We decided to hire a dog trainer to work with us in preparing our dogs for the baby. I don't know if we would have bothered, except that one of our pups tends to be very anxious and has been skittish around children in the past. He's overall the sweetest dog and calms down once he gets used to a new stimulus, so we're not overly concerned, but we do want to make sure we're properly introducing a baby and desensitizing him to children. This cost covered a 2+ hour initial session, plus a bunch of training resources.
Maternity underwear 5 pack
It's turns out all of my underwear have seams that are cutting painfully into my hips as I expand.
Maternity underwear 5 pack
More maternity underwear since it turns out I need more than 5 pairs of underwear that fit
Bill for my alpha fetoprotein blood draw and test
Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station
Recommended by a friend--basically a travel-size changing mat with some pockets that we can toss in to the diaper bag.
Genetic testing (Cell-Free Fetal DNA) (not covered by insutance)
My insurance didn't cover it, but we decided to do the Cell-Free Fetal DNA Test (screens for Down's Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities, with a high degree of confidence). We called around to try and get the best out-of-pocket price since our insurer would have charged us $2k. Our quoted price was $500, but for some reason the bill came in at $836. Sigh. I have zero desire to deal with the provider, but my spouse spent a few hours arguing about the bill and it got flagged for review. We eventually got a new bill for $33. Unclear if/when we will be getting another bill.*
With the COVID-19 outbreak, running outside has become a real necessity for my mental health since I am no longer leaving the house (husband is doing all the shopping) except that running also feels like death. I ordered a maternity running belt to see if that helping with the pelvic pain I've been having while running
Swaddles, sleeping gowns, onesies, burpclothes
A local store is running a $5 and under sale as they're being crushed during the COVID-19 outbreak. I'm generally avoiding buying baby clothes since I know those are easy to acquire used, but I want to support a local business. This cost is for 20 separate items + tax -- swaddles, burp clothes, a few onesies, and a bunch of sleep gowns.
Anatomy ultrasound (my portion)
This is my cost for my 20-week "anatomy ultrasound" where they look in detail at the baby and baby's development. Good news is that everything looks normal so far.
I already bought two pairs of maternity leggings to wear under dresses but neither is great for athletics. My pre-maternity leggings don't fit anymore (RIP), so I buy two pairs of athletic maternity leggings (1 long pair, 1 capris) to work out in.
Chicco Fit2 Car Seat + extra base
The BOB stroller adapter we have is compatible with two basic Chicco car seats--the KeyFit and Fit2. The Fit2 is supposed to last longer, through age 2, so it costs more. Since we have two cars the kid will be in regularly, we'll need two bases plus the car seat. I got a free car seat base for the Chicco Fit2 from someone in the local parents group I joined, which doesn't expire until 2023 (retail cost of an extra base is $129). Getting the free extra base makes us decide to get the Fit2 model instead of the KeyFit. There's a sale online for the Fit2 car seat--it's normally $299 retail, but is only $197 after discounts ($217.99 with tax). I was nervous anyway about buying a used carseat.
I have a running list of baby "essentials" that we'll need early on and are less likely to find used. I am getting a little antsy (very antsy) with just feeling generally unprepared, since our nursery is still a closet and the world is falling apart. I decide to go ahead and buy the things that I think we'll need that we won't be able to get used, especially with delays in shipping times due to COVID-19. Note on diapering: we decided to use a cloth diaper service for our baby until the kiddo goes to daycare, but we still need to purchase waterproof diaper covers and snappis (modern cloth diapering involves an inner absorbent layer and an outer waterproof cover; the service we're using provides and lauders the inner layer).
Feeding and breastfeeding supplies. (In hindsight, I should have waited on this stuff. Right after I bought it, there were lots of posts of people in my FB group giving away bottles, drying racks, etc.)
Nail clipper, diaper rash cream, baby soap, travel wet bag for cloth diapers, drool bibs, and baby on board car decals
A few of the straggler miscellaneous items on my list that I didn't expect to be able to get used (turns out I didn't need to buy the drool bibs, we ended up getting lots of bibs in the baby clothes we were later gifted).
Got a used K'tan wrap from the FB group (normally $50). I've been told we may want a softer wrap than the Ergo for baby-carrying at home.
Someone in my local FB group is selling a minimally used cordless Spectra S1 breast pump, which is the model I want and isn't covered by my insurance (insurance will cover 1 pump, but I don't get to pick it and I know I'll need a second pump anyway for work....if I ever get to go back to working in an office). The pump retails for $200.
Changing pad for dresser
We decided to go with a changing pad/dresser combo rather than a changing table for space saving reasons. Someone in my local FB group is selling her changing pad topper (with extra waterproof covers and holder to screw into the dresser) for $30.
Activity mat, baby swing, large bag of 3-9 month clothes, bumbo seat, Fisher Price Sit-me-up chair
Haul from my local parenting FB group--all stuff that people were giving away free. Everything is in pretty good condition. The clothes are super gendered, which probably is not what I'd chose to buy, but as far as I'm concerned, anything goes for free stuff. I've been trying not to buy clothes generally, since I know my mother won't be able to resist getting lots of cute little baby outfits and you can usually get used baby clothes for free/cheap.
Another bag of baby clothes from the FB group. Mostly in the 3-6 month range.
Cloth diaper cover
Sigh. My mom complained that none of the diaper covers I bought (all of which have super cute patterns) would "go" with the outfits she was getting the baby. I think she is mostly joking, but I give in and buy an extra white diaper cover as well. For the days when we're being fancy, naturally.
Apparently I'm severely anemic! This is not super uncommon for pregnancy, but my numbers are BAD which can lead to some pregnancy complications. My doctor recommends that I either do IV iron infusions (ugh) or immediately start to massively increase my iron intake with diet changes and supplements. She recommends a liquid iron supplement because apparently it's easier to absorb and thus more likely to actually help. The supplement is EXPENSIVE though and also totally disgusting.
I pick up a HUGE box of 3-12 month clothes from someone in my local FB parenting group to round out baby's wardrobe for year 1 of life. (We'll probably still need some outwear, but for regular clothes we're pretty set now!).
An (unexpected) haul of baby clothes. My husband's coworker gave him two large bags of newborn baby clothes. At this point, I am pretty sure we have more clothes than we possibly need, though at least it's not all newborn stuff. Once we have a dresser in the nursery, I am going to wash everything, inventory what we have, and pass on what we don't need to a friend who is having twin girls.
Audio-only baby monitor
We have a Nest cam to repurpose as a baby monitor, but want an audio-only one for traveling and internet outages.
A friend is selling some old furniture, including her childhood dresser. It's smaller than what I had initially wanted for the nursery and needs to be repainted, but definitely a lot cheaper than buying new (the dressers I've been looking at online given our space constraints are $300 at the CHEAPEST and that's for something that's isn't solid wood that we'd have to assemble). We're going to use this as a changing table and will get some some storage shelves or something to make up for the smaller dresser. I end up painting the dresser in mid-June, while 35 weeks pregnant (after we finished converting our closet to the nursery) which was a challenge since it involved a lot of bending down and crouching. But I was able to repurpose some extra paint we have from painting the trim in nursery so we don't end up spending any extra money on paint.
Waterproof mattress cover for the snoo mattress, extra sleep sack (small), extra mattress, four extra sheets
Someone in my local FB group is getting rid of a bunch of Snoo accessories--sleep sack, sheets, extra mattress, waterproof mattress cover. I'm mostly interested in the sleep sack ($30 retail) and mattress cover ($20), but she wants to clear out everything and offers me the whole bundle for $10. We now have like 7 sheets for the snoo which seems excessive, but then again I do hear that babies are great at getting things dirty.
Bottles & Fisher Price on the go baby dome
More stuff from the FB group--this is a small portable bassinet/play space (folds up flat) with a canopy to protect baby from sun/bugs/curious doggos. It seems like it will be helpful for traveling (can be used as a sleep space), hanging out outside, and keeping baby separated from the dogs in our house. The same person also gave me some extra bottles.
Sign up fee + 4 weeks diaper service
I sign up for the baby diaper service we will be using (the service picks up, washes, and drops off cloth diapers). There's a one time start up fee ($30) and a 4 week minimum. After that, we'll be billed in 4 week increments. We can cancel at any time after the first 4 weeks. We'll get a pre-birth delivery in a few weeks, then let them know when the baby is born and they'll start weekly drop offs and pickups. They also provide a diaper pail and liner as part of the service which is great!
Hooded baby towel with bear ears
I am blaming hormones for this. I fully intended to avoid buying baby stuff just because it's "cute"...but someone sends me the link, we haven't bought baby towels, and it's SO CUTE. Definitely an unnecessary purchase
Postpartum supplies--witch hazel pads, peri bottle, numbing spray
Diapers & wipes
Even though we're cloth diapering, I want to have some newborn disposable diapers on hand since I've been told that that cloth diapers often don't fit newborns particularly well. We'll need the wipes regardless.
8-pack of burp clothes
Purchased at the recommendation of my friend who has a newborn--she recommended for protecting furniture and whatnot if we're breastfeeding/hanging out on the couch.
I get a large bag of postpartum supplies from someone in my FB group (pretty much everything I bought, plus a lot of pads, mesh underwear, etc.) I won't use all of this (most likely) and will pass the extra on to my friends who are due later than I am.
Ran out of belly oil so I buy some lotion this time.
My mom (this is her first grandchild) is way more into interior decorating than I am. She gets us a washable rug for our nursery. It is super cute and goes with our nursery theme. We ended up with very aqua walls--we had to choose a paint color online w/o getting a swatch because of the pandemic. I like the color but it is definitely a little more vibrant than I thought. We're leaning into it though and going full underwater theme.
Rhogam shot, TDAP vaccine, bloodwork
Medical bill for the gestational diabetes test, TDAP vaccine (you get it late in pregnancy, and it provides some immunity to the baby), and second Rhogam shot. I failed the GD screen and had to do a second diagnostic test (which I passed).
Another "I'm so excited for a grandchild!" gift from my mother. She buys us a small Pottery Barn armoire for our nursery (with some extra shelves) so we'll have a place to hang some of the baby's clothes.
Newborn diaper covers and Moby wrap
Regular diaper covers for cloth diapers don't always fit newborns well. I had been planning on waiting to see if our baby was on the bigger side (and thus could fit into the covers we already bought) instead of buying newborn diaper covers. But someone is selling 15 newborn diaper covers on my FB group for $20 and I snatch those up. I also get a Moby wrap (another kind of baby carrier) for $5--we don't really need another carrier, but the K'tan is probably too small for my husband (those wraps size to the adult human, not the baby) and he'll be able to use this one at home if we can figure out how to tie it.
Curb find on a walk around my neighborhood! A small white bookshelf that will fit our nursery perfectly!
Pail for dirty wipes and garbage bags
Our diaper service provides us a pail for cloth diapers, but we also need a small pail for the dirty wipes
More blood work
A friend strongly recommended the haakaa, which is a manual breast pump. I initially didn't see the point of a manual pump, but she explained that you can use the pump on whatever boob the baby isn't nursing on and prevent spillage. Makes sense to me. The cost is technically for two pumps with covers, since they are sold individually. (ETA--I don't know why I got two, you really only need one. I end up giving one away to a friend who is also pregnant)
Baby clothes hangers
Teething toy. We definitely don't need this now, but it was very cute
Someone is getting rid of some Thirsties diaper covers (same brand we already bought)--6 for $10. We already have 6 (non-newborn) covers, but I feel like having extras would be a good idea. They're $12.50 each normally (pre-tax).
Costs associated with labor and delivery
This is my portion of my L&D costs. I think the total bill was something like $25k but I am incredibly fortunate to have good insurance.
At my mother's insistence, I end up doing a baby registry. I had not intended to do a registry at all (or have a baby shower) since we are financially comfortable. But because of COVID, a lot of family members that would have offered in-person help won't be able to do that and keep asking her what we need. Although I don't feel like we "need" anything, she (accurately) points out that people will start sending unsolicited gifts and we're likely to get a lot of baby clothes, which we definitely do not need. I ended up registering for a lot of smaller toys, some feeding supplies, some "would be nice but not necessary" items, and some items we were planning on buying when the baby was older. We end up getting a high chair, baby towels, assorted toys, some bath supplies, a few sleep sacks for when she outgrows the Snoo, a crib mattress (but no crib lol), a bottle warmer, bottles, and a Boppy baby lounger from our registry as gifts. We also end up getting a few more sets of baby clothes, a BEAUTIFUL handknit sweater, wooden step stool with her name, a teething necklace, and some baby books as gifts.
Baby's medical bill for care in hospital
Routine care, no complications.
Two days parking.
Partner's hospital means
Hospital food for my spouse for the 36 hours we were in the hospital (5 meals). Due to COVID, he wasn't allowed to leave and reenter my room, so he had to stay with me the whole time in the postpartum room and couldn't get food from home or anything other than the hospital room service. My meals are part of the hospital stay coverage.
Grand Total: $8,003.15 Total Cost to Buy Everything New: $13,584.16 "Savings" (Gifts & Buying Used): $5,581.01 Totals by Category:
Totals by Time Period:
Reflections: We "saved" a lot by getting some of the big ticket items (stroller, car seat base, travel crib, glider) free from family or people in our local parenting group. We were also lucky to be able to get a lot of smaller items (like a bouncer, swing, activity mat, nursing pillow) free or used. My inclination that we should not buy baby clothes was 100% correct--we got a ton of clothes for free (used from my local group and as gifts from family), with the only downside being that most of the stuff we got is very gendered and not what we'd necessarily have chosen given a choice. (Overall, I think I bought a grand total of 3 onesies and 10 sleep gowns for baby--we got everything else as gifts/for free). We decided that while we'd try and purchase gender neutral stuff, anything goes as far as free stuff because it is clearly cheaper and better for the environment to reuse something rather than buying new stuff on principle. We were also pretty lucky we are to live in a corner of Seattle with a thriving parenting group! We got a lot of stuff from total strangers free or at greatly reduced prices. We also ended up getting a lot of stuff towards the end of my pregnancy from a registry, which was not something I had initially intended, and because it was late in my pregnancy, almost everything that we got from the registry was stuff that I considered non-essential (or things I expected to acquire after the baby was born and probably would have gotten used). We definitely splurged for some things that we probably don't really need (like the Snoo). I also ended up spending more money that I should have on work maternity clothes. I ended up wearing them very minimally due to COVID-19. I can't really blame myself for that--if I had continued to go into the office during my pregnancy, I definitely would have used them. Although having now managed 4 months or so of pregnancy in sweatpants and my husband's t-shirts, I probably could have purchased fewer outfits. I did end up doing an arbitraiton via Zoom while 7 months pregnant, so at least my maternity suit got some use! I'm planning on hanging onto everything since we are (at the moment at least) planning on having a second kid. We are planning on reselling at least the Snoo when we're done having kids. We'll see how much of this stuff we end up using or reselling.
2020.09.10 00:51 beforeburnerDating a non drinker? Initial thoughts?
I've been alcohol free for 2 years and find myself thinking about reentering the dating scene. I'm mainly curious to know how many of you would think this is a net positive vs negative. I plan on being transparent about it in my profile (I'm not on OLD yet). Have any of you experienced this personally? Was it hard to find dates as a result?
2020.09.04 15:37 anothergaymouseClothes are so much more difficult now!
I am a fairly feminine presenting person. I wear dresses and skirts most days. But I'm actually not very feminine. I don't wear make up and I don't have many feminine interests. I work in a male dominated field and my clothes are my armor. Men underestimate me and want to help me when I dress more feminine. It's like a short cut to the 'under promise over deliver'. People expect less from me so they're very impressed when I'm highly competent. I've always seen clothes as a way to communicate to people who I want them to think I am, but I've recently realized I'd like to start being more authentic. But I don't know what my authentic fashion actually is. I do like dresses. I find them comfortable and freeing, but I don't think they're the whole story of who I am. I don't really know what else fits me though. Whenever I shop for clothes, I find myself thinking about what other people will think of my clothes far more than what I think of them. I have the same problem with my hair. I've always wanted to cut it all off, but I have always been to afraid to do it. People say my long blonde hair is my best feature and do I really want to cut off my best feature right before I reenter the dating pool for the first time in 10 years!?! 😤 Ok rant over. Just wanted to share a more light hearted aspect of this struggle. I guess I'm kinda wondering if any other LBLs find they're trying to break a habit of being a bit of a chameleon? Changing who you are to fit the situation rather than knowing how to be your authentic self?
2020.09.04 01:28 Philly191119/4 Daily Watchlist Figured I'd give the Reddit folks who arnt on Telegram a treat!
⭐⭐REMINDER ⭐⭐THE STOCK MARKET IS CLOSED MONDAY 9/4 DAILY WATCHLIST [P.S. Only enter positions you feel the most comfortable with. Your money is your soldier only send him into the battle you think you'll win. Some of these I have taken positions. Some I am looking to take positions. I've posted how many shares I own of what multiple times ] 🔑KEY🔑 [💎-Long time gold][⁉️-Could go both ways][🚀-I think this is gonna shoot up][🔥-This imo is gonna be a fire stock to make money off of just dont get dumped on][⚠️-Already ran a bit be careful][👀-Watching this one closely][⭐- Huge Catalyst or info] PRIMARY FOCUSES: $PLUG [Mass Calls/Shares], $GME [Puts], $TNXP. $PRTY, $FBIO, $ADMP, $SOLO, $KOS, $IZEA, $JMIA 🚀💸PENNYS💸🚀 $TNXP - ⭐Tons of conferences in September for big run up potential! I see an easy $1 push no questions. 92% Shareholder breakeven or at a LOSS! GOOD LORD 57% SHORTS TODAY! Support: $0.62 Resistances: $1.04/$1.18. Gap up to $0.89/$0.93? 🔥⚠️🚀👀 $FBIO -⭐ P1 results due Sept 19th-21st. October 10th FDA approval date. 3.8m shares bought at $3.15. Support $3.41/$3.72 Resistances UNKNOWN this is in record highs. RSI says OVERBOUGHT[pennys RSI is kinda tricky] 98% Shareholders ARE IN THE GREEN![SCARY AF]⚠️🔥🚀👀 $SOLO - Daily GRAVESTONE DOJI [SCARY]! 4hr MACD Bullish Crossing overQuarterly MACD is just starting [BULLLLLLISH] GODLY Support: $2.36/$2.58. Resistances: $2.73/$2.81/$2.88/$2.95/$3/$3.14. 50% of Share SHORTED today! 89% Shareholders breakeven or at a LOSS! ⭐US Manufacturing Location PR by EoY🔥🚀💎👀 $ADMP - ⭐FDA Nov 15th. Sept 2nd Meeting. FDA Likey Approved. RESPLIT VOTED NO BABBBBY! Daily/4hr OVERSOLD. Support: $0.32/$0.45/ $0.51/$0.59. Gap up to: $0.68/ $0.84/$0.91/$1.14. 42% Shorts👀🔥🚀 $PRTY - ⭐Holloween is coming up. You bet your damn ass I'm going in on this. This is a constant dump and run up stock. ⭐8/7 During Earnings meeting the CEO mentioned Walmart/Target etc. was competitors with them but sources say they are actually working together now!? Was $5-7 all last year. Support $1.85/$2.15/$2.40. Resistance $2.70/$2.90. ⭐50% Short.🔥🚀👀⚠️ $SGBX - Hurricane Damage Play. 4hDaily RSI OVERSOLD![33/21]⭐99.99% of Shareholder breakeven or at a LOSS! Daily Chart is SUPER OVERSOLD! Support $1.70-$1.74. Huge gap up to $2.40/ $2.73/$4.30/$7. ⭐55% Short! Squeeze these clowns dry!🔥🚀👀 $LPTH - ⭐Earning Sept 10th AH. 95% Shareholders breakeven or at a LOSS. DAILY/4Hr OVERSOLD. Support: $1.92/$2.21. Resistances : $2.51/ $3.01🔥🚀 $IZEA - Daily pattern C&H 4hr Tiktok news blast this to the sun. 4hr HAMMER DOJI! GODLY support: $1>$1.05 Resistances: $1.08/$1.11/ $1.16/$1.20/$1.27/$1.32/$1.40🔥🚀👀 $SINT - ⭐Expects to file an FDA request this year!Web Conference Sept 22nd-25th.ZERO DEBT!! 1hr Ascending T[Mix].Daily MACD pushing to breach! 1hr pushing towards a GOLDEN CROSS!⭐ 95% Shareholders breakeven or at loss! [AMAZING!] 34% Shorts today remember they gotta cover eventually! HEAVY SUPPORT $1.50 Should be an easy gap up to $2/ $2.14/$2.50/$2.65🔥🚀👀 $IDEX - Lots of PR dropping. Alf is on Twitter quite a bit again. Twitter is back on the IDEX train as well. STRONG support $1.10-$1.21. Resistances: $1.32/$1.42/$1.68. ⭐95% Shareholders breakeven or at a loss! 3 Conferences in September. 50% Shares shorted!👀 $GRIL - This company is undervalued in my eyes. Newish emerging fast "healthy" food. Great concept. I'm in this for the long. 4hr OVERSOLD. Monthly MACD looks PERFECT!Support as big as the Great wall of China: $1.72/$2.10 Resistances: $2.35/ $2.48/$2.56/$2.74 4Hr MACD just breached. Monthly indicating buy. ⭐90% Shareholders breakeven or at a LOSS!37% Shorts!💎👀 $ETON - ⭐FDA Sept 15th/29th. Support: $5.01/$5.57/$6.56 Resistance: $7.92/ $9.50. ⭐47% Short!👀🔥🚀⚠️ $POAI - Daily/4hr OVERSOLD [21/29]. This is beat down to the EXTREME! 4hr MACD Setting up to breach 4hr Starting to BUCKLE UP! Old support $1.10/$0.95 I believe $0.88 was the bottom? Gap up to $1.27/$1.42/$1.57. ⭐42% Short👀🔥🚀 💰HONORABLE MENTIONS💰 : $CJJD - Sleeper pick. PAYience. ⭐49% Shorts. The last 4/6 years this followed a trend of stagnant and beat up until mid/end October than take off.💎 $TRVN - Next ER will be great. Tons in the pipeline🔥🚀👀 $SYPR - History of HEAVILY over reactions on news.Potential PR on more details of their contracts or Compliance. ⭐61% Shorts?! $COCP - $1.05 Offering anything under that great entry imo $KOS - Should Gap up to $1.60-$1.75. ⭐Conference Sept 9th. ⭐50% Shorts. I really like this one honestly👀🔥🚀 $AEZS - ⭐Data to be presented Sept 5th-9th. Safety/Efficacy study expected 1Q 2021. 4Hr HAMMER DOJI.🔨 42% Shorts 👀 $LPCN - FDA Delayed $MNK - Double Bottom off $1.34? FDA Sept 12th. I'd enter in the $1.30s-Low 40s for a swing to $1.58/$1.65/$1.75. 38% Shorts $MARA/$MOGO/$BOXL/$DLPN [My Baby] 💰Non-Pennys💰 $PLUG - Battery day.⭐ I am SUPER BULLISH on this. Alt energy is a thing of the future plus Battery Day with Papa Elon. This also has a STEADY trend of Red Day>Green day back & Forth. 4hr RSI OVERSOLD. 4hr MACD looks to be setting up. Support $10.21/$11.28. Resistances $12.30/$13.11👀💎⚠️🔥🚀🚀💎 $KIRK - I'm long here on this one. I'm looking for a bottom reversal to reenter on this. I still think this has HUGE potential long term. They are turning into another WayfaiOverstock. 45% Short👀🔥🚀💎⚠️ $JWN - Clownboy MS PT of $19. Hasnt been this cheap since 2003. EoY I see $20+. I dont see Nordstrom going anyway. When dividend reinstated this will moon plus its a solid quarterly dividend. LESS THAN 1% Shorts. They know better than to kick a dog while its down💎 $ODT - ⭐Insiders bought 1/10th of the WHOLE FLOAT! [3m/30m]HAS A MASSIVE GAP to $19/$23/$30s. 70% Shares short!👀 $RKT - Earning were great but priced in. Im debaiting trying to go long here $JMIA - Daily/Monthly MACD both breaching [Bullish]. MASSIVE Support $7.44/$8.52. Slight Resistance $9.67 than GAP UP $10.93/$13/$15/$18 Weekly chart looks like a cup and handle potentially forming.⭐ EoY I forsee $20-$25👀💎🔥🚀 $PTON - ⭐Earning Sept 10th AH. Expect a blowout🔥🚀⚠️ $DSS - ⭐Upcoming Merger!BOUNCE off $6.10? Looking for a gap to $9/$10/$12/$14. 💎🔥 $BLNK - Battery day. ⭐Daily Macd looks to be setup. Support: $5.67/$6.50. Resistainces: $7.70/$8.48 than HUGE GAP up to $10/$10.72/$11.38👀 🤑Notable Earnings🤑 $GME Sept 9th AH [Puts]⭐ $CHWY Sept 9th AH $KR Sept 11th PM ⭐ $FEDX Sept 15th AH $COST Sept 24th PM $MU Sept 24th AH 🔎IPO To Look Out For🔍 $AIRBNB / $DOORDASH / $INSTACART / $SNOWFLAKE / $ROBINHOOD? 🔥🚀🌾Gold/Silver🌾🚀🔥 $AGC - 2x silver. Aka silver -1% AGC -2%. This is a day or swing trade. Depreciates $SLV - Long term silver hold $JNUG - 2x Gold. Same as AGC but for gold $NUGT/$GLD - Long term gold holds 🔮BET AGAINST THE MARKET🔮 $SPXS - 3X Inverse of SPY [The overall market] Spy +1% SPXS -3%. Spy -3% SPXS +9% $VXX - Fear index/Volatility Index. This goes up with market feaunsurity. USUALLY inverses $SPY ⚖UPCOMING FDA INFO⚖ $MNK - Sept 12th $BHC - Sept 15th $ETON - Sept 15th, Sept 29th $VSTM - P1/P2 Data presented Sept 16th $AQST - Sept 27th $MESO - Priority FDA Reviewed Sept 30th. 8-2 Voted beneficial $FBIO - FDA Oct 10th, P1 results due Sept 19th-21st $ATXI - Oct 10th $ZSAN - Oct 20th $SPPI - Oct 24th $KALA - Oct 30th 🙏I never intended to make any money from this group. All I truthfully wanted was a community I LOVED! If you choose to donate after a big win or to support my work; it is GREATLY appreciated. [Like too much to put into words lol] If you do donate please PM me; to let me know incase I miss it!🙏 ❤🖤💙💚🤎💛🧡💜🤍 My Links: ⭐Cashapp: $Hamstackz⭐ ⭐Venmo: $JDH3703⭐ Thanks again! You all mean the world to me quite honestly!❤🖤💙💚🤎💛🧡💜🤍
2020.09.01 02:04 inmateconvictBrothers blog post sent to me . Serving 8-15 nonviolent drugs crime involving opiates
“Great expectations”. www.easy-trouble.com With this corona shit going on, MDOC has prioritized the release of any inmate eligible for a parole. This has been misconstrued as if prisons are being emptied out, but the truth is that the only ones going home should have already been there. The parole board notoriously uses any pretext to extend a sentence, so a good chunk of the population are doing 12 or 24 month flops for either breaking one of the million rules of parole or not completing their programming (even if it’s through no fault of their own), or other minor violations. I was one of those considered eligible, so I was notified a few weeks ago that I was being called back early to see the board, whom I wasn’t supposed to see again until November, or until after my case was resolved, whichever came first. The interview was set for today. On Monday, I received the NFD, or non-fixed date, in the mail, meaning: a parole within the next 30 days, if not sooner. Due to the pandemic, guys were going home 2-3 weeks after getting the NFD. On my paperwork, my release date was listed for the following Monday. I know that sounded too good, too soon, too much like justice for it to be true, and, accordingly, I should regard it cool and skeptically. But I couldn’t refrain from thinking about or hoping that this was gonna happen. I pondered all the explanations for this serendipitous change of events. Perhaps, the Department of Corrections amended their policy amidst this crisis. After all, they’re now letting inmates complete programming classes in the world. If my circumstances are essentially unchanged from 6 months ago…why would they call me back early, if not to parole me because of a policy change? Everybody else the board called back was nearly guaranteed to be headed home soon. Moreover, why even give me a NFD under the door (i.e. getting a parole without having to see the board first) unless it was the real deal? The NFD is considered the best decision you can receive. What were serious concerns then may not seem so in these calamitous times. Plus, the parole board can’t be that incompetent; it wouldn’t play with someone’s emotions so capriciously. After all, this is my life, my freedom. I’d be transferred into the custody of the county jail, and since my bond is only $500 on that case, I’d be able to post that immediately, assuming the county still wanted to come get me….and I’d heard county jails were granting PR bonds to anyone fighting a case. I deconstructed the scenario from every angle, considered the possible thinking behind this decision, and came to the only sensible conclusion: I was actually gonna go home soon, hopefully Monday. For the first time in years, I let myself imagine being freed in the immediate future. Fuck it, I didn’t even care if everything was shut down. I just wanted to come home. I daydreamed about drinking an actual beer. I fantasized about getting some pussy. I’d come home and immediately reach out to all viable partners…”look, I just got out of the joint and I’m probably going back for another, even longer, sentence. I wanna fuck like savages for my last few months of freedom and make the memories I’ll jerk off to for the next 4-5 years.” Sure it sounded desperate but it was direct, self-assured. Plus, I’d have that fresh-from-prison glow, and a lean, muscular physique, so that explicit appeal could actually attract a handful of girls. I’d hunker down and smash out for the summer. Hopefully I’d manage to sleep with one of those girls I’ve always wanted but never had, before she got too old or married. I’d lock down some extra support, and make the preparations when you know you’re headed to prison. I’d be able to say goodbye to all my friends and family that I wasn’t able to when I caught this first case. Have a proper sendoff, like a party, a day or two before sentencing. Get so loaded that sentencing would be a blur, and only regain my faculties after a few days in quarantine. The only thing that could fuck it up is if my court date got moved up and held over a video conference. But that’s a hurdle that could be handled…and then when I got out, my sentencing could be delayed even further. Possibly, I could have one full, wild, intoxicating summer, the last one of my youth. When I leave prison after this new bit , I’ll be middle-aged (30 something), hopefully with my best years still ahead of me. While lost in these reveries, I’m also watching Xena: Warrior Princess. There’s a marathon on and the show is surprisingly entertaining,(and cheesy) with the loudest, most overdone sound effects. Lucy Lawless is such a fucking babe (with an amazing name). I debate how much she approximates my perfect woman or not. Dark, almost black, hair with blue or green eyes is like heroin for my boner, and her body, that white girl thickness, is the ideal, and, as showcased in that scanty armor, has the same effect as mainlining Viagra would have. I try to think about girls I know that resemble her, and come up with one or two. Okay, I vow, I’m gonna reach out to her in my first days out. Suddenly, the CO announces over the loudspeaker: “22, Mccaffery, bunk 22, report!” I walk to the officer’s station, wondering why I’m being called. Usually it’s because I’ve books to pick up. “yeah, McCaffery, sorry man your parole has been suspended for a pending charge.” And, as much as I expected this and tried to stay detached, I’m still devastated. Just the prospect of parole had me giddy, and the remote possibility of hooking up with a female this summer excited me endlessly the past couple days. That pent-up energy now discomfits and discourages. I feel like I’m charlie brown trying to kick a football and the parole board is Lucy, yanking it away at the last second. Even worse, an hour later I’m called to the desk again, and the counselor hands me my parole paperwork. 15 months, few stipulations, 11 pm curfew. That’s all moot. Usually, people savor the yellow paper of the 30 day notice, signaling an upcoming parole board interview. It means the end is near. And when most guys get their parole paperwork, with the decision and stipulations, the reality of reentering society sets in, and their behavior changes. These are literally the best pieces of mail one can get. Unfortunately, they’ve become meaningless to me, or worse. I’ve a stack of both because of how many times I’ve been granted a parole only to have it suspended, so these have become shitty mementos of how close I was and how far I am from reaching the end of this ordeal. I feel so let down, confronting the fact I probably won’t make those plans for a few more years. I do what I can to distract myself from more bad news, and gradually ease back into the penitentiary mindset: breathing exercises, push-ups, TV…relaxing bit by bit, content for the present, hoping for a future, still dreaming Xena.
2020.08.31 21:59 AvatarKanolCroatian Chart: "Savage Love" hits #1, "Rain on Me" falls to #2, "Watermelon Sugar" #3, "Hallucinate" stable at #13; Week 34
Top 10 on the Official Charts:
Jason Derulo & Jawish 685 – "Savage Love"(+3) NEW #1
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande – "Rain On Me" (-1)
Harry Styles – "Watermelon Sugar"(+7)
Benee ft. Gusdapperton – "Supalonely" (-2)
Dua Lipa – "Break My Heart"(+2)
Kygo, Tina Turner – "What's Love Got To Do With It" (=)
The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights" (-2)
Robin Schulzu & Wes – "Alane"(+8)
Topic ft. A7S – "Breaking Me" (-6)
Joel Corry ft. MNEK – "Head & Heart" (-2)
• "Savage Love" hits #1, becoming the sixth song this year to reach that number • The songs that hit #1 in 2020; "Blinding Lights" (14 weeks), "Rain On Me" (9 weeks), "Don't Start Now" (6 weeks), "Physical" (3 weeks), "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (1 week), "Savage Love" (1 weeks) • "Rain On Me" falls to #2, blocked from reaching a tenth week at at #1 • "Watermelon Sugar" rises quickly to a new #3 peak, outpeaking Harry's previous single "Adore You" which peaked at #8 • "Supalonely" falls two positions to #4 • "Break My Heart" reenters the top 5 at #5 in it's 20th week on the overall chart and it's 19th week in the top 10 • "What's Love Got To Do With It" is stable at #6 for the third week in a row • "Blinding Lights" continues a downward trajectory and falls to #7, this is it's 37th week on the chart • "Alane" surges into the top 10 at #8 • "Breaking Me" by Topic & A7S falls from it's #3 peak position to #9 • "Head & Heart" by Joel Corry and MNEK falls to the edge of the top 10 at #10 Other points of interest in the top 40: 11 Ava Max – "Kings & Queens" (=) STABLE peak #6 13 Dua Lipa – "Hallucinate" (=) STABLE peak #13 17 The Weeknd ft. Doja Cat – "In Your Eyes" (-2) FALLING peak #11 28 Katy Perry – "Smile"(+4) RISING peak #28 NEW PEAK 52 Katy Perry – "Daisies" (-2) FALLING peak #12 64 Jessie Ware – "Save A Kiss" (-5) FALLING peak #52 Here is the top 10 on Croatian Deezer: Deezer Daily Chart 31/08/2020.
2020.08.31 11:10 dakameltuaNIOs worst time to make a share offering?
So after the bullish week NIO had last week, they decided to make an offering of 75mm shares. Since the price tanked, they decided to make a second offering to rise the goal of 1.5 billions... Just months after they secured funding from the chinese goverment for that same amount of dollars. Many seem to believe the offering is well placed due to the run and because they wanted to increase their ownership from around 70 to 80 something percent. From a shareholders perspective, this seems to be a very dodgy move. I believe this is more about greed than anything else by the company's management. 70-80% ownership does not have any meaningful value since they already have the majority of the company's ownership. In any case, we will see how the market reacts (already down 5% in pre market). And as a typical case of dodgy moves by the chinese, I consider this a risky bet at this price range. I am setting a stop-loss at 16.5 level and might reenter the stock at a latter date. Adding volatility to an already volatile stock... Do you think this was a smart move for NIO? Do you believe the buy orders will support the current levels ? Congrats to all that managed to get the stock at 2-10 bucks level and are fine with the volatility or took profits.
2020.08.30 19:43 Jay9313I've recently re-entered the Christian dating scene.
I have recently reentered the dating scene and I have found something odd. I feel like Christian women come on VERY strong in a dating sense. This year I finalized my divorce with my ex wife after she had an affair. I've met a few women and I dated them. One of them was basically alluding to having a family with me after knowing her for about 2 weeks. The second one told me she is ready to get married now and start having a family after seeing her for about 5 months. We broke it off because I am not there yet and she didnt want to wait. Now don't get me wrong, I am dating with the intention of marriage. I would love to have a family some day, but not today or even this year. Probably not even next year, but definitely by the time I'm 30 I would be ready to be married again and have children if I found the right woman. (I'm 26 now). I just feel lost and hopeless, ESPECIALLY after dealing with the guilt of divorce. My divorce was tough because I felt like I didnt deserve another chance at marriage. My close friends suggested I start trying again, and I feel like God will allow me to be happy again some day, but I am feeling discouraged again because i dont want to feel rushed. I dont know, maybe i am rambling again. Has anyone ever dealt with divorce or dating in your late 20s as a Christian? I would love to hear about some of your positive experiences for motivation.
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