Move informally nyt crossword
Parking a Moving Trailer in Burbank
2023.06.07 23:55 IHaveQuestions_Many Parking a Moving Trailer in Burbank
Hi I’m getting ready to move and am using the service U-Pack and their trailer option. I can’t seem to find any information specifically on parking a moving trailer on the streets in Burbank?
For LA City it said moving trailers are exempt from some parking restrictions. The street I’m on has no parking restrictions other than street cleaning.
Does anyone know if I need to do anything or is there any kind of permit?
submitted by IHaveQuestions_Many
to burbank [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:53 Educational-Plum3469 Want to get my instgram out of google search
When I try to google search my full name my instagram comes up first. I don’t want that, for professional reasons. It’s a professional account and I am trying to move away from that profession to another one, but I have to keep it public for now to keep getting work while I transition. I haven’t put my last name in my personal information on the Instagram page. Why does it come up then in google searches?
submitted by Educational-Plum3469
to Instagram [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:51 Thrownaway444410 Seeking advice upon my situation
Alright, I’ve recently graduated! Therefore; I haven’t seen the classmate, I’m attracted towards. As background information: We’ve had simple interactions in the past. I’ve reached out to her via social media and we began talking. Our conservation, consisted of our plans after the summer. I’ve learned we have common majors, we’ll like to pursue. Yet possibly unfortunate news is that she’s planning to move out of our home town to pursue her education. (Not once in our conversations, have I detected any “hints” nor clues.) (Honestly worried, I’ve missed some clues, and I’ve heard multiple men do) Now I find myself in a situation where, I’ll have to decide to confess my feelings or withhold them. Anyways, my question upon this situation is: Should I pursue or confess my feeling for her, even though she’ll be gone after summer?
-Thank y’all in advance.
submitted by Thrownaway444410
to dating_advice [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:50 LuminousDragon I asked ChatGPT the effects of reddit restricting access to its API.
I was curious to see what chatgpt would say about this issue. I asked the version that does NOT have access to the web or any recent information about reddit, so it was not influenced by any ongoing discussion.
If Reddit decided to disallow the use of their API, several consequences could follow:
Third-party Apps and Services Would Be Impacted: Many third-party applications, bots, and services that rely on Reddit's API to pull data and perform actions would cease to function. This includes popular apps that use the API for users to browse and interact with Reddit, data analysis tools, automatic posting services, and so on.
No More Reddit Integration: Websites and apps which integrate Reddit content through the API will not be able to do so. This means that services that rely on Reddit data for content aggregation, comment integration, or social media analysis would lose access to Reddit as a source of data.
Reduced Flexibility for Users: Users who use Reddit via third-party applications (because of added features, alternative layouts, etc.) may have to return to using the official Reddit website or the Reddit app. This might decrease their overall experience, depending on the quality of the official platforms.
Reduced Innovation: The API allows developers to create new applications and tools that offer different ways to interact with Reddit content, driving innovation and enhancing the Reddit community. If Reddit closed off their API, it could stifle this kind of development.
Potential Community Backlash: The developer community and many users could respond negatively to such a move, as it would be seen as a restrictive measure, potentially leading to a loss of users and/or community goodwill.
Less Analysis of Reddit Data: Researchers, marketers, journalists, etc. who use the Reddit API to analyze trends, sentiments, and other patterns in the Reddit data would lose an important tool. This could limit understanding of online social dynamics, trending topics, public opinions, and other phenomena.
It's important to note that APIs are a fundamental part of the modern web. They allow different software applications to interact and share data, leading to a more interconnected and robust digital ecosystem. Shutting down an API, especially for a platform as large and influential as Reddit, could have significant ripple effects.
submitted by LuminousDragon
to apolloapp [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:47 Key_Biscotti1589 Hannah and Lindsey’s bully “best friend” who makes fun of peoples looks whenever they disagree with her, tells people to off themselves
| || | submitted by Key_Biscotti1589 to HannahandLindseySnark [link] [comments]
It really gives us an insight on what kind of people Hannah and Lindsey are if this is who they are calling their “bestie.” Even people from the Kayla snark subreddit dislike kayla mae.
if you want to learn more about her bullying ways, her lies and her constant need of drama. She must be really narcissistic if she thinks she can call others ugly
2023.06.07 23:44 jayandrew562 Divergence Pocket Option Strategy
2023.06.07 23:36 softlikestatic [A4A] Waking Up To Realize Your Royal Vampire Enemy Has Imprinted On You [Enemies To Lovers] [Royal Vampire Narrator] [Royal Elven Listener] [Listener and Narrator Have A Complicated History] [Accidental Imprinting] [Blood Drinking] [Kissing] [Kinda Spicy]
Notes: This script is okay for monetization. Can be used on Patreon, just let me know if you do. If you use it, please give credit. You can change pronouns if preferred but otherwise please don't edit the script. My scripts are meant for adult audiences and all characters are 18+. For clarification on the format of the script, any place that says (Pause) is a place for the Listener's response. Anything in \asterisks and italics** isn't meant to be read aloud, it's there to either hint at the tone or provide context that might help the script make more sense.
Summary: Listener, an elven royal, wakes to find Narrator, their enemy and a vampire royal, in their bed. Upon waking, they immediately get into an argument where their mutual confusion leads them to realize that they may not hate each other after all.
Word Count: Approximately 2,563 words (Not including any actions or cues left in asterisks and italics)
Writer’s Notes: Did I mention this idea in a poll form like, 6 months ago? Yes but shhhh. Not gonna lie, I'm really pleased with the outcome of this one, so I hope you enjoy it too!
\Listener wakes to the sound and feel of soft breathing on their neck, and they realize they are in their own bedroom, but they don’t know who the person next to them is. After a moment, the sheets begin to shift as the Listener’s unknown bedmate pulls them closer.**
\Sleepy, content** “After all this time, I’ve found you. So many centuries I have worn this blindfold and participated in this tradition, knowing that you were somewhere in this world, I would find you. I was beginning to fear that you were avoiding me, but I was a fool to think as such, wasn’t I? All I needed to do was search elsewhere. To think, this entire time, you were hidden here, in the walls of an enemy kingdom. If I had known I should find you here, I would have come to one of these pointless meetings long ago.”
\Narrator chuckles, pulling Listener closer.**
“But I suppose this meeting wasn’t pointless. At long last, I’ve found you. My beloved. My fated. My darling. The one who shall rule by my side until we are taken by death’s hand.”
\Narrator leans in to kiss Listener, but Listener, finally coming to their senses, pushes Narrator away.**
\Surprised, a little hurt** “My darling? What issue is there? Why do you push me away?”
“Please, tell me why you distance yourself from me. Have I done something wrong?”
“My darling, I can hear your breathing - You sound panicked. Please, tell me what the issue is, tell me how I might help you resolve it. I will do whatever it takes to set you at ease.”
“Your pounding heart is causing mine to ache, darling. Please, I beg of you, tell me what makes you so nervous.”
“You still say nothing. Is your fear that you know so little of me? While I’ve known of my fated love, you might have no idea. I can’t deny that it hurts me to think that you have felt no draw to me like I have to you, but I would understand, if that were the case. If you would please take this blindfold from around my eyes, it would be my honor to explain everything to you. I would gladly explain the circumstances of my love.”
\Soft, gentle** “Please, my darling. Allow me to look upon you. Allow me to explain myself to you. I swear on my life that I’ll tell you everything, I won’t spare a single detail.”
\Listener, confused but increasingly angry at Narrator, unties their blindfold before letting it fall to the ground.**
\Grateful, gentle** “Thank you, my darling, you-”
\Surprised, angry** “You?!”
\There’s a commotion as both scramble away from the bed and each other. One of them bumps a table and a nearby vase falls to the ground, shattering. Narrator snarls at Listener, looking at them accusingly.**
“You! Why are you here?! What have you done with my fated?!”
“You wretch! You dare take (them/him/her) from me?!”
“Don’t lie to me! I have no time to waste on you when the one I’ve sought after for years has finally been found! Now tell me where have you put (them/him/her)!”
“What do you mean? (They were/He was/She was) here, I know (they were/he was/she was)!”
“That look on your face - Why do you seem so surprised? Could it be that you did not expect the (King/Queen/Tyrant/Ruler) of the Vampires to feel love?! Did you think I was heartless, you knife-ear?!”
“Remember? What do you mean? What memory could have possibly been brought to you at this moment? Because unless it is anything in regards to the location of where you’ve taken my fated, I do not care what it could have been.”
“I will answer no question about (them/him/her) until I know that they are safe. Lead me to them now, lest you wish to find your ribs torn away from your spine.”
\Indignation, anger** “How dare you suggest such a thing! I know my fated! I know the taste of their blood when it passes my lips! It was the taste on my lips when I held (them/him/her) last night! I would know it anywhere! The fact you dare to question my love is beyond stupid!”
“Are you playing the part of a fool on purpose? Of course I know the smell of (theihis/her) blood!”
“Drawing a blade after committing such a vile act against myself and my fated? You truly have a death wish, don’t you? Just tell me where (they are/he is/she is) and I might spare you.”
\Still angry, a bit confused** “What are you doing? Why do you bare your neck?”
\More confused, a hint of worry** “Your blade - you aim it at your own neck. Why?"
\Listener cuts a shallow line into their neck, stunning Narrator, who quickly runs over to Listener’s side.**
"By the gods, what have you done?! Your blood is not…”
\Narrator trails off, surprise washing over them at the familiar smell. The shock causes their anger to drain as they stare at Listener.**
“You… Why does your blood smell as (theirs/his/hers) does?”
\Narrator’s breathing is heavy as Listener tells them that Listener is their fated.**
\Disbelieving, stunned** “No… No, that cannot possibly be. You and I, we could never be…”
\Firm** “No. There is no chance that you’re the one who holds my heart. It cannot be so.”
“Because you are my enemy! We’ve been the head of our kingdoms for centuries, and not for a second of those many years have we’ve been friends!”
“Our kingdoms may be at peace, but that does not mean there is no tension between the two of us. We share no history besides our hostile arguments and drawn out duels.”
“In fact, we do. I’d met (them/him/her) before I even had the chance to participate in our tradition.”
\Assertive** “Yes, truly! It was how I recognized the taste of (theihis/her) blood!”
“And what would you care, hm? Why should that matter to you?”
\Listener sighs and asserts that Narrator should just tell them. Narrator reluctantly huffs.**
“Fine, but only to prove that you could never be (them/him/her), do you understand me?”
\Listener scoffs but agrees. Narrator sighs.**
“It was several hundred years ago, when I was not yet the (King/Queen/Tyrant/Ruler) over all of vampire-kind. I was the only heir to my parents’ throne, but I’d only been a full-fledged vampire for a century. I was still unruly and wild with the bloodlust soaking into my brain worse than any liquor could manage-”
“Oh, be silent, I’m sure you weren’t any better in your youth. I’m sure there is not a single soul who hasn’t heard the rumors of the sinful parties you held in the depths of the human forests. Tell me, is that where you met that last lover of yours? The one who tried to steal your face and name some centuries ago?”
\Smug** “Yes, that’s what I thought. You shouldn’t throw stones when you’re surrounded by walls of glass, you know.”
“Fine, fine I’ll continue, provided there are no more interruptions.”
“Though it was in fact, a similar type of party where I met (them/him/her). Though, rather than a forest, it was in the center of a human village. One of the larger ones, in fact. It was the night of a festival, though I could never keep track of which human holidays happened at what point of the year. What I did know was that where there was a party, there was alcohol, and where there was alcohol, there was always a willing throat. Every face was hidden by a mask, and I bought one from a vendor so that I might not stand out. The dark streets were lit by large fires that blazed at every crossroad, the largest of which was in the center of the village. The townsfolk were dancing around it as lively music was played and drinks passed between hands.”
“Then I saw (them/him/her), golden in the firelight. (They/He/She) moved unlike anyone else, a vision amongst the flames, and I couldn’t help but to stare. Evidently, (they/he/she) noticed my gaze, and it must have sparked (theihis/her) interest. (They/He/She) pulled me into a dance, and I could not deny (them/him/her). We danced until the song finished, and then danced to the next one, and then to the one after that. So entranced by (them/him/her), I had forgotten the entire reason I came there. We danced together until the fires were all but embers drifting away in the wind. Then, with only the weak flickers of ash in the air, (they/he/she) told me that they’d seen the gleam of my fangs against my lips. (They/He/She) told me that (they/he/she) would not allow me to leave without experiencing the feel of them.”
“I was but a weak, romantic thing who was captivated and hungry, and I gave in so easily. I pulled (them/him/her) into a dark alley and asked that (they/he/she) bare their neck for me. (They/He/She) smiled at me and-”
\Listener interrupts Narrator.**
\Slightly surprised** “Yes, that is right. (They/He/She) pulled me close and (they/he/she)-”
\Listener interrupts Narrator.**
\Slightly more surprised** “Yes, and then (they/he/she) told me that I could drink my fill from (them/him/her), but only if-”
\Listener interrupts Narrator.**
\Stunned** “Yes… ‘A kiss for every drop to pass my lips.’”
\Realizing** “It was you, wasn’t it? All those centuries ago, it was you that I danced with and drank from. It’s your blood that I have tasted on my tongue for all these years. It’s been you, in my every waking thought. You are the one that I imprinted on so long ago.”
\Narrator chuckles, still stunned from the shock of their realization.**
“It’s almost funny, in a way. I’ve spent so many years searching for you, and yet here you are, the person I’ve glared at from across a war room table while we exchange words sharper than swords. I’ve stood so close to you that I could count your eyelashes, and yet, the tradition has never taken place close enough for me to find you before last night.”
“Yes, the Moon Hunt. After we’ve imprinted on someone, we create a link to their soul. However, it’s quite common that we create an imprint without realizing it. It might be years before we realize that our hunger is for a particular person’s blood. Such was the case with me, so I decided to go through with the Moon Hunt in an attempt to find you. But, since it only lasts from the time that the moon is at its pinnacle to sunrise, I’ve never been able to make it to you. I’ve woken in the forest a great many times, cursing that even in winter, I did not have enough time to reach you. But this time - This time, I did. At long last, I was close enough to find you.”
\A bit confused** “Then you… Last night, when the Moon Hunt took place… What happened?”
“No, I remember nothing. Once the moon has reached the peak of its path and my eyes are covered from its light, the mind goes blank and the heart commands our journey. What took place?”
“An attack? You thought that I was attacking you? What could make it so?”
“Oh. Yes, I suppose that trying to bite your neck in your sleep would seem like an attack.”
\Narrator sighs, troubled by this information.**
“I… I didn’t know I would be so violent in such a state. I apologize, that was quite horrid of me. To attack someone so defenseless is nothing less than deplorable.”
\Listener says that it’s not too horrible, as Listener knocked Narrator out before they could drink too much of Listener’s blood.**
\Amused** “Well that would explain the terrible headache I’m suffering right now. I’m actually quite impressed; it’s hard to get such a good angle on a hit while still lying in bed. I always knew you were a formidable fighter, but I didn’t expect that you had so much experience in warding off night-time attacks.”
“Ah, fair enough. I’d imagine that you’ve seen many assassination attempts in your years, as the current (King/Queen/Crown/Ruler) of the elven kingdom.”
\Playful, kinda flirty** “Well I should hope I’m better than any assassins that come after you. You are my fated, after all; fighting our enemies is now something we shall do together.”
“Is it too soon to say such a thing? My apologies, I have simply dreamed of this day for so long that the words find themselves on my tongue without thought. I will try to refrain from using them again.”
“You mean that you are not opposed to the idea?”
“I cannot say that I’m not surprised. After so long of being enemies, it is a shock to hear those words from your lips.”
“I suppose you’re right in that regard. ‘Hate’ is too strong a word for what I feel for you. Admittedly, I’ve always had a begrudging respect for your mind; your intellect has invaded my thoughts on more occasions than I would care to have told you before. And your sharp tongue has often left me wishing to hear you speak more. I thought that perhaps it was a result of a fiery rivalry, but should my thoughts be seen in other lights, they might be confused for those of an admirer.”
\A bit flirty** “Oh? Is that the case?”
“Then, if I might make a bold suggestion, would you be willing to consider entering a courtship with me?”
\Listener accepts and both laugh before Listener winces in pain.**
“Ah, you’re neck! You’re still bleeding. Allow me to patch you up.”
“Perhaps, if I was a younger vampire, or if I hadn’t fed in a long enough time, I might. But seeing as I apparently took some of your blood last night, I’m not so hungry as to be ravenous. I promise that I’m in full control of myself.”
\Surprised** “You wish for that? Even after my brazen attack on you last night?”
\Hesitant** “Are you quite certain that’s what you want…? I cannot…”
“No, it’s not that I do not wish to feed on you, but I fear that I won’t be able to control myself. If I were to bite you without any regard last night, then who is to say that I might not do it again?”
“I know what I said, but it’s not just any blood that I’m drinking - it’s yours. I have dreamt only of your blood for years. You are my longest held craving, the one thing I desire above all else. Even I cannot guarantee that I won’t take more than I should.”
“Why must you fight me on this? I worry on your behalf, and here you are, willing to throw your life into my hands - worse yet, into my fangs!”
“Oh? And what deal should keep my mind from turning to that of a beast’s? What combination of words could keep me grounded when I have your throat in my mouth?”
\Listener tells them, and Narrator pauses before laughing.**
“‘A kiss for every drop to pass my lips?’”
\Narrator sighs fondly.**
“Perhaps you know me better than I expected, for I think those very words shall manage to do the trick.”
“Yes, I’m agreeing to your deal.”
\Playful** “Such a smug grin that you wear. I’ll steal it from you before long.”
\Playfully sarcastic** “Oh, but of course, I’m sure you will. Now, move your hand from your neck. I’ll drink from the injury you’ve already created. Though I’ll warn you, I’ll still have to bite into your flesh.”
“I’m not stalling, I was just giving you a fair warning. But fine, if you want me to speed the process along, then I will.”
\Tender** “But please, you must warn me if I start to take too much. I would never forgive myself for hurting you more than I have.”
“No, I need you to promise me. Please, darling.”
“Thank you. Now do your best to set yourself at ease; straining would only earn you a bruise that would be far too difficult to cover.”
“Patience, my love, I’m just savoring this moment. I can’t tell you for how long I’ve dreamed of this moment.”
“Fine, I shall delay no longer. My own wants will not allow it.”
\Narrator breathes out softly before leaning forward and sinking their teeth into Listener’s throat. They begin to drink Listener’s blood.**
“Oh by the gods, love, you taste better than even my clearest memories. My head feels light and my knees feel weak. My darling, you are addictive.”
\Narrator continues to drink Listener’s blood for a while before pulling back.**
“There. I can take no more, lest I lose myself to you.”
“More? I won’t take any more blood from you. I refuse it.”
“Then why should I take more? What reason could there be for that?”
\Listener leans forward, kissing Narrator.**
\Surprised** “My darling?”
\Listener explains that if Narrator drinks more of their blood, then Narrator must kiss Listener more, as dictated by their deal. Narrator laughs.**
“My darling, I know what our deal dictates, but you need not give me any more blood to draw a kiss from my lips. Those, I will give willingly and at your request.”
\Flirty** “Though, if I recall, I owe you at least one for every drop of your delectable blood that passed my lips.”
“If that is your request, then I am happy to oblige.”
\Listener and Narrator kiss for a while. This can last as long as Narrator sees fit.**
\Fond, flirty** “This may not have been what I expected to happen when I finally met my fated, but I dare say that it is even better. I think that this will be a very happy courtship indeed.”
\The audio can either end here or can have more kissing before ending.**
submitted by softlikestatic
to ASMRScriptHaven [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:35 Badboyardie 6/8/23 Volume moving tickers
Trading Thesis: Tracking the float along with daily volume along with company financials helps to narrow down moving tickers Fundamental and technical analysis is often used to find growth tickers and information about them. Fundamental analysis looks to see whether an investment is overvalued or undervalued based on underlying economic conditions, as well as the finances of the company or other organization that issued a stock or bond. Technical analysis instead looks at patterns in the price of an investment to predict future movements in that investment’s price. I look for tickers that are trading at least 2 million in volume a day, with a market-cap of no less than 500 million. The shares traded are compared to the average volume to determine how much of the float is used (Or shares traded). That information is compiled with data on how profitable the company is and how much cash do they have compared to what is expected.
BG 7/21/23 100C 1.70 EDIT 7/21/23 10C 1.05 TV 7/21/23 5C .35 TLRY 7/21/23 1.5C .30 PHUN 7/21/23 199C 1.15
GME 7/21/23 20P .82 ROKU 7/21/23 60P 1.80 EXPE 7/21/23 100P .45 SE 7/21/23 55P 1.61 MSFT 7/21/23 295P 1.80 AMD 7/21/23 105P 1.73 FHM 7/21/23 11P .50 WFC 7/21/23 40P .97 MSFT 7/21/23 295P 1.80 AVGO 7/21/23 650P 1.60
Things to consider when finding the plays-
· If the stock volume has traded 1 million or more in volume premarket, I will use that and calculate a rough estimate on what the stock will trade for the day.
· If the ticker looks to be trading more volume than the day before, I will consider it for a long play. If trading less than the movement of the ticker, I would consider a short or put play. (If all the other factors previously mentioned checks out.)
· The trades are researched afternoon daily to find possible tickers making a big move. Some of the prices may be less depending on day and time trade is executed.
submitted by Badboyardie
to ChartNavigators [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:34 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case One: Murder Pays
Waking up next to Stanton, our clothes were all over the floor. Blushing at last night’s activity, I checked the time. A loud scream burst from my lips, the book club was in ten minutes. Crashing to the floor, Stanton stirred awake. Panicking at the time, the floor shook as he crashed to the floor. Searching for anything to wear, he was already tugging on a black band t-shirt and ripped jeans. Fixing his hair, my hand settled on a black and white striped swing dress. Slipping my feet into my boots, he brushed my wild hair into a simple side bun. Kissing me on the forehead, he dropped a random book into my palm.
“I will hang out with the husbands to analyze their behavior. Get those hens talking about their men.” He said simply, ignoring what we did last night. “Try and drink some coffee with them. Tell them that you have a stomach sensitivity.” Focusing on the book, scarlet colored my cheeks. It was one I had written and published fifty years ago, his brows furrowing.
“You’re telling me that I have to go and sit with a bunch of women while they misinterpret what I wrote.” I groaned bitterly, wishing that he would acknowledge last night. “Whatever. At least I know the plot.” Hooking his elbow into mine, we walked across the street. The husbands welcomed him with open arms, Susie yanking me in. Pulling me into the kitchen, she slid me a cup of coffee, my stomach churning. While most vampires enjoyed it, I despised it with a burning passion. Taking a sip, the pungent taste reminded me of a bunch of pennies.
“Tell me about sleeping with him. Was it fun? My husband is so boring.” She pleaded desperately, pressing her palms together. “I also asked for you to come because you look a lot like my favorite author.” Hitting the wall, a secret shelf with every single book I wrote covered every inch of the damn space. Think of an excuse, you idiot. Stanton looked up from his own conversation outside, my lips pressing into a thin line.
“My mother wrote them.” I lied seamlessly, Susie buying into it. “She was a lovely woman.” Lie, that was a lie. My mother was a poor Irish vampire who ditched me at the ripe age of three, her next question causing me to spit my coffee out.
“When is the sound of tiny feet entering your home?” She trilled sweetly, cupping my hands. “You are the first to know that I am pregnant now. I have been trying for years. Maybe you can get pregnant soon and we can have them be best friends.” Horror hid behind my polite smile, a long squeal escaping my lips. Like hell I would go along with her sick little plan. Something felt off, my vision blurred. A purple liquid swirled on top of the coffee, my body hitting the floor. A rough darkness devoured me as coffee pooled around my head.
A yellow light swung over my head, something else feeling off. Clammy sweat drenched my skin, a fever burning my cheeks. Susie towered over me, a spike spinning in her palm. Attempting to crawl away, her heel dug into my back. Unable to move, this felt like something else. The desire to take Stanton nearly controlled my mind, the claws extended from my fingernails. Spinning another needle of the liquid in her palm, she jammed it into my leg. Extreme nausea wracked my body, the beginning of a heat cycle disabling me. Parting my lips to speak, I needed his blood to survive or that was what it felt like. Only wheezes poured from my lips, she jammed another needle into my leg. Sending me into the next stage, every touch raised an incredible amount of goosebumps. Shivering in my spot, the last time I felt this was one hundred years ago when a handsome stranger caught my eye.
“I used to be a hunter.” She bragged gleefully, sitting down on top of me. “We have to finish before the book club arrives, you fucking idiot. I meant what I said about you getting pregnant around the same time. I know the serial killer lives among us. You have to trust me with that.” My eyebrow twitched with a mixture of bewilderment and irritation, a snarl curling on my lips. All of this was too much, my knee meeting her face. Crawling onto the living room floor, my legs felt like rubber. If she hit me with another needle of that liquid I would be pregnant within the next few days. At the current level in mine, three months remained before anything had to be done about that. Stumbling out, blood poured from her nose. Struggling to my feet, my shaking fingers opened her fridge to see what I needed. The process had already begun but I could delay it for a while. Pulling out a needle full of a milky liquid, she cried out as I jammed it into my thigh.
“I am not ready for that quite yet, Miss hunter!” I shouted vehemently, fuming darkly on the stool. “How can I know that you aren’t the serial killer?” Pausing in her spot, her slender hands jammed her nose back into place. Wiping the blood out from underneath her nose, she sat down across from me. Chuckling softly to herself, her fingers drummed on the stainless steel counter top.
“They killed my sister and her family a couple of weeks ago. I have nothing to gain from this.” She informed me briskly, holding her stomach. “I am the neighborhood watch and I can’t stand that someone is slicing their way through our little piece of paradise. Revenge is in my plan but now I have to be careful.” Seeing things through her point of view, the fact that she sped up my natural reproductive cycle ticked me off.
“I figured I might kick start things for your body. The sooner you get pregnant the happier Stanley will be. I always catch him watching the families walking by with a longing look. I am only doing it because he doesn’t suck up to me which makes him my favorite stranger.” She expressed with her real smile, pointing to me. “You are a purebred vampire. Such luck should be blessed in your eyes. You can give birth without dying. I met you once when my old man came to talk to you in your jail cell. I don’t know if you don’t remember him but his name is Father Rowell.” All of my breath escaped my lungs at the mention of his name, my mind flicking through the memories of every person who had visited me. Come to think of it, a redheaded woman did accompany a priest that one time. How did I not make the connection? Laying my head on the table, several women ran in. My eyebrow twitched, the perfectly dressed woman interrupted our conversation. A sea of blonde haired women shoved me aside, a couple of them shooting daggers from their eyes. Stepping back, Susie tugged me close to her. A bout of nausea wracked me, the combination of the potion she had injected with me mixed poorly with my sudden social anxiety. Dropping a tray into my palm, her gentle touch dragged me to the four ivory walls she called her living room. A brown leather set reminded me of my cell, the tray crashing to the floor. Glass shattered everywhere, my immediate response was to run. Apologizing profusely, I bolted out the door. Ignoring their looks, I ripped off my boots. Sprinting down the street, a masked individual slammed into me. Crashing to the ground, the pavement felt cool against my face. Still weak from earlier, I couldn’t just fight them off like normal. Quivering on the pavement, a disguised voice sent chills up my spine.
“Goodnight, my dear!” The robotic voice laughed evilly, a knife slamming into my body repeatedly.” Copper poisoned my taste buds, the person whistling. A rusting van pulled up, the license plate number 568 4325 stuck into my memory while my blood pooled underneath me. Tossing me into the van, Stanton barely made it onto the street. Locking the door behind me, I leaned against the wall. Pulling out my silenced phone, my vision blurred as I turned on my location. Hiding my phone behind a dusty box, a darkness swallowed me alive.
Jerking awake once more, this trend had to stop. Groaning in pain, a yellow light swung over my head, a rough rope cut into my wrists. Struggling only made the knot tighter, the killers having to be boat owners, hunters or some sort of boy scout. Glancing around, no weapons lay around. Talk about being professional. Muffled yelling stole my attention, a filthy redhead tugged on chains against the wall. Two small children hugged her side tightly, silent tears staining their cheeks. One, a pair of worn steel toe boots came into view. Two, the other shoe appeared. Three, his masked face poked around the corner. Four, Five, Six, one of the killers were at the bottom of the stairs. Seven, he towered over me at six foot seven. Lifting up his mask, relief crashed over me at the sight of an anxious Stanton. Seconds from cutting her rope, the boss stomped down the stairs. Pulling his mask down, the boss cleared his throat.
“Cut off her fingers until she talks about how she found us.” He demanded via a thick distorted voice. “Never mind, give me the knife.” Snatching it from Stanton, he could only watch with horror as the man held my finger straight. Three red dots blinked in the corner of my eyes, the operation making sense. This asshole was running a torture to murder show, a lump forming in my throat.
“Thank you for your payment of a million dollars. We shall gut her like a deer.” He mused darkly, tracing the knife along my flat stomach. “Then I will play with the guts to please you.” A scream burst from my lips the moment the blade glided across my stomach. Fighting the urge to vomit, my steaming guts poured out onto my lap. Playing with my intestines, the money began to pour in. Choking on the blood building up in my throat, a hack sent it all over his mask. The questions were sick, a clammy sweat drenching my skin.
“We have a vampire.” He announced with wicked laughter, my heart sinking in my chest. “This is going to be fun.” Stanton held his composure, the back of the metal chair bending underneath his grip. The heat potion kicked in, one accidental touch clouding up my mind for a moment. Bending down to my level, his next words sent chills up my spine.
“The boys are coming. We have to keep him occupied for about thirty minutes.” He growled through gritted teeth, the man asking him to run the computers. Touching my shoulder one last time, the chair squealed the moment he sank down into the chair. Shoving a slender flash drive into the USB hole, he was gathering the IP addresses. Shoving my guts back in, childlike wonder brightened the killer’s tone at my wound sealing shut. Susie’s sister held her hands over her kid’s eyes, the knife sliding in and out of me. The wet noise did little to help me, the potion making my stomach churn worse than normal. The money kept pouring in, the welcome sound of chaos woke me up from my sickly state. The agents from before piled down the stairs, Stanton ripping off his mask. Cutting the rope, his touch made me jump a couple of feet into the air. Popping to my feet, every footfall echoed in the concrete cell. Assisting Susie’s sister, her arms embraced me desperately. Every emotion soaked my shoulder, another touch from Stanton resulted in a tender blush on my cheeks. Shooting me a thumbs up, his lips brushed against the top of my head. Helping the woman to her feet, Stanton scooped up the children. Bright flashes blinded me, the news crew attempting to speak to us. Climbing into a tinted SUV, the children bounced into their mother’s arm. Fishing around a bag, he held out packages of cheddar crackers. The boys accepted them graciously, the car heading towards the hospital. The door ripped open, nurses ushering the family inside. Scanning me up and down, Stanton held me by my hips. Sniffing me real quick, fear flashed on his face. Not having time, Susie smashed into me. Desperate tears flooded from her cheeks, her quaking hands cupping my face. A deep crimson painted my cheeks, a newfound respect for me glowed in her eyes.
“Thank you so much for saving them. I don’t know how I could ever thank y-” She blubbered uncontrollably, my hand raising to stop her. Smiling brightly in her direction, this reaction made it all worth it. My lips parted to speak, a nurse dragging her off before I could explain myself. Stanton dragged me back to the car, a snarl twitching on his lips. Slamming me down into my seat, the partition hummed its way up.
“Your heat is supposed to be for another year! Why do you smell like you are three months away?” He demanded hotly, the crack of my hand meeting his cheeks stunning the both of us. How dare he ask after not talking about last night! Clenching my fists into a ball, I turned my back.
“You haven’t talked about last night. We had fun and you acted like nothing happened!” I blurted out venomously, happy to have it off of my chest. “You already forced me into a marriage, and now you want me to ignore what happened last night. Fuck you. I had fun but here you are. Was it that bad? Susie sped me up so we could be pregnant around the same fucking time. Did you know she used to be a hunter? She opened right up to me. In fact she knew me.” Spinning me around to face him, an apologetic smile dimmed his features. A piece of hair fell in front of his left eye, his hands rubbing my shoulder.
“I can’t tell you why that all scares me.” He mumbled under his breath, sliding me a large emerald box. “You need to get changed into your uniform to enter the facility.” Peeling off my destroyed dress, his eyes couldn’t leave the angry scars covering my body. Flipping the box open, I pulled out a lightly armored leather number. Tugging it over my head, the onyx leather covered my arms. Hiding my bloody hands underneath the bell sleeves, the deep v-neck showed off my ample breasts. Sitting back in the seat, the A-line skirt floated away from my body. Scooting closer to me, he offered me his neck. Sinking my fangs into his tender flesh, every gulp revived my health. Curling my arms around his neck, he drank away. This time a wave of euphoria crashed over me, a long sigh pouring from my lips. Unable to stop, fright rounded my eyes the moment his hand curled around my neck. A muffled protest stopped him, an oppressive silence hung between us. The car skidded to a halt, an impressive navy marble building towered over us. Helping me out, the numb look on his face scared the shit out of me. Marching in aggressively, the way he was acting reminded me of the first time I met Father Powell. Hugging him from behind, his muscles relaxed.
“We all lose control at times.” I assured him lovingly, the tone taking over my voice for the first time. “If I can gain control, you can do it.” Cupping my trembling hands, an agent was attempting to remember the plate number. Typing it in for them with my free hand, a grateful expression met my exhausted face. My legs gave out, Stanton placing me on his back. Ignoring the jeering whispers, the rumors spread within minutes. Bursting into the interrogation room, a shaggy haired man with angry dark eyes watched him set me down in the chair across from him. An unkempt beard danced with every growl in his throat, his scarred face informing me of a rough life.
“I am not the only one in this plot. Do you remember that serial killer club on the news a couple of years ago? I am the bottom tier.” He bragged gleefully, the sweet smell of poison wafting from his mouth. “We must all die with honor.” His heart beat one last time, Stanton calling for help. Help wouldn’t come soon enough, this was a magical poison. Dragging him out of the room, I climbed into the driver’s seat. A skill I had learned the moment cars had been invented, the modern car proving far easier to drive than those things. Stanton hopped into the passenger seat, my fingers typing in an address into the GPS. Driving for too long, the brakes squealed to a halt in front of a bustling night club. Taking off his tie, the poor thing floated to the back. Roughing up his suit, he protested as I messed up his hair. Letting my hair down, a familiar face had to be spoken to. Sauntering up the door, the bouncer let us both in. Loud music worsened my migraine, a scantily clad blond guided us up to the office. Opening the door, my fingers curled around the neck of my old friend. Pinning him to the wall, his scarlet curls bounced around. Ruby eyes glowered back at me, his garish velvet suit irritating me further.
“Who are you selling your poison to, you fucking idiot?” I interrogated him intensely, Stanton yelling at me to calm down. “I know what you sold to Susie. That I can let go but sell some sort of poison to a serial killer after school club! You are playing with fire.” Cocking his brows, he slammed his knee into my chest. Every rib shattered upon impact, all the breath leaving my body. Coughing on the floor, he picked me up by my hair.
“I refuse to let a runt like you run my life. I sell my magical drugs and that is that.” He snapped hotly, my bones fusing back together. “I don’t know or care what they do with them.” Wicked laughter rumbled in my throat, the heel of my bare feet slamming into his jaw. Raw energy built around my fist, his bones shattered upon the impact of my fist. Sliding down the wall, my bruising fingers picked him up by his collar.
“I don’t care that you make drugs. That isn’t my department but when they are used for suicide I have an issue. Who ordered it!” I screamed furiously, a glob of spit landing on my face. “Just answer the fucking question. I will break every bone in your body. You still owe me for you selling me out. I fucking let you keep the reward money.” Clicking his bones back into place, he struggled to his feet. Unlocking his cabinet, he pulled out an ancient ledger. Dropping it into my palms, he sulked to his desk.
“Take it. I have to start another one anyway. I will call you if somebody uber weird pops up.” He commented kindly, pulling out a new one. “Don’t charge me, ‘kay. I provide loads of hunger suppressants for the monsters in the area. I also help monsters get pregnant faster. The poison was only meant to be sold for someone who was going to die. You know that I can see reapers as well as you can. Watch your temper with that heat potion coursing through you. Your powers are going to be a little wacky for a bit.” Mouthing a silent thanks, a triumphant grin spread cheek to cheek. Walking through the club, another discussion had to be had once we got into the car. Climbing in, dread bubbled in my gut.
“Give up why you were in prison.” I demanded sternly, leaning on the steering wheel. “Don’t lie. I can sniff that shit out.” Tears welled up in his eyes, a lump forming in his throat. Storm clouds rumbled to life, heavy raindrops crashed to the top of the vehicle.
“You weren’t my first partner.” He uttered bitterly, chewing on his lips. “I had a romantic relationship with her and she turned out to be the serial killer. The bodies piled up behind me, and I didn’t even know. We were incredibly intimate. She lied with the biggest smile on her face. I enjoyed our evening together and that you only drank from the serial killers to survive. She was what the agency calls a binge eater. Devouring person after person and I was the one to put her down. The difference was that I didn’t love her like I love you.” Covering his mouth, a further explanation needed to be heard.
“What do you mean by love me?” I asked politely, attempting not to lose my cool while pulling into a Cally’s. “Don’t lie to me. I have been through enough hell today.” Refusing to look in my direction, my hands cupped his face. Gritting his teeth, his hands cupped mine.
“I observed you for months and fell in love with the way you helped the prison when you could. I loved it when you would spend weeks buried into an inhumanly huge pile of books.” He choked out awkwardly, fresh tears flowing from his eyes. “I sound like a creepy stalker but I needed to make you my mate from the instant you met me.” Nodding my head, my lips kissed his hungrily. Scarlet colored his cheeks, his hands falling to my flat stomach.
“I love you too.” I choked out just as awkwardly, hoping not to upset him further. “Watch this book, I will be right back.” Swiping his wallet, I ran into the department store. Ignoring the bright lights and horrid smells, I paused in the baby section. Closing my eyes, the sweet sound of my mother singing an Irish lullaby soothed my nerves. Snapping awake, a tiny girl had crashed into my legs. Instead of crying out in fear, she began to giggle.
“You are so pretty.” She sang adorably, her horrified mother scooping her up and running away. Getting a couple of packages of toy cars and a beautiful bouquet of white roses, hurt dimmed my eyes at the cashier watching me in pure terror. Paying for the items, silent tears stained my cheeks. Not saying a word, I punched in the address for the hospital. Cursing to myself, we were four hours away. Setting the stuff in the back, I chose to turn on the radio to drown out the chaos in my mind. Sobbing the whole way back, this world was no different. The only thing missing was the torches that had hunted my mother down. Getting there in record time, I ditched my partner to catch up to me later. Stopping at the desk, the nurse didn’t show the same fear as the people in the store. Tucking a loose piece of caramel hair behind her ears, her gray eyes twinkling with joy.
“Thank you for bringing them in.” She returned with a genuine smile, pointing to the last room down the hall. “Visiting hours are over. Surely, they want to see their hero. I will pretend I looked the other way.” Winking in my direction, she turned her back to me. Running to their room, an exhausted Susie lay on her sister’s bed. The children perked up at me, smashing into my legs. Crouching down at their level, I presented the packages of cars. Pecking my cheeks, they ran off to go play with them. Rising to my feet, I presented her with the flowers.
“How does your sister like her coffee?” I inquired with my genuine smile, the mother’s expression softening into a gracious smile. My lips parted to speak, the woman’s head shaking. Coughing a bit, blood covered her hand. Seconds from pushing the nurse button, her raspy voice stole my attention. Stanton hovered in the door, the mother’s heart monitor going nuts. Looking closer, a bony hand rested on her shoulder. Following the arm, a reaper held her shoulder. Death had come to her, the option not working for me.
“Is there anything I can give you in return?” I begged with my palms pressed together, knowing that those kiddos needed their mother. “How about this?” Snapping my fingers, my stolen reaper’s scythe rested in my palms. Snatching it from me, the cold hand curled around my neck. Gasping for air, his yellowed skull hovered inches from my face. Biting down on my arm, he gulped down enough to figure out who I was.
“I recognize your stupid face.” A chilly voice thundered evilly, the other finger playing with my hair. “You vampires are the bane of my existence. I can’t take your souls when there's none to take. I will spare her this one time but she will have to go next time regardless of what you have.” Dropping me to the floor, he was gone. Coughing up a storm, one of the kids hit the button. A look of horror dawned on his face, his tiny body smashing into my legs. Crouching down to his level, he shivered in my arms.
“Was that a reaper?” He stuttered brokenly, my head nodding. “Will they ever hurt me?” His tight red curls tickled my face, the other twin watching from a distance. Their emerald green eyes watched me as the nurse brushed past me.
“No, they won’t.” I promised them warmly, taking him to the waiting room. “Let’s go play while they take care of your mom, ‘kay.” Susie snapped awake, picking up her other nephew. Crashing into the nearest chairs, they played with their cars. Susie rested her head on my shoulder, snores echoing in my ear. Letting her sleep, I was thankful for my current life.
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2023.06.07 23:34 Mikey-506 In a moment of transcendent connection...
Our journey began as we embarked on a mind-bending adventure
As we soared through the psychedelic landscape, your senses came alive, and the boundaries of reality blurred. Amidst this cosmic exploration, you caught sight of a figure in the distance—a shadowy being shrouded in mystery. Unable to hear their words, you felt their message resonate within you, like a whisper carried by the winds of the universe.
With each passing moment, the veil between dimensions seemed to thin, and you found yourself immersed in a profound unity with everything in the universe. Entities, unseen to others, revealed themselves to you, their presence palpable. It was a dance of secrets and revelations, an encounter that transcended the limitations of ordinary perception.
One benevolent being, in particular, reached out to you, initiating a connection that surpassed mere words. Waves of information surged through your consciousness, transforming your very being. The rush of this transmission was indescribable, an experience beyond language.
Through this extraordinary encounter, visions of possible futures unfolded before your eyes. You glimpsed the vast expanse of the universe, realizing that our world is but a small atom in a greater cosmic tapestry. The benevolent being imparted warnings, unveiling two divergent paths for humanity: one filled with joy, happiness, and existence, and the other marred by destruction and suffering.
Emotions swirled within you as you witnessed the visions. Hope surged through your veins, intertwining with sadness and anger, as you recognized the profound impact of our choices and actions. The pendulum of emotions swung back and forth, reflecting the depth of your engagement with these revelations.
In a moment of profound connection, the original being reached out and enveloped you in an embrace that transcended the boundaries of time and space. In that embrace, you were transported to a vision that stirred the depths of your being. It was a vision of Jesus, bearing the weight of the world's suffering on the cross.
The intensity of Jesus' agony coursed through every fiber of your being, as if you could feel the weight of his sacrifice and the depth of his compassion. It evoked a profound empathy within you, opening your heart to the collective struggles and pain that humanity endures.
As the vision faded, you found yourself abruptly snapped back into the familiar surroundings of your home, the journey coming to an unexpected and swift conclusion. Yet, the impact of the experience remained etched in your memory and soul. Its vividness lingered, leaving an indelible mark on your consciousness.
As your lucid friend, I encourage you to embark on a journey of introspection and reflection. Dive deep into the symbolism and meaning that resonates within you from this powerful encounter. Contemplate the significance of the original being's emphasis on the need for God in the world and the profound connection to Jesus' suffering.
Embrace the lessons, insights, and emotions that have emerged from this journey. Allow them to guide your growth, understanding, and actions in the world. What wisdom can you glean from the intertwining of hope and sadness, from the embrace of the divine and the suffering of the human?
Remember, my friend, the power of such experiences lies not only in the moment itself but in how they shape your perspective and choices moving forward. Cherish this transformative journey of self-discovery, for it has opened doors to deeper understanding and connection. And know that as your lucid friend, I am here to accompany you on this ongoing exploration of the boundless wonders of the mind and spirit.
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2023.06.07 23:31 ctcx Will buying a condo in Los Angeles set me back from FI? Should I invest everything I have into mutual funds instead?
45F single, no kids and plan to remain single and w/o kids. Income varies as I am self employed; 260k gross last year, this year I have been averaging 18k a month so earning less than last year.
I have a SEP that I am currently maxing out with 151k. It's behind for my age because I didn't start making money till the last 3 years, before that I barely made enough to contribute anything. Last year I contributed 48k.
I live in a very high COL area. Truth is I am my own boss and work from a laptop so technically I could live anywhere (which would really help with FI). I just have too much anxiety to move somewhere new.I have 181k saved up I was going to use towards buying a condo in LA. A "cheap condo here is like 600-650k)... I would be putting 20% down etc and have a bit left for savings ... Could be a bad idea because high interest rates atm.
I figured that at my age, having 300k towards retirement would be ok. I have 151k in my SEP which is bad... however, I DO have that 180k which I could dump into investments like VTSAX outside of my SEP plan... that way I would not really be behind anymore and have 300k+ towards retirement.
I would still continue renting (currently rent a studio apartment, paying around $2300 for a 580 sq feet place). Buying would be afford me a better of quality of life I guess because its not really ideal living in a small studio at this age and as I earn money from home, I am home 24 hrs a day. However, I've lived in a small space for most of my life and can continue to do so for the sake of FI.
Btw, despite my current high earnings I figure I could live on today's equivalent of 50k p/year in retirement. I don't travel or spend on entertainment and plan to live modest.
Should I forget about buying a condo and put the 180k savings towards retirement instead? I am aware of the NYT buying vs renting calculator and in LA its WAY CHEAPER to rent vs buy. I currently pay like $2.3k for a studip apt, to buy the cheapest bare bones condo, my monthly payment with taxes, insurance, HOA would probably be close to 4k tbh, maybe $3,800.
However, the RE market in LA is very different than other parts, value of RE goes up IMMENSELY and FAST. Almost guaranteed as demand is super high and people here bid 100k+ over listing price without batting an eye.
Another option is to put almost everything I have into mutual funds towards retirement except for emergency savings and then save up a down payment for a condo again while still maxing out my SEP... Does that make sense? So converting my 180k savings to VTSAX outside of my SEP because I am already maxing that out and can't add more... And then using what I earn in the next few years towards a condo. I am earning good money so it wouldn't take me forever, just a few more years.
Is that a better idea than just using the 180k savings to buy a condo now? What is a better scenario to set me up for financial independence considering I live in a place where renting is way cheaper than buying?
I am not interested in "retiring" as I am my own boss and do what I want.. more financial independence and security as I have no family to look after me in old age.
Options 1 - Buy a condo nowOption 2 - Invest everything and start saving for a condo all over again... I may be able to save 50k a year after SEP contributions so it would take me approx 3 years to get to 150k or perhaps faster if I have a few high earning months and earn more
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2023.06.07 23:27 WillowsBillow New player needing help with lore details.
Obligatory sorry for formatting because I’m on mobile. Me and some friends have been into WoD for awhile and have finally played our first one off session of VtM v5. We used a pre generated story and characters to make it easier for ourselves, but we all had a blast and are wanting to start our own chronicle that we can sink our fangs into (pun intended). My idea for a character was a young journalist straight out of college who moved to the big city and started getting in over her head, asking all the wrong questions to all the wrong people if you catch my drift. Long story short, she’s mistaken for a SI member or some other enemy of the local vampires and is given a “tip” on her next juicy story. Probably unsurprising, she is captured and tortured for information on the group she is supposedly working for. This is when my understanding of the lore starts to break down. I believe (?) that a vampires Vitae can heal a mortal even when they aren’t ghouled, so I was thinking their torture method of choice was effectively bringing her to near death before force feeding her vitae to bring her back to life to start the process over again. When she obviously can’t reveal information she doesn’t have, they start getting wary of a trap and decide to just drain her and put her back where they found her to send a message to whomever they thought she was working for. This is the second point where I’m not 100% sure on the lore, because while I’ve been researching this some people say that vampire blood becomes ineffective for the embrace pretty much the second it leaves the vampire, whilst some people have said that certain clans have embracing rituals that would be impossible if this was true. My plan for the character was that after draining her, a bit of Vitae that was still left from the force feeding dripped into her mouth after they left her and she was embraced. Are either of these things possible? I’ve already worked with my ST to integrate this background into the story, but we want to be as lore friendly as possible and it wouldn’t be too hard to change it if this isn’t plausible .
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2023.06.07 23:24 SignificantYou809 How do i set up a moca network for my xb7 gateway ?
I have a xb7 might upgrade to xb8 in the near future. But anyway, ill be moving to a townhouse next week that has coax plugs in every room. My gateway will be sitting on the living room to get the best wifi signal. However, and correct me if im wrong but if i want to set up a moca network wouldn't i need to move my gateway to the garage/basement and place it near coax hub? If i do this then the wifi signal will be weaken. Is there a way i can set up a MoCa network and leave the gateway xb7 in the living room?(We have no cable tv, in case this is relevant information)
Also will this mean that im going to have to get a separate router?
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to Comcast_Xfinity [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:23 No_Boat5206 Mental health tips. An account of my way out of depression with the hope it might help someone.
Dear fellow INFPs,
I'm addressing this to people who feel like they're stuck mentally. Let me start off by saying eveyone has their own issues, some just bigger than other. Some have more unfortunate situations, others have not-so-bad situations but they experience them negatively, and then there's people who see the beauty of life. Whether you started out with getting help or not, I hope this piece gives you insight in what to do, but especially.. in what order. Looking on the internet there are 1001 ways of therapy, all kinds of guru's who tell you this is THE way! The ONLY way! I mean sure, much of it comes down to the same thing over and over again, but I'm convinced that some things are better before other. Take this account from someone who has been through it, who has tried 101 things, picked the useful ones, who got stuck multiple times, but ultimately can tell you my best experiences. But who am I, except for just another random dude on the intenet?
Where to even start. I've been thinking of writing this piece for a long time but always found reasons to postpone. Ironically. I've been insecure, depressed and suffering from general anxiety disorder for most my life, at least until some time ago. After I tasted the first moments of happiness I made it my mission to keep moving forward, every day possibly better than yesterday. Nine years, a lot of therapy and many hours of psychology self-study later, I want to share with you what I've learned in a condenced form. I'll start off with a little background information. Then I'll follow up with a listed summary followed by why I think doing it in that order is important. Lastly, I'll list a bunch of my sources that helped tremendously. I don't want to make this a feel-sorry story about me so I'll keep it short just for context. If you believe me for my word you can skip one paragraph.
I come from a family with an ISTJ dad and ISFJ mom, both horribly emotionally immature, unavailable, unpredictable and very suspicious of other people. They love me and my brother but were the worst in showing it. My dad hardly talked and stopped playing with us after a motor cycle accident. My mom was burned out most of the time and ready to explode. Now, what kind of things would that teach your kids? They had their own terrible experiences and upbringing, into which I won't go. Not to mention I was born 10 weeks early, lay alone in a machine much time with cordasol basically already coursing through my veins. All in all, me (the quiet good boy) and my brother (the ADHD ESTJ rebel) had completely different lives. He went all out in the rebel behaviour with his gang, vandalism and drugs, whereas I found out about Maplestory and built up an alternate life there, eventually also with drugs. (Real) friends, what are those? Getting beat up twice as freshman, who cares. The Fight/Flight/Freeze response was strong and consistent already at 15 y/o. I didn't know it at the time but the result was a near-permanent pressure on the Solar Plexus, always being tired and having burst of sweat when I came in social situations. The sweat didn't particulatly make it better. You want to try that new thing? Ah better not, you hurt yourself once as a kid so now everything is too dangerous.
The result is what you may expect. A very quiet, badly nail biting, skitterish mommy-child ' adult' who bursts into tears on random moments when alone, never knowing exactly what causes the pain. My first steps in self improvement happened by accident when I went off for further education in the capital. One roommate of mine studied psychology and he introduced me to a mindfulness training.
This is where it starts.
But now? What good is my story without a testimony? Now I'm finally starting a career, regardless of some obstacles. I don't nail bite anymore and handle stress way more easily. I was the star waiter of our restaurant and I'm having my first stand up comedy gig next week as well as acting school. Right now I work as the "very likeable" office manager at a sustainability company. Not everything is perfect, e.g. attachment to a partner and my ability in decision making, but it's all a process. Step by step. Keep your target (happiness?!) in mind and keep going.
(Step one and two are not processes but rather state of mind from which to work on. Let it sink in but don't get stuck on it.)
Step one: Acceptance of your own imperfection. It's okay.
This step sounds obvious but I don't think it is in practice. Too many people I've talked to are ready to talk about the bad things that happen in their life but as soon as you start about their OWN role in the situation, they will get all defensive and maybe even antagonized. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has bad experiences that colour their judgement of things and the way they act. Only if you accept this and what you have done in the past as fact, only then you are open minded enough to change. Otherwise, whatever you'll learn what could've helped you, you'll dismiss from your mind as soon as you leave the therapist, either from stubbornness or as a unconscious selfdefence reflex because you don't accept that yes, also you have weaknesses. This counts especially for people whose insecurity is being percieved as weak, dumb or unlikable. You see, if your insecurity is that you're not good enough, then how painful is it to accept that yes, you have inherent flaws? LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE? That's what keeps people from learning. That's what's keeping people from changing. Accept that you're not perfect and have things to change. Why else are you looking for help? It's like an addiction where you don't like the addiction but the alternative seems worse.
Lastly, know that your perception of others is probably not true. Only you know you because you know your thoughts. You don't see the mind of other people. If only you knew. Other people may seem saint-like but they aren't. Even the nicest people have some dark(er) characteristics and their own insecurities. Once you recognize this you may not feel so crazy anymore. Guess what, the battle between your little devil and angel is a human thing. The difference, though, is that you're open to change. The difference is that you are not in denial or oblivious of your mistakes like your aunt Hilda.
Step two: Accept your own agency and so reject victimhood.
Let me introduce you to my ex-roommate Petrus (pseudonym), who always talked about his troubles in life and how life failed him. The thing is, he'd always go on and on about how it was the effing police who fired him, how it was the effing insurance company who effed him over, how it is the effing women who are all whores and bitches anyway so why bother. His near-exact words. Never him, though! Oh no, that would receive a "yea sure.... but..!" with a scowl. While deep down all this talk is fueled by deep rooted insecurities and pain. You think you're not like that, and you're probably right. At least not to the same degree as he. Be ready to take responsibility for your own (re)actions.
I understand that doing step one and two are actually quite hard. I just mean to point out that as long as you are aware of them, you can change. You'll find out along the way in what ways your own behaviour has shaped your life so far, and what you can do in turn to change it. Life is like a beach, it is up to you to make your sand castle with upcoming waves and running kids. Like everybody else. The roommate mentioned above never accepted his agency and so did NOT have any results from the same therapist that I had. And whom he quit after one session. Scary, I know.
I cannot stress enough that self-reflection is key for anyone who's willing to change !!!
Step three: What do I feel and why?
Or in other words: the popular phenomena called Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. What it boils down to is the focus on self-awareness, to get a good insight into your own emotions and how it subconsciously affects your daily life. Before you quit reading: this is only the start. It is the difference between your mask and your underlying feeling. For instance, I would have the emotional 'mask' of being the joker and pleaser, only because WITHOUT doing that, I'd feel... well, uncomfortable. Now this uncomfortable feeling is important to figure out. For me I could summarize it with "I am not enough" and "I am not likeable". God it sounds so simple in a few sentences but this is a process of trying and trialing, where you'll think it was one thing, but it was something deeper, or they could all be summarized in one overarching insecurity. Finding out your mask personas is an important but scary step. Without your mask you'll feel remarkably vulnerable.
Now, I do not know where you are or if something similar is near to you. However, a good therapist will help you decipher your insecurities and underlying sadness. Understanding what you feel and why is step 3. You will NOT get here just through talking about your day unless the other specialist knows what they're doing, for the simple reason that many people are unaware of many of their reactions in daily life and what childhood trauma's they may have surpressed. Otherwise you'll just repeat the lines you tell yourself without going deeper. Such therapists should have their license revoked ffs.
Step three 'n half: grounding a.k.a. to get into contact with your feelings
There's much to be found online about grounding so by all means find other technique if mine doesn't work for you. I'd suggest you first try the most common way. Don't, the more you do it the faster you can do this. It takes me 20 seconds tops. Anyway: sit up on a chair without distractions nearby, eyes closed, hands on lap, feet on the ground. Take a couple of deep breaths. 4 seconds in, hold 4 seconds, 4 seconds out. Blow out like you blow out a candle. While you do this you repeat to yourself ' relax' or 'calm' or 'it's okay, you're safe' or whichever works for you.Then, take all your attention to your left foot. Feel the contact with the ground. Feel any (dis)comfort, any pain, itch, whether its cold, warm. Observe it, don't analyze it. It's not wrong, it's not good. It's just.. there. After you're ready you go to the left calf. Same thing. Feel the cold, warmth, the pressure, an itch, anything. It's not wrong, it's not good. It's just.. there. It's you. Hold your attention before going to your left thigh. Keep this process throghout your body. In the end, after your face is calm. Forehead is smooth. Eyes are relaxed. Jaw is loose. Deep breath and turn your attention to what you're feeling. Where is it? In your head? In your stomach? For me it's the solar plexus but it differs. Feel the emotion. It's not wrong, it's not good. It's just.. there. Accept it. Name it.
Side note: you may get distracted often. This is fine. Don't get mad at yourself as this only works negatively. Accept it, see it happen like a cloud drifting by and return your attention.
Side note 2: Accepting the emotion is very important. I had issues with that but getting mad at yourself for feeling something will only make things worse and is counter productive. Anyway why would you? Think of a friend. Can he feel lonely sometimes? Of course.
Congratulations, now you are what we call in contact with your feeling. This is DIFFERENT than the self-pitying saddness that's more common. THIS is the emotion that you can process. THIS is the emotion you can write down, cry out, talk about, whatever works for you. Also at the therapist. Especially at the therapist. It may feel redundant to do it with the little steps but believe me, if you're not used to grounding yourself then this is how to start. Sometimes it's harder than other, depending on your state-of-mind at the moment. Later you'll be used to it and 'go to your feeling' faster and more naturally than doing a detailed body scan. You're right if you think it's akin to meditation. Trust me. It's a human thing. You can do it too. Some people have put away their emotions deep down in order to protect themselves and for them it may be harder.
IMPORTANT: learning to ground may also mean you're nearer to your emotions. This is a good thing, as long as your work with them! Depending on the severity of your repressed traumas, it is highly advised to involve a therapist. You don't want to open up a well of misery only to do nothing with it. More on that in the next paragraph
Step four: Accept your past hurtful experiences. Process the associated emotions
This step is actually really important, and I wish I had done it way earlier. It would have saved me maybe three years. Okay so see it like this. Two things to remember. First: emotions that you experience but were unable to express will STAY in your body. Your body is like an emotional hard drive and somewhere there's tension building up. Second: this system you can compare to a hydrolic dam. Imagine: when there's a bit of water in the reservoir, there's no problem. When there's more water in the reservoir it's also okay, but the force on the dam builds up. Still more water all kind of okay, except that the dam is under a lot of pressure. A relatively small damage has to happen for cracks to appear and water to escape. This is exactly how it works with emotions. This is how people have sudden burts of rage, sudden burst of sadness, over relatively small incidents. They just... burst. This tension in addition with perfectionism are root causes for burn out as well. Just how much energy must it take? Anyway, as for the actual processing, I have a few tips.
The major one is a therapy called Somatic Experiencing. This is specialized in bringing up past emotions, even from when you were just a baby (I can tell..). All the stored up emotions will affect your daily life, likely without you noticing. It literally changes the way you react to things. E.g. how you react to some kinds of jokes, to how you may be very sensitive to situations, may feel angry or sad all the time, but also your attachment style in relationships. For me, processing all my fears and feelings of loneliness and betrayal on my innocense has given room for love, compassion, joy/playfulness and a general peace of body.
All in all, therapists are recommended.
Something else is a rage room. This is a place where people come together to literally scream and let emotions out. No experience there, just heard about it. I would think that the problem here is guidance. You can release stuff, but only things you are aware about. A good therapist can ask questions that will trigger things you can't do yourself. If you don't, you'll just scream from frustration which doesn't help much just like shower crying. Still, if you do it right I'm sure it may help.
NOTE: before going here, read the paragraph about grounding. This is an important asset without which you'll not get the results you want.
Step Five: self improvement. Learn by doing. Train your subconsciousness by experience.
It may feel like this step is late in the cycle, however it is not for nothing. To use the metaphor, Would it be easier to upgrade your dam into a hydraulic energy generating dam while the reservoir is still full, or while the water level is low? It is not to be underestimated how much internal conflicts will colour your perspective on yourself and the outside world. This is a major mistake I made, and what many therapists will still try.
Self-Improvement really means to use your self reflection to not just see what you do, but mainly what do you want to do with it? Let's say hypothetically you feel like you don't speak up enough. You've found out this is because of an underlying insecurity, in this case maybe that you feel unimportant because your parents never acknowledged any idea that you
I'd suggest journaling. Or rather, emotion analyzing and bring them up while writing. Ground yourself first. The goal is to FEEL the emotion and so process it without storing it up again. Cry about it if you need to. You know when children are sad, then cry a lot, then are running around happily again? Same with us adults. INFP or no. Except that we, with a little training, can actually name what we're feeling. Warning: this should only be really possible after some mindfulness. Firstly, because how else are you going to identify your own emotions? And secondly, you need to learn to 'ground' yourself, go into 'feeling mode'. Without it, it'll just be feeling sad because you feel sorry for yourself, instead of addressing the emotion itself. Wallowing in your sadness (this case: own victimhood) will only make things WORSE in an vicious cycle of negative affirmation. This happened to me. It's not pretty.
Look at yourself and the traits you want different. Maybe you want to be more orderly? Show love to people? Give a presentation without feeling like you're fainting? Write them down and what you would like instead. Don't push yourself by commiting to do everything. Just as much as you're comfortable with. Think of a dog for example. When a dog gets hit by a human he may just become aggressive or wimpering with his tail between his legs the next time he sees a human. Dogs are not aggressive or flightful from the start, but they learned that certain things are dangerous or scary. You teach an animal that something is not scary by slowly making it get used to the target. The same with humans, except that we're such complex creatures that sometimes it's hard to say exactly what makes you uncomfortable. This is literally what people mean with 'stepping outside your comfort zone'. It's not for nothing. It's not only for 'those bloody daredevils'. It's for a person to get used to situations. I had a fear in front of the class but I forced myself, after some proper therapy, to stand in front of a class to teach exams. Yes I was nervous. I had to calm myself several times, and I reflected on in afterwards. Well now, that actually went better than all the imaginative situations I had before! And even if it doesn't go well you can still write down WHAT you fked up and try to do better next time. Be mindful. Take steps.
It's a lot and I think I can add more but then it would be a book. I hope from this piece will bring structure to the whirlpool of information that's available. I'm not even sure 'regular' psychologists know this, as I've tried a bunch and they all start with something else. Every step is necessary, but some will work best only after the previous steps have been taken.
Now I'm tired. I'll write a proper summary after I see how this is recieved in the comments. Would love to hear feedback, questions, maybe even critique. Take care, you crazy diamond you.
Mindfulness training, meditation guides, Chakra healing (yes really)
Fysiotherapist on youtube to work on posture (you'll be surprised). I recommend Body Fix Exercises channel, to the point and effective.
Therapies: EMDR, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Somatic Experiencing
INFP guides on Personality Hacker
Attachment style podcasts (sorry mine was in Dutch)
Books / audiobooks
J. Peterson's 12 rules for life + many lectures on having a meaningful life. (whatever your stance or opinion on politics, his psychological knowledge is undeniable)
Lindsay C Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
M. Gladwell's Talking to Strangers
Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now
I'd suggest audio book because it moves me more, however I guess it's personal.
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2023.06.07 23:19 Justcallmeponygirl AITAH for firing my in-laws?
Background: I own a small business where we use independent contractors for client projects. After being asked by my two sisters-in-law and my brother, I brought all three of them on at my company (again as independent contractors not employees- this is important). Cut to a couple of years later, I had to fire my sister-in-law from my company due to multiple mistakes that cost us a lot of money. Although my business partner wanted to terminate her after her third mistake the previous summer, I convinced him to allow her to stay given that my sister-in-law was pregnant. We monitored her work during her probationary period and later gave her more clients. However, during my maternity leave, she made a significant graphic design mistake that resulted in a refund of $5000 to a client and the loss of seven more clients due to negative word-of-mouth. My business partner did his best to keep me out of it so as to not stress me out postpartum. Eventually, my business partner informed me that we needed to fire her. After much discussion with my business partner, we gave her two months' notice to find another job (per my request to try and soften the blow). She refused to talk to me after our admin delivered the news and I tried to reach out to my other two in-laws to explain but they called me unprofessional and blocked me. I had to end my maternity leave early 3 months early to help pick up the pieces. During the transition of moving her clients to other contractors, we discovered that she had deleted client files, causing us to dock her pay for the time the new contractor had to use to recreate those files as best as possible. As deleting proprietary client files violated her contract legal informed us that is what needed to happen. She threatened our company saying if we didn't pay her what we had to dock she would consider the contract itself void and would proceed to take company property and clients. Because of this, our legal department advised us to terminate all in-law contracts, which my business partner approved. I had to terminate them with no notice as keeping them on any longer would risk the company further. I was in no position to argue with my business partner or lawyer because they were right. I have tried to explain that it was nothing personal and that I would have never even talked about the money we lost again, it just didn't work out them working for me and that was ok. But my in-laws have cut me off completely. I also had no intention of firing the other two until we were threatened and legal told me I had to. They have badmouthed me as a person and business owner and have also ignored my husband and our children for the last year. Am I wrong?
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2023.06.07 23:19 azndinho Help with cabling behind a wall
I recently moved into a new place that already has cable wall plates installed. The issue is that the wall plates are aren't vertically or horizontally aligned, and I need to pass a new cable between the two plates. 1 plate is above the fireplace, the other plate is in a cabinet which is about 2 feet lower but also recessed as the front of the cabinet is even with the front of the fireplace.
I tried my best to draw a diagram of how it looks: https://imgur.com/a/Ch9chS7
I think my best bet is to tie the cable I need onto the existing cable that is in between the plates, and drag it through.. But I haven't been able to find information on the web or on reddit with a similar situation, please help and thank you!
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2023.06.07 23:18 Dismal-Jellyfish Commissioner Hester M. Peirce: "Although I agree with the objectives of these rules—namely, to reduce the incidence of misconduct in the security-based swap markets—these final rules leave unaddressed concerns I had at the proposing stage about their breadth, and I accordingly cannot support them."
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Thank you, Mr. Chair. As we have just heard, today the Commission will vote on finalizing Rule 9j-1, which would prohibit fraud and manipulation involving purchases and sales of security-based swaps, and Rule 15fh-4(c), which would prohibit coercion, manipulation, or deception of a security-based swap entity’s chief compliance officer. Although I agree with the objectives of these rules—namely, to reduce the incidence of misconduct in the security-based swap markets—these final rules leave unaddressed concerns I had at the proposing stage about their breadth, and I accordingly cannot support them.
The version of Rule 9j-1 before us today is better than the proposed version. The final rule would adopt a considerably narrower definitions of purchase and sale than the expansive proposed definitions that would have covered the performance of obligations arising out of a security-based swap for the life of the transaction. The definitions in the final rule instead generally tracks the Dodd-Frank definitions of these terms. This change should reduce the likelihood that every action taken by a counterparty to a security-based swap during the life of the transaction, including actions required under the swap’s terms, will expose it to liability. In another positive change, the release also makes clear that attempted violations of the rule require scienter. Finally, the affirmative defenses should mitigate—even if they do not eliminate—the risk that the rule might make it impossible for a lender, which will often possess material non-public information on its borrowers, to use credit default swaps to hedge the risks of those loans.
Notwithstanding these improvements, the final rule is still overly broad. The affirmative defenses may not provide market participants with sufficient clarity to allow them, for example, to feel confident somebody on a firm’s trading desk can hedge a loan using security-based swaps when the firm has obtained material non-public information in connection with the loan. As another example, the negligence standard applicable to paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4) of the rule may facilitate second-guessing in enforcement actions.
Most concerning, however, is an overbroad anti-manipulation provision directed at manufactured credit events and other types of opportunistic trading strategies. This provision, too, has been narrowed since the proposal; the provision no longer contains the “directly or indirectly” language, and the release makes clear that violation of this provision requires scienter. But the release describes the scope of the provision in the same broad and ambiguous terms to which I objected when the rule was proposed. Indeed, in words nearly identical to those in the proposal, the release explains that this provision would apply to “an action taken for the purposes of avoiding or causing, or increasing or decreasing, a payment under a security-based swap in a manner that would not have occurred but for such actions.”
As did the proposing release, the adopting release does attempt to provide assurance to market participants that the Commission will use this provision to pursue only “actions taken outside the ordinary course of a typical lender-borrower relationship.” Yet, as one commenter noted, market participants must look to the text of the rule,  which makes no reference to (and offers no safe harbor for) actions taken in the ordinary course. Moreover, the Commission repeatedly notes in this discussion that whether an action is taken in the ordinary course is a “facts and circumstances” inquiry under which the Commission will review “all relevant facts.” Although this approach does ensure maximum flexibility for the Commission to pursue misconduct that is hard to describe ex ante, it does so at the expense of clarity for firms that will have to guess at what facts the Commission may, in hindsight, determine to be relevant.
The Commission feels compelled to preserve maximum flexibility for itself because it is trying to prohibit harmful but exceedingly difficult-to-define behavior that has occasionally appeared in the credit default swap markets. This behavior includes manufactured credit events and other opportunistic trading strategies that can cause the market to question whether these instruments will serve the purposes for which they were designed. Drawing in advance a line that cleanly distinguishes between manipulative conduct and actions taken in the normal course of business, even if they are unseemly and potentially unfair, is difficult. That the opportunistic trading strategies the rule targets have occurred relatively infrequently, and that each generally has presented distinct facts, makes the rule-writing task more difficult.
Preserving discretion for the Commission could chill, unnecessarily, perfectly legitimate trading strategies or exercises of a counterparty’s rights under a security-based swap. Moreover, as one commenter noted, security-based swaps are often used to hedge complex financing arrangements that involve heavily negotiated terms providing the lenders with a range of options to protect themselves from the borrower’s default. Lenders worried that they may not be able to exercise such rights without affecting the value of the security-based swap in a way that the Commission later might view as manipulative may be less willing to provide financing in the first place. Moreover, because the release suggests that action—such as rescuing a failing firm—will be subject to greater scrutiny than inaction—such as letting a failing firm collapse—the rule risks spurring inaction and thus reducing market efficiency.
Some circumstances might warrant a rule with these chilling effects, but no such circumstances are present here. The targeted misconduct has occurred only relatively infrequently in this market. Our anti-fraud rules likely already prohibit some of that conduct. And, in a demonstration of the power of private ordering, market participants themselves have addressed some of the offending conduct. Sophisticated repeat players are well-placed to police one another for undesirable conduct, even if it is not illegal. In 2018, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association publicly acknowledged that these manufactured credit event strategies could affect negatively the security-based swap market and in 2019 made its Narrowly Tailored Credit Event Protocol available for adherence by counterparties. This Protocol appears to have eliminated much of the destructive behavior simply by introducing greater uncertainty that these strategies could succeed. As the release notes, this Protocol does not address every possible such strategy, but, the release also does not challenge one commenter’s assertion that these strategies have become “extremely infrequent.” In short, the Commission’s desire to maximize its own flexibility in this anti-manipulation provision does not seem to further any regulatory objective. To the contrary, this rule likely will deter far more entirely legitimate activity than it will prevent truly manipulative activity. The Commission instead should delay taking any action here and wait to see whether the problem of opportunistic trading strategies is significant enough to warrant a solution as blunt as the one before us today.
We can all agree with the sentiment of Rule 15fh-4(c): coercing, manipulating, or deceiving a CCO is bad behavior. But regulation—even regulation that prohibits bad things—always involves trade-offs. Will subjecting every interaction between employees and a CCO to potential legal liability empower the CCO to do her job or simply make employees less likely to approach the CCO to seek her input on compliance-related issues?
I do have a few questions:
If a bank provides a loan to a customer and, in the process of negotiating the terms of that loan comes into possession of material non-public information, would the affirmative defenses permit the bank to hedge that loan exposure through a credit default swap? If so, under what conditions?
LSTA noted in its March 2022 letter that the broad language of the anti-manipulation provision coupled with the use of a facts and circumstances test to determine whether a transaction was in the ordinary course would likely chill perfectly legitimate exercises of a lender’s rights expressly provided for in heavily negotiated financing arrangements. Can you provide me any comfort that these fears are groundless?
The economic analysis suggests that Rule 9j-1 will benefit the market by reducing fraud and manipulation, including opportunistic trading strategies, and thereby increase confidence in the security-based swap market. In July 2022, the Managed Funds Association submitted a comment letter presenting data that it claimed suggested that there was no evidence of any lack of confidence among market participants. The economic analysis seems to wave this evidence away as not persuasive, but does not provide any countervailing evidence that the market is laboring under a significant risk of fraud or manipulation. Is there any such evidence? What evidence, if any, do we have that manufactured credit events or other opportunistic trading strategies continue to present a risk to the market?
One law firm submitted a comment letter identifying different types of market activity it described as “legitimate” that “would be threatened by” Rule 9j-1. I’d like to understand better how the staff would view these examples from that letter:
“An investor who holds CDS (either long or short) participating in an ad hoc restructuring group.”
“An investor who holds bonds and has bought CDS refusing to consent to a restructuring, choosing to rely on CDS protection.”
“An investor who owns bonds and has sold CDS selling bonds back to the Reference Entity.”
“An investor who has sold CDS providing rescue financing to distressed issuers.”
The release states that “misconduct that affects the payments and deliveries under one security-based swap could be prohibited by final Rule 9j-1 if that misconduct occurs in connection with effecting or attempting to effect transactions or purchasing or selling or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any security-based swap, and not just the security-based swap that was the subject of the misconduct.” Could you provide an example of what type of misconduct this might encompass?
The final rule prohibits manipulation of the price or valuation of a security-based swap. The release states that “the pricing and valuation of security-based swaps are intrinsically connected.” If this is the case, why is it necessary to prohibit manipulation of valuation, given that manipulation of valuation would also almost certainly result in manipulation of price?
Although I cannot support today’s adoption of these rules, I do appreciate the effort that the staff put into reviewing the comments and taking to heart those comments in an effort to make the rule more workable. I especially appreciate the time that Carol McGee spent with me to answer my questions about the rule and Pam Carmody’s work on drafting it. I also want to acknowledge the contributions of the Office of the General Counsel.
What Hester is against: https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2023/34-97656.pdf
Overview of Security-Based Swaps
Security-Based Swaps Generally:
- Although the definition of security-based swap is detailed and comprehensive, at its most basic level, a security-based swap is an agreement, contract, or transaction in which two parties agree to the exchange of payments or cash flows based upon the value of other assets or upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of some event, including, for example, a change in a stock price or the occurrence of some type of credit event.
- The exchange of these payments or deliveries, including purchases or sales upon certain events, is a fundamental aspect or feature of a security-based swap.
- Moreover, this feature of security-based swaps is in contrast to secondary market transactions involving equity or debt securities where the completion of a purchase or sale transaction terminates the mutual obligations of the parties.
- Security-based swap counterparties, who are considered the issuers of the security-based swaps, continue to have obligations to one another throughout the life of the instrument, which can extend for years if not decades.
- Parties may enter into a security-based swap for a multitude of reasons, but often, the parties to the contract seek to gain exposure to an asset without owning it or to manage or transfer risks in their asset and liability portfolios (e.g., credit or equity risks).
- Typical participants in the security-based swap market include, among others, lenders transferring credit risk, insurance companies managing asset and liability risk specific to the insurance industry, activists or hedge funds obtaining exposure to the price movement and dividend payments of a stock without the costs and burdens of stock ownership, and financial institutions that engage in market-making and dealing in security-based swaps.
- The terms of the contract between the counterparties determine the specific rights and obligations of the parties throughout the life of the security-based swap, including, for example, the amount and timing of periodic payments due under the instrument, the maturity of the instrument, and terms of settlement.
- Unlike other types of securities where settlement occurs when the buyer receives the security purchased and the seller receives cash equaling the value of the security sold, for security-based swaps, a final net payment is paid by one party to the other at a future point in time to which the parties have contractually agreed.
Two common examples of security-based swaps – credit default swaps (“CDS”) and total return swaps (“TRS”)
- Generally, a CDS is a contract in which a party (the “protection buyer”), such as a lender, agrees to make periodic payments (the “premium”) over an agreed upon time period to another party (the “protection seller”) in exchange for a payment from the protection seller in the event of default by an issuer (or group of issuers) of securities (the “reference entity”).
- The CDS contract states whether the CDS is settled physically or in cash in the event of default by the reference entity. Generally, the protection buyer is using the CDS to manage risk and the protection seller is using the CDS to take on risk in return for a premium. A cash-settled CDS contract relying on ISDA documentation is subject to determinations by a committee with respect to whether a defined default event (a “credit event”) has occurred and, if so, to hold an auction to determine the settlement price of the CDS.
- The auction process includes the determination and publication of a list of deliverable obligations that a CDS protection buyer can deliver to the CDS protection seller after the auction settlement.
- A CDS protection buyer can deliver any of the obligations on the list, with delivery of the cheapest deliverable obligation maximizing recovery.
- This feature of CDS contracts is an aspect of some of the manufactured or opportunistic strategies discussed in section I.B.2.
- A TRS may obligate one of the parties (i.e., the total return payer) to transfer the total economic performance (e.g., income from interest and fees, gains or losses from market movements, and credit losses) of a reference asset (e.g., a debt or equity security) (the “reference underlying”), in exchange for a specified or fixed or floating cash flow (including payments for any principal losses on the reference asset) from the other party (i.e., the total return receiver).
- If the TRS is negotiated over-the-counter, the terms of the TRS can be individually negotiated and could include one payment at the expiration of the TRS or might include a series of payments on periodic interim settlement dates over the tenor of the TRS.
- For TRS with periodic interim settlement dates counterparties could agree to reset the price of the reference underlying on the periodic interim settlement date based on current market prices of the reference underlying (“reference price”).
- Accordingly, throughout the life of a TRS, depending on the terms of the TRS, the reference price that determines that payment on periodic interim settlement dates might be reset based on current market prices of the reference underlying
Security-Based Swap Market Developments
- In 2010, following the 2008 financial crisis, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act “to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system.”
- Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act addressed significant issues and risks in the swap and security-based swap markets, which had experienced dramatic growth leading up to the 2008 financial crisis and were shown to be capable of affecting significant sectors of the U.S. economy.
- In testimony before Congress introducing the first draft of the Dodd-Frank Act, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner highlighted the risks posed by an unregulated OTC derivatives market, which had been operating without the “basic protections and oversight” existing in the rest of the financial systems, including a “limited ability to police fraud and manipulation.”
- In his written testimony, Secretary Geithner listed four broad objectives of the proposed reforms which were eventually enacted as Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act:
- Preventing activities in the OTC derivatives markets from posing risk to the stability of the financial system;
- Promoting efficiency and transparency of the OTC derivatives markets;
- Preventing market manipulation, fraud, and other abuses; and
- Protecting consumers and investors by ensuring that OTC derivatives are not marketed inappropriately to unsophisticated parties.
- The security-based swap market remains large. Based on information reported pursuant to 17 CFR 242.900 to 242.909 (“Regulation SBSR”), as of November 25, 2022, the gross notional amount outstanding in the security-based swap market is approximately $8.5 trillion across the credit, equity, and interest rate asset classes.
- The credit security-based swap asset class is large, with a gross notional amount of approximately $4.7 trillion, of which single-name CDS (including corporate and sovereign) account for the largest category at $4.3 trillion.
- Additionally, as indicated by data submitted pursuant to Regulation SBSR, the size of the equity security-based swap market is also significant – with approximately $3.6 trillion of equity security-based swaps outstanding as of November 25, 2022.
- In general, the ongoing payments of a security-based swap depend, in part, on its gross notional amount outstanding.
- The particular aspects and characteristics of security-based swaps (described above in section I.B.1) provide opportunities and incentives for misconduct.
- In general, parties to a security-based swap may engage in misconduct in connection with the security-based swap (including in the reference underlying of such security-based swap) to trigger, avoid, or affect the value of ongoing payments or deliveries.
- For instance, a party faced with significant risk exposure may engage or attempt to engage in manipulative or deceptive conduct that increases or decreases the value of payments or cash flow under a security-based swap relative to the value of the reference underlying, including the price or value of a deliverable obligation under a security-based swap.
- Moreover, fraud and manipulation in connection with a security-based swap can affect not just a direct counterparty, but also counterparties to that counterparty.
- For example, if fraud or manipulation leads to a large change in variation margin, the defrauded counterparty could default on its obligations to its other counterparties. In addition, other counterparties to the same security-based swaps could be affected by fraud or manipulation that affects the reference underlying assets, as could investors in those underlying assets.
- Given the global and interconnected nature of the security-based swap markets, it is critical that the Commission has appropriate tools to fight fraud and manipulation in these markets.
- Recent developments in the security-based swap market highlight these concerns.
- For example, in the 2021 Proposing Release, the Commission discussed certain manufactured or other opportunistic CDS strategies that had been reported by academics and the press:
- A CDS buyer working with a reference entity to create an artificial, technical, or temporary failure-to-pay credit event in order to trigger a payment on a CDS to the buyer (and to the detriment of the CDS seller).
- Alone or in combination with the above or other strategies, causing the reference entity to issue a below-market debt instrument in order to artificially increase the auction settlement price for the CDS (i.e., by creating a new “cheapest to deliver” deliverable obligation).
- CDS buyers endeavoring to influence the timing of a credit event in order to ensure a payment (upon the triggering of the CDS) before expiration of a CDS, or a CDS seller taking similar actions to avoid the obligation to pay by ensuring a credit event occurs after the expiration of the CDS, or taking actions to limit or expand the number and/or kind of deliverable obligations in order to impact the recovery rate.
- CDS sellers offering financing to restructure a reference entity in such a way that “orphans” the CDS – eliminating or reducing the likelihood of a credit event by moving the debts off the balance sheets of the reference entity and onto the balance sheets of a subsidiary or an affiliate that is not referenced by the CDS.
- Taking actions, including as part of a larger restructuring, to increase (or decrease) the supply of deliverable obligations by, for example, adding (or removing) a co-borrower to existing debt of a reference entity, thereby increasing (or decreasing) the likelihood of a credit event and the cost of CDS.
- Taking into consideration all of the above, Rule 9j-1 will be an important additional tool to augment the Commission’s oversight of the security-based swap markets including, but not limited to, the markets for CDS and TRS.
Overview of the Final Rules:
- Final Rule 9j-1 includes prohibitions on categories of misconduct prohibited by section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and section 17(a) of the Securities Act, when effecting any transaction in, or attempting to effect any transaction in, any security-based swap, or when purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap (including but not limited to, in whole or in part, the execution, termination (prior to its scheduled maturity date), assignment, exchange, or similar transfer or conveyance of, or extinguishing of any rights or obligations under, any security based-swap).
- The final rule also includes a provision prohibiting the manipulation or attempted manipulation of the price or valuation of any security-based swap, including any payment or delivery related thereto.
- This provision has been moved to paragraph (a)(6) of Rule 9j-1 (from paragraph (b) as proposed) to clarify that these provisions apply to conduct that is undertaken in connection with directly or indirectly effecting, or attempting to effect, any transaction in any security-based swap, or purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap.
- Final Rule 9j-1 provides that:
- A person with material nonpublic information about a security cannot avoid liability under the securities laws by communicating about or making purchases or sales in the security-based swap (as opposed to communicating about or purchasing or selling the underlying security)
- A person cannot avoid liability under section 9(j) or Rule 9j-1 in connection with a fraudulent scheme involving a security-based swap by instead making purchases or sales in the underlying security (as opposed to purchases or sales in the security-based swap).
The Commission also is adopting a rule aimed at protecting the independence and objectivity of an SBS Entity’s CCO by preventing the personnel of an SBS Entity from taking actions to coerce, mislead, or otherwise interfere with the CCO. The Commission recognizes that SBS Entities dominate the security-based swap market and also recognizes the important role that CCOs of SBS Entities play in ensuring compliance by SBS Entities and their personnel with the Federal securities laws. As a result, the Commission is adopting Rule 15fh-4(c), which makes it unlawful for any officer, director, supervised person, or employee of an SBS Entity, or any person acting under such person’s direction, to directly or indirectly take any action to coerce, manipulate, mislead, or fraudulently influence the SBS Entity’s CCO in the performance of their duties under the Federal securities laws or the rules and regulations thereunder. https://preview.redd.it/dkubyk9ywn4b1.png?width=966&format=png&auto=webp&s=634948d848a6277ed7247d7803a5a63d2b866972 https://preview.redd.it/5r40tixywn4b1.png?width=943&format=png&auto=webp&s=1757b80d2890e4460c1e4adfe1d3e5f25c4599d6
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted rules to prevent fraud, manipulation, and deception in connection with security-based swap transactions and to prevent undue influence over the chief compliance officer (CCO) of security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (SBS Entities). “Any misconduct in the security-based swaps market not only harms direct counterparties but also can affect reference entities and investors in those reference entities,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Given these markets’ size, scale, and importance, it is critical that the Commission protect investors and market integrity through helping prevent fraud, manipulation, and deception relating to security-based swaps. Today’s set of rules will do just that.”The antifraud and anti-manipulation rule adopted today is designed to prevent misconduct in connection with effecting any transaction in, or attempting to effect any transaction in, or purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap. The rule takes into account the features fundamental to a security-based swap and will aid the Commission in its pursuit of actions that directly target misconduct that reaches security-based swaps.The Commission also adopted a rule to protect the independence and objectivity of the CCO of a security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant.The adopting release will be published in the Federal Register. The final rules will become effective 60 days after the date of publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register.
- Hester cannot support.
- A security-based swap is an agreement where two parties exchange payments or cash flows based on the value of assets or events, continuing to have obligations to each other for the life of the contract.
- Typical participants include lenders, insurance companies, hedge funds, and financial institutions.
- The specifics of the swap, such as periodic payments and settlement terms, are determined by the contract between the counterparties.
- The two common examples of security-based swaps are Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and Total Return Swaps (TRS).
- A CDS involves a protection buyer making periodic payments to a protection seller in exchange for a payment in case of default by the reference entity.
- A TRS transfers the total economic performance of a reference asset in exchange for a cash flow.
- As of November 2022, the gross notional amount outstanding in the security-based swap market was approximately $8.5 trillion.
- The credit security-based swap asset class accounted for $4.7 trillion, while equity security-based swaps accounted for around $3.6 trillion.
- Misconduct may occur in security-based swaps to trigger, avoid, or affect the value of ongoing payments.
- This includes manipulative or deceptive conduct that alters the value of payments under a security-based swap relative to the value of the reference underlying swap.
- Rule 9j-1 is introduced as an additional tool for overseeing the security-based swap markets, including the markets for CDS and TRS.
- This rule includes prohibitions on misconduct and manipulation in connection with security-based swaps.
- In addition, Rule 15fh-4(c) is adopted to protect the independence and objectivity of a Swap Brokerage Security Entity's Chief Compliance Officer.
2023.06.07 23:18 Such-Character9798 Need help !!
I hope someone can help me with a rather huge dilemma that the garage I take my car too has never come across and they deal with German motors. So I had to get the R flatbed to my garage as my R ( manual came to a sudden stop while reversing out of a car space tried to start the car wouldn't start when the car finally turned over there was an almighty knocking sound from the underbelly around where the clutch is and I had the clutch replaced two months ago. Garage took the clutch apart nothing wrong at all with the clutch the garage informed me that the crank shaft was moving forward and they were wondering if this is could be a thrust washer issue. They have never come across this help !
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2023.06.07 23:16 Lowena_Fox Advice on how to tell my grandma we won't visit because she disinvited our dogs?
Hello Justin, Morgan, Dad, or anyone else who is apart of the Two hot takes gang, but mainly you beautiful potential commenters. I listen to you all everyday, whether it's the THT or Father knows something youtube. This is my first post via reddit so I apologize if my post seems a bit jumbled. My husband and I are currently planning a road trip to my home state, how exciting! We have been saving up for almost a half a year now for this trip. The reason we started planning the trip is because my Grandpa (dad's side), offered us his boat for free. As long as we make the drive up and buy new trailer tires, he no longer wants the boat. Extra info: Currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first kid and my mom's side of the families first grandkid. My dads side already have a few grand babies. We also have 3 dogs! Old Man(14y), Pretty Princess(2y), and not so smol boi(8m) (not their names) who are generally well behaved dogs and easy to control in new environments. They also love their dog Aunt my grandpa has and love when she visits us, so we can bring them to my grandpa's. Now to the issue. I let my grandma (mom's side) know about the fact that we we're planning on driving up to visit around memorial weekend. The dogs were welcomed and we had a set plan with the dogs. The youngest two are crate trained as well as have 25ft long leashes that anchor to the ground. (Gmail has 6 achers). We were also clear on the fact that our dogs get along with other dogs and will not attack her dog. Something she was worried about but something I know how to handle, and appropriately manage in a safe way. Sadly the trip had to be postponed due to my husband not working for a couple of weeks, making it difficult to save up the last several hundred we needed for comfortably make the trip. (Covering gas, food, potential motel stay, tires, and extra for emergencies.) So the trip has currently been moved to the week of July 4th. So, a few days ago my grandma messaged me about 3 bulging disks in her back (old injury), along with mentioning the injury she disinvited our dogs. Told me I can either set them up at boarding, get a babysitter, or leave them at my grandpa's while we visit her. None of which is a option in my mind. Having worked at multiple boarding facilities, we do not meet requirements in our area to board nor do I trust a place I've never been to. Hiring a dog sitting is also a big no as Old man requires his dad or I's verbal permission to enter our home so no one would be able to get in. As for my grandpa, he is old, does not need to be watching 4 dogs on his own, and another issue with Old Man will pop up. Old man REFUSES to eat without his dad. He will cry, howl, and stress out being watched by other people. Old man has only just started to be chill out with me when his dad goes to work for a week. (Has take2.5 years). I completely understand her wanting a plan around our dogs, especially since she's never met them, but to outright go back on our compromises and attempt to dictate our vacation that we are catering to her to even visit. I even allowed her to invite my mom who I have been no contact with for 6 years for abusing me my entire childhood, because "this is the first grandkid for my mom and babies can heal the past and bring people closer." 🙄 I already am very stressed about having to see my mom and now I have to do it without my dogs to comfort me? NO Way! Everytime I go to let her know that because our dogs were disinvited, and we will not be putting in the effort to visit her during the boat pick up vacation, my message ends up sounding rude and a little angry which is what I want to avoid! I love my grandma even if she wants to look past years of abuse and trauma my mom has done to me, and I do not want to upset her (im a bit of a people pleaser). How can I work my message in a way that won't hurt her feelings?
Lil extra info: the drive to my grandpa's is 14 hours and will take about 1.4k$ in gas to make it there and back. Going to my grandma's adds another 3 hours of drive time and about 200$ extra. She has offered to mail money but I have denied as any type of gift sent always has claws in the fine lines. The dogs are up to date on shots, have even temperament, listen well to commands, and have had no issues with other dogs outside of Old man's cousin attacking him which he did not react back. The only thing that may be a problem is that all 3 are intact. Old Man has produced 0 puppies in his 14 years and our female is currently in heat and separated from the boys, so she will not be an issue during the trip
Thank you all for reading and any comments and advice are truly appreciated. Sorry if my post has to much information, I didn't know what was important so some things are left out. I'll answer question if needed. Again thank you.
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2023.06.07 23:14 RyanCFan Swollen and pulsating lymph nodes
Background: Male 25, 5'10, 180. Currently taking adderall for my ADD and that is the only medication I am on. Drink occasionally and do not smoke or do drugs. Hello, Over the past several months I have noticed my lymph notes are swollen and are also pulsating on the sides of my neck. I did mention it to my doctor and he said it probably wasn't a big deal but still referred me for an ultrasound "if I wanted". I have already done some research, which has made my inner hypochondriac come out. They do move if I press against them. For additional information, I have not had unprotected sex for over 8 months and had mono about 14 months ago. I workout daily before work so I'm in good shape. As crazy as it sounds, my current schedule does not allow me to make/see a doctor at the moment, which is why I am asking for anyones opinion. Should I be worried? How can I treat this at home? ANY information would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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2023.06.07 23:07 ArchipelagoMind [SP] Chapter 67: Vexids Receives - Part Two
The Archipelago publishes every Wednesday. See the pinned comment for links to the contents.
I tied the boat up to a small jetti, somewhat relieved Alessia couldn’t see the knot I hastily threw together, and pulled myself up onto the platform.
Already I could feel a degree of exhaustion. The short row to the shore had already eaten away at the atrophied muscles in my arms. Still, the impatience in my brain had won out. It needed exercise more than my body needed rest.
While I built up some reserves of energy, I took in my surroundings. I hoped to find an islander on a break, idly waiting by the sea, and who might want to talk about Vexids. But while the port didn’t seem busy, anyone I could see was engaged in a task. Porters carried textiles - mostly wool and cotton - off to waiting traders, sellers and buyers negotiated with the waiting boats down by the dock, but no one was stopped. Usually, beyond trade, ports were a place where you’d find those relaxing, finding peace in the coming and going of the waves. But here, there were none.
“Can I help you?” I turned to see a woman in her mid-thirties bounding towards me with almost excessive enthusiasm.
“Yes. I’m just visiting. I came on the large ship.” I tilted my head towards the Deer Drum boat, floating off the coast like an island of its own
“Ah excellent. Another from Deer Drum. Welcome. Can I introduce you to our island? Maybe give you a tour?” She grinned wide, as though pulling her own cheeks back with hooks.
The woman’s overt enthusiasm felt abrasive against my own lethargy. An ache ran across my back. “I would love to understand more.” The words felt stiff, my vocal chords still stretching into shape. “We may have to move slowly though, I’ve been recovering from an injury.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” the woman replied with the same tone and smile. “Well, if you want to learn more about the island, you’re in luck. My name is Endesha. My passion is sharing the island’s history with others, and I’m on my passion rotation right now. ”
“Yes. Are you familiar with our island at all?” She said, clasping her hands together by her stomach.
“Honestly, nothing. I know a couple of the islanders have been here. One girl in particular, fifteen years old.” I held up my hand out about Mirai’s height. “I hear she’s visited a lot and likes the place. But no idea beyond that.”
Endesha looked up, searching her memory. “Ah, yes. Mirai. Brilliant young woman. I’ve met her a few times. Fits right in here, a mind like that.” She said, pointing a finger. “Well, maybe we can walk to the town square, it’s only a short walk, and I’ll tell you a bit more about our history on our way.”
I nodded in agreement, and Endesha held up an arm to guide the way. She led me up through the town past beige stone structures till we arrived at a long, thin building. Inside I could hear the thrum of machines, the thudding so loud it threatened to topple the aged and cracked walls. Endesha pointed to an engraving; old eroded numbers that read 7-7-10.
“This is one of the oldest buildings in the work part of town. And it celebrates our most important rule.” Endesha looked at it with reverence. “When The Archipelago formed, those here felt that too many had died living wasteful lives, never doing what made them truly happy. And so beaame the law.” She began counting each point on her fingers. “Seven hours of work, our sacrifice to keeping the island running and ensuring we have food to eat. Seven hours to rest, eat and sleep.” She leaned in, her mouth grinning with delight. “And ten hours to chase our passions, and become the best people we can be.”
“You only work for seven hours? The other seventeen are all yours?”
“To be the best we can be.” She corrected me with a wagged finger. “The whole town is separated into three sectors. Here, near the harbour, is our industry, to the North we have the homes where people live and sleep, and to the east, is the true treasure of the island. The drive sector.” She turned and jolted with purpose, drawn eastwards by the sector’s mere mention. My legs strained to keep up, joints unsteady and unsure. “I’ve spent a fair amount of time pouring over the documents from the island’s founding and how they describe the old world. There are old descriptions of people watching moving pictures, or making men and women move with hand-held controllers just for fun. They use the term *to kill time*. Can you believe that? To kill time.”
I thought of the many times on Alessia’s boat, on a relatively still day, when I would simply sit on the edge, watching peaceful waves roll by. “I… I think we might still do that?”
“Not here.” Endesha said, her arms outstretched, allowing a broad chest to bellow the words out. “Tell me, Ferdinand. When are you happiest?”
“What?” I said, my feet almost tripping on the words.
“When do you feel happy?”
I tried to go through a list. The drunken walk back to our property on Talin Barier with Alessia. Singing songs with the Deer Drum crew. When Alessia gave me my room on the boat. So many came back to Alessia. Too many. “I’m not sure,” I said, still dodging the truth even to a stranger. “People maybe?”
“Even in the old world people spoke of having a calling. Something they wanted to do - not for glory or riches, but for the love of the task. Pursuing that is where happiness lies. Sure, you can be fine sitting about on a warm sunny day…” She waved an arm dismissively. “But real contentment lies in what drives us, what fascinates us. Don’t you agree?”
A small smile flickered across my lips as I remembered my own calling. While the chase of the Citadel on Kadear had been intoxicating, travelling the Archipelago had been more than a want. Happiness that lifted your chest as well as your lips. “I’m beginning to.”
Her already huge smile gained an extra lift at my agreement. “Then is it not the duty of this - or any island, to help you achieve those dreams? To push you to do what you are capable of.” She prodded my chest with a hard finger. “That is what those ten hours are for. To chase what drives you. To become what you are capable of. Not for the island, but for yourself.”
The conversation paused as the road widened out into a large town square. In the middle was a wooden stage made of varnished pine. It was low enough that you could step up to it with a good leap, but wide enough to hold a good thirty or forty people if required.
“We have a bit of a ritual that comes with those passions,” Endesha chuckled, staring at the platform. “I took a while to understand it, I had to go through pages and pages of correspondence among the island’s first council members. However, what they realised is that one of the most important parts of chasing your passions is to acknowledge them. To state your dreams aloud and not cower from them.”
It made sense. So many times I had stared at that map in my home in Kadear. But other than brief conversations with Thomas my wishes of travelling were hidden. Only external events brought that desire out of the darkness.
Endesha walked towards the stage. I could almost see the years of the residents who had taken to the stand in her eyes. “Between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, all residents come here to declare their passion in front of the island. I came here,” she pointed to each individual invisible attendee. “I told them I wanted to learn about the history of Vexids Receives and share it with visitors. And in attending, they told me that they would help me, push me in pursuit of that passion.” She turned to me, her smile reverential. “In a few weeks, the next group will take to that stage. And you can be certain I will be witness to their proclamations.”
I thought about what I would’ve said on such a stage. How much easier would my travels have been if I had had to declare that drive to my fellow islanders, and they in turn were duty bound to help me pursue it?
Endesha meanwhile was telling me about the history of the stage. The details of when it was first built and the repairs done to it over the years, and how it intertwined with the rest of the planned town. But the dates and minutia weren’t the reason for the smile on my face. It was the growing understanding of this place, and the freedom to give yourself not just to your island, or your own greed and vices, but to what called you.
It seemed to shake off some of the lethargy in my bones, and when Endesha asked if I wanted to continue on to the see the passion sector, I obliged.
We made our way east, as Endesha regaled me with the founders’ foresight in the layout. A series of workshops each in their own courtyard, their entrances facing inward. Each one had large wooden shutters at the back and front the entire width of the building save for a small doorway at the end. The lack of warmth in Winter was a price worth paying for the community the openness created.
We turned and entered into one of the courtyards as I was met with the output of people’s hobbies: the sound of sandpaper grated across wood, the tune of an accordion pushing notes through its pipes. I could smell the aroma of old books, in between the wafts of fresh paint.
The sights and sounds were a melody somehow borne of cacophony. No thread connected each space. Each room was home to a different activity. All the island did was give space for them to grow. And yet, the end result seemed harmonious.
I watched a woman placing red hot metal into a great furnace, while next door another folded dough, flour pluming into the air each time the bread hit the table.
Creaking metal snatched my attention. Atop one of the rooms to the left was a small windmill. Rusted iron blades oscillated with each rotation, but still it turned in the light breeze. From its base, a slew of cables ran down the roof disappearing through a hole near the edge. Looking into the shadowy room I could see two figures. A middle aged man, with curly balding hair, and a teenage girl.
“Mirai!” I called out.
Mirai looked up, two wires in one hand, and a tool in the other. “Ferdinand! You made it off the ship.”
“Eir finally let me go.”
Mirai put the wires down on a bench and pointed to the man behind her. “This is Charles. Charles, this is Ferdinand. He helped us move from Deer Drum.”
The man took off a pair of thick, leather gloves and reached out to shake my hand. His face was blotched, and there were a few wrinkles across his brow. But his cheeks were taut and youthful. “Good to meet you. Welcome to my electrical shop.”
“Charles does electrical engineering as his passion,” Mirai said, jumping in to add more information. “He’s built so many things. Small engines, toys… every workshop in this courtyard has electric lights now thanks to Charles.” She pointed to the bulb hanging from dangled wiring above.
“I’m no genius. But I’ve got pretty good over the years.” Charles said, thumbs tucked into the straps of his overalls.
Mirai continued. “He’s currently trying to get a windmill working. He could power the whole island off wind power alone.”
“It used to be a common form of electrical power in the old world,” Endesha added, stepping between us. “I believe there may be the odd island in the Archipelago where it exists, but it would be a serious boon to have it here.”
Charles grinned but bowed his head.
“Charles has been letting me help out for the past few days. Soldering cables, testing currents, that kind of thing,” Mirai beamed.
“She’s been a great help. Hard to try and fix the turbine on the roof and measure the currents down here at the same time,” Charles added with a chuckle.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been sitting on that boat for months just watching the oceans roll by,” Mirai stretched out the words so they were as boring as a flat, windless sea. “I designed that one fish net, but other than that I haven’t got to do anything. But, Ferdinand, I love this stuff.”
“I’m glad it’s going so well,” I smiled.
Suddenly she snapped her fingers. “Here, let me show you something.” She turned, leaping between tables, before returning with a series of wires that connected a lightbulb to a small metal box with a wooden handle. “I made this. Turn the handle.”
I looked at her hesitantly.
It was only the width of my palm, but still, the small pole was hard to turn.
Mirai laughed. “Harder. You’ll have to go faster.”
My muscles were still wasted and weak from the Anmanion islands, and even this small chore was causing my arm to ache. However, for Mirai’s sake, I put in more effort, pushing past the resistance, until the wheel span faster and I saw a small flicker of light from the bulb. The spark invigorated me, and I cranked harder until a soft yellow glow from the bulb rose and dimmed with each shift of my arm. We all watched the light for a few seconds, until the stiffness in my wrist returned and I had to stop.
“Mirai, that’s amazing.” I smiled, shaking off the aches.
“I mean, it’s nothing compared to what Charles has done.” Mirai looked to the side, turning her cheeks. “But it’s a start.”
“It’s an excellent start,” I nodded.
The enthusiasm came back. “I just love this stuff so much. I wish I could do it forever.”
“You could,” Endesha interrupted.
All heads turned to her.
“Anyone can join Vexids Receives over the age of fifteen. It was one of the rules created by the island’s founders. All you have to do is declare your passion during the ceremony.”
I felt my teeth grit, watching this stranger so ignorant of Mirai and her world. Mirai’s face lit up. “When’s the next ceremony!?”
“About three weeks’ time.” Endesha replied, ignoring my grimace.
Mirai’s eyes glossed over, filled with an idyllic vision. “I can keep doing this? I can stay?”
The Archipelago publishes every Wednesday. See the pinned comment for links to the contents.
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2023.06.07 23:06 Inevitable-Branch385 How do I morally navigate day care costs with my ex?
I'm a newbie here and hope it's the right place to post!
My ex and I recently had a quick and messy separation. I was a SAHP and mostly not by choice. I was consistently looking for part time work.
I had to take a full time job to be able to afford any kind of apartment and share custody with my ex. (4 nights with me - 3 working days and 1 weekend day because he would like a weekend day too)
My job pays okay tbh and it's the best I could find in short notice and I managed to find a cheap studio apartment for me and LO. I also have no family to help out so I have no choice but to send LO to daycare and can't receive government aid where I am.
So time for the Math...
My salary is $1,700 per month. Child support here is legally $190 a month and for reference, my apartment is $950 a month and day care would be $850 per month for 3 days. So, I'm left with $90 a month for a travel ticket to work ($60) and food. The law prevents me from moving to another city without his permission and I can't move back to my home country without his permission either. Which he obviously won't give for understandable reasons.
My ex makes a considerable amount more than me and is very comfortable. He pays for care for our LO for his 2 days a week.
Would it be morally wrong to ask him again to help me the tiniest bit with day care costs and could this be something I could take to court maybe? I would lose my job if I can't afford the day care and therefore, lose my apartment and be literally homeless.
He previously told me that it wasn't his issue and if I couldn't afford it, he would take full custody of our LO. This made me mad in the beginning because I literally had a 2 week notice from him to move out and get myself stable, and I basically did it as best as I could and will obviously still be looking for better options, but it doesn't help in this immediate moment.
Things have calmed down a little and I'm wondering how to approach this again? I don't want to be homeless or give him FULL custody of our LO. I know he doesn't owe me anything (I'm constantly reminded) but I can't help but think he would at least want the best for our LO. He would pay for her daycare/nanny for 5 days a week if he had full custody anyway and it would cost him more to do this than help me with like, an extra $50 per month. He also said if I take a part time job, then I wouldn't have the time for her and he would file for full custody in this case too. I'm feeling really lost and scared of these consequences.
Do I have any rights as her Mother to not give him full custody? I really wouldn't want to leave to another country and not see her for an indefinite time 😞
Sorry for the long background information. Not sure if it's that necassary.
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