A community about the DASH diet. Standing for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, the DASH diet has been praised as the best overall diet for several years in a row. All food groups are allowed but there are recommendations on the amount. It is a healthy and easy diet to follow whether you suffer from hypertension or not.
(Hardly) the Grestest Wresting on the Internet.
Please don't insult me, I'm not a gamer but a big fan of the books.
I've played 2033 and Last Light on normal difficulty and it was a big challenge for me. I had to restart at earlier points a lot and died countless times, but beating the game in the end was rewarding. Now I wanna play Exodus but it's literally impossible. The enemies are so strong and my stealth is very weak, do you have any tipps?
I'm pretty much no-contact with my mother and all of the things I wish I could say to her I'm choosing not to. Partly because I have no desire to reinitiate contact and partly because I know she'd just get defensive and angry and start the whole abusive cycle all over again. I want a mother in my life, but she seems determined not to change so I'm dealing with it by being no-contact.
When I think about my mom's actions and reasoning for raising me the way she did, it makes me so angry. She was my first (and only) bully. She always put me down. She would call me stupid, threaten to ship me off to my aunt all the way on the other side of the country-- even made me pack my clothes and bags as a scare tactic once or twice; she didn't care that I was an elementary school kid bawling my eyes out while packing my sneakers. As punishment, she would make me kneel on the ground with my hands straight up in the air for an hour or more. She wanted me to "feel how I feel every day at work while you're misbehaving." It took me until adulthood to realize that a good parent doesn't want a literal child to experience the harsh physical pain of an adult laborer. If my hands drooped or I started sitting because my knees hurt so much, I'd get in more trouble.
Other times I would be grounded for days at a time, but it wasn't the typical go-to-your-room grounding. I had to sit on a chair where she could see me. I had to sit there the whole day-- I wasn't allowed to go to my room or do anything else. Just had to sit there from morning to night and watch the rest of the family watch TV. I couldn't see the TV, of course, the chair was faced for the extra torture of watching them watch TV .
She constantly made fun of me for wearing jackets all the time. I just liked to keep my arms covered because I felt exposed and panicked when my arms were out. It didn't seem like such a big thing to be constantly ridiculed and mocked for. She nicknamed me FedEx specifically because "it's the weird kid from Cheaper by the Dozen, just like you." She also loved to tell me I chew food like a cow. She'd even do exaggerated facial expressions to show me what I looked like. I am still incredibly self-conscious eating in front of people I don't know well.
She did so much shit like the above, but that's not the worst part. The above I've mostly come to terms with and have worked through in my adulthood. The worst part was her "philosophy" of education. She was a typical immigrant mother who pushed education above all else. I wasn't allowed to get low grades-- and in her mind, anything less than a 90 was unacceptable. She would whip me with a belt for "bad" grades. She would chase me all over the house with the belt in her hand, screaming and cursing at me while I ran crying. An adult woman hunting down a young child.
One time, she whipped me so bad I had marks. And guess what? When we got to the parent-teacher conference, the teacher apologized for giving me an incorrect report card. The "C" that made my mom go berserk? Actually an "A". I was so relieved that at least the punishment would end; I never blamed the teacher because even back then I knew my mom's actions were not okay. That running around the house trying to catch your sobbing, terrified child so you could whip them with all your might was not normal. When we left the parent-teacher meeting and got back to the car, she didn't even turn to look at me in the backseat. She sat stiffly in the passenger seat, stared straight ahead, and just muttered an insincere "Sorry" through a clenched jaw. Exactly the kind of apology she would beat me and extend my groundings over (she had a whole methodology of how to "properly" apologize to her. If she deemed my apologies not sincere enough, I'd get in even more trouble and would later have to try again. I always felt like I was approaching some mighty king when I was summoned to her bedroom to deliver my apology.). Honestly, that parent-teacher conference still sticks in my memory because I was so stunned I got any apology at all. Fuck, my heart rate is going up and I'm getting anxious just remembering how I felt in the backseat of the car. I was just a 2nd grade kid-- I didn't deserve any of that.
My mother was, in general, a draconian "teacher". One of her "teaching" methods was to make me read books for hours, then I would be forced to stand in front of her while she flipped through the books and asked me specific questions. Mind you, she hadn't read the books so the kind of questions she would ask were very specific. I hated doing that shit. If I got any answers wrong I would have to go back and re-read the book until I could answer the questions. This could go all day depending on what I read. Her method of "correcting" me was to yell at me and get angry. This was her method for everything. Math, science, English, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning, talking, being. I was just constantly getting screamed at for every thing. Looking back, I know that kids need to be taught things-- as an adult now, I don't expect children to be dishwashing prodigies or cleaning gods. We get better over time, with practice, She never cared for that-- just wanted me to be good immediately.
As an adult, everything she "taught" me is backfiring on me and I'm holding the potato. I have so many issues surrounding failure because she spent 15 years of my life banging it into my skull that failure is terrible, failure is not an option, failure means you're stupid and bad and shouldn't be liked by anyone. I'm also dealing with the breakdown of her idea of discipline. She raised me to obey external authorities/drivers, not generate or indulge in my personal curiosity and motivations. What I learned from her I reinforced in school (never exploring things on my own, waiting for the instructor to hand out projects and prompts, only going as far as was asked of me, etc.) for k-12. That's a long time to build a bad habit. She always told me "I'm teaching you to be disciplined" but now as an adult I can clearly see she raised me to be an object waiting for someone else to put me in motion.
Yeah, that's actually exactly how I've felt for my entire childhood and into early adulthood. An object waiting for someone to put me in motion. And I hate that so much. I have no internal process or habit to accomplish what I want to. I start projects, meander, and then never get them done. I never went further than the surface level at school so, although I excelled, as an adult I feel like I don't know much. For a long time I didn't even know what I liked. I was just this husk of a person, this thin surface of a person, who just molded myself into whatever my mom wanted so I could escape trouble.
It's weird because I was also, in my own way, quite rebellious. Yet a lot of the ways I acted were defense mechanisms to save the important part of the thing I called my "self." It was like protecting a tiny flame from a terrible wind. When I could've been feeding the flame of my self into greater and greater expressions, I was instead spending all my time and energy keeping it alive, my small and flickering self.
Anyway, this got really long. I didn't realize I was keeping so much of this inside! I feel better having written it out. Even though I can't tell my mom any of this shit, at least I've told it somewhere. If you've made it this far, thank you, sincerely, for listening. I'm so proud of where I am today because I know where I came from and how much I've had to drag myself through the muck and the mire. I feel hopeful-- realizing all the above means I know the shape of the problem, right? Now that I know the shape, I can mold my issues into something more positive. I still have a lot of time to change my habits and find out what I like. Not too shabby for a kid whose only real question and goal for 15 years was "how the fuck do I survive my mom?"
I’m hoping someone can help me remember the name of a book I read awhile ago.
The main couple meet on vacation and end up having sex. He’s military? CIA? DEA? Big Bird’s security detail? 😂. He had just finished some big mission and was supposed to get some time off, but gets called back in the day after they do the do. Like helicopter sent for him and everything. She ends up somehow with drugs in her room and is put in jail for several nights until his boss gets her out (I think). Cut to a few years later and she shows up at a family picnic and he’s there and is shocked because he’s always thought of her and she’s pissed because she blames him for her being in jail because the drugs weren’t hers so she assumes he planted them in her room to get rid of them.
Thanks for any help! I’ve searched more romance books with jail and prison in them then I knew existed! 😉
Finding people who wanna understand the mysteries of existence and grapple with the big questions of life is a rare thing. But it's through these kind of connections that we're able to illuminate the darkest recesses of our souls and catch a glimpse of the beauty that extends far beyond our own lives.
Proust said that the real voyage of discovery isn't seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes. That's why I enjoy reading about the humanities, philosophy, psychology, science, sociology, history, and other multidisciplinary subjects, because I'm given a new pair of eyes to see a new horizon. I guess in that regard I'm like a wide-eyed kid in the candy store when it comes to books, but rather than candy it's deep discussions that make my heart skip a beat.
Personality-wise, I'm a quiet person who doesn't say much, but inside I'm full of untold stories. Marriagefree, childfree, and petfree, I embody the saying "If you love something set it free" to the T. Looks-wise, I have a slim physique but my mind is a behemoth of curiosity and wonder, churning with tides of questions that even Google can't answer, as I'm constantly seeking answers to everything. And standing at six feet tall, I guess that makes me vertically blessed for contemplating the infinitely vertical possibilities of the universe.
By trade, I'm a humble worker, toiling away at a low paying job, yet my heart remains steadfast in its pursuit of understanding everything. I find solace in books, losing myself in the stories and theories, and I'm seeking to expand my knowledge and to see things I've never imagined before. I may not make six figures or have a six pack, but my mind is rich and robust with ideas about life and everything in between. Who needs moolah when you've got the timeless works of great thinkers throughout history to lose yourself in? Besides, I hear the pages of books taste delicious when you're really hungry.
I prefer DM, not chat. I’m looking to connect with people who share a passion for the things that truly matter in life. Rather than curling up to watch some Netflix we can curl up to read some Nietzsche. Though I wouldn't mind doing both. Netflix and Nietzsche anyone? I hope we can find something wholesome whether we discuss the works of world-historical figures or our own stories.
So if you enjoy learning and reading, please get in touch with me so we can understand each other inside and out, so we can maximize meaning. Let's explore the unexplored and savor the richness of the unknown. Because the beauty of life lies not just on the surface but in the depths of our hearts waiting to be uncovered and understood.
Do not look online for wake windows. My 7 month old has been going through a hard over tired cycle. I was lost. Genuinely lost. Everywhere I read said wake windows are 3 hours. Even some saying 3.5 or 4 hours.
My son's personal wake window is 2 hours. Maybe 2.5 hours. I was consistently trying to keep this kid UP and entertained for 3 almost 3.5 hours. I was like what's the problem?!
The problem was we were in a cycle of him being over tired and by the time I did get him down he was hungry and would wake up miserable after 20 minutes. By 7pm when we started bath and bed he was BEYOND hope. Witching hour to the extreme.
My advice, for anyone to try if you're going through this, cut the wake window short. Follow eat play sleep. And do that by their feed schedule. So my son eats every 3 hours. (Ish) he wakes up, eats, we play, by hour 2 hard stop and I offer a nap. In theory , of course it's never perfect, he will sleep for at LEAST an hour is the goal but recently with the change to what im doing he has a big nap either the 1st or 2nd nap and the rest are at least 45min to an hour.So by the time he wakes up again, eat, play, sleep.
Yes everywhere says my son should be having 3 naps a day. We are averaging about 4 sometimes 3. It depends. But if I keep him up to whatever rule book people have my day is a nightmare and so is his.
If your baby is having 10-30 minute naps, I'd try and see if this helps. It might not, maybe something else is going on but if this can help one more exhusted frustrated mom, I hope this reaches her.
Hey, I'm not sure if I'm in the right place so my apologies if this post doesn't fit here. I have been ashamed for a while about my lack of knowledge when it comes to geography. I love to learn, but I don't know what good resources there are to learn more and wanted to reach out to you all for any advice. I do understand there are maps, but was wondering if you knew of anything else. I also want to get a big ass book of flags if you have any advice on that.
Hey hello! Looking to make some new friends and meet some cool people out there, and potentially some deeper connections. Thinking starting with a friendly chat and see where it takes us, no assumptions whether it turns out to be friends/gaming buddies/casual fun/something more intimate or even romantic, or a combination of some of those. If you’re looking for something specific let me know so we’re on the same page!
If we’re in the same city we can maybe hang out some time after we know each other a little more, check out the local restaurants, a movie night, or go for a hike maybe? Also really need someone to go to concerts and movies with! I moved to my current city during covid which didn’t help with making new friends at all so any kind of friendship would be great. Of course if it goes well I don’t mind us becoming even closer and spend more time together.
If you’re on the other side of the world that’s great too if not better, I’m very open to long distance and people from anywhere else in the world. Always curious to learn what it’s like on the other side of the world and that’s why I travel a lot. We can text or chat over the phone, talk about our days, maybe play games or watch shows together, and we’ll see how things go! You never know what the future holds. And if we click I don’t mind we get more intimate, but I’ll leave the details to when the right time comes;) There’s always this idea in my mind that I want to move somewhere else one day so if we’re really lucky to find us really compatible with each other and got something serious going on I think the distance wouldn’t be a problem.
A little bit about me: - 5’6”, average/slim body shape, moved to the States a couple years ago and now living in the west coast - Love music and can play a few instruments. Mostly listening to hip pop/r&b/pop/rock and also a lot more - More of a homebody than a outdoor person so a nice lazy weekend would be like binging shows on Netflix with hot chocolate, preferably with cuddles if available;) - I also play video games casually, for single player I enjoy a lot of building/simulation games like Stardew or Rimworld, but also play a lot on Switch and Nintendo games especially multiplayer games. - That doesn’t mean I don’t like going out tho, I really enjoy going on a short hike or having a walk on the beach. I’m not a big sports person and not so great at it, but I do keep a light regular schedule to stay healthy. - I travel quite a bit, have been to 10+ countries across Asia/North America/Europe and would love to do more! - Big tea drinker, coffee lover, and definitely a foodie. Never learn how to properly cook tho so if you do you already caught my attention - Dogs >>>>>> cats (but both cute I agree), generally love animals. If you have a dog and got pics feel free to spam me as much as you want - If it’s gonna be something IRL than just online: I don’t drink but don’t mind if you do, I won’t join you but I can drive you home:) I don’t smoke or do any kind of drugs and I’m looking for you to be the same. - The rest I’ll leave it to our private conversation, I’m an open book so feel free to ask
I’m looking for 25-35, single, anywhere in North America or Europe works for me, my time is flexible. Preferably we can chat over a phone call some time, for me it’s a much better way than texting to get to know a person and build a connection.
If interested hit me up in chat/DM with some intro about you (age, location, looks, what you like, what you wanna chat about, and anything else you’re willing to share). Pictures are always welcomed and if you send one I’ll return with mine too! Hope to hear from you:)
Hey lovely folks! I recently joined Postcrossing and I am eager to send out and receive more cards and postcards! I love the connection and joy that comes from snail mail and these communities. If we have similar interests, let's get in touch!
I am a college student, but I also work as a nanny for babies and toddlers and I love what I do! At home, I love to spend time with my girlfriend and our orange tabby cat. I love to read, cook, journal, and practice yoga. I am a big foodie and I love to try out new restaurants and coffee shops with friends. I also enjoy playing card games and a good margarita. I love beautiful home decor. I love florals and colorful, feminine things, I love to wear dresses and skirts. I read mainly non-fiction books, particularly memoirs and I love learning about LGBTQ history. I enjoy spending time outdoors and having new experiences! I'm looking forward to connecting with y'all!
Hi. I'm looking to talk to new people, maybe make a friend
History, especially the 19th-20th century but with more broad and general knowedge in other time periods. I'm not an expert or anything but I am pretty passionate about it and tend to read/listen about one event or the other on a pretty regular basis.
Literature, especially old novels. I recently read Demian (my all time favourite book), Day of the Oprichnik, Heart of Darkness, the Perfume and Little Prince. Some of my other favourite works would include: "The Picture of Dorian Gray", "Faust part I" (need to get to part II) and "No Longer Human". I also like to write short stories and book reviews. I'd also really like to read the same book with someone and discuss it. I just started reading Grimm's fairy tales.
Languages. I know three, with one being a bit rusty. I'm currently working to scrape off the rust and then when I'm finished with that will begin to learn a fourth language. It's fun to go through different works in multiple languages. For example, I read the aforementioned Faust part I in all three.
Games. I recently played Cyberpunk 2077. Now that the dust has settled and the bugs mostly removed...It's not that bad! The main questline at least, Fallout 76 (Very average, I'm dissapointed with what they made the "RPG" system) and will try out Deus Ex Manking Divided again ( Got inspired since it's somewhat similar to Cyberpunk). I was waiting to play Elden Ring but it ended being too stressful for me. Go here and get beaten up go there and get beaten up, repeat...Besides that I'm a big fan of Paradox strategy games...like EU IV and HoI IV (also thinking of making my own project for HoI IV). I am definitely looking forward to try out Victoria III, after they add more content to it. I also got Modern Warfare 2, since the first MW had great multiplayer gameplay.
Anime and Manga. In recent times my interest has waned but I still watch the occasional series here and there. Like Cyberpunk Edgerunners (Which I found to be rather mediocre) and the very good new season of Bleach. Some other favourites include: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Death Note, Fate;Zero, Psycho Pass , Higurashi (season 2 is a bit weak but the first one is a masterpiece of horror), Code Geass, Attack on Titan and others. My favourite Manga is Berserk...I hope it gets a good ending..the first couple of new chapters were...a bit rough but the new author seems to have got his footing.
Anyway, that should be enough information to give you a good picture... Before I go, I would like to ask for you to include the title of the last book you read in your reply. A small request, I feel. I'll be ignoring those that don't.
First Chapter Chapter Fifteen
“Thank you, Ms. President, and Mr. Secretary-General. It’s my privilege to come and speak to everyone present during such a momentous time in human history. One which, I hope, will lead to a brighter future for us all…”
US President Correa’s boilerplate beginning flowed out as she scanned the room. Behind her rostrum sat a larger dais tiled with green marble, behind which sat the UN President, Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General. Two huge screens flanked the dais, and those screens now showed Correa’s face as she continued.
“…and we are committed to our country’s pledge to finding a peaceful and just way for Coalition technology to be incorporated worldwide, and to not attempt any reverse-engineering of our own. Make no mistake; we do not do this out of any sense of altruism or fairness, as pleasant as that may sound. We will hold this pledge sacred for the simple reason that, if the United States were
to attempt such efforts the rest of the world would, without a doubt, find out. That, of course, would lead to a great instability.”
‘Great instability’ was diplomatic-speak for ‘the rest of the world then gangs up on the USA and then everything goes to hell’.
“I know there has already been a great deal of debate in this august hall as to the best way to proceed forward, in a fair and impartial manner. We believe that we have found what one might call a ‘trial run’ which will allow us to work out such matters.”
The general murmuring from the many semi-circular rows of desks in front of her increased.
“To begin with, during the first weeks after first contact we wanted to make sure our guests from the Coalition would not starve to death. Much like humanity’s own ships during the Age of Sail, Coalition exploration vessels store enough provisions for years…but such provisions never last. They have very advanced recycling, but mostly for water and even that is only a stop-gap measure. It is unknown even at this time as to how long it will take to repair the Exultant Finger of Rithro
, and we did not want to risk the crew running out of food.
“Therefore, we undertook an emergency effort to have their ship’s medic examine various Earth foods to determine their compatibility with our guests’ varied biochemistries. I am pleased to report that there are quite a few Earth foodstuffs which are indeed compatible, although there are some specific items which act as allergens amongst some of the Coalition species. During these efforts, we did learn a bit about how their alien biochemistries work…information which has been duly published and is now openly available. We also began to get glimpses of something wonderful, and asked the Coalition crew for more details. They supplied us with some general ideas of what their medical technology can accomplish; I must emphasize that we do not possess any knowledge of how they can perform such miracles.”
Now the murmuring got quite a bit higher, but not quite to the point where they’d have to call for order.
“Yes, I use the word ‘miracles’ advisedly. For example, take Captain Sadaf. You have all seen her, and how she moves like a person in the prime of their life. Now. What if I told you that she is a little over four hundred years old?”
The murmuring died down into a shocked silence.
“Her species, the auhn, is no more long-lived than we are…but they are able to regenerate and remove the effects of aging. I hope the esteemed ambassadors can see what I am driving at. I propose that we set up a research institute, international in scope, to be placed at a neutral location which is still to be determined. The purpose of that institute will be to study and adapt Coalition medical technology for use in humans.”
Now the murmuring started again; she hoped they were actually listening instead of hatching side-deals with each other.
“You all have families and friends. I’m sure you have at least one family member, one good friend, who died of some horrible and unnecessary
affliction. Think of what this means to the world, to us. It is also an excellent way to determine the inevitable issues and frictions which will arise from such a concerted international effort, and that, in turn, will inform our efforts in mutual reverse-engineering of other Coalition technology.
“I know this is, in many ways, a frightening time. Change can be frightening. But I am convinced that you will all know the right way forward, and that you will all see the need for us to unite in this matter, even if others may not be so clear-cut. I thank you for the opportunity to speak.”
As she stepped away from the rostrum, the UN President cleared his throat.
“We will now begin the debate on Madame President Correa’s proposal. Paper copies, with specifics of the proposal, are now being distributed to you all. We’ll now begin the debate period…yes, the gentleman from Portugal…?”
Correa’s Chief of Staff was a shorter, tubby man with an olive complexion by the name of Pablo Rosas. He and Correa sat in a White House conference room, staring at a big screen which now showed the results of the UN vote. “Well, I suppose that went about as well as we could expect,” said Rosas.
“Yep. I was surprised they even agreed with our asking them to kick in some money.”
Rosas chuckled. “Keep in mind that all of this new medical tech will be available for anyone patent-free. Should be air-tight legally, since nobody here on Earth invented it; we’re merely adapting it. I think that was the sweetener we needed to get it passed.”
The president gave a brief nod, then tapped a few keys on the controls in front of her. The screen now showed a world map. “Now we just have to figure out where to put the damn thing without everyone getting butt-mad about it.”
“Hmm.” Rosas laced his fingers over his substantial gut as he regarded the map. “Someplace not ‘the usual’, then.”
Correa growled in frustration. “I keep thinking Switzerland, but I know there’s gonna be a lot of shit flung about that it’s too European-centric. Taiwan would be great; they’ve got both a good tech base and excellent transport infrastructure.”
“But way too controversial, for obvious reasons,” replied Rosas. “Japan?”
“China will, again, kick up a fuss. Huh. New Zealand?”
“That might work. They tend to be more neutral…but then again some might say they’re in too close with Australia, and that this whole effort is too Western-centric.” His eyes flicked back to north on the map. He was about to move his gaze elsewhere, but then he paused. “What about Iceland?”
“Iceland?” Correa almost scoffed, then looked more thoughtfully at the map. “Okay, they’re a NATO member which is a minus. But they tend to remain mostly neutral, which is a plus. Decent transportation infrastructure…don’t we have a naval air base there?”
“I think so, let me check…” Rosas tapped at his phone. “Hey, Jack? What can you tell me about any US naval air bases in Iceland? Just the highlights.” After a couple of minutes, he responded with a curt, “Okay, that’s enough, thanks.”
He put his phone away. “We kinda-sorta have one, at a place called Keflavik. The base there used to be a lot bigger during the Cold War. Then we shut it down after the Soviets were no longer a going concern. Iceland uses it now, and they allow us to fly submarine-search aircraft out of there, but a few years ago they nixed the DOD’s request to rebuild it into a more permanent base.”
“That does work in their favor. It makes for better optics if they’re known for keeping NATO at arm’s length.”
Rosas sat up. “Think the UN will go for it?”
“We can only try. I’ll have our ambassador in Reykjavik make some discreet inquiries, let’s see if they’d be okay with our proposing them as a candidate.”
The Chief of Staff smiled. “If it goes through, this institute will be pumping well north of a billion dollars per year into their economy. That should make it more than ‘okay’.
Agent Cécile Savoie sat in a secure-location breakroom, silently grumbling as she held an as-yet un-drunk mug of coffee in her hands. As the agent-in-charge of the security detail during the Camp David incident, she’d been put on administrative leave, right alongside every other agent who’d been there. But it wasn’t like she had much down time; the inquiry board into that incident now summoned her damn near every other day for yet another round of tedious questioning.
“Hey,” said Hanson as he strolled in, looking just as sour as she felt.
She looked up in surprise. “Hey yourself. I thought you were assigned to the alien detail.”
“I was,” he said as he seated himself across the circular table from her. “Guess being in Alabama when the shitshow went down wasn’t far enough away to be completely out of suspicion. I just finished running my own gauntlet. But the rumor is, I’m getting it easy compared to everyone who was at Camp David, including the special forces people. Especially you.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much a colonoscopy every day,” she muttered. “Going over the timeline, where I was at which times, who I had direct line of sight on, who I was in radio contact with.” She finally sipped her coffee.
Hanson’s sour expression deepened. “Do you really think it was one of us?”
She sighed. “It has to be. My gut tells me that there’s more than one mole and I told the inquiry board as much. The fuckers who got in knew too much about our patrol patterns, where everyone was, when they’d have a clear shot at an infil. That means someone with access to our methods and comms, and as to the latter we don’t use CB radios.”
The other agent leaned back. “Fuck. I wish I knew why any of us would do that. We’re supposed to be quiet professionals, not frothing radicals.”
Savoie turned the mug in her hands. “Not to tell tales out of school but, through the whisper network, they’ve been leaning hard on the captured dudes from the attack. Apparently one of their main ‘objections’,” and here she made some one-handed air quotes, “is that they think the whole Breaker thing is a ruse. It’s all smoke and mirrors, so that we’ll beg the Coalition to come and save us. And then…well, it gets vague after that but I guess they claim that at best we’ll get turned into the galactic equivalent of a Native American reservation. Worst case, we all get harvested for our precious bodily fluids.”
Hanson stared at her for a moment in disbelief. “That is, if you will forgive the uncouth term, utterly retarded. For chrissake, the Hubble got some beautiful shots of their ship once they’d spun that shield around to reveal it to us. I mean, I’m no spacecraft expert but even I could tell it had gotten the shit pounded out of it.”
She responded with a shrug. “Hey, Flat Earthers are still a thing.”
“Flat Earthers don’t stage FUCKING mortar attacks in our nation’s capital,” snapped Hanson. Then he subsided and spoke more softly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be so on edge. This whole thing just pisses me off.”
“Join the club,” said Savoie as she sipped more coffee. “I just don’t get it, though.”
Hanson made a gentle ‘continue’ wave of his hand.
She leaned forward. “Okay. Our comrades in the CIA managed to identify the four who made it into the compound. They were all mercenaries, each with at least ten or fifteen years of experience in kicking ass around some of the worst hot spots in the world. Syria, Burma, bunch of places in Africa. One of ‘em even turned out to be ex-Wagner group.”
“Okay?” It was a leading single-word question, but not an unkind one.
“So why was the rest of the attack made up of nothing but a bunch of goddamn shit-kickers? And that includes the aborted attempt in Decatur. I’ve seen the files of those we rounded up in the Camp David attack. They were all low-life idiots just banging around, maybe they might have once held a gun in their lives. Hell, from what I’ve heard, the shootings that triggered the alarm at Camp David were an accident; those intruders were supposed to sneak around
that patrol, not kill them. They all had the same top-of-the-line kit, so we know whoever is behind this has deep pockets. Why not hire an entire bunch of competent people instead of doing it onesy-twoseys?”
“It is a puzzle.” Hanson got up and set a styrofoam cup of water into the nearby microwave. As the cup turned within its electromagnetic prison, he leaned against the nearby counter and pondered her question. “Maybe the team in the woods was intended just as a distraction?”
“That’s what I thought at first, but then I reconsidered. I mean, what if the four who went in failed? You’d still need a proper backup plan. Same thing with the Decatur bunch. By the way, did they ever catch them?”
Hanson let out a dark chuckle. “Decatur PD found a pile of vests and rifles, hastily wiped down. They were able to pull a few partial prints off of ‘em. My guess is they’ve fled to the proverbial four winds, hoping to lay low for the rest of their lives. We’ll nab ‘em eventually.”
The microwave dinged and he retrieved his hot water, then pulled a tea bag out of his jacket pocket as he re-seated himself.
Savoie smiled. “I never figured you for a tea guy.”
He unwrapped the bag and with a bit of ceremony dunked it into his cup. “Well, I used to be a coffee guy, but my gut doesn’t agree with the acidity.”
“We do have tea here, you know.” She pointed to the storage bins behind him.
“Yeah, but it’s cheap-ass stuff. The brand I like is expensive, but worth it…” Hanson’s eyes widened as he trailed off.
She raised an eyebrow. “Hanson? Do you smell burnt toast?”
“They couldn’t afford it,” he said in a near-whisper.
Savoie was about to tell him to stop being overly dramatic, then she realized he might be on to something and that she didn’t dare distract him. “Keep talking.”
He leaned forward, his forearms on the table. “Okay. Imagine you’re a hard-bitten mercenary. You’ve been in the literal shit, in every nasty conflict anyone cares to name. Somehow, someone finds you and comes to you. They say ‘hey, these aliens are bad news, do you want to kill them?’ Even if you, as the hypothetical mercenary, are down with the cause…”
“From what the intruders were yelling, they were,” said Savoie.
“Yeah but even then, our mystery financier is asking you to infil and exfil out of one of the most heavily guarded pieces of real estate on the planet. Oh, and kill a bunch of special-forces-maybe and aliens-definitely in between. What do you do then?”
She replied with a grim smile. “If I’m that mercenary, then I ask for a metric fuck-ton of money. And there were four of them, they would have all done the same. Hell, they must have been doing collective bargaining.”
Hanson dunked his tea bag as he thought it through. “Okay, so our mystery mastermind has a lot of money, but not billions on hand to hire a literal army of hard cases. Huh. So those other dipshits might indeed have been a distraction.”
“Maybe. They must have also spent quite a bit on the mortar attack. That wasn’t made by some hobbyist in their bedroom, they knew what they were doing. Given that nobody saw them set up the launcher or leave, they were more pro.” Savoie hoped that the FBI’s efforts to track the various mortar components turned up something soon. Thus far, those efforts were bogged down; as it turned out, quite a few companies had ordered the identified components, and tracking the subsequent second-hand purchases was time-consuming.
“And those mortar-making pros would be more expensive.” Hanson sipped a bit of tea. “Did they ever get anything off of the launcher itself?”
“Sadly, no. Turns out the whole damned thing was homemade, constructed out of tubing and other off-the-shelf components. It was also wiped down thoroughly, no prints. Like I said, pros.”
“But limited in resources,” said Hanson. “Which explains one of the things that’s bugged me
. Namely, that our OPFOR didn’t use some proper artillery. If they have a couple of moles in the Secret Service, then it should be easy to recruit and pay some military dudes to slip ‘em some gear and alter the logs. They could stow a howitzer inside a semi-tractor-trailer. You could park that thing anywhere up to 25 miles away. Use a single 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided munition, boom. That would have pretty much obliterated the stage and everyone on it. Then you just re-stow the howitzer and toodle off all innocent-like, right when everyone is freaking the hell out.”
“So they couldn’t afford that type of arty strike,” she said. “Or they simply didn’t have the contacts to pull that off. Hmm. I wonder if our moles are getting paid at all?”
Hanson resumed his thousand-yard stare. “The mortar attack must have been planned first. The other two attacks feel much more like rush jobs.”
“Eh? Oh, I get it. Sadaf’s speech was known well in advance. It was going to be one of her first big public appearances since the initial presidential speech. They were broadcasting it online to the world. Having her get turned into chunky red salsa, in real time, would be one helluva statement. So that’s what they focused on.” She drank a bit more coffee, and now it was time for her eyes to widen. “Our mole or moles didn’t arrive at Camp David until after
Sadaf’s speech was announced.”
“That…oh, yeah, that makes sense. Originally the mortar attack is the OPFORs’ only focus, but yet somehow they’ve suborned one or two Secret Service agents and they have ‘em in their back pocket. Then one, or better yet both, of the moles gets assigned to the Camp David detail, and they realize that now that they have a golden opportunity to get at the other aliens as well. So they go off and hire four pros for the actual attack inside, plus a bunch of chucklefucks to act as a distraction, because that’s all they can afford since the four pros are asking for some serious money.”
Savoie leaned forward. “When did Chao and Grakosh leave Camp David?”
“It was, ah, three? No, four days after we got everyone settled, both the aliens and the special forces types.”
“Okay, so then
the OPFOR gets word, courtesy of our moles, that one of the aliens is now heading to Alabama. But now they’re stretched so thin that they can’t afford anything other than to hire another bunch of dipshits to make a run at them and hope for the best.”
“And then the second bunch lets the FNG drive.”
They both laughed, but that humor settled down as they both thought through the chain of inference.
“It is pretty thin,” said Savoie at last. “There’s a lot of assumptions in there.”
“Yeah. But I do like the idea of our moles getting assigned at the last minute.”
She rubbed her forehead. “We had a bunch of new people come in when they decided to stow the Rithro crew there. Seven, no eight in all.”
“It’s a place to start,” said Hanson. He finished his tea. “C’mon, let’s see if we can get a meeting with the inquiry board.”
A little while later and not very far away, three people sat in a well-lit but otherwise deadly dull room. At least the chairs were somewhat comfortable. Matt and Martinez sat at two chairs against one wall, while across from them McCoy sat sprawled sideways on another with a foul look on her face. She glowered at the far beige-painted wall. “This completely sucks. Why can’t we have our phones? I could at least play some mahjong.”
“This is a secure location, Corporal,” replied Matt. “Ixnay on the onephays.”
Martinez’s leg jittered. “How long are we gonna sit here? They said they’d call us in, like, an hour ago!”
“Dunno, it’s some kind of last-minute interview thing,” replied Matt with Zen-like calm.
The corporal looked over at Matt. “I don’t get you, man.”
Matt grinned. “Nobody gets me. I’m like the wind, baby!”
“That’s not…I mean, I watched you open up a dude like he was a bag of fuckin’ Doritos using nothing but a fuckin’ knife. Now you’re being all Caine from ‘Kung Fu’.”
“It’s good to know that the classics are still appreciated,” said Matt.
Martinez pointed at him. “If you start calling me ‘Grasshopper’ I will
McCoy turned her glare to the ceiling. “Maybe it’s a psychological test. They want to see if we crack under pressure and start yakking secrets.”
“I mean, I’m sure they’re recording us right now,” replied Matt. “But it’s merely as a precaution. I am also five-nines certain that none of us are suspects. We weren’t integrated into the compound’s overall security, and thus it would be unlikely that we could have let our four attackers in.”
“Not to mention, we were the ones to kill ‘em,” added Martinez. “Well, except for the one that Takh took care of.”
“Yep. This is…I won’t call it a formality, but the board just wants to know where you were and what you saw. Walk them through your personal timelines, understand? Tell them only what you know. If you don’t know something, then say so.”
McCoy turned herself around so that she now sprawled the other way. “This whole bullshit just bugs me. Takh and the others are off with a bunch of strangers and I…I mean, we aren't there to help protect them.”
Matt and Martinez shared a meaningful glance. “From what I heard, Takh is quite capable of taking care of himself,” said the latter with a grin. “You told me he pitched that one dude across the room like he was throwing a softball.”
For once, the petite corporal looked a bit flustered. “Yeah, but, I mean, what if some other potential bad guy gets the drop on him with a gun? I don’t like not being there. I just wanna know that he’s okay. I should be there, just to make sure.”
The smaller man snapped his fingers in the face of the taller, who sighed and took out his wallet. With great ceremony, Matt pulled out a five-dollar bill and placed it upon the now-upraised palm of Martinez.
“Told ya,” said Martinez with a grin.
She sat up and glared at them both. “That doesn’t mean anything! Takh is a good guy!”
“Nobody said he wasn’t,” replied Matt as he stowed his wallet. “He is indeed a good guy.”
“Yeah, seriously, we’re glad you two hooked up,” added Martinez. “Takh’s solid. Hell, I’d let him date my sister.”
“I. Am. Not. Hooked Up. With ANYONE.” McCoy now looked furious enough to chew nails.
Martinez stroked his chin. “Kissing might be a problem, though.”
Matt performed a similar chin-stroking action. “Hmm, indeed, Corporal, I do believe it might be a serious issue. One has all of those mandibles to contend with.” He hooked his fingers next to his mouth in an approximation of an udhyr’s face. “Still, I think that, with enough will and effort, one could figure it out. Like the man said, life finds a way.”
“But how much tongue is he packing?” posed Martinez. “You know what the man also says. Big dude, big tongue. Could make things more interesting, all around.”
The woman did not look amused. “Martinez, Toke? You are now both officially gigantic flatulating assholes.”
“C’mon, McCoy!” protested Martinez. “Think of it this way. A few years from now, let’s say we filthy humans are now part of the Coalition and I’m at some meet ‘n greet, and I just so happen to spy me an oh-so-very-fiiine udhyr mamacita from across the room. Now, I wanna do my bit for my species and approach her, and get some good old inter-species cultural interaction going on. But there’s all sorts of questions. How do I compliment her without insulting her culture? How am I supposed to get in good with her? How do the mechanics work? How do the various bits line up? We need details! You’re at the tip of the spear, we all need good intel!”
McCoy slumped back into her seat. “Over seven hundred billion Dimmadollars of defense spending, and yet somehow I wind up stuck in a room with you two fuckos…oh, by the way, Toke
,” she added, pointing a finger at Matt, “why the hell can you and Sarge never go back to Okinawa?”
“Nice distraction, McCoy,” said Martinez. “My guess is some sort of wet-work shit.”
Matt just smiled. “Oh for fuck’s sake, I don’t kill everyone
I meet. I was a Second LT at the time, managed to somehow leapfrog my way into officer ranks all the way from enlisted. Anyways, the Okinawa affair was merely a case of, well, one particular case of rye whiskey. The good sergeant…was he a sergeant then? Oh yeah, we had done some other stuff I can’t tell you about in someplace I can’t tell you where, and we were celebrating Shaw getting his third stripe. We’d got ahold of the previously-mentioned case of whiskey and then we began toasting to each other’s good health. We did a lot of toasting. Quite
a lot of toasting. As you can imagine, the toasting went on and on until we, um, well we did some unwise things. It started out with us sparring-for-fun with each other in public and escalated from there. No locals were harmed, and nothing we did was hella illegal, or I would’ve never made Captain. Buuut the local government would definitely throw a shitfit if me or, God forbid, both of us set foot back on the island.” He chuckled. “Hell, the Okinawan customs people probably still have both of our pictures taped up inside their booths with a big old sign saying ‘DO NOT ADMIT THIS PERSON, YOU FOOL’ written above them.”
“What did you do?” asked Martinez. His eyes were big and soulful, like a kid asking for yet one more story before bedtime.
Matt shrugged. “I mean, I don’t remember much for obvious reasons. I’m almost sure we didn’t piss on any monuments, that would have definitely been cause for a serious demotion. We did do a number on some shrubbery, that I do remember. We decided it needed to be trimmed back, and so we did so. Using our bare hands. Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
A fearsome light came into McCoy’s eyes. “Martinez, do you know what this means?”
He looked at her all uncertain. “Um, Toke and Sarge have cast-iron livers?”
“No, you fool. Blackmail material
Matt pointed back at her. “Hey, now, I told you that in confidence. Besides, Shaw has a lot more to contend with right now.”
The reminder of the sergeant’s current crippled state brought the elevated atmosphere of the room back down. McCoy nodded as her smile faded. “Right. Hey, did you see the Prez’s speech at the UN?”
“Yep,” said Matt. “From what I’ve read, the political wrangling after it seems pretty tame compared to the usual.”
Martinez snorted. “No shit. Did either of you see the laundry list of shit that we might be able to do? Anti-aging, limb regrowth, cancer treatments which work well and which don’t
half-kill the patient…hell, maybe even Alzheimer’s could be in our rear-view mirror. The grand high muckity-mucks are falling all over themselves to get that out into the world, for themselves if nobody else.”
“You’re way too cynical, Martinez,” said Matt.
“Oh fuck off. What if…okay, I know this sounds like a cheesy sci-fi concept, but what if they hoard all of the good shit for themselves and we peons get just the crumbs?”
Matt lapsed back into his meditative demeanor. “In that case, my dear corporal, you or I or McCoy or someone like us will show those hypothetical elites that, while they are indeed long-lived, they are not in fact immortal.”
The trio fell into silence for a few minutes. Then Martinez leaned over towards Matt. “Ah, a little birdie told me you were involved in questioning the prisoners we nabbed at Camp David.”
“I merely facilitated certain conversations,” replied Matt.
Martinez sighed. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies…Corporal.”
McCoy let out a growl. “Well, I
heard these terrorist assholes are saying that the Breakers aren’t real, that it’s all fake videos from the Coalition.”
“Just to play devil’s advocate,” said Matt, “our AI image and video generation is already getting to the point where, soon, we puny humans could manufacture such evidence.”
“What?” Martinez looked as if he was about to launch himself at Matt.
Matt held up a calming hand. “I’m not saying it is
fake. The Hubble pics are damned convincing.”
Martinez hiked up one foot to place it on his seat, then rested his chin on his knee. “Fuck. I guess it didn’t convince everyone.” He mused for a few moments. “Wait. What if we made it even more convincing?”
“How?” asked Matt.
“We send some humans up to the Rithro
. Two or three at least. The boats can still make it up to the ship, right?”
For once Matt looked uncertain. “I think so? Dunno how many times they can come and go without recharging, we’ll have to ask ‘em.”
“Right, so we set up an even better publicity stunt than the Hubble pics. Choose a few people, from all over the world. We have ‘em travel up to the Rithro
, take pics and video up close showing the damage. Even take ‘em inside the ship and get a full tour, maybe…if the crew is okay with that, of course.”
“Huh.” Matt sat back and pondered the idea. “That’s a really good idea, Martinez. I guess you aren’t as dumb as you look.”
The corporal responded with a slight smile at the verbal jab. “We’d need to choose the right people, though.”
“They’d have to be trustworthy…or at least someone that the entire world will consider trustworthy,” said Matt.
“Well known,” added McCoy. She no longer looked vengeful. “With recognizable faces and voices, and then they can go on all the talk shows after and say that, yes indeed, I got a tour of the ship and it is indeed quite banged up.”
Martinez stared at the far wall. “Some kind of celebrity? Heh. You think Tom Cruise would be up for it?”
Matt laughed. “That beautiful maniac? Hell, he’d insist on shooting an entire movie up there, with at least one action scene where he’s hanging off of the outside of the ship.”
They all smiled at the resulting mental image.
“Chao could work,” said McCoy into the silence. “She’s kind of a celebrity now. After all, she was the first human to come into contact with aliens, eh?” She gave Matt a big and very un-subtle wink.
To skirt the rather…unconventional methods used to achieve a positive First Contact, Matt’s role had been very much demoted in the official story. Now every recounting of the tale included a bit of ‘…oh, and there was also another person who stumbled across our brave woman in the midst of her attempts at informational exchange with the aliens…” His exact identity was also not published, under the screen of ‘he wishes to remain anonymous’.
“Oh bite me, McCoy, it’s fun,” replied Matt. He waggled his eyebrows. “Besides, I work better in the shadows!” He threw his forearm across his face like a half-assed Count Dracula trying to hide behind his cape.
Then he dropped his arm. “Yeah, Chao would be good as a current social-media darling. Of course, she might not want that. She strikes me as more of the wallflower type, for the most part.”
“We need more people,” said Martinez, as he stared at the floor. “Chao might be good on her own, but she’s got that motor-mouth talking thing when you get her going. It’s one or the other. Either she’s trying to shrink into a corner and take up as little space as possible, or suddenly you’re getting pulled into another corner for a doctoral dissertation on how minimal-energy transfer-orbits work.”
Matt pondered for a moment. “Wait, when did she do that? I never sat through one of those lectures.”
Martinez looked away and…well, Matt hoped that their supposed overlords were indeed recording this particular moment in time because the hard-bitten Hispanic special-forces corporal actually blushed
McCoy, of course, realized a golden opportunity for payback and immediately pounced. “Why, Corporal
Martinez,” she purred. “Doooo tell us. When did Chao Me Chu, heh, pull
you into a corner? Hmmm?”
“She’s…she’s just real nice, that’s all,” replied Martinez. “I asked her a couple of questions, and she answered them. That’s all. We both love classic sci-fi, like Asimov and shit. I guess we bonded over that.”
Matt cleared his throat. “Aaaaand may I remind you two and
everyone listening in that we have all been cooped up nuts-to-butts for awhile? Don’t mistake familiarity for romantic bullshit.” He pointed over at Martinez. “But you. If you can follow at least half of what she talks about, then you are absolutely without-a-single-fucking-doubt wasted
as a corporal, even if you’re in a low-drag high-speed outfit like this. You hear me?”
“Um, yes sir.” It was the first time in McCoy’s memory that anyone had addressed Matt as befitting his perhaps-former rank.
“Good. You get your ass into college, somehow. You’re a smart guy, you’ll figure all that shit out. And as for Chao? Just give it room to breathe. Let her know you’re interested, but don’t press the matter.”
“Let her know?” For once Martinez looked completely lost. “How do I…” he trailed off. “I mean, I like her…and yeah, I mean I like her in that
way, but she’s so damn smart and pretty and I’m just some dipshit meathead.”
“Hey, don’t sell yourself short,” said Matt. “You’re our
McCoy’s vengeful smile faded. “Martinez…no, Luca.”
Martinez looked up in surprise at her use of his first name.
She continued. “Just talk to her. Neither of you have any clue as to what ‘normal’ social interactions look like. In your case, it’s because you’ve been a soldier for all of your adult life. In her case, it’s because she’s, well, because she’s Chao. So just walk up to her and be straightforward. Trust me, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air for her to not have to navigate social cues. Just say something like ‘Hey, I really like you, do you like me and do you want to go get a coffee sometime’? Start with that. Chao’s good people, the worst thing she’ll do is say no. She won’t yell at you or talk shit about you online. Buuuut, some sixth sense is telling me she won’t say no to getting some coffee with ya.”
Matt smiled. “McCoy, I think you might have a calling after you leave the military.”
She snorted. “Oh yeah, I’ll hang up my match-making shingle on the internet and start raking in the big bucks. Martinez is right, though. If we try to do a publicity stunt up at the Rithro
, then we’ll need somebody alongside Chao to win the world over. Somebody well-known, but preferably someone not in the traditional Western pop-culture sphere. That’ll make it more palatable…”
Her voice trailed off and she stared into space. The two men now looked at each other in genuine concern until she spoke again a few moments later.
“Guys? I think I just had the best idea ever.”
I mean, I know it's not particular hard to do it, as basically any fun one can have on week-ends is off limits on a Sabbath. But here is the catch, there is always someone more progressive that can say something along the line of "Oh, you had fun reading that 'worldly' book on a Sabbath? That's ok, man." or "Oh, you spend time on Reddit on a Sabbath? How is that different from engaging people IRL? Jesus did that, man, you are still alright.", or "Eh, you ironed your shirt, not such a big deal, you're still Adventist, man.".
So, call me petty, but I did want to break the Sabbath in a way that is significant and no amount of "progressive" adventism could explain it away. A way of "reverse baptism", to prove to my self that I really no longer care?
Well, ta-daa! Today I did it. I worked. Gasp!!! I know, I know, shocking. Snark aside, I really love my job, so that in on itself wouldn't have quite cut it to the level I wanted to break the Sabbath. But, do not "despair", as much as I love my job, there are some aspects of it that I hate it. And that's grading papers. Handwritten papers. It's exhausting, and is the one aspect of my job I really dread doing it.
Was it urgent? No. Did someone asked me to do it? No. Could've I done it before the Sabbath? Yes. Could have I postponed it? Oh, yeah, the deadline is very generous (this time...), 2-3 weeks at disposal. Will I repeat it? Absolutely NOT! Grading papers the whole afternoon in a week-end is not something I care to repeat. I soldiered through it listening to Matt Dillahunty. Fitting, I know...
TL/DR: I did something work-related on the Sabbath that is not fun, no one asked me to do it, was not urgent and I could have postponed it.
Did you felt this urge during your deconstruction to break a rule as a way to prove to yourself you are really (at least mentally) out?
It was amazing, and I’m not usually a wow that’s amazing type of person even when I like something. I have the book Through the Window and looked at all the pictures beforehand to know what to expect with the staging, but the projections are so cool and timed so perfectly and the acting was great, it was especially cool when the projections involved the actors themselves. I almost cried during so big / so small and the show overall is so funny I hadnt really seen the dark comedy side before since it’s marketed as a feel good type show. The actors playing Jared, Connor and all the parents were especially great. At first I was like ahh why doesn’t Connor have long hair but short bleached hair works too, doesn’t make a difference and still kinda emo. Larry seemed identical to Michael Park, loved the dad jokes. The guy playing Evan got the anxiety mannerisms well and he sounded like the videos that are like “how every play’s ending monologue sounds” or “how every actor does their bows” but that’s not really a fault. He snorted a lot and did like finger guns and other things I’m not sure how to word so I’m wondering if the body language is his own interpretation of the character, Zoe and all the parents body language was good too. But the show was so enthralling and suspenseful even though I already know the plot, and I love how the costumes are perfect for the characters personalities like how Heidi is wearing all her jewelry when she meets Cynthia, or Larry dressing exactly like every “country club dad” and Cynthia always in muted colors, even if they’re ordinary clothes. I noticed they changed the line “school shooter chic” to “troubled teen chic” and that’s good. Overall the dialogue is so witty, I laughed a lot and the show is so well done it was great 🌳😁👕 oh and it’s really clever how the silence your phone thing is a projection notification
So... here's the deal. Your stance in world tour only effects normals so it doesn't matter that much, just pick what you're comfortable with. What super matters is the specials.
My favorite specials
Forward Yoga teleport- This skill... warps you forward. Kimberly has a similar skill, but unlike Kimberly, this is the literal first thing you unlock from Dhalsim. You do get Kimberly earlier in World Tour but equally she's time sensitive to get to and not super close to a bus stop.
Manon command grab
This command grab comes with Manon's medal system regardless of your style choice so you might as well get it. Seriously there is no disadvantage here.
Dee Jay flying kick thing
I like this one a little more than Ken's Shoryuken because it has a bit more pop to it even if you don't sink drive into it, but Ken's Shoryuken is very good. Don't settle for Ryu's when you can have Ken's, though.
This is a get out of jail free card. You push it and enemies go away. Kind of fights with Yoga teleport for dominance though.
This move makes a lot of enemies turn into one glob of enemy very quickly if you add drive to it. I like to group them up then chain Manon throws, it can get you through a gang fight very quickly with relatively little damage.
My personal favorite style choices
Easiest combos in the game, no questions asked. Just slam medium and your opponents will probably get hit.
Her biggest problem in the normal game is that she sucks at poking and getting in, which is not a problem if you have good zoning in your specials anyways. Give her sand blast or hadouken and break the game.
Lily's style was meant for a small character. When you give it to a big character, you have... way too much range.
Why is B greater? Shouldn't it be the PO because positive value vs negative value.
Just got off the NCL Bliss cruise to Alaska. Alaska did not disappoint, I want to stress that very much. Alaska was amazing and my husband and I already want to go back for a land trip soon.
With that said, the NCL Bliss was rough. The food was utterly atrocious. The most edible things were burgers, hot dogs, and the Indian food. None of the listed were great by any means. The rest of the food in the buffet was rough. Sit down restaurants were worse. One night I got short rib ragyu that tasted like they poured bbq sauce over dry pasta. I took one bite and couldn’t stomach the rest of it.
When you book a cruise, check port times. NCL had us arriving at 6am, 7am, etc before things were even open in the towns. If you plan on doing an excursion, plan on not being able to do anything else that day. NCL Bliss also sometimes ports you far away from everything and busses you in whereas other cruise lines port right downtown.
A big selling feature for us was seeing Dawes glacier which we did not get to see. They turned us around before hand with no explanation as why.
Everyone in our group got sick, so many people went to the buffet and didn’t wash their hands. People pile into elevators until there’s no room.
Overall, I wouldn’t do another cruise any time soon if at all.