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#the adults are just a plain green
adobe-outdesign · 25 days ago
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[8/11/20] Green Stink Bug (Nymph), Chinavia hilaris.
I will never be over how pretty these little lads are.
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charlottemansfield · 5 hours ago
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An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn centres around unhappy wife Lulu Danger and her pursuit of a mysterious former lover by unusual means. Composed of an eclectic cast, saturated mise-en-scéne and blasts of mundane synths, this dreamlike world floats in ambiguity of time and place. The clothing and music is suggestive of the mid-1980s to early 90s while the setting is somewhere in washed out suburbia, yet these unknown factors make the film all the more enthralling, as do the events which are simultaneously bizarre and banal.
Chain-smoking Lulu–played by the inimitable Aubrey Plaza–is enchanting despite her cold assertiveness, hiding her emotional side from the men in her life and instead revealing herself through her iconic wardrobe. After being fired by her husband, she sheds her diner uniform of a red shirt, khaki trousers and wellington style boots for loungewear. Even in her depressed state, characterised by blankets and cushions, Lulu is chic in her lacy bodysuit, plush pink and green quilted jacket, floor length raincoat, and tight ring-curls. Once she begins her adventure with new acquaintance, Colin (Jermaine Clement), she is reborn, entering a scene clutching shopping bags with her red nails. While staying at the hotel where she finds Beverly, her style consists of colourful chunky knits, striped swimsuits, flounced shoulders and mini skirts. She later reveals a pale pink and brown fur coat draped over her hot pink party dress, her hues progressively brightening throughout the film.
Costume designer Christina Blackaller not only made the heroine an icon, but ensured the men in Lulu’s life appeared just as extravagant in their attire, shaping the characters as well as acting as comedic building blocks. Beverly (Craig Robinson) mostly appears in Scottish-style pink tartan suits and hats, complete with a pom pom to match his powder-blue socks. Colin starts out bland in neutral jackets and turtlenecks, but is transformed by the finale,  sporting a leopard print shirt and blue linen jacket along with his signature yellow-tinted aviators. Even Lulu’s crazed husband Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch) dons electric blue speedo-fit briefs, which feel suitably grotesque next to his silver chain-adorned hairy chest. He and his rag-tag friends attempt to disguise themselves in stylish yet humorously out of place wigs, which is an ongoing gag throughout the movie.
Upon arriving at the hotel, no one blinks at Beverly and his “platonic life partner” Rodney Von Donkensteiger (Matt Berry) which further adds to the utopia-like timeless feel for the universe, free of society’s ideas of nuclear relationships. Rodney too is incredibly stylish in pale coloured suits, and at one point startles Lulu wearing Beverly’s red and white striped bathing suit, flowery swimming cap and, randomly, makeup, giving him brightly-flushed cheeks, dreamy blue eyelids, high brows and a red lip, reasserting the film’s camp attitude.
The way these men intersect around Lulu highlights their weaknesses–jealousy, rage, violence, greed, while simultaneously failing at these things and therefore at their idea of masculinity. This is dismantled by the end of the film, after some high-drama sequences as well as scenes that are so deliberately dull they end up hilarious; it feels like watching a prom drama for grown-ups, with eyeliner-streaked faces and alcohol in place of diner milkshakes.
Each thread of the film from set design to timing is not only awkward and offbeat but just plain weird. Certain scenarios play out as if from the imagination of a child and how they perceive the adult world from an innocent point of view, while others are more vulgar. Despite this, every moment retains a softness through its visuals, and the sensitivity of the characters. This is reflected in the language too, most notably in the title characters’ dialogue; once we meet Beverly Luff Linn he exclusively speaks in grunts for the first hour of the film. While there is a peppering of “fucks” used throughout by most characters, there is also an overuse of the word “poo”, playing on childlike speech and scatological humour, further supported by a littering of fart jokes and thrusting gestures. Visually, the film appears drab and dreary-toned but punctuated with pops of garish colour, again providing it with an unreal quality to support the prolonged anticipation for climaxes and gross sexual tension exhibited. Beverly Luff Linn is a delightful exploration of the absurdity of relationships and idiosyncrasies in suburbia.
Originally posted on wastelandarts.com
January 2021
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alexsfictionaddiction · 9 hours ago
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Review: Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
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Discovering new YA contemporary authors is always fun because the genre is often dominated by the big names. In fact, this one was billed as ‘for fans of Rainbow Rowell'. I never usually pay much attention to comparisons like this because I think every book deserves to be judged in its own light.
Grace is a bit of loner at her Florida boarding school but she’s OK with that. Then her trusty slingshot stops new kid Wade from being beaten up and now she has a handsome rulebreaker in her life. Before she knows it, Wade appears to have a deep hold over Grace and she has no idea what to do with that. But Wade appears to have a secret and Grace might just be able to save him.
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Due to the title, I thought that the slingshot would feature a lot more than it did. I understand that it is down to the slingshot that Grace and Wade meet but I can’t pretend that I wasn’t craving at least some kind of clever circle-closing involving the slingshot at the end. I don’t think the slingshot was a big enough motif to warrant naming the book after it.
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The book opens with Grace experiencing ‘heartbreak’ when she realises that she and her Biology teacher Mr Sorrentino won’t ever be together. Now, it’s probably reasonably common for teens to have crushes on their teachers but few will be as delusional about it as Grace is. She gets seriously angry and behaves awfully, as soon as she learns that he’s engaged. This kind of possibly psychopathic reaction is an immediate red flag and it becomes obvious why everyone appears to avoid her. Sadly, Grace isn’t friendless because she’s ‘a bit weird’ -she’s just plain not nice.
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One of my favourite characters was Grace’s roommate Georgina. She is hopelessly uncool and Grace says that she feels sorry for her. However, I didn’t really see many reasons to feel sorry for Georgina. She is willing to try almost anything, is fantastic at being unintentionally funny and has a wonderfully endearing charm about her. She is probably a bit too weird to be accepted by the jocks and theatre kids but on the whole, this doesn’t really seem to bother Georgina too much. She also does her best to be friends with Grace, who appears to be wholly interested in her. I’m a big fan of awkward nerds!
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Another of my favourite characters was Beth, an insanely cool, laid-back senior who takes on a kind of big sister role for Grace, although Grace clearly has a huge girl crush on her. Beth is incredibly casual about things that most people (certainly teens) take seriously and some readers may declare that it makes her read like an adult. I thought of Beth as being a little like Alaska Young in John Green’s Looking for Alaska -wild and reckless but fantastically good-hearted. If I’m honest, I was kind of hoping that Grace and Beth would catch feelings for each other and that would be the big endgame romance. I’ll tell you now that however much you wish for that to happen, it doesn’t.
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Grace is thoroughly self-absorbed as a lot of teens are. In fact, she is so self-absorbed that she doesn’t even notice that Wade is great boyfriend material until someone else implies it. Because of this, I wasn’t really sure whether Grace really liked him or whether she just wanted him because someone else suggested that he was desirable. Therefore, it was quite hard to get on board with the relationship in general.
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There is a thoroughly unsavoury character called Derek, who made me retch every time he popped up. I had trouble reading him as the senior that he is supposed to be because he seemed to be on a similar intellect level to Grace. This was actually a common problem throughout the book. Some characters read like teens and others like adults and it didn’t always correspond with the grade that they were supposed to be in.
A lot of the negative Goodreads reviews of this book suggest that it seems unrealistic for 15-year-olds to drink, smoke, swear and have casual sex. It has been a while since I was a teen but I know for a fact that although I didn’t do a lot of those things myself at 15, some of my classmates definitely did. I don’t know whether this is a UK/US difference or maybe even a millennial/Gen Z difference but from my own experience, I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s unrealistic for 15-year-olds to behave like Grace does.
If you don’t mind a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist who does very little to redeem herself, it might be worth giving Slingshot a go. There are some great side characters and a few funny exchanges but I can’t see this becoming a YA contemporary classic anytime soon. 
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charlottetomsfmp2 · 9 days ago
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Important aspects of comics and graphic novels:
Art style:
Depending on how the artist/ author intends for the reader to interpret the story relies heavily on the drawing style of the comic. More animated styles that are distanced further from the regular human appearance are usually about far more relaxed subjects. However, in some cases a comic way discus an adult topic in attempts to educate a younger audience. This could be about an important matter and in an attempt to appeal to children's minds, will use an art style that keeps them more engaged and interested in the content of the book.
Font used:
The font used both on the front cover and inside of the book are tools that complement key themes broached in the comic to the audience at first glance. For example, if a comic or graphic novel is of the horror genre, then the lettering will be more sharp, bold and intense with a rough quality to its edges. This also helps to present the intensity of the novel and the subjects discussed in its contents, signalling to parents that this may perhaps be unsuitable for younger audiences to read. (Fonts should not be so extreme as to take away from the reading experience and must be easily readable by the target audience. If these needs are not met than the font is not suitable for use).
Panel layout:
Panel layouts should be both clear and dynamic and engage the reader and spark interest in the novel's story. When looking at suitable panel compositions the age group of the target audience must be taken into consideration. If the layout is too dynamic then a younger audience may struggle to follow the plot. 
Colours used:
Colour choice is an important step in the production of both comic books and graphic novels. This will be key in guiding the audience's interpretation of the mood of the novel. Blue: could mean sorrow or heartbreak, red: passion or death, black: mystery and action, green: jealousy or nature and so on.
Speech bubbles:
The shape of a speech bubble can mean different things depending on the situation. Shaper, more angular speech bubbles usually mean that the character is either yelling, in shock, mad or is in the midst of attacking someone. Whereas more rounded and softer speech insinuates that the hero is relaxed, happy or even just plain neutral in their conversation.
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toarmina-pizza · 14 days ago
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Fond Of Eating Pizza, Then Definitely Know these Facts!
People of all ages like to eat pizza with their favorite topping. Pizza Kitchen Detroit delivers the most effective sizes and shapes on the pizza. The complete slice maybe a foot long and loaded with quality toppings. They serve pizza with freshness quality and value! They assure you of the fresh, delicious, voluminous food; they think about ordering hot, peppy pizza. They treat the shoppers as a family. They permit the customer to settle on from their wide selection of mouth-watering delicious.
In today’s time of fast phasing world, people who have busy schedules often don't leave them with much time and energy. If you have had a tiring day with driving through traffic jams, tedious office meetings, various works, and arriving home later, then check the food delivery services of the best restaurants. Order your favorite pizza and enjoyed it anytime along with your favorite toppings like black olives, basil pesto, spinach, green peppers, ham, hot Italian Sausage, Genoa Salami, and smoked bacon. The pizzas are prepared with passion using fresh and honest ingredients.
Here few important facts given about pizza.
1.           Pizza is one of all the few foods that just about everyone knows and loves round the world. It's cheesy, delicious, and nearly everywhere.
2.           Pizza may be a great source of nutrients within the diet. It provides high percentages of the overall daily intake of protein, fat, saturated fat, fiber, calcium, and lycopene.
3.           The pizza will be a decent source of nutrients as long because it isn't eaten in the dark. Pizza and friends are all we want in life.
4.           Today's kids are very keen on pizza. So, if it is your kid's birthday, you will be able to order some pizzas for your kids. Order some side dishes to make you're your kids aren't losing interest. This could make both kids and adults happy on their board.
5.           The taste and aroma of pizzas are something that produces your fondness for pizza. Within the upcoming month, if you would like to celebrate any function, the event then you'll add pizza to your guest menu as per their choice.
6.           Once you are throwing a party, you should always confine your mind that a variety of your guests are plain vegetarians. So, after you order pizza for your party, try to provide your guests with enough vegetarian options. If you're visiting a welcome vegetarian friend then make sure you've got the availability of vegetarian pizza option.
Today various restaurants available that provide Pizza Delivery Detroit at the doorstep of their clients. Nowadays everyone seems to be using the online, so you will be ready to easily understand the best restaurants around you.
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bootedperil · 16 days ago
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These four adults, three of which are grown men, are all just admiring the young sleeping Boy Wonder. The henchmen that is the furthest from Cat Woman seems to be totally focused on the young lad’s slender legs.
I always thought that this would be the purfect time to remove Robin’s boots. The henchmen could claim to want them as a souvenir. It would have created a great opportunity to have some sole shots of Robin since he is laying face down (the only death trap in which he is ever face down).
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This shot is why I think the henchmen was focused on Robin’s legs, his cape is covering his ass and his legs look extraordinary. I wish there had been more death traps with him laying face down and not to be repetitive but imagine him bootless with his Lycra covered soles in plain view.
Keep in mind what he is awakening to: this young lad is going to be dropped into a pit with two tigers that will shred his young body to pieces.
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The face of fear!
This will be a slow grueling death. He would be hurt from the fall and immediately have one tiger going for his throat while the other probably goes for those slender legs. A good reason to take his boots as a souvenir, because there won’t be anything left of our hero if this trap works.
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Robin is face down so his body weight would be pressing on his penis. We all know that fear causes Robin to become erect, so he is lying on an erection. As the board slants forward, Robin’s body weight shifts toward the end of the board, gravity pulling him toward the pit. He has to grasp the board firmly to keep from falling forward and try to inch his body up the board (uphill) to keep from falling....... so his body slides forward and he desperately tries to inch back the other way. So all of his body weight is on top of his erect penis, sliding one direction and then trying to inch back in the other direction.......back and forth, slow and methodical.
The henchmen all have blank stares, with no empathy watching the desperate scared youth fighting to keep from being fed to tigers.
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The henchmen in this shot seems to still be focused on Robin’s legs. I’d give anything to be that guy and to have removed Robin’s boots. Robin has his toes firmly planted against the board trying not to fall, what a great view it would have been if our little hero was bootless.
Robin is really falling forward now, he’s only seconds from going into the pit. In desperation he tries to inch back up the board but his body weight is continuing to shift forward. The back and forth pressure on his erect penis finally causes it to erupt inside of his green shorts. He lets out a little breathy cry at the relief that this brings .
He wants to cry out to the goons for help. But he can tell by their faces that their desire is to see him be torn apart.
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srflowerbakery · a month ago
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For just $24.99 Oatmeal Raisin DF Chocolate Chip Healthy Breakfast/ Snack Squares - IDEAL for kids and adult alike! Crunchy on outside & sooooo creamy on inside! Secret HEALTHY ingredient- SUNFLOWER BUTTER-- allergy friendly - creamy, salty, buttery taste. Gluten Free-All Natural - NON-GMO- ORGANIC. Dairy Free Soy Free, Egg Free Vegan Nut Free No Refined Sugar Good source of plant protein higher in fiber NO artificial sweeteners!! NO artificial food colors Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Sunflower Butter, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Raisins, Organic Pure Maple Syrup, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Ground Flaxseed, Organic Cinnamon Spice, Pure Vanilla Extract, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Dairy Free vegan Chocolate Chips. Fiber rich oats (Celiac Safe Certified) with all natural plant based ingredients, slight maple sugar flavor enhanced with a nutty salty kick! Don't be bored with plain old hard granola bar , highly processed trail mix, or a chewy sugar loaded high candy bar any more!! Each square - 56 grams- 2 oz. prior to baking Packaged, sealed & has ingredient label . Lasts FRESH 1 - 2 weeks in Refrigerator. Freeze for 1 - 3 months. Nutritional analysis available Note: Sunflower butter naturally can alter the baked good to have a green color. This is NORMAL! Ideal for: - school lunch boxes -camping- does not melt- perfect energy snack -long drives- not crumby - no mess -breakfast for those really picky eaters- KIDS and ADULTS - after school sports- open & eat prior, during and after the sports. -Athletes- cleaner ingredients than a fat bomb- want more pretin add more Nut butter of your choice. Business person- fits in suitcase, lap top bag Traveling- pre packed with labels- TSA friendly ingredients- safe for planes How will you use them? All orders are made fresh, please allow 1-3 days in addition to ship date for freshest products. (I try to get out ASAP). Bee Well Bakery Sally's Essential Oil...
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islandpcosjourney · a month ago
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Day 13
“Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.”
Today’s juices are: Pure raw energy smoothie Apple, Pineapple, Celery, Beetroot, Lemon blended with Banana, Avocado & JV’s berry powder blend Chlorophyll cleanser Apple, Pear, Cucumber, Lime, Celery, Spinach, Broccoli stem, Kale
Darling poochie, Holly, woke me up at 6am this morning wanting to go outside. To say I was less than pleased on a Saturday morning when I didn’t have to go to town for work, is a slight understatement 🤦🏻‍♀️ Downstairs, open the door, a shock of cold air and back to bed with my heated blanket! I knew I had lots to do today but I didn’t need to be dressed and made up for lessons until 1030 so I had plenty time to have a chilled morning. I knew I’d have plenty energy later to get right down to business and work hard the rest of the day – which I have done. Really hard to think that its nearly the end of March 2021 already, I say it every year, where is the year going? Of course this time last year, it was like we’d hit pause on the year, nobody knew what was going on, the uncertainty was driving people bananas – me included! But I smile when I think back on last year and how far I’ve come in that year. Last year, once online lessons began, I was suffering major migraines every day without fail. They became very debilitating and some days I simply couldn’t teach in front of the computer but all my students were so understanding and there was no such thing as a routine anymore so everyone was free ALL of the time; any day, any time – a very odd concept! Flexi-time on life! Even though I was teaching sporadically throughout the week (not everyone followed me online, initially) it really felt like a summer holiday. The weather was incredible, Kevin and I were outside doing outdoorsy things like power-washing the roof, the external house walls, Holly was having the best time of her life being an outdoor doggy 24/7 practically, yet despite all that goodness outside, I was still majorly suffering. I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but as the GP surgery was shut, I couldn’t run to the doctor so I just self-medicated with Paracetamol and Ibuprofen before lessons so I could get through them and make some income but it was no life, no life at all.
I’m so glad that by the June, I was so sick of it that I forced myself into a detox and I’ve never turned back. I guess everyone has their rock bottom, right? I’d hit mine several times over but this new low was totally different. It could’ve been the lack of seeing people and general routine of going to town each day that contributed to it, we’ll never know, but for me, COVID-19 and lockdown has been the making of me. I have no idea what the future holds for the world, that does worry me slightly but in terms of me having a future – I have one because of this virus.
I have not made any of these changes for anyone but myself. That may sound selfish but some things in life have to have that element of it. I have spent my whole life thinking of others, putting other people first, saying yes all of the time even when I know I’ll be snowed under, backing down, saying nothing to keep the peace (Kevin will be reading this, wide eyed muttering to himself “eh, not with me!”) No darling, I’m myself with you, I say what I like when I like because I KNOW that as my best friend, you can take it and give as good as you get 😉 we do love a bit of banter and friendly bickering don’t we?! Keep things fresh! I used to think about losing weight for Kevin, or for my Mum. When I tried to change my lifestyle before with the PCOS diet, I did it for me but I relied heavily on Kevin to help out. Meal prepping days were full on, cruelly so and there’s no easing into it – its all or nothing and I tended to be failing when Kevin wasn’t home and needing him to push me when he got back – not ideal – and in the end, I think he just got tired of having to push me all the time and to be honest, I got tired of having to be pushed. In the grand scheme of things, only ourselves can make changes to benefit us. Its our bodies, we are in charge of it. We are the ones who chew the food (unless you’re me on a 28-day juice cleanse 😂), we swallow it, we digest it, we get rid of the waste. SO why are the earlier parts so much harder? The deciding on the food, the cooking of the food, the storage/organising of the food? It can be the hardest thing we adults have to do – planning meals and buying the groceries in! How many of us can’t decide what we want to eat each day? I suppose living in a rural community means you have to be organised to have certain supples in. For Kevin when he comes home, I buy him in plain bread, ham, cheese and milk – as long as that’s in the fridge, he’s happy! We have plenty stuff in the freezer but still can’t always decide what to have each night. Kevin does the meal-planning these days as he’s the meat-cook – the BBQ man who wants to do all this experimenting with random cuts of meat we sometimes don’t know what it is 😆 When he’s not home, I really can’t be bothered cooking proper meals for myself and that’s where bad habits come in. I love cooking but for just me, it seems pointless unless it’s a batch-cooked dish I can freeze then its worth it.
Anyway, I could be going off on a tangent talking about food but I am so relieved that while he’s away just now and I’m really busy with tons of deadlines this month, that I haven’t had to think much about food as its super easy to choose juices and make the shopping lists and I’m in and out of the shop as quick as a flash! This week was even cheaper too because of lots of fruit & veg offers – amazing! I only spent £39.76 for the week but that also included dog food and a birthday card so I reckon it was around £35 for all of my fresh produce and as long as I haven’t underestimated what I need – that’s me not needing to go anywhere near a busy place, other than work, keeping me safe too.
Being organised and having a menu plan each week is a good start if you want to gain control back in your life with food. Once the food is in you’re less likely to sway from the choices you made when you weren’t ravenous and emotionally hungry than when you’re having a bad moment and are reaching for “whatever you feel like”. If you find yourself doing that, say to yourself “I’ve bought all of this fresh food in, don’t waste it” or has Jason says, you don’t want to find it walking its own way out of the fridge in a few weeks time 😂 Not that I was wasteful anyway, but I’ve found myself not wasting anything these days. All veg can be used up for a soup or anything that’s gone bad before I’ve managed to get to it, goes in the organics bin under the sink and then on our compost heap!
I even made 4-5 litres of soup made from pulp waste – yes that’s right! The pulp that comes out of the juicer, usually gets chucked into the organics and will rot down into compost and feed our veg next year but I saw this idea on a FB group and thought I’d try it. So with the days when I was doing My Green juice, I’d put the veg through first, empty the waste jug of pulp into the soup pan with melted butter, garlic and onions, let it sauté a while first then add in the stock and let it bubble – couldn’t be easier! I then pour it all into the blender and cream it up. No naughties, just pure goodness I can eat on cold days. I know its mostly fibre in the waste than anything else but its tasty so, why not?!
I had said I might have soup during this detox but I’m so surprised that I haven’t found myself wanting/needing it yet. I must make broccoli soup tomorrow with all the spare broccoli heads I have from using the stems – usually we’d eat it for a Sunday roast, or chicken myers or I’d make broccoli quiche but I’m really not wanting to be “cooking” too much, lest it might tempt me. I could also just par boil the broccoli whole or in florets and freeze them, ready to use in all sorts of dishes so that could be an idea too. But, now I’m getting heavy in the eyes again so I must go have my bath and get another good night’s sleep!
(remember yesterday’s “eat the rainbow” statement I was making? Beautiful colours in today’s juice as I was making it, pic below)
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mrcifci · a month ago
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Every one of Hulu's 'Into the Dark' horror movies, ranked
Horror fans looking for their next great binge should head Into the Dark. 
This week, Hulu's scary movie anthology wraps up its second season of holiday-centric horrors with Blood Moon, a chilling werewolf story celebrating the spring full moon (which yes, we agree, is a bit of stretch on the "holiday" front). That brings the Into the Dark installment count up to 24 feature-length nightmares inspired by Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Pet Appreciation Week, and more.
In honor of the occasion, we're celebrating these celebrations with a complete ranking of the Blumhouse series. Of course, we'll tell you which movie goes with each holiday, but we'll also tell you what other horror titles each episode is like so you can cue up something you're sure to enjoy.
So, here it is: a guide to every single one of Hulu's Into the Dark movies. Happy haunting!
24. The Current Occupant 
What's more likely, that the president of the United States would wake up as a patient in a mental hospital? Or that a patient in a mental hospital would wake up thinking he's the president of the United States? This — let's be real, very dumb — question anchors The Current Occupant, a psychological thriller that's basically just the eye scene from A Clockwork Orange stretched to feature length. It's not great, but it's not terrible. You can get to this Independence Day romp last.
Good for fans of: Unsane, Shutter Island Where to watch: The Current Occupant is now streaming on Hulu.
23. I'm Just Fucking With You
In honor of everyone's least favorite holiday, April Fool's Day, Into the Dark pits a hateful internet troll against an actual serial killer staying at a bizarre motel. As the title implies, this movie is made to mess with you, and does so through red herrings, plot twists, and a lot of other random bullshit. Suffice to say, it achieves what it set out to accomplish. Whether you'll enjoy it is another matter.
Good for fans of: The Voices, Spree Where to watch: I'm Just Fucking With You is now streaming on Hulu.
22. Uncanny Annie 
A group of friends opt for a relaxed Halloween night in, but a cursed board game ruled by a devilish little ghost girl has other plans in mind. In this spooky tale — which, yes, uses Jumanji rules — our protagonists must defeat the titular Uncanny Annie to set everything right. The writing in this one, particularly when it comes to what we can only assume was supposed to be heartfelt dialogue, isn't fantastic. However, the sheer silliness of the premise makes it a solid on-in-the-background pick.
Good for fans of: Ouija, Truth or Dare, The Boy Where to watch: Uncanny Annie is now streaming on Hulu.
21. Pure
Well, this is a super gross way to celebrate Daughter's Day. In Pure, a creepy dad takes his daughters to a celibacy retreat run by an even creepier pastor. Thankfully, ancient maternal magic is on the girls' side, so they're not defenseless against the weirdness that's about to ensue. This ambitious idea doesn't land in every way we'd like, but it's got enough going for it to be serviceable. 
Good for fans of: Teeth, Ginger Snaps Where to watch: Pure is now streaming on Hulu.
20. The Body
Written by Paul Fischer and Paul Davis, and based on their short film of the same name, The Body follows a hitman completing a job in plain view on Halloween night. After all, who would suspect anything is real on a night all about make-believe? It's a cute premise that doesn't go as far as we'd like, but features a strong cast and some very fun dialogue for its antihero, played by Tom Bateman, and his love interest, played by Rebecca Rittenhouse.
Good for fans of: Kill List Where to watch: The Body is now streaming on Hulu.
19. Down
No one wants to spend Valentine's Day stuck in an elevator with a stranger. But for two sexy singles, that hypothetical inconvenience becomes a terrifying reality when they get trapped in their office building over a long weekend. This isn't the most interesting Into the Dark gets. Still, Down's solid leads make it a romantic comedy-turned-survival thriller worth seeing once.
Good for fans of: 10 Cloverfield Lane, P2, Buried Where to watch: Down is now streaming on Hulu.
18. My Valentine 
Toxic masculinity and pop stardom collide in this neon-soaked nightmare from writer-director Maggie Levin. GLOW's Britt Baron stars as Valentine, a talented musician confronted by her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend, who strangely looks a whole lot like Valentine herself. Tonally, this one is a very bumpy ride — but great visuals, hysterical one-liners, and a catchy soundtrack save it. 
Good for fans of: Cam Where to watch: My Valentine is now streaming on Hulu.
17. New Year, New You
Revenge is classic fodder for scary movies, but New Year, New You tackles a friend group's fighting through an especially modern lens. Four women reunite to celebrate New Year's Eve, but the insidious past of one, a social media star played by the sensational Carly Chaikin, looms large. What follows is a study in manipulation that's intensely cynical but still very funny.
Good for fans of: Fantasy Island Where to watch: New Year, New You is now streaming on Hulu.
16. Flesh and Blood 
Stars Dermot Mulroney and Diana Silvers knock it out of the park in this father-daughter two hander. As Kim Tooms and her dad Henry Tooms prepare for Thanksgiving, questions about the recent death of Kim's mom, namely whether Henry anything do with it, make the mood less than inviting. You've seen this type of movie before, for sure. But not with these phenomenal actors.
Good for fans of: Run How to watch: Flesh and Blood is now streaming on Hulu.
15. All That We Destroy 
Into the Dark runs headlong into the terrors of parenthood with the Mother's Day-themed All That We Destroy. In this sci-fi hellscape, a geneticist with a serial killer for a son provides clones to be his victims. It's an ethical conundrum, certainly. But when one of the clones starts fighting back, this mother is forced decide how far she is willing to go for her child. It's a doozy.
Good for fans of: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ex Machina Where to watch: All That We Destroy is now streaming on Hulu.
14. Treehouse 
Killer comedy meets feminist frights in this chilling tale of witchcraft and revenge. Jimmi Simpson stars as a douchebag celebrity chef who travels to his deceased father's remote estate for a weekend away. But when he invites a beautiful stranger and her friends over to his place for dinner, unexplained terrors begin to plague the house. This one is seriously twisty. 
Good for fans of: The Craft, Hard Candy, I Spit on Your Grave Where to watch: Treehouse is now streaming on Hulu.
13. Blood Moon
Blood Moon sees Into the Dark finally take on transformation horror by way of a mother-son survival story. With the next full moon approaching, Esme, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, must protect her werewolf son Luna, played by Yonas Kibreab, from authorities — and himself. You won't be particularly scared by this installment, but it sure is heart-wrenching. 
Good for fans of: An American Werewolf in London Where to watch: Blood Moon is now streaming on Hulu.
12. School Spirit 
All right, Into the Dark, the first day of school is a special kind of torture, not a holiday — get it together. Still, this high school horror show is more fun than that holiday choice implies, delivering a surprisingly satisfying send-up of The Breakfast Club that replaces teen angst with goofy gore.  Sure, its characters fall flat and you can see the ending from a mile away. But a slasher flick about a deranged school mascot? At the very least, that's an A+ for effort.
Good for fans of: Prom Night, Happy Death Day, Student Bodies Where to watch: School Spirit is now streaming on Hulu.
11. Pooka 2: Pooka Lives! 
A standalone sequel to Pooka! (#4 on this ranking), Pooka 2: Pooka Lives! turns the original Christmas-themed story of a killer toy into a comedic exploration of internet legends. Set against an Easter backdrop, this is basically Evil Dead 2 done Pooka-style, right down to the pulpy kills. Plus, Rachel Bloom appears in a small role as maniacal toy maker that is just absolute perfection. Definitely watch this one, but see the original first if you can. It's worth it.
Good for fans of: Slender Man, Unfriended, Annabelle Where to watch: Pooka 2: Pooka Lives! is now streaming on Hulu.
10. Midnight Kiss 
Into the Dark's best slasher to date, Midnight Kiss transforms flirty New Year's Eve fun into a deadly game of cat and mouse. When a group of catty West Hollywood friends arrive in Palm Springs to ring in 2020 (good luck with that one, my dudes), a mysterious killer dressed in BDSM gear starts to hunt them one by one. It's campy fun with just enough splatter, a traditional whodunnit wrapped up in glitter and guts. At the very least, you'll love the champagne bottle kill. It's brutal, but...bubbly.
Good for fans of: The House on Sorority Row, Black Christmas Where to watch: Midnight Kiss is now streaming on Hulu.
9. Crawlers
Crawlers is the St. Patrick's Day-themed alien invasion we never knew we needed. In this action adventure, body-snatching creatures from outer space descend on Earth and friends attending an Irish pub crawl must defend themselves from attack. Full of witty dialogue and stellar comedic performances, this is an instant win for fans of Stranger Things and green beer.
Good for fans of: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The World's End Where to watch: Crawlers is now streaming on Hulu.
8. Delivered 
Making friends as an adult can be remarkably difficult. So it makes perfect sense that when a friendly couple met a nice lady at maternity yoga, they agreed to come over for dinner. At her remote home. Where no one could hear them scream. The smiley antagonist of Delivered, played by Tina Majorino, is what really sells this Mother's Day-themed abduction story. It's the best performance in the entire series, delivering an Annie Wilkes-inspired killer you won't soon forget. 
Good for fans of: Misery Where to watch: Delivered is now streaming on Hulu.
7 . They Come Knocking 
For Into the Dark's second Father's Day episode, They Come Knocking takes audiences on a somber road trip with a dad and his children as they prepare to spread their mother's ashes in the countryside. At their campsite, however, an otherworldly presence refocuses their attention from that lasting grief to an increasing sense of panic. Better left unspoiled, this is a nightmarish journey that consistently satisfies and never fails to surprise.
Good for fans of: The Ritual Where to watch: They Come Knocking is now streaming on Hulu.
6. Good Boy 
National treasure Judy Greer heads up Into the Dark's monstrous take on Pet Appreciation Week in director Tyler MacIntyre's Good Boy. When Maggie, a newly unemployed journalist who is just as unlucky in love, decides to adopt a dog, she picks out Chico from the local shelter. He's an adorable black and white mutt, willing to do anything for his new owner. And we mean anything. (Murder. He does murder.) It's silly and kind of sweet — like cuddly Cujo, minus the rabies.
Good for fans of: Gremlins, Cujo Where to watch: Good Boy is now streaming on Hulu.
5. Tentacles
Celebrate Valentine's Day with some truly toxic co-dependence. In Tentacles, a man and a woman fall in love hard and fast — moving in together and getting engaged just weeks after meeting. But their blissful romance gives way to an eeriness they can't quite shake. Filmed during the pandemic, Tentacles marked Into the Dark's triumphant return after their COVID-19 hiatus and proved just how much the series could do with a scaled-down concept. It's simple, but genuinely scary.
Good for fans of: The Invisible Man, It Follows, Audition Where to watch: Tentacles is now streaming on Hulu.
4. Pooka! 
In what is perhaps Into the Dark's most widely known title, a struggling actor named Wilson (Nyasha Hatendi) gets a job playing the mascot form of a popular toy for Christmas. But the holiday miracle soon gives way to a series of brutal killings that leave Wilson terrified for himself, his girlfriend, and her son. You won't see where this seasonal scare is going, so buckle up. 
Good for fans of: Child's Play Where to watch: Pooka! is now streaming on Hulu.
3. Pilgrim 
Pilgrim, by far the goriest title on this list, offers home invasion horror with a side of occult terror for the most bonkers feast in holiday history. It's too unhinged to spoil, so we'll just say this: A wealthy family learns the meaning of Thanksgiving the hard way after inviting strangers they believe to be a historical reenactment group to dine at their home. This ends, as you might guess, very, very badly for them. Proceed with caution, but this is definitely the pick if you're looking for extreme.
Good for fans of: Dinner Party, Wrong Turn Where to watch: Pilgrim is now streaming on Hulu.
2. Culture Shock 
The most thought-provoking Into the Dark yet, Culture Shock is a sci-fi thriller set along the Mexico-United States border that packs a serious gut punch. Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero, the film begins as a terrifying tale of crossing the border grounded in tense realism. Soon, however, that real-world horror gives way to a more artificial insidiousness. The result is a not at all subtle, but still hugely impactful exploration of the human rights crisis that is United States' immigration. 
Good for fans of: Get Out Where to watch: Culture Shock is now streaming on Hulu.
1. A Nasty Piece of Work 
Fans of Ready or Not can enjoy another brutal game night in the house of a conceited rich dude with Into the Dark's A Nasty Piece of Work. In this Belko Experiment-meets-National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mash-up, Kyle Howard stars as Ted, a corporate underling vying for his holiday bonus at a terrifying work dinner party. Julian Sands and Molly Hagan undeniably steal the show as Ted's evil boss and his equally evil wife, but the whole cast nails it in this ensemble horror-comedy. *
Good for fans of: Ready or Not, You're Next, Would You Rather Where to watch: A Nasty Piece of Work is now streaming on Hulu.
Asterisks (*) indiciate movie entry has appeared on a previous Mashable list.
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srflowerbakery · a month ago
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foodieforthoughts · a month ago
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I Would Do It Again - Ten
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Summary: Anya Adams, a troubled soul but fierce on the outside, stumbles over a stranger at a party and ends up sharing more than just her name. She’s in for a whirlwind encounter when he turns out to be her boss. Striking up a deal for pleasure, Anya soon finds herself mixing work and play. For someone who swore off love, would she let the handsome Brit break down her walls?
Pairing: AU Henry Cavill x OFC
Words: 7k
Warnings: 18+, mentions of drinking and smoking, smut, oral (female receiving), fingering, orgasm denial, vaginal penetration, protected sex
A/N: I couldn’t wait. Anya was getting all the hate and I couldn’t bare it. So here they are, confessing and everything. Also this is the longest chapter for this series and I hope you guys like it. Thank you to everyone who is following this series, I love you all.
Divider by @firefly-graphics
| One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven |
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“Feeling alright?” Steph handed me a cup of coffee while choosing to stick to her sickly green smoothie in a bottle.
“Better,” I simply replied.
It was a futile attempt by me to let the topic slide. Sunday night had been horrendous; running into Henry and Johanna had really tipped me off. The restaurant was my place in New York that signified an amazing memory of my life. It was my special place, my sanctuary; the only place for me to reconnect with a part of me that I had lost. Now it was tainted by the image of Johanna and Henry having dinner, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
I had taken a day off on Monday. There were no productive things done; just me in my bed eating junk food and drinking wine until I felt nauseous. I had no way of understanding why I was so bothered about Henry meeting someone else. I had tried to reason with myself.
Henry was bound to find someone permanent in the long run. There was no way for me to know for sure if things with them were going to last. It bothered me that things with us had ended so quickly which left me with an unsettling feeling.
I had pushed for the ‘no-strings attached’ rule. I was so confident about it working out. In the process of evading attachment, I might have pushed him away. Maybe we could have let this go on for some time until one of us got fed up with the other. Maybe he already had.
The thought affected me so much, I took a day off on Tuesday as well.
If it were not for Kundra with a big announcement, I would have skipped today as well. But my body could only take so much of wine, burgers and fries without spewing out the contents of my gut.
Steph nodded at me and took a big chug of her green goop.
“How are you keeping it down?” Even with the smell, I could taste it in my mouth.
“It is supposed to keep my morning sickness away. The key is to not taste it and let it slide behind the tongue.” She laughed and took another gulp off of the smoothie.
It was afternoon, just before lunch when Kundra sauntered to the office foyer. He had a big grin on his face, his short and stout old PA hurrying behind him to keep up the pace. We stood like around him, in groups, whispering amongst ourselves about the misplaced smile on our middle-aged CEO’s face.
I nodded to Steph’s statement, something about Kundra’s hair looking blacker and shinier, when I looked over to his side. The Execs were standing together, like they always did. Henry was in a simple white shirt, sleeves rolled up to his elbows exposing his strong arms, a plain blue tie in place and black trousers.
He was standing next to Johanna who looked amazing in a yellow pencil dress. I had never seen a woman capable of pulling the yellow colour as sexily as she did. Ignoring her disrespectful behaviour for anyone who did not benefit her, she really was stunning.
“As you all know, our product was launched a few weeks ago.” Kundra’s mixed accented voice quietened everyone. His grin spread out from one ear to another as he explained how we had crossed the marginal profit that had been set. Everyone clapped along with him. A few of us even hooted and cheered. I looked at Steph and smiled while clapping. It was going to be Steph’s and Johanna’s first major successful marketing campaign. The huge smile on Steph’s face reflected everything she had put into her work.
I looked across the room and spotted Johanna smiling and talking to Henry. It seemed like she was getting congratulated by her colleagues. I could not help but smile looking at his face lighting up, his cheeks dimpled under the light scruff of his stubble.
He looked like he had found a place in the company. He genuinely looked happy, nothing like the night I had left him in his office. Like two magnets, we always wound up looking at each other. When he turned towards all of us, our eyes met from across the room.
There was no need to sour the moment, he looked so happy. So, I smiled at him and he smiled back at me.
I really tried but I could not ignore the flutter in my chest.
***
When I stepped out the cab, the thumping of music reverberated across the street. I could feel my chest pulsate with the beats even while I was paying the cab driver. So many people were standing outside the club, especially girls dressed in short dresses and jumpsuits.
I looked down at myself, feeling overtly dressed for a night of midweek clubbing. I had decided to not go too overboard with my clothes. My office mates had hardly ever seen me outside work. For them I was always smartly dressed in skirts or pants with shirts buttoned up decently. I did not intend to overwhelm them. So, I had stuck to a decent looking black dress with stilettos, with my hair let down.
I felt like the awkward aunt who shows up to their niece’s college party to embarrass them.
The big, burly bouncer at the door to the club stood with a notepad and a pen. He had no smile on his face, only thick eyebrows knitted together.
“Anya Adams,” I spoke over the loud music. The door opened and out poured twenty something boys laughing and visibly drunk. I looked to my side where plenty of girls stood behind the red velvet ropes. In an uncomfortable, adulting moment passing by my mind, I wondered why these young girls were out on a school night.
“Johanna Washington’s Party.”
I nodded at the bouncer, noting how gruff and deep seated his voice was. They really did select these guys to be intimidating because right now I felt small and timid. Also, Johanna’s last name always threw me off. Washington, she had such a powerful last name and also was born on the right side of the tracks. It wasn’t really a hard job to understand where all the snotty behaviour in her came from.
The bouncer pulled the other red velvet rope out of my way, tipping his head towards the door.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I entered through the door. I had been club hopping on more occasions than one, but the reputation that this club held was a little higher for my taste.
Aura was a high-end nightclub in Tribeca with a guest list usually featuring socialites from the Upper East Side or celebrities with a wild night out planned. I wasn’t really surprised when Johanna had dropped the name of this place like it was her playground.
The floor was glistening with the glint getting caught up in the reflection. While one side was lined with big mirrors and highchairs around tall tables; the other side featured a huge, bright bar with liquor lining behind on the wall. Women and men alike danced around the floor with drinks in their hands.
I made my way towards the back. I vaguely remembered Barbara mentioning that the sitting booths were secured behind the dance floor. I had an inkling that Johanna would want to impress everyone with her swank belonging to the upper crust of the society.
A platform separated the dance floor from the seating area. More red velvet ropes lined outside the area with two big men standing with their arms crossed across their ginormous chests.
“Anya!” Macky’s face appeared from behind the men, standing on the podium. “She’s with us.” He said and tapped one of the bouncers on the shoulders.
I stifled my laugh imagining how tiny Macky looked in front of the men. They could very well just pull him forward with one motion of their arm. I smiled at the bouncers and made my way to where Macky stood with a bottle of beer only visible now that I was closer.
“Took you long,” He gave me a half hug, sideways and careful to not press too close.
“I had to travel all the way from Brooklyn. Wasn’t really hoping to make it on time.” I rolled my eyes at him.
In the dim lights of the seating area, I could now see Macky’s face flushed with the heat and the drinks he had most probably downed before people even got here. His hair looked tousled and when the strobe light hit his face, his eyes glistened like molten gold. Macky was handsome but why he was single still really was the greatest mystery.
I followed him towards the booths lined along the wall. The area had a bar of its own and an open space to dance if you wanted to. Soon enough I spotted the rest of the crew from our office, especially a bright red figure of Johanna laughing loudly along with her colleagues.
Everyone looked bland in comparison to the red headed women also dressed in a tight red bodycon dress with the neckline plunging down in the front. Her neck was adorned with a glittering gold necklace. Even though her body looked covered in a sheen of sweat, her face looked like the makeup on it wasn’t even touched once since it was applied.
“Guys, Anya is here.” Macky announced before plopping down beside a guy I recognized from financial services. I scrunched up my face when he took a smoke from the open box on a table.
“Oh, you made it from Brooklyn.” The sarcasm in Johanna’s voice was palpable even with the music playing at full blast.
I smiled at her, choosing to remain silent and not give her a reply. We were outside the office now and if it weren’t for Steph, I wouldn’t have even bothered coming.
I looked around and found Steph with a glass of water sitting with a few of our colleagues from marketing. I waved at her when she noticed me. She looked sick with her skin pale and her face in a scorn.
I made my way towards her, worried. “Hey,” I sat on a chair placed closed to the booth. “You don’t look like you are enjoying the party.”
She turned to me slowly. “It’s too loud and the smoke is making me-” She gagged as a newly burnt cigarette smoke wafted towards us.
“If you want, we could go outside.”
She shook her head, sipping her water carefully. “No, no. I don’t want to be that woman, the party pooper. You get yourself a drink. I’ll leave as soon as Kundra arrives.”
I wasn’t sure if the smoke was healthy for her or her unborn child. It was not recommended though, that I knew. I began to protest but she stopped me with a hand over my back and pushed me. She smiled weakly and nudged me to go towards the bar.
I protested but she was stubborn. Ignoring the laughter from a dancing Johanna who was tripping on booze and smokes, I side stepped her to go to the bar. A young and attractive bartender greeted me with a smile. He served drinks to the other patrons and then slid his way towards me.
“Gin and tonic,” I ordered. The smiles that he was throwing at me, I was certain he was flirting. I was conflicted whether I wanted to reciprocate. Johanna would laugh at my face if she saw me leaving with the bartender. She already thought my Brooklyn ass wasn’t welcomed in her uptight social atmosphere, whether I wanted to give her another chance to judge me was confusing me.
While I mulled over my thoughts, watching the cute bartender prepare my drink, I completely missed the warm presence of a body beside me. It was only when he put his arms on the glass surface of the bar, did I turn my head to look at him.
Henry looked dashing in a grey Henley with his hair tousled rather than neatly combed like it always was. His cheeks had a rosy tint, flushed skin and jaw covered with an even darker scruff than it was in the morning. I felt my cheeks warm when he looked at me with his deep blue set of eyes.
“Hi,” he simply said.
His presence was enough to make me forget about the flirting bartender who happened to place my drink in front of me. I vaguely thanked him before taking a sip from my glass. The liquid burned as it travelled down my throat, but it was helpful for distracting me from the man beside me.
“Hey,” I squeaked out. I downed a little more of my drink, because if I were going to have a conversation with Henry I would much rather be under the influence of alcohol.
“We weren’t on a date.”
I stopped mid-sip to look sharply at Henry. I wasn’t sure I heard it right or if he even said anything. Over the music and the heat from his body, standing only a few inches away from me, I was sure I confused his words for something else.
“What?” The condensation from the glass dripped over my hand, soaking the thin tissue paper I had been holding the glass with.
He took a deep breath and leaned on the bar. “I wasn’t on a date with Johanna…the other night.” He looked to be struggling to put it out in a sentence. He seemed to be thinking a lot before speaking, his body was angled towards me completely. “We were out as colleagues. She wanted someone to accompany her for a store opening.”
He had to speak a little louder as the DJ decided to turn up the music. The pounding in my chest was growing heavier, I couldn’t distinguish anymore if it were from the music or the words that were spilling out from Henry’s mouth. It was extremely weird for me for feeling a sense of glee beginning to settle inside me. But I decided to play it off.
“Why are you telling me this?”
Henry scrunched his eyebrows together. The relaxed stance he held just before, was replaced by a rigid stature. He stood straighter but did not move away. I still had to look up at him while trying to gauge what he was going to say.
“I-I just wanted you to know?”
“Why?” Oh, what was I getting at? It seemed like the gin and tonic was getting to my head and messing with my thinking capability. I was pushing Henry in a tight corner with my question hanging between us. I watched as he opened and closed his mouth several times to come up with a right reply.
The way his lips moved, his tongue wetting the skin of his supple lips, was making me think about the times I had sucked on them. It had been two whole weeks since the last time we engaged in any sort of activity, that many weeks since I had been touched intimately by another person. I craved it more now that we were out of our office and there was nothing in between us.
“What’s happening here?” I almost jumped up when Macky came behind me and slung his heavy arm over my shoulder. He was now reeking of smoke and booze with his words beginning to slur at the end. “Anya… what are you even drinking?”
I balanced myself from falling when Macky turned towards the bar, making me turn with him. I grabbed onto his t-shirt at the back, trying to hold him still. This man was already drunk and Kundra hadn’t even arrived yet. I knew who was going to be missing work tomorrow and his name started with a capital M.
I glanced towards Henry. He was standing with his arms across his chest now, him eyeing Macky’s hand hanging from my shoulder. The confused, scrambling for words look in his eyes was now replaced with curiosity dripping from his narrowed slits.
“Macky, you are so heavy.” I complained as he leaned over the bar and called for a beer. “And why are you getting drunk like this?”
“Anya, babe, I am happy. You know…Johanna is paying for everything?” He whispered to me while grabbing the chilled beer bottle.
“Since when did you become such a mooch?” I was getting annoyed now with him hanging from my tiny frame. His arm was restricting my head movements as it held down my hair against my neck. Irritated, I pulled his arm away from me and held him by the fabric of his t-shirt.
Macky laughed and stopped to gulp a generous amount of beer from the bottle. He turned slightly and only then did he seemed to notice that Henry was still standing beside me.
“Boss!” He exclaimed, taking a step forward and pulling me with him. “We all love you.”
I pressed my lips close to stop from laughing. I looked at Henry and his demeanour seemed to change with his arms falling to his side and one hand going inside his pocket.
“Yeah, McCarthy?” The amusement in Henry’s voice was entertaining.
The way Macky jerked his head in agreement, his entire body swayed and I along with him. I was worried he was going to dislocate a body part, so I held him steady.
“Actually-” The last syllable dragged behind the word, “It was Anya here, who had the awesome idea of asking you for the game.”
I was not expecting Macky to blurt that information out like that. I wasn’t even hoping for Henry to ever find out about it. Neither was I ready for the look of astonishment that flashed on Henry’s face as the words sunk in. In the bright strobe lights that were hitting us in randomized pattern, Henry’s face lit up with surprise written all over it. His eyes glinted every time the light hit his blue orbs and I was left mesmerized.
“Trust me, boss,” Macky put his arm around my neck again, pulling me close. “It was the best advice this tiny female has given…” Thankfully, his attention got diverted when other guys from the finance team joined us at the bar. I slung his arm over to the nearest man and stepped aside.
I was proud of my advice to Macky, for I could see the men bring Henry into their fun and involve him with their shenanigans. I downed the rest of my drink in one gulp watching Henry laugh along with something that someone said. His shoulders shook with his laugh, his hand reaching out for a glass of scotch that he had ordered.
I was about to turn and leave when Henry looked sharply at me. His lips were drawn in a smile, his cheeks indented with the dimples. I smiled back at him, tipping my chin and walking away. I absolutely refused to acknowledge the fluttering at the pit of my stomach, choosing to blame it on the alcohol.
***
“Let me know when you reach home,” I called out to a pale looking Stephanie in her car. A tired Dave smiled at me as he drove the car away.
The poor woman had had enough of the smoke and the noise inside the club. Pregnancy was making her to be on edge with the loud noises and sensitive to smell. I sympathised with her and had offered to drop her off at her apartment. But she had called for Dave as soon as she had started feeling nauseous.
I stood outside the club and took in a breather. It was only half past ten, but I was exhausted. Maybe it was the fact that Johanna had stupidly decided to throw the impromptu party on a weekday with work for everyone. I was sceptical if she was going to make it to work herself, since I had lost sight of her an hour ago when she was flirting with a bunch of good looking and expensive-suits-wearing men.
Henry had looked jovial and joked around with the men. When Kundra had arrived, his mood had seemed to have gotten a boost. He had hugged his friend and pulled him in for a drink. The women had somehow decided to stick together and enjoy their cocktails like some high-class benefit gala. To avoid sticking out like a sore thumb, I had joined them with my glass of G&T.
I rubbed my arms feeling a gush of wind chilling my sweat covered body. The crowd had dispersed somewhat but college students still dominated the number of people outside the club smoking a cigarette. I felt so old looking at the young adults enjoying the freedom of their lives with only the burden of credit points hanging over their heads.
I pulled my phone out from my pocket and opened Henry’s text messages again. Over the course of the party, Henry had began sending messages from across the room. It had started with – You really did that? I had looked at him from my hen party and met his eyes while he looked at me waiting for my reply with his phone in his hand. I had simply replied with a ‘yes’.
Then he had proceeded to bombard me with a series of texts ranging from surprised emojis and smiley faces. I had smiled to myself, the girls completely oblivious to our silent conversation. The texts had paused when Johanna had begun her long prolonged happy and drunk speech for us. After that, we all had gotten progressively drunker and Steph sicker.
My phone vibrated in my hand with an incoming message from Henry. Where are you? He wrote to which I replied that I was outside. Another gush of wind and this time my bare arms were covered in goosebumps as a shiver ran down my spine. A few minutes later, the club’s door opened followed by the thumping of loud music and a flushed Henry walking out.
His face was tinted red, his hair tousled and sticking to his forehead. But the smile on his face when he saw me outside sent another chill down my spine. His steps seemed to falter a bit and he also smelled like a mixture of smoke and his cologne.
“You are drunk.” I shook my head at him, getting the whiff of his scotch laden breath as he walked closer to me.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He took the support of a lamp post beside me, his skin glistening with the thin sheen of sweat on his skin under the light.
His question was expected. I was uncertain myself why I had chosen to keep this piece of information undisclosed. Maybe I felt sympathetic towards him for being homesick, or maybe I was starting to go soft for him, or I knew that I was a heartless bitch. I shook my head at my train of thoughts.
I pushed a stray strand of hair that was blowing on my face with the wind, behind my ear. “I was probably trying to make amends for myself.”
“Amends?”
“I ran out on you, didn’t I? That night at the office…” I really hoped he would understand since I did not wish to explain everything that had happened between us. When his smile dropped and his eyebrows knitted together, I continued. “I-I thought you must have been… homesick. I didn’t want you to be alone.”
I glanced at him from under my eyelashes, my hair swaying with the wind against my back and goosebumps covering my skin. Henry looked at me with a tilt of his head and breathed out slowly.
With the slightest moment of his body, he took a step forward and pulled me in for a kiss. I was taken by surprise for a moment, my mouth open and a gasp escaped my lips. He placed his warm hand on my cheek and another at the small of my back, flushing my body against his.
I sighed as I melted against his body. How I had missed the taste of his lips. His body felt perfect against mine; I clutched his t-shirt in my hands not wanting to let him go.
The door to the club opened again, followed by voices from the crowd walking out. We moved apart in a hurry, but Henry kept a hold of my hand.
“I want to take you home. Can we forget the Friday rule for once, please?”
I don’t think I had the mental strength to say no to him, my body agreed with my mind. I clutched his hand tightly in mine and smirked. “I was never good at following rules, anyway.” And followed him as he rushed us towards the curb to hail a cab.
***
I let out a gasp as my back collided with the door, pushing out the air from my lungs with a force. Henry’s lips were back on mine, not giving me a moment to even breathe properly.
The taxi ride from the club to his apartment was eventful, to say the least. As soon as we had entered the cab and given the directions to the driver, we had attacked each other with our lips. His hands had roamed over my thighs, grabbing and massaging everything he could touch.
Tasting his lips on mine, inhaling his scent, my mind had lit up like the fourth of July. There were sparks between us that seemed to grow into an inferno with the proximity of our touches. It was weirdly settling to think that things between us had fallen in place without any special effort. It almost felt like we were somehow meant to be, right here, right now. The fluttering in my heart was almost audible in my ears, berating against my chest as his soft lips moved against mine in perfect synchronization.
While Henry had made a quick detour to my neck, I had glanced at the driver who was having difficulty keeping his eyes away from the rear-view mirror. I could have stopped, but I had been starving for Henry’s touch for far too long. I had brought his face back up and shoved my tongue inside the warm cavern of his mouth and heard him groan as our tongues danced together. The skin on my neck tingled with his stubble leaving a burn behind.
My centre was soaked with the wetness that was beginning to pool between my thighs. Henry’s hands had travelled up my thigh and just lightly grazed my panty-soaked core. I had moaned against his shoulder and clutched his shirt tightly as an electricity ran through me.
I had missed his touches, tremendously. It was like I had this dormant side who had been waiting to unleash with the most primal urge to pounce at this man.
With stumbling steps and entangled limbs, we had finally made our way to the elevator to his apartment. Lucky for us, there was no one accompanying us. But the fervour with which Henry was kissing me and keeping me crushed against him, I doubted that he would have been bothered by an audience. We had laughed between kisses when he had completely forgotten to press the button to his floor. Without letting go of me and stretching to push the button, he held me against his body which in turn gave me access to the vast expanse of his chest on which I placed kisses and gently tweaked his nipple. He yelped when I pinched it a little hard making me laugh.
Henry had looked at me with pretend annoyance and pushed me against the cold surface of the elevator wall. Which brought us to now, where I was caged between his arms against the door to his apartment. We had to part to breathe because I was beginning to become light-headed. Henry brought his pelvis to rest flat against mine. His hard cock, straining against his pants, rubbed against my belly making me wet more than I already was.
“I have never been so…” He rested his forehead against mine, hunching his back to reach my height. He was breathing through his slightly open mouth, his eyes closed.
“Famished?” I smirked and watched as his lips curled at the corners in a smile.
When he opened his eyes to meet mine, I swear I felt warmth ascending from my toes up to the tips of my hairs. His eyes were darkened over with the lust and passion burning behind his irises. He drew his tongue slightly to wet his lips, his hand coming up to my face, cupping my cheek. His thumb grazed my lower lip, running it along my lip slowly. Since I was in a good mood, spirits flying high with all the adrenaline, I gently took his thumb in my mouth sucking at it.
Henry groaned as I kept sucking his digit, not breaking eye contact. His erection twitched against my stomach and he closed his eyes again momentarily. The turning of a knob a few doors down the corridor, broke our trance. I tried stifling my laugh as in a flash Henry detached himself away from me, cursing under his breath, and hurriedly opened his door with his keys. The lady entering her apartment looked at us with wide eyes and that was the last I saw before Henry pulled me in and shut the door behind me.
“Oh, the look on her fa-” I couldn’t even finish my sentence, before Henry had me against the door again.
“You are being naughty tonight,” his voice was hoarse and gruff.
“Am I?” I feigned innocence. I bit my lower lip in between my teeth and felt a rush curdling inside me as his eyes travelled to my mouth.
“Perhaps you need to be taught a lesson, love.” He growled. He caged me again, his hands on either side of my head. His breath washed over my face. The excitement was making me blush and also making me drip down under. “I’ll make sure that you are begging me to fuck you.”
My heart was racing and thumping against my rib cage. I could even feel my pulse throbbing in my ears. Henry’s eyes glinted in the faint glow of the dim lights that were on. He smirked at me mischievously as his hand began travelling down the side of my body and towards my inner thigh.
I moaned, arching my back against the door, as his fingers ran over my soaked panty.
“Look how wet you are.” He whispered lowly. My breath hitched as he pushed the thin fabric of my underwear aside and pushed a finger between my folds. “So wet,” he said as a long digit flicked my sensitive clit, making me jump.
In a swift move, Henry knelled down in front of me. He pulled my panty down, his hands pushing my legs apart. I let out a slow moan as his hot breath came in contact with my drenched slit. I felt my cheeks blush thinking about how wet I already was. I did not feel embarrassed about it but could imagine the ego boast Henry was getting out of seeing me dripping for him.
Henry did not spend much time before taking my throbbing nub in between his lips. The coarse hair of his stubble scratched against the delicate skin of my inner thigh. His fingers ran along my swollen petals, teasing my entrance but not sheathing his fingers inside me. A sigh left my lips when he sucked my clit in his warm mouth. I brought my hands to my breasts where my nipples were beginning to strain against the fabric of my dress. Using my own hands, I massaged over my breasts as overwhelming feelings of pleasure washed over me in waves.
When Henry inserted his finger inside me, I felt my thighs tightening around his head. He kept my legs spread with his other hand, not stopping the assault on my inners like he had been hungry for me. Another digit followed and Henry scissored his fingers, spreading my insides. The squelching sounds were accompanied by my huffs coming out short, mingled with ecstatic moans leaving my lips with the thrusts of his fingers.
I clutched his soft hair in my hand, bringing his face closer to my centre than it already was. His tongue flicked and turned my clit while his fingers pumped inside me. His thumb replaced his tongue as he withdrew his fingers from inside me. I whimpered with the emptiness inside me but gasped when his tongue began thrusting in and out of my entrance.
My knees almost buckled as his thumb circled around my nub and his tongued fucked me senseless. I caught a hold of his shoulder to steady myself, throwing my head back against the door, but my thighs shuddered every time his tongue entered me. The bubbling in the pit of my belly was growing with each flick of his thumb, each lick of his tongue.
With a gasping moan, I came undone in his mouth. I closed my eyes tight as stars began to appear in front of my eyes as Henry just kept on lapping at my juices like it was the sweetest nectar he had been deprived of all his life. I rode my high against his mouth, feeling the ground beneath my feet shaking and my legs turning into jelly.
“Now, now, love,” Henry wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. His chin glistening with my juices over his stubbled chin. “You are not done.”
I was about to say something, hoping to sound coherent, when he lifted me over his shoulders like I weighed absolutely nothing. I laughed as he gently slapped my bare buttock, my panty slipping off my ankles and falling somewhere on the floor of his living room, as he made his way to the bedroom.
***
I was on the verge of crying. My eyes were stinging with the unshed tears of frustration that was building inside me. My face was flush against the soft fabric of his mattress while my buttock was up at the mercy of Henry. My hard nipples rubbed against his sheets each time I pushed against his mouth, as he hungrily ate at pussy again.
After the earth-shattering orgasm he had given me at his doorstep, he had dropped me on his bed and stripped me off my clothes. I had become momentarily worried that he might have torn something while undressing me but was soon caught in an euphoric trance as he had me lying on his bed with my legs spread wide open. I had cried out his name when his fingers had dug deep inside me and curled to hit my sensitive spot and threw me off in a tumbling and babbling ball of ecstasy.
I had been lying in a pool of sweat and breathlessness when he had pulled his t-shirt over his head. My legs had been open limply, waiting for him to just take me. When he had pulled his pants off, accompanied by his underwear, I had wanted nothing but his hard, throbbing cock inside me. I wanted him to fuck me into oblivion to make up for the nights that we had already lost.
The surprise in me was evident in the yelp that came out of me when he flipped me over on my stomach. Henry had pulled my hip up on my knees with my ass up to him. He had pushed my legs apart exposing my swollen folds with my wetness coating my inner thighs. I had turned around slightly to see if he was finally going to enter me, but instead he situated his mouth over my nether lips.
It was sensitive and I was ready for his cock, but Henry was exceptionally good with his tongue. He groaned against me as I bucked my hips against his mouth. His fingers had teased my folds, running along my clit and my slit as he licked around me. I wanted to beg him to take me, I wanted him to ruin me. But I also didn’t want him to stop his ministrations on me. It was when he had begun pumping his fingers in and out of me, I had felt the need for his cock to be inside me instead. He had a way with his fingers, but I wanted him, all of him.
And so, I caved.
“Henry,” my voice trembled. “Fuck me.” It came out feebly because his fingers had touched that spot inside me. I dug my nails in the sheets, clutching the fabric in between my hands.
“What, love?” I could even feel his smirk against my skin.
“F-fuck me.” My voice was strained as he sucked my nub. He added in another finger and the three of his digits slid in and out of me in fluid motion. I groaned in his mattress; the frustration was killing me. “Henry! Fuck me already, please!”
He let go of my clit with a gentle bite to it. “That’s my girl.”
I braced myself on my forearms as Henry shifted behind me. The tears stung in my eyes. I wanted the release, but I wanted it with him inside me. I wanted to feel myself clench around him, his grunts resounding in my ears.
My knees were aching from being braced up. Henry’s hands came back on my body, now on my hips as he lined himself with my entrance. I moaned as the tip of his dick rubbed against my folds, he groaned too. He was bound to be frustrated too because he wanted to push me over the edge at the cost of ignoring his own need.
With a primal growl, he entered me wholly in one swift move. I gasped as I felt the length of him sheath inside me up to the hilt. Nothing compared to how big and long he was. Henry let out a loud grunt as he pushed himself as far as he could.
Even with the thin latex separating us, the throbbing veins lining his cock rubbed against my insides. Although I was riding on two consecutive orgasms, I stretched to accommodate him, feeling him be one with me.
Henry gently pushed on my back, urging me to lie flat on the bed. My arms were splayed out to the side, but he soon entangled his fingers with mine, clutching my small hand in his large ones. My thighs closed around his dick, making him moan against my neck. I arched my hip to give him better access inside me.
I had read about it; I had seen porn featuring this position. But no one had been interested enough beyond the doggy style. With Henry’s body connecting mine in places from his chest to his thighs, I felt whole. He turned my head, so my face was up to him. He had his eyebrows scrunched together, his mouth agape. He brought his lips on me and began moving his hips. The feeling of him sliding inside me was so much more intimate. My clit rubbed against the sheets with his thrusts.
The movements were limited but the feeling of him moving around my tight core was astounding. I moaned against his mouth when I felt him hit my tender spot again. One of his arms came under my torso, holding me close to his body as he thrusted inside me. The room was filled with our moans and his grunts together with the sound of our sweaty skin slapping against each other.
“H-Henry…” I sputtered out, pulling his head down towards me. I kissed him until I felt the tightening grow inside me. I was tumbling over the edge all over again. My muscles trembled around him, clenching his cock deep in me.
Henry grunted with a few powerful thrusts and came undone above me. I felt his body shiver as he let out a painful groan, emptying himself. I gyrated my hips against his, milking him as much as I could.
Henry laid on top of me, still careful to not crush me. His hand still held onto mine, our fingers entangled together. With gasping breathes, I watched as I fisted his hand in mine. I smiled weakly when he turned my hand over in his and entwined out fingers together again.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered, moving my head to the side as he laid his chin at the crook of my neck. “I’m not good with confrontation but I swear I hate myself for leaving you alone that evening.”
“It’s alright, Anya. I don’t hold anything against you.” Henry kissed my shoulder before rolling off of me and strutting to the bathroom. I turned around to lie on my back, pulling the sheets over my naked body. When Henry walked back to the bedroom, he looked at me confusedly. I twisted the corner of the sheets in between my fingers. I could not bring myself to leave; most importantly I did not want to leave Henry’s side.
“Would it be okay if I stayed the night?”
I knew what I was doing and yet I was nervous about Henry’s reaction. But all he did was smile, switching the lights off before climbing in the bed next to me. He turned to look at me, placing his hand over my cheek and gently pulling me for a kiss. When we parted, I had a smile on my face with warmth seeping in my heart.
“I wouldn’t have let you leave anyway.” He said, before sliding down on the mattress and pulling me down with him to lie next to him.
With my urges satisfied and the comfortable heat of Henry’s body beside me, sleep came over me with his calming breaths sounding close to my ears.
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Survey #337
“if i showed you my soul, would you cover your eyes?”
What's your favorite brand of chips? I like Lays best. Are you a good painter? My Painting teacher when I was in college last said I did wonderfully, but I definitely beg to differ. Before buying a car, do you usually test drive it? N/A Have you ever written a poem and then read it aloud? No, but a teacher has. It was so fucking awkward; it was very pacifist, the topic being about war, and it had some depressing tones of death; there was just silence at the end of it, and I still don't know if it was shock or "what the fuck, she's messed up." There was this one guy that went, "Nobody is going to clap at that?", though, which I thought was pretty nice and reassuring. Do you like pineapple? Yeah, I do. Have you ever met your favorite author? I don't have a favorite author. Have you and your best friend ever liked the same person? No. Do you have any freckles? Not on my face (though oddly enough, I did as a kid?), but on random parts of my body. How many different languages can you say goodbye in? English, German, and then Spanish. Do you like or hate the smell of fish? I hate it. Have you ever been to Sea World? As a child, yes. I'd never go as an adult. Do you know someone who suffers from short-term memory loss? I don't know how this is actually diagnosed, but my memory is absolutely fucking nightmarish, almost exclusively in short-term situations. I can remember the most obscure events from my childhood, but not what I said to you five seconds prior. I'm rather sure my medications have made it worse over time. Have you ever read any of John Green's books? I got like, one chapter or less into The Fault in Our Stars before the book got replaced with the Wings of Fire series, so I never finished it. Are you a protective person? I'm an immensely protective person over those that matter to me. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? No, thankfully. I'm terrified of earthquakes. What's one thing that makes everything in life worthwhile? The fact that to our proven knowledge, this is the only one we'll ever experience. What type of waffles do you like? (Plain, blueberry etc..) I prefer plain, but I can eat chocolate chip ones as well as blueberry and strawberry. Have you ever seen the show Wife Swap? Yeah, I actually quite like it. Do you like chicken or beef better? Or do you not eat meat? Chicken, I think. I eat meat, but wish I didn't. What brand of dish soap do you use? Dawn, usually. Do any of your neighbors have dogs? Yes, and they never shut up. Do you believe in fortune tellers? They're money-driver bullshitters. Have you ever been to one? No, and judging by the fervor in the above question, I hope you can tell I never would do so and thus monetarily support them. Do you like regular or chocolate milk better? Chocolate, of course. But I love normal milk, too. Once again, wish I didn't, though. Forcing a cow to constantly reproduce to lactate is pretty fucking cruel. Growing up, did you listen to country music? I actually did. Do you normally wash your hands in warm or cold water? If it's just a quick wash, it's usually cold because our water takes quite a few moments to warm up. However, if I'm looking to thoroughly wash my hands, it's gotta be relatively hot. Do you believe in mediums? I see them in a worse light than I do fortune tellers, so... Like sure, manipulate grieving people for profit, sounds great. Have you ever been to one? Obviously not. Have you ever dated someone on the football team? No. Do you have a gazebo at your house? No. Do you like tomatoes? Solely when straight from a garden and on a bacon and mayonnaise sandwich. Otherwise I am noooot a fan. Are you a competitive person? Not very, but there's a tiny spark in me, really when it just comes to photography. I hate it. Google or Bing? Does literally anyone use Bing? What's your favorite brand of bottled water? Essentia. Do you have any ceramic animals in your house or outside? Ummm I don't think so. Have you ever given someone flowers? Yes. What is something you might eat with a hamburger? Fries or mac and cheese. What is a sport that you’ve always wanted to play, but never got a chance to. None. What is a fruit that you might eat in the morning? A banana. Who might you send a selfie to? I don't send selfies to anyone. About how many pages is the longest book you’ve ever read? I THINK it surpassed 1,000? At least in the high hundreds. Who would you call first after getting engaged to tell them the news? Probably Mom. Around what time do you start feeling tired enough to go to sleep? Truth be told, it's usually arouund 7-8. I rarely make it to 9:00 nowadays. What trends do you refuse to give in to? I don't even know what's trendy right now. What subjects in history interest you most? As dark as it is, I find the Holocaust interesting to learn about. Are you superstitious in any way? No. How do you get rid of anxiety? What a relevant question, being in a partial hospitalization program right now. Coping skills that help me are doing deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, and a little jerk back to reality is splashing freezing cold water on my face. It also helps to talk it out with somebody, just get my feelings into words. Then if it's a true anxiety or panic attack, I have my "emergency" anxiety prescription. Are there any items of jewelry you never/rarely take off? My lip and tragus piercings never do, and I always wear two rings. Do you find yourself correcting people’s grammar often? Not really, no. It just seems rude and snobby to me, honestly, if it's not in an educational setting, like helping someone with an essay. Correcting someone in your average conversation is just... unnecessary, imo. Now if you're talking like in surveys and stuff, I definitely do in questions and such, but I don't point it out. Gummi worms: Yay or nay? Yay, love 'em. What do you do when you have ‘me time’? I only ever have "me" time, so what I always do... Do you lack common sense sometimes? I have a horrible lack of common sense, shit's embarrassing. Have you ever poured glue on your hand just to peel it off for fun? No. How do babies make you feel? "Nervous. They’re so damn breakable." <<<< Mood. Would you/Have you milked a cow? No, and I'm not interested. What really gives you the creeps? #!: seeing a baby move inside its mother's stomach. It will actually make me scream and/or cry because it just grosses me the fuck out. Whale sharks' mouths also creep me out big time. Do you ever eat leftover pizza cold? Yeah, I love cold pizza. When you're wanting a midnight snack, what do you normally get? We normally have cashew bars that I like if I'm really hungry. Which cartoon character would you want to keep as a pet? Obviously Pikachu. My niece loves Pikachu anyway, so she'd be ecstatic to see a real one. Or well, maybe I'd go for an Eevee. Not as dangerous with electricity and all but just as cute and small. Do you like marshmallows? Yeah. If you had the opportunity to live forever, would you take it? No. It would ruin so many factors of the temporary nature of life. Things would lose meaning, get old and boring, it'd be much easier to take advantage of things... There are many reasons why I have no desire to live forever. Hell, I even wonder if I want an afterlife for those same reasons. Did you ever really believe in Santa Claus? As a little kid, yeah. Do you like quesadillas? I like cheese, chicken, and shrimp ones. What's the greatest/most influential song you've ever heard? Ozzy's "Life Won't Wait." Do you prefer to pull off band-aids slowly or quickly? I tend to do it slowly. What was the last thing someone told you that had you at a loss for words? Uhhh I feel like Sara said something, but I don't remember what. What was the last health scare you had? Ugh... I'm kind of living in one now. As my legs have been worsening, I'm becoming increasingly concerned I'm eventually going to need a wheelchair for "walking" longer distances. And mind you, "long" for me is probably short for the average person. My knees do nothing but crack incessantly and burn when I use them, and they frequently feel like they're going to give way, and in a few rare instances, have. It's my own fucking fault for not sucking it up and exercising with my mom in the room, so I'd like to move on. What is your favorite filling for a piece of chocolate? Caramel. Do you enjoy the sound of birds chirping? I do. If applicable, what’s your favorite drug, and why? I don't do drugs, so. What was the last TV show you binge-watched? Avatar: The Last Airbender with Sara. Would you rather eat burgers or tacos? Definitely burgers. I don't like tacos. Did your mother change her maiden name when/if she got marred? Yes. What was the last job you applied for? Did you get the job? Deli worker, and yes. Do you use TikTok? No. What decorations do you have in your bathroom? None. Our bathroom is pretty small. Well, the one we use, anyway. The one attached to the master's bedroom isn't cleaned up yet, but we'll use it in case of emergency. What year was your favourite band formed? (Before people think I'm smart, no, I looked the dates up, haha.) Well Ozzy was Black Sabbath's vocalist, and the band formed in 1968, but Ozzy became a solo artist in 1979. What's your favourite fruit? Strawberries. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? No. Do you prefer gory horror films or the psychological ones? I prefer psychological. Are you easily paranoid? Yeah. Do you have a favorite obsession? Meerkats and Mark are kinda tied, haha. Are you a workaholic? No. Have you ever given a tattoo before and would you like to? No and no; that would be an awful idea, given I have bad tremors in my hands. Have you ever seen the movie Labyrinth? I actually have not. Would you rather be called pretty or hot? Pretty. Have you ever gotten a serious injury at school? What happened? No. Have you ever performed in front of my large group of people? Yes; I was a dancer for many years. Have you ever fundraised? If so, what for? You know how Facebook recommends making fundraisers for a charity of your choice for your birthday? I've done that for the Trevor Project and two charities for ovarian and pancreatic cancers. Are you wearing earrings right now? Ugh, no, even though I want to be. The first holes in my ears are just too stretched for normal earrings because I wore heavy ones too often, and I just don't have nice earrings. I still want to get very small gauges to put in the stretched holes. Name a singer whose voice makes you swoon? Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump can do that, holy shit. "America's Suitehearts" does it for me, man. Y'know, when his voice goes all deep. Do your pets follow you when you walk around the house? My cat Roman is quite literally my shadow. Where I go, he goes. What do you do online? I seem to only exist online, really, so I've got a lot on my plate to choose from, yet I'm still bored half the time, haha. I'm essentially always watching or listening to YouTube, I play World of Warcraft for varying amounts of time depending on the day, I scroll through deviantART, check KM periodically, do surveys obviously, "work" at the wikis I contribute to, wander around on Facebook... idk, that's all I really do at least semi-regularly online. Haha oh, wait, I also check Craigslist like... every day for tarantula and hognoses even though I can't currently get either. Let me dream. Do you have any scars on your face? I have a couple on my chin from when I fainted and busted it open. What countries were your grandparents born in? In the US. What was the most damaging relationship (romantic or not) that you’ve ever been a part of? Ultimately, with Jason, because of how it ended. The relationship itself wasn't at all damaging to me, but the breakup shook my entire fucking world. When in your life was your self-esteem at its lowest point? Self-esteem? Now. I'm very unhappy with my weight going back up, my body is just in poor health in general, I'm not employed, not in school... I just feel like a lowlife. Who was the last person you cut out of your life? Do you regret it? I want to say my sister's mother-in-law. Sure don't, considering she revealed her disgusting support for conversion therapy. I'm civil around her in person, but I kicked that woman off my Facebook so fucking quick when I saw that shit. Who is the most attractive person you know personally? That I know personally... I would say Alon, but I haven't seen even a picture of her in forever. Summer, though, shares selfies frequently, and by god is she gorgeous. I know a lot a lot of beautiful women, asldkjf;awe. It's funny that I'm blanking on men, at least involving people I still "know"/are somehow present in my life. Would you rather look older or younger than you are? I'm fine looking my age. Have you ever dated someone who was very vastly different from your “type”? No. What is the biggest project you’re currently working on? I suppose you can count an RP plot as a "project." I'm procrastinating so bad on it because it is going to be A LOT of writing. Is there a person from your past that you wonder about frequently? Who? Take a shot in the dark for me. Who knows you best, excluding romantic partners? My mother. What are your thoughts on human creation? I believe we evolved. How many people have you had sex with? One. Have you ever had a yard sale? Yeah. Have you ever been surfing? No.
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best-anime-shit · a month ago
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My Childhood Bedroom, by Loubna El Amine
Essay
Beirut; Credit: George Azar
A writer reflects on her relationship to home in Beirut.
Why the windows of the room did not shatter from the August 4 explosion is still a mystery. The building is only five kilometers away from the port of Beirut, and the windows of the neighbors’ apartment broke. In other buildings nearby, even the aluminum frames came off; photos circulating showed the big metal pieces, mixed with glass shards and dropbs of blood, covering disordered furniture.
My childhood bedroom is all makeshift. It was constructed out of the big balcony of the second floor of my parents’ apartment when my little brother arrived. I would walk through the room I used to share with my older brother to get to it; a flimsy accordion door separated the two, replaced years later by a sliding glass door. A fake ceiling covered the tin roof, and half of the walls were made of windows.
The civil war had just ended, and slowly the cityscape filled with such enclosed balconies. They made for bigger living rooms and tiny maids’ rooms. None of this was legal. Nor were the luxury high-rises that arose by the sea and blocked what little view I had of the water. I was left with a view of the antenna- and electrical-cable-dotted cityscape but also two buildings down the street, a rooftop pigeon farm and, just ahead, across a parking lot, the thoroughfare that led to the east of the city. From the road, you could see the two protruding rectangles of aluminum frames filled with gray blinds that I mostly kept closed.
Thunderstorms became a constant reminder of the bombings, threatening to shatter the glass above my headboard.
When it rained, I could hear every drop of water bouncing over my head, and when it thundered, the whole room shook. The shaking felt the same when Israeli bombs fell outside and inside the city when I was twelve, fifteen, and twenty-two. Thunderstorms became a constant reminder of the bombings, threatening to shatter the glass above my headboard. It never did shatter. It did not either when, at thirty-six, walking my two-year-old on a sunny summer morning in Evanston, I received a WhatsApp message from my parents telling us of a huge blast. My phone kept beeping with videos of the mushroom cloud, of the buildings that crumbled, and of the screams and shouts of the wounded and the stunned.
Every time I returned home since I left at twenty for graduate school, I found something changed in the room. One year, the room was painted apple green. It was unbearably green, so one of the walls had to be made white again a few days into my visit. Gone, on another visit, was the oak closet, the bottom of which had been decomposing from the rain that leaked into the room. In its place was a massive new one of a darker color, the first step toward the dismantling of the matching bedroom set. Not long after came the new, custom-made shelves, designed to fit right under the wide window. Books migrated there from different corners of the house, and I often spent the first morning of my return, as the bright Beirut morning sun warmed the room, clearing away the books that were not mine and adding the new ones I brought back. Years later, our bedrooms were reconfigured to create a narrow corridor leading to both. My room now has a wooden door with a lock.
Just before our last visit, the second floor of the apartment had flooded because of a blockage in the drain of what remained of the balcony. Water rose up from beneath the wooden floor days after and soaked my toddler’s travel crib, which was left in a corner because he refused to nap in it out of excitement to play with his teta and jeddo. To have made it back, to lie on the new king-size bed that takes up half of my expanded room, attempting in vain to convince my happy child to sleep, and then to bring him downstairs to my delighted parents for more songs and games and videos and food, was soothing in a way that only home could be.
As a child, I would hide under the covers with Letitia, the doll I named after my only school friend in Paris, where we fled for a few months during the civil war. Letitia was then moved to the ever-changing closet, but her mere presence gave permission for childlike sorrow, even in later years. I happened to be home one summer during a particularly painful relationship ending. I remember the harrowing feeling of emptiness that haunted me in those days of heartbreak, creeping up on me with the first light of dawn, accompanied by the call to prayer and the cries of the mating cats. But slowly also arose the city’s morning noises, the construction drills, horns, screeching motorbikes, shouting neighbors, loud peddlers, and radios blasting with pop songs. And then, as morning grew, the sounds from the lower floor of the house ascended, doors slamming, washing machine beeping, phones ringing, laughter and conversation, all filtering through to my room. They seeped in, dissolving the years I had spent away from home. Downstairs, my father would be reading the newspaper on the wicker chair, my mother working on her laptop on the living room couch. I would go down, kiss them both on the cheeks, go to the kitchen to make coffee, and then go about my day, sad but soothed.
The friends I saw on this last visit all said that they wanted to leave the country. But I had become a stranger to the wounds they spoke of, their memories of the blast, their lived experience of a country in steady and relentless downfall. My life was elsewhere, at a romantic distance from theirs. All I had wanted in the preceding months was to go home.
Until this past year, I had come back home every year since I left, seventeen years ago. I had brought back letters from my adult relationships, safeguarding them in the nightstand of the only room that has remained constant amidst the shuffle of apartments and cities that has been my life. Tucked deep inside the drawer of a new vanity desk are also the remnants of my sporadic childhood efforts at keeping a diary: a light purple Barbie diary with a lock, one with a lined plastic cover and scented papers of different colors, one of cardboard and decorated with flowers, a plain red notebook with the word “College” on the cover, and a small, pink, spiral-bound journal. I leaf through them every time I return, invariably embarrassed by my restless younger self, but also invariably recognizing my present self in it.
Going home felt risky, and not going home depressing.
A few weeks before we made this trip, I learned that I was pregnant with twins. The news overwhelmed me. Going home felt risky, and not going home depressing. I chose the glass and aluminum refuge perched above six rows of mismatched curtains and awnings in a city prone to being rocked.
Furniture will undoubtedly have to be moved out to make way for two more cribs. Rainwater will undoubtedly continue to leak, and the room to shake from the roaring of thunder. And I will undoubtedly ask myself every time beforehand whether I should, or should not, go back home. I just do not know how to have two little girls and not to wish that they get to brush Letitia’s hair, surreptitiously discover their mother’s adolescent notebooks, or wake up to the sunlight shining in on her childhood bedroom.
Evanston, Illinois
from WLT Blog https://ift.tt/3f3MzgJ
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epacer · a month ago
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Story You May Have Missed
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Chris Brewster
Meet Chris Brewster of City Heights Runners
Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Brewster
Thanks for sharing your story with us Chris. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My family and I moved to the City Heights neighborhood in San Diego a little over eleven years ago to be apart of a church plant that met in the Hoover High School auditorium. With a background in inner-city youth ministry, as well as having coached Cross Country and Track and field in my later college years, I thought perhaps volunteering as a Hoover High School Track coach might be a great way to get involved in the neighborhood.
I was overwhelmed by the rich diversity of a neighborhood, home to refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Coaching provided an amazing way to become embedded in our new neighborhood, getting to know the neighborhood through young people, their hopes and their struggles, in an athletic context, which, by design, is intended to challenge and to facilitate growth and development that depends on social bonds and emotional connection.
Early on, I met athletes such as Dahir Mohammed, a Somali refugee, grit and wit were plain as day, but many of the needed supports for a high school student who a few years earlier learned how to read and write in the 7th grade, much less hold a pencil, were limited in the face of overwhelming need. Over time I bonded with Dahir and helped him to see and believe that his running, and his amazing ability to ask others for help, would be his ticket to higher education. Dahir became a San Diego Section Champion in Cross Country, and after a stint at Southwestern College, graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
However, the program at Hoover continued to struggle overall, despite many individual successes, it became apparent that the students lacked the resources; parent booster clubs, money to buy shoes, access to safe places to run, the chance to go to running camp, and an overall vision for and awareness of running as a sport. Realizing that the many individual heroes in our public school system could only do so much, I began to think of what some extra wrap around supports might look like to help runners at Hoover succeed. Our athletes needed extra support, I couldn’t play the hero for long.
Around 2012 I was pushed by the form Executive Director of Urbanlife MInistries to start a running club that would provide wraparound supports for the Hoover High athletes I was coaching, I was given a green light to carve out a part-time role directing City Heights Runners, an initiative of the broader youth development work of Urban life.
However, I had a lot of desire, but limited capacity, and needed a team, lone rangers don’t last long. Almost simultaneously my friend Tlaloc and Rachel Venancio, two young, idealistic, former collegiate runners decided to move into the neighborhood, to become assistant coaches at Hoover, and to pioneer a middle school running club at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Over time we developed an amazing program that served 30+ middle school students by providing them opportunities to run (of course), to go on hikes, to run their first track meet, to run at a downtown 5K.
In all honesty, we wanted to serve middle school kids, with the hope that this would be a feeder program into Hoover, in order to build the high school program. It was, to a certain extent, but after a few years, we realized that most impactful part of the middle school program was the opportunity it gave our high school students, and college-age alumni, to give back to their neighborhood as coaches.
We began to re-imagine the program as a vehicle for our older runners to learn critical leadership skills, and to utilize their gifts and their influence, as coaches who would design and run our middle school program. We have had over 30 high school students, and 8 colleges aged alumni, serve as coaches over the last seven years of the program.
Just the other day, I was able to watch a teamwork with middle school students from Wilson and Monroe Clark Middle schools on the first day of practice, one of our key leaders headed of to San Diego State this Fall told the students, “We are here out of our comfort zone, in front of you, leading you, will you step out of your comfort zone, and try something new?” Over the last couple of years, we have had teams of students lead programs at all three middle schools in City Heights.
City Heights Runners has been an amazing vehicle to resource the Track and Cross Country programs at both Hoover and Crawford High Schools. It’s helping to provide offseason racing opportunities, running camps in places like Mammoth and Santa Cruz, as well as things like ESL tutoring for students far behind in their language acquisition.
In fact, our ESL tutoring program is run by an amazing alumnus, Kenia Rendon, a student at San Diego State. Our student-athletes see young adults like Kenia, and many of them think in terms of “impacting their neighborhood” after college. They see themselves as part of the solution to the obstacles young people face, rather than people who just have overcome a lot of obstacles and problems.
We have seen numerous athletes continue to run in college, in fact, we will have at least six doing so from this past years graduating class. Crawford High School hadn’t had a full team to compete in over 15 years, they just placed 7th at the State Meet. Another proud accomplishment is that every runner from Hoover who stayed with the program for 2+ years has gone onto college, over the past five years! Somehow this family environment, where “positive peer pressure” abounds, is propelling our young people forward.
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We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our runners at Crawford, from places like the Congo, have often grown up in refugee camps, and come to our school systems with huge gaps. Our schools are not equipped to be able to hold them back, provide extra support so that by the time they get to college they will be able to read and write at that level. Crawford’s success as a running program requires athletes who are eligible to compete.
Despite many administrators and teachers who go above and beyond, our schools do not have the resources to help them… So, if Crawford is going to have a program, then ESL support, and tutoring nearly every day needs to happen. This has fallen on Coach Tlaloc Venancio and Coach Kenia Rendon. How do they sustain coaching, and running an educational support system at the same time? The struggle is real, burn out will come without extra help.
Many of our athletes also do not have access to enough healthy food. Without extra support, our athletes simply can’t train on empty stomachs.
We also have many cases of students who need to stop running in high school, our quit early in college, because they need to earn income for their families. They simply can’t balance academics, athletics, and a full-time job. Sometimes students respond to crises in their family, without taking the long-term view that their family may be struggling, really struggling, but their main job is to focus on school, and their running as a means to pay for and keep them in school. We have a crisis of living wage jobs, that leaves our immigrant and refugee families in perpetual crises, it can be a challenge for the student to stay in the game.
What were you like growing up?
I was a “hard to handle” kid in elementary school, who responded to a PE teacher who personally invested in me, through starting a running club that would direct my energy towards more positive outcomes. I have always been a questioner of the status quo, and have had a mistrust of authority figures who like to keep things in control, without wanting to address the underlying issues.
I have always been a voracious reader, a learner, and someone who uses sarcasm and humor, to keep things light, but honest.
My Christian faith in college led to a worldview that said that love of God goes hand in hand with real, tangible love for our neighbors. Especially the most vulnerable. A society is judged by the way that it handles is most vulnerable human beings.
Some of my most precious friendship are cross-cultural because I am forced to look harder at myself and to see the cultural baggage I bring to my relationships. *Reposted article from SDVoyager, July 19, 2018
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