Best Bachelor Party Games (2020 Edition)

The old video game diss "bet your living in your parents basement" is no longer a valid diss, seeing how these twitch streamers are making more than bachelor grads.

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SOS FOMT - Tips to Know Before Your Play (Spoiler Free )

SOS FOMT - Tips to Know Before Your Play (Spoiler Free )

Resources
https://fogu.com/sos3/
https://ranchstory.miraheze.org/wiki/Category:Story_of_Seasons:_Friends_of_Mineral_Town
https://vynli.com/story-of-seasons-friends-of-mineral-town-guide-list/

Starting Your Game
Unlike more recent SoS games, you will not be able to change your character’s face, hair, or skin tone after starting (you can change skin tone when you first start the game but not after), so choose wisely.
You can choose any day for your birthday. It can be on the same day as a festival. If you choose the same birthday as a bachelobachelorette, their birthday will move to an alternate date.

Daily Tasks
Give a gift to the goddess every day! You can give her flowers that you forage. One merchant only unlocks after she receives gifts on 30 different days, so try to get that done quickly.
Attend church confession 1:00 - 4:00 every Monday and Wednesday and on rainy days. I can’t find clear information on how this works, but after you confess you may get a message that you’re forgiven and get a boost to villager or animal relationships, or a reduction in fatigue depending on your confession..
Give gifts to harvest sprites to get them to three hearts which makes them hireable. They all love flour, but each have individual items they like as well.
Watch the cooking channel every Tuesday to start learning recipes. You do NOT need the kitchen to start learning these recipes.
Gift cucumber to kappa daily until you receive the blue power berry.

Farming
You can safely walk over your crops in this version of the game.
Unlike recent SoS games, watering crops a second time will not make them grow faster.
There is no fertilizer for crops. Crop rank is based on upgrading your field. You can upgrade it once each year so you cannot get to rank 5 until Y5.
In spring, grow some cucumbers for giving to kappa. You need to give him 10 to get the blue power berry.
There are no winter crops.
You can plant a total of five fruit trees on your farm. You start with one grape tree. You can buy grape, apple, and orange trees. They will be full grown when installed.
You can befriend the Nature Sprite to help you on your farm. Focus on having them tend to your crops, not your animals. If they care for your animals you won’t get the affection increases you get when you do it yourself.

Livestock
For convenience you can feed your animals in their bins or let them outside in grass, but if you hand feed them you’ll earn affection.
Livestock you purchase max at 5 hearts. You must breed a 5 heart animal to get a 6 heart, and so on requiring 5 generations of breeding to max out. After you get to a 10 heart animal, all animals you buy of that type can reach 10 hearts. If you want to be efficient as possible, only get one breed of cow and focus on raising its affection and then breeding. After you get to 10 hearts, you can buy the other breeds of cow without limited hearts.

Pets
You can only get pets one day per season on the 15th, with a different animal available each season: Spring = cat, Summer = penguin, Fall = dog, Winter = capybara.
CRUCIAL: You CANNOT get another pet until your current pet is at 8 hearts. This will take a minimum of 2 ½ seasons so plan your pets accordingly.
If you want to have an adult pet for the Frisbee Contest in Summer Y2, you will need to get a penguin in Summer Y1.

Villagers
You can earn FP and LP in the usual ways (walking, giving gifts). Each day you don’t talk to a villager, there is a chance you will lose FP and LP so try to avoid ignoring characters for too long.

Save Scumming
Some players may wish to leave their fate to the RNG gods, but others seek more control. That’s where you can use save scumming, or the practice of closing your game out without saving to reload different results. Uses in SOS FOMT include:
WEATHER: Weather is predetermined the day before, but you can use the weather channel to ensure you don’t have to lose an entire day’s work to change it. For example, if you need the pet merchant to be open on the 15th, save right before going to bed on the 13th. Go to bed and when you wake up immediately check the weather channel. If it says rain, close and reopen your game, then repeat until you get a sunny weather report.
CONFESSION: Each time you confess there is a chance you’ll be forgiven and get a bonus. You can save before confessing and reload if you don’t get forgiveness.
MINING: The ladder on each floor is loaded when you get to the floor. If you need to get to lower floors without using up your stamina, save when you get to the floor and dig until you find the ladder. Then reload the game and go straight for the ladder. Repeat on each floor.
BETTING: You can save before you place bets at the horse race and then reload if you lose.


Is there anything I should add here? I left off anything about specific villages or events to keep it spoiler free. If you have questions or corrections, let me know!
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One

NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!
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So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin.
I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell.
But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ!
In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what? I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation.
Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper.
Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.

For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.

…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.

pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley.
Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself.
Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant.
Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!"
The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!"
If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats.
We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think.
We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
to nonsensical
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices.
As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion
A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun."
I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.

When in doubt, have fun.

Keep smiling.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.

The Graham cracker diet does not work.

Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time!
Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment.
But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie." Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
  1. Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
  2. Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
  3. Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
  4. Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
  5. Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help!
In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time."
In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.)
Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag!
Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong.
Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.

Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate." Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know.
The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
  1. Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on.
For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs

Dog treats

Lavender pepper
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
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Bachelor Marriage Guide: Easiest to Hardest.

(Don’t worry, I’ll make one for the Bachelorettes!)
I’m sure many of us have nailed down our favorite bachelors by this point. Who we want to marry or maybe you’re new and haven’t quite decided yet. However, most people haven’t got the time to memorize the wiki like I have, nor have they learned the schedules yet.
But I wanted to make a comprehensive list of which bachelors are easiest to marry and which are the hardest. Based on availability, schedule and how easy it is to get gifts/trigger events.
So, without further ado.
  1. Shane. By far the easiest spouse to romance in the game, period. No other character is easier then Shane. This is in part to several reasons. The first is that Shane is very much a creature of habit. He has the same schedule, and will almost always end up in the same places. Marnie’s Ranch, Joja Mart and The Stardrop Saloon. Nearly every night you’ll find him at the Saloon. By 6. So finding him is easy. The second reason are his gifts. His 3 favorite gifts are Pizza, Beer and Pepper Poppers. The first two gifts are sold directly by Gus every day. Pepper poppers are made in a Kitchen with a hot pepper and cheese. But Shane also sends you the recipe for it, and will send Pizza and Pepper Poppers in the mail as gifts. Furthermore, Shane has the a spring birthday, like Haley. Which means it’s really easy to rack up 3-5 hearts with him in the first month. The only hard part is that his 6th heart event is triggered in the Rain. But you’ll likely get one rainy day before Winter. Thus, Shane is the easiest spouse.
  2. Sam. Easily one of my favorites, Sam is a total sweet heart and has the most friends in town. Better yet, he’s really easy to romance. While he’s not as beholden to a schedule like Shane, he does have 4 locations that are always a safe bet if you want to find him. You can usually find him in front of his house, at Joja (Monday and Wednesday only), The Stardrop Saloon (Friday-Sunday only) or the Bridge in front of Lewis’ House. Sam has four likes. But the easiest is, like Shane, Pizza. Sold by Gus everyday. He also likes Tigers Eye, Maple Bars and Cactus Fruit but those are decidedly more difficult to get. Still, his availability and easily acquired loved gift makes him the second easiest Bachelor.
  3. Harvey. While technically having a very small window to get him early in the day, the good Doctor has 2 very easily acquired gifts as well as generally being easily available. Harvey loves Coffee and Pickles, Pickles are Easy to make (Preserves Jar and any veggie you fancy giving him) and Coffee is, once again, sold by Gus. And it’s cheaper then Beer and Pizza. He also loves Wine, the Super Meal and Lobster Bisque. But those are harder to get. Harvey is generally found in his Clinic (shocker, I know) in the grassy area near his clinic, the park behind his clinic, the Stardrop Saloon or the Museum. Be careful, his Clinic shuts down at 3 pm.
  4. Sebastian. Ah, everybody’s favorite emo child living in the basement. But I do know he is a well loved Sim who has a penchant for the keyboard and frogs. That said, Sebastian is ranked so high due to how difficult it can be to actually get to him. Ironically, he hangs out in his room a lot. But you can’t get in unless you have some hearts with him. And when he goes out, it’s late usually. 2 of Sebastian’s favorite gifts aren’t that difficult. Namely the Frozen Tear and Void Egg. Sashimi isn’t too bad either, as it’s easy to make. But it still requires a kitchen. Pumpkin Soup is more difficult and Obsidian is random chance. Frozen Tears can be found in the mines between levels 41 and 79. It’s super easy to find them. Void Eggs can be randomly given by the Witch if you have an upgraded coop with space, or bought from Krobus for 5000 gold. If you have a void chicken, they’ll give you one every day as long as they’re fed. Making gifting easy for Sebastian. As for Locations, he can often be found at the Stardrop Saloon (Weekends only) by the Mountain Lake after 6, At the Docks if it’s raining, or occasionally in front of Sam’s house/In his room.
  5. Elliot. Honestly, the gifting thing isn’t even half as bad as just trying to find Elliot sometimes. By far one of the more difficult bachelors to pin down because his schedule is so varied. And his gifts are generally more difficult to acquire. That said, I have pinned a few easy ways. Elliot loves Lobster, Duck Featers, Crab Cakes and Pomegranates. Duck Feathers require Ducks, which require an upgraded coop... It’s on the to do list for most farms but generally, this costs quite a bit of time. And Ducks only produce every other day. So it can be time consuming. For Crab Cakes, the easiest solution I have is to trigger Willy’s 5 heart event, in which Gus mentions he will sell crab cakes at the Saloon for the next 3 days. And it’s true. Gus will sell unlimited Crab Cakes the next 3 days following the event. An easy way to stock up on an Elliot Gift. Pomegranates are sold fairly often by the Traveling Merchant, and you’ll need them for the Community Center, so it’s just a good idea to consider a sapling. The ‘easiest’ gift is gonna be a Lobster. This is because you can complete the Crab Pot Community Crnter bundle fairly easily in Spring. This awards 3 Crab Pots. You can put them in the ocean with a little bait (6 pieces of bug meat will cover you for 10 days) and check back daily for a Lobster. There’s always a chance you’ll get one. He also likes Tom Kha soup, which is hard to make and occasionally sold by Gus/TM. As for Locations... Elliot can be found in front of his Cabin, By Willy’s place on the docks, The Saloon, Pierres, The Museum, or the Bridge to the beach. He’s a hard man to pin down.
  6. Alex. By far my favorite bachelor and by far the hardest one to get with. And the worst part is, he is as almost as easily available as Shane. He is almost always found in front of or inside his home. He’s either standing near the kitchen, under the tree outside, or near his dog. He also can be found on the beach or ice cream stand in summer or the Spa in winter. The difficulty doesn’t come from that... it comes from his loved gifts. Alex has the least amount of Loved Gifts of any marriage candidate and they are exceptionally difficult to acquire. Both are RARELY sold by Gus and the Traveling Merchant but it’s not often. The Complete Breakfast and Salmon Dinner. For starters, both require a kitchen. To make a complete breakfast you need Potatoes, Eggs and Milk, which require a coop and a barn. So to make this dish is already costing you 20000 gold. You also need Flour and Oil. Which you buy from Pierre. For The Salmon Dinner, Salmon are ONLY caught in Fall, only in the River. You also need Kale and Amaranth. Kale is a Spring crop but Amaranth is a fall crop. So you can’t even make this dish without a kitchen and waiting until fall (which his birthday is the month before.) So unless Gus or the Traveling Merchant love you and sell it before then, forget getting a bunch of hearts on his birthday. Furthermore, Alex is the ONLY bachelor with a seasonal requirement on 2 of his heart events. While many won’t trigger in Winter or without rain, you have 3 months to get them. Alex’s 2 and 8 heart event only triggers in Summer, only when he is on the beach. This makes him the hardest Bachelor to Romance, IMO. With Elliot at a close second.
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Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks
With the season (hopefully) on the way I thought I'd put together some lists for top 5 players at each position in Indianapolis (not Baltimore) Colts history. I'll start with QB, and work my way through. This list is purely my opinion as a die hard fan since the early Manning days, and if you think I have no clue what I'm talking about, please feel free to let me know.
Fun fact, out of the 26 QBs to start a game for the Indy Colts there are only 7 players that have a winning record. Three of them are Colts legends Josh Freeman, Gary Hogeboom, and Craig Erickson.

5. Jack Trudeau

https://preview.redd.it/a54mr7g9g3b51.jpg?width=361&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2d086a51719ff08e2c1a8cb651100c0a37f8458f
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
198-93 18-29 0-1 52.9 9,647 41 62 6.3 64.4

How He Got Here

After the complete disaster that was attempting to draft John Elway #1 in 1983, the then Baltimore Colts stuck with Mike Pagel at QB, who had just led them to a winless season in 1982. Team owner Robert Irsay decided to move the team to Indianapolis before the 1984 season the team stuck with Pagel as their main QB despite him clearly not being their future at the position. This led to 2 season with losing records and last place finishes in the AFC East. Entering the 1986 draft, the Colts were clearly looking for a franchise player at QB. The obvious choice was Jim Everett out of Purdue, but unfortunately he was selected #3 to the Houston Oilers when the Colts had the #4 pick. Instead of drafting the only other franchise QB in the draft, Mark Rypien, the Colts decided to select promising Illinois QB Jack Trudeau in the 2nd round. Trudeau had shown a lot of promise in his career, leading Illinois to a Rose Bowl in 1984 and finishing 2nd in the Davey O'Brien Award (Best College QB) to Doug Flutie. Unfortunately for him and the Colts, this talent would not translate well to the NFL

Colts Career

After trading Mike Pagel to the Browns the starting job was set for Trudeau entering the 1986 season. Unfortunately the Colts were still a very bad team overall and Trudeau was not set to overcome that. In 11 starts he had 8 TDs, 18 INTs, and a 48.9% completion rate for an 0-11 record. It was immediately clear he was not the savior the Colts needed to bring legitimate football to Indy.
Fortunately, a contract dispute between Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson allowed the Colts to trade for Dickerson midway through the 1987 season. Dickerson was an immediate breath of life to the fledgling Indianapolis Colts franchise and helped lead them to their first playoff berth. Trudeau shared starting duties with Gary Hogeboom, and both were successful in not screwing things up too bad, giving the ball to Dickerson, and staying out of the damn way. Trudeau started in his only playoff game and actually played decently well: 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but it wasn't enough as the Colts lost 38-21 to the Bernie Kosar led Cleveland Browns who would eventually lose in via "The Drive" in the AFC Championship.
It was clear the Colts would need a better QB to compliment their new superstar in Dickerson, and thus they drafted future Pro Bowler Chris Chandler in the 3rd round in 1988. However, Chris Chandler was most definitely not a Pro Bowler for the Colts. Chandler didn't impress despite an 9-7 overall record, and was replaced by Trudeau following a bad start to the 1989 season. Trudeau had his best year as a pro in 1989: 2,317 yards, 15 TDs, 13 INTs, but the Colts still finished 8-8 and outside of the playoffs.
Trudeau was improving, but was still clearly not the QB of the future, which they hoped to get by trading All-Pro Tackle Chris Hinton, Future All-Pro WR Andre Rison, and the #3 Pick in 1991 for the #1 Pick in 1990 which they used to draft QB Jeff George (Wow). Trudeau was kept as the backup and was a spot starter for the Colts from 1990-93. Despite the horrific play of George, Trudeau couldn't muster much better in his limited playing time and was released in 1994.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/kM0APJieAME?t=678

Legacy

Jack Trudeau was at best a mediocre QB you could somewhat rely on to manage the game and allow more talented players to make plays. Unfortunately the late 80s, early 90s Colts didn't have too many of those so his play suffered as well. His numbers aren't great and he wasn't much beloved by Colts fans, but he did help lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance which helped me put him on the list over Matt Hasselbeck and others. Trudeau has actually hung around Indy doing various radio and TV appearances talking about the Colts and even has a couple of DUIs as well.

4. Jacoby Brissett

https://preview.redd.it/96cmm0sag3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4a578fcdd25c1a0830d6d6b7fc8b5dde43309455
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2017- 11-19 0-0 59.8 6,042 31 13 6.6 84.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had their franchise QB in Andrew Luck, but leading up to the 2017 season it was revealed during the preseason Luck had a shoulder injury which would eventually lead to him missing the entire 2017 season. This left the Colts scrambling as they knew QB Scott Tolzien was not the answer at QB, so 8 days before the start of the season the new GM Chris Ballard traded 1st round bust Phillip Dorsett for 3rd string QB for the Patriots Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had looked at least competent spot starting for the suspended Tom Brady and hurt Jimmy Garoppolo in 2016, so he was the best option the Colts had available so close to the beginning of the season.

Colts Career

Bringing in a new QB for a team 8 days before the start of the season and asking him to play is like asking a train engineer to launch a rocket to the moon, so Tolzien started week 1 for Colts. He continued to not impress going into week 2, and was replaced for Brissett. Brissett was an improvement, but it was clear he was overwhelmed by the change of scenery and the rest of the Colts roster and staff was not talented enough to make up for it. He finished with competent numbers: 3,098 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.8% completion rate, 6.6 Y/A, but was merely a game manager for a bad team as the Colts finished 4-12.
Andrew Luck was ready to return in 2018 and the Colts were willing to give Brissett the benefit of the doubt and kept him on as the backup. The Colts saw a major resurgence with Luck and an incredible draft and free agent class by Chris Ballard, leading to their first playoff appearance since 2015, eventually losing to the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. The Colts were looking to improve going into 2019, but a now too familiar announcement led up to the season when it was revealed a calf injury was going to cause Andrew Luck to retire 2 weeks before the start of the regular season. The spotlight was once again shown on Jacoby Brissett, who was asked to take over Luck's team. Fortunately this time Brissett was able to get all the first team reps in the preseason leading up to week 1 and was much more familiar with the system.
That familiarity paid off as Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, including wins over playoff teams like the Texans and Titans along with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brissett was not putting up All-Pro numbers, but had clearly improved from 2017 and was still not making game losing mistakes. Through week 9 he had 190 YPG, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs, and and the eye test had shown he was a good leader and could occasionally make big plays when needed. However, after a knee sprain in week 10 he was clearly not the same player. His injury either hampered his physical abilities or his confidence but his poor play for the rest of the season allowed the Colts to fall to 7-9, including an embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Saints that I made the trip over to New Orleans for and watched as Brissett sailed the ball over every receiver's head. Brissett will likely be the backup for the 2020 season behind free agent Phillip Rivers, but he's shown enough flashes of ability that his career is long from over, whether that ends up being on the Colts or somewhere else in the league.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/Q1bFNE0CGXY?t=287

Legacy

I believe I'm with the majority of Colts fans in that when I see Jacoby Brissett I see somewhat of a tragic figure. He got thrown to the wolves in 2017 and did the best he could, but was basically set up to fail. It's honestly not too much of a stretch to say his play through week 9 of 2019 was the best QB play by an Indy Colts QB not named Manning, Luck, or Harbaugh. You could tell he was well-liked by both fans and teammates, especially through the first half of 2019, but his limitations as a player were clear. Colts fans have been spoiled in the 21st century by 2 all-time great QBs, so any deviation from that, especially when it's not by a QB we drafted #1 overall, will be seen as a major failure. I think people came down a little too hard on Jacoby by the end of 2019, and that he's still a solid pro capable of being the QB on a winning team in the right situation. However, he showed in the 2nd half of 2019 that situation is probably not in Indy going forward.

3. Jim Harbaugh

https://preview.redd.it/ka0f9imcg3b51.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f34fa86258b0e403bfe000b84ba246bcf11dfc42
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1994-97 20-26 2-2 60.7 8,705 49 26 7.1 86.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had come out of the Eric Dickerson/Jeff George era looking like an absolute dumpster fire. The Colts had been in Indy for 10 years and Indy was still very much a basketball town. The only signature player the Indy Colts had was Eric Dickerson, and he had a very sour exit in 1992 after 2 bad years. The Indianapolis Colts were still in the woods, searching for the player that could give their franchise hope that they would be treated as a legitimate threat in the NFL and generate significant interest from the fanbase. That hope came from an unlikely source in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had led the Chicago Bears to 2 playoff appearances in the late Mike Ditka-era, but his play had fallen off and by 1994 he looked somewhat washed. The desperate Colts made a surprisingly wise decision in not drafting QBs Heath Schuler or Trent Dilfer. Instead they drafted future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to replace Eric Dickerson (this is the "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" draft) and signing Jim Harbaugh.

Colts Career

Harbaugh didn't come out guns blazing in 1994 as he traded starting duties with Green Bay castoff Don Majkowski. Harbaugh put up decent numbers but the Colts finished 4-5 in games Harbaugh started, 8-8 overall. Harbaugh entered the 1995 season as no sure thing, the Colts actually traded their 1996 first round pick for young Tampa QB Craig Erickson in another baffling trade for an unproven QB. Erickson and Harbaugh competed for the starting position in training camp and Erickson was selected as the starter by head coach Ted Marchibroda.
Erickson played poorly the first 2 weeks, being replaced and outplayed by Harbaugh in both games. By week 3 Harbaugh was the full time starter and didn't look back. Harbaugh was showing that he meshed well with new Offensive Coordinator Lindy Infante as Harbaugh put up some of the most efficient passing numbers of any QB in the NFL in 1995: 2,575 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.7% completion rate, and a league leading passer rating of 100.7 (ahead of guys like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Dan Marino). Even more importantly he was a becoming the tough effective leader to energize the entire team, leading the Colts to 4 game winning drives that season, including one over the 1994 Super Bowl champion 49ers. The Colts were just outside of the playoffs going into week 17, but Harbaugh led the Colts to a win over the Drew Bledsoe led Patriots in the RCA Dome to sneak the Colts into the playoffs at 9-7. Harbaugh earned his first Pro Bowl appearance along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Colts were going into the playoffs as 5.5 point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers, a team they had just lost to in week 16. However, thanks to 3 TDs from Harbaugh and an out-of-nowhere 147 yard, 2 TD performance from rookie FB Zach Crockett, the Colts overcame the odds. They were heading into a gauntlet of Arrowhead stadium against the best defense in the league and a Marcus Allen led 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs. In an ugly game where the wind chill was -15oF, luck worked in the Colts favor. Harbaugh didn't throw well, but picked up several key 1st down with his legs. He had 1 INT and 3 fumbles, but fortunately lost 0. Chiefs QB Steve Bono had 3 INTs and K Lin Elliot went 0/3 on field goals in a season where he made 80%. Colts K Cary Blanchard made 1/3, and that was enough to upset the heavily-favored Chiefs 10-7. Harbaugh's most defining moment as the Colts QB would come in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harbaugh's cinderella story continued on against Bill Cowher and Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. The Colts and Steelers traded scores throughout the game. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh threw a dime to WR Floyd Turner for a 47 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 16-13. Unfortunately the Colts couldn't run out enough clock on their next drive and the Steelers rushed down the field for the go-ahead score to put them up 20-16. Harbaugh wasn't done yet. With 88 seconds needing 84 yards, Harbaugh willed the Colts down the field to the Steelers' 29-yard line for a hail mary shot with 5 seconds left. Harbaugh tossed up a prayer that was very nearly caught by Colts WR Aaron Bailey, but he couldn't come up with it. The Cinderella story was over, but it was a defining moment for the Colts franchise. The 1995 Colts were within a hair of making the Super Bowl, and that 1995 playoff run led by Harbaugh created a real fanbase for them.
Harbaugh's stats regressed some in 1996, but he still led the Colts to a 9-7 record and the playoffs, this time getting whooped by the Steelers in the wild card. In 1997 his stats improved some but the wheels fell off of the team as they started off 0-10, eventually falling to 3-13. Fortunately their record would net them the #1 pick in the 1998 draft. After it was clear the Colts were using the pick on QB they traded Harbaugh to the Ravens.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/FT4vF24WanE?t=155

Legacy

“A lot of people use (the word) ‘culture,’ but the attitude, everybody was team-first, from the front office, together with the coaches, together with the ownership, together with the players, the equipment staff, the training staff, I mean it felt like we were family.” - Jim Harbaugh on 1995
I don't think enough can be said about the effect of Harbaugh and that 1995 team had on the Colts. He gave us our first source of pride in the Colts and set the tone for the franchise to not be the laughingstock of the league. He paved the way for the decades of excellence that came after. Harbaugh will never be a HoF QB, but his effect on the Colts is severely underrated.
For more details on the 1995 Cinderella season, read this IndyStar article: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/01/21/1995-indianapolis-colts-jim-harbaugh-aaron-bailey-afc-championship-game-ted-marchibroda/78291676/

2. Andrew Luck

https://preview.redd.it/8nh7p6pdg3b51.jpg?width=1800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bc67a67720b82f9294b9283924f61d9f261e4d85
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2012-18 53.33 4-4 60.8 23,671 171 83 7.2 89.5

How He Got Here

After a serious neck injury to franchise stalwart Peyton Manning, the Colts went from perennial playoff contender to nearly winless in 2011. It was unknown if Manning would ever be the same QB again, so the Colts opted to release their most valuable player and use their #1 pick in 2012 on a QB. There was some debate on possibly drafting the Heisman winner out of Baylor, Robert Griffin III, but new GM Ryan Grigson made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Andrew Luck. Son of former Oilers QB Oliver Luck, Andrew Luck blossomed under head coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalize the Stanford football program while also graduating with a bachelor's degree in architectural design. Luck was hailed by nearly every scout as a can't miss prospect, having nearly every physical tool you want from a QB along with a clear handle on the mental and intangible aspects of the game.

Colts Career

Expectations for Luck were high going into 2012, but not so for the team overall. Many experts put the Colts at or near the bottom of all power rankings. Not only had the team lost Peyton Manning that year, but also many key pieces from the Manning era such as Pierre Garçon, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett. To make matters worse, new head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and missed weeks 5-16. However, despite all odds, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record. Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians proved to be a diamond in the rough by helping Luck turn a 2-14 team that lost multiple starters into a playoff team. Luck's stats weren't always pretty: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 54.1% completion rate, and a 76.5 rating, but he could clearly make plays happen with an absurd 7 game winning drives. The miracles came to an end with a shellacking by the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, but this season proved Luck would be no bust, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Luck continued to grow in 2013 and 2014, improving in every category to crescendo in 2014 with a league-leading 40 TDs, 16 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, and a 96.5 rating. In 2013 he led the Colts to his first playoff victory in spectacular fashion. After being down 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter to the Alex Smith led Chiefs, Luck led a furious and unbelievable comeback 45-44 victory. Any Colts fan could tell you after seeing all the comeback victories Luck had led to never count him out, and he cemented that in this game. In 2014 Luck led the Colts past their old god of Peyton Manning in Denver in the divisional round, but were given a thorough ass-whooping in the AFC Championship by the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions New England Patriots in what is now infamously known as the "Deflategate Game."
Andrew Luck was a very physical player and was known to take many hits, sometimes making spectacular plays through those hits. However, that punishment started to pile up and wasn't helped by GM Ryan Grigson's poor draft classes and inability to build a competent offensive line to block for Luck. This culminated in the injury plagued 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luck only played 7 games in 2015 and severely regressed in every statistical category, clearly hampered by various injuries such as a lacerated kidney. Luck's stats improved in 2016, but the team did not as they finished 8-8, partially due to an astounding 7% sack of Luck. Either some of Luck's good fortune had finally run out or the team and culture built by GM Grigson had completely failed to support their superstar QB. Owner Jim Irsay bet on Luck and fired Grigson after 2016.
Hopes were high heading into 2017, but unfortunately an unknown snowboarding accident aggravated a previous shoulder injury for Luck. News was very slow to come out, but fans were shocked to find out he would likely miss the entire season 8 days before week 1. New GM Chris Ballard made a quick trade for Jacoby Brissett, but fans were worried after 3 years of being hampered by injuries Luck may never be the same player.
In 2018 we believed those doubts were proven wrong. Luck had an incredibly resurgent season, leading the new look Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-6 record. Luck's numbers were back to form: 39 TDs, 15 INTs, and career bests of 67.3% completion rate and 98.7 rating. Fans were pleased to finally see Luck playing behind a solid offensive line that prevented which prevented him from being sacked for 5 weeks and giving him a career low 2.7% sack rate. Luck led the Colts to a Wild Card win over the Deshaun Watson's Texans, but were stopped in the cold in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs. However, hopes were high leading into 2019 that the structure given by GM Chris Ballard would protect Luck and allow him to lead us to our Super Bowl.
Sadly that did not work out as Luck appeared to have a calf injury leading up to the 2019 season. Fans held out hope he would be ready to go for the start of the season, but after the years of rehabbing Luck had finally had enough. 2 weeks before the season opener during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears it was leaked that Luck planned to retire. Fortunately his backup Jacoby Brissett was put in a better position to take his place as opposed to 2017, but the sudden and unexplained retirement of their franchise QB right before the season led to some fans to boo Luck as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the last time.

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teNLH0p6WHs
or
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBHhO2yWRMo
or

Legacy

Andrew Luck will forever be one of the greatest "what if?" stories in American sports history. Unlike many "what if?" stories, we got to see what we could have had with Luck. What the Colts had in Luck from 2012-14 along with 2018 was nothing short of incredible and it was clear he was improving to potentially become one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Instead he's a tragic story where fans will forever be left to wonder what could have been with Andrew Luck. Would Luck have brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl if he he didn't play the majority of his career under the poor management of GM Ryan Grigson and HC Chuck Pagano? All we do know is that his sack rate under Grigson was 5.5%, and in one year on GM Chris Ballard's team it was 2.7%, coincidentally also one of his best statistical seasons. Peyton Manning's sack rate for his career? Tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino at 3.13%. Maybe if Luck had been better protected and coached better to avoid hits he could have made it up there with Manning, but as fans he'll forever be a "what if?" Luck seems like a smart and content man who's just starting a family, so I doubt he will ever return for any team. Even if he did we'll forever be robbed of what the best version of Andrew Luck could have been. However, in his short time here, he delivered enough incredible moments to give us hope and make us love the team. I, along with hopefully many other fans, will forever love Andrew Luck for his time with the Colts and am grateful for a helluva run.

1.Peyton Manning

https://preview.redd.it/5lr1v2heg3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b42edf31a7f2e4910e9adc0dcceb11b045a8630
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1998-11 141-67 9-10 64.9 54,828 399 198 7.6 94.9

How He Got Here

The Indianapolis Colts under Jim Harbaugh had finally established themselves as a legitimate team, but the Colts knew Harbaugh wasn't the long-term answer at QB. He was 35 going into the 1998 season and had just led the Colts to a 3-13 season, bad enough for the #1 overall pick. There was some debate about drafting Heisman finalist out of Washington, Ryan Leaf, but new GM Bill Polian made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Peyton Manning. Leaf had some incredible athletic abilities, but there were some doubts raised about his ability to handle the mental aspects of the game. He also basically made the decision for the Colts when he skipped their draft interview, a passive-aggressive declaration he wouldn't play for the Colts. Peyton Manning, son of former Saints QB Archie Manning, was also a Heisman finalist out of Tennessee. No scout doubted Manning's ability to become a franchise QB in the NFL, but some wondered about his potential ceiling due to a complete lack of running ability and some arm strength concerns. However, he was clearly one of the most mature and mentally ready players to ever come out of college for any position.
"I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass" -Peyton Manning to Colts GM Bill Polian on the day before the 1998 draft

Colts Career

The 1998 Colts were still a pretty bad team overall, and the rookie Manning was not enough to overcome that. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons ever: 3,739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 6.5 Y/A, and a 56.7% completion rate, setting records for yards, TDs, and INTs (yards and TDs are currently held by Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield respectively). However, the deficiencies of the team and Manning's record number of interceptions helped give the Colts a 3-13 record, including a week 5 win over Ryan Leaf's San Diego Chargers.
Fortunately Manning helped lead one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history in 1999, turning the 3-13 Colts in 1998 into the 13-3 Colts in 1999. People weren't exactly ready to give up on Manning after 1998, but 1999 was critical for showing Manning could improve and be at the helm of a winning team. Partially this was helped by sending Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in exchange for the draft pick to select Hall of Fame RB Edgerrin James, who had a phenomenal rookie year. The Colts ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, who had just completed the Music City Miracle the week before and would come within an ass hair of winning the Super Bowl against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams.
Manning was up and down from 2000 to 2002, still posting good stats but missing the playoffs in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oSFYxDGKy8 ) and having first round exits in 2000 and 2002. Whispers started turning into legitimate arguments about how Peyton Manning was a good stats, dome team, regular season QB that just didn't have it in the playoffs. In 2003 Manning started his absurd streak of 12+ win seasons (7 years) and picked up his first MVP award, the first (and still only) Indy Colt to win it. He also got his first playoff wins in 2003, but was quickly put to shame in a 4 INT performance in the AFC Championship against the Patriots, now known by Colts fans as "The Ty Law Game."
The 2004 season is well known by Colts fans for cementing Manning among the all time greats. Manning was white hot all year, throwing for 4,557 yards 49 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 121.1 rating while only getting sacked 13 times. The 49 TDs was a record, which has since been broken by Tom Brady and Manning again while a member of the Broncos. Manning won MVP for the 2nd year in a row, but once again disappointed in the playoffs with a 0 TD, 1 INT performance against the Patriots in the divisional round, losing 20-3. Those arguments of Manning's postseason jitters were starting to feel more and more like reality for Colts fans. They knew they had their franchise QB, but his inability to perform in the playoffs continued to be baffling.
2005 was supposed to be the season that changed all that. Manning's numbers came back to earth somewhat, but he still posted a very efficient performance (104.1 rating) for a much improved overall team. GM Bill Polian had proved his days building the "Four Falls over Buffalo" Bills dynasty was no fluke, he now had a team with the #2 scoring offense and the #2 scoring defense. This was the year to break the Manning postseason curse. Unfortunately in one of the most upsetting games of my life, the Colts could not break that curse against the Steelers in the divisional round. Manning played relatively well: 58% completion rate, 290 yards, and 1 TD with no INTs, but watching the game the Colts struggled to maintain momentum and get stops against the rookie Ben Roethlisberger. Despite the inconsistent play, the Colts still had a shot. Steelers HoF RB Jerome Bettis attempted to ice the game with a goal line carry, but fumbled for the first time all year. With the entire Steelers offense stuffing the line, Colts CB Nick Harper was free to pick up the ball with a nearly open field ahead of him. Normally Nick Harper is one of the faster players on the field, however, as every Colts fan knows, Harper had been stabbed in the leg by his wife in a "supposedly accidental" altercation the night before. This possibly allowed the falling down Ben Roethlisberger to catch Harper by his shoe strings, preventing the nearly sure thing TD by Harper to put the Colts ahead. Instead Manning led the Colts into basically chip shot field goal position for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history (Mike "Idiot Kicker" Vanderjagt) to tie the game. We all know what happened next. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and it was hard to blame it all on Manning, but it still felt like there was some sort of mystical VooDoo curse hanging over Manning and our franchise.
If the Colts couldn't win it all in 2005 it felt like they never would. 2006 wasn't looking like anything special compared to the past few seasons, especially considering the defense regressed from #2 in scoring in 2005 to #23 in 2006. Manning was still putting up great numbers, but those were starting to feel like an exercise in futility. Fortunately the Colts caught fire at the right time, with oft-injured All-Pro Safety Bob Sanders getting healthy towards the end of the season and the trade deadline addition of Buccaneers DT "Booger" McFarland. That momentum pushed them to an AFC Championship, where Manning would match up against the source of his ultimate playoff failures, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Fortunately, this time it was in the RCA Dome, not Foxborogh, MA. Manning and the Colts started off cold, being down 21-3 at one point after a Manning pick-6, but the Colts rallied behind some incredibly orchestrated drives by Manning to finally get the monkey off his back. On a last second drive, Manning drove the Colts down the field to put them ahead 38-34 with 1 minute to go. A Marlin Jackson interception of Tom Brady sealed it, Manning and the Colts were going to the Super Bowl for the first time in Indy history. Manning played well in the Super Bowl, winning the MVP against the league-best Chicago Bears defense.
Manning continued his solid play in 2007 and 2008, including his 3rd MVP in 2008. Both seasons ended with heartbreaking first round playoff exits to the San Diego Chargers, 2008's being the "Sproles and Scifres Game." 2008 also showed the first signs of physical weakness from Manning, having a knee surgery before the season that led to a slow start for the Colts. That was not the case in 2009, as Manning led the Colts to start the season 14-0. In a decision that's still derided today, new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to effectively bench Manning along with many other starters rather than go for the perfect season to prevent any injuries. Many had seen the Patriots in 2007 nearly complete the perfect season, but fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Super Bowl against a less talented Giants team. Caldwell, like many others, decided that any rust from not playing for nearly a month was worth the decreased risk of injury to his stars. That decision nearly backfired in spectacular fashion as the Colts were behind the New York Jets (a team they effectively let into the playoffs by letting them win in week 16) in the AFC Championship game until Manning led a furious comeback. It all ended poorly in the Super Bowl however as Manning threw a pick-6 to Tracy Porter that still haunts my dreams to Tracy Porter, allowing the Colts to lose to Drew Brees and his stupid baby and the New Orleans Saints.
2010 was one of the first signs of weakness from Manning. He had apparently injured his neck on this play in 2006 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gjdmww3vgM ) on a hit that would now be extremely illegal. Manning apparently aggravated that injury in the lead up to the 2010 season, and it showed in the stats as he had how lowest rating since 2002 (91.9). For most other QBs a rating of 91.9 is a pretty solid season but for Manning it was a massive fall. This led to a quick playoff exit to the Jets in the first round. In the lead up to the 2011 season, Manning had several surgeries to relieve the pain in his neck which led to him missing the entire season. It was unknown if he would ever be the same QB again, or even play again. Manning's absence showed how incredibly important he was to the franchise, the only major difference between the rosters in 2010 and 2011 is Manning, yet the Colts went 10-6 in 2010 and 2-14 in 2011. This poor record led to the Colts earning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft, which fueled their decision to release Manning and draft a QB in 2012 (Chandler Harnish...and Andrew Luck).

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DttfyOeU3vw
or
https://youtu.be/al13DoOFp78
or
https://youtu.be/UE4UgMc2QqA?t=581

Legacy

"Fellas, if 18 goes down, we're fucked, and we don't practice fucked." -Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore on why the backup QBs don't get more reps
Nothing to me cements Peyton Manning's role in Indy as much as this quote. Even his first 5 years before he became an all-time great, that was still the best sustained stretch of QB play in Indy Colts history. Once he ascended to another level in 2003, it was clear we needed to put every egg we could find into his basket. Manning was the perfect franchise QB: a steady presence on and off the field, consistent delivery of either incredible numbers or game winning performances (usually both), and he made nearly everyone else on the team a better player. His drive and commitment to team victory made him the guy every franchise needs if they want to field a consistently great team. Peyton had somewhat of an authoritarian leadership style, my way or the highway, but you can do that when you show that you're willing and able to give every ounce of yourself to the team and deliver the kind of results that he can.
I think some people are disappointed in the Manning Era considering how historically great his stats are but he was 1-1 in Super Bowls in 12 years here. Honestly I think that's not too far off for any all-time QB. Drew Brees is 1-0, Brett Favre is 1-1, Aaron Rodgers is 1-0, Fran Tarkenton is 0-3, Jim Kelly is 0-4, Dan Marino is 0-1, all of these guys are all-time great franchise QBs but it's not abnormal for them to only win 1 or lose several. There are some exceptions: Tom Brady (6-3), Joe Montana (4-0), Terry Bradshaw (4-0), and Troy Aikman (3-0), but honestly you could trade any of the former QBs for Terry Bradshaw and they would also probably be 4-0. There's lots of luck in every playing career, and some get luckier than others. The only season I'd say the Colts were "robbed" of a Super Bowl is 2005, otherwise I think Manning's Colts career went about as good as it could have.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Hasselbeck (5-3 record, probably our best backup ever) and Dan Orlovsky (just for saving us from a completely defeated season).
Dishonorable Mentions: Jeff George and Kerry Collins (being very bad at QB isn't very uncommon for Indy Colts QBs, but these guys were so bad and toxic they dragged down the abilities of everyone on the team and are actively hated by most fans)
submitted by chadowan to Colts [link] [comments]

Blunt Resume Advice for Recent Graduates in Technical Fields

I have reviewed a lot of resumes over the past several years. I have had more than my fair share of jobs in the technology industry where I have been both a job applicant and hiring manager. In recent years I have returned to academia where I get to help students prepare for that job market. I keep seeing the same missteps and offering the same advice on the matter so I thought I would right this up. ADMINS feel free to pin.
Now as a disclaimer before I begin. I am speaking ONLY about my experience in the Computing technology sector (Finance, Pharma, Telecom, and Marketing). Much of this will probably apply to similar or adjacent fields. Design or office administration jobs probably none of it.
EDIT: This is LONG. Be sure to have your resume handy when you go through it so you can edit as you go. Stick around for the end where I added a sample technical resume.
TL;DR: Think like a hiring manager, focus on what they want to see. You are ultimately going to be a cog in a machine for the first few years so leave off all of the fluff. Be clear, concise and focused. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SKILLS.

Objectives / Summary

Let me begin by addressing my biggest pet peeve: Objectives. I don’t know who keeps recommending this for resumes for anyone other than Vice President or “C” level executives. Your objective is irrelevant to the company. Your objective is to do whatever you are asked to do in order to get the job. Your objective is to be the best damned cog in the machine as you can be because that is what you are being hired to be. No one cares what the Cog wants to achieve in this role. There will come a time when it is more important. Your first post-college job is not it. Sorry, not sorry.

Education

If you graduate in an off month (Not may or june) then don’t list the month, people assume the worst. "BUT ProfessorOfLies, I had a really good reason for taking that extra semester!" It was because of my [internship|pandemic|family emergency|Early Graduation|Whatever]. It doesn’t matter. Anything you need to explain on your resume, you will never get a chance to.
Don’t list GPA unless over 3.5. Know what it is. If an employer asks then answer truthfully, but do not volunteer it.
Associates Degrees are made irrelevant by your bachelors degree IF it is in the same field. IE: your BCC degree in CS is no longer worth mentioning after your CS degree from NJIT/Rutgers/Steven’s. Now you got your associate degree in MATH and then a Bachelors in CS. YES advertise that!

Skills

Skills are the most important part of your resume. Some people might say work experience but the things that are important from your work experience are the SKILLS you applied and learned while on the job. What any hiring manager wants to see is if the applicant can fit the hole in their team. They need a set of skills to get a job done and they want to get the best candidate that they can with those skills. So make sure your skills are right near the top of your resume. Make sure every project and job you have had reinforces those skills. Your resume should say “I have these skills and LOOK at all the ways I have demonstrated that I have these skills!”
To that effect I would suggest making sure your skills section is easy to read and categorized for convenient skimming. For example:
SKILLS
Programming Languages: C/C++, Java, C#
Scripting Languages: HTML/CSS/Javascript, PHP, Python, Perl, BASH
System Administration: Windows (Server, 10, 7), Linux (RedHat, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu), Solaris
Database Administration: MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, MangoDB
Project Management: JIRA, Trello, Git, AGILE, SCRUM
Skills should be listed from MOST proficient to least proficient. In general for a technical resume I would shy away from using qualifying language. Proficient in, experienced with, once read about it in a textbook, etc. The reality is that if you put it on your resume you better be at least proficient in it enough to answer interview questions about it. Google interview questions for each skill you list. Make sure you are prepared to answer them. If you are not then don’t list them, if you are close then STUDY until you are prepared.
Read through job sites. Technology evolves constantly. Buzzwords change. New things become popular. Classwork doesn’t always make it clear what things you do in class are worth mentioning and which are not. So read through the job descriptions. Take note of the skills that they are looking for. Perhaps you have some but didn’t mention them in your resume because you thought that it wasn't relevant. Maybe you had it down, but described it in a different or outdated way. Adapt the resume to the job description (BUT DON’T LIE).
Human languages (as opposed to programming languages) DO require qualifying language. Having taken a French class in high school is not the same as a native speaker. Being fluent in a language means more than a casual speaker. If you mention a language make sure you list your level in the language. It may actually help if you are applying for a company that has business dealings in different languages.
NOTE: IF you mention a non-English language, be sure to mention English and your level in it. You may think that English is a given, it is not. People will also assume that if you know another language that your English skills are probably poor. So PLEASE remember to list English and your level in it. Especially if you grew up in a bilingual household.
EDIT: I don't want to forget to mention that if you come from a technical field you do NOT need to mention Office as a skill. That is a muggle skill, we are better than that.

Work Experience

Work experience can be a tough one for a college student. Not everyone can get or afford to take an internship or co-op. Sometimes your work is hard to justify on your resume. There is pressure to list every job you have ever had, but the reality is that it is just not necessary.
If you have had a string of retail / clerk jobs, you really don’t have to show them all. Pick the most recent one to list. IF you managed to do anything related to the field (Helped with the company website for instance) then list that as a bullet, but do not feel the need to go into detail about it. We all know what hell you go through. The only purpose this serves is to show employers that yes indeed you can hold a job.
For each job you held you want to list the standard information in the top line for it: Company, Title, Location, Dates (year - year is fine unless you NEED to be more granular because you worked a few in the same year). Then a BRIEF one line description of the role. You can even leave it off if you are doing that clerk job (Sales Associate at BLAH).
Then you want to list 2 or 3 bullets about your SPECIFIC accomplishments while in that role. Resist the urge to go through ALL the responsibilities you had in the role. Yes there is paperwork and teamwork and meetings and documentation in every role. Those are not going to highlight your technical skills!
Example entry:
Back End Developer, South Hill Apparel Newark, NJ Summer 2019
Supported and developed new features for the remote procedure calls for retail websites.
Note how each bullet mentions what the achievement was and then name drops the technical skills used in the process. This will now reinforce the assertion that your skills in Node.js, MYSQL, ZeroMQ, AWS, and Google Dart are legit.

Projects

Passion projects, Hackathon / Game Jam projects, and class projects are excellent things to put on the resume. Treat them like jobs (But make sure they are under the correct category) in formatting. Since few college students would have had relevant work experience you really want to focus on the projects section. This is something that I wish I knew when I was a recent graduate. I never had an internship but I had a TON of passion projects.
Not only will projects show that you have experience in the skills you are claiming, but it will also tell the employer that you are actually INTERESTED in the field you want to work in. That you will constantly be learning new skills and technologies that may benefit the company. Your projects will likely have exposed you to things not mentioned in the rest of the resume that could pay out in the future.

Professional Associations

If you belong to one of the industry related professional societies, be sure to list them. I am talking specifically about IEEE, ACM, IGDA, etc. For other extra curricular activities see the section below (Spoilers: DON’T list them). These will again show that you are serious about your interests in the field.

Conclusion

At this point I have gone over everything that SHOULD be in a resume (everything after Objective that is). As a new job seeker I would even recommend it be in that order:
Education, Skills, Work Experience, Projects, and Professional Associations. The minute you have that industry job though, Put Work Experience at the top and move Education to the bottom.
You may be wondering at this point that I left some things out. If you keep reading below "Additional Thoughts" you will see what I left out and why.

Additional Thoughts

One Page Resume

The one page resume is largely a thing of the past. When the most common way to get your resume in front of an employer was to attend a career fair or trade show, the one page resume made more sense. You basically need it to be your elevator pitch and no one at a busy fair wants to go through a long resume.
These days we mostly distribute resumes digitally (PLEASE USE PDF, not DOC) and the hiring managers will go through them in bulk when they have time to think. This doesn’t mean you should be sending out 5 page documents, ain’t no one got time to go through that. But if your resume goes over a page up to a full second page I would not worry.
Now Career fairs and trade shows ARE still a thing. So have a 1 page version of your resume with ample copies printed out when you attend these events. Do not be surprised if you hand a recruiter your resume, they read it for a minute and then go, “This looks great, here is my card. Email it to me” or “This looks great, here is the company job site, please apply and mention my name.” THEN when you send in your digital resume, send in the full resume.

Never Submit the same resume twice

EVERY time you apply for a job, look at the job posting. Match your resume as best as you can to the description. Use their language. Highlight the skills that they are looking for, cut down things that are not relevant to that specific job. Even if you apply to the same company more than once, each position should get a tailor made resume.
Hell make a MASTER resume with EVERYTHING you have ever done that might be relevant. And then cut it down to suit a job in question.

If you have to explain something, you will never get the chance

I mentioned this in the education section, but this bears repeating. The resume is a filter of sorts, so if something looks OFF, it will be thrown out. You may have an EXCELLENT reason for including something weird or off, but you will never get a chance to defend it. Just do yourself a favor and don’t put it on the resume. Maybe it will come up during the interview, and if so then you can give a full explanation and maybe the thing will work out for you.

Cover Letters

This is where you would put that fluff you wrote for your objective btw. But no one reads them. Even when they are required, no one actually reads them. Do you know when people read them? When you made a glaring mistake on them. Applying for a job at Prudential but accidentally mentioned how much you want to work for FedEx? Well you can bet someone WILL read it that time.
Write a good heartfelt cover letter for a job at a company that you really want to work for, and then adapt it to the job you are applying for. AND THEN PROOFREAD IT. I can’t stress this enough READ IT, adapt it, and make sure it makes sense because no one really cares what you wrote it in unless you made a HUGE careless mistake.

Github

Definitely have a github with examples of your work. Try to curate it to show your best, but a few old projects that were not great are fine and can show your growth. Finally public repos give programmers the ability to have a portfolio. Also try to make sure your username is sanitary. I can get away with EngineerOfLies because I have been in the industry long enough. You can't. At least not yet.

LinkedIn

Make sure you have a LinkedIn page and DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE FACEBOOK. LinkedIn is like your living resume. Treat it as such. Make sure it's up to date and leave your personal life and politics off of it.
And a side note: Make sure your FB is set to Friends only. You WILL be looked up on there. Sanitize it.

Relevant Courses

This is something that I see a lot on resumes from students. You are rightfully proud of the work you did in your undergraduate degree however, listing the courses doesn’t really help you on your resume. If you are being considered for a position then they will request your transcript and it will all be there. Before that though you need to show that you have the skills that they care about. “But ProfessorOfLies,” I hear you say, “I did some excellent relevant work in those courses!” And you are right, but the way to showcase that work is with the PROJECTS section. You can hone in on that one gem of a project you did in that class without mentioning the class title.
Note on class prefixes and numbers: Even when listing class work under the projects section DO NOT use the prefix and course numbers. NO ONE OUTSIDE YOUR UNIVERSITY KNOWS WHAT CS 345 IS! Hell most people IN your university won’t know what that is.
Note on class titles: Most course titles are generic and vague by design. When we propose a course we need to future proof ourselves. Technologies change all the time and even methodologies come and go. So when we make a course title and description we tend to make them generic enough to not require updating when technology does. Also these courses have to get through committees staffed by faculty from different departments. Sometimes interdepartmental politics will mutate a course title into something ridiculous because of some petty squabble. So when mentioning a class (under the projects section) use a DESCRIPTIVE title not the authentic one if the authentic one is weird. The actual title will be seen on your transcript.

Graphics

Just a reminder that all of this advice is for a technical resume. This may not apply to graphic designers, web designers, UX designers, Writers, Administrators, etc. With that said, DO NOT PUT GRAPHICS ON YOUR RESUME! You may think that logos may look nice or highlight the big name companies you interned for, but they are tacky and take up a ton of space on the page.
DO NOT get fancy with your templates either. Again, if you are not going for a design job you are FINE with just a drab easy to read resume.
DO NOT put your picture on the resume. That is what LinkedIn is for.

Extra Curriculars

Hobbies, clubs, student senate, Sports, eSports, fraternities and sororities please leave them off the resume. NO ONE CARES.
Follow up note on Frats and Sororities: DO NOT LIST THEM on your resume. You may have heard anecdotes about that one frat brother got the job because another brother was the hiring manager. Anecdotes are not data. The sad reality is that Frats have a bad reputation. To anyone who was not part of greek life you are seen as drunken party animals and sexual predators (I am not saying that all people in greek life are like that, I am saying that your reputation has painted it like that). Hell to people who were part of greek life that is how they are seen. Worse still, you know how Frats have rivals? What if the hiring manager was greek and from a rival frat, or at their school their chapter was a rival to your fraternity even if you had a good relationship with your local chapter? The best way to use your greek connection is to ask around from within your own organization and find out if the hiring manager is an older brother or sister. Barring that just wear a ring or something to the job interview. IF it comes up and you luck out it will be a huge bonus. If not, then it won’t hurt you.

Sample Resume

College Student Name

11111 Bleeker St Newark NJ 555 555-5555 github.com/baapsjfl;kasjdf;kjasdf;j LinkedIn link goes here

Education

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science Information Technology (expected 2021)

Skills

System Administration: Linux (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS), Windows 10
Programming Languages: C / C++, Java, C#, Pascal, Fortran, Erlang
Libraries: STL, Boost, OpenGL, SDL, Glib, GTK, Qt, Web Sockets, BSD Sockets,MySQLi, RabbitMQ, AJAX
Scripting Languages: PHP, Python, Bash, HTML, CSS, Javascript
Database Administration: MySQL, NoSQL, MongoDB
Technologies: AMQP, RabbitMQ, Wordpress, Git, Apache2, Cron, SOAP, CURL, Trello

Work Experience

Sales Associate, Retail Giant Hometown, NJ 2018 - Present
Responsible for managing stock, orders from corporate, and large ticket items.

Projects

Front End Developer - Systems Integration Project Spring 2020
Project involved integrating a third party data source with a custom front end through a multiple server environment. I was responsible for Project Management, setting up the Front End server and implementing the third party api

Professional Associations

IEEE, ACM, IGDA
submitted by ProfessorOfLies to NJTech [link] [comments]

I need help balancing my budget with some new changes

Long post, I'm sorry. But I feel like this is all really specific and needs to be mapped out.
I got hit with several major life changes at once and I'm kind of struggling.
-I financially separated from my spouse (this improved my situation).
-I started college.
-I had (sort of) emergency surgery.
-I started seeing a therapist.
All in the early spring of this year. It's been a ride.
I have a fairly stable income. I say fairly because my schedule is flexible but routine and decided by me. More hours are available, but I'm recovering from that surgery so sometimes I just have to cut out early if I'm feeling unwell, my job is somewhat physical.
All my bills are getting paid but having to cut back at work means I someone's have zero flex room.
The breakdown is this:
I get paid bi-weekly. I work 4 days a week and try to make 8 hours. I used to work 9 but even 8 has been hard since the surgery. I'd like to earn more but I have to listen to my body. That means it's not feasible to get an evening job either. I need to rest at home. I'm trying this week at 8, then next, and after that I'll see about 9 per day. I'll be in better shape if I can do that but I won't risk my health.
I get paid $11.80/hr after deductions. So a paycheck on 8 hours per day is $755, and on 9 it's about $850 (what I'm used to from before the surgery).
By monthly bills are:
Car $200 Car insurance $160 Entertainment $50 (I'm willing to cut this down by about $15) New bed on credit $90 Phone $45 Discover Credit card $35 ($700 balance) Gas $50 Groceries $200 Therapy $221
Total: $1051/month
That's it's, I don't pay for internet or housing.
HOWEVER. My medical bills are crazy (for me). I still owe about $2k, and I'm still waiting to see if I get charged another $1k for my last bit of aftercare. They currently require me to pay $250/month. I'm putting that on a second credit card (Capital One, to distinguish) because I've been off work and haven't had the cash. But I've already put a couple thousand from medical bills on that card and it doesn't have the limit room to put the other $2/3k I owe on it without making $300 monthly payments.
Despite that, my credit score is pretty good (746) and I'd really like to keep it that way. But maybe I should put all the medical debt on my $35/month Discover card? That's Discover with a $700 balance I was trying to leave alone, but has a high ceiling of $8500. Adding $2-3k to my debt would really drop my score but maybe that's a bullet I'll just have to bite. I'm not really trying to finance anything right now.
So that's now $1051+300=1350 on $1500/month. Not a lot of wiggle room, but I'm not done yet.
Unfortunately, the car payment, bed, both credit card payments, my phone, half the car insurance bill, and some misc entertainment are all due between the 14th and 27th and often fall into the same pay check. The first half of the month is light on bills but I have to save a lot of that for the latter half. And things come up sometimes. I find myself really strapped by the time it's close to payday again. I don't often find that I have much to put to savings by that point.
I'm not entirely sure where any extra goes and I do need to get a handle on any extra spending. It can't be more than about $100/month, maybe on fast food and maybe picking up random groceries for family that's not for me, and an occasional goody like a used game or something dumb to make me happy. Also pet care, I have two aging cats.
I haven't gotten to school expenses yet. I'm attending part time online and have my first year figured. I have the Pell Grant that covers about 55% of my tuition for six terms, I just started the first. I'm paying out of a college fund for tuition and text books which are my only expenses, a total of about $530 every two months, or $265/month. My savings has $3200, enough for this year and one more term. But if I can't replenish that account at least somewhat (I only have to pay by the term so I just need to get ahead a bit before my fund runs out), then I'll have to get loans next year. It's a bachelor's degree part time and I'll have 5.5 years left after this one, and it was really important to me starting out to not take loans the first couple of years to avoid that extra time of accumulated interest. College isn't a financially sound decision for me if I can't manage out of pocket at least the first two years.
Also if I put my medical bills on my credit card and tank my credit, then need to get student loans, I imagine I'll get worse rates and pay more in the end, and I intend to avoid that.
The TL;DR here is that I was doing great and chose to start college that I could use my extra $300/month for, then got hit with the need to start therapy and pay for medical bills, each costing around $250/300 instead. I can maybe swing two but not all three.
I know this isn't a mental health support sub so I'm not looking for help on that front. But I will say that I'm going through some very difficult trials right now, and certain aspects of this situation are helping me tremendously to not curl up in a ball and refuse to cope or function. And it's actually not the therapy, it's the school, and the entertainment. I'd most prefer to ditch the therapy but shouldn't yet. But before anyone says I shouldn't be going to school if I can't afford it, it's doing so much for my health and sanity. I'm not quitting.
I'm also going to say that my future is unpredictable. I may need to pay for a divorce, or have more medical procedures. Hopefully not on both accounts, but I definitely need more wiggle room for whatever life throws at me next.
What do I do here? Do I need to find a way to make more income even though I'm injured and taxed? I'm working on passive income in my spare time but it's long run stuff that won't pay off now.
Do I need to put the medical stuff on my Discover card, hope there isn't more and pay it down more slowly so I can pay for school until I can ditch the therapy? I feel like this might be my best bet but I want to know what others think.
Please help. It may not look that bad on paper but I feel like I'm slowly drowning.
submitted by rock_kid to personalfinance [link] [comments]

First chapter of my rewrite done. Feedback and critiques are appreciated.

The Last of Us: Part II by Cody Crogan
Chapter 1: Big Wyoming
Autumn, 2039
The echo of birds chirping filling the air, the bright yellow sun gleaming down from the true blue sky above, the dark green leaves of the trees blowing gently in the cool, early autumn breeze. Ellie enjoyed the beauty of nature as she sat up against a hickory tree in the middle of a forest, her trusted horse hitched to one of the sturdier branches. The young woman closed her eyes, resting her mind and body as she took in the soothing sounds of the Wyoming wilderness.
“Ellie!” An unmistakable southern drawl called out to her.
Her eyes opened before she looked behind her, seeing Joel riding up to her atop his steed, two freshly-killed rabbits tied to his saddle.
“Goddamn, kiddo. You got wax in your ears? I called out your name five times.” The old man declared with a hearty chortle.
Ellie blushed a little in embarrassment, rising to her feet.
“Sorry, Joel. I was distracted.”
“I’m just teasing, Ellie. You catch anything out here?”
“No luck today. You?”
“Managed to snag a couple of hares, but that’s about it. The area’s pretty barren on game right now. Let’s head on back to town. We’ll give it a couple of days and try again.” Joel suggested, scratching his thick, greying hair.
“Sounds like a plan,” The young woman replied, unhitching her steed and climbing atop him. “Come on, Callus. Let’s head home, boy.”
Together, the pair road through the woods towards town, gently trotting next to each other as they rode.
“Hey, wanna grab a drink together when we get back?” Ellie asked.
“I’d love to, but I promised Wilson I’d help fix up his shed with a couple of the fellas.”
“Oh. Sure. Maybe tonight then?”
“You bet, kiddo,” Joel replied before being silent, trying to think of something to chat with Ellie about. “So…You and Katherine. How are things going between you two?”
“Great. We’ve been going steady, as you like to stay since we’ve been living together.”
“That's good, that’s good. She’s a lucky girl to have you. Though I must admit, even with you visiting me every day, it ain’t been the same since you moved out.”
“I can’t live with you forever, old man,” Ellie chuckled. “Besides, you should really take Tommy’s advice and settle down. I’ve seen plenty of the older ladies looking at you.”
“Heh, not just yet. I’m quite enjoying the bachelor lifestyle.” The old man quipped.
Ellie rolled her eyes and let out an exaggerated groan of disgust, getting another laugh out of Joel.
Coming out of the woods, they reached the outside walls of Jackson, their home for the past five years. The gate was open and the pair led their horses to the nearby stables, Ellie gently stroking the mane of her steed.
“Until next time, Callus.”
Coming out of the stables, Joel and Ellie strolled through the streets of the small country town together. Residents going about their daily schedules, kids playing and giggling in the parks, a few lively performance artists strumming their guitars, and playing the drums. It was a small slice of life the pair once thought was impossible in the new world. The pair just smiled as Joel started to walk off on his own.
“I’ll see you tonight, kiddo. Give my best to Katherine.”
“You know it.”
Ellie strolled towards her home on her lonesome, enjoying the cool breeze blowing through her shoulder-length auburn hair when a familiar voice to her called out.
“Beautiful day, huh, Ellie?” A deep but soft voice proclaimed.
Ellie looked to her left to her Elijah, her best friend, as he chopped wood on a block in his front yard. A man of African-American descent in his mid-twenties, he stood at six-one with a strong physique and a shaven head, his oblong face sporting a thick black beard. He gave Ellie a warm smile as she approached him.
“It is. Perfect day to kick back and relax, which you should consider. You’ve been chopping wood all day, man. Don’t you ever get tired?” Ellie asked.
“I do. But it’s work that’s gotta be done. “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Romans 12:11, my girl.”
“Oh, God. Can’t you go five minutes without quoting scripture?” Ellie asked with a playful groan.
“No, I cannot. And don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.” Elijah smirked.
“Sure, you big goof. Anyway, I’m heading home. Why don’t you stop by tomorrow and we’ll hang out.” “I’d like that.”
Bidding Elijah goodbye for the time being before she finally arrived home, letting out a sigh of relief before sliding her backpack and denim jacket off, hanging them both on a wall-mounted coat rack. Tired from the unsuccessful hunting trip, she walked into the living room and flopped onto the couch, closing her eyes.
“Man, it’s good to be back home.”
She smiled as her body relaxed, the young woman almost falling asleep after some time had passed. That was until she was gently shaken back to consciousness, the sound of a playful giggle filling her ears. The moment she opened her eyes, she was greeted by the sight of Katherine, her loving girlfriend leaning over her with a cheeky smile across her face. A pale white woman in her early twenties, who stood an inch shorter than Ellie at five-seven with shaggy black hair that sat on her shoulder which complimented her diamond-shaped face. The women smiled at each other before Katherine leaned down and kissed the love of her life.
“Hey, baby. How’d hunting go?”
“Horribly. It’s completely barren out there right now. Joel and I are gonna wait a couple days and hope some wildlife comes back.”
Katherine smiled and laid down on the couch with Ellie, snuggling up to her.
“If it means I get to spend more time with you, then I sure as shit ain’t complaining.” She declared, making Ellie laugh and ruffle her shaggy hair.
“Enough about me. How was your work?”
“Good, for the most part. The children are just a joy to be around, but the new teacher I’m assisting is a real bitch.”
“I could have a word with her if you want. I can be very persuasive.”
“Haha, thanks, but no thanks. I just need to tough it through, and then I’ll be teaching classes by myself.”
“And I’m sure you be the best teacher in town, Kathy.”
Katherine smiled warmly nuzzled her head under Ellie’s neck, who just stroked her hair lovingly. For many years, she was unsure if she would ever find someone who she could have such strong feelings for. That was until she met Katherine when they were paired together for patrol two years ago, and the pair hit it off without a hitch. Ellie knew she was the girl for her, and she was certain Katherine felt the same.
“Hey, wanna see something adorable?” Katherine asked as she got off the couch.
“Sure. What is it?”
“One of the little boys saw that we’re a couple and drew us two together. It’s so cute.”
“Well, let’s check it out.”
Ellie sat up on the couch while her girlfriend ran off to her office to grab the drawing, Katherine soon coming back and presenting it to her.
“Here. You’ll love it.”
Taking the drawing into her hands, Ellie looked at it and smiled, seeing herself and Katherine drawn holding hands together in the middle of a forest. However, her warm smile started to fade when she saw what looked like small glowing blobs with tiny wings drawn above the couple.
“Say…What are these things supposed to be?” Ellie asked, pointing to them.
“Oh, the boy said those are fireflies. They’re supposed to be basking us in light.” Katherine smiled.
Hearing this, Ellie’s smile went away, a solemn look going across her face. Katherine took a worried look and knelt down to her level.
“Hey, what’s wrong, Ellie?”
As memories flooded her mind, Ellie managed to put on a brave face and looked into Katherine’s eyes with a smile.
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah. Just tired as hell after today. This is a lovely drawing. Tell the kid I said so when you see him.”
Letting out a little sigh of relief that her girlfriend was alright, Katherine kissed Ellie’s lips before taking the drawing back.
“You bet I will. anyway, I have some marking to do. I’ll let you rest.”
“Thanks, Kate.”
Katherine left Ellie alone in the living room, who dropped her smiled and lifted up her right arm, examining the faint bite scar that had given her the immunity she once thought could have provided a cure, which was now covered by a tattoo. The past week was the first time in months that she had managed not to think about the Fireflies and the journey she went through with Joel five years ago for more than a day. She never stopped wondering what happened the day they arrived at St. Mary's Hospital in Salt Lake City. The thought of what went down, and the lingering feeling that her beloved father figure had lied to her ate inside her. But despite all of that, she loved Joel with all her heart, and she trusted him enough to believe what he told her in spite of her vague doubts.
With a sigh, she laid back down on the couch and closed her eyes for a nap.
To be continued…
submitted by CodyCrogan7 to TheLastOfUs2 [link] [comments]

Before the 90 Days of Our Lives, episode 14

Prince Joffrey, Varya & there’s something about Mary: Well, we’re back to the surprise visit with Varya, the femme fatale in a turtleneck, showing up on Joffrey’s doorstep and blowing our minds. Joffrey stood in his entryway with his arms crossed across his chest, nipple tats at full attention, watching his multiple leading ladies scream at each other. Mary feels like a fool, having jumped into a new relationship with Joffrey hot off the Varya situation, while Joffrey’s son Paxton is in the kitchen getting the jello pit ready for the catfight. Varya went into crazy Maury guest mode, screaming ridiculous things at Mary, who was still in complete shock at the surprise raging Russian’s appearance. Mary grabbed her flowers (presumably from the date night?) and took off, while Varya screamed obscenities at her, and Joffrey looked on from the doorstep. (Why do I have the sudden urge to show my inner “Fanilow” and sing “Oh Mary, well you came and you gave without taking... but I sent you away…”) Eventually Joffrey lets Varya into the house, where they sit on the signature bachelor pad brown leather sofa to discuss the situation. Varya confessed that she still loves him and flew all the way across the ocean to be with his nippletats again, not knowing he was trying to move on (guess the "ghosting" tactic didn't work…). Joffrey seemed to be confused, as he still has feelings for her, but what about Miss Mary Mack, all dressed in stripes? Paxton’s still in the kitchen on standby with the jello pit……..
Later that night, Varya changed into her sexy red eveningwear turtleneck (she packed one for every occasion) as she accompanied Joffrey to meet his friends for a night out in Knoxville. His friend group seemed just as weirded out by this ordeal as everyone else, as they are also friends with Mary and her little lamb. Joffrey and Varya explain what happened in Russia and the course of their relationshipl. She swears she didn’t say No to his proposal, but the frizzy-headed friend informed her that “You can't spell ‘Not now’ without “No” (Obviously a spelling bee champion…. Actually 2 no’s in that, but that’s ok. I recommend John Frieda Frizz-ease, $7.94 at Target. BGL prefers Aussie scrunch spray.. either way man TCB). Varya is feeling pretty awkward, but explains she doesn’t think she needs to share her man, or her “spoose” with any other women, even friends. (Sidenote: Did you know Varya had a hit single back in Russia inspired by her relationship with Joffrey, based off of the Britney Spears’ song “Spoose, I did it again… I played with your heart… got lost in the game. Oh znippletatz..”) If that wasn’t awkward enough, cue Mary quite contrary coming in hot, and let's give another round of applause for the production crew for bringing the drama. Znippletatz.
Stephanie & Erika Not Shmerika: Stephanie is packing up her luggage once again (they have shown her packing in every segment throughout the season, why stop now) with Erika long in the rearview, as she headed off to the airport in her snakeskin dress and cute pink blazer, aka the perfect comfy outfit for a 24 hour flight. She seemed upset about how the trip ended, and the range of emotions experienced throughout, but more so that she was going to have to hide all of that from her mother. Steph was greeted at the airport by her mom, her 2 adorable pups and her mom’s random friend. She described her trip as “exhausting” (an understatement), with the highlight being the koala petting that didn’t happen. The friend in the backseat, though silent, got to sit with Stephanie’s pug, who slightly resembles a koala.
Darcey & Stacey: The grown up overinflated Olsen twins are back together again, and start the episode by pondering which car they are going to trade in their Nissan Altima for; a Jaguar, Bentley or a Maserati. The car chat and their lips carry the theme of “bigger and better”, which seems to be the twin motto of the day. Somehow, they segway to the Tom situation, where Darcey (while wearing some Levar Burton Star Trek sunglasses...very vintage, very Ho11) claims she will make better choices when it comes to love, and then takes a strange turn to discuss the twins’ late brother, Michael. Next thing we know they appear graveside with a bouquet of sunflowers in hand, weeping as they talk to their late brother, saying they like to visit him after tough times. (If this Tom incident was considered a tough time, I wonder how many visits Michael got during the Jesse relationship!?! Let the guy rest in peace!). The twins talked about what a great friend and brother Michael was, and how he also “Loved love” like they do.Turns out Darcey’s key mailing outfit also doubles as a cemetery visiting outfit. Are we categorically done and dusted yet?! (Also, my sympathies….)
BGL & Assman: In the almost honeymoon suite, BGL is angry, yet again, at Oozemon, this time because he has yet to propose to her and their wedding is tomorrow. Assman explains that he hasn’t had a chance to propose, since 99% of the time they are fighting, and the other 1% someone is using the poop bucket. They had a private conversation in the hotel hallway (definitely more private than in the confines of the hotel room), where BGL explained how much an in-person proposal meant to her, and how getting engaged the day before her wedding was going to make everyone think she’s “knocked up”. (I know that’s exactly what I was thinking……) Being the hopeless romantic he is, he explained they need to be able to tolerate each other, before they hugged it out and returned to the Arizona suite. With not much time left towards the wedding countdown and Usman’s family due any minute, the groom-to-be saw an opportunity, and took it. While Lisa was yelling at him about a hairbrush from the Kaduna High Quality Inn’s bathroom, he waited patiently outside the doorway on bended knee, presenting a ring symbolizing their eternal aggravation. BGL cried tears of joy, elated with the proposal and nestling Usman’s head against her possibly “knocked up” belly.
Family Usman arrived at the hotel lobby, ready for the festivities. Sojamom was itching to pray, so they headed upstairs, noting why this Kaduna High Quality Inn got such better reviews than the other hotels in the area (5 stars for most realistic sheep statues. Let’s hope SojaMom doesn’t try to take home the sheep statues to keep Barney company!). Before Mommasojaboy could pray, she had to pray to the porcelain Gods, by way of an “Ablution”, which means cleaning yourself off in the toilet. (See? The show is educational, Ma! I swear!). Mother Sojaboy got to go first, by sticking her foot in the crapper and spraying it with a toilet hose. Next up was Baby Fiance girl Lisa’s turn, who we knew was a potty mouth, but now is officially also a potty foot. After family prayer time, the lovely couple and Assman’s elder brothers sat poolside to discuss the couple’s marital problems. Sojaboy feels Lisa tries to control him, while his brother’s tend to agree, and explained to Lisa that Assman can’t be with her 24/7. This did not sit well with BGL (one could speculate the raging pregnancy hormones could be making her overreact….) and she stormed off, leaving a cliffhanger if this shotgun wedding will take place. Still holding on tight to my toaster receipt….
Avery & Ashtray, actually: As the trip is winding down and Avery is getting ready to leave Australia, she and Ash discuss the future of making their relationship work, now that they remembered Ashtray couldn’t leave his young child and move to another country, actually. They seem to have a plan to see each other for a few months at a time, that is, once Ashphault gets his Australian passport (he still has one from Mauritius, and you know what they say- Mauritius, Mo’ problems). They loaded up the Audi convertible for the last time as they set off for the “Melbin” airport. They had one final once over about their relationship and the next steps they needed to take in order to see each other again, though I have a feeling they will be koala-ing it off, actually.
Big Egg & no more Rosemary’s Baby: Ed returns back to the states with his middle school girl ponytail, and is greeted by his adorable tiny mom and teeny weeny Teddy.They’re basically a family of Polly Pockets. Teddy’s barks of joy could be heard throughout the baggage claim of the San Diego airport, as Ed greeted them both. He tearfully told his mother about the trip, and his current “single” relationship status. Ed explained the reason for the end of the relationship was because Rose wanted two kids, and because she didn’t trust him, conveniently breezing over the slew of insulting comments and gestures. Talking about his ordeal with his mom made Ed realize that he never gave Rose that No!No! Hair Removal system for her bikini area that he purchased on QVC……. He’ll have to visit those nice people at FedEx from the first episode in the morning.
David & “I’m still Lana from the (Eastern) Bloc”: I, for one, am thankful that David and Lana have moved past the stairs (three times watching it is really my limit). This week, David learned the magic of the translator app, which allowed us all to learn so many new fun facts (and some not so fun facts) about Lana… For starters, Lana UNDERSTANDS ENGLISH! She also likes to receive gifts and money from David but doesn't like to talk about it. David is going buckwild taking selfies with his unicorn Lana,(if you don't take a picture, it didn't happen!), and is already updating his facebook relationship status to “MMMMMmmmm”. Their first date seemed to have all of the makings of a true love connection until David had to talk about his Lana-pilgrimage, and she thought it was absolutely insane. Once he mentioned the part about the P.I. he had hired to track her down, Lana called it a night, leaving David all alone in his trenchcoat to sell some more bootleg watches. Back in his hotel room with his other girlfriend, Dell Inspiron, David used his suave emoji skills to communicate with Lana on the freaking dating app still, and smooth things over for a fun second date of bowling, which he says makes him feel “Jazzed”. The couple met up again in the square, this time with David in a rust colored collared shirt and Lana looking like a sporty spice in her flesh toned pink sweat suit. They headed to the Ukrainian Bowl-O-Rama where David bet Lana a kiss for every strike. Being a former professional bowler, he guided her hips to help improve her “form” (cringe-fest3000), and worked hard trying to score in every sense of the word. There was an entire montage of David bowling to some Jerry Lee Lewis type of goofy doo-wop, as the most bizarre Ukrainian version of the Happy Days. It was like watching your creepy uncle date a scam artist from the Ukraine. Lana laughed at David from the sidelines, until he actually got a strike, and it was time to pucker up, which she seemed outwardly repulsed by. After bowling, they set out sightseeing on the way to dinner, and David was abusing his selfie stick in the name of taking pictures for their K1-Visa application (there are few things sexier than a man with a selfie stick…). The two then head out for a romantic dinner (Lana still in her athleisure wear), where we learned a not so fun fact about Lana- she eats bunnies. She ordered an interesting gastronomical combination of rabbit pasta and grapefruit juice, which seemed to even weird out David, but surely not a dealbreaker. Shortly after finding out his dream girl ate Thumper, he asked her to come back to his hotel room. Sure enough, Lana turned him down, as she claimed to need more time (maybe 8 years of online Mmmmm-ing and 5 dates sounds more reasonable). I think David needs a website like “Weird Science”, where he can just build a new Lana and program her with more enjoyable features…. Like being impressed by his bowling skills, occasion appropriate outfits, freely giving her boyfriend her phone number, and does not eat bunnies…. I’m actually now questioning if she’d eat Morthra for dessert. Please translate and don’t tell me the answer if it’s “yes”.
Noticeably missing was Yolander, who was busy staring at a bottle of orange juice because it said “concentrate”. Or maybe rearranging her earrings in size order…. Either way….
submitted by EricaShmericaOFF to 90dayfianceuncensored [link] [comments]

Career change Success Story - Starting my First role in IT as an Information Security Analyst

Just wanted to share my story with everyone here since it is probably going to differ from a lot of the experiences of other IT people, and a lot of the expectations that people in this sub like to present when it comes to entry level roles.
For the past 10 years I had been working at a company in a non-IT field doing admin work at first, then shipping/logistics, then Digital Marketing.
In December 2018 I decided to try to make a career change and go into IT with the hopes of one day getting in to a cybersecurity role. I wanted to see if I even had the aptitude for this kind of work, so I started with the CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ exam. I knew that the exam itself was going to be fairly useless on a resume but I figured it was a good place to start. I passed that exam in January 2019, but then had to take a break for a few months due to work reasons.
Long story short, I worked hard and studied hard and was able to pass the A+, Net+, and Sec+ exams all in about a 6 month period, from July 2019 - December 2019. Ever since I passed my Sec+ in early December, I've been applying for any job I thought might be interesting.
At first, I tried to focus mostly on Network Admin roles because I thought that would be my best bet, but eventually I just started applying to any kind of role I thought would be interesting that I could have realistically had a chance at (by that I mean I applied to everything but management-level roles).
After lots and lots of applications getting no responses, getting ghosted by recruiters after one phone call, getting ghosted by companies after in-person interviews, I was finally able to accept an offer given to me last month for an Information Security Analyst position with a large company near a major east coast city.
In my old position I made about 72k a year and was prepared to have to take about a 10-15k drop in salary to get my foot in the door in this field, but I'm actually now making a few thousand more in this new role (in reality, its a bit of a wash since the commute time is much greater than my old job and the cost in gas/tolls will basically make this more of a lateral salary move than anything).
I just wanted to share this story so that people out there can know that its not impossible. This CAN happen, even if it is rare and that I'm incredibly lucky that this place is taking a chance on me in a role like this. If you work hard, grind it out, and refuse to undervalue yourself, its not always necessary to start your career in a help desk position.
Some things that I did on my journey that MAY help you -
College degree - I do have a bachelor's degree but its in something non-IT/Computer related. Unless you have some way to prove you're an absolute rockstart, it will probably be difficult to get past HR filters without a degree of some sort
Certs - the CompTIA certs definitely helped me get this job but what I think is the most important aspect of the certs is how quickly I was able to attain them. Getting the A+, Net+, and Sec+ within 6 months demonstrated, I believe, that I was able to learn this material quickly and competently, and more importantly, it demonstrated that I had a passion for learning.
Not settling for less - I was in kind of a weird situation - trying to change careers at the age of 37, with a mortgage and day care expenses, I simply was not in a position to bite the bullet and drop all the way down to a 40k Help Desk role to get my start in IT. I wouldn't have been able to keep my house, and I wasnt willing to lose 30k in salary. So while I knew I would be aiming for a higher paying role, I also realized that it might take me a lot longer to get hired than if I'd just applied to every low level help desk role I came across. I ended up applying for probably 130-150 positions. The vast majority of which I never heard anything back from. Sometimes I'd get a call from a technical recruiter who would then say they'd pass my info along to a hiring manager, and then I'd never hear anything from them again. I interviewed for a Network Admin role at an MSP where I got through the HR screen, a phone interview, an in-person interview, and then an online personality assessment before they decided to go with someone with more experience. Of the 130-150 positions I applied for, I only got about 5 in-person interviews. It was disheartening and I felt dejected at times but in the end it was worth it.
Being active with online communities and local chapters of IT organizations - If you can find any kind of online community that is active, like Operation Code, TraceLabs, etc, get involved. There's usually a good amount of information you can gain from the people in these groups. Also, if you have chapters of IT groups in your area (like ISSA - Information Systems Security Association), join them and attend meetings. Network as much as humanly possible.
Resume - This may not be an option for everyone but I paid to have mind professionally done and I think it was worth every penny. I found the resume writers through LinkedIn and what I got in return was a resume that stood out in all the right ways. You CAN do it yourself and can probably make it look just as good, but these people know how to get you through HR filters without gaming the system in a bad way, so if you can afford it, I highly recommend having it professionally done.
Know that its going to be difficult - If you haven't interviewed in a long time or never really have interviewed before in your life, its gonna suck. You'll probably bomb a few (I'm thinking specifically of an interview I had for a SOC analyst role that's making me cringe when I think of how I did....). Think of each interview as practice for the next. Try not to go in there too nervous or desperate. Just relax and be yourself, as much as you can.
Dont fall in love with a job before you get an offer - this is the one I struggled with the most and it really, really sucked to deal with. Early on in my search, every time I had an HR screen I would start imagining myself in that role with that company and really, really want to work there. Then when I would end up getting ghosted, it fucking HURT. I mean really just plain hurt. It really screwed with me until I finally realized I needed to stop getting my hopes up with every phone call or interview.
Things that might NOT help you
In the interest of fairness, I may as well explain some advantages I might have had that may not help you at all
If anyone has any questions, I'll happily do my best to answer them. Until then, keep working towards your goals and don't give up. You can make this happen.
submitted by NSD2327 to ITCareerQuestions [link] [comments]

[Remnants of Magic] The Library - 19

Cover art | Free novella | Discord Server | The Library - Home Page
Patreon - Current advance chapters: 3
*When we left off, Owl looked after the Library. But as he worked at selecting the next round of guests, Alexandria got ideas of her own - and presented him with Jean’s journal. Owl rejected the idea of reading it, violently, and *
In that single, horrifying moment, Daniel could only teeter in place, gaping down the hallway.
A pair of figures stood equally frozen in the adrenaline-fueled nightmare of his mind, eyes round and faces beaming with smiles. One was a complete mystery to him.
The other was Leon.
Well, shit.
And then the moment unfroze, and Daniel lurched to the ground. In the hallway. The very, very open hallway. They jumped, their heads snapping up.
He moved on instinct alone - and truly, it was remarkable just how quickly his hand closed about the mask hanging from his arm. The straps binding it to the jacket were meant to snap if necessary. It was necessary.
Leon’s eyes were just starting to focus in on him when he slammed the mask home, jamming it onto his nose so fast the tip gave a horrible pop.
The two visitors stared at him.
He stared at them, torn between running at them, running away, or locking all of them in a giant, escape-proof box.
He settled for staring - until finally, he remembered himself, and started scrabbling for the hood to his jacket.
“S-Shit,” he heard Leon stammer. “This guy again.”
“Again?” his friend said. “You’re saying-”
“He showed up last time,” Leon said, and through the cracks between his fingers, Owl saw the man start to back away. “J-Just, uh. We can-”
“No running in the Library,” Owl said, the words slipping out of him on some perverse habit. “I, uh. I mean, let’s...don’t run.”
Leon grabbed his friend’s shoulder, though, still backpedaling. “Guy came after me, James. So hurry up and-”
Damn it, he wasn’t sure if it was the clumsy hood or his own clumsy fingers, but he just couldn’t get the thing up while keeping the mask in place. Owl let it fall for a moment, throwing his hand palm-first toward the pair.
Every fiber of his being screamed to throw a wall up behind them, to box the pair in like the intruding rats they were.
“Wait,” Owl said instead. “I won’t chase you. I’d like to...I want to talk.” Actually vocalizing the words hurt. Somewhere outside the windows lining the Library, he heard the soft tinkling of wind-chimes blowing on the breeze, and scowled. Don’t you dare laugh at me.
But Leon and James froze. The friend kept glancing between Owl and Leon, his face bone-white. Leon hadn’t taken his eyes off Owl, his brows furrowed heavily.
“Okay,” Leon said at last, turning to square off. “I guess. I mean...it’s you, isn’t it? Look, man, I answered your questions last time. I don’t have anything else to-”
“I know,” Owl said hurriedly. “I know, I know. I’m not going to attack you or anything. Just want to talk. That’s all.”
His fingers grabbed for the leather edge of the hood, trying to pull it up, but it kept catching on...everything, it seemed. The collar of his jacket. The high-necked shirt he wore underneath the jacket. And more than anything, the shaggy mess of black hair hanging down over the shirt.
The silence dragged on as he grappled with it, fighting to pull it free without letting his mask fall.
Softly at first, the sound of their shoes scraping against the elegant floors of the Library rose in his ears. “Uh,” Leon said.
“L-Look, could you guys, just, like...turn around,” Owl said desperately. “I need to- I can’t-”
“Do you need help with that or something?” Leon said, taking a step forward.
Owl stumbled back, still clutching his mask. “N-No,” he said, shaking his head. “Nope, I can get it. Just, uh. Could you-” The bookshelf - it hung right at the edge of his vision, solid and very much opaque with books. He seized the idea, waving a finger toward the pair in a loose loop. “Turn around? For just a second?”
“Just do it,” he heard James mutter. “Weirdo.”
Leon laughed nervously, but turned around at James’ nudge. The two faced away.
Finally. Owl hurled himself behind the edge of the bookshelf, dropping his mask to the rack and grabbing for the hem of his hood. With one final tug and a grunt, he pulled it free. It settled over his face in the next instant, right where it should be. He hissed in relief. About time.
Again he thrust his mask onto his face, and this time, when he reached for the straps to bind it into place, they were ready and waiting down the inside of his collar.
The breath he’d been holding in slid out as he pulled the last one tight, giving the mask a tentative tug - and felt it hold.
“Okay,” he said with a sigh, stepping back out into the hallway. “I...yeah. Sorry about that. Um.”
The two visitors were waiting right where he’d left them, still turned away. Heat began to climb Owl’s cheeks, safely hidden behind the mask. “Y-You can turn back around.”
Get yourself together, he screamed at himself silently. You’re the Librarian. Stop acting like a bumbling juvenile.
Leon and James turned around, though - and while James still looked more wary and suspicious than anything, unbridled curiosity simmered in the depths of Leon’s eyes.
“I’m...sorry. About last time,” Owl said, resisting the urge to grind his teeth together. Part of him still wanted to screech sorry for what and drag the both of them to Alexandria’s front door. But-
The lanterns alongside him rocked ominously, letting globules of wax fall to the floor. I know, Owl whispered. But you’ve got your damn hands in this, and that means I’ll put up with it. For now.
“You are?” Leon said.
“Yeah,” Owl said. “I just...I might have. You know. Overreacted.”
“You grabbed me.”
“And you were an intruder, visiting the Library without permission,” Owl said, with an amused-if-resigned note starting to slip into his voice. “Don’t blame me.
“The library?” Leon said, with that same interest still burning in his expression. Something in his voice, though...it lacked the proper import, the knowledge that the title should have held. It was definitely still library-with-a-little-L to him, then, not the Library.
And that meant he didn’t know. Not really. Probably.
Well. Owl wrinkled his nose, realizing the mess he’d stepped into. Leon hadn’t known - until he’d gone and said the name right to his face.
“It’s...don’t worry about it,” he mumbled, scuffing at the ground. “It’s-”
“It’s here, isn’t it? This place.”
Owl glanced back up. Leon stood, bouncing on his heels with his hands shoved into his pockets, and gazed at Owl with eyes alight. In all his years as Librarian, Owl couldn’t quite remember someone looking as enthused as Leon did in that moment.
“Yeah,” Owl said, unable to stop himself. “It’s...It’s here, yeah.” He chuckled softly, leaning forward and sweeping one arm across his front in an elegant bow. “Welcome to the Library. You’re...not guests, but I am the Librarian. I suppose I have to look after you anyway.”
“Librarian?” he heard James mumble. “Uh...Leon, are you sure this-”
“But you already knew that, right?” Owl said, lifting his head and looking back to Leon - who grinned, still rocking on his heels.
“Yeah,” Leon said. “Kinda figured, anyway. That Fox guy got called a Librarian, too.”
“By that journal you found?” Owl said, his blood electrifying. “About that. Could you-”
“I told you, though,” Leon said, elbowing James and turning away in the same motion. His eyes had returned to the Library around them, the wonder in them as rich as the first time Owl had seen him. “This place is insane.”
“You weren’t kidding,” James said, his voice low. His expression was distinctly more wary than Leon’s, but he followed behind his friend, creeping deeper into Alexandria’s wings.
Owl stood where he’d been, one hand still upraised, and watched, dumbfounded, as they started walking away. He was the Librarian. In this place, his word was law - and it’d been decades since anyone had dared ignore him. Centuries. And yet, those two had-
“Hey!” he heard Leon holler from ahead. “Bird-man! You coming, or what?”
“Asshole,” Owl muttered under his breath.
But there was a grin on his face under its porcelain facade as he stalked forward, sweeping back toward his two new charges.
“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” James said, eyes round.
“What I said,” Owl said. “I’ve never been here before.”
Leon waved a hand frantically. “But you said you’re that Librarian guy. That you’re here all the time. So, uh. Surely you have to have been here.”
“Or at least know the way out,” James mumbled.
“Already told you guys this,” Owl said, pausing for a moment. He let his hand drag over an intricately carved column, taking in the sight of the...well, the excess, if he was being honest. “The Library changes itself at will. There are some rooms that stay constant, yeah. And if it wants to repeat a room, it can. But otherwise-”
“So it’s alive,” Leon breathed.
“N-Not really,” Owl said, alarm bells screaming in his head. Damn it, what was he doing? He was supposed to keep Alexandria’s secrets - and here he was, prattling on about the place. It didn’t matter that all of this was common knowledge to everyone who visited the Library. In the end, it was all stuff that these two shouldn’t know.
And yet...his pulse slowed fractionally as he glanced around.
High ceilings rose over them, held up by the same indulgent columns as he’d been inspecting moments before. Broad arches opened on either side of the hall, leading out to gardens dotted with cozy-looking chairs. Books had been strategically placed alongside each, as though they were just waiting for a reader to plop down for the afternoon.
It’d been years since he’d seen a study as bright and cheerful and lovely as this one. Which meant Alexandria was in a good mood. A damn good mood.
You really like them, don’t you? he whispered, sighing again. And in the end, that’s what was loosening his damn tongue so much. He wouldn’t let anything slip he wouldn’t tell a guest, he’d decided. But if Alexandria thought they were a threat, she’d get rid of them.
“Still...how far does it go?” Leon said, spinning back to face him.
“As far as it wants,” Owl responded, chuckling. “Didn’t your professor friend write anything about that?”
“Milton?” James said. The man had been keeping his own peace, mostly, clinging to Leon’s heels and gaping at the wonders Alexandria displayed. “That old bastard didn’t make much sense, really.”
“Made enough sense to get us thinking,” Leon said. “That’s plenty.”
Chance. “So you guys...what,” Owl said, leaning against a pillar. “Found a note he’d written somewhere in a book, and thought something was weird?”
James and Leon exchanged glances, but in the end, Leon shrugged. “I pretty much told you everything last time,” he said. “But, yeah. That’s basically it. We were doing a research project, and dug through some old records.”
“I told him it was a long shot,” James said.
You told me it’d be a waste of time we could spend enjoying ourselves,” Leon said. “Bet you’re glad I was stubborn now, huh?” He glanced back to Owl. “There was a note in one of the margins, with...well, some pretty fuckin’ weird stuff in it.
“Like stuff about the Library,” Owl said softly.
A wry grin played at the corners of James’ lips. “Figured that out all on your own?”
Fair enough. “You’re students, then?” Owl said. That much seemed obvious, but he needed every scrap of confirmation he could get. And more than anything, he needed to keep them going. Sorry, Alex. Reality is what it is.
If Alexandria disagreed, well, she wasn’t going out of her way to strike him down.
“Yeah,” Leon said, his expression brightening as he turned back around. “Getting ready for my masters. Well, I am. James’ll probably call it quits here after his bachelor’s. We’re up at the University of Illi-”
James kicked him. Hard. Leon’s words died in a pained yelp. “Don’t worry about it,” James said, smiling blithely at Owl. “Don’t take it the wrong way. We don’t know you.”
“I get it,” Owl said mildly. Inwardly, he seethed with satisfaction. Leon, and James, and one Professor Milton - and given their usage of mostly-accentless English, there weren’t too many colleges this ‘Illi’ could be.
It’d take a long time, but he had the pieces he needed to find them. He could protect himself, if it came to that. The worry in his gut eased just a little.
“Still,” Owl said, still feeling James’ untrusting eyes on him. “Never thought I’d wind up with strangers popping out here. That’s...not supposed to happen.”
“Gee, I’d never have known from how you acted last time,” Leon said. He’d already started slipping out the far end of the garden-study, ogling the surroundings. “You seemed downright friendly. I’d never have guessed you were off-put.”
Behind him, James snorted.
“I did apologize for that,” Owl said, following along gamely. He’d need to wrangle new boots out of Alexandria soon, with how much these two seemed to be walking the grounds. “But, uh. If you don’t mind my asking...how the hell did you two get here?”
“What?” Leon said. “Oh. Well, uh.” He scratched at his head, golden hair flying. “I...can’t remember, I guess. I just…”
“I just went to bed,” James said, scrunching up his face. “That’s all. Nothing fancy.”
“Right!” Leon said. “That. Yeah. I remember setting my alarm, and then…”
They both glanced back to Owl - who sighed, nodding. “And then you woke up here,” he said heavily.
“Yep,” Leon said. The hallway sprawled out before him, leading back into another of the Library’s wings and out of the garden lounge. “Oh - James! Would you believe the size of that fountain?
“Why don’t you ever show me pretty fountains and gardens?” Owl muttered.
The confirmation from Leon had been the final piece, though, even if the man didn’t know what he was saying. Sleeping was how Owl himself wound up back in Alexandria - and even if their more regular guests were planned for, he’d spoken to them enough to know that their visits were tied to sleep as well.
Which meant that, more than likely, this truly was just another of Alexandria’s games. They probably weren’t pulling any tricks on him. “If you wanted more visitors, you could have said something to me,” he whispered, even softer than before.
The wind whistled lazily through the garden in the silence after his words, swirling about him in gentle, comforting waves that nestled under his hood and warmed him to his core.
With every second he wasted griping at the damn building, though, the two pulled farther and farther ahead. Swallowing his next comment and kicking lightly at the tiles, he hurried after them.
If there’d been any doubt in Owl’s head that Alexandria was pulling out all the stops for James and Leon, they vanished with every wing the trio walked through. Cathedrals. Underground caves lit by glowing fungus. Herb gardens, and wind-swept pavilions, and a pass through the training court that had even James raising an eyebrow. Each scene was somehow more extravagant than the last.
Through it all, Owl hovered a dozen steps behind, torn but smiling. They shouldn’t be here. And he shouldn’t be wasting his day letting these two tromp around Alexandria like it was a damn resort.
“So what do you do here?” Leon said, his head craning around until his eyes met Owl’s.
Owl jumped - and then sighed. “I told you,” he said, quickening his steps a fraction and drawing closer. “I’m the Librarian. I look after our guests.”
“Oh,” Leon said. “Right.”
And there it was, Owl thought with a chuckle. Each time he started to dream of slipping away - or sending the two out, throwing them out the front door and reclaiming his peace and quiet - one or the other of them would let fly with a quip, or a comment, or sometimes even a question.
Despite himself, Owl couldn’t mind. Not when someone was looking at him head-on, filling the Library with the sound of someone else’s voice.
“What guests, though?” James said, and glanced around. “It’s kind of dead here.”
“They’re...gone,” Owl said. “We’re closed.”
Both James and Leon flinched, and Owl groaned. He’d tried to keep the comment a little more neutral, but damn it, it was the truth. They were closed - and the pair were taking up his time after-hours.
“B-But,” Leon said, slowing to a stop. “It’s open, sometimes?” Open air stretched out on either side of them, with foggy sky showing through the grand windows of the skywalk they’d happened onto.
“Milton,” James said, his voice soft. “When you say guests, do you mean-”
“Look,” Owl said. “Yeah. That’s...That’s the easiest way of putting it. People like your professor friend. And…”
He had to say it. The words turned to ash in his mouth, bitter and somehow unwanted, but he licked his lips and pulled himself upright.
“They belong here,” he said, even quieter than James. “They’re planned for. Expected. You guys aren’t...and you don’t.” He lifted his eyes, finding Leon staring back at him. “I’m sorry, but after this, you’ll have to-”
“But...you said there’s all that information here,” Leon said, craning his head back and forth toward the entrances back into Alexandria. “You’ve got so much squirreled away here. Hell, I could spend ten years scraping the top off one of those storage rooms and never even scrape the surface. I-I still don’t really know what’s going on, but assuming this isn’t a dream, I’d really like to-”
“I’m sorry,” Owl said, and the words rang as heavily when said to Leon as when he’d said them to Olivia. “It’s...not allowed.”
Leon’s face fell.
James shifted, sighing. “It’s just a bunch of books,” Owl heard him mutter.
“Books?” Leon said, spinning on his friend. “It’s not about the books. I mean, okay, yeah, I’m intrigued, but this place is some sort of magic. Like...how can I let that go? It’s just so damn-”
“Hey, man,” James said, holding his hands up and chuckling. “I’m still thinking it’s the whole eating-pizza-after-midnight. But sure. Maybe it’s real. Okay.”
Owl watched them go, watched Leon’s back as he darted over to the railing and peered through the glass.
He could tell them whatever he wanted, he realized. He could make all the declarations and rules he felt like, but in the end...it didn’t seem to be up to him. And if it wasn’t up to him-
Leon’s startled cry brought him up short. Owl’s head snapped up, his eyes darting this way and that as he searched for the threat.
James and Leon were...glowing. He stared at the two, mouth falling open, as a light grew from somewhere within their skin. It burned brighter and brighter, limning them both.
“Shit,” James whispered.
“It’s- It’s okay,” Owl said, stepping forward and holding his hands up. “I think...Alexandria is just sending you home, now.”
“O-Oh,” Leon said. “Okay, then. I guess.” He held his hands up, staring wide-eyed at them as they glowed.
Owl chewed on his lip, a sense of urgency building within him. They were leaving. And even if he’d told them they weren’t welcome, that didn’t mean...there was no telling if they’d-
“Like I said.” He stumbled forward, trying to put every ounce of imperiousness he could into his voice. “Stay away. You don’t belong here. Don’t try and come back.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” James muttered, even as Leon’s expression turned crestfallen. “I’m not thinking I’ll ever-”
“But if you do come back,” Owl said, and sighed inwardly as Leon’s eyes reignited, “Then...come find me.”
A grin spread across Leon’s now-blinding face. “Then-”
“But stay away from everyone else!” Owl cried. “Don’t approach anyone! Don’t talk to anyone. Leave the other guests alone. And-”
With one final flash, the world went white. Owl stumbled back, clapping a hand over the lenses of his mask.
When he took his hand away, the pair were gone.
His fingers dug at the buckles holding his mask on. One at a time, they fell away, until at last he pulled the whole thing free.
And then Daniel stared at the space they’d vacated. He lingered, running through the whole encounter over and over.
“Damn it, Alexandria,” he said, shaking his head.
But there was a smile on his face as he started to walk.
Part 20
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