2010.08.02 20:36 jerseycity Jersey City: We've got bike lanes AND a city councilmember who does hit and runs.
2020.04.06 08:16 NewJerseyMuslims
2008.04.14 11:56 the r/California subreddit — for all things Californian
2023.05.29 17:30 sutorobericough I (20F) went through my bf's (20M) phone and found some photos I shouldn't have
2023.05.29 17:29 DocDocMitch Failing…
I’m an amateur gardener and we are in year 3 with this struggling tree. The photos are at 8:30 AM and the fence faces due west. The bottom left is new growth this spring that suddenly died off.submitted by DocDocMitch to JapaneseMaples [link] [comments]
All our young trees got scorched last fall and all except our maple have recovered.
Wondering if there are soil additives and/or watering patterns that would help support this tree through the 90+ degrees were expected to have the next 3-4 months.
2023.05.29 17:25 IskoLat Mikhail Kalinin. "The People of Lithuania Are on a New Path"
submitted by IskoLat to BalticSSRs [link] [comments]
On July 14-15 of 1940, elections to the People's Parliament [Liaudies Seimas] were held in Lithuania. These elections had an unusual content and significance compared to previous elections. Here the false declarations and unrealistic promises of all kinds of benefits to the people, which the bourgeois parties usually made, were put aside and pushed into obscurity by two cardinal issues:
1) On the proclamation of Lithuania as a fellow Soviet Socialist Republic
2) On the accession of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic into the Soviet Union as a Union Republic.
The overwhelming majority of the population took part in the elections - 95.51% of voters compared to 38% of voters who actually took part in the last elections. Moreover, 99.19% of voters voted for the candidates of the Union of the Working People of Lithuania. And this is natural, because the question was clear, understandable to everybody and affected every Lithuanian in one way or another. So, by voting for supporters of Lithuania's accession into the Soviet Union, one thereby determined his attitude to this issue. By voting in 1940, the Lithuanian people, perhaps for the first time in their entire history, could freely reveal their will and their aspirations as a whole, as a people, and, taking advantage of this opportunity, demanded the Soviet system of governance for themselves.
Reactionaries, enemies of the Soviet system of governance, were enraged by this result. Even the liberal democratic circles threw up their hands in surprise. Unable to find, and unwilling to look for the real reason for such a turn by the Lithuanian people, in the specific conditions of their life, they sought to discredit the elections themselves, the voting procedure. But even here these people suffered a fiasco: the genuine democratic nature of the elections did not give any real grounds for defaming them. And, nevertheless, this did not prevent the reactionary press from coming out with hostile articles and bringing forth, as expected from them, facts invented in the editorial offices.
One should not be surprised here. On the contrary, it would be surprising if, say, not the reactionary, but at least the liberal-bourgeois press reacted to these elections positively. In fact, how much work was spent for the political deception of the people, for propaganda and agitation, for school "education", religious influence, administrative pressure, etc.! Mountains of slander were pushed against the USSR, against the Soviet government! It is difficult even to name all the means the Smetona government used to influence the Lithuanian people in order to discourage them from any desire to find out the truth about real life in the Soviet Union, in order to isolate the Lithuanians from even the slightest influence of Soviet culture. For this purpose, it sought maximum isolation of Lithuania from the USSR, not only politically and culturally, but also economically.
It seemed that there were no channels, no ways through which the Lithuanian people's ties with the Soviet Union could develop. However, the actual reality cruelly mocked those who worked so zealously to darken the consciousness of the Lithuanian people, those who tried their best to introduce inertia and indifference into the consciousness of the people. At the first opportunity, the Lithuanian people loudly declared: I want to be a member of the Soviet Union! That's what infuriated the enemies of the Soviet form of governance and still infuriates them to this day. What mean reasons pushed the Lithuanian people on the path to the Soviet system, to its accession into the USSR? There are many very convincing reasons. That they are serious is clear to every Lithuanian, because with his mother's milk he was instilled with the thought that the most valuable thing is the independence of his own country, its greatness. But reasonable people had doubts about the "independence" that Lithuania had, uncertainty about its reality, because the facts contradicted it too much. No sooner had the republic organized itself and the government settled in its capital, Vilnius, than a certain Polish general with his detachment of troops seized Vilnius, expelled the Lithuanian government, and the capital of Lithuania was annexed to Poland, and Lithuania lost its largest and most industrialized city. For the sake of decency, the press made a little noise, and that was the end of it. The suzerain powers did not even lift a finger to restore the violated rights of Lithuania, because the attacker was also patronized by them and probably more valuable as an open enemy of the Soviet Union.
With Hitler's rise to power in Germany, the specter of Lithuania's "independence" has diminished even more. In 1939, Hitler seized Klaipeda, and the Lithuanian government, filled with fear for its own existence, was glad that the seizure was limited only to the Klaipeda region and the treaty, which in effect included the entire Lithuanian economy in the German economic master plan. I do not want to accuse the government that existed of not wanting to do anything to defend the country, but only to illustrate the phantom nature of the "independence" of Lithuania during that time. It would be a mistake to think that the Lithuanian people did not strive for real independence. In 1919, after the expulsion of German troops, the Soviet government was established in Lithuania, which signed an alliance with Soviet Belarus. But the real independence of Lithuania was quickly liquidated by the Entente and the German troops called into the fight by it. In the language of the European bourgeois press, this was called the "restoration" of Lithuanian "independence".
The country's politics and economy developed in accordance with external conditions. After the defeat of the Soviet government, a democratic government was organized. (It was impossible to immediately install a fascist regime after crushing the Soviet government). It didn't last long. Apparently, the common path of development of the Baltic countries was manifested here: the suppression of the Soviet government -> democracy (as a transitional form of power) -> fascism. Obviously, for some "champions" of democracy, fascism is more acceptable, because any democracy, even by a tiny bit, at least for appearance's sake, must do something in the interests of the people. Fascism does not even concern itself with such tasks. That is why fascism in small countries is encouraged by the big "guardians of democracy". The establishment of the fascist regime in Lithuania, the Smetona regime, made Lithuania into a cash cow for German capital. The Germans were not content with just subjugating the Lithuanian economy to their plan. They methodically introduced themselves into all the avenues of Lithuanian life, turning Lithuania into a springboard for an attack on the Soviet Union, which, in fact, they did not hide from Smetona, who shared their thoughts. On the contrary, the preparation of Lithuania's territory for military purposes seemed to justify the introduction of Germans into all the pores of Lithuanian life. In this way, the Germans killed two birds with one stone:
1) They prepared a military bridgehead
2) Quietly adapted Lithuania into a German Hinterland.
The Smetona government saw the danger that threatened the independent existence of Lithuania, and, in fact, did not resist German aggression, trying to curry favor with Hitler, with whose support it now owed its existence to. The only hope of Smetona and his supporters was that they would remain in power under German fascism in one form or another and would exploit at least some part of the people's labor. The above facts clearly show what was really hidden under the decorum of Lithuanian "independence". Smetona's internal policy naturally corresponded to the external one. It consisted in imitation of German fascism, in adapting it to local conditions.
Now even the blind can see that fascism with its ideology and politics is a terrible social evil generated by the era of imperialism. Anyone who has been to the south has seen with his own eyes how a huge tree - pine, oak, cypress - was wrapped by a parasitic plant with bright green leaves. With its stems, it presses tightly against the tree, and numerous shoots dig into the bark and pull out the juices. It is possible to save a tree from death only by destroying this parasitic plant. Fascism is a parasite of the state tree. And if the people do not destroy it in a timely manner, it will inevitably lead the country to the greatest of disasters. Experience has shown that fascism is equally fatal for both large and small countries alike. Having no desire to awaken the creative forces of the people, on the contrary, deliberately putting them to sleep, so that it would be easier to turn people into an obedient herd, the fascist leaders, for example, in Hungary, Romania, etc., shouted furiously: "Great Hungary!", "Great Romania!". It was laughable. But all the fascist meanness was hidden behind this farce.
As for Smetona, he did not even have this prop. His main desire was to cover up, if possible, his dependence on Hitler, to disguise it in front of the Lithuanian people. The task is difficult and, in fact, impossible, because the Germans climbed and penetrated into all the holes and cracks, seized banks, and through them the industrial enterprises, wholesale trade, flooded the country with their literature, films and generally felt no worse in Lithuania than they would at home. In short: there was, perhaps not quite noticeable to the eyes of an ordinary person, but an inevitable process of germanizing Lithuania .
Relations between Germany and Lithuania progressed towards not only the actual but also the formal transformation of Lithuania into a German colony (Smetona's request to Hitler about the entry of German troops into Lithuania). If Smetona, seeing all this danger, even wanted to prevent it, then, having neither material nor military resources, and most importantly, not using the moral support of the Lithuanian people, he would not be able to resist German aggression. Smetona had only one path left, which he followed: no resistance, but harmonizing the life of the whole country with German demands and humble obedience to Hitler. With such a "policy" he decided to prolong the appearance of Lithuania's "independent" existence.
Naturally, such a government could not satisfy the people. It could not and did not want to serve the interests of the Lithuanian people. The narrow egoistic interests of this government were closely linked with German interests, and its spiritual demands were related to Hitlerism. It means that the entire state policy of Smetona's government rested on the enrichment of a small handful of people, on the systemic robbery of the people, on the strangulation and all-round emasculation of their national culture.
Perhaps there is no country - both in Europe and in the Americas - where Lithuanian migrants who fled from their native country not only from political repression, but even more simply from hunger, would not be found. The Lithuanian intelligentsia, especially the progressive intelligentsia, was not in the best position either. The opportunity to live and breathe was only in leaving, because they had no work in their native country, and fascism stifled every free thought. The fascist octopus tightly wrapped itself around the Lithuanian people and led them to their imminent death.
These are the reasons that prompted the Lithuanian people to vote for Lithuania's entry into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Of course, when voting, the Lithuanian people not only desired to get rid of the unbearable conditions in which their life took place, but they fully took into account the benefits and advantages that the Soviet system brings them. One of the serious factors is that the Lithuanian people, having joined the USSR, acquired real independence. The enemies persistently insist that Lithuania is dependent, since it is one of the sixteen republics in the Union. But these are all enemy fairy tales. Why are entrepreneurs organized into government trusts, syndicates and enterprises? They will say that there is a naked calculation of increased profits from the monopoly. Yes, that's right. True, some of the propertied classes hypocritically condemn them for this from a "moral" point of view. But only the workers' organizations are really fighting them. And trusts, syndicates and enterprises are developing and growing stronger. At the same time, it does not occur to any entrepreneur that he is losing his industrial independence.
I will give other examples. Now everywhere workers and employees unite in trade unions. Who can say that they lose their personal freedom and independence at the same time? Moreover, the trade unions of workers and employees of any state strive to be members of an international professional organization. And this is quite natural, because each of them understands that this is the only way the one can defend personal freedom and independence.
Furthermore, a peasant, protecting his well-being, enters a cooperative, and the coop association formed in the country links up with cooperative organizations of other countries, and there is already an international cooperative association - the alliance. Only moneylenders, predatory traders and speculators can shed crocodile tears over the fact that peasants that are united in cooperatives cease to be independent landowners.
Every association is an organization that restricts an individual to one degree or another. For example, the same peasant, who is a member of a cooperative, undertakes to hand over all or part of his marketable products to the coop. This restricts the peasant in his freedom to dispose of his products in a way. But in reality, the coop protects him from a predatory buyer.
The USSR has sixteen Union republics with a well-known, but equal limitation of their sovereignty. They form a single union state with a different national way of life, with a diverse national form of culture and historical past. Only the Soviet system and Lenin's national policy ensure and guarantee them unbreakable unity and genuine friendship, real freedom and independence. Protecting the whole, the Soviet system and Lenin's national policy give full opportunity for the unlimited development of each republic, every nationality…
The enormous work by our party to create and strengthen the multinational state has been a complete success. Comrade Stalin said the following:
"The absence of the exploiter classes, which are the main masterminds behind the international conflict; the absence of exploitation, with its mutual distrust and brewing nationalist passions; the presence of power of the working class, which is the enemy of all enslavement and a faithful bearer of the ideas of internationalism; the actual implementation of mutual assistance of peoples in all areas of economic and social life; finally, the flourishing of the national culture of the peoples of the USSR, national in form, socialist in content - all these and similar factors have led to the following: the appearance of the peoples of the USSR has radically changed, the feeling of mutual distrust has disappeared in them, a sense of mutual friendship has developed in them and, thus, real fraternal cooperation of peoples has been established in the system of a single union state.
As a result, we now have a fully developed multinational socialist state that has withstood all the tests of time, the strength of which could be envied by any nation-state in any part of the world" 
During the Great Patriotic War, the strength of the cohesion of the peoples of the Soviet Union, based on Lenin's national policy, withstood enormous trials. The war with fascist Germany and its satellite states clearly showed how valuable the Soviet Union is for every Union Republic. The enemy occupied all of Lithuania and went far beyond its borders to the east. It seemed that the country had perished under the Nazi boot. But far from the Lithuanian borders, near Orel, a Lithuanian division fought in the All-Union Red Army. And in the capital of the Soviet Union, Moscow, there was a Lithuanian government that called upon and organized, as much as possible, the forces capable of fighting inside Lithuania.
No matter how loud the German military drums thundered, no matter how much fascist propaganda tried to distort the actual situation on the fronts and in the rear of the Soviet armies, no matter how cruelly the Gestapo tortured Soviet patriots, the Lithuanian people heard and saw that a fierce struggle for their liberation was going on. This undoubtedly inspired him with great confidence in victory, inspired the partisans in their difficult and daring struggle in the distant rear of the enemy, and their heroic actions, in turn, raised the spirit and morale of the people. The names of Marytė Melnikaitė, Urbanavičius (Kurmelis), Apyvala, Vladas Baronas, Jacinavičius, Motieka and others have earned glory not only by themselves, but also because they embody the best traditions of the Lithuanian people, their heroism and boundless devotion to their Homeland.
Next, let's take the work efficiency of the people as a whole. Statesmen, industrialists, journalists of capitalist countries continuously call for increased labor productivity as the basis of the country's well-being. The fascist Lithuanian government was not far behind in this. But with the policy pursued by this government, with Lithuania's economic dependence on Germany, the limits of increasing labor efficiency were very limited, and this increase was mainly directed at greater exploitation of the workers. Lithuania's economic development also had purely objective limitations: the small territory of the country, the absence of the main elements necessary for production - coal, iron and generally valuable ores, its predominantly agrarian nature. All this, as it were, naturally predetermined the backwardness of Lithuanian industry and, what is most tragic, the lack of prospects in the future.
By joining the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian people radically transformed the economic situation of their country. From an appendage of Germany, from the backwater of Europe, Lithuania received unlimited opportunities to turn into an advanced and highly developed national republic, as a full member of the great Union. Now her household will be built in a new way. The structure of the industry will change, it will acquire a character corresponding to modern advanced state of technology. It is now provided with a powerful raw material base and an unlimited market for the sale of its products. There are no objective obstacles to specialization, and hence to increase in the efficiency of labor, as the basis of welfare of the people.
In fact, what can now prevent the construction of any factory specialized in the production of any type of goods? Nothing but a shortage of skilled workers, engineers and technical personnel among Lithuanians. I will illustrate my point with an example. In Lithuania, for example, a machine tooling or machine-building plant is being erected. The Union as a whole needs thousands of machines, the plant also produces thousands of machines, but the Republic of Lithuania can use only hundreds or dozens of machines - such is its need for the kind of machines that this plant produces. Wouldn't it be better for the plant to produce machines only for this republic? Of course, technically it is possible, but economically it will be irrational, unprofitable, production will become artisanal and, most importantly, the quality of products will be worse, productivity is much lower. In this way, not only will we not get closer to the American technological level, but we will move away from it, even if the plant had first-class equipment. But the socialist economy strives for a higher productivity of labor than that which capitalism is able to create in its most advanced countries.
Thus, in order to have high labor productivity and its efficiency, it is not enough to have a wish and even a desire to have it, but we also need the appropriate economic and social conditions that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics gives to all constituent republics. With these arguments, I do not want to belittle or downplay the importance of local or Republican industry, which mainly fulfills local needs. But local industry can also work productively only if it is abundantly supplied with good machines. This is well understood by the leaders of the Republics, who also bear responsibility for the enterprises of all-Union significance.
The Soviet government invested a lot of money and labor in the development of agriculture, which became the largest and most mechanized agriculture in the world. It has become productive, of which the best proof is the satisfaction of its military needs. Lithuanian agriculture is considered productive, it produced significant products for export. But we cannot close our eyes and ignore the fact that this productivity was based on the enormous exertion of the peasantry, on the hard work of the middle peasant on his farm and the farmhand in a larger farm. Physical labor took up their entire lives, leaving no time to satisfy their spiritual needs.
Under the Soviet system of governance, the Lithuanian peasant will not agree to such a life. His public interests are rapidly expanding, cultural demands are growing, which require time to satisfy themselves. The Soviet government highly values labor, celebrating labor feats with awards. But at the same time, it spares no expense to increase cultural and political education of the village. All this imperiously requires mechanization, the introduction of modern agricultural machines adapted to Lithuanian conditions.
These are the ways and means by which the Soviet government increases labor productivity both in industry and in agriculture. Undoubtedly, the Lithuanian people are using these opportunities to their fullest. Of course, it is not easy to move forward the economy and culture of the entire country, especially if it has a lot to catching up to do. But the life of the people, their well-being, demand this first and foremost. The creative forces of the people are inexhaustible, you just need to be able to awaken them.
The questions that I have asked casually and slightly indicate the enormous and complex nature of the tasks facing the Lithuanian people and its intelligentsia.
Fulfilling the program set by the Communist Party, the Union Government not only protects, but also ensures the flourishing of national culture of each Union republic, the established customs and, in particular, the native language of its peoples. It creates all the necessary conditions for the fruitful work of the intelligentsia in its field. Therefore, the Lithuanian intelligentsia bears full responsibility to its people for the cultural prosperity of the republic.
The national school is the first step in human development, the most important stage in the process of forming an active citizen and a patriot of his Homeland - therefore, it must be at the Homeland's top priority. During the implementation of this program, the Homeland should instill in the younger generations a love for their native language, folk songs, native landscape and at the same time expand the horizon of students as future citizens of the Soviet Union, and collectively instill in them a love for the great and multinational Motherland – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From this we see that the understanding of all-Union Soviet patriotism is not opposed to the local one. It is from local patriotism, as a popular source, that patriotism grows towards the Soviet system of governance, towards the USSR as a whole.
I think the Lithuanian government helps a lot and in the future will allocate even more of its resources towards the development of literature in the Lithuanian language, especially original fiction, drawing its plots from Lithuanian folk life and contributing to the awakening of new creative forces in the people.
Without a doubt, Lithuania will take an honorable place among the Union republics in the development of all kinds of art and sports, and its folk choirs will be an inexhaustible source for the development of national music and theater.
The war is over. The shackles that bound the creative forces of the Lithuanian people have been removed forever. I sincerely wish the Lithuanian people success in building their Soviet state, in the development of industry, agriculture and culture, national in form and socialist in its content.
"Soviet Lithuania" No. 289,
December 28, 1945
Printed according to the text of the newspaper
 As it turned out from the documents presented by the American prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials, the Germans planned to completely destroy the Baltic States and resettles their peoples, in particular Lithuanians, to Belarus. The essence of Rosenberg's instructions on this issue was reduced in practice to the destruction of the Lithuanian people. "The solution to the colonial problem," he wrote, "is not the Baltic question per se, but a question that concerns greater Germany and it must be resolved accordingly."
 Josef Stalin. Problems of Leninism, 2nd Ed., Gospolitizdat, 1953, pp. 551-552.-582. (in Russian)
Source: Калинин М.И. Статьи и речи (1941-1946 гг.). ЛИТОВСКИЙ НАРОД НА НОВОМ ПУТИ (292-296).
2023.05.29 17:24 Panasit Multiple Fatalities at Haunted/cursed Objects Exhibition
Thank you for taking an interest in my collection.
All of these objects have caused numerous misfortunes and deaths in the past. It is my sincere wish to not add any more tragedy to the collection’s history. Please follow these rules carefully and may your show conclude without incident.
Rule 1: Never be in the same room with any of these objects when the lights are off.
Rule 2: Do not allow pregnant women anywhere near the haunted/cursed objects.
Rule 3: The cursed pieces of jewelry have the power to entice people to wear them. Please make sure you have a system in place where people won’t be able to touch them.
Rule 4: Do not connect any device to the TV.
Rule 5: Do not change the channel on the TV. If you or someone else did, you must change the channel back to channel 33.
Rule 6: This should not happen if the above rules were followed, but if the little light on the gate of the miniature fire station starts to blink and makes a sound, run as far away as possible and call me directly.
My collection contains both cursed objects and haunted objects. Haunted objects are possessed by spirits and can cause fear, while cursed objects are deadly to anyone who interacts with them. The plasma TV is both, and is, therefore, the most dangerous. Please be extra careful around it.I took my concern about the assistant’s safety to the dean, whose office was right next to the gallery. The dean laughed and asked me if I believe in curses and ghosts. I said that in Thailand, there was a phrase that said “Not believing is fine, but don’t disrespect just in case,” and that was my stance.
2023.05.29 17:22 TezPuree Something quite nice happened, but I don't know if this happens often.
2023.05.29 17:22 rrmdp 📢 Coinbase is hiring a Head of Emerging Markets, Compliance!
2023.05.29 17:20 frenchiemerican Looking for a roommate in Jersey City
2023.05.29 17:15 Nylagames128 made a bee out of dollar tree blocks
|submitted by Nylagames128 to Minecraft [link] [comments]|
2023.05.29 17:10 tlrnsibesnick KINGDOM - Studio PAV : 2023 Grand America Tour (Preview Image - Venue Update)
|submitted by tlrnsibesnick to KingdomKpop [link] [comments]|
2023.05.29 17:09 tunasandwich2009 KINGDOM - Studio PAV : 2023 Grand America Tour (Preview Image - Venue Update)
|submitted by tunasandwich2009 to kpop [link] [comments]|
2023.05.29 17:09 Imaginary-Zebra-3589 Complete English translation of the Aniara sequel book by Harry Martinson called Doriderna
2023.05.29 17:08 Which_Yesterday698 Have a chance to leave and don't know how to do it right
2023.05.29 17:05 babycomeon666 Cows in the river
2023.05.29 17:03 0RevolutionBlues0 Easiest Way To Remove Small Trees close to house
2023.05.29 16:56 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 6: On The Organizational Habits of Unrested Spirits and The Taste of Demon's Blood, Part 1.
Previous Part: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/13trg6g/i_accidentally_joined_the_mafia_in_south_brooklyn/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_buttonsubmitted by bimbo_wannabe_ to redditserials [link] [comments]
Becca invited me to her apartment when we made it back, sent me through the alley behind the building to keep the prying eyes at the minimum. That was fine with me as I was a lot more noticeable than I liked to be, at the moment. I had already lit a cigarette by the time she opened the back door of the stairwell to let me in. It was the last in the pack, and I'd only opened it this morning. The temperature on my phone screen had finally hit zero.
"You're gonna have to give me a second, B, I don't wanna smoke around you in your condition but I really need one."
She gave me another watery grin.
"Little too much blood in the nicotine system, huh?"
"Exactly, my young friend, exactly that."
She propped the door open and sat herself down on the ground. I could tell the high heels were starting to hurt her because she kicked them off and set them neatly to the side, though I knew the concrete had to be freezing her feet off. She tucked her skirt between her legs and sat with her back against the wall, her elbow propped on her bent knee, the other leg stretched out straight before her. It was exactly how what was left of Antoni had been sitting beside me less than two hours ago.
I was getting a little tired of all the patterns appearing in my life these days.
I flipped to my news app, as was my habit. There was an article at the top of page about the preparations the SDNY were making to get ready for the coming storm, but frankly I didn't really give a fuck so I just kept scrolling.
"Your old neighborhood is in the news, B."
"You ain't had enough bad news?" Beccs asked with a rueful laugh.
"Eh, I like to stay abreast of current events. I mean, you got me pegged, B. I'm a nosy fuck. But, uh, fifteen years on the inside, you learn that it pays to pay attention to the shit other people don't notice, cause you never know when the information you pick up is going to end up being the information you need."
She gave me a look that said she had to yield to my point.
"So what's the news from Koreatown?".
"Somebody shot a wedding up, apparently. Says seven were killed, including the bride and groom and the bride's father, as they was leaving the reception. You know, most of these names are Rhees. Ain't nobody you know, is it? Kinda feel like you've had enough death for the day, kid."
There was another look on her face, one I couldn't quite read even with all my people-watching prowess.
"Lemme take a wild stab at it. Two of those names are Rhee Seong-Min and Rhee Bong-Cha."
"Yeah," I nodded. "You do know 'em. I'm sorry, B."
She gave a low, almost rumbling, chuckle. It gave me a little shiver, not from the cold, and not one of enjoyment, either. She flashed a sign, one I'd seen her flash before, but it wasn't from any gang I knew personally, and lacking any official affiliation of my own, I'd dealt with my fair share of different gang members in the Upstate Correctional Facility. Double E's, one backwards, one forwards, three quick shakes of each hand.
"God bless old K-town. But you ain't got to worry about it. I'll not shed a tear over any of them. They's family, but they ain't exactly family, you know. I might tell you about it one day."
The last sentence had a note of finality to it, so I didn't ask any further questions in that regard, but I was still as curious as always.
"If all your family has Korean names, how the hell did you end up as Rebecca and your Dad as Sam?"
"My Dad's name is Park Kyung-Sam. Just Sam was easier to tell people and he, uh, he wanted me to have the same benefit of blending in in American society, and he liked the name Rebecca. So, Rhee Rebecca Hyo-Jin. My Mom's name was Rhee Chung-Cha, but everybody just called her ChaCha, like from Grease."
"So your Mom was the Rhee?"
She made an affirmative noise and nodded.
"She didn't exactly wanna give up her family name, and… my Dad didn't exactly give a fuck cause he was in love with her crazy ass. You know, that's where I get this from. Except my Moms, if she was still around she'd make me look like I grew up to be a calm, quiet girl."
I'd hate to see what was worse than Beccs.
"You done?" Becca asked. I nodded, tossed my cigarette into the sand-filled bucket we kept here for just that purpose. I followed B inside and we climbed the stairs to the third floor. I leaned against the wall as she pulled a ring of keys from her coat pocket and waited while she unlocked the knob and the three deadbolts on her door.
"Pretty serious about your home security, B?"
She shot me a look but didn't say anything as she opened the door. A steady beeping greeted us, and Becca stopped just inside and punched in a code on a security panel. As I stepped around her and entered the apartment, I understood why.
Do you know that part in Coming To America where Akeem comes home to his dilapidated Queens apartment and realizes Semmi has filled it with expensive furniture? Well, it was exactly like that. Becca locked the door back behind her, threw her stilettos onto the shoe rack, and hung her coat on the brass tree beside it. I did the same, removed my boots to place them on the rack as well.
"Jesus Christ, B, this place looks amazing."
There was a gray suede sectional in the center of the living room, a 152 inch Panasonic plasma bolted to the wall. The coffee table, the wool Oriental rug beneath it, and the end tables looked antique, as well as the green velvet chaise set near one window. There were three ornately-carved bookcases set against the far wall between the two windows facing the street, one filled with DVDs, and on the other two almost all the books were old and leather bound. The kitchen was open to the room, separated by a butcher block bar from the living room, all matching stainless steel appliances and black marble countertops. All along the walls were family pictures dotted between massive paintings held in golden Baroque style frames.
They were… stunning was the only word I could think to describe them. Most of them were portraits done in a slightly impressionist style, impasto if my memory served me, seemingly random strokes of thick paint that somehow managed to form the perfect images of faces and a few nudes.
"Jesus Christ, these paintings must have cost a fortune alone."
Becca stepped beside me, her arms crossed over her chest as she surveyed the painting I was looking at. It was done in mostly black and red, the image of a sleeping nude man, one arm tucked behind his head, his other draped across his stomach, his hips and legs covered with a sheet. If I touched it, I could have felt the wrinkles in the bunched fabric. There was something oddly familiar about it.
"They didn't cost shit," she answered.
That made me look away from the painting and back to Beccs.
"What the hell? Did you rob a gallery?"
"No, you mook, I painted them. They didn't cost anything but the price of the canvas and the paint, which, you know, I stole most of that from school."
"You painted them," I repeated, looking back.
As I looked closer at the canvas, I realized why it was familiar. The sleeping man was our dear friend Antoni Zabrowska. I had mistaken his tattoos for shadows, though I had to admit I had never seen him look quite so relaxed. As I glanced around the room, I realized I recognized many of the paintings. I was able to pick out her father's face, Rossi's, and I realized the model for the two female nudes was none other than Nia Bianchi. There was one of a woman in white with bloody skeletal wings that bore a strong resemblance to Becca and I imagined that was the infamous ChaCha.
"That's what I go to Columbia for. Visual Arts."
"You're a goddamn genius, B."
"No, I'm fucking serious, kid. My sister collects art, and she refuses to go for the big names. Shit like this, she pays 10 to 20 grand for a painting half this size, more if it's one of the artists she likes."
Now she snorted.
"What? Your sister got a money tree?"
"No, my older sister Aurie's a writer. She wrote her first book when she was ten. She's published 20 so far, but she's got 30 or 40 more in backlog that she's still tweaking. She's kind of a perfectionist when it comes to writing, but I guess it pays off. Her books sell like fucking hotcakes everytime she puts one out, two of her series got picked up by Netflix, and Lion's Gate turned her seventh book into a movie. She even got to be involved in the productions.
"She's got a penthouse on the Upper East Side that she bought about six years ago. That's where I lived when I got out of the Upstate. Aurora, she's a fucking Saint, you know. I mean, I had a shitty PO that was up my ass every five minutes but Aurie never said a word about it. She just… always told me she was glad I was home, which, you know, was nice to hear considering that according to my grandparents I died 19 years ago. She was the one that helped me get this place down here, paid in full for a two year lease."
Becca raised an eyebrow at me.
"No offense, Tony, I can tell you're crazy about her, but she couldn't have picked a better place for you than this hell hole?"
I laughed as softly as I could, to save the muscles in my stomach.
"I picked this place myself, B. Cheapest apartment I could find in any of the boroughs, and it even had three bedrooms. I was thinking about having space for a library and a home gym."
"Yeah, it's cheap cause the fucking place is about 90 years old. Nobody's been able to get a hold of the slumlord who owns it for repairs in 8 months, but I bet you the motherfucker still collects the rent checks we deposit in his fucking bank account every month."
"Yeah, I figured that out just about as soon as I moved in, but beggars can't be choosers. Besides, Antoni always used to help me out whenever something broke."
Becca gave a small smile.
"They did that for everybody. I used to call them the apartment elves, cause instead of making shoes they were skittering around fixing fucking toilets and sinks, and rewiring burned up outlets and bringing in new refrigerators and stoves when shit broke in everybody else's places. And they bought it all with their own money. Everybody tried to pay them, but they never took a dime for any of it. Ironically enough, Pops used to talk about Antoni all the time because of all the money he'd spend over there every week. Said he had a good heart, just no good sense when it came to what was his responsibility and wasn't. You know, I had my own opinions about Antoni's heart, but I kept them to myself."
"I really wish I had paid more attention when Antoni was working on the boiler, though. Instead of just passing him tools and running my mouth."
"Yeah, you're good at that," she replied with a smirk.
"And fuck you, too, Miss Rebecca. You might be the strong type, but you're not exactly silent yourself."
"Make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back."
I nodded and obeyed as she exited into what I saw was the bathroom as she opened the door and closed it behind her.
The sectional was goddamned heaven, and she'd said make myself comfortable so I kicked out the recliner and leaned back. I closed my eyes for a moment and sighed, and when I opened them I nearly jumped out of my skin. I barely managed to stop myself from letting out a yell as I jerked back up to sitting.
Antoni's corpse was standing by the picture wall, looking intently at a photo of a child Becca wearing a ruffled, cream colored dress with a ribbon in her long black hair. It was the picture of her first Communion.
"Goddamn, you can't give somebody a warning before you do that?"
He neither answered me nor turned to look at me because he was using the stumps of his wrists to adjust several of the frames back straight again.
"Fucking neat freak," I laughed. "She wasn't lying."
He finally turned toward me.
You ever seen a corpse try to look annoyed when he's missing about a quarter of his face? I mean, what am I saying, you probably haven't, but suffice to say, it's pretty fucking funny. He raised his left wrist, and if he had hands, he'dve been shooting the bird.
Almost hysterical laughter burst out of me as Becca exited the bathroom.
"Least the pipes ain't frozen yet," she muttered.
She gave me a strange look.
"Who are you talking to out here? And what's so funny?"
I glanced back to Antoni, but he was gone again.
"Don't mind me, B, I'm pretty sure I got a concussion. I'm pretty much seeing pink elephants at this point." Or, you know, the mutilated corpse of my best friend, but it's probably best I leave it at elephants.
"Yeah," she answered, and crossed the room to hand me something. "Speaking of."
It was a mouth guard.
"What is this for?"
She didn't answer me, but headed to the kitchen and opened a cabinet, withdrawing a cut crystal scotch glass and then opening the refrigerator and withdrawing… two bags of blood. Nia's blood, to be exact. She unscrewed the cap at the bottom of one, punctured the seal with a fresh insulin needle, and to my supreme discomfort squeezed some into the glass. The mouth guard suddenly made sense. It was so I wouldn't break my teeth or bite my tongue off when the convulsions started and my jaw locked down from consuming demon blood.
"Oh no, B, I don't want that."
"Yeah. That's why I didn't tell you why I wanted you over here, cause I knew you was gonna be a pussy about it."
I tried one more last-ditch effort.
"You need that more than me, B."
"I can just take my next dose early, but you, you can't go down and see Ma looking like that. She's gonna ask too many questions."
That one stopped me.
"I've had enough of interrogations for one day, B."
"There ain't no interrogation when it comes to Ma. She just puts it in your head that you ain't got no choice but to tell her the truth, and you do. She's made state witnesses get up on the stand and confess their own crimes, pleading the fifth be damned."
She screwed the cap back onto the bag and carried them and the glass over to the coffee table and set them down. She walked over and opened a closet door, pulling out an IV pole with a little box attached to it, and grabbed a small cardboard box from off a shelf and what looked like a tackle box. She set it on the coffee table after she pulled the pole over to the sectional and plugged it into the wall, opened the cardboard box and removed a cassette from inside and inserted it into the box on the pole.
"It's a blood warmer for rapid transfusions, so I don't go into hypothermia or hemolysis. Little bastard cost 137 thousand, but at least you can buy them online. You put a fresh cassette in every time, the blood runs through it, by the time it gets to my arm it's body temp."
She opened the tackle box and removed two fresh lines, attaching one to the bottom of the warmer and one to the top, hanging the bags of blood but not connecting the first of them yet. The top had a drip chamber with a filter, and the bottom held the flow regulator and the hypodermic needle with the cannula inside.
"You know, it's not fucking fair, B, you shouldn't have dealt with half the shit in your life that you have."
She snorted and her lips pursed with anger as she sat down beside me.
"You sound like Rossi with that shit. That's why he wouldn't let me die, said it wasn't fair. I was ready to go into hospice, fuck it, I was ready to see my Mom again. But I'll tell you the same thing I told his stupid old ass. Life ain't fair. Cause if it was I'd have my mother and my baby's father and Jimmy's ass would be the one laying in the morgue. You think it's fair you almost lost a finger because of what he ordered?"
"No, I actually think that's pretty fair. That's karma, B. I was usually the one doing the beating. How do you think I ended up in prison?"
She looked hard at me for a moment.
"I mean, you never told me. You were pretty open about having gone to prison, but you never said why."
"Well, I learned to be open about it. Some people get real upset when they find out they're dealing with someone who's been through the system, so I didn't really wanna go through that again. So now I just tell people up front, let them decide for themselves if they wanna deal with me or not. That way they can't throw it back in my face, say I lied to them."
Becca let out a bitter chuckle.
"So what's your story?"
"Well, we still ain't finished your story, yet, but we'll take a detour. The whole thing started my Senior year of high school. First game of the year, I blew my knee out, big as a bitch, tore everything there was to tear, shit was basically hanging on by the skin alone. Orthopedics said I had two choices, keep playing football or, retain the ability to walk on that leg, so… there went all my big dreams of college ball and making it onto the Giants."
I nodded. "Middle linebacker. I was good at it. 6'7, 265 pounds but light on my feet, all muscle. Back then I was running 7 percent body fat, and wasn't even trying. Shit just… all came natural to me. It all blew up in my face. Shitloads of surgery and physical therapy, and then one day the pain pills stopped but the pain didn't. Everyday, every night, I was still hurting."
"I know about bone pain. I could always tell when I needed to up the dose when my bones started hurting. When I started out all it took was an insulin needle. Now I take so much, I'm not even sure I qualify as human. But I guess I won't be much longer. That's always been the plan. Just keep me alive till 30 and Ma's gonna make me like her. That's the preferred age for the Entrance, something to do with the Trinity."
"I started asking around school if anyone knew where to get some Percs but pain management keeps that shit so tight I could only get a few at a time. Not only was they expensive, it wasn't enough. I got hooked up with this kid named Alessandro, he told me if I really wanted to control the pain, he could get me something better and cheaper. He took me to meet his uncle, Colombian guy named Marco. First shot is free and it was… it was beautiful. Everybody always gets sick the first time, but I didn't. And then after that, all my free money from my after school job started going to horse, and uh, I got my last six months off school. I already had all the credits I needed from AP classes, started working full time. They didn't piss test. But, my tolerance was rising faster than my income was."
I took a deep breath.
"I'd been buying enough that Marco was offering me fronts but I never took it. So next time I went, I asked him for my usual and I asked how much it would be for two O's on the front, cause I knew a lot of other users and I was thinking of starting to sell myself. So, he told me he'd give me a pound, and we could settle up at the end of the month."
"Jesus Christ, if you were selling a pound a month you must have been making bank."
I shook my head.
"I wasn't in it for the money. I was in it to keep myself supplied. If I kept my prices right, I could use for free, and I had enough left over to pay my portion of the rent and help pay for the groceries. I got good at it, I'd take a shot, and nod out for a few minutes, then get up and start walking the streets."
"You wasn't standing on a street corner?"
"Fuck no. Too visible. I did all my business by phone. I had a burner and gave everyone the number, and when they needed some they'd give me a call and I'd meet them or they'd meet me. I had ethics. I used to have people offering me fucking blowjobs for a bag, but I always said no, shit felt wrong. All they had to do was pay me by the end of the month but, sometimes…"
She gave a grin.
"But sometimes, 'Bitch, where's my money?'"
"Yeah, sometimes people would try to skip out, so I had to apply a little pressure to persuade them to pay. I never killed nobody, it's hard as hell to get money out of a dead man. But, black a few eyes and break a few bones and suddenly they had money they didn't before. Being my size, there wasn't many of them that could fight back. But, I fucked up the wrong lowlife.
"There was this prick, he'd been dodging me for weeks. He owed me like two grand, I'd given him that much because I knew he had money, so when I finally caught up to him, I was pretty mad and, the bitch, he told me he wasn't going to pay me. Thought he was better than me, thought he could fuck me and get away with it. So I beat the mortal hell out of him, took his wallet. He had five grand in there but I figured, 3K surcharge for wasting my time."
I shook my head.
"But I should have done some better research on who I was going after. Turned out the little prick had a socialite for a mother and his Daddy was a hedge fund manager and… I'd hurt him pretty bad. First three months, not only was I dealing with DTs, I was waiting to see if they were going to add Murder to my charges. He was in a coma for that long, and when he woke up, he had to learn to walk again, how to feed himself. I beat him so bad I gave him brain damage."
"Apparently his parents knew their son's habits and knew exactly who I was, cause they went straight to the police, and two days later SWAT showed up, turned the house upside down. I smashed my phone into pieces, flushed it so they couldn't get my contacts, but I didn't think about the fact I still had the wallet with his driver's license in it. My grandparents disowned me, right then and there. I had just reupped so they caught me with 14 ounces, all it takes is 8 for Class A felony possession. I spent 13 months in Rikers, but my sister got me a good lawyer, he knew the judge and the prosecutor personally, golfed with them, so he got me a plea deal. I was looking at life in prison, but he argued that I was a good student that had made a bad mistake because of a chronic pain issue, and they were both first offenses, so if I pled guilty, agreed to go through a substance abuse program and anger management, then they'd give me the minimum sentence.
"15 years, Class A Felony Drug Possession, 3 years, Class B felony First Degree Assault, intentionally causing grievous bodily harm while in the commission of another felony. But, at my sentencing, the judge said I was a big guy, with a big anger problem. I hadn't killed anyone, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Said I was a danger to society, so when I got to the UCF, they put me in dark red."
"23 hours a day in a box by myself, no visitors, barely saw the guards. But, I stayed quiet, made no problems. Prison was overcrowded so I ended up with a cellmate, and I was glad to see him. It could have been Hannibal Lecter and I would have gave him a hug. He might have been a murderer but he was actually a decent guy. Him and his crew had knocked over some jewelry stores in Manhattan, last job went bad. He'd killed three cops, so he wasn't never getting out. Neither was his wife. Life in Bedford Hills."
"That's where they was gonna send me if Ma hadn't got the jury to give me a Not Guilty verdict."
I knew Becca had a tendency to get in trouble because beside the cheerleading pictures in the bodega, there was also a mugshot.
"What did you do?"
She gave a bitter chuckle again.
"Unlike you, I killed someone. 2021, this fucking crackhead tried to rob the store. He shot the customer that was in there, old guy named Mickey, killed him. He used to live in your apartment. Tried to shoot me, too, but the gun jammed and I had the aluminum baseball bat under the counter. I just started swinging. He went down, but I jumped the counter, and hit him again. Blood lust is a real thing. Once I saw he was bleeding, I wanted to see more. I beat his brains out, literally, he was dead long before the cops ever got there. Bat looked like a toothpick when I was done.
"They arrested me, and the DA himself showed up at my arraignment. Said self defense didn't apply, sent me straight up to Murder 2, requested I be denied bail because I had a passport and plenty of money so I was a flight risk. But we all knew the truth. He was still pissed that he hadn't been able to send Rossi away for longer, and I was the next best thing. Ma had to pull a lot of strings to make sure I still got my transfusions when I was in lockup. I was in Rikers for four months, had my eighteenth birthday sitting in the Singer Unit."
"Goddamned patterns," I muttered, then raised my voice again. "You, me, and Antoni all got that in common, except he wasn't like us. He was already in prison. That's what the rose meant, turned eighteen in prison. Life sentence, triple murder."
"He told you that?" She looked betrayed, so I was quick to answer.
"No, the tattoos told me that. Google is my best friend, B. That's what the skull and crossbones, and the coffins on his arm meant."
She swallowed, and nodded again.
"But, I moved down," I continued. "Went to orange when they moved me to Gen Pop, and I had friends waiting for me. Marco was very appreciative of me keeping quiet about my source at trial, so outside Abuela Bogota's was where I hung out the most. But I had friends all over. My sister was smart. She always put way more in my account than I could spend, so whenever I heard that somebody needed something, I'd go to the canteen and buy it myself and pass it to 'em. Nobody had to owe me shit. All I wanted was to be left alone, so I had people watching my back from all sides. I ended up in blue, got moved to the dormitory, started working in the kitchen, ended up running it, cause I was a 'model prisoner.'"
"You ever fool around with any of your cellmates?" Becca asked with a grin. "Cause I did."
I gave an uncomfortable laugh.
"I mean, yeah. 15 years is a long time to be alone. I don't consider myself bisexual even, but if somebody offers, you know…" I shrugged.
"I think the word you're looking for is heteroflexible. That's how Antoni referred to himself. He had a thing for you, you know."
That stopped me dead.
"You're fucking with me, B."
"Nope. He asked me once if I'd mind if he ever got the chance to hook up with you, and I told him no, as long as he didn't mind I still hooked up with my old girlfriends from high school. But he never asked you, said he loved you too much, was afraid of ruining your friendship."
"Jesus Christ," I shook my head, finally decided I needed time to process that, and moved on. "But, my last year there, Covid hit, and, I volunteered to work in the infirmary, but pretty soon the infirmary was filled, they started keeping people in the hallway, and finally they just ended up leaving them in their beds, I was all over the place. People dropping like flies. Everytime someone coughed or sneezed, everbody'd get nervous. I been smoking since I was 16, so I cough my lungs out every morning.
"People was looking at me like I was Death Incarnate. But I never caught it, not even once. And I was all around the sick, I was taking the bodies out to the truck outside the gate. Could've run but I didn't. Only had a few years left. It worked in my favor. They cut the last three years off my sentence, put me on supervised release and now, here I am, 36 years old, and just starting my adult life."
"Rossi got let out of lockup right before lockdown, poor bastard. Me, him, and my Dad all quarantined at Ma's, but of course, you know, me and Dad was essential workers so at least I got to get out of the house everyday. I graduated early, at 16, been working seven days a week since."
I glanced at the glass on the table.
"So let's get back to your story."
She shook her head, lips pursed again.
"Uh-uh, you're not wasting anymore time. Take the blood, but first," she reached out, quicker than I could even register, and used her thumbs to set my broken nose back straight.
I let out a yell, momentarily unable to see as my eyes filled with tears.
"Jesus wept, Becca, fucking hell, goddamn."
"Sorry. It would've hurt more if you'd known it was coming. Besides, you're a good looking guy, Tony, you don't wanna ruin your face."
"Thanks, B," I muttered as I pressed the toilet paper back to my freshly bleeding nose, tears streaming down my cheeks. "Need a haircut though."
"Nah, you oughta keep it. It's very The Dark Knight Joker, just black, not blonde and green."
I laughed quietly.
"Not sure that's the best association, B. A little too psychotic and violent."
She raised an eyebrow at me.
"Alright, alright. It's probably an accurate association, just a little less arson and murder." I sighed and looked at the scotch glass. "So how do I do this, B?"
"Think about it like a tequila shot. Take the shot and then slip the guard in quick. Then sit back, try to relax."
I nodded and grabbed the glass before I lost my nerve. I raised it in her direction.
"Geonbae." She responded.
2023.05.29 16:50 Panasit My Students Tried to Eat My Liver
“I just want to say, my favorite teacher is AJ. He surely delivered. And soon I will de-liver him.”Jan said that he and Beth will drive their speedboat to the mainland, which is 5 times faster than the ferry. They are also taking the rector with them. Judging from the way Beth glared at me, I don’t think she will say yes if I asked her if I could come too.
2023.05.29 16:48 CalmMixture230 Urine Collection - 1687 - 4DSP/PHN (1687) - NON DOT
2023.05.29 16:48 Alarming-Scene-1489 Cheapest option for city connect jersey
2023.05.29 16:39 Familiar-Wafer5087 Informed Delivery?
2023.05.29 16:33 rotterdamn8 I just finished a great trip; includes off the beaten path places, art museums, super fun bike rides, and plenty of sashimi and sake
2023.05.29 16:27 Glass-Matter-1428 Rate my city's aesthetics
Tried to arrange it like how a city would organically be.submitted by Glass-Matter-1428 to RiseofKingdoms [link] [comments]
Market, trading posts, tavern + attractions for visitors in the front near the gate.
Farms and production-concentration islands scattered around.
Research and educational facilities in the center of the city.
Government/policy function buildings to the top left (ministries, city hall, forum, construction and supply HQs)
Military facilities located together.
Trees organically but systematically scattered to make an aesthetically pleasing environment for denizens.
2023.05.29 16:24 mrjbacon Is this sunburn?
I came back from a weekend away and some of the leaves on my Genoa Lemon had these pale splotches on them. Ignore the damage on the leaf in the last photo, that has been there since I got my tree back in April. I've given ferts as described in a couple of my previous posts and won't go into it here.submitted by mrjbacon to Citrus [link] [comments]