Copycat panda express cream cheese rangoons
Fast food news, reviews, and discussion
2008.06.15 19:41 Fast food news, reviews, and discussion
The /FastFood subreddit is for news, reviews, and discussions of fast food (aka quick-service), fast casual, and casual restaurants -- covering everything fast food from multinational chains, regional and local chains, independent and chain cafeterias and all-you-can-eat restaurants, independent and chain diners, independent hole-in-the-wall restaurants, convenience store and gas station prepared food, food trucks and food carts, the neighborhood taqueria, street vendors, etc.
2023.06.02 03:41 harry-jg Best VPN for Bard AI
In a world gripped by the fever of AI, tech behemoths are scrambling to unleash their latest chatbot brainchildren. In this mad dash, Google declared its entrant in the race, Bard, in the sprouting days of March 2023. A mere two months later, Bard started its digital tour, gallivanting across a whopping 180 regions. However, a slight snafu occurred in the grand plan – European nations were nowhere to be found on Bard's travel itinerary. Every EU dweller hoping for a tête-à-tête with Bard would instead receive the digital equivalent of a "Sorry, we're closed" sign: “Bard isn’t currently supported in your country.
But every dark cloud has a silver lining, and the silver lining here is the ease with which one can invite Bard into the EU. Google plays Sherlock Holmes, investigating your IP address to discern if you're browsing from an EU country. So, with the right digital props, you can impersonate an IP address from an approved location, tearing down Bard’s regional walls as easily as one might tear a page from a book.
Enter stage left: Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. These services have the magical ability to convince Google you're sunning yourself on a beach in Miami, not trudging through snow in Stockholm. Not just a one-trick pony, VPNs also encrypt your online activities, turning them into unintelligible gibberish to any nosy parkers or the too-helpful owners of your favorite cafe's Wi-Fi. This guide is your backstage pass, your secret map, your golden ticket to getting access to Bard within the EU.
The Great Bard Caper: Tricking Google's Chatbot into Thinking You're Anywhere But Here
Want to invite Bard into your digital living room regardless of where you're sipping your coffee in the real world? Here's a simple step-by-step choreography to the Bard dance:
First things first, cast a discerning eye over the VPN market and select a service that values your security as much as a squirrel values acorn. NordVPN frequently stars in our recommendations, but you're the director of this little performance.
With your chosen VPN in hand, proceed to download, install, and log in. It's a bit like getting the key to a secret clubhouse, only this clubhouse allows you to be anywhere in the world at the click of a button.
Next, choose a server from your home country (or whatever non-EU location is nearest). It's like choosing a costume for a masquerade ball – you want to pick something that conceals your identity, but doesn't make you stand out too much.
By doing this, you'll be switching your IP address and thereby pulling the wool over Google's eyes, who would otherwise deduce that you're beyond the boundaries of Bard's jurisdiction.
Playing hide-and-seek with Google's Bard from some sun-soaked piazza in Europe? Let NordVPN step into the role of your savvy accomplice. Boasting servers in a not-too-shabby 60 countries, some even pulling the late shift to dodge the stringent barricades of online blocking, this is the VPN equivalent of a digital Houdini.
Not only does it take the top podium spot in the sprint race of VPNs, posting a cheetah-esque average speed of 190 Mbps in our stopwatch trials, but NordVPN also juggles a laundry list of streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+. Plus, it's got a heart big enough to secure up to six of your devices simultaneously. And should you ever find yourself in a pickle, NordVPN has round-the-clock customer support standing by like a digital cavalry.
A VPN's raison d'etre is to make your online activities as clandestine as a classified operation. NordVPN rises to the challenge with a potent mix of encryption that would put Fort Knox to shame, an array of digital shields like leak protection and a kill switch, and a no-logs policy as stern as a Victorian headmaster. True, it stashes away advertising IDs on mobile gadgets, but it kindly gives you a cheat sheet on how to wipe them clean. Toss in some fancier gizmos like Onion over VPN servers, automatic tracker-blocking, and a MeshNet tool for securely linking your devices even if they're scattered across different continents, and you've got yourself a swanky VPN package.
No matter your device's operating system - Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, or iOS - NordVPN has an app for it. And for those wielding a router, it's got a manual setup guide to turn it into a NordVPN conduit. All in all, NordVPN is like a digital chameleon, helping you blend into the online world while you enjoy your chat with Bard from wherever you might be.
In the aquatic realm of the VPN universe, Surfshark swishes its digital tail among an impressive crowd of 3,000+ servers, dotting the map in 100 countries, many of them lounging comfortably outside the EU's borders. Unlike many of its compatriots in the digital ocean, this service boasts a swanky resume of geo-blocked platforms it has conquered: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, to name a few. So, the challenge of sneaking into Bard's restricted zone is about as difficult as eating a piece of cake for Surfshark.
Blessed with Olympian speeds and an open-door policy for the number of devices you can connect (an online cornucopia, if you will), Surfshark is the perfect digital wingman for families who have a thing for streaming. And with a customer support crew buzzing with activity 24/7, you're never more than a few clicks away from your digital life-raft.
Surfshark is a veritable digital fortress when it comes to safeguarding your data, equipped with encryption that would give Alan Turing a run for his money, a kill switch that would make MI6 proud, and leak protection that is about as watertight as the Titanic was supposed to be. It also takes its no-logs policy seriously, a claim verified by independent auditors. Plus, it’s adept at swatting away ads, trackers, and malware like pesky digital flies, and can even switch up your IP address every so often to keep your online identity as elusive as Bigfoot. Toss in an antivirus, a privacy-focused search engine, and a data-breach monitor (not part of the basic subscription, mind you), and you've got a serious contender for your VPN affections.
With apps crafted for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux, Surfshark is ready to hitch a ride on any device. And for the router-savvy among you, a manual installation guide stands ready at your disposal. Surfshark really is the ideal VPN: a veritable Swiss Army Knife in a digital ocean of butter knives.
ExpressVPN, a steam-powered engine in the digital realm, whizzes along the virtual track at astonishing speeds, gracefully bypassing servers in more than 90 countries. Not only can it poke a hole in Bard's geo-restriction bubble, but it can also cloak your torrenting antics, offer a secure browsing tunnel in the deepest trenches of online restrictions, and stream your beloved TV series from all corners of the globe. With a user interface as uncomplicated as a three-piece jigsaw puzzle and a support team that never sleeps, ExpressVPN is the perfect travel companion for any VPN newcomer, or for those who simply prefer their digital services without a surplus of bells and whistles.
As a digital toolkit for accessing Bard, ExpressVPN carries everything you'd need: The Fort Knox of encryption methods, 256-bit, a kill switch (which abruptly halts data traffic if your connection acts like a petulant teenager and drops), and safeguards against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. It also boasts the ability to give certain apps a hall pass to sidestep the VPN, or to switch on auto-connect when on a network you don't recognize. ExpressVPN doesn't jot down any data that could unmask you and has undergone an audit to vouch for this. And for those digital privacy enthusiasts who wish to pay in Bitcoin, ExpressVPN gladly accepts your digital gold.
From iOS to MacOS, Android to Windows, and not forgetting Linux, ExpressVPN has an app for almost any device. Moreover, it's the only top-tier provider with its own blueprint for router firmware, simplifying the process of fortifying every device on your network with a VPN shield. ExpressVPN: like the bullet train of VPNs, only without the pesky physical limitations.
Behind the Curtain: Unveiling the Bard VPN Selection Saga
Deeming which VPNs are the cream of the crop for specific endeavors is akin to navigating through a digital labyrinth. A myriad of services, all wearing similar façades, are in reality, as different as chalk and cheese when you pop their hoods. That's why, to shine a light on the most reliable contenders, we rolled up our sleeves, delved into a plethora of providers with Bard, and subjected them to a battery of tests. We meticulously examined their offerings across a spectrum of categories:
Geographic Mettle: Bard is a bit of a wallflower in EU countries, meaning providers must offer a healthy sprinkling of locations that give it the green light, such as the US and the UK. We also rummage through the closets of providers using virtual servers since these can muddle the waters about which country's legalities preside over your data.
Speed and Sturdiness: Our stopwatch is always at the ready to see which VPNs have their running shoes on, and how their sprint has altered over time. A hat trick of tests per provider (three locations at thrice different times) helps us strike an average, curbing some of the fickleness and ensuring services with unflinching speeds lead the pack.
Versatility: Despite your primary hunt being a VPN to unblock Bard, your digital pursuits might expand to secure streaming, torrenting, or gaming. Hence, we conduct a variety of tests that mirror the average Joe's usage, giving the boot to any VPNs that can't keep pace.
Security and Privacy: One of our key missions is to ensure that VPNs come equipped with the digital arsenal necessary to keep your traffic concealed from digital peeping Toms. We search for encryption that would baffle even the most cunning of codebreakers, safety nets like a kill switch, and any superior tools such as stealth mode. We also scrutinize their logging policies and audit history, so you're not left taking a company's privacy claims on a wing and a prayer.
User-friendliness: We have a soft spot for VPNs that roll out the red carpet for newbies. This entails offering a multitude of apps, transparently described settings, and an accessible customer support hotline. Other cherries on top include task-dedicated servers, a lack of connection restrictions, and auto-connection gadgets.
Pricing: Although it shouldn't be your North Star, price is a worthy compass. We pit services against their similarly priced adversaries, while also keeping an eye out for any money-back assurances, free trials, or seasonal discounts, so your digital wallet doesn’t feel any unnecessary strain.
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2023.06.01 21:54 Spectrobits FAQ/MEGATHREAD - Minion Land @ Universal Studios Florida
Hello, everyone. Please feel free to reply to this post with questions, meet-up requests, or anything else related to Minion Land at Universal Studios Florida. I will provide helpful links and information in this main post that will be updated as more information is released and verified.
As requested by you all, this will be a light megathread. We won't go as in-depth here as we did for Super Nintendo World at USH, but we also still hope you'll be able to make more informed travel decisions by reading the main post here or asking questions below it.
If there's something you'd like us to cover in this area that we haven't yet or if we missed a detail on something we've already covered, please reply to this post or send us a ModMail with that information.
Land Overview Minion Land
is a soon-to-be-open area inside the Universal Studios Florida (USF) theme park, which itself is a park inside the Universal Orlando Resort (UOR). It consists of two attractions (Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem), four dining locations (Minion Cafe, Bake My Day, Pop-A-Nana, and Freeze Ray Pops), two merchandise shops (Evil Stuff and Super Silly Stuff), and a meet-and-greet area (Illumination Theater).
Note that Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Stuff are already open at Universal Studios Florida. The UOR website still lists them as part of the area, however.
Universal Destinations and Experiences has yet to provide opening dates and admission details for this new area. It is still slated for a summer 2023 opening, but please keep checking back for further updates and specifications.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
is a simulator attraction themed to the Despicable Me franchise. It is already open
Guests are welcomed into Gru's house to be turned into Minions to work for him. Gru's three adopted daughters, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, are tasked by Gru to train the guests ahead of their new careers. Guests are visiting on the anniversary of the girls' adoption, and though Agnes has a gift for Gru, he is too preoccupied with villainy to accept it. After being shrunken down and turned into Minions, guests are taken through Gru's hideout and wacky Minions-invovled hijinks ensue.
All guests must be at least 48" tall to ride on their own and at least 40" tall to ride at all. Guests between 40" and 48" tall must ride together with someone at least 48" or taller.
This attraction is compatible with all Express Pass types.
Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast
Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast is a yet-to-be-opened attraction themed to the Minions franchise. It is slated to open sometime in summer 2023 alongside the rest of Minion Land. It is located in the former site of the Shrek 4D attraction.
While not much is known about the attraction (it isn't yet open anywhere else in the world), the key art
depicts guests standing up and using light guns. We expect this to be a gallery arcade shooter, potentially with dark ride elements. Please check back in the future for further details.
All four dining locations are slated to open in summer 2023 alongside the rest of Minion Land. Minion Cafe
will be the main dining option. Looking at the key art, we are not sure if it is a QSR or sit-down or hybrid. The menu is also not known, but we expect it to have a similar menu to the Minion Cafe in Universal Studios Hollywood. That menu can be found here
in full, but in short, it mainly consists of American food involving cheese, like mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and loaded nachos with chicken (which are covered in cheese).
Bake My Day, from the key art
, appears to be a QSR serving baked goods. Nothing else is known about the location, but we will post the menu when it is available.
Freeze Ray Pops and Pop-A-Nana don't have concept art viewable by the public. We presume the former will sell ice cream or frozen treats and the latter will sell popcorn. As with the other dining options, we will post their menus when available.
The information for this post at the time of writing comes from the main page on the land on UOR's website, which can be found here: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/universal-studios-florida/lands/minion-land
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2023.06.01 19:26 Olivesplace Copycat Rondele Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread
Copycat Rondele Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread
One 12-ounce tub Philadelphia whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon McCormick Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Place half of the cream cheese in a mixing bowl, sprinkle the seasonings over the top.
Whip briefly to incorporate. Add the remaining cream cheese, whip again, briefly.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
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2023.05.31 17:52 robertsonjasmine403 rofufe.co.uk 8.
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2023.05.31 11:07 ifailedmaths Trip Report: 14 days end of spring trip, 9 pax, Tokyo and Hokkaido!
I'll try to be as brief as I can, otherwise this post will become an essay of me trying to promote Japan as the best vacation destination I have ever been to.
TLDR; Japan is great!
The trip took place from 13 May 2023 to 27 May 2023. 9 people, ages ranging from late 20s to mid 60s, family from both my side and my wife's, took part in this trip. The 4 youngest members, including yours truly, planned for everything in this trip which includes the hotels, places we visits, international flights, domestic flights, meals, routes to take. It also helps that our youngest member is fluent in Japanese, while the rest of the youngsters can understand simple Japanese, thus YMMV.
Tokyo (13 May - 18 May 2023)
Tokyo was probably the most hated part of our trip as it involves a lot of walking. And the 5 old people were definitely not keen on walking much. So we really had to spend a lot of time looking for places to chill after half an hour of walking, which really slows us down. Even in train stations, we had to look for elevators since they were unable to climb stairs. There were really a lot of stairs in Japan.
Anyway, for the most part, we stayed in Kyobashi in Tokyo. We chose this area as it provides direct access to Haneda Airport via trains. It was also really convenient as every location we went to in Tokyo was accessible from Kyobashi Station, requiring little to no transfers.
A short review of places we went in Tokyo
Asakusa - It was crowded on a Sunday. Sensoji was nice to look at. Lots of street food around the area if you explore west of Nakamise Street. Kappabashi Dougu Street sells kitchenware and handmade crockeries, which are slightly pricey but good additions to my dining set. Spent around 5 hours here.
Ueno Zoo - Oldest zoo in Japan. Houses many animals that we don't see in Singapore, like the snow monkeys and shoebills. Pandas were definitely the main attraction. We queued for 15 minutes just to see them for 3 minutes. There is a system in place so that panda viewing is not overcrowded. In total, we spent almost 5 hours here.
Ameyoko Street - Shopping street. We just walked through this stretch after Ueno Zoo when everyone was tired. It was quite a touristy place where we did not find it interesting.
Meiji Shrine - Very beautiful shrine. Everybody enjoyed the walk from Harajuku Station to the shrine. The canopy provided shade on a hot day. Coupled with the cool weather, the walk was pleasant. We were also lucky enough to be able to witness a wedding ceremony happening at the shrine while we were there. Get your Omikuji (fortune slip) for JPY200. It comes with English translation.
Harajuku - Very hip shopping street. We were just here for Marion Crepes, nothing else. But if you are into fashion, feel free to spend time shopping here. The clothes are relatively cheaper as compared to places like Uniqlo.
Shibuya - A lot of construction projects are happening now at Shibuya, so it was slightly harder to get around. We went to a planetarium, and sat down for a "show", which was all voiced in Japanese, no subtitles. Very cool even if you don't understand anything as the start of the show basically placed you right in the heart of Shibuya, and allowed you to see the skyline. The youngsters also had a chance to go to the Pokemon Centre and Disney Store to do some light shopping. Go if you like these kind of things. If not, I would recommend skipping them.
Tsukiji Market - A local, slightly more touristy fish market. A lot of fresh seafood to try. Uni (Sea urchin) was in season. The most popular items were the tamagoyaki (rolled egg omelet) and hotate (scallops). We also ate at a local sushi restaurant and I had my first horse meat sushi. The chef even advised me that I should eat it without soy sauce. Very cool experience, probably something I'll never try if I did not go to Japan.
As you can see from above, we didn't go to many places in Tokyo as the oldies were pretty much restricted by their physical abilities to take long walks. I should also share that eating out is more expensive compared to Singapore (where we are from), with each meal costing around JPY1500 or more per person.
Hokkaido (18 May - 27 May 2023)
Hokkaido was really the highlight of this trip. It was clear that everyone enjoyed Hokkaido more than Tokyo. For the domestic flights, we flew via Air Do. To get to Hokkaido, we flew from Haneda Airport to Asaikawa Airport. To get back to Tokyo, we flew from Hakodate Airport. In addition, we rented 2 cars to fit 9 people, with 10 medium to large sized luggage. The distance between each city was usually about 2 to 3 hours drive. Essentially, we went from the west of Hokkaido to the east. So.. That definitely took a long while. so I'll break down the locations by cities.
Monbetsu (18 May - 19 May 2023)
Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park - A tulip park recreated to make you feel as if you were in The Netherlands. Very pretty place especially when all the tulips were in full bloom. We spent about 2 hours here just taking pictures and taking in the view.
Takinoue Shibazakura Park - A park where everything is pink! I have never seen a place so pink. We missed the sakura season in Tokyo but managed to catch the blooming of Shibazakura instead. It is really a sight to behold. In the park, if you are able, I would recommend climbing all the way to the bell to get a stunning view of the whole place. There is also a 3 minutes helicopter ride for JPY600 per person to get an aerial view of the park.
The tulip park was the reason why we drove 3 hours to the small town of Monbetsu. I think the drive was worth it if you like looking at flowers in full bloom. On a separate note, I have been to Monbetsu on another trip in 2019. There is a crab claw statue, a sea ice musuem and a seal sanctuary to visit. The town is not as boring as one might think.
Asahikawa (19 May - 20 May 2023)
Ramen Village - Just a place where 8 ramen restaurants set up shop. I highly recommend eating shoyu ramen in Asahikawa since that's what they're famous for.
Otokoyama Sake Brewery and Museum - It's in the name! Go here if you like sake. There's free tasting. The museum portion just showcases equipment used in the brewing process. It even shows how it was brewed in the older eras. There is also a tap where anyone can collect the spring water that they use to brew the sake. So.. BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE!
Takikawa Canola Festival - We were just in time for the event. Canola (oil?) is the main export of the town of Takikawa. The festival only runs for 2 weekends. We were lucky to have been able to see this. Anyway, the festival was packed with people. So to alleviate overcrowding at the fields, the organisers did not allow people to go to the fields directly. Everybody is required to go to the festival location and take a shuttle bus to the fields. The bus timings were about 10 minutes from the next one, so even if the queue was long, we didn't wait too long. With any festival, there will always be snacks and other merchandise. Feel free to buy them and support the locals.
Furano (20 May - 21 May 2023)
Ningle Terrace - I think there were a total of 18 small craft shops in the area. Anyway, it's a place where you'll want to go after it turns dark. That's when the fairy lights come on and make it look magical. Personally, I wasn't into the crafts. But I bet they will be good decorations for your office desk or home.
Farm Tomita - A farm famous for lavender. It was raining heavily when we were there. So.. It wasn't a great experience. Coupled with the fact that lavender wasn't really in season, we could only see a small patch of purple. Potatoes here were great though! I would recommend getting some potato wedges or croquettes as snacks.
Furano Cheese Factory - We went there on a weekend. So, there was pretty much no production viewing. But no loss, since we were actually there for the pizza! The whole complex, including a pizza cafe, ice cream shop, factory and museum is nestled in a small woodland area. So you get to enjoy pizza and ice cream in the great outdoors! I highly recommend the pizzas.
Sapporo (21 May - 23 May 2023)
Tanukikoji Street - Shopping street! There's a Mega Don Quixote if anyone's interested. Otherwise it is really just another shopping street. What's cool about it is that there is also an underground mall that's linked to Susukino Station. So, you can shop above and under ground.
Nijo Market - A fish market just like Tsukiji Market but on a smaller scale. It was already past noon when we reached so most shops were closed or closing. The local shopkeepers here were friendlier though.
Odori Park - We took a 15 minutes walk from Sapporo Station to this park. It was not very impressive without sakura blooms or festivals. The iconic Sapporo TV Tower was at the head of the park. We chose not to go up the tower as we went somewhere higher.
JR Tower 36 - I believe this tower is taller than the Sapporo TV Tower. It costs JPY600 per person to ascend the tower. It offers a 360 degrees (more like 90 degrees x 4 sides) view of the city. On a clear day, you might even be able to see Otaru from the tower. You can also see the trains leaving and entering JR Sapporo Station.
Mount Moiwa - Unfortunately, it was foggy the night when we wanted to go up the mountain. So, we decided not to go. From what we researched, it offers a very pretty night view of the city.
So.. In Sapporo, we ditched the car and travelled via trains and legs, like how we did in Tokyo. Parking is expensive in bigger cities. It was a shame that we didn't get to go up to Mount Moiwa as I personally wanted to go up there. But.. There is always an alternative (maybe even better).
Otaru (23 May - 24 May 2023)
Sakaimachi Street - The biggest shopping street in Otaru. The road is lined with shops of various sizes on both sides. Highlights include a glass warehouse, the Romankan (Romance House) and the windchimes on the river. At the end of the street (or the beginning depends on where you start), is an iconic clock tower. I think it rings and blows steam out of its top every hour. Under the clock tower is my personal favourite, LeTao! Their bestseller, the cheesecakes, is the best! But I love their chocolate biscuits, The Noir, better.
Otaru Canal - You may or may not know that Otaru was a port town. The warehouses that line up beside the canal has since been transformed into shops. According to my wife, it is supposedly a pretty place to go to at night, when lights brighten the canal. But when we were there, it was a sad sight. The lights barely lit up the canal. So.. GO IN FEBRUARY when the snow light path festival is happening! There is also a gondola ride on the canal if anyone's interested. We were not.
Sankaku Market - A really small market beside Otaru Station. We had our crab lunch here! 3 crabs totaling 4.6kg for JPY45000. I think that the items sold here are relatively more expensive as this market is catered towards tourists.
Lake Toya (24 May - 25 May 2023)
Mount Usu - A volcano which last erupted in the year 2000. We took the ropeway up. Trust me! It is worth the trip. There is a terrace right beside the ropeway station where you can enjoy beautiful scenery of the lake and surrounding mountains. The youngsters also managed to climb 320 steps to go closer to the caldera of Mount Usu. While you don't see any lava, you can definitely see some smoke.
Meisui-no-Sato Rest Station - This is not really an attraction. But I wanted to give it a shoutout because it was definitely the most beautiful rest station I have ever seen. A suspension bridge links the rest station to a small forested area. And in that area is a spring! It was unexpected to see everybody enjoying a rest there and drinking spring water directly from the mountains.
The Lake Ko no Sumika - Our hotel for the night at Lake Toya. This hotel resort is situated right beside the lake. The hotel is also part of the Toya Sun Palace. If you stay in Ko no Sumika, you get access to the onsen and facilities of both hotels. But it doesn't work the other way round. So it definitely feels more exclusive. The Lake Ko no Sumika has the onsen on the 8th level, giving you an unblocked view of the lake and its beyond when you're taking a bath. For those who don't know, from April to October, a fireworks show happens every night between 8.45pm to 9.05pm. The fireworks show takes place on the lake, starting from the pier near The Lake Toya Nonokaze resort, ending in the middle of the lake, right in front of my hotel room. Did I mention that there is a balcony in every room that looks out to the lake? That's where we enjoyed the fireworks show. There is also an onsen bath in every room of the hotel for you to enjoy if you are shy about going nude in the public bath. To summarise, The Lake Ko no Sumika was luxury on another level. I highly recommend this heaven.
Hakodate (25 May - 27 May 2023)
Onuma National Park - It's actually a quasi-national park. Not sure what the difference is. But it is a beautiful park where there are bridges that link small little islands together. It'll take around 1 hour to walk the longest route and 15 minutes for the shortest. Honestly, I love this park. It was picturesque and it was also amusing to see young couples (the guy) struggling to row a boat.
Mount Hakodate - Boasts the world famous night view. While I agree that the view is beautiful, it is too packed for anyone to enjoy. Everybody is holding up their cameras and crowding near the railings for anyone to take in the scenery. Of course, to counter this, you can always pop by the restaurant or cafe and hope that you'll be assigned a seat by the window so that you can enjoy the view. I recommend that to go right before the sun sets. At the top, you'll have to choose if you want to see the sunset or the night view. Because there is no way that you'll capture both since everybody will crowd to one or the other. It'll always be more crowded when the sky turns dark and everybody is rushing to get off the mountain. So.. Be prepared to wait! Good luck!
Hakodate Morning Market - The morning market is awesome. You have access to fresh seafood and other produce. You can even haggle! We spend our 2 mornings there for breakfast. Amazing place to get delicious and slightly cheaper seafood. There is also a stall which lets you catch your own squid and they'll grill it for you. Long queue though. For reference, we had 2 crabs, weighing at 4.2kg in total for JPY37000. They'll lead you to a restaurant where they'll cook the crabs for you, for free! Don't be afraid to haggle and discuss with the shop owners.
Goryokaku - A fort turned into a park! The famous star(?) shaped park is a beautiful place. When we were there, we saw wisterias and fresh green trees. There is also a structure, which I believe was the residence of someone, which you can pay to enter. Nothing to rave about. But if you want to see some architecture in the middle of a park, you can see it here. Come here if you enjoy walking around a big park. If not, give it a miss.
To sum things up
It is safe to say that all of us enjoyed our trip to Japan. For my parents, it was their first time in Japan. Our itinerary could have been more optimised to cater to the old folks but we planned what we could. Everything else was pretty much on the fly.
While most Japanese don't speak English, they do have some basic understanding if you speak slowly and give them time to process what you said. Alternatively, learn some simple Japanese phrases. It'll make life a lot easier there. For the most part, we relied on Google Maps and Navitime apps to get around Tokyo. We googled for Mapcodes for our drive in Hokkaido.
Hope you enjoyed this lengthy trip report!
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2023.05.30 06:56 forgot_about_her I romanced my boyfriend with homemade bread, and life feels like a video game.
So when my boyfriend (21m) and I (F19) started hanging out more (predating) I was heading back into a baking phase that had previously let up like three months ago. I wanted to make him something, even though gift giving had never been one of my love languages. So I baked him a loaf of bread... and then another... and then one more for good measure. I had baked this man three rustic loaves of bread, that I gave to him before one of our dates.
When asking him what date made him really feel that he wanted to start a relationship with me, take a guess what date it was? That's right, the date that I had given him three loaves of bread. A coincidence? Maybe. It was a really great date. Honestly made me feel like I wanted to start dating him too, but I like to think the bread had something to do with it too.
I had started playing stardew valley around Christmas time, and I wasn't much of a gamer at the time, honestly, I'm still not, but I really liked the concept of romancing somebody you were interested in with things that you make. So this is when me and my mom started making the joke that I was romancing my soon to be boyfriend just as I was in the video game with Harvey, the meek, and honestly very sweet doctor with an amazing mustache.
So guess what I did? That's right, I baked him more things so I could romance him.
Things like Lemon curd cookies, a vanilla bean cake, chocolate chip scones, an iced lemon loaf, and strawberry cookies with cream cheese frosting. I romanced the absolute living hell out of him with my amateur baking skills.
And it worked, he asked me to be his girlfriend a month or so later. And even though I'm in a relationship with him, I still bake him things almost weekly, and now even his mom looks forward to my baking, and I sometimes make things specifically for her.
Tl;dr: I gave my boyfriend baked goods so he’d fall in love with me. And it worked.
If you want to express interest, or get someone to become interested in you, try making something for them. You could win them over with either the treat, or the gesture:)
submitted by forgot_about_her
to happyrelationships [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:32 mrspwins MSC Meraviglia - NYC - May 7-14 Review
Hello! My husband and I went on our first-ever cruise on the MSC Meraviglia earlier this month and it just occurred to me that it might be nice to post a review. Since the biggest questions I see people ask about with MSC are "how is the food?" and "why do people hate the food?" I thought I'd do a food review. Obviously I can't compare it with any of the other cruise lines, but we like to eat out and are willing to spend money on a great meal so that's what I am comparing it to. We've eaten at Michelin starred restaurants and typically avoid chains but on a normal day we're making spaghetti with meat sauce or dumping frozen garlic chicken pasta into a pot like the average American.
Before I get started with this, I need to note that I have been dealing with a health issue that makes me constantly somewhat queasy and have little appetite. While I've lost a bunch of weight I do not recommend this method. However, some days I feel better than others, and I had a couple of good days on the trip, enough to try a couple of specialty restaurants, but not enough to try everywhere I wanted to.
So MSC food is *different*. It's like when you go to Europe and the food isn't really unfamiliar, but you don't find the stuff you're used to eating. They don't really have fried food, they didn't seem to have bags of chips or candy. On days I didn't feel well, I ordered a chicken sandwich from room service. It came on thin-sliced white bread with no crusts, with sliced roasted chicken (not deli slices), tomato, and darker greens. The potato chips were hand-sliced potatoes and tasted like potatoes pan-fried with a little salt. There was a small side-salad too, again with darker greens, not iceberg or romaine, dressed with a little vinagrette. I got chocolate-chip cookies for dessert, and they were crisp and the size you'd get making them at home, not the giant size you usually get here. And it was all delicious! Hopefully that helps to clarify what I mean by "different".
My husband ate at Kaito Sushi by himself, and I joined him at Butcher's Cut and Ocean Cay specialty restaurants. He said the sushi was good, not spectacular, but at least as good or better than we get in our Midwestern city (which has a well-respected food scene). He liked it enough to eat there twice. At Butcher's Cut, I had bone marrow with parsley sauce for an appetizer, filet mignon and crispy fries for the entrée, and lava cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The steak was done perfectly medium-rare, per my request. I didn't try the sauces on the steak because it didn't need them. The scoop of ice cream with the lava cake was small but rich and creamy. Best, though, were the fries. OMG the fries were the most amazing thing I have ever tasted! I cannot express how much I loved them. Steak fries, perfectly crisp and lightly salty with almost a caramelized crust on the outside, perfectly soft and almost melty on the inside. If I could only eat those fries for the rest of my life, I would die happy. This was as good a meal as we would get at a higher-end steakhouse, and definitely worth buying the package.
At Ocean Cay, I had the crackling fennel salad (very good, and a large portion), the roasted lobster tail with bourbon vanilla cream and pureed carrots (very surprising and delicious flavors, not sure that I would have roasted lobster again) and crème brulée (large portion, very rich, so much that I couldn't finish it though I sure tried). I tried my husband's crab cakes - they were tender and seasoned fine for me but he thought they were a bit bland. His tuna steak was good, though. The waitstaff there were particularly attentive and helpful. Worth it with the package, though I got the lobster off the regular menu.
We are not drinkers so did not get an alcohol package. I got a glass of wine with supper at both specialty restaurants, but there were surprisingly few choices by the glass. They were both nice wines but I would have liked a few more options. BTW, there are AA meetings ("Friends of Bill W") every evening in the "library" - more a corner with some bookshelves - in case you need them.
We only ate in the main dining room once for supper. I would say it's like eating at a mid-range restaurant, maybe like a local chain. Not the best meal ever, but far from the worst. This is where you're most likely to find food that is closer to a typical American restaurant - they had meatloaf and potatoes as one option the night we went. Again, the staff is fantastic and are happy to give you more cheese or pepper or leave off the sauce, etc.
We ordered continental breakfast every day but one (it was free with our Fantastica experience). Pain au chocolate every morning, with fresh fruit! The only bad part was that I couldn't get a diet coke delivered with it - my husband ran up to the buffet to get some for me every morning. He said his coffee was great, though, plus he got big bottles of Sanpellegrino all day, so he was happy. We tried eggs and bacon one morning, but it wasn't that great. I had pain au chocolate with a little peanut butter and fruit the rest of the time and was quite content.
The buffet was big and very busy whenever I went to it. They had multiple stations for the more popular items, but I don't think everyone realized that. The pizza was, in fact, very good, but again it is not much like American pizza. The slices were large but had thin, flexible crusts that were not greasy and did not have tons of cheese or tomato sauce. There were pepperoni slices when I was there, but also white pizza and different kinds of veggie slices. The one closest to plain cheese was either pepperoni or one that had small slices of zucchini scattered on it that would be easy to pick off if you didn't want them. If you have a picky person in your party that intends to rely on pizza for their meals, please reconsider - it really isn't even like the Neapolitan pizza I've had here. They didn't have peanut butter out anywhere but they had it available. They had a grill section for burgers and hot dogs (I didn't get a close look, so not sure what else might be there but I didn't see chicken nuggets). They had lots of salad fixings and pasta salad and fruit and a rotisserie chicken station. A wide variety of tasty bread and rolls and real butter. Desserts were usually small - two bites - pieces of cake in different flavors, not necessarily plain chocolate or vanilla. ETA: We just put together a charcuterie plate with french bread and prosciutto and salami and fresh mozzarella and pears, etc a couple of times. Highly recommended.
The chocolate place served an absolutely divine hot chocolate with whipped cream, and the gelato was stellar, but they are extra. Budget for them, both in cash and calories.
My husband gained two pounds even though he mostly lounged around and he ate constantly. I'm sure it's possible to gain a lot more but the smaller portion sizes and dearth of heavy sauces and fried food definitely helped. Neither of us felt deprived at all.
So TL;DR: MDR food was fine, specialty restaurants better and worth the package prices, but picky eaters or fried-food lovers may not be happy with food options.
submitted by mrspwins
to Cruise [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 22:55 alobaby do you ever eat a new hyperfixation or safe food and suddenly you never want that old food ever again and it makes you feel sick to even think about?
i don’t know if it’s a hyperfixation of just a safe food because i only ate it when i ate at my job bc i work at the mall. i would eat panda express, orange chicken and white rice ONLY every single time. never anything else unless i had to get fried rice.
then one day i decided to eat sbarro’s and now the only thing i want is their pepperoni cheese pizza and white cheddar mac and cheese. i never want to eat panda express again, it’s so weird. is that normal?? why does that happen?? it’s gross to me now
submitted by alobaby
to irlADHD [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 19:38 Formal_Ad1928 All my fast flowering photos ending week 2 of veg theirs a Purple Goat Cheese from @goatgenetics, Snow Panda and Grapes an Cream from @atlasseeds, and Strawberry Banana from @canukseeds
2023.05.28 03:33 Icy-Paper1384 Royal Queen Seeds
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So I ordered 2 seeds at first (sundae driver feminized & watermelon autoflower) and they gave me a northern lights autoflower and a F1 Orion. I started to germinate all these seeds by letting soak until they no longer floated and then straight into moist soil in 5 gal fabric pots. While I waited on those to sprout I got excited and went ahead and ordered 3 autoflower bubble kush and they gave me another northern lights autoflower for free. The first ones never sprouted (and still haven't) so I went ahead and germinated the 3 bubble kush the exact same way as the others and all 3 have sprouted and look really healthy. I contacted customer service about this but have got no reply so far (5 days). Idk how I should feel about this, they seem to be legit but I can only say 50% good. What should be my steps I take? Do I just chalk it up to the game or do I press the issue? This is my first year buying seeds online, I've only grown bag seeds before this and I'm in Texas. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you submitted by Icy-Paper1384 to GrowingMarijuana [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 20:31 FarmWhich4275 Everyone Loves Uncle Bernie
The tension hung heavy in the air as it was finally realized that peace talks were collapsing and war was inevitable. Tyraxis, Hive Prince of Corsica faction had gathered here for a modicum of peace hoping to avoid the losses of his men. He sat in his chair opposite his former brethren with his two Praetorians flanking him, plasma spears at ready. His human diplomat, Johnny was desperately trying to ease tensions. Arborean, the Crown Prince of Hive Arrakkis sat proud at his seat, his purple skin glistening in the light of the room.
Arborean was so certain of his victory he had the barefaced audacity to carry his human concubine with him. His human diplomat Martinez was unamused by tensions as he cast passing glances to the Praetorians flanking his employer. Arborean made sure to prominently display his most prized possession with the woman sitting on his lap.
"Surely we can find a way around this? There has to be a way to sue for peace. At least for this battle. Perhaps we can exclude some ships from the roster and at least make it an even fight?" Johnny could sense he was getting nowhere, but he still had a few angles.
"Sure... we can sue for peace. AFTER you hand over the system! Those Gehennan spice mines are ours and you damn well know it!" Martinez slammed his hand on the table.
"You and I both know that if that fleet goes to battle it would be an absolute slaughter! If your master was half the warrior he so claims he is, he would agree to roster the battle to make it fair!" Johnny blasted his opponent.
Arborean whispered into his diplomats ear. The shame tactic and personal attack worked. "A point made in anger but still a point. We will agree to the standard galactic Ship Points Allocation system. However... No holds barred. Last man standing rules only." Martinez said with a certain sinister grin.
Tyraxis hung his head in shame. The Queen would have his head after this one way or another for this, but at least it would give his men a fighting chance. He gave a nod to Johnny and sent him a note on his wearable data manager. "Fine. If we win, you will not come back to this system. The point was proven, tactics ruled the day. If we win, you leave and don't come back!"
Arborean thought for a moment then nodded his head. "Deal." Martinez said, extending a hand out.
Martinez and Johnny shook hands and started drawing up paperwork as Arborean began to greedily fondle his prized possession, much to the blistering rage of Tyraxis burning eyes. Suddenly the door flung itself open, a human marine barged through the door.
"UNCLE BERNIE'S HERE!!!!" He yelled with unimaginable excitement, and charged back out again.
"Uncle Bernie!?" All three of the humans said this at once, and all three, suddenly got up from where they stood and bolted to the exit with such speed it made everyone's heads spin.
A few moments of awkward and stunned silence followed this occurrence. "What the hell is an uncle Bernie?" Arborean asked, as if expecting an answer.
"Well... Uncle is a human term, it means the brother of my father. Bernie is I believe someone's name." On of Tyraxis' Praetorians said.
The two princes regarded each other for a moment longer before one of Tyraxis' Praetorians broke the silence as his communicator beeped. "My Prince... every human ship in the system has disengaged!"
"WHAT!?" Both Princes yelled out in unison.
"Warp signature detected! There is a battlecruiser class vessel entering the system!" Arboreans Praetorian warned.
"What treachery are you planning Thraxis?!" Arborean lashed out.
"What are you talking about? This is YOUR doing! How much did you bribe my ambassador hm?"
Just then, an interruption. Every communications unit on the station suddenly came to life. It was some kind of... song? Silly, whimsical. Catchy.
"Are ya lost in space?
Need pie in your face?
Come on down to Bernies!
Do ya need a drink?
Well thats a sinch!
Come on down to Bernie's!
Bernies Bar and Grill is now open, active servicemen get a beer on the house!"
All of the Hivers on station and on their ships stood with absolute bewilderment as to what the flaming hell was going on. In the meantime, a very familiar looking ship warped into the system, drowned out by a cheering crowd as all of the twelve human made ships in the system swarmed it and docked as soon as it was safe.
Thraxis stood from his seat and made his way to the exit. "And just where do you think you are going?" Arborean said with annoyance.
Thraxis moved down the concourse ramp to his shuttle and waited as his Praetorian Guard, and hastily at their heels, Arborean and his guards, caught up and sat down. Thraxis called the robotic driver to go to the Human ship 'Uncle Bernies'. The driver, a machine, let out a happy beep for some reason and with careless abandon charged his way to the ship.
Uncle Bernies was a battlecruiser class. The six Hivers took careful note of its exterior. It was several times larger than most Human warships, and ten times more heavily armed. Mounted in various spots were storage tanks that looked like distilleries and one could clearly see the ship had its own hydroponics and protien synthesis bays built into the hull. The human support ships had been completely emptied by the time the shuttle made it to one of the airlocks.
The robot driver let out a mechanical "Woohoo!" as it hopped out of its car and hastily wheeled its way into the ships maintenance bays. Even the machines were entranced by this ship. The six hivers made their way through the clearly marked hallways into a massive restaurant. Immediately they were surrounded by humans of all classes and types who immediately reacted to their presence with a loud "AHOY MATEY!" of approval before returning to the meals they were enjoying.
The restaurant had over two hundred humans in it, but could comfortably seat a thousand more. The place was a massive circular arnoretum, surrounded on every corner by restaurants, eateries and even a quaint little gift shop.
"What in the Queens tits is this place?" One of Thraxis' Preatorians thought aloud.
"I can answer that my man! Welcome to my humble restaurant and bar!" A human suddenly spoke up from behind the group.
The six turned around to the sight of a grey bearded human with a large midsection, a toolbelt with cooking utensiils in a strange uniform with a funny hat. "Who are you?"
"Im uncle Bernie! Shut yer holes and drink a beer! Activer servicemen get one free beer!" He excitedly said, then jammed a purple aluminium can into everyones hands.
At this point Thraxis was what humans would call 'done.' so, he took a taste of the beverage. "My goodness!" His expression instantly changed to one of happiness as he drank more.
Arborean timidly took a sip of his own can of beer. "By the Mother!" He exclaimed, then chugged the rest of it down with a fist raised high.
Bernie regarded his new customers with a hearty smile and lead them all to a table before serving them a pizza. Within a few moments of them sitting down, Arboreans concubine Jessica returned to her masters lap with flushed cheeks and a silly giggle. The two ambassadors arrived as well, carrying a family size two cheese pizza with mushroom, onion and smoked ham. Jessiica showed them how to eat a pizza by grabbing a slice, then squealing in delight as she tasted the slice. Martinez and Johnny likewise did the same, sighing in happiness as though it was their first christmas.
The hivers tentatively took their own slice of the delicious smelling confection and took a small, cautious bite. Thraxis gave it one taste and threw decorum to the wind and began to aggressively scarf the slice down. The four Praetorians likewise did the same, followed by Arborean who had Jessica feed it to him.
Thraxis sat back in his seat, carefully considering a small fact he suddenly noticed. This place was rather... empty. Uncle Bernie approached and smiled his usual moustachio'ed smile. "Can I get ya anything else boys? Theres plenty for all!"
Thraxis suddenly perked up. "Yes... Olokarn." He looked at his all too happy Preatorian guard.
"Yes My -burp- Prince?" He said.
"Hand me your communicator, patch me into the fleet."
Olokarn did as commanded. "This is Thraxis, Prince of Hive Khathorn. All ships are to immediately disengage operations and report to Uncle Bernie's for lunch." He stopped, after Johnny handed him a piece of napkin with something scrawled on it. "And also... anyone who does not leave a tip, will be shot."
Arborean followed suit, commanding his own substantial naval forces and military to stand down, placing several thousand take-out orders for the planet and station at Martinez' instructions.
Within minutes, the ship was flooded with a thousand Hivers from both factions. To Arborean and Thraxis' astonished shock, Uncle Bernie was there to meet them. All of them. Thraxis noted this and asked Martinez what the hell was going on.
"What, My Lord?" Martinez asked, confused.
"Th-theres Uncle Bernie. And there! And there too! Am I seeing a strange genetic anomaly or is this man a clone?" He said bewildered.
"Well... yah. Thats uncle Bernie there. And there. And there too. And thats... thats Frank actually. Hes Uncle Bernie too but he likes to be called Frank." Martinez said, gesturing to the chefs and cooks of all the various restaurants.
"Care to elaborate? Please?" Arborean said as he held a sleeping Jessica in his arms.
"Uncle Bernie, My Prince, is a human that owned and operated a restaurant at an old shipbuilding yard before Sol was lost called Jupiter Drive Yards. After about twenty years on the job with that very rerstaurant, the company gave him one of our old Refurbished Munificent Class Ornament ships. Thats what this ship is. Its based on an old Trade federation Munificent class in old Star Wars movies." Martinez explained, sitting down with a new can of beer.
"MMmyes, a lot of other restaurants and food franchises exist, but none come close to Bernie's. He turned that ship into a roving restaurant and was there when Sol collapsed. Hes been everywhere. Just roams the stars, feeding and hydrating anyone he comes across at an absolutely rock bottom price. He even caters to machine consciousness because the tech cults have a presence on this ship. All in all, Bernie is just a nice guy, who just wants to own a restaurant. And damn does he do a good job!" Johnny responded in kind as he helped himself to a hotdog.
"And in order to ensure I can provide the service that is needed, nay, demanded of my establishment, I opted to do some cloning and mind copying, just to keep it all running how it needs to be! We share somewhat of a gestalt consciousness too so... it makes things a lot easier. Now, perhaps I can interest anyone in our dessert menu?" Uncle Bernie said, firing up the ice cream makers and waffle irons.
In the end, with all that had happened, neither side was ready or willing to engage in warfare. Both sides were either too full, too sleepy, or too drunk to do any fighting. When the hangovers and bellyaches passed, there was a strange feeling of contentedness between the two factions. Both of them essentially forgot why they were fighting and were too stuffed, happy or filled up to bother asking.
Martinez and Johnny drew up plans for the conflict anyway but they were never used. In all, Arborean and Thraxis agreed to a fifty-fifty split o resources in the star system ultimately benefitting everyone. Especially Bernie. One of the conditions of peace talks, was that Bernie always come round at least once every three months for a good booze up.
Because after all, everyone loves Uncle Bernie!
submitted by FarmWhich4275
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 02:04 Peanip Cutting out dairy completely vs decreasing intake- please help.
My LO is 3.5 weeks.
I had a C-section and some bleeding/blood pressure issues so my milk was slow to come in. She also has a tongue and lip tie so she has had problems feeding so she has been mostly BF with formula supplementation mostly by the bottle or me hand expressing into her mouth trying to encourage breast feeding despite her latch issues.
She has had increasing colic episodes that last upwards of three hours at a time-mostly in the evening with a lot of reflux, a distended belly, diarrhea, peeling rashes and nasal congestion. Gaining weight great and no blood but looks so uncomfortable for long stretches of time and completely inconsolable.
Before we were worked in with our pediatrician the lactation consultant first mentioned CMPI and told me to cut dairy and soy out- I’m a big dairy eater at baseline. Her father ran out and got some nutramigen to supplement and the first night we saw some improvement.
Today the pediatrician seemed unbothered by her rashes and congestion, prescribed pepcid and told me she suspects an intolerance and that I should “cut back” on dairy. When I asked her if I should avoid anything cooked in butter or processed goods with dairy in it she seemed unbothered and told me not to eat a ton of cheese or ice cream.
My milk has finally come in this week and i want to breast feed and bottle feed with my milk as much as possible while we have a dentist evaluate her ties but her father and I are so worried because what I’ve read online is that I need to cut all dairy out and it will take some time to clear my system. So I’ve just been using to formula and storing my pumps. Seeing her in pain and feeling like I have caused it has kind of been devastating to me and I’m feeling so lost in the meantime while being scared to follow the instructions I’ve been given.
Wondering if anyone has had experiences where they can mindfully decrease dairy intake and their LO can tolerate their milk? I have food restrictions already due to Crohn’s disease and I’m worried if I needed to be completely exclusionary on dairy and soy I wouldn’t be able to keep up but I really want to breast feed my little lady if it doesn’t make her miserable.
Thank you for reading this far.
submitted by Peanip
to MSPI [link] [comments]
2023.05.26 05:26 EntrancedForever Some old DLC stage ideas I thought up a year ago to go with some fighters (and echo fighters). Keep in mind, I did not make these with competitive play in mind, I'm more focused on just having fun in Smash. Let me know what you think, or which ones are just completely broken.
- Star Carnival(Piranha Plant)(Super Mario Bros.)-Welcome to the Star Carnival! With the various tents in the background, the fighters face off on a random assortment of spaces, with MC Ballyhoo and Big Top cheering on in the background. And he's not the only one, a lot of Mario's friends and enemies showed up here to watch this fight, including Pauline, Waluigi, Birdo, Geno, Mallow, Boshi, Kamek, Koopa Kid, Foreman Spike, Cranky Kong, Wart, Taranza, Toad, Toadette, Professor E. Gad, King Bob-Omb, Petey Pirhana, Culex, Fawful (In his Partners In Time attire), Paper Mario, Paper Luigi, Paper Peach, Paper Bowser, Vivian, Mimi, O'Chunks, Nastasia, and even Stanley the Bugman. Occasionally, Dice Blocks will appear, and if they're hit, something happens, depending on which number it lands on. -1 releases items. If you have items off, this number is worthless. -2 Causes a Blooper to squirt ink on the screen, blocking your view temporarily. -3 Causes the MP9 car to appear and drive around the stage, it may be a moving platform, but getting rammed by it causes damage, and staying on it too long isn't advise either because it'll drive offstage once it's finished swirving. Alternatively, it can be damaged and KO'd. -4 gets an explosion. Maybe hit those dice from afar... -5 It affects the spaces below and those who stand on them. Blue Spaces heal, Red Spaces cause damage, Bowser Spaces function like lava, DK Spaces provide a brief power-boost, and Green Spaces inflict random status effects. -6 Causes the spaces below to start shifting left or right like a conveyor belt, ending with a new arrangement of spaces below the fighters.
- Shiver Star Factory(Adeleine)(Kirby)-The dreaded factory on a planet that is totally in no way meant to be Kirby's version of Earth, conveyor-belts shift on and off at the sides of the stage as HR-H appears in the background, attacking fighters tresspassing in its home. It can be defeated, and will fight for whoever KO's it, like Ridley did in Pyrosphere. Not everything here is hostile though, a familiar Waddle Dee will sometimes appear from either side of the stage and toss in food to whoever can reach it first.
- Deserted Chateau(Morrigan and Lilith)(Darkstalkers)-A place in Makai, with the Aensland Manor in the distance. Platforms hang from the ceiling by chains, and can be damaged and broken, only for new ones to later lower down should all the platforms be destroyed. Some other Darkstalkers seem to have been drawn here as well, Felicia hops in to chase a butterfly; Hsien-Ko and Raptor hop in while dueling (It's only a duel if you ignore they both have helpers); Demitri appearing in to show off his true form; Sasquatch hopping and fighting Rikou; Q-Bee flying in and eyeing the fighters with an oversized fork and knife before buzzing off; and Jedah Dohma himself rising from purple liquid and laughing like a maniac. Souls also appear on the stage, and can KO'd and sent to Darkness. They drop items if you do that.
- City of Tears(The Knight and Hornet)(Hollow Knight)-The Fountain Square is the stage here, with the Hollow Knight's memorial statue looming over the fight. Platforms stand from the water to the side, but can be destroyed, only for the Menderbug to rush in and fix them up. He can be KO'd too though, delaying their repairs. Occasionally, some NPC's will emerge from behind the fountain to marvel at it, and the fight happening in front of it. This includes the Elder Bug, Bretta, our boy Quirrel, nobody's boy Zote (Who tries to enter the fight but trips and falls over, then when he gets up, he trips again falls into the water), Cornifier, Iselda, Snail Shaman, Myla, some Grubs, Hive Knight, and Cloth. If Marissa's song is playing, you can even see her levitating and singing around the fountain. If Zote's songs are playing, he's singing them at the bottom of the fountain.
- Cyber City(Frisk and Kris)(DELTARUNE/UNDERTALE)-The Queen's domain, with a ferris wheel to the right, a cup-ride to the left, and the Queen's castle in the distance, as fireworks of Kris, Susie, and Ralsei appear in the air. The ferris wheel has platforms on it, and it goes up and down on the whims of a Werewire running the controls in the background. Another Werewire controls the cup-ride on the left, with the platform rising or lowering occasionally. Ads for the Queen and Spamton will occasionally appear in the background as well. In the foreground below the main platform, cars can be seen walking by, and occasionally, they'll all get knocked off the road by a dog in a toy car. Susie and Ralsei are watching the fight as well, reacting if someone gets KO'd. Ralsei reacts in shock while Susie starts laughing. If Kris is the one KO-ing someone, they both cheer. If they're the one getting KO'd, Susie and Ralsei both react in shock. If there's more than one Kris in the fight, they both just stare in confusion. Both of them appear in Kris' Final Smash (Susie slashes at opponents, and if she lands her attack, Ralsei heals Kris while she clobbers the others) and if Kris uses it in this stage, they briefly disappear from the background to their friend's side. If Undertale music is playing, the pop-ups are will display images from that game instead, including the true ending's photo.
- Primp Town(Arle and Amitie)(Puyo Puyo)-The streets of Primp Town, with its Magic School in the distance down the road. Many of Arle and Amitie's friends and enemies are here to watch the fight go down. They can include Carbuncle(He won't be there if Arle's in the fight, since he appears in her taunts and some of her attacks), Schezo, Rulue, Draco, Harpy, Serilly, Suketoudara, Ragnus, Kikimora, Incubus, Satan, Sig, Raffina, Klug, Lidelle, Tartar, Accord, Popoi, Prince Salde, Otomo, Yu & Rei, Gogette, Lemres, Feli, Baldanders, Ringo, Maguro, Risukuma, Ecolo, Ally, and Rafisol. The stage is a road with two buildings to the side and a platform levitating above the center. On the sides, Puyo Puyos will drop slowly, forming walls of sorts. They can be destroyed, especially by launching your enemies into them. But destroying them fills up a meter. Fill it completely, and the stage goes into Fever mode, with Puyos dropping on the sides at much quicker rates, and disappearing so more take their place. Basically, a bunch of projectiles raining on the sides of the stage. Best get to the middle, and maybe knock your opponenents to the sides while you're at it. Starting and ending countdowns here are changed too to that of a Puyo Battle, complete with the same sound-effects.
- Spacetime's Edge(Tee)(Tetris)-The edge of spacetime itself, with a twisting road in the background. At first, it seems pretty flat, but remember how Nintendogs' stage worked? This one is a bit similar. Giant Tetriminos will appear above the stage, descending at the speed of molasses. Don't get cocky, it's best to get out from under them because they drop to the ground a lot quicker after that, as if the player is hitting the down-button. They temporarily change the stage set-up, because now you have some blocks on the flat surface to walk on, jump on, and get knocked into. Marle and Squares levitate in the background, watching the fight unfold. If you're in a Team Battle, they'll each root for at least two of the teams, and celebrate when their team(s) get a KO. Might be confusing if Marle is rooting for Green and Blue, and then Green KO's Blue, but whatever. You can tell which team they support by the colored Tetriminos floating behind them.
- Gensokyo(Reimu and Marisa)(Touhou)-A stage based on the final stage in Immaterial and Missing Power, giving a good view of the boundary of Reimu and Marisa's homeworld. You can see Reimu's shrine and Scarlet Manor in the distance. Spell Cards will occasionally appear similar to Materia in Midgar, but touching them summons a Touhou character to perform an attack on the stage and the summoner's opponents. Can you dodge their attacks?-Cirno releases an ice-attack that, predictably, freezes any nearby fighters.-Hong Meiling unleashes a bunch of kicks and punches on any unfortunate fighter she catches.-Patchouli Knowledge unleashes fire and water, as well as a metal pool in the center of the stage.-Sakuya Izayoi leaps around and unleashes daggers on fighters. If you're fighting her, KO her as quick as you can, because her final attack is freezing time and leaving some frozen daggers to fly right into you once she leaves.-Remilia Scarlet unleashes a platformer-friendly, but still tough to dodge version of Heaven's Punishment "Star of David".-Flandre Scarlet unleashes a similarly changed, but still dangerous take on Taboo "Cranberry Trap."-Aya Shameimaru unleashes powerful winds that can blow in any for directions, affecting the gravity if it's blowing up or down. She throws a few bullets in there too.-Suika Ibuki increases her density and she grows to the size of Petey Pirhana. She then proceeds to stomp on the main platform, forcing enemy fighters to the platforms on the sides, unless they're too busy getting pounded into the ground by a giant Oni.-Eiki Shiki uses Guilt Sign "Wandering Sin", hovering below the stage like players do in Touhou, shooting the fighters above.-Clownpiece uses Hell Sign "Eclipse of Hell", which is a bunch of lasers rotating around. Best to air-dodge these. Or who knows, maybe these assist-attacks wouldn't make the Fighters flinch but just really racks up their damage like poison would?-Yuyuko Saigyouji releases a stage-friendly Ghostly Butterfly.-Youmu Konpaku unleashes cuts from her blades.-Sanae Kochiya and Kanako use Sky Serpent to send snake-shaped bullets after enemy fighters.-Reisen Udongein Inaba uses Wave Sign "Mind Shake" Red-Eyed Hypnosis, and while it doesn't send out as many bullets as it did in the original game, it does stun fighters if they're hit with enough bullets.-Yukari Yakumo unleashes a slew of explosions akin to Barrier "Curse of Dreams and Reality".
- Time Rift Adventure(Hat Kid)(A Hat In Time)-Fighting on a stage made to resemble Hat Kid's ship, complete with Rumbi roaming around in the foreground, the fighters are taken on a flight through a Time Rift as block-like platforms to the sides, with an Hourglass appearing and shattering to change the main stage with different platforms and the characters watching it. A rift in the sky also gives the fighters a view of the area the phase represents.-Mafia Town has Mafia Goons, Cooking Cat, and the Badge Seller cheering on the fight, with the Mafia Boss himself watching as the stage resembles a casino.-Dead Bird Studios has DJ Grooves MC-ing the fight from his DJ booth, with Moon Penguins dancing and snapping at the sides while lavish props fill the background.-Owl Express has the Conductor rambling from his director's chair as Express Owls and CAW Agents kick back in a train-themed background.-Subcon Forest has Dwellers, Fire Spirits, and Subconites dwelling in the forest behind the fighters. The Snatcher himself pops in, reacting to the fight.-Queen Vanessa's Manor has the mad queen herself wandering around the ruins of her icy manor. She thankfully doesn't seem to notice the fighters, but that's concerning too...-Alpine Skyline has the Nomads and a Goat relaxing in a village in the background, enjoying the sights that fractures in time have to offer.-Twilight Bell has a celestial Goat meditating in the background, as odd structures flicker in-and-out of existence like the player's wearing a Dweller Mask.-Mustache Girl's Castle has the Mustache Girl herself sitting on a throne with a Timepiece, with lava pouring out from the stage's back-and-foregrounds.-Arctic Cruise has the Captain sitting at the Captain's seat of a boat-like background, with Seals goofing off around him. One's even riding Rumbi.-Nyakuza Metro has the Empress overseeing the fight, while other cats talk, text, and buy food in the metro background.
- Ultimate Custom Night(Freddy Fazbear)(FNAF)-The office of a million jumpscares, and William Afton's personal grave. Like the Nintendogs Living Room, you're much smaller here, fighting on the desk with three rotating platforms on the fan at the right, a phone serving as a solid platform on the left, and a moving platform in the middle suspended by balloons. Unlike the Living Room, the creatures roaming the background aren't as cuddly. You can see a slew of animatronics from Fazbear Entertainment's legacy peering, walking, or crawling in and out of the office through the doors, vent, and pipes. Some like the Phantoms and Nightmares even fade into existance for a bit to creep you out. Some of them appear and disappear as the lights briefly fade out, leaving the background in darkness while the stage you're fighting on is still visible, dimly lit for your convinience. Just try not to jump if the lights turn back on and you get a surprise visit from Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, Golden Freddy, the Toys, Mangle, Balloon Boy, JJ, Shadow Bonnie, Shadow Freddy, the Puppet, Springtrap, the Phantoms, the Nightmares, Fredbear, Circus Baby, Ballora, the Funtimes, Lolbit, Rockstar Bonnie, Rockstar Chica, Rockstar Foxy, Music Man, El Chip, Mediocre Melodies, Candy Cadet, Trash and the Gang, Scrap Baby, Scraptrap, Molten Freddy, Helpy, Plushbabies, Glitchtrap, Grimm Foxy, Glamrock Chica, Roxanne Wolf, Montgomery Gator, the Daycare Attendant, STAFF Bot, Burntrap, or Vengeful Spirit. Another fun bit is that if this is a timed battle, once it reaches 0, the fight stops and fades to black, as a familiar jingle plays and the clock reaches 6 AM.
- Kahn's Arena(Sub-Zero and Smoke)(Mortal Kombat)-Shao Kahn's arena appearing as it did in MK2, otherworldly purple sky and all, though maybe with less decapitated heads, but it does have platforms rising from the ground on miniature Soulnados that damage you if you touch their sides. Spiked grinders may also rise from portals in the ground, so steer clear if you see those opening. The so-called conqueror himself sits on his throne watching the fight, but not too far behind the foreground, one can see different kombatants fighting observing the fight as well (Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Fujin, Scorpion, Reptile, Kano, Goro, Hydro, Jax, Tremor, Nightwolf, Jade, Mileena, Tanya, Sheeva, Motaro, Sindel, Kung Lao, Kabal, Rain, Shang Tsung, Skarlet, Cyrax, Sektor, Li Mei, Ashrah, Shujinko, Havik, Hotaru, Nitara, Sareena, Quan Chi, Moloch, Dhramin, a much less racist-looking Hsu Hao, Kira, Kobra, Taven, Daegon, Blaze, Khameleon, the Kombat Kids, Erron Black, Ferra/Tor, Shinnok, Cetrion) However, if music from 3D era games is played, Onaga will take his former ally's place on the throne and the sky will become greenish-blue. If MKX music is playing, then either Mileena, Kotal Kahn, or Kitana will take that throne for themselves, with the sky looking a tad more normal. In the face background, you can see Baraka and Stryker chained up like Kano and Sonya were in the original game. Shao Kahn also plays announcer in this stage like in the original games with lines like "Fight!" "That was pathetic!" "Finish him/hethem!" (If a character is at high damage), or if all the fighters, for some reason, decide to just taunt rather than fight, "Friendship!"
- Collective Unconscious(Raz and Lili)(Psychonauts)-On a platform floating in the plane that connects all minds, figments of the imagination float by in the background. A neat little detail is that if you use a Stopwatch to slowdown time on this stage, it drains the other characters of color as they slow down, leaving a rainbow trail behind them, as if Raz is using his time-stop ability on them. The real kicker is the platforms that drop in. Some are normal platforms, while others are doors to someone's mind. Step on that platform and the stage briefly shifts to that mind. The mental worlds in question?-Coach Oleander's Basic Braining, a warzone with blimps floating above like floating blocks and land mines on the ground below the main stage, discouraging you from leaping off the platform.-Sasha's Shooting Gallery, circular platforms rise above a flat, clean surface, with Censors popping out and spitting "NO!"'s at fighters caught in their crosshairs. Maybe keep moving here.-Milla's Dance Party, in this danceclub the main stage here lowers into the pits below as dance-floor platforms rise up. Jump to them and be mindful of updrafts between them, they make you a tad lighter.-Lungfishopolis, the fighers are giants in a small city, with buildings keeping the stage from being flat. That said, they're destroyable, but more may pop up in their place. This ain't competitive Smash, bud.-The Milkman Conspiracy, a bizarre neighborhood where you fight on a front lawn with a house to the side. On the road to the left and the yard behind you, you can see G-Men doing...uh, stuff. The short house and its roof provide a lopsided shape to the stage.-Gloria's Theater, a play with a cheery, cardboard background and goofy-looking actors. Cloud/balloon platforms lower in to add some flavor, and extra footing.-Waterloo World, the fighers are giants yet again, this time on a boardgame with a bridge at the center. Napoleon Bonaparte opens fire on fighters from the background. Watch out below.-Hollis' Hot Streak, a hospital-casino left over from an incident, you'll be transfered to the Pharmacy area, with two high floors and a lower middle one, with slot-machines in the background.-Compton's Cookoff, a cooking show, but it seems parts of it got mixed. The middle platform is one with a giant pig-butcher who'll bring his cleaver down on the right end of the platform. To the sides, stoves that'll cook you if you touch them.-PSI King's Sensatorium, the colors may be toned down to prevent sensory issues, but you're still onstage with a crowd cheering on. Tounge and hand platforms move at the sides. If PSI King's own song is playing, you'll get a glimpse of his band performing in the background.-Cassie's Collection, a boat of paper floats on a sea of ink, with flying book platforms and towers of books in the background.-Cruller's Corispondence, the stage once again lowers as a seemingly endless chain of letters take its place, flying from the left side of the screen into the right. Try not to stay on a letter for too long, or you'll be mailed into oblivion.-Lucrecia's Lament, a world of quilts, how lovely. You're fighting on a soft road with trees blocking the blast-zones on the sides. Pin-cushions also pop up that can be used as trampolines.-Fatherland Follies, Grulovia, Grulovia, his father was a dope, sings a man in a prison-cell. Cut-outs dance in the background as a river runs though the center. Your surfaces here are on the sides of the river, with fake town displays made from Gristol's twisted view of history.
- Wumpa Island(Crash and Coco)(Crash Bandicoot)-Crash's levels are typically 3D, but in this case, you're fighting in 2D, with a view of the road Crash usually takes to the goal in the background. While the stage seems harmless at first, with a stone tiki to the right you can stand on and a bit of a high-rise to the left, Crates drop that can be broken to reveal items. TNT Crates also drop in, with predictable effects if it. A Nitro Crate will occasionally drop in too, and it has a much bigger blast radius. These crates all spawn on either platform on the side, and can be thrown. The middle area, meanwhile, might get affected by the flamethrower of a passing Dingodile, get TNT Crates dropped in on it by Ripper Roo, or briefly caved in by Tiny Tiger, making a temporary death-pit. Neo Cortex will occasionally soar in on his board as well, laughing evil and opening fire on fighters in his crosshairs. If you're in Time Mode and there's 10 seconds left, a Lab Assistant will walk in through the foilage, see the chaos ensuing before him, and run off.
- Playstation All-Star Arena(Astro)(Playstation)-Polygon Man's domain, a "child's plaything" as Zeus puts it. A seemingly simple stage with walls on the sides and a flat surface, this ease is broken by Polygon Man floating in the background, musing and taunting at the fighters. Then he pulls out his move, summoning Playstation's finest to shake up the fight. With rifts revealing their homeworlds in the background. As an added bonus, the announcer that starts and ends the game is replaced here with the one from PSASBR, with lines like "Ten seconds left!" or "Ready? Go!" and if you have a Final Smash ready, the yellow energy is replaced with a blue glow not unlike the one from that game, complete with the Super sound effect.-Kratos, the God of War himself, releases chained platforms onto the stage much like those in Hades' stage in PSASBR. Kratos grants his targets a fighting chance, and if they get nailed by his Blades of Chaos, very likely a warrior's death. His backdrop is Hades itself.-Zeus, God of Gods, and Kratos' father, rises in front of a backdrop of Mount Olympus, appearing the size of a giant. He unleashes bolts of lightning to the side, and if he slams his hands down on the stage-floor, jump or be electrocuted.-Sweet Tooth, the ice-cream-truck-mech piloted by Needles Kane, appears in front of a backdrop of Black Rock Stadium. The mech unleashes missiles on the stage, which briefly home in on a fighter, so keep moving until it loses track.-Spike, the hero of Ape Escape appears in front of the Professor's lab. He'll take aim with his Slingback Shooter, stunning opponents that can't escape his crosshairs. Then he'll leap in with his net, dealing damage. If the fighter caught is at 100 damage or higher, they're KO'd. Casi also appears sometimes, unleashing laser-eyes as a nod to a very...odd interlude she had in Pumped and Primed.-Specter, the instigator of the ape uprising, Spector appears in front of his lair alongside his Goliath mech, which unleashes missiles, lasers, and its detachable hands on fighters. All while Pipo Monkeys wreack havoc in the background.-Parappa the Rapper, he's gotta believe! As Parappa Town appears in the background, his stage rises in the middle of the main stage, with Parappa performing on it behind the fight while his friends cheer on in the foreground. Standing on his stage gives you boost in power. I guess he believes in you now.-Kat & Dusty, as their new home of Hekseville appears in the background, the Gravity Queen and her cat soar(?) between floating debris around in the background, as the gravity in the stage is either lowered of increased. You can tell it changes when she leaps off of some debris and floats to another.-Jak & Daxter, the Eco-imbued duo appear from Mesa City, fighting off its tyranical regime as turrets open fire on the fighters. Thankfully, just before they leave, Jak and Daxter blast the turrets to kingdom come and bid the fighters farewell.-Ratchet & Clank, the two emerge from Metropolis, wielding the RYNO 8. As Clank carries Ratchet around in the air, Ratchet drops in all sorts of objects on parts of the stage that can be both platforms and hazards to be under when they drop. This includes Sweet Tooth's truck, Murray's van, DJ PJ Berri's DJ set, a giant Loco Rocco, Captain Qwark's statue, the Rift Rider, and Polygon Man's pieces.-Dr. Nefarious, the metal tyrant appears from his evil base, unleashing the Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler to nab fighters. Not to be outdone, the doctor himself uses telekinesis to lift crates and toss them at fighters as well. Once his time is up, the Scrambler flips out and turns on Nefarious, chasing him off as he shouts "LAAAAAAAAWREEEEEEENCE!"-Sly Cooper, and the whole Cooper Gang actually pops with him in front of Paris. Murray, Bentley, Penelope, the Guru, the Panda King, and Dimitri all show up as Sly leaps around the stage, with Carmelita trying to zap him. Her crosshairs follow him, so when she unleashes an electric burst from her gun, he dodges. And you better too if you're near.-Cole MacGrath, as Alden's Tower appears behind him, he unleashes electricity onto the stage below as makeshift platforms float above. Best get to higher ground. To add a bit more of a challenge, steer clear of where an Ionic Vortex forms.-The Patapon, the musical tribe rises as their forest background appears. As "FEVEEEER!" plays out, they toss their spears in the air, nailing down parts of the stage. Try not to get skewered.-Sackboy, as a beautiful LittleBigPlanet appears behind him, this imaginative little guy uses his Popit to alter the stage. He adds platforms, see-saws, trampolines, hazards, and bubbles with items in them.-The Negativatron, the dreaded embodiment of the flaws you hide, Negativatron's arcade-machine background appears as it attempts to devour and crush fighters beneath it.-Sir Daniel Fortesque, the undead hero rises in a graveyard, using the Anubis Stone to raise the dead, and raise grave-platforms on the stage. Be alert though, as statues in the background will unleash lasers on those graves after a short time.-Colonel Mael Radec, Helghan appears behind him as he approaches, issuing orders to his troops to send grenades, missiles, and lasers into the stage. He finishes off his stint on this stage with a Helghast salute.-Toro Inoue, apearing alongside Kuro, Toro wishes on falling stars as his friend goofs off in the background. Toro's wish results in said stars falling onto the stage. Dodge them or be damaged. On the plus-side, when the stars hit the ground, they drop items. Wishes do come true.-Spyro the Dragon, the Purple Dragon himself, with Artisans in the background. He unleashes fire-breath on the stage, naturally, but he'll also headbash onto the stage and start charging across it.
- Planet Bomber Arena(Bomberman)(Bomberman)-Bomberman's home turf, but the stage your fighting on seems to be made from debris, blocks, and bombs from the many mazes he fought through. Some blocks can be destroyed while others will disappear later during a transition, but bombs can blow up if hit, and both spawn in different places over time. Be careful what you hit, especially since the bombs in these stages explode in crosses like the original games. The kicker is how the stage transitions and the new obstacles spawn. Much like Castlevania's stage with candles, other Bombers will show up in the background and rearrange the blocks and bombs for you. They also goof off a bit in the background before leaping away. These include Louie, Altiar, Sirius, Max, Buggler, Magnet Bomber, Phantom Bomber, Golem Bomber, Plasma Bomber, Pretty Bomber, and Evil Bomber. The "Ready? Go!" at the start of a match is followed with the visuals of the words from Super Bomberman R and the countdown at the end of a timed match also lifts from that game. Rather than the announcer counting down from five, it's a cheering crowd counting down from 10.
- Kattelox Island(Tron Bonne)(MegaMan Legends)-Tron Bonne's homestage from [DATA EXPUNGED FOR RIGHTS ISSUES] Vs. Capcom. As the Servbots goof off in the background and foreground and the Gessellschaft flies through a sky full of fireworks, Tron's brothers Teisel and Bon watch the fight go on. Like in that game, Teisel will cheer if Tron's in the fight, hang his head if she's KO'd, and just question existence if more than one Tron is in the stage. Smaller versions of the Balkon Gerat and Such Gerat bob in the waters to the sides of the stage, with platforms fixed to them that move up and down with the mechs. Finkel, a miniature machine from Tron's spin-off game, will sometimes soar around the stage harmlessly. It can be attacked, causing it to drop items. On the stairs in the background, you can see Denise Marmalade chasing some Servbots as well, nearly falling in the water as she does.
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to SmashBrosUltimate [link] [comments]
2023.05.25 23:10 toastmuncher500 Best Crab Rangoon in Columbus #60
| || | submitted by toastmuncher500 to Columbus [link] [comments]
Hello fellow 'goonthusiasts, and welcome back to 'Toastmuncher Thursdays' where I hunt for the best crab rangoon in the city. Feel free to comment any recommendations.
You know the drill. Link to the map where I have all locations recommended to me and color coded categories based on my rankings is here
. Full data spreadsheet is here
. Link to the hub where you can access all of my previous reviews is here
This week, I took the recommendation of many many of you and went to Pickerington to try Thai Paradise. Let's see how they stack up!
Thai Paradise -
Filling: This was one of the most unconventional fillings I have ever sampled. It was not the typical cream cheese filling but rather a cheddar cheese fill with crab and, of all things, corn! The corn added a fun textural element, but its flavor was lost among the strong cheddar goodness. This filling reminded me vaguely of cheddar mashed potatoes which sounds weird for a rangoon but was awesome. They were very delicious, well salted and super cheesy. My only complaint is that the filling itself wasn’t all that complex. It was very delicious, but the cheddar cheese was mostly what I tasted. I wish the corn and crab had been more prominent. Great, but fairly one note flavorwise.
Wrapper: I never thought I would see a new type of wrapper, but Thai Paradise surprised me with this dumpling style wrapper. These wrappers were cooked perfectly and made room for lots of filling. They are closest to the triangle wrapper, but their rounded edges are much more like a dumpling than a rangoon. A perfect oil level and a great saltiness, and this wrapper was so delicate that it was flaky and melted in my mouth. This wrap is a truly perfect wrap.
Sauce: Pairing an unconventional fill with an equally strange sauce is a bold move, but it paid off. These rangoon were paired with a sweet peanut sauce rarely seen with rangoon. This peanut sauce had an almost brown sugar-y flavor with hints of ginger, a great mix of savory and sweet that had me literally eating it with a spoon. Where it will lose points is that the strength of the flavor overpowered the filling when dipped too heavily. I found that with a veeery light dip, a delicious flavor balance of peanut cheddar sweetness was reached, something that sounds odd, but was very delicious.
Value: At 1.23 each, these get a 4 for value. Metrics on my data sheet.
Overall: Which means… we have a new winner!
Thai Paradise is now our number one, followed very closely by Sushi Time and Typhoon Bistro both ranked just a hair below at 30/35. I think this score is well deserved. For one of the lowest price points I have seen, I had some of the most delicious rangoons I have ever had. These crab rangoon were unique from start to finish with a cheddar corn filling wrapped dumpling style and dipped in a sweet ginger peanut sauce. They may sound strange but I have rarely eaten a rangoon I liked more, and when you add in a nearly perfect value score, these rangoon take the title of current best in the city. I think everyone, regardless of how far Pickerington is from them, should make the journey because these rangoon are truly one of a kind.
2023.05.25 21:14 Large_Bat_6229 Baby overeating
Long post warning. TLDR: 1 month old eats until he spits up a ton of milk. Will he learn to self regulate?
Do babies learn to stop feeding when they're full? My baby is 4 weeks tomorrow, he's exclusively breastfed. He receives an occasional bottle of expressed milk, maybe once or twice a week.
My supply was a little low and he hadn't met birth weight by 2 weeks as expected. That weekend though, he gained 4 ounces in four days and the pediatrician said we won't need to supplement with formula as discussed unless he isn't gaining as expected at one month (we go for a weigh in on Monday.)
My supply this week has skyrocketed. I feed him enough to get him milk drunk and sleeping for 4-6 hours at night, plus another ounce from the best he fed from and almost 4 ounces from the other (via pumping.) There's also more fat conten in my milk now, before there was almost no cream in my expressed milk.
I am so grateful for this change. My baby though, eats and eats and never unlatches. I pull him off when I notice less suction or longer streches where he isn't suckling. He feeds 30-45 minutes which is about how long I am getting milk from the pump. I'll burp him and put him down, and then he spits up a ton of milk. It's not spit or "cheese" as we call it, so I suspect his tummy was too full and he just rejects the excess.
Will he learn to stop when full? Should I try pulling off earlier and burping more during feeds? He doesn't seem overly gassy or in pain. It's mostly just a big mess when we don't catch it in time.
I don't want to under feed him or risk undersupply again.
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to breastfeeding [link] [comments]
2023.05.25 17:34 alternoia RS girls: how conscious are you about physical contact in your male relationships?
[tried posting this on a new alt but got nuked, pls mods don't nuke this one too]
I'm bored and traveling so it's spergin' time (sorry about bad title)
I'm in my early 30s and happily married, and I have noticed a strange uptick in the physical contact that I receive from other women lately (hugs, touching, etc). I'm usually good at reading facial expressions, but I can't read female body language very well, so I'm asking you to explain to me what is going on, seeing as I am dense. Basically my point is that I'm not attractive or buff or whatever, so I can't figure out where this is coming from. It's a noticeable increase with respect to the past. Some examples that occur to me: - wife invited female friend over for dinner, I used this as an excuse to prepare something a bit daring we wouldn't do for ourselves alone because it's a lot of work (parmigiano cheese ice cream, if you are curious). When I tell this friend, she gets all excited and hugs me tight - like an all-body hug, fully wrapped around myself, lingers for a while. Wtf - I was out in the pub with my wife and some of her colleagues/friends and I'm sitting next to this girl. She's vegan but not an arse about it, so I keep teasing her playfully about it until she starts cracking up. She has laughing fits and whenever she does she leans heavily on me with her body and puts her head on my shoulder. I'm weirded out but my wife is sitting on my other side, laughing along witnessing this and she doesn't give me any look. Dunno - Out again in the pub with a friend of mine and his fiancée, who brought two female friends. One is a funny woman that tells stories, but she keeps touching my arm throughout; I figure she's just doing it for emphasis. The other friend is a big drinker and when she's drunk she leaves her handbag with me and my wife (we were smoking) to go dance a little. When she comes back I tell her her bag is safe and once she processes this (in her haze) she grabs my face gently and starts giving me a long string of kisses on the cheek - but dangerously close to my mouth. I shoot my wife a look that says "what the fuck is happening" and she's just as puzzled. The friend realises and goes over to my wife to give her a few kisses too for good measure, then goes back to the dance floor - That same night, just a little later, my wife goes to the toilet and another drunk girl approaches me to ask for my lighter. This girl turns out to be a real rs girl because she leans in and keeps asking me repeatedly if I'm jewish, even if I keep telling her I'm not (just vaguely mediterranean with curly hair). She just wouldn't believe me lol. While she does this she keeps touching my arm, stroking it a little; really bizzarre interaction. Luckily my wife comes back and rescues me
What is going on? Have women changed what they consider an acceptable amount of physical contact with a man lately?
submitted by alternoia
to redscarepod [link] [comments]
2023.05.24 19:25 KingR12 Panda Express - "Broccoli Beef"??
submitted by KingR12
to Retconned [link] [comments]
2023.05.23 21:28 Trash_Tia I just started as a... sort of new student at a private boarding school. There is something wrong with the students here.
Have you ever woken up inside a school you don’t remember going to?
Jetlag must have seriously had my ass. I’m not sure where my mind had been wandering at that moment, though it must have been far across the galaxy because I found myself standing at a breakfast bar which could be likened to brunch from how elegant everything was. It wasn’t jet lag. I knew the effects of jetlag, and I was pretty sure memory loss wasn’t a symptom.
Partial memory loss, because I could remember everything about myself and my life except how exactly I had come to be in this school.
Several thoughts twitched in my head as I dragged my luggage, a bright pink suitcase, towards a table strewn with rich-people food.
Looking around and drinking in my surroundings, I appeared to be in a school cafeteria. Private school, judging from everyone—and my own—uniform; a white shirt and plaid skirt with a blazer thrown over the top.
It felt weirdly comfortable, already bizarrely my size. Like I had worn it before. I wasn’t sure why, but standing in that room gave me Deja-vu. I felt like I knew the mini water fountain stood proud in the centre. And the coffee-machine station near the entrance.
I knew the exact combination of numbers to get an espresso and trick the machine into giving me another for free.
I knew that bacon and maple sandwiches were popular—and you had to fight for double chocolate chip brownies which were always gone first.
Except I didn’t know this place.
This school was alien to me, and yet my memory was telling me otherwise. It was the first day jitters, I thought. Surely. Temporary memory loss existed, right? My aunt had hit her head during a confrontation with a mall-employee a few years ago. She forgot her name for a while, after falling headfirst into the fountain, not before cracking her head on cold marble. Though this was… different. How was it possible that I had completely forgotten not just my journey to the school, but choosing it, as well as saying goodbye to my parents.
So much was missing, and the more I was thinking about it, the progressively more panicked I was starting to become.
The room itself was huge, filled with small picnic-like tables to eat on, and a lounging area with beanbags and what looked like the latest games consoles. Wide windows looked out onto the school grounds where cherry blossom trees stood, groups of kids sitting in groups and spread out on their blazers and picnic blankets under a late afternoon sun. There were no lunch ladies or bland school food. I was looking at chocolate filled pastries, donuts and mini sandwiches and nibbles; baskets full of every soda I could think of, and a whole section at the end of the table with flavored, fizzy and scented bottled water.
It felt like dreaming, but when I reached forward and grabbed a toasted bagel and smeared it with cream-cheese, cramming it into my mouth, the food tasted real. I downed half of a mimosa from a tray of them sitting on a golden platter—and the drinks tasted real too. The only thing which patented this place to a fantasy were the students themselves. There were a group of them sitting closest to me. Four guys and two girls. They looked normal from first glance.
I caught pieces of their conversation, something about a TV show they had all been watching. I had been watching one girl delicately put her sandwiches into a makeshift Jenga tower, when the guy next to her suddenly slammed his head into the table without warning. The impact made me cringe, the cream cheese bagel beginning to creep its way back up my throat.
It was… odd. The way he did it. It was during a conversation where he seemed reasonably okay, before lifting his head and slamming his face into his own plate of food.
After several more times, and I was starting to see bruising around his right eye, his lips split, blood smearing his temples. This guy had done serious damage to his face and yet he didn’t even seem to notice it himself.
He didn’t notice the way his head twitched almost inhumanly to the side, his arms seemingly having a mind of their own. But he continued to smile and talk with the others who didn’t react to him almost splitting his head open. The girl started laughing about something, and he joined in, unfazed by pooling red spurting from his nose and lips. He showed no signs of pain despite his body trembling under the table, and his shaky hands when he took a bite from his own sandwich.
None of them were commented on their spilled drinks or ruined lunches, or the amount of blood splattered on the table. I had half a mind to announce I would get the school nurse. But I had no idea where the nurse’s office was. The rest of the cafeteria didn’t even look his way, and the guy had definitely made noise. Half of his lunch was on the ground, and when I looked closer, there was an ugly crack in the hardwood table. Still though, no reaction from his friends who continued talking like their friend hadn’t just given himself a mild concussion out of nowhere, quite literally speaking through blood staining his teeth and filling his mouth. I had found myself completely transfixed by this guy’s pain endurance as he paid no attention to the state of his face, when another guy strode over to the brunch table, filling his plate with pastries and purple macarons.
“Sooo, you’re the new girl, huh.”
The guy stood with his back to me, his attention on the food. I didn’t blame him. It was practically a banquet. Wearing the same uniform, an untucked shirt over black pants, a loose tie, his blazer awkwardly hanging off his shoulder, he delved into the feast. I could tell from the fancy looking watch on his wrist, his parents had the kind of money he could throw away on several hundred. Though I couldn’t speak from an outsider’s perspective. My mother was the head of the board of education of our town, and my father had a high-paid job in the government. Not that I knew what it was. What I know is that it could give me a sheltered life. So, it’s not like I was surprised I had ended up in this school.
But it was the why and the how which was confusing me. The boy’s accent was refreshing in a room full of Americans, a cocktail of British and aussie. I could barely see his face, just a simple facial structure, as well as dark hair sprouting from a hat nestled over his head. Though I could just about make out Asian American features. When he turned to an awkward angle, he became more of a silhouette than a human being, late afternoon sunlight completely drowning his identity. “Yep.” I said, keeping my eye on the boy who had surely given himself concussion.
I was expecting him to collapse from blood loss, or maybe suddenly start screaming, becoming aware of the state of himself. It could have been a delayed reaction, which would explain his lack of attention.
However, it didn’t explain the other’s. Who happily chatted with him, completely ignoring how much blood he was losing.
I turned away from the food, intrigued, and slightly horrified by the guy who now appeared to be playfully flirting with the girl next to him. She had attracted my attention from the almost plastic look of her. If that was even the word. Everything about her was… shiny, and superficial. Her uniform was way too small for her, clinging to the perfect figure. Though it hugged just a little too perfectly, it looked like a squeeze to get on. Her hair was unbrushed, hanging in clumpy golden rat tails in front of her face, makeup scrawled over her face like a preschooler had used her face as their own personal canvas.
A doll. The girl reminded me of one of my own abandoned dolls back at my mom’s house. I stopped playing with dolls when I started middle school, but mom refused to throw them away. I found a box of them last summer, amused by the way I had treated them as a little kid. I had ripped and torn at their hair, drowned them in the kitchen sink, and given them “hair transplants” with my mom’s scissors. And that is what the girl reminded me of. One of my abandoned dolls. Her appearance wasn’t bothering anyone to my surprise.
This was a private boarding school for kids with parents with serious cash, and nobody, and I mean nobody, was commenting on the girl who looked like she hadn’t showered in half a decade. The guy’s nose had stopped bleeding, thank god. But I found it hard to believe the girl seemingly did not care. The two of them pretended to kiss, laughing with the others. When they embraced jokingly, he smeared blood all over her cheeks and lips—which she didn’t comment on. The girl didn’t cringe or cry out. Her eyes were bright, lips pulled into a grin which was definitely flirting back.
Was this school crazy, or was I?
“Hellooo? I’m talking to you.”
The guy still wasn’t facing me, picking his way through the food, side-stepping towards the chocolate fountain.
“What is this place?” I found myself asking him.
“Eaton Academy.” He said. “You know, the school the elite send their bratty, misbehaving kids— also a dumping ground for kids they don’t want anymore.” He sighed, sniffing a mocktail and pulling a face. “Especially if they’re divorced and can’t even stand to look at each other. Mom disappears to some exotic location claiming its PR, while daddy ships you to boarding school.”
Well, that sounded personal.
“But… why don’t I remember coming here?”
The guy stuffed a cupcake in his mouth. “I dunno,” he said, spraying crumbs. “You could be jetlagged—or maybe you hit your head?"
He finally turned to face me, and suddenly, I found myself unable to breathe. It wasn’t his appearance, dark brown hair pinned by a pair of raybans, amused eyes drinking me in. No, it was something else; something I couldn’t put a finger on or even reach out for. This guy had set all of my nerve endings on fire, and I didn’t know why, or how. I knew what a crush was. The type of butterflies in your gut crush which twisted you from the inside out.
This wasn’t a crush though.
This wasn't a romantic attraction, or a stupid crush. Instead of making my heart flutter, this guy’s face was setting my body into fight or flight. It was just like the coffee machine, and the strange sense of Déjà vu I had felt inside the cafeteria. I knew this guy. I recognised the tinge in his accent.
I knew that he hated purple macarons, but ate them because he liked to taste the artificial flavouring. That he hated horror movies, was a clumsy drunk, and despised his family for abandoning him. But I didn’t… want to know him. Something inside me wanted to get as far away from him as possible. It didn’t make sense that I knew about him, I knew his face and accent, but I also didn’t know him. The guy must have seen my expression, his brows furrowing. “Are you okay?”
“Yes.” I lied.
“Uh-huh.” Abandoning his plate, he leaned against the table with his arms folded. “So, what do you go by?”
He rolled his eyes. “Duh. Your name.”
My attention flicked to another guy standing at the food table. This kid was more put together than the guy in front of me. Instead of the blazer, he wore white shirt and pants combo—without a tie. His hair was tied back in a ponytail people like him could only pull off. Private school’s birthed rich, attractive-looking students.
This guy was no exception. At first, I thought he was unsure what to get, before he lunged forward like an animal, stuffing food into his mouth. I watched him cram four cupcakes and six sandwiches, followed by chocolate coated strawberries and fruit pastries. He was making a mess, knocking the chocolate fountain over with trembling hands, before carving his fingernails into a whipped cream cake sitting on perfect silver. When he dropped to his knees and pillaged through a mountain of mini cupcakes, I started to feel nauseous.
He wasn’t stopping. I watched him tear chicken directly from the bone and pour the whole bowl of potato salad into his mouth before moving onto every other food in his vicinity. It was almost animal-like. His eyes were blank as he sat on his knees, gnawing on crushed cupcakes and frozen yoghurt.
His lips were smeared with food, chin dripping with icing and potato salad, and chocolate and strawberry frosting. I looked around for someone to help him, for someone to tell him to stop—but just like the guy who had slammed his head into the table multiple times, nobody seemed to notice. Even the Aussie kid still leaning against the table, didn’t even glance at the boy who was starting to turn a shade of green I didn’t know existed. I could see his body’s reaction to the food, that it was trying to stop him, his stomach revolting.
And he continued, his lips set into a pained grin. This wasn’t normal. It was… inhuman. This kid was going to burst, I thought dizzily. “Becca.” I managed to answer the Aussie’s question. Something hit my face, sliding down my cheek. A wet piece of onion from the potato salad flying in every direction. “What’s… wrong with him?”
The Aussie frowned, his gaze flicking to the boy who was now sticking two fingers down his throat, forcing all the food back up which came out in an undigested sludge. His smile didn’t disappear as he continued, grasping fistfuls of food and stuffing it into his gaping mouth. “Huh?”
The kid blinked, seemingly looking straight past the mess on the ground, and the feral-like state the ponytailed kid was in. Looking directly at me, his eyes seemed bright and alive, but looking closer, it was almost like there was a barrier in place stopping him from seeing what was going on. It was either that, or I was going fucking crazy, and was hallucinating some pretty fucked up shit. “Oh, that’s Bulimia.” He shrugged, smirking. “Why? Do you like the look of him?”
His words didn’t make sense in my head—and the name sounded like some kind of sick joke. In a school full of private school kids, I could understand name-calling. This, however, was a whole other level. Just like the boy who slammed his head into the table, and the girl who seemingly didn’t know hygiene, nobody was noticing or commenting on them.
I could see the blood vessels in the ponytailed kid’s eyes starting to bulge and burst, rivulets of dark red seeping down his chin, joining the sludge of food. He let out what sounded like a choked sob, before reaching for another cupcake and forcing it into his mouth, already bulging a variety of sweet and savoury. I had seen hunger before. I had seen binge eating and even bulimia when I was a kid.
But this wasn’t it. This was way past an eating disorder. From the jerking way his hand was moving, twitching towards his mouth like a doll, it almost looked like his hands had a whole mind of their own. I felt sick to my stomach watching him, knowing from the look in his eyes, he was in pain, and he wanted to stop—but he couldn’t.
“What… what did you just call him?”
“Hm?” The Aussie almost slipped in the mess on the floor, though managed to keep his balance. “Oh, Bulimia? Well, that’s his name.”
He stuck out his hand with a grin. “I’m Hot Stuff.”
His name took me off guard, and I almost laughed. I was being pranked—surely. Though this was a little too fucking far for a stupid prank.
I had to force myself to look away from the boy who had stopped eating once more, violently throwing up bloody mush behind me. “You’re… what?” I shook my head, struggling not to cry. “I’m sorry, but are you not going to help that kid?”
Hot Stuff inclined his head like I was the crazy one. Like I was the one slowly eating myself to death. “Why?” He chuckled. “He seems alright to me.” He turned to the boy, amused eyes sparkling. “Yo. Bulimia. New girl wants to know if you’re good.”
To my confusion, the kid eating himself to death nodded with a laugh. “Yeah dude, I’m good,” he paused, lifting his head, and I had to avert my gaze before I threw up myself. I wasn’t seeing food anymore. Instead, there was just blood pouring from his mouth. His body had rejected all of that food, and from the pallid look of his skin, he needed serious help. Even he, though, seemed unfazed by what he had done, instead shooting me a grin through pooling red. The boy got up, and stumbled out of the cafeteria. Even from a distance, I could still hear him violently tearing through another cupcake he’d stuffed into his pocket. Hot Stuff watched him go with a blank look on his face and turned back to the ruined spread of food with a smile.
A smile which seemed permanently glued to his face.
“So, Becca!” He spun on his heel, taking a bite of an apple. “Where are you from?”
“Cleveland.” I said, in a daze. I had so many questions, and most of them were threatening to come out in a shriek I wasn’t sure I could control. “Was that guy okay? Did he go to the nurse?” I had to swallow bouts of hysteria clawing for a way out.
“Bulimia?” Hot Stuff shrugged through a mouthful of apple. “He looked okay to me? Though I get it.” He grinned. “Bulimia Is a good looking guy, I can see why you’re interested, Becca.” He inclined his head, his gaze finding the stain of red on teal green tiles. His eyes darkened for a moment, expression twisting. I thought he was going to snap out of this… trance everyone was in, forced to look through rose tinted glasses and blind to the reality around them. Instead, though, he shook his head and tipped his head back with a sigh. “Buuuuut, I think our boy is taken. I’m not sure by who, but yeah, he’s probably spoken for.”
“No.” I said in a frustrated hiss. “That guy was… he was making himself sick—and he didn’t even seem to care,” I gestured around the room. “None of you seem to care! Even you! Don’t you think that’s weird?” I took a step towards him, and Déjà vu sprung again. I had done this before. I had shouted at him before—and he had pulled that exact same expression.
Amused, with a smidge of pissed. I even somehow knew his reaction would be rolling his eyes and tipping his back with a groan. Shaking away intense feelings coming over me like ice-cold water, I let out a breath. “Did you even see him spewing his stomach lining? The guy was bleeding, and all of you… you just pretend it’s not happening? How is that not seriously fucked up?” Now that I had his attention, I couldn’t stop myself. “Where are the teachers?” I hissed out. “I don’t even fucking remember coming here, there are zero teachers, and you’re all acting like watching someone barf their insides out is normal!”
Hot Stuff looked confused, again, like I was the crazy one. He opened his mouth to speak, before a voice rang out across the room, startling me.
The buzz of white noise and chatting around the cafeteria came to a sudden halt when the girl I had been watching earlier, who still had her boyfriend’s blood all over her face, jumped onto a table, waving her arms to shut everyone up. And they did. As if she had some kind of hypnotic control over them, every face turned towards the girl. Now that I was seeing her up close, this girl looked even worse. Her skin didn’t look like… skin. It glistened artificial light. Almost like I was looking at a real-life doll.
Smiling widely like everyone else, with that same oddly blank look in her eyes, the girl started to talk about things I didn’t care about—because I was getting out. There was no way I was staying in a school where the entire student body just existed to be grinning, mindless robots who acted like NPC’S.
However, even when I was backing away slowly, ready to find the nearest exist, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of dread coiling in my gut, stopping me from leaving. Slowly, I turned back to the girl who was talking about the cheerleading team needing more members, and there was a missing laptop reported by an underclassman. Hot Stuff was like everyone else, casually leaning against the brunch table, and smiling at the doll-like girl.
It was when her plastic-looking fingers went to her hair and began to tear it out, did my stomach start to twist itself into knots. She didn’t just touch her hair, running her fingers through strands of fake-looking locks. Instead, the girl started to tug at her scalp, ripping out chunks of hair with a wide smile. It was when smeared red started to appear, first on her forehead, and then her neck and cheek, as she fisted handfuls of hair and tore it straight from her scalp, when I realized I was staring at an actual doll with human-like features. It wasn’t just her arms and legs. Her face looked plastic.
The hair stained deep, dark red stuck between her fingers was fake. Not like hair extensions, like actual doll hair I had memories of tugging my Barbie brush through as a little kid. Something ice-cold crept down my spine. I was paralysed to the spot, watching her claw at her head until half of her hair was gone, what looked like shredded skin, something fleshy and pink caked under perfectly manicured nails. “Is everyone excited to speak to Abigail tonight?” She shouted out into her audience of transfixed faces.
They couldn’t see it, I thought. Glancing at Hot Stuff, his expression wasn’t even twitching as this girl ripped at not just hair, but her scalp, the tips of her fingers dripping scarlet. His head was cocked at an angle, lips forming a smile of appreciation.
Not even the girl noticed what she was doing, continuing her speech about a pep rally they were all excited for. I found my voice somewhere between stumbling into the brunch table, and falling to my knees, before diving back to my feet, every instinct telling me to turn and run away from what I had found myself stuck inside. I was still curious, however.
Part of me wanted to know why splinters of me knew this school—why I knew Hot Stuff, and why I was transfixed by this girl ripping herself apart in front of a silent mass of hypnotised kids staring at her like she was the second coming of Christ. “Who is Abigail?”
I barely heard myself. I almost felt like I was speaking into a void, my voice more of a breathy murmur.
Hot Stuff’s head whipped around suddenly, his lips twitching into a scowl. It was the way he moved, his expression darkening, which sent my heart into my throat. His voice was too loud, and the room had gone deathly silent. Hot Stuff’s lips curled into a snarl. I could sense him stiffening up, his hands falling into fists. Almost territorial. “You don’t know who Abigail is?”
“No.” I said in a breath, eyeing the exit. Because this guy had gone from dazedly smiling and trancelike, to feral animal in a matter of a second. “I just got here.”
His lips contorted into disgust, and before I could back away, he was grabbing my arm, and throwing it up. “Becca wants to meet Abigail!”
Hot Stuff jumped up and down like an excited kid. It took me a moment to realize it, a sudden, unexplainable agony curling my lips into a silent screech. But then I was staring down at the boy’s fingers wrapped around my forearm—and my flesh bubbling underneath it, my skin turned an unnatural shade of red.
With words I couldn’t coerce choking on my tongue, I wrenched my arm away from him. The flesh of my arm was burned. Not just burned, it was charred, already melted through my blazer and shirt. The pain was nothing like I had ever felt before; vicious bolts of electricity singing my skin. I grabbed a bottle of water to douse my arm before another hand caught it. I lifted my head to find the doll-like girl standing directly in front of me. Her smile was too wide, her teeth far too white to be natural. “Do you really want to meet Abigail?!”
She spoke in a shriek, and the room of kids seemed to mimic her.
I couldn’t speak, my attention on my arm, and then Hot Stuff. He couldn’t have been that hot, right? Not hot enough to burn straight through my skin!
“Hey!” The girl poked me in the forehead, and her finger felt like straight-up plastic. I fought against cringing away with every eye on me, including Hot Stuff, who’s lip was curled. “What’s your name?” She frowned. “I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”
“Becca.” I whispered, writhing in pain.
“Hi Becca!” The girl waved cheerily. “I’m Barbie!” She leaned close to me, her breath tickling my ear. “I can’t wait for you to meet Abigail tonight!”
I got out of there fast. Hot Stuff’s blank grin was driving me crazy. Every time I caught his eye, I wanted to know how exactly he had managed to do that to my arm. Though his unseeing eyes and lack of brain cells turned me off. Luckily, I did find a nurse’s office with an actual adult who managed to clean me up and bandage up my arm. When I was sitting on an observation bed, swinging my legs, the woman was applying ointment, she tutted to herself. “You would not believe how many kids I have coming in here after spilling scalding coffee all over themselves,” she chuckled. “Please take care when handling hot beverages.”
“It wasn’t coffee,” I whispered, “It was one of the guys.”
The nurse straightened up, her lips twisting into a frown. She was pressing far too much pressure on my arm. I tugged away with a hiss. She apologised with a gentle smile. “I’m sorry, are you saying another student has thrown coffee all over you?”
“No,” I hissed out. “His hand!” I leaned forward. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you! He grabbed my arm, and I think… I think he burned my arm.” Shaking my head, I hissed out a breath. “There’s something wrong with them. These kids. They’re crazy!”
She hummed. “Do you think he intended to hurt you?”
The nurse wasn’t getting it, and I couldn’t be bothered trying to explain what I was sure had been a seventeen year old kid almost burning my flesh from the bone. When the nurse first saw it, she called an ambulance and told me I would be taken to an emergency room. Which never happened. I don’t know if she forgot, or maybe she had some kind of memory loss, because she sent me to my room with a bag of candy and a bottle of water.
I thought I’d have trouble finding my room, though I found it easily, navigating the ancient and yet modern aesthetic of the school. The stairs to the girl’s dorm were practically crumbling, but modern architecture made up the dorms themselves, wide windows and doors with mechanical locks on them. When I dragged my luggage through a fancy wooden door with an ornate handle, my stuff was already set up, my clothes in the wardrobe, all of my books and my comics stuffed into a shelf by the window. Even my laptop had been set up on my desk.
I made a mental note to thank my roommate, a curly blonde, who was standing in the middle of the room staring at me like I had grown a second head. When I made a move towards her, she stumbled back, eyes widening with fright.
Her side of the room was strangely empty except for a blanket, some books, and one stuffed teddy bear sitting awkwardly on her pillows. It almost looked like she was the new girl. Ignoring her look of horror as I strode over to my bed and flung my luggage down, I plonked myself down on my comforter. I shot her a smile. “Thanks for unpacking for me, but I’m not staying here.”
The girl frowned at me before hurrying over to her desk, grabbing a pen and a notepad, and scribbling something down, before holding it up.
I'M SORRY, BECCA. She wrote something else in a frenzied squiggle. “I CAN’T HELP YOU.”
Something in my chest tightened. “How do you know my name?” I whispered. “Did someone tell you?” When she lifted her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them, I couldn’t stop myself asking the question nobody seemed to want to answer.
“What the fuck is going on?” I hissed out. “This school is psychotic. Why am I here? Why can’t I remember coming here?”
The girl looked torn for a moment before shaking her head. Instead of using the pen and pad, she took slow, stumbling strides towards me before opening her mouth.
I thought she was showing me her perfect teeth at first—teeth which were unnaturally white just like Barbie’s. When I looked closer, though, I realized what she was pointing at with the tip of her index finger. My roommate didn’t have a tongue. Or she did, but it was barely that of one, just a slither of something which had managed to hang on. Her tongue had been severed from the trauma in the back of her mouth. Yanked out. I think that was the point I thought fuck no. I wasn’t staying there.
I didn’t even wait for my roommate to close her mouth. I’m not sure how I got from A to B so fast, I think it was the adrenaline. I passed kids who smiled widely at me, and I wondered if their tongues were gone too. Once I was outside, however, my shoes treading on tarmac under my feet, in a dizzying and confusing flash of light, I was back in my room in front of my roommate. Now that I was looking at her, really taking her in, freckled cheeks and an oddly shaped nose, hair she was constantly tucking behind her ears because it always got in her face, I knew her too.
She held up her notepad and told me to stop—told me there was no point. I didn’t care. I tried again. And again. And again. Every single time, I barely managed to step over the threshold before I was back inside my room, screaming and clawing at my own hair in frustration. On my third or fourth attempt, I did manage to see a gate. An open gate. So, there was a way out.
Except every time my shoes touched the outside, cool air grazing my face, I was exactly where I started. Sitting on my bed with a slowly building migraine. My roommate, who seemed the sanest out of everyone, handed me a bottle of water which I downed half of before throwing the bottle against the wall. “What is going on?” I whispered in a shriek. “Why can’t I get out of here?!”
The girl scribbled something else.
“Don’t go to sleep tonight.”
She shook her head. “If you go to sleep, you will join them.” She drew a sad face, which made me feel maybe a fraction better.
I grabbed a cushion off of my bed, squeezing it to my chest. “What’s your name?”
The girl frowned. She wrote down, “Did you forget?” her expression seemed to change for a moment, her eyes turning hollow, which aged her way above seventeen. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she scribbled over that, writing: “My name is Josie.”
“Josie.” I said. “Why can’t I fall asleep tonight?”
My roommate’s gaze found the ground before she hesitantly picked up her pad and pen.
“I already got my punishment.” She had written, gesturing to her mouth. “I spread a lot of false rumours, and….” She hesitated, the pen on the paper. “It’s not like I agree with my punishment. But I am glad I no longer have use of my mouth.”
The twisted and contorted legs of a spider wriggled their way down my spine.
“I’m better now.” Josie wrote down with a smiley face. “We’re all better now!”
I thought she was finished before Josie scrawled down something else, holding the notepad up, a smile curving on her lips. I recognised that exact gleam in her eyes. It had sparkled in Hot Stuff and Barbie’s. Josie’s eyes weren’t quite blank, but I couldn’t call them coherent. “I can’t wait for you to meet Abigail!” she wrote, her handwriting progressively harder to read—like she had ignored her own warning. Josie spent hours writing to me about Abigail, though halfway through the hour mark, my roommate’s writing became nothing but a confusing smear of black creeping across the page. I saw the same feral look twisted in her eyes, identical to the boy who had almost eaten himself to death, and Hot Stuff when I admitted I didn’t know who Abigail was.
This was blindly worshipping someone I didn’t even know. Josie didn’t stop until the pen had run out, and she was using her fingernails instead. When I grasped at her hand and told her to stop, she shoved me back with strength I didn’t know she had.
Suffice to say, I did sleep that night.
There was nothing else to do but freak out and attempt to break out of the window which surprise, surprise, had bars on them. I wasn’t sure when I fell asleep, but I woken up with a familiar scalding hot and clammy hand slamming over my mouth, gagging my screams. Hot Stuff. Next to him, to my surprise, was the boy with the ponytail, and Barbie. This time, his touch was blistering. When I screamed, he removed his hand, and ordered me to get out of bed.
I did, falling face-first onto Josie’s beaded rug. I was dragged to my feet, the three of them dragging me from my room. Before I could speak, a blindfold was wrapped around my eyes, and I had to bite back a shriek. Hot Stuff’s fingers singed the back of my neck, his breath like steam, making me shiver. Stumbling in the dark, I fell twice, only to be tugged to my feet violently. Something about the way I was being pulled, my bare toes trailing across carpet, then wood, and finally freezing cold stone, sent waves of déjà vu taking my mind once again.
I knew this route. I knew the uncomfortable feeling of marble tiles on the soles of my feet. I knew my own stifled giggles as we attempted to hide from teachers on the prowl looking for kids sneaking out after curfew. Blinking through the blindfold, I knew the hypnotic glow of candles at the corner of my eye as we took slow steps in our descent. But all of these times locked in my memory, unreachable pieces of myself which had been torn away. I had been on the other side.
I wasn’t the person being dragged roughly, their trembling hands bound behind their back with tough rope.
I was the one dragging them.
I had dragged multiple kids down these exact stone steps, laughing when they cried out for their mommy.
When I was shoved onto my knees, the blindfold was finally tugged off. Candlelight hit my eyes. It was enough to transfix me, the warm glow bathing me, and everyone around me in a heavenly-like allure.
Around me, I could sense them. Kids dressed in black on their knees. Next to me, Hot Stuff and Ponytail knelt, blank, heads tipped back, unseeing eyes glued to something... when I lifted my own head, I found myself staring at... gold. No, not just gold; a mountain of gold, silver, cash and riches, watches and anything of worth, anything tinted with diamonds, underneath a single swaying corpse pinned to the wall.
It was a girl. Or it had been a girl, her face wasn't much of a face, flesh peeling from her bones, lips stretched into a wide, skeletal grin. Abigail. Something inside my mind... snapped. I had been drowning in fog for the last several hours, stuck inside a school I didn't know with strangers bearing faces I did. When my gaze found Abigail, however, I knew exactly where I was.
And I knew who she was.
I knew who I was.
The deep crevices where her eyes had been burned into me, as my purged mind was given clarity. I saw a flash of Bulimia grasping hold of a flailing girl with wide, terrified eyes, and forcing food into her mouth, his lips cruelly twisted into a look of mania.
When she did force down the food, he crammed another cupcake in her mouth, squeezing her nose so she was forced to swallow it down, her eyes filling with tears. Another flash, and this time I was seeing a classroom. Hot Stuff wielding a knife glowing orange, and pressing it to the girl's flesh, making her scream and cry out, trying to get away. But he just shoved her down, pressing harder until the burning blade was melting her skin. Barbie joined them, clawing at the girl's hair, a maniacal grin twisting her lips, drawing all over her face with eyeliner. “We’re going to make you look sooo cute, Abbie! Like a doll!”
Finally, my last memory; a startling agony starting to build in my chest. Abigail sat on the edge of the well outside of the school grounds. Hot Stuff and Bulimia held her down. Barbie stood several feet away filming everything, with Josie next to her, giggling. This time it was my voice which sounded out. "Do witches float? Let's see! Abbie, sweetie. If you sink, you're a witch. But! If you're innocent, you'll float! How does that sound, huh? Sound fun?" Before she could open her mouth, I was thrusting my arms forwards, and shoving her into the dark, my own lips curved into a grin. "Sink." I said with a laugh.
“Siiinkkkkk!” Hot Stuff hollered, with the others joining in.
Abigail reached out for me, grasping hold of the collar of my shirt, and something changed in her eyes, a glitter which made me stumble back.
"Get off of me!” I shrieked, shoving her forwards. “Fucking witch!”
Coming out of the memory, I knew exactly who these people surrounding me were, and I knew the power which had taken over them.
Hot Stuff was Roman, a Korean diplomat’s son.
Bulimia. Cal, whose mother owned a well-known fast-food chain.
Barbie. Mari. The mere presence of her family sent shockwaves through anyone brave enough to get to know her.
But… There was one person missing.
I saw glimpses of him in the memory. When I had shoved the girl, I freaked out, trying to get one of them to help me. But they just laughed. Jared, my boyfriend, wrapped his arms around me and swung me around, the two of us laughing, entangled in a kiss. “Just pretend it didn’t happen,” he murmured into my ear, before shouting at the others. “Understand? It was suicide.” He pulled a cigarette from his pocket and lit it up, taking a drag. “The girl was never going to fit in here, anyway.”
Blinking rapidly, I searched for him. Roman had quickly gotten to his feet after being handed something sitting on a velvet cushion, before dropping to his knees in front of Abigail’s corpse. He started to chant in a low murmur, the others surrounding him joining in, their minds and bodies taken over. When I crept towards him, trying to squint in the candlelight, I realized it was a head. Jared’s head.
I could still see hair sprouting from a decomposing skull. Which I had already seen snapped off of his body by a Cas, and Mari thrusting a gilded knife through his skull. I remembered screaming, and being dragged back, a knife pressed to my throat. And a promise by Abigail, spoken through Mari’s lips which trailed across my neck in a kiss. At the corner of my eye, hundreds of threaded dolls with my classmates' faces stood against the wall.
Four of them were torn limb from limb, blood like string pouring from their heads.
She would take a piece of me.
Like I had taken a piece of her.
That promise was held, as once the chanting had stopped, I was forced onto a bed of stone, the cruel, cold blade of scalpel slicing into my flesh, my screams gagged by a hand which scalded my lips, sending my thoughts into a dizzying spiral of nothing. But I didn’t fall asleep. Abigail didn’t let me. Instead, I was forced to watch them delve into the meat of me, slowly, so I would feel everything, and take a chunk of me away. I saw it in their hands smeared in slithering red and glistening gore.
When I woke up, screaming, back inside my dorm-room, I thought it was a nightmare.
Until my gaze found bloody sheets, and under my shirt, clumsy stitches barely holding my stomach together. When I blinked, there she was at the corner of my eye. Smiling that same skeletal grin. I tried to get out again, but I am stuck with her.
I am stuck here with Abigail implanted inside of me. She is everywhere, and I can’t escape.
I know I am a bad person. I did something awful, and she is making me pay for it rightfully so. However, Isn’t this going too far? How is it even possible to take control of the school like this? How can this girl have so much power over everyone—and most importantly, why hasn’t she killed me? I don't even know how I can get an Internet connection. I knew she was weird. But this is way beyond anything I have even heard of.
Witchcraft. But this isn’t the type we caught Abigail doing.
I am a disgusting human being.
But. If you have anything. Literally anything. I am begging you.
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2023.05.23 15:10 blackkettle Five Week Trip Report: April-May; Kansai, Kanto; Previous long-term resident family
We are a family of three. I previously lived in Japan for about 10 years. My wife is Japanese from the Kansai region, and we have a 6 year old son born and raised abroad, but who speaks/reads/writes Japanese at a native or near-native level for his age. My wife and son traveled back to Osaka several times during Covid, but I did not join them due to the additional logistics requirements at the time, and the sense that it would not be particularly enjoyable. Prior to covid we would typically spend about 4-5 weeks a year in Japan, but this was our first long day-in-the-life trip together in the past four years.
It was a phenomenal trip, and I wanted share what we did. Our trip is probably a little bit unconventional compared to most of the reports here as we all speak Japanese and are very familiar with Japan having lived there for quite some time in the past. Our main goals for our trip were to provide our son with immersion opportunities, to meet family, and to visit with old friends. We lived for many years in both Osaka and Tokyo and I have relatives in Shizuoka. We also love craft beer, games, and quirky museums; I think our trip itinerary reflects all of this.
General Pre-trip Preparation:
Our son is a second-year kindergartener in Zurich, Switzerland, but he also speaks Japanese and attends a Japanese school part time. He's very outgoing and enjoys new adventures (probably because we have been dragging him around to San Diego or Osaka almost every year for most of his life). This year we thought it would be interesting if he could experience a real Japanese elementary school during our stay. To this end about 2 months before we left, my wife contacted the local elementary school near her parents house in Osaka and inquired about the possibility of doing a short 'study abroad' (体験留学) at some point during our stay. To our surprise she received a prompt reply from the school principal, who was very enthusiastic about the prospect, and happy to arrange all the details upon our arrival. Apparently he had previously worked at an international school and had a very positive outlook on this sort of interaction. Final details were to be determined on site in a short family interview in order to get a sense of our son's Japanese ability and disposition.
We typically spend our long-term stays with our relatives but this time we decided to break our trip up into several stages: Osaka at Home, Osaka at Large, Return to Tokyo, Shizuoka, Osaka at home. The remainder of the report is broken up accordingly.
Part 1: Osaka-at-Home I.
The first week we flew in to Osaka KIX from Zurich via Seoul, and took the Hello Kitty Express :-) directly into Umeda where we met up with family and went straight to a Yakiniku experience at Yakiniku Toraji
on the B2 floor of the Lucua building at Umeda. At first we planned to make the journey home to drop off our luggage but after we realized that the airport express now drops you off at essentially the Lucua B1, we decided to just head straight to dinner. Needless to say, it was epic. We grabbed some bread and pastries for the following morning and headed home with mom and dad. GENERAL ANECDOTES: Masks
; Even on first arrival it was clear that we made the right decision to come after the covid restrictions finally lifted. Everything was open, and people were out. Roughly 90+% of people were still wearing masks everywhere, but this percentage steadily declined over the duration of our stay to, I would say, 65%-70% by the time we left on May 20th. We chose not to wear them, and my MIL/FIL were also not wearing them. At no point during the trip did I feel there was any concern about this in either direction. Anyone traveling in the near future should feel completely free to go whichever way you prefer.
During the first week we sorted out our jet lag, and spent a lot of time roaming around conbinis and the supermarkets remembering all the little delicious nothings that Japan has to offer. We stayed with mom and dad in Ebie, Fukushima, right on Yodogawa. This is about 5 min bike ride from Nodahanshin station, and 10-15min ride to Fukushima station or Umeda. We made all these rides many times during our stay! We made some mellow probing adventures: Prepaid SIMs
. I still have to answer emails and typically work on-and-off during these trips. One of the reasons we are able to do it is because I work in IT. This means it's always important to get a good prepaid SIM. On my last visit, four years ago I was able to find a great deal on a prepaid SIM at Yodobashi in Umeda, so one of my first orders of business was to repeat that experience this time. However after discussing with the sales and purchasing a SIM with 50GB for 1mo @ Y8000, I found out that it did not permit tethering. This was stated as a 'possibility' in the fine print and when I asked at purchase time the sales person said they couldn't guarantee it but thought it should work. I gambled and lost. This was quite annoying given the main purpose of purchasing a high volume prepaid SIM was for tethering to my laptop. Anyway as a result I discovered the eSIM tech which was also supported by my iPhone 14. I ended up buying another eSIM plan using Ubigi and this worked great and supported tethering without issue throughout my trip. It also worked great for our short return stop in South Korea. I'll never go back to prepaid physical SIMs and I still cannot believe that Docomo is still blocking tethering in 2023. Completely ridiculous. Exercise
: I am an avid swimmer and cyclist. Since we typically stay for around 1 month I like to be able to continue my swim workouts while we are in Japan. Cycling isn't a problem since we end up biking and walking all over the country anyway. I always join the Konami Sports Club
network for 1 month as a regular member the first day we arrive. They provide a bunch of different plans and most of the Type III and Type IV gyms in the network have a 25SCM lap pool. If you join the network you can use any of facilities anywhere in the country, which is great if you spend time in more than one city. The Type III and Type IV facilities all have really great bath house areas as well, with multiple sento-style baths and usually a big sauna. You need to make sure that you join and quit on the same day (or at least in the same week) so that your membership will be properly cancelled at the end of the first billing cycle. This might be tough if you don't speak Japanese well, but if you do the staff is super accommodating and will definitely help you make it happen. In addition to the exercise, one thing I really like about doing this is that it gives me another day-in-the-life experience; it's like living there again; doing things that locals do. The Kitahama facility in Osaka is particularly nice; It's a new one and it's my favorite. Internet Cafes
: I worked on and off during the trip and usually do work days at local internet cafes. The three I liked best during this trip were:
- Brooklyn Coffee Namba : Big spacious area with lots of sockets and reasonably fast free wifi if you don't have a SIM (or don't have one that supports tethering...). It's really dedicated to remote work so there is zero pressure to leave. You can spend the whole day working there with a couple cups of coffee and no one will bug you. The only downside is that it is a bit of trek from Namba station.
- Brooklyn Coffee Kitahama : Same chain as above. This one is smaller, but has a similar vibe. It's right on the river which makes for a cool view. It's closer to the station but I definitely prefer the Namba shop.
- Starbucks Umeda MeRise : This is a pretty sweet Starbucks that is much more 'devoted' to remote work than most. They have a 'startup' area on the second floor, loads of seats, loads of plugs and a solid wifi connection. It's a hop skip and a jump from Umeda which also makes it convenient. Starbucks Japan still offers the one-more-coffee receipts which is a great bonus here. You can get a second cup of cold brew or hot coffee for about Y180 in the same size as the first one you purchase.
: We keep a couple of momma-charis at my in-laws place, including one with a kid-seat on the back. We did plenty of riding and my son loves the unique-to-him experience of riding on the back of the bike. We considered getting him his own bike this year, but eventually decided against it due to the complex traffic. Osaka is pretty easy to get around in by bicycle in terms of terrain - there are very few hills in the city proper, however the traffic is a little bit gnarly. Midosuji street is a great example of this. It runs in a mostly straight line from Umeda/Osaka station, across Oebashi and Yodobashi past Osaka city hall, and down through Dotonbori to Namba. It's a cool little ride if you have the time and inclination and it is mostly flat. It runs only in one direction for most of this length however many Japanese cyclists seem to not be aware of this fact. I was surprised/amazed/terrified by how many people I encountered riding against the flow of traffic on this quite busy street. Plenty of mama-charis with kids on back as well. It's pretty chaotic and not for the faint of heart! That said I enjoy the rides and the people watching and the adventure that a little chaos can provide as long as you keep your eyes open.
-------------------------------------------------- LOCATIONS, FOOD AND ADVENTURES
- Osaka Kids Plaza : We made a solid day of visiting Osaka Kids Plaza. This place is great if you have 3-8 year olds and want to find something to do with them, especially on a rainy day. In past years we have also visited KidoKido Bornelund in Grand Front Umeda, but at 6 our son seemed to have outgrown it this time around. Osaka Kids Plaza was still plenty of fun.
- Yakitori Masaya: We looove all Japanese food and Yakitori is no exception. We usually visit the local Torikizoku but it was their day off so we tried this new place in Fukushima. It didn't disappoint.
- Honmachi Seimenjo Ten: I love cold bukkake udon and sanuki udon. This place in Lucua is pretty passable, easy access and great value for money. It's definitely not as good as Tokyo Mentsudan in Shinjuku, Tokyo - which is absolutely banging - but it was a good first taste.
- Round 1 Stadium Sennichimae : My son has started to enjoy gaming and I wanted to explore this with him so we dedicated our first father-son adventure day of the trip to a large game center - the likes of which simply do not exist in either Switzerland or the US. Needless to say it was a massive hit. They have plenty of Mario Kart, Densha de Go, and Taiko no Tatsujin (our favorites) as well as bowling, pool, gokarts and more. Of course there are also oodles of crane games to waste your money on as well. After the game center we walked for Ramen near Namba:
- Namba Ramen Ichiza this place is pretty much brand new from the look of it. It has a slew of different ramen shops and all they all looked delicious. We visited twice after the first success. There are many tourist oriented ramen shops in the shotengai in dontonburi and sennichimae, but IMO this was a much better experience. We found it because my son wasn't into the crowded dark vibe in the shops below. This place was well-lit and spacious, and the shops readily provided kid utensils and smaller tori-zara so that I could scoop more reasonable portions for him. It's also right next to Namba station.
- Edion Namba Kids Park : the Edion building with the Ramen Park on the 9F also has a huge toys, models, and kids park on 7F. We visited this before heading home. They have a big games section, a Bandai section, a very large Plarail and Tomika section, and a great Lego section. Super fun to browse; plenty of open stuff for the kids to play with too.
- Osaka Castle park: We roamed the park a bit then had lunch at the little Ramen park in the Castle Terrace area adjacent to Osakajokoen. The weather was nice and the back area of the ramen park has a great view of Osaka castle. After that we took the tourist road train that runs around the park and road it up to the last stop right in front of Osaka castle. There is always a lot of commentary about walking in this sub; if you don't want to walk all the way through the park for whatever reason, the little road train is a great option. You still have to climb maybe 4 floors worth of steps to get to the castle entrance, but the train gets you pretty close. In the end we decided not to go into the castle since the line was looking pretty long and we've been multiple times before. We ate some jihanki ice cream in the main plaza under the castle. After that we hiked back down to exit via the Otemon gate and made a quick stop at my wife's alma mater Osaka Otemae High School before hopping a bus headed towards Kitahama and eventually back home.
As I mentioned, we love craft beer, and we particularly love Hazy IPAs in all their various forms. We made it a point in this trip to explore this aspect of Japan as it seems to have really exploded in popularity since our last visit. We followed (hazy_mmy)[https://www.instagram.com/hazy_mmy/?hl=en]
for some great ideas outside the brewpubs.
- Lucua Craft Beer Market: This place has been around for several years, and is still going pretty strong. It features a lot of interesting IPAs, Stouts, Sours, and standard Pilsners and Pale Ales. They usually have a Hazy or two on tap as well. There is an unrelated beer and wine shop on the same floor that has a great selection of IPA and Hazy IPA cans as well.
- Ape Brewing: One of our first craft beer explorations of the trip was Ape Brewing. These guys just got started and we got to meet their brew master and taste some awesome brews. Food is great and the ambiance was great too; there's bar seating and nice views of those shiny vats if you're into that sort of thing. They were also very child friendly (as were I think all the spots we hit this time) and had plenty of soda and juice and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Yellow Ape Craft : Ape Brewing is an offshoot of the Yellow Ape Craft brew pub which we had visited on previous trips. It's also located in Kitahama, nearer to the station, and has a more general, different array of craft beers as well as a different menu. We ended up turning our Kitahama visit into a mini pub crawl and stopped off at this spot on the way home as well. It didn't disappoint.
We wrapped up this mini pub crawl with a walk through the Kitahama/Yodoyabashi area in the evening. This is more of business district but it actually has some interesting novel historical sites. There are a number of cool Meiji Era buildings with large explanatory placards. These are predominantly in Japanese and maybe a bit obscure, and you also won't be able to enter most of them, but if you are into this sort of thing it's can be a fun bonus. I'm guessing google translate in photo mode can get you most of the way through the placards:
there are a bunch more, these just happen to be the ones that caught our eye as we passed by on our mini pub crawl.
Part 2. Osaka-at-Large
We spent roughly our first two weeks in Osaka, but in order to get a change of pace and give our family a break, we opted to spend the second week in an apartment-hotel near Umeda. This was a great decision and a lot of fun. We were able to host friends, had even better access to Umeda and could relax and enjoy the city from a fresh angle.
We spent 7 nights in the rooftop luxury suite at Minn Kita Umeda
and it was epic. My wife booked this about 6 months in advance and it was worth every last yen. The room was spacious and quiet with two large comfy beds. The bathroom included a deep Japanese style bath. There is a large rooftop deck with a jacuzzi overlooking Lucua/Umeda/Osaka station. This view at night was phenomenal. At present there is also a ton of highrise construction going on behind Grand Front which my son got a kick out of (and me too). The apartment has a large kitchen and living room space as well, and we used it to host some visits from friends.
-------------------------------------------------- LOCATIONS, FOOD AND ADVENTURES
I ended up working most of this week so we only managed one major adventure.
- SpaWorld Osaka: Onsen from around the world. This was probably the one experience I would categorize as a strong do-not-recommend. My son and I were looking for another adventure day target and settled on an onsen adventure. I've been to Oedo Onsen Monogatari a couple of times and there is also a new one in Osaka city: Solaniwa Onsen but for some reason we picked Spa World. It is located about 5min walk from Dobutsuen-Mae station. This area is basically skid row; my wife and MIL warned me, but I didn't really believe them since I've never seen any truly 'run down' area of Japan. This area was hilariously decrepit and I got a lot of I-told-you-so's after we got back. Spa World itself is somewhat OK. The facility is pretty clean and the baths are relatively well kept. However the water-park area on the top floor was honestly pretty gross. We floated around the lazy river quite a few times; but it was more like a gross, overly warm moat. There was a kiddy slide area but it was not particularly great and had a bunch of really hard surfaces in the play areas that were not kind. There were a couple of pretty cool looking tandem water slides but they had a scale and a weight-differential requirement of 'no more than 20kg'. Unfortunately for us I'm 6'3", 92kg and my son is a gangly 6 year old weighing in at 21kg. They took one look at us and didn't even bother with the scale. The kicker here however was the bathroom. Right before we left to go down to the sento area, I used the mens room and it was absolutely filthy. The mens urinals had a high wooden shelf which is probably not visible to 95% of Japanese visitors but as I mentioned, I'm pretty tall. I could see this thing and it was not only absolutely filthy but crawling with little black bugs. I just about retched and headed out immediately afterwards. The Spas of the World on the floor below was in much better shape. It was clean and good fun; we visited Greece and Spain and Italy :-) and finally headed home. My son had a great time and I would have classified it as 'OK' if not for the bathroom experience which was just unbelievable. In retrospect I honestly should have reported it. As it stands I'd give it a hard NOT recommended; Oedo Onsen or Solaniwa should be much better bets.
- Hep5 Ferris Wheel: We've ridden this a few times in the day but never before at night. It was pretty cool and gives you a nice long view of the city from all angles. The contrast between the Osaka city night and Zurich is pretty extreme! My only minor complaint was that they had some kind of Care Bear theme going on an there was a large temporary Care Bear decal on the side of the car which obstructed part of the view.
- Shuns Kushiage, Kushikatsu: We also love kushiage/kshikatsu and we ate a ton on this trip. One of our favorite haunts is Shuns on 10F Lucua.
- Curry House CoCo Ichibanya: I also love Japanese style curry and CoCo Ichibanya. This is standard chain that can be found throughout Japan. They serve a bunch of Japanese style curry rice and you can customize them with things like tonkatsu, hirekatsu, sausage, cheese, etc. You can also customize the spice level and it goes up to seriously spicy which is sometimes tough to find in Japan!
- Pause Coffee: This little hole in the wall coffee shop is located just next to the Minn apartment hotel we were staying at. It was always packed with locals and made great coffee and great sweets.
- Craft Burger Co. : Solid burgers and some good craft beers on tap. They also had sliders that were perfectly sized for a 6 year old. We visited the Dojima shop. This wasn't the best burger we had, but it was definitely tasty and worth a visit if you like burgers and are in the area.
- Saien Yakiniku : This is a little hole in the wall yakiniku place that we've been visiting for over 20 years. It's good and we always visit at least once, but the biggest reason for this that we know the owner and it's a family tradition dating back to my wife's childhood. Their 'aji kurabe' (taste comparison plate) is pretty good though and comes with a selection of beef from every major region of Japan.
- Yellow Ape Craft: TheBottleShop & Kitchen: This was the final installation in the Yellow Ape franchise, also located in the Kitahama area. This one was really cool in that they have a self-serve tap setup using IC cards. The staff hands you an IC card when they seat you, and you can order food as normal. But the taps are all installed in a public facing wall on the opposite end of the pub and you pour your own beer by inserting your IC card into the reader above the tap. It then records your pour by the ml and charges you sort of like a gas station. I'd never seen this before and visited it with a friend, and later again with the family. It was pretty fun. They also have a few games and a rubiks cube if you're into that. They also have plenty of bottles for takeaway and had 3-4 Hazy IPAs on tap when we visited.
- Drunk Bears Osaka: This place has deep dish pizza and we were hoping it could compare with DevilCraft. The pizza was OK but the beer lineup ended up being pretty subpar.
Part 3. Return to Tokyo
For our third week we returned to Tokyo to visit old haunts and old friends, and take in the even bigger city. We headed up early on the Nozomi shinkansen after checking out of the Minn. We bought bento in Shin Osaka station and our son picked out a shinkansen shaped Ekiben box
to bring back for school lunches.
We previously lived for about 7 years in Jiyugaoka, and planned to spend time there meeting friends, but we decided to stay in an area we were less familiar with in order to get a fresh perspective on the city. We spent 6 nights at the Blossom Hotel Hibiya
which is about 5 min walk from Shimbashi station. It's a highrise with the hotel on the top. We had a room facing Tokyo Tower with a great view. The rooms themselves were clean and comfy with the external wall composed of a single huge bay window. The city scape was amazing night and day.
I ended up having to put out fires at work again during this week even though I had tried to take it off, and this put a little bit of a damper on some exploration plans, but we still managed to see all our friends and make a go of the time. Also since we already spent almost 10 years in Tokyo altogether, we didn't feel nearly as pressured to check out multiple tourist sites and focused on eating, drinking, and meeting with friends.
-------------------------------------------------- LOCATIONS, FOOD AND ADVENTURES
- Poop Museum Tokyo: This place was absolutely bonkers. My wife found it randomly and jokingly suggested that we should check it out. We wandered around Odaiba and visited. There was a huge line. My wife opted to go shopping but my son and I decided we couldn't pass up this opportunity. It was bizarre, hilarious and entertaining and well worth the entry fee. The highlights including a fuzzy mechatronic Poop-animal petting zoo, an Unko speech recognition game where screaming 'unko' (poo) resulted in a poo tower visualization with size corresponding to the volume of your scream - this was then aligned with a landmark of corresponding size for reference, e.g., the Eiffel Tower. There were also various games and photo ops with cute poo and you receive a poo on a stick as a souvenir. Just a bizarre unique experience.
- Tokyo Tower: We climbed Tokyo tower with friends on a beautiful starry night. It was great. I had hoped to climb the stairs but we were too late. There was a special lighting arrangement related to Golden Week which we managed to catch. The view is great but the tower is now almost entirely surrounded by gigantic Mori office skyscrapers that are as tall or taller than the lower viewing platform!
- Tokyo Sky Tree: We also climbed the Sky Tree on another day. This was fun too. It's way higher, but it's almost so high that the features of the city are a bit obscured. I'm glad we did it and checked it off, but I kind of preferred Tokyo Tower in the end.
- GiGO Akihabara 1: With my son newly addicted to Game Centers, we couldn't pass up a chance to visit Akihabara :-)! We made a trip to the GiGO centers. This was a lot of fun. There are five installations, but we focused on 1 and 3. One was definitely the best. We found our favorite games: Mario Kart and Taikou Tatsujin, and also found a top floor packed with 80s and 90s hits, many with co-op options. We spent a few hours here trying as much as we could. Taikou Tatsujin was particularly fun as there were a couple of absolute masters just ripping apart the drums, yet still kind enough to take a break after 10min or so and let us get in a round of easy-level Tonari no Totoro. One thing I noticed was that there were a lot of tourists that seemed to want to try some of the games but had a lot of difficulty with the Japanese only interfaces and writing.
- Jiyuugaoka: As I mentioned, we lived in Jiyuugaoka for about 7 years so we made sure to return and spend a day wandering around and wallowing in nostalgia. I don't have anything in particular to say about it; it's just a nice area to wander and hang out. Plenty of good food and shopping, more relaxed than many areas of Tokyo.
- Akamon): I had planned to go back and visit my old lab here, but unfortunately time did not permit. The Todai Hongo campus is definitely worth a visit though. There are some good eats and it's an easy walk through the campus to Ueno.
- Karaoke-kan: We made one karaoke stop for old time's sake. This particular place in shimbashi is not notable; just part of a chain, but I think Japanese style karaoke is worth trying once, especially if you are only familiar with the western approach.
- Shu Shimbashi: We had a nice group dinner at Shu in Shimbashi. Pretty standard izakaya style fare but reasonably priced and tasty enough.
- Henry's Burger Jiyuugaoka: Great burgers and a nice rooftop area for eating. It's a 5 min walk from Jiyuugaoka station. It also has some nice craft beer that you can add to a set menu.
- Nantahama Jiyuugaoka: This is an amazing little Okinawa style izakaya that has been run by the same family in the same spot for the last 50 years. When we lived here we visited it regularly. Food and ambience is great and the family that runs it is very friendly.
- Mujaki Ramen Jiyuugaoka: Amazing ramen. Amazing.
- Clann Irish Pub Jiyuugaoka: Great little Irish pub with a friendly owner. My wife and met her 17 years ago so we always make sure to stop by for a pint of Guinness and a chat with the regulars.
- Boulangerie Asanoya Jiyuugaoka: Great bread and pastries.
- Devilcraft Tokyo - Jiyuugaoka: Epic deep dish pizza and solid selection of craft beer on tap. There are other locations in Kanda, Hamamatsuchou, and Gotanda.
- Sushi Gyoshin: Great kaiten sushi restaurant in Jiyuugaoka just a few steps from the station. This was another of our longterm haunts and we were happy to see that it hasn't changed. Our son ordered his first sushi by himself and we enjoyed another great meal.
- Quan an Tam: Great little Vietnamese place in Jiyuugaoka.
- Katoriya Jiyuugaoka: Great Yakitori place.
Tokyo is overflowing with great craft beer these days!
- ibrew Shimbashi: This little chain was great. The first one we visited was the Shimbashi installation. This is located in the Shimbashi Ekimae Building-1, just adjacent to Shimbashi station. The building screams Showa inside and out and the beer pub is just a little hole in the wall. They were just wrapping up an all-Hazy-IPA campaign and had a slew of great stuff on tap. The food was also great, and they had a decent non-alcoholic selection as well.
- Isekadoya Shimbashi: This craft beer bar is located inside Shimbashi station, just outside the wicket gates. It has a more modern vibe but plenty of good food and brew. The kushiyaki lineup was great.
- ibrew Akihabara: ibrew has another installation in Akihabara and we had a dinner here as well. They had great food and a different lineup of brews on tap. One thing to watch out for was that they only accepted cash, and the nearest ATM is about 5 min walk back towards the station. Fun spot with friendly staff.
- Antenna America Tokyo: We stopped by this place for lunch on the way to Shizuoka. Nice selection of cans, and a few good ones on tap. It's an open space, and they have a free-to-lay Fussball table which my son and I played a few games on.
Part 4. Shizuoka
After our stay in Tokyo we started making our way back to Osaka for the last segment of our trip. On the way stopped off in Mishima for one night to visit my relatives. Here we stayed at the Toyoko-Inn Fujisan Mishima-eki
. This is a no frills spot but it had nice clean, quiet rooms and a surprisingly good breakfast buffet. We wandered around Mishima in the afternoon then had a big Yakiniku family dinner with my relatives at Anrakutei Yakiniku
. I tried Horumon for the first time and actually enjoyed it!
The next day we headed to Mochimune for one of our long planned trip highlights:
- The Villa Barrel and Lounge. This place was flat out amazing. It's a brewery/hotel run by West Coast Brewing. We stayed one night in the Nelson & Mosaic loft room. This place was so much fun. The restaurant has some great food. We shared several flights of tasty brews including a bunch of tasty Hazy IPAs and the rooms were equipped with a personalized keg with 10L of beer to 'drink at your leisure'. They recommend bringing a growler to take the leftovers with you, and unfortunately they don't sell them onsite. The reservation also included free entrace for the whole family to the adjacent onsen, which was also fantastic and offered some nice views of Mt. Fuji.
It rained heavily in the evening and all through the night, but this made for a fun trip to the nearby 7-Eleven, and a good excuse to just hang out and tap the keg while watching Doraemon reruns on the big screen TV in the room. In the morning the weather had cleared up so we took a long walk on the beach which is just a few minutes from the hotel. The walk from the hotel back to Mochimune station is also quite nice if the weather permits. Truly amazing experience. Also requires booking several months in advance. OUT OF CHARACTERS - SEE COMMENT FOR FINAL TRIP SEGMENT
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2023.05.23 01:11 GringoMenudo GVA-IAD Polaris Menu
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2023.05.22 14:03 AnderLouis_ Hail and Farewell (George Moore) - Book 3: Vale, Chapter 7.1
PODCAST: https://ayearofwarandpeace.podbean.com/e/ep1566-hail-and-farewell-george-moore-vale-chapter-71/ PROMPTS: Today's Reading, via Project Gutenberg:
As soon as the applause died away, Yeats who had lately returned to us from the States with a paunch, a huge stride, and an immense fur overcoat, rose to speak. We were surprised at the change in his appearance, and could hardly believe our ears when, instead of talking to us as he used to do about the old stories come down from generation to generation he began to thunder like Ben Tillett against the middle classes, stamping his feet, working himself into a great temper, and all because the middle classes did not dip their hands into their pockets and give Lane the money he wanted for his exhibition. When he spoke the words, the middle classes, one would have thought that he was speaking against a personal foe, and we looked round asking each other with our eyes where on earth our Willie Yeats had picked up the strange belief that none but titled and carriage-folk could appreciate pictures. And we asked ourselves why our Willie Yeats should feel himself called upon to denounce his own class; millers and shipowners on one side, and on the other a portrait-painter of distinction; and we laughed, remembering AE's story, that one day whilst Yeats was crooning over his fire Yeats had said that if he had his rights he would be Duke of Ormonde. AE's answer was: I am afraid, Willie, you are overlooking your father—a detestable remark to make to a poet in search of an ancestry; and the addition: We both belong to the lower-middle classes, was in equally bad taste. AE knew that there were spoons in the Yeats family bearing the Butler crest, just as there are portraits in my family of Sir Thomas More, and he should have remembered that certain passages in The Countess Cathleen
are clearly derivative from the spoons. He should have remembered that all the romantic poets have sought illustrious ancestry, and rightly, since romantic poetry is concerned only with nobles and castles, gonfalons and oriflammes. Villiers de l'Isle Adam believed firmly in his descent, and appeared on all public occasions with the Order of Malta pinned upon his coat; and Victor Hugo, too, had inquired out his ancestry in all the archives of Spain and France before sitting down to write Hernani
... and with good reason, for with the disappearance of gonfalons and donjons it may be doubted if—My meditation was interrupted by Yeats's voice.
We have sacrificed our lives for Art; but you, what have you done?
What sacrifices have you made? he asked, and everybody began to search his memory for the sacrifices that Yeats had made, asking himself in what prison Yeats had languished, what rags he had worn, what broken victuals he had eaten. As far as anybody could remember, he had always lived very comfortably, sitting down invariably to regular meals, and the old green cloak that was in keeping with his profession of romantic poet he had exchanged for the magnificent fur coat which distracted our attention from what he was saying, so opulently did it cover the back of the chair out of which he had risen. But, quite forgetful of the coat behind him, he continued to denounce the middle classes, throwing his arms into the air, shouting at us, and we thinking not at all of what he was saying, but of a story that had been floating about Dublin for some time. A visitor had come back from Coole telling how he had discovered the poet lying on a sofa in a shady corner, a plate of strawberries on his knee, and three or four adoring ladies serving him with cream and sugar, and how the poet, after wiping his hands on a napkin, had consented to recite some verses, and the verses he recited were these:
I said, A line will take us hours maybe, Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought Our stitching and unstitching has been naught. Better go down upon your marrow-bones And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones Like an old pauper in all kinds of weather; For to articulate sweet sounds together Is to work harder than all these and yet Be thought an idler by the noisy set Of bankers, schoolmasters and clergymen, The martyrs call the world.
The poet advanced a step or two nearer to the edge of the platform, and stamping his foot he asked again what the middle classes had done for Art, and in a towering rage (the phrase is no mere figure of speech, for he raised himself up to tremendous height) he called upon the ladies and gentlemen that had come to hear my lecture to put their hands in their pockets and give guineas to the stewards who were waiting at the doors to receive them, or, better still, to write large cheques. By virtue of our subscriptions we should cease to belong to the middle classes, and having held out this hope to us he retired to his chair and fell back overcome into the middle of the great fur coat, and remained silent until the end of the debate.
As soon as it was over criticism began, not of my lecture, but of Yeats's speech, and on Saturday night all my friends turned in to discuss his contention that the middle classes had never done anything for Art. AE pointed out that the aristocracy had given England no great poet except Byron, whom many people did not look upon as a poet at all, and though Shelley's poetry was unquestionable, he could hardly be considered as belonging to the aristocracy, his father being no more than a Sussex baronet. All the other poets, it was urged, came from the middle classes, not only the poets, but the painters, the musicians, and the sculptors. Yeats's attack upon the middle classes, somebody cried, is the most absurd that was ever made; the aristocracy have Byron, and the peasants have Burns, all the others belong to us. Somebody chimed in: Not even the landowners have produced a poet, and he was answered that Landor was a considerable landed proprietor. But he was the only one. Not a single painter came out of the aristocracy. Lord Carlyle's name was mentioned; everybody laughed, and I said that the distinction of the classes was purely an arbitrary one. It was agreed that if riches can poison inspiration, poverty is a stimulant, and then leaning out of his corner AE remarked that Willie Yeats's best poems were written when he was a poor boy in Sligo, a remark that fanned the flame of discussion, and the difficult question was broached why Yeats had ceased to write poetry. All his best poems, AE said, were written before he went to London. Apart from the genius which he brought into the world, it was Sligo that had given his poetry a turn of its own. Everybody knew some of his verses by heart, and we took pleasure in listening to them again. The calves basking on the hillside were mentioned, the colleen going to church. But, somebody cried out suddenly, he took his colleen to London and put paint upon her cheeks and dye upon her hair, and sent her up Piccadilly. Another critic added that the last time he saw her she was wearing a fine hat and feathers. Supplied by Arthur Symons, cried another. As sterile a little wanton as ever I set eyes upon, who lives in remembrance of her beauty, saying nothing, exclaimed still another critic. And the silences that Yeats's colleen had observed these many years were regretted, somewhat hypocritically I think, for, as AE says, a literary movement consists of five or six people who live in the same town and hate each other cordially. But, if we were not really sorry that Yeats's inspiration was declining, we were quite genuinely interested to discover the cause of it. AE was certain that he would have written volume after volume if he had never sought a style, if he had been content to write simply; and all his utterances on the subject of style were repeated.
He came this afternoon into the National Library, John Eglinton said, breaking silence, and he told me he was collecting his writings for a complete edition, a library edition in ten or twelve volumes.
But he is only thirty-seven.
He said his day was over, John Eglinton answered ... and in speaking of the style of his last essay, he said: Ah, that style! I made it myself. And then another, Longworth I think it was, said that he failed to understand how anybody could speak of a style apart from some definite work already written by him in that style. A style does not exist in one's head, it exists upon paper, and Yeats has no style, neither bad nor good, for he writes no more. AE thought that Yeats had discovered a style, and a very fine style indeed, and compared it to a suit of livery which a man buys before he engages a servant; the livery is made of the best cloth, the gold lace is the very finest, the cockade can be seen from one side of the street to the other, but when the footman comes he is always too tall or too thin or too fat, so the livery is never worn.
Excellent! cried Gogarty, and the livery hangs in a press upstairs, becoming gradually moth-eaten.
AE regretted the variants: he knew them all and preferred the earlier text in every case, and when literary criticism was over we turned to the poet's own life to discover why it was that he sang no more songs for us. We had often heard him say that his poems had arisen out of one great passion, and this interesting avowal raised the no less interesting question—which produces the finer fruit, the gratified or the ungratified passion. It was clearly my turn to speak, and I told how Wesendonck had built a pavilion at the end of his garden so that Wagner might compose the Valkyrie
, and how at the end of every day when Wagner had finished his work, Mathilde's wont was to visit him, her visits inspiring by degrees a great passion, which, out of loyalty to Wesendonck, they resisted until the fatal day when he read her the poem of Tristan and Isolde
. After the reading they had stood looking at each other, as Tristan and Isolde stand looking at each other in the opera. Later Minna, Wagner's wife, intercepted a letter which she took to Madame Wesendonck, and the interview between the two women was so violent that Wagner had to send his wife to Dresden. The first letter of the many that he wrote to Mathilde Wesendonck tells the miserable dawning of the day he withdrew from Switzerland to meditate on suicide and his setting of some verses of the well beloved. Regret nothing, he writes from Venice, I beseech you, regret nothing. Your kisses were the crown of my life, my recompense for many years of suffering. Regret nothing, I beseech you, regret nothing. Minna had no doubt as to Richard's guilt nor have we, but the translator of the letters, Mr Ashton Ellis, and others, have preferred to regard this passion as ungratified, and it is evident that they think that the truth is not worth seeking since the drama and the music and the letters cannot now be affected thereby. For better or worse you have the music, you have the drama, you have the correspondence. What can it matter whether an act purely physical happened, or failed to happen? Everything, I answer, for thereof I learn whether Wagner wrote out of a realised or an unrealised desire. As we sat round the fire I broke silence. Love, I said, that has not
been born again in the flesh crumbles like peat ash. Yeats's love for Maud Gonne, said AE, has lasted for many years and will continue, and I know that it has always been a pure love.
A detestable phrase, AE, for it implies that every gratified love must be impure. And from that day onward I continued to meditate the main secret of Yeats's life, until one day we happened to meet at Broadstone Station. We were going to the West; we breakfasted together in the train, and after breakfast the conversation took many turns, and we talked of her whom he had loved always, the passionate ideal of his life, and why this ideal had never become a reality to him as Mathilde had become to Richard. Was it really so? was my pressing question, and he answered me:
I was very young at the time and was satisfied with.... My memory fails me, or perhaps the phrase was never finished. The words I supply the spirit of sense, are merely conjectural.
Yes, I understand, the common mistake of a boy; and I was sorry for Yeats and for his inspiration which did not seem to have survived his youth, because it had arisen out of an ungratified desire; and I fell to thinking that hyacinths grown in a vase only bloom for a season. But if it had been otherwise? On such questions one may meditate a long while, and it was not until the train ran into Westport that I remembered my prediction when Symons had shown me Rosa Alchemica.
His inspiration, I had said, is at an end, for he talks about how he is going to write, and I told Symons that I had noticed all through my life that a man may tell the subject of his poem and write it, but if he tells how he is going to write his poem he will never write it. Mallarmé projected hundreds of poems, and, like Yeats, Mallarmé was always talking about style. The word style never came into Mallarmé's conversation, but, like Yeats, his belief was that the poet should have a language of his own. Every other art, I remember him saying, has a special language—sculpture, music, painting; why shouldn't the poet have his? He set himself to the task of inventing a language, but it was such a difficult one that it left him very little time for writing; and so we have but twenty sonnets and L'Après-midi d'un Faune
written in it. Son oeuvre
calls to mind a bibelot
, a carven nick-nack, wrought ivory, or jade, or bronze, and like bronze it will acquire a patina. His phrases will never grow old, for they tell us nothing; the secret meaning is so deeply embedded that generations will try to puzzle through them; and in the volume entitled The Wind among the Reeds
Yeats has written poems so difficult that even the adepts could not disentangle the sense; and since The Wind among the Reeds
he has written a sonnet that clearly referred to a house. But to what house? AE inclined to the opinion that it referred to the House of Lords, but the poet, being written to from Ely Place, replied that the subject of his sonnet was Coole Park. Mallarmé could not be darker than this. But whereas to write a language apart was Mallarmé's sole aestheticism and one which he never abandoned after the publication of L'Après-midi d'un Faune
, Yeats advocated two languages, one which he employs himself, another which he would use if he could, but being unable to use it he counsels its use to others, and has put up a sign-post: This way to Parnassus. It is amusing to think of Mallarmé and Yeats together; they would have got on famously until Yeats began to tell Mallarmé that the poet would learn the language he required in Le Berry. Mallarmé was a subtle mind, and he would have thought the idea ingenious that a language is like a spring which rises in the highlands, trickles into a rivulet and flows into a river, and needs no filter until the river has passed through a town; he would have listened to these theories with interest, but Yeats would not have been able to persuade him to set out for Le Berry, and the journey would have been useless if he had, for Mallarmé had no ear for folk, less than Yeats himself, who has only half an ear; an exquisite ear for the beauty of folk imagination, and very little for folk idiom. Are not the ways of Nature strange? for he loves folk idiom as none has ever loved it, and few have had better opportunities of learning it than he along his uncle's wharves in Sligo Town and among the slopes of Ben Bulben, whither he went daily, interested in birds and beasts and the stories that the folk tell. As pretty a nosegay as ever was gathered he tied on those slopes; there is no prettier book of literature than Celtic Twilight
, and one of the tales, The Last Gleeman
, must have put into Yeats's mind the idea that he has followed ever since, that the Irish people write very well when they are not trying to write that worn-out and defaced idiom which educated people speak and write, and which is known as English. And it is Yeats's belief that those among us who refuse to write it are forced back upon artificial speech which they create, and which is often very beautiful; the beauty of Pater's or Morris's cannot be denied, but their speech, Yeats would say, lacks naturalness; it is not living speech, that is how he would phrase it, and his thoughts would go back to Michael Moran, the last of the Gleemen, who, he thinks, was more fortunate than the two great writers mentioned, for Michael wrote (it would be more correct to say he composed, for it is doubtful if he knew how to write) living speech—i.e. a speech that has never been printed. Yeats' whole aestheticism is expressed in these words: A speech that has never been printed. Yeats's whole aestheticism is expressed in these words: A speech that has never been printed, and the peasant is the only one who can give us speech that has not appeared in print. But peasant speech limits the range of our ideas. A pure benefit, Yeats would say; we must purify ourselves in ignorance. But peasant speech is only adapted to dialogue. To this objection he might answer with Landor that Shakespeare and the best parts of Homer were written in dialogue, and it would be heartless to reply: But not the best part of your own works, Yeats. Your mind is as subtle as a Brahmin's, woven along and across with ideas, and you cannot catch the idiom as it flows off the lips. You are like Moses, who may not enter the Promised Land. He would not care to answer: Even if what you say be true, you must admit that I have led some others thither. I beg pardon, there; and he would fold himself up like a pelican and dream of his disciples. His dream was always of disciples; even when I met him in the Cheshire Cheese he was looking for disciples; he sought in vain till he met Lady Gregory. And a great day it was for Ireland when she came over to Tillyra, and met, whom do you think? Yeats, of course. Here I must break off my narrative to give a more explicit account of Lady Gregory than the reader will find in Ave
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2023.05.21 21:12 True-Boysenberry7054 CRUMBLish Cannoli Cookie recipe!!!
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I have coined a new term: "CRUMBLish" = cookie in the style of CRUMBL, but in a flavor that CRUMBL has not produced
And... introducing my first CRUMBLish cookie... the Cannoli Cookie! recipe These cookies have complex flavors; cannoli shell cookies with a hints of orange, cinnamon, and marsala wine. The whipped Ricotta and cream cheese frosting is subtly sweet. Mini semi sweet chips and a sprinkling of pistachios add to the cannoli experience.
If you try my recipe, please let me know how it turns out, and if you have any suggestions!
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CRUMBLish Cannoli Cookies