I’ve had pretty severe pain on the left side of my neck over the last month or two, enough to visit my family doctor (he thinks it’s jaw related) and hire a masseuse. The only thing that changed for me in this time was getting out of Invisalign trays and getting my plastic, removable retainer. I have an appointment with a neurologist soon, and might go visit my orthodontist to see if he can pinpoint anything. I’ve always had bruxism and TMJ - my masseters are enormous. It flared a few times during my Invisalign treatment, but this neck pain is new and it’s awful. My platysmal bands are also very prominent lately. I’ve read I can get Botox in my neck and jaw, so I’m strongly considering it. I’ve also previously been diagnosed with sleep apnea but it was too minor to prescribe a cpap or anything.
Does anyone have a similar story, especially about the neck pain or Invisalign experience, or any suggestions?
I've been a full-stack developer for nearly ten years. I've been a tech lead and an IC for three companies doing fairly different things. I've worked across a wide range of technologies up and down the stack and have found that I can be thrown basically any sort of work within that space and I'll generate something vaguely competent. So why, why, why does it feel like I've been doing absolutely nothing for ten years?
I've suffered from imposter syndrome before. It's hard to escape, but I reasoned my way out of it early on in my career. Everyone knows something you don't, and vice versa. The mistake is treating this 'everyone' thing, this beastly aggregate of all knowledge, as the bar of understanding. Once I figured that out, I felt a lot better. We’re all individuals and I, too, know some things that other people don’t know, and I reflect on how little that matters in the scheme of our collective and individual productivity.
But this - this is different. This feels much more pernicious and difficult to reason about, because it feels more real. It seems to me that all the work I've been doing, in all its variety, has been super rote. We need to add some data fields - add the fields. We need to expose them to other services - make the endpoints. We need to slightly alter this behavior - make those small changes. We need to make this button green - OK, it's green. Wait, we want it blue, and round. OK, done. We need to handle this moment of load better - fiddle with our cloud host settings or Terraform. Review these code changes of thousands of lines and only two commits. The only time I really ever faced an engineering challenge capital-E capital-C was when someone wanted some totally novel behavior and something had to be built from the ground up - but even then, the challenges were not particularly interesting or hard, just as an accident of the industry I worked in or the company I worked at.
This just doesn't seem sustainable. I'm going to be an industry 'veteran' with not just a four year degree but a Master's degree and I'd probably fail the entry quiz for a bootcamp. I have no value on the employment market commensurate with my level of experience. What happened? Is this typical? What do I do now?
For starters I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for nearly a year now. The beginning of our relationship was a secret. That being said when his parents found out we were together they immediately told him to end it. Im not going to go into so much detail about what was said being as I do not want my boyfriend or anyone recognizing the story.
Throughout the beginning of our relationship they made it clear they didn't accept it. My boyfriend has always refused to leave me, to which they would be beyond pissed.
Fast forward to recent times, they haven't been as direct with their efforts. Which makes me boyfriend believe they have accepted me. I believe its not the case but I do not want to bug him or be a push over because at the end of the day, those are his parents. I cannot compete with them nor should it even be a competition.
But back to what I was saying, their efforts to drive us apart recently have been secretive. Examples being making it difficult to see each other, making up excuses of things they have to do (which never end up happening), making comments in a general sense about things that relate to me without mentioning me etc. These things fly over my boyfriends head but when its mentioned to me I cant help but see a pattern.
This has caused numerous issues in our relationship and I need help.
Our move has almost bankrupted us. We want to leave early for a variety of reasons (really hot inside (even with the ac on), our neighbor is having a bat problem, and someone bought the house across the street and their music is very loud). The problem is we hired a deep cleaning company and they won’t be able to come in for a week.
I trust our neighbor because she has cat sat for us multiple time and helps me around the house. We can’t afford to stay locally and most of the furniture is gone so we just want to move out. We already paid rent until the end of our lease and we don’t care to do a walkthrough. We live in a slum and just want to be done.
How do I email the landlord to let her know our neighbor is going to take the key and will relinquish it to her after the cleaning company comes through?
I am a 21M who has been powerlifting for the past several years. I’m looking to switch to CrossFit/functional fitness but am a little lost on programming. What are some good places to find programming online? I don’t have access to a box near me.
My ad accounts, Biz Managers were hacked 3 weeks ago. I reported it to Facebook in near real-time since then I get a flower patronizing email every couple of days but no action.
It has been transfered to diffrent reps 4x. I have no other access at all to Facebook " Support" 9this is all via email).
I am have already lost a big client from this and Facebook could care less.
I have had out reach from those claiming they could purchase and unlock code and grant me access to my accounts - but I am very leary of this.
Has anyone used a service like this? Or perhaps have any helpful tips about reaching Facebook and getting this issue solved? Has anyone else been hacked recently and what was your experiance and resolution.
It's stressing me out, I have no information to give my clients, and it seems hopeless at the moment.
Thanks for any help,
To preface this, I was hired as, essentially, an assistant. I do not need this job, I’m doing this to help out my boss, who is also a friend.
I love what I do for work, when I have work. The issue is that there is never much for me to do. I’m supposed to be at work from around 9-5, but as an independent contractor, I feel guilty for staying that long because I can barely push my workload out that long. I usually stay from around 10-2. I constantly ask for projects or something to do, and she will give me something, but nothing that lasts for more than an hour. I sit here trying to come up with projects for myself to do, it’s exhausting to have nothing to do. I really like my boss, and she is a friend, so I don’t want her to just pay me for doing nothing, but I also don’t want her to think I’m lazy and just don’t want to work the full hours. Im really lost on what else I could do.
Right now I’m in Bosnia visiting family and experiencing the country and what is has to offer. I arrived yesterday and already have had a panic attack on both days. Yesterday’s panic attack wasn’t too bad all things considered. I was dealing with jet lag and stress from visiting family. Today’s panic attack though is one of the worst I’ve had, definitely top 3 (I’ve been experiencing panic attacks consistently now for 2 months) - I also experienced a new symptom of nausea. I legitimately thought I was gonna die and had an emotional breakdown in front of some of my family who are very caring and didn’t judge me for it whatsoever. However, I still have some fear that I may have a heart attack (logically I know I won’t but emotionally I can’t help feel that way) or at the very best, I will continue to experience intense panic attacks on a nearly daily basis. I’ve been to the ER twice now in America and found out through blood work I wasn’t anemic or had hyperthyroidism and went to a cardiologist for a echo ultrasound where everything came back clean. Despite this I can’t help but feel there may be some other underlying issue. No question but just wanted to give my experience of panic attacks and my fear of having them and worsening.
I just got a pair of the 2nd gen AirPods through eBay certified refurbished in ‘excellent’ condition which is basically new. Coming from the normal 2019 AirPods, the noise cancellation and transparency is good but it’s nowhere near as insane that the reviews made it out to be. Is it just me or are my pair defective?
This is a bit detailed question and really don’t know the true answer and don’t want to waste my time or money if unlimited plus would help me.
I currently have the plan called unlimited welcome or it’s called welcome unlimited. Basically the lowest price unlimited plan.
When I’m at work, my reception to the service is somewhere near two or one bar on my iPhone.
Sometimes, my data can be enough to do everything I want and sometimes it so slow that I cannot do anything.
Is this a plan issue? Is the network just congested and they are slowing me down? If I get low reception is it worth getting the unlimited plus? Because then I have 30GB of premium data for every month.
I have been trying out T-Mobile and it’s great with data. But there are times it doesn’t seem to be the case.
i had my first nottingham appointment yesterday!! i was referred just over 4 years ago from tavistock GIDS at 16 after i was discharged (i'm not sure how/why they discharged me and referred me before i turned 17)
the appointment went really well!
the waiting room is genuinely really nice, all the info on their website about how it's got nice sofas, info leaflets and books, TV/radio, kitchen, etc. is correct! the toilets are gender neutral, one said "has a mirror" and the other was "does not have a mirror" - the one i went into also had a shower, and some resources on the wall about sexual health and staying safe.
the lady i spoke to (Sarah) was lovely, she'd already read through my tavistock reports so she knew a little bit about me (ngl i wasn't expecting her to have bothered to do that 😅).
she asked about my identity, pronouns, for some details on how life was growing up and when my gender dysphoria started/what it's like now.
i'm a bit confused (in a good way!) because i thought that regardless of how far along a trans person was in their transition they would have to have 2 appointments with nottingham before notts would take over hormones/care?? however sarah said she was fine to take over my care immediately ?
i'm not sure if that's because i've already been through tavistock, or bc i'm already 18 months on hormones/was able to show her my blood test results from earlier this month and email them across, but i'm pleased!
she's going to write to my GP to prescribe me 4x pumps of testogel per day (i'm on 3x day rn) and get them to start doing my bloods. i had to sign a document with details about what the effects of testosterone were, pretty much the same one as GenderGP made me sign. she said she would be open to prescribing me injections off the bat but i said i'd rather keep on gel for the moment and discuss switching to injections further down the line.
the doctor did bring up my autism diagnosis, she asked whether i felt it impacted my gender identity/perception of gender identity, but she didn't seem to be doing it in a ?? aggressive or gate keepy way? more so out of interest, or as a way to help me open up if i was struggling with figuring out how to describe my identity. she only mentioned it briefly as i explained that i don't feel it impacts my gender identity or transition.
i mentioned my gyno issues and after a discussion of what they were and my symptoms she said she'd also write to my GP to get me on topical oestrogen and told me that Notts have a queer sex/relationship therapist that i could be referred to if i'd find that helpful.
i bought up my confusion over whether or not Tavistock officially diagnosed me with gender dysphoria, and she agreed that the medical reports were a bit vague, and she explained that she will write me up an official diagnosis and send it over to me. she clarified with me whether there was anything i'd prefer not be mentioned in the report, which was nice. turns out she's on the list of approved doctors which is pog.
with regards to bottom surgery, she mentioned that the NHS is currently doing a review/overhaul on what services they're offering and are currently developing informative leaflets so that patients can see all the different options laid out more clearly, and that it should be released online/on the website in the next few months. it came up bc i mentioned my confusion with what combinations of services for bottom surgery the NHS offer, particularly with hystos.
ngl i spent the entire appointment like :D and :0 bc everything was so much bettedifferent than i expected 😅
the appointment letter i was sent said to keep around an hour open for the appointment and turn up 10 minutes early. the waiting room was empty other than me and the doctor was about 10 minute late for my appointment. my appointment ended up being around an hour and twenty minutes long, and i nearly missed my train back home, so anyone else who's about to have their appointment - bear that in mind.
also, the letter said that the railing was blue but i s2g it was not blue. it was lilac/pastel purple. i spent a minute looking at the rails like "???" lol. the buzzer to be let in was on the left of the doorway frame and it took me an embarrassingly long time to find it 🤦♂️
overall it was a pretty good time.
Part 23 Oh, So Many Horrors (Part 1) (Part 22)
"So, let me see if I got all of this right." General Andrews held up his notepad and adjusted his reading glasses as he quickly glanced over what he had written down. "The red and brown crabs are fascists who will eat you as soon as talk to you, the little gray men are slavers who genuinely believe they own you by default, and there's some kind of eldritch horrors that just float around in space and consume any biomass they detect? And that's just who's in the local area?"
"Yes. And also, there are Bandari, the… uh… frog pirates who steal things and kidnap people as their chosen profession." Considering how this was all for the benefit of the General, as well as Mik, Tarki was doing her best to speak in English and mimic the neutral accent Andrews had been using.
"Almost forgot about them." The General turned a page back on his notepad to read what he had written down about the flamboyant reptilians the golden avian had described at the very beginning of the presentation. "But they don't seem anywhere near as bad as the rest."
"That's because they're not." Msko chimed in, the translated voice in Andrews's ear features hints of boredom as the War Chief nonchalantly sat on a table a few paces away. "You can actually have a conversation with 'em sometimes. But they could still be a serious threat to Sol and Earth if an entire fleet showed up for a raid."
"But your fleet could handle them, right?" General Andrews shot back with a tone that implied he already knew the answer. Receiving only a bored smile and nod as an answer, he continued. "Well, isn't that just convenient for you? It seems that without your fleet, we Earthlings would be completely at the mercy of an uncaring at best, and outright hostile at worst, galaxy full of horrors."
Though the General shot Msko a snide look, the War Chief simply shrugged and nodded towards Tarki for her to explain.
"To a certain degree, that is correct. However, if it were not the Nishnabe Confederacy performing the initial security and evaluation of this system, who are members of your own species might I mention," Tarki let that fact hang in the air for a second before continuing, "it would have been either the Qui’ztar Fifth Matriarchy or the Nukatov Unified Coalition's Second Sphere, neither of which are… as nice or familiar as the Nishnabe."
"Yes, yes, I've already had the pleasure of a conversation with Fleet Admiral Atxika." Andrews half snorted as he thought about how brazen and confident that woman was towards him. "She was not what I would consider a friendly person."
"Atxika is from the Third Matriarchy, not the Fifth, and is actually quite kind if you show her the proper amount of respect. She has been an Admiral for nearly 20 years, after all. The Fifth Matriarchy, on the other hand, are… culturally far more aggressive and far less tolerant of disrespect. The Nukatovs, as a species, just really like to fight and will take any excuse to do so." Tarki pressed a few buttons on her data tablet and triggered a large hologram of the Milky Way galaxy to appear with hundreds of divided up sections. With a few more commands, Tarki caused the map to zoom in on a familiar area vaguely familiar to the General. "This is the pre-Ascension exclusion zone around the Sol System, which has a roughly 750 light-year radius. As you can see, it sits squared between the patrol sectors of the Third Matriarchy and the Second Sphere. Until your species reaches galactic standards of technology, one of them would have provided security in and around your star system, assuming you didn't already have exceptionally competent cousins capable of doing so."
"You all just assume we are incapable of defending ourselves?" Though he was now aware of the major threats Earth, Mars, and the rest of the solar system faced, the General couldn't help but feel like this was all too convenient. Or, more specifically, that there was some critical piece of information being left out.
"That isn't an assumption, General. It is a fact." Though the expression on the avian's face was unfamiliar to the human, he could still tell she was being deadly serious. "Your people have yet to independently develop active shielding, your standard firearm-based weapons are incredibly inefficient, and the most advanced technology native to this system is the FTL drive Mikhail developed, which is still highly experimental. The only other technology at or above galactic standards would be the mechanized combat walker suits that Mikhail also owns."
"Don't forget about my ship." Mik chimed in from the corner of the room he and Tens were smoking in. "Not the 'dewbi, but the one NAN's buildin' for me."
"How in the hell did you get access to alien technology already?" The General actually had hints of jealousy in his voice as he turned in his chair and fully redirected his attention towards the Martian.
"I bought the mechs, and the ship was a gift." The beard man shrugged then took a long drag off of Tens's somewhat small and short pipe.
"Bought? Gift?!?" General Andrews's jealousy was now mixed with anger. "So MarsGov was given access to alien weapons of war? And neither the US nor UN-E were given that same opportunity? That-" Before the rant could start, Msko cut General Andrews off.
"No, those are Mik's personal property and he has agreed not to take full possession of them until we can get all of this drama sorted out. However, humanity as a whole will absolutely have full access to the most advanced technologies in the galaxy, some of which we have developed ourselves, once we feel we can trust you." Msko was starting to get annoyed by how the General was treating everything as a threat despite the War Chief's best efforts to help him understand the situation. "We genuinely had the intention of gifting you, our long separated but never forgotten cousins, a fleet of dozens of ships, vast amounts of resources and production capabilities, and all of the knowledge and wisdom we have acquired over the centuries. However, the governments of Earth have proven they cannot be trusted yet, especially your government."
"And MarsGov can be trusted?" The General scoffed at the implication that he or his military couldn't be trusted but their primary adversary could be.
"I didn't say that, did I?" Msko shot back with a dismissive chuckle. "No offense Mik, but there are a lot of very angry people in your government. And they seem to be almost completely incapable of forming any kind of consensus, except in the face of the most extreme and pressing issues. I am not in the habit of giving potentially-violent agitators access to technologies that could be used for mass destruction."
"Fair enough." Mik chuckled as he let out a cloud of smoke which was quickly absorbed by the nearby air vent. "There's a reason I don't talk to my pops anymore. If I let him have access to my mechs, he'd make your life hell, Rob."
"And what exactly were your plans with the equipment you acquired, Dr. River?" General Andrews ignored the overly personal way Mik had just addressed him and focused on his more pressing concerns. "Be completely honest with me, how much land were you gonna try to take back?"
"None! I swear!" Mik's smile had suddenly vanished as his medium tan became slightly pale. "I just wanna see the stars and have some mech-fighting competitions, man, not start a goddamn war! Hell, if anythin' I'd just buy the fuckin' land back."
"You really expect me to believe that?" Though the General flat out refused to accept the concept of 'mech-fighting competitions' with military hardware, the Martian looked about as honest as a person could.
"Look man, there're aliens right there!" Mik motioned towards Tarki at the front of the room and then at Binko who was silently perched next to Tens. "No offense, you two. But damn, General, how can yah still be thinking about the bullshit between UN-E and MarsGov when there's a literal alien who just explained to yah the kinda shit that's just waiting to kick down our door?"
"My job is to protect American interests, first and foremost." The General retorted while folding his arms in a show of indifference which Msko took offense to.
"And wouldn't it be in your country's best interest to not let greedy business people undermine your future among the stars?" Msko blurted out with a genuinely shocked and frustrated tone. "Look, we aren't here to tell y'all how to live your lives or force you to be any sort of way. We just don't want to see our cousins become the next Arnehilians!" The War Chief almost shouted that last sentence before pausing for a moment to calm himself and continuing. "I don't give a fuck about your corporations as long as they aren't enslaving people, building autonomous combat-AI without proper oversight, or pulling some other illegal bullshit like that. I don't want to see my people’s homeworld get quarantined by Military Command because y'all can't act like responsible adults and treat people right."
"Alright, boys," Tarki quickly interjected with a motherly, if exhausted, tone in a desperate attempt to avoid the one thing she had been leaving out, "let's bring it down a bit. The gravity of this Deathworld is stressing me out enough, I don't need the pouting and yelling making it worse. Your species is still very young and there are many fresh wounds between your diverse peoples. Please, take a moment to reflect on that fact and think about the kind of relationship you want to have with each other while I take a moment to rest."
The General’s eyes watched carefully as Binko sprang from his perch and was instantly at his wife's side to support her in their walk towards a door that led outside. Their slow and awkward gait, though somewhat human-like, was almost concerning to the hardened veteran as each step looked like a struggle. As soon as the pair were through the door and it had closed behind them, the General turned towards the other men and spoke in a surprisingly compassionate manner.
"Is she alright?" The genuine way the question was asked caught all three of the men in the room off guard.
"Yeah, yeah, Earth just has pretty high gravity for a Kroke." Tens was the first to break through the shock of Andrews's concern and tried to explain as simply as he could. "Their species evolved on a planet with around 6.2 meters per second squared of gravity and the galactic standard for interspecies ships and stations is only 4 m/s2."
"Ah, is that why she referred to Earth as a Deathworld? Our gravity is relatively high?" There was something in Andrews's eyes that seemed to imply he had no intention of continuing the official discussion until the neutral diplomat returned.
"Well, Earth is classified as a Class 17 Deathworld, but it's more than just the gravity." Tens reached up to press the lens he was wearing then brought his hand back down and began making very slight and subtle gestures. "Hold on a second, let me bring up the official GCC classification…. Nope, I was wrong. It was updated to a Class 18, basically the very limit of what the Center of Xenology predicted was possible for Ascended life to evolve on. Between the extreme weather patterns, highly destructive geological activity, commonality of lethal diseases, and hyper-competitive and violent food web, it's a miracle our species survived long enough to independently develop space flight."
"Ah, it's not that bad." Andrews chuckled like a weathered old gentleman in response. "Sure, you may be freezin' in the winter and meltin' in the summer in some places. But there's a lot of really nice places too."
"I've heard Hawaii's beautiful year-round, but it's an active volcano." Mik commented then took another puff off of Tens's pipe before passing it back to the Nishnabe next to him. "Same thin' with California, 'cept they got earthquakes that'll topple buildin's instead."
"A little lava and shaking ain't the end of the world. I swear, you Matrians got it made in the shade with your climate controlled stations and colonies." The seasoned General couldn’t stop himself from letting out a bit-too-friendly of a laugh. Something about this entire interaction so far, though somewhat intimidating, simply felt so personal to him, in a good way, that he found himself relaxing after catching a whiff of the smoke pouring from the pipe. "Oh, and by the way, is that Virgina Cherry tobacco I'm smelling?"
"No, but it's better." Mik quickly answered while Tens and Msko looked at the General and then towards the pipe in Tens’s hand with mildly confused expressions. "It's got that same kinda flavor, but it's sweeter, richer, and smoother. Hands down, the single best mix I've ever tried."
"It doesn't have any of that Martian stanky shit in it, does it?" Andrews's retort had just the right amount of friendly sarcasm to put a smirk on Mik's face.
"Nah, I got that right here." The Martian shot the General a cheeky wink and partially pulled a metal cigar tube from a purpose-built pocket sewn into his jacket. "I figured you'd be a square and I didn't wanna be that guy. But it seems we got ourselves a connoisseur with refined tastes."
"I haven't partaken in the green vice since I was in high school." Andrews let out such a sincere and hearty laugh that put a smile on the faces of the three other men. "But I do find myself drawn to the sweet smoke of good tobacco mix on occasion."
"Would you wanna try some?" Tens interjected with the question the General had been waiting for. "It would be an honor to share sema with you, General."
"Wait, hold on." Msko interrupted with a somewhat serious tone. "You're a high ranking military officer, right?"
"Why, yes. In fact, I am the highest ranking officer in the US Army and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." Andrews responded with just a hint of confusion before Msko's smile suddenly grew incredibly wide.
"Well, in that case, we should use my pipe." The War Chief quickly followed up. "Tens has great taste in smoke, but his choice of utensil leaves a lot to be desired. A person of your status deserves something special!"
Mik and General Andrews watched with bated breath as the War Chief reached into his large, finely decorated leather satchel and pulled out a smaller, but still quite long, leather pouch covered in micro-bead designs. The slow and reverential process of taking out the pipe bag, removing the carefully stowed stem and head, then assembling the two pieces was almost ritualistic in nature. The bulky head made of a metallic stone carved into an effigy of an eagle's head on the front, tomahawk blade on the bottom, and bowl at the top was perfectly complemented by the long, thick dark-wood stem decorated with more micro-beads, intricate silver inlays, and a variety of feathers. While Mik could do nothing but stare, General Robert Andrews was thrown back to a very particular and cherished memory from his early childhood.
"If only my great-grandfather were still here to see that." Andrews had a genuinely pleasant expression as he reminisced. "His grandfather was a member of one of the Chippewa nations and a pipe maker, but as a mixed grandkid, he didn't have enough blood quantum to enroll. I remember all the stories he used to tell me about how happy he was working in his grandfather's workshop and helping with the beading. But also how sad he was that he couldn’t really participate in the rest of the culture."
"I didn't know you were Native, Rob!" Mik instantly blurted out while both Tens and Msko once again had confusion written all across their faces. "And Nish, too!"
"Well…" There was clear hesitation from the General, both at how Mik had addressed him and how to explain this in front of the Nishnabe warriors. "If my great-grandpa wasn't Native enough to enroll, I can hardly call myself Native now, can I? I don't know the language, practice the culture, or even really know much. It's just a small part of my genealogy."
"Meh, blood quantum is stupid." The Martian retorted with a scoff while Msko and Tens locked eyes with deeply concerned looks. "If you have a real ancestral connection and you actively try to embrace it, that's what's important."
"What is 'blood quantum'?" Tens finally broke his silence and tried to repeat the phrase in English. As he leaned over slightly and tossed Msko his tobacco pouch, he was visibly struggling with what his translator had said to him. "My translator is contextualizing it as… uh… well, it doesn't makes sense to me."
"Hold on a second." Msko quickly interjected after catching the pouch with his left hand, then placing it over his heart and closing his eyes for a moment. The room was silent for the few seconds it took the War Chief to say a silent prayer to his ancestors before he opened his eyes, began packing the bowl, and continued. "Ok, so, what is this 'blood quantum' bullshit and why does it sound so exclusionary?"
"That's because it is." Mik plainly admitted. "It was part of the attempt to at genocide and some of the Tribes ended up internalizing it. I try not to judge other Tribal governments and the vast majority have moved on to lineage now. But there were a lot of people who couldn't enroll and lost all connection to their Tribe and culture because of that."
"But that doesn't really answer my question." Msko wasn't quite glaring at Mik, though the look on in those neon green eyes was quite serious. "What does the 'quantity of Native American blood' even mean? How can part of your blood be from a certain culture but the rest isn't? That's not how biology or social systems work." "Well… uh…" Mik was struggling to think of a way to explain this without giving a lecture longer than the presentation they had just sat through, which prompted the General to explain for him.
"What I'm about to say is off the record and is my personal opinion, not official policy of the United States Army or government." Andrews looked over at Msko with a very particular expression that was immediately understood. After the War Chief pressed a few buttons on his wrist, he casually crossed the short distance between himself and the General, and offered him the pipe with a knowing nod. "Thank you, I truly appreciate this. Now, if I say the words 'integration' and 'assimilation', how does your translator contextualize them?"
"Integration is something like accepting other people and their cultures while assimilation is forcing others into your…" Msko suddenly looked as if he was have a realization that he really didn't like. "Oh… and let me guess, the United States has a policy of assimilation, not integration."
"Well, the word assimilation doesn't exist in any of our official policy statements. And, again, if you try to quote me on this I'll deny it." The General paused for a moment to pull out his US Army branded lighter, bring the pipe up to his lips, and take an experienced puff. Allowing the smoke to linger in his mouth before inhaling slightly, he continued speaking while smooth smoke tumbled out of his mouth. "But Dr. River is right about both about this absolutely delicious tobacco and the genocide of Native Americans. And, to be completely honest with you, the irony of that statement is palpable. When Europeans first contacted Native Americans and were introduced to tobacco, they didn't integrate the traditional understanding and use of tobacco. No, what they did with tobacco is the same thing that happened with the damn near everything else here, it was assimilated into European practices and cultures without any consideration for the local people."
"To be completely fair, Rob," Mik chimed as he and Tens walked over and formed a smoking circle with the General and the War Chief, "Europeans have done that all across the world, not just the Americas. And I'd say it wasn't just the Europeans neither. There're bastards all over the world who think they have the right to force people to be a certain kinda way. Shit like that just ain't right."
"So, blood quantum was a way to forcefully assimilate Native Americans?" Tens asked while watching the General respectfully passing the pipe back to Msko.
"In short, yes." Andrews had a genuinely remorseful expression on face as the War Chief took a puff off the pipe and passed it Tens. "Up until the disbandment era, the US government recognized Native American Nations as sovereign, dependent nations. However, in the first couple hundred years of this country's history, there was a requirement that any enrolled member of a Native Nation must have a certain portion of their heritage associated with a specific Nation to be recognized by the US government. It was usually between a half and a quarter, meaning at least one parent or grandparent had to be full blood, to enroll. Some Nations changed that rule when they were given the opportunity, but not all of them. I believe some of the Tribal governments on Mars still use blood quantum to a certain degree, though I'm sure Dr. River will correct me on that."
"Nah, you're right, and it pisses me off!" Mik's tone and expression showed how bothered he was by the continued use of this exclusionary practice. "Blood quantum was just the colonizer's attempt to breed us out of existence. Like, I try not to judge other Tribes and how they run their governments, but some shit just makes me mad. When I see a person who lives by the Teaching and honors their ancestors get denied enrollment, or, even worse, when a supposedly full blood Native thinks they're better than me just cuz my ma was Ukrainian, it just makes my fuckin' blood boil."
"This whole concept is confusing the hell out of me." Tens spoke up while passing the pipe to Mik. "I can understand cultural differences and people losing touch with their ancestors' culture, and thus forming a new culture. Or, a person leaving one cultural group and joining another. But I just don't understand how people can divide each other based on genetics when our species is one of the most homogenous in the entire galaxy. And that isn't just within the Nishnabe. The medical report I just looked up shows all of us on Earth, Mars, and Shkegpewen are between 99.6 and 99.9 percent identical on a genetic level."
"That's cuz it ain't genetic, man, it's goddamn skin color." Mik replied after taking a moment to really examine the smoking utensil in his hand and taking a long drag. "I'm Citizen Potawatomi and my Tribe's blood quantum was initially determined by some drunk White guy who couldn't tell the difference between a tan and skin tone. Fucker decided that some parents and grandparents were less Native than their kids cuz the kids had been outside and runnin' around all summer and adults had been spending alotta time inside."
"Oh, that is so fucking stupid." Msko blurted out while rubbing the bridge of his nose. "So, someone looked at you, a person who is trying to speak the language, practice the culture, and live by the Teachings, and said, 'I'm better than you cuz I'm darker'? I would smack the ever-loving shit outta anyone who said that to me. There are Hi-Koth, Kyim'ayik, and a few other species that live with us and follow the Teachings better than Tens here while still practicing their traditional cultures. And we absolutely consider them as full citizens of the Nishnabe Confederacy regardless of what they look like, where they're from, or their specific cultural practices."
"In theory, that is kind of how the United States is supposed to work as well." The General spoke up while Mik passed him the pipe. “We’re supposed to accept anyone and everyone. However, historically, that has come at the cost of a person's traditional cultural identity. People here aren’t British or Chinese or Nigerian, they’re Americans. All of them. For good or bad, we try to be accepting of everyone and have largely moved past things like skin color as a means of dividing people. In the 2050s, there were even reparations given out to the descendants of former slaves, and that kicked off about 100 years of healing the racial divides in America. It really is a shame that the tribes were disbanded about 50 years ago because, besides that, this country really has come a long way towards becoming who we should have been this whole time.”
“A corporate-State run for the benefit of the ultra-wealthy?” Mik’s snarky remark caused the General’s eyes to roll with annoyance while taking a drag off the pipe.
“I said, ‘in theory’, damn it!” The sarcastic chuckle Andrews let out was the only thing that stopped Msko from lambasting Mik for the snide remark.
There was progress being made, official or otherwise, and the War Chief didn't want inappropriate jokes or comments to ruin that. As the General took a puff off the pipe, still chuckling to himself as he did so, Msko felt his wrist-mounted communicator begin to vibrate. Though he didn't want to upset the flow of this positive interaction, he trusted that his orders to only disturb him if there was an emergency were being followed. With a sharp chirp-like whistle, he drew the group's attention to his now flashing communicator and pressed a button to activate it.
"Report." The War Chief barked with a deepened voice.
"War Chief, we have a situation at the South East gate of the facility." A feminine voice answered. "There is a growing crowd of people at the south gate to the facility, including some reporters."
I finished my EMT at 17 and got into dispatch due to my age. I’m good at my job and I understand how things flow in EMS but I’m not sure if anyone would hire me so young. I’m heavily considering my medic but is it worth it?
So I live in a state with basically no film work. There's a single rental house near me though that does commercial work in a bigger cities. I've rented stuff from them before for student films, and they've seemed interested in trying to hire me once I'm out of school. They seem super knowledgeable about lighting and other technical things that I haven't had experience with yet. The two problems are, they're in a state with no film work and I want to work on film (I currently have no money to live in L.A.), and they all seem to be bigots (they've used the r word plenty of times about random objects when I was just trying to rent some lights, and they seem fairly homophobic). Is it worth it to take a job like this to gain knowledge before leaving for something better, or should I look to leave my location for another non-optimal place with affordable housing before moving to L.A.? Is L.A. even required anymore?