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I'm already prepared to be crucified for this so please just give it to me straight lol. Apologies in advance for a long and potentially very triggering post (TW ed and racism)
So CRT in this context refers to Critical Race Theory, and it has been a hot-button issue in the last few election cycles in the US because some parents are convinced that it is being taught to their elementary school aged children and they don't want that.
The school that I received my certification from for my career offers an online portal with continuing education classes. These are self-guided and not graded; you receive credits for completing the course. It consists of 6-10 two hour long video lectures with optional assignments to complete after each. My school recently started offering a course called "Dismantling Racism in (Our Profession)." The description said it contextualizes the issues using CRT framework to help us confront our biases and avoid things like microaggressions in the workplace. That sounded perfect to me-I get to learn how to be a better ally AND learn what the heck CRT actually is, as opposed to whatever Ron DeSantis says it is this week. So I downloaded the course.
To give some background for me, I am in my 30s, and, as indicated in the title a White PersonTM. I have an anxiety disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for which I take medication. I have also dealt with disordered eating since puberty. I went to therapy for it as a teenager but had to stop at 18 when I was bumped off my parents' insurance. It was ok though because I had officially "recovered," meaning I had started menstruating again after years of having no period. I am happy to say that I have been menstruating ever since, but I unfortunately never really recovered in my mind. A habit that I started on purpose as a teen but has become second nature is that I essentially take every little thing as a sign from the universe that I should lose weight. My reflection is distorted in a storefront window? Time to restrict! Someone walks around me on the sidewalk? They clearly gave me a wide berth because I am a wide person and therefor it's a sign to diet. That kind of thing. I never realized I was still unconsciously doing it or how destructive that kind of thinking was until now.
I downloaded the Dismantling Racism course and am having a lot of trouble getting through the third lecture. First lesson was "Intro to CRT" and it was great, very informative. The problem is that four times in these first two and a half lectures, the instructor has looked straight at the camera and said some variation of "You white women are taking up too much space. Yes, you. You who are sitting there watching me now, you take up too much room." Now obviously she doesn't mean taking up physical space but rather metaphorical space (things like talking ovefor marginalized people), but my disordered ass is hearing this loud and clear as a call to start restricting more. We are currently in Lent and I'm fasting for religious reasons, and unfortunately once I start restricting it becomes addictive and I think I'm looking for any excuse to restrict more.
If the instructor only said this once I could get past it, but it comes up every few minutes and she really does her best to make it feel personal. And the assignment for lecture 2 was literally to "examine all the ways you are taking up too much room." The language in general is also vaguely fatphobic, which is weird because while the overall course is about racism, one of the later lectures is on LGBTQA issues, ableism, and fatphobia. I'm honestly interested to hear what she says about fatphobia after the way she speaks about larger bodies in general (it's never disparaging to them, more of using them as a comparison to POC but it feels weird because she doesn't acknowledge that one can be both). But to get to that lecture I have to figure out a way to stop taking this personally and letting it trigger me. I'm of three minds about the whole thing.
Mind 1 is my rational brain, which is saying to me You are not the main character, bitch. How DARE you turn actual issues into something about your Fragile White Feelings? You've literally turned into the kind of person you hate the most.
Mind 2 is my eating disorder brain, which is saying Watch the lectures for the free meanspo. Embrace the self-hatred. Transcend and grow *~*SKiNnI*~*
Mind 3 is the part of me that doesn't WANT this damn ED. I don't like spending my every waking moment thinking about food or my body. The reason I like doing these continuing ed lectures in the first place is that they offer distraction from all that. I downloaded this course to learn how to be more compassionate to others; surely it's not too much to ask that the course instructor show compassion to those with larger bodies and/or eating disorders?
If you've read this far, thank you. I could really use some advice. Ideally about how to stop taking things personally and finish the course. I've tried imagining the instructor saying something else when she talks about how much space I take up, but it isn't working out so well. I also considered that I could wait until after Lent to continue it so I can avoid compounding my triggers, but then after Easter comes Summer Body season, which is triggering in its own way, so I could wait until fall. Which is the most privileged shit ever! Billions of people deal with racism every day and I have the option of waiting a few months to think about it??? That's fucked up and I don't like it. I expected this course to make me uncomfortable but not for this reason. I can't afford therapy and I also can't afford a full-blown relapse that will send me to the hospital. Please help!
With my set up complete I am starting to teach drum lessons over Skype. I am offering a free 30-minute drum lesson with no strings attached to anyone who is looking for an online drum teacher.
My requests is that you have Skype or FaceTime, a stable internet connection with decent video and sound quality. All you need is a pair of drumsticks and a playing surface like a practice pad, pillow, electronic or acoustic kit. I am limited to English only please You need to be at least 18 years old or I need to have permission from a parent when we first connect.
Please respond with what time slot you want and message me your Skype or FaceTime contact 11:00 am, 11:40 am, 12:20 pm, 1:00pm, 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 3:00 pm, 3:40pm, 4:20 pm
One person per time slot first come first serve. Thanks!
My husband and I live in a small town, 2 hours away from the nearest buybuy BABY store. This weekend we're going to be in the town where that store is, for a weekend getaway, so I thought we should pay it a visit to sit down in all the different gliders and see what we like.
We don't want to spend a ton of time in the store, because we also need to run a few other "big city" errands that day. Other than testing the gliders, are there other baby items that would be useful to see in person rather than just shopping online? We don't have a Target or anything like that near us, so we're having to build our registry just from online research. Just wondering if we're likely to change our minds about other big purchases, i.e. car seats, strollers, etc, by seeing them in person, or are we just going to think they all look equally complicated in person as they do online? 🤪
Tl;Dr: "newly" realized I'm likely transfem, unsure how to feel.
I've known for a couple years (since like 2015 ish, when i was like 13 14) that i didn't feel too comfortable as myself, but i could never figure out why. I've toyed around with the idea i might be trans before, and even accepted it, but always somehow came up with excuses I'm not. I was never in a safe environment to experiment with this aspect of myself.
Fast forward to about a year ago, and my partner and i both were talking about our confused gender identity. They've come to realize they're nonbinary, and it made me comfortable enough to genuinely mentally consider the idea of not being cis. I know I've always wanted to be more feminine, but i was unsure whether i wanted to be a feminine boy, NB, or just a trans girl. I've always had a mental idea about how hard it is to transition, and let it be a factor to talk myself out of considering the idea.
I'm still not safe enough in family environment to seriously consider starting hrt or social transition outside my online friend groups, but with even just that little bit, I'm realizing more and more i don't want to be a man, or non binary, I'm just a girl. A woman. I.... Still am coming to mentally accept this as part of me, but i know it feels right for me to say this.
Now we get to the current state of things. I'm not sure if i have the confidence to do this. I want it more than anything, and genuinely don't know if i can be happy if i don't go through with this. Still, i don't know if i have the confidence to do this. I intend to try and find somewhere to start hrt when i move out. I live in a fairly progressive state in the US, so the legal side should be fairly safe for me.
I'm worried about how I'll turn out from it though. I want to be a woman, but I'm worried about so much. I'm 6'4 1/2, meaning I'm really tall, and worry if I'll be able to have people view me as a woman. I also worry if I'll ever really be able to be a woman. I've seen so many successful transitions, so i know it's possible, i just worry if I'll have one.
Right now, i can't do anything other than prepare for when i move out to start. Still, I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice. Typing this out has definitely helped me clear things up and understand the situation myself, still, I'd appreciate any help or advice or anything.
Thank you for reading this wall of text.
After years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering determination, my lifelong dream had finally come true and it collapsed from one day to the other. I had the perfect family and the perfect life. As an English teacher in the quaint town of Black Rain, located in the serene landscape of British Columbia, I felt a sense of fulfillment and purpose in my daily life.
My family was the epitome of happiness and contentment. We shared a bond that was unbreakable, and every moment spent together was a cherished memory. My two teenage children, Samuel and Emma, were the joy of my life. They were both outstanding students and were thrilled about the prospect of attending university in the near future.
My wife Amelia was breathtakingly beautiful. Her long auburn hair cascaded down her back in loose waves, framing her delicate features and sparkling hazel eyes. She was a guide and lecturer at the local art museum, and her passion for the arts shone through in every aspect of her life. When she talked about a particular painting or sculpture, her eyes would light up with excitement, and her enthusiasm was infectious.
Despite her busy career, Amelia always made time for me. We were the perfect match, and our love for each other only grew stronger with each passing day. I loved watching her teach and inspire others, and it made me proud to see how respected and adored she was by her colleagues and students alike.
Together, we created a life filled with happiness and adventure. Whether it was exploring new art exhibits, hiking through the nearby mountains, or simply enjoying a cozy night in, we cherished every moment spent together. Amelia was my soulmate, my partner in every sense of the word, and I felt incredibly lucky to have her by my side.
In addition to our academic pursuits, we often embarked on exciting adventures and memorable holidays together. Whether we were exploring the natural beauty of the nearby national parks or indulging in our shared love of literature, every experience was enriched by the warmth and love that we shared as a family.
That day started as a typical morning. I woke up early and headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of sizzling bacon. I walked towards the counter and started making myself a sandwich. Samuel was sitting at the table, munching on his toast, while Amelia was getting her cereal ready. Suddenly, Emma walked into the kitchen with a perplexed expression on her face.
"Good morning, sweetheart," I greeted her with a smile.
"Good morning," she replied, still looking puzzled. "Who are you?"
I froze for a moment, not sure how to react. "What kind of joke is this?" I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.
But Emma shook her head, looking more confused than ever. "I'm sorry, I don't remember you," she said.
Samuel and Amelia exchanged worried glances, clearly as perplexed as I was. "Emma, that's your dad," Samuel said firmly as if trying to convince her.
But Emma just shook her head. "I'm sorry, I don't know who you are. I have never seen you!" she said softly before grabbing her backpack and heading off to school.
I was left standing there, feeling completely bewildered and hurt. How could my own daughter not recognize me? It was like a nightmare come true.
As soon as Emma walked out of the door, panic set in and I knew I had to act fast. I ran out of the house and down the driveway, chasing after her. When I finally caught up to her in the front yard, I tried to touch her gently on the shoulder, but she recoiled from my touch as if I was a complete stranger.
"Emma, it's me, your dad," I said, my voice trembling with fear and confusion.
But Emma only backed away from me, looking more scared than ever. "You're not my dad! My dad doesn't look like you," she cried.
I was taken aback by her words. "What do you mean? Of course, I look like your dad. I am your dad," I said, trying to remain calm.
But Emma's eyes were wide with fear, and she continued to back away from me. "You're lying! You're not my dad! Leave me alone!" she screamed.
Her fear was palpable, and I felt a sense of helplessness wash over me. As our neighbors began to peer out their windows with curious looks on their faces, I realized I needed to back off before things got even more out of hand. I slowly retreated, watching Emma until she was safely out of sight. The weight of the situation bore down on me heavily as I stood alone in the yard, wondering what had caused my daughter to suddenly forget who I was.
Back inside, I looked at Amelia, who was equally shocked by what had just happened. "What's happening to her, James?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"I don't know, but we need to figure it out," I replied, my mind racing with possibilities.
That day Amelia and I visited a psychologist. He had a relaxing office. He told us that teenagers sometimes go through a difficult time and she mentioned some reasons. She said it could be a way of fighting stress but it is only temporary and she told us to be patient, it would go away.
Amelia and I sat anxiously in the waiting room, both of us unsure of what to expect from our visit to the psychologist. I had to skip all my classes that day. As we were called into the office, I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief from the calming atmosphere. The walls were painted in soft shades of blue and green, and a small fountain bubbled quietly in the corner.
The psychologist was a middle-aged woman with kind eyes and a soothing voice. She listened patiently as we explained Emma's sudden confusion and fear, nodding thoughtfully as we spoke.
"Teenagers can often go through a period of difficulty, especially during times of stress," she explained. "It's possible that this is just a temporary phase for Emma."
"But why would she forget who I am?" I asked, my voice wavering slightly.
"It could be a defense mechanism," the psychologist suggested. "Sometimes our brains try to protect us from painful memories or experiences, and forgetting certain things can be a way of coping with those feelings."
“Painful memories? Like a boyfriend? She had a boyfriend and they broke up a few weeks ago. She has been very depressed since then. Can it be the cause?” I asked.
“Possibly,” the psychologist said but I still felt a sense of unease. "What can we do to help her?" I asked.
"Be patient," she replied with a small smile. "And try not to push too hard. Let Emma come to you when she's ready."
As we left the office, I couldn't help but feel a sense of uncertainty. How long would this phase last? And how could we help Emma when she was pushing us away?
Later that day Emma came home from school and said she did not want to have dinner with that man. She meant me. So she ate in her own room. Samuel went to play video games and Amelia and I went to bed, we both hoped Emma would be all right soon.
Later that day, as Emma walked through the door, I couldn't help but feel a sense of unease wash over me. She had been so distant lately, and I couldn't shake the feeling that something was seriously wrong.
"Hey, Em," I said, trying to sound casual. "How was school?"
But she just shrugged and headed straight for the stairs without a word. It was like she was a completely different person, and it was breaking my heart to see her like this.
Later on, as we sat down for dinner, Emma made her feelings clear. "I don't want to eat with that man," she said, looking straight at me. "Can I just have dinner in my room?"
She then walked away, leaving me feeling more lost and helpless than ever before.
After dinner, Samuel disappeared into his room to play video games, and I could hear the sounds of gunfire and explosions coming from his computer. It was a stark reminder of how different things were now, how far we had strayed from the happy, carefree family we used to be.
As Amelia and I got ready for bed, I couldn't help but feel a sense of hopelessness wash over me.
"Do you think she'll be okay?" I asked, my voice barely above a whisper.
Amelia sighed, her expression sad. "I don't know," she said, shaking her head. "But we have to be patient, and hope that things will get better soon."
I nodded, knowing that she was right. But as I lay in bed that night, I couldn't shake the feeling that things were only going to get worse before they got better.
As I woke up the next morning, my thoughts immediately went to Emma. I hoped that she was feeling better and that her fever had gone down. I quickly got dressed and made my way to the kitchen, hoping to find her there.
To my surprise, as soon as she saw me, she asked, "How come you're still here? I thought you were leaving today."
I was about to say something when Samuel looked at me.
“I am sorry, who are you?”
My heart sank. I looked at him with a mix of confusion and anger.
"What do you mean, who am I? I'm your father!" I said, my voice rising in frustration.
But Samuel only looked at me with a blank expression, as if he had never seen me before in his life.
"I don't know who you are," he said, his voice tinged with fear.
My mind raced with possibilities. Was this some kind of prank, a cruel joke being played on me by my own children? But as I looked into their eyes, I could see that this was no joke. They genuinely didn't recognize me.
"Listen to me, both of you," I said, my voice stern. "I am your father, and you have to respect me as such. This is not a game, and I won't tolerate this kind of behavior from either of you."
But as I spoke, I could feel the weight of uncertainty bearing down on me. What if they were telling the truth? What if they really didn't recognize me?
“I don’t know what you are talking about! If this is a prank from my dad, tell him it is kinda creepy!” he said, grabbed and left for school. Emma followed her and slammed the door. I still heard the word “weirdo fuck” from Emma from the outside.
When Amelia walked into the kitchen, I shared with her the disturbing news about Samuel's strange behavior and how he had failed to recognize me. I was so upset that I found it difficult to focus on my work, so I took a sick day and Amelia came with me to see the psychologist again, hoping to resolve the situation.
As soon as we arrived at the psychologist's office, we were ushered into her consultation room. The psychologist greeted us with a warm smile and gestured for us to take a seat.
"So, tell me what's been happening," the psychologist said, looking at us expectantly.
I took a deep breath and began recounting the events of the past few days, describing how both Samuel and Amelia had failed to recognize me, their own father.
The psychologist listened attentively, nodding her head occasionally as I spoke. When I finished, she took a moment to gather her thoughts before speaking.
"It's not uncommon for siblings to have similar symptoms," she explained. "It's possible that they're experiencing some kind of dissociative disorder, which could explain why they both can't recognize you."
I was skeptical of her explanation, but the psychologist seemed confident in her diagnosis.
"I would like to see your children for a few sessions to assess their condition and provide appropriate treatment," she said.
My wife and I exchanged a glance, unsure of how to proceed. We were both feeling angry and frustrated with the psychologist's diagnosis.
"You're saying that my children, who were perfectly normal just a few days ago, are suddenly suffering from some kind of disorder?" I said, my voice rising with indignation.
The psychologist remained calm and professional, trying to reassure us.
"It's not uncommon for teenagers to experience these kinds of issues," she said. "With the right treatment, they can make a full recovery."
But my wife and I were not convinced. We stood up and left the room, feeling like the psychologist was incompetent and unable to help us.
That evening, dinner was the last thing on our minds. My wife and I retreated to our bedroom, where I collapsed onto the bed, tears streaming down my face. My wife held me tightly, whispering words of comfort and reassurance. "We'll get through this together," she said softly.
I hugged her tightly, not wanting to let go. "I don't want to lose you," I said, my voice choked with emotion.
"You won't," she replied, her voice soft and gentle. "Everything will be alright, I promise."
Despite her words, I couldn't shake the feeling of fear and sadness that had settled over me like a heavy blanket. My mind was consumed with thoughts of what might happen if I couldn't help my children.
Unable to sleep, I left the bedroom and wandered into the living room. I turned on the TV, but my mind was too distracted to focus on anything. Instead, I found myself lost in a sea of worries and doubts. How could I help my children if even the experts seemed unsure of what was happening to them? How could I keep my family together when everything felt like it was falling apart?
The night stretched on, each passing moment filled with a sense of desperation and despair. All I could do was wait and hope that somehow, someway, things would get better. As my mind raced with worries and fears, exhaustion eventually overtook me and I drifted off to sleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night. I had a strange feeling but I did not know what it was. The couch was uncomfortable now and I wanted to go back to Amelia to the bedroom. I walked up the stairs. It was dark. I opened the bedroom door and approached our bed but I got extremely shocked when I saw another man sleeping in our own bed, next to my wife!
I jolted awake in the middle of the night, a sense of unease creeping up my spine. Something didn't feel right. The couch beneath me had become too uncomfortable, so I decided to make my way upstairs to our bedroom. It was dark, the only sound was the creaking of the wooden stairs beneath my feet.
I slowly pushed open the bedroom door, my eyes adjusting to the darkness. My heart dropped into my stomach as I saw another man sleeping in our bed, his arm draped possessively over my wife's waist. I froze, my mind struggling to comprehend what I was seeing.
"Who are you? What the hell are you doing in my bed?" I demanded, my voice shaking with anger and disbelief.
The man turned on the lamp on the bedside table and picked up a vase gripping it as a weapon. He told Amelia to call the police and she did so. The man was threatening me to leave their house because he will beat me up. I asked Amelia how come she did not recognize me but she did not speak to me. I was backing off and left the house before the police arrived.
As the man turned on the lamp, its dim light illuminated his face, revealing his angry expression. He clenched a vase in his hand, ready to use it as a weapon.
"Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my house?" the man asked in a harsh tone.
I was taken aback by his hostility and confused as to what was happening. "I-I live here. This is my house," I stuttered, trying to comprehend the situation.
The man didn't believe me and continued to threaten me. "Get out of here before I beat you to a pulp!" he yelled, raising the vase threateningly.
Amelia, still in shock, reached for the phone and dialed the police. I tried to reason with her. "Amelia, it's me, your husband. Don't you recognize me?"
But she remained silent, her eyes filled with fear and confusion.
I slowly backed away, trying not to provoke the man any further. As soon as I was out of the room, I ran down the stairs and out of the house, still in disbelief and shock.
As I waited outside for the police to arrive, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on. Why didn't Amelia recognize me? Who was that man in our bed? The whole situation seemed surreal and terrifying.
I had spent a sleepless night, sitting behind the bushes and watching our house like a fucking stalker, trying to make sense of what had happened. As the sun started to rise, I saw movement at the front door. My heart racing, I watched as my children, looking disheveled and tired, stumbled out of the house.
I was relieved to see them, but my mind was still reeling from the events of the previous night. I watched as they walked down the street, probably heading to school.
As they disappeared from sight, I saw the stranger again, leaving the house. This time, however, he was alone. My heart sank as I realized that he must have left with Amelia.
I continued to watch from my hiding spot as they said goodbye to each other, kissing passionately. I could feel my anger and sadness rising again, but I didn't know what to do.
Finally, the man left and Amelia stood alone at the door, then she went inside. I knew I had to confront her, but I didn't know how to start. I approached the door and knocked.
She opened the door and seeing my face, she wanted to shut it but I stopped it with my foot.
"Amelia, what is going on? Who was that man?" I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.
I tried to reason with her, but she just kept screaming at me to leave her alone.
"Amelia, please, I just want to talk to you. We need to figure out what's going on," I pleaded, but she wouldn't listen.
As we stood there arguing, a woman walking her dog stopped not far from us. She was one of our neighbors.
I could feel her eyes on me, judging me, and it made me feel even more helpless.
Amelia turned to the group of strangers and yelled, “Mrs. Parker, this man is harassing me! Call the police!"
I looked at the woman and asked if she recognize me. She told me she had never seen me. I tried to convince her that I was James, her neighbor but she did not believe me and she was despising me.
I approached the woman standing on the sidewalk, hoping to start a friendly conversation.
Although she was a cold woman, we knew each other. As I got closer, her dog started barking at me wildly and I noticed a strange look in her eyes.
"Hey Mrs. Parker, you know me, don’t you? I'm James, your neighbor," I asked, a friendly smile on my face.
The woman looked me up and down, sizing me up. "I'm sorry, I don't know who you are," she said coldly, with a hint of suspicion in her voice.
I was taken aback. "What do you mean? We live on the same street. I see you all the time," I replied, my smile fading.
"I'm sorry, I don't remember you," she said again, this time more dismissively.
I felt frustrated and a little hurt. I didn't understand why she was being so unfriendly.
"Are you sure? Maybe we've met before at a community event or something," I said, trying to jog her memory.
But the woman just shook her head. "No, I'm sure I've never seen you before," she said firmly.
“Is everything all right?”
I turned to face him and was relieved to see a familiar face. "No, everything is not all right," I said, my voice filled with anger.
“Do you want me to handle this ladies?” he asked, his muscles bulging as he prepared to confront me.
“It’s all right, I’m leaving!” I said and walked away.
“Never dare to come back!” Amelia shouted after me.
The next place where I was going was my school. I hoped my colleagues would help me out of this nightmare. I approached a group of teachers who were chatting in the hallway. They looked at me strangely, like I was an intruder.
“Hey guys, you won’t believe me what’s happening to me!”
One of them, Ms. Johnson, spoke up. "I'm sorry, your name is?”
“No, no no. Please no. You really don’t know who I am?”
“Are you sure you're at the right school?"
I was getting frustrated. "Yes, I'm sure. I've been teaching here for five years. How could you not know me? I am James Hall, for fuck’s sake!"
Another teacher, Mr. Chen, spoke up. "Look, buddy, I don't know what your game is, but you need to leave before we call security."
I was shocked. "My game? What are you talking about? I'm not playing any games, I'm James! Can't you see that?"
Ms. Johnson approached me and spoke softly. "Listen, maybe you should take a break and see a doctor. This doesn't seem normal. James is teaching in room 101!"
I burst into the classroom, the door slamming against the wall as I kicked it open. My eyes were locked on the man explaining something to the students. He looked up at me and recognized me instantly, I could sense his fear. I ran towards him, pushing him onto the table and grabbing him by the neck.
"Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?" I shouted, my voice trembling with rage. "Tell me the truth, or I swear to God I'll kill you!"
The man gasped for air, struggling to speak. "I-I don't know what you're talking about," he stammered.
"Don't lie to me!" I growled, tightening my grip on his neck. "I woke up this morning and my life was gone. My wife, my kids, my job, everything. And now you're standing here in my place, pretending to be me!"
As the fight broke out in the classroom, the students were taken aback and quickly stood up from their seats, some of them even backing away towards the walls. Some students were shouting and screaming, their voices echoing in the classroom, while others were gasping in shock. A few brave students tried to intervene and break up the fight, but they changed their minds for some reason.
Others were frantically pulling out their phones to record the incident, capturing the chaos unfolding before them. A sense of fear and confusion hung in the air as we continued to grapple with each other. It was clear that they did nobody recognize me either and they had never witnessed anything like this before. The sight of our violent altercation left them feeling vulnerable and scared.
The man's eyes widened in shock, and he tried to speak again. "I swear, I don't know anything about that. I'm James Hall as I told you!"
"Prove it," I demanded, releasing my grip on his neck. "Show me some ID or something."
The man fumbled in his pockets and pulled out his wallet. He handed me his ID card, and I studied it closely. It looked genuine. It was his face and the name James Hall.
I sighed and stepped back, still trying to process everything that had happened. "I'm sorry," I said, feeling a twinge of guilt for attacking him. "I guess I just lost it for a minute there. I am not sure who I am anymore."
I sat in the interview room, my heart pounding in my chest. The walls were a drab gray and the only sound was the humming of the fluorescent lights overhead. I could still hear the echoes of the fake James Hall in my head shouting at me “I will fuckin’ kill you!” at the arrival of the police. Finally, the door creaked open and the officer walked in. He had a stern look on his face, and I braced myself for the worst.
"I know what you've been doing," he said his voice firm. "You've been stalking that family. We could charge you with stalking and physical assault, but Mr. Hall has decided not to press charges. This is your last chance. If we catch you again, you'll go straight to jail."
I felt a wave of relief wash over me, but it was quickly replaced by a sense of unease. How had I ended up in this situation? The detective's words echoed in my mind, and I knew I had to tell him the truth.
"I understand," I said, my voice shaky. "But there's something you need to know. I didn't mean to stalk that family. It's all a mistake."
The detective's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean?"
I took a deep breath and began to explain my story. I told him about the fake Mr. James Hall, who had taken my identity and left me with nothing. I told him about my desperate search for answers and how it had led me to confront that man. But as I spoke, I could tell that the detective didn't believe me.
"That's quite a story," he said, his tone skeptical. "But it doesn't change the fact that we can't identify you. You're not in the system. So why don't you tell me the truth?"
I felt a cold sweat break out on my forehead. I knew that if I stuck to the same story, I would end up in jail. So I made a split-second decision.
"I'm homeless," I said, my voice barely above a whisper. "I don't have any ID or anything like that."
The detective looked at me for a long moment, then nodded. "All right. But I'm warning you, if we catch you stalking that family again, you'll be sorry."
With that, he opened the door and motioned for me to leave. I stumbled out of the interview room, my head spinning. I had narrowly avoided jail, but at what cost?
I spent most of my days wandering the streets, feeling like a complete outcast. The homeless shelters I stayed at provided only temporary relief from my misery.
While staying at the shelter, I was grateful to have access to the Internet. I eagerly logged onto websites such as Facebook, Reddit, and online banking, only to find that all of my accounts no longer existed. As I perused my wife's Facebook profile, I was taken aback by the appearance of a new husband in her photos. It seemed as though they had always been together, and the images portrayed a convincing picture of happiness between them. Super weird and creepy. My accounts on the other hand had been wiped out of existence, and I was forced to register new accounts from scratch. Even my government-related accounts were invalid, leaving me feeling as though I had been completely erased from this world.
Since I was nonexistent, I occasionally took up odd jobs like washing cars or doing dishes in kitchens.
But most of my time was spent watching my own house from a distance in disguise, trying to get a glimpse of my family. A few times, I was tempted to break in and try to find something like my old belongings if they existed but they installed an expensive security system.
I remember watching my children as they were walking to school with their backpacks on. I couldn't resist the urge to approach them, to see if they would recognize me. I felt like a monster, a complete stranger in my own family's life. I knew I had to keep my distance, to avoid causing any more trouble. I could also see that man as he gave me a kiss to my wife and went to my workplace by my car to my classroom to be with my students. I couldn't help but feel a surge of anger and jealousy.
Then one day, after a week of staying away, I paid another visit to the house. As I was standing at a distance from my house, something strange caught my attention. The husband was outside, standing awkwardly and appearing to be in a state of confusion. He was hiding behind a tree, peering out from time to time at the house, and wearing only a robe. I wasn't sure if he had spotted me, but I felt a knot form in my stomach. What was going on?
As I tried to make sense of the situation, the front door of the house suddenly opened, and a man I had never seen before stepped out. He gave a quick goodbye kiss to Amelia, the wife, before rushing off to work.
The husband lingered outside for a few moments longer, and that was when he finally seemed to notice me.
Our eyes met, and we were just standing there, speechless. More
My headlight lens is cracked and I’m going to try to replace the whole assembly. I haven’t been able to find an instruction guide online, does anyone know if I have to remove the bumper or can I remove the assembly without removing the bumper? Does anyone know of an instruction guide for getting this job done? It’s a Limited if that makes a difference (full LED headlights).
Just want to vent my frustration. I was on the biggest fans of Dying light series. Played 1 multiple times with my brother, paid full price for dying light 2 and enjoyed it thoroughly.
I really can’t express my annoyance and my frustration at how this big company has not been able to fix this True Nightrunner trophy bug for over a year now.
Everytime a new update is posted I excitedly do all the runs again and lose hope when the trophy again, doesn’t unlock. This is very frustrating.
Blue Reflection Sun was released one month ago and after playing religiously every day (this includes waking up in the middle of the night to consume stamina, something I'll get to later on in my review), here are my thoughts. First of all, this review will not touch on the controversy regarding including the first male character in a series that features only female characters. Just let me say that after playing through the story to the latest chapter, many of the interactions/scenarios between the girls and the protagonist completely excludes the protagonist from being female. So that possibility is off the books for foreign releases or future patches. Now that that's over with, I will be reviewing the game as a standard gacha game developed and published by large companies (Koei Tecmo and DMM Games).
As a disclaimer, I have been playing gacha games for over 10 years but rarely have I played in any language other than Japanese. So while I am translating to English to the best of my ability, some terms may be wrong, though hopefully decipherable.
I'll start off with the crux of gacha games: the gacha. There are essentially 2 types of gacha: character and fragcard gacha. Character is self-explanatory, but fragcard is the `card` system found in some gacha - each includes a skill, which can be upgraded, and stats, which can be levelled. Characters range from 1-3 stars (can be limit broken to a maximum of 5) and fragcards which go from R→SR→UR. Each gacha can drop the other type except for at the highest rank. In other words, the character gacha can drop R and SR cards but not UR, while the fragcard gacha can drop 1-2 star characters but not 3 star.
The rates in order of ascending rarity is 77%→20%→3%. The tenth pull is 97%→3%, so in other words, at the tenth pull you are guaranteed 2★/SR or higher. There is a pity system for each gacha that does not carry over, besides the standard gacha. 200 pulls for 200 tickets will let you exchange for the featured item - this number cannot be reached without major saving or else spending money. Each event period gives you an estimated 50 pulls (this is a very rough estimate since it's still service start).
Regarding the limited gacha, So far, characters and cards have been truly limited, in that there is no plan to add them to the standard pool after the run, though the fine print states that there may be reruns (par for the course). This is great as it makes things black and white: you either pull if you want it or save if you're waiting for something else. No grey area where you want the item but you might as well wait since it will be added to the pool later.
You'll also receive a plethora of gacha tickets, but unfortunately, these can only be used one at a time (probably in order to bypass the ten pull system). Combined with the slow loading screens, using 30 or so tickets took me almost an hour...
Finally, even 1 star characters can be easily limit broken to 5 stars, which makes it so that there are no useless characters. Of course, a 3→5★ will be stronger than a 1→5★, though at the very least this means that you'll still have viable characters even if you get horrible pulls.
All this to say that, the rates don't feel unfair, and even when you pull a card instead of a character, Kishida's art is so pretty that it doesn't even feel all that bad. Also, just as there are no useless characters, all cards can be sufficiently powerful once limit broken and levelled up.
There is no cheap monthly pass unfortunately. Only a simple money to gem system. The most expensive item is 10,000 yen for 16,000 gems which equates to 53 pulls. This goes down to the cheapest item, 160 yen for 160 gems, which is about half a pull. One pull is 300 gems.
Standard turn-based rpg with no time-delay system found in the original series. 4 elements with none of that dark/light crap (sorry, I'm just not a fan of elements that do increased damage to one another) and in rare cases, non-elemental. Each character has her own powerful skill and 2 other skills that can be equipped and switched via fragcards. This means that a character of one element can equip skills of a completely different element.
Elements do increased damage and receive less damage to/from the element that they are good against. So much so that a party strong against an element can take down enemies of twice the power rating (in my case, my party of 60,000 could take down enemies of 120,000).
Standard attacks charge SP, which is counted separately for each skill. So you can freely use each skill as soon as it is charged, without worrying about saving the SP for another skill. This is where the auto battle fails. Auto makes the characters randomly choose attack or a skill, without prioritizing fully charged skills. So that means your character may use a standard attack even when you don't need the SP. Management has said that they are planning to improve the auto system in the near future, so this may be subject to change. On the plus side, characters will focus fire enemies from right to left in auto.
Finally, characters can be `borrowed` from friends/strangers, which lets you use her skill once per battle at any time, without losing your turn. This will not activate during auto. All in all, this is to say that if there is a powerful enemy that you cannot defeat in Auto, often Manual will often enable you do so.
At player level 1, you start off with 51 stamina (if I remember correctly), which recovers at a rate of once every 3 minutes. Doing the math, you can see that initially 2.5 hours will give you a full charge; hardly enough to let you rest during work (let alone sleep). You'll receive a ton of stamina refill items, which is in your best to use as soon as possible to level up and increase your maximum stamina. After a month of playing, I am currently at 100 stamina - the highest leveled players I've seen are 10 levels higher, i.e. 110 stamina, which equates to 5.5 hours for a full charge - still hardly enough for a full night's sleep.
All this to say, for those of us that are very stoic about consuming stamina to never let it go full, the stamina system in this game is the most stressful I have ever experienced. It seems as if not much thought was given into either lowering the recovery rate (along with the cost of stages) or else increasing the maximum increased per level.
There is a ranked battle system, but it's almost impossible to lose. Firstly, while the enemy team will attack randomly, your team will focus fire. Secondly, each enemy has a break meter, which when full will make them lose one turn (normal enemies also have this). This, combined with weaknesses can easily let you win fights with differences in power levels of 20,000 (or potentially higher, though I don't want to try my luck).
There is a maximum of 3 battle points, which are not refreshed daily as in most games, but gradually (1 every few hours, I haven't bothered to time how many hours). Basically you can fight much more than thrice a day. There is also a consecutive win bonus, which keeps increasing to the point that the consecutive bonus is higher than the standard win bonus. At high ranks and high consecutive wins, you will receive way more points than you need for the limited items in the battle shop.
One month in, and I along with most player I imagine, have never lost a match.
Story and Characters
The story is not Shakespeare, nor is it Twilight. The voice acting is excellent as usual, and the story is interesting enough to keep you immersed. Each character has her own personality, motivations, and desires, which are much more rounded than the standard flat female characters born of a male mind found in most fiction. While most works feature simple anime tropes that perpetuate sexist stereotypes, the characters of brs have a certain nuanced depth, i.e. they exist as entities independent of male characters (and not as mere supports to a well-rounded male). All this to say, while there are some cringey moments, most of the characters have a certain human charm separate from a mere sexualization of the character.
The main character is also not annoyingly smart/strong or dumb/weak, i.e. he has the same attractive qualities that the girls have as well. There is a good balance in terms of character relations, though I wish they reversed the females-dependent-on-male trope more (they almost did in the beginning, but then it swung to the standard MAN DO EVERYTHING AND WOMAN LIKE STRONG MAN caveman mindset...).
In terms of character design, Kishida's design is top notch as always, showing that not only is he talented in bishoujo design, but even his bishounen are pretty as hell. Personally, I cringe at the hairstyles/fashion/makeup/design of most anime because you can tell these were men creating women, 10 years behind the current fashion. Kishida, however, I always imagine him spending hours every day on Instagram absorbing all the latest trends. His characters' hairstyles and fashion really show this and adds a certain believability (most other works of fiction make me groan "no woman would be caught dead in such a mismatched setup" etc.).
The 3D models are also very similar to the 2D art, so thankfully there is no huge gap between the concept design and implementation. Also, most of the limited gacha outfits are so pretty, it never feels bad to pull.
There are certain aspects of UI that show of outdated design or a lack of knowledge of gacha design. For example, you cannot see details of a character's skill in the Training menu (where all of your owned characters are listed). Instead, you have to go to Formation, change character, and then view from there - very unintuitive, not to mention unecessary. Another is that upcoming maintenances are not announced in-game in an in-your-face sort of way. You have to check the once-a-day announcement or else follow their Twitter closely. Very frustrating, which I'll go into more detail in the next section.
Besides a few grave errors, most of the UI design is non-problematic, and likely to improve as hinted in an upcoming update. Much of the UI design (along with the sound and music) from the main series is brought over to the gacha game as well, which fans will enjoy.
This is the most frustrating thing about this game. Luckily, if there is an English release, you might not have to deal with this if you end up with a better English team. To sum up why, basically the 運営 (I think this translates to management or operations in English) of KT/DMM does not feel like part of a company with decades of experience; they feel like a small indie developeself-publisher that has no experience handling sudden errors.
In the first week especially, there were lots of server crashes and emergency maintenances to fix a lot of the problems. Server crashes are unexpected, but I have never seen a company handle maintenances so poorly. Apart from the lack of in-game announcement interface mentioned in the previous section, there were times when the Twitter announcement was only a few minutes in advance. Completely unacceptable in Japanese society, especially so in customer-service relations. To add to this, stamina fills up fast, which only adds to the frustration. Such that you have to constantly log in because you're never sure when the next maintenance will come.
As a side note, post-mortem of the server crashes found that they were due to high access traffic "overseas." Obviously we all knew this meant China bots once again ruining a party that they weren't invited to. Perhaps future games would do well to always cordon off a China server for the safety of Japan, but that's another story for another day.
I am a big fan of DMM/Exnoa published games; they often publish many obscure developers, most of which are terrible, but every once in a while, there is a hidden gem. So it pains me to be so critical of their handling of this game, because I know they can do better. On the other hand, Koei Tecmo did an alright job of bringing a console/PC game to mobile, and if they are as willing to improve based on feedback as promised, then there may yet be hope for this game.
Regardless, after one month, I am still highly enjoying this game. The sounds, visuals, gameplay loop just hit all the right places for me, so I am looking forward to future updates and improvements. Those that have more free time than me may find that there is not enough to do in-game, but for relatively busy adults, this may just be the game for you.
P.S. Thank you for making it to the end of this long review. If you wish to comment, please refrain from bashing the game, developers, publishers, etc. for introducing a male character. You can gripe about that in a different thread, but this is not the place for that. Productive comments regarding gameplay or similar are welcome.
on apple tv, the first avatar gives you the option to see deleted scenes, extended version and behind the scenes. do yall think will get that?? or just the full movie and nothing more