initial endeavor

Donald Trump plans to cut the Office of Global Women’s Issues from the 2018 budget

  • While his daughter was hyping his consistent advocacy for women, President Donald Trump was planning to cut the Office of Global Women’s Issues, according to a State Department budget published by Foreign Policy on Monday.  
  • The budget documents show the $8.25 million allotted to the Office of Global Women’s Issues in 2016 will be whittled down to $0 in 2018. 
  • Oxfam is calling on Congress, which will have to vote on the budget, to “stand against this reckless move,” O'Brien said.
  • A division of the State Department, the office promotes gender equality in U.S. foreign policy endeavors, funds educational and economic initiatives and endeavors to combat gender-based violence worldwide. Read more (4/26/17)
2

The Eastern System of Kundalini Yoga affords us a basic clue into the interior operations of Mystical Alchemy. Kundalini Yoga aims at the awakening of various centers of psychic force in the Ethereal Body. These are called Chakras or Cakkrams. Although there is literally a Chakra for every nerve in the body, there are seven in particular which are of vital importance in the Science of Kundalini Yoga. These Chakras are symbolized by seven Wheels ascending the spinal column which the Yogi endeavors to initiate into whirling motion, to awaken their subtle energies and vitalize his consciousness with their occult currents of power. This is accomplished by way of awakening the Primary Nerve Current known as the Kundalini or Serpent Power. The Serpent (Kundalini) is a phallic symbol, representing the creative force of reproduction or Sexual Energy. The Kundalini is Sexual Energy – the Libido – also called Shakti (Power) in the Sanskrit tongue. It is by this Sexual Power that the Chakras are literally transformed into veritable centers of cosmic radiation, illuminating the soul, mind and body of the Yogi with the Celestial Light of the Sun.The seven Chakras, which are also called Padmas or Lotuses, are the occult centers of psychic energy in the human body. They are not really a part of the human body, but rather correspond to certain parts of it, thus we call them occult (secret). The Chakras are secret centers which generate Prana and are a part of what is termed the Subtile or Ethereal Body. As Lotuses they exist upside downuntil the awakened Kundalini strikes upon them and makes them right side up. In this they are slain and transformed, purified and consecrated. It is an essential object of the training of the Magician in the New Order of the Golden Dawn to awaken the Kundalini, and thereby accomplish this inner work with the Chakras. Any proper system of initiation must necessarily awaken the conscious experience of these centers at some level, as they represent the true initiation of the soul. There are seven steps to this internal initiatory operation of Yoga. These seven steps correspond with certain alchemical, astrological and magical principles. The number seven is of great importance in Hermeticism. Note that there are seven letters in the words Sulphur, Mercury and Vitriol, which are names for the three alchemical Principles. There are also seven alchemical Metals which are linked with the seven traditional Planets of Astrology. And to correspond with these and other important concepts of the Septenary, there are seven Steps of Initiation in the New Order of the Golden Dawn. The symbol of the New Order of the Golden Dawn is, in fact, a Gold Cross surmounted by a White Triangle, giving us the number seven. This symbol represents the Great Work of Alchemy. Such is also the alchemical symbol for Sulphur which denotes the SECRET FIRE of Alchemy. This SECRET FIRE, which is the First Matter of the Great Work, is the Kundalini or Serpent Power of Yoga. Moreover, the Cross represents the four Grades of Zelator, Adeptus Minor, Adeptus Major and Adeptus Exemptus; and the White Triangle represents the three grades above the Abyss called Magister Templi, Magus, and Ipsissimus. In alchemical terminology the Cross represents the four so-called Aristotelian Elements called Fire, Water, Air and Earth; and the Triangle represents the three Principles of Trimaterialism called Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. The Cross further represents the four elemental Chakras of Yoga called Muladhara, Svadhistthana, Manipura, and Anahata; and the Triangle represents the three higher Chakras called Vishudhi, Ajna and Sahasrara.Muladhara is the Root Chakra, Svadhistthana is the Navel Chakra, Manipura is the Solar Plexus Chakra, Anahata is the Heart Chakra, Visuddhi is the Throat Chakra, Ajna is the Pineal Chakra, and Sahasrara is the Crown Chakra. In Alchemy these Chakras are linked with the seven Metals called Lead, Iron, Tin, Quicksilver,Copper, Silver and Gold. These Chakras are also linked with the seven traditional Planets of Astrology called Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Luna, and Sol. The seven Metals and seven Planets correspond with the seven Chakras as follows: Lead and Saturn correlate with the Muladhara Chakra; Iron and Mars correlate with the Svadhistthana Chakra; Tin and Jupiter correlate with the Manipura Chakra; Quicksilver and Mercury correlate with the Anahata Chakra (or alternatively the Sahasrara Chakra); Copper and Venus correlate with the Vishudhi Chakra;Silver and Luna correlate with the Ajna Chakra; and, lastly, Gold and Sol correlate with the Sahasrara Chakra (or alternatively the Anahata Chakra). Of the seven Chakras, only six are visible to the inner eye of the Yogi. Sahasrara, the so-called seventh Chakra, is an invisible and ineffable centre which cannot be classified as a Chakra per se. Yet it is with this Invisible Chakra that the Yogi or Magician seeks to integrate himself. For this so-called Chakra represents the True Self of the Yogi or Magician which, in Alchemy, is symbolized by the Stone of the Philosophers. Now there are innumerable centers of Prana in the Subtile Body called Nadis which are commonly defined as Nerves. Prana is the vital, creative energy in Nature which animates and maintains all life and it is the subtle link between the visible and the invisible. Nadis are subtle nerve channels of Prana. The word Nadi is derived from the Sanskrit root “nad”, which signifies motion. The various petals of the Chakras are Nadis. Prana moves or circulates in the Nadis, governed by the currents of the Sun and Moon. Purification of the Nadis is one of the most fundamental exercises of Yoga proper. There are three principal Nadis of Yoga. These are called Ida, Pingala, andSushumna. Of these three the latter is the most important. Sushumna starts in the lowest Chakra Muladhara (5 cm. above the anus and 5 cm. behind the penis). Within the Sushumna is another Nadi called the Vajrini which contains yet another Nadi called the Citrini. The inmost part or centre of the Citrini is called the BrahmaNadi. However, it is not really a Nadi, but a vivara, that is, a hollow passage. The opening of the Citrini initiates the process or makes open the gate through which the Kundalini can enter the Kula Marga or Royal Road to the Crown Chakra. Such is called Brahma-Dvara. The Kundalini is asleep, closing with Her mouth the entrance to the Sushumna, until She is awakened in the Muladhara Chakra. When the Kundalini (Shakti) is awakened, by way of proper initiation, She enters the Royal Way in the Sushumna and rises through it to unite in orgasmic ecstasy with Her lover Shiva who isconcealed in the Brahmarandhra (Sahasrara Chakra). In Her ascension to the Brahmarandhra She pierces with puissant passion the various petals of the Chakras which, in effect, blossom into beautiful and fragrant Lotuses of Light. And when Shakti embraces Shiva in the Sahasrara, then are all the Chakras made one in the blissful, eternal blossoming of the Supernal Lotus of infinite petals. Ida and Pingala, like Sushumna, start in the Muladhara Chakra and rise to the Ajna Chakra, but, unlike the Sushumna, they rise with an inverse, serpentine movement. Ida is to the left of the Sushumna and its nature is lunar and feminine. Pingala is to the right of the Sushumna and its nature is solar and masculine. When Ida and Pingala meet at the Ajna Chakra they enter the Sushumna, making a triple knot, and again they are separated and, ergo, annihilated. That is, they are discharged of their Prana which then rises through the Sushumna to penetrate and kindle theSahasrara Chakra, allowing for the ecstatic, orgasmic embrace of Shakti and Shiva which, as you might gather, constitutes the greatest victory in Kundalini Yoga.

- Frater Aurora Aureae; ALCHEMY: THE BLACK ART

If you ever wondered just what Migi tweaked with that alien open heart surgery of his, here you go.

Edit: I realized after the fact that my post-merger Shinichi was a pixel or two smaller than he ought to have been (assuming his head didn’t shrink any). Doesn’t seem like much, but it does show up in the measurements, Here’s your properly scaled one, complete with added imperial units.

Also, since I continue to have absolutely nothing to do this weekend, here’s Migi’s alterations by percentage:

Height: 5.2% increase

Neck width: 21% increase

Shoulder width: 12.8% increase

Chest width: 14.7% increase

Hip width: 9% increase

Leg length: 7% increase

Contributing More to Your Business through Delegation

Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Anne M. Bachrach (USA).

When starting off a small business, there are many decisions and actions which have to be taken by the entrepreneur him/herself. It makes sense for the entrepreneur to keep the reins in his/her own hand as the business is yet to get off the ground. Getting any business started off and geared towards success takes a lot of effort and hard work. Once the business has been established, the entrepreneur can take a backseat and reap the fruits of their initial endeavors.

To Be Loved and To Be in Love

You were almost sure that despite your young age, you’d known for quite a while that the worst feeling in the world- yes, even worse than broken hearts or soggy cereal- was being woken up from a perfectly deep sleep in the middle of the night. You’d always found it sort of amazing how you could be gone from this world without being completely gone. And he of course had always found a way to take that sweet, blissful sleep away from you. Whether it be with a rock on the window or a knock if he was feeling awake enough to climb that high, or a stream of texts and phone calls that would eventually wake you up with the incessant noise, he would constantly disrupt you.

Yet you stuck around. Sort of because he stuck around you despite whatever habits you may have had that he found annoying, but also because you wanted to. See, just as you’d discovered that being woken up from a sound sleep was the worst feeling, the best feeling was waking up and knowing that it was him that you were waking up because of.

Because as corny as it sounds, blue eyes had never looked more like the ocean and the sky all at once, and you never thought a laugh could make flowers blossom, but his did. And you hated yourself for thinking that way, for letting someone become important enough to deprive you of sleep. But here you are, zipping up your jeans and stumbling as you try to balance walking and putting your beat up old combat boots on, pulling a not-so-slept-in t-shirt on over your head. You hear another rock on the window and you roll your eyes even though you’re smiling and poke your head out, shushing him and holding up two fingers, mouthing “Two minutes,” before retreating back into your room. You miss his bright smile in your rush to finish up, miss his wistful sigh and how he shakes his head to himself, staring at the ground and kicking the toe of his shoe into the dirt.

“Hey!” you whisper-scream into his ear when you get downstairs, startling him slightly when you wrap your arms around his shoulders from behind, giving him a playful squeeze.

“Ya scared me,” he says with a laugh, shaking his head at you as you unwrap your arms from around him.

“Yeah and you woke me up,” you shoot back, giggling when he nudges against your shoulder, pouting at you in that way that makes your heart feel like it’s going to combust.

“Right, like you don’t like hanging out with me.”

“I won’t admit to anything.”

“I’ll make ya,” he replies, his voice edging on dangerous, but you can hear his smile, you don’t have to look to know it’s there.

“Try me,” you challenge and before you can even take another breath he turns around and rushes into you, making you shriek as he throws you over his shoulder, his fingers uncomfortably close to that ticklish spot on your side.

“Okay, okay, put me down!” you say with a breathless laugh, tapping out, your palm tapping lightly against his back.

“You love hanging out with me right? Your best mate? Your favorite guy in all the world, yeah?”

“Yeah, yeah, yes to all of it.”

“Thought so,” he says victoriously as he stoops down to let you upright yourself.

“You’re the worst,” you mumble, brushing yourself off and bumping your hip against his.

“You know that’s not true,” he teases, throwing his arm over your shoulder and tugging you into his side. “Didn’t we just go over this?” he taunts again, reaching like he’s going to dig his fingers into that ticklish spot.

“Nooo, okay I’m sorry,” you laugh, pushing him away and smiling to yourself when he pulls you back in, his arm draped over your shoulder again. “Now what is it that you woke me up for this time?”

“I was lonely,” he replies, and you can just make out that hint of genuine sadness, that tone that tells you that he’s being honest but he doesn’t want to be serious, he wants to keep joking, laugh and mess around till he gets tired and walks you home.

“That’s what your hand is for,” you joke and he turns, making a horrified face at you, before breaking out into laughter.

“Disgusting,” he scoffs.

A peaceful quiet settles over the both of you and you can tell he’s feeling down. You can see it in his eyes in those fleeting moments when his stare meets yours, you can see it in the slump of his shoulders, you can hear it even in the calm quiet. You want to ask, you want to listen and be there for him, but you know how rare it is for him to open up.

“Where are we going tonight?” you say instead, hoping to break the silence.

His head snaps up at the sound of your voice and he glances at you quickly. “Figured we could go to the spot, hang out for a bit if you’re up for it.”

“Sure, okay.”

The spot. You loved it like a person loved their home. Because that’s what it was essentially, a home away from home, as far from special as it was. It was just the roof of some old building, stable of course, but unused for so long.

You’d discovered it together, just taking a walk to get food one day and it worked its way into your conversation when you’d pointed out that you’d never seen anybody go in, you’d never seen a single sign of life in that building. And of course Niall had dragged you in and you were both disappointed to find nothing interesting, just some dusty furniture. You walked up the stairs of the loft and eventually found yourself on the roof, and you ended up forgetting about your initial endeavors and sat up there and talked for hours, like best friends did.

So you’d spend some summer afternoons after a couple of years of sitting on blankets with him cleaning up there, getting all the dirt and dust off, dragging a couple of lawn chairs and a table, even that old couch his parents were about to throw out for new furniture up to the top. You’d even convinced Niall to let you string some lights around the place, buying a few boxes of rainbow and white lights and giving the place a soft, colorful glow when the sun set. You had tarps, too, to cover up your stuff every time you left just in case it rained. It had come together quite nicely, and you even had enough room to maybe throw a small get together- not that you ever did because you both had this silent agreement that it was yours, only to be shared between the two of you.

So now there you were again, leading the way up the stairs and flicking on the colorful lights before you sat down in the blue lawn chair you’d deemed as yours.

“Niall?”

“Hm?”

“Are you gonna tell me why you’re sad?”

He sighs and shakes his head, and you look at him sitting across from you, his arms crossed over his chest as he leans his head back, looking up at the sky. You want to go over there and hug him, you want to cuddle so close you can feel his heartbeat and tell him that sad is the worst thing you’ve ever seen on him and that he needs to smile and laugh, because if he’s sad you’re sad. But you can’t, you never could. You’d gotten so good at pretending you felt nothing but brotherly love for the boy, so good at pretending that you didn’t care when you’d went to his frat’s parties and his arm was around some girl or when he’d pull even when he said he wasn’t going to.

You sat with your hands in your lap, fidgeting as you fought the urge to go to him, to reach out and hold him. But then you thought to yourself that you can do that as a friend, right? You could just hug him and show him that you were there for him, of course best friends could do that.

So you did, you got up and took a few tentative steps towards him and stood behind his chair, lowering yourself to wrap your arms around his shoulders, locking your hands loosely against his chest.

“What’s this for?” he asks softly and you think you can hear a little bit of a smile in his voice.

“You looked like you needed it is all,” you mumble, feeling yourself flush with embarrassment until he tilts his head further back to look up at you.

“I did,” he admits, pulling at your arms so you rest closer to him, your chin just above his shoulder. “Thanks.”

You don’t even realize that after a few long minutes that you’ve let yourself settle down, your chin on his shoulder and your arms still draped over him. You don’t even notice that he’s tilted his head so his hair brushes against your cheek with the slightest movement. Maybe you don’t notice because you’re trying so hard not to, or maybe because it feels so right for you to fit together like that.

“It was just one of those nights tonight,” he says quietly, so quietly you could barely hear it, only did because he’s so close right now.

You’re not sure what to say, but you know he knows you’re listening because you reach down and squeeze his arm, rubbing softly to let him know you’re there.

“Ya know when ya just feel so… I dunno…” he trails off and it scares you that it sounds like he might get quiet again.

“Lonely? Like you said earlier?”

“But not just that,” he replies, thinking of what else to say. “It’s like… you want something and it’s right there in front of you, but you can’t have it. And it’s shit, because you know you shouldn’t get it anyway. Because you don’t deserve it… but you feel like shit without it anyway.”

Your jaw drops only slightly, because he’s never spilled so much at once. He’s so typical, the frat bro with the loud laugh, always happy and rarely, almost never sharing feelings. He sounds so sad despite his vague words, and you hate it. You hate that he could think for a second that he doesn’t deserve whatever- or whoever, you figured- he wants.

“Don’t say you don’t deserve whoever she is,” you say and he opens his mouth to argue that he never said it was anyone, but you keep going.

“You deserve to have someone that makes you happy,” you tell him, wishing it could be you.

“You’re good enough for anyone,” you say, wishing you were good enough for him.

“Not for her. She’s so- she’s sweet and beautiful and-“

“And you’re sweet, Niall, c’mon,” you say, drawing away from him only to step in front of him, kneeling down to grab his cheeks in your hands, pinching softly. “And you’re beautiful right? You’ve got those blue eyes all the girls love so much,” you exclaim, smiling when he laughs loudly, pretending to swoon over them as you sit down in front of his chair, your legs crossed in front of you.

His laughter fades, and he rubs his cheek where you pinched him, shaking his head slightly.

“Maybe, but that’s not enough. She deserves more,” he says, his gaze dropping to you when you look away for a moment. “She deserves the world,” he breathes, looking away when you look back up at him curiously.

“How come you’ve never told me about this girl?”

His cheeks flush red and he cards his fingers through his hair, blowing out a breath.

“I don’t like talking about this stuff, you know that,” he shrugs his shoulders, looking down at his shoes.

You fall into a silence only slightly more comfortable than before. You pull your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around yourself, feeling the chill in the air finally. It’s only when you look away that his eyes find you. His heart races every time he looks at you, every time he thinks even for a second that maybe he should just tell you. Instead he peels off his sweatshirt and sits beside you, placing it in your arms.

“You looked cold,” he explains when you look over at him and you thank him, pulling the sweatshirt over your head and letting it bury you.

“See? Now what girl wouldn’t fall head over heels for that?” you say brightly, bumping your shoulder against his.

His face falls at your words and he swallows, looking down at the ground again before he looks into your eyes, turning his gaze away again afterwards.

“Not the one I’d hoped, apparently.”

You’ve seen it before in the movies, where someone confesses something and the person they’re confessing to has this epiphany-like moment where everything goes silent for a moment, like the entire world stops and then they process what they’ve just been told and then they move on to the next scene.

That was you right now, figuring out if you’d heard right, if it was just you or if the whole world really stood still for a moment just now.

“Ni-“

“We were sophomores I think. Yeah, sophomores,” he reminds himself as you stare at him with wide eyes, your heart pounding with every word he says. “We were sitting up here and you suggested we buy a mini-fridge to keep drinks up here. We didn’t even have chairs yet, we sat on those ratty old blankets,” he says with a laugh. “But we were spitting out ideas and then we chilled out, just sat around and you’d brought your little speaker with you like you always did and you played this song…”

He trails off, trying to remember the lyrics and not noticing that your eyes look a little red and your lips are hanging open. He paces back and forth and your eyes never leave him, not once. He nods to himself and smiles, and you could melt when he starts singing, that sweet, soft little voice making your heart want to burst.

“And hey sweetie, well I need you here tonight,

and I know that you don’t wanna be leaving me.”

“That song, yeah. You played that and you sang along and you asked me to dance with you and I was such a baby about it, but you made me do it anyway. And we probably looked ridiculous, but- but you looked so happy. And I thought it was just a crush, because that always happens, but-“

“Niall.”

He’d barely noticed that you’d stood up with him, gotten so close that you could feel the breath from his lips.

“I thought it was just a crush,” he says a little sadly as you grab his face in your hands again, your palms cupped over his cheeks as you tilt your head slightly, letting your eyes flutter shut as you press your lips against his. It takes him a second, but he wraps one arm around you to force you closer, then his free arm joins to lock you in, his mouth so warm and gentle against yours. He tastes of peppermint and strawberry, and you think you can tell that he knocked beer or two back at some point today, but it’s him. You pull back reluctantly and let your head drop against his shoulder, embarrassed and shocked and confused and so much more all at once. You feel angry, at yourself for never saying anything and at him for the same, but you’re happy because he finally did. He pulls back to get you to look up at him and you force yourself to meet his gaze, your skin becoming warm under his stare.

“You-“

“Niall, I’m-“

“You never said anything.”

“Neither did you!” you argue and he just stares, a smile slowly breaking out across his face until he starts laughing, stumbling backwards with you still in his arms.

You let go of him as he laughs, but he quickly realizes you’re not there and reaches for you right away, tugging you down onto the floor with him. His laughter fades, his smile following shortly after and you finally get a good look in his eyes, get to see all the emotion there.

“You remembered all of that,” you observe, looking away from him before he guides you to lift your head up again.

“I’ll never forget,” he admits, making room so you can settle down in his lap.

You hesitate, confused because just minutes ago you’d been trying so hard to ignore everything you felt for him.

“I tried so hard,” you start, shaking your head and feeling a strange sensation in your body when he grabs your hand, bringing it to his lips and kissing the back, then two of your fingers, looking at you the whole time.

“Tried to do what?”

“I tried so hard not to love you,” you confess and his eyes go wide.

“You love me?”

You want his sweatshirt to swallow you up, you want to completely disappear. You just nod, looking at him sadly when he rests his palm on your neck, forcing you to look at him again.

“I love you,” he says softly, his lips almost touching yours, but not quite. “I love you,” he repeats, like he’s saying it for himself, because he finally gets to say it. He finally gets to tell you.

“I love you, too.”

You smile when you say it, rock forward so your forehead rests against his and you say it against his lips, you say it into his neck and he breathes it into you and whispers it in between kisses. You lose yourself in his kisses, a little sloppy, but the sweetest you’ll ever get, and so warm. Everything is warm, his kisses, his body, he makes you feel so safe. You kiss like teenagers, his hands underneath your shirt, your own locked over his shoulders. You’re both slow in your movements despite the desperation, letting your lips move lazily over one another, nipping at each other’s necks and him tugging at your lower lip every chance he gets. You settle down eventually, get your hearts to stop beating so fast and get him to calm down because you couldn’t suppress your giggling when you’d grinded against him and felt a lot more than you’d expected to. You smiled at how red he blushed and kissed him again, held his face in your hands like you never wanted to let go.

Now you squeezed into one of the lawn chairs, folded it all the way back so you could both fit at least somewhat comfortably. He plays with your fingers, wiggling his against yours as he compares the sizes, kisses your fingertips every so often.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” he explains when you look up at him from where you’re resting your head on his chest.

“You can now. All the time.”

He smiles at your words, picks himself up a little so he can kiss the top of your head.

“I’m never gonna stop kissing ya,” he says, wrapping his arm tighter around you.

“I’d like that,” you say with a laugh and he kisses your hand again.

His gaze settles on you, memorizing how you look against him, how your hands fit so perfectly together when he slots his fingers alongside yours. He memorizes how even though he can tell it’s gotten cool outside, he feels warm with you on top of him, how it feels when your chest rises and falls against him with every breath you take, how he can see the stars in your eyes almost as clear as the ones above you. He memorizes how it sounds when you say “I love you,” and how good it feels to hear it.  He memorizes how adorable you look when you lift your head to look at him, wondering why it’s gotten so quiet.

“We gonna stay out here all night?” you ask then, snuggling closer to him to get away from the cold breeze.

“We could,” he says, sitting up and forcing you to join him as he climbs off the chair, letting his arms circle around your waist as he smiles, letting his forehead lean on yours. “Or we could go to mine, have a proper sleepover yeah?”

You laugh at his proposal, tilting your head slightly.

“I dunno,” you say and he pouts, pulling you closer and burying his face in your neck.

“C’mon, babe, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. So much lost time to make up for,” he breathes, not realizing how your expression had changed when he called you babe.

Nothing had ever sounded so good, so sweet and real and hot as he did when he called you babe. You never wanted him to stop.

“You called me babe,” you say quietly, guiding him to lift his head from your neck.

“Yeah, you should call me the same,” he says with a smile.

“I think I can do that,” you agree, letting him pull you towards the door, his fingers intertwined with yours.

“So you coming home with me then?” he asks again, his eyes lit up with amusement.

“Sure,” you agree, pulling him in for another kiss before you follow him down the stairs and out of the building, cuddling into him when you step back out into the cool air.

“Should I go home first and get pajamas or something?”

“Nah, you can use my stuff,” he says and usually that wouldn’t have been such a big deal but it was no longer just your best friend whose close you were borrowing. You weren’t doing it because you’d happened to fall asleep or get too drunk or something.

He unlocks the door and rushes upstairs with you in tow, quickly shutting the door behind him and pulling you into his arms, forcing you backwards onto the bed. You giggle against his lips and you can feel his smile against your own as he pulls his sweatshirt over your head, your shirt rising with it. He nods at you, waiting for approval and when you nod back, he practically rips the thing off, tossing it over his head. You kick your shoes off and he does the same, letting them drop into a small pile beside his bed. You kiss each other like if you stop you’ll run out of air to breathe, harder than earlier, more desperate in your need to make up for all that lost time that you’d spent wishing you were his, that he’d apparently spent wishing the same. Your breath catches in your throat and you gasp softly when he straightens up and sits on the bed, pulling you into his lap. Your jeans stretch as you wrap your legs around him, smiling as you pull his white tee over his head. You scratch your fingers through the hair on his chest and he hums against your mouth, his fingertips digging into your hips. You grind against him and push forward till he’s leaning against the headboard, both of you in nothing but jeans, your bra straps dangling off your shoulders as he peppers you with kisses from your lips to your neck to your shoulders. You explore what you can of each other with your lips, memorize the dips in each other’s bodies with your fingers and your tongues, kiss and touch and whisper against each other’s mouths or into each other’s necks till yawns interrupt your kisses and your movements become slower, lazier.

“You’re tired,” he points out and you smile, leaning down to kiss his shoulder.

“So are you.”

“Want me to get you something to sleep in?” he offers and you climb off him, sitting down on his bed and watching as he stretches his arms over his head, his hair a rumpled mess and his jeans undone, hanging off his hips.

“Yeah, please.”

He digs through one of his drawers and throws you a pair of boxers with little white stars all over them and a white t-shirt like the one he’d had on before.

“I’m gonna go change and wash up, okay?” you say as you pass him, turning around to kiss his cheek. “Thanks,” you add, smiling when his hand wraps around your arm and pulls you back to him, only to give you a proper kiss on your lips, another one of those dreamily soft and slow kisses.

You head into the bathroom and dig through his cabinet till you find a still packaged toothbrush, admiring yourself in his clothes as you brush your teeth. You don’t notice him standing in the doorway as you wiggle around in his boxers, shaking your head back and forth to whatever song you might have playing in your head as you brush your teeth. You turn around finally and gasp lightly when you notice him there, plaid pajama pants covering his legs now and still no shirt.

“Sorry,” you mumble through the toothbrush sticking out of your mouth, your skin as hot as ever as he stares at you, his eyes bright.

He settles behind you as you lean against the counter to finish brushing, looking over your shoulder as he brushes his own. He smiles sideways at you and you bump your hip against his, smiling at his reflection when he traps you in between himself and the sink.

“That was adorable,” he says, nodding over to where you’d been dancing in front of the longer mirror.

“Let’s forget about it,” you joke and he puts his stuff down, leading you backwards out of the bathroom with one arm around your waist, the other wrapping around you after he’s flipped the switch off in the bathroom, your hands against his bare chest.

“No promises, but a kiss might help,” he bribes, earning a laugh from you even when you roll your eyes.

But you kiss him of course, kiss him till you’re both stumbling back onto his bed, a mess of limbs as you pull the blankets over yourselves. You settle in next to him and he kisses the top of your head again as you curl up against him, your arm over his stomach and your head on his chest.

“Is this okay?” you ask, looking up at his sleepy eyes, his lids heavy.

“’Course,” he says softly, wiggling his hips to get a little more comfortable.

“Good night,” you say, your breath warm against his chest.

“Night, babe, I love you.”

“I love you.”

You only now realize that the edges of his windows are aglow with the softest of blues, a hint at the rising sun, the world around you waking up as you both drift off to sleep. And then it occurs to you, after years of nights spent alone, years of nights that he would interrupt, nothing could come close to this, to falling asleep in his arms, to waking up to him to later, to being in his clothes in his bed holding him, his heartbeat underneath your head and your bodies fitted perfectly together.

It is with deep respect that I express my personal condolences and the sympathies of the American people to the family of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and to the people of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations. He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region. At home, King Abdullah’s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world. As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond. The closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah’s legacy. May God grant him peace.
—  President Obama on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia

anonymous asked:

When you have good ideas that take over a year to get running, where do you start? My projects always seem to stall because I don't have the expertise or the know-how to keep them running or get any momentum.

Well, at this point (and no this isn’t fair) I start with throwing money at stuff. I used to throw time at stuff, but I don’t have time anymore. The good news is, I do have money. 

You’re right that expertise is really where it’s all at. I find that I never really have ideas that are too far outside of my ability to execute because, otherwise, I don’t consider them good ideas and I throw them away immediately. There’s no use holding onto some dream of something I’ll never be able to accomplish. But when I’m close, but don’t quite have the expertise, I develop that expertise. Either by finding people willing to talk to me or teaching myself how to do stuff. In the early days that involved a lot of pirated software, but now it mostly involves phone conversations and hiring people. 

I’ve found (so far) three people (a web developer, a project manager, and a designer) to throw money at for this one. Even if it all falls apart and I lose my investment, at least I will have tried out working with some new people I might work with again in the future…and I never feel bad about paying good, talented people to do good work. My initial budget for speculative endeavors like this is, in general, not to exceed $10,000. That’s a lot of money, but when it comes to starting up a business, it’s TINY. My guess is that that $10,000 will get split fairly evenly between the designer, the developer, and the manager.

I also have talked to a bunch of people who know about the world the idea will live in to ask them for their thoughts and criticisms. And I listen to them. When they say it’s a bad idea, I either figure out why they’re wrong or I give up. If their criticisms are surmountable, then they inform budget and timeline, which are the two most important things to understand when you’re starting something up.

I had three of those phone calls today and during one of them I learned that the amount of money I planned to throw at this might not be enough, which is frustrating. But at this point I’ve learned enough to know that others are excited about it, which hopefully means investing significant capital up front (in time and money) will be worthwhile in the long run.