social passport


This was Oddworld’s Population Control Structure, and at the top we’ve got ancient financial… like The Illuminati, you know, pyramid idea that you all probably see on the web and stuff like this at different times. And Oddworld was always supposed to be this sort of dark side of globalization, reflecting the real world. So, whether or not the real world is this way, it’s great material to mess with, it’s just great fodder.

So, at the top, we’ve got the oldest money families in the world and they control dollars and think tanks and globalist bankers and economic level; all the way down you got the majority, and on Oddworld, we call that the 99.9987%, and that is where Abe emerged, and this is really where Abe became a big problem to the pyramid.

So what happens is Abe’s actions are gonna start sending… like, we know that Abe was a slave, he worked in a meat-processing plant, and then he finds out that the retirement plan’s a lie, and he’s just going to wind up chopped meat, and that’s not very good, but we didn’t necessarily, as an audience, start thinking about the financial ramifications of what happens when you shut down a big meat factory, when you start having economic impact, the people that’s going to shake up higher on the pyramid. 

So as Abe’s going about his journey, he starts shaking up more and more. In the beginning with Rupture Farms as the takeoff place of Abe’s Oddysee, Abe’s biggest crime is he didn’t just piss off his managers. He didn’t just get in fights with the security guards. He didn’t just get busted by the cops. He’s fucked the CEO of a major corporation that has a lot of investors, and that is not easily forgiven, and that’s where the second game in the Quintology, that is now called Soulstorm, is taking off from: these economic ripples that are just going to get worse and worse, and they’re gonna start feeling it and we’re gonna start waking up. If you thought Molluck was the top of the bad guys in this world, we’re gonna have a big change of heart with what’s gonna fall on him for screwing up someone’s investment.

And eventually these ripples are getting all the way up to the top, and as that’s happening it’s starting to send cracks through the population control structure, and basically as those cracks are raising up, things are getting worse. What’s going to be happening through the epic is that Abe’s stoking the fire of revolution, and that’s really what this has always been about. He’s starting to stoke that fire just out of the need of ‘he just doesn’t want to end up ground meat’, and he ‘just doesn’t want to be the next tasty treat’, but that’s unacceptable because of the economic ramifications that are going to happen, and what that’s going to do is start bringing down the royal shitstorm upon anyone involved with Abe, so Abe’s gonna sort of be branded and become more like the Bin Laden of Oddworld. It’s like ‘this guy’s got to go, he’s screwing up, he’s raising the prices of your Happy Meal’. Think about it: the consumers, even normal people, anyone above that bottom slave layer is gonna start resenting Abe’s impact, just like New Yorkers would resent if you raise their morning lattes $2 in price. New Yorkers would invade any country if it meant not raising their lattes $2 a cup.

And eventually the goal is: take out the eye of the pyramid. That’s Abe’s journey is that he finds it the only way that the lower class is ever going to have a chance is if they topple the pyramid. 

-Lorne Lanning, EGX 2017

What they don’t tell you you’ll need in college (but you totally do)
  1. Tupperware
  2. A good laptop case
  3. Materials for whatever craft/hobby you enjoy
  4. A mattress heater
  5. A backpack for school AND a cute purse for going out
  6. Office supplies (like scissors, glue, tape, post it notes)
  7. Quaters
  8. A mug (or a few)
  9. Paper towels for your room
  10. A really good pair of headphones (I promise its worth the money)
  11. Copies (or originals) of all of your important documents… birth certificate, passport, social security card, bank account info
  12. Gym shoes
  13. Skype and a good webcam
  14. Extra chargers for everything
  15. A keychain/lanyard/things to carry your key and OneCard in
  16. Closet and drawer organizer
  17. A big wall calendar
  18. Device to play video games
  19. At least one fancy(ish) outfit
  20. Your favorite candy/food/thing you can only get in your home town
give you the sunset

At the end of his rope, Peter leaves Beacon Hills. Stiles stays behind. 

[Written for steternetwork’s October prompt, orange. Post-3B, handwaves Kate & whatever else I’ve forgotten about the season, pre-slash, angst.]

Stiles parks his Jeep in someone else’s parking spot, ignores the no loitering sign, and waits. It’s early evening when he arrives and he watches the apartment building’s residents slowly get home from work. He doesn’t recognize anyone. Beacon Hills is a small town, but it isn’t that small. No one seems to recognize him either, whether as the sheriff’s kid or the kid that keeps running around town with a bunch of shady-looking people as they try to keep Beacon Hills safe from all the crap that’s just been leaking out of it. Eventually, he gets out of his Jeep and leans on the driver side’s door. The curtains shift in one of the apartments on the first floor, but no one seems to care about a random kid standing around. Stiles has to admit he probably doesn’t look all that threatening.

It’s good, since he’s not here to threaten anyone.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi! So I'm moving in with my dad and stepmom in Arkansas from South Carolina for two year college, then transferring to a better college in NYC, do you have any tips on how to deal with such a big change and how to save money?

Moving Out of State/Across the Country

Whether you’re moving for school, work, or just for a change of pace, make sure you:

  • have at least 2 months rent saved up (might not apply if you’re living the dorms)
  • know about transportation— is there a bus or train? Will you be bringing your car? How’s the parking situation?
  • once you’ve found an apartment, set up electric service and internet service with the local companies
  • know where the safer and more dangerous areas of the new city are
  • have an idea of where the closest grocery store will be
  • have all your important documents— social security card, passport (just in case), banking info, checks, insurance info
  • tell your credit card companies that you’re going to be moving to a new state so they don’t question any new out-of-state charges
  • decide if you’re going to register to vote in your new state
  • decide if you’re going to update your driver’s license to your new state
  • be ready to file taxes in your new state

General Moving Far Away Tips

  • Take advantage of all modern technology! WhatsApp, Skype, other messaging apps. These will help you feel closer to home!
  • How will you be transporting your stuff? When I moved from California to NYC, I shipped my stuff in boxes from UPS. You can also hire a moving company (very expensive), drive it all yourself, or buy all new.
  • Take some time to explore your new home before diving into work and school!
  • Do things that remind you of home. Put up pictures, call your friends and parents, keep a favorite stuffed animal, make comfort foods
  • Arrange holiday visits and trips home early, before the prices rise!
  • If you’re going to go, go! Don’t leave yourself with too much baggage or emotional ties back home; you’re just going to make yourself homesick. Embrace being in a new place. Usually it takes about a year to adjust, but you’ll be just fine!

NYC Specific Tips

  • Which borough are you going to live in? I’m most familiar with Manhattan, but there are way cheaper and larger apartments further out. Just consider commute. How long are you willing you stand on a crowded subway in the sticky heat or summer or freezing cold of winter, with your big jacket and school bags?
  • Most people grocery shop every few days, rather than a few times a month since we don’t have cars or big fridges/freezers.
  • Good things to have: a drying rack for laundry, a portable pushable cart for groceries, a good umbrella, a good rain coat, good rain shoes/boots, fans and an A/C unit for the summer, a few cans of bug spray on hand so you’re ready before you see your first roach
  • Take time to explore the city!! There are so many things to do and so much good food!! There are free things happening every weekend, just get out and go!
  • See if your school offers discounts to events like theater, dance, other performance!

Please check out our Moving tags for more details about packing, finding apartments, living in dorms, and more!!!– Mimi

See also:

Apartments - Finding an Apartment Across State Lines

Living On Your Own For The First Time

Social - Making Friends After Moving

i do not agree with the “sex and gender are different” line of thinking.

sex & gender are social constructs and are functionally the same thing. after getting my sex/gender marker changed on my social security, passport, and state ID cards i’m effectively a legal & biological female. at all of my doctors’ offices i am listed as female and it would be an aberration and discrepancy to list me as male. 99.999% of forms that as for your gender or sex will use the terms interchangeably and only offer one of them, implying that they are being used functionally the same way. 

my situation is not ubiquitous among trans women, (certainly i am extremely fortunate) but in my life how could the term “biologically male” possibly have any descriptive use?

i do not think it is useful to say that “sex and gender are different” in reference to transgender people because this is not a functional categorization. 

what is “male sexual function?” well, that would be sexual reproduction i guess. which is a thing that the majority of trans women are not able to do, due to medical transition. HRT, orchiectomy, and vaginoplasty all render trans women sterile. (note: there are cases of trans women regaining fertility after going off of HRT for several months. but this is not the norm.) 

I can’t reproduce with my own body but have submitted my genetic material to a fertility clinic’s frozen storage. What is the difference, beyond the abstract term of “male” vs “female,” of frozen egg cells versus frozen sperm cells?

what is “male anatomy?” well, that would be commonly described as male primary and secondary sex characteristics, which are all changeable with HRT, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty, FFS, etc. 

the point of all of this is supposed to be an object lesson on how the idea of “biologically male” is meaningless and its use should be discontinued. 

i am not a transmedicalist and i don’t think that trans women should be required to medically transition in order to be respected, be legally recognized, or to avoid violence. however that is the reality for the majority of trans women and i feel that if medical transition were universally affordable, accessible, and less stigmatized, more people would transition. 

in summation, even though transgender women were assigned male at birth, there is no real reason to call us “biologically male.” 

Coercion - 9

@coveofmemories @reiding-and-writing @my-xomatosis-s @skeletoresinthebasement @passionate-hedgehog @camigt1999 @eideticenticement @ultrarebelheart


When you returned upstairs and were back in the presence of those you loved the most, whatever conversation had been taking place cut off and everyone immediately looked in your direction. Looks of pity, understanding, confusion, hatred - were all worn by members of your team. “Are you all good to go now?” Morgan asked hotly. The snark was oozing out of him, and had it not been for Rossi’s words just moments earlier, you were pretty sure you would’ve started crying. You loved everyone everyone on this team more than your own life: it was only because Spencer had been threatened, and you loved him above all else, that you ended up in this position. 

“I’m ready to get to work,” you said flatly, sitting back down in the corner of the room. If no one wanted to be near you then that was his or her prerogative. 

Morgan sat down next to Garcia, who shot you a quick look of ‘you’ll get through this’ before turning to her Sculpted God of Chocolate Thunder. “What do you have on the vacation homes for Ashton, babygirl?”

“How does one person have so much money?” she asked wildly, flailing her hands around as she pulled up Ashton’s vacation homes. “I mean does he literally just buy a multi-million dollar house, spend a week in and then leave? This man has no idea how to spend his money. He should give some to me, I’ll help him out-”

“Garcia,” Hotch said sternly. “What do we have?”

“He’s got a condo in Hong Kong that he’s been to multiple times, mostly just before he was put away. He’s got a house in Thurso, Scotland that they used to go to a lot when he first got married, but they haven’t been there in a while. And their apartment in Paris is still under his name. He had to sell off most of his European holdings while he was in prison, undoubtedly in order to pay himself out. His United States properties are mostly still in his name, but those are the only three international.”

“Then based on the family theory, it makes the most sense that he would head to the house in Thurso,” Hotch said, glancing your way. “It would hold the most memory for him.”

Emily agreed, taking a sip of her coffee before speaking to the room. “If he’s salty about losing his family, and that’s what he wants to hold on, then going back to the home he share with his wife and young son would make the most sense.”

“Wheels up in thirty,” Hotch said.

Maybe this would be over soon.


Ten hours. It was a ten-hour flight to Scotland. With the jet, it would take a little less than nine, but that still meant nearly nine hours of silence. Nearly nine hours of sitting in your own head. Garcia wasn’t coming with you, so you didn’t have her to talk to and Rossi was exhausted, so he was sleeping in the corner.

The only thing keeping you going was the fact that within the day, this might all be over. At least if Ashton was in custody, you might be able to begin the healing process with the ones you loved. With work, you might be able to repair the relationships you’d broken.

Without anyone to talk to, you found your eyes getting heavier and heavier by the second. There was no point in staying awake anyway. No one was talking to you. Maybe if you slept some, you’d wake up and be there. Then this would be over.

What was that at the corner of your mouth? Had it rained during the night?

You were awake. You were alive. Why were you alive?

As you pushed off the ground and opened your eyes, you pulled out the compact that Leslie had given you. She was dead. You tried to kill yourself. It hadn’t worked. There weren’t enough pills. Looking in the mirror, you realized you’d thrown up in the middle of the night. You’d woken up in a pool of your own vomit. This is what you had become. 

Had it already been nearly a year of this? Legs spread, mouth closed as staring men robbed you of your dignity. You wouldn’t live through another year of this. You wiped the vomit off your chin and ran through back alleys, hiding behind garbage bins, scraps of metal - anything that you could feasibly hide behind. As you hid behind a particularly large dumpster, you pulled off your heels - the ones that Rocco insisted you wear whenever you work - in order to run faster. Nothing could slow you down now. Not when you woke up with a sense of purpose. You hadn’t died. Those pills should’ve been enough, especially in your weakened state, but you hadn’t died. That had to mean something. That had to mean you were meant to do something with your life. But you couldn’t stay here.

Everything had to change. You needed to leave your hometown. No one could know who you were. From this day forward, you were no longer the daughter of Jonathan and Michelle Connors. You needed a name.

Y/F/N Y/L/N. You’d always loved that name.

One of your friends from high school was an expert hacker. If you could get to him, you could get him to give you a new identity. Alec, you had to get to Alec. The more you ducked and ran and dove, the more paranoid you became, that Rosso would somehow find you and take you back. If he did, you would die.

But last you heard, Alec was two towns over.

For hours, you ran. You hid. You did whatever needed to be done to make sure you weren’t found by Rocco or one of his guys. Drainage pipes? You fit your malnourished body into them. Sewers? Check. Dumpsters? Those too. It would all be worth it, if you could change the course of your life. It was nightfall before you found yourself in Alec’s town. Finally, you found him.

“Alec?” you whispered. He was sitting in his yard fucking around on his computer like he always did.

The second he turned around, he recognized you. “Where have you-?”

“Alec, I don’t have time to explain. Will you create a new identity for me? I need to escape. If I stay here, I’ll die.” The strain in your voice surprised you. You’d never heard yourself so desperate. Even last night. Maybe it was because last night, you figured you were as good as dead, and today you had more hope.

Little else was spoken between you as he hacked every system he could. “It’s going to take me a day or two to get the papers, but I can do it.”

“Thank you, Alec. Do you know of any place to hide for a couple of days?”

His parents were gone for the weekend, so he let you stay in the basement. Alec was a good guy. He never asked what happened to you. He could see on your face that you didn’t want to explain. What he did was enough. He allowed you to sleep in his home, take a shower, and even gave you some of his old baggy clothes.

Two days later, you were set up with a new passport, new social security card, new everything. Your name was no longer - you were Y/F/N Y/L/N. “Thank you, Alec. I will never be able to thank you enough for this.”

“Y/N?” he asked as you turned to leave - to run once more.

One more turn back. One more peek into the past. “Yea?”

“Good luck.”

With a wave and a tear, you ran out the front door of Alec’s home. You ran and ran and ran. Honestly, you weren’t sure where. But it was going to be far away from here. You may not have had your parents’ name any longer, but you would make them proud. You would make Leslie proud. Take her on the ride she never got to take herself. You would make yourself proud. Past be damned.

“Y/N?” It was Rossi.

“Wha-? What?” A sheen of sweat draped over your body like a robe.

Rossi placed his hand on your shoulder. “You were tossing and turning. It looked like you were having a nightmare, so I thought I’d wake you up. Plus we’re almost there.”

An hour later you were in Wick, which was just 30 minutes from Thurso. As Hotch drove, your heart raced. You were so close. “We’re here,” he said. When everyone got out, he pointed the team towards opposite ends of the house. It was small by Ashton’s standards, but still fairly large. All of you needed to come from different directions to cover every possible method of ingress and egress.

Tiptoeing through the house was torture. Around each corner, there was a possibility of freedom. A way to ease your guilt. But corner after corner…nothing. Until you got to the living room. On the coffee table, was a piece of white paper and on top were two types of flowers and a sprig of pine sitting comfortably in a vase. By the looks of it, no one had been in the house for quite a few days, as the flowers were wilting. “What do the flowers mean?” JJ asked.

Spencer piped up from the background. He and Morgan were the last ones to make their way into the expansive living room. “The purple flowers are anemones. They tend to mean that one is forsaken. The smaller blue and yellow ones are convulvus major, meaning that one’s hopes have been extinguished. And pine typically represents guilt.” He rattled off the meanings like facts, as if they weren’t a direct taunt to you from the man himself. The rage built within you, coursing through you like a river. When you opened the paper, you read the impossibly neat, script handwriting - very obviously Ashton’s.

How does it feel? Knowing you were so close?

“Dammit!” you screamed, heaving the vase across the room. Before it even hit the wall, spraying petals in all directions, you were gone. 

The rest of the day was spent talking to random citizens in the area and asking whether or not they had seen Ashton. A few nodded their heads, saying he was quiet and respectful. Others commented on his bright smile. The one that crawled up your spine.

But he was gone.

Hotch left orders with the locals to contact him immediately if Ashton was to return, but he wouldn’t. Despite his arrogance, he was too smart for that. The plane ride home was going to be long.


The second you got back to the airstrip, you barged out of the car and ran directly onto the plane. You should’ve known better than to think this could’ve been over.

Everyone filed onto the plane after you, in varying degrees of annoyance, both with you and the situation. No one said a word to you until shortly after take off. The ones awake were you and Emily.

“Hi,” she said, sitting across from you. “I’m sorry we didn’t catch him.”

You wiped a tear from your eye as you stared out the window. You didn’t have the balls to look at her just yet, not when you knew how much you’d disappointed her. “Me too…I’m so sorry, Emily.”

“Y/N…I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. I can’t imagine being put in that position…I…”

Once this was all over, you needed some serious therapy. Emily went through her own therapy after her brush with ‘death.’ “I know the situations weren’t the same, but how did you manage after Doyle?”

“Help. Lots of it. A change in scenery for a while. The team. I couldn’t have done it without them.” She reached across the seat and placed her hand on yours.

“Can I ask you something else?” You wanted a genuine answer. You didn’t want her answer to ease your own guilt. That would have to be worked through another time. When she nodded, you continued. “If you had been put in the same situation I did, except instead of Spencer being in immediate danger, it was Declan, would you have done what I did? Knowing my past, I mean?”

A small huff of air escaped her nose as she laughed. “I’ve been thinking about that for the past few days. I mean, I immediately wanted to be mad. And before I knew where you came from, I was, but knowing what I know now, I would’ve absolutely done the same for Declan. He’s above all else for me.” 

“That was Spencer for me,” you whispered softly, looking over at Spencer’s lanky, sleeping form. You started to sob again, holding your hand over your mouth to keep quiet, but you looked her directly in the eyes. “I need you to know that I love all of you. I never wanted to hurt JJ. I just thought that he had eyes on Spencer, and that if I didn’t do what he said, I would lose him. I’m so sorry, Emily. I’m so sorry.” Since you met, Emily had told you to call her Em, but again, you felt that was a name you had to earn. 

She stood up and sat next to you, bringing you into her arms as you cried. “I know…it’s gonna take us a while to get through this, but we all will…in time.”

Constructed Go Bag.

Constructed Go Bag.

by Liam Newton-Harding.

      What is a Go Bag? A Go Bag is a backpack or bag containing supplies that are supposed to last you approximately 72 hours in the event of an emergency. Kept by the door this bag allows you to leave your home, town, city or state with some comfort. Generally containing changes of underwear, toiletries, basic first aid and emergency supplies the idea behind the Go Bag is to allow you to reach a place of safety with more than just the clothes on your back while making your life a little bit easier.

     Go Bags come in two basic types. The pre-packaged types (with an expectation that you will add items to suit your situation) or the type that you will build up from scratch, tailored to your own wants and needs.

      This article will be dealing with the Constructed Go Bag. Built up from the very bag or backpack itself, each item bought separately, even replaced if a lighter, better piece of equipment comes on the market. For me the construction of my Go Bag, and the one for that of my wife, never actually stops. Adding some items, taking away others, the replacement of expired food and batteries, and adding better items when funds become available.

      My use and development in purchasing and then creating Go Bags came first with the purchase of an Emergency Tube from my local drugstore. This was a plastic tube, approximately the size of a pencil case, that contained such items as a flashlight, dust mask, thermal blanket, and light sticks. This minimal Go Bag was meant to be kept in a car, in your your every day bag (I now keep a SOL Scout Survival Kit in my shoulder bag at all times) or thrown into another bag you have packed or were packing to deal with an emergency. This then led to the purchase of my first backpack with the idea of building my own, more comprehensive Go Bag. That first backpack was a camping style pack which was replaced, after a few years and a little thought about what was needed for my circumstances, with what is marketed as an Assault or Tactical Pack.

     The backpack I settled upon (and I make no promise that at a later date it will not be supplanted by a different style) is the Condor Medium Assault Pack (available from This is a military style MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) backpack. This means that the pack itself is criss-crossed by many straps to which other forms of pouches, sheaths and packs can be mated. The backpack features three main compartments with a fourth to hold a Camelbak water pouch. There is a capacious main compartment with two smaller compartments of different sizes on the outside of the pack. The Condor Medium Assault Pack features a lumbar support belt (this can be removed) which combined with the shoulders straps, offers comfortable weight distribution. The molded back plate also means that the contents of the pack will not dig into your back as you carry them.

      I am a great believer in redundancy in Go Bags. Multiple flashlights, different ways of keeping warm, and protection from the elements. The items are lightweight and take up a minimal amount of space. Doubles can be taken from the Go Bag and carried in pockets. I have taken this to a rather extreme form in my B.D.U. Go Bag System of which the Condor Medium Assault Pack is an integral part.

      This Go Bag was built up with a very specific goal in mind. To get me safely and in good health to a destination some one hundred miles from the city in which I reside, on foot. Once at that location I can rest and recuperate, and build up the supplies again and think about the next step.

      What should also be included in your Go Gag is a reasonable amount of cash ($10 or $20 bills for preference), copies of important documents (Birth certificate, passport, social security card), copies of ATM, credit cards and medical insurance cards. These items will be able to help you access your funds, prove your identity and help you start any medical or insurance proceedings you need.

Condor Medium Assault Pack.


Using MOLLE straps to directly attach equipment.

Binoculars : This is a heavy duty, military style, pair of binoculars. Waterproof and featuring a built in compass the strap means that they can be easily slung and carried from around your neck.

Red L.E.D. Flasher : Fitted to the back of the Go Bag this is a high visibility, bright L.E.D. Flasher that can alert people to your presence. The fact that it can be removed means that you can place it above or near your position, increasing the range from which it can be spotted.

Signal Light : With a run time of 200 hours this is a single use signal light (the battery can not be replaced). It can be used as a flashlight or as a signal light. The main body houses a small storage area with a signal whistle at the tip.

Light Sticks (12 Hour) : These chemical lights give out light without heat and do not need batteries. Reasonably bright they can not be turned off and are one use only. They are tough, cheap, lightweight, and readily available.

Light Stick Holder : Designed to accommodate most light sticks. This device allows light sticks to be clipped to belts or packs. It also features a twist/turn system that can hide or expose more or less light as needed.

Can Opener : P-51 style can opener. Lightweight and tied off to a lanyard.

Right Side.

Using MOLLE and compression straps to directly attach equipment.

Rope : Climbing style rope rated to 500lbs. For use in constructing shelter, rescue operations or scaling obstacles.

Clip Holster : For carrying either your primary or secondary weapon, this holster is a single point system that grips the body of the weapon, holding it firmly in place.

Left Side.

Using MOLLE and compression straps to directly attach equipment.

Machete : I chose a Gerber Saw Backed Machete because I have always been impressed by Gerber camping and survival products. The blade is full tang (meaning the blade runs into the full length of the handle, creating a stronger tool). The saw back feature works very well as a simple saw and is useful in camping and path clearing situations.

Drag Line (500lb) : Para-cord. Dedicated drag-line already fitted with clips allowing items to be raised or lowered over obstacles.

All Outside Contents.

A view of what is carried on the outside of the Condor Medium Assault Pack.

Top Compartment.

Information and power.

Radio : Crank handle radio with battery back-up, Staying informed during an emergency is vitally important. This radio is primarily powered by a dynamo hand crank system that does not rely upon batteries (though they can be installed). This radio is able to receive radio stations from farther away and across a broader spectrum than the scanning radios to find information that is relevant and important to you and your family.

Piezoelectric Flashlight : This was just a simple addition. Attached to a lanyard this small, not very powerful light allows me to look inside the backpack without searching for a flashlight.

Batteries : Enough batteries to replace spent batteries for each separate item that needs them within the entire Go Bag and the weapons systems. Make sure you have the right sized batteries for your powered items (batteries do have a shelf life so remember to rotate them out regularly).

Bottom Compartment.

Hygiene and First Aid.

First Aid Kit : A more comprehensive first aid kit than those designed to be slipped into a pocket or shoulder bag, this kit allows treatment of more severe injuries. Without proper medical training this is, quite frankly, all you will need or be able to use. Added to this kit are a number of toiletries to make life a little more comfortable.

Toothbrush : Physical and dental health is vitally important during an emergency. It will keep your spirits up and give you a routine. Toothbrushes like this can be purchased from any drug store.

Toothpaste : A supply of your own. No hunting, no sharing. Keep those teeth clean and keep your morning and evening routine.

Towel : A compacted, dehydrated towel. Light and easy to store. This will come in very handy (“There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.”)

Water Purifying Tablets. : Iodine tablets. Yes, they make the water taste funny but they are light and safer to use than bleach and are very useful if you can not boil your water supply.

Strike Anywhere Matches : A second source of fire. The strike anywhere feature of these matches means you simply need a rough surface on which to lite them. The waterproof containers fight against rain, flooding or immersion and feature a small flint upon the base that can be used with a knife blade to start a fire.

Surgical Tools : For the treatment of more severe wounds and injuries. These tools allow you to extract debris or close off wounds (Emergency Suture Kit, available from

Main Compartment.

Shelter, comfort, and survival.

Poncho with Grommets : A heavy duty poncho, already fitted with metal grommets to help make a shelter or to offer protection from the elements. Large enough to cover you and your backpack. Snaps down the side allow you to close it up.

Poncho Liner : A quilted blanket that can be tied into the poncho, can also be used as a separate blanket and means you do not need to carry a separate sleeping bag.

Hammock : A lightweight hammock that means you can rest and sleep out of the dirt and the damp. It can also be used as a net to hold and drag items, should you need it.

Para-cord and Drag Line (500lb) : Para-cord. Incredibly useful. Can be used to help make a shelter (combined with the poncho). To tie or repair items.

Emergency Rations : Maritime style emergency rations. Each block contains enough calories for a 72 hour period of reasonable exertion. These generally have a five year shelf life but should be checked on regularly as they can lose their airtight seal.

Thermal Blanket : A light, disposable Mylar blanket for the treatment of shock, for keeping out the elements and for keeping warm by reflecting your own body heat back at you (I pack multiple blankets. They are light and can be purchased cheaply in bulk). Kept at the top of the compartment for easy and quick access.

Disposable Poncho : A light weight plastic disposable poncho that can be used in lieu of a raincoat. Kept at the top of the compartment for easy and quick access.

Underwear : Lightweight, not as good as a full change of clothes, they will however help you keep clean and feel clean.

T-Shirts : Able to be layered for added warmth they will also help you keep clean and feel clean. A great psychological boost during emergencies.

Wet-wipes : Hygiene, health and comfort. Sometimes just being clean gives a huge amount of psychological comfort.

Pain Killers : Separate from the first aid kit(s) these are a true boon. Purchased over the counter, these pills will relieves aches and other pains. Kept within easy reach so you do not have to unpack the entire Go Bag to get a hold of them. Again, they should be replaced regularly as they will lose their potency.

x5 Dust Mask : Easy to use and disposable. Offering limited protection against smoke these are mainly to stop particulates entering your lungs. They can be ordered in bulk and are incredibly light in weight. They come in different styles and the more money you spend the smaller the particle they will block. It is possible to obtain anti-bacterial and anti-viral masks.

Duct Tape : Duct tape, Duck tape, Waterproof tape. There is nothing that this stuff can not do. Repairs, patches, seals. With enough you can build a boat or repair the body of a car (Mythbusters). Handy and strong this item will be a boon to your Go Bag.

      A great addition to any Go Bag are Ziplocs. They can be used as extra containers for food or tools, to keep things waterproof or even as emergency booties. Incredibly light and versatile a handful can be stuffed into your Go Bag at any point for what ever might occur.

      This list is in no way definitive. This simply works for me and I just wanted to post this as a starting guide to anyone thinking of putting together their own Go Bag(s). There are also many publications out there to help you start or to refresh your own ideas for buying or constructing your Go Bag(s).

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit by Creek Stewart and Jacqueline Musser.

Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann.

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr.

anonymous asked:

Hi! So I’m going to study abroad next week and I’m a little bit nervous about it. Maybe some advice on living/studying alone in the unknown country?

So I don’t know exactly how to ask this, but do you have any advice for someone who will not only be moving out of their parents house, but to a different country entirely?I’ll be moving to Canada(from usa)& I have honestly no idea what to do. I know I need to get my passport, but other then that, I’m lost. I need to live relatively close to Toronto, because the school I’ll be going to (OCAD U) is right in downtown. I’ll be moving with 2-3 people, a child, & lots of pets. Any advice you have?

Ok I just saw the last post so I’d just like to ask: Any idea how to move to the US to work? Ideally I’d like to live in California or Florida (I been to and love LA, San Diego and Miami). I’ll be finished my degree in journalism and filmmaking at the end of 2018.

How to move across the country? I’m moving from Seattle to Richmond VA and it’s for school/work and the first time I’ll be living on my own soooo help?!?!

hi! I’m a sophomore in high school right now, and I’m planning on attending university of Toronto. however, I currently live in Ohio. I want to leave shortly after I graduate, do you have any tips for moving far away?

Hey! We’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about moving, so I’ll try to answer them in this post! I apologize if your specific question wasn’t answered; feel free to send in another ask with more details if you’d like!

Moving Out of State/Across the Country

Whether you’re moving for school, work, or just for a change of pace , make sure you:

  • have at least 2 months rent saved up (might not apply if you’re living the dorms)
  • know about transportation— is there a bus or train? Will you be bringing your car? How’s the parking situation?
  • once you’ve found an apartment, set up electric service and internet service with the local companies
  • know where the safer and more dangerous areas of the new city are
  • have an idea of where the closest grocery store will be
  • have all your important documents— social security card, passport (just in case), banking info, checks, insurance info
  • tell your credit card companies that you’re going to be moving to a new state so they don’t question any new out-of-state charges
  • decide if you’re going to register to vote in your new state
  • decide if you’re going to update your driver’s license to your new state
  • be ready to file taxes in your new state

Moving Abroad/Internationally

Admittedly, I know less about this, but I do have a few friends who went to college abroad. None of them regretted it, although there was some loneliness and homesickness of course. You may find that living abroad isn’t nearly as foreign as you thought!

  • if you’re going to be a student, you need a student visa
  • if you’re going to work, you need a work visa
  • make sure you know the local language, or enough to get by!
  • read as many travel blogs related to the country you’re traveling to as possible
  • Check Tumblr for other students living abroad.
  • See if the university has an international students office. Most do! See if they can put you in contact with other international students who can help!
  • make sure you have the correct currency
  • check with your university for all policies and procedures!

Moving to the US for work after graduating from school

Unfortunately, I don’t know very much about this! Check with your university and see what they say. I do know that it can be complicated, though, once you’re no longer a student.

General Moving Far Away Tips

  • Take advantage of all modern technology! WhatsApp, Skype, other messaging apps. These will help you feel closer to home!
  • How will you be transporting your stuff? When I moved from California to NYC, I shipped my stuff in boxes from UPS. You can also hire a moving company (very expensive), drive it all yourself, or buy all new.
  • Take some time to explore your new home before diving into work and school!
  • Do things that remind you of home. Put up pictures, call your friends and parents, keep a favorite stuffed animal, make comfort foods
  • Arrange holiday visits and trips home early, before the prices rise!
  • If you’re going to go, go! Don’t leave yourself with too much baggage or emotional ties back home; you’re just going to make yourself homesick. Embrace being in a new place. Usually it takes about a year to adjust, but you’ll be just fine!

Please check out our Moving tags for more details about packing, finding apartments, living in dorms, and more!!!– Mimi

anonymous asked:

Hi Grey. So, my home life situation has been getting increasingly toxic. I really need to get out. I'm old enough(19) and I have some savings, but not enough. I don't want to give you to many details because I don't want anyone to figure out who I am. I have a few ideas of where I could go, but I'm scared. My job situation is complicated. Idk what to do but I need to get out.

some important info:

documents: drivers license, social security, birth certificate, passport, health documents, medication, car keys, idk what else

supplies: a backpack, swiss army knife, clothes to last a couple of days (rewear), heavy jacket, pair of shoes (best if bring 2), sleeping bag, first aid kit, emergency blanket, hand warmth things, socks and underwear! can opener, travel toothpaste and toothbrush, flashlight, batteries

food places: dollar store has cheap food, trader joes is relatively cheapish, fast food restaurants dollar meals, food banks, canned goods and nuts or bars are a must

places to sleep: your friend’s house? a distant relative, churches sometimes let you sleep there, neighbors perhaps? sleep in beaches during the daytime, hang out in public libraries

hygiene: gyms offer memberships for showering and exercising, ymca is a good place as it is 10$, get wet wipes, bring sunscreen

jobs: since yours is complicated maybe get a new one if you can if your parents know, go to a mall and see if there are any hiring signs as well as sometimes you get free food samples, maybe go to a city hall and talk about jobs with them?, target, starbucks, and walmart almost always have job openings

how to get out: in the dead of night sneak out if you can please be careful with traps, go to work one day and not come back, if you leave when no one is home that is good, don’t go where they can find you or make sure the pereson you are with has a story make sure you are safe

when leaving slowly pack your things over time so they won’t notice

  • change phone number or get a pay as you go phone
  • bring rechargeable battery and charge in a local building like a library or a coffee shop
  • bring durable clothing
  • staying clean prevents disease and getting sick
  • only leave if you are safe 
  • maybe apply for food stamps? or government programs
  • for education maybe check out a local community college

money: collect change if your guardians don’t count it, at the market look through the sales food (be careful with expired food), don’t spend money on things not needed

useful post please look at it! I am so sorry you are in this situation and if you need to talk i am here. Please only leave if safe, I love you. I love you and you are going to be okay.

10 Things You Might Forget (But Shouldn’t)
  1. Your I-9 documentation. Whether it’s your passport, social security card, birth certificate, and your ID, don’t forget them!
  2. Your boarding pass! You have to print out all the paperwork (you can’t just have it on your phone!) with the barcode included after you fill out your housing registration and bring it with you to check-in. 
  3. Renters insurance. Disney recommends that you have insurance (it’s required for the Disneyland program), but it isn’t necessary. Personally I’m not going to have it and I know plenty of others who are in the same boat.
  4. Locks. You’ll have a locker at your apartment and access to one at work so bring two combination locks with you or buy them once you’re down here.
  5. Umbrella! Whether it’s pouring rain or bright and sunny, a small umbrella can come in handy.
  6. Your checkbook. Disney requires you to bring a voided check with you for payroll purposes so don’t leave your checks at home!
  7. Vehicle registration and car insurance. If you’re bringing your car make sure to bring these documents.
  8. Medications. If you’re on any type of medication make sure you get a prescription to bring with you or get a vacation override from your insurance company so you can pick up a few months worth of doses before you leave.
  9. Shoe inserts! There’s a 99% chance you’ll be standing and moving around most of the day and one of the best ways to protect your feet is to invest in some great Dr. Scholls inserts. 
  10. Roommate gifts! This one is totally up to what you and your potential roommates want do, but the gesture is thoughtful and could be a nice way to start out your program!
Things to Remember Before Heading Back to Your Dorm

With holiday breaks coming to a close, tons of you will be moving back into your dorms for your second semester (or first semester) of the academic year! There are a ton of things that you shouldn’t forget, so let’s get started!

Personal Identification & School Necessities
This includes Driver’s License, State ID’s, International Visas, Passports, Social Security Card, whatever you may need. I usually keep all of mine (except for the Driver’s License and School ID) inside of the school-provided safe to keep them out of the way of curious eyes.

Don’t forget your dorm room keys, student ID, and hall entry cards (if you use them) as well!

Don’t forget your wallet!! And your purse, I’m not sure what you use, but absolutely don’t forget those.

Medications, Health, and Hygiene
Don’t forget your medications and vitamins! Grab your prescriptions, vitamins, allergy medications, tylenol, iburprofen, cough drops, etc…

Also don’t forget to run out to the store and buy a box or two of tissues, tooth paste, a new toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deoderant, and whatever else you need. Don’t forget to pack your hair brushes and other hair accessories/essentials as well!

Furniture & Linens
Some of you may have brought furniture back from the dorm for the break. Don’t forget to bring these back, unless of course you don’t need them. Furniture I often bring home includes Lamps, shelves, and chairs.

You also will not want to forget your linens. It is absolutely horrible sleeping without blankets on dorm room beds, trust me. Speaking of Linens, also wash all of your towels and bedding before you go back to school! It’ll save you that $2.00/load and be much easier to set yourself up in your dorm room again.

Wash and fold all of your laundry before heading back to your dorm. I don’t know why, but the day that I get back to campus always seems to be one of the busiest laundry days.

School Supplies
Don’t forget to pack all of the folders, notebooks, writing utensils, and anything else that you’ll need for the school year! Don’t forget to order/rent your textbooks either! 

If you’re going to be getting them shipped to you, it may be a good idea to get them shipped to your dorm room just in case they arrive later than expected.

Laptops, Desktops, Chargers, Game Systems, Headphones, Extension Cables, Power Strips, etc… Don’t forget them! 

If you use a desktop, don’t forget your monitor, tower, mouse, mouse pad, power cable, keyboard, ethernet cable, vga/dvi/display port/hdmi cables, whatever you use with your desktop. I usually put mine in a small box so I can re-check that I have everything before I leave.

Books, knitting needles/yarn/crochet hooks, card games, whatever makes you happy, don’t forget them! I forgot my yarn last year and although I went to buy a crap ton more almost went crazy!

If you will be going into your first semester of school, be sure to check out my posts on Dorm Essentials and my personal Tips for College!

amazoning-iris  asked:

Okay I’m unsure if you’ve answered this before(you have a lot of posts). What are some tips for moving into a new state. Like not just for already being on my own, bu I’m moving out of my parents house and moving to another state? Anything helps!

LMoving Out of State/Across the Country

Whether you’re moving for school, work, or just for a change of pace , make sure you:

  • have at least 2 months rent saved up (might not apply if you’re living the dorms)
  • know about transportation— is there a bus or train? Will you be bringing your car? How’s the parking situation?
  • once you’ve found an apartment, set up electric service and internet service with the local companies
  • know where the safer and more dangerous areas of the new city are
  • have an idea of where the closest grocery store will be
  • have all your important documents— social security card, passport (just in case), banking info, checks, insurance info
  • tell your credit card companies that you’re going to be moving to a new state so they don’t question any new out-of-state charges
  • decide if you’re going to register to vote in your new state
  • decide if you’re going to update your driver’s license to your new state
  • be ready to file taxes in your new state

General Moving Far Away Tips

  • Take advantage of all modern technology! WhatsApp, Skype, other messaging apps. These will help you feel closer to home!
  • How will you be transporting your stuff? When I moved from California to NYC, I shipped my stuff in boxes from UPS. You can also hire a moving company (very expensive), drive it all yourself, or buy all new.
  • Take some time to explore your new home before diving into work and school!
  • Do things that remind you of home. Put up pictures, call your friends and parents, keep a favorite stuffed animal, make comfort foods
  • Arrange holiday visits and trips home early, before the prices rise!
  • If you’re going to go, go! Don’t leave yourself with too much baggage or emotional ties back home; you’re just going to make yourself homesick. Embrace being in a new place. Usually it takes about a year to adjust, but you’ll be just fine!

Please check out our Moving tags for more details about packing, finding apartments, living in dorms, and more!!!– Mimi

See also:

Apartments - Finding an Apartment Across State Lines

Living On Your Own For The First Time

Social - Making Friends After Moving

this got out of hand very quickly but I have a lot of feelings on runaway!kyoutani so I wrote about those.  and it ended up being long and sad.  this is actually my first fic tbh so uh do with that what you will. 

warnings: references to past abuse, hurt/comfort, angst
words: 3,295 

Read on Ao3

Kyoutani had stopped going to volleyball practice, but he hadn’t stopped going to volleyball, not entirely.  Mondays he would make it to the Seijou locker room and although his palms itched to feel the weight of a volleyball and the sounds of sneakers squeaking against the gym floor sent shivers up his spine, he never made it on to the court. Realistically there were only a few meters separating the two rooms but to Kyoutani it felt like miles. He wanted to be there, but he was here; close yet far. Here because he had things to do, places to be, jobs to work, and because; his locker was the safest place for him to keep what little valuables he had.

Keep reading

…the passport forces people to question their citizenship and nationality; in yet other cases, it has even become a kind of catalyst that triggers the transformation of national identity.

Wang, H. (2000) Rethinking the Global and the National. Theory, Culture & Society 17 (4) p.93-117 [pp.98]

As someone who identifies singularly with a well established nation it had not occurred to me how laden with significance a passport could be until I started anthropology. For those who identify with multiple nations, for those applying for citizenship, for those belonging to ambiguous nations, and for those fighting for independence of their own nation, a passport can mean far more than a document required to leave the country. It’s a type of global recognition or limitation. It can incur deep sentiment and emotion; elation, distress, anger, belonging or alienation. It is not only stating your place in the global world, it is the thing that confirms whether the place you think you live in, really exists in the eyes of everyone else. 

anonymous asked:

I'm agender and wish to change my name to a neutral one away from my feminine birth name. How can I go about doing this legally in the USA?

Well, it can vary from state to state. Some states let you change your name just through usage…you can just start using the name and it’s perfectly legal! However, it is advised to have it made official in the court system for the sake of financial documents and such, plus documents like social security cards and passports will need legal proof of the change before they can be corrected. But you can start using the name now, even before making it official.

As for doing the official legal name change, it’s possible to find forms online on government websites that you can print and fill out. The most commonly required forms include a petition to legally change your name, an order to show cause for legally changing your name, and a decree to legally change your name. There is also a fee that varies from state to state, but it’s nothing too huge.

Then, you take the forms to a court clerk in your state. Usually, a judge or similar figure will read it over and then grant the name change. Some states require you to also post an announcement in the newspaper. And after that, you’re done!

Like I said, this is a general gist of the steps, but there are details that vary from state to state. You should look up your state’s government website or call a court clerk in your state to get more specific information.

I wish you luck!

-the Selkie

anonymous asked:

I was kicked out for being gay (I'm a minor) and I don't have my passport, ID, social security or any kind of documentation. Not really sure what to do. I've been staying at a friend's house. Help? Any way to become independent without getting put in foster care or something? Thanks ahead of time

That is legitimately the worst. I’m so very sorry to hear you’re in that situation. I’m glad you have a friend who is letting you stay with them. ugh. I just want to hug you and feed you soup or something. I also legally can’t tell you what to do. But, since I can’t do those things, here are some resources to check out with people who actually can help:

just had my doctors appointment and i got a gender marker change form for my state id and they’re sending me gender marker change letters for like social security, passport and stuff too…

holy shit im gonna be a Legal Female

what the hell its so awesome im like fuckin overjoyed but also numb



Hey guys!!! Sorry, it took me forever. I was thinking about continuing this, but I don’t know yet. I hope you guys enjoy!


He was walking through the streets of Ukraine, his home. Maks hadn’t been home since he was eleven years old and here he was; walking down the roads that he used to know by heart. The war was over now, and his native people were slowly rebuilding their independent government. It had hurt him when it had all started, his people suffering under Russia’s power. Maks was asked to come back home with his grandmother to find his distant family. So far, they hadn’t found anyone; they were forced to assume that they were dead.

            Although it was upsetting to find out about his deceased family members, it was a great trip to remember some of what he had forgotten over the years. Maks played with his wedding ring as he passed one of the old streets that he had lived on; Grandma Sofia started to tell one of her infamous stories.

            He thought about his wife back home in Michigan. Meryl was staying with her parents while Maks was gone; trying to keep herself busy; he assumed. She didn’t like it when he was gone, but he had to make this trip with his grandma before he got caught up in his massive schedule.

            They came across a row of burned down houses and stopped to look around, looking for anyone they recognized. Maks rounded a corner of the pile of rubble and spotted a little girl. She had to be no more than two years old. The girl had torn clothes and didn’t have any shoes on. Suddenly, the little girl looked up at Maks with wide eyes as she stepped backwards slowly.

            “It’s alright, I won’t hurt you.” Maks bent down so that he was on her level. As she came closer, Maks noticed the scars and bruises that covered her body. The girl’s stomach was enlarged, caused by weeks and weeks of starvation. She had bright green eyes that shined in the light, along with messy, curly brown hair. Maks could tell that she had been abused and abandoned, he just had to help her. “Come here.” Maks tried to talk in the sweetest voice he could muster, as if he was talking to Meryl when she was upset. When the little girl didn’t respond, he rummaged through his bag and pulled out a chocolate granola bar. The girl’s eyes sparkled like Maks held the key to Heaven. “Here you go. Go on, take it.”  Maks held his hand out to her and the girl started to slowly come forward.

            “Спасибо, (Thank you)” She whispered in the tiniest voice Maks had ever heard and took two tiny steps backwards. Maks noticed that the little one didn’t have any shoes or coat; it was below freezing. Trying not to frighten the girl, Maks slowly took of his massive coat and carefully put it around the girl’s shoulders. She flinched at first but soon relaxed as the warmth reached her.

            “Maksim-,” Grandma Sofia rounded the corner of the pile of the ash and stopped when she saw Maks standing with the little girl. “Здравствуйте мало одной (Hello little one)” Maks’ grandma walked over to the little girl and knelt down before her. Surprisingly, the girl didn’t move an inch. Instead, she smiled the cutest grin.

            “привет, (Hi)” The girl waved her hand rapidly to both Maks and Sofia. The girl walked into Sofia’s arms and the older woman picked her up with ease.

            “Давайте очистить. (Let us go clean her)” The three of them started to walk into the refugee center a couple of yards away. Maks could see hundreds of people standing around the building; some eating, some sleeping, some even crying. When they reached the door, the little girl starting crying and reaching for Maks from Sofia’s arms. Reluctantly, Maks opened his arms to welcome the little girl. Once she was in his arms, she immediately stopped crying and buried her face in his neck.

            While Sofia and another woman cleaned the girl up, Maks picked up his phone and dialed a familiar number. Meryl picked up on the first ring. 

            “Hey, baby! How is it over there?” Meryl’s cheerful voice came through the receiver, making Maks smile.

            “It’s good. Um- I actually had a question for you…” Maks turned around to find the little girl staring at him with the biggest smile on her face. Without a warning, she came barreling towards him and wrapped her arms around his knees, holding on as tight as she could. Maks’ heart swelled with love as he petted her wet hair.

            “Of course honey, what’s up?” He could practically see Meryl biting her lip as she patiently waited.

            “Well, we’ve been trying to have a baby for a while now and I was wondering if…maybe…if you-. If you’ve ever thought about adopting a baby.” Maks knelt down and picked the little girl up and she buried her face in his neck again. He could hear Meryl’s intake of breath over the phone.

            “I mean yeah. But, didn’t we agree that we wanted a baby of our own too? Why are you asking me this now?” Maks took a deep breath and looked at the little girl that was now sleeping in his arms.

            “Well, Grandma and I were walking around my old village today and I found this little girl by herself. She has bumps and bruises and she looks like she needs a home. Not to mention she’s adorable.” 

            “Can you send me a picture?” Maks could tell that Meryl was slowly starting to agree to his offer and began to get excited. Before he could even look down and take a picture, he felt little hands on his face. Maks chuckled before he responded to Meryl.

            “Um, how about I FaceTime you? You know, so she can meet you.” Meryl agreed and hung up. Maks tickled the little girl until she was dying with laughter. The little girl held Maks’ phone and tapped the green button to answer the FaceTime call from Meryl.

            “Oh hi!!!” The little girl raised an eyebrow at Meryl’s hyperactivity and Maks took the phone away from her. The girl pouted, lip stuck out and everything, and Meryl laughed. “What’s her name?” Meryl made funny faces, making the girl laugh.

            “I don’t think she has one. It looks like she’s been abandoned and alone for a while. So what do you think?” Maks bit his lip and Grandma Sofia stuck her head in the shot, smiling like a maniac.

            “Um, yeah. I think our schedules have slowed down a lot more and I think we can handle a toddler. It’s just going to take some time to figure out her social security and birth certificate. But, we can afford to have a little one.” Meryl smiled and ‘awed’ at the little girl as she lied her head on Maks’ shoulder.

            “Okay, I will figure everything out here. I will be home soon baby.” Meryl and Maks said their goodbyes and Maks and Sofia tried to find a nearby orphanage. The little girl had fallen asleep curled up in Maks’ arms halfway there. Once they had arrived, an elderly woman helped them find the information they needed. They had the girl’s birth certificate, social security, and even passport. If they really wanted to, they could leave with her in less than seventy-two hours. The girl’s name was Olla, it was pretty, but Maks didn’t think it suited her; so he called Meryl.

            “How is she?” Meryl didn’t answer with a hi, which meant she was either concerned or excited.

            “She’s great! We found out her name and everything we need to take her home. I could bring her home within three days.” Maks smiled over at Olla who was sucking her thumb and sitting against a wall as Grandma Sofia taught her some English. (Although she could barely speak it herself)

            “What’s her name?” Olla came and hugged Maks’ knees and tugged at his pants.

            “Her given name is Olla Vann. But the woman said that we could change it because she is so young, especially her last name.” Maks picked Olla up and she tugged at his clothing again. “Shh, I’m on the phone baby,” Maks whispered to her and put his index finger against his lips.

            “That’s cute, but I’m not sure it suits her. But since she’s two, she may know her name.” Maks knew Meryl may be right, but Grandma Sofia had tried calling her Olla and she had run away.

            “I think the old name may bring back bad memories of her parents. Grandma Sofia tried calling her Olla and she ran away from her.” Maks heard Meryl sigh; he could practically hear the wheels turning in her head.

            “Why don’t we think of a name for her? You can test them out on her as we speak.” He could hear Meryl typing on her computer, probably searching Ukrainian names.

            “What about Oksana?” Maks said it loud enough for Olla to hear but she didn’t respond to it. “She didn’t respond.”

            “Ugh, that one was really pretty,” Meryl whined. “How about Kalyna? It says that it’s supposed to mean either the snowball berry or a rose.”  Maks said the name Meryl suggested and she turned around and ran to Maks.

            “She responded and ran to me. I think that’s it.” He heard a soft sob come from Meryl. “What’s wrong!?” Olla noticed Maks’ change in tone and stuck out her bottom lip as she hugged Maks’ leg.

            “Nothing, I’m just so happy and excited for you to bring our little girl home. She seems so sweet.” Maks smiled and ran his hand through Olla’s now dry hair.

            “I will be home soon, babe. I’m going to try and get all this paperwork done, change her name, and all of that. I love you.”

            “I love you too, baby. Be safe.” Maks hung up the phone and walked over to the orphanage’s receptionist, asking for the paperwork he needed.


            Five days later, Maks, Grandma Sofia, and Kalyna were boarding the next plane to New York; where they had to finish their paperwork to legally adopt Kalyna. Over the course of the almost ten hour flight, Maks taught Kalyna some basic English. By the end of the flight, she could say things that a normal, American two year old could say. The girl learned things abnormally fast and she was incredibly smart. After over three hours of doing paperwork and another flight, Kalyna was ready to see her new mommy.

            Throughout the different flights and downtimes, Maks had shown her many pictures of Meryl; telling her Meryl would be her new mother. By the time the last flight was landing, Kalyna was bouncing with excitement and joy.

            “Daddddyyy!” Kalyna tugged at Maks’ sleeve, practically vibrating with excitement.

            “We’re almost there, Kalyna. Five minutes and you get to see mommy.” Maks laughed as Kalyna pretended to pout. She had been an American for literally four hours and she already knew how to capture someone’s heart. “We can get off the plane now.” Maks grabbed Kalyna’s arm so she wouldn’t run away and held her hand. They gathered their bags and walked into the crowded sitting area.

            “Is that mommy!?” Kalyna pointed to a blonde woman walking with a little boy in tow.

            “No, silly,” Maks laughed and continued walking, he silently spotted Meryl in the corner; waiting for Kalyna to notice.

            “Mommmmyyy!!!” Kalyna ran into Meryl’s arms as Maks stood behind to watch the scene unfold. He noticed that Meryl was practically bawling while holding Kalyna to her chest and spinning her around. Maks began to feel tears threaten his own eyes as he realized that they were an actual family. He had his own family.

A family.

            “What wrong? What wrong,” Kalyna wasn’t getting the response she wanted to Meryl’s tears so, she grabbed Meryl’s face with her tiny two hands. “What wrong?” Meryl and Maks laughed at their little girl’s amount of care.

            “I am just very happy to see you.” Meryl giggled and kissed Kalyna’s nose, squeezing her tight.

            “Let’s go home.” Maks wrapped his arm around his little family and led them out of the airport door. 


This is how I pictured the little girl…