Airy post

I would just like to point out that Jasper has already earned at least three Pearl Points

Punctuality - if you consider it punctual to show up at THE DRAMATIC MOMENT.  Look, at least she’s started showing up; sometimes you have to reward behaviour that’s just sort of getting close to what you want just to get the ball rolling.

Perseverance - despite getting punch-dumped into Canada by Lapis she has regrouped and come up with a new plan (the fact that her plan is utterly weird and got her beaten up by two kids in a beautiful trenchcoat while losing a dog does not negate the perseverance)

Positivity - “Jaspers keep going until we get what we want.”

if there’s one thing I’ve learned from fiction it’s this

if you’re eavesdropping and hear people talking about you and they say something upsetting

make sure you stay and hear the conversation to the end don’t just run off into the night  you dumb chucklefuck

It always used to mess me up a bit that the ruins the dogs are excavating in the premiere of Samurai Jack appear to be of the City of Townsville because I thought that implied that Aku would be able to overthrow the Powerpuff Girls and that was such a sad thought

but then I thought

it’s not a fresh observation or anything that Professor Utonium and Samurai Jack look strikingly alike

when Aku booted Jack out of his place in the timeline and stuck him in far later on (Aku is such a procrastinator) that forestalled all the events of Jack’s life that would have taken place if he’d been allowed to continue in his course

including any descendants he might have had

and plainly Professor Utonium is one of those descendants

so if in that timeline Professor Utonium wouldn’t be born then the Powerpuff Girls wouldn’t be born and of course Townsville would be unprotected from shapeshifting evil

but because the Powerpuff Girls do exist we know Jack will eventually get back to the past and pick up the thread of his life and everything will be all right, okay, everything will be all right

You know what the common thread between Sardonyx and Sugilite is, incidentally? going too fucking far.  Which does make sense given that both Ruby and Sapphire have a big problem with moderation.  Garnet is usually well balanced between the two of them but when you add anyone else to the mix, bringing in Amethyst’s aggression or Pearl’s theatricality, it seems to flip that switch again.

I was interested to see how Smoky was clearly uncomfortable with Sardonyx’s jokes about Jasper but also tried to go along with them.

eta: and of course Yard Sard is the character who breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the Cartoon Network and being aware that she’s in an episode

I mean, since historically Jedi didn’t generally have biological children (UNLESS the order is partly funded by running a magical sperm bank - no really sperm aside I want to know how the Jedi worked financially, they must have had some major investments and properties to support such a large organisation for so long), it was always the norm that Force-talented children would be born to regular ol’ parents, so Rey being a prodigy need not be any kind of indication that she’s related to the Skywalkers or the Kenobis.  She could just be the kind of kid who, a couple of generations before, would have been located by a Jedi talent scout and taken away from her parents or caregivers presumably regardless of whether they were comfortable with giving her up or not like that is a super dark side to the Jedi because I just can’t believe that everyone was like, “Oh this is an honour for our family and I know our child will have the best possible upbringing and prospects, here you go, I just fed her and changed her nappy so she should be happy for a couple of hours, and oh yes she’s allergic to soy.”

Imagine the court cases.  The custody battles.  Imagine the Jedi lawyers.

I think a big part of why Team Rocket are so great is that so much of their dialogue is written on Samurai Pizza Cats principles.  Samurai Pizza Cats is one of the best anime dubs of all time because the producer wouldn’t let the writers read the translated scripts.  They just had to watch the episodes in Japanese and make up what they thought the characters were saying, with increasingly bizarre and inspired results, particularly when the characters’ mouths went on moving long after the main point of what they were saying was expressed in English.  Only if they genuinely could not tell what was going on were they allowed to see one page of the script to reorientate them.  And the producer’s cat Hogan supervised them.

At least half of Team Rocket’s dialogue seems to work the same way.

Best cake in a mug recipe I know (I had to use the Internet Wayback Machine to find it)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Method

Put the dry ingredients in a large mug and mix with a fork or a baby whisk.  Crack in the egg and mix it in.  Add the milk and the oil and stir like fuck until it’s all smooth.  Add the chocolate chips and vanilla essence and mix them in.

Put it in the microwave on high; about two minutes thirty to forty-five seconds in a 1000w oven, three minutes in a 750/800w oven.  Watch it go round and round and puff up.  I would recommend standing it on a saucer because sometimes it escapes a bit over the sides and is a nuisance to clean off the microwave turntable.  Be careful taking it out of the microwave because the mug will be very fucking hot (I would wear oven mitts even to hold the handle).

Blob some ice cream on top and wait a bit for the heat of the cake to make the ice cream soft and melty and then eat it all.  Do be a bit careful when you start because I’m really not fucking around when I talk about it being hot and if the chocolate chips have clumped together and formed a blob of melted chocolate it will be the temperature of the sun.

This makes quite a respectable quantity of hot chocolate cake and what you can also do if you don’t mind it not looking fancy and there are two of you to feed is you can make it in a bowl and when it’s done you scoop half the cake out and put that in another bowl and then put more ice cream in with both of them.

If you are a fairy godmother you need to convert all measurements to tibbles and tisps.

Things I Hope Happen Next in Steven Universe

I am prepared for them to turn out completely differently!  I’m just enjoying imagining this.

After being captured by a Shorty Squad team effort, Jasper is brought back to the temple.  She wasn’t just captured but ended up having a bit of an emotional breakdown when cornered which revealed that she actually feels tremendously inferior because of where and how she was made.  This is why she’s so desperate to impress people, why she longs to be Malachite again because that feels stronger and more important than what she naturally is, and why she’s so flipping insulting because she feels she has to secure dominance in any conversation by putting other people down before they can do it to her, which she’s sure they will if given a chance.  

Seeing this is what it took for Steven to finally feel some compassion for her, and for Amethyst to realise that in some ways she and Jasper are inverted images of each other; she came from a “good” kindergarten but appears flawed, while Jasper looks perfect but comes from the dumpy Wile E. Coyote-looking kindergarten.  She’s gone through life constantly trying to impress people and prove her worth and has never been able to hit a mark that will change how people see her, because on Homeworld, well, they’re not going to change how they see her.  She’s that big brute of a Jasper who looks and performs just how she’s supposed to but was born out of a massive failure and is never trusted with anything too important or interesting.  She thought capturing Rose Quartz and bringing her home was going to be It and look how that turned out.  She just got her ass kicked by a Peridot, an overcooked Amethyst and what she finally realises is not Rose Quartz at all.

Between the three of them they’re able to persuade Jasper to at least tentatively accept the offer of trying something different; she’s actually pretty despairing at this stage but can’t give up out of sheer stubbornness.

(Amethyst may also have offered her some George Costanza logic: “Every plan you came up with sucked, no offence, so what if doing something you’d never do would actually suck less?”)

At first she’s very much on probation and everyone is uneasy but they realise that what Jasper needs is a reason to feel good about herself for doing good things and once she starts experiencing that kind of validation it will encourage her to keep trying.  She needs motivation and she needs clear and immediate reinforcement when she’s doing something right.

PEARL POINTS.

Initially Jasper thinks this is a stupid idea and won’t make any difference and stickers?  seriously?  they think little pieces of sticky paper are going to give her self-esteem?

but the thing is

the stickers come with bright beaming Pearl smiles and praise, and she shouldn’t care so much what a Pearl thinks, especially such a weird one, but it’s just kind of nice being able to make her happy, like that’s something she can do right.

(she scorns the contents of the Prize Pouch utterly but kind of likes it if she gets patted on the shoulder, or as high as Pearl can reach anyway)

And Pearl talks to her about perfectionism and how difficult it is to try to do something you can’t expect to be naturally good at - which for her was fighting.

And for Jasper it’s the opposite, she needs to try to do things other than her strongest skill of fighting (and insulting people, and having great hair and sharp eyeliner), and persevere with them even if they don’t come naturally or easily and even if she will only ever be able to do some of them averagely well.  (Pearl… is obviously in somewhat “do as I say, not as I do” territory in teaching this, but then, she has learned to do a lot of things that didn’t come naturally or easily to her as well as being a self-punishing perfectionist.)

SO it is time for Jasper to try…

  • folding laundry
  • tidying up
  • fixing the van
  • talking to people you really don’t enjoy talking to (they do this one pretty sporadically and Pearl will call it good enough with very little justification, okay we said good morning to the mayor civilly moving right along)
  • learning to play an instrument

because Jasper diligently trying to learn to play an instrument when she feels she has absolutely zero musical aptitude and must look like an idiot because she really wants Pearl to be proud of her is one of the cutest things I can think of.

I mean imagine Pearl playing her violin and Jasper sawing away on a double bass.

Jasper also gets a new set of three Ps for which she can earn Pearl Points to reflect her particular goals and areas for growth; they are Politeness, Protectiveness (a much better application of her strength than aggression) and… Petting

because Pearl has needs, damn it.

A Jaspearl concept:

Jasper and Pearl haven’t seen each other for a bit and when they’re reunited they do the big romantic running into each other’s arms bit like dorks.

Except that Pearl goes high (leaping up assuming Jasper will catch her) and Jasper goes low (skidding down on her knees to hug Pearl at her level) and Pearl goes sailing over Jasper’s head like a lawn dart and breaks a window.

my Jasper fandom consists of two equal and intertwined threads.

One is called, “I find you a compelling and fascinating character of unconventional beauty and paradoxical physical strength but emotional fragility, not easily likeable but someone who I’m sure has depth and complexity, someone who has suffered and tried to cope in ways that only caused more suffering, someone who I hope will experience growth and change in ways that will make your life and the lives of people around you better, someone who will reinforce the principle that is so important to me, that anyone can change for the better if they really try.”

The other is called

Buddy’s Book reactions
  • I mean, I get they’re going for “Steven hasn’t had all the usual human kid growing up experiences,” but he lived with Greg for most of his childhood before moving in with the Gems, and Greg never had much money, and Steven acquired a great love of books, so how are you going to tell me he’s never been to a public library before?  I assume Pearl has lent them books too but I also question whether Pearl has all that many books a child would enjoy.
  • By the way, I would not have thought books were Steven’s favourite thing.  Aren’t his favourite things music and food and giant women?
  • who else assumed that relying on the internet for information led Connie to write inaccurate fanfiction before she got to the end of that sentence
  • who else assumes that Peridot has written volumes of inaccurate Camp Pining Hearts fanfiction by now
  • who else would like to know if Peridot and Lapis have coined their own word for literature, having coined one for art
  • Connie Maheswaran how DARE you throw shit across the library like that.  I know you were raised better.
  • I do actually like the point they’re raising about reconstructing historical events from a present day point of view - that Steven imagines Buddy looking and sounding like Jamie, that he initially pictures Garnet and Pearl wearing their present-day clothes - that even if you’re drawing on an eyewitness source who’s trying to be honest and clear, you are not going to imagine the things they describe entirely accurately.  You can hope to get to some truth about what happened but you’re limited both by the point of view of your narrator and by your own frame of reference.  Which I assume is pretty important given that Steven has to try to understand his mother and her war and the choices she made based primarily on what other people who were around at the time - Pearl and Garnet, Bismuth, Eyeball, Jasper - can tell him.
  • Incidentally, ever since Eyeball protested that Eyeball is not her name I’ve wondered what she does prefer to be called.  Amongst themselves, do the Rubies use their facet and cut numbers, or nicknames, or are they just so dumb that they spend all their time saying, “Get over here, Ruby,” “Yes, Ruby?” “No, not you, Ruby, I want Ruby”?
  • There’s also the fact that while Steven doesn’t repeat the clothing mistake with Amethyst, he imagines her with the long hair that she didn’t grow until after she met Greg at least a hundred years later (since “Story for Steven” doesn’t call attention to the fact that this is how Steven imagines the story his father is telling him, the way “Buddy’s Book” is doing, I don’t think we’re supposed to question whether things really looked the way they appear within the flashback - otherwise it would be strange that Steven so accurately imagined what Vidalia and Marty looked like when he hadn’t met either of them at the time).  Amethyst has that long hair in the shark-punching painting, though - but we have no way of knowing when that painting was made, who did it or how accurate it is.  And whenever it was, it has to be a reconstruction; Garnet’s joke about getting the shark to pose only lampshades that.
  • “Come back any time, but not too much!”  You Lemongrab, Amethyst.
  • SEVERAL LIONS
  • SEVEN LIONS
  • Buddy.  It’s a pride, not a pack.  This is basic.
  • Way to break the fourth wall Rose.
  • No song?  well, that’s ominous.