But this small chunk

little reminders

do you have homework due tomorrow? do it

did you get any homework today? do it

did you get an assignment notification? break it into small chunks, schedule these chunks and make a start on it. 

do you have an exam tomorrow? do some light revision. or if you’ve left it until the last, turn off your phone, put it in your desk drawer and revise until you’re done. make sure you get at least 4 hours of sleep if you’re cramming, 8 if you’re not. 

do you have a quiz tomorrow? do some v light revision, and redo some homework problems or handouts on the topic.

how much tea/coffee/general caffeine have you had today? how much water have you had? switch your next coffee refill to water.

have you brushed your hair? tame that mane.

have you showered? have a warm shower right before you go to bed so you feel sleepy when you come out.

are your feet cold? put on socks.

are you working your hardest? push a little harder. 

when was the last time you allocated relaxing time? pick a cutoff point for your work, whether it’s 9pm or 1am, and spend 15-30 minutes (depending on the time) to wind down by reading a book, talking to family or friends, taking a shower and generally doing whatever you want. 

The Signs as Weapons

Aries:The first spear thrown in the most important hunt for the tribe. The arrowhead sharpened to a point that cuts through wind, and more importantly, flesh.
Taurus:A shield used in the Colosseum. Perfectly round, its edges bare chips as scars from many close calls. A blade is only as strong as one who weilds it, a shield will always hold if built correctly.
Gemini:Two daggers, both forged by a self proclaimed God. One blessed by sunlight, the other cursed by moonlight. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Never to be separated, as you can not live solely in the day or the night.
Cancer:A war axe, crafted from diamond and metals passed down from the heavens. Incredibly heavy, when in the hands of the pure it swings with the speed and force of the northern winds.
Leo:A whip eight feet long, with thorns protruding from the aged leather. Legend says when cracked by one with a lion’s spirit, the animal kingdom is theirs to rule.
Virgo:The poison itself may not warrant the label weapon, but the needles dipped lightly in the vile before being perfectly placed in the nape of the victim’s neck might. Starting from there the poison slowly eats away the muscles and fat from the body, leaving its host a shriveled pile of skin and bone.
Libra:A shaman’s fan, made of large leaves bound in twine and blessed with drops of patchouli oil. Seemingly a flimsy decorative piece, when fanned as the ancestors did, the winds themselves bend to the control of the shaman.
Scorpio:A woodsman’s axe, two small chunks of opal tied tight to the handle. It’s intention is to forge through the darkest part of the woods, to clear any obstacles that the forest may present, but the blade is very familiar with the feeling of blood.
Sagittarius:The bow was carved from glass, engraved with the prayer of a lost civilization. The arrows, nine of them, found in the chest of a queen buried deep in an eleborate tomb. When used together, they say a man can become a God.
Capricorn:The old crone’s staff, an owl carved into the darkened wood. Decorated in stones, feathers, and totems of her people. She raises the tip to the setting sun, and transforms into her true form. Her night is spent soaring above the trees, moonlight illuminating her hunting grounds.
Aquarius:A gun can instill fear in anyone, but a water gun on the other hand brings people together with the power of nostalgia. Until, that is, they realize that’s not water they’re laughing off. It’s acid.
Pisces:A sword passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Once known as the sharpest blade in the world, it has been kept from bloodshed for a hundred years. Sheathed in an ornate sleeve it sleeps, and waits for the day its steel must save humanity again.

Dear Self,

I know how you’ve been feeling today. Your life feels empty, and the sad truth is that you have nobody to blame for anything that’s happened . Unlike most people, you haven’t blamed yourself, because you know that you have done everything in your capacity to make things work, to make things happen. I know how ambitious you are, and you do everything you need to do to make your parents proud, to make them happy again. You have no one to share your pain with. Mainly since your pain isn’t because of some tragic accident or loss of life, neither is it because of a sappy breakup or a nasty flu.

But you can feel your true self breaking down a little bit more with every passing day. There’s so much you want to do and so much you want to achieve and you know that you have it in you, yet it’s always a dead end.

You look back in time and see a different version of yourself, someone you can’t recognize now. You have no idea how to define yourself any more. You were a social maniac and have always found yourself the most comfortable among people, lots and lots of people, friends, foes, family, strangers and you managed to plant a seed of memory into everyone you’ve ever met.

Now you’re uncomfortable to be around people, you repel even making a healthy eye contact with someone passing by. I know you aren’t scared or tense to interact with them - to ask how they’re doing, but you’ve lost the urge to make bonds anymore.

You’ve met all kinds of people, seen through each one of them but you’ve realized that no matter how well you know and understand them, you walk right into a boulder beyond which you cannot see, beyond which you know there’s a spot where all their weaknesses lie, and you peek between the brick walls and recoil back - you have seen the ugly side.

This side of them is nasty and no matter what is said or done following it, you’ve lost your trust, you just can’t go back to square one all over again. You know you can never be the same with them again. And as you walk away from them, you know they’ve taken off a small chunk out of you. These chunks total up to the whole of you and you lose yourself running away from them. You cannot risk losing anymore. So you walk alone, and everyday you die a little more.

You now focus on the few people you trust and you’d do anything for them. I know very well how greatly you suck at expressing your love towards these people, somehow you feel that if you reveal it to them you’ll lose the love you have for them, they’re eager and hope to hear it from you. Your family wants to hear you say that you love them. But you just cannot, because you’ve never learned how to. You’ve never told anyone confidently the way they show it movies, to confess love. You love them too much, it’s scary to say it out loud. But you show it in ways nobody ever does.

You have your own weird ways, only if they could listen. Only if they could listen when you scream at them and cry out of guilt the very next moment, when you swear at them now and internally curse yourself next, when you ignore them because you do not want to say you’re sorry, when you plan big to see them happy, when you struggle to smile even as you’re dying inside only so that they don’t sense your sadness.

You are scared to express that you are vulnerable and you are scared to admit that you are scared. You prefer to be an emotionless robot to them, because you’ll never be able to prove how much you really care. They distance themselves from you naturally, and again, you die a little bit inside.

But you know you’re amazing at being a lioness when you want to, your wounds make you stronger and that’s how you like seeing yourself - a lioness on the hunt. And you walk with all your pride as you walk by the people that you’d rather have by your side, again you die a little inside, yet you walk alone with all your pride.


Loads of Love,
Self.

- J.E.M

Tonight, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has an extremely important episode about racial profiling. I encourage everyone to tune in and learn and to give this issue the attention that it needs. Ratings show that we care about this and want to be informed. 

You can watch live on Fox.com, and I believe Hulu also helps ratings. It airs at 8pm est and it is important. For more information on why, here is a small chunk of what I wrote about B99/the episode for a final paper in one of my political science classes: 


One question that the show runners of Brooklyn Nine-Nine struggled to answer for a long time was whether or not it would be appropriate to have an episode which discussed the racial profiling that is currently the talk of the nation. As a show with two black men playing the most prominent positions of power within a police precinct, many people have been wondering about the dichotomy that this presents. Brooklyn Nine-Nine shows a romantic notion of a police precinct in which all white male characters are aware of their privilege and, if they are not, their co-workers are quick to call them out on it. Yet this is not the case in all police precincts— something that the writers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine have struggled with throughout the four seasons of the show due to the fact that “our heroes are the police, [and] it’s difficult to talk about the police in an abstract way,” said executive producer Dan Goor in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. 

The idea for the episode came about because of the unrest in the nation, and the writers pitched different ideas back-and-forth for quite a long time, but ultimately went with a situation that paralleled one which Terry Crews had been in. Crews is a former NFL player who had once been subjected to a stop-and-frisk, just as he is in this upcoming episode. In the context of the show, however, the character struggles with whether or not he should file a formal complaint that could jeopardize his career. “To a certain extent, it’s the question of: Am I blue or am I black?” Goor commented to Entertainment Weekly. The characters on the show all have to face the world of cops outside of their comfortable precinct, a conundrum that the actors and writers on the show felt that they had to tackle so that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t become a cartoon,” in the words of Terry Crews. He also points out, however, that this is just one of the reasons— and relevance in society, and making change, is another.

In the upcoming episode, Detective Jake Peralta, a white male, points out that he has done plenty of suspicious things on the street and had never been stopped by the police for it. Terry had merely been looking for his daughter’s blanket, while a flashback shows Jake sneaking in through a window wearing a Jason mask and getting away with it. (…) “As far as the show goes, it felt like there was an opportunity to make a statement. I think it’s definitely an issue that is really important [and] has been around for some time,” said writer Philip Jackson. The conscious decision to make that statement instead of shoving it under the rug is where the significance lies in this episode of television.

In 2017, black lives matter more than “all lives matter” because the lives of black American citizens are in genuine danger from the police. White citizens do not suffer from the same fears, period. This is something that frequently both stuns the country into silence and ignites it into action. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland could all still be alive today were it not for racial profiling— which the Brooklyn Nine-Nine writers know very well. Thus, the creators have given this episode to the total control of the black community of people who work on the show. It was written by a black writer; the black actors on the show had a say in the way their characters reacted to the situation; the A-plot was taken away from the main character for the first time in all four seasons and sixteen episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Those telling these stories make it clear whose story they are telling, being careful to elevate the narrative of the black creative members of the team without stomping on or overpowering their voices. 

Perhaps the most telling piece of that narrative is found within a clip of the episode that has just been released on youtube. Sergeant Terry Jeffords and Captain Raymond Holt sit in the private home of the captain and discuss whether or not Terry should report the stop and frisk to his superiors. When Captain Holt points out that Terry is “a great cop. You could become a chief or higher,” Terry’s response is simple, yet effective: “How long will it take to make change that way?”

youtube

Heya everyone~

Thanks again to everyone that meet us over at Shutocon!  While there, we showed off a small chunk of our next video, Hellbent.  In it, things were a bit different in that the audio, well.. had AUDIO other than the lone music track playing.  To help us with this sound design, we brought in a specialist.

Strelok (@tehstrelok)

He did an awesome job giving us the exact kind of sound design we were looking for in the intro section of Hellbent and did it in a small window of time to get the video ready for Shutocon.

The video in this link is more of his work.  This time, as a test, he took a sliver from Freaking Out and added sound effects to see what would happen.  I wanted to link to this video as a way of publicly crediting him for the work he’s done for us and to link to his channel in general, which I advise you all to look around in. 

Here is his Youtube channel-

https://www.youtube.com/user/carmelo580/videos

And here’s another sample of his sound design work-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGjTkFkZo2g

It may be a little ways away from posting Hellbent, so I wanted to make sure I let everyone know Strelok was the one behind the audio as we work to get the final video out!

2

Well, I was living in London basically. I’ve never been over state sides so I had an audition for 24 which was shooting in the UK and then I walked out of there and I got a phone call from my agent. They were like, ‘Oh, have you heard about iZombie?’ and I was aware of the comic. So I literally spent the weekend working on the small chunk of script that they gave me. I was put on tape in London on Monday then I got some notes from Rob Thomas. Went again on tape on Wednesday and Friday they cast me in one of the lead roles and I was flying out to Vancouver literally a week or two after.

10 Movies that could change your understanding about life

Every movie has the ability to affect its viewer differently. Some films evoke wonder and excitement, while others provoke fear or sorrow, but a commonality among all films is a prevailing message or theme.

Some films can summon such profound questions, that it changes the way you perceive life as you once knew it. The following list contains 10 unique movies that do just that.

10) Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly’s cult-classic Donnie Darko stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled, sleep-walking teen who is insistent in challenging authority and who is often visited by Frank, a monstrous rabbit that urges Donnie to perform dangerous and destructive pranks.

A haunting work of loneliness, alienation and the universal desire for companionship and meaning that’s wrapped in a guise of understated ‘80s nostalgia and head-spinning science fiction mythology, Donnie Darko is a film you shouldn’t miss.

What makes Donnie Darko especially fascinating is its take on multiple realities and universes. The film explores concepts of imploding universes, black holes and alternate timelines. It leaves most scratching their heads and itching for an immediate second viewing. Richard Kelly stated that the film has varying interpretations, which is why the film is still analysed and debated about to this day.

9) The Matrix

A smartly crafted combination of stimulating action and mind-bending philosophy, The Matrix is a film that throws our perceived reality into question. The film’s premise finds Neo (Keanu Reeves), an office-worker by day, computer hacker by night, who is told about the grand illusion. That is, the reality as we know it is false, a simulated and constructed reality in which mankind is unknowingly imprisoned.

The film is an allegory for the concept of a spiritual awakening. Neo is woken up to the fact that he’s been enslaved to the system, the matrix, his entire life. He is re-taught about his unlimited potential as a creator-being, and stands up against the dark forces which impose humanity. Amazing in every sense, The Matrix has a lot to offer, with the potential to change the way you understand the world we live in.

8) Waking Life

Absurd, transporting, and strikingly original, Waking Life poses many life-changing questions, such as ‘What are dreams and what is reality?’ Within the animated film, the line between the dream-state and reality become blurred as the protagonist wanders through various scenarios and interacts with an eclectic cast of characters.

Each character throws science and philosophy into question, and as the main character continues to experience the extended dream, he begins to worry he will not awaken.

Humans and inanimate details are sometimes quite realistic, even recognizable (such as Ethan Hawke) but the computer “painting” can give subjects forms, movements and dimensions that are wildly exaggerated, limber and stylized in cartoon-like fashion. The movie looks like an LSD trip, and is a cult classic that could find a spot in everyone’s top ten list.

7) Cloud Atlas

Colossal in scale, Cloud Atlas follows 6 interwoven story lines that span hundreds of years. The official synopsis describes it as “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”

Cloud Atlas’s prevalent theme delves into the theory of reincarnation, which boasts that an eternal aspect of our self, the soul, experiences any number of lives incarnating here on Earth. The film also explores the concept of karma and the karmic cycle, suggesting that our actions in one lifetime may reverberate into the next.

Although the critic consensus is mixed for Cloud Atlas, one must applaud the film for tackling an unconventional theory such as reincarnation as well as a massively ambitious story line.

6) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring is a Korean film that follows a Buddhist monk and his journey at a monastery that floats on a lake in a pristine forest. The story follows the monk as he passes through the seasons of his life, from childhood to old age.

Each changing season act as beautiful metaphors and lesson that the main character is experiencing. The film is very quiet, but the breathtaking imagery speaks for itself. Although the story has only a handful of characters and everything takes place in a small area, it encompasses a surprisingly large chunk of the human experience, including lust, love, jealousy, murder, suicide and redemption. It has important things to say about the difficulty of teaching and the elusiveness of wisdom.

This film is about learning from one’s mistakes and becoming a better person by seeking wisdom.

5) Samsara

In a number of Eastern faiths, samsara literally means “continuous flow,” referring obliquely to the ongoing cycle of life and death, decay and renewal.

Samsara, the film, turns that idea into a sprawling concept, a continuous flow of images of the natural world and the human tide that dominates it. The film envelops the audience with a barrage of diverse imagery that shifts rapidly from one locale and one theme to the next.

Through watching the continuous imagery, we are given the chance to truly observe our world with utmost presence, something we tend not do in our fast-paced culture. It’s a journey through life and death, and a film which may give you a new perspective on the human experience.

4) Detachment

Detachment is a chronicle of one month in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody).  Barthes’ method of imparting vital knowledge to his temporary students is interrupted by the arrival of three women in his life — the damaged and naïve prostitute Erica, a fellow teacher and a troubled teen named Meredith.

These women all have profound effects on Barthes’ life, forcing him to both re-discover aspects of his own personality, and to come to terms with both the tragic suicide of his mother and the impending death of his grandfather.

Henry impacts his students’ lives and makes them more focused and attentive, but he alone can only do so much. The film is a character study of one man, and a social commentary on the failing education and social systems.

3) Her

Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely introverted middle-aged man who  hears of the new OS1, the world’s first artificial intelligent operating system. When Theodore meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the charming female voice of his OS1, he soon finds himself drawn to  her romantically. As he becomes closer to Samantha, Theodore must decipher where his desire to be with her is really coming from.

There are many themes in Her that parallel the issues of our current technology-obsessed culture. We’ve become so attached to our phones, laptops and tablets that we’ve begun to lose touch with an essential aspect of life, authentic human interaction. Her reveals how technology is propelling isolation and loneliness to a scary degree, something we all should consider.

2) Fight Club

Fight Club teaches its viewer many things. A big lesson realized from watching the film is the emptiness that exists within consumerism and materialism. It’s also a film which questions our attachment to identity -are we really who we believe ourselves to be? The film shocks its viewer when we discover that the ‘revolution’ which has been building up is a mere satire constructed to teach the main character a massive lesson about the state of humanity.

1) Life Is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful reveals the power of optimism and perception during dark times. The story is simple: A father tries to shelter his son and family from the horrors of WWII. It teaches us how preserving our child-like innocence can protect us from the troubles life may throw at us. A simple concept that is beautifully crafted.

Obviously this list only skims the amount of life-changing films available today. I didn’t even mention documentaries, because there are too many to start listing. What are some movies or documentaries that have impacted your life?

Ways to Have Fun in Fandom

1. Focus on creating your own content. Even if it doesn’t get a lot of traction right away, it will get seen by some people and they will enjoy it.

2. Compliment and support other artists if you like their stuff. Don’t be clingy or fantasize interacting with other popular content creators, just support them like you would an artist or a writer in real life.

3. Be generally polite to your online peers and be careful with being obsessive. Understand that everyone has personal boundaries and they all vary from user to user.

4. Spread your interests out to keep from getting creatively burnt out on something if you want to focus on it long term.

5. Write down all the ideas for content you’d like to create and pick the top three you you want to do most. You’re not going to have time or energy to make everything all at once, it’s ok if you miss other ideas.

6. Try to finish projects but don’t feel guilty about posting small sketches or writing in small chunks or works in progress.

7. Don’t feel bad about stopping production of content if you’re sick of it and want to move into anything else. Fandom usually isn’t something you do for profit, and in the grand scheme of things, notes and reblogs won’t count for much.

8. If something stops being fun, enjoy what you did and move on. It’ll still be there if you ever want to go back to it.

9. Try to stay casually in contact with people you’ve interacted with, explain why your leaving or taking a break from the fandom, and support their works if you’re still on good terms with them. Even if you do leave their fandom, it’ll show good sportsmanship.

10. Take breaks from tumblr and share work over multiple platforms. Twitter, instagram, and Facebook are all good ways to get tranction for your content, even if Tumblr is the go-to for fandom interactions.

If somebody asks me what executive dysfunction is, I’m gonna point them to a web article or suchlike that explains it better than I can. 

If somebody asks me what executive dysfunctions feels like, though, I’d say that it’s like waiting for a video stream to buffer or for a web page to load. You could do so many other things, except you’ve only got a few minutes at most to wait, so most of them aren’t worth starting. So instead you read a few lines of an article or check out your tumblr dash or go get a glass of water. You fill time, because most people don’t like to stare at a loading bar for several minutes if they have other options. Sure, you’re doing things, but if anyone asked what you were up to you’d probably just say “waiting,” because you’re really just doing whatever you can to make the time go faster. 

Now just imagine that instead of doing this for a couple minutes, you’re stuck in this state for hours on end. You’re waiting for the thing to finish, but every time you check it’s still not done so you just keep waiting, breaking your day down into chunks too small to do anything with. You think about playing a game, but you don’t actually start it up. You get a drink, but you don’t make lunch. You open your word processor, but you don’t actually start writing. You’re stuck in a holding pattern, killing time minute by minute, and by the time you realize you don’t actually know what you’re waiting for, the day is already gone. 

It isn’t a matter of being lazy or undisciplined, or a case of making bad decisions. Executive dysfunction is a problem with the organ responsible for making decisions in the first place. When it stops working properly, stops being able to decide between doing this or doing that or doing nothing at all, you end up just going with what comes naturally. You fidget. You kill time. You wait, in expectation of a decision to wait no longer. It may be a long time coming. 
 

Hello! A few followers of mine requested a post on my note taking system so here it is.

My notes
The above picture is of my Arc Notebook and is a collection of classwork and textbook information! When I’m writing notes I have to always write the date. I always mark down the dates on any worksheets I receive and sometimes add the topic of the class into the calendar on my computer. During classes, I try to pay as much attention as I can. Especially to the information which the teacher emphasises! Class notes are usually really scruffy or I type them and then I will later rewrite/condense and add after class. I find this pretty helpful, however if I miss a day I usually fall behind and end up with a lot more work to do! For rewriting the notes, I look at the syllabus and make sure I write something for each topic. I use colour coding to help too. I refer to the notes from class and other textbooks or the Internet! Having a selection of resources is really useful for understanding your topics. I am also trying to create even simplified topic notes to print later. 

My work layout
For starters, with a new topic I start on new paper. So I can easily find the one topic without having to make it by a title page or something, like in a regular exercise book! Titles are the sections of the syllabus which my notes relate to. Titles and always in black, underlined and capitalised. My notes are mainly in black and always in dot point form. I prefer having small sections of sentences compared to large chunks of writing. As you can see at points my writing goes in. I measure each time at either 1cm, 2cm or 3cm depending on the indent. Usually these notes are important for the line above, for instance an example or a definition. Also, you can see some sentences with arrows (either green or pink) underneath the sentences, these are just additional information which is relevant for either understanding or just interesting! I also leave one line between each section for easier reference.

My colour coding system
I’ve had a lot of messages about this so I thought I should include it! I use the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners for all these notes. I use black as the normal note taking. Red is for the topic of sentence, because I use dot point form the red makes the work stand out so I can quickly refer to that sentence! I don’t use red in every sentence, usually only if I’ve begun talking about something else. I use light blue for terms that I need to remember or are important. I find this useful in all my subjects! Dark blue is for names of people/places/businesses/etc and abbreviations. Orange is for examples and are usually indented by 1cm. I use green for relevant information to help understanding or to clarify and as previously mentioned, I use an arrow and indent at 1cm. I use pink for generally interesting information which isn’t needed but good for showing knowledge. I find colour coding useful, but it makes note taking quite a timely process but it does look pretty!

Overall, my note taking isn’t very complicated and pretty easy to recreate! I hope some of you find this post at least a little helpful. Check out emmastudies.tumblr.com/tagged/me for more. Feel free to message me if theres anything else! :-)

Elizabeth Short Autopsy Findings

On January 15, 1947, a woman walking with her daughter stumbled upon the badly mutilated corpse of a young woman lying beside the footpath. Naked, the corpse had been bisected at the waist, drained of blood, and scrubbed clean. Soon identified as twenty-two year old Elizabeth Short, the injuries to the body were so extensive it was impossible to determine if any particular injury killed her. Here are some interesting findings from her autopsy report:

- Trunk entirely severed with a single incision, parallel to the navel

- deep vertical cut on pubic area, mimicking a hysterectomy (womb intact)

- Inner thigh deeply gouged, lacerated; small chunk of flesh removed.

- Pubic hair clipped and inserted forcibly into anus. Anal rape by foreign object - no sperm detected.

- Intestines and lower organs had been removed after the trunk was severed; found under buttocks, still attached.

- Both breasts had been gouged with the tip of a knife and her right breast had been almost entirely removed.

- Her mouth had been slashed at either side whilst she was still alive; most of her teeth had been broken by a blunt instrument, possibly a baseball bat.

Elizabeth Short’s murder remains unsolved

DIY witch’s herbal remedy medicine cabinet must haves

Whether you’re a witch thats into their herbs or a person who prefers CHEAP and natural remedies, this DIY is for you

Here’s what this post will teach you to make:
Echinacea tincture
Plantain – Apple Cider Vinegar Tincture for acne
Healing salve
Chest rub
Arnica salve
Digestive Tea
Throat lozenges
Air purifying spray

OK LETS GET STARTED

1.Echinacea tincture

You will need:

-Dried Echinacea
-Glycerin 
-large canning jar

Method:

Pour glycerin over echinacea  until it almost reaches the top of the jar. Place lids on these jars and leave for 3 weeks, shaking jar occasionally. After three weeks have past, strain out the herbs. You now have tinctures!

2. PLANTAIN-ACV ACNE TREATMENT

You will need:

Dried Plantain
Apple cider vinegar

Method:

Pour apple cider vinegar over plantain. Close with lid and leave for 4-6 weeks. Strain out the herbs. Use to this tincture on acne on the face or back of arms. If too strong, dilute with a little distilled water.

3. HEALING SALVE

What you will need:

½ cup Olive oil
1/3 cup dried plantain
½ ounce beeswax
a container that can hold ½ cup of salve (or multiple containers)

Method:

-Turn on the oven to 300 degrees. While it warms up, place the jar with plantain/oil into a loaf pan or casserole dish. Add water to the bottom of the pan so it comes up the sides of the jars (about an inch or so).

-Once oven is preheated, place this dish with the jars and water in it, into the oven. Turn OFF the oven. Leave for 3 hours.

-After the three hours for the oil is up, take pan out of the oven and let cool briefly. Strain out the arnica and plantain. In double boiler, place the plantain infused oil. Add ½ ounce of beeswax. Warm over low heat until the beeswax melts. Once the beeswax is completely melted, turn off heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then pour into clean a clean jar (or jars).

-Allow to cool completely before adding the lid.
Salve will keep for up to a year.

4. CHEST RUB

You will need:

½ cup olive oil
¼ ounce dried plantain leaves or dried mullein (optional)
¼ ounce beeswax
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil
15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
6 drops rosemary essential oil
6 drops peppermint essential oil
4 ounce jar (needs to hold ½ cup)

Method:

-On the stove top place a small pan with a heavy bottom. Add 1/3 cup of plantain and ½ cup oil. Warm over the lowest heat possible. Only needs to warm for about 20 minutes. So set a timer and keep on eye on this!  

-Pour the cooled plantain/oil mixture through a cheesecloth and strain out the herbs.

-Place this infused oil back into the pan along with the ¼ ounce of beeswax. Melt over very low heat. Cool slightly and add the essential oils and vitamin E. Stir to distribute evenly.Pour into a clean jar and allow to cool.

-Once completely cool, add the lid and label. This homemade chest rub can be kept for one year at room temperature

5. ARNICA SALVE (soothes bruises, aches, and pains)

What you need:

dried Arnica, .1 ounces
4 ½  ounces grapeseed or olive oil
½ ounce beeswax
canning jar
optional: peppermint essential oil

Method:

Pour oil over arnica flowers in a jar.
Turn on the oven to 300 degrees. While it warms up, place the jars with arnica flowers/oil into a loaf pan or casserole dish. Add water to the bottom of the pan so it comes up the sides of the jars (about an inch or so).

Once oven is preheated, place this dish with the jars and water in it, into the oven. Turn OFF the oven. Leave for 3 hours.

Place arnica infused oil in top of double boiler, add ½ ounce beeswax (this will make a slave consistency. If you want this to be more like a balm, add extra beeswax – this will make it thicker and firmer).
Warm over medium heat until beeswax is melted.
Remove from heat, add 10 drops peppermint essential oil, if desired.
Pour into jar and allow to cool completely before closing with lid.
Note: Arnica salve should be not be used on skin that is broken, or on open wounds. It is intended for use on bruises, bumps, sprains, and aches.

6. Digestive Tea

What you need:

3 ounces dried spearmint leaves
10.5 grams dried licorice root (not ground, but in small chunks)
jar to store tea

Method:

Add  digestive tea ingredients (licorice root and spearmint) to a jar. Label and store. (May wish to add to label that 1 tablespoon per cup should be used when brewing the tea.)

7. Throat Lozenges

What you need:

¼-½ cup honey
1 T ground licorice root
¼ cup slippery elm

Method:

Place slippery elm into a bowl and add a few tablespoons of the honey. Stir to combine and add more honey until the consistency resembles playdoh.
(During this time, the plantain/oil mixture on the stove top should be ready to turn off. Remove from heat and allow to cool).
Use approximately 1/8 inch of the ‘playdoh’ mixture to roll a small ball to create a lozenge. Roll this ball in ground licorice root and place lozenge on parchment paper. Repeat until all of the mixture is used.
Let air dry to harden.

8. Air Purifying Spray

What you need:

Sweet Orange essential oil, 12 drops
Lemon Essential oil, 12 drops
Clove bud essential oil, 10 drops
½ ounce vodka
½ ounce distilled water
spray bottle that will hold 1 ounce

Method:

Mix 1 ½ ounce vodka and 1 ½ ounce distilled water in a measuring cup with a spout.
Add 10 drops clove bud essential oil and 12 drops sweet orange essential oil and 12 drops lemon essential oil.
Use to purify the air and to clean door knobs, counter tops, anywhere germs may hide.


That is it for your herbal remedy cabinet must haves! 

Happy witching x

~ @indigo-amethyst

The Signs as Weapons

Aries:The first spear thrown in the most important hunt for the tribe. The arrowhead sharpened to a point that cuts through wind, and more importantly, flesh. 

Taurus:A shield used in the Colosseum. Perfectly round, its edges bare chips as scars from many close calls. A blade is only as strong as one who weilds it, a shield will always hold if built correctly. 

Keep reading

Context: My group, a Tiefling Bard, a Human Blade-Lock, and my Warforged Samurai-themed Barbarian (With Great Weapon Master) are all running through a homebrew 5E game. We have just run into a Young Green Dragon at 4th Level. 

Me: Well, I’m the tank, so… Charge past and swing around behind it, hopefully set up a flank. Let’s do this. 

I proceed to roll an attack, Reckless for Advantage and Great Weapon Master for -5 to hit, +10 damage. 

I crit. 

DM: You get another attack, remember? Great Weapon Master.

Me: Oh shit, yeah. Alright. Using Great Weapon Master again, why not.

Second Critical.

DM: Oh my god. 

Me: And don’t forget, I did say I was using Great Weapon Master, so that’s an additional 10.

DM: You’ve got to be kidding me.

At this point, the Dragon has just taken a truly massive amount of damage in one turn, which makes it’s next move understandable. It uses crown of madness to shut me down, which since nobody was near me (Going next to the Path of the Zealot Barbarian while raging is not a good idea.) I proceed to stand there like an idiot for the next several turns while the other players take potshots at it. They’re whittling away, but missing more often than not, especially with the Dragon going airborne. 

Bard: Alonne, I’m giving you an inspiration to break that crown. Make the will save. (I’ve been rolling under 10.) 

Me: No prob, thanks man. *6* FUCK. 

The crown eventually breaks, but the dragon swoops back down and uses a breath weapon on myself and the warlock. It does about 49 damage. I make the save. The Warlock does not. She manages to inch out of death by about 6 points. 

Me: FUCK!

I try to get at the dragon, currently about 15 feet up. I make the Jump check, but not the attack roll, and miss, landing on the other side. 

Bard: Dammit, that would have been cool.

Me: FUCK!!

Finally, finally, the dragon lands in front of me. It goes to town with the claws, bite, all that, but raging halves the damage and I manage to stick it out through my relatively bulky AC. The Dragon still has a small chunk of HP, and tries to fly away. 

Me: FUCK. NO. 

Attack of Opportunity, as the dragon lifts over my head. Third hit on the dragon. 

Critical #3. 

As the dragon falls to pieces, showering my character with blood, I go to the sheet and give the Warforged the last name Dragonslayer. The metal man earned it, and based on the special trait “Dragonslayer” I got from the DM after, he agrees.  

Basic Training Principles

Had a real shitty day so I decided to make a list of training principles to always remember.  This is for everyone who ever doubts their capabilities as a trainer (of any species), and for those who are still haunted by the demons of their training past <3 Feel free to add to the list!

  • If something isn’t working, change your approach.
  • If your horse doesn’t understand you, speaking louder isn’t the answer.
  • Always break up each task into small, bite sized chunks.  Train each chunk separately.  Expecting all of the chunks at once is overwhelming to the horse and may be unrealistic.
  • Never spend too much time on one behavior.  Sometimes you just need to move on.
  • You never have to perfect a behavior before moving on the the next one.  Training doesn’t happen in a day.
  • Never assume that your horse already knows how to do a behavior and is just not doing it because “they’re lazy”.
  • If you’re having trouble training one behavior, its ok to try again another day.
  • Just like human athletes, horses experience muscle soreness and fatigue.  Very often they will express their discomfort with unwanted behaviors.
  • Punishment is never the answer.  Horses always have reasons for behaving the way they do.
  • Make a plan for modifying unwanted behaviors and stick to it.  Changing partway through a training session without planning it out may result in you reverting back to old habits.
  • If you find yourself getting frustrated, its ok to take a break.  Its better to cool down and take a break than to act on impulsive reactions and regret it later.  Think first, act later!
  • Never be in a hurry.  
  • You cant always expect to change a behavioral pattern in one training session.
  • Always reward the slightest try, or the slightest “better”.
  • If something is out of balance, see it as a challenge.  That is, if your horse is displaying unwanted behavior, see it as a learning/training opportunity to put under your belt.  
  • Never loose sight of the essence (lightness, suppleness, self carriage, relaxation,etc.)  of an exercise.
Tips for freshman in high school

I finished my gap year and with that my high school journey has officially ended. 4 years ago I was a freshman and here’s what I wish I had known:

  • stand up for yourself. In high school, we are all trying to figure ourselves out and everyone grows differently. Everyone is trying to fight for acceptance from each other. No matter what, you have to stand up for who you are. That sounds cheesy but all it means is: whatever you are right now, whatever you believe in right now, that’s what you have to defend. At all costs. Don’t give in to other definitions of living made my other people.
  • don’t push your parents away. They are going to be very scared as well and don’t know how you will react to being in high school. If you have parents, or parents who listen, make sure you are letting them know about your teachers, your friends, your classes, what you find most difficult, how the school is, etc. All they want is to be included in your life.
  • Right from the start, make a good impression. Let the teachers know you are a good student. Especially if you’re in public school. Let the teachers know you are caring, dedicated and willing to do good in their class. How you do this:
    • always ask and answer questions in class. It’s what distinguishes the top students in class. Even if you answer something wrong, it’s 1000% better than not saying anything for evaluation. Believe me. You also learn better this way.
    • how do you get past that fear of speaking in class? You don’t. Your heart will always beat a 1000 miles an hour. You make the jump and practice practice practice. It does get better with practice. Eventually, you, your classmates and the teacher get used to you speaking in class.
    • pay attention in class. This can be tricky if your classmates are really bad. The main thing is not caring about your classmates inside of the classroom. It’s binary: you’re either paying attention or not. Take notes, do extra exercises, anything to keep focus. Get a seat in the first horizontal rows if you can choose.
    • nod when the teacher is explaining something and you understand it.
    • look confused and write a question down when the teacher is explaining something and you don’t understand it. Ask the question after the explanation or during exercises time.
    • don’t use your phone or headphones in class unless the teacher specifically tells you it’s ok.
  • focus on your grades. Getting Good Grades IS VERY IMPORTANT.
    • have a grade goal you want to achieve for each class, maybe one that you think it’s unrealistic for you, those are the ones that make you work the hardest and give you the best results. Keep it to yourself or share, doesn’t matter, but keep it vivid (write it down) and remember it every time you have to study or step into the classroom.
  • don’t be intimidated by popular kids. They are just as insecure as you. Don’t blush when they look at you, you are just as important.
  • don’t worry about your clothes or makeup. Unless it’s a passion of yours. If it’s not, as long as your clean and comfortable, you should be good to go. Being attractive should be the least of your concerns.
  • you see those kids with the cigarettes and drugs and loud music? Run away, don’t look at them, don’t go out with them. For real. Stay safe.
  • have friends! High school is way more fun when you have friends to joke around during breaks. I was so lucky to find a close group of friends I felt safe and comfortable with and with whom I still go out and talk to this day, I didn’t plan for it to happen but it did and I’m sure it will happen for you too.
  • don’t leave things to the last minute!!!!! I’m serious. Start working on notes, exercises and reading right from the beginning of the school year. It will make things 10x easier. When you get to finals week, everyone will be stressing out and you’ll be that person who already read through everything twice, did every single exercise already and is annoyingly calm. It is possible. You just have to work right from the beginning and do small chunks of work every single day.
tips on how to rehearse your instrument

okay, so, after ages of procrastination, here it is. My rehearsal tips for classical music. Mostly for piano, but also other instruments, especially woodwinds, since i’m also playing the flute! If you have anything to add to the list, just don’t hesitate :)

1. Prepare yourself. Yep. Even in music, this is an important step. Turn off your electronic devices, they’ll only distract you and you won’t need them - at least not for classical piano rehearsal. Get all of your sheet music together! You can also get yourself a glass or a bottle of water (Especially for wind instruments!), but make sure that the instrument won’t get any damage!

2. Warming up. This is so important and it’ll help you to improve your tone (winds) and your style. I recommend doing scales and arpeggios in different versions - you’ll always need them. Also, try out different breathing techniques if you’re playing a wind instrument, such as circular breathing. However, try to mix it up. Don’t do the same stuff every day because you’ll eventually loose interest in what you’re doing. Be creative! Don’t forget that music is art!

3. Don’t try to play all of your pieces in one day. What I wanna say is: If you have 3 pieces to practise - for example a Bach, a Beethoven sonata and another piece, don’t do all of them in the same day. Practice two of them the 1st day after your rehearsal, then two the next day and the day after that another two. This way, it’ll be a nice circle and you still practiced everything in the end. It’s the same with studying, really. Try to make a rehearsal plan. Also, if you only have to practise one piece, don’t just play it from the beginning ‘till the end. Do the same. Play 3 lines the first day, maybe 4 the next and maybe 2 the day after that. Divide the work in small chunks. It’ll be much easier to keep track of what you’re doing. 

4. Analysis. Most people don’t believe me this, but analysing your piece of music can be really helpful. Especially if your teacher just gave you a new piece to practise and you think it is way too difficult. It is not! Try to find out where the melody is. Is it in the left hand or the right hand? What is the form of the piece? Where would you play forte, where piano? Where do the notes come from, where do they go? Where are the important parts, the climax of the piece? All of these are important information that, if done right, transform the notes on the sheet into actual music. However, you may check the details of this with your teacher. They often know a lot more about music - and asking questions won’t be wrong. 

5. It is very important to practice the nuances and the intonation from the first moment on. In every instrument. Don’t try to make excuses as to why you would add that crescendo later. Do it now! To memorize the nuances easier, you can sit down for 5 to 10 minutes before your practice and just look at the notes, trying to memorize the small details that you added. 

6. Start slowly. You don’t need to be able to play a piece of music in the original tempo in one week. Getting to know your piece, feeling the music, takes time. It often takes a semester to remember 3 or 4 pieces by heart - depending on their seize as well - but that was at least the case for me. And most of the time, i was just too lazy and i could’ve needed two or three more additional weeks ‘till the actual exam. I had to memorize like 20-30 pages by heart for my last two or three exams and it really takes a good amount of work and practice!

7. So now to the actual rehearsing. Again, it is important to chunk down the piece into a lot of small pieces. Start with the right hand first, then do the left hand on its own. Or start with the melody first. Go slowly - it is better if you can play without any mistake, than playing 15 wrong notes in just one line. Also, especially for piano (and violin?) - write down the fingerings. This may take some time, but it’s so important to play everything the same way. Try to find a fingering that suits you, if they’re not included already!

8. If the piece has a lot of chords, you should play the chords first. (I’m talking about Rachmaninoff here, that little bitch!) Try to get the connection between two chords right, then add a third one, and so on. Before you notice it, you can play the whole passage already - congrats! Again, prefer going slowly and with the right notes to going fast with a lot of wrong notes. In classical music, precision is really important. And precision starts the second we start learning a new piece of music. 

9. Memorize the parts you played wrong, mark them, so you can go back later. For the very start, just try to get into the feeling of the piece. Then, take one section and play that 10-15 times. So slow, that you don’t play any wrong notes. Just 10-15 times, then go on to the next passage. At the beginning, you may repeat them more often, but as you’re already into the piece, don’t repeat the passage more than 15 times. Let it rest, go on to the next one - and only repeat it again the next day. This is also a great method for rehearsing if you don’t have a lot of time. It’s better to play just 10 minutes a day and just a passage than to not play at all! 

10. Get a metronome. Seriously. Metronomes are so important because it is literally so so so annoying when a musician can’t keep it’s tempo. And you need to be able to do so - even in difficult passages. Also, for pianists and basically every other instrumentalist (except for drummers maybe!) DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT TAP YOUR FEET TO THE BEAT OF THE PIECE. DON’T DO IT. IT’S THE WORST THING EVER TO DO ON STAGE. Also, in orchestra, it’ll most likely annoy a lot of musicians around you. Just get a metronome. 

11. Don’t skip difficult passages. Don’t do it. Practice them excessively - with the method that i described in step 9. 

12. Listen to yourself. Record yourself if you need to. Criticise yourself. Don’t say “Yeah, I know i played that wrong.” Stop playing. Repeat the passage 5-10 times until you won’t get it wrong anymore. Then move on.

13. Enjoy yourself. Music comes from the heart. Try to talk to your teacher if you don’t like your piece or if you find it too difficult to practice and concentrate. I’m sure they can give you different exercises that are perfect to help you improve as an individual. 

14. If you have an exam coming up, listen to different youtube versions of the song. Get inspired - but don’t freak out. It’s okay if you don’t play Chopin as fast as Yuja Wang or Lang Lang or whoever is THE GOD in your instrument. Judges know and mostly respect that you’re a student. You’re still learning, and you’re nervous. They’re humans too and they know this. I also recommend to play the songs in front of people, for example your friends or family - often, music schools offer mini concerts for students so that they can play in front of other students who’ll take the same exam - before your actual exam. It helps to get used to the situation and it’ll be really helpful because you know what passages you have to practice more so that they won’t go wrong in the exam. 

15. Try to find out which way to play your pieces. One may requires more strength than the other, or a lot more concentration. Do you play your best piece at the end or do you choose the order by music eras and music styles? If you are not sure which way to play your pieces, ask your teacher for advice! 

16. During the exam. Don’t stop if you played a wrong note there. Please don’t try to correct yourself, that only disturbs the music’s flow. And the judges will notice the wrong note more likely if you stop playing. Mostly, they won’t even hear a wrong note. Just continue playing as if nothing happened.

17. Last but not least, if you have to audition for an university, it is important to know why you choose that certain song. Be prepared to explain what the song means to you or why you thought it would be good to play it in this setting. Also, be prepared to do an improvisation. Don’t freak out if they ask you to do something differently - they often just want to check if you’re able to change things up immediately, if you’re open to new things. Also, it is often required to play songs from different eras. Do it! And be sure to be in the required time limit as well! Mostly, they send you a list of things you have to be aware of when you register for the audition. 

18. As for the practicing times, it’s up to you. However, I recommend not playing a full hour at once - especially for piano. It’s easier to squeeze in a quick 10-20 minute practice between your study sessions. If you do that 2-3 times a day and practice the right way, you’ll be surprised on how your productivity will evaluate! Also, this method will make it easier to concentrate on your studying afterwards again, because music frees the mind from stress, relaxes your body and is good for your soul!