The ride back from the event was mostly silent. I was very tired and the tell-tale soreness in my ribs was back. Yoongi had his phone out, texting someone, while I curled up on the other side of the seat. I couldn’t help sneak glances at him as he frowned at the phone in furious concentration. He had tossed away his jacket and the white shirt looked strained as it stretched across his lean physique. I watched him as he loosened the tie , yanking on the knot absently as he continued to stare into the phone. He looked even more handsome than earlier, if that was even possible. There was something less tense and more…relaxed about his posture. I smiled absently, admiring the sculpted jawline and the smooth column of his neck.
“Take a picture. it’ll last longer.” He snapped.
I jumped, embarrassed. Bowing my head , I quickly turned away and stared out of the window, face flaming. I also felt a little annoyed. If he didn’t like people staring he shouldn’t go around dressing like sin on a plate. Sighing, I stared out into the night , the cars passing by in streaks of light too quick to capture and commit to memory. I was tired but it was a good king of tired. Not the sort you feel after getting bruised and battered, but the sort of exhaustion that comes with being too happy. I’d never felt it before and I savored it, resting my heated cheeks against the cold glass panes. I could live like this, I thought suddenly. I could be happy this way. I didn’t need more.
Once the car pulled in front of the penthouse, Yoongi came around to help me out and I noticed the strained look of pain on his face.
“I’m fine. Hurry up.” He said brusquely.
I followed him into the lift and hesitated, biting my lips in concern when he leaned a bit against the mirrored wall.
“Are you sure you’re-”
“I said I’m fine. Just…” He sighed and ran a hand over his face in annoyance. I sighed. Why was it so hard for him to admit he was hurt? But I didn’t push it, just casually walking next to him in a way that I could at least break his fall if he swayed too much and lost his balance.
“I had fun tonight..” I blurted out, watching him get ready for bed. He shrugged out of his shirt and I turned away to give him some privacy. After a second he hummed, having slipped into a black t-shirt.
“Good. You should start working hard from tomorrow. Seokjin was telling me he’d pick you up in the evening?” He said , eyebrows raised. I nodded.
“And Jimin said he’d take me out to lunch. Taehyung made a list of NGOs that may be interested in offering pottery classes to kids.” I said eagerly. He nodded.
“That’s fine. By the way, I’ll be going into the office tomorrow. You needn’t worry about cooking anything. I may not be back for dinner.” He said casually.
“Oh, are you sure you should be going back? It’s only been two weeks…” I reminded him and he gave me a look.
“Why don’t you let me worry about that?” He said casually with a smile.
In other words, mind your own business.
I stared at him for a second. It was hard to understand what lurked underneath that handsome face. He didn’t budge an inch, never giving me the slightest opening to try and get to know him. It worried me a bit, how shut off from emotions he was. But what worried me more was the way my heart was slowly feeling drawn to him. It couldn’t really end well for me.
“Okay. I’ll…I mean, you could call me and let me know when you’re coming home and…”
“You don’t have to wait up for me either. Like i said, now that I’m going back to the office I won’t be needing your serv-” He stopped at the last moment and gave me a look. “ Help.” He finished awkwardly.
He’d been about to say , services.
I could feel a laugh of disbelief bubbling up inside me. Good God, did he really think I was offering him services?? What was I , a hired maid? Affronted , i almost opened my mouth to argue but then remembered that yes, that’s exactly what i was.
He was giving me a studio , offering me a chance to live a life of my own and in return I would be offering him my cooking and cleaning and hosting services. That plus the fact that I may get killed if I leave him.
Wasn’t that a marriage made in heaven?
I’ve never seen a more shameless woman than you. Hye Mi’s voice echoed through my head.
I bit my lips, wondering why I felt that way too.
“So, we could get a comprehensive list by next Tuesday. We’ll start off with just two classes a day, morning and evening. And then maybe you could hire a few more teachers and start more batches. I was actually thinking, that you should definitely offer to teach these rich wives as well, it will help you support the studio. You can ask one of the other teacher’s you hire to take care of those classes, because I can tell you want to teach the kids.” Jimin said cheerfully , pouring me a glass of white wine as we sat on a patio deck of a river side restaurant.
Jimin was a beautiful person, I thought in genuine admiration , inside and outside. He lived up to his international fashion designer status, dressed in a navy blue suit. His hair was dyes a nice ash grey and he had a smile that could destroy. We talked for over an hour about everything and nothing and I realized that he had a ridiculous sense of humor and a never-ending love for gossip. It was like being best friends with the most popular, gossip queen in the school.
“Thank you so much for doing this..” I said gratefully and he waved it off.
“Pssh… i should be the one thanking you. Yoongi hyung is so much easier to put up with, now that he has his own personal baby-sitter.” He winked.
“Don’t let him hear you say that.”
“I won’t…but you do spoil him rotten. He pretends he doesn’t like it but i can tell he enjoys all the attention you give him.” He said with a soft smile.
I stared at him.
“Are we talking about the same person? ” Before I could stop myself I told him what he’d said the previous night. Jimin frowned but then shrugged.
“Well, to be fair I’m not surprised . Yoongi isn’t really an emotional kind of guy. Even if he feels something for someone, he’s likely to dig a two hundred feet hole and bury it rather than confront his feelings. ” He said seriously.
I nodded understandingly.
“Of course…by the way, don’t any of you guys have girl friends?” I said curiously. Jiming shrugged.
“Not on purpose no. It’s just…it’s hard to find a girl who wants to be with all seven of us.”
I stared at him.
He started laughing.
“Sorry , that came out horribly wrong. I meant that it sometimes throws our dynamics, when we date girls who aren’t comfortable with our friendship. I don’t know if you know this, but all seven of us share a huge apartment complex in Gangnam. We crash there most of the time and well, Namjoon and Seokjin live there permanently. Taehyung and I travel a lot and so does Hoseok. Jung Kook has a penthouse in Itaewon near his business but he crashes at our place as well. Basically we spend a lot of time with each other and well, the women or men we meet aren’t really… okay with it? ” He shrugged.
Before I could reply, he looked over my shoulder and his expression sort of froze.
I turned around and smiled when I saw Taehyung. He was , however followed by the girl from the previous night. Mia? Myra?
Taehyung looked great in a white t-shirt and blue jean and next to me Jimin stiffened so badly that I looked at him in alarm.
“What’s wrong?” I said quickly and he shook his head, his entire body tense.
“Nothing..I..I’m fine.” He said through gritted teeth and I couldn’t press the subject when Taehyung slipped in next to Jimin, draping a casual hand over him. As always Mia ignored me, pulling out her phone and flicking through it. Taehyung said something playful to Jimin that I couldn’t catch and then Jimin replied rather sharply , which made Taehyung recoil in shock.
“what’s got your panties in a twist?” He said angrily and Jimin turned away furious.
“Maybe the fact that you can’t keep it in your fucking pants for one night.” He hissed back. Taehyung flinched and looked at me in genuine embarrassment. Jimin too looked abashed and looked away. I felt like an intruder as I sat there staring pointedly away.
“I’m sorry, ji Soo. I’ll leave you guys to your lunch date. Come on Mia…” Taehyung stood up, grabbing the girl’s wrist and all but yanking her as he stomped away, anger evident in each step.
“Wow..I…What’s wrong?” I said gently and Jimin sighed.
“Nothing. I..I just..i didn’t expect him to show up with that trollop.” He hissed and I grinned a bit. I’d through the exact same thing about Mia and it felt good to have someone voice that opinion out loud.
“You don’t like her…” I asked quietly and he shook his head.
“That’s just it, though. I don’t have anything against her. Or any of the other dozen women he sleeps with but everytime I see him with one of them I want to…” He stopped, eyes widening as he looked at me. i blinked as the pieces fell into place in a single slip.
“You like Tae??” I whispered, astounded. He bit his lips.
“You must think I’m disgusting…” He shook his head and I shook my head in disbelief.
“Why would..I… Oh, God, Jimin have you tried telling him?” I said eagerly. As I thought of all the interactions the two of them shared, I suddenly realized that they were pretty much perfect for each other. Taehyung was wacky, fun and a ball of energy. Jimin was sassy, funny, sweet and sensible.
Jimin gave me a look of bitter disbelief.
“He’ll probably laugh in my face and kick me in the balls after.” He said, shaking his head.
“You mean he doesn’t like men?” I said worriedly. It would be tragic if that were true.
“He doesn’t date men…but I know he …well he’s sexually attracted to them.” He said ducking his head a bit.
“If he doesn’t date men, how could you possibly know that?” I asked curiously. Jimin mumbled something under his breath.
“What?” I leaned in closer.
“I said…We slept together once.”
I squealed so loud a bunch of them turned around to give me annoyed looks. i clamped a hand down on my mouth to smother the sound.
Jimin stared at me like i was insane.
“Are you serious? You’re squealing? How old are you?” He shook his head, lips curling in distaste and I think i fell a bit in love with him.
“I’m so sorry…I just…Jimin, if you guys have history you should totally talk to him about it though. I’m no expert but…” understatement of the century, “ I think talking really helps.” I said honestly.
“It’s not that easy. I don’t want to screw things up irrevocably. We work together, we’re best friends , hell we’re like family. i can’t throw all that away just because I can’t keep my feelings in check. i mean don’t get me wrong, love is grand and all but sometimes…sometimes you’ve got to give up on it. to do the right thing. And for us, the right thing would be for me to never bring it up to him.”
I stared at him. He was right, I thought sadly. Love was nice, but sometimes, you can’t risk everything you have for something you may in the end, lose.
“Okay. If you want to talk about it… I’m here.” I said softly. He smiled.
“You know what, I may even take you up on that offer someday.”
We talked some more about how to arrange classes and about how we could recruit new teachers for the studio. Once he dropped me off at the penthouse, he held my hand for a second.
“I know it must be hard…with Yoongi.. and considering him, he’s probably making things a million times harder than they need to be but…I hope you don’t give up on him. I …i think he really cares for you.” Jimin said softly.
“Thank you for saying that. I know it probably isn’t true but I feel good hearing it.” I reached out and kissed his cheek . He smiled and waved before leaving.
When I went back to the penthouse, I found my husband sprawled on the couch. It was a little past four. Seokjin hadn’t been able to meet me because of something else. We’d rescheduled for tomorrow.
“You’re back?” I said , surprised. He grunted.
“I have to leave at seven for a dinner meeting . ” He said . I nodded and went to set some water on the stove to make him tea and went back tot the bedroom to change, when I came back he was sitting up, signing something in a file. I placed the tray in front of him and smiled .
“Is your shoulder feeling better now?” I said .
He didn’t reply, continuing to look at me carefully.
Finally, just to fill the silence, I told him about the day with Jimin, about our plans to expand the business later. He hummed , occasionally.
“When I was little , I’d always hoped I could teach children how to make clay stuff. I mean I’d hoped that it would be my own children but…” I stopped, cursing my motor-mouth.
He gave me a casual glance.
“No reason you shouldn’t have a kid of your own. Once this whole thing with EXO dies down, I’ll give you a divorce. You can go find your true love.” The last phrase dripped with disdain.
I blinked in genuine surprise. somehow in the past three weeks spent with him I’d lost all desire for a divorce.
“I’m not…I don’t mind being married to you.” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
He looked up then, staring at me in surprise.
“What’s wrong?” I said after a few minutes, shuffling uncomfortably.
“Nothing.” He went back to his files. i watched him for a few minutes and then finally moved tentatively, settling down on the couch next to him, a good three feet away. He stopped turning the pages for a second and glanced at my knees, as though wondering what I was doing and then went back to reading his files.
“About…Jimin and Taehyung….”
“I know they want to screw each other but are a bunch of pussies who are too fucking scared to just admit it. . And frankly, it has nothing to do with us , so whatever you want to say, can it.” He snapped. i dropped my shoulders in defeat. Although my heart perked up at his use of the word ’ Us’.
“I just…they’re our friends…” i said pleadingly.
He dropped the file and glared at me.
“No. they’re my friends. And I do not want to get involved. End of discussion. Now get away and let me work in peace. ” He snapped.
Like talking to a rock, I thought miserably.
“It’s not much…I just..let’s just invite them to dinner. They can at least talk to each other and…”
Yoongi slammed the file down, so hard, I jumped.
“For the last time, I do not want to get involved. these are grown men not teenage girls. They’ll work their shit out on their own. For the love of God won’t you just leave those two fucktards alone ?!” He snarled.
Chastised I got up and went back into the kitchen.
Surprisingly after three weeks I was almost used to his wild bursts of temper. At least they weren’t physical. in fact, Yoongi took particular care to never move suddenly or threateningly when i was around. it was an oddly considerate thing to do, something I hadn’t expected from my husband.
I took out a pen and my scribble pad, trying to work out some plan for dinner. I was halfway done with the dessert when I heard him at the door of the kitchen.
“What’s wrong? ” I said cheerfully and he looked surprised.
“You…You’re not angry.” It was a statement, not a question and I hummed and wiped my hand on the napkin before shrugging.
“No, I’m not. Like you said, they’re your friends, not mine. ” I said. I didn’t mean to sound bitter but I suppose it came out a little that way.
“For fuck, sake you know I didn’t mean that way…I just…If something goes wrong because of us…” He looked very uncomfortable and I sighed.
“It’;s alright. I understand. I won’t drag you into it. ” I said firmly and the relief on his face was so palpable I almost laughed.
I went back to writing out the dessert, when he cleared his throat.
“About last night…. on the podium..” He said suddenly and I froze in place. I couldn’t believe he wanted to talk about that. Mouth dry and heart pounding, I looked at him, licking my dry lips. His gaze dropped to my lips for a second and he hastily looked away.
“I…yeah. Thanks..I sort of freaked out..” I laughed nervously.
“I didn’t like it.” He said shortly.
I looked up at him.
“I didn’t like the way you looked up there, terrified out of your wits. It made me want to…kill someone. ” He gritted out. I stared at him, my mind in a whirl. why did this guy talk in riddles. Why was it so hard to understand what he was trying to say??
“I don’t know what to say…” I said foolishly. Or what you’re saying, you drive me insane.
“Why didn’t you tell me Yifan tried to molest you that night?” He snapped.
“I was..afraid you wouldn’t believe me. ” I said honestly and he swore underneath his breath.
“This won’t do…You know I can’t be around all the time, playing bodyguard to you, right?’ He said quietly.
i nodded. Of course I knew that.
” Go Wear some comfortable clothes . T-shirt and tracks or something. I’ll be waiting for you in the lobby. Make it quick. “ He said swiftly, turning around and walking out. I blinked in surprise, because what??
But When I went out he was nowhere to be found. I sighed in defeat. Min Yoongi was so maddening I couldn’t really breathe anymore.
But I had a billion questions and only him as my source of answers so I swiftly changed into a tight t-shirt and shorts. i never wore shorts around him or anyone else for that matter, conscious of the shiny welts from old wounds but then, he’d already seen them, hadn’t he? I slipped on some comfortable shoes and quickly went out the door.
I found him waiting in the lobby and he didn’t even look at me, moving instead at a brisk pace to the elevators, while I ran a bit to keep up. In the elevator he pressed the eighth floor and about five minutes later we were in what looked like a dance studio but with a punching bag in the corner and some weights. I watched quietly and then jumped when he began taking off his clothes.
He slipped off the shirt and I turned away embarrassed but there were mirrors on all the walls and turning only showed me more skin , from every possible direction and why was it so hot in here?!
He slipped on a tight vest and flexed his shoulders casually, the movement very graceful and practiced. I tried not to stare too much at the way the fabric of his vest stretched across his lean frame. He fairly vibrated with agility and strength. I felt like a toothpick next to him.
"I’m going to teach you some self defense.” He said briskly. I stared at him in surprise.
“Really? I mean.. That’s…” amazing, wonderful, so wonderfully nice of you.
I’d always wanted to learn how to defend myself. From the time I was old enough to think. From the first time i got hit and didn’t know how to fight back.
“So, we’ll start?” He said casually. I nodded. He moved to the edge of the room and tossed his jacket on the CCTV.
“Good, get on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and spread your legs.”
He rolled his eyes.
“If you’re going to go all shy and timid on me, you better leave right now. No one’s going to talk to you politely and stay a few feet away while trying to attack or rape you. He’s going to be on you, around you, pushing you down, pressing into you and touching you everywhere. That’s what you’re going to have to get used to.” He said with a shrug.
But all I heard was I’m going to be on you, around you, pushing you down, pressing into you and touching you everywhere. Get used to it.
“Okay.” I said nervously sitting down and stretching myself out on the hardwood floor, while my brain screamed, Not okay, not okay, not okay, on repeat.
The moment I was flat on my back, he sank to his knees and crawled, grabbed the back of my knees and bent them, spreading my legs and settling between the V of my legs, one palm on each knee. His thighs pressed against the back of mine and I was pretty certain, he was doing it wrong because I don’t think I’m supposed to feel…. good, when being attacked?
I stared right at him, my face flaming red and I really couldn’t look anywhere else, my throat was so dry I kept swallowing .
He looked amused now.
“Why are you acting like a virgin.?” He grinned suddenly and the way it transformed his face momentarily knocked me down. Or would have, if I weren’t already flat on my back. He had the smile of an angel. Truly.
“Maybe because I’m one?” I said, annoyed. He stopped smiling and his eyebrows shot up to hit his hairline.
“No shit? you are? Well that explains a lot of things…” He shook his head in genuine disbelief.
“What’s wrong in being a virgin?” I said affronted.
“I wouldn’t know because I’m the farthest thing from being one. I’ve never met one either. Ask Seokjin Hyung, I’m pretty sure he’s still one.” His eyes twinkled and I couldn’t stop the little laugh that burst out.
“The truth often is. Now let’s get started.” He grabbed my knee again, settled against me and I blinked rapidly, trying to moderate my breathing.
“What..What you doing?” I yelped. He rolled his eyes.
“I’m trying to rape you. ” He said casually , grabbing my waist and pulling me tight till the center of my shorts pressed light up against the front of his pants.
I stayed perfectly still, my brain had shut down completely.
He gave me a look.
“Should I make myself clearer? I’m trying to fuck you. Non-consensual sex… What do you do?” He said calmly and oh my God, how can he say stuff like this with a staright face. Worse, how am I not dissolving into a puddle of embarrassment and heat right now?
Finally he reached out and flicked me on the forehead.
“You put up a fight, woman! You try to push me away…” He yelled. I snapped out of it.
I immediately pushed at his chest but he pressed down harder and the next second his body was pinning me to the floor, his chest crushing my breasts and his face pressed right against mine while his hands roamed all around my torso. Sensory overload, my mind registered as I tried to deal with the feel of his hands on my body. His scent, clean male skin and exertion and sexy, world class pheromones. My mouth began to water for some reason and I wanted to die.
He pulled away and straightened before I could fully get my bearings.
He grabbed my wrists and pulled my hand up , his fingers warm on mine as he flattened my palm against his chest. His skin felt warm to the touch, smooth but rock-hard.
“When You’re pushing , make sure your elbows are straight. If you bend them,” He used his fingers to lightly bed my arm at the elbow, “ Try pushing now.”
I did and he over powered me easily, pressing me into the floor with no effort.
“Now keep your arm straight and try.”
I did and he couldn’t push down on me. I was amazed myself .
“Wow..” I whispered, elated when I could hold him off, palms pressing between his shoulder blades as he tried to lean on me.
“Excellent. Now, I’ll teach you how to get out from underneath me…”
The phone rang just then. He hesitated, before pulling away and jumping to his feet, moving to pick up his phone. He spoke quietly and tensely for a few minutes. When he turned back, he had a serious look on his face.
“We’ll do this again tomorrow. Go home. I’ve got some business at the club with Namjoon.” He gave me a brusque nod and grabbed his jacket before walking out without a backward glance.
I tried to stand up but my legs wouldn’t stop shaking so I plopped back down on the floor. I could still feel his fingers on me, his scent around me and the brush of his cheeks against mine.
I felt misery creep into me as i thought of what was actually happening.
“But I don’t want to,” you pleaded with desperate eyes, clasped hands. You even resorted to getting on your knees, pressing your skin against the hard tile. You were ready to lean your forehead against the floor and kiss it if necessary. “Please don’t make me do this.” Tears started streaming down your face and you could no longer look into your father’s remorseless eyes.
“You have to.” He folded his arms and looked away, not wanting eye contact with you either. “This is the only way for us to get out of debt,” he said quietly, watching the rain pattering against the window, the grey sky hanging above.
“It’s not the only way!” Your voice began to crescendo. “Maybe I could just get another job? Maybe you should actually try to get mom treated so that she can be healthy enough to work instead of ignoring her condition because we’re fucking broke!”
Hi Josh, I just wanna say I'm a huge fan and new vegas is my second favorite game of all time. One complaint I always had though was the reliance on the "tragic lesbian" trope or having lesbians be victims of assault. Obviously the game is a product of its time but did you ever think during the development about maybe having a lesbian character who could be happy? (for example, why couldn't veronica and christine see each other after dead money or even have it be mentioned by mr. perlman?)
TL; DR Version: We should have had more female characters in the game with a similar proportion of lesbians to gay men (i.e., a larger variety of lesbian characters). However, I believe they should be as vulnerable as anyone else to the savagery of the setting.
There are technical reasons (that I’ve gone over before) for why DLC characters can’t come back into the main game/reference each other. That’s separate from any narrative reasons why Christine and Veronica couldn’t interact, though I should also say that I conceived Veronica’s F:NV plot arc before/separately from what Chris Avellone developed for Dead Money.
I think Veronica is relatively happy (an important qualifier in setting where most things are miserable) and any tragedy in her ending slides has more to do with the state of the BoS than her personal relationships. Most other companions don’t speak of their romantic relationships. Arcade and Cassidy mention some in passing, but nothing in particular. Boone’s wife is the source of a lot of personal anguish. You could make an argument that Boone’s or Veronica’s relationships are more tragic than the other, but both of them qualify as not good.
Betsy is a victim of assault by Cook-Cook, but so is Pretty Sarah. Christine was mutilated by the Y-17 Medical Facility, but Dog had been enslaved by Elijah for years. Between the Mojave Wasteland and the satellite DLC areas, there are a lot of tormented survivors drifting around of various genders and sexual preferences.
I think the larger issue is that there are few points of reference for lesbians in the setting. There’s an imbalance of male to female characters overall and non-hetero characters are in the minority. So while you could wonder about how gay men are portrayed in F:NV based on a single character, there are far more of them to create a picture (as far as the player can discern, anyway) than there are lesbians. You have Veronica, Betsy, Christine, and a handful of minor characters. Based on that sample, things don’t look good for the lesbians of the Mojave. But I would like to reiterate that Veronica’s F:NV plot arc didn’t include any particular focus on relationships and she wasn’t intended to be any more or less tragic than other F:NV companions.
Shortly after F:NV came out, there was an article by Jim Sterling celebrating Arcade as a good representation of a gay man in a video game. The original article is no longer available, unfortunately, but it was called Homosexuality and Fallout New Vegas: A gay marriage made in gay heaven. There was one line in his article that irritated more than a few people:
“Arcade Gannon’s sexuality isn’t a big deal, and that’s how videogames should play it.”
There are certainly a lot of gay men who believe queer identity and culture should be celebrated aggressively and think it is harmful to promote attitudes that sublimate, obfuscate, or otherwise downplay queer culture. It’s impossible to have a “perfect” representation of a gay character because each individual player will want to see different things in those representations. Even with an understated character like Arcade, there are some players who reacted to his casual implicit mention of homosexuality as though he had taken a bullhorn and shouted, “I’M HERE! I’M QUEER! GET USED TO IT!”
With better proportional representation of women to men and more examples of lesbian and gay characters in games, people won’t need to assume that any given single character (or three characters, as the case may be) needs to stand as exemplars for everyone else. Happiness is just a little more difficult for folks to find in the wasteland, overall.
The basic essential steps in life- childhood, adulthood and old age. Adulthood somehow is intertwined with the need of a partner to share life and the intricacies of it. Weddings and photographers have recently picked up in the recent times. Candid photography is the latest addition which is a boon in disguise for all couples. Weddings, the elaborate process of accepting not just a person but another family into the former, speak volumes of the love the couples share.
Importance of Photography in Marriages
The most essential part of life which decides the latter part of life, marriages is a match made in heaven. The different stages in life are all important but the union of marriage binds two souls as one. A person to depend on in sickness and health, to take care and be there even when it’s justified to be judgmental. We at Auromia Weddings provide the best candid photographers in Bhubaneswar as we know the importance of your D Day.
Why Auromira Weddings
We become a part of your universe as you slowly step into the complex yet beautiful union of ‘Shaadi’. It is very important for us that you are satisfied with the results which is why we want you to be comfortable and hence, a photographer who will not just capture but be a friend who understands your needs and demands. The exchanges, fights, love, sneaky glances, blossoming love etc will not be missed by us. The expense your parents go through to make your special day outstanding is something we cherish as well. From engagement to ‘Bidaai’, we have it all planned for you! And we are very loyal to any side we bat for, be it the grooms side or the bride’s team. We understand the importance of arresting the naughty moods that everyone goes through while going through the process of it.
Singing and English football seem to be a marriage made in heaven. They are sung in almost every match to create an atmosphere that supplements the actions on the pitch. One song, in particular, stood out the most. Whether you are a fan of Liverpool Football Club or not, you have probably heard of the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It has been the club anthem since the 60s and has been sung at the beginning of every match in Anfield until this date. It decorates the spectacular environment of the Anfield stadium, making the fan experience a magical feeling. The song also goes as far as other parts of Europe and the world when the Kop hits the stadiums with their scarves raising proudly.
How I imagine Severus and Hermione when they get married
In bed, he treated her the way he treated his potions. He watched her and memorised every move. He watched for her reaction when he pinched a nipple, listened for a moan when he kissed her neck and paid attention to her flinch when he bit her lips.
He loved the blush that appeared on her chest, the way she breathed deeply and let it out slowly when he entered her and how she held on to his back when she came. The fact she still blushed when they were done never failed to amuse him, always left him happy, especially as she always drew him in for one final kiss.
He rarely laughed but when he did, she loved to watch his cheeks turn red from how hard he was laughing. When he smiled she watched the way his eyes took a rare shine. Although he didn’t seem like it, he loved to hold her, she loved the feeling of his arm wrapped around her after they made love. He gave rare kisses but they were always full of love.
She loved the way he moaned out her name as he came in her, the way he held eye contact with her as he entered her, and the smile he gave whenever they were done.
They looked at each other from across the room, the noise of the others drowned out as they locked eyes. He raised his goblet for her and she returned it with a smile and blush.
They had the rest of their lives together, and they had been married just a week.
The quiet evenings of books and wine, the lustful nights of passionate sex and the afternoons spent in deep discussion and debates, the lazy mornings of early kisses and hurried hugs. All this he had with her but honestly, nothing made either of them happier than when they both confessed they didn’t want children. A match made in Heaven.
“A strong emotional involvement between Virgo and Cancer is multilayered, an experience of many dimensions. We’ll try one on for size. Not fictional, but very real. To protect the innocent (for both players in the drama are indeed innocent of a conscious intent to hurt each other), we’ll change the names, geography and such… retaining only the thread of truth that could link this Moon Maiden and her Virgo man to you and your own girl Crab - or you and your own Virgo lover. It’s much stranger than fiction, truth is, because almost always Life wins the race against man’s and woman’s limited imaginations. His name, the Virgo, is Gerald, make-believing. Her name, the Lunar lass, is Hope, for imagery.
They met and first miracled somewhere in Illinois, where they fell in love more than a dozen years ago. They are the parents of five assorted beautiful girls and boys, cherished by both of them. They have not yet married. Somehow, they can’t live together, nor can they live apart. Following a haunted karmic path, they walk along, arm-in-arm, for months of empathy and closeness. Then Gerald’s yearning begins, Hope’s sighing starts… they reach that sad, familiar fork in the road and take different directions, waving goodbye wistfully, before the last, abrupt turn - and the slow walk back alone. Time moves on, but destiny lingers. Sooner or later, there’s the memory of her lyrical laugh, her mushroom soup and patchwork quilts of warm affection. His lonely reaches its breaking point just when she’s making her wonted wish on the New Moon, and he appears at her door. Then they swaddle the babies snugly within the blankets of their reunion joy, closing out the world of her disapproving, frowning (but long-suffering) parents, and become a family again. Until it’s time for him to go, leaving, as always, a part of himself behind… to manifest itself nine months later into another living proof of the mutual need that binds them. Five times. Five angels to guide them down that remembered, dreamlike path, through the dark forest of misunderstandings. Next time, it will be six, the number of Venus. It could be different. Venus may have plans to overcome Cancer’s inconstant Moon and Virgo’s restless Mercury.
That’s the way it sometimes is with these two lovers. Especially if the Virgo man is the kind who fears that a deep involvement will cause him to lose his own identity, the common and persistent worry of both technical and astrological Virgins. Especially if the Cancerian woman is the kind who chooses the path of least resistance… motherhood and waiting… counting on the New Moon magic to weave a spell of magnetic memory to lure back the questing Virgo man who is not quite strong enough to stay, yet is unable to escape the pull of her luminous enchantment… again and again. Typically, some Moon Maidens believe that babies or money can soften any blow of Fate, anesthetize any kind of pain.
There are, naturally, other kinds of Crabs and Virgins. There’s the kind of Virgo man who smoothly adapts to the necessity of adjusting his bachelor-button antipathy to partnership, of pacing his jogging to someone else’s rhythm. He calculates the loss of his privacy against the rewards of companionship, and he remains - asking only for occasional periods of pensive apartness, time in which to wander by himself, to refresh his single-minded goals. As priests and monks are required to make “retreats,” so are all Virgo men required by their own natures to retreat and meditate alone now and then, returning from their seclusion self-revitalized and freshly sweet. Newly able to innocently believe once more in tomorrow.
The Cancerian girl who understands this need of the Virgo man she loves will take care to walk softly while he’s dreaming, find her own retreat beneath a bristlecone pine that’s maybe waited a century or so for a friend to sit beside it, sharing a silent but eloquent communion. If the Moon maid finds her own midsummer night’s dream in which to wander, those times when her Virgo man has disappeared somewhere inside himself to brood or plan - or to heal his worried mind - he’ll stay. They can harmonize themselves this way in perfect tempo, their relationship never jolted by the violent percussion of “Goodbye” - “Come back” - “What did I say or do?” - “Don’t go” - “May I come home?” - “Forgive me” - “Please don’t hurt me anymore.” It’s a matter of calmly floating with the ebb and flow of the tides between them, not trying to surfboard over waves too high and dangerous.
Then too, there are those girl Crabs who are acutely aware of Cancer’s Cardinal charisma, those Lunar-ruled females who patiently reinforce the weak or worn corners of the fabric of a relationship with concentration on a career. Her ambitions then become the vivid colors - and a love affair or marriage that wasn’t quite made in Heaven but was conceived near enough the stars to sometimes sparkle, becomes the pastel background pattern of her life. It works. It adds strength to their love. They separate each morning, and she goes her tenacious way, while he whistles happily, tinkering with engines, practicing his yoga… rewrites the dictionary, draws maps or maybe juggles those odd-shaped objects called numbers, that produce such mysterious results, whether they’re dashed and dotted in checkbooks, surveys, charts or graphs. They become sort of friendly strangers who fall in love each weekend. It satisfies her desire for change and his need for time alone to retain his friendship with himself (the person he relies on most). It allows them to love.
When they love in a physical sense, the Virgo man and his Cancerian woman blend quietly into a deep and absorbing union, in the natural way of earth and water in Nature. When the Moon’s changeable influence over her emotions is beneficent - and when he is his own normal, tranquil self - their lovemaking is a peaceful consummation of desire for both of them. But when her Moon-madness takes over, when her Lunar fluctuations are waning, causing her to be crablike and moody, she can flood his affectionate intentions with excessive emotional behavior and demands. Just as he can bruise the delicacy of her passion when he’s worried himself into irritability during the day and is unable to relax either his mind or his body. Restlessness is a contagious feeling, and they can transfer it to each other without realizing it. Then she may retreat sullenly into her shell, refusing to recognize her attitude as a rejection of his tentative wanting, and he may blame her for a cool response to his own cool advances. This is when his Virgo analytical talents would be very useful, and her Lunar gift of perception would greatly help. Yet, perversely, these periods of sexual frustration may be the very times the two of them neglect to call upon their own best qualities to clarify the breakdown of communication between them.
The Virgo man and his Moon Maiden can walk in sunshine and in rain, and recuperate from the seasonal changes in their love more often than not. They can make Valentines together, cut out cookies in the shape of New Moon Crescents, play anagrams and charades with each other because he loves to meditate on words .. and she loves to make-believe she’s more than one woman, slipping in and out of her moods like a glittering mermaid, hiding her true mother- of-pearl self in midnight silences and the brightness of noontime laughter. If their seeking is intense enough, together, these two can find whole meadows full of gentle camaraderie together… perhaps even dream a vision in the prophet’s field of Ardath… for theirs is a ‘sextiled’ vibration. In astrology, a sextile is an opportunity, and these lovers will always be showered with as many as they need for tightly mending the occasional chips and cracks in their relationship, like a continual light snowfall of little stars around them, a sextile itself being represented by the symbol of a tiny star…*
When the girl Crab becomes cranky, or her Virgo becomes critical and caustic, and they should escape into the woods, lie down together and take a moonbath, which is different from a sunbath. When you are sunbathing, you may be burned, turn all red and stinging. When you go moonbathing, especially when the Moon is phasing from waning to waxing, near its Fullness, you turn pale golden, lavender and iridescent, like a butterfly’s wing. Then, naturally, you can fly.
Another thing Virgo learns slowly but surely from his Looney Bird Moon Maiden. Gazing directly into the Sun can blind the eyes. But gazing directly into Cancer’s shimmering Moon is restful, and sometimes makes the miracle of allowing the Third Eye to see things hidden by midnight’s mystery from the sunlight. After they’ve moonbathed together, they can jump into a dinghy and sail away to the ruins of Babylon. Who knows what they might discover?”
Empress Theodora: started from the bottom now I’m literally ruling an empire
I have a love/hate relationship with the phrase “behind every great man is a great woman”. On the one hand, it’s totally true. On the other hand, it’s not exactly true because if it was it would go “behind every great man is a greatER woman”. Also, there’s this suggestion of conniving opportunism, like every single one of those great women is a Hillary Clinton type on steroids. (Nothing against Hillary Clinton; I mean, she’s a politician like the rest of them, but I’m kind of fond of her completely transparent desire to rule as our overlord.) Like there’s no such as a partnership. All of the “great women” are using their magical vaginas to control the weak-minded but charismatic men, like Kerry Washington and her eyebrow-less president on “Scandal”. (Again, nothing against Olivia Pope. I get the appeal of power. I get the desire to control politics. But at what cost, Liv? He has NO. EYEBROWS. NOT A BROW IN SIGHT.)
I’m not saying that those women never existed, because contrary to popular belief, my gender is imperfect. (Okay, that’s a lie.) But sometimes, there comes this perfect storm of a dude who actually knows what the fuck he’s doing and a lady who knows that even more so. And her dude knows that too, right? And he’s not only okay with this but completely unthreatened and supportive and–
Look, I’m not saying that Theodora and Justinian had some perfect, postmodern relationship. Because for one, I’m sure they didn’t, and for another, they did not in fact exist in the postmodern era. I know this is a shock. Justinian and Theodora presided over the Byzantine Empire, and despite the fact that “emperor” was less of a father-to-son deal and more of a “let’s give it to the coolest dude with the most cash” type position, it’s still pretty safe to say that a Byzantine empress came from noble stock, right?
No. No. You are wrong about that, sir.
Your Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2014 Collection has nothing on this.
After watching Run the Japanese version, I decide to share my thoughts to the Army about what my opinions are for their extremely deep MVs.
I have seen many, many conspiracy theories concerning the boy band that we all love. Through it all, I still refuse to think it’s about them dying or getting depressed. V did not die, Jin did not die and most certainly not any of them died. Instead from the title, ‘The most beautiful moment in life’, the central of all the stories is their youth (around the age of 16 to 24?).
Let’s remember some facts, it will make sense later on,
1. The age of our boys (Korean ages):
Rap monster 23
2. Ace of clubs – “The prime motivating force for this card is an insatiable thirst for knowledge, combined with a desire for a deep and lasting union with someone who is emotionally compatible. Hence, the Ace of Club is always looking for his or her “soul mate”, believing that true marriages are made in heaven… Once a relationship develops, they feel as though their quest for knowledge has been stymied. When they once again apply themselves to their eager quest for knowledge, they lose the love they so desired! Combining their two great loves is the key to happiness.”
3. White lilies - While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue… As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.
4. House of cards - an organization or a plan that is very weak and can easily be destroyed
My theory is that the MVs relate to their age and their journey into adulthood.
We all saw that Jin was constantly alone in many videos even in the HYYH On Stage DVD VCR. At the end, he looked back at their group photo and found himself alone. In INU, at the end (again), he pulled out the polaroid that only had him in the photo. Jin is the mathyung of the group, the oldest. Basically, he stepped into adulthood first and is stranded in this sort of Limbo state, where he is alone in the adult world while all his friends in their youth, still having fun.
Then the videos go onto the younger members.
First though, let me outline the key themes I think each video is about.
I Need U – the side effects of youth. All the sins a young person does that they later regret. Suga (unprotected sex?) burns the motel down, thinking he can burn all his faults and start anew. This talks about destroying any evidence of their faults to avoid judgement or punishment.
Jhope is the depressed teenager who wants to escape the harsh reality by terminating his life. These are real life situations and I can totally relate. As I grow older, things get more complicated and we’ve all thought of a means of escape by death. My friend had a hard life as a child and to make it even worse, she self-harms thinking it’s an alternate route to suffer the mental pain.
Anyways, bit off topic. Back to the video, Jimin tries to drown himself. However by drown, I mean to silence the world. In water, sounds become murky and hard to understand. I believe that he is trying to muffle all the criticisms one gets at this age. Adults love you less and expects more from you. School, work, universities, it all suddenly becomes too loud.
V represents the children who come from difficult families. The most known cases are domestic abuse. He is a teenager living with his mom and his abusive (supposed) dad. He hates him and wants him dead as does many children with such families.
Then we have our leader, rap monster. Rap mon in INU has a role of a typical part-time-job teen. As I have learned from many Kdramas, smoking in Korea, for a teenager, means nothing to them but a way to relive stress. In Korea, the exams are (I think) extremely harsh, and many rebellious harmonious teenagers seek release through smoking. In his rap, he said “I tried everything but can’t help”, even though the song is about love, to this day, I highly doubt that the song is anywhere near the subject of love. In this case, I think he is talking about all the stress of adolescence. In the song, Baepsae, they admit that they are the cursed generation (for more information, Google 1990s and the Asian Financial Crisis, do some research). So their parents undoubtedly expect a lot from the children. Stress from parents, stress from school, yeah you get the idea hopefully.
Last but not least, our maknae Jungkook. Jungkook is a teenage boy full of hormones. He has angers at the world that are released through fighting. He deliberately picks fights with older sunbaes in order to release that anger. However, he is not yet strong enough to fight them, instead, he just gets beaten up.
HOWEVER! We also get snapshots of them spending good times together. This is talking about friends easing the pain. It’s a very lovely message, I think. Through all these bad times, it is your friends who will stay by you always. Not your girlfriends or your parents. But your true friends. This is further explored in Run.
Prologue – I don’t wish to talk a lot about the prologue mainly because I don’t really enjoy it that much. What with V jumping off the scaffold into the water and stuff. Very grim. So I’m just going to summarise some main points:
- Jin taping everything – to keep a memory of his youth to take with him to adult land.
- V supposedly killed his abusive father. He calls Jin, who is an adult, for help. Since murders are considered as adult offences, he has no one to turn to but his adult friend Jin. He is scared of what he had done. What he is also scared of, is the adult responsibilities he has to face for his murder i.e. the courts, jail etc. Also, since Jin has already been through the supposedly harsh era of being youthful, maybe he can help V through it all.
- “you need to survive” by rap mon, because they all know that despite how much they are suffering now, in the end, they will come through it all
- Friends are not solutions but a way to ease the pain.
- In the end, friends will be there to stop you from doing things, but you do it anyways.
Run – my favourite MV. Run MV and the song talks about the positive side of youth, yes, exactly the opposite of INU. Does it really though? In this explanation I’m going to go in chronological order of when things happen in the MV. If you have a laptop nearby, play the MV and pause if you need to.
1. Rap mon drops his lollipop into his coffee. First of all, ew. Second of all, I have no idea what it means. Because if his lollipop suggests a cigarette then he literally just threw his cigarette in his coffee and drank it. Yeah, ew.
2. Rap monster is the third in line depending on their age into adulthood. The fact that he walks into the party rather than already being there suggests that he is already distancing from youth. Whereas Jimin, who greets Rap mon, is still in his youthful age. Then again, what is Jin doing there? I don’t know. Escaping from adulthood by hanging out with the young ones?
3. Again Jin is filming everything. He needs a physical memorial of the youth that they share
4. Big, red cross on Jin. This means that he is already ‘out’. Out of their groups of youthful boys.
5. Rap mon and V being rebellious. Destruction of property by vandalising walls. Typical teenager thing to do. They are telling us that they are still young, free and not afraid of anything (even the police).
6. Jin builds a house of cards (see meaning above). He is trying to say that friendship built during their youth can be very weak and easily be destroyed. No matter how good a time they are having now, this will become nothing in the future but memories. He is also questioning, will their friendship last for eternity?
7. The scene cuts back to rap mon and V running away. Rap mon looks very scared. Is he scared of the troubles that this is getting him into? V, on the other hand, looks care free, he looks back at the police and smirks (and sticks out his demonic tongue)
8. Jin’s house of cards gets destroyed. The eventual break of their friendship? I would just like to say something here. As time passes, old friends become just acquaintances, no matter how close you were, you get new friends, in new environments and forget about you old mates. Is this what he is scared of?
9. This is one of the most confusing scenes in the whole of history. Rap mon and V got caught. Rap mon smirks at V but then at the police. We then see a smiling V but the smile quickly turns into a look of surprise. Did Rap mon betray V? Was he too scared of the punishment they were supposed to share? Saying that he wasn’t part of the whole vandalising thing and framed V? is this the end of their friendship that Jin has warned about?
10. J-hope jerks awake to find Jimin waiting for him to wake up. Oh no. did he fall into the long slumber of the real world and finally woke up to his fantacy with his friends? And the ace of clubs that Rapmon found upon the feathers (see meaning above), describes Jimin and Jhope’s current relationship. Soul mates. I think it describes all of their relationships. But as all armies know, Jihope’s relationship is one of the strongest within the group, at least that’s what I think.
11. One of my favourite scenes (mainly because Yoongi is my bias and so is Jungkook). Yoongi yells at Jungkook and Jungkook tells his hyung to stop. Yoongi is almost an adult. He is leaving his youth behind but Jungkook refuses to let him go. I think Jungkook really looks up to Suga in general. Like he seems to be the arrogant kind of guy who thinks they are the best and the others think so too so they don’t say anything about it. But Yoongi doesn’t care, he still scolds the maknae as he should. They make good friends because of that and results in Jungkook looking up to the older boy. This is why Jungkook really doesn’t want Yoongi to leave him behind. Jungkook hugs Yoongi only to be pushed away again. Does Yoongi want to leave his youth behind? Jungkook pleads for him to stay. Their friendship, like the broken mirror, like the fallen house of cards, tears into pieces.
12. Another one of my favourite scenes, Jungkook in a room full of partying people, sitting there looking at them as if he was in a dream. The camera zooms in on him and then zooms out again to reveal that there is no one there! What a plot twist (love me some plot twists). I love this scene because it completely pros my point. Jungkook is the youngest one, he is the last one to even reach 19 (the adult age in Korea) so obviously he is the last one to leave his youth. And until then, one by one of their hyungs will become mature adults and leave him to his youth, alone. He looks at the mirror and sees himself still as a boy. Oh and btw, Yoongi broke that mirror because he, inside, is no longer the boy he sees in the mirror, his outside.
13. There’s this really short (and cute) scene of Yoongi finding (a wild) an unconscious Jimin on the floor. Did Jimin just turn into an adult? Is Yoongi there to the rescue?
14. In the photobooth, we don’t really fully see Jungkook. Are they trying to say that, don’t worry Jungkook, even though we don’t look youthful anymore, we are still the fun people you once knew. We will not leave you alone in this scary world. Most importantly, we will not forget you.
15. Jhope alone on a hospital bed. He falls asleep back into his fantasy world with his friends (on Jimin’s lap). They all meet up in this surreal world.
16. Jungkook, alone, is once again found. He looks down at Jin. The maknae looking at the mathyung. Youngest and oldest. Their difference he realised, isn’t that great. Despite the age difference, they are very much alike.
17. The WTF is happening scene where they vandalised every single car in the tunnel. Well done them, very subtle. this shows their rebellious youthful side.
18. The ‘everybody hang out in the bath tub’ scene. A message to us armies, even though they are older, they are still the youthful, fun boys we met 3 years ago in ‘No more dream’. They didn’t change except for their age (and hair). They are still reckless and full of energy.
19. The ending, resolution to everything. A message to Jin. “It’s okay, we are fine. Life is hard but we are surviving.” They run away together as a group. Away from the problems, as long as they are together, life is fine. Rap mon, in the end did not betray V, they ran away together to find the others. They are still together as one. The house of cards as Jin dreaded, does not exist and will never exist.
20. Also their running scene on the highway (?), I love it. It reminds me of their song Kil or ‘Road’, where they talked about their journey together as a group. They have come this far together, they will ‘run’ into the future together.
21. Jungkook smiles at Jin to reassure him that it’s fine. “We will come find you. But for now, we will enjoy as much of our youth as we can”.
Thank you for reading all this and thank you for putting up with my terrible English (there’s a reason why I dropped English right after my GCSEs). Also, the fact that I wrote an almost 2500 word essay just on their MVs, shows how much I love and appreciate our Bangtan Boys. Like I hate writing essays, and analysing stuff. But I had fun writing this. My first original piece. I hope people will agree with me on this, because I simply cannot live to think that they are about them dying. Nope.
P.s. The burning lilies…
i think they mean the dying of their innocence as boys. They are turning into a group of (fine) young men. I love them. So, so much.
So get this. The popular consensus among the SPN audience is that Dean is the funnier brother. Pop culture references, physical comedy, general clowning about, Dean and humour are a marriage made in heaven. Crowley, in his infinite wisdom, insists that Sam is more basic, more sincere. He is. But it wouldn’t do to overlook the fact that Sam also says the darnedest things sometimes. With the straightest faces. He has such a gift for the deadpan, you see. I’ve got to hand it to the writers of the show. They make me crack up real hard. And sometimes, Sam ends up being funny without even intending to be so. All of this results in some pretty quotable quotes. And apparently, I have a thing for making lists about things on which several lists have already been made. So here’s one more, in celebration of Sam Winchester’s subtle, but effective funniness. There were too many funny lines to choose from in some seasons and too slim pickings in others. Off the top of my head, I’ve picked 10 funny Sam quotes from the ten seasons respectively and also my personal reactions to them. He’s sassy and blunt in most, adorably innocent in some, and clueless in the others:
1. ‘You smell like a toilet.’ – Sam to Dean in Pilot. Me: Things to tell your brother after he fell out of a bridge and then dragged himself out of a dirty river.
2. ‘Well you are kind of butch. They probably think you are overcompensating.’- Sam to Dean in Playthings. Me: Burn! That’s for all the girl jokes. 3. ‘I lost my shoe.’ - Sam to Dean in Bad Day at Black Rock. Me: *can’t speak, brain liquefied with the force of cute*
4. ‘Did you try turning it off and then on?…Okay, go and turn it off…No, no, no. No. Just off. Alright, give it a second…Turn it back on…Okay is it…is it printing now? Great. Anytime.’- Sam Wesson on the phone to random person calling Tech Support in It’s A Terrible Life. Me: Press the vampire bobble head on your desk with a pencil Sam…now let it go…press it down again…try striking it from the side…press down once more for good luck…let it go again…Okay, was it bobbing? Great. Anytime.
5. ‘Should I honk?’ - Sam as Impala to Dean after he finishes yelling for Gabriel in Changing Channels. Me: WTF Sammy! You’re an honest to god car now and you still gotta sass?
6. ‘Third kind already? You better run man. I think the fourth kind is the butt thing.’- Soulless Sam on the phone to Dean who’s attempting to escape a probable alien abduction in Clap Your Hands If You Believe. Me: (shakes finger at Sam) Your obsession with ‘probing’ needs to be analyzed in depth. For science.
7. ‘Are you gonna look up more anime or are you strictly into Dick now?’- Sam to Dean in Time After Time. Me: Wordplay alert! But seriously, thanks for not saying ‘cartoon smut’ again.
8. ‘You rode a farty donkey.’ & ‘I’m gonna follow the hotel manager Dr. Scowley-scowl. He’s like a villain from Scooby Doo.’- Sam to Dean in The Great Escapist. Me: Are you hearing yourself right now Sam? Wait. You’re sick from the trials and so out of it all. I’m sorry for laughing at you baby.
9. ‘You’re not the only one who’s ever dated someone bendy.’- Sam to Dean in The Purge. Me: Was that before or after you found out about Lisa?
10. ‘I’m lactose intolerant, so.’- Sam to Beverly in Ask Jeeves. Me: Things to tell your hosts at dinner when you don’t want their cheese.
And that’s done folks. A regular Sam Winchester laugh-a-thon over the years. But no post on Sam being funny can be complete without writing about his various facial expressions, gestures and body language. In fact Sam has the unique ability to induce humour with a single eyebrow raise or that thing he does by curling his lips in the equivalent of a shrug or his famous ’bitchface’. Nonverbal communication skills at its best, I say. Bottom line is that Sam Winchester can be plenty funny as well.
P.S. - I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to favourite Sam quotes.
Ace of Club - Desire for Knowledge This card has many meanings but one meaning stood out to me the most which is that the “Ace of Clubs represents an eager search for knowledge”. The main motivating force for this card is an uncontrollable thirst for knowledge, combined with a desire for a deep and lasting union with someone who is emotionally compatible. Hence, the Ace of Club is always looking for his or her “soul mate”, believing that true marriages are made in heaven.
Which is why I chose to include a woman drawing (or writing), a lady learning a musical instrument, and a beautiful couple where the male is lovingly showing his lady the beauty of the world as they share their curiosities.
Peanut Butter Cups Makes 12–16 mini-muffin-sized cups
It’s hard to resist the combination of peanut butter and chocolate; it’s one of those marriages made in foodie heaven. Here’s my quick take on a much-loved classic. I’ve chosen not to temper the chocolate in this instance, but feel free to do so if you’re after a more classy treat. But whichever way you make these, as always, use the best chocolate that you can lay your hands on.
2 oz white chocolate, chopped 1⁄3 cup crunchy peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped 5 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped 3 tablespoons finely chopped salted peanuts
Equipment 24-hole mini-muffin pan Pretty paper or foil Mini-muffin cases
Line the mini-muffin pan with paper cases.
Start by preparing the peanut-butter filling. Put the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and melt either in 10-second blasts in the microwave on a low setting, or over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix to combine and set aside.
Place the milk and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until silky smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each paper case, then spoon roughly 1 level teaspoon of the peanut butter and white chocolate mixture into each cup, flattening the mixture slightly with the back of the spoon. Cover the peanut butter with another teaspoon of melted chocolate and tap the pan gently on the work surface, so that the chocolate covers the peanut butter in a smooth layer.
Sprinkle the peanuts over the top of each chocolate cup and leave in a cool spot until completely firm before serving.
Peanut Butter Cups will keep for 1 week in an airtight box in a cool place.
Alongside Bell’s wonderful Two Hearted, lisaseifer and lesseifer sent me a trio of the Michigan brewery’s stouts as part of our transatlantic beer trade. I’d seen pictures and read posts about all three from the craft beer community on here and Instagram and was suitably excited to try them all, particularly Expedition Stout which had taken on a somewhat mythical status in my sometimes worryingly over active mind.
So, where to start? How about Kalamazoo Stout (6.0% abv), brewed with brewers licorice y'say? Well now that sounds like fun, tastes pretty damned good as well. This stuff is really roasty, far more roasty than I expected in fact. Great news! Undertones of black treacle, licorice (bet y'didn’t see that coming), toffee, and vanilla support the bold French roast coffee and toasted cacao nib flavours. It starts off medium sweet but finishes bitter and charred. A great start!
Next up was Java Stout (7.5% abv), stout and coffee is a marriage made in heaven. Kinda like stout and chocolate, or stout and licorice, or stout and vanilla, ooh or stout and vanilla ice cream, or stout and chocolate ice cream, or… *ahem* This stuff packs an entire metric fuckton of coffee into every bottle (trufax) and the rich, roasty flavours of that coffee join cocoa, more coffee, caramel, even more coffee, and some coffee to deliver a decadent, sumptuous beer that kinda resembles a cold brew coffee (yeah no shit) topped off with malted milk and dusted with cocoa powder. Yup it’s that good.
The legendary Expedition Stout (10.5% abv) rounded things off, and what a way to end! It’s a wonderfully thick and smooth brew loaded with all the luxurious dark roast malt flavours I coulda hoped for. Coffee and dark chocolate mix with rich stewed fruits, there’s raisins, figs, cherries, and dates all gettin’ in on the action. Hints of vanilla, liquorice and molasses join in and there’s a very mild hop bitterness that helps take the edge off the initial sweetness, though it’s still sweeter than an old school (or new example of an old school, if that makes sense) English style impy. Anyhoo, it’s a truly fantastic beer, up there with my very favourite American imperial stouts.
And so my all to brief dalliance with Bell’s Brewery ends, they’ve certainly made a fine impression on me and I hope that someday soon they’ll find themselves in a position to begin distributing at least some of their delicious beers to this side of the pond. Thank’s again to Lisa and Les, these really have been wall to wall awesome! You sure know how to pick ‘em.