aa they should be at the same time ; 3 ;

Girls final season: Hannah & Adam

With the final season of Girls here (a show that there isn’t typically a disk sitting in my Blue Ray player ready to go) I am very sad. As I listen to the music used in the show, certain songs remind me of favorite scenes. Seriously, I feel like openly crying. (I probably will a few times before I get over it.) I am going to REALLY miss seeing new episodes, but at the same time, thankful that I was able to discover this show and the brilliant mind that is Lena Dunham. To have a woman listed as Creator, Writer, Director, Producer, Actress…we need to see a lot more of this.

In a recent interview, Adam Driver assured us that season 6 is “ending on a note that they can control, that it seemed to make sense. It’s not just an arbitrary ending.” Lena recently said her and Jenni made “hard” decisions this season. I used to think that I wouldn’t be satisfied unless Hannah and Adam got back together. I mean, after all, the show did spend a hell of a lot of time with the ins and outs of these two, but now I am thinking a show like this will probably not end easy in many ways and not in a “happily ever after” way either. I think we will see the girls grow, but at the same time, I am not so sure that includes Hannah, or even Jessa, ending up with anyone. The show is ultimately about these girls and their friendships after all, and in the long run, they really don’t like anything getting in the way of that friendship…..including a man.

For some reason, in season 5, the egomaniacal Hannah is the biggest mess ever. As an aspiring writer, we know about her endless desire to pursue interests and different experiences for a good story. This has led her at times to be self-centered and self-destructive, however, it seems like lately, she has been trying extra hard to just test everything. Showing her crotch to her boss, trying to blow Ray, the ridiculous fights with Fran (“Oh, Hannah wants to do something rude, disruptive, and inappropriate. What a twist.”) and her talent to bring unprofessionalism in the work place to (an albeit hilarious) new high, are a few examples of the more, irrational ways Hannah has been acting out. It was all heading towards her growing and taking a big step forward in her life. Besides where she wants to go, what she wants to do as she gets older, one truth she has to face, I believe, is her lingering feelings for Adam.

Adam. In the first season, he starts out as sort of a creepy, “emotionally tone-deaf” sex addict that Hannah was in pursuit of. We wondered why she was bothering with him as he was not exactly “boyfriend material”. He was working on homemade “wood working” in his work shop which was his mess of an apartment. (Not so sure the genius even had a plan on how to get that boat out of the front door if he ever completed it!) He was just this non-committal guy that Hannah would have sex with when he felt like returning her text messages or answering his phone. (For the first 6 episodes, we weren’t even sure if he owned a shirt!) None of Hannah’s friends had ever met him, and the first proof of his exsistance to Marnie (besides the occasional bruise on Hannah’s ass) was a dick pic he accidentally sent to Hannah that wasn’t even meant for her!

As a couple, we get to see Adam grow more as a character we care about. He is still quirky and intense, but having Hannah to give advice to, share his interests with and love, helped make him a better person. A person we cared about and found intriguing as well. When he does do something as normal as eventually say “I love you” or suggest that they move in together, Hannah (after being conditioned to expect anything from him from bad treatment to extreme sweetness) reacts like it’s way too soon for either one of them. It was all moving too quickly for her and I don’t think she trusted him yet, or wanted the newness of the chase to be over. Adam had his mind made up with his tunnel vision and he was in it “for the long haul” so of course, he has a hard time with their first break up: “My desire for you cannot be repressed. And to quit my pursuit would be to shirk self-respect and abandon my own manhood, and that’s not going to happen.” He wrote and performed horrible (hilarious) songs which he sent her to watch and was kind of stalkerish for a bit. It proved to be very hard for him to let go. Not too sure if he ever really does. So we have Adam trying to feverishly move forward without totally letting Hannah heal from his past not-so-nice treatment, and we have Hannah kind of playing with his emotions and not really being too empathetic to his state of mind.

Regardless of Hannah’s self-absorption (all the Girls seem to have this issue from time to time) and Adam’s sometimes callousness, there still seems to be some kind of connection that thrives between them. (“Hannah is accepting of my brand of difficult.”) Adam cleaned up his act some and we get to see him at AA and learn more about what made him tick. While he was dating Natalia, and ran into Hannah in front of the bar, it really did something to him. (I love the way Driver’s voice got all raspy as he asked her to put on some pants.) He, the ex-alcoholic, went back in and after seeing her, had to order an alcoholic beverage, which led to one of the eventual reasons of that relationship coming to an end. The song playing was Fiona Apple’s “Valentine” and it surely wasn’t about Natalia. (Adam messing with his ear like a nervous habit, odd coincidence to what Hannah was going through?) We know now that if Hannah can affect him in this way, then he obviously must have feelings for her. He never stopped loving her in his own way, and he is there for her hard core. As he ran to her across the city during her most desperate time, when she felt the most lost, never fails to bring tears to my eyes. (the heavy mood is lightened a bit when while running, he has to suggest that a driver “go suck a fucking spikey one”) With the dramatic music playing while he runs to Hannah is just so emotional and it is beautiful and very romantic, the most romantic scene ever in Girls. He is there for her. He cares for her. He loves her. “I was always here”.

By season 3 end, Sackler’s acting career turned into his new addiction. Hannah panics at some people warning her of how Adam is going to change with his new career instead of just trusting him and seeing how it all works out. She always has had a knack for taking bad opinions and advice to heart instead of trusting a bit more in herself. She develops a codependency on Adam just when he wants some space to learn his lines and do this right. He just wants his first show on Broadway to be perfect. Of this he assured her. She has a hard time sharing Adam with his new endeavor, because not all of his attention can be on her. When she finally gets accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Adam does berate her for telling him at the wrong time, by which he means the wrong time for him. (Although, letting him know minutes before he hits the stage of his opening night show was probably not the best.) Once again, he takes it hard, as did Jessa, which I felt was selfish of her, as she always had a knack of simply disappearing from time to time on her friends. I never really understood the whole guilt trip on Hannah for accepting school and attempting to better her career. It was at this point that I wondered why the girls even kept trying so hard to stay friends. They are not even very nice to each other. Adam and Hannah never officially break up, but seeing the sadness and loss in his eyes as she left was rough. The morning she was leaving, he couldn’t even face saying goodbye. He pretended to still be sleeping. We realized that part of him would always love her.

After trying Iowa, Hannah found she didn’t like the distance away from Adam, (not real sure why they seemed to have stopped communicating) among other factors at the school, and decided to come home, just a month later. Upon returning to her apartment, she shockingly found out that Adam had gotten a new girlfriend and Hannah didn’t even know they’d broken up! Yes, at the same time it was left sort of open ended, but it didn’t seem to have taken him anytime at all to move on. This was heart breaking, her surprise and desperation, truly a very rough episode to watch. We find that Jessa knew about it the whole time while Adam was putting Hannah’s belongings in storage. To make matters worse, she had selfishly worked at hooking Adam up with Mimi Rose simply because she wanted to get with Mimi’s ex, Ace. Some friend, eh? It was so hard watching him basically tell Hannah that he was not in love with her anymore (but we knew better) and he was “trying something out". What a nice surprise to come home to! Mimi Rose was the opposite of Hannah to the extreme, and really didn’t ‘need’ him, she liked having him around. It was a one-sided relationship for the most part, Adam’s side. It was a bad choice for him as he discovered that he does want a partner that loves and needs him a bit more than that. (But maybe not as needy as Hannah) A while after that relationship ended, Adam turns around and begs desperately with Hannah to come back to him. “I just think I was confused, and I think I made a mistake. I miss you so badly.” He tries to reach for her. With how he hurt her so deeply, the wound was still fresh. With her self-respect in full force for once, Hannah says, “I can’t do that” and stands her ground despite Adam’s pleas. He insists “yes, you can” like it should be an easy choice. Did he think she would just come running back to him? With tears in both their eyes, (and ours) it was still nice to see her hold her own and turn him down. Truly a moving scene.

I really enjoy everything about the show, it’s all brilliant, but Hannah and Adam’s relationship, is to me, quite a lot of what makes Girls the show that it is. I cried with Hannah like a baby as her bottom lip quivered in heartache and betrayal when she realized at the play that Adam and Jessa were together. When he made eye contact with her, his look said so much. There was some pain there and just so much not said. Hannah tells Tally she was probably just using Fran to get over Adam and that Adam is the only man she’s ever truly loved. (a bit of foreshadowing)  She was feeling left out and confused, “The worst part is, I miss them both. I love them both so much I don’t know who to warn about the other one.”

The end of season 5, Adam (who sure has come along way since we first met him) has like the biggest, most outrageous reaction anytime Hannah is mentioned, it’s like he is trying so, so hard to break that connection to her. He tries to turn it into hatred and blame. Then there is Jessa, who at the same time, got a guilty conscience, dredging everything back up to the surface when he is trying to forget Hannah. Jessa, who constantly over the seasons has a knack for telling other people to “grow up” but seems to not be capable of taking her own advice. She and Adam butt heads over everyday things and can’t even get through babysitting his niece. When Jessa cannot illicit his total attention away from the baby after it barfs on her and she wants Adam’s help to clean up, (in mid-season four he did call her out on being manipulative) asks her to stop, “You’re an adult. She’s a baby. Why do you need more help than a baby?“ With the tension thick, Jessa takes it out on Adam which leads to an unnecessary (but entertaining) blow-out between the two. She blames him for getting between her and Hannah (were they ever truly friends?) and basically spells out their doomed relationship: “I’m a hateable kind of person. I don’t know why, I can’t help it, but I know, I know that I have principles and one thing I don’t do is steal people’s boyfriends. But you ruin that. Don’t you see that?! I’ll never forgive you. I will NEVER forgive you for that. We could die in the same bed and I will never forgive you!” I really don’t think there is any coming back from that, at least nothing long term anyway.

Hannah did show some growth with her story at The Moth Story Slam. She admitted, “I’m Hannah forever. No matter what I do. No matter whether I start a nuclear crisis with my emotions or if just sit back and chill and give someone a fruit basket. I can only control the mayhem that I create around me.” she told the room, explaining the note she left outside of Jessa and Adam’s door that read, “Good luck. I mean that sincerely. In perpetuity, Hannah.” However, she heard them fighting and was relieved to not be inside there. “I heard screaming and I heard my name and I heard madness. And I knew that I was free. At least for tonight.” she says. Hard to keep a dry eye. This was a huge step for her. When it comes to Hannah and Adam, I don’t think I have cried or felt more emotionally attached to fictional characters in all my life. (and I don’t think Frankie Valli has ever made me cry before).

In the season 6 opener, we do see a more thoughtful Hannah. We learn that the New York Times had her write her story to be published in their Modern Love column. She appears to still not be holding a grudge, but the same cannot be said about Jessa, (for some reason) as she refuses to read Hannah’s column. Adam on the other hand, read it with deep interest with a bit of a hurt expression on his face. Seeing their story in print did mean something as I think he realized some truths. (It’s the only time we see him looking serious, about anything, in the episode.)

Hannah still doesn’t seem entirely satisfied with her life, but she is on a new assignment away from NYC, where she becomes open and more relaxed. She is still silly, entertaining, awkward Hannah getting drunk on the dance floor, spilling drinks all over herself, pointing at the surf instructor/rapper and proclaiming “I know him! He’s my surf teacher! I’m gonna fuck him!” (a favorite moment and why we love her) She was able to forgo some of her usual rage impulses even after Paul-Louis admitted to having an open-relationship girlfriend. This was really a change in attitude, she was not happy about it but I think she did learn from Paul-Louis maybe something to think about:  “It’s so much easier to love something than to hate it, don’t you think? Love is the easiest thing in the world. Hate takes energy, loves makes vibes.”

We find Adam in an opposite situation. It seems he and Jessa decided to stay together, even as that means that they have been seemingly estranged from the rest of the group of friends. They are holed up in the apartment not even having the decency to get dressed when Ray comes over, or to answer a text, and they are just being obnoxious. Ray said why he didn’t want to go in there: “its repulsive” and “smells like they are always reheating fish”. (Are they doing drugs?) Not quite sure what is wrong with them. Kind of seems like Adam took a few steps backward. So, I am guessing he still has some emotional growing to do, which I am sure, will work it’s way out over the season.

Lena recently said “The show’s never been about that traditional connection, where it’s four best friends who just can’t get enough of each other. So to do a traditional everybody-gets-their-happy-ending finale didn’t feel right. At the same time, we wanted people to have the satisfaction of closure. I think we found kind of a creative way to do that. We’ll see if other people feel the same way.”  If she did feel that Adam and Jessa could make it, then they will. (However, eventually they would kill each other and we all know it’s only a matter of time before the next battle) Maybe no one “ends up” with anyone. Maybe Hannah does find the right man for her and it is not Adam. Perhaps Hannah doesn’t need or want a boyfriend for right now. Hannah and Jessa could rekindle their friendship and it doesn’t include any man between them or maybe this time their friendship is beyond repair. Adam could land a killer theater gig or movie role out of the state or country. All I know is how I feel, and for myself, after all the emotions and all the tears I have shared with Hannah and Adam, and with all that build up, shared history, and connection they seem to have, it’s just a lot of time spent on their story if they don’t figure it out.

My husband recently pointed out that Hannah shouldn’t get back with Adam, she deserves better, “Adam has been a dick.” Yes, he has and yes, he can be. “They have been abusing the shit out of each other for years,” Lena has said of unexpected support of Hannah and Adam as an OTP. Its been messy, sure, but people grow. Maybe they give it a try and are forced to come to terms that they would be heading down the same path and eventually keep hurting each other, making the difficult, yet, adult decision that they can’t be together. I am really leaning towards the no one ends up with anyone route. If not as a couple, I like to think that they will at least remain something to each other.

Anyway, I am pretty confident the love is still there in some form or another. To me that is partly what this show has been about. After everything they have been through, deep down inside, I will always feel they should finally be together…and happily ever after.

hey!! as a high school senior in the middle of college apps, i figured i could give some tips on the process for my fellow classmates & any underclassmen trying to start early (pro tip: start as early as you can!) so yeah, here are my tips for teacher recs, the first post in my college apps guide series!

choosing your teachers:

  • choosing who should write your recommendation can be a stressful process, but it’s the first step! whoever you choose depends on a lot of factors, including: how well they know you personally, how well they know you academically, and how well they know what you’ve done & what you do. also, oftentimes colleges require teachers of specific subjects depending on your major, so keep that in mind too. it can be very beneficial to have a teacher who teaches in the field of your chosen major so they can give a perspective on your academic success in that subject.
  • generally colleges take two recommendations, so it’s important to make sure that your rec letters are a good blend of perspectives and that they are not going to be the same letter. two similar recs are not effective, and you may as well send in one. so when choosing your teachers, make sure that they can bring varying points of view to your letter of rec.
  • a teacher may know you well academically and personally, or know what you’ve done and who you are, so if possible, you want to get all three perspectives within your two recs, and it’s ok if one of them is repeated. however, the one thing you don’t want is a teacher whose class you didn’t do to great in, even if they know you well. i would personally say to completely rule out that kind of teacher, but if they know you 100% and have seen you grow and change, then i suppose that rec may be viable- but it’s still not the best idea.

requesting your recs:

  • this is a pretty formal process, so you don’t want to mess up too terribly. you’re essentially asking your teachers to tell a college why it should accept you, so you want to approach them very tactically.
  • unless you’re asking them over the summer, approach them in person. this establishes that you care enough about their rec that you can meet with them & reminds them of who you actually are so you’re more than just a name asking for a recommendation.
  • be nice & throw in the compliments (but not too many). you want to sound as genuine as possible, so lay it thick but not too thick. tell them you loved their class & why you loved their class.
  • and then mention that you’re applying to colleges this fall and would be honored if they could write a rec for you.
  • those are the basics. a lot of people also give gifts to their teachers, either when asking for a rec or sometimes after. this isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s a nice gesture and makes them happy!

what to provide:

  • even if a teacher knows you well, it makes things a lot easier for the both of you if you put a majority of your info on paper. many teachers or schools provide forms for you to fill out, but if they don’t, here’s what you could give them:
  • a resume, with enough descriptions of positions you’ve held & things you’ve done for them to get the whole picture
  • a brag sheet, covering your activities, grades, plans for the future, obstacles you’ve overcome, what you’d like them to highlight, etc… basically put everything you want them to know about you.
  • whatever you provide them with, make sure it also has: some of your grades or gpa on it, the colleges you’re applying to, and your intended major (if you’re undecided then just let them know you’re undecided)
  • time!! time is so important. teachers have lives and other things to do, and you’re asking a huge favor when requesting a recommendation, so please keep time in mind, especially if you’re applying early somewhere! they should at least have 2-3 weeks to write your rec (at least!)
  • also remember an envelope with postage stamp and all that jazz if they’re mailing the rec letter in. and if you’re requesting a rec online, make sure you actually send in that request. even if you’ve asked them for a rec, that request is your responsibility.

other things to do:

  • check in with your teachers some time after you’ve asked them for a rec, especially if you’ve electronically requested one, to make sure everything’s reached them.
  • stay friendly with them, try to smile if you see them in the halls, just be a nice person in general. once again, they’re telling a college why it should take you. you want to make a continuously good impression!
  • ++ a lot of these tips apply for counselor recs too! your counselor pretty much knows they’re writing a rec for you, but you definitely want to make that request (online or in person if that’s how it’s done) and check up with them + make sure you’re nice to them and they know you. they should be able to recognize your face & know some of what you’ve done around the school.

more masterposts!!

i think there’s an important process to know for teacher recs & i hope i covered everything in enough detail! recs are a very important part of your application, so please don’t push them to the side! anyway, i hope this helps!! keep shining like the star you are and remember to be awesome today!!

- Aza

Forgotten Facts: Assassin’s Apprentice

A list of pieces of information I either never noticed or forgot about, gathered during my reread. Posts for the other Farseer novels to follow.

1. Chivalry Farseer, despite never appearing in person, is mentioned at least once in every single chapter of this book save the two-page epilogue.

2. Nighteyes (presumably) makes his first appearance at the end of the book, not in Royal Assassin; unless we are to assume that it is Hap speaking when Fitz tells us that “Somewhere, a friend says softly, ‘No.’”

3. Cob, the stablehand to whom Burrich briefly entrusts Fitz and little Nosy to when they first arrive in Buckkeep (”Are you hungry, then, fitz? Shall we go find you a bite?”), is the same person who becomes Regal’s - and runs into the room to melodramatically warn Prince Rurisk that Fitz has apparently poisoned the wine.

4. Fitz’s first spoken line is ‘Boy’.

5. Chivalry and Rurisk were together when Chivalry was told about Fitz and they talked about how Chivalry should react.

6. The first time we meet Regal, he’s in scarlet (as opposed to Buck blue - and everyone’s familiar with the later red/blue dichotomy in the trilogy).

7. Hod is the first character to call Fitz “Fitz” with a capital “F”; before that he’s “boy”, “fitz” or “the fitz” (except when he’s “Newboy” in the town).

8. “It was common knowledge in the keep that the King’s Fool could not abide the light of day” (AA, p140)

9. The Fool once told Fitz that he should not wear yellow (AA, p229). It’s not clear if this was referring to a singular occasion, or that Fitz should not ever wear yellow. 

10. Chyurda is a very musical language; Fitz notes that “the note of word was as important as the pronounciation” (AA p387)

Some AA!verse Steve/Tony prompts:

  • Steve or Tony get kidnapped by one of their numerous enemies (Red Skull, Attuma, MODOK, Squadron Supreme, Dracula, Zemo, Strucker, Hydra Goon #3, Ultron…), hijinks ensue. 
  • Steve and Tony make a bet, winner gets to spend some time with the loser, loser gets the same. Somewhere along the way, REALIZATIONS!
  • Kamala writes a Steve/Tony fanfic, Kamala’s fanfic comes true in front of her eyes (she sees Steve and Tony kiss, hold hands…), Kamala thinks she’s got reality-bending powers.
  • What if in 1x05 Dracula managed to bite Steve and then disappeared, so now Steve’s a vampire and Tony looks the moste deliciouse.
  • 5 times Steve had to wear Tony’s armor and 1 time he willingly put it on.
  • Steve disappears (SHIELD work, solo  mission…) for a while, when he comes back his room in the tower has been Tony’d (ice cream machine and those screens Tony mentioned in 3x03, designer furniture and bedding, gadgets everywhere!). REALIZATIONS! Steve keeps some of it for Tony who’s going to become a regular in Chez Stebe.
  • Ultron figures out that the best way to defeat Tony is to take away Steve, because they’re in love and love is the ultimate human weakness [evil robotic laughter]. Unfortunately, Steve and Tony still haven’t figured that one out. Cue embarrassment on all fronts.
  • Peter (Spider-man), Kamala (Ms Marvel) and Dante (Inferno) meet and talk about Steve and Tony, their impressions. They bicker about the best name for the duo (Superhusbands vs. Ironshield vs. some third name)
  • As Steve and Tony become more and more comfortable with each other, Steve pretty much ditches his sky cycle in favor of riding Iron Man. The newspapers and TV channels capture them in a number of indecent poses. Megan McLaren asks a question for the ages: Should our heroes look like a flying Kama Sutra illustration? We’ll hear from our resident expert after a tiny commercial break.
  • You know how Steve and Tony are kind of Sam’s dads in this verse? Tony is his tech-making, science dad, Steve is his outdoorsy, tactics-mentor dad. Maybe when he spends time with them, they love to talk about the other in a cute way, which is how Sam realizes that his two “dads” are in love. So a Sam POV thing where he could help push them a bit, or wait for them to come to his conclusion by themselves.
  • The Avengers go undercover at a fancy dress party. Steve and Tony can’t keep their eyes and hands off each other (it’s so rare for them to see each other all dressed up), so much so the other Avengers have to constantly remind them they’re on a mission and should behave.
  • T’Challa is back, only this time, he has time to check out Tony’s lab. Contrary to his previous words, he finds Tony’s work fascinating now that he sees it up close. He’s very verbal about it, and Tony is flattered and verbal in return. Steve otoh is jealous and quiet. He didn’t know one should be a tech whiz and speak High Gibberish to get a smile like that from Tony. REALIZATIONS! 
  • On the same note, Tony could get jealous of Captain Marvel and her and Steve’s banter.

My humble contribution to the More AA!Stony Fanworks cause. :)

Use as you like.

Q&A Saturday!

Thank you for the questions! I saved some as prompts for later, so if it’s not answered, hopefully they’ll be a drawing or comic to come with it in the future! ; 7 ; /)

They sort of know each other! Forrest knows Carmine as Coral’s close friend and teammate, while Carmine is a lil too shy to directly interact with Forrest. And only pink team knows about his crush (and later Olive from Coral) but Forrest will remain oblivious for quite a while due to Carmine’s not doing much about it. Wish these boys luck! <3

Omg, LOL! I’m glad you like my green characters! Cable and Forrest are always happy to get more love. <3

(Leave Carmine alone you three)

This was actually my first thought too! He gave me a strong sense of being Demi-boy but I welcome any interpretation of him! <3

I’m glad you like them! And the idea of Coral being trans is v cute! Q A Q

The great thing about Splatoon (assuming they keep the same mechanic) is that you don’t technically have to choose! Unlike most games, you can always switch to the other squid kid whenever you like! So be whatever you feel like at the moment and enjoy the best out of both worlds! <3

//SCREAMS. ALL THE GAY SQUIDS.

I get a lil confused when I hear ocs, I’m sorry! Not sure whether you mean humans or squid au, but the answers would be the same! ; 7 ; 

Dario and Garrett LOVES Tower control, they had a picture of riding a tower together! Mei loves Splatzones and Rainmaker, and Gabby + Jaleena loves Rainmaker too! <3 Kathy and Cable don’t really like ranked too much and prefer Turf Wars, but I think they’d both enjoy Splat Zones the most. And for Koi, it’s Tower Control!

Kathy likes making animal puns/play on words, and Sana cracks a few here and there too! <3

Kathy’s apartment doesn’t allow them to keep pets around so they tried not to look for any (since they love animals too much), but when the same lil slug kept hanging around their place, they quickly got attached! So lil’ Cotton stays at Cable’s place but rest assured, he’s in good hands. <3

Aaaa they’d be the buns that are always cuddling together. <3

If you’re looking for squid bios, I have them all here! (Altho I should update and then make one for the humans too) I’ll write the original human form, but some things will be missing because spoilers!

Dario: Jock type, strong, fit, a bit of a nutritionist, struggles with emotions and intimacy and is a bit of a arrogant, bigoted dick at first (but gets better)! Enjoys soccer as his great passion and career choice!

Garrett: Punk/Poser type, was really withdrawn at first, but now is incredibly cocky. Can’t sleep at nights and struggles with depression and anxiety and holds a lot of insecurities. Because of it, he has a strong sense of loyalty and protectiveness to his friends.

Kathy: Hippie/Activist type, grew up surrounded with love for nature, constantly fights to preserve and protect it. Socially anxious in public but quite friendly in private.

Cable: All-around type, enjoys people, making friends, and pleasing those friends. Grew up taking the big brother role early in his life, and therefore tends to be a little more maternal towards the others. Helps too much for his own good, and struggles with self-image. 

(These are the main four, there’s more but I can’t list them all yet, and the others will be kept short)

Mei: Mean Girl type, Dario’s best friend, loves fashion and social hangouts, thrives for attention.

Gabby: Jock/Skater Chick type, enjoys being with her group. Known to be intimidating to some, but a goofball to others. 

Jaleena: Grouch type, seem to hates everyone and everything, yet seem to be friends with the nicest of people. Enjoys their company but will never admit to it.

Sana: Klutz/Carefree type, very clumsy but has a big heart. She enjoys making the best out of everything and keeps to the positive. 

Hope that was okay! <3

I’ve actually cried a lil at this… I’m dead…. that’s so cute…… can I please ask on who? 

Aa! My fave splatoon map is Piranha Pit! I just LOVE that map with a tri-slosher and even more to play on with Tower Control! <3 Tied for second place I think would be Skatepark and Arowana mall!


That’s all the asks I can answer for today! Thank you for all the questions! I hope you all enjoyed this, it was was a lot of fun to do! Please don’t hesitate to send me more to answer next time and see you all next Saturday! <3 

Quick Announcements: Video’s coming out on Monday, I really hope you’re as hyped as I am, it was a lot of work to do! ; o;  Also remember the giveaway is still going on, please consider entering your squid kiddos!


Thanks for reading! Bye! Love you all and have a lovely weekend!! <3

Things that Tumblr and South Park agree on.
  • Men and women are not inherently superior or inferior to each other, because gender should not effect worth.
  • Women should be allowed to be just as gross as men are allowed to be.
  • misogyny is bad.
  • Women can fight their own battles and don’t need men to protect them.
  • Photoshopped images have created an unrealistic expectation for women and especially young girls, and it’s a huge problem that needs to be taken more seriously.
  • Feminism needs to be taken more seriously in today’s society, and we need to stop brushing it off as a bunch of angry man-haters pmsing.
  • Breast cancer is a serious problem that is killing thousands of women and even some men every year.
  • Caitlyn Jenner should have her gender and pronouns respected, even though she is generally a pretty shitty person.
  • Animal’s lives matter, and should be protected.
  • Doing drugs isn’t cool, and it can seriously fuck up your life.
  • Lesser drugs like marijuana aren’t that dangerous, and can ultimately change your life for the better. however, they still should not be overused.
  • Drinking is okay in moderation, but only in moderation. you should never drive drunk.
  • Many organizations that claim to “help” people are actually full of shit and could even be abusive. This includes AA and Gay Conversion Camps.
  • you’re never too young to explore your gender.
  • you’re never too old to explore your gender.
  • you’re never too young to explore your romantic or sexual orientation, but you should still be careful.
  • you’re never too old to explore your romantic or sexual orientation.
  • trans people should be allowed to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable in, and if you think otherwise, you’re a dick.
  • it’s okay if you didn’t question your gender until someone you know did.
  • it’s okay if you only explore your gender in certain places, even if that means not at home.
  • if you pretend to be trans, you are hurting people who legitimately deviate from their assigned gender. it doesn’t matter if you researched it beforehand enough to shut people down. in fact, that makes you MORE of an ass.
  • it’s okay to not be a boy or a girl; you can be an “other”.
  • it’s okay to have a sex change operation, and people who think you’re disgusting for having once been another sex are fucking assholes who don’t deserve your time.
  • it’s okay to go back if you had a sex change operation. it’s your body and your identity, you have the right to go with your heart.
  • suddenly changing genders can be shocking for loved ones, and may even break up relationships, no matter how close you were before.
  • people who try to be trans-race or trans-animal are pretty ridiculous. even if they’re sincere in their desire, they make people take trans-gender people much less seriously, and are thus causing harm.
  • it’s okay if your gender isn’t the same all your life.
  • there’s a very delicate balance between being flamboyant and impeding on gay culture. if you cross that line, you are being offensive.
  • adults should treat children’s opinions with respect. a lot of the time, the minors know better than you do, and that’s sad and you need to learn.
  • if you’re experiencing abuse, you need to get help. they’re not going to stop, and they don’t love you as much as you think they do.
  • depression is hard and your friends might not understand. it’s okay if you make new friends who do understand along the way.
  • you’re never too young to be depressed, unfortunately.
  • it’s important to know the difference between subcultures, even if you think they’re silly.
  • sex education in america is terrible and needs to be fixed. this is especially true for the girls.
  • anti-sematism is horrible and still alive today.
  • racism is horrible and still alive today.
  • ripping on somebody for their race, religion, or gender makes you the bad guy, no questions asked. you’re a dick.
  • never push your religion on your friends, but let them learn about yours if they want to.
  • white people should never say the n word. it doesn’t matter if you have a “good” excuse.
  • slur words may change common meaning over time, but if you need to be aware of how other people- especially those it’s used against- feel when you use it.
  • a lot of the time your election choices are gonna come down to a giant douche and a turd sandwich.
  • people in other countries are PEOPLE. they need to be treated as such.
  • Cartman is an evil piece of shit who deserves to be punched in the face. 

that’s all i can think of, feel free to add on.

anonymous asked:

Hello :) since I trust your opinions, who will be the three dragon riders ?

Thank you, you’re too kind! I’m going to shock everyone as my bets are on… (drum roll)…

1) Dany. She’s the mother of dragons, (probably) the prince(ss) that was promised and the stallion that mounts the world (whether you identify the “stallion” with Dany herself or Drogon), and she has already bonded with Drogon and ridden him. And: That night she dreamt she was Rhaegar, riding to the Trident. But she was mounted on a dragon, not a horse. When she saw the Usurper’s rebel host across the river they were armored all in ice, but she bathed them in dragonfire and they melted away like dew and turned the Trident into a torrent.
2) Jon. All that jazz about being the secret child of Rhaegar and Lyanna must mean something (ice & fire?). He’s biologically half-targaryen and warg, so the chances he can control a dragon are very high. He’s also the character who has the most connections with fighting the Others, and, of course, “R’hllor shows me only Snow”. Another obvious one.
3) Tyrion. I’m not 100% sure about him, but he makes sense on a meta level. He’s the character with the highest number of povs, he’s admittedly George’s favorite, he shares parallels with Dany and Jon (their mothers all died in childbirth; they’re all orphans of both parents now; they’re all in some way responsible for their lovers’ deaths, etc.); he’s a Lannister, which would be perfectly fitting for narrative balance, considering that the other two are a Targaryen and a Stark (Jon might be technically half-targ, but he’s a Stark in everything else; I think it’s thematically relevant that Stark and Lannister, whose conflict started this story, unite with House Targaryen to save the world, as foreshadowed by the strange combination of colors in formerly-Ice-now-Lannister-blade Oathkeeper). Tyrion also has a genuine obsession for dragons and: the white cyvasse dragon ended up at Tyrion’s feet; a small man can cast a very large shadow (note that Drogon is referred to as “the winged shadow”…) 

Keep reading

2013-12 B's Log Shu's Birthday Short Story (Translation)

Hey~ all my sweet DL fans!
I read this amazing short story at Baidu in Chinese (Of course, because I do not understand Japanese.) And I realize that there is no English Version of this amazing work so I decide to translate it! This is my first time to translate. It is not perfect and sorry about that because this short story is like the third version in different languages. * Japanese (original) > Chinese (Baidu) > English (Me)*

Just before we read, please understand:
1. Please do not steal the work because I work so hard and spend so much time on it (Plus, I got the cold and doing this makes me headache)
2. English is not my native language, so the translation may not be perfect.
3. Please enjoy and give some comments~~ I might translate more, I am not sure… but please support me!!! Thank you~

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Happy Cake For Shu

— Long time ago, “Birthday” never gives me any good memory. Anyway, as a vampire of course, it is what it suppose to be like right? Due to the fact we hate ourselves since the moment we born.
I am lying on a couch and slowly closing both of my eyes, just thinking what happened to that “day.”
(Recalling) “That ridiculous birthday… ha…”
I am listening to Rachmaninov* and sighing, then lazily looking at Laito who is turning his head staring at me from the window with his strange smile.
“Ufu…how many times for today already?”
“Ha?”
I am unusually agitated replying, still keep staring at Laito. Then Laito just smiling and walking away saying “Aww~ so scary, so scay~”
Then slowly leaving in front of me.
“It is nothing… that really horrible for me to keep sighing”
I am mumbling to myself, readily take out my earphones, then replace on the chair.
“… That is strange. Even it is chapter two of the piano.”
I cannot focus on the music. Why am I so irritated?
Trying to consider everything, from the beginning when I woke up I feel really unhappy, because the thing call “Birthday.”
A variety of reasons lead to me feel so anxious.
Reiji is arguing with me, those triplets are annoying as usual, Old man’s servant (Bat) is continually sending troublesome messages. Additionally, that stupid woman is strolling to somewhere. Saying will return back soon, but until now she is not back.
“Ha… dull… troublesome…”
Today really is the hardest day.
From long time ago, celebrating birthday has been just so tedious, at the end we stoped the celebration. No matter when, music is the only thing that I own. However, even the music feels shallow to me today.
“Ha…”
Thinking more just hating more, the scent is coming from the entrance, that woman is finally home.
“I am actually more irritated now…”
I am mumbling to myself and closing the eyes, but due to that woman I am not able to sleep.
No matter what, she will come to the living room soon and say: Ah, do not lazily lying on the couch please. Have you eaten yet? Did you take a shower? Bla bla bla saying a bunch of stuffs for sure.
The best way not to involve in this situation is to pretend I am sleeping.
“Ha…”
Cannot feel any of her scent.
I am slightly opening one of my eyes.
For a few moments, I slowly sit up.
If that woman is not coming, it is troublesome to fall asleep over here.
Anxious me cannot help just saying “tch…”
Meanwhile, like a perfect time, that woman’s scream passes all the way from far away, and then somewhere there is like a pleasant voice.
“So annoying… what the hell…”
Something leads me to be so irritated is that what she is going to do after.
Trying to constrain this fretful feeling, no matter how much blood I suck still is useless.
I walk towards where the scream comes from.
Probably is because those stupid triplets pester her around and not able to escape from it?
Holding this disagreeable thought, I roughly open kitchen door.
“Hey! So annoying!”
“Ha! Shu.. Shu san!”
The woman in the kitchen nervously hides something behind her back.
“…You, what are you hiding? And what happens here…”
“That… That is…”
In front of me is a big mess that I am speechless.
The kitchen floor is immersed in the whip cream sea.
Because trying to ask her the reason, so I strongly stare at that nervous woman.
“Sorry… that.. Actually, when I was making the cake… The cream blistered…”
“Ha? Cake?”  
“Yes… That… Shu san’s birthday cake… But the cream formed cream bubble made me fell down… So.. This problem… Sorry!!”
“Ha?”
Not finishing the talking, I already roughly took the mop that she was hiding in her back.
“Give it.”
“Aa…?”
“Hurry up and clean, otherwise Reiji will nag again, so troublesome.”
“That is the case… But let Shu san clean….”
I ignore that panic woman, moving the mop to remove the cream that is on the floor.
What am I doing? At the same time I am wondering.
“Tch… this cream is difficult to manage…”
Tentatively wiping the cream off, thinking this cleaning is not enough, so I come back again.
“Hey, you”
“Yes?”
Just trying to talk, in front of me was the sky spins (descent), a bump hits on me (sorry this line is weird…)
“Shu, Shu san! Are you ok?”
The woman is nervously holding me up.
What is happening that I really do not understand, but according to this situation, it seems like I fell down.
“Aaa.. What should I do…!! Did you get injured? Is there any place that hurt?”
I am lying on the floor, all of a sudden holding that panicked woman’s hand. At the same time, cannot help but laughing out loud.
“Ah… Ha ha ha…!!!”
“…!?”
The woman opens her eyes widely and stares at my face.
I reach out my hand to push back her head, and soon pull towards me
“Ah… it is all your fault. Take responsibility.”
“Aa…”
Just like that, I kiss her lips.
Deeply and deeply.
Kissing for a while and finally got satisfied.
“Hum… Shu… San… Happy… Birthday…”
Between the kissing that woman lightly moans.
I nod my head, then hold up her body and push her to the kitchen table.
“I do not need the cake. The cake without the cream does not worth to eat anyway. There is no way… You, better tolerate it.”
Just keeping her earlobe inside my mouth while biting at it.
“You seem happy today, nfu.”
“Ha?”
Turning my head towards where the voice comes from, Laito is standing there.
He seems to understand me by watching, just like before, smirking and replying,
“Stupidly smile~ Shu~ that is really pervert~”
I stand up immediately and look at the window to see if Laito is saying the truth.
This is true, why am I smiling like a fool? So disgusting.
“So annoying, get lost.”
I make a weird face and speak up.
Then, Laito just like before saying “so scary” and leaving at the same time. However, the last sentence contains an extra warning.
“Shu is really dishonest~”
Mind your own business
I am thinking about this and closing the eyes again.
The slow footsteps are getting close to me, must be that woman?
It is all Laito’s faults and this woman’s lateness which make me feel so irritated.
Thinking about this, I notice I am smiling unconsciously again.

Rachmaninov*: a famous Russian musician

Damon Salvatore & Kai Parker - Bad First Impressions pt.6

Prompt: Can you do an imagine where the reader (Damon’s twin sister from the “Bad First Impressions” series) and Tyler Lockwood got sent to 1994 with Bonnie and Damon and after a few days of getting to know the group, Kai Parker flirts with the reader and the reader, Tyler, and Damon get ticked off? 

Prompt: Can you do another part of the “Bad First Impressions” series and have the reader (Damon’s twin sister) and Tyler get sent to 1994 with Damon and Bonnie? For some reason, I can picture Kai flirting with the reader and both Damon and Tyler getting angry. 

Prompt: Can you do another part of the “Bad First Impressions” series and have Damon’s twin sister and Tyler get sent to 1994 with Bonnie and Damon and they meet Kai and Kai flirts with Damon’s twin sister and Damon is all like “gross. that’s my sister” and Tyler is all like “dude, that’s my girlfriend”? 

Prompt: Can you do another part of the “Bad First Impressions” series and have the reader and Tyler encounter the Heretics and when they get back to the Salvatore house, the reader says “first Katherine’s doppelganger, then the Originals, then Silas, and now vampire-witch hybrids. I am so done”? 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

 "So we’re in a prison world?“ Tyler asked, earning an eye roll from both you and Damon. “It looks like my Grams put us here when the other side collapsed. It’s basically just a carbon copy of our world without people.” Bonnie replied, explaining the situation for the umpteenth time. 

 "And in 1994.“ Damon added. You had died, for good, when Bonnie came to help you, killing by a traveller of all bloody people. Everyone pitched in to help save the town, most of them dying in the process, putting a strain on Bonnie as the other side began disappear. Stefan, Elena and the others got through again and Tyler refused to go back without you, hence the reason why you were currently in a completely empty version of the town that you had come to call home again, back in 1994. Completely empty was however, incorrect. 

 "I think we should worry less about how we got here and how we’re going to get back.” Damon stated, sitting on the counter of the kitchen in the boarding house. “Why don’t we ask the kid?” You inquired, speaking up for the first time today. “He’s been here for a while, maybe he could help us.“ 

"No.” Damon and Tyler said at the same time. You shared a look with Bonnie, who though you hadn’t been close to before, had become your only salvation in this place. “First Katherine’s doppelgänger, then the bloody Originals, then Silas the first ever immortal who also happens to be the doppelgänger of our brother and now we’re trapped in a prison world and unable to get out because my boyfriend and brother are stubborn." 

"Why won’t you ask him?” Bonnie asked, shooting you a sympathetic look. “That Kai kid is a sociopath.” Tyler replied harshly. 

“Total psycho.” Damon agreed, nodding. 

 "I heard my name. All good things I hope.“ An unfamiliar voice greeted. Standing in the doorway was a young guy with dark hair and light eyes and a slim build. He was pretty cute, that was undeniable but there was a quirk to his smile, a mischievous glint in his eyes that made you grin. "Hi,” he smiled, turning to Bonnie. “I’m Kai Parker. This is my prison world." 

"Sounds like an AA meeting.” You whispered under your breath, earning a small snort from Tyler. “Bonnie.” Your witchy friend nodded, offering an awkward grin. “You must be Y/N Salvatore.” Kai smirked, raising an eyebrow. You narrowed your eyes, about to reply when Damon interrupted you. 

“That’s enough meet and greet, what do you want, you little parasite?” Your twin snapped. “Why’s he a parasite? And I think you calling someone that is a bit rich, brother.” You responded, frowning. “That’s exactly I’m a witch but I can’t make magic, only take it from other people.” Kai explained with a small frown. Bonnie’s expression turned suspicious as she stepped noticeably closer to you. “I wonder if he’s disappointing in any other areas.” Tyler whispered under his breath, earning a small chuckle from Damon and dark glance out of the corner of your eye. “So Kai.” You began, walking closer to the little witch. “How do we get out of this place?” His face lit up almost comically. “I’m so glad you asked." 

 He spent ages explaining everything to you, from his power to how he got here and the most important part, a relic called the ascendant that would get you out of this place and back to the land of blood bags and people. You started to like Kai Parker and you found yourself smiling at the kid even if he was a sociopath as he explained to Bonnie the spells she would need to do to get you home, how he could help her. Damon sighed, popping open another beer and offering one to Tyler who shook his head, even his werewolf metabolism unable to keep up with Damon’s immortal liver. "Am I being protective or is he flirting with Y/N?” Your brother asked. “He’s flirting.” Tyler confirmed, taking a long and deliberate swig of beer as he watched Kai make a joke, you erupting into laughter at whatever he’d said, even Bonnie giggling. “Gross, that’s my sister.” Damon stated, cringing. “Dude, that’s my girlfriend.” Tyler said incredulously.

Sorry for the wait! I know this translation is coming a late, now that Rena has graduated and that everyone has started moving on the article may have lost a bit of its interest but I wanted to complete it anyway. If you’re curious about how Rena made her mind to graduate, how she felt doing so and in what way 「Budokan」helped her keep faith in the choices she was making, give this article a read!
Bonus, a short guide on what makes a good idol according to Rane-P~
Parts 2 and 3 of the interview have already been posted.
Enjoy.
—-

BLT Matsui Rena 10.000 words interview Part 1 

Matsui Rena who is to graduate from SKE48  at the end of August. 7 years ago she passed the auditions to be part of the founding generation of the group back. While being the face of the group, she kept pursuing the dream she had since middle-school to become a “role performer”. For her, graduating from SKE48 also means graduating from being an idol. What state of mind is she in, with the countdown to her double graduation approaching zero?

Q - Please tell us why you decided to graduate.
Rena - Of course part of the reason is to pursue my dream of becoming a role performer. But that’s not the only reason, I had to graduate for SKE48, for the sake of the group. That feeling emerged some time ago and grew stronger as time passed.

Q - When you say you made that decision for the group you mean…?
Rena - It was several years ago now, but one day I overheard a conversation between Oshima Yuko-san and a certain staff member that really resonated in me 「The “next Oshima Yuko” needs to been raised before you can graduate」. If members who can be our successors aren’t prepared, the group can’t keeps on, right? It’s not only true for AKB48, it was spot on for SKE48 too. For everyone Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena had become the faces of the group and as I saw that, I realized we needed to raise the young ones who would succeed us.

Q - You said in All Night Nippon 「I’ve been thinking about graduating for 3 years」.
Rena - 3 years ago SKE48 went through its first “shuffle” and I was moved from Team S to Team E. I was the only first generation member there, (Azuma) Rion was from the 6th generation, the scope of the team was really wide. Being the senior of the team, I started thinking about how I should lead my juniors, bringing back to mind the words directed at Yuko-san I had heard  「We need to raise the next Oshima Yuko–」. Thus I decided I would contribute to build the next generation, which I’ve been effectively doing since then. So that way when us sempais graduate, their true potential would bloom.  (Nakanishi) Yuka-chan and Nee-san (Sato Mieko) were on the same line as me about this.

Q - Was there a trigger to your decision to graduate? Did you made your mind one specific day like 「Today is the day, I’m gonna find our theater manager and tell him!」?
Rena - I did that 5 or 6 times those past 3 years. First time was about 6 months after the first “shuffle” if I remember correctly. I let management know that 「I’m not saying it needs to be right away, but I’m thinking about graduating」. The answer was 「It’s still too early」. I agreed with their judgement, maybe it was still too early. It wasn’t like I had something settled, something I imperatively needed to graduate to do back then.
The discussion really started progressing last year. I went to see our theater managers, Imamura-san (Etsuro) and (Shiba) Tomoya-san 「I’m serious about graduating」. Then I talked with Akimoto-san (Yasushi).

Q - There are times when we indulge in our own reveries, don’t we? When taking a bath or right before sleeping. Did you happen to think about your graduation during those moments?
Rena - I’m someone driven by her emotions, so the moment I’m thinking「Aa- I want to graduate!」then that’s it, I’m following my instinct. In that case I was feeling 「I’ve done everything there was to do here, now time to graduate!」. I had those momentary impulses whenever that thought crossed my mind. For example during last year General Elections, the moment my name was called in 5th position I knew「It’s the last time I participate」. All the members present were praying for their name not to be called just yet, while I was simply enjoying the moment. Plus I received the best ranking I ever had, so from the bottom of my heart I was nothing but happy. With everyone so anxious, I must have been the only one feeling that light-hearted. The moment I realized I wasn’t feeling the same as everyone, I knew something had shift irremediably. In the past I was serious about becoming 1st, I even said it during one of my speeches, but while I was working, the “number 1” I was aiming for changed. Thus, I was able to take the decision of graduating without any regret. When I did, I honestly thought that I had exhausted all that the 48 Group had to offer me.

Q - From the sound of it, it doesn’t seem like a conclusion you reached gradually, but rather something you were set on doing for a certain time, right?
Rena - Even if I wanted to graduate, I kept my emotions in check by focusing on my activities with SKE48. One work at the time I managed to quiet down my desire to graduate. But it was a cycle : even if that desire calmed down for a time, it was eventually rushing back.

Q - Well then, now that you’re about to graduate, what’s driving you?
Rena - The perspective of enjoying the time I’ve left until my last concert at Toyota Stadium and my last stage.

Q - Members who’ve graduated often say that 「Even though I didn’t announce it yet, I suddenly had that graduation aura others would pick on」, how was it for you?
Rena - You know that in my case people have been theorizing about my graduation for years, right? There were even juniors poking around for an answer 「Rena-san, are you going to graduate?」.(laughs) (Oya) Masana even asked me during Yahoo! Dome 「When are you graduating Rena?」. I had already made my mind, but I lied to her 「I’m still waiting for Akimoto sensei’s go-ahead, so I can’t for now.」.(laughs) She was furious at me after that 「Liar! You said you weren’t graduating!」.

Q - I personally expected you to announce your graduation the day following the elections, during Goya Matsuri, the post elections concert.
Rena - Others did too. But I absolutely didn’t want to make that sort of announcement during a concert.

Q - It’s understandable. All things considered, someone who cares about her fans wouldn’t do such thing as to make them sad by announcing her graduation during a concert.
Rena - I want concerts to end up on a cheerful note. After giving so much to create a pleasant atmosphere, this kind of announcement could ruin it for some fans. If you’re supporting idols, it’s definitely better to have fun doing so.

“What I felt reading 「Budokan」… It saved me.”

Q - We’ve talked about your 「graduation from SKE48」, but I would also like to hear about your 「graduation from being an idol」. If I’m asking you this it’s because you wrote on Instagram that you read the recently released novel 「Budokan」, is that right?
Rena - I did. I was lucky to come across that book with this timing.

Q - 「Budokan」is about an idol group that aims at performing in Nihon Budokan graduation is also an important topic in the novel. Can you start by sharing with us your feedback about this book?
Rena - Some parts about graduating did fit my case. But more than that, I feel like reading that story saved me.

Q - Saved you? What do you mean?
Rena - The book gives a definition of what makes an idol, it also explains what fans are expecting from them. Like how it’s preferable for an idol not to be too good at singing. This way she has room for improvement and you can look forward to her progress, making you want to cheer for her. That’s something that made total sense to me. Since she is the recipient of the support I’m giving her, no matter how busy she might be I want her blog and twitter to be updated and be kept informed, I want her to become beautiful, but without entering a relationship. The way it transcribes in the book, the definition of what is an idol, hits the bull’s eye. Somewhere in the novel, the dance teacher says to the girls 「You’re not persons, you’re aliens.」. Pondering the meaning of her words, I realized she was talking about the necessity idols have to comply with fan’s impossible demands. She was putting them at the same level as aliens. I could relate to that and the scene where that teacher praises the girls 「I thinks you’re incredible for managing all of that」really helped me. I felt like her praises were directed at me.

Q - I see how as someone who is dealing with those「impossible expectations」you could take those words for yourself.
Rena - Those are just words found in a book, but it hit me that it was the first time I was praised that way. Of course I myself decided to become an idol and to walk that path, so I always thought it was only natural to comply with what was expected from me. But going through this book, I felt like I was receiving validation for everything that had been an evidence for me until then, for all the efforts I had made.

Q - The novel doesn’t only deal with graduation, it revolves around active idols, with a detailed portrayal of their reality. What did think of that portrayal?
Rena - I agree with the line about idols being people with a certain vulnerability, it made me think I would rather be like that too.

Q - Why did you pick up「Budokan」in the first place?
Rena - I heard the story was about idols, when I told my mother I thought it was interesting she replied 「I have it if you want」, so I borrowed it from her. (laughs) It’s strange how it turn out to be the perfect timing for me to read it.

Q - 「Budokan」also depicts a love story.
Rena - If I said I found the story to be 「realistic」it would be wrongly understood by some as if I was talking about the romance part as being real. What I think is realistic in the book is the depiction of the preoccupations idols have or the feelings with which they stand on stage.

Q - The word 「decision」is repeated many times in the novel. How was it, for you who went through that process, to see those characters decide to become an idol and ultimately make the decision to graduate?
Rena - I believe that the prospect of leaving is weighing on everyone’s mind, but at the end of the day what truly matters is how strong our feelings are. Graduating isn’t a decision you make based on purely subjective criteria. I for one had my instinct telling me 「I want to graduate!」, but I believe that the stronger your feelings for your group, the more difficult it gets to take that decision.

Q - Until now you were among those seeing off members who were graduating, could you perceive the burden they were carrying while making their decision?
Rena - Not really. (laughs) I mean, because then they had already taken their decision. Because we are all hesitating and pondering what’s best when making that choice, everyone looks relieve when the time of their graduation comes. (laughs) I’m pretty sure it will be the same for me.

Q - Now that you mention it, I’ve interviewed countless idols about to graduate but never has any of them cried.
Rena - I’m relatively unfazed myself, more than I had expected. It would be another story if I was quitting the entertainment scene, but I’m staying in the business, what I want to do now is out there. I’ve often heard that graduating marks the starts of a new life, but as I see it, it will be the same as I’ll still be expressing myself. Singing and dancing is a form of expression, just like acting is. So for me I’m continuing on the same tracks.

Q - You’ve seen many members graduate, how did that make you feel?
Rena - Sometimes I thought it was a shame. But for some of them I was certain they would eventually return to that side. You can immediately tell when a girl is never coming back. Their presences are different.

Q - How are they different?
Rena - When I went to announce our drama club adviser in highschool that I had successfully joined SKE48, (s)he told me something that I still remember to that day 「Keep in mind one thing : once you’ve revel in being in the spotlight, you’ll never be able to walk away from it again.」. (S)He was right, bathing in the light of projectors feels good. During their graduation stage, the girls are supposedly bathing in that light for the last time, but looking at their silhouette you somehow get it. You can feel if they are savouring every last second she has left in the spotlight. As if a small voice was telling them「Do I really want it to the last time I’m standing under the spotlight, or… 」.

Q - Everyone has their own reasons to graduate but I wonder, at what point do you decide to take that step and resign from being an idol.
Rena - As Yuka-chan and Nee-san said, comes a point where you just know it 「Ah- I’m graduating!」. I didn’t believe it at first, but turn out they were right. Also in my case, I had done everything I could have hope for in SKE48, so it eventually occurred to me that I should proceed to the next stage. It was a very natural development. I also had this instant of “realisation” where I got clear for me 「I’m graduating!」.

Q - I’m guessing that making the decision to graduate requires to be able to put your life into perspective, but how has it been for you, concretely?
Rena - It’s true in a way. Although it struck me while I was walking in the street. Kind of like when you think 「What about tonight’s dinner? Oh right, let’s cook XX. 」.  On that moment it came to me as an evidence, but it might come as a shock for fans to hear that now. (laughs)

Q - Understandably so.(laughs)
Rena - I think my age was a factor too. From the moment I joined, for several years I’ve lived exclusively inside the 48 Group, without really giving it much thoughts. But it changed when I started having works on my own, outside the group. Being hired for TV or magazines, working with many different staffs and personalities, I realized things I had taken for granted or perfectly normal weren’t actually that way. Thanks to what I gained a more objective view of my work.

Idol Matsui Rena last(?) idol discussion 「Flaws are assets」

Q - Speaking of stepping outside the group, you’re known to be an idol fan too. What do you pay attention to when you attend a live?
Rena - At how special every moment is made to be. I think that’s one of the things that matters most. I also pay closely attention at how much each of them are involved.

Q - What do you mean by “involved”?
Rena - The smaller the scale of the group, the more members involvement has to be important. This pressure「I need to give everything I have here!」is like a fuel, that will lead them to reach the goal they’ve set.

Q - I can feel the enthusiasm in your voice.
Rena - But see, they don’t have to be perfect. After all we’re talking about young girls, so they’re not necessarily good singers and they can get their steps wrong when dancing. But then when you go to see them next, their singing has gotten better. Watching them improve is just too much fun.

Q - That description, doesn’t it fit Rena-san perfectly?
Rena - I wouldn’t say it does.

Q - But 7 years ago for your first stage your position was last row and you had no experience in dancing whatsoever.
Rena - And I’m still not a good dancer.(laughs) But I loved idols since before joining so if I dare say so myself I was sort of a connoisseur. People often get the wrong idea and tell me 「You like idols because you like to look at cute girls」. But that’s not it. I like girls who are cute and who have a vulnerability. For me what matters most for an idol is what you can’t see. What they can’t see, fans will imagine it, “what is that girl really like?”. That’s how fans become engrossed in an idol. I think it’s really important to have points that spark fans’ curiosity.

Q - Maeda Atsuko-san was that type of idol wasn’t she?
Rena - She was. Paruru (Shimazaki Haruka) is a good example too. Because they are a mystery, you want to know more about them. If you take Nogizaka46, it applies to Naa-chan (Nishino Nanase). And it’s also the reason why I like Rioton (Watanabe Rio) form Babyraids Japan. BABYMETAL too is surrounded by secrets, right? That’s what picks my interest.

Q - Isn’t type of idol missing in SKE48?
Rena - She has graduated but Takai Tsukina was like that. She was a poor dancer. So much that she couldn’t even manage the basic 2 lateral steps necessary to move aside. She was probably the member who had the most difficulties to dance I ever met, and yet this very same Tsukina was front member in our 1st stage. And fans approved of that choice. Because Tsukina had shown them she had been working her socks off and that she was improving little by little. That’s where her charm was. Even if their skills are low idols are required to dance, but it doesn’t matter if they’re not good from scratch, what’s important is for fans to be able to look after them as they strive to improve.
—-

(Part 2 ; Part 3)

Clues/Tweets from -A

Who I am is a mystery, although… Some of you may know… Your obsession with me is just one part of the show. -A

Roses are red, violets are blue… Go back to season 3, it’ll give you a clue… Just who met Mona… Somebody new? -A

I know of another who was out past midnight… Enough to give some a fright. -A

My coat is red, Mona was blue, you know who I am- just look at the clues. -A

It all comes down to dollars and cents, I have the dollars, they have no sense. -A

As our show is set in reality, being in two places at once is just not plausible in actuality.Guess again bitches.-A

Our dear @Ju1ianMorris has kept busy while away, It’s hard to say when old Wren will be coming back to play. -A

The fascination with Aria being A is one quite absurd, the liars as A? No way, of that you can be sure. -A

So many questions surrounding Cece tonight, so many answers she holds just in sight. She may know more than you think, she just might. -A

Mistakes were made,  that much is true… Thank you, Andrew. -A

Fair is foul, and foul is fair. The answers to your questions lie in what you know, not in my lair. -A

“What about Noel?” Again in a way that I can only say, I can’t release if they’ve been this way. -A

“Will CeCe be in season 6?!” I can’t confirm or deny where that liar may lie. -A

The time has finally come, A game that cannot be won. And as the time for answers arrives, will the 5 survive? Unlikely.-A

For those we have lost, those we do fight, just who is Charles? The situation is plight, the beginning of ones journey? An ending in sight-A

Connections, connections everywhere. Red coat, Varjak, Black Veil, Charles… The connection is there. -A

 It starts at 3 and gains quickly, look to the endings, there you’ll find me. -A

I’ve given you more answers than I should, really, I have. If you can’t get the who from season 3, give 4 a stab. -A

 Everything goes back to Radley, everything indeed. Everything that happened there connect to you and me. -A

A gas mask, a game of cards, my name gives you something… You’re just making it hard. -A

Begging for clues? Nothing is beyond the realm of possibility, look to the dollhouse, look what happens when love is met with hostility. -A

Who they know, what they know, what they show, how they grow, who they fight, their lies show all of their might. -A

My, oh my… Some of you are on the right track, look to the obvious, examine the facts. Charles is there, it’s trouble they attract. -A

Oh Charles, your story is one of sorrow, betrayal, and love. Look closely liars… You know who wears the glove. This is iT. -A

With flashbacks, dancing, and secrets galore, the liars will find some answers are left caged and “Unwritten” of that you’ll be sure. -A

The time is near, soon… You’ll know fear. Forget what you thought you knew about me. Listen closely.-A

Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love. -A

Hmm Hamlet, I do love Shakespeare you know. -A

A word of caution to this tale, nothing is what it seems, just think of the veil. -A

We stick together- the same in the rain or sun, 2 different faces but in tight places we think and we act as one. -A (This last one makes me think of Ali and Cece)

You really don’t want to end up in the Hastings back yard, trust me, I’ve been there.. Getting in is easy, Getting out is hard. -A

An accident, resulting in the loss of ones sight, an accident, is what we believe about that night… Isn’t that right? -A

Yellow top, Yellow top, yellow top, 1, 2, 3, someone knows their A, B, C’s. Do Ali, Bethany, Cece know where it would be? -A

What do you guys think?
 
 

"Forget": 4 Inexcusable Choices

So much to hate in the episode, but I’m going to focus on the 4 choices the writers made which I find the most inexcusable mistakes.  

1.  Shane!Rick. Rick w/PTSD makes tons of sense. The sleeplessness, proclivity for violent fixes/hyperviolence, the paranoia, the excessive drinking - all textbook and fine. However, it all goes awry with Rick’s projection of feelings to Supercuts, his ooc flirting behavior, his negating of moral boundaries regarding marriage and his pseudo possessive/stalker vibes he was giving off.  That isn’t PTSD, that’s a whole other mental problem. It’s the kind of mental problem that requires professional help that isn’t available in the ZA.  The kind of mental problem that made killing Shane and the Governor inevitable. Their problems were beyond anything a friend could talk away.  And, no, Rick chopping off Supercuts’ arm can’t be a magic solution either, the same way Penny’s removal didn’t miraculously fix The Governor’s mental problems.  The writers are saddling Rick with a mental problem storyline that is way too complex for them to BELIEVABLY fix for SEASONS, if ever, & no one believes they’re gonna devote that much time to it so it’s basically a huge pile of dung.

2. Negating Michonne’s importance. Whatever is going on with Rick didn’t require Rick to say only Carl and Judith had kept him going.  That one line was a HUGE insult to all his “family”, but most especially to Michonne.  She killed the Governor to save him. She found Rick and Carl in the house of despair and gave them the energy to recover. She helped them heal by showering them with understanding and support. She protected Rick’s kids when he went to the hospital. She pulled Rick back from giving up in Shirewilt and convinced him to go to DC. She prevented Rick from passing up on Aaron and she was the one who held his hand and gave him the courage to walk thru those gates.  For Rick to say such a line, implies that in his mind, these were not hugely important actions to him. It negates her importance to him, and since Rick is the pov of the show, it therefore negates Michonne’s importance overall.  I understand why some feel it reeks a bit of the Mammy trope. It does come off as entitlement to Michonne’s help on his part.

3. Ignoring Michonne’s Beauty Her wig is AWFUL. Her outfits were drab, unflatering and sexless. In Forget, Michonne didn’t get her Cinderella moment. She was the one who made them go to the ASZ and has shown the most conviction that they should stay. She should have been in the middle of the crowd socializing, trying hardest to fit in and help the others fit in. And putting her in a masculine cop uniform with a tie?! and an ill fitting jacket that hides all her fabulous assets without offsetting it with a fantastic feminine dress at the party was inexcusably bad. The show hasn’t had anyone openly acknowledge Michonne as a sexually attractive woman. The importance of a dark skinned AA woman being recognized or ignored as a desirable love interest is a huge topic. A college prof could do a whole class on it, but I’ll limit it to this. TWD had the opportunity to portray Michonne in a sexy, positive light (which didn’t take any more screentime or detract from anyone else’s storyline) and didn’t, but instead spent screentime on the protagonist’s fixation on a pretty blonde woman.  This, after having everyone go ga-ga over the white male protagonists looks last week…..says a lot about priorities imo.

4. Defining Michonne by her sword. Yes, her sword is important, but there are so many other facets to this woman which are not being explored. She’s a mother who failed to save her child, who is now in a world with tons of happy kids playing. They could show her satisfied, wistful smile after encouraging Carl to make friends, (they’ve barely talked all season) or have her hold Judith and have someone bring up their kids to her and have her silence show us her pain. Or they could have her interacting with the other kids, handing them a drink/picking up their sock/toy and remind us of her pain.  Instead of giving the audience some insight into Michonne’s feelings on all these kids around her, in what could/should be a major ongoing emotional struggle for her, TWD focused on her hanging up her weapon. She has all the ingredients to be so much more, but they’re not using them and reducing her to being a weapon, an object, instead of a woman with feelings, a past and maybe a last name.

anonymous asked:

Why are you such a fan of Aly Raisman? Her execution is terrible. Ugh.

So that’s to say you are only allowed to be a fan of an athlete if they’re totally perfect? Is that how it works?? In that case you can’t be a fan of Aliya because she bends her knees while she twists and you can’t like Kocian bc she only has a FTY. Like???? I don’t claim Aly is perfect because we all, including her, know she’s not. She has form issues, her execution is not on par with some other gymnasts. But she’s also LEAGUES ahead of 90-95% of the field. Besides, I’m a fan of Aly Raisman because she’s the whole package. Winning sportswoman of the year twice running since her comeback says it all.

Going into the 2012 Olympics quite honestly I was more hyped for Maroney - I couldn’t wait to see her get that gold she deserved. Lol.. Moving on. But I kind of overlooked Aly I guess. Ashamed to admit that but with jordyn and the rise of gabby I just assumed they’d be the two AA. So I felt like we got to watch on the big screen a huge part of Aly’s journey. It was almost more special than if Jordyn had made it through because it was so raw and almost unexpected I guess. I felt we went on a roller coaster with aly through London 2012, what with the qualifying to AA and then the two tiebreak scenarios and then the ultimate redemption on floor. I just felt like Aly’s journey through 2012 was some of the rawest we saw and I came out of the games a huge fan of her.

I’m also so impressed with her come back. I wouldn’t say I doubted it at all, but back in 2013 it doesn’t matter how much I adored Aly, it was hard to envision a successful come back given the two flops we had just seen from the 2008 Olympians just the year previous. I was never worried as such, just so hopeful that she could make it. I love her determination, strength and loyalty to the sport. She could teach many others a thing or two. I think the thing with Aly is she doesn’t do things half heatedly; ever. Some gymnasts seem to give 50% some of the time, 100% some other times whereas Raisman just seems to give it her 100% every single time. That may not be true of course I’m sure there are days in the gym where exhaustion or frustration Etc prevents that. She is under NO illusion that she can just “wing it”. I’m not referring to the physical or mental gymnastics here; but even when Aly was at 50%, she gave 100% if that makes sense. I admire the fact she’s got back in shape and beyond. Not that she was ever out of shape, even when she took a break her body was strong and beautiful. But she’s back in Olympic shape and looks better than before. And that is clear proof of the work she has put in.

She clearly isn’t a woman to give up. It’s raw. I know so many gymnasts would have given up especially after Worlds 2015; things didn’t go well as an individual. I think everyone was beyond gutted with the way qualifications went; nobody more so than herself. But it’s 2016, the Olympics are a matter of weeks away and Aly is all but a lock.
The fight she has put up this year is inspiring and I don’t know if many would have managed it. I was concerned about the self confidence issue last year. And in retrospect I should never have doubted her. It was a case of settling back in; trusting herself and I’m so glad she’s done it. And in plenty of time.

Plus, this is weird; but Aly is the same age as me. And I almost find it *easier* and more comfortable to watch an adult. I can’t explain it. Some of my other most loved athletes are younger; some much older, but overall I enjoy watching those similar ages with me because I can resonate easier with the sacrifices they’re making every day, the pressures and expectations of our age and in the case of Aly I am just in complete awe of the success she has had. The juggling of business woman and professional active athletes is insane (add in the fact she finds time to nap) is so impressive. It’s also cliche and totally wrong that it’s even an issue to be mentioned, but she’s reaching a second peak at 22 years old. A second peak; who even does that??! Many may disagree and believe she was better in London but I just think it’s different. She’s matured and I guess is more aware of what she needs and wants. And it’s different with Biles here anyway. The whole game and dynamics have changed.
She came on to a scene when the juniors were incredibly strong and didn’t let it phase her. She’s slotted right back in and despite what many (including Martha) may think; she’s irreplaceable in terms of package and leadership.

I love the way Aly preaches body confidence BUT doesn’t have to post pictures of her abs constantly. There are so many athletes who’s Instagram is full of selfies, pictures of their body etc and there’s NOTHING wrong with that. They deserve to show their beautiful bodies and hard work and be proud of themselves. I’d give to look like any one of them. But with Aly, it seems like she would rather teach people to be more comfortable in their own skin without having to use her body. It’s different. I can’t explain it well but I feel she puts less focus on “look at my abs look at my perfect body, be body confident” and instead focuses on accepting yourself beyond that. Again, maybe you will disagree.

She just seems an all round package; supportive, talented, determined, quietly confident, a grafter and beyond talented. She is one of my very favourite current athletes and I don’t really mind that she doesn’t always catch her tkatchev.

Anyway, you asked me this 3 days ago but I knew I wanted to answer properly. So yeah, Aly isn’t scoring 9.7 on E, and she doesn’t always hit 180 in her leaps. But overall, I think she’s pretty awesome.

*mic drop*
*climbs out of ass*

OKAY OKAY BUT...

what about a fic about prince Derek & journalism student Stiles modern time au

so Derek the middle child of the royal Hale family, he is not up next in line for the crown but even so people adore him. Prince Derek is the sweetest most charming person ever, he is so caring and adorable. He cares so much about his people and is always involved in the stuff going on around him and helping out in whatever ways he can, he is always helping. He helps out with the school; going over to read to the little kids, and on a different day he teaches kids to play baseball, he teaches them about art and he just takes on a different thing to teach these kids every month. He is also quite the photographer so he is always taking picture of everything because he finds everything beautiful and fascinating. He is also a very, very, very private person, he is hesitant to date anyone because he fears that people just want to get close because of his status or because they want to hurt him and or his family. His family never pushes him, he is a mommas boy so queen Talia is always supporting him, he tells her things like “mom, you should see the kids they loved it when I took them to the river so we could paint, maybe we should make it a permanent class?” and Talia says “yes my darling whatever you want” :’( </3  Derek is just happy doing his thing living life unaware of the existence of Stiles. Stiles who is a journalist student and he is doing a secret piece on prince Derek because “how can anyone be so  beauti- I mean perfect, ugh no, I mean as in having a very clean image? does the guy have no faults?!” 

and so Stiles and Derek meet and Derek is just :O because woah Stiles is very attractive. Ah but Stiles doesn’t tell Derek that he is a student who is trying to write a piece that will get his name out there, so you know Derek has no idea. The point is that they meet and Derek so easily lets Stiles into his life, and it’s not like they go out in public or anything like that because Derek likes to keep some things private and Stiles understands that. Derek questions nothing about Stiles because he just feel so at peace when Stiles is around? They spend so much time together and Stiles gets to see how sweet and amazing Derek is and if he happens to notice that he is falling for the prince than oh well sucks for him because it’s not like Derek is interested in him. SOooo they both like each other and there’s all this shy flirting from the both of them, and Stiles always feels guilty that Derek doesn’t know why he got close to Derek in the beginning, and he wants to tell Derek because things have changed so much. Then Derek finds out what Stiles’ plan was and why he got close to Derek and Derek of course he feels like such an idiot because he let that happen so easily, what was he thinking! So Derek keeps doing the things he always does but everything is different now, people start to notice that he doesn’t smile as he used to and he is much more quiet and reserved than he was, and everyone is worried and upset that something is upsetting their prince and no one knows what or WHO? because of course the towns people didn’t know about Derek and Stiles being /friends/ and it’s not because Derek was ashamed or anything, his family knew about his new friend Stiles, and Talia knows his boy so she knew about Derek’s true feelings for Stiles but she doesn’t push, she gives Derek space and time and he always goes to her. so anyway no one besides his family and aa few of Stiles’ friends know because Derek is just a private person is all. (SORRY I’M REPEATING MYSELF!!!) but then Stiles is getting coffee or something and people talk shit about the possible person that hurt their prince and Stile has to listen to people talk and it just hurts him even more. there are speculations and things being written and Stiles wants to cry because he is an idiot, Derek wont want to talk to him and he hurt him and he just wants to cry in his room for five years. Maybe Laura and Cora visit Stiles and they obviously know that Derek and Stiles liked each other and they not subtle at all tell Stiles to stay away from their brother because he has done enough damage. But Stiles just needs Derek to know that he never meant to hurt him. 

I JUST NEED SO MUCH ANGST!!!! and hurt!!!! 

Stiles manages to sneak into the castle/palace? and he bumps into Talia and she knows he is there to fix things so she just tells him to not hurt his baby :( and I don’t know make Derek not wanting to see Stiles and Stiles trying over and over again and just you know not giving up because even if Derek doesn’t feel the same way about him, Stiles still wants him to know that whatever happened and how he felt was real that it was’t for the story, and Derek believing him but still not getting close to Stiles again, and they both hurt and its sad, and I just want a lot of angst and then Stiles just does a bunch of stuff to show Derek that what he feels is real and eventually Derek starts to believe him and make the live happily forever!!!!

DID THAT MAKE SENSE?!

if anyone ever wants to write this they definitely should, I NEED THIS FIC IN MY LIFE PLEASE ANYONE JUST PLEASE

for inspo vvvvvvvvv

Gangsta:CURSED. chapter 1 summary/translation

Hi everyone! Since no one has translated or summarized Gangsta:CURSED. yet, I figured I could try to do it because there are probably others who would like to know what’s going on? I got the chapter 1 scans from the lovely fuckyeahgangsta blog (here), so I’ll be following their page numbering.

There’ll be a summary at the top (for the lazy readers) and a detailed translation below. As usual, my Japanese is not perfect, so take everything with a grain of salt: I wasn’t sure about every single line (and even had to rope in my dear fellow Japanese-studying friends), so my translation is certainly not a 100% correct, but you should be able to get the gist of it. Do PM me if you think there’s anything wrong or if you want to correct me. Support Kamo Syuhei and Kohske by buying the first volume of Gangsta:CURSED (you can get the first volume at CDJapan).

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hey, I feel like u made nationals in fantasy gym last year... is that you or am I misremembering?? if so, do u have any tips? it's my first year and Im kind of overwhelmed, lmao

Yesss I did and I have lots of opinions and I got you! 

Rebecca / gelyamelnikova’s Hot Fantasy Gymnastics Tips 2k16

1) DON’T FOLLOW THE CROWD. So the draft system works in rank order. That means that everybody’s #1 pick is assigned first, then everybody’s #2, then everybody’s #3… If your #1 is taken, you don’t get a pick at all until the second round. By which time your #2 pick might also be taken. And then by the third round… you get the idea.

This means that to make a great draft, you have to kind of anticipate what your conference-mates will pick. Luckily, this is SUPER DUPER EASY. 

Everyone wants the hot big-name AAers and sometimes a former elite freshman or two. There are usually 4-5 that people go crazy over. This year the group is something like Kennedy Baker, Ebee Price, Chayse Capps, Maggie Nichols, Madison Kocian.

If you pick those 5 as your top 5, I almost guarantee you’ll get one, max. More likely none. Everyone is doing the same thing… so you’ll get to the end of round 5 with no gymnasts when you could have had 5.

So draft one of those girls, MAX. Then fill up the rest of your top 5 with girls that are very-good-but-not-quite-so-trendy. Last year my top 3 was Alex McMurtry, AJ Jackson, and Kaytianna McMillan. That worked out super fucking well for me. Do something like that and you’ll be much happier.

2) DON’T LEAN ON UCLA. I get it, you love them to death. I do too. We all do. They’re fabulous and adorable and we want to be them.

But Miss Val is incredibly unsympathetic to fantasy players. (She makes up for it by being perfect in every other way, though.) UCLA lineups change EVERY FUCKING WEEK. Regardless of who you draft you’ll be counting zeroes pretty frequently. Feel free to get one or two of your faves, but don’t get five. You don’t need that kind of risk in your life.

The flipside of this is teams like Florida and Michigan, who like to lean very heavily on their AAers. Their lineups are stable and predictable and beautiful. Exactly what we want. Get at least one or two.

3) DON’T RELY ON BIG NAME FRESHIES. They’re fun and exciting but God only knows if they’ll pan out. Everyone has to spend some time in 9.75 Hell ™ before NCAA starts working for them. Even beautiful angels like Ohashi last year can cause some lineup anxiety.

Exception to this rule is probably Skinner. Because Utah. They’ll give a 9.95 to anything blonde in that godforsaken hellhole. So whatever, just draft her, I don’t care, I’ll just be over here vomiting.

4) MINE THE HELL OUT OF MID-LEVEL TEAMS. Our Nebraskas, our Denvers, and our Oregon States save us week after week. There are seas of reliable 9.8s out there, and if you get lucky you’ll snag the ones that will randomly turn into 9.95s in postseason. Do your homework here and it’ll pay off.

Also, jump on every bandwagon, they can only help you. Last year it was George Washington and New Hampshire. This year - you heard it here first - it’s ***Washington and Eastern Michigan***. Get in there and get yours before everyone else snags them. Totally worth it.

5) FIND A COUPLE OF TOP LEVEL 3-EVENTERS Remember how I said earlier that I drafted McMurtry, Jackson, and McMillan last year? Yup. NCAA three-eventers are not stable. They like to pick up fourth events in their last year, and judges are usually sympathetic because SHE DO AA OMG HEART EYES.

(Other notable examples: Brittany Rogers, Georgia Dabritz, a bunch of others I’m blanking on.)

Most people won’t draft 3-eventers in their top 5 because AAers are more fun to draft. If you snag these guys, not only will you have 3 great scores every week, you’ll very possibly end the season with a top AAer without having to fight the draft to get her.

6) DON’T BE AFRAID TO ABUSE HOME OVERSCORING. You know who I’m talking about. Florida likes to manipulate lineups, and 9.9s are a result of competing AA not a cause of competing AA. We all know McMurtry should probably be getting 9.7s on bars. If you have her on your fantasy team, do you care? NOPE. She is your child now and she can do no wrong.

LSU is the land of that-was-basically-tucked-but-we’ll-give-it-a-10-because-whatever-we’re-just-thinking-about-Finney-right-now. Has Gnat ever deserved a 10 on anything? Definitely not. If she’s on your fantasy team, do you care? NOPE, own that shit.

Utah doesn’t even care if it’s stuck. They’ll close their eyes really hard while you bounce in place, and give you a 10 anyway. And then when they go to schools with actual judging, they bitch endlessly about how unfair it is that they get deductions for their mistakes. If you have Utah gymnasts on your squad, do you feel second hand embarrassment about this hypocrisy? NOPE. They give you your 9.9s, you turn a blind eye to their ridiculousness.

It doesn’t matter HOW your get your scores in fantasy, it matters THAT you get them. It’s a zero-sum game - if you don’t get those scores, your teammates do. Get what you need and feel no shame.

7) ABUSE THE SWAP SYSTEM MERCILESSLY. If your draw sucks, don’t sweat it. The swap system will come online in week 2 or 3. If you’re conscientious with this, you can build a great team from almost nothing. And if you have an okay team, putting the time into swaps can be what gets you to postseason.

No one really knows year from year who’s going to be good. 39.5 AAers can turn into 38.8 ones in an off season, and 9.95s can appear from schools no one’s even heard of. Spend some quality time looking at rankings on Road to Nationals and searching all the names in the swap list. Grab everyone who looks competent and see what falls out.

And last but definitely not least… 8) FOR GOD’S SAKE IF YOU SUBMIT A DRAFT PLEASE ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME I’M BEGGING YOU. Every year a couple people per conference submit a great draft, get some great gymnasts, and then just… peace out and never submit a lineup. If you realize you don’t have time in your life I get it I guess, but… Come on, guys. Come on.

Hopefully that helps - have fun! It’s always a highlight of my year <3