and i had lots of other stuff i wanted to read too

Beginner Witch Tips

WARNING: I am a sarcastic butthole and it shows through out this hot mess of a post. This is some random craft junk I have learned in my days of practicing witchcraft

Witch craft is not magic.

I don’t care what you have heard. Witchcraft is not magic. It can not turn your eyes different colors. It can not make you into a animal. You will not be able to control the weather or summon wind with your fingers. Ghosts will not do as you say. This is not Harry Potter. Case closed

Intent over tools

Do you think it’s gonna matter if you use a butter knife as an athame? Or you have to sub a white candle for another color because you don’t have the funds to buy that color? Or you had to leave out an ingredient because you don’t have it or you’re allergic? No, it’s not. Witchcraft (to me) is about mind over matter. If you are making an effort for your God/god/goddess/deity/elf/fae/etc it isn’t gonna matter what or how you got there, but the intent you had getting there

Cursing and hexing is up to you and your beliefs

Totally up to you if you believe that this is okay or not. However, if you don’t like this, do not go and tell someone else it’s wrong. If they ask you how you feel you can tell them it’s not your thing. If you do like this, do not go and tell someone else it’s fine and try to get them to accept it. If they ask you about it, you can tell them that you are into it

You do not have to have an alter

It’s up to you and your practice. And if you can where you are etc. If you want one and can not have one, draw one or, my favorite, Set up a pinterest board for your god/goddess/fae/elf/deity etc. and save things that you thing relate to them.

It’s not about fancy stuff

This goes back to intent over tools, as long as you are comfortable with what you are doing and using, do it and use it. I use salsa and yogurt containers, coffee filters taped together, M&M tubes, and envelopes to keep crap in. I use a 99¢ Wal-Mart bandanna to do spells on that I got from Girl Scout camp and it has rainbow peace signs all over it. Do I care? Nope. Does anyone else care or will they judge you? Nope. we are all in the same boat here.

Hand making things is way too underrated  

I LOVE hand making things. Whether you are good or bad at it, it is a good way to save money, and personalize it just for you. Example: I made tarot cards out of printer paper that I cut out and wrote the card name, and definition of what it means (to me) and I love them. Pencil wand? Yas queen. DIY cauldron out of play-dough? Frick me u p daddy.

DONT EAT/SMOKE/DRINK SOMETHING YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT

You’d think I would have to include this bUT
Some things are okay to consume. Sometimes if taking a certain medicine you can’t consume that. Sometimes you are allergic to one thing, and in turn you will be allergic to that thing too. Sometimes you are pregnant and it’S HIGHLY DANGEROUS TO CONSUME THINGS WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT DOES

Never ignore professional medical advice and help in favor of witchcraft methods.

Case c l o s e d

Spirit workers

Not nice spirits can attach to people who have depression and anxiety more so than people who don’t

There are good and bad spirits. if one makes you feel comfomy, do not feel bad for asking it to leave/getting rid of it

Don’t ask your tarot cards every time you have a question

This happens a lot. Especially when you get a new deck and it’s so new and shiny and you can’t w a i t to get your grubby little hands on it and do crap >:D but you don’t want to get into the habbit of “ohgoshgollybatman I have to go to the store, okay let’s see if I’ll get hit by a car… oh and do I really need the applejuice..”  or “do I REALLY need this plant..” bc the answer to that is always yes duh

Divination is not for predicting the future

Now stay with me, it is for guiding you in the future. It can not tell you what day you are going to die, who you are going to marry, etc 

The future is not written in stone

Let’s sayyyyy you do a simple past, present, and future reading with tarot, and you get a bad reading for the future, it doesn’t matter. That is how it is going right now, now you can see what you need to change etc 

You dont need a fancy journal for a grimore or book of shawdows

Heckadoodle I use a binder and notebook paper so I can move stuff around. I just write with a pencil and pen, and color with dollar store crayons or collered pencils. 
Now, you may be thinking, “Oh but, it’s a nice binder right?” Lemme stop you right there. It is falling apart, needs to be ducktaped, has a picture of my doggo inside and I’ve used it for school for abouutt.. 7 years?
Summin’ it up: It don’t gotta be fancy

If you forget to blow out candles set a timer on your phone

I do this all the freaking time and I’ll leave a candle out, and then here comes mother. Closet underage witches know the struggle. Trying to explain why you have a burning candle left in your room. Or if you are adult and have to adult after a spell or whatever and leave the house and come back to the candle just sittin’ there. Burning away. (my mom did this once and it caught her table on fire)
Timer. Yep.

You don’t have to know a certain language 

This is more focused to me bc i am nerd but okie dokie
I know Latin from school, therefore I mix it into my spells (like some on @witchy-recipes-and-things) and provide a translation. I don’t want anyone to think you have to have a certain language for your craft.

How to Ouija

Tbh this is too long already so if you want another post on it tell me and I’ll make one and link it

Sigils can be drawn everywhere

In your phone case, in your wallet, in a shoe, under fingernail polish, under seats, wherever whatever-I can also elaborate more on this

TAROT IS PRONOUNCED “TARO”

CONSENT IS KEY

When doing love spells, consent from the other person is a must. 

You can be a christian, athiest, pagan, whatever, and still do witchcraft

It is about the craft, not religion 

Witchcraft is not a religion, Wicca is

And you do not have to be Wiccan to partake in Witchcraft

Sage doesn’t have to be in cone shape to burn it

I put rubbed sage meant for cooking on a metal plate and torch the sucker Shane Dawson style but with one of the long lighters, then run around my house in my underware screaming “MAY THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPEL YOU BITCH” in Latin

When cleansing 

OPEN.THE.WINDOWS.WHEN.DEALING.WITH.SMOKE
Trust your witch mother who is allergic to everything and is an asthmatic, open the windows and doors.
Also, as the smoke leaves you room through the windows or whatever, the spirits/bad vibes/etc leave with it

You don’t have to believe everything you read

Witchcraft is how YOU feel about things. No matter how other people feel about things

You can have your own corresponces for things

Like I think cinnamon is hot, deals with the sun, direction south, used for healing love etc., but it can be totally different for you

Divination doers do not have to be witches and witches do not have to be divination doers

S T U D Y

Can not stress this enough. This is the best thing to do even if you can not practice your craft where you are atm. knowledge is power.

So here is a list I’ve complied :D (yes I’ve made all of these, I was too bored to ask people’s permission to add things, sue me) (All of the spells are all religion inclusive)

Learn you star sign with detail
Edible Flower List
Witch Tools
Tarot Meanings Cheat Sheet

Good First Spell-Calming Tea Spell
DIY Charcoal Pencil
Get Shit Done Bottle
Spell to Sleep
Sea in a Bottle
Protection and Calm Bottle
Find a Item You Lot

Referring to “When cleansing”, Line two, words 3-4, I am now your witch mother and if you ever have any questions feel free to ask! This list was requested from a witchling and if you have any requests feel free to ask :3

The Arkansas Sleep Experiments

by reddit user nazisharks

To Those Who Sleep

This happened a few years ago. You may have heard rumors if you’re on campus. Some even circulated online. Nobody knew what really happened. Because I’m the only one who knows and I kept quiet. For a multitude of reasons. None of them matter now. Here’s what really happened.

The four of us were handpicked for this experiment by Prof. Richardson because we’d all studied under him, worked under him, and, as much as anyone can, earned his confidence.

He said this one was different. We had to keep it quiet. He wanted to keep details to a minimum. All he would tell us before going in was that he required a month of our lives and that if he succeeded sleep would never again be a necessity.

Keep reading

The signs and how I have experienced them

This is in no way supposed to be accurate to the usual description of signs, i just write down how i have experienced them. I don’t really know why either.


Aries: very quiet at first but will bloom up if they trust you. indecisive, understanding, and sweet. loyal friend who will never judge you. doesn’t have a lot of opinions on things. likes to just chill and let it all happen. likes hugs a lot!

Taurus: loud and super ambitious. wants things done and wants it now. risk taker. gets angry quickly. very intense. cares about you but shows it in unusual ways. super prideful. enthusiastic!! loves buying new things. loves talking.

Gemini: super nice?? how do you do it. very touchy and wants everybody to like them.  always comes up with great ideas. insecure but really rocks. great team worker and always listens to you. trouble standing up for themselves sometimes.

Cancer: will do everything with you. always up for having fun, but also loves staying in and chilling. hyper wow. doesn’t take shit from anyone.  you insult their friend? you’re going down, they do not play. doesn’t care about other peoples opinions. kinda aggressive?

Leo: the person that everybody admires and loves and honestly?  so cool and such a good person. kind of an ego issue but it’s okay. honest and loves it. tends to be dramatic but if you push that aside very sweet and has some issues. loyal friend and a good leader.

Virgo: super quirky but everyone loves it. has a certain dry humor that just makes you crack up. bad with people. really insecure but such a nice person. artsy. nervous, really talented. works hard for everything. zooms in on their face in pictures. stop you’re beautiful. super fun clothing!

Libra: super chill on the outside but is actually great at sensing emotions and gets overwhelmed sometimes. fun and spontaneous. sporty!! great at making friends. hits your butt.pats your head when they pass you. mom tendencies, but also get super drunk and do stupid stuff tendencies. 

Scorpio: laughs so much. everybody loves them it’s unreal. makes everything seem chill and cool. supportive friend. kind of mean sometimes. likes to mess around and have fun, but still manages their grades. Scorpios are some of the best friends i’ve ever had. 

Sagittarius:  wants all the information!! plans everything and wants to read about everything. loves books so much. super supportive and honest. will always admit it when they are wrong and apologize. gets overwhelmed sometimes but it’s okay we still love you. afraid of failure. 

Capricorn: cold at first but is actually a nice bean who laughs very quickly. very responsible and mature. people always ask them for advice. sarcastic humor. just wants to be loved. will never judge you. will rant about absolutely nothing to you. such big dreams that i know you will achieve. doesn’t like sharing their emotions and that’s okay. a little mean sometimes

Aquarius:  loves everything unique and aesthetic. cares for fashion and rocks it. honestly very sweet but can be shady. gives people too many chances. always putting others first. has a lot of crushes on people. innocent and pure. doesn’t deserve the shit life gives them. confident yet insecure.

Pisces: such a good comforter? knows exactly what to say. good listener. has a lot of ideas for the future that i fully support. dreams about their perfect partner. positive. there’s something so wise and old about them it fascinates me. so many thoughts. kind of clingy sometimes but we love it.
The Problem With Cringe Culture

From what I’ve seen, the phenomenon dubbed Cringe Culture is a paragon of insecurity, internalized misogyny, and self-loathing.

Let me elaborate a little here:  here on Tumblr (and in life in general, honestly), a lot of folks are very pre-occupied with what is or isn’t Cringey.  It’s a dynamic somewhat reminiscent of an eighth grade schoolyard, but that’s really not the issue here.  

What Tumblr folks dub Cringey are typically things that are enjoyed by young teens (in particular, young girls) exploring fandom and fan creativity for the first time.

Yes, these teens are frequently obnoxious, overzealous, and loud, but it’s an exciting time for kids:  we as adults may have comfortably settled into our interests, but for them it’s an avenue of unsupervised self-expression they may not have experienced before.  Moreover, they have little to no experience in moderating themselves, which is one of the reasons why I believe the act of mocking them to be a somewhat callous one.  

Are they occasionally annoying?  Subjectively, yes.  I frequently find young teens and tweens annoying, particularly when they’re being loud and obnoxious during my allotted writing time.  But I don’t shame them for it, on here or in real life, because I’m an adult and they are literally children .  

And most importantly, so are the people mocking them.

I’ll elaborate once again:  I’m nineteen.  Most of my friends, both on here and on my other blog, are fellow chill late teens and twenty-somethings.  And I’ve never seen any adult who’s secure in their own self-image do anything other than Do Their Own Thing and allow everyone else do the same.

In other words, I’ve been involved in fandom for a few years now, and almost everyone I’ve seen actively participating in cringe culture has turned out to be no older than seventeen or so themselves, and probably (consciously or otherwise) attempting to distance themselves from their “embarrassing” younger alter egos and feel more confident in their purported maturity. 

Because they probably did some Cringey things when they were fourteen, too:  maybe they drew manga OCs on DeviantArt with needlessly elaborate hair, ran a passionate SuperWhoLock blog, read Homestuck, wrote angsty poetry about turning into wolves, et cetera.  

Of course, the whole point here is that there is literally nothing wrong with any of these things:  they’re harmless examples of children exploring revenues of creativity for the first time, that we’ve been conditioned to find embarrassing.  

Now, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t have this phase myself:  I once got into an impassioned argument on Facebook with a bunch of One Direction fans when I was sixteen or so, in which I dismissed their obsession as being Stupid and Juvenile and proclaimed my favored Heavy Metal as being far superior.  

Now, I’m still not into One Direction in the slightest, but if I could go back in time I would probably smack my sixteen-year-old self upside the head and tell her to leave people alone and let them do their own thing.

Of course, a large part of my reasoning was also driven at the time by my unfortunate Not Like Other Girls phase, in which I wanted to distance myself from the silliness of my fellow teen girls as much as possible.  I may or may not have still been in my “I hate pink” phase, which I still shudder to think about to this day.

Which brings me to another one of Cringe Culture’s more problematic aspects:  it’s inherently a little misogynist, in that almost everyone who partakes in it is attempting to distance themselves from the interests of teenage girls.

Shows like Doctor Who, Steven Universe, Voltron, Supernatural, Yuri on Ice, and many others all have passionate and predominantly young female fanbases, and as such, people seem unwittingly inclined to see them as inherently vapid, annoying, or Cringey in a way that equally vocal male-dominated fandoms simply aren’t.  

Even being a Trekkie (Star Trek fan) was considered embarrassing when the fandom was predominantly female populated, although the means by which fanfiction and discourse was exchanged was via fan-run zines rather than Tumblr blogs.  Now that men are in on it, it’s considered one of the best fandoms there is.

More male populated fandoms such as Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, the DC and Marvel cinematic universes, and Star Wars are just as impassioned, and have had just as many ideological issues in the past.  Yet are these things ever denigrated as being Cringy or annoying?  Not that I can recall.

Another one of my greatest issues with Cringe Culture is that it discourages passion:  I have never encountered a fandom, Cringey or otherwise, that hasn’t produced genuinely stunning works of art and fiction.  Moreover, I’ve never encountered a fandom that doesn’t have fans who have cited it as what saved them from depression or even suicide.  

So if someone’s passionate about something, even if it’s something of no value to you, it costs absolutely zero dollars to mind your own goddamn business and not taint their joy with your own insecurity, cynicism, and internalized self-loathing.  

Similarly, I can speak from experience when I say my interests and fandoms got me through the very worst period of my adolescence, and I’d be a significantly less happy person if I didn’t have still have them to fall back on.  Not everyone’s sole source of enjoyment and comfort in life comes from nihilistic memes.

So if you want to take a step towards fostering a more creative generation, take a step away from Cringe Culture.  Respect other people’s interests, and openly and unabashedly enjoy your own.  Question why you think certain interests are Cringey, and try to distance yourself from the mentality that you’re a better or cooler person for being less similar to young women.

And finally, try and forgive your fourteen-year-old self for whatever cringiness they may have been culpable of, and tell them that you love them anyway.

                        My realistic back to school tips

I got this idea from hellostudykatie.tumblr.com so thanks to her for this idea.

I thought since it is back to school time I would share my back to school tips that aren’t that far fetched because a lot of the studyblr community assume most people are organised. I on the other hand am not. I need a planner but sometimes I forget to use it. Sometimes we need straight to the point tips so here I am for you!

  • Get a planner/bullet journal: Over the past few years in school I was very unorganised so I started a bullet journal last year. I use a cheap notebook as my bullet journal and I use a very simple layout so it doesn’t take up too much time because typically I don’t have time to do much other than my school work. I have found it to be super useful to help me and keep myself motivated through out the year.
  • Write out your timetable: I takes me forever to learn my timetable. In April of this I stood outside a class that I didn’t even have for about 10 minutes So I like to write out my timetable at least three times and stick one in my school planner, one beside my door in my room and then save one onto my laptop. It comes in handy during the year if I get lost.
  • Go through all your stationery: I normally have a lot of stationery from the year before so before I go back to school shopping I like to go through every bit of stationery I own and make a list of what I need. This way I only buy the essentials and it saves money as well! I often buy stuff I don’t use or need.
  • Cut out people that have a negative effect in my life: I think this is a super important thing to do. If you have a “friend” that everyone in your life thinks has a negative effect on you believe them and cut them out of your life. I have had to do this with a few friends over the past few years and I have finally found a group of friends that I am super happy with.
  • Look through your textbooks: I usually wouldn’t do this but I have been revising over the summer so I plan on just reading over my notes before class starts in September!
  • Treat yourself the night before: I find the day before I go back to school is stressful and I tend to get very anxious so I like to treat myself the night before school starts. So I might have a bath or shower, moisturise, watch a few episodes of my favourite show or listen to music.
  • Start a routine about a week before: I start to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to get my sleep schedule back on track. It won’t be too drastic but I will aim for an hour earlier than what I have been which is about 3am so I will try go to bed at 2 or half one and wake up about 9 or 10am.

So these are my realistic tips because sometimes we need those simple tips to get through the start of school year. Hope they help at least one person. I would be happy for people to add their own tip if they wanted!

The Health Care Freedom Act: A Transcript

INT. SENATE FLOOR - NIGHT

SEN. MCCONNELL addresses the august body.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Okay, idiots. We’ve had seven years of the Obamacare hellscape, which, as everyone agrees, has ruined our country, killed jobs, slaughtered animals, and set the Bible on fire. But now the GOP is in charge – and it’s time for this national nightmare of “sick people being able to maybe not die or go bankrupt” to end.

SEN. SCHUMER
Okay, you’ve been talking about a replacement bill for eight years. Let’s see what you got.

SEN. CORNYN
Whoa whoa whoa – you’re being a little “pushy” there, Chuck.

SEN. SCHUMER
That’s usually code for “Jewish.”

SEN. CORNYN
Nobody said “Jewish.” I said “pushy.” You’re being pushy, is what I said. Don’t put words in my mouth. Anyway: read it and weep: the American Freedom Bald Eagle Old Glory Healthcare for Everyone with No Exceptions “It’s Gonna Be So Easy” Act.

SEN. WARREN
…Where is it? We haven’t seen it yet. Can we see it?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. JOHNSON
A little history for you: when the Democrats wrote “Obummercare” –

SEN. MCCONNELL
(chuckles)
Nice.

They high-five.

SEN. JOHNSON
– they did it in secret, in scarcely 16 months, behind closed doors, with not even 100 Republican amendments, and barely 70 public hearings.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Like you can craft anything good in 16 months!

SEN. CORNYN
In contrast to that undemocratic process, we, the GOP, spent literally dozens of minutes crafting this, over chicken caesar wraps and Arnold Palmers, earlier today in the senate dining room.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Enough talking. We’ve been discussing this bill for almost eight minutes. Time to vote.

SEN. WARREN
Can we see the bill?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. SCHUMER
Can we offer amendments?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. WYDEN
Can we have public hearings?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. Go back to Oregon, you dirty hippie.

SEN. COLLINS
I’m voting no, Mitch. This bill is terrible.

SEN. MURKOWSKI
I’m voting no too. It’s an abomination.

SEN. MCCONNELL
(shakes his head sadly)
Broads. Look, I know the bill is miserable. It would crash the insurance markets immediately. But who cares? This is just symbolic. This bill isn’t going to be a law. We’re just doing it to initiate a conference with the House, so we can actually pass a real bill later.

SEN. JOHNSON
I just got a text from Paul Ryan. The House might just pass this bill.

SEN. MCCONNELL
They might pass it?! Why the hell would they pass this bill we are about to pass?!

SEN. GRAHAM
(fanning himself)
This bill is abhorrent. It’s absurd, I say. I shudder to think what would happen if it became an actual law!

SEN. SCHUMER
So how will you vote?

SEN. GRAHAM
Oh I’m voting “yes.”

SEN. CAPITO
This bill would devastate the people of West Virginia!

SEN. PORTMAN
It would ruin lives! My own governor hates it!

SEN. SCHUMER
You’re both voting for it, though, right?

SEN. PORTMAN
Oh yeah.

SEN. CAPITO
No question. Voting “yes.”

SEN. HARRIS
Can we read the bill now?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. Any word from Ryan?

SEN. CRUZ
I’ve been texting him a lot. No word. Oh – hang on, he’s writing back…I see the little bubbles.

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. CRUZ
“New phone, who dis?” Guess I have the wrong number.

SEN. MCCONNELL
No, that’s his number. It’s just: nobody likes you.

SEN. JOHNSON
Ryan just texted me. I asked him if he could guarantee the House wouldn’t just pass our bill.

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. JOHNSON
(reading)
“Look, this is complicated. This stuff gets a little wonky – I don’t want to bore you with the nerdy, wonky details. I’m kind of a policy geek, so I kind of get down in there with the nitty-gritty stuff, that other people are bored by, because they’re not policy geeks like me.”

SEN. MCCONNELL
…He didn’t answer your question.

SEN. CRUZ
(checking Johnson’s phone)
Let me see what number you have for him…yeah, that’s the same number I have. Weird.

SEN. MCCONNELL
It’s not weird. No one likes you.

SEN. GRAHAM
(lying on fainting couch)
My fellow members of this most august body, don’t you see we are headed for a disaster? This bill cannot pass! It would upend generations of Senatorial norms and procedure, and devastate the very fabric of American society!

SEN. SCHUMER
Still voting for it, though?

SEN. GRAHAM
Oh yeah, still a solid “yes.”

SEN. MURKOWSKI
I’m still a “no,” by the way.

SEN. COLLINS
Me too.

SEN. MCCONNELL
No one cares, ladies. Go get your hair blown out or whatever.

SEN. HARRIS
Can we read the bill now?

SEN. MCCONNELL
(angry)
No! Why are there all these women haranguing me?! How many goddamned women are in the Senate now, 95?!

SEN. WARREN
Twenty.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Seems like 95. Look: no one gets to read the bill. It’s not a real bill! It’s not supposed to become a law!

SEN. JOHNSON
What if the House just passes it?

SEN. MCCONNELL
Call that little pissant Paul Ryan and tell him they better not!

SEN. JOHNSON
(dials)
Paul? It’s Ron Johnson. You better not pass this bill that we are about to pass, because we don’t want it to pass, even though we are gonna pass it!

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. JOHNSON
He said the process of passing bills is wonky, and it’s hard to explain, and he’ll try not to bore me with the wonky details.

SEN. CRUZ
Let me talk to him.
(takes phone)
Paul? It’s Ted. Listen, bud –
(beat)
Oh, sorry. Okay.
(hangs up)
It was the wrong number.

SEN. MCCONNELL
We were already talking to him, moron.

SEN. PORTMAN
No one likes you.

SEN. WARREN
Can we read the bill?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. No more women talking. Time to vote. It’s a fake bill, and if the House passes it and all hell breaks loose, we can just blame Hillary or something.
(calling out)
Who wants to pass a fake disastrous bill that, if it became law, would cause the insurance markets to collapse, and 18 million people to immediately lose health care, but who gives a crap, because it’d be the House’s fault and no one pays attention to this stuff anyway?

49 REPUBLICANS
Yay!

48 DEMOCRATS
Nay!

SENS. MURKOWSKI AND COLLINS
Nay.

SEN. MCCONNELL
(aside)
Must be that time of the month.

SEN. CRUZ
Nice!

Cruz goes to high-five McConnell, who ignores him.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Okay, one more vote. John?

SEN. MCCAIN
I vote no.

Everyone loses their minds.

AMERICAN MEDIA
MCCAIN VOTED NO! MAVERICK! ONCE AGAIN HE DEFIES THE PARTY! HERO! NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!

SEN. MURKOWSKI
…I voted “no” as well.

SEN. COLLINS
Yeah, Lisa and I are also Republicans who defied–

AMERICAN MEDIA
WE REPEAT: THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED! LITERALLY ONLY JOHN MCCAIN WOULD EVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS! PLUS HE HAS CANCER – AND HE STILL CAME HERE AND VOTED!

SEN. HIRONO
I have Stage 4 kidney cancer, and I voted –

AMERICAN MEDIA
JOHN MCCAIN JUST DID SOMETHING THAT LITERALLY NO OTHER MAN IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA WOULD EVER DO EVER!

SEN. CRUZ
Bummer, huh guys? Anyone want to come over to my place, get some wings, watch a little “Life of Brian?” No? Rain check, then.

Flourish. Exeunt. Curtain.

SDCC Steven Universe Panel Highlights

I thought I’d summarize some details on the San Diego Comic Con panel for anyone who wants it.

The panel at SDCC opened with a live singing of the theme song.

Zach Callison is the moderator. He introduced the guests: Michaela Dietz (Amethyst), Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl), Estelle (Garnet), AJ Michalka (Stevonnie), and of course Rebecca Sugar. He gives her congrats on the Emmy nomination (which is for “Mr. Greg” if you didn’t know). Then he asks the other cast members some questions. This is all paraphrased, not direct quoting.

Zach to Michaela: What Amethyst quotes do you use most in daily life?

Michaela says that when she wakes up, she makes noises that sound like her Gem is cracked. Then she says maybe she should change her answer to “womp womp.”

Zach breaks in with “Which way to the baby war?” as his favorite.

Zach to Deedee: What songs do you sing around the house?

She responds “Which do I NOT sing?” She likes “Love Like You” in the shower. “Steven and the Stevens” when she’s doing dishes, and “Peace and Love” a lot lately. Her kids are learning the songs on piano and ukulele, so there’s lots of SU tunes happening in her house.

Zach to Estelle: How has the popularity of the show affected your music career?

Estelle basically says a new generation of people are noticing her music and realizing she is the singer on songs they encounter in the wild. Zach says he grew up on “American Boy.” ;)

Zach to AJ: How has Stevonnie changed since their first appearance?

She says Stevonnie has learned a lot, and has more confidence now.

Then the cast does a great little line read of the scene when Stevonnie first appears, beginning with them barging in with “Pretty cool right?” The voice actors all say their parts and perform it slightly differently, which is cute. Then they do a version of “Here Comes a Thought” with Estelle and AJ!

Zach to Rebecca: What’s next on Steven Universe?

(Of course she laughs.)

Rebecca says the show has recently had so many huge events, so there will be lots of fallout, like a roller coaster from here on out. Then they show a clip. It’s sort of like a trailer. It’s all about Lapis’s conflictedness not wanting to get caught in another war, Homeworld’s future actions, Pearl being unable to properly explain the context of everything even though she wants to, and Greg not knowing his place in all this.

Zach says he hadn’t seen it yet.

Then they talk a bit about the Save the Light game coming out. A trailer for the game pops up and it includes footage that hasn’t been seen. Including a new character: Squaridot, a Peridot from Homeworld.

Rebecca was very involved in the making of the game. She says having a console game is a dream come true because they could do so much more than with the small mobile game, Attack the Light. There are Fusions and original characters, and the mechanics are relationship-based, and Greg is a player character who can play guitar. She likes that Squaridot is a Peridot who hasn’t made the kind of progress that Peridot has made. They segue to say Shelby Rabara (Peridot’s voice actor) is taking over social media for the week.

Then they talk about the Art and Origins book being out, and how there’s a SDCC-exclusive version. Launching also is the podcast, a 10-episode production, about the production of the show. McKenzie Atwood is the host. Rebecca and Steven were Episode 1–I’ve already heard this (and I seem to recall there wasn’t really a lot of new info except that the Gem writing in the Kindergarten will say who each section belongs to if you can read it, and that a lot of Ishtar imagery was used, including the 7 lions and the stars). Rebecca did episode 1 of the podcast with her brother, and says she wishes she could do everything with Steven. Zach and Grace are Episode 2.  

They talk about how the soundtrack Volume 1 is out, and announce that a vinyl version is out in fall! A limited-run Stronger than You and Love Like You vinyl single is out for SDCC.

Then they play a name-the-song game with SU cosplayers. They complimented a Pearl cosplayer’s cool spear too. They read lyrics, tell what song it’s from, and if the player gets it right, they win a vinyl single. Quiz songs included “Love Like You,” “Wailing Stone,” “Let Me Drive My Van Into Your Heart,” “Steven and the Stevens,” “It’s Over, Isn’t It,” “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue),” and “Comet.” Most people got them right, but if they got it wrong they got to try another one.

Then there’s a Q&A, which I’m paraphrasing the 12 questions:

1. Audience member: Fluorite is a polyamorous relationship, right? What inspired it?

Rebecca said she went to an LGBTQ center in Long Beach and chatted about what stuff they really wanted to see. Poly relationships came up. (So yes, that’s confirmed, though in my opinion it really didn’t have to be since they were pretty clear about it!)

2. Audience member: Fan theories–do they influence you or do you have a master plan?

Rebecca says she loves fan theories, but they work way further in the future, so no, they really don’t influence what the story does. She has loved reading the theories about the trial, because some are onto something, and some are like way off. Zach says the good stuff gets downvoted a lot.

3. Audience member: Says a favorite character of theirs is Rainbow Quartz, and wants to know will we see a version of her with Steven?

Rebecca says of course she can’t give spoilers, but that Rainbow Quartz 2.0 would inevitably be different. Then she quickly says, “Forget I said that.”

4. Audience member: How old is Lion? Have we seen all his powers?

Rebecca says it’s a good question and can’t say exactly. The episode “Buddy’s Book” gives a hint at the general time when Rose was spending time with seven lions. That’s a gauge for how old Lion is. She implies that Lion does have more to show us about what he can do.

5. Audience member: Regarding the “Off Colors” episode, which Off Color do you relate to?

Rebecca immediately says “Rhodonite, the neurotic.” Then Zach says he relates to Padparadscha because he’ll trail off in the middle of a sentence. Deedee says she relates to that too.

6. Audience member: On writing music for the show–any challenges?

Rebecca says it’s very challenging–they’re given no extra time to work on the songs. “Mr. Greg” was most challenging of course. Zach is glad the Emmys recognized Rebecca’s extra hours. He said he had a hard time when his voice changed. “Puberty is a thing,” he says, while talking about some songs he struggled with.

7. Audience member: Will there be a Blu-Ray?

Rebecca would like it. Making it happen will take more moments like this (the panel, people showing up for the show).

8. Audience member: Did Yellow Diamond shatter Pink Diamond?

Dude.

Zach: “We won’t tell anyone what you say Rebecca.”

Rebecca just says she’s really excited about the next run because it was a chance to do a real murder mystery.

9. Audience member: What inspired you to use gems/rocks?

Rebecca: “Aesthetic! It’d look cool!” But she learned a lot about myths. Smoky Quartz was fun to learn about gem trivia for, building important symbolism into their character. Estelle said gems are just really pretty, that’s enough of a reason.

10. Audience member: How often do you write a song and then build an episode around it or vice versa?

Rebecca says it depends. Character stories will need a song when dialogue just isn’t enough. “Here Comes a Thought” was unusual since it came before the episode. She wanted it to be a tool to teach kids about mindfulness meditation.

11. Audience member: Do you anticipate what’s going to be popular on your show?

Rebecca says on the inside they focus on loving what they’re making. Team ideas that are spur of the moment seem to catch on most with the fans too. They discuss Padparadscha’s immense popularity. Sapphires are sort of Zelda-like, Rebecca says, and she wanted one who reminded her of Peach. Lamar Abrams came up with the idea of making her hair kinda look like a crown to increase the feeling that she has a matching vibe.

12. Audience member: On Lars’ development: was it planned initially?

Rebecca says it happened naturally. He’s one of the oldest characters in the show, and she was drawing him in college. Lars-n-Sadie comics are older than SU. (This was already known but apparently some people didn’t know they predate the show.) So of course they were always going to be important. (Zach says Lars was important in the pilot for calling Steven names.)

Imagine Mary realizing both of her sons, Sam and Dean, are in love with the same girl, you.

Originally posted by supernaturalfreewill

Originally posted by soluscheese

“Morning.” Sam mumbled as he walked into the kitchen and saw you, Mary and Castiel there, you still cooking the pancakes and her setting everything else up for breakfast with Castiel’s help.

“Morning sweetie.” Mary smiled up at him as he leaned down to kiss her cheek before he turned to take a good look at you.

“Wow” he breathed out and you looked at him for a second before in the end giggling as you tucked a few strands of hair behind your ear.

“What?” you asked, looking up at the older man as he blinked rapidly, staring at you almost awestruck. You glanced at his mother that was still there but luckily was not looking at the two of you.

“You just- I never thought you’d look this good in my clothes.” he said with an adorable dimpled smile as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

You laughed looking back at the food, after glancing down at yourself for a moment. You weren’t in the mood for trying really hard so along with the messy hair you had stolen one of Sam’s flannels that could work as a dress for you and wore it. It was a nice chance compared to you wearing always Dean’s shirts. There was something similar in this, both their clothes made you feel at peace, they had a certain scent to them that brought the same kind of comfort their hugs did but at the same time that scent was so different. And it reminded you instantly of whose clothes you were wearing.

“Thanks” you bit your lip, opting to look only at the pancakes as you felt your cheeks heat up. You had a soft spot for the younger Winchester, you couldn’t deny that, you were really close and had many things in common. He was sweet and kind, gentle and caring. You knew that when you needed to talk to someone he would always be there for you. You were like a little sister to him, as far as you knew at least, even if for you he meant a lot more than just family. But you weren’t going to do something to risk what you had, you’d much rather bottle up your feelings than ruin all of this.

Besides, he wasn’t the only one involved in all of this.

“But- if you want it back I could give it. I’m sorry I didn’t ask I just- it looked too comfy and I-” you started rambling, trying to find an excuse for yourself but he shook his head.

“No, no no!” he said a little too fast and you bit your lip at his reaction “By all means-” he breathed out “-You can keep it, it looks better on you anyway.” he said adorably and you grinned.

“Thank you Sammy.” you stood on your tiptoes and kissed his cheek, making his smile even wider.

“So- what do you want with your pancakes, you didn’t tell me?” you asked and he paused in thought for a moment.

“Uhm I think I’ll go with some eggs today.” he paused in thought.

“Do you want me to make them?” you asked, ready to start on them already but he shook his head with a laugh.

“No you already do enough for us.” he pecked your forehead “I’ll do that myself.” he winked and started working on them next to you as you still laughed and chatted happily.

“You know I love taking care of you anyway.” you mumbled with a shy shrug and he smiled warmly.

“Yes, and I know it. But it’s not bad if you take a break once in a while and let us do all the work.” he said matter of factlyand you just shrugged “You know you deserve it.”

“Not as much as you guys do honestly I-” you shook your head, flipping another pancake.

“Dare you complete that sentence.” it was Dean’s stern voice but the moment you looked at him he had a small smile on. You sighed, knowing you weren’t going to win this fight against both of them so you just shook your head.

Oh and he also happened to be the other person involved.

“Morning guys.” he greeted as he kissed Mary and came towards you, not missing a chance to wrap his arms around your waist.

A small squeak left your lips as he pressed his body against yours and you both chuckled in the end as he kissed the back of your head “Damn smells amazing.” he breathed out as he looked over at the pancakes.

“Thought you’d like them, and in case you are not really into pancakes today I made some cherry pie for you.” you smirked and he looked at you with a wide grin.

“Gosh” he breathed out with wide eyes that made him look like a little kid on Christmas day “Marry me!” he grinned and you laughed.

“You’d have to take me out first, Winchester!” you said as you heard him laugh as he squeezed you, burying his face in your hair.

“Anytime princess.” he mumbled, nuzzling his face before in the end he leaned down and kissed your neck.

You giggled as his morning scruff tickled you and you turned your head to peck his cheek, making him smile down at you. It felt so refreshing to see him like this. It has been such a long while since you saw Dean so carefree.

Of course you had gotten the chance to see him relax sometimes, when it was just the two of you and he’d let loose, but those moments were rare. It mostly was you holding him as you either sat in silence or he talked to you about a nightmare- or whatever was worrying him at the moment.

Your relationship with Dean was different from that of Sam. While with Sam you were all playful, most of the time, and acted all cute together: watching movies, reading books and talking about all kinds of nerdy stuff your relationship with Dean was more contact and less words. You’d spent many nights in each other’s rooms just holding each other, gazing into each other’s eyes like some love-sick couple – well you were love sick you couldn’t deny it at least to yourself – and only sometimes talking. Dean wasn’t really a man of words so when it came to just the two of you he talked about only the things that troubled him. But even the few words were enough for you to get a look into his world. Heck, the mere fact that he trusted you with his thoughts and feelings was enough to let you know how important you were to him.

Of course there were serious moments with Sam as well, he too trusted you with his worries as well, and as that there were funny moments with Dean. Both brothers were very similar but at the same time your relationship with each of them was completely different. Each one of them completed a side of you that in returned completed them as well.

“Hey you two-” Sam’s voice got Dean’s attention. You looked at him to, luckily, see he had a small smile on his face “You’re not alone alright?”

“Sadly” Dean added and you giggled as Sam shot him a bitch-face.

“Why don’t you prove yourself useful and and prepare some bacon huh?” Sam obviously found an excuse to get him away from you.

“Oooh yes, love me some bacon!” Dean said with a glint in his eyes and you chuckled at how childish he was being.

“But first-” he said cupping your face as he leaned down and kissed your forehead, his lips much like Sam’s previously lingered a little longer than they should have. He looked down into your eyes, exactly like Sam had done, and offered you one last gentle smile before going back to playful him and started working on his bacon.

The three of you still talked and laughed as you had each Winchester on each side of you. Her sons’ laughter caught Mary’s attention and this time she took a real good look at the three of you. For a second she smiled fondly at how childlike you were all being, happy that her kids looked so carefree around you, but when realization downed on her hersmile faded away.

“Mary?” Castiel’s low voice caught her attention as she looked at the angel.

“Are you alright?” he asked with a small frown.

“Should I be Castiel?” she sighed sadly “I mean, how can I even be? At first I was happy about Dean but now- seeing this-Knowing that my one son’s happiness depends on the other’s grief- how can I be happy?”

“What- what do you mean?” Castiel frowned with a tilt of his head and she looked from the three of you to him.

“I thought seeing my sons fall in love would be something great. I just didn’t know it was going to be with the same girl.”

10 Baby Facts for SPN Fic Authors

[I swear this is not a rant - it ISN’T. Honest.]

It is actually kind of cool to realize that you possess specialty knowledge that may be of use to others. Stuff that you didn’t really KNOW you knew, until, of course, you are reading along in a fic and something the author describes (or the character says) brings your brain to a screeching halt. “That’s not right – it can’t possibly happen that way…” And then you go and do actual research to back up your gut knowledge. This little FAQ is the result of one such realization.

My dad fixed antique and classic cars for a living from 1964 – 1978, owning his own showroom for 3 years near the end of that time. Born in 1966, I grew up playing in old cars, hiding in floorboards and exploring them to my heart’s content. Our family car for several years was a 1966 Thunderbird, but when dad went to car shows, we rode in whatever he wanted to show off. I’ve been in rumble seats, hard top convertibles, cars with windshields that laid down flat, and cars with no roof, doors, or walls of any kind. My 1st car was a fully restored 1966 mustang. Without really realizing it, I soaked up a LOT of inherent understandings about older cars. The information below is based in that knowledge, backed up with some internet research.

The following is true about Baby (the character in SPN, not necessarily the actual cars that play her): 

1) Compared to most modern sedans, Baby is BIG. Like REALLY BIG. She is 17 and ¾ feet long (5.4 meters) and 7 feet 8 inches wide (2.03 meters). Allowing for door thickness on either side and the gaps between doors and bench seat, I’m betting the front seat is a little over 5 feet wide. Given basic geometry and human skeletal limitations, this means it is not possible for the passenger to have their head resting against the passenger door/window AND place their hand on the driver’s thigh. If the passenger is in this position, the driver can,  at best, entwine fingers with the passenger’s outstretched hand. That’s IT (even with Sam’s monkey arms). Sitting up straight, yes. Slumped over, no. On the plus side, this is why the guys can, in fact, get some sleep in her (and have fun in the back seat).

2) Despite how big Baby is, she is kinda short. Baby is only 54 inches high (4’6” or 138 cm). INSIDE the car, she is slightly less than 4 feet tall total. This means that the following actions WILL make you bump your head (or butt or hands or feet) on the ceiling unless you are very very slow and careful: climbing over the back seat, straddling someone’s lap, taking off your pants or t-shirt (unless nearly lying down in the seat), and lunging across the front bench seat to attack someone bodily. And you will look graceless doing it. [Ahem, trust me on these, I KNOW.] Additional negative modifiers for Sam due to height.

More below the cut.

Keep reading

Dead Fandoms, Part 3

Read Part One of Dead Fandoms here. 

Read Part Two of Dead Fandoms here. 

Before we continue, I want to add the usual caveat that I actually don’t want to be right about these fandoms being dead. I like enthusiasm and energy and it’s a shame to see it vanish.


Mists of Avalon

Remember that period of time of about 15 years, where absolutely everybody read this book and was obsessed with it? It could not have been bigger, and the fandom was Anne Rice huge, overlapping for several years with USENET and the early World Wide Web…but it’s since petered out. 

Mists of Avalon’s popularity may be due to the most excellent case of hitting a demographic sweet spot ever. The book was a feminist retelling of the Arthurian Mythos where Morgan Le Fay is the main character, a pagan from matriarchal goddess religions who is fighting against encroaching Christianity and patriarchal forms of society coming in with it. Also, it made Lancelot bisexual and his conflict is how torn he is about his attraction to both Arthur and Guinevere.

Remember, this novel came out in 1983 – talk about being ahead of your time! If it came out today, the reaction from a certain corner would be something like “it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that tumblr is at it again.”

Man, demographically speaking, that’s called “nailing it.” It used to be one of the favorite books of the kind of person who’s bookshelf is dominated by fantasy novels about outspoken, fiery-tongued redheaded women, who dream of someday moving to Scotland, who love Enya music and Kate Bush, who sell homemade needlepoint stuff on etsy, who consider their religious beliefs neo-pagan or wicca, and who have like 15 cats, three of which are named Isis, Hypatia, and Morrigan.

This type of person is still with us, so why did this novel fade in popularity? There’s actually a single hideous reason: after her death around 2001, facts came out that Marion Zimmer Bradley abused her daughters sexually. Even when she was alive, she was known for defending and enabling a known child abuser, her husband, Walter Breen. To say people see your work differently after something like this is an understatement – especially if your identity is built around being a progressive and feminist author.


Robotech

I try to break up my sections on dead fandoms into three parts: first, I explain the property, then explain why it found a devoted audience, and finally, I explain why that fan devotion and community went away. Well, in the case of Robotech, I can do all three with a single sentence: it was the first boy pilot/giant robot Japanimation series that shot for an older, teenage audience to be widely released in the West. Robotech found an audience when it was the only true anime to be widely available, and lost it when became just another import anime show. In the days of Crunchyroll, it’s really hard to explain what made Robotech so special, because it means describing a different world.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1986 for Japanime fans: there were barely any video imports, and if you wanted a series, you usually had to trade tapes at your local basement club (they were so precious they couldn’t even be sold, only traded). If you were lucky, you were given a script to translate what you were watching. Robotech though, was on every day, usually after school. You want an action figure? Well, you could buy a Robotech Valkyrie or a Minmei figure at your local corner FAO Schwartz. 

However, the very strategy that led to it getting syndicated is the very reason it was later vilified by the purists who emerged when anime became a widespread cultural force: strictly speaking, there actually is no show called “Robotech.” Since Japanese shows tend to be short run, say, 50-60 episodes, it fell well under the 80-100 episode mark needed for syndication in the US. The producer of Harmony Gold, Carl Macek, had a solution: he’d cut three unrelated but similar looking series together into one, called “Robotech.” The shows looked very similar, had similar love triangles, used similar tropes, and even had little references to each other, so the fit was natural. It led to Robotech becoming a weekday afternoon staple with a strong fandom who called themselves “Protoculture Addicts.” There were conventions entirely devoted to Robotech. The supposed shower scene where Minmei was bare-breasted was the barely whispered stuff of pervert legend in pre-internet days. And the tie in novels, written with the entirely western/Harmony Gold conception of the series and which continued the story, were actually surprisingly readable.

The final nail in the coffin of Robotech fandom was the rise of Sailor Moon, Toonami, Dragonball, and yes, Pokemon (like MC Hammer’s role in popularizing hip hop, Pokemon is often written out of its role in creating an audience for the next wave of cartoon imports out of insecurity). Anime popularity in the West can be defined as not a continuing unbroken chain like scifi book fandom is, but as an unrelated series of waves, like multiple ancient ruins buried on top of each other (Robotech was the vanguard of the third wave, as Anime historians reckon); Robotech’s wave was subsumed by the next, which had different priorities and different “core texts.” Pikachu did what the Zentraedi and Invid couldn’t do: they destroyed the SDF-1.


Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Superheroes was comic set in the distant future that combined superheroes with space opera, with a visual aesthetic that can best be described as “Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if it was set in a disco.” 

I’ve heard wrestling described as “a soap opera for men.” If that’s the case, then Legion of Super-Heroes was a soap opera for nerds. The book is about attractive 20-somethings who seem to hook up all the time. As a result, it had a large female fanbase, which, I cannot stress enough, is incredibly unusual for this era in comics history. And if you have female fans, you get a lot of shipping and slashfic, and lots of speculation over which of the boy characters in the series is gay. The fanon answer is Element Lad, because he wore magenta-pink and never had a girlfriend. (Can’t argue with bulletproof logic like that.) In other words, it was a 1970s-80s fandom that felt much more “modern” than the more right-brained, bloodless, often anal scifi fandoms that existed around the same time, where letters pages were just nitpicking science errors by model train and elevator enthusiasts.

Legion Headquarters seemed to be a rabbit fuck den built around a supercomputer and Danger Room. Cosmic Boy dressed like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror. There’s one member, Duo Damsel, who can turn into two people, a power that, in the words of Legion writer Jim Shooter, was “useful for weird sex…and not much else.”

LSH was popular because the fans were insanely horny. This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the thirstiest fandom of all time.  You might think I’m overselling this, but I really think that’s an under-analyzed part of how some kinds of fiction build a devoted fanbase.  

For example, a big reason for the success of Mass Effect is that everyone has a favorite girl or boy, and you have the option to romance them. Likewise, everyone who was a fan of Legion remembers having a crush. Sardonic Ultra Boy for some reason was a favorite among gay male nerds (aka the Robert Conrad Effect). Tall, blonde, amazonian telepath Saturn Girl, maybe the first female team leader in comics history, is for the guys with backbone who prefer Veronica over Betty. Shrinking Violet was a cute Audrey Hepburn type. And don’t forget Shadow Lass, who was a blue skinned alien babe with pointed ears and is heavily implied to have an accent (she was Aayla Secura before Aayla Secura was Aayla Secura). Light Lass was commonly believed to be “coded lesbian” because of a short haircut and her relationships with men didn’t work out. The point is, it’s one thing to read about the adventures of a superteam, and it implies a totally different level of mental and emotional involvement to read the adventures of your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend.  

Now, I should point out that of all the fandoms I’ve examined here, LSH was maybe the smallest. Legion was never a top seller, but it was a favorite of the most devoted of fans who kept it alive all through the seventies and eighties with an energy and intensity disproportionate to their actual numbers. My gosh, were LSH fans devoted! Interlac and Legion Outpost were two Legion fanzines that are some of the most famous fanzines in comics history.

If nerd culture fandoms were drugs, Star Wars would be alcohol, Doctor Who would be weed, but Legion of Super-Heroes would be injecting heroin directly into your eyeballs. Maybe it is because the Legionnaires were nerdy, too: they played Dungeons and Dragons in their off time (an escape, no doubt, from their humdrum, mundane lives as galaxy-rescuing superheroes). There were sometimes call outs to Monty Python. Basically, the whole thing had a feel like the dorkily earnest skits or filk-singing at a con. Legion felt like it’s own fan series, guest starring Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day.

It helped that the boundary between fandom and professional was incredibly porous. For instance, pro-artist Dave Cockrum did covers for Legion fanzines. Former Legion APA members Todd and Mary Biernbaum got a chance to actually write Legion, where, with the gusto of former slashfic writers given the keys to canon, their major contribution was a subplot that explicitly made Element Lad gay. Mike Grell, a professional artist who got paid to work on the series, did vaguely porno-ish fan art. Again, it’s hard to tell where the pros started and the fandom ended; the inmates were running the asylum.

Mostly, Legion earned this devotion because it could reward it in a way no other comic could. Because Legion was not a wide market comic but was bought by a core audience, after a point, there were no self-contained one-and-done Legion stories. In fact, there weren’t even really arcs as we know it, which is why Legion always has problems getting reprinted in trade form. Legion was plotted like a daytime soap opera: there were always five different stories going on in every issue, and a comic involved cutting between them. Sure, like daytime soap operas, there’s never a beginning, just endless middles, so it was totally impossible for a newbie to jump on board…but soap operas know what they are doing: long term storytelling rewards a long term reader.

This brings me to today, where Legion is no longer being published by DC. There is no discussion about a movie or TV revival. This is amazing. Comics are a world where the tiniest nerd groups get pandered to: Micronauts, Weirdworld, Seeker 3000, and Rom have had revival series, for pete’s sake. It’s incredible there’s no discussion of a film or TV treatment, either; friggin Cyborg from New Teen Titans is getting a solo movie. 

Why did Legion stop being such a big deal? Where did the fandom that supported it dissolve to? One word: X-Men. Legion was incredibly ahead of its time. In the 60s and 70s, there were barely any “fan” comics, since superhero comics were like animation is today: mostly aimed at kids, with a minority of discerning adult/teen fans, and it was success among kids, not fans, that led to something being a top seller (hence, “fan favorites” in the 1970s, as surprising as it is to us today, often did not get a lot of work, like Don MacGregor or Barry Smith). But as newsstands started to push comics out, the fan audience started to get bigger and more important…everyone else started to catch up to the things that made Legion unique: most comics started to have attractive people who paired up into couples and/or love triangles, and featured extremely byzantine long term storytelling. If Legion of Super-Heroes is going to be remembered for anything, it’s for being the smaller scale “John the Baptist” to the phenomenon of X-Men, the ultimate “fan” comic.

The other thing that killed Legion, apart from Marvel’s Merry Mutants, that is, was the r-word: reboots. A reboot only works for some properties, but not others. You reboot something when you want to find something for a mass audience to respond to, like with Zorro, Batman, or Godzilla.

Legion, though, was not a comic for everybody, it was a fanboy/girl comic beloved by a niche who read it for continuing stories and minutiae (and to jack off, and in some cases, jill off). Rebooting a comic like that is a bad idea. You do not reboot something where the main way you engage with the property, the greatest strength, is the accumulated lore and history. Rebooting a property like that means losing the reason people like it, and unless it’s something with a wide audience, you only lose fans and won’t get anything in return for it. So for something like Legion (small fandom obsessed with long form plots and details, but unlike Trek, no name recognition) a reboot is the ultimate Achilles heel that shatters everything, a self-destruct button they kept hitting over and over and over until there was nothing at all left.


E. E. Smith’s Lensman Novels

The Lensman series is like Gil Evans’s jazz: it’s your grandparents’ favorite thing that you’ve never heard of. 

I mean, have you ever wondered exactly what scifi fandom talked about before the rise of the major core texts and cultural objects (Star Trek, Asimov, etc)? Well, it was this. Lensmen was the subject of fanfiction mailed in manilla envelopes during the 30s, 40s, and 50s (some of which are still around). If you’re from Boston, you might recognize that the two biggest and oldest scifi cons there going back to the 1940s, Boskone (Boscon, get it?) and Arisia, are references to the Lensman series. This series not only created space opera as we know it, but contributed two of the biggest visuals in scifi, the interstellar police drawn from different alien species, and space marines in power armor.

My favorite sign of how big this series was and how fans responded to it, was a great wedding held at Worldcon that duplicated Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa’s wedding on Klovia. This is adorable:

The basic story is pure good vs. evil: galactic civilization faces a crime and piracy wave of unprecedented proportions from technologically advanced pirates (the memory of Prohibition, where criminals had superior firearms and faster cars than the cops, was strong by the mid-1930s). A young officer, Kimball Kinnison (who speaks in a Stan Lee esque style of dialogue known as “mid-century American wiseass”), graduates the academy and is granted a Lens, an object from an ancient mystery civilization, who’s true purpose is unknown.

Lensman Kinnison discovers that the “crime wave” is actually a hostile invasion and assault by a totally alien culture that is based on hierarchy, intolerant of failure, and at the highest level, is ruled by horrifying nightmare things that breathe freezing poison gases. Along the way, he picks up allies, like van Buskirk, a variant human space marine from a heavy gravity planet who can do a standing jump of 20 feet in full space armor, Worsel, a telepathic dragon warrior scientist with the technical improvisation skills of MacGyver (who reads like the most sadistically minmaxed munchkinized RPG character of all time), and Nandreck, a psychologist from a Pluto-like planet of selfish cowards.

The scale of the conflict starts small, just skirmishes with pirates, but explodes to near apocalyptic dimensions. This series has space battles with millions of starships emerging from hyperspacial tubes to attack the ultragood Arisians, homeworld of the first intelligent race in the cosmos. By the end of the fourth book, there are mind battles where the reflected and parried mental beams leave hundreds of innocent bystanders dead. In the meantime we get evil Black Lensmen, the Hell Hole in Space, and superweapons like the Negasphere and the Sunbeam, where an entire solar system was turned into a vacuum tube.

It’s not hard to understand why Lensmen faded in importance. While the alien Lensmen had lively psychologies, Lensman Kimball Kinnison was not an interesting person, and that’s a problem when scifi starts to become more about characterization. The Lensman books, with their love of police and their sexism (it is an explicit plot point that the Lens is incompatible with female minds – in canon there are no female Lensmen) led to it being judged harshly by the New Wave writers of the 1960s, who viewed it all as borderline fascist military-scifi establishment hokum, and the reputation of the series never recovered from the spirit of that decade.


Prisoner of Zenda

Prisoner of Zenda is a novel about a roguish con-man who visits a postage-stamp, charmingly picturesque Central European kingdom with storybook castles, where he finds he looks just like the local king and is forced to pose as him in palace intrigues. It’s a swashbuckling story about mistaken identity, swordfighting, and intrigue, one part swashbuckler and one part dark political thriller.

The popularity of this book predates organized fandom as we know it, so I wonder if “fandom” is even the right word to use. All the same, it inspired fanatical dedication from readers. There was such a popular hunger for it that an entire library could be filled with nothing but rip-offs of Prisoner of Zenda. If you have a favorite writer who was active between 1900-1950, I guarantee he probably wrote at least one Prisoner of Zenda rip-off (which is nearly always the least-read book in his oeuvre). The only novel in the 20th Century that inspired more imitators was Sherlock Holmes. Robert Heinlein and Edmond “Planet Smasher” Hamilton wrote scifi updates of Prisoner of Zenda. Doctor Who lifted the plot wholesale for the Tom Baker era episode, “Androids of Tara,” Futurama did this exact plot too, and even Marvel Comics has its own copy of Ruritania, Doctor Doom’s Kingdom of Latveria. Even as late as the 1980s, every kids’ cartoon did a “Prisoner of Zenda” episode, one of the stock plots alongside “everyone gets hit by a shrink ray” and the Christmas Carol episode.

Prisoner of Zenda imitators were so numerous, that they even have their own Library of Congress sub-heading, of “Ruritanian Romance.” 

One major reason that Prisoner of Zenda fandom died off is that, between World War I and World War II, there was a brutal lack of sympathy for anything that seemed slightly German, and it seems the incredibly Central European Prisoner of Zenda was a casualty of this. Far and away, the largest immigrant group in the United States through the entire 19th Century were Germans, who were more numerous than Irish or Italians. There were entire cities in the Midwest that were two-thirds German-born or German-descent, who met in Biergartens and German community centers that now no longer exist.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about how the German-American world he grew up in vanished because of the prejudice of the World Wars, and that disappearance was so extensive that it was retroactive, like someone did a DC comic-style continuity reboot where it all never happened: Germans, despite being the largest immigrant group in US history, are left out of the immigrant story. The “Little Bohemias” and “Little Berlins” that were once everywhere no longer exist. There is no holiday dedicated to people of German ancestry in the US, the way the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day or Italians have Columbus Day (there is Von Steuben’s Day, dedicated to a general who fought with George Washington, but it’s a strictly Midwest thing most people outside the region have never heard of, like Sweetest Day). If you’re reading this and you’re an academic, and you’re not sure what to do your dissertation on, try writing about the German-American immigrant world of the 19th and 20th Centuries, because it’s a criminally under-researched topic.


A. Merritt

Pop quiz: who was the most popular and influential fantasy author during the 1930s and 40s? 

If you answered Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, you’re wrong - it was actually Abraham Merritt. He was the most popular writer of his age of the kind of fiction he did, and he’s since been mostly forgotten. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has said that A. Merritt was his favorite fantasy and horror novelist.

Why did A. Merritt and his fandom go away, when at one point, he was THE fantasy author? Well, obviously one big answer was the 1960s counterculture, which brought different writers like Tolkien and Lovecraft to the forefront (by modern standards Lovecraft isn’t a fantasy author, but he was produced by the same early century genre-fluid effluvium that produced Merritt and the rest). The other answer is that A. Merritt was so totally a product of the weird occult speculation of his age that it’s hard to even imagine him clicking with audiences in other eras. His work is based on fringe weirdness that appealed to early 20th Century spiritualism and made sense at the time: reincarnation, racial memory, an obsession with lost race stories and the stone age, and weirdness like the 1920s belief that the Polar Arctic is the ancestral home of the Caucasian race. In other words, it’s impossible to explain Merritt without a ton of sentences that start with “well, people in the 1920s thought that…” That’s not a good sign when it comes to his universality. 


That’s it for now. Do you have any suggestions on a dead fandom, or do you keep one of these “dead” fandoms alive in your heart?

A rant that shouldn’t need to be ranted about

I don’t know if a lot of people will read this, but I hope to anyone who reads this takes this as seriously as it should be taken. I would also just like to state that i am NOT being over dramatic, I am NOT going to handle anyones shit if they tell me otherwise.
Yesterday, I was in the train at around 6:30pm waiting for it to start moving just to meet a couple of my friends. It so happens that it was also Pride Day here (in Stockholm, Sweden), hence I was headed to go join everyone at the park. So i’m wearing this blue wrap around type of top, which yes wasn’t “conservative” but i had a leather jacket over it with black high waisted pants. I added a picture of what I wore at the end of this post.  

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Important Quotes from GRRM

“Some people I met thought we have to find the story’s through line. Who’s the important character? Somebody thought that Dany’s the important character – cut away everybody else, tell the story of Dany. Or Jon Snow. Those were the two most popular characters to build everything around, except you’re losing 90 percent of the story. “ - Rollingstone 2014

“[T]hey couldn’t get a handle on the size of the material, the very thing that I set out to do. I had all these meetings saying, “There’s too many characters, it’s too big — Jon Snow is the central character. We’ll eliminate all the other characters and we’ll make it about Jon Snow.” Or “Daenerys is the central character. We’ll eliminate everyone else and make the movie about Daenerys.” And I turned down all those deals.” -Time Magazine 2017

These two quotes are probably the most important quotes from George because he plainly states that the story is not just about Jon/Dæny. George narrows them down to being only 10% of the story. Are they important? Yes. But so are a host of other characters.


“So all that time I thought Gandalf was dead, and now he’s back and now he’s Gandalf the White. And, ehh, he’s more or less the same as always, except he’s more powerful. It always felt a little bit like a cheat to me. And as I got older and considered it more, it also seemed to me that death doesn’t make you more powerful. That’s, in some ways, me talking to Tolkien in the dialogue, saying, “Yeah, if someone comes back from being dead, especially if they suffer a violent, traumatic death, they’re not going to come back as nice as ever.“ That’s what I was trying to do, and am still trying to do, with the Lady Stoneheart character.” - Time Magazine, 2017

Death does not make you stronger or nicer. Applying this to Jon, he is not the same and never will be.


“At some points, when [Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favor sticking with the books, while they would favor making changes,” he said. “I think one of the biggest ones would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision.” - Time Magazine, 2017

Leaving Lady Stoneheart out was something George feels is a big mistake, we can assume that Lady Stoneheart is integral to the storyline in the unreleased books.


"It was the summer of 1991. I was still involved in Hollywood. My agent was trying to get me meetings to pitch my ideas, but I didn’t have anything to do in May and June. It had been years since I wrote a novel. I had an idea for a science-fiction novel called ”Avalon. I started work on it and it was going pretty good, when suddenly it just came to me, this scene, from what would ultimately be the first chapter of A Game of Thrones. It’s from Bran’s viewpoint; they see a man beheaded and they find some direwolf pups in the snow. It just came to me so strongly and vividly that I knew I had to write it. I sat down to write, and in, like, three days it just came right out of me, almost in the form you’ve read.”- Rollingstone, 2014

The Starks sparked the idea, and are at the very root of the story, but not the entire story. This also emphasizes that this book is not just about a bastard and dragon. +Bran is important, though the show fails to portray this.


“You have to remember that I started writing this story in 1991 and I first met David and Dan in 2007. I was living with these characters and this world for 16 years before we even started working on the show. They’re pretty fixed in my mind and I’m not going to change anything because of the show, or reaction to the show, or what fans think. I’m just still writing the story that I set out to write in the early 1990s.- Time Magazine, 2017

Self-explanatory.


I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up.”

The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it,“ he told the Guardian. "They kind of know what seed it is, they know if [they] planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows.-2011, The Guardian

“In the case of any of my novels, I know where I’m starting from, I know where I want to end up, more or less,” he said. “I know some of the big turning points along the way, the stuff I’m building for, but you discover an awful lot along the way. Characters rise up and seem more important, and you get to what you’d thought was going to be a big turning point and… the thing you’d thought about two years ago doesn’t really work as well, so you have a better idea! There’s always that process of discovery for me. I know not all writers work that way, but it’s always been the way I work.” -Time Magazine, 2017

Putting these quotes together because they’re implying similar things. 

George has a view of where he’s going but that doesn’t mean things can’t be reimagined. For an example, George’s original outline is almost completely different from the books we have now, but a few parts of the outline are still there, but taking shape in different characters.


I did consider in the very early stages not having the dragons in there. I wanted the Targaryen’s symbol to be the dragons, but I did play with the notion that maybe it was like a psionic power, that it was pyrokinesis — that they could conjure up flames with their minds. I went back and forth. My friend and fellow fantasy writer Phyllis Eisenstein actually was the one who convinced me to put the dragons in, and I dedicated the third book to her. And I think it was the right call.” -2017 Meduza


“In some senses, Theon is struggling all the way through to be a hero. They both come out of the same situation: they’re both raised in Winterfell by Eddard Stark, but they’re not part of the real, core family. Theon is a ward, and Jon Snow is a bastard son. So they’re both a little outside, but Jon handles this successfully, and Theon fails to handle this. He is poisoned by his own envy and his sense of not belonging.” -2017 Meduza

This quote brings the Season 7 scene with Jon and Theon to mind. Theon tells Jon that he always made the right decision, while Theon made the wrong decisions (choosing the Greyjoys over the Stark family that raised him). Jon will make the right decision.


“So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories, and while some of those theories were amusing bulls— and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution." -The Telegraph, 2014

Extremely Subtle and obscure hints; George’s bittersweet ending will not be predictable. Only a few people have figured out the ending. If your predicted ending involves ultimate good (humans) vs ultimate evil (others), you already lost.

anonymous asked:

what apps would the losers have on their phones if they were in 2017 (besides instagram i think they would all have insta)

stan

- out of all the losers, stan would be the one to not care about the follower count on his insta. he just uses it to keep a record of all their great memories and put nice photos, and wouldn’t really care about keeping a consistent aesthetic.
- the others think he doesn’t have twitter because he “doesn’t want an app to tell him all the bullshit richie’s thinking 24/7”
- but he totally runs a shitpost spam account with like,, a lot of followers. makes his own memes for sure.
- probably has reddit and gets into debates with neckbeards
- one of those expensive tracking apps that acts as a planner and habit checker and reminder so he keeps his anxiety in check

ben

- definitely runs a poetry tumblr using a fake name and actually has a lot of notes on a handful of his writings. he doesn’t mind specifically about follower numbers because he started the blog as a journal for himself, but getting constructive criticism from other writers and positive feedback from his followers becomes super important to him! sweet boy!
- the most wholesome snapchat stories u ever seen… like just so cute and loving
- p i n t e r e s t ! making boards for saving recipes and poetry and nice pics to use as writing inspo
- insta that isn’t meant to be aes but lowkey is
- probably thinks twitter is a birdwatching app

bill

- definitely had a deviant art account with some … pretty cringey stuff on it from his preteen years, is probably still floating around the web to haunt him later. same with his old myspace
- he loves insta, and actually has a pretty good follow count and is lowkey an insta blogger. would die for his aes
- has a quiet tumblr with little diary entries and a handful of his fave calming pics to read through on sad days!
- has snapchat but 80% of the time only sends black screens with text on them
- lurks on twitter but rarely posts

mike

- FOLLOWS WERATEDOGS ON SNAPCHAT
- one of those workout apps that gives you healthy recipes and motivational reminders every day
- uses insta rarely but all his posts are 10/10 and so soft that he starts to enjoy posting a lot more
- that study app that locks down your phone and rewards every productive hour by planting a tree 
- “mike why didn’t you answer my texts for three days?”
- “I ACCIDENTALLY SET THE TIMER TO MAXIMUM AND I COULDN’T CANCEL IT OR MY SHRUB WOULD DIE”
- “mike we thought you were dead”
- “IT WOULD D I E, BEN”
- always sends cute little morning snapchat selfies of him trying out the new filters
- like videos of him looking confused with dog ears and when he opens his mouth to speak and the tongue comes out and he giggles and is like “oh!”

richie

- still has flappy bird because he believes the story that a phone with it installed is worth millions
- so many of those shitty free game apps that just spam you with ads and make you wait five hours between plays before you can progress
- one of those stimming apps! with colours and tapping exercises to fiddle with when his adhd acts up
- runs a twitter meme page for sure
- also had a personal twitter that’s literally filled with bullshit, as stan expected. those 3am posts like “every book is a remix of the dictionary” are plentiful, and a couple of them went viral when someone posted a screenshot on insta
- hates facebook a lot, but loves messenger and spams the gc by changing everyone’s display name every three seconds
- spotify on his bottom utility bar!! mixtape!au reddie is still in full force in playlist form ok
- s n a p c h a t ! ! !
- literally always updating his story to way more than the socially acceptable level but no one minds because it’s hilarious

eddie

- ada: your virtual doctor
- often typing in minor symptoms and scrolling to the bottom of the list to see the WORST CASE SCENARIO and freaking out. gets frustrated and deletes the app, and then re-downloads it. this happens at least once a week
- sleep tracker he uses religiously
- didn’t think he’d like insta but found it nice and relaxing to edit pics and as he gained followers he was! so happy?! my boy felt validated and put in so much effort for his aes my sweetie
- cute morning snapchats to richie (they have like a three year long streak)
- but richie refuses to accept lazy streak snaps that just are of his ceiling and have an “s” typed on them so eddie’s always taking “selfies” that are just his head under a pillow with his hair sticking up all over the place
- “eds thats cheating i want to see you properly”
- eddie sends a v v sleepy soft pic with his messy hair and half closed eyes and pouty face
- richie Thrives™️

bev

- def runs a notorious dark aes tumblr blog
- but also has one that she keeps more lowkey that has a really calm and soft aes where she posts little inspirational quotes and doodles and shares survivor stories and gives advice to sad anons
- one of those super popular pics of a girl smoking wearing an edgy hat or some shit floating around pinterest that are used in so many moodboards is probably of her tbh
- insta insta insta ! her feed is 10/10 goals but its really just lots of selfies and pics of her fucking around at night with richie
- lots of online shopping apps this girl has an addiction
- FUCKING ETSY MAN
- makes skirts and sometimes runs commissions for custom jewellery and stuff as a fun little side project


ty so much for requesting i honestly… had too much of a good time with this 

What I Learned From University

FIRST YEAR

  • Everyone is super friendly, especially in the first few weeks → Introduce yourself to the people sitting near you for the first few weeks of lectures. Everyone is looking for a friend or at least someone to talk to!!
  • If you commute, make that time productive → My bus ride was an hour there and back each day. It sucks but I would try to be productive for at least half of the commute. I have a post about being productive on public transport here.
  • On that note, stay on campus as long as possible each day → As soon as I got back home I would procrastinate every little thing. Stay in an already productive environment for as long as possible.
  • Maybe don’t buy your textbooks used → I thought I was being smart by buying used textbooks (most schools will have a buy and sell facebook page for textbooks). I ended up having to pay for access codes in order to do my online homework – access codes that cost ~$70 separately and came included with new textbooks anyways. Email your prof or talk to someone who has recently taken the class to find out if you need an access code. If you do, your best bet is to buy a new version of the textbook (unless you can get a seriously cheap used textbook).
  • Print off your timetable and find all of your classes before the first day → This helped me so much! I found exactly where all my classes were before the first day of class. I wrote down little tricks to help me remember where everything was (i.e. my calc lecture is in the arts and science building which is also where the only subway on campus is).
  • Don’t knock living at home to save money → If you’re lucky enough to have a college or university close to home at least consider living at home. Getting your own place or living in dorms is expensive. (But if you have to find off campus housing on your own, don’t leave it too late or you might not find a place)
  • Figure out the best way to take notes for each class → You have to customize the way you study for each class, all depending on the prof and the content. I hand-wrote notes for some classes (chem, calc, and physics), but not others (psych and bio). If you’re writing by hand you can always just annotate your textbook notes or lecture slides (if they’re posted before class). If you fall behind while taking notes, just leave a gap and check out a friend’s notes after class.
  • Adjust your expectations → Don’t expect to get straight A’s, like you might have in high school. You can strive for straight A’s but be realistic as time goes on. For classes I struggled with, I expected to be near the class average. If I was a lot lower than the class average then I would know to invest more time.
  • Make time for physical activity → If we’re being honest I hardly exercised during uni. Go for at least a half hour walk each day and try to start a physical activity routine. Get a friend and join a sports team, go to a fitness class, or commit to some form of a daily workout with them! You’ll feel bad bailing on someone else, plus working out is more fun with other people.
  • Review content throughout the semester → Reviewing little bits of content will save you a massive content review right before finals! Look through old notes while you wait for your daily coffee or take 15 minutes to watch some khan academy videos on stuff you learned in the first month of classes.
  • Think seriously about how much you can handle → Don’t take on too many responsibilities at once and consider all of your options! I worked weekends and some week nights throughout the school year. Looking back I should have worked less because my stress levels were way too high. Also, quite a few people I talked to took 4 classes instead of 5, for their first semester of university. I don’t think I would have done it, in the end, but it’s always something to consider.
  • Have fun but be responsible at parties → Always go to parties with people you trust!! If you didn’t do much partying/drinking during high school (like me), remember to pace yourself when drinking! Eat before you go out and have some water between each drink, till you find your limit. Don’t let yourself be peer-pressured into anything but also don’t be afraid to have fun! And check out if your uni has a safe walk program (someone will come and walk you back to your dorm or your car if you feel unsafe or nervous for any reason)
  • When procrastination hits, aim to be productive in some way → The only reason my biology mark was so high was because I would study biology whenever I got sick of studying for physics and calculus. If you know you need to study but just can’t do it, start by being productive in some other way – study a subject you do like, do your laundry, organize your study area, etc. Get your brain to start thinking productively.
  • Labs are difficult so be prepared → I had so many labs first year. Some tips: eat and hydrate before labs, never assume you can finish your prelab last minute, be nice to your lab partner, always remember lab safety (don’t be the person trying to wear shorts in the lab, TAs will not hesitate to kick you out), don’t rush through an experiment but be efficient, and ask for help (even if you feel like you’re bothering your TA).
  • Please go to bed early. Sleep affects everything → I was so dumb and would never go to bed early even though I had to be up at 6 am almost every day to catch the bus. Lack of sleep will catch up to you eventually!! Also, all nighters are not necessary, unless you make them necessary. I prioritized and never had to stay awake too late. And never pull an all nighter the night before an exam (you’re better off getting sleep and resting your brain).
  • Bring a water bottle everywhere → Buy a decent water bottle and always carry it with you. Even though my uni is small there are still tons of spots around campus where I can refill my water bottle!! Stay hydrated my friends!
  • A practice problem a day keeps the F away → This saying probably works best for science classes, but I guess a reading a day will get you somewhere too. Do something for every class each day, even if it’s just a practice problem or a quick reading. Develop a routine!
  • You’ll have lots of midterms → I was under the impression that midterms happened just once a semester (I thought I would have one week where I had a midterm for each class). That was not my reality. I had 2 or 3 midterms for each of my classes scattered throughout the semester. Study really hard for your first set of midterms till you get used to the high expectations!
  • Don’t worry about what other people are doing or thinking → This is mostly in regards to social media. I was bummed when I looked back on my first year of university, because I felt like I hadn’t done anything fun compared to other people. You only see the image that other people want you to see. You don’t know how hard someone worked or how hard they didn’t work. Just focus on you and how you can affect positive results in your life.
  • Other people literally don’t care about your appearance → My friend’s little sister visited campus and asked us “Why is everyone wearing sweatpants?” People literally don’t care. Dress nice and put lots of makeup on one day, because you feel like it, and wear sweats the next day.
  • Start essays and reports as soon as possible → You never know what might come up so be prepared for the worst! Outline your essay or graph your data as soon as you can.
  • Eat healthy and do meal prep → You can eat healthy during university! Set aside a couple of nights each week to do meal prep. Cook food in bulk to save money and don’t eat out too much. Try to have at least 1 serving of fruits or veggies with each meal or snack you eat!
  • Find a good study spot on campus → Explore your campus and figure out your favourite places to study. I had a couple of spots where I would always meet my friends to study and quiet spots where no one would bother me. Studying outside or in an area with natural light is always good.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your profs and TAs → This is the number one thing I’m going to try to do more of in my second year. TAs are chill to talk to and they can tell you tons of useful information on what upper year classes are like, which professors are good, why they chose to go to grad school, etc. If you’re struggling in lectures or labs, talk to your prof or TA! Make an appointment and be sure you can tell them exactly which concepts you’re struggling with or at least where you got lost. One of my profs told us he just waits hopefully during office hours for someone to come in. (Also profs love it if you ask them about their research or any topics they seem passionate about during lectures.)
  • Explore all the resources your university has to offer → My university has a program that is basically people bringing their dogs around for students to pet, in order to relieve stress. It actually works and gave me something to look forward to! Just be aware of your options so that if something in your life changes you know where you can go to ask for help.
  • Get a planner and utilize it → There’s no excuse not to have a planner of some sort. Use your phone, get a bullet journal, or buy a cheap planner. Have somewhere where you can record important deadlines and make to do lists. I also recommend back planning all of your studying at the beginning of the semester. Write down your midterms and finals dates and write down how much you’re going to study each day leading up to the exam. This way you’ll be able to look ahead at each month and figure out what needs to be done (i.e. getting an essay done early because the due date falls during a busy week of midterms)

This post ended up being a lot longer than I expected whoops. Take the things I said into consideration but remember that everyone’s experience will be different. Good luck to everyone heading to university!


My Other Posts:

Yuri on Festival voice drama (detailed report)

I went to watch the next-day viewing of yesterday’s Yuri on Festival event, and this time I took notes for the drama so I’ll write a more detailed summary, also because this one isn’t going to be sold on DVD. I believe other people have probably written reports too, but in cases such as this I think “the more the merrier” because it’s not recorded so it’s better to have more accounts. Also, now you’ll start seeing more Japanese reports & art too. Most people were keeping quiet out of consideration for the ones who could only watch the viewing and didn’t want spoilers.

Official title of the drama: “Fundoshi da yo!!! Sekai Metsubou Daipinchi Hasetsu Kunchi Spiritual!!” which roughly translates to “Fundoshi!!! The world is in danger of being destroyed. Hasetsu Kunchi Spiritual!!”

It was in 3 parts, separated by game and information corners.
I hope it’s not too confusing, but especially the last part is impossible to summarize decently because they talked a lot and I couldn’t possibly take note of everything, not to mention what they say is mostly crazy stuff, lol. For some parts and lines I double-checked looking at other Japanese comments online. If something is not clear feel free to send me an ask.

Continue under “keep reading”.

Keep reading

Snap Decision

(A chance meeting with a stranger at a bar helps you recover from a bad breakup.)

Warnings: 11000+ words of mostly sex stuff.  Bad ex boyfriends. People doing inadvisable things.  Listen up kids: in real life you should be more cautious about who you let take naked pictures of you! Lots and lots of sex.  If you’ve read my stuff before, you know the drill.  


You thought it would be fun to work in sales after you graduated from university; you would travel around the country, meeting new people, holding meetings in fancy high rise office buildings in big cities, wining and dining clients at gourmet restaurants while you closed deals and made boatloads of money.  The reality was that you were selling industrial wastewater management systems, making a moderate income, while traveling four days a week to factories and chemical refineries in some of the least glamorous locations on earth.  You didn’t mind the work itself, but the evenings alone in small town hotel rooms were dull and disheartening, so you would frequently head out to a local movie theater or neighborhood bar to distract yourself from the loneliness on the road.   

 It was pouring down rain outside and you decide to run to the closest place you could find to grab a drink, rather than risk driving around and getting lost.  That’s how you found yourself sitting alone at the bar of the Applebee’s restaurant that was adjacent to your hotel, sipping on something called a Blue Hawaiian, in a town you couldn’t even remember the name of.   

Unruly children sat with their families having dinner in the nearby booths, while innocuously bland pop songs played overhead.  You took one sip of the cloyingly sweet blue cocktail in front of you and immediately regretted your decision to come here tonight. Given the lousy week you had experienced, you would have been better off drinking cheap whiskey at a dive bar filled with unapologetic alcoholics.  Here, the family friendly atmosphere mixed with the empty promises of a fruity cocktail that was designed to trick you into thinking you were on a tropical island vacation instead of in your real life.  Your real crappy life. 

You had totally blown the sale today.  The clients had a million questions about the technical specifications of the products you were trying to sell, but you kept tripping over your words and making yourself sound like an idiot.  You blamed your poor work performance on lack of sleep.  And you blamed the lack of sleep on your boyfriend, David.  Actually, he was your ex-boyfriend now.  After more than a year together, you dumped him for cheating on you.  

He claimed he was faithful, but you were certain he was lying.  He never picked up his phone when you called him from out on the road.  He would eventually call you back, but his stories about where he was and what he was doing always sounded a little off.  The final blow came when your friend Stephanie told you she saw him going into a movie theater with another girl.  David claimed Stephanie was mistaken and that you were just paranoid and jealous for no reason.  You wanted to believe him, but deep down you were sure that Stephanie was right.  All the unresolved questions you had about what David was doing while you were working could easily be answered if he had been cheating on you.  David cried when you told him it was over, he begged you to reconsider, but you were resolute and just walked away.

That had been a week ago, and every day since then, you questioned whether or not you made the right decision.  You had no hard proof that he had been unfaithful.  Sure, Stephanie said she saw him, but she only saw from a distance.  Maybe she was mistaken.  Maybe it was just someone who looked like David.

“Is this seat taken?”

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nick103001  asked:

Hey dude! I'm a big fan of your work and you're basically living like my ideal life. You probably get this a lot, but I gotta ask "how would I land a job at CN as a story board artists?" I'm 15 rn and a sophomore in high school. I just wanna know if I could actually grow up to work at Cartoon Network.

Yes, you can work at Cartoon Network.

HOWEVER

In a couple years, you might not even be interested in being a storyboard artist, much less want to work at a specific company. When I was a teen I was making 3D art all the time and I wanted to go into special effects. Then I got into level design in video games. When I went to college, I discovered how cool 2D animation could be and that I liked to tell stories most of all. Then I moved to china and became an English teacher and eventually got the job on Regular Show. It was kind of a weird path and my interests and desires shifted and changed constantly.

I mean think about it, if you end up going to college (which you don’t have to, but if you do) you would graduate about 7 years from now. Think about what sorts of things you liked 3 years ago. I bet it’s pretty different. Now what do you think you’ll be like 7 years from now?? There’s no telling where your interests are going to go and take you, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on being a board artist specifically. Just experience stuff. Try out other jobs and other things and you might realize you like stuff you didn’t even know about just because you’d never heard of it or tried it before.

I also recommend not solely working toward being an artist, but working toward being a fully realized person. I’ve met many artists who are basically the most boring people I’ve ever met because all they ever did was focus on their art, but not any experiences. They never got in trouble, they never had any adventures or strange experiences because all they did was stay inside and use their cintiq all day. You don’t even have to be someone that goes out and does stuff all the time, but at least have some other hobbies to work different parts of your brain. Every time you make art, whether it’s for someone else or for yourself, it always has a part of you in it. If you don’t experience life, your art becomes meaningless because you have nothing to say. No one will find themselves drawn to it because there’s no shared human experiences there, just lifelessness.

It’s good to have a goal and a general area you’d like to go into (it’s also ok if you don’t right now, for everyone else reading this), but don’t put all your time and investment into one job when there might be others you don’t even know about that you can find just as interesting.

ALSO: Don’t put all your faith into working for one company. Companies come and go and the only thing they really care about in the end is making money. They’re not beholden to morals or honor or anything like the rest of us actual human beings. Corporations can and will take advantage of you, so you have to be able to say “screw ‘em” if they’re being a-holes.

Keep yourself open and try different stuff.

Don’t Doubt Your Writing

Anonymous asked: “Any advice for the crippling self-doubt with writing? I do short stories and I never think they’re good enough.”

Get ready for probably one of the worst pep-talks ever written. The first time I heard someone say (and not to me actually), “No one asked you to be a writer,” was probably the first time I realized I didn’t actually have to write. 

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@gameofthronesimagine: Could you do something with Harry Hook and the reader is from Auradon and is lifelong friends with Ben and she’s Tinker Bell’s daughter??


Word Count: 5251

Also, warning. I started out thinking this would be cute and fluffy. It kind of turned a little angsty.


“…What? This is a joke, right?”

You stared at Ben, trying to mask your horror with denial.

Ben – for his part – looked sheepish. “We need to mend ties with the Isle, and compromise is the best way to do that.”

“So, if Uma asked you to release Chernabog from the Isle, you’d be totally for it?”

“No, of course not–”

You rolled your eyes. “No, of course. Just the guy that tried. To. Kill. You.”

“Things are different. Uma and Harry don’t have any power in Auradon, and it’s not like I’m totally defenceless,” Ben pointed out, nodding to his two huge bodyguards stationed at the door to his office.

You briefly glanced at them, before looking back at Ben. “Anyone else. You could have released anyone else. What about that Gil guy? He sounded harmless. Or some of her pirate groupies.”

“She wanted Harry,” Ben said simply, taking a sip of his tea. “She wouldn’t budge on that.”

You raised an eyebrow. “Wow. Great compromising there.”

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20 Autobot Leaders Rated by How Much I Want to Punch Them

Starting with the big guy, the granddaddy of them all, G1 Optimus Prime. He’s like a father to me. I can’t in good conscience punch him, even if he sometimes deserves it for bad puns. 1/10 punchability I just can’t do it 

Rodimus Prime ranks high in the punchability for some because when Optimus died in the original movie, it traumatized kids so much that all their negative feelings got channeled into unbridled rage towards the guy who replaced him. However, I hate those guys because they became insufferable as adults, so that really just lowers Roddy’s punchability for me personally. 4/10 punchability he still kind of deserves it though 

Grimlock led the Autobots for a length of time I can’t remember after Optimus died in the Marvel comics. His was a reign of terror. I can’t decide if his jughead crown is kickin or if i want to kick it off him. 7/10 punchability he gets some lenience for his childlike innocence

Another Marvel comics leader was Fortress Maximus, who was also Cerebros. He was also the leader in the Headmasters anime after Rodimus flew off into space forever but I don’t think he actually had a personality in that. He’s a matryoshka of Autobot leaders with each getting smaller and more punchable than the last, ending in Moody College Student Spike Witwicky, who is thankfully the first one on this list who I don’t have to climb something to punch in the face. 9/10 punchability I’m a very short person so I might have to climb something anyways but that isn’t going to stop me

Last Marvel comics character, I swear. Captain Picard Hi-Q binary bonded with Optimus for a while, then Optimus died (this was about the third time), and Hi-Q eventually turned into Optimus so we just considered Optimus alive again. Don’t think too hard about it. 3/10 punchability I really like Star Trek TNG so I probably wouldn’t punch him

Ginrai’s robot self looks exactly like Optimus Prime, but he isn’t. Why he looks like him is sort of hand-waved away in the anime. The real-life reason, of course, is because he was just the Japanese release of Powermaster Optimus Prime. Ginrai is really good because he talks like an American teenager even when his robot form separated from his human self to become the Autobot commander at the end of Super-God Masterforce. 0/10 punchability I just can’t really punch a guy wearing converse, skinny jeans, and suspenders

Star Saber makes me forget that the Autobots were ever good guys. I don’t think he even has a personality outside of “noble and heroic leader.” He adopted a human son and tried to send him to a Catholic school but he doesn’t even buy him a uniform. The kid barely even goes to school in the end. 9/10 punchability don’t adopt a human if you’re not prepared to care for him

Optimus Primal is a good Autobot leader because he never even set out to be anything more than a captain on one ship but ended up sacrificing himself to bring life back to the planet, probably sparking a religious following. He won the “Power of the Primes” vote so he’s got to have a pretty low punchability, but he also looks like his malleble gorilla face would feel nice on my powerful fist. 5/10 punchability when POTP stuff starts coming will his name change to “optimus primal prime”?

Lio Convoy being a cat makes me not want to punch him so much. However, he isn’t a good father. Don’t worry about the kid not really being his son in any sense of the term. Why is ineptitude at fatherhood a recurring theme for Autobot leaders? 8/10 punchability Lio Junior deserved better

I’ll admit that Beast Wars Neo is the only thing on this list that I haven’t seen or read any of, so Big Convoy is mostly here for completion’s sake. Hence I’m rating him entirely on his appearance. Mostly I wouldn’t want to punch a mammoth, because they’re extinct, but I think he could take it. It would be a good workout for both of us. 10/10 punchability no hard feelings, we’re just two dudes lovingly punching each other

In Japan, he’s known as Fire Convoy, continuing their tradition of Autobot leader names, but in the west he’s the first-ever reboot of Optimus Prime. I don’t have a lot of opinions on him as a person or leader, but his existence opened the floodgates of Optimus Primes to come, which I have mixed feelings on. 5/10 punchability I can’t think of a reason to punch him, but I also can’t think of a reason not to

Armada Optimus Prime suffers from being Armada Optimus Prime. I think this was when they really managed to distill “Optimus Prime” down into its truest form. No longer was Optimus Prime a character, but a concept that extended beyond fiction and into our world. Optimus Prime means something. Optimus Prime is a figure for justice, honor, and liberty. 8/10 punchability I still can’t forget Energon though

Do I have to say anything. I’m not even somebody who vehemently dislikes Hot Shot, but for the love of god, why did he ever get to be a leader. 6/10 punchability I’d punch him but I wouldn’t put a lot of force into it, he’s not even worth it

Movie Optimus Prime is. uh. something else, all right. I can admire the movie taking the idea of Optimus Prime and going “okay, but what if he was also a murderbeast?” because I think that’s something we all really wanted to see play out. In practice it kind of scares me. 2/10 punchability I’m worried if I went for his face I’d no longer have mine

Animated Optimus Prime is a good boy. A baby boy. He’s trying his best in a world that seems against him. We all love him. 0/10 punchability I simply can’t bring myself to mar those luscious lips

I’m sure Animated Ultra Magnus did some great things during the war, but, yunno, seeing how Cybertron under him during peacetime is sort of a Stratocracy, I question his fitness to be the leader of a planet. They really gonna let the government run experiments on civilians? Okay. Alright. 4/10 I don’t want to punch him per se but I do sort of want to lead an armed rebellion against him

Hhh. HHHH. HOOGH. HHHAAAHH. HEH. HHhhhHHH. Just seeing Sentinel Prime’s face fills me with anger. If let loose, this rage could level mountains, sink continents, and incinerate entire solar systems. If there is any good in the cosmos, Sentinel Prime will not go unpunched. His face will be shattered into pieces with the sheer power of my unbridled fury. 10,000/10 punchability I have already punched him, spiritually, and I will do it again

I mean, alright. Prime Optimus Prime is kind of the distilled essence of Optimus Prime. If you took all the other Optimus Primes, and took all the things they had in common, and then took out a little bit of the anger because let’s be real here all the other Optimus Primes are quite a bit angrier than this one, you’d get Aligned Optimus Prime. Which is kind of how the Aligned continuity as a whole works. So, yeah, That Sure Is Optimus Prime. 3/10 punchability his soft-spoken words of wisdom would calm me down before I ever even raised my fist

Heatwave is the quintessential non-Optimus Autobot leader. He’s noble and courageous with a good sense of justice, but he was thrust into leadership without being the best and it and is a bit of a hothead. You can use that exact sentence to describe so many of the bots on this list. 4/10 punchability I don’t want to use violent methods when it comes to Rescue Bots but sometimes Heatwave’s personality warrants it 

I honestly can’t believe it took 30 years for a Bumblebee to be leader for reals. It happened so gradually that nobody was surprised when it happened, and yet it also feels like nobody can really accept it. I know I can’t. He doesn’t even look like any Bumblebee. Is this how longtime G1 fans felt when the Unicron trilogy started reusing names for different-but-not-wholly-different characters to keep the trademarks? 8/10 punchability we know you stole your schtick from Hot Rod via Hot Shot so stop trying to act like you’re so special