because of failure

3

“Kurosaki-kun was acting so bold that it shocked me. For a second I panicked and wondered, ‘what should I do, what should I do?’ … But it turns out that Kurosaki-kun is still his usual shy self, right. I’m so glad.”

“Oh, shut up.”

A friend of mine’s request from twitter, Nobu-san. Her prompts are those words above, “ichiori, shy Ichigo and soft and warm colours”. Done!

Requests, ½ uploaded!

Yeah
Just as a general note
You should eliminate any thought that there is an expectation that you do anything by any age
You don’t have to be married with kids by 25
It’s ok to be 16 and never been kissed
There’s nothing wrong with you if you haven’t graduated from college by 22
You’re not a failure because you don’t have your dream job at 30
There are no rules to life. You don’t get special points for achieving certain things by a deadline. Just go at your own speed. It’s not a race.

Ended a lucrative business relationship because of an incompetent, racist owner.

This happened over the course of the last week.

I hired a company to correct a big sinkage in my basement. They come in and drill holes and spray industrial foam under the flooring to level it. About a week ago they sent a guy over to locate all of the pipes and scope them for damage.

Then about 3 days ago the foam guys show up and get to work. About halfway through they stop and call me into the basement. There’s water running along my baseboards and they’re afraid they’ve hit a pipe.

They call the owner of the scoping company to come over and re-scope the pipes. He does and finds massive corrosion running all through it. I ask him why they didn’t find that on the first scope, and he tell me they weren’t looking for damage they were just locating the pipe. This makes no sense to me as you don’t need to put a camera into a pipe to locate the pipe.

Then he gives me the sales pitch. It’s going to cost between $4000 and $6000 to fix it, but he can get a “crew of cheap Mexicans” out there who “don’t pull permits” and can do it for much less. He says plumbers will rip you off, he used to be a plumber. I ask, “Oh, and you ripped people off?” I tell him no thanks on the labor, I’ll call my basement company back and let them deal with it.

During the course of the conversation with the scoping company owner he tells me they do about 100 of these a week for the basement company. Scoping is $99, cleaning is $125. At least $10,000 a week, probably $500,000 a year they make from the foam guys.

So here’s the rub. When things started to go pear shaped, I do what I used to do back in college when I had to have conversations with police. Put my phone in my shirt pocket and started to record. (No wiretapping laws in my state.) That’s right. I’ve got this guy soliciting illegal labor to me in full living digital color.

The next day, the basement company sends out some licensed and bonded plumbers to fix my pipes for $0 because of the failure to locate the pipes. That’s right, the scoping company marked the pipe FOUR FEET away from where it actually was. The scoping company not only didn’t find any damage, they didn’t even find the pipe. They did literally nothing. The basement plumbers do an excellent, professional job. They bill the scoping company for their time.

This morning the foam guys came back to finish the job and I tell them about the sleaze ball that they’ve contracted. I play the audio for them of the guy trying to sell me on “cheap Mexican” illegal labor. Half of the foam crew is Hispanic men. They are NOT pleased.

The white crew chief tells me, “We are never doing business with that company ever again. I’m calling our owner right now.” He also read me the contract that they had with the scoping company that explicitly says they are to look for damaged pipes, vindicating me once more.

I deserved you. You didn’t deserve me. I deserved your love. You didn’t deserve mine. I worked so hard to try to please you and prove that I was worthy. Every minute of my day I tried to figure out a way to make you happier. But somehow your love faded. Now I’m standing around feeling like a failure because my efforts and intentions didn’t go as planned. I thought we were in this together. Now that I have to let go of my claim on you, I’m disappointed that our relationship will have to disappear. It breaks my heart to even look at your face because you hurt me when I needed you the most. I wanted a happy ending for us but you should’ve never been apart of my story.
—  kajecollins 
2

THE QURAN TEACHES US TO BE OPTIMISTIC

I always find myself questioning the things I do, even if I was the one who opted to do it from the beginning. I frequently ask myself whether I’m doing the right thing. Whether there’s any good in the things I choose to put myself in. The school I go to, the activities I join, the events I attend, the friends I choose to keep. Are my decisions going to benefit my future or are they just a waste of time? I wonder if I’m really doing anything right these days. You see, I have always had this fear in me. This fear I can’t specifically explain. I often am afraid if I make the wrong choices, especially when I have to make big important life decisions. What if my plans don’t work out? Who will I be in 10 years? Will I ever really figure it out?

I hate self-doubt. You know when they say we are our own biggest critics, they’re hella right.

Sometimes, the plans that I have for myself, are not exactly the plans that Allah has for me. I get myself in a relationship, and it ends tragically. I take up a course I thought I’m good at, and later fail miserably. I apply for a scholarship, but then find out I was rejected. I plan to graduate on time, but got sick and am told to defer my studies. All these circumstances, it all leads to self-doubt. Will I ever be good enough for anything?

A few days ago, I was reading Surah Al-Kahf and stumbled upon a verse that struck a chord with me. It was so beautiful I made it my phone’s wallpaper lol. The verse goes:

إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّي لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَٰذَا رَشَدًا 

“Except “if Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget & say “May my Lord guide me to what is right” (18:24)

Perfect timing. This verse isn’t only a do’a but also a statement of optimism. “Asa” according to the arabic language is a verb used to express hope. Subhanallah, Allah is teaching us that the most fundmental thing we need is His guidance. He is teaching us that in the end, He knows best what is good for us and all we have to do is give our best in the things we do. The rest is Allah’s job. I learnt that if we do what is good, our effort will never go to waste, even if things don’t turn out the way we want it. Our compensation is with Allah. 

The verse screams optimism. It says “when you forget” because whenever something bad/failure befalls us, we tend to lose hope. We are bound to feel lost & confused. Been there a lot of time. So this powerful verse is telling us ‘no, don’t give up, hang in there and ask Allah to guide you’. He created us, He created the stars and the universe, so He definitely knows what is best for us. Whatever happens yesterday, stays there. If we have failed in the past, that failure should not dictate our future. 

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

So I guess we will never really have all the answers, but it’s perfectly okay, What we do know is that we can always ask Allah to guide us to what’s the best for us.

As long has we put our trust in him, we are in good hands.

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why has society become so accustomed to fear?
you don’t not date the person you’re into, just because you’re afraid of heartbreak. you don’t not apply for that job just because you’re afraid of failure. you don’t not get on a plane just because you’re afraid of crashing. love hard. work hard. and fucking travel. to live in fear is to miss the best things in life. quit trying to avoid things that seem ‘hard’ or that you might fail at, because you may in fact succeed, and if not; you’ll learn.

I don’t know if the naruto run around trump tower was a success or a failure because they didn’t let us near the actual building but it brought us all together for one fleeting moment

“Don’t look sick” .. “you’re too young to have those problems” ….

Chronic illness isn’t looking sick.

Chronic illness is being in pain 24/7 but putting a smile on your face anyway.

Chronic illness being exhasted after just taking a shower.

Chronic illness is having panic attacks terrified to go do anything worried you’re gonna have a pain episode.

Chronic ill is feeling like a burden to everyone around you.

Chronic illness is feeling so alone because no one understands, they can try to understand, but they won’t, and they can’t.

Chronic ill is people thinking you’re a hypochondriac or attention seeker.

Chronic illness is no one believeing you.

Chronic illness is not being able to get the right medication because the doctors think you’re just “drug seeking”

Chronic illness is feeling like failure because you can’t do things normal people can.

Chronic illness is hot shower/baths at 4am because you are having a pain episode.

Chronic illness is bawling because how bad the pain is.

Chronic illness is 9 prescription medications everyday.

Chronic illness doctor appointment after doctor appointment.

Chronic illness is basically being the doctors guinea pig; testing, being poked, feeling violated.

Chronic illness is surgery after surgery

Chronic illness is having 20+ surgeries at 19 years old.

Chronic illness is losing friends because they just don’t understand.

Chronic illness is awful.

Chronic illness should not go unnoticed.
Just because someone doesn’t look sick doesn’t mean they are healthy.

From Dan’s Rush AMA
  • He’d like to possibly cover Closer to the Heart by Rush in the future
  • His favorite concert of Rush’s he’s seen (out of 11) is the R30 tour in 2004
  • His favorite thing he’s seen them play live is Xanadu
  • He doesn’t plan on trying to start playing an instrument (aside from the bass which he has said he’s mediocre at) because the band he’s got now has such awesome musicians that he wants to focus on being the best vocalist he can be
  • His favorite Skyhill song is Run with the Hunted, and his least favorite is Only One
  • His favorite Rush song to play on the bass is Fountain of Lameneth (but it’s hard)
  • It’s pretty likely that there will eventually be a new Skyhill song or album
  • He first saw Rush in 1994 in NJ at the Brendan Byrne Arena. He’s seen them on every tour since.
  • He’s hoping that next year they’ll be able to tour in the UK, and he’d like to be able to tour in Australia too at some point
  • What influenced him most from Rush is their chord choices, their worth ethic, and their integrity.
  • If he could perform vocals on one song with Rush, it would probably be Time Stand Still
  • His best Rush-related experience was zoning out by himself as a kid and letting their music take his imagination places
  • His favorite Rush albums are A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, Caress of Steel, and 2112. His least favorite (though he still loves them!) are Hold your Fire, Counterparts, and Snakes and Arrows
  • The most direct way that Rush has affected him is that they helped inspire him to commit his life to music.
  • His top 3 songs are Xanadu, Hemispheres, and Fountain of Lameneth
  • He started listening to Rush at 13 and he became obsessed with them. He sang their music to himself all day during school.
  • When asked how many Rush shirts he has, his answer was “Too many!!”
  • A Farewell to Kings is his alltime favorite Rush album
  • What initially caused him to enjoy Rush was that it was an awesome sound that he’d never really heard before and lyrics that appealed to his nerdy Lord of the Rings loving self.
  • His favorite >10 minute Rush track is (possibly) Circumstances
  • “ I’m more Jewish by culture than by religion. I certainly believe that there’s a lot to life and the universe that we don’t understand, and I respect anyone who finds their answers in religion, but it’s never been a big part of my life personally.”
  •  His favorite Rush show to watch is one from Rio
  • The song he’s most proud of is 6969 because it’s a comedy prog song, which is something he’s always wanted to do.
  • His favorite part of 2112 is the overture
  • Hemispheres will always remind him of his freshman year of high school. He listened to it constantly.
  • Both him and Arin write the lyrics to Starbomb songs
  • He feels an immediate kinship with other Rush fans. “We’re like a world-wide secret club!”
  • The rush album he feels is most underrated is Presto
  • The first Rush song he listened to was Roll the Bones
  • He would be interested in giving talks about music/comedy/career stuff at colleges or high schools if there was an audience for it.
  • He got into Rush at age 12 because the guy that worked at his local comic book shop (named Keith) introduced him to them. “God bless that man.” Before he discovered them he listened to a lot of Def Leppard and Nirvana
  • Q:  if you were to start your career again today, where would you start? Youtube / twitch / podcasts?
    A:  I don’t think I’d do anything differently because even the years of “failure” taught me a lot and allowed me time to improve. Once that spotlight is on you, you’d better be ready for it. I’d say start in the medium that inspires you individually the most and work as hard as you can on it from there.
  • Q:  how do you think the future of NSP has changed now that you guys have topped the motherfucking charts with Under the Covers?? You guys fucking rule and I’m so happy for you and your multitudes of success!
    A:  Thank you! We were psyched that our recent albums have charted so well, but I don’t think we’ll do anything differently. We’ll just keep doing what feels right to the best of our ability!
  • 6969 came together quickly when writing it. The video only took so long because it was such a huge jump in ambition and it has a learning curve. “If we do something like that again, things should go a lot more smoothly!”
  • The Pass has helped him through some tough times.
  • (I believe) that the lyrics he’d get as a tattoo are “ All of us get lost in the darkness Dreamers learn to steer by the stars All of us do time in the gutter Dreamers learn to look at the cars!”
  • Q: What would you say is the best dish at Olive Garden?
    A: The dish where you get up, walk across the street, and eat at Outback Steakhouse
  • He meditates in silence before a show because he’d get overhyped if he listened to music.
  • Doesn’t have a favorite member of Rush, “it’s an equilateral triangle”
  • Says Moving Pictures is usually a safe bet to start off with introducing someone to Rush
  • He picked Madrigal and Subdivisions for the first UTC because he loves them and they’re easy to sing. “I don’t know if I could hit some of those crazy high notes Geddy rocked in the 70s”
  • He thinks Witch Hunt would be a very good song to cover.  Such a great song and so relevant right now! “Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand”
  • His favorite song to try and fail at on bass is YYZ
  • “ I don’t think there’s any conscious decision to have Rush influence my music, but I’ve spent so many thousands of hours listening to them, it’s inevitable that it just comes out naturally”
  •  His favorite album to work on in his career is what he’s doing now (UTC2 and Cool Patrol) because “we’ve grown so much and finally have a full band!”
  • He doesn’t mind when fans are super nervous to meet him. He was nervous when he met Rush, too, “so it’s just the circle of life!”
  • He chose bass because it was different and fun to find submelodies.
  • Q:  Hey Dan! I’m looking forward to Under the Covers 2. I started writing comedy music and NSP is one of my main inspirations. What do you wish you knew about writing comedy music earlier on in your career?
    A:  Nothing in particular really. You learn and you go and there’s no substitute for just doing something over a long period of time. Of course there are things I would change about our early work, but it was the best we could do at the time so I have to be cool with it.
  • “I listened to so much of them [Rush] growing up that it’s in my blood and unconsciously shapes the way I approach music”
  • His second favorite album flops between Hemispheres, Caress of Steel, and 2112 on any given day
  • His favorite story/message told in a Rush song→ Story is Fountain of Lameneth because it’s a beautiful summary of life. Message is Spirit of Radio where they talk about the importance of integrity in art.
  • His biggest influences are Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Nirvana, Spacehog, and Gentle Giant (to name a few)
  • He does his best on his Rickenbacker bass but it’s just for fun. “My band already has a bass player that’s better than I’ll ever be!”

“Thanks everyone! I have to go see my family now otherwise I’d stay longer. Sorry I couldn’t get to everyone’s questions but I had a lot of fun. I’d be happy to do this again in the future!
You being fans of mine means the world to me and I promise to keep making comedy and music for a long time! Thanks to you, the moderators who set this up, and of course Rush for being an awesome and inspirational force!”

Happy 17 Million Subs, Markiplier!

Happy 17 Million Subs, Markiplier!

@markiplier

Sorry for the late post. I wanted to post it when we hit 17 mil, but you know I’m shy about my art and also I slaved over this for two days please be gentle

This was a pretty fun one to work on. My health is the same as always, so straight lines are absolutely still not a thing I can do, but I’ve been trying to embrace the messier aesthetic and I’m really quite pleased with how these turned out. 

I know it still leaves a lot to be desired, but comparing it to similar things I have done in the past, like the 7 Million Sub art (which also has a dog) or the unholy mess that was the 8 Million Sub art (which I’m trying to give myself a pass on since I was at the hospital that day, but c’mon guys, that was bad) I am definitely improving. 

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll notice that my art and myself dropped right off the face of the planet for a year, almost two. I had no confidence in myself or in my work, and I let that take me away from what I love to do. It was Mark who brought me back into it. As I mentioned in this post, a lot of things changed for me after I watched the video where Mark talks about how he is excited for failure, because it helps him to grow. Directly after that, simply because one of my roommates put it in the queue on the Chromecast, I watched Mark’s Draw My Life. Although our circumstances are very different, I saw myself in him. I saw myself in the lost person who switched college majors all the time and didn’t know what he wanted. As weird as it sounds, that gave me some hope, which is something I desperately needed. If he can pull himself out, why can’t I?

So here’s the truth: I am in school for advertising, but what I really want is to be a writer. It’s my dream, and my passion is art. I quit both for a very long time, because I couldn’t accept the fact that my illnesses are chronic. I couldn’t accept that I will never “get better”, and that made me stop trying, because why live a broken life, anyway? But just because I’m fractured doesn’t mean I have no value. My brain thinks some terribly sad things, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t write beautiful ones. My hands may be unable to draw straight lines, but that doesn’t mean they can’t draw pretty ones. 

So thanks for helping me learn that, Mark. I know you’ll never see this, of course. I’m not delusional. But I’d much rather have a thank-you unheard than a thank-you unsaid, y’know?

So thank you. 

Because of you, I’m trying again.

~*~

As always, you can find these pieces of art on my Redbubble here. (x) (x) (x)

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my ramble. I know it’s irrelevant to you guys, but it helps knowing that I might not just be shouting into the void.