bells an whistles

Cleansing & Charging Items

I believe that many of the methods used to cleanse items can also be used to charge them - the difference lies within your intention. 

To cleanse, visualize negative energy actually leaving the object. To charge, visualize the object being filled with the energy from your chosen source.

Cleansing & Charging Methods:

  • Visualization - imagine a ball of energy forming around the item to either cleanse it or give it power (the color of the ball could correspond to your intent, i.e. white or blue for cleansing, red for power, etc.)
  • Earth - bury the object in soil or sand - a potted plant will also work
  • Water - submerge the item in running water 
    • Salt Water - anoint or submerge the item in a salt water solution 
    • Gem Water - anoint or submerge the item in a corresponding crystal elixir 
    • Herbal & Floral Water - anoint or submerge the item in a solution of corresponding herbs or flowers 
  • Sea Salt - sprinkle sea salt over/around the item or submerge it in a container of sea salt 
  • Essential & Infused Oils - anoint item with corresponding oil 
  • Smoke - pass the item through incense smoke 
  • Fire - pass the item through an open flame 
  • Storms - leave item outside during a thunderstorm
  • Wind & Breath - leave item outside when it’s windy or use your breath to essentially breathe your intent into the item
  • Crystals/Crystal Grid - surround the item with crystals of corresponding intent (can be arranged in a pattern to form a crystal grid and enhance energy) or simply pass the crystal over the item
  • Dried/Fresh Herbs & Flowers - sprinkle mixture over/around item or submerge the item in a mixture of herbs and/or flower petals 
  • Sound - use a bell, whistle, or something similar to clear the space and associated items of negativity; alternatively, you can place the item near a set of speakers to absorb the energy from music and other sounds 
  • Sigils - craft and use sigils that correspond with your intent (you can set the item on top of the sigil, draw the sigil on the item, etc.)
  • Technology - set the item near your phone/tablet/etc while it’s charging 
  • Moonlight & Starlight - leave item in the path of these natural lights, either outside or in a windowsill overnight 
  • Sunlight - leave item in the path of sunlight for a few hours during the day (before sunset, of course), either outside or in a windowsill 
  • Divination - pair the item with a rune or tarot/oracle card that matches your intent in a small container 
  • Incantations - create an incantation that states your intent and speak it aloud while holding the item
  • Physical Energy - engage in physical activity of some sort (exercise, dancing, sex, etc.) and direct that energy into the item
  • Actual cleaning - physically and literally clean any items with an appropriate solution (soap, alcohol, etc.); the energy put into cleaning can also be used to charge the item

Caution: some items, especially crystals, are not suitable for exposure to sunlight, water, or salt. 

Faithfully (Bucky Rockstar AU)

Characters: reader, Bucky, OC Ava Barnes, Steve, Clint, Tony, Wanda.

Summary: Being on the road with your rockstar husband had it’s challenges. What if you found out he was unfaithful? (Avengers AU)

Warnings: babies, pregnancy, possible cheating, tiny bit of language, sex mentions, drinking, nudity, bit of angst, mostly fluff. 

Word Count: 3k (including lyrics)

Song Inspiration: Faithfully by Journey

Tags are at the bottom

A/N: Oof. This idea struck me like lightning. I’ve been working on another fic but felt a little stuck. This one flowed out of me in the space of a few hours. I freaking love Journey and this story! I’ve sacrificed quite a bit of sleep to finish, so I hope it was worth it!! Please let me know your thoughts! Love you guys!! :)

Masterlist

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Originally posted by veronikaphoenix

Brushing your fingertip over perfect round cheeks while marveling at gorgeous long lashes and her tiny pout, you fell in love all over again. This little person had your heart. Well. A good portion of it. Speaking of your heart…

You heard rustling in the next “room” followed by the partition sliding aside. Bucky stumbled out of the bedroom, rubbing a hand over his face. His chin-length hair stuck out in ten different directions and he was clad in only a pair of boxers.

“Morning, handsome,” you greeted him with an amused smile.

He let out a groan, “What time is it?”

“Almost noon.”

“And…where are we?”

You chuckled, “Somewhere in the midwest, I think. St. Louis, maybe?”

Keep reading

Ok but listen

One of the Paladins, probably Hunk, got off earth with his wallet in his pocket.

He doesn’t think a thing of it; earth cash is worthless in space

A few weeks into life flying through the galaxy in a castle ship finds him sitting around feeling really comfortable and realizing he needs a simple task done. Maybe he left the oven on. Maybe he forgot the Thing he was working on in another room and needed it in this room. Maybe he was thirsty and wanted a drink.
Point is, he didn’t wanna get up

So he kinda side eyes Lance
“Hey Lance, do the thing for me.”
“Dude no. Do it yourself.”

A lightbulb pops up in Hunks mind: “I’ll pay you” he says

Lance perks up: “how much we talkin’?”

Consideration: “five dollars”
Negotiation: “make it ten.”
Refutation: “dude I bet I could get Keith to do it for three.”

Keith shrugs. Hunk translates that to “I probably wouldn’t actually, but I want to see where this goes” or possibly “I heard my name and this is probably an appropriate acknowledgement of that, but I haven’t actually been paying attention.”

Surrender: “fine. Five.” Lance goes and does the task, and comes back, “pay up, Hunk.”

Hunk roots through his wallet.
“You got change for a ten?”
“Nope”
“Well… Tens are all I’ve got… So… I guess I’ll give you one and you’ll owe me a five-dollar-favor?”
“Yeah sure. Sounds fair enough.”

Lance leaves the room, satisfied, just in time for hunk to break out laughing. Hard enough that the rest of team Voltron is Concerned (is this an existential crisis? Hmmm. No, not yet). Breathless, hysterical. In subsides after a time.

“You… Realize earth money is worthless in space, right?” Keith asks

Hunk starts laughing again, but nods. He just gave Lance a worthless piece of paper with a number on it in return for two favors. And it’s Priceless
(If we’re being honest, the favors were actually worth like, maybe two dollars each, but who cares? A favor is a favor, and earth cash is utterly useless anywhere but planet earth, what else is he gonna spend it on?)
.
.
.
But wait this definitely continues. Lance keeps doing tasks for worthless money.
Eventually Lance tries bribing Hunk back. And y'know what? Hunk was running low on cash, and it’d be good to have some in reserve, just in case he’s feeling especially lazy and wants to bribe Lance. So Hunk accepts. He gets ten dollars back (he managed to wrangle it so that it was ten dollars for a six-dollar-task especially well-done, so the ten is all his)

And it’s funny, it’s kinda fun, and it works. Lance does tasks for money, hunk does tasks for money to give to Lance to do tasks (you probably see where this is going)

Suddenly one day, the other Paladins realize how well it’s working and yknow what? They. Want. In.

Hunk started it all out with oh, about thirty dollars; a ten, a twenty, and about 63 cents. Lance had four ones. Pidge brings in two tens, three fives, and seven quarters. Keith adds about 5 dollars in loose change that he won’t admit to why he has.
Shiro didn’t have anything to add bc he spent the last year as a space prisoner, and Allura and Coran aren’t from earth and don’t use the same currency

It starts tame. Lance was bartering for a task to be worth a full ten. Keith pops up and says he’ll do it for five. Lance says fuck that, he’ll do it for four. Keith says $2.50, Lance says $2, Keith deliberates for a minute but says $1.25, Lance gets on his knees and begs to do it for $1. Keith surrenders the bid. Lance fistpumps and almost shouts about winning (who am I kidding. He definitely shouted) he sprints out of the room to do the task.
Keith high-fives Hunk. Hunk returns it, with a sense of foreboding
(Keith doesn’t really participate, except to bait Lance into doing a task cheap)

Shiro did not have any money to start. He rectifies this by quickly earning Hunks twenty and one of Pidge’s tens. Keith bribes him with three pounds of loose change for something else, something secret. He accepts the bribe. He now has $35. He spends it wisely. Responsibly. And definitely does not use the twenty to convince Lance to shut up for one 24 hour period. (He actually doesn’t! They decide that one dollar for one hour of silence is a perfectly acceptable wage. He buys 20 hours of silence. The other 4 are wasted to sleep. It’s kind of hilarious watching Lance try to charade his way through the day. After that, that’s usually what the twenty gets spent on)

Pidge does a fairly similar thing to Hunk, but quickly becomes known for being a ruthless haggler. She will get what she wants out of this five dollar bill or else. The Paladins fear her. But they obey.

Allura and Coran don’t really get it. But them not getting it has very different results. Allura simply does not participate
Coran… Thinks that Earth Money looks cool, and starts collecting it.
“Hey Coran, I’ll give you a ten if you do this task”
“Hmmm no, I already have one of those… Ooh! Do you have one of the small brown circular ones? I don’t have any of those yet!”
One day he gets ahold of the ever coveted twenty
That day is… Eventful.

All five Paladins crowd around Coran, offering to do anything for that twenty dollar bill. Literally anything.

Hunk breaks first, surprisingly.
This all started with a worthless ten dollar bill and a subtle prank on Lance. After all, earth money is worthless in space.

And now…

In some ass-backward way, his spending-money-because-what-the-hell-it’s-already-worthless has… Made a booming economy, right here in the castle.
A booming economy of about $75.38
Objectively, that total number is not enough to buy a robot. But here Pidge is, offering to build Coran a robot, not even for the seventy-five, but for one single twenty
The money was worthless, but now it is not because he started using it because it was worthless. Causality is confusing and terrifying. Hunk considers having that existential crisis. The money was worthless and now it is not, because he assigned it worth
He wanders off and flops down beside Allura. Her shoulders are shaking slightly. She is laughing.

He turns to the Paladins.
Keith is egging Lance on again, so far Lance has offered to not speak again for a week, no two weeks now. It seems Keith is aiming for one full month of silence.
Pidge is upping the numbers of promised bells and whistles for the bot. So far Hunk is starting to wonder, if Pidge even builds it, if it will replace Coran outright.
Shiro seems to have accepted that he will not win the twenty, so now he is managing the others offers: “no Pidge, the bot may not automatically fire death lasers, we don’t want any accidents. Make it manual control.” “Lance, three weeks of not saying anything at all is a bit excessive. Be reasonable, three weeks no speaking except from a word bank the rest of us choose of no more than 100 words (and except on missions)”
Meanwhile Coran doesn’t really care for a cool robot so much nor for Lance’s silence. He does rather like this “twenty dollar bill” though, because it completes his collection

Keith gets Lance to agree to one full month of silence, except for no more than 100 words from a word bank the others will decide on for $20.
Keith whips out a twenty dollar bill that he’d had in his back pocket all this time and slaps it into Lance’s hand.

Everyone loses their shit.

(Lance’s word bank includes a few useful words like “me,” “you,” everyone in the castle’s names, “space,” “fuck,” “please,” and “thanks” as well as a few out-there but useful ones, like “apologies,” “affirmative,” “negation,” “assemble,” “post,” “prior,” “cerulean,” “vermillion,” “chartreuse” “midnight,” “golden,” “rainbow,” (bc you know, lion colors) and the like. The rest were fairly nonsense, and a few of which were memes; “smorgasbord,” “brouhaha,” “Simba,” (actually, most names from the lion king) “Pepe,” “loss,” “Beyoncé,” and so on.
One memorable day (more like meme-orable day tbh) they got the quote “post smorgasbord, me, you [gesturing at all other paladins], assemble rainbow Simba. Fuck Space Voldemort’s vulnerability”
Translated roughly; “hey guys, after breakfast lets form Voltron and hit Zarkon where it hurts!”

They never do completely stop calling Voltron Rainbow Simba. Like you think it dies down, then suddenly it’s back, like it never left.
Also “yeah man! Fuck space Voldemort’s vulnerability!”)

It’s one of Keith’s favorite things he’s ever done

Bells and whistles aside, can we talk about the fact that it’s pretty much canon that Barry and Iris are married? In every way it truly counts they considered themselves married. 

Iris said her vows in the wee hours of the morning of the day she was fated to die because she didn’t want to leave this earth not being Barry Allen’s wife. So, even if it were never legal, in her heart she was Iris West-Allen. 

Before Barry walked into the Speedforce Iris told him she wanted to be Iris West-Allen and he said, “you are, and you always will be.” Even though Barry didn’t say the customary vows the way Iris did he still made it clear that he viewed her as his wife. That in his mind she belonged to him just as much as he belonged to her. 

Again, it wasn’t legal and there wasn’t some huge celebration marking the occasion, it was just two people who knew in their hearts that they belonged together. It wasn’t for anybody else to know, it was just for them. He’s her husband and she’s his wife. 

5

Top 10 Directors and their 5 Films

#7: Lars Von Trier aka the Feminist

1. Antichrist: When people talk about mindfucks, they’re typically referring to plot twist, not the actual plot. Antichrist has a simple plot that’s not filled with twists, but turns. It’s a dark fairy tale that challenges stereotypes associated with gender, the psychosis of a mother who has lost her child, and the neurotic behavior of a husband who decides to treat his grief stricken wife. The movie is littered with symbolism, metaphors, and analogies. 

2. Nymphomaniac Vol. 1: Sex is something people love to do but hate to talk about, publicly. Lars has never hesitated to address the issue and he dives head first in his first volume of a story that follows a young girl named Joe who is obsessed with sex. It’s a reverting film that challenges viewers to step back and really understand the power of sex and the role of a woman’s right to do what she pleases to satisfy her wants and desires. Forget 50 Shades of Grey! 

3. Melancholia: The second film in “The Depression Trilogy”, it’s a science fiction film—for lack of a better description—that Lars fills with his common bells and whistles filled with sex, depression, and symbolism galore. What makes the film a real kick in the nuts is its ability to show you the Earth being destroyed at the very beginning of the film. 

4. Dancer in the Dark: Talk about depressing. A poor mother wishes to help her son get a surgery so he doesn’t go blind while losing her own sight in the process. It really shows American’s in an ugly and greedy light (accurate in many ways), but the film captures the escapism commonly associated with Trier’s films. 

5. Nymphomaniac Vol. 2: I split the Nymphomaniac films as they were released, in two volumes. Now, the second volume unfortunately suffers from a lot of structural issues including a shift in Shia LaBeouf’s character eventually going to a different actor. The film focuses on an older Joe and an uglier side to sex one that involves self-destruction, isolation, and selfishness. 

Betta Care Guide: All About Bettas!

The “Betta Basics”
-2.5+ gallon tank
-heater (76-82F)
-thermometer
-low-flow filter
-1+ hide
-decor
-silk/live plants
-quality food

A More Comprehensive Guide

***Tank Size***

2.5 gallons:
The absolute minimum, I do not recommend keeping a betta in anything less than this because even in a cycled 2.5, keeping a *stable* cycle is very difficult, and requires more frequent water changes. In a tank this small, you’ll most likely need to buy an adjustable heater as well, since the smallest (trustworthy) heaters on the market are 7-7.5 watts, and depending on where you live or how hot/cold you keep your house/room, the heat will fluctuate too often, or be too hot or too cold since the volume of water is quite small. A 2.5 gallon betta tank is doable.

5 gallons:
A great median for those who want to give their bettas a wonderful environment, but may be cramped on space, move around often, or whose living arrangements have aquarium-related restrictions. A cycled 5 gallon tank with a betta generally requires a water change 1x a week. A 5 gallon is also easier to heat and keep a stable cycle with a 5 gallon than a 2.5 gallon. I still recommend an adjustable heater (I’ll always recommend an adjustable heater), though, as I’ve found that even with an appropriately-sized preset heater/non-adjustable heater, the temperature fluctuates too often and by too much. A 5 gallon is a perfectly good choice!

10 gallons:
A palace! Your new betta would love to have a 10+ gallon tank! They’ll swim over every inch of it, I promise its not too big. A fantastic choice for those that have the space and can afford to set up a 10 gallon or larger with all the bells and whistles (décor, filter, heater, etc.).

note: If you feel you can’t give your betta a 10+ gallon tank, and you can only afford a 2.5 or 5 gallon setup (or something in between), that DOES NOT mean I (or anyone else) think you’re a bad fish parent ❤ as long as you can provide the basic necessities your fish requires and keep on top of water quality, then do what you can when you can! Maybe it’ll be a few months before you can buy your fish that new hide or a few extra plants, or maybe you’ll have to wait ‘til xmas or your bday to be able to afford a larger tank if that’s what you want, and that’s okay. As long as you do the best within your means (provided your animal’s basic needs are met), that’s all your fish would ask of you ❤

***Temperature***
Bettas are tropical fish! That means they require temperatures of 76-82F.

Why do they need this temperature range, though? Well, fish are ectothermic (“cold-blooded”) meaning that they depend on their surrounding environment (the water) to regulate their body temperatures! Your human body also requires a certain body temperature to optimize all those bodily functions it performs. Think about frostbite (affects circulation) or hypothermia (affects body temperature and bodily function). Your fish can suffer similar effects when its water is kept too cold. A cold betta will be more prone to fin rot/melt (the tips of the fins become necrotic) because their circulation is affected. A colder fish will also have a slower digestive process and slower metabolism, meaning that it will become lethargic because it’s organs can’t work fast enough to produce energy it needs to be healthy and active. You wanna see a bright colorful active betta? Give them a heated tank! 😃

***Thermometer***
Even if you have an adjustable heater, you should invest in a thermometer (1.50$, glass, Walmart)! I personally use an adjustable thermometer, which has an internal thermostat which tells it when to shut off/on, but when I set the heater to 79, my tanks stay around 82F, but I wouldn’t know that unless I had a thermometer to let me know what the actual tank temperature is! I definitely recommend spending the extra buck for one :)

Also, those sticker ones that go on the outside of the tank are not reliable, seeing as they go on the outside of the tank, and show a range of temperatures more or less. They cost about the same as a glass one (which is much more accurate), so I recommend either glass or digital, but not the stickers.

Filtration:
Bettas aren’t fond of tons of flow, which can present some challenges to your friendly neighborhood aquarist. Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to betta-safe filtration.

HOBs:
Hang-On-Back style filters. Some have an intake pipe, which should be covered with a sponge to keep your bettas fins (or the betta itself) from being sucked up and shredded/injured. You can search for “pre-filter sponge” or “intake filter sponge” on amazon, google, or find a fluval prefilter sponge at your local petsmart/Petco. You can also DIY one out of cut-to-size filter foam/sponge. HOB filters can also have a strong out-flow. Some have spray bars, some have spickets, and some just have a wide-mouth waterfall-style opening. If you find that the flow is pushing your betta around, or your betta is struggling to swim against the current, you can baffle it! Some common techniques for baffling filters are the “water-bottle baffle”, using a shower loofa/pouf, covering the out-flow opening with filter sponge/floss, or an intake sponge. I have the fluval spec v and I use an intake sponge on the out-spout since it’s a short spigot.

Sponge Filters:
These are block sponges which usually sit on the bottom of the aquarium and are hooked up to an airline tube and air pump. They push air through the sponge, creating a vacuum and pulling water through. The air bubbles that come out of the top of the sponge don’t create much horizontal flow that pushes bettas around, but instead the water flow is directed upwards. The bubbles provide oxygenation and surface agitation as well.

***Décor***

Hides:
Bettas like to feel safe (as do all fish and other pets) and giving them at least one cave to retreat to will give your fish that sense of security. You can buy something from the fish store, a local pet store, or a pet chain store. Besides the pre-made ones (logs, rock caves, skulls, etc.), you can buy terra cotta pots for around a 1$ or so. Just make sure that the pots aren’t just painted brown, but that they’re a terra cotta material all the way through. Fish have also gotten stuck in the small drainage holes at the bottom of these pots, so be sure to plug it up with some aquarium-safe silicone or something. Also, be sure to make sure that your hides don’t have sharp edges your betta could tear his/her fins on, and that the hide doesn’t have holes that your betta may get stuck in. Usually you can sand down rough edges though :)

Plants:
Plastic plants are generally a no-no, as they can tear your bettas fins. Usually, if they pass the “panty-hose” test they are deemed “betta-safe” but it’s still better not to chance it when there are plenty of gorgeous silk plants out there! “silk” plants are made from material (not necessarily silk) instead of plastic. Silk plants may have plastic stems, but that’s ok so long as there aren’t any sharp seams; the silk leaves are what’s important here!

Live plants are also an option. Anubias, anacharis, java fern, moss, and banana plants are all low-light plants which require no CO2 and no special substrate. However, this is not a plant guide so you’ll have to research how you can plant them or add them to your tank on your own.

***Food***
There are lots of food which is marked specially for bettas, but don’t fall for marketing gimmicks! Know what’s in your pet’s food before you buy. If the first few ingredients are “meal”s (fish meal, wheat meal, etc.) or the first few ingredients are plant-based, then this is not the food for your betta.
What you want to look for is whole ingredients, or specifically-named ingredients (whole fish, halibut, salmon, krill, etc.). New Life Spectrum and Omega One are good brands to check out. Hikari is ok, but their ingredients are not as quality as they used to be, and if you read the ingredients on their current “Betta Bio-Gold” you’ll see what I mean. Foods with fillers/freeze-dried foods don’t have a lot of nutritional value, and while a freeze-dried food may make a tasty treat, it shouldn’t be your fish’s staple diet. You can also feed frozen/live blood worms, mysis shrimp, etc. Bettas are insectivores, and cannot digest plant matter, so they should not be given any type of algae wafer or vegetables (this includes peas; an alternative to feeding peas for bloat is to feed daphnia!!).

***Tankmates***
I’ll preface this section by stating that bettas don’t need tankmates! :) Tankmates are more for you than for your fish, and should be chosen carefully.

Tankmates in General:
-please remember to make sure that your tank is suitable for the tank mates you wish to house; you wouldn’t keep your betta in a 1 gallon unfiltered/unheated tank, so don’t do the equivalent to your betta’s tankmates  your fish are all equal, so please, please, please make sure that you put in the same amount of research and care for the tankmates that you do for your betta! make sure your tank mates have the same requirements are your betta, and their temperament won’t put your betta at risk.
-ALWAYS DO RESEARCH ON THE SPECIES YOURE CONSIDERING BEFORE PURCHASING!! :)
-always have a backup plan in case your tankmates don’t get along with your betta, or your betta doesn’t get along with his tankmates 
-a 20 gallon is the best minimum choice for a community-style betta tank, as it opens up more options and gives your betta and his/her tankmates plenty of space!
-be prepared to separate/rehome/etc. “problem fish” or a “problem betta”. if your betta isn’t really the community type, don’t try to force him/her to be; it won’t work out well for anyone. Get that betta an individual setup as soon as possible, or if your tank is large enough, divide it so that your betta has his/her own space. 

Good Tank Mates:

 Corydoras:
shoaling, 6+ to a group - keeping them in groups smaller than this will stress them to death…literally sometimes
10+ gallons (dwarf/pygmy), 20+ gallons (regular)
tropical, lots of species to choose from
sand/barebottom is a MUST - p they have soft bellies and sensitive barbels, and gravel can scratch up their bellies (which leads to stress or infection) or damage their barbels o.o also, they sift through sand to find little bits of food naturally, so sand lets them display this natural behavior and you get to see it too!

Rasboras:
schooling, 6+ to a school – keeping them in schools smaller than this will stress out the fish
10-15+ gallons – depending on the species
tropical, lots of species to choose from
note: “galaxy rasboras” are NOT rasboras (rasboras belong to the boraras genus). Galaxy rasboras are actually a species of danio (other common name: celestial pearl danio) and are not tropical.

Snails:
under 10 gallons: nerites, ramshorns, horned nerites, and other small snails
10+ gallons: mystery snails & other snails listed above – mystery snails get quite large and have a bioload as large, if not larger, than your betta’s, so a mystery snail is more suited to living in a 10 gallon tank than in something smaller

shrimp:
not all bettas are “shrimp-safe”, meaning that if you want to try shrimp, you should be prepared for the worst case scenario: your betta eats them! if youre okay with the possibility that you may lose some shrimp, then i suggest starting out with a few shrimp.
Amano shrimp are larger, great for algae, should be kept in groups of at least 3-5
cherry shrimp (and other neocardinia sp.) are hardy, but small (most likely to be a tasty snack), colorful/many variations to choose from!
ghost shrimp can actually be nippy, so I’d recommend against them, even though they’re pretty cheap~
putting shrimp in a 2.5 gallon tank is doable, but a 5 gallon tank would be much better

otocinclus:
do best in groups, 3+ - they’re not traditional shoaling or schooling fish, but are still social
20+ gallons - otos are sensitive to water quality
if your tank doesn’t have a ton of algae for them to eat, then I suggest supplementing their diet with cucumbers/zucchini/algae wafers/etc.  

plecos:
tank size depends completely on the species your considering, there are a ton!!
I suggest supplementing their diet with cucumbers/zucchini/algae wafers/etc. 

ember tetras:
schooling, 6+ to a school – keeping the in schools smaller than this will stress out the fish
10+ gallons – they do ok in a 10, but would prefer a 15 (long) or a 20 gallon! 😊

Bad Tank Mates:
danios:
NOT tropical (max temp is like 74F), they’re schooling (6+ fish in a group), and are insanely active! this means they need at least a 20 gallon, and need to be with other cooler/temperate water fish like other danios and minnows :) Also, even if they could do ok in a heated 10 gallon, their active nature tends to stress bettas out :/

White Cloud Mountain Minnows (or any other minnows):
NOT tropical (max temp is around 74F), they’re schooling (6+ fish in a group), and are insanely active! They’re smaller, around 1”, but they need at least a 10 gallon, and should only be housed with other cooler/temperate water fish such as other danios and minnows :) Also, even if they could do ok in a heated 10 gallon, their active nature tends to stress bettas out :/

Neon Tetras:
they’re tropical, could do ok in a 10 (but would do better in a 20). Enough people have had fin-nipping/aggression issues that they’ve made this list. Not everyone who houses bettas with neon tetras will have these issues, but if there’s a possibility of putting your fish’s health and wellbeing at risk, why take the risk? There are plenty of other safer, more suitable tank mates out there 😊

all other tetras not mentioned:
tetras tend to be nippy in general (black skirt tetras, for example) and there are safer options out there; dont risk it! <3

mollies:
get too large to be housed safely with bettas
can be aggressive/attack/bully your betta

platies:
some peoples bettas seem to do ok, some do not, as they can be nippy or aggressive towards your betta

Guppies/endlers:
their flowing tails and bright colors also tend to bring out aggression, and since they have such pretty tails, they may be nipped at by your betta, or vice versa

/*Thanks for giving that book a read! If you feel as though I’ve provided inaccurate information, could make an improement, or have an addition to suggest, feel free to let me know! :3*/

HAPPY FISHKEEPING

3

The German Reichsrevolver,

After the unification of Germany in 1871 the newly formed German Army sought to standardize all weapons and equipment. Before unification Germany consisted of a collection of independent states and kingdoms, each with their own small arms, artillery, and close quarter weapons. The German Army began by standardizing their rifles, then their artillery, then their cavalry equipment. At the bottom of their list, and certainly their lowest priority was the creation of a standard side arm.

The Model 1879 Reichsrevolver is not a complex revolver, a surprise considering that Germany has always had a reputation for producing revolutionary weapons designs. It was a simple and robust revolver, but unfortunately the M1879 was far outdated before it even hit the drawing board.  It was a six shot single action revolver, meaning that the hammer had to be cocked before each shot. Loading was done through a loading gate on the right hand side of the pistol, basically the user would half cock the hammer, which would allow the cylinder to spin freely. The user would hand rotate the cylinder and insert cartridges one at a time.  Incredibly, the M1879 lacked an ejector rod, typically a spring loaded rod that was integrated with the pistol which was used to eject empty cartridge casings from the chambers. Instead the user carried a separate rod in an ammunition belt and used it to punch out empty casings by hand.  Another interesting feature of the Reichsrevolver was a safety, located on the left hand side of the pistol. When activated the hammer could not be cocked. Such a feature is rare on single action revolvers because it is very difficult to accident cock such a pistol. The Reichsrevolver’s safety mechanism makes it an oddity among other single action revolvers. Another problem with the M1879 was that it’s ergonomics were terrible. It’s a big honkin’ pistol that really wasn’t designed to fit the hand very well. Even a German with larger than average hands may have a hard time aiming, cocking, and firing the revolver comfortably. 

The Model 1879 Reichsrevolver was a very quaint and dated design for it’s time. By the late 1870′s Belgian, French, English, Austrian, and American gun designers were making revolvers, both single action and double action, that were far better than the M1879 and had many unique and revolutionary design elements..  A good example was the Colt M1873 Single Action Army, the classic cowboy gun which shares the same features of the Reichsrevolver.  Despite being introduced years earlier, it was a far better pistol with better ergonomics, better weight and balance, and of course it had an ejector rod. The Colt 1873 is the simplest example, by the late 1870′s European pistol designers had created double action models, swing out cylinder models, top break systems, and even auto ejectors. 

While the Reichsrevolver was lacking in most areas, there are some advantageous features. First and foremost the Reichsrevolver was a simple and robust pistol. When you cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger it went bang, and it could take a beating and still keep going bang.  It was also very easy to mass produce. Finally it was chambered for a 10x25mmR cartridge which was essentially a clone of the Smith & Wesson Russian,which was a very hard hitting cartridge.

Despite these advantages the Reichsrevolver is kind of disappointing because Germany could have done better, but pretty much made an active decision not to. Germany had a long history of firearms design before then, going back to early wheel-lock rifles, to flintlock jaeger rifles, the revolutionary Dreyse Needle rifle and Krupp artillery. Germany certainly had the know-how, technical ability, industry,and resources to create something much better, but they didn’t. The German Army got what it wanted, a simple, functional, and rugged revolver that was cheap and easy to produce with no frills, bells, and whistles.   It’s interesting to note that a generation later, Germany would suddenly spead ahead at warp speed with semi automatic designs such as the Borchardt, Luger pistol and Mauser Broomhandle 

In 1883 Germany would introduce a new model of the Reichsrevolver called the Model 1883, which featured a smaller barrel, smaller frame and a smaller better shaped grip to fit the hand. 

Collectors typically refer to the M1879 as the “Cavalry Model” and the M1883 the “Officers Model”. However those are just collectors designations and neither was exclusively issued to cavalry or officers. Interestingly, a number of smaller firms would take up the design and produce their own versions for the commercial market. These designs upgraded the Reichsrevolver with double action variants, pocket revolvers, and of course the addition of a proper ejector rod.  One of the most interesting designs was a pocket revolver called the “Baby Reichsrevolver” which featured two triggers, the first which rotated the cylinder, the second which fired the revolver. It also featured a proper ejector rod.

The Reichsrevolver would serve the German Army throughout the 1880′s and 1890′s, being officially retired in 1908 with the adoption of the Luger semi automatic pistol. However, the outbreak of World War I brought the Reichsrevolver back into regular use as the war created a shortage of pistols. They were quickly taken out of storage, dusted off, and typically issued to secondary troops such as supply, artillery, and reserve units. Supposedly they were even issued to Volkssturm units during World War II, although I’ve never found any hard evidence supporting this.

Fill-a-Page February

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any artist who aspires to improve should be drawing every day. 

Being told to draw more, draw daily, draw while you eat, sleep, breathe, is probably the single most common piece of advice given in response to the question “how do I get better?” - I know I’ve certainly told people to do this.

But I have a confession to make.

I am a hypocrite and I don’t draw every day. Not even close. 

I always seem to have a ready excuse for why I didn’t set aside 10, 20, 30 minutes a day to draw: I’m too tired, I got home late, I didn’t have any drawing materials on me, I was too busy. And yet I still grumble when my art feels like it’s stagnating. I feel disatisfied and frustrated with my lack of progress or the inconsistency of my style or with my inability to draw something in the moment (looking at you, anatomy, clothing folds, perspective). So I want to do something about it.

Every day for the month of February, I will fill a page in a sketchbook, much like I did with this page of scribbles. New day, new page. I don’t have a specific “improvement” goal in mind nor any particular subjects, but I want to get myself into the habit of drawing more freely and regularly, without the pressure of producing a finished piece of art. 

I’ve already persuaded a few people to do this with me because I know I’ll need the support and motivation, but please feel free to join me in giving the challenge a go if you fancy it!

You will need:

  • a sketchbook or pad (I’ve chosen A5 because the size isn’t too intimidating)
  • a pencil
  • an eraser (although I plan to use this sparingly)

The reason I’m doing this challenge traditionally is to get away from all the distracting bells and whistles that come with a digital art program and focus on the act of drawing itself. I also want to get over my fear of ruining a sketchbook with mediocre art. This is me giving myself permission to be bad at art for a while, because it really is the only way I’m going to get better.

The challenge commences February 1st - wish me luck!

This is not the end; part II

Lily meets the love of her life for a second time.

part Iread on ao3

dedicated to @gxldentrio​; @padfootdidit​; @hiddenpolkadots​ 

The second time Lily meets him, she swears it’s like she’s fallen into a dream.

She’s been imagining what it would be like to see him again; daydreaming about what he would look like (windswept hair and bright eyes and that glorious, wide smile directed just at her).

So, when she sees him there and his eyes light up, it’s like she’s been swept away in a current of feelings. She says a little prayer, thanking God that she actually decided to come to the party after all, because otherwise she would have never have seen him.

Lily realises with a pang in her heart, quickly followed by giddy and abrupt butterflies in her stomach, that their story is finally going to continue.

This is not the end.

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darklng0  asked:

How do developers get animations incredibly fluid? Like Platinum Games for example, in Nier Automata the animations can be breathtaking at times. Is it only motion capture or do they use that in tandem with something else? Like let's say that a character has centipede like tendrils protruding from his back and most of his moves involve flips and feints of the tendrils in tandem with hand to hand combat. How does that work?

Let me try to answer your question in a slightly roundabout way. Let’s talk about motion capture for a moment. A lot of gamers seem to think that, for video games, animators will hire actors to wear the motion capture suits, record some data, and then just plug that data into the game and everything is great. This is not how it works. Mocap is only the beginning, not the entire process.

If you’ve read my [Animation Primer], you know that animation data is generally represented as a sequence of specific positions over time. Each of these sets of positions is called a frame. The character is placed in these positions in order. The speed at which the character changes position to match the frame is called the frame rate. However, frame rate isn’t just used for playback. Computers run things in discrete time steps, after all, and computers capture motion data. When we record motion capture, we record it at a certain number of frames per second too. Most motion capture data is recorded at much higher frame rates than we expect games to display - typically around 120 to 160 frames per second. Just consider - if we have 120 to 160 frames per second of animation data, how do we choose which frames to display for the game that displays at 60 frames per second?

We could do it the basic way - just show every other frame we recorded. 120 fps becomes 60 fps this way, and everything is played back at the same speed it was captured. But that’s assuming that the data we motion captured is enough, and assuming that real life motion is what we’re after. If we’re talking about a game like Nier Automata, for example, where the main character is an android with greater capabilities than a human actor who’s goal isn’t to actually hurt anyone during motion capture settings, things change. So who decides what frames of animation get put into the actual final product? This is where the animator comes in.

A lot of dealing with motion capture data is “cleaning it up” - chopping off the bits that lead to and from the reference pose, making it run to the target frame rate, and choosing frame data that looks right for the game experience. These changes can be subtle or they might be large. Sometimes you want a 1:1 rate with the original mocap data, and sometimes you want to slow something down, or speed something up so that it reads better or gives a different impression of the motion. There are even times where animators will adjust certain parts to be faster while others are slower. Look at the differences in the above animations - they might seem small at first glance, but the edited frame has a lot more emphasis of the action to the viewer. The raw mocap looks more like the attacker is simply walking up from behind and pushing the victim. While this might work in real life, it doesn’t read as well in a video game. In the edited animation, the attacker has some anticipation built in before the stab to make it look better. Look at the added pull back and then stab forward with the left hand and how the attacker grabs and maintains his hold on the victim’s mouth in the edited animation. See how the overall time is about the same, but some parts were sped up in order to make room for the added anticipation movements?

Motion capture suits also don’t have the extra bells and whistles of in-game costumes. Any extra bits like tendrils, robot arms, wings, tail, or clothing has to be animated separately. That typically means either some sort of simulation (usually via physics or some sort of procedural system), or hand-animating the extra bits. Some stuff lends itself more easily to procedural motion, like clothing. Physical features like tentacles, antennae, wings, or tails tend to be hand-animated, and that’s all about the animator’s skill at making legible motion.

The real answer to your question is that fluid-looking animation isn’t so much a question of the frame rate as it is a testament to animator skill. Animation looks fluid because the animators have carefully selected the right frames to string together to best convey the motion you’re seeing. This is the major difference between really good-looking animations and passable “ok” animations. It’s not a question of how many frames of animation there are, it’s what the animator does with those frames.


Got a burning question you want answered?

youtube

Sherlock Holmes on Elementary is definitely a jerk. But he’s also a good person with a deep sense of empathy. Let’s explore how Elementary fits into the legacy of Holmes Adaptions, and how the character is depicted in these complex, contradictory ways.

Transcript below the cut

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6

two of a kind

The problem with Supernatural and their “emotional story lines” is that the writers are hacks and just not capable of creating anything complex enough to be satisfying to watch, what you get is clunky at best. Yes, Jensen is an excellent actor and sells it…but he can’t always overcome how infuriating and frustrating a lot of his emotional arcs are anyway, in how they’re almost always not about Dean but about Sam or Cas and no amount of Jensen’s quality high grade acting is going to make me care after all these years. I care about Dean and I would like to watch a show where the narrative cares about him to.  

If Supernatural was in the hands of better writers then I would change my tune, especially as I love psychological horror (Rosemary’s Baby/The Others) and it’s heroes and heroines but right now if dumb is what we’re going to get then dumb with exciting bells and whistles with Dean being the hero with a heart who saves the day is what I want to see. 

Some people seems to be confused by the recently released system requirements for Mass Effect Andromeda. 

Here’s the thing. The Recommended system requirements are most likely targeted at running the game at 1080p, 60 FPS, at high graphic settings (perhaps even ultra) and with with all the additional bells and whistles like ani-aliasing and superb shading, etc. 

So, if you’re above the Minimum requirements and don’t care about the highest visual fidelity in full HD, you’re most likely gonna be able to run the game just fine. 

Of course, there is the matter of optimization and the quality of the PC port in the first place. If the game is badly optimized at launch, which in my opinion is probably gonna be the case as with many other titles in the past, including Bioware own, it’s gonna run like shit no matter what your specs are. The question then becomes how fast and how well can they deliver day 1 and follow up patches. 

I’d wait until the 16th when it goes live for the Origin Access and see what the test results of those 10 hours will be before upgrading your systems. And if you’re threading the line on the Minimum specs, I’d wait until the PC reviews are out. There are reviewers who are very particular about PC ports and will be testing the game thoughtfully. 

hollywoodreporter.com
'Spider-Man Homecoming' Star Tom Holland on His On-Set Injury and New Spidey Suit (Q&A)
"We really tried to convey that he's enjoying his superpowers," Holland tells THR about the way his Peter Parker differs from other big screen versions.

How did you pitch your take on Spider-Man to get the job as the director?

Watts: I went in to Marvel for a general meeting, and then they were talking about how they had teamed up with Sony and they had this opportunity to bring in Sony to the Marvel universe. They were leaning towards it being a high school movie, and I had been wanting to make a high school movie. I’d been watching every coming-of-age movie that there is because that’s a great excuse to not start writing, doing “research.” I was really about to speak to the subject about what I liked about coming-of-age movies, and we had this shared language. I was so excited about it that I was overflowing with ideas.

After Captain America: Civil War came out, did you pay attention to what fans were saying about your new take on Spider-Man?

Holland: People kept saying don’t pay attention to the comments, but I found it impossible not to. I think I was lucky that the majority of people were saying really nice things. I was a little nervous about the release, and I was over the moon with the response I got.

How would you describe your Peter Parker to people who’ve seen the previous big screen versions?

Holland: Different to the previous two. I felt very strongly about the question about what would happen if you gave a 15-year-old super powers. I think the answer would be he would have the time of his life. Yes, he would probably stop crime, but have so much fun doing it. We really tried to convey that he’s enjoying his superpowers. More often than not in superhero movies, the powers are a burden to the superhero but in our case, they’re the complete opposite.

Have you talked to Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield about playing Peter Parker?

Holland: I haven’t been in contact with them but they said really nice things about me online, which was a lovely thing to hear. I met Andrew at the BAFTAs recently and he was lovely. I’m a huge fan of his, especially the past couple of years, all the work he’s been doing. He wished me good luck. I was really happy to meet him.

What are you most proud of with this film?

Watts: I think it has a unique, surprising tone that’s different from the others, and different from the other movies in this universe. I’m pretty proud of the tone we struck. It’s fun. It’s able to go from a very small story, and really emotional small stakes and just get bigger and bigger until it’s on a massive scale without ever losing site of the story we were trying to tell.

Holland: I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life. It was a non-stop job and I felt so passionate and proud of what we were creating. I’m so proud that I was able to give my best, and I’m so grateful that I didn’t get injured. I did a lot of stunts. At the very end, I fell down some stairs, and tweaked my ACL just a little bit.

Did you need to take a few days off?

Holland: It was right at the end, so I managed to get through it. The funny thing is I think one of my last shots of the movie was me chasing a bus, and I couldn’t do it. My best friend Harrison was my assistant while we were out there so we dressed him up like me and had him run. So Harrison has a little cameo in the movie, which is great.

What was your own high school experience like?

Holland: I went to an English high school which is very different – it’s all boys, suit and tie. But I enrolled for three days in a high school in New York as a research exercise. I had a fake accent, a fake name. It was fun. The Bronx School of Science is a school for genius kids, and I’m definitely not a genius. A lot of the students and teachers were confused as to why I was there so they would test me, and fire off questions at me. It was a little embarrassing, but very informative.

The new Spider-Man suit has a spider-drone that comes out of the center emblem. How did you come up with new gadgets but stay loyal to what comic book fans know and love about Spider-Man?

Watts: There’s a precedent for it in the comic books because Tony Stark builds Peter a new suit. Tony Stark is a very bells and whistles kind of guy. We had that set up in Civil War. That was one of the fun brainstorm meetings: What could be in that suit? We made a list of all the neat things that Tony would put in there for Peter to discover or keep him safe. At one point, we just realized “what if that little spider could crawl out and move around and do surveillance?”

Holland: Our little drone has 10,000 things it could do. I think we found its proper use in the movie. It’s funny – he has a little relationship with the drone, like a little sidekick.

There’s already a release date for Homecoming 2. What’s going on with that. Are you directing?

Watts: I’ve gotta finish this one first – one at a time. There’s still a lot of VFX work to do in post. Talk to me on 7/8/17.

Cherished

Originally posted by holy-fucking-damn-shit

Pairing: Dean x plus size!Reader, Sam
Word count: 683
Warnings: A swear or two

Part 7 of Fat and Beautiful


You and Dean got married at the courthouse, nothing fancy. You wore your favorite sundress, and he wore slacks and a dress shirt. As did Sam. You didn’t care about the bells and whistles. All that mattered to you, was the man you were marrying.

Life went back to normal, except for Dean would call you ‘Mrs. Winchester’ from time to time, just to see your face light up. The two of you fell into a routine, enjoying a sense of normalcy.

It had been nearly a year of marriage when Dean left you little hints that he wanted to move to the next part of your relationship. You were confused at first, wondering about the random items you were finding in places you were always in- a stuffed bear, a rattle, things like that. What finally made you ask what was going on was a box of pregnancy tests, that had been left on the bathroom counter like the damn things belonged there.

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Song Bird

I have a request please. lol how about it’s late night and you didn’t know Simon D would be home. You’re finishing up your hair and singing badly and he scares You? Smutty, fluffy, your choice Thank You! 😍

@vampyxenoqueen I hope you like it! 

Title: Song Bird

Genre: Fluff/Implied smut

Word Count: 1370

You’d been at this for a good hour. It was wash day and that automatically meant your evening routine was going to run longer than normal. You were currently standing in front of the mirror using our wide tooth comb as a mic. Initially you’d just been humming along but apparently the lyrics were speaking directly to you.

“Somethin bout you makes me wanna do things that I shouldn’t!” You belted out, head thrown back, comb gripped tight just below your mouth with your eyes closed. In your mind, you were giving the performance of a lifetime. When your fro was lopsided because you’d put too much leave in the back and hadn’t gotten to one quadrant of your hair. Now Ariana Grande’s pitch is hard for most to achieve anyway. You could be classified as an alto at best but that would only count if you could sing. The squeaking/screeching sounds you were making might be classified as crimes against humanity in some countries.

 

Luckily for mankind it was around 11:30 at night and you had the house to yourself. Kiseok said he’d be at the studio late which usually meant he’d be home around two. At this point in your relationship the extremely late nights no longer bothered you. It hadn’t been that way initially. You were a little ashamed to admit that at one point you’d been queen of the pop-up. Years later things were comfortable between the two of you and you were confident in your relationship.

You continued to sing and threw in a body rolls as you ran your hands over your bodysuit. You’d taken to wearing them when you were just lounging around the house. You claimed it was for the convenience of not having to search for an entire outfit. The reality was they fit you like a second skin, made you feel feminine and you were hoping that Kiseok would catch you in it at the right time.

Thinking of him had your mind running through some interesting options. The two of you were still somehow managing to keep things fresh with each other. It didn’t always work out like either of you thought. There were a few times that you both ended up laughing at each other. You still couldn’t look at bananas or oranges without chuckling.

Trying to get your mind off your boyfriend you switched over to a 90’s RnB playlist. It might be dangerous territory for some but most of the time you struggled not to giggle through the songs. There were only so many ‘oooohhhhh yeah.ohh oohh yeeahhs’ you could hear before busting up. After making it through Xscape, 112 and Shai you were almost done detangling your hair.

Then all hell broke loose when you heard the opening notes for Any Time, Any Place. Your comb was back in your hand serving as a mic, eyes closed with a serene smile on your face. You held your free hand at your side snapping along as your hips easily found the rhythm.

Kiseok could hear the music from outside the door and already knew what he was walking into. He’d had to come home to grab a few things as it looked like it was going to be an even later night than he originally anticipated. He’d left Jay down in the car waiting as he thought this was going to be a quick trip in and out. He cringed as he opened the door and heard you struggling to hit a note. He loved you. He really did but a song bird you were not. He had to stop walking briefly and stuck his finger in his ear shaking it in an attempt to rub away some of the pain.

Not long after he was in your room standing back from the doorway to the bathroom watching you sing along. He let his eyes freely roam your body as you rolled your hips and let your hand travel up your thigh. It didn’t hurt that you were wearing one of those tight things. God bless whoever made those. He bit his lip and cocked his head to the side and admired your ass. He shook his head somethings just didn’t make sense and the way your ass looked in the spandex was one of those. You moved yourself into a semi sitting position and rocked your hips side to side as your hand traveled up your stomach, between your breasts and cupped your neck. He decided to test and see if you were just singing the words or if you were serious.

“Any time, huh?” You heard a deep voice just to your left. You squealed and threw your comb at what you thought was an assailant and hit Kiseok in the middle of the forehead. “Ow!” He cried and you immediately covered your mouth with your hands. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m sorry.” Rushed out of your mouth and took the few steps to where he now stood completely in the doorway. “Are you ok?” You asked but he was already laughing. You hit his arm playfully. “You scared the shit outta me!” You said in mock anger.

“I’m sorry.” He said between laughs. His hands rested low on your hips as you quickly examined his head. There was a slight red mark but it wasn’t welting so he’d be ok. “I couldn’t help it. I heard you screeching and came in to see dancing around in this.” He snapped the strap of your bodysuit. “I had to know if you meant what you said.” He was backing you further into the bathroom until you felt the edge of the sink pressing into your ass. He tapped your outer thigh indicating for you to sit on the sink.

“I’m going to need you to put a bell or get a whistle or something. You’re lucky I didn’t catch your eye.” You were trying to ignore his little question and make a point of him not sneaking up on you again.

“C’mon kiss it and make Daddy feel better” The man dropped his voice into that dangerous octave. The one he knew would have you sliding your panties off in a heartbeat. He stepped between your legs and pressed himself against your core. He leaned down and closed the space between your lips. You met the kiss head on and let your hands slide up his chest until one was cupping his face and the other was buried in his hair.

The kiss deepened quickly and you were both panting and grinding against each other in now time. Your legs were around his waist and he’d just hooked one of his fingers into the strap of your bodysuit other hand gently caressing your breast when his phone vibrated. “Shit” he cursed under his breath as he pulled away from you.

You groaned and muttered are you serious. “Yeah…” he cleared his throat. “Yeah” You could hear Jay on the other end of the line. “Did you get lost or somethin?”  

You sprinkled Kiseok’s neck with little kisses and gently nipped at his earlobe. You ground yourself against the erection bulging through his jeans causing him to let a small moan escape. He turned a molten glare on you. “Or something.” He clipped back into the phone. You tried to hold back a laugh and hoped you hadn’t been loud enough to be heard.

Jay laughed on the other end of the line. “Next time I’m just dropping you off.” The conversation ended the mood slightly changed.

Kiseok looked down at you with a dangerously teasing glint in his eye. “Thought that was funny?” He cocked his head to the side and licked his lips and examined you. He took half a step back, tapped your thigh again and nodded to the bedroom. “Take that off and be waiting for me.”

You raised your eyebrow in question trying to push him just a bit more. He returned the look and simply stated. “You have 10 seconds.” Then proceeded to count backwards.

You hopped off the sink and made a beeline for the bedroom. Sometimes singing off key paid off.