but this one hit home for me

After a short time at the park and returning home to finish some last minute packing for Atlanta tomorrow, it has officially hit me that Captain America: Civil War is starting production in little to no time. On one hand I’m excited, and on another I don’t even want to know what my filming and promotion schedule looks like for the next long months.

Monday Morning Blues

Day One of Spring Break - SICK!

The only nice thing about being sick is knowing eventually you’ll get well.  Just hoping “eventually” is soon.

Feel pretty much like a truck hit me, and stuffed up, even with taking medicine.  Add a touch of really bad sleeping over the last two nights, and I’m just full of sickness magic.

So as you can tell, no running today, and perhaps not even tomorrow.

A nap though will be happening!  Perhaps several.  ;-)

So since I’ll be home, ask me stuff.

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Not gone, just new directions

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"What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor.
Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.”
                                          
Patch Adams (1998)

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"No, you don’t, you don’t understand! None of you do - you’re Dwarves. You used to - to this life, to living on the road, never settling in one place, not belonging anywhere.

I am sorry, I didn’t…”

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                      I’m mad at you! No you’re not. I am! No, you’re mad at Derek.
You want to take it out on me? Go on. You want to yell and hit and scream because things are hard at home? Okay. You want to be a mess? Be a mess. I don’t care, I can take it. But in that OR.. you are not a mess in that OR. You tried. We both did. 

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when they say “let’s talk about that” here, it’s more of a “this needs to be addressed”

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How much (damage) are you dealing with?

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So I came across this article today and I think it’s important that everyone reads it, especially African American cosplayers.

The article is powerful and it totally hit home for me. It expressed a lot of how I felt entering this community as an African American cosplayer.

When I first cosplayed at Anime Expo 2010, I chose to cosplay Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach. Not because I loved her character, actually, I almost knew nothing about her as a character. I had to watch clips on YouTube to get a grasp on who she was as a character. But I primarily chose her for one reason — she had darker skin, just like my own.

Thankfully now, I DO have a real appreciation for Yoruichi and I love her now, but then, I had this irrational fear of cosplaying characters with lighter skin than my own because I felt I would be discriminated against.

I remember a few years before my cosplay debut expressing to a friend that I wanted to cosplay Sesshomaru from InuYasha, because I grew up watching the show and Sesshomaru was my favorite anime character of all time. I loved him to death and it would have been a dream to cosplay him.

But my friend told me I shouldn’t cosplay him because I wouldn’t look good as him, mainly because my skin is dark and I am overweight.

From that moment on, my spirit was crushed, the damage had been done. 

Still to this day, it makes me really anxious to cosplay characters that don’t match my skin tone or body type. 

I had desperately looked for dark skinned characters to cosplay, even if I didn’t know who they were. Even now, I still find myself refraining from cosplaying from some of my favorite series because of the lack of a dark skinned character. 

I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to accurately portray a character, even down to their skin tone. Cosplaying a dark skinned character for me is a fulfilling experience,and I think it it important to give attention and appreciation to these characters (because they are often under-appreciated as well).

But there is such a dark, ugly pressure from the certain parts of the community on cosplayers that you HAVE to cosplay characters that suit you in order for your cosplay to be appreciated. It is not acceptable if you’re dark skinned to cosplay a character lighter than yourself, or if you’re overweight, you can’t cosplay a thin, fit character, etc.

Of course, not the entire community is like this, but the discrimination still exists. The prejudice is still there and even if you don’t experience discrimination in the form of hate, there are subconscious discrimination. Photographers won’t take photos of you, people avoid you and talk about you behind your back,etc. And even with overwhelming support, a single, negative comment from an ignorant person can ruin your confidence.

There had been many times when I cosplayed with a group of friends that they would either only ask my other friends for a photo or merely just focus their camera on them and avoid me completely.

I also recall being replaced in a cosplay group because they had found a cosplayer that “better suited” the character…….because the cosplayer was fully asian and the character I wanted to cosplay had light skin. 

I’ve read and heard from many, MANY darker skinned cosplayers than they had received hate not for the quality of their cosplay, but because of their skin color. 

The most famous example I can think of is the blog post by the beautiful Chaka Cumberbatch, addressing the hate and discrimination she received for her (gorgeous) Sailor Venus cosplay.

Her words really hit me. 

Because honestly, being a cosplayer subjects you to a lot of criticism. Anyone can be criticized for their choice of fabrics, wigs, contacts, makeup, etc. etc. etc.

But nobody can change the skin that they were born into. No one should be discriminated against something that they can’t change.

Because of my experiences and the way I see others are treated. I think it is very important for African American cosplayers to see and feel support. 

That is particularly why I felt social events like #28DaysofBlackCosplay and Blackout Friday were crucial for me to participate in, and I was so overwhelmed with all of the support and love I received in those few days.

I firmly believe that these types of hate is so unnecessary, because cosplay should be about fun and portraying characters that you love, despite your gender, the color of your skin, weight, or any other factor that has NOTHING to do with your choice in characters.

Embrace yourself as a person and as a cosplayer. No matter what skin or body that you’re in.

In spirit of embracing myself, I’ll upload pictures of myself in previous cosplay of characters that don’t match my skin tone <3 It’s not a lot, but it’s a start!

Dawn had broken when he said: ‘Sire, now I have told you about all the cities I know.’
‘There is still one of which you never speak.’
Marco Polo bowed his head.
‘Venice,’ the Khan said.
Marco smiled. ‘What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?’
The emperor did not turn a hair. ‘And yet I have never heard you mention that name.’
And Polo said: ‘Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.’
‘When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice.’
‘To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.’
‘You should then begin each tale of your travels from the departure, describing Venice as it is, all of it, not omitting anything you remember of it.’
The lake’s surface was barely wrinkled; the copper reflection of the ancient palace of the Sung was shattered into sparkling glints like floating leaves.
‘Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,’ Polo said. ‘Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.’
—  Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Chapter 424 Thoughts

Ok, this is not going to be a very insightful review since my thoughts are still really raw. 

So, Juvia and Gray did indeed live together, train together, and eat together for 6 months, NOT nearly a year. She’s been alone in that village waiting for him, even though she did indeed try and look in the beginning, and when she couldn’t find him, she just decided he’d hopefully come back one day, because this was their home (my feels!!!). 

Even though Juvia has indeed reverted to her rain woman status, she still brought the lols anyway, what with her delusions in the beginning and Natsu holding her back, and then her bragging to Lucy about living alone with Gray, and her fake out of having slept with Gray, but then admitting she was kicked out lol! That to me means they are still not canon yet, and I’m more than fine with that, because I would have been pretty frustrated if they had hit canon in the time skip, only for Mashima to have torn them apart again in this way, and have to wait for them to reconcile once more.

Along with the sort of silliness also came some serious business, like Juvia being sick and collapsing, and just her despair over Gray having disappeared, and her hope that he would come back. I loved Natsu vowing to bring Gray back to her, and saying he’s going to bring the guild back as well, with Juvia tearing up at the thought of having her love and her true home/family back at last. 

I also really liked when Natsu mentioned that Gray was a bastard for abandoning Juvia, Lucy pointed out that Natsu did the same to them, and then Juvia (who clearly ships them hard lol) told them to get a room as Natsu looked guilty at Lucy’s words. ^^

I also thought it was interesting that Gray indeed was having this issue of the tattoo spreading while he was still with Juvia, and he slowly drifted away until he stopped coming back entirely. 

Now, I know Juvia is sick, and everything, but I really hope that Mashima does NOT make her stay in that rainy village and wait for Natsu, Lucy and Wendy to bring Gray back. Because I have a bad feeling that is EXACTLY what Mashima is going to do (which is why he made her sick in the first place, so he has an excuse for her to not join them), so that when Gray does finally come home to Juvia, the rain will clear away, and we’ll have our happy ending. I want Juvia to be an active participant in this quest to get Gray. But, yeah, my hopes are not high with this setup. >_<

Also, I loved all the flashes of Juvia and Gray’s life together over the 6 months. I’m so glad Mashima showed us that. It was so cute seeing juvia wearily picking up his clothes that he stripped off, like it was so routine, and even as if she had gotten a little sick of it haha! 

And Gray is absolutely turning into a mini Silver, and you’ll have no complaints from me about that, because I love me some papa Silver haha! Now, the big question is, is Gray faking so he could get info about Zeref and END in this dark guild? And if so, why not just tell Juvia before disappearing for so long like that? If not, then what the heck is going on with him? 

I still think he’s faking TBH. And I still think he didn’t tell Juvia because he wanted to keep her out of harms way. But, we’ll see. Finally, I loved the cute bits of Natsu-Juvia BrOTP. This is the most interaction they’ve ever had in the series, and it was sweet! ^-^

P.S. That girl who smiled at Gray at the end… If Juvia gets involved, that bitch gonna get wrecked. Just sayin’. 

More AUs for your consideration

pt one

  • “my friends bet me i couldn’t get a free meal at a restaurant if i pretended i was stood up, so i did it and you were my really cute waiter and i didn’t end up getting free dinner but i did end up taking you home with me (you really hit it off with my cat)”
  • “you’re the random stranger who accidentally hit me in the face with a door because you didn’t know i was behind it, and you practically carried me to the nurse even though my nose only bled a little”
  • “we’re bitter rivals in a dog grooming competition and our dogs seem to have fallen in love so we had to spend the whole competition weekend together”
  • “you were waving to someone but i thought you were trying to high five me, a stranger, and i accidentally bopped you on the head because i have terrible aim and you weren’t going for a high five at all
  • “i tried to rescue you from a goose that was chasing you in the park but it ended up chasing me too and instead of helping, people were taking videos of us being attacked by this evil goose”
  • “we got stuck together as partners for a kayaking outing on our company retreat, and we kinda can’t stand each other but you fell out of the kayak and i laughed so hard that i fell out too so we had to go back to the camp early (begrudging cuddles ensue. for warmth, of course)” 
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Nagi no Asukara || Episode 15