cheap coats

Ginger Rogers in her Oscar-winning role as Kitty Foyle, in Kitty Foyle (1940).

The first time we watched this movie, my whatgingerwore partner in crime and I had a classic Pretentious People Movie Moment. We had watched the first couple of scenes at the beginning, and as the camera cut to a snowglobe and dissolved into scenes from Our Heroine’s past, we turned to each other and back to back: “wow that is like Citizen Kane!” “Yeah, and that first scene?  Very Magnificent Ambersons.” And we seriously considered for a moment whether Kitty Foyle could have influenced either of the two Greatest Movies Ever Made.* 

Update on our sanity: don’t worry! Despite our love of making up crazy theories we realized this is ludicrous. We’re pretty sure Orson Welles was (we mean with the greatest respect) too far up his butt to copy some Ginger Rogers prestige picture made the year before. We will not rewrite the history of cinema. CRISIS AVERTED. We will, however, continue to sing the praises of Kitty Foyle!

Anyway, there is a reason we had our Welles comparisons early in this film: the first few minutes of this movie are truly excellent and deserve mad props. For one thing, it utilizes our favorite thing: comparisons! 

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Yes, this lady above, is the Victorian Lady who our very own Kitty Foyle (and modern womanhood) is about to be compared to. Not so much HER (though incidentally, this lady seems like a pretty cool chick, fighting for suffrage and all), as the benefits she has. In a few brief, ironic sketches, the (genuinely seductive) benefits of her life as the Angel of the House are enumerated: men offer up their seats and are gently deferential, she gets to wear gorgeous frilly clothes, she is the freakin’ adored Angel in the House. 

And this seductive past is compared to the modern (well, okay, 1940’s) present. No seat on the subway! Simpler, plainer clothes. Our main character has to work for a living, she emerges from her job with a bunch of other girls complaining about men. Life seems less fun; less easy, less frilly.

If this was the point of Kitty Foyle – those ladies sure were silly, gettin’ them rights! It would be an awfully frustrating movie. But, instead, our heroine puts on her warm winter coat, steps outside into the city streets, and we see her: alone.

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In her simple and unadorned coat, with the snow falling down, she stands alone. But not just any alone. The point isn’t her isolation, or maybe the point IS her isolation. Instead of yards of men giving up her seat, tolerating her suffragetting, protecting her in the warm safe house, she gets something the Victorian lady doesn’t get; she gets the Hero Treatment.

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Because yeah, you know who stands alone, reflecting quietly in isolation? Luke Skywalker. Superman, basically all superheroes. John Wayne, in all those movies where he stands defiantly in the vastness of the west. Kitty Foyle may not have the safety offered in the Victorian world, but there is a promise inherent­­ in her isolation, in the sense that she must create her own destiny, find her own happiness. That is how heroes begin. Bravely and alone, wearing kinda crap clothes. John Wayne’s clothing is always dirty, heck, all heroes of westerns are somewhat wrinkled. Clark Kent is dressed in a badly-fitted suit before he reveals his gleaming goofy superhero outfit. Kitty Foyle’s outfit here isn’t an object of desire, a fantasy outfit. It is too simple - while the coat looks warm, even the fur on the hood looks like a practical touch, or at the least a sign that in a time of fur coats, she can’t afford more than a fur hood. But it makes you root for her, lets you understand what she doesn’t have, and what she might want. It lets you know that you are looking at the hero of this movie. It is kinda a crap coat, but in another way, it is a great one.

*HOW FITTING is it that a lot of the people who argue for Magnificent Ambersons as the BEST EVER admit that whatever cut of the movie they think is the best has been lost to time/shenanigans? “The best movie ever is the one you cannot ever see!” I think sums that up. That said, apparently Vertigo is the best movie ever now, according to some list. Fair enough! Anyway, The Best Ever is one of those pointless games that it is fun to indulge in - I mean, lots of things are great for a whole lot of reason, and clearly at some point gradations of wonderfulness become so small and prone to subjectivity as to become meaningless. But, on the other hand, it is so fun to argue!

Haha, happy Oscars weekend, everyone!

Vegans may become angery at me for this but I *do* understand the financial case against veganism - not in the sense that I believe that veganism is more expensive, but in the sense that having little money puts you in a position where you don’t feel like it’s right to prioritize moral stands over feeding yourself. The main difference between plant-based food and animal-based food is that vegan “convenience food” is more expensive whereas animal-based quick foods like boxed mac and cheese, soups, Lunchables etc. are the cheapest things around (especially no-name). Cheap convenience food for me is, like, carrots.

BUT. But but. If you, an omnivore, are going to tell me that veganism is inherently expensive, you could start by comparing apples to apples (food joke somewhere in here). So if you’re going to point to $799 vegan parkas, you could maybe compare those to the $900+ Canada Goose jackets people wear and not a $40 jacket from Target, because there are also cheap, accidentally vegan coats in that price range. Same with $200 vegan Doc Martens. I get it, those are more expensive than discount store sneakers, but they’re more directly comparable to, say, actual Doc Martens? The $14 vegan burgers at Doomie’s in Parkdale? Compare those to any other burger in Parkdale aka hipster foodie hell and they’re the exact same.

Pointing out high-end vegan novelty items as “proof” that veganism is expensive is lazy and ridiculous. The fact is all lifestyles have challenges depending on your budget. There are items that are vegan friendly and unfriendly at all ends of the pricing scale.

Party of Three x Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin

Word Count: 1139

Requested: No but, this morning I listened to the “party party” playlist on Cal’s Spotify while I was doing cardio and I had this trash idea

Warnings: Implications of upcoming smut, drinking and partying

Much love…

 It wasn’t a rare occurrence for you to be partying on a Friday night with Calum and Ashton. 

The three of you had become the sort of three musketeers of the party scene. From concerts and Emo Night to overrated house parties, you guys had been there and done it all. If you were out, the drinks were kept to a minimum. But considering that the three of you decided to play hostess at Ashton’s humble abode tonight, the only limit that each of you had was your liver. 

Before the party had even started, Ashton had popped open a fresh bottle of wine for you, his, “favorite wine mom,” further enhancing your ‘mom friend’ repertoire. You normally felt the need to watch over Cal and Ash but tonight Calum had made you promise to, “Let go a bit more,” because he would be there to, “hold your hair back." 

At that you’d laughed, they both noted that you weren’t known to hold your liquor. That had been confirmed the hard way when you’d been invited to "Whiskey and Whitesnake Wednesday,” for the first time. The next morning you were ready to kill the boys because of the monstrosity that was a hangover, but they took care of you just as promised. This only reassured you that the same would happen tonight and in the wee hours of tomorrow. 

 As Calum stood with you at the counter, he couldn’t help but to smile in his less than sober state. He wasn’t plastered yet but he’d already downed a few shots since the party had commenced. He was becoming increasingly cuddly as time had went on but you didn’t mind, his cuddles were more than tolerable. 

Ashton on the other hand was clearly enjoying himself as he dashed out from the master bedroom adorned in a faux fur coat and cheap, plastic sunglasses he’d acquired from the gas station. He had already surpassed inebriated and his mood was no longer a conscious one. Ashton would be overtly sexual for the majority of the night but would surely be hit by a plague of sadness for no particular reason toward its close. Currently he was grinning from ear to ear, carrying around a bottle of vodka as he called you over, “C'mom (Y/N), you haven’t taken a shot with Daddy yet." 

"Ashton as much as you say it, I’ll never see how you can refer to yourself as Daddy,” you chuckled, even though you knew that it was a blatant lie. Calum had decided to join you as he wouldn’t miss the opportunity for shots with you, “Just one more with us Sweetie,” he smiled draping his arm around your shoulder. 

There was one more. Then two and it only continued from there until Ashton had lost his jacket and Calum had dragged you toward the mass of people who claimed to be dancing, “Are you having fun,” he practically yelled. “I think so,” you hiccuped, “I know you and Irwin are." 

 Ash had been swept away in the somewhat large crowd although you could still here him yelling nonsense over the various pop and punk renditions Calum had insisted on playing. "You- staying with us tonight, right?” He slurred, “I can sleep with Ash and you take the guest room if you-" 

"I think we should ALL sleep together,” Ashton interrupted, sneaking up on you and squeezing your hips. He always did that, even in his sober state, so it came as no surprise. Neither did the three of you rooming together; nothing had ever occurred between you and either of them in the numerous times it had happened, even if it had been one of your biggest fantasies. 

 Sloppily turning around you glanced at Ash who had managed to lose both his treasured sunglasses and imitation fur. He was left now in only his skinny jeans and a button up where his chest hair remained proudly on display, “What happened to the get up Irwie,” you prodded with a drunken giggle. 

 "I lost- CALUM this is our song,“ he suddenly changed subject as the iconic, 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody,’ flooded through a distant set of speakers. Calum was quickly pulled away from you as Ashton began yelling, "Oh I wanna dance with somebody! I wanna feel the heat with somebody!" 

You couldn’t help but to snicker at your uninhibited best friends. They had no cares as the two of them danced with one another, Ashton’s hands grabbing at Calum’s sides. Calum himself was eating up the attention, his seldom dimples on full display as he asked you to join singing, "Don’t you wanna dance with me Baby?" 

 There was no hesitation as you stammered over, the alcohol within your system beginning to catch up. Three was never a crowd with you and the boys, it was always perfect even if you were all more than tipsy, practically grinding upon each other to an eighties hit. You loved it, you loved them but it was in more ways than one. ”(Y/N), you’re getting feisty,“ Ashton gasped in an over the top manner, quickly covering his mouth with his hand. 

 "Leave her alone,” Calum smirked, “She’s having a good time.” The song had finally changed to a more modern 'Starboy,’ causing Ashton to back away from his prior position. The grinding continued although not on the boys part, it was all your own will. You’d finally had the proper amount of liquid courage and the boys weren’t complaining. 

 Your head leaned back against Calum allowing you to look up to his wandering eyes, “Calum you can touch me, I won’t break,” you urged, his hazy eyes seeming to light up. 

 "What about me,“ Ashton interrupted, "Is Calum allowed to share with me?" 

 You had never felt tension so thick between the three of you. It had always existed but was never so evident; no one was working to prevent its further escalation. Calum and Ashton’s hands were both roaming your skin but not in a familiar manner.

 This all felt new but it surely wouldn’t remain that way. 

 "Shit,” you groaned, “Is this really happening?" 

 "Do you want it too? Daddy wouldn’t mind and I don’t think Calum would either,” Ashton spoke against your ear. His giggly personality was nonexistent in his tone, he was beyond serious.

“Just don’t make her call you Daddy- Unless you want too Sweetie,” Cal replied instinctively. Swallowing harshly you nodded, “What about everyone else,” your thoughts coming a bit clearer as you felt Calum’s breath on your neck, “I can shut this down or we can let it happen. I wouldn’t mind an audience,” he groaned. 

 "Shall we move this party of three to my room?“ Ashton spoke again. "I’d like that,” you began, pausing for a moment before muttering a softer, “Daddy-”

amosaicofmagic  asked:

Hey, tumblr mom! Since everyone is asking you about food can I ask your opinion on frying pans? We need to replace ours and my husband is really into the idea of buying cast iron frying pan. It seems like to much work for me, tough. I've always used either stainless steel or teflon ones. What do you think? Is it worthy? And if you had to choose between teflon or stainless steel which would you buy?

Oh, and I was going to mention it in the other ask I sent but forgot. I have IBS and one thing that really helps me is chilean boldo infusion. Idk how easy it to find it where you live (the fresh leaves work best), but it’s something a lot of south-americans use to treat hepatic and gastrointestinal issues. (Fun fact: the nurse at my high school used to have a bottle of concentrated cold boldo infusion in the fridge to give to students who were hangover)

Thank you for that last little bit, it’s something I will bring up with my allergist/many doctors as a quick google tells me it could also help my gallstone/bile production issues. So thank you :)

And ooooh god not teflon, anything but teflon, firstly because I don’t like how they cook/retain heat, and secondly because of some of the health concerns that comes with what happens when teflon starts to break down and you start eating it/breathing it in. Y’all can call me a mad hippy over that if you want but when your immune system is as fragile as mine you’ll avoid anything at all that might harm it.

Both stainless steel and cast iron have their merits. 

Cast Iron

You are right in that the cast iron takes a little more work to upkeep—initially. After it’s been seasoned a few times and you don’t do things like soak it in water or scrub it with lemon juice, it’s going to become practically indestructible. There’s a reason you can still buy cast iron skillets in antique stores that just need a little bit of salt and oil to get them back in working order. If you maintain it right, your cast iron will likely outlive you by quite a few decades. I wipe mine clean after every use using waterand  a non acidic soap, dry it on a high heat, and then season lightly with some oil after each use. Once it starts to smoke, that’s you, you’re done seasoning. You only really have to do the salt and oil scrub if it loses the coating or if something gets burned onto it, or if you have rust spots, which happen form not being properly sealed. 

I will say, cast iron is hard to get used to working with at first, because of how differently you have to manage the way it conducts heat. Cast iron is great at retaining heat, which is what makes it great for searing meat and yes, even baking in, but you need to get it hot first, which can require about ten minutes of prep over a hot stove trying to ensure even heat coverage. (I throw mine in the oven for 20 mins)

That might seem like a lot of work, but given how well it retains the heat after that, it actually cooks things better. With stainless steel the output of heat is enough to sear the outside of something, but to cook say, a chicken in it (yes you can cook a whole chicken in a skillet) you’d need to keep it on the heat for longer for the heat to reach the middle, resulting in chewy over tough food. With cast iron, the heat output from it is so much better that it’s already starting to cook the rest of the bird while you’re searing it, resulting in less cook time, and hopefully a more juicy meat—as well as making the outside very nice and crispy. Cast iron is great for making things crispy.

That and you know, you can fight the Fae folk with it if the need arises.

Stainless Steel

There’s a common misconception that you can just throw things into a stainless steel pan and it’ll be fine. But the truth is if you want to maintain your stainless steel in good working condition, you will want to make sure it’s evenly oiled before any food touches it (Ask ETD about the time he made popcorn and ruined my pot because there wasn’t enough oil around the SIDES of the pot so the heat just obliterated everything and I had to buffer the pot to get it back to working condition, he felt so bad lol) and make sure that it is adequately preheated. Otherwise your food is just going to burn and stick to the base and it’s going to be a mother fucker to get it off. I’ve seen far too many people burn away the caramelization going on in their stainless steel pans because they don’t know how to heat/preheat with it. (note if your caramelization does get stuck, loosen it up with some water or better yet some stock, get that flavor back in your food yo!) Other than that, yea, once you get used to how stainless steel works and retains heat, it is lower energy when it comes to maintenance vs cast iron. Just don’t use cold salt water in them, or you risk pitting the pans. (As I have previously talked about)

Because you have mentioned you have IBS, I will stress the importance of trying to buy as high quality stainless steel as you can, as not all stainless steel is made equal. 

Surgical stainless steel is the safest as it is non porous, while a lot of the cheap stainless steel you can pick up (I’m thinking of places like Walmart and Target) can break down and leech into food during the cooking process. Stainless steel is an alloy made from a mix of metals including iron, chromium (is what keeps it from corroding) and nickel to name but a few components, and given nickel is a high allergy metal you don’t want that going into the foods of people who may be sensitive/allergic. (I had a friend find this out the hard way that that is what was going on with her)

The way I was taught to test the quality of the pan is by holding a magnet up to it. If it sticks? It’s typically going to be higher in nickel than you want it to be and could cause a possible health risk for people with nickel allergies. Nickel is also a carcinogenic and considered worse than aluminium which everyone and their dog is now trying to get away from because of the metal being linked to cancers and altzheimers, so, just something to keep in mind seen as how you already have a compromised gut <3 

(Also to those of you reading this now who are about to go check your pans: if it sticks? It’s not a cause for panic. Although if you have a known nickel allergy and you keep getting sick and you have no idea why…you may want to consider replacing your pans.)

There is also a third option available to you, which is ceramic pans. Which honestly have become my favorite frying pans to cook with. Due to their low metal content they will not work on induction stove tops, but if you’re using electric or gas you’re good to go.


They still don’t have the slippy non stick you get from teflon pans where flipping a pancake is akin to wielding a projectile weapon, but given how ceramic heats up and retains heat, they are pretty non stick and it makes them ideal for cooking with a lot of things. You also generally shouldn’t use metal utensils on them, because you can damage the glaze, but plastic, wood and silicone are fine.

They’re sort of like the easier to maintain version of cast iron in that regard and use less oil to cook with. (I personally would never fry eggs on stainless steel, meat and veg sure, but eggs need a surface that is more forgiving and ceramic was a god damn revolution to me. I speak from over a decade’s worth of experience of making breakfasts in restaurants and cafes) They are also great for throwing in the oven, and using as shallow casserole dishes, provided you make sure they are listed as oven safe. (Mine is good up to 350′f)

Due to the materials  they are made with, they are also pretty damn sturdy and hard to break, and you also can’t damage them by soaking them in water, which is also nice. You should not however cook on anything higher than a medium-high heat on them, whacking your heat up as far as you can with a ceramic pan is going to cause issues (it will cause issues with a lot of pans tbh, but you can generally get away with it for boiling water, just not in a ceramic pot), like breaking down the glaze quicker and ruining the non stick. You also should not take it from a hot stove and throw it in the sink right after cleaning. You really shouldn’t do that with any cooking utensil, but especially do not do it with ceramic as you might crack or even explode it. And no one wants that. 

Again, like stainless steel, not all ceramic pans are made equal and some will be made from cheap material/coated with an extra non stick layer to compensate for this, and they will break down faster/ruin your food, so keep that in mind if you do decide you want to look into them. Between the three, ceramic is in my experience the best, most easily maintained non stick without the health risks of teflon. It’ll also cost less in the long run, because you wont have to replace the pan as often as you would a teflon one.

I currently have the Green Pan Lima frying pans, which tbh I found a lot cheaper in an outlet mall than Amazon currently has it listed for, and I think Target might be selling them right now too for cheaper. It’s an excellent pan and I can get really crispy results with it due to how well it holds heat. I’ve also used it to bake with.

I have also used the Cuisinart ceramic range, which you can use metal on, but I sort of found the heat retention to be not as good as Green Pan Lima.

And then there’s also the Green Life range which tends to be cheaper and rather cute, even if it doesn’t feel quite as sturdy in my hands. (They currently have both the large and small pan on sale on Amazon for $30, which is pretty good)  I’ve got my eye on their ceramic bake ware sets though. I’m intrigued to see how they’d work out compared to my metal tins.

Anyway, I hope some of that was helpful for you, in weighing your options. Ultimately it’s about personal preference. I love all my pans, cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic, but it really depends on how much maintenance you are willing to put in, and how much you are willing to spend.

As for the rest of you, you now know more about cookware than you likely want to, but who knows, it might be useful for you one day :)


“Wave Goodbye These Neon Signs” - [ John Wick - One shot ].

Summary: What does John Wick come home to after a long night of killing?

Written by: A.Wölf.

Music: John drives.


It’s an hour before sunrise.

I lie awake in bed in the same leggings and big sweater I put on a couple hours ago. I glance at my watch and realize that it’s best if I get up and start making breakfast; strong coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast.

How else could a hitman get his strength back?

I turn the lights off again when I’m done and sit on the window sill with my cup of coffee so I can stare at the city and its brief quietness and calm before the commuters fill the streets. I can see the sun starting to come out, making the buildings glisten, and I wonder if this shitty one glistens as well. I doubt so. But it is better this way, at least we go unnoticed.

Soon the sunlight will kill the reflection of the intermittent neon signs that hang from every store and restaurant in this neighborhood. They reflect all over the apartment. Even when I’m trying to sleep and my eyes are closed I still catch them blinking every few seconds.

I let the coffee warm me up as it travels down my throat, and leave my mug on the window sill briefly while I stretch my arms and then put my hair up into a messy bun. I reach out to grab the ashtray and pack of cigarettes that rest right outside, on the fire escape ladder, to light one up. And he’s punctual. As soon as I blow out the first puff of smoke, he shows up.

I can hear the Mustang soft hum as he parks in the alley, so I take my flask and spike the coffee with a bit of bourbon because I know he’ll appreciate it.

John dexterously and gracefully climbs up the ladder with his glock in hand.

30 minutes earlier.

The 1969 Mustang Boss 429 advances through the streets and makes a violent right, tires screeching as it heads towards more recondite sections of the city after losing the two SUV’s that followed closely.

Keep reading

Hey it’s @diggystock‘s favorite HG!

Practiced some first-time dry brushing on mine to spruce up the kit. Probably fairly overdone but the IBO universe is a bit more conducive to being covered in dirt and grime. That and once you start brushing, it’s kinda hard to stop.

To the people I keep on see ranting about the lack of a coliseum update:

(Because I have seen you, both on and of FR)

Here’s a little thing I found from a random software developer on the internet. Read through it, only everytime you see ‘boss’ substitute it with 'FR playerbase’ and everytime you see 'house’ substitute it with FR.

(For context, this was them making an analogy to explain technical debt)

“Well, say you’ve spent a year working on building a roof. It’s working pretty well. But then, a customer who pays you lots of money tells you that it’d be really nice if the shingles on the peak of the roof were made out of silver.

You had never accounted for the possibility that someone wanted to put silver shingles at the peak of the roof, and in fact you had built the roof in a way that you can’t really replace shingles without tearing the whole thing off. You tell your boss that you need to tear the roof off, replace the peak with silver shingles, and rework the whole thing so that the next time you get a request to replace some shingles, you can do it in a day.

You tell your boss it’ll take a year. He goes to his boss, who says you have a month.

So, instead of doing what you wanted to do, you staple some silver shingles on the peak of the roof.

The customer is happy enough. A few months later, another customer comes and says he’d sleep a lot better if some bulletproof plating were installed under the silver shingles.

Had you been able to install your fancy modular roof last time, it’d take a day to pop the silver shingles off the peak, put some bulletproof plating underneath, and pop them back on. You beg your boss, "Now is the right time to install my modular roof. It’ll take me a year, but everything afterwards will be so much easier.” He goes to his boss, who says you have three weeks.

Well, in three weeks, all you really can do is slap some bulletproof plating on top of the silver shingles and nail some more silver shingles on top. In the end, the customer is happy enough.

A year later, you get a notice saying that the asphalt shingles you originally put down are a fire hazard and need to be replaced. You tell your boss that now is the perfect time to implement your modular roof, and replace the shingles with fireproof ones. He goes to his boss, who says you have two weeks.

So instead, you get a sprayable fireproof coating and spray it on. It’s ugly, but it works well enough.

Then, a hurricane comes through and blows off your stacked-together silver shingles and bulletproof plating. Had you been able to install your modular roof from the beginning, this wouldn’t have happened. Now your boss’ boss is screaming on the phone at you about your fucking disaster, and you have a day to fix it. So, you hurredly throw on more bulletproof plating and silver shingles. (At least you had the chance to get rid of that first layer of silver shingles.)

Finally, you give up and quit. The guy who comes in after you is asked to replace the silver shingles with gold ones. He gets to probing and finds your silver shingles nailed on top of bulletproof plating, nailed on top of out-of-code asphalt shingles, all of which has been coated in cheap sprayable fireproofing.

He scratches his head, curses your idiocy, and your name becomes something the other roofers utter angrily in stressful situations.

This process repeats itself for 25 years. Then, they decide to hire a bunch of cheaper Sri Lankan roofers who will do the job three times slower for half the pay. They are well meaning, but all of their professional experience is in thatched roofs. The customers are asking for clay tile.

After the clay tile is installed in a fashion that makes the whole roof leak, they hire you back as you’re on the verge of retirement. You now find your original roof still on the house, now out-of-code ten times over, covered with 17 layers of rushed jobs. Your customer is complaining that you have a week to fix the leak. It would have taken you a day if you could have put in the modular roof originally, but now it’ll take you a year at least.“

-Random internet user, post found here (Admin, if you need to edit this out, sorry, but I wanted to give credit to the OP)

Basically, what I wanted to say with this post is that FR is actully a remarkable bug free game, and doesn’t work that slowly, considering the shoestring budget they’re on. Seriously, if you want to play a bggy game, go play Half Life 3. 

laughingrachel  asked:

For the Dex prompts, ummm maybe 16 with DexRansom? I'm intrigued by Dex having a crush on Ransom because canonically Dex looks up to Ransom and is terrible at expressing feelings so I feel like it could be cute! or 55 if you want to get a little angst in there. i love your writing so I'm happy to read some drabbles no matter what :)

I just saw you mentioned 55! I might get to that later tbh. Also apologies in advanced, I’ve been DYING to teach this fandom the finer points of Greek partying culture.

for @dexrarepairweek

It’s mid March of Dex’s Frog year. He’s trudging back to the Haus after his CS 225 midterm. He’s exhausted, done with classes, and all he wants to do is unwind. He gets as far as laying his head against the armrest of the green couch when a loud mechanical screeching startles the ever living fuck out of him. It continues long enough for him to recognize that it’s the sound of an electric sander roaring from somewhere below.

Against his better judgement, he follow the sound to the basement door. Which, coincidentally has a paper signed taped on it reading “busy: do not disturb.”

“Too late,” he grumbles.

Down below, Lardo has donned a paint mask, and is sanding the shit out of a beer cooler. He can faintly hear her growl as he continues his descent.

She turns off the sander, practically ripping her mask off.“What part of ‘Do not disturb’ do you not get, Poindexter?”

“The part where you’re sanding something at two pm on Wednesday,” he argues.

“Fuck, it’s two already?” Lardo grabs her phone, checking the clock. “I don’t have time for this.”

He stares at the cooler for a long moment. “What is this?”

“Ransom’s birthday gift,” she answers impatiently.

“You’re destroying a perfectly good cooler for his birthday?” he asks incredulously.

“I’m painting it with shit he likes and then resealing it with famowood.”

Dex whistles, impressed.

“Or I will,” she mutters. “If I ever get this done on time.”

Truth be told, Dex was all too aware of the fact that Ransom’s birthday was coming up. He’d been wracking his brain for something to impress him.

Because Justin’s a good captain and a great friend. And not because Dex has been crushing on him since the first day of his Frog year. No, he definitely doesn’t blush every time Justin smiles at him. And neither does Dex feel his stomach drop every time he hears Ransom’s laugh. It’s not like he looks at Justin and wonders if he’s the kind of person he wishes he could be; or if this is what love feels like.

No, Dex has never felt any of those things.

So when the opportunity to both use power tools, and help out with Justin’s birthday present themselves, he has to ask.
“What do you still need to do?”

Lardo blanches at him. “Well…I need to finish sanding. Then I have to spray a primer and let that dry. Then I need to put two base coats of cheap acrylic on the lid and all four sides. And that’s everything before I even start figuring out the designs. ”

“I can do that,” he concludes.

“Really?” She tilts her head quizzically. “No offense, Dex. But why?”

“He deserves a good birthday,” he puts simply.

Lardo crosses her arms, clearly unimpressed with his answer. “Uh uh.”

Instead of interrogating him, however, she hands him her mask. “Don’t forget to use this. Keep a window open when you’re spraying primer. Read the instructions on the can. I’ll be back by eight.”

He nods. It’s simple enough.

Dex misses working in his Uncle’s hardware shop. Half the time, his work was comprised of helping clueless people get started on their home renovation projects. On a good day, a few answered questions about outdoor paint lead to impromptu jobs the next Saturday. He breathes a little easier as the pulse of the sander numbs his hands. His mind drifts off to the first time he ever thought of kissing Ransom.


They were on a roadie, driving through upstate New York. Nursey and Holster were comparing notes about the latest episode of Brooklyn 99 while Ransom typed away on a lab report. Dex, meanwhile, was struggling with an MP. He was sitting across the aisle from Ransom, trying to not disturb him as he fought off the urge to throw his laptop across the bus. He didn’t notice how furious his coding had gotten until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned slightly, ready to snap at whoever was interrupting him. But there was Justin, with a level and empathetic gaze.

“Homework kicking your ass again?” Ransom chirped.

“Yeah,” Dex reluctantly admitted.

Ransom made him scoot over to the window seat, claiming Dex’s old one. “Tell me what’s going wrong,” he instructs softly.

So Dex walks him through the basics. What the program is supposed to do, how he structured his logic, and what syntax errors he’d found so far. In the middle of rambling, an epiphany hits Dex.

“Fuck, this function is completely off,” he mutters.

“So…you know what to fix?” Ransom asks.

“Yeah,” he nods absentmindedly.

“Good,” Ransoms says. “I knew you could do it.”
Maybe Dex knew what he felt for Ransom wasn’t purely platonic. But the look of certain pride on Ransom’s face as Dex fixed his MP was the final nail in the coffin.

Lardo comes back around eight, as promised. By that point, Dex has sanded, primed, and applied the base coats on all five sides.

“Bro, nice,” Lardo declares. She offers him a fist bump.


She crinkles her nose. “Yeah? You just saved me three days.”

“Swawesome,” he says quietly.

Dex steps back. He scratches the back of his neck awkwardly. He’s enjoying the work. He liked painting the base coat. It was soothing.

“So I was, uh, thinking,” he starts. “I don’t know a lot about real painting but I’m pretty neat, and I can follow directions well. Maybe I could help you out with the rest?”

Lardo raises an eyebrow cryptically. She purses her lips, ultimately nodding.

“Ok we have five sides to work with and technically the corners,” she explains.

“What do you put in the corners?”

“Small stuff, like solo cups or bowties. But that’s optional.”

“Ok,” he tries to keep the disdain out of his tone.

“The lid is going to be a Lilly Pulitzer design with his monogram in the center.” Lardo pulls out her pocket sketchbook, scribbling down some quick drawings.

“One side is going to be several Nigerian flags layered around each other. Then the hockey side is gonna be our beer pong table during a kegster and that Gretzky quote ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’.”

“Of course,” he sighs.

She ignores him. “One side will be the Toronto skyline but the clouds are gonna look like the cover of Drake’s ‘Nothing Was the Same’.”


“Because I didn’t know how to make an entire side based on Degrassi without binge watching it,” she says. “Which I really don’t have time for.”

“Fair,” he acquiesces.

“I think one side should be the chemical compounds that make up whiskey.” Lardo shrugs. “Y’know nerdy enough that he likes it. Vague enough that he doesn’t feel awkward looking at it if he doesn’t go to med school or something.”

“Cool,” he hums. “So that’s four sides.”

“Yea, I’m…unsure about the last one,” her eyes narrow.

“What are you thinking?”

“I feel like I’m missing something,” she groans. “Coolers should tell a story y’know?”

He stares at the cooler for a while, imagining what it might look like when it’s done. It hits him, “you’re missing Samwell. Not the kegsters, but actually living here.”

“Huh,” she clicks her tongue. “Ok, what do we do?”

An image of Ransom staring out a fourth floor window on a cool fall afternoon enters Dex’s mind. “Have you seen his favorite study room?”
“The one in the library that overlooks the Pond?”

“Yeah, that one.”

She stares at him again like she’s trying to figure out what he’s about. “Okay, let’s do it.”

They spend the next few afternoons working individually. Lardo would come in and sketch what she needed for each layer of paint. Dex would comply with great precision and the most liberal use of painter’s tape imaginable. On sunday they apply a thin coat of finishing glaze and set up a secure perimeter around it.

Throughout this time, only Bitty is allowed in the basement for secret keeping purposes. Which, incidentally, pisses off Holster who is down to his last pairs of underwear.

Dex is proud of what they’re doing. Still, he wishes there were something else he could do that wasn’t co-opting off Lardo’s idea. The next Saturday is Ransom’s birthday. They haul the cooler upstairs for everyone to see.

“Happy birthday,” Lardo announces as they set the cooler on the kitchen table in front of Justin.

“No,” Ransom gawks. “You didn’t.”

“Oh, but we did,” Lardo preens. She elbows Dex gently in the ribs. “Dex’s soft hands were a big help.”

“Guys this is perfect,” Ransom murmurs. His gaze goes from Lardo to Dex. “Seriously, thanks.”

Dex clears his throat, trying to hide his blush behind a cough. “No problem. Happy Birthday, Rans.”


After presents, they start to set up for Ransom’s birthday kegster. The cooler is stowed away safely in a corner of the attic. Sometime during the kegster, Ransom decides they might need more beer storage. So he decides there’s no better time to break in his birthday present. The lid is a little loose so he pops it open to readjust it when he notices a giftwrapped box.

Since no one will miss him for a while, Ransom sits down on Holster’s bed and opens it. There’s a terrarium and a note inside.

I saw this and thought of you. So I got it just because I thought you might like it.

Justin chuckles as he recognizes the handwriting. Of course Dex thought helping Lardo wasn’t enough of a gift. He places the terrarium carefully on his desk. Then he goes downstairs to find Dex who’s chatting with Shitty on the front porch.

“Dex.” Ransom waves him to follow. They end up in the kitchen, which is very dark and mostly empty.

“Thanks for the gift. The other gift,” Ransom clarifies.

Dex shrugs, trying to look nonchalant as his face brightens. “I remember you saying the only downside to winter is that there’s no foliage to appreciate.”

Ransom chuckles. “Is that the only thing you’ve noticed?”

“No,” he admits. “I’ve noticed the way you only listen to music when you’re not doing anything else. And I’ve noticed the frown you get when your assignments are too easy. That’s why you procrastinate so much, right?”

“Guilty.” Justin leans in closer. Close enough so their faces are only a centimeter apart. “But it’s not procrastination if you’re doing something you like, y’know?”

“No I don’t,” Dex banters playfully. “Tell me about it.”

“How about I show you instead?”

Justin kisses him. Not because of the terrarium. But because he’s been noticing Dex noticing him for months. Justin had plenty of time to think about what he wants. All he wanted to do right now was take a leap.

anonymous asked:

Are there any stim toys you would recommend for people who are usually skin pickers/scratchers?

Please note, anon, that while I’m answering, I haven’t yet found a good solution for this. So take this advice in the spirit of words spoken by someone lacking expertise, because I don’t know any one stim that directly replaces all sensory elements of this. Especially because I like the pain of the picking in a way I can’t really explain, and most of the replacement stims I’ve seen discussed don’t much cover this aspect.

(I really need to stop because I’ve given myself some very horrible sores on my toes. And since my uncle recently lost a few toes due to a simple blister not healing, I’ve had a bit of a wake-up call on this account. So I’ve been thinking about this myself!)

If you’re looking to replace the the picking and peeling away of skin, this is a bit of a tough one, but I think I have a solution. I’ve noticed that while I’ve covered my red apple squishy with PVA glue to glue splits together, the edges definitely stick up enough that you can peel them off (and I have to resist doing this). If you enjoy the picking and resulting peeling, you could coat something hard and plastic or metallic (anything from a Tangle to a jam jar lid) with PVA, let it dry, peel it off, repeat. Coat several things so there’s always something to peel while you’re preparing another toy! It may take some experimenting to find which toys work best for you, but the good thing about this is that it only takes time, glue and a brush or makeup sponge (and your painting doesn’t need to be neat because you’re going to pick at it and peel it off anyway).

I’ve noticed that now my Tangle Jr Fuzzy is worn enough that it’s all edges of flocking sticking up, it’s very hard not to pick at them! (I can’t afford to replace this Tangle every month because I’ve picked off all the flocking, so I have to be careful. Which is why I don’t advise buying this just to pick at, because it’ll get expensive quickly.) So I want to coat a cheap Tangle (one of the ebay Tangles in this post, because I won’t care if they’re wrecked) in PVA glue to see if this works for me, because it combines the fun of a Tangle (which I love) with something to pick at while fidgeting. If it does work, I’ll probably have two or three Tangles covered in glue and just rotate through them.

(I’ll let you all know how it works, as it’s only theory right now, but this is on my Things To Try This Weekend list.)

If you’re looking to replace the pain, I’d look at prickle and massage balls. You can push them quite hard on your skin and cause a firm, prickling pressure that doesn’t damage. I use prickle/massage balls a lot when my chronic hand pain is bad, because something about the hard pressure rolled over the pain site feels better than the experience of the original pain itself (even though the ball does hurt), and if I do this for long enough, the chronic pain usually ebbs a little. It’s the closest stim toy I have to giving anything like a pain sensation, and while this isn’t discussed a lot, for some of us harder textures, and even pain, is stimmy, so we need non-damaging ways to get that experience.

If you’re looking to replace the picking, by which I mean the pulling at fronds instead of bits of skin, I’d look at poppers, puffer toys, hedge balls, Koosh Balls and the Tangle Hairy. The Tangle Hairy, the Koosh, hedge balls/creatures and puffer toys all have long latex or rubbery fonds that can be pulled and stretched. The Koosh goes to twice its length. Poppers - especially the Stimtastic Mini Poppers - can be pressed against a hard, smooth surface and picked off with fingertips and fingernails.

The other idea I have for picking is washing swatches of cloth or something like wool dryer balls and picking at the lint balls forming on the cloth or the woolen fibres. Flannelette and woven T-shirt material pills - you could even make a marble maze out of a cloth that pills and combine the two toys.

If someone knows of a stim toy that can replace all three of these things, or has an idea for one, or wants to discuss developing one, come talk to me, please! I’ve been pondering a bracelet that is flat on one side and prickled/bumped (with hard plastic bumps, not like the prickled slap bands) on the inside, something you can press against a wrist while picking glue off the flat side, with frondy bits attached to the outside edges. But as of now, it’s only pondering, and I’m not sure how well it would work.

If followers have ideas or replacement stims they’ve used successfully, please let us know! I’m sure anon will be grateful; I know I will be!

- Mod K.A.

@femmeflannellesbian says,

you could also use tape for the picking and peeling, i put pieces of duct tape or masking tape on the back of my calculator to stim in class

Oooh, good addition! I personally can’t abide the tackiness of tape on my fingers, but for those who don’t mind, this is a super simple idea! Thank you!

@thedreamer001 says,

Picking apart corks is good for me! Therapy shoppe sells some specifically for it, but you can use any cork.

I’ve seen these in packs in local dollar stores, too, if you have no cork-stoppered bottles from which to salvage corks. Thank you, because I must try this!

@stimmingkiddo says,

i have a video on everything i do to prevent/avoid picking my skin! i have a post about it on my blog recently, it may help

Here’s the link! I don’t have time to check it out this moment, but I will later! Thank you!

travelersan  asked:

Hi! I'm attending my first event, and printing at home! What are the standards for poundage/gsm on art prints, and where would you recommend buying it? I was planning on using 28lb/105 gsm Georgia Pacific paper. Is that good?

Heidi: This is a bit of a complicated question, because paper weights are complicated.

First, understand that paper poundage (lb) is not consistent and depends on the size of the uncut original paper and the type of paper, among other things.  Its a weird system that involves a lot of different factors and the explanation is not super relevant.  GSM is more reliable as it is literally grams per square meter for a paper, and doesn’t vary depending on the paper type.  For more on paper weights, see this:

That being said, there’s two factors to consider on making prints.  First is personal preference: what would you be happy paying your price for and receiving?  If you want to make low-quality prints, then don’t charge much for them.  Keep in mind, though, that many people use professional printing services such as CatPrint, which use high-quality papers.

Personally, I find it kind of sad and even insulting when I buy art from an artist and it’s on super flimsy paper.  I generally like a lightweight cardstock for my own work, which is durable enough to stand up to some abuse and feels like a professional poster, but still lightweight enough to easily ship or carry to conventions.

Second, consider the overall quality and longevity of the printed image.  If you are using a printer that has good, waterproof pigment inks and printing in high resolution, you probably want a paper to match.  In that case, consider professional-quality photo papers or art print papers.  These papers are more expensive, but give a better image.  Please pay attention to what is actually professional quality, as some photo papers are actually very cheap and the photo coating will peel off or the inks will begin to feather/halo/bleed after only a year or two.  

Epson paper is generally very good/professional quality and has positive properties like being acid-free.  I use Epson Premium Presentation Paper (matte) and Premium Photo Paper (Luster), as well as their watercolor paper.  Be sure to get the Premium paper, as it is much higher quality than the other papers.

Kiriska:  28lb/105 gsm sounds like regular printer paper. Definitely do not recommend for art prints. Personally, I think prints should be at minimum 80 lb cover stock or 100 lb text stock, keeping in mind above-mentioned caveats about paper weight.

Further reading: #paper for printing, #paper weight, #prints


Like many lonely, chronically disappointed tweens who had the good fortune of growing up with the X-Files, I spent much of my youth in a permanent UFO frenzy. I pored over esoteric encyclopedia sets at the library, watched the stupid skies, subscribed to the MUFON newsletter, and even “read” books I couldn’t begin to understand about the theoretical physics of different recorded sightings. I was motivated by the same things as likeminded anybody-elses in similarly small, crappy towns: boredom, untreated mental illness, and easily substantiated feelings of inadequacy. Oh, and also group psychosis (I said, casually). My certifiable “best friend” at the time was a person who used her unassuming presentation and affected naivete to introduce, after a calculated fashion, all sorts of impossible ideas about her own alien encounters that were hard to ignore in their outrageousness. She excelled at setting these things up, not only as something that made her special, but as a reason for other people to feel sorry for her, which could put younger rubes like myself in an uncomfortable place. Certainly there was a whiff of artificiality about her, even for a desperate moron like myself, but I vividly remember my first feelings of full-on skepticism, inspired by a scene in which she was only a bystander. We had excitedly noticed a flyer for an event at our local library, at which an “experiencer” would be presenting his “evidence”. We got one of our parents to drive us and arrived in a mood of deadly seriousness, notebooks in hand, draped in cheap trench coats. I don’t know what I expected, but the guy (whose identity I can’t recall) was a completely familiar type of upstate redneck, who told his tale with a mixture of insistent self-importance and dewey-eyed victimhood, which I would later learn second-hand to associate with abusive parents and other sorts of suburban psychopaths. His prized abduction artifact appeared in photographs as a nondescript metal “implant”, which he unwisely accompanied with a recitation of arguments he had with medical professionals about how the item was swathed in fibers “from my underwears” and whether that could be because it showed no signs of extraterrestrial origin, or because the implant dropped out of his asshole. Even at the peak of my willingness to believe in anything that would make life seem more interesting, I felt my heart breaking a little as this person spoke.

Even now, decades later, I managed to take a similar emotional rollercoaster ride while subjecting myself to EXTRAORDINARY: THE STAN ROMANEK STORY. It’s been a long time since I felt even a twinge of real interest in the topic of alien abductions, but I maintain an interest in true crime media, both for the factual content, and out of morbid curiosity about how people choose to put these things together. One recent afternoon, having run out of cheap, sadistic british tabloid shows to watch, I decided to take in a UFO documentary for old time’s sake. While I’m still able to repeat names like Betty and Barney Hill sometimes, I had never heard the name of this “experiencer”, supposedly at the center of the most thoroughly documented case of alien abduction in history. This was perhaps for the best, as what I was to see would shock me very deeply, although not at all in the way that the filmmakers intended.

The story goes as follows: In September 2001, shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center, schlubby nobody Stan Romanek videotaped an unknown flying object for the first of what would seem to be countless times. His visual encounters quickly escalated to lost time, mysterious injuries, and anomalies in his home security recordings. Unsatisfied with these casual intrusions, bobble-headed “grays” then began sneaking around his home, and finally, Stan became a frequent visitor of outer space–the wonderment of which was often tarnished by the appearance of the malevolent men in black.

At the time of this viewing, I had no vulnerability to becoming a believer, but I was ready to feel at least a frisson of ambiguity in Romanek’s reportedly thorough documentation. What I found instead was much more disturbing. After an interminable string of X-Filesy lowercase title cards that leave no doubt as to the filmmakers’ commitment to Stan’s cause, we finally see a series of short videos of these UFOs–distant, blurry, jittery images that almost always include the voices of off-screen “witnesses” whose dubious existence is supposed to amount to some form of corroboration. I thought, ok, maybe there’s something more debatable, like…later on. The next piece of alleged evidence is a series of space travel-related equations that Romanek wrote during hypnotic regression therapy (a red flag if ever there was one), all of which turn out to be known quantities that could certainly be researched and memorized by a UFO buff with some time on his hands. Finally, Romanek himself–a scruffy middle-aged white male–fully takes the stage in an endless set of repellant photographs of himself leering smugly thought a bloody nose or some such, proudly displaying greenish cigarette burn-like sores that supposedly appear on his person after something very like a flashlight beam or laser pointer makes its appearance in and around his home. His self-satisfied countenance added indignation to my rational assessment that none of what I had seen so far would be impossible to reproduce for even a clumsy amateur. Then, I saw it. The now infamous “boo” video.

I absolutely could not believe that what I had seen was being presented to me as photographic evidence of alien life. Admittedly, Romanek has a fine sense of cinematic timing–the piece truly feels like it’s leading up to a jump scare–but little egghead swiveling and dipping in and out of frame, like something out of Scooby-Doo, is qualifiedly hilarious. Equally hilarious is the idea that these advanced alien beings don’t have a more refined method of surveilling humans, and even more hilarious is Romanek theatrically running up to the window at the end of the video, seemingly holding the flash used to create the “mysterious” flashes of light that accompanied the visitation. More hilarious still is the following grainy video of a similar creature peering at Romanek in his kitchen, as he cries out “What is that? What’s it doing?” in spite of the fact that he has allegedly been visited by what he claims are aliens for quite a while now.

Romance’s put-on ignorance is high among the most disturbing things about him. He employees a conversational technique well-known to liars and people who have had to deal with them: Instead of saying something like “I know it sounds crazy, but I have been abducted by aliens. There is no other explanation. Here I’m missing time and waking up in strange places because of what they did to me, here I’m mysteriously ill or healed by their intervention, here I’m clearly being stalked and harassed by the government because of what I know”–instead of this kind of sure-footed declaration, Romanek invariably pretends not to understand what has happened to him, even though he’s made a career out of his abductee status. He tells each tale as if it were his first and only encounter with the paranormal, and couches them in deliberately unsound alternative explanations for what may have happened. In my favorite edition, he describes a scene in which three half-human aliens knock on his door in the middle of the night in order to tell him that “it’s going to be ok” or something. Instead of simply getting to the point that he so desperately wants his audience to take, Stan exhaustively describes the knock at the door. He’s a heavy sleeper! He never wakes up for a loud noise, and yet, mysteriously, he did! He thought it must have been a drunk neighbor banging on the door, because he is a rational man (and I guess that must be a common occurrence?)! He went to the door and saw three people, and automatically assumed he was being burglarized! He yelled over and over to his family that he was being robbed! Because that would be normal! On and on he goes with defensive statements his many alien-free explanations for the knock, even though a guiltless person of sound mind might have simply said, “Someone knocked at the door at an odd hour, so I woke up and went to see what it was.” Curiously, even though we are rapidly careening toward the part of the story in which the adoring aliens reveal their worshipful plan for Stan, this anecdote ends with Stan aggressively trying to hurl one of the aliens off his balcony.

Because this whole conceit is so clearly designed to scaffold Romanek’s brittle ego, it’s not enough to say that he is the special focus of extraterrestrial fascination. There must also be evidence of Stan’s extreme machismo. Not only does he bravely insist on telling his tale in spite of sinister government warnings, but he single-handedly takes on three “obvious black ops guys” in a fantasy sequence that would make a fibbing child blush. The MIBs “somehow find out exactly where (he) parked (his) bicycle!”, and leap out of a van in an elaborate kung fu demonstration. Flabby Stan allegedly laughs this off, to their consternation, and proceeds to nearly murder one of them with his bike lock. They flea from his might after resorting to tasing him, and the filmmakers seem to produce a police report, but not the witness who supposedly filed it.

There are a variety of witnesses in the movie, typically identified as “woman 1″ or “woman 2″, or presented only audio recordings only of supposed doctors who supposedly verified Romance’s various medical miracles. Most of Stan’s supporters do seem to be women, though, which has an unpleasantly culty sort of vibe to it. Crazed narcissists like Stan can make themselves enormously compelling to certain sorts of people who want to feel special by proxy, or worse, who feel an obligation to comfort a person burdened with such specialness. No one in the film is sadder than Stan’s watery-eyed wife Lisa, who must not only defend his authenticity at all costs, but who has also lived through the incomprehensible horror of watching Stan “reunite” with a woman with whom he has supposedly copulated in outer space. This Other Woman, predictably a taller more buxom specimen with nicer hair, must have been subtly hypnotized by Romanek at the UFO event where he identified her. This is much easier to do than you could ever imagine, to someone who is as anxious to Believe is the people you would find in such a place. After tormenting Lisa for six years with his fantasies about how the aliens bred him with a beautiful woman on their saucer, all Stan probably had to do with was spot out a sexy specimen at one of his speaking dates, and say something along the lines of “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before? You know, IN SPACE?” People in this sort of hungry, lonely mental state can lose the boundary between their memory and their imagination at a speed that the blissfully ignorant could never dream of.

And so it was that the emotionally battered Lisa entered into an ambiguous threesome with her husband and his invented alien breeding partner. Perhaps the most troubling part of the movie comes when the anxious filmmaker more than goads Lisa into describing herself as a person who is not only honest to a fault, but who loathes deception above all other things. No statement could be more damning from a person who is defending such an outrageous fabrication. Lisa has to halt her genuine weeping over her domestic predicament to recite this script about her honesty, stammering and looking up and away before each conclusion. Ironically, this tic is something I first learned about in SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE–liars compulsively look up and at an angle while lying.

Now it’s time to qualify my assertion that this was “perhaps” the most troubling part of the movie. More awful still is the introduction of Stan’s various space children, first in the form of an obviously faked photograph that has to be seen to be believed. According to the subject, an ethereally beautiful little girl with enormous crystal blue eyes and white-blonde hair (yet who still “looks exactly like” the dull brunette Romanek) appeared multiple times scampering around in his backyard–but, naturally, vanishing before any contact is made. These appearances are followed by electronically distorted phone calls in which Stan’s elfin progeny tell him how much they love them. This part of the story is somehow padded out by a phone call from an adult female caller who addresses Romanek as STARSEED, warns him about government baddies, and most preposterously, insists to the filmmakers that Stan is different from other people…the way he thinks…the way he views the world…(because of) who he really is. Personally, I felt affronted by the idea that an intergalactic messiah who is so “different” would also wear corny pickup line tee shirts and use the word “frickin’”, but I guess that’s why I’m not the one who is productively boning out amongst the stars. 

Stan’s stories about his alien family are also disturbing for another reason, which is revealed just before the ending credits. It isn’t just that his emotion is so frankly fake, at least in a scene where he seems to claim that he weeps every time he remembers his distant babies–and is then unable to tear up on camera; It isn’t just the obvious confusion of reverence and victimization, so typical of psychopaths, that rears its head between his stories of being covered in sores and pissing blood and ALSO being coddled and adored by aliens; It isn’t even just the creepy repetition of how the little nymphettes rush up and hug his thighs and lavish affection on him. At least, not by itself. It’s that in February of 2014, Stan Romanek was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. I discovered this earlier in my screening, when the “Boo video” made me wonder what kind of movie I was watching. Was this actually meant to be a straight comedy, and Netflix had simply miscategorized it? Was there going to be some big reveal of a hoax, after all this drippy sincerity about Stan’s predicament? I couldn’t wait to find out, and what I found out helped to contextualize a lot of the rest of the film. The filmmakers, of course, contextualize these charges with a list of headlines from sources like Info Wars about how the FBI routinely frames dissidents for child porn just to bury them. The thing is, I can believe that that sort of thing may happen to people now and again. I just don’t believe that it happened to Stan Romanek.

I mentioned the proximity of Stan’s first alien encounter to 9/11 for a reason: I believe, in my arm chair psychologist fashion, that that national catastrophe catalyzed his powerful need for attention. Suddenly, something had happened that gripped the whole country, something that came from the sky. This may have activated Romanek’s evident need to be the absolute center of focus, which required of him an unthinkable stunt to jar the people around him out of their patriotic grief and rage, which had nothing to do with himself. Something from the air would have to descend upon Stan, something much wilder than a hijacked airplane. Stan would have to become simultaneously a victim to rival the actual victims, and a hero to rival the actual heroes responding to this assault on the country. In a curiously isolated sequence, Romanek gives a very brief summary of his childhood, which is predictably unenviable. As an undiagnosed dyslexic, Stan was unfairly placed in “retard classes” and, he petulantly describes, abused by his sadistic teachers as if he were as lowly as his classmates. He claims also to have been surrounded by Bloods and Crips, and in that environment became so violent and strong that he beat up everybody including the principle of his high school. That’s about as much as you get out of Romanek that is not about aliens, but even that scrap gives you a pretty clear portrait of a person who fixates on having been misjudged as inferior, stupid and thuggish. I supposed to get out from under that, without much talent or charm in evidence, one would have to cook up evidence of glory at least as outrageous as being an alpha space stud. I think what I’d really like to see is a counter documentary made by someone, anyone, with the wherewithal to pick apart Stan Romance’s epic ruse. Unfortunately, I’ll just have to settle for the child pornography case, which goes to court at the end of this month.

PREFERENCE: things they collect (modern!male)

((sooorrrryyyy i got very busy and didn’t have time to type up a one shot!! i hope this preference makes up for it at least a little bit!))

Robb Stark – cars. But not just any cars. He buys old, used cars and fixes them back to working condition.

Petyr Baelish – secrets. Secrets about everyone around him. (he’s littlefinger…did you expect something besides secrets?)

Sandor Clegane – a knife/sword/gun collect. It’s Sandor, what else besides weapons (and chicken) would he collect?

Podrick Payne – rocks. He can’t explain it, but he has always been fascinated with rocks and all their forms.

Benjen Stark – coats. He lives too far North to not stay bundled up, and he has an eye for cheap coats that look “in style.”

Joffrey Baratheon – knowledge on how to hurt people. (he’s a cruel little shit…he isn’t going to be collecting tea cups)

Oberyn Martell – wine. Being all over the world, he has been able to taste wine of all types and is always filling his cellar with wine from past and present.

Jon Snow – hair products. “He’s never met a girl he loves more than his hair.”

Ned Stark – keys. It started as a fascination when he was younger, that something is made specifically for one single lock. (this fascination, actually, is how he told Catelyn he loved her. By spending two months making a key locket just for that occasion.)

Tyrion Lannister – antiques. His love of history resulted in him being the owner of three museums and the largest collection of antique books in the world.

Theon Greyjoy – model boats. They remind him of his family.

Daario NaHaris – coins. Daario likes to collect currency of every place he’s been to around the world.

Tommen Baratheon – animals. Animals of all types.

 ((i think the following gif summarizes their thoughts perfectly))

Girls’ Night

Summary: You work for the BAU and get called in my Sheriff Donna Hanscum for a case

Word Count: 2490

Warnings: None

A/N: So… I was watching Criminal Minds and thought “What if Dean and Sam picked up a case the BAU was on?” And this just kind of happened…

Version en Español: Noche de Chicas

You sat at the table in the room the local police had set aside for temporary FBI headquarters and stared at the boards in front of you. Pictures of mutilated bodies were taped next to the smiling pictures of the victims before they’d been killed.

Something was off. The thought had been niggling at the back of your mind since you’d begun the case. As a member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, you had learned to trust your instincts. The only problem was that you weren’t sure exactly what your instincts were trying to say.

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Je Ne Parle Pas Anglais (Part 1?)

A/N: Sorry I haven’t published in a week! School sucks! If anyone knows anything about AP Euro, I’d be more than willing to help you in other subjects in exchange for help with it! It sucks. Major butt. Please help. Also???? No one requested this???? At all?????? So I did this.

Word Count: 2183

TW: Really badly translated French ((okay so I translated it myself but at the same time I didn’t, I tried not to use google translate bc I’m taking French rn so if I messed up don’t yell at me)), Swearing, stealing, being captured

AU: Hamiltime

Pairing: Lafayette x Reader

Coming to America was hard.

Coming to America as a women with no husband? Even harder.

Coming to America as a women with no husband, and with no money? Near impossible.

Coming to America as a women with no husband, with no money, and can’t speak English? Actually impossible.

And that’s what you were stuck with.

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Honey and Wine

That Greek God Modern AU with @peachpitsss

Credence/Newt, teen rating but may fringe at mature if you squint.

On AO3 Here (forgive my ugly mobile format):

“Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and he thus symbolizes the chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.”

You never felt doubt, until you looked into the eyes of a British man wearing his strange, pagan amulets, smiling nervously before he looks away and takes the leaflet from your lifeless fingers.


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dear siken:
do you remember that poem about pulling bodies out of lakes and dressing them in warm clothes again? i tried it, four pairs of hands hauling blood and flesh out of the reservoir, until the rot seeped from their bones and onto our palms in puddles. the grass was soft and green under the cheap fur coats, the crochet scarves, the ugly corduroys he insisted on bringing because dying never looked so homely.
we mixed drinks in a diner and drank them together, arms crossed, like new years eve. it was supposed to be romantic. kitschy. you would love him too, i promise; his mouth is full of block-cut diamonds until you can barely taste yourself. there’s something about his hands, too, his stitches, his devouring mouth. he fills me up with his empires i throw them up the night after, alexandria a stain on my bathroom floor.
your writing leaves blood on my toothbrush in in the mornings, a kick to the spine, rattling that one joint between my palm and my thumb, singing down deep. just tell me: how all of this, and love too, will save us?
was it like this for you? siken, unapologetic, a faith against night, so much more than human. when you look at the night i wonder – what colours are your stars?

dear siken, by aliya g 


Breathe Underwater

Pairing: Antonin Dolohov x Pansy Parkinson

Setting: Modern, non-magical AU

Word Count: 1,013

It’s a hot, humid night in late July.

“Why are we here,” Pansy bleats. She glances around the interior of the bar—which had looked like a fucking barn from the outside—and sees thick reels of obviously fake rope coiled like snail shells along the walls, as well as a pleather-saddled mechanical bull lurking in the far corner. “Daphne. Daphne. Why are we here.”

Daphne blinks. “Like…here? Existentially? Or—”

“No,” Pansy interrupts, sneering at a girl who’s wearing a tacky red bandana as a dress. “Like, here, here. Specifically, this dumpster fire of a fucking drinking establishment in the fucking 909.

Oh,” Daphne coos, nodding sagely. “You mean here. I just—I thought it would be fun to do something different tonight, you know? Like. Pansy. They have square dancing here. Look at all the cowboy boots.”

Pansy pointedly inspects Daphne’s twelve-hundred dollar Louboutins. “Fun,” she repeats, acidly. “Right. Super fun. Flannel shirts and illegally lifted pick-up trucks. Bathrooms that smell like Bud Light and cough syrup. Remember that scene? In that weird Reese Witherspoon movie with the Alabama people? Where she’s, like, you brought your baby to a bar—”

Pansy’s cut off by an elbow—large, leather-clad, masculine—catching her in the ribs.

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