does that qualify as

Forgot to mention that Lulu and I went on a Target run yesterday before hitting the club, and I am excited to report that it looks like the late 90s fashions are coming back. (This is probably no surprise to people who actually follow fashion, but I’m forever behind the curve.)

I’m not sure whether to be giddy that all my block print paisley blouses and broomstick-pleat skirts are about to be fashionable again, or slightly ashamed that a large portion of my wardrobe is actual-facts twenty years out of date.

Does that qualify as “vintage”?

Eh, no fucks given. Trends or no trends, I’ll look fabulous anyway.

One neat thing I noticed while rewatching is that some of the paladins’ introductions in episode 1 coincide with their elements! Like:

The Yellow Lion’s element is Earth, and the first thing Hunk ever does onscreen is complain about being in the air and then work with metal. The fear of heights / motion sickness makes sense considering his affinity is with the ground, as does his talent for mechanics.

The first time we see Pidge, she’s working a communications unit. The Green Lion’s thing is Forests, and a big aspect of that is the idea of roots and connection with other living things (”we are all made up of the same cosmic dust”) and the first thing she does on screen is literally connect with others.

Red’s element is fire, and Keith’s introduction is literally him blowing something up and then punching some guys. Which. Speaks for itself honestly.

Weirdly, Shiro and Lance don’t seem to follow this trend. The first thing we see Shiro do is help Matt extract ice from Kerberos, and the first thing we see Lance do is fly the simulator, and neither introduction seems to be related to their given elements of air and water/ice respectively– in fact I’d say they seem swapped. I dunno if that means something, and maybe this observation is meaningless lmao, but it seems to hold up with the other three, which is interesting.

A brief example of white privilege:

If I, an Indian girl in America, mispronounce a white name, I will face mockery and scorn for my “substandard intelligence” which ***cLeArLy*** stems from my immigrant background. I will be consumed by shame as I constantly recall that moment when the wrong syllable was stressed or the right letters came out in the wrong sequence. My error may be met with laughter or with annoyance; either way, my only option is to fix my tongue and fix it FAST. I am suddenly blind to my own abilities: if I couldn’t even say the name “Leighton” correctly, does anything else matter???? Who cares how qualified a person of color is when they can’t even say a damn name?!?!

On the other hand, a white person can listen to me introduce myself gently, articulately, and painstakingly, yet *still* decide my name just isn’t worth the effort. They watch me waste my breath as I repeat my name in varying speeds and mentally implore them to try again for my sake. Then come the anglicized nicknames, the insensitive jokes, the dismissive hand gestures, and the utter disregard for one of the greatest elements of a person’s identity.

I am left feeling cheated and defeated.

White privilege is being able to erase the beauty, significance, and legacy of another human being’s name simply because you’re too lazy to teach your tongue something new.

washingtonpost.com
Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws - The Washington Post

GEO Group has strongly denied the lawsuit’s allegations and argued in court records that pay of $1 a day does not violate any laws.

“We intend to continue to vigorously defend our company against these claims,” GEO Group spokesman Pablo Paez said in a statement. “The volunteer work program at immigration facilities as well as the wage rates and standards associated with the program are set by the Federal government. Our facilities, including the Aurora, Colo. Facility, are highly rated and provide high-quality services in safe, secure, and humane residential environments pursuant to the Federal Government’s national standards.”

Jennifer D. Elzea, acting press sectrary for ICE, said she couldn’t comment on the litigation because “ICE is not specifically a party in this suit.”

Under ICE’s Voluntary Work Program, detainees sign up to work and are paid $1 a day. The nationwide program, ICE says, “provides detainees opportunities to work and earn money while confined, subject to the number of work opportunities available and within the constraints of the safety, security and good order of the facility.”

Detainees work for up to eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, cleaning bathrooms, showers, toilets, windows, patient rooms and staff offices, waxing floors, and preparing and serving meals. ICE says detainees “shall be able to volunteer for work assignments but otherwise shall not be required to work, except to do personal housekeeping.”

Jacqueline Stevens, who runs Northwestern University’s Deportation Research Clinic, said the program does not meet the criteria for what qualifies as volunteer work under labor laws.

“Just slapping the word ‘volunteer’ in front of ‘work program’ doesn’t exempt the prison firm from paying legally mandated wages any more than McDonald’s can use ‘volunteer’ senior citizens and pay them Big Macs,” said Stevens, whose research about the volunteer work program prompted the lawsuit.

Rhys looks haunted.

“Who’s going to tell them?”

He gets nothing but avoided eye contact and silent sips of coffee in return.

“I am completely serious. Someone has to say something and it really shouldn’t be me.”

He had thought that all nine of them of them taking a weekend together in the cabin would be fun–and it had been, until he’d been kept up very late by the half-muffled sounds coming from Elain and Lucien’s room. Not of sex, per say; the cabin provides what soundproofing it can, and it should be enough for all the couples to enjoy themselves without bothering each other, but Elain and Lucien had been doing something… loud. Repeatedly.

Cassian is grinning like a maniac, amused beyond all reason. “Okay, I know Rhys is uncomfortable because he’s never done anything that actually qualifies as kinky, but does anyone else think this is hilarious?”

“I object to that profiling of my sex life, Cassian.”

“You’ve never done anything weirder with Feyre than a blindfold,” Cassian says, eyebrows raised, “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just saying.”

“A blindfold is very kinky,” Rhys asserts, affronted. Mor snorts and he ignores it, focused on Cassian. “What have you two done that’s so much more exciting?”

Nesta, sitting straight as a queen, speaks before Cassian can. “If you answer that question in front of all our friends, Cas, you will never get to do any of those things ever again.”

“We’re off topic,” Feyre announces, setting down her mug of tea decisively. “The question at hand here is who is going to tell Elain and Lucien that spanking is off-limits during their time here.” Silence. She shrugs. “I think it should be Nesta.”

“I’ll do it if you want, but it won’t go well,” Nesta replies flatly. “I have a hard time not slapping the smirk off Lucien’s face on a good day.”

Cassian brandishes a spoonful of oatmeal. “Well, apparently he’s into that, so–”

“Why not Cassian?” Rhys says pointedly, “Since, as he tells us, he’s so knowledgeable about the whole area.”

“That would mortify Elain,” Feyre says, keeping them firmly on track. “It should probably be one of the girls.” Amren, in the corner, lowers her mug of blood to look less than enthused. “It should be Mor or I,” Feyre amends.

Mor gives an casual little shrug. “The noise didn’t bother me, to be honest.”

Rhys frowns in disbelief. “Surely you heard it.”

“We did.”

She does not elaborate, and Rhys suddenly finds it suspicious how quiet Azriel’s been, and how he’s not making eye contact. Cassian seems to have the same thought as he glances between the two of them.

“Mother’s tits,” Cassian says, gaping. “You guys got off on it, didn’t you?”

They don’t respond, but Mor reddens incriminatingly. Cassian’s eyes go wide and he throws his head back in a howl of laugher, over Nesta’s protestations.

Amren is surveying all of them with disdain. “I have been present for some truly insipid conversations between the lot of you but I must say, this one is exceptionally awful.”

“Now THAT’S what I mean by kinky, Rhys” Cassian proclaims, wiping tears from his eyes. “Fucking to the sounds of another couple’s pain play. Cauldron. I’m so proud.”

Rhys looks long-suffering as he turns to Feyre, takes her hand, and kisses it sweetly. “I’m so sorry, darling,” he intones dramatically. “I’ve exposed you to a nest of perverts.”

“Who’s a pervert?” Elain asks with a giggle, choosing this moment to sweep into the kitchen, bright-eyed and with a sated-looking Lucien in her wake. “Are we talking about Cassian again?”

But the whole room has gone silent. Elain falters, looking from one awkward face to the next. “What’s wrong?”

When no one answers, it’s Amren who gets up and says baldly to the two of them, “Everyone from here to Velaris could hear whatever it was you were doing last night. It made these fools uncomfortable, largely. Do with that information what you will.” In the shocked silence following, she puts her empty mug in the sink, unhurried, and heads for the door. “I’m going for a walk far away from this nonsense. If anyone needs me, you are encouraged to reconsider.”

The door slams shut behind her.

“Oh,” Elain says faintly.

Working with Plants

1. Start your own Herbal. There are some great books out there, but recording your own experiences/uses/collected lore for herbs is invaluable. Draw, press or take photos of the plants you include. 

2. Learn about plants by seeing them with your own eyes. Visit botanical gardens, nurseries, garden centres and parks to see the plants in situ and (hopefully) correctly labelled. The human brain has an amazing memory for plants, it is a survival skill to be able to identify them. When you walk through a park or garden, notice the plants and identify those you know to re-establish this memory.

3. Grow things. Be as ambitious as your space, money and time allow. Collect plants that are hard to find, appeal to you and suit your climate. Go beyond culinary herbs. Be aware of where you plant things in the garden, both directionally and symbolically. Plants you have grown are constantly receiving offerings of your time, energy and resources and are therefore more likely to be willing to assist you.

4. Plants will die. Even the most experienced gardener will lose plants. Accept it. Don’t just buy a few seedlings and then decide you lack a green thumb because they all died. Some herbs are annuals, that means they only live for a season, some plants are deciduous, some will simply not be suited to your climate or area and fail to thrive. Be patient and persistent and become a student of gardening as well has herbcraft.

5. Work in depth with a particular herb or tree to discover its secrets. Read everything you can about it, research folklore and planetary correspondences, consume it raw, dried, as a tea and a tincture. Prepare a spagyric essence from it. Burn it as incense. Infuse oil with it. Grow it, talk to it, dream about it. Watch how it changes through the seasons, collect its seeds, smell its flowers. Do this until you know it inside out, and then begin again with another. 

6. Substituting herbs is tricky business. No, you can not replace all flowers with lavender or all herbs with rosemary. That is lazy nonsense. Put some actual effort into getting the herbs you need for a spell, and if you genuinely can’t acquire them find something botanically related, energetically similar or at very least ruled by the same planet.

7. Treat herbs and trees as spirits, with respect and humility. Ask before your take, leave offerings, communicate, bond with them and you will be rewarded with gifts and wisdom and powerful ingredients for your spells.

8. Poisonous herbs and strong entheogens are for advanced practitioners. Don’t just start growing or using them because you want to be taken seriously. Some of these plants are tricksters, they can be very seductive. They are quite capable of controlling you. Be wary.

9. When harvesting for magical use, think not only what the plant is but where it is growing. A tree on a university campus will have different properties to the same kind found in a graveyard. A herb growing at the crossroads is different to one found by a stream. 

10. Expand your learning and awareness beyond trees and herbs. Learn the lore of mosses, lichens, fungi and seaweeds. Parasitic and carnivorous plants. Get to know the plants that grow locally, even if they are far removed from those found in your books.

11. Check your sources when it comes to lore. If a book tells you lavender is good for love spells, question it. Try to discover where the information came from, look up the older herbals, read books of plant folklore, investigate planetary and elemental correspondences based on the nature and virtues of the plant, not just what Cunningham says. 

12. Develop relationships not only with individual trees and herbs, but with particular species. Plants can be spirit guides in the way that animals can. There is an oak tree, and then there is Oak. They can teach, guide and protect. Having a handful of plant allies you know intimately and fashioning your tools from their wood, planting them around your house and visiting them in the wild will make your connection to those spirits all the stronger.

Halloween

Summary: Nat and Wanda trick you into going to a Halloween party at the Stark Tower.

Warnings: smut- oral (receiving), penetration; fluff

A/N: Wrote this to get out of my writer’s block. I hope you like it!


“Fuck!” Nat yanked the strings tighter and you gasped for air. “I know I wanted to wear a corset for Halloween but-”

“Authentication is the key.” She helped you straighten. “And look at how great your breasts look.” 

“They do look pretty great.” You admired yourself in the mirror, running your hands down your torso and enjoying the feeling of the leather under your fingertips. “So…are you finally going to tell me who’s going to be at this party?”

“Nope, it’s a secret.” Nat chuckled as she adjusted her hair and makeup. “Don’t worry, you’re going to have fun.”

“You’re in for some serious hell if you’re lying to me.” You pointed at her and slipped into your leggings. “Why do I have to be a sexy cat? Why can’t I be like Victorian royalty?” 

“Because last time you were drunk you let it slip that you’ve always wanted to dress up as one.” Wanda slipped into the room grinning. “I told Nat and she helped me get the costume, now let’s go.” 

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can people like

stop trying to give advice on something they dont have any authority on

like i follow a bunch of people who try to be pretty intersectional, and that means they get a lot of questions on topics they dont have experience with or identities that they dont have, but they still try and give an authoritative answer and like

its ok to say “i dont know, but let me direct you to someone who knows better”

if youre cis, dont answer questions about trans stuff. boost trans peoples voices or direct the asker to a trans person

if youre allistic, same goes for questions about autistic stuff. same goes for literally any marginalized identity. if you dont belong to that identity, you need to direct people to someone who does. because youre going to mess up and give misinformation otherwise

and no, being related to/married to/best friends with/etc someone of that identity does not qualify you. honestly, those people tend to be even harder to correct on their misinformation, because they think they know better. but they dont