elm leaves

For anyone playing Pokemon Gold/Silver in the 3DS Virtual Console

There’s a way you can get more than one starter without trading. But you have to follow the rules very carefully. And if you don’t know what you’re going to do, this is a cloning glitch.

1. When you first start the game, head to the lab and talk to Professor Elm. After he finishes talking, you get the option of choosing a starter. However, you HAVE to save before choosing one as this is very important. This is the only part where you have to save until step 10 or 13.

2. After choosing the starter, don’t save at all. Because if you do, you’ll mess up and have to make a new save file.

3. Head to Mr. Pokemon’s place and then talk to him and Professor Oak. After that, try to go back to New Bark Town and battle your rival. 

4. After you head back to New Bark Town and talk to the police officer, talk to Professor Elm. When you leave the lab, the lab assistant gives you Poke Balls. This is important as it’ll help you get another starter.

5. Catch a Pokemon in whatever route, and head to Cherrygrove City.
In the PC box, deposit your starter. Then switch the boxes.

6. This’ll give you an option to save, and if you haven’t saved ever since step 1, then you’re on the right track.

7. When you choose to save the game, wait until the dialogue spells out this and then quickly exit out of the game before it completely saves the game.

8. Then reopen the game to the file where you have to choose a starter Pokemon. Choose the next starter, and then head out to Cherrygrove City. 

9. Go to the PC box and see the starter that you tried to clone.

10. If you did this correctly, then you’re on the right track! If you want to have just two starters, then don’t do the future steps. If you want to get all three, then don’t save the game.

11. Repeat steps 3-6, but this time, store two of your starters, and when this dialogue appears, soft reset or close the game before it saves. 

12. Get your last starter and then head to the PC at Cherrygrove.

13. You should see your other two starters in the PC box, meaning you did all the steps correctly.

A Funny Thing Happened While Walking Through the Arboretum

The weeping willow said
She isn’t really depressed
Like everyone thinks, “Y'know,
I’m just grown this way.
Ever hear of resting sad leaves?”

The elm complained that,
Thanks to a certain horror movie
Franchise, his reputation is
A nightmare, wondering, “Why didn’t
They choose Oak Street instead?”

The oak shouted, “I heard that!
I think they picked perfectly.
Nothing says scary
More than an elm!”

The spruce mumbled,
“The spruce goose
Got loose and was looking
To roost, so I said ‘vamoose!’”
The others sighed,
“We never know what she’s saying.”

The pine moaned, “I wish I knew
Where the spring went.”
When having it pointed out
That it’s still quite spring,
He replied, “Yes, but not forever.
And I miss it already.”

The magnolia cried, “Why, I declare!
All this fussin’ and cussin’
Is leavin’ me blushin’! Is that any
Way to behave around a delicate
Southern belle?!”

The peach tree groused,
“I’m southern too, and even I
Think your sanity is
Gone with the wind!”

The trees were all atwitter,
With a titter here and there
A pitter of senseless prattle,
But one thing they all agree on:
“Keep away, stinkin’ caterpillars!”

Nevertheless, at nightfall, at the moment when the daylight is vanishing, especially in winter, at the hour when the twilight breeze tears from the elms their last russet leaves, when the darkness is deep and starless, or when the moon..
— 

…is shyning brite…

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, Cosette Book Fourth Ch. I, Hapgood translation

These poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant
as elm leaves, which if they love love only
the wide blue sky and the air and the idea
of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said,
and not a beginning. Love means love
of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.

Robert Bringhurst, from “These Poems, She Said,” The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English, chosen by Margaret Atwood (Oxford University Press, 1982)

Animorphs/Wicked

@miraculoussparrow​ requested more information about an Animorphs and Wicked fic I speculated about a while ago.  My idle thoughts turned into a whole mini-fusion, so here’s part one of two—I divided it in half for the sake of sanity.  [You do not have to be familiar with Wicked to follow, although I do recommend the soundtrack strongly.] 

No One Mourns the Wicked
Some small part of Cassie is perversely grateful when she steps up to the podium at Rachel’s funeral and never gets the chance to utter a single word.  She’s already choking on fear, desperate to get this right and devastated by the knowledge she won’t be able to—and then she’s drowned out by the sudden and devastating poppoppoppopBANG of fireworks that rattles the graveyard with a horror of sound.  

Someone, somewhere across town is having a parade.  Because of course.  Because the war’s over, and this is a happy occasion.  She can hear them singing, in the silence left between explosions.  The graveyard itself is silent, the mourners shellshocked into stillness.  

Later she’ll stumble away into the city, tear-blind, inadequate eulogy a crumpled wad of paper in her pocket, and a total stranger will pull her into a hug so suddenly she starts morphing in surprise.  After she registers what the woman is saying—it’s a babbled string of gratitude and joy, nearly incoherent—she pulls away more gently.  Later that night someone will thrust a bottle of wine into her hands; someone else will gently place a pileus on her head.  Five more total strangers will shake her hand; sixteen will recognize her long enough to shout thanks or praise.  It’s the single largest celebration their small city has ever seen.  

Surrounded on all sides by singing and clapping, wearing a crown of yellow flowers she doesn’t remember receiving, Cassie thinks back to the last sight she saw before leaving the graveyard.  Jake was silhouetted against the last light of dusk, shoulders hunched and shaking as he stood over the far headstone two rows down from Rachel’s, smaller and unadorned but part of the Berenson family plot all the same.  They both deserve better than this gaudy horrorshow.  All of them do.  

One Short Day
The first time Cassie suspected that girl Rachel she knew from camp was going to be her best friend, they were on the playground in third grade.  Rachel had marched over to where a fifth-grade boy was making fun of Cassie’s shoes to shove her face up against the older boy’s.  “Yeah, Cassie’s got old sneakers,” she said brazenly. “So what?”  

Amazing the power of those words, so what, to shut down anyone who criticized their clothes or their voices or anything about them.  Cassie never learned to say them with the confidence that Rachel used, but she learned to hold her head up high all the same.  

Rachel was the one who taught Cassie about the sheer power that came with not caring—or at least appearing not to care—what other people thought.  They were both weird, both not quite perfectly aligned with what the other girls in their class thought they should be.  Rachel kicked all the boys’ butts at soccer in gym class and shouted out correct answers without bothering to raise her hand, even though girls were supposed to scorn sports and wait their turn before speaking.  Cassie wore jeans with bird poop and cared more about equestrian health standards than My Little Pony dolls, even though she was supposed to wear pink dresses and fantasize about horses without actually owning any.  The thing was, Rachel could get away with being the wrong kind of girl, because she was joyous and unapologetic in her rebellion, able to laugh in the face of anyone who had a problem with the way she acted.  Cassie could get away with it too, because when you were friends with Rachel there was pride rather than shame in standing out from the crowd.

What is This Feeling?
Dearest Daddy and Mom, Rachel wrote in her best penmanship.  (Given that she was seven years old, the best that can be said is that it was legible.)  Sleepaway camp has a lot of fun things.  Today I made a friendship bracelet and learned how to tie a knot.  The only thing is my bunkmate.  Here, Rachel chewed on her pen in thought, trying to come up with a way to describe the weird girl with the overalls and the boyishly short hair without being mean.  It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with Cassie, after all.  She just didn’t know anything about Limited Too or Boys 2 Men or Nintendo.  And she had the weirdest stories.  She’s weird, and her clothes are awful, but she’s the best in camp at woodcrafts which is dumb, Rachel wrote at last.  I miss you guys.  Please write back.

Hi Dad, Cassie scribbled on camp stationary.  I hope you and Cinnamon and Misty and Star and Blaze and all the other horses and the sick crow and the baby foxes and also Mom are all good.  I am not good.  Camp is stupid.  Our cabin leader is super old, like 15 or 16, but she STILL doesn’t know the difference between ash leaves and elm leaves.  My bunkmate is the stupidest part.  She thinks ponies are a type of horse and paints her nails before we go pick up bugs in the woods and wears dresses on the jungle gym.  She brought 5 pairs of sandals to camp and wears more hair clips than anyone I ever saw.  Just because she’s the best in camp at gymnastics doesn’t mean I like her.  Please please please please please please please come pick me up.

Walter didn’t come to pick Cassie up, and good thing too: later that week she and Rachel beat every single other pair of bunkmates at the Nature Fun Time Obstacle Course, working together to rush through the activities (and across the rope bridge, and underneath the zip line, and all over the Fun Facts Path) in record time.  They won tickets to free ice cream at a shop downtown for the entire summer.  But it meant far more to Cassie when Rachel ran up on their last day, friendship bracelet in hand, and tied it around Cassie’s wrist.  

For Good
Cassie always knew that Crayak would find a way to get revenge against Rachel and Jake for the way they’d hurt him.  She just never imagined it would come like this: the sharp whistle of a rock in the air followed by a hideous wet crunch of gristle and bone.  She never knew the fallout could be this bad, Rachel’s skin so pale it has gone a dull grey color except for the places on her hands where David’s blood seeped between her fingers.  Rachel came out of the warehouse silent and shaking, and Cassie couldn’t find it in herself to say anything.  

Not until, a hundred yards down the sidewalk, Rachel drew a sharp breath and started crying in near-silence.

“You’re right about me,” Cassie blurted, for something to say.  “I’m not strong enough.  I can’t do it.  I can’t be like you.  I’m sorry.”

Rachel whirled around, grabbing Cassie by the arm.  “That’s a good thing.  Don’t be sorry.  People like me would be nothing without people like you.”  She shook herself off.  “No.  Worse.  Without you…”  She made a sharp gesture back to the warehouse.  “I’d be him.”  

“That’s not…”

“I know myself.”  She barked a laugh.  “You’re the only reason I’m still a halfway decent person.”  

Cassie did her best not to notice the splotch of David’s blood that had transferred to her arm.  “You realize it goes both ways, right?  Without you, I’d have quit years ago and left the rest of you to die.”  

Thank Goodness
People cry during weddings, Cassie reminds herself.  It’s perfectly normal to be crying on her wedding day.  So what if she happens to be crying for entirely the wrong reason?  

It’s the dress.  It’s the long cakelike frills of the dress and it’s the fact that when she looked in the mirror after the stylist was done with her veil, all she could think of was what Rachel would say to see her so swankified.  It’s the way that Ronnie is so patient and kind and loving, so willing to wake Cassie from nightmares and hold her close every year on Christmas, on Victory-Earth Day, on the anniversary of the date Marco and the others were officially declared Missing Presumed Dead.  It’s the fact that he is so good to her, in a way no one else ever has been… and she still can’t bring herself to love him.

Ronnie has never lost patience, has never stopped being devoted and sweet.  He’s also never killed someone to save her life.  He’s never stood shoulder-to-shoulder and flank-to-flank with her as they marched into battle.  He’s never committed a terrible crime so that Cassie herself wouldn’t have to, and he’ll never know the terrible crimes Cassie herself has had to commit anyway.  

He never tore a piece of her heart out, either.  He never went and died on her because she couldn’t find the words to keep him here.  

Cassie lowers her veil to hide her tears, and she picks up her bouquet.  She’s as ready as she’ll ever be.

Not That Girl
“And then,” Rachel said, “he showed me this spot downtown where they’re putting new tar down on a parking lot, and my god.”  She whistled between her teeth.  “You can just coast up and up until you’re miles off the ground, and then you dive… And he just figured this out, all on his own.  He’s, like, some kind of genius at this.”

Cassie shifted to a more comfortable position on the end of her bed, trying to look like she was enjoying this conversation.  She got it, really she did.  Tobias had those big soft eyes—well, sometimes—and that sharp sense of humor and that knack for picking up new skills on the fly… He was sweet but also practical, melancholy but willing to be sarcastic too.

It didn’t stop her from wanting to cry sometimes when Rachel talked about him.

“Anyway, how are you and Jake?” Rachel asked, flopping over in her sleeping bag to look Cassie in the eye.

Cassie laughed, looking down.  She and Jake were experimenting.  Feeling each other out.  Hoping for a spark that would probably never come.  They were friends, and she loved him as a friend, but… But she wanted what she couldn’t have.

Because if she had it her way, Jake wouldn’t be the one who held her hand and tried to work up the nerve to kiss her goodnight.  Tobias wouldn’t be the one that put that starry-eyed smile on Rachel’s face.  Rachel wouldn’t be on the floor during their sleepovers, she’d be right next to Cassie in the bed—

“Enough about boys,” Cassie said quickly, shocked by the direction of her own thoughts.  “You want to go get some of my dad’s hot chocolate with chili powder?”  

The Wizard and I
During the war, sometimes, Cassie would think back to the call she got late one night in eighth grade.  Rachel had been almost laughing as she spoke, enthusiasm bubbling through in every word.  It took Cassie a while to parse what Rachel was talking about, but finally she figured it out: Melissa’s dad had given them the number of this new organization in town, and the new organization was willing to sponsor any young athletes who joined it.  

Sponsor, in this case, meant just about anything.  Mr. Chapman had assured them that student athletes who joined the Sharing could access its full resources for buying uniforms, connecting to coaches, and even meeting the big names in the field.  (“Dominique Dawes!  Amy Chow! Kerri Strug!” Rachel said, and Cassie made noises of agreement like these names meant anything at all.)  She might not have understood some of what Rachel was gushing about with competition levels and professional trainers, but she found herself grinning anyway.  It was always so cool to hear how amped Rachel got about everything from sales at Express to WNBA results, because Rachel was the kind of person who could make anything brighter or more special with the way she saw it.

They’d taken a shortcut home through the construction site the very next night.  Cassie thought of that phone call, sometimes, as the last time their future had been clear and bright and easily understood.  

At our meeting yesterday I got the “team player” award as employee of the month and a $25 Publix giftcard and I like could barely force a smile like wow can I get a raise? Bc I’m literally gonna have to use this giftcard to buy groceries bc I’m that broke lmao? This sheet of paper is meaningless give me a raise!!!

These Poems, She Said
by Robert Bringhurst

These poems, these poems,
these poems, she said, are poems
with no love in them. These are the poems of a man
who would leave his wife and child because
they made noise in his study. These are the poems
of a man who would murder his mother to claim
the inheritance. These are the poems of a man
like Plato, she said, meaning something I did not
comprehend but which nevertheless
offended me. These are the poems of a man
who would rather sleep with himself than with women,
she said. These are the poems of a man
with eyes like a drawknife, with hands like a pickpocket’s
hands, woven of water and logic
and hunger, with no strand of love in them. These
poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant
as elm leaves, which if they love love only
the wide blue sky and the air and the idea
of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said,
and not a beginning. Love means love
of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.
These poems, she said….
                                       You are, he said,
beautiful.
                That is not love, she said rightly.

One day, one rhyme- Day 1060

It can’t be fought, it can’t be won
It’s felt by all, controlled by none
Its valued high by sailing folk
Ruffles the leaves of elm and oak
It whistles high, it rumbles low
It carries birds and clouds and snow
It wears down mountains into sand
It traverses air, sea and land
With rain or sun it can be twinned
And we all know it as the wind.

“After this, Bones. You and me and a beach somewhere." 

Bones raised his eyebrows and made a note on his clipboard, shifting in front of the three interns that crowded around Jim’s bed. 

"You really want to get me on a beach, kid?”

Jim’s smirk was infectious and despite the place, despite the time and despite what Bones was reading on the charts, he smirked too. “I can just picture it. Great image. You’re not a speedo man, are you?”

The interns snickered. 

“Caffrey, Nichols, Elms, can you leave us, please?”

The interns muttered apologies and left. 

“Can’t do that, Jim. They’re supposed to respect me.”

“Ah yes, big bad Bones. Sorry.” Jim puckered his lips and looked expectantly at Bones. But the other man merely swatted him with the clipboard. 

“Not while on duty, remember?”

Jim sighed. “So it goes. See you at five?”

Bones squeezed Jim’s shoulder. “Might get off before that.”

And then he turned around, not saying I love you, or finishing any of their usual banter. Three years, Jim had been in and out of Atlanta General and three years they been dating. If it wasn’t for Jim’s constant status as patient due to his heart condition, Bones would definitely have married him and they would have definitely settled down. But Jim insisted that they wait, saying every time he was admitted that this would be the last time, that he was feeling better. And Bones, ridiculously optimistic despite his gruff exterior the interns feared, believed him. 

This week had been a good one. Jim looked stable, mostly. He was responding well to the medicine and the Chief had said something vague about getting Kirk higher up on the transplant list. This was good. All good. 

Bones had a few more rounds and one surgery scheduled for the afternoon. He had a ring in his pocket and Louise in the kitchen had promised to sequester a part of the cafeteria off just for him and Jim, away from annoying fellow residents and interns. 

But Jim was dead by five and Bones hadn’t been there. 

He coded during the surgery Bones was performing on a sixty-five year-old woman. Brain turmor. Got it all out and the prognosis looked good. 

Chief Chris Pike himself was waiting outside of Jim’s room and Bones knew.

“No.” He said. 

Chris grabbed both his shoulders, spoke to him but Bones didn’t hear it, couldn’t hear it around the roar in his ears. 

“No. He was fine. Chris he was fine. Please, please don’t-”

He doesn’t remember much after that. Chris must have sedated him. 

So it goes.