failing indeed

My husband and I are starting to read more books together (he’s seriously the best, it’s like having a great audiobook narrator on your couch with you, I’m so spoiled). He decided to share the Revenge of the Sith novelization with me, and l’m pretty furious. Because it’s really, really good. Like WAY better than the movie.

I like the prequels, flawed and often painful as they are, but hearing and reading this masterpiece, I’m livid that we got the film as it is. If this is what it could have been, how did we end up with what we did? Like, it makes SO much more sense, and feels more organic, and Anakin’s fall doesn’t come out of the blue, and it’s not half so whiny and annoying, and it all makes sense did I mention it makes sense finally? The characterizations are thorough, Obi-wan is shown to be deeply feeling, Brand-new Vader is terrifyingly sassy (”We were promised a handsome reward!” “I am your reward. Do you not find me handsome?” Like DANG SON).

Some highlights of things you get from this book:

-Dooku is a clinical sociopath

-Yoda actually admitted the fault of the Jedi order–that they were too rigid, and hadn’t changed while the Sith had, and that was their downfall, that they were too invested in the Old Ways. He admits that Sidious was, in part, correct, which also admits that the Jedi had, indeed, failed Anakin to a certain extent as he said.

-Anakin’s transition to Vader, which is shown to be a literal psychological transition. Anakin actually isn’t in control anymore, there’s a new being inhabiting him called Vader. Once Anakin decides to leave the Jedi and become Sith, the being known as Anakin ceases to exist and Vader is born. Anakin is killed, and Vader takes his place; so yes, Old Obi-wan was right.

-C3PO actually has anxiety. Clinical anxiety. His ‘threat aversion subroutines’ get in the way of him doing things, even normal things, because they try to override his actions.

-Obi-wan dresses up like a drunken bum with Yoda wrapped up like and impersonating a baby in order to infiltrate the fallen Temple.

-Stunning time-out style writing (transitions into present tense to slow down time and let you emotionally and mentally explore a moment), well-paced action, painful and beautiful foreshadowing, perfectly interwoven introspection, incredible and subtle themes of love and hope, and beautiful metaphors and call-backs. I like this author, we’re actually going to look up more of his stuff in the library because let me tell you, it is AMAZING.

-Obi-wan is deathly allergic to space miso soup and almost triggered an interplanetary incident because he didn’t know and drank it while on a diplomatic mission.

This book is a treasure, 11/10, highly recommend.

Coming Home to Me

On the day they met, Dean Winchester is four years old.  Emblazoned on the front of his light blue teddy T-shirt are the words I Wuv Hugz, and everyone who’s ever met Dean can verify the accuracy of this statement.

Everyone who’s ever met his new neighbor, Castiel Novak, knows the opposite is true.  It’s 1983, and though terms like Asperger’s Syndrome and touch aversion have yet to seep into public consciousness, Cas had been sure to convey his displeasure to anyone who’s ever tried to hug him without his explicit consent.

As such, both the boys’ parents watch with considerable apprehension as Dean toddles up to the newcomer, ready to bestow upon him the signature Winchester greeting. 

He throws his pudgy arms around Castiel’s slight shoulders, squeezing him as tightly as his little body will allow. 

Castiel’s haggard single mother, Naomi, squeezes her eyes shut and braces herself for the ear-splitting wail that is sure to follow.  To her surprise, there is none.  

Instead, when she dares to look again, Cas is, for the first time in his short life, expressing physical affection, his thin arms wrapped delicately around Dean’s shoulders.  

In a voice so soft no one but Dean can hear it, Castiel murmurs, “Hello, Dean.” 

It’s now 1988.

Dean Winchester is nine years old, down a parent, and up a…well, he’s hesitant to refer to Cas as like a brother, though adults in his life have described it as such.  It just feels wrong to him, for reasons he has yet to put his finger on. 

Regardless, Cas has become remarkably close, mostly because his mother – a single parent, struggling to make ends meet – is almost never home.  As his closest neighbors and closest friends, Cas ends up spending more time at the Winchesters’ house than he does at his own.  

Dean still wuvs hugz, though he’s now less willing to admit to such, and Cas, miracle of all miracles, still never fails to return them.  Indeed, Dean is one of the few people Cas will willingly touch.

At present, the boys are cuddled up on Dean’s lower bunk while young Sammy snoozes above them, a rerun of the Three Stooges buzzing on Dean’s fuzzy, black-and-white TV set.  

99% of the time, Cas doesn’t understand the humor, fails to see the amusement in watching three people brutalize one another.  But he enjoys hearing Dean laugh, the feel of his warm breath against the back of his neck.  It makes him feel comforted.  

It makes him feel home. 

Contentedly, Cas closes his eyes.  He’s just drifting off when he hears Dean say, “Oh.  Hi, Daddy.” 

For some reason, he sounds nervous.  

When Cas blinks open his eyes, he sees why:  John is standing in the doorway, glowering at them, a strange sort of contempt darkening his glassy eyes.  He’s yards away from them, leaning in the doorless entryway to the boys’ room, but Cas can smell the pungent stench of alcohol wafting off of him.

“You boys’re too old to be doin’ that,” is all he mutters, before staggering away and leaving the confused duo with the vague but pervasive sense that they’ve done something wrong.  

Cas glances over at Dean, who’s now worrying his lower lip and won’t meet his eyes.  

Cas pats his hand.  “My mommy smells that way when she gets sad,” he offers. 

For some reason, it seems to help.

It’s now 1996, and in that very same room, the boys are having a slumber party.  Of course, they’re not allowed to call it a slumber party, because they’re boys over the age of twelve, and rules of social conduct dictate that it be called hanging out.

But, essentially, it was a slumber party.

Cas skipped a grade, while Dean was held back one, and as such, they haven’t seen as much of one another as either party would have liked.  

Still, Dean is popular, and surprisingly, so is Cas:  yes, he’s undeniably nerdy and not a little weird, but there’s an inherent niceness to him that makes him a pleasant person to be around.

Dean has had the pleasure of witnessing this all evening, as Cas interacts with Charlie, with Gabe, with Kevin and Garth and Benny, and even the little gray mixed breed that recently followed Sam home.  Regardless of what is being said, Cas listens to each of them with his undivided attention, head nodding, blue eyes wide with interest. 

Dean is content, for once, to quietly observe, witnessing his friend for the first time through the others’ eyes.

Later that night, however, when they line the floor like sleeping caterpillars in their multicolored sleeping bags, Dean once again has Cas all to himself, facing one another in the bunk they’d shared all those years ago.  

There’s a flutter in their chests that wasn’t there before, a not-entirely-unpleasant sensation that neither one can place. 

Years later, Dean won’t remember what it was Cas was saying.  He’ll only remember the soft, gravelly rasp of his voice, his crystalline blue eyes as they stared so intently into his own.  

He’ll remember how soft his chapped, full lips felt as he found himself kissing them, the tickle of his faint stubble.

He’ll remember the instant he pulled away, and the long moment in which they just silently stared, a million wordless protests racing through their minds:  it’s the mid-nineties, and the heat of the AIDs epidemic is still fresh in the public’s memory.  It’s by no means a good time to be gay, or anything close it.

More than anything, he’ll remember the exact moment he decided he didn’t care, that nothing in the world mattered more than having Castiel’s lips against his own.

He’ll remember the instant Cas silently agreed with him when he kissed back. 

It’s 2002. 

Cas is going to medical school.  Sam is going to college. 

Dean is going overseas.  

In the end, he really doesn’t have a choice in the matter:  he never had gotten his high school diploma, weighed down by the burden of being his family’s full-time emotional (and ultimately, financial) provider. 

He’d tried so hard to juggle the two, coming home straight after school everyday to clean up and make dinner, to fill the role his mother had vacated when she’d died of cancer years before, and helping Sammy with his homework every evening before he even got started on his own.

He eventually had to give up and drop out of school entirely when John left them, and he had to get a full time job at his Uncle Bobby’s garage just to make ends meet.

But never once had Dean given up on the hope of making his life meaningful, of helping others and saving lives. 

When he was younger, he’d wanted to go to nursing or medical school, perhaps become a paramedic, but as a high school flunky with five bucks to his name, this option is out for the time being. 

So really, his only option is overseas.

Cas knew this, and he knows he should have prepared himself better.  Yet this does little to stop the tears from falling as he holds his fiance’s hands, freshly gifted engagement rings glinting in the evening sun.

Dean smiles that goofy, crooked smile, puts on a brave face as he wipes the tears away.  

“Hey, now,” he says, chuckling painfully.  “Ain’t we talked about this, angel?  You know I don’t do chick-flick moments.”

Cas smiles faintly, nearly argues that Dean loves chick-flicks and they both know it, but he finds he doesn’t have it in him for their usual, lighthearted banter.  

“Promise me you’ll come home,”  he says instead.  

For a moment, Dean’s facade falters, adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows.  Still, his smile remains fixedly – painfully – in place.  

“I promise, angel,” he whispers.

Eighteen months later, Dean comes home.  Or rather, most of him does.  

They’ll both realize, with time, that Dean lost a part of himself overseas, and it wasn’t just the tip of his now-stubby left pinky finger that he’ll forever use to give Sam wet willies for maximum gross-out factor.  It wasn’t just the majority of the flesh of his left arm and ribcage, that took the brunt of the damage when the bomb went off, the drum-tight, pinkish scar tissue there to remind him whenever he examines himself shirtless in the bathroom mirror.

It’s something intangible, that will make itself evident the first time he ushers Cas away from their bedroom window, mind already anticipating the crackle of bullets and the shattering of class.  The first time he wakes up, heart pounding, to the crashing of a garbage truck or early summer fireworks, every instinct screaming for him to find shelter.  

Dean knows he lost something overseas, a part of himself he’ll never fully be able to recover.

But he’ll be okay.  They both will.  

In time, he’ll finally get his GED.  He’ll go to community college, and then, to nursing school, finally able to fulfill his dream of saving lives, helping others in his own way.  

He and Cas will get married in the fall, and though it will take years of convincing on Cas’s end, convincing that Dean will not become a replica of his father, they’ll have kids:  Claire and Ben, adopted two years apart.  Dean will be startled by how completely they feel like his own.  

They’ll be okay.  In spite of it all, they’ll be okay.  Life will go on, and it will be a good one.

But for now, all that matters is here at the airport, searching the crowd for that messy head of raven hair he knows is waiting for him.  

His heart skips a beat when he finally spots it.  

The years have been good to Castiel.  His shoulders visibly broader beneath his usual beige trench, a veritable sea of stubble framing the familiar, chapped lips.  Eyes, somehow bluer than Dean remembered them, widened when they met his own.  

Dean swallowed.  Make no mistake, Cas had always been gorgeous, but now…damn.

For a moment, the two just stare at each other, neither sure what to say.  

Finally, Dean chuckles wetly.  “Angel,” he huffs, with his best attempt at a cocky smile.  “You’re…you’re all grown up.”

Castiel says nothing.  Wordlessly, he moves forward, strong arms enveloping Dean’s shoulders.  Dean rests his head in the crook of his neck, breathing in a shaky, relieved breath as he feels the familiar prickle of stubble, taking in the clean, soapy scent he hadn’t known how much he’d missed.  It makes him feel comforted.  

It feels like home. 

A soft, gravelly voice rasps gently in his ear,  “Hello, Dean.”                  

My Boys: Beneath the Surface - Chapter 10 (Finale)

Hey Guys, thank you so much to everyone who’s made it here until the very end. I have always believed he relationship Amelia’s had with her family has really shaped a lot of who she is. It’s been nothing but a pleasure exploring that. 

Previous chapters are HERE.

@jia911 thank you for your very fast, very reliable help!

I want to dedicate this one to the amazing @cizavilation. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ciza! I hope you enjoy the fluff overload!


My Boys: Beneath the Surface – Chapter 10 (Finale)

Owen slowly woke up feeling the light touch of his wife’s hand idly caressing him as she rubbed her thumb on his chest while still lying with her head on his shoulder. From the angle he was in, it wasn’t possible to see the expression on her face but Owen was sure she had her blue eyes wide open, silently contemplating their surroundings while deeply lost in thought.

The trauma surgeon was aware of the importance the events from the previous day had, as well as the impact they had caused. It was too much to process and he couldn’t blame Amelia for losing her sleep over it. The things she’d said and been told, not just by her family but later also by him had been accompanied by a wave of powerful emotions. Owen was sure that Amelia would probably still take some time to catch up with everything.

He also supposed that a big load had been taken off her back when, just hours before, he’d finally been able to make her see that she wasn’t to blame for most of the things that had happened to her while growing up. Amelia was far from being a disappointment and even though that notion wouldn’t change in her mind overnight, Owen knew that the first and most important step had been taken when she’d finally acknowledged the fact that her family had indeed failed her, and not the other way around.

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What it means to be a slytherin

Being a slytherin is about power. Power is everything. If you do not have power, then what do you have ? Although of course, power does not mean that you have to run the world (although this is always good)

Keep those who are useful to you close, and trust only those who deserve to be trusted. If someone is likely to tell someone a secret, then never tell them anything that you dont want leaked to the public. That said, if you do want to distribute information, then use these people as much as possible. Connections are power, and power is key.

Knowledge is power. Before opening your mouth, make sure that you know exactly what youre talking about. Know everything there is to know about the things that matter, and at least a basic understanding of things that don’t. If someone tells you something personal, remember it. Personal knowledge is a very important weapon, and should be used with discretion. That said, it should most definitely be used to ones advantage no matter what happens. Never use something for the sake of using something. Have purpose to your actions and you will go far. Act on impulse and you will most likely flounder.

Plan ahead. Planning is power. If you expect every outcome then you will always be the one with the power. If nothing can surprise you, then nothing can defeat you if you play your cards right. Look ahead, and learn to read people. If you know someone’s reactions and motives, then you can always be ahead of them.

Discretion is power. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer, yet let neither know what youre doing. If you’re really going to use your ambition and cunning then you better be good at what you do, or there is no point in doing it. Trust nobody but yourself, and even then trust critically.

Trust is power. If people trust you, then they will never be let down by you. Build up your connections and relationships. Always be polite and civil to people unless you are sure that nobody will know if youre not. Outright lie if you have to, but never lie if its not believable. If you cant even convince people you can be nice, then what kind of trust do they have for you ? Always have impeccable manners and always value other people’s opinions, even if only to humour them. You can always learn from their mistakes and laugh later when theres nobody to hear but yourself.

Learn to disregard remorse. Learn from your actions, but do not dwell on past failures or pipe dreams. Calculate your actions and if you make a mistake either fix it quick or shift the blame and escape trouble. Never make a mistake that cant be fixed, and never offend someone who is likely to take revenge so great that it will mess you up.

Picking your battles is power. Know when to quit and when to admit defeat and start sucking up to people. If you can quit whilst you’re ahead and avoid being ruined then do it. Self preservation is key.

However, do the thing that will help you most in the long run. If something risky with a bit to lose out on will in the long run gain you a lot more then do it. Ambition relies on cunning and resourcefulness to succeed. A slytherin never fails in public. Or indeed at all whenever possible.

Slytherin is about getting what you want and where you want to be. The reason why so many slytherins get positions of power and are so organised is because we will use any means necessary to achieve our goals. Manipulation is a favourite among many, and words aimed in just the right place can go a lot further than any physical action.

Slytherin is about bonds. Never make a threat you cant carry through. This makes you seem untrustworthy, weak, and overall powerless. Stay within your limits, and know the boundaries. Again, never make a promise you cant keep. Stay true to your word, and never build unrealistic expectations because people stop taking you seriously.

To be a slytherin is to live by a code. This doesnt always mean the rules and the laws. But ever slytherin should have their own personal code and never ever break it no matter what the cost. The dark lord himself never broke his own code, and this is the testament of someone who keeps their word. They know where the line is and they know how to go far enough to get what they want but not too far that it undos the hard work put in.

Traditions are also important. If something is proven to work, use it. Traditions keep bonds firm and cultures together. A slytherin never disregards valued customs, which is why we are the best as having manners and civility. Politeness is power, and power is everything.

And most of all, slytherins are the best at knowing how to fake being superior, and act like it. I’m not saying we are better than you, I am just saying that we act like it until eveyone else believes it. If you arent good enough, then fake it and try as hard as you can until you are good enough. Play to your strengths, and if something will never benefit you again, dont be afraid to change your course of action until youre on the sttaught and narrow road to success and superiority. Never let them see the real you, and alwaya change once they get to know you. To know someone is valuable knowledge. To have someone truly know you is dangerous.

easter sunday

  • the sanctuary smelling like lilies
  • the veils coming down from the cross and the windows and the portrait of mary
  • father andrew’s excitement and concentration face before sprinkling us
  • the little girl who started wailing because the cold water came as a shock, and the rest of the congregation trying not to laugh
  • father andrew lifting that same little girl later to ring the bell at the dismissal
  • “he is risen” “he is risen indeed” never fails to make me smile
  • honestly i’ve just been grinning all morning
  • breaking my fast with communion (i do this every sunday but listen)
  • i don’t know why all church meals happen in the basement, but three bi girls eating brunch together between services? … iconic
  • my prof catching me in the door to say happy easter, and finally getting his 6-year-old son to say hi to me
  • “christ the lord is risen today,” “rejoice the lord is king,” and the psalm chant tune are still playing in my head
  • i wish i’d gone here a lot sooner
  • i’m gonna miss being anglican
Pass on the Spirit, not Just Another Law

For a law or moral standard to be enacted or placed upon people, the spirit of its intent must be adequately understood and accepted, or it will indeed fail its purpose. To simply impose a law by mere force is not enough. Rebellion will most certainly ensue.

There is a well known saying that states: you cannot legislate morality. I interpret that to mean you cannot force one to accept a moral truth or belief by simply making it a law, punishing those who do not comply. There may be some degree of success, as some may comply for the mere reason to avoid harmful consequences of breaking it, but that does not mean they truly agree with it or hold that tenant sacred. They may comply just enough to avoid punishment, but not truly comply in their heart and therefore will find “loopholes” or ways to undermine that law at all costs.

Just because certain laws are passed, does not mean a true victory has been acheived. If many do not like that law, trouble will still take place.

The trick is to really get people to understand and actually believe that a certain standard or moral is indeed the best to follow. If they do not, tensions will never cease. Regardless of the legislative success an idea may have, if that idea is not generally accepted, it will not be successful in the long term.

For a nation or people group to be truly united means that most adhere or uphold some common beleifs, standards, principals, morals, or what have you. When we are divided and constantly fighting against one another, reason and logic are quickly thrown out, factions rise, and we end up destroying ourselves.

Please look for solutions that can unite, not divide. There will always be some differences that people have, but in order to survive and prosper long term, we need to focus and uphold those things we can agree on and practice with great intergrity and pride.

There is a story that travels round the Chapter of the Eternal Crusade, deemed apocryphal at every turn and yet persisting nonetheless thanks to the inexhaustible fuel of human gossip.

The story goes that once there was a newly-inducted neophyte to the ranks of the chapter.  A candidate taken from a feral world, he struggled with acclimatising himself to the gifts granted unto him by the sons of Sigismund.  Despite a most valiant ongoing determination to prove his worth, such things as hypnotherapy and the demands of a Templar’s daily routine had him struggling to keep up.

Observing this, his initiator decided that the best thing to do for the young man would be to throw him into the proverbial deep end, there to see him tested in fire and battle.  Once that was done, the initiate reasoned, all else would fall into place.  Thus, on the eve of battle he called the neophyte to his side and handed the youth his own chainsword, saying to him, “Take this, and with it slay no less than one hundred of our foes tomorrow.”

The neophyte took up the weapon and swore himself to his superior’s task, and when battle was joined he eagerly waded in amongst the carnage to meet the Emperor’s foes in battle.  But, at the end of the day, when he returned to the initiate streaked with blood, his head was low as he admitted that he could claim no higher a tally than eighty-seven of the chapter’s enemy.

The Templar initiate was disappointed in his pupil, and bade him clean his armor and to pray for the Emperor’s guidance, and that as punishment for his failure he would fast that night while the rest of his brethren took their evening meal.  The neophyte agreed to this, and vigorously scrubbed clean his armor and the great weapon, and spent many hours in prayer and took no food nor water as he strove to redeem himself.

Morn the next day, the initiate called the neophyte to his side once more, and charged him, “Today, you will show me the fullness of your capability, and slay no less than one hundred heretics in the Emperor’s name.”

The neophyte once more knelt and swore himself to the task, and once more he charged into the thick of battle, bravely meeting one foe after another without hint of fear.  But when he crossed paths with his superior as the day came to a close, without speaking the initiate could see in the neophyte’s eye that he had failed, and indeed the youth admitted he had slain no more than ninety three of the Emperor’s foes.

The Templar initiate was irate, for twice now his ward had failed him.  In a fit of pique he took the chainsword back from his neophyte’s hand and bade him to watch closely and see firsthand how a true son of Sigismund despatched the enemies of humanity.  With a twitch of his thumb he tapped the activation rune on the weapon, bringing forth a roar as the blades spun in anticipation of battle.

The neophyte, however, was wide-eyed, and staring at the initiate he blurted “by the Emperor!  What is that noise!”

Royal Tutor Heine -Episode 3

Well, after this episode it will be new waters as the scanlanted manga stopped around here.

I really liked the delivery of the anime? Some moments were even more sweet and touching, I really liked how Bruno was trying his best at cheering up his younger brother but still failing, he is indeed a good brother, even if Leonhard was a bit tsundere to Heine Bruno didn’t scold him and tried defended him.

Kai is a cinammon roll.

Litch is still suspicious.

Heine is still my favorite character from this anime, dat poker face, sass, being understanding and funny.

merryy-shitscram  asked:

I hope you don't mind me writing to you but you're a writer and you use tumblr, so we have at least 2 things in common. I'm scared people will read my work and won't like it, so my dream will be over. How do I get over this? I want my work to be read

You’re going to have to do two things.

1) realize that writing — nay, all creative endeavors — are not like a moon landing. It’s not like you have one shot, and if you don’t pull it off, you have destroyed your spacecraft on the surface of the moon and it’ll take more decades than you have left in your lifetime for taxpayers to buy you another spacecraft. If you fail in writing, you’ve failed once. Get up. Do it again. Wipe your nose if you have to, but for God’s sake. Get up. You’re getting grass stains on everything.

2) trust yourself. You don’t have to trust that you’re great now. You have to trust that you have the ability to learn how to be great. And a huge part of that learning process is figuring out that you get up and start moving again. And another part of that learning process is realizing that writing is a craft at its heart. Good news! Craft is learned, not granted.

Think of it this way: imagine that you, young and sprightly and full of verve, have decided to build a staircase. You invite your friends to use your staircase. You have done a terrible job, it turns out, and the staircase breaks and they all fall into a heap, getting grass stains everywhere. You have indeed failed at making the staircase do its job of not bucking people off. Does this mean that you, as a person, have no ability to build staircases? You have just not been granted the staircase-building genes? NO CHILD GO OUT THERE AND STUDY SOME MORE STAIRCASES. 

When privileged leftists say that maybe the new right wing politicians (Trump etc) should win the elections to show that they actually don’t know how to govern

No, one thing is talking about some fatalist political theory that wants everything to die first to get a new beginning and the other thing is real politics and putting people’s livelihood at risk.

No, we can’t let the right wing win just to have a laugh at their absurd politics and agendas and to write more critical think pieces on how the world is going to ruins.

No, when right wing extremists have power they will use that power to shut things down: social institutions and policies for social welfare, equality and inclusion and they will spark more hate and violence against minorities.

No, the fact that they mostly don’t have too much experience in many political areas doesn’t mean that they and the majority of the voters will eventually agree that the experiment has failed and they should indeed step down.

No, they will screw things up for many people, potentially for whole countries. So no, this is not the time to be edgy and just lay back and see and wait until you can say, I told you so. No, everybody has to go out and vote against the rising new right wing forces in Europe and in the US and everywhere else.

Not voting or voting for the right wing extremists out of protest is irresponsible and selfish. Vote against hate! Vote Vote Vote everytime you get the chance.

Do You Truly Love Christ?

You say you love Christ, but you don’t even have the desire or the hunger to know Him through Scriptures. Something is wrong. You can’t have the former without the latter. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Smart | A Pansy/Hermione Drabble
for @claraxbarton

The thing about Pansy, Hermione said to anyone who would listen, was that she was smart.  People asked her constantly why she’d ended up with the woman who had tried to turn Harry - your best friend, Hermione, people would say - over to Voldemort.  It’s that she’s smart, Hermione would say.  And pretty.  If she’d had too much to drink and Ron was being particularly obnoxious she might add that Pansy also had impeccable manners.

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Nobunari Oda on Japanese TV Show Part 1- Eng Translation

Nobunari Oda is teaching a “class” on “How to avoid failures at important stages." Original video. Aired 3/14/14. Translations for Part 2 can be found here.

Oda: Please turn the page [to teacher’s profile].

Student 1: Um, excuse me for being rude, but your face looks a bit funny here. [Everyone laughs] Hey you all think so too!

Student 2: We never thought so, don’t drag us into this.

Oda: It is a face of failure. Now, let’s get started. The next page lists 3 big competitions. Worlds 2009, Vancouver Olympics 2010, and Grand Prix China Cup 2009. What do you guys think these are?

Student 1:I believe Oda-san has won in Worlds and Olympics. These must be his shining glories, right?

Oda: Mm, actually these are the 3 competitions of my biggest failures. [Everyone: Ehh..]

Student 3: They’re all very important competitions!

Oda: [Laughs] I completely agree with you. In my 20 years of skating, success has always eluded me at the last step. Let’s move on to the next page. As you can see, at Worlds my mistake was that I jumped one too many times.

Students: What kind of mistake is that??

Oda: There is a rule regarding combination jumps. You can perform them at most 3 times. Even if you successfully complete your fourth jump, you will receive 0 points for it. In my situation, if I did not do that extra jump combination, I would have medaled.

Students: WHAT?! So, if you did NOT do that jump, it would have been ok?

Oda: That’s correct. Actually, this wasn’t the only time this happened to me. I made this mistake about 3 or 4 times.

Student 3: Isn’t that a stupid thing to do!

Oda: Yes, and you can see what my heart felt like on the next page. [Photo of his crying, sorrowful face. He placed 7th.]

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I am a proud Ateneo fan.

Surreal.

It was like standing in the middle of the loud, crazy crowd, not knowing what to do first: jump for joy, scream, or cry.

I couldn’t even remember what I did first. Or if I did it altogether. All I remember was that all the time, right at the first throw of the ball on the first set until its last hit on the floor at that 25th mark on the fourth set, I was praying.

I wasn’t actually praying for the Lady Eagles to win. All I ever prayed for was for them to give a good fight. That may there be no injuries on both camps, and that may He bless the players with their A-games on that do-or-die match. 

I just trusted His will, for I know that He would only give the win to the team that has the biggest and the most deserving hearts. 

I came to the Big Dome, setting the expectations of my family. They are Ateneo fans too, but not as ‘fangirl’ as me. They watch the games on TV but rarely watch live. They know the players but not as well as I do. They know the Ateneo Lady Eagles as a team but they don’t know their story.

How they’re too young and less experienced as a team, and how they have been struggling, losing some of the keep players last season.

So I thought they might get disappointed if ever the Lady Eagles lose.

I kept setting their minds, telling them it would really be okay for me if the girls lose. They got Game 1, what more could I ask for? But my tita, from time to time, told me, “Nakaya nga nila ‘yong una eh. Kaya nila ‘yan.”

I just smiled whenever she said that, and I was like, “Parang mas mababaliw ako kapag pumasok ang Ateneo sa finals!”

Well, not that I really didn’t believe they’d win, but it was easier to think that they would lose against NU because it was what everybody believed. It’s going to be NU and DLSU in the finals, plus the fact that they were twice beaten by NU in the eliminations. I knew they’ve got the skills, the talent, the unity and the hardwork. I knew they can make it but I recognized, too, that it’s not going to be easy. 

I wasn’t ‘not believing’ but I was just trying not to expect. 

I tried to be a matured fan so I set modest expectations in mind.

So, imagine my delight when they got the first set. I was literally jumping, screaming while praying and taking pictures and whatever. I didn’t even mind the cameras rolling (although I saw myself in one of the replays, looking crazy, jumping for joy).

Who even cared about being seen on TV? The #BigBlueCrowd was too happy, excited and overwhelmed. What with the eleven-drum set by the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion (kudos to them, by the way), the #BigBlueCrowd literally dominated the Big Dome and made a thundering noise whenever the Lady Eagles get a point. 

There was a debate going on in my mind. It was like being torn between “OMG kaya nga nila! Shocks, grabe, nakuha nila first set! Woohoo!“ and that "Noooo, huwag ka munang umasa. Isang set pa lang ‘yan, kumalma ka, utang na loob.’ thoughts. 

And then my tita said, “Sabi ko sa’yo kaya nila eh.”

But apparently, the second set was a total meltdown, and while the crowd tried to be as noisy and as lively as it was during the first set, it really hurt to see the score. 

And there was fear, too, because that time, NU was already getting their game. There was this, "Shet. Ito na ang NU. Gising na.

The next two sets didn’t really give all of us the chance to sit back and relax. It’s a tight ball game, without any team leading big enough to be complacent. 

But seriously, the next two sets were the loudest. 

The screams, the chants, the drums. The boos. The cheers and the jeers. Everything was there. At one point I thought the floor was literally shaking. I didn’t mind, though. It was a tough match and the Lady Eagles were fighting. Fighting real hard. 

You can just imagine how the Big Dome erupted when they snatched the third set. 

That time, I was screaming "Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Mamy Mary,” hoping they would hear me from heaven. 

Tita, kakalma ako. Kakalma talaga ako. Naka-dalawang sets na sila, OMG! Kakalma talaga ako!” 

But I didn’t. I was too happy and the crowd was too noisy to even calm. The sea of blue was celebrating. I even saw some, exchanging high fives, hugging each other. 

The #BigBlueCrowd felt they were already winners. Why not? Their favorite team - young, struggling, doubted and counted out - had just won two sets in its second attempt to snatch the finals ticket from the Number 2 team. 

The fourth set was a more relaxed one. At the back of my mind, I really wanted to believe we’d be getting this last set but the thought of the Lady Eagles going to the finals really gave me goosebumps, so I chose to set it aside and enjoy the game, one point at a time. I was really praying they’d finish it, though I knew that Lady Bulldogs wouldn’t give it up that easy. I knew, as competitive as they are, they would want to take revenge. 

They were as hungry as any Top 2 team in any league would be to get to the finals. But I guess their hunger wasn’t that bad enough.

The Araneta Coliseum just erupted with that Valdez hit that ended the match.

I cried. And I knew thousands of those in the Big Dome and those that were in front of their television sets and cellphones were crying too. 

Crying out of happiness.

Crying out of pride.

As Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower puts it, “In that moment, I swear, we were infinite.”

True enough, victory is sweeter when you least expect it.

And then I saw big smiles and heard hearty laughs as we went out of the court. Those in blue, men and women, young and old, hugging each other, as they celebrated like they were the players that won the game, exchanged stories at how they were nervous and excited and how they screamed their hearts out. And how they were still feeling surreal right at that moment. 

That scenario was a delight to the eyes and music to the ears. 

Heartwarming.

I am a proud fan, just like thousands of those rooting for the blue and white, who were once again convinced that we were never wrong in choosing who to support.

The Lady Eagles are brave fighters who never give up. 

They are the warriors that struggled, worked hard, and succeeded.

It is the team that most people doubted, hated, mocked, and was counted out.

And yes, it is the team that remains unassuming, focused, and hardworking:

It is the young Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Team, right there at the Finals.

Finals, baby. Finals.

I remembered I kept praying to God that He may let the team with the biggest and most deserving hearts win the bid to the finals.

Thank You, Lord.

You never fail.

The Lady Eagles, indeed, have the biggest and strongest of hearts.

For updates on new blog entries, follow @forthephenom on Twitter. 

Submit: I'll say it now, before the Enterprize pram pics come out!

Hi Ballsy!

I’ve almost given up on the (what I still hope was the) real Benedict Cumberbatch making a comeback.

I have found myself gradually spending less time on Tumblr analyzing the fuckery because of how incredibly sad I become every time I see one of his old photographs when he still looked happy and healthy and had a mischievous spark in his eye instead of the dead-eyed stare that seems to have taken permanent residence in his eyes…

I don’t know, perhaps I’m a failed nanny after all and I can’t really handle seeing him so resigned to his fate.  Perhaps I was expecting more from a man who has been given every opportunity to live up to his full potential.  Perhaps I’m simply too emotional and those last pictures from the wedding finally did me in…

I noticed many fellow skeptics grow angry at Ben seeing these pics, probably assuming that he’s going along with the sham and is willing to work alongside Ursula to sell this as a working relationship.

I’m sorry, all I saw in those pics was a scared little lost boy escorting his cuckoo aunt to a wedding.  A little boy whose eyes convey sheer terror at what’s about to happen next.

Yes, failed nanny indeed.  One who perhaps isn’t willing to see Ben’s true colours and insists on vilifying Ursula to make sense of things.

Well, the fact is that ever since Ben didn’t attend the SAG awards, he has not been himself.  Not for a second.

I don’t know if he intends on coming back.  I just know that it seems like he’s reluctant of rocking the boat at the moment.  I also know though that the longer he takes to rock that boat, the less actual fans he’s left with.

Perhaps if he keeps this up any longer, I won’t even have to pretend to care about delving into the plot of Dr Strange…  

Sorry for being bleak, but I’m expecting fuckery of epic proportions during the weekend.

xoxo - Anna Shipper

======================================================

Ballsy:   Thanks Anna.  I put my Dork Post up, but this is worth popping up anyhoo. 

Quite right - this is NOT a man who is happy, in love, a newly married expectant father, or someone who got what he wanted, who made a “power couple” arrangement to benefit both their personal and professional goals.  


This is someone who sees no way out.  Is scared shitless this will all be exposed for what it is.  Is paranoid, defensive and at times zoned out.  Who knows his career that he’s spent the last 15 years building up to “Oscar Nomination” is potentially about to come crashing down (and it has started to). 

And why?  Because he got Hollywood ambitious?  Probably.   But he found himself in the deep end, with the sharks and they’ve been chomping bits off him ever since.  Saving face?  Too late for that.  Keeping her from doing something?  She already has.  He needs to take charge.  Deal with this his way, on his terms.  Pre fucking emp for once!   If the tabloids are circling?  Get in with his own story first.  If she’s threatening him. Again, get in his own version first.  Sooner rather than later.  

He needed to sort this a long time ago.   It might be too late.  But it most definitely will be if he digs himself in further.  If he doesn’t end this, get his mojo back and nail Hamlet?  If he heads into Dr Strange looking like he does above?  I think at that point the trainwreck will be beyond watchable, or salvageable.

Ladies and gentlesaurs and variations thereupon, it is with great pleasure that I announce the winner of the 2015 Golden Muffasaurus for Worst Palaeofail! This year wasn’t as obvious as in previous years, as this year’s posts didn’t receive as many notes as in previous years, but the winner is quite a fail indeed! Thanks everyone, and have a happy new year!