I drink milk every day because my doctor says I need it to grow. Kind of like I need this calcium rush in order to make my bones stronger so I stop cracking them so easily. Preventing them from ever reverting to the weak, knobbly knees of last summer when a boy I had a crush on. Had a crush on, crushed me. Like a pulp. Into grains. Like a spoon grinding up soggy cereal swimming at the bottom of a bowl. I wake up in the middle of the night, remembering I didn’t drink 3 glasses today, and run to the refrigerator in my socks and chug it straight from the gallon, barbaric and yearning like a schoolgirl hitching her skirt up too high, and picture the white flowing through my veins. Softening me. Rounding me out. Giving me curves. I get a brain freeze instead and pray I’ll stop crying over spills and that I can sleep with this cold lurching in my stomach.
Maybe one day my hair will stop being so limp in the heat, but I don’t think that kind of thing can be anticipated, so I just have to wait. Girls like me live in the back of an un-air-conditioned convenience store, ratty sweatpants, tight tank tops, and crawl out with week-old receipts bursting from their pockets. Like glued ribcage kind of girls, like elastic hair tie, red marks around the wrist kind of girls. The cashier doesn’t mind when I snag a magazine from the rack and browse through it without paying because no matter how hard I try, I end up looking pre-pubescent anyway. And they let things slide. For a girl like me, at least. I’m saying, lopsided bun, wide eyes, a mouthful of crooked teeth, stars pulling them into their places, I was always too scared to get braces. The cover has some headline about how to enlarge your breasts naturally, which I think might be useful, and another about how to communicate effectively with others without saying hurtful things, which makes me laugh. I flip to the back to check my horoscope and eat that prophetic, adolescent shit catered to the teenage soul up like Eucharist laid under the tongue. Swallow down a spoonful of March’s: “Prepare to face some stress this month, but that’s okay! You’ll be able to get through it and find time to relax.” I want to rip out the page and shove it into my bra, like keeping these soft, meaningless words close to my chest will make them seep into my heart and change me. Stop making me think so much, fill my brain up with Arizona tea and static instead. But I’m cheap, and I shove the magazine back. I think my chest will stay flat forever.
I seek healing. Mending. I’m fingernails deep, sitting in the back of a subway at 3 a.m., pressing crescent moons into the leather seat, trying to dig up salvation. You can’t find that here, you can’t find that in the cracks between the tiles, you can’t find comfort in the ground up cigarette butt stamped into the floor. I’m wishing against this fogged up glass I could say anything, anything that would make sense for once, so someone could help me. Like please, my mind is bending in backwards, like please, I don’t think this underdeveloped chest can take any more of this resentment or it’s going to explode through my ribcage, out of my flesh, like please, I don’t want to hurt anymore. And it’s not my fault that I launch myself around like I’m in some sick little competition, pretending I don’t care, like I’m having the time of my life. Of course I’m not, of course I’m not, I don’t think having your hands shake and your brain go fuzzy whenever you think a little too much is fun, something to be documented for the world to see. I guess I’m different from other people that way, I’d rather people think I’m having a good time than actually have one without anyone knowing. I wish I knew how to sew, so I could stitch up my fibrillating heart, no matter how sloppy and crooked, but the needle jabs my finger as the subway lurches left, and I bleed, I bleed, I bleed.
My mom told me not to walk naked in front of the altar. Disrespectful, she called it, and even though I agree, sometimes I test my divinity and emerge from the bathroom, the steam from the shower wafting off smoke like the incense in its pot. Young god, skin tinted green from fake gold. Young god, empty stomach, fruit scooped out of its rind, leaving me seedless. This hatred has roots, and I don’t know whether I want to dig out my insides with my hands or fill myself up until I’m close to bursting. I let people think the scratches on my knees are from a night of alcohol and a boy tugging my hair. Of course, it’s that and not child worship on a scratchy rug, not begging for forgiveness, not praying for glamour and glory, not hoping for. Of course it’s not hoping for something better.
Nasu: I was thinking Taiga could fill the role of “the person close to the main character who dies tragically”, so she was originally quite a mature character.
Takeuchi: It was such a long time ago that my memory is kind of fuzzy, but i think i recall aiming for a warm personality in order to make her distinct from the other heroines. Nasu seemed to like that vibe as well, so i stuck with it.
Nasu: I remember her having long hair in the rough drafts, but we decided to go with short hair in the end. The first time Takeuchi cleaned up her design, Taiga turned out looking a little childlike. It was at that point that i decided to make her the comic relief. This shift in design concept however, put an end to the whole “tragic death” scenario.
Takeuchi: Tiger Crush! Tagia has defeated Victim Archetype!!
taiga is too powerful, she defeated her own fridging.
I see people complaining why Harry never said anything about a solo deal etc. but him being able to make a first move on March 25 of all days and Columbia only adding him to their side today is not a coincidence. What kept Columbia from announcing it when they supposedly made the deal. Or why wasn't he in their documents? I think there was more stuff going on and it's too easy to say Harry could but didn't want to. (Niam's announcements were so different compared to this, including tweets etc.)
@lawyerlarrie and I talked about this offline last week and theorized that it might have something to do with a “non-solicit” agreement, which basically prevents related companies from poaching from each other.
All Sony companies/labels probably have a non-solicit agreement between them, so like, Epic can’t offer Adele, a Columbia artist, a better deal to move to their label since they both are under Sony.
With Syco, they are a partner company with Sony and Columbia already had 1D on their label, so it got a little fuzzy, but we were thinking maybe Columbia couldn’t officially and formally announce the Harry signing because of that, but it wouldn’t affect Niall and Liam since they didn’t stay with a Sony label.
The theory doesn’t entirely work because the deal was obviously made last summer, even if it was only verbal, which would still be in violation of the spirit of the restriction, if not the letter of it. But at the same time, Rob Stringer - President of Columbia Records - was already tapped to lead Sony Music, so he had a lot of power over the situation and and the company.
So that’s my theory at the moment and now that it’s all “officially official” with Harry I’m hoping some other restrictions might be ending too.
PLEASE TELL ME ALL UR ALEX X MAGGIE X LUCY HEADCANONS PLZ
So the thing no one knew is that Lucy and Maggie actually have some history. Some “we met at a bar and had a drunken one night stand that grew into a casual friendship with occasional boning” type history.
It was never anything serious; Maggie fears commitment more than death and Lucy always seemed hung up on someone from her past, but they stayed in contact and actually talked about things, and considering how emotionally stunted and work-obsessed they both are their dynamic is surprisingly healthy.
One day Maggie gets a call letting her know Lucy will be in town for a week on ‘business’ (she’s never said what she does but Maggie knows it’s federal) and so Maggie invites her out for drinks. She takes her to the alien bar, because Maggie knows who her father is and the prejudices she’s struggled with and honestly Maggie kind of wants to see if She is any more comfortable with this sort of thing. And luckily for all, Lucy is. She’s unfazed by the alien nature of the bar and actually seems to know a few of its inhabitants. Lucy looks good, she seems healthier and happier than she was the last time they met. Maggie feels her heart swell a little at the thought.
And so they sit and they talk about what’s going on in their lives and it only takes a few drinks for Lucy to start nervously talking about someone she’s gonna see in town soon and Maggie realizes this is who she’s always suspected existed, the mysterious person Lucy is hung up on.
“I’m in a much better place now and it’s just made me realize some things I think I was ignoring before,” she says.
“God, realizing is the worst,” Maggie says, smirking into her bottle as she takes another long drink. Lucy laughs and runs her fingers through her hair nervously.
“Tell me about it. Either way, I’ve got to figure out what to do now that I know there’re feelings there.”
“Ask her out. Or just kind of, you know,” she makes eyes at Lucy, holds her pointer and middle finger up in a V, flicks her tongue suggestively. Lucy snorts her beer so hard a little comes out of her nose.
“Fuck, Sawyer,” Lucy chokes through her laughter, “at least wait until I’m done drinking.”
“I’m just saying! Try asking her if she wants to come watch you work out. I’ve seen those guns in actions, that line would work on me.”
“Anything would work on you,” Lucy teases before dodging Maggie’s indignant smack. “Besides, it wouldn’t be like that with her. I don’t think I could just be with her, you know? without it being a forever kind of thing.”
Maggie’s stomach hurts a little at that, which only pisses her off. She’s always known what they were to each other and it’s ridiculous to be bothered by this. The benefit of being with someone like Lucy is how loose and casual it can be. So what if Lucy gets moon-eyes thinking about some other girl? Maggie isn’t looking for a forever kind of thing and Lucy knows that. Besides, it’s not like Maggie isn’t still drinking away her thoughts of Alex.
And great, now she’s thinking about Alex again. First she gets fuzzy thinking about Lucy and now she’s got Danvers back in the foreground where she seems to always lurk, like a constant blanket of affection and guilt that weighs down Maggie’s every moment. This is really why Maggie doesn’t do relationships or, hell, even feelings really. All they do is make everything hurt and Maggie’s had enough hurt for one lifetime, thanks.
And speak of the devil herself, in walks Alex Danvers. She’s got on those tight jeans and that leather jacket and god, Maggie wishes she wasn’t such a fuck up that Alex needs to avoid because there’s nothing she wants more than to run her hands under that jacket.
She’s so caught in her gawking that she doesn’t even notice Lucy has frozen up beside her; all she can focus on is the small little smile Alex is sending her way, a smile that shifts into a shocked, full blown grin when she sees who Maggie is sitting with.
“Oh my god, Lucy?”
Maggie can hear the sharp exhale from Lucy and it sort of sounds like maybe she’s been holding her breath this whole time, waiting to be noticed.
“Hey, Alex,” Lucy says in a voice so soft and affectionate Maggie almost does a double take. Lucy’s just staring at Alex as she approaches and her eyes are shining like she’s looking at a star come to life.
Alex scoops Lucy up into a hug that makes her squeak and suddenly Maggie can’t help but tune out Alex’s ramble of excited questions. She signals M'gann to bring her something stronger than the beer she’s been nursing all night, because now she knows exactly who Lucy Lane’s dream girl is, and honestly Maggie has never felt more thoroughly fucked over in her life.
apparently because of the era mulan was in she should've spoken cantonese (or at least not mandarin) so why is mandarin the default chinese now?
hoo boy, this is a major misconception that i’ve heard a lot, especially from Cantonese speakers, who somehow believe that all people in pre-1000 AD China would’ve been speaking Cantonese ahahaha. I think this is an urban myth from some pseudo-linguistics rumours making its rounds in Cantonese-speaking communities over the last couple generations, probably stemming from the fact that Cantonese phonology is more conservative than Mandarin in terms of our syllable-final consonants, and the preservation of the voiced/voiceless distinction in Middle Chinese by extending our tonal inventory. A lot of people think that that automatically makes Cantonese the “pure Chinese language”, which makes me cringe really hard tbh, bc that’s not how languages work LOL.
The problem with the Sinitic languages is that we have no exact way of knowing when and how people spoke back in the day, and the characters give no 100% explicit phonetic clues, so the best we can use as reference are the rime tables that some smart Chinese linguists compiled way back in the day. The most famous one is the book of Qieyun rime tables, which helped modern linguists re-construct Middle Chinese forms. Middle Chinese is said to generally have been spoken around the 6th-11th century, or somewhere around that range, and the Qieyun tables were published sometime in the 6th century, so they would’ve reflected an early Middle Chinese variety that functioned as a standard language in that time period. The problem is that outside of this standard language, people in China were already speaking their own Sinitic languages like they are today, some of which were already mutually unintelligible from one another. Unfortunately, there’s no way to track exactly what languages were spoken because all we have are the rime tables.
The early forms of the modern varieties that we know today as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, etc all split off from Late Middle Chinese presumably sometime between the 12th and 13th century, some languages later than others ofc (except for Hokkien and the other Min varieties, who had a bit of a special development, but that’s a different story). Mulan (who btw was a legendary character; we’re not even 100% sure if she actually existed) apparently lived during the Southern and Northern Dynasty period, which lasted from 420–589, which would fall into the Middle Chinese period, more specifically in the Early-Mid Middle Chinese period, so she probably would not have spoken anything close to Cantonese OR Mandarin in her time.
Another problem is that Mulan is said to have been from the Northern Wei Dynasty (北魏), which would’ve taken up the area north of the Yangtze River. Cantonese was historically spoken in southern China, particularly in the general regions of modern-day Guangdong and Guangxi. Guangzhou was always a very successful port city, even 1500 years ago, and became a very important cultural center even in the Southern Song Dynasty (particularly in the 12-13th century). In this time period, an early form of Cantonese had already developed, and it was also around this time that it gained a literary level to read the Chinese Classics. Therefore, it seems highly highly highly improbable that Mulan was a Cantonese speaker, considering that her time period and general geographical location did not even come close to matching the timeline of Cantonese or any other modern Sinitic variety.
Also to answer your question about why Mandarin is the standard today: it comes from a place of political power. Nanjing and Beijing (lit. Southern Capital and Northern Capital) were always the place of political power, and in courts they would use a standard language so that there could be communication between officials from all over China, hence the formal name for Mandarin: 官話 (lit. ‘official speech’). And that continued throughout history, simply because Beijing was always the source of political power, and made decisions for the country. However, the implementation of Mandarin as the ‘national language’ in all parts of China was a relatively recent event (around the mid-1900′s), in comparison to the entire history of the Chinese languages. Before Mandarin was heavily implemented in almost all parts of China, most people were still speaking local varieties, which would have mainly consisted of developing forms of modern Sinitic varieties.
TL;DR - Nope, contrary to popular belief, Mulan most likely did not speak Cantonese, and neither did a lot of early famous Chinese figures like Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, etc.
A lot of my students often tell me that they struggle with shielding because they don’t know what to visualize their shield as. So I thought I would make a list of examples to try out!
Layer your shields for various things using various visualizations, makes your shield stronger and can work like a coffee filter (if you want it to) filtering out things more and more (I have starred * my favorites for layering)
Fuzzy energy (Think the haze that comes off the road on a hot day)*
Inside of a Redwood Tree
Mirrors (Regular or like the police use (2 way? 1 way? idk)*
Sneak peek of my shot for Gemanimate 2! Really pushed myself to experiment with a watercolor style that had a lot of texture, totally out of the ordinary for me. It turned out pretty stylized and “fuzzy” which I think looks pretty cool in context of anonymous court characters. I wanted to make them look kind of mirage-y.
This was a wonderful project to be a part of, keep an eye out for the full piece from @gemanimate! This will be an entirely fan-animated version of “The Answer”
I didn’t tell (Y/N) that I was headed over to her parent’s house today. Instead, I told her that I was spending the day with Josh doing some YouTube stuff. Josh had agreed to cover for me. So while (Y/N) spent the day with some of her girlfriends, I took the 50 or so minute drive to her parent’s house in Oxford.
It was a Saturday so I knew her parents would be home all day. I was thankful they loved me like a son by now, considering I would be showing up at their house uninvited. If we didn’t get along, all hell might’ve broken loose. With our relationship though, her mum would probably invite me in and make me a three course dinner just for the hell of it.
I parked my car in their driveway and jogged up to the front door, ringing the doorbell and standing with my hands in my pockets waiting for them to answer. I could feel my heart racing in my chest. This would be fine. It would all be fine.
Her mum answered the door. “Jack! What a surprise!” she smiled, bringing me in for a hug and welcoming me into the house. “(D/N)!” she called down the hall after closing the front door behind me. “Jack’s here!”
“And (Y/N)?” he asked. I could hear him stand up from his recliner to come greet me.
“Just me today sir,” I said, shaking his hand when he came into view.
“What’s the occasion?” he asked with a chuckle. “Has (Y/N) brought you here on assignment?”
I laughed back, “Not quite. I just wanted to talk to you both about something.” They both looked at me curiously. “Can we go sit?”
“Of course, of course,” (M/N) said, ushering me farther into the house. “Shall I make some tea?”
“Sure, thank you,” I said politely. (D/N) and I made small talk while (M/N) made us all some tea. Over the years of dating (Y/N), I had become very close to her parents. (D/N) played the role of the protective father for a while but he quickly warmed up to me, which I was grateful for. I was glad we could talk casually now as it somewhat calmed down my fluttering nerves.
When (M/N) came and brought us our tea, she sat beside (D/N) on the couch. “So what can we do for you today?” (D/N) asked, sipping his tea and then setting it on the coffee table in front of the couch. I sipped my tea as well and then did the same. I cleared my throat, the nerves starting to bubble up again.
“Well, you know I’ve been dating (Y/N) for a long time now,” I said, clapping my hands and rubbing them together anxiously. “It’ll be four years in a few weeks. And I know you both know that I love her, but I’m not sure either of you know just how greatly I do. I mean, I love her. She’s my favorite person in the world. I’ve never cared for anyone the way I’ve cared for her and I know I never will again. I mean, when she met me I was just a goofy 22 year old, but she still loved me. She’s loved me through all the growing up I had left to do and I’m so lucky she has because I don’t even want to think of who I would be without her. And, well, she was already perfect when I met her. She was already far too good for me but I couldn’t help but love her anyway, yknow? Like, I know I don’t deserve her but she’s still stuck around and, well, that has to mean something, right?”
(M/N) and (D/N) were both smiling at me and I could see little tears in (M/N)’s eyes. I took a deep breath. “Sorry, I know I’m rambling,” I said, rubbing my palms on my jeans to stop them from sweating. “It’s just whenever I talk about her my mind gets all fuzzy and I can’t think straight. She drives me crazy but in all the best ways. So what I’m trying to say, like the reason I came here, I wanted to ask you if I can marry her.”
The smile on (M/N)’s face grew and she looked over at (D/N) who was still smiling as well. He looked at (M/N) and laid a hand on top of hers. “I still remember when I had this conversation with her parents,” he said fondly, smiling at his wife. “I was scared out of my mind. Couldn’t hardly breathe let alone get a word out. Still don’t know why they said yes.”
“I think they knew that despite you completely choking,” she teased lightly, “you were still the man I loved, and that meant something to them.”
“Just like you mean a lot to (Y/N),” (D/N) said, looking at me again. “You treat her with utmost respect and you visibly care for her. The love you share is admirable for a pair your age, it always has been. Jack, I feel like you’ve already been a member of our family for quite some time now. It takes a man to do what you’ve done and come and ask us. It’s a lost tradition now and it’s honorable that you’ve still done it.”
(D/N) stood up and so I did the same. He walked up to me and stuck out his hand. “I would be proud to call you my son,” he said. I smiled and shook his hand, slightly taken aback when he pulled me in for a hug. Nevertheless, I hugged him back. When he pulled away, (M/N) immediately gave me a hug as well. We chatted for a bit longer after that, finishing our tea and enjoying the afternoon. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.
When I got up to go, (M/N) and (D/N) both walked me to the door. One last time, (D/N) held out his hand to shake mine again. “You take good care of her,” he said, his voice cracking a little bit. I shook his hand firmly.
“You can count on it.”
I ended up picking (Y/N) up from her friend’s house and taking her out for ice cream. I tried to act naturally, like I hadn’t just spoken to her parents about the most important event in our relationship. She looked adorable in her light wash blue jeans and a grey jumper she had stolen from me ages ago. She leaned over to give me a kiss when she got into the car and held my hand the entire way to the ice cream place.
Once we got our ice cream we walked around the park hand in hand eating it and chatting about our days. “How was your day with Josh?” she asked, licking away some ice cream that was dripping down the cone.
“Great,” I lied smoothly. “Very productive. Did you have fun with your friends?”
“Loads,” she nodded. “We went shopping. I might’ve gotten you something.”
“Oh?” I teased back. “What’s the occasion?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged sarcastically. “There’s some dumb anniversary coming up. I don’t really know much about it, but it’s written on my calendar in like, big red letters so I figured it must be important.”
“Oh that’s right!” I said back, nodding as if suddenly remembering. “You didn’t have to get me anything.”
“Did you get me something?” she pouted, knowing full well that we always got presents for each other. I smiled and put my arm around her waist, pulling her close to me and placing a kiss to the top of her head.
“Not to brag, but I think I might’ve gotten you the best present ever.”