glad i had to approve this before it posted to facebook

Emerald City Comic-Con 2017

So I drove to Seattle from my little city Bend, OR on Thursday, about a 7hr drive there (7.5 hrs on the way home :/)  I stayed with @ninaf who lives just outside of Seattle.  We hung out that night and didn’t go to bed until after 1 a.m. 😳The Panel:  Our plan was to get to the Convention Center by 8:30/9:00 a.m. which we did. It was interesting that there didn’t seem to be much ‘security’(I could have taken my flask :/), we entered from across the street where we parked in a public parking garage and entered in at the 3rd floor.  We probably could have gotten in Sat. no problem even without a Sat badge!  Anyhow quickly found the line for the Outlander panel – SO many people!  They let us in at about 10:45 and me @ninaf and 2 of her friends (that are ‘normal’ fans) found some seats – we were second row far left of the stage – right where the fan questions were left of the stage.  I wanted to ask a question – Sam could you please sit back I can’t see CAITRIONA!? In front of us was a slew of moms with their babies – so cute – one started fussing and Cait actually looked over to them with her awe concerned face – she clearly LOVES BABIES! ♥  You can just see it in the video briefly at about 14:32 min. I am a huge Cait fan so I was Screaming and standing when she came out and thought we were doing pretty good there, then Sam came out and omg decibels! They sit down and Sam won’t sit all the way back on the couch, I don’t know why, and he was blocking my view of Cait, I could only see her on the screen or if she moved forward or back. 😒 I didn’t take any pics, cos I just wanted to be present and absorb the experience, (one of @ninaf ’s friends did though so we’ll post as soon as we get them). One observance is they both looked tired, but ready to 'do this’.  I loved the panel, I thought they were very comfortable, there to have fun and engage with us, I liked the questions asked and quite a few of mine were answered. Caitriona was taking the lead quite a bit but I think her wit is a bit quicker than Sam’s (I’m a taurus and we tend to slow think sometimes) but it gave him a chance to play off of her which I feel they do quite a bit probably. They seemed very in tune with each other.  Next on the agenda was the autograph session.  We got there @ about 12:15 for the 12:30 and were turned away- too full come back at 4.  Well cool, we can at least eat, since we didn’t have any breakfast so we had lunch and drinks. Met up with @ourrubygirl and her daughter (normal fan), nipunad on twitter – sorry don’t know your tumblr and with ninaf and her 2 friends (side note – they were so funny before I even got to Seattle they were concerned that ninaf would invite someone from online who she had never met to stay at her house.  By then we had talked on the phone and friended each other on facebook so they had to facebook stalk me to give their approval – whew, glad I passed). 😘Photo Op!  Ugh, okay this is where we realized that this poor little comic-con was absolutely NOT ready for this Outlander fandom and where everything really started to get behind schedule.  I envy the Sat photo op participants, looks like it was more relaxed and not as rushed as Friday's– READY click NEXT! I know people have been dissing the posed photos, but after being 'there’ this is what I feel, I think SamCait enjoy the poses somewhat, cos’ otherwise the way it was with many of us on Friday we just walk in, stand next to them, click and we’re out, so I could see that for sure getting tedious AF for them, they seemed to have more fun on Sat with it – because they were allowed to also.  Anyhow the Friday photo op was close to being a complete clusterfuck, but the gestapo staff pulled it off.  There were other people there, apparently there was more than just OL there 😉 that would be like “What is this line for with all these people?” And we’d be like Outlander, and they just go off mumbling wtf is outlander? Funny. I walked in for my 'Team Outlander’ photo and I was wearing opal earrings from Mexico and Cait says to me “oh I love your earrings” Me: thank you – and I’m beaming so fucking hard I can hardly breath! So I’m 5'1” - yeah – I’m holding on to them for the photo mumble thanks or something I fecking don’t remember, patted Sam’s back turned and looked up OMFG this guy is TALL! I have a friend that is 6'7”, but Sam seemed much taller than that, I think it’s his massiveness or something IDK. His leather jacket is really soft btw.Okay NEXT – while I go back in line for my Cait only photo, ninaf goes downstairs to get in line for the autographs – good thing too since they almost turned me away by the time I got down there!  STEP OFF BITCH I WILL GET MY CATRIONA EFFING BALFE AUTOGRAPH!!!!  So by this time we are beyond hot – it was so hot in this place which wasn’t even at the convention center, everything but the panel was at the Sheraton next door.  Note to self Bring water bottle, we learned a lot of should'ves…. So there was quite a wait for this, mainly because Caitriona was still upstairs READY click NEXT! And they could only do the Sam only autographs which there weren’t a ton of apparently😁

The way they had it set up Cait first then Sam, so we had to wait for Cait to appear.  We were in the 'overflow’ line outside of the main autograph room, but could see in there a bit, we saw the lights go out, didn’t hear the comments @sileas84 mentioned, but too funny.  When we finally got to the 'room’ wow, so I am a diehard Caitriona Balfe fan, I like Sam but am not an over the top fan like most… I have to say seeing him up close and personal I COULD NOT take my eyes off of him, he was so 'cute’ doesn’t do it justice, I seriously have no word/s for it.  He was so funny and gracious and flirty with the women and NICE, very tan too, yeah, I kept running into people as the line snaked around trying to just watch him, I even almost got kicked out trying to sneak a pic – damn gestapo staffers.  So finally get up to Caitriona, um effing goddess.  She had quite the stash of gifts, I had considered giving them something but didn’t want to burden them with too much stuff and if they truly just give it away well… So I opted to give her a love letter as I call it, from me.  I didn’t know what to 'say or ask her something’ so I mentioned that I have a head shot autograph of Simon (her friend Simon Kassianides) and I can add hers to it now and she smiles and says “oh cool, I just saw him a couple of days ago!”  Me: heehee. JHRC I’m such a dweeb.  I didn’t get a Sam autograph cos’ they had sold out by the time I got online to purchase, I coached ninaf though to make sure to smell him so we could report back, since we both forgot to at the photo op :P  So we float out of the room and out into the main area and I finally just started screaming I was so excited – I got to talk to Caitriona Effing Balfe (even if it was brief)  I am so so glad I did this! 

After this was all done it was getting close to our dinner plans for meeting up with other tumblrs, so we eventually got to the restaurant.  How fun to finally meet some of us.  As we came into the room I immediately recognized @rainmanjdog and @mommydog67, we had been chatting while in line for our Cait only photo and didn’t know that we were part of the tumblrs, so funny and we all almost asked each other but didn’t want to risk it – so sad.  Great night hanging with everyone, best story goes to @valkyrie1969 I still chuckle just thinking about it.  So where is the photo of us pointing at the 'Meet and Greet’ room @pentwhistle ?

Overall impression of SamCait – they are two of the most genuine, engaging, fun, cool, nicest people.  

Overall impresion of our tumblrs – we are some of the most genuine, engaging, fun, cool and nicest people.  

How to tell if that new DID/RA survivor friend of yours might be manipulating you.

I’ve seen a lot of muckraking happen in the DID community surrounding one or two individuals who have been called out on their abusive behavior. I’d like to just say “thank you, everyone who has worked hard to document the abuse these individuals have committed against the community,” but I can’t. Not entirely, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad people are brave enough to speak out. That said, I think we need to address this issue from another angle as well. 

When I first saw people sharing screenshots of abusive and/or manipulating things that the original sprite-wings did, I was hopeful that the conversation would broaden and people would start to take a hard look at who becomes popular in the survivor world and why. I was hopeful that the Kimi situation would launch thoughtful discussions about the fact that there are actually a lot of abusers online who pretend to be survivors. There are also a lot of people who technically are survivors but who are not “on our side.” This is especially true in the ritual abuse survivor community, where some survivors may still be cult-loyal or even running “errands” for active cult members.

I was *badly* abused by a popular RA survivor a few years ago, and sadly I don’t have screenshots. I don’t even know the full extent of what happened thanks to whatever method they were using to make me forget things. This happened to me long before I had ever heard of sprite-wings. Getting rid of individual abusers in communities is a positive step to take, but considering how much harm these abusers can cause, I really think we need to talk about the warning signs. What kinds of things did people notice about sprite-wings before programming triggers were hit off and screenshots were published? What signs can we look for in the future to keep ourselves and our communities safe?

I have some ideas.

If you are trying to evaluate whether or not a new friend in the survivor world is safe, ask yourself these questions:

1.      Did you feel like there was something “oddly familiar” about this new friend or like you had known him forever when you met? Did you feel more in-need of his approval or more desperate for his compliments than you ordinarily would be with a virtual stranger? If you are an RA survivor, be wary of people who feel “so familiar.” It’s possible you just made a fast connection or have a lot in common, but it’s also possible that the person is familiar for a reason – either you actually have met him before, or he’s emulating the behavior of an abuser you don’t fully remember. Be careful with sudden, unexplained familiarity.

2.      Does this person seem unusually fixated on you in spite of the fact that you just met and she has tons of friends already? Does she say things like “you’re the only one that gets me” or “you’re the first person who has ever really cared about me” even though she has 150+ followers who she seems to really enjoy talking to?

3.      Did/does their trauma have a shocking amount in common with trauma you’ve blogged about or shared on forums – down to the abuser’s hair colors, specific abuse dynamics, age ranges, alters created from it, etc?

4.      Does his DID system bear an uncanny resemblance to yours? Is it common for him to copy parts of your system by “suddenly remembering” or “suddenly discovering” new alters every time you introduce one of yours?

5.      Is she constantly revising her trauma story every time you share new information about yours? Did she suddenly grow a ritual abuse history the second you said you went through ritual abuse? Note: Sometimes being around other survivors can trigger memories to the surface, but abusers/manipulators, particularly those who copy other people, tend to go through this every time anyone says anything about their own abuse.

6.      Do her details seem a bit “all over the place?” Is it common to hear her say she was held hostage all through 2005 only to get on Facebook later and share fun vacation photos from that very same year?

7.      Is she constantly playing “hot potato” with the abuser label? Did she come to you in tears three weeks ago, claiming that your mutual friend Karen was an abuser only to change her mind the next week and insist that your mutual friend George manipulated her into believing Karen was an abuser only to change her mind yet again this week to suggest that she was “just upset” when she said all those things and none of them are/were true, then take that back and claim that your mutual friend Sarah is the true abuser, then take that back and accuse you of being an abuser?

8.      Does he fluctuate between candidly giving these intensely triggering, photorealistic details of his trauma and becoming suspiciously “foggy” on details whenever you notice logical inconsistencies in his story?  

9.      Does her story ever feel like a patchwork compilation of everyone else’s stories? Does she have a practical clone of your friend Karen’s trafficker, a system that’s nearly identical to your friend Rob’s system, and the same high school experience as your friend David?

10.  Does she seem to have no emotional connection to anything she’s talking about? Does it sometimes seem like as long as it gets her a lot of comments and “likes,” it doesn’t even matter to her if the words she’s writing are true or not?

11.  Does he frequently “accidentally trigger you? When he found out you were triggered by soap, did he randomly reblog 800 pictures of soap and claim you never told him that was one of your triggers or that he figured it wasn’t a serious trigger? Does he constantly post other people’s programming cues and then try to claim that that’s his way of “processing” something that happened to him?

12.  Was he a whole hell of a lot nicer and easier to get along with when you met him than he is now?

13.  Has at least one person told you that you need to seriously re-evaluate your friendship with your new friend or suggested to you that your new friend is an abuser/manipulative/deceitful/belongs in jail/etc?

14.  Do they tend to only talk about aspects of their trauma that are “en vogue” at the moment? Do they seem magically capable of only ever needing to “process” the same things that everyone else in your group of friends is processing so that their needs will always be compatible with the group’s, making it impossible for anyone to ever ignore them or miss one of their posts? 

15.   Does this person frequently make excuses for a “good abuser,” a cult member who has “changed” and should not be judged, a “kind” programmer, etc? Does this person expect you to feel comfortable spending time with or hearing positive things about their incestuous mother simply because she “sort of apologized,” their abusive ex who “changed,” or the person who trafficked them but “has a good heart?” Does it seem like your new friend barely knows the difference between a good person and an abuser? Is your new friend seemingly unaware that there’s even a problem with this way of thinking? 

Edit/Note: Many survivors deal with feelings of loyalty to abusers, and many survivors who *don’t* feel this way have at least one system member who does. The difference tends to be that survivors make “special exceptions” for their own abusers that they would never make for other abusers in general (ie: “it’s wrong to hit your kids, but MY dad had a good reason’ I’m sure none of your dads did though”), whereas the abusive DID community member will sometimes 100% acknowledge that a person is an abuser but then talk about how that doesn’t take away from how funny, cool, attractive, cuddly, kind-hearted, wonderful, etc their abuser is. Frequently, these “devotional” statements are made right after you’ve said something about not wanting to forgive your own abuser or having recently stood up to/reported/cut off your abuser. It’s meant as manipulation/guilt-tripping in a way. 

16.  Does this friend seem like he’s in a constant one-uppmanship battle trying to prove he’s the most damaged survivor on the planet?

17.  Is this person manipulating you into letting them stay at your house?

18.  Does this person or one of this person’s alters have a porn blog full of sadistic imagery that they constantly share with people without bothering to trigger warn or without adequately warning them that it’s a violent porn blog?

19.  Does this person ask for tons of details about your story but then never really respond when you share them? This is a particularly bad sign if you’re an RA survivor or anyone whose abusers might want “reports” on what you do and don’t remember. Avoid sharing your entire story with people who have not earned your trust.

20.  Does this person try to convince you that your friends are actually abusers when there’s not really a good reason to do so?  

This is not a complete list and these items may not mean someone is an abuser on their own. However, they should all raise red flags.

VK is for VKontakte!

@deerkang I did the thing!

Pairing: RusAme, AmeRus.

Synopsis: America likes to let the world know the goings on in his life, including his relationship. When Russia mentions he himself prefers VK (Russian Facebook), America insists on joining him. And so Russia is subjected to pictures both candid and compromising. Romance, humor, with a surprising bit of fluff at the end.

VK is for VKontakte!

Russia supposed if he wanted some normalcy he’d have pursued a relationship with someone else. Though, that wasn’t even a fair statement, considering they were the eternal physical manifestations of the habits, history, and culture of entire nations. So, normal was not something to be had anyway. He therefore supposed among their kind, there was probably a hierarchy of normalcy, a ranking of some sort; some consider he, Ivan Braginsky, to be very low in that ranking, for some reason. This was quite ironic, considering how low he ranked many of them. But, to each their own.

Being in a relationship with America came with many twists and turns; Alfred would say the same about being with Russia. In this way, they complimented each other nicely. Both spoken and innate boundaries were laid out so that they may avoid as many awkward incidents as possible; there were mishaps, to be sure, but at the end of the day they still gravitated back toward each other and worked things out.

But it seemed there were always new things to learn and experiment with between the two.

“Hey, Russia, you have a Facebook, right?” America asked as he adjusted his position against the other’s chest, fiddling with his phone while the other read. When Russia’s only response was a distracted hum, America retaliated with a firm nudge.

“Hmm?” Russia intoned again, glancing away from his book. “Da, I do. I am not on it much though.”

“I can tell.” America had punched in his name and was scanning all the information viewable to the public. In truth, it showed a decent amount of activity, though it was about half as much as America’s. “I’m sending a relationship request,” America informed him, updating his status (up until now, it had merely read “in a relationship,” with no designated partner).

With a sigh, Russia fully lowered his book. After some awkward fidgeting, he had successfully retracted his phone from his pocket. Checking the website, he saw America had indeed sent such a request.

Confirmed.

Immediately, anyone online viewing his and America’s pages began liking the update, some even writing messages; though, most of these amounted to smiling faces or single words such as “Congratz.” Russia smiled down at the bright screen; there was something heartwarming about seeing the simple confirmation that he and America were indeed a couple. In some far off recess of his mind, Russia wondered why he had not done this sooner.

Apparently, they were thinking along the same lines. “We should’ve done this when we first started going out!” he crowed, also grinning at his Facebook page, thumb tapping away as he liked every comment on his update.

The rumble of Russia’s deep chuckle was felt against America’s back as the nation behind him smiled even more. “Well, Fedya, the internet was not in existence when we commenced a relationship.” That earned him a cheeky grin. “I suppose,” Russia mused slowly, considering his words. “I enjoy being online, but I have my own website like this I can use.”

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Klaine Go ‘Round Fic #2

Anon prompted: Before their wedding, Kurt and Blaine get together with their dearest friends, who share some interesting stories about the couple.
Word Count: ~2400
Warnings: none, Spoilers: none
Rating: PG
Authors: black-john-lennon, crazyaboutklaine, illusemywords, istytehcrawk, januarium, justtoogaytofunction, tonks42

Kurt and Blaine had decided long ago that bachelor parties weren’t for them. Neither of them were interested in having a party with strippers or getting falling-down-drunk the night before their wedding. Most importantly, they shared the same group of friends, which made separate parties completely pointless. Instead, they decided to have a nice dinner party, thrown by Sam and Mercedes, where everyone could get together before the chaos of the wedding. Having everyone in the same room at the same time was a gift. While their closest friends had settled in New York, there were still so many of them scattered around the country.

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My reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Already, it is worth noting the high reaction to the script/play. It is the most sold book since DH came out. Within the HP fandom itself, the Harry Potter Reddit, has a thread dedicated to the release which has already garnered 2455 comments as of now. It is worth remembering that even though there are issues, our favourite characters are back with us, after nine years. Canon or non-canon, there are still things to enjoy about it. 

But anyways, here are some points that stood out to me:

The Time-Turner issue: Obviously, no reaction to CC could come without talking about the decision to include the Time-Turner issue. 

I really feel that this was tinkering with canon too much for me to enjoy it. I think that this was one of the biggest inconsistencies with regard to canon. This simply isn’t how Time Turners are meant to work. Even if there is an explanation that is consistent with the canon - as some here have pointed out - however, how could JKR approve of this? She herself admitted that the reason why she got rid of them in OotP at the battle was because it made everything more inconvenient to the plot.

Voldemort/Bellatrix = DELPHI ZOMG: I’m quite disappointed with this. Both with the fact of Voldemort having sex in the first place - to me, he always gave vibes of being asexual, given his utter reluctance to human emotion and feeling, but also with regard to Delphi herself. Honestly, is this “My Immortal” or what? 

Trolley Lady: Just… WTF. Why would anyone, even excluding JKR, think that would be a good idea?

Who is truly the “Cursed Child”?: Is it Delphi, Scorpius or Albus? I always assumed it would be Albus, but I honestly feel that in some ways all three are the “Cursed Child”, meaning that the book should rather have been called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Children”. 

On the relationship between Harry/Ginny: I simply loved it. There is so much between them here. Just like in the seven books, Ginny is able to stand up to him but also be his source of greatest comfort showing that like in the books, they are true soul-mates, just like JKR has repeated several times in the years. That obviously was one of the few things that came from JKR.

Her and Harry share several bonding moments in this play, such as after he has had a bad dream, or even the church scene, where Ginny and Harry talk about her experiences after CoS. Their relationship is so well portrayed, to the point where I’ve seen some people against Harry/Ginny express praise for their relationship, on various forums and fansites, examples being the HP Reddit and FictionAlley.

As I’ve said before here: the proportion of H/G shippers in the fandom is set to dramatically increase. And that’s a good thing. For way too long the H/G ship has been bashed in the fandom, and this is a great opportunity for H/G writers to make a stand. 

On Ginny Weasley herself: Still a BAMF. Ginny was definitely much more present in CC than in any of the other books. Also, I do believe her personality came through, especially at the point where she confronts Draco and tries to make him understand that her and Harry are feeling the same way about Albus as he does about Scorpius, which is definitely bringing flashbacks of when she first confronted him in CoS.

However, there are parts which do highlight Ginny’s issues in getting herself included in the Trio, and as said above to her loneliness after CoS, which is obviously helping with her character development. There is even a moment where in one of the alternate timelines Harry splits up Albus and Scorpius where Draco and Ginny feel this kinship over their envy of such a close bond between the “golden trio”.   

I think it’s quite possible to argue that in this installment, Ginny is more important than either Ron or Hermione, which is a first. 

On Ron/Hermione: I liked how they were portrayed, but showing Hermione becoming like Snape just because she didn’t end up with Ron was… a bit too extreme. I see it as directly coming from this quote from JKR back from when DH was released:

“Hermione’s got the sensitivity and maturity that’s been left out of Ron, and Ron loosens up Hermione a bit, gets her to have some fun.”

This is part of the reason why Ron and Hermione do work well together (even if I would argue less so than Ginny/Harry). I really think JKR was desperate to make the HP fandom - and others outside - understand that her words from the Wonderland interview were taken out of context by the mass media, when they reported that “JK said Harry should have married Hermione”, and that no, she doesn’t “regret” them. In any case, however, I felt this was kinda forced, despite me liking quite a few moments between them as someone who ships the R/Hr couple.

The relationship between Scorpius and Albus: They are soulmates, I love them. They reach out for each other at a time when each one of them is facing expectation and rumours and social anxiety, and it’s great. Whether it’s platonic or romantic, doesn’t matter, they are still soulmates. I’m not particularly interested in shipping this, but I can definitely understand why people do.

I think it is quite comparable to the friendship between Snape and Lily, as Snape himself compares the two of them to what he had with Lily before SWM. 

Scorpius/Albus vs Scorpius/Rose: OK, I get it, you next-gen shippers want to have a shipping war like the big ships have done, but in all honesty, neither ship was actually dissed. People who are complaining about Scorpius/Albus not being canon due to “lack of LGBT representation” are forgetting that there’s something for everybody here. In your fanfics you can write Scorpius/Albus just as easily as Scorpius/Rose, especially considering the fact that Rose did say “no” to going out with Scorpius. So you can stop fighting now, please. 

There are enough shipping wars between the main ships of the series without you adding on to it and making the fandom even more based on drama. Because to me, hinting at both pairings was just trying to pander to the fandom. So it is all for nothing - especially since JKR has said that HP is over now.

Is it canon?: Thematically, I do view as being consistent with the rest of the series. I think that the play is quite consistent with the other books - you know, battling your inner demons, facing pressures from yourself and from society, the threat of the past, etc. But there are plot issues with CC, that is undeniable. 

On Reddit, for example, there have been quite a few vicious battles over the canonicity of CC. Endless fandom drama… it goes on.

So my ultimate verdict is that the series should have been left at the end of DH, and that the CC isn’t officially canon, but that some parts of it are definitely canon - does that make sense? I mean technically speaking, it isn’t canon because it is Jack Thorne who wrote it, not JKR. Canon can only come from JKR. Meaning that even if she approves it, it isn’t canon. Besides, this rule already is valid for the movies. JKR approved them, was involved with them, but it doesn’t mean they are canon. However, there are points where you can feel JKR’s influence, especially in the hill scene between Harry and Albus, as well as the church scene between Harry and Ginny. 

I also feel that the books were aimed at the “hardcore” fans, but that in the end it will primarily be the casual fans who will end up enjoying this the most, since they won’t care about any canon inconsistencies, all they want is “more HP”. I’ve seen this quite often on sites like Facebook over the years. It’s the hardcore fans who will spend endless amounts of time picking this apart. 

Conclusion: These are just a few of my thoughts after having read CC a few days ago. I may have got something wrong, but in any case I will be re-reading CC soon enough in more detail. 

It’s definitely my least favourite book out of all of them overall, but some of the moments within do measure to the moments in the other seven. So I do think that quite a bit of the hate thrown at JKR is unfair.

Verdict: 6/10 - but if JKR had had more of an influence it would have been an 8/10. Definitely in the upper range - I thought it was going to be at best a 3 or a 4 - but not by much.

Either way, I’m still glad with the increase in activity in the HP fandom, and that our beloved characters have come back to us. 

And anyway, as JKR once said: 

WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE COLIN FARRELL'S TIME ?
ESSAY - This weekend felt like Christmas. It seemed everybody was at the cinema for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. I liked hearing the kids comment and their parents laugh. Those family outings, they just bring a special kind of joy into a screening.

I saw it twice, because I enjoy bathing in this festive atmosphere, but also because I needed to verify certain things that I had bothered me before submitting my review. I’m glad I double-checked : there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Fantastic Beats. Except what they did to Colin Farrell. SPOILERS

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On Boundaries and Harvard Law

Burt gives Kurt’s number to a total stranger. Based on this post. Also for my klaine bingo prompt “blind date”. Mostly father/son nonsense. Hope you enjoy :) 
Also available on AO3

Kurt hates that he has to work while his dad is visiting him, but when he’d told Isabelle he was staying over Christmas break she insisted he put some hours in since everyone else was taking off. He probably would have said no, but she’s actually paying him. Time and a half, in fact. So even though he really wishes he could have two weeks off to just hang out with his dad, he’s really not in the financial situation to turn down time and a half from his usually unpaid internship.

It’s his sixth shift since his dad got here, and thankfully his last. He’s almost done organizing some files for Isabelle when his phone buzzes. He glances at the phone and sees he’s received a text from his dad. Kurt’s eyebrows shoot up and he quickly opens it to read it. His dad has never texted him when he knows Kurt’s working, which means it must be important, and given his dad’s recent health scares…

To: Kurt
From: Dad
I’m sitting next to the nicest guy at Starbucks across from your office. Very handsome. Originally from Ohio, here visiting friends, attending Harvard Law. Showed him your Facebook profile picture and gave him your number.

Kurt stares, eyes wide and jaw dropped. He reads the text again, and again. Then quickly goes to type a reply.

From: Kurt
To: Dad
Dad you can’t just give out my number to random strangers.

The reply is instant

From: Dad
To: Kurt

HARVARD LAW KURT

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Joker cosplayer, pt 2.

So, a while ago I sent my tale of a very cringey Joker cosplayer, “Jack,” I used to have the hots for. Decided, with the new blog up, I ought to elaborate on some of the details I left out:

  • Very early into the friendship, he was trying to put me on a diet so I’d have the “correct” body shape for Harley Quinn. The day before I was set to start jogging (at 5 a.m. no less) I was caught in a tornado that destroyed the building I was in. Highly deadly event. I tell Jack about it when I get home. The next day, he texts me wondering where I am, and I remind him I almost died the day before. He gets very aggressive, and I ask him if he’s actually angry at me that I didn’t go out jogging not even 24 hours after I suffered a traumatic experience. 
    I’m not angry- I’m just disappointed in how you handled this situation.”
  • We used to go to the local shopping mall and cosplay (cringe lord and lady, everyone) as Joker and Harley (which is actually very illegal due to us having face-paint on and it being a security risk, but I digress.) A lot of people came up to us and asked what we were doing. He told a lady that we were cosplaying. When she didn’t know what that was, I explained it as “the stuff people do at Comic-Con.” Nods of approval. “You know, nerd stuff. Just fun costumes.” She smiles, gets our picture, and walks away.
    He takes me off to the side so a friend we had with us wouldn’t hear, and begins to chew me out for referring to it as “nerd stuff.” Jack seemed to be actually really offended with me, and claimed I “degraded his craft” and “made our art seem like kid play.” When I tried to walk away, he grabbed my wrist, twisted it, and continued to chew me out in the middle of a mall. Classy.
  • He had another girl he cosplayed Harley Quinn with (we’re gonna call her “Kris.”) She was a genuinely nice person, and would even warn me if Jack had said something malicious behind my back. Jack made multiple attempts to get me and Kris to dye our hair half red and half black, “in case we needed it.” He loved constantly comparing us to each other, especially because I hardly ever saw Kris. “You know, you look more like Harley than Kris does. Kris’s hips are far too big.” Shit like that.
  • He also liked to compare the two of us very frequently. In one instance, we were driving around after discussing the day we met at a local library’s “Cosplay Tea Party.” He was in some anime cosplay I didn’t recognize, and I went as Harley. I won the costume contest that day and we began talking after that. About 6 months later, as we’re reminiscing, he says out of the blue “If I had attended as Joker, I would have won that contest. You know that, right?“ 
  • He had an OC that was the younger, gay brother of Catwoman, and he made a cosplay to go along with it. It was just him wearing a Catwoman costume.
  • Multiple times, he tried to get me (16 at the time) to perform at a nightclub with him. He had whole routines (Joker and Harley themed, of course) that he choreographed for us. In one, they kissed, and without warning me he planted one on my lips. Worst moment of my life. 
  • We had a pretty nasty breakup, all documented on the comments of a Facebook post I made. This is after the Halloween Parade mentioned in the first post. He had attempted to call me so often that I had to block his number. I told him I wanted some time away from him after seeing him nearly 2 times a week for the last 9 months. Some of his choice responses were "stop PMS'ing, darling, it’s clouding your judgement,” “you’re only famous because of me," and "you’re trying to sabotage me" after he asked if he could borrow my face paint in the middle of this fight and I said "no.”
  • After that fight, he bought me presents, had them delivered to my school (he went to a different high school) came by my house 3 or 4 times, and sent me messages about how I “never loved” him.

It was a fun period of my life.

never thought i’d get a continuation on one of the night of a thousand stories stories but i’m glad i did

Part of my new routine, every other day at the gym, is re-evaluation.  Going to the gym, for whatever reason, makes me think differently.  It’s probably because I’m putting so much focus into doing what I’m doing.  Sure, it’s only been two days, but I already feel a little more at home on the elliptical.  A little more comfortable on the seat when I sit to do lat pulldowns.  I don’t dread going to the gym, and I love the burn and wobble I have when I dismount my bike and carry it up the stairs after riding home from the gym.  I think if I were to make a graph of my usage of the word “gym,” it would be peaking around now.  I never talked like this before, now it seems like every other word I use is “gym” when I talk to co-workers, friends.  I even find myself posting about my new routines on Facebook, something my old self would never have done.  As I slide into this new life like a new t-shirt, approving at the fit, I even find myself caring less about other people’s reactions to me and my new decisions.  Suddenly, whereas before the entirety of the transformation was about the reactions of other people to my obvious changes, now it’s entirely about me.  I want to feel good.  I want the burning muscle, the happy exhaustion.  I want to eat better, feel my body tightening, swelling, flexing, growing.  

Other goals are taking a backseat to the minutiae of this process.  Before it began, I had started a list of “to do - longterm,” on my iPhone.   Looking at it now, I notice that it’s become crowded by things like “headlight for bike” and “protein powder” and “blender” and “nalgene bottle,” all things which will help support the change.  These things are supplanting former urges from my former life.  It’s eerie how fast it’s happened, actually.  I’m realizing that every day isn’t necessarily a step closer to my goal, which is yet undefined (other than muscle), but rather that’s it’s much simpler than that:

Every other day, I go to the gym.  I continue to eat right, every day.  Meal after meal, workout after workout.  That’s all it is, one after the other.   Patience, and hard work.  I do not allow myself to get down on myself.   One workout might be better than another.  What matters is establishing the routine.  Establishing a place of focus.  A place where everything else falls away, like stepping into a warm shower.  A place of rhythm and heartbeat, of flexion and extension.  When I’m not at the gym, my brain is free to roam.  It’s easily led, like a petulant child.   Increasingly, I find it doing more research into the body, into muscle. It likes to learn, so I let it learn, but about what I want it to learn.  This is called discipline.  I have new fascinations.  I am building a pillar of steel, from the ground up, and to this I will tie my brain like an errant, untrustworthy dog.

Just yesterday I found myself talking to a co-worker after my workout, explaining how I wasn’t really sure quite what I was doing in the gym, but that it felt good, and I was honest - it was only my second time going, but I was planning on making it a routine habit.  He’s a workout junkie himself, and I was shy about bringing it up around him, but I’m glad I did.  He recommended that I try out HIIT, or High-intensity Interval Training.  “It puts your body into an anaerobic state,” he explained to me, and I instantly understood.  “In a really short amount of time, you do concentrated bursts of energy, like - you run really fast for 30 seconds, then slow down, then run again.”  I felt myself getting more and more excited as he explained it.  “It literally tears the muscle.  That’s how runners stay so lean, but get so ripped.”  I found myself telling him that I’d look it up, and I know that I will this morning, as soon as I’m finished here.  

Actually, what’s odd is that I just Googled it as I was typing, and didn’t even realize I’d done that.  Another tab simply popped up, “HIIT - Google Search,” and I didn’t remember that I’d done it.  My co-worker finished up the conversation by telling me if I ever had any questions to ask him.  The old me would have been too shy, thinking over-critically, even going so far as to believe that I didn’t deserve to ask him anything, that it would be a waste of his time.  The new me was excited, ready, and willing to learn whatever he had to teach.  A fundamental shift in consciousness.  

And yet, other things remain an issue.  I’m finding myself drifting a little from old patterns, which means from some people.  I have less patience for self-destruction, when I’m on a path of self-actualization.  Sitting around drinking wine with friends is no longer satisfying.  The conversations seem ingrown, even slightly painful.  It’s the same old, same old.  I find myself itching to get out of them almost as soon as I’m in them.  I look at my phone more often.  Sneak a peek at tumblr, almost like recharging.  All that muscle.  Muscle I want to have.  Muscle I will have.  Before I know it, my friend has to go, and I’m relieved.  Maybe I was a little distracted.  Maybe they noticed.

Oh well.