i just wanted to make something for this most excellent show

Avatar Aang, Feminist Icon?

“Who’s your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…” kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character, the titular airbender, of the entire show.

I never really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before. I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed. Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:

Avatar casts the least traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is, so we look elsewhere.

To show what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole 180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle, some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s supposed to do.

Now let’s look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara is a badass, and we love that.

So what about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only “weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph – whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety, never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.

Now there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes, because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the context of the rest of the show.

Let’s look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a list, shall we?

Azula completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even bend.

Azula led the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth Kingdom.

Azula then bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise, befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation, emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret police and did conquer the Earth Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.

And she did this all when she was fourteen.

That last part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous, understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.

We must then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age, not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent reason. But nobody every calls for more weak male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t, because he’s not.

Even in his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one, he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.

In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of ownership or macho competition.

Contrast this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction? Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best he can.

I could go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the rivers, and puts the fires out.

Aang isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned. Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small. And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of self-identity, feminist icon.”

Horizon Zero Dawn and Cultural appropriation: A very different view.

For the first time EVER, I’m sitting on the other side of a discussion about appropriating native culture.  Why?  Well, let me lay the framework.

First off, I’m not a guy who “knows a Native American” or has a “Native friend”  I am a 100% Anishinabe (Ojibway) dude who lives on reserve and has fought racism, stereotypes, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation fiercely for as long as I can remember. I’ve been the victim of horrendous racial violence as a child, adolescent, and adult, and I’m also a gamer.

I am the first to point out anything that smacks of any of the above and after I saw the Dia Lacina essay on “Horizon: Zero Dawn” being culturally insensitive and appropriating Native culture, I felt for the first time in a situation like this that I had to say something in rebuttal.

Lacina takes issue with the use of the words Tribal, Primitive, Braves, and Savage being used in the game (fyi they’re used to describe predominantly white people in game and they’re White words we didn’t use to describe ourselves thus I claim no ownership of, nor want to, anymore than I want to be a redskin, Indian or Wahoo)  

It seems (IMO) that most of her beef comes from an apparent belief that numerous aspects of generic tribal culture that appear in the game (making clothing from skins, hunting with spears and bows, living in a Matriarchal society, etc) are the sole domain of the Native American and just to be safe and cleverly keep her POV less subject to scrutiny, she applies it even more broadly to indigenous people world wide (I will just refer to us in particular as NA cuz I’m lazy and I also don’t refer to myself as a Native American) and basically that anything that is remotely “tribal” shouldn’t be used in gaming without our or someone else’s permission.

 In fairness, I don’t know if she’s actually played the game but as someone who is currently in the midst of doing exactly that, I can tell you that I have a pretty good idea of what stuff triggered her being upset and why, and while I absolutely respect her right to get offended by whatever she likes, and she makes excellent points about some other games, I am going to point out that there are flaws with this logic.

First of all, the basics: HZD is set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where people are living in tribal groups in a very destroyed world.  Machines exist but as hybrid animal/dinosaur type creatures and technology is pretty much non-existent in day to day human life.  

The heroine of the story is a red haired, white girl named Aloy who lives as an outcast with her adopted father, Rost.  Without giving a lot away, they are fiercely shunned by the local tribe for something Rost did and also the fact that Aloy is motherless.  

Impressively and rightly, though somewhat dismissively remarked upon by Lacina, is the way women and especially women of color are portrayed so positively in-game as this particular tribe is a total Matriarchy run by elders of various ethnicity.  African, Asian, White, and a variety of undefined people of color are common everywhere in the game.  (The leader of one band of warriors is a very fierce, commanding, intelligently portrayed black woman with a powerful presence.)  It reflects a fairly global society from a “skin color” perspective without any horrible accents or broken speech.

They worship an “All-Mother” goddess and their culture is (at least how I saw a lot of it) fairly heavy on European i.e. Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc type symbolism and the rest is filled in with mostly generic tribal-ish stuff that you could find in countless cultures around the world.

 I really didn’t get a “Native American” vibe off the game.  Of course, I don’t automatically presume to claim sole ownership of things like tribal life, hunting with bows and spears, and worshiping spirits of various elements solely for my own.  Random fact: Because there are over 500 distinct First Nations in N. America, we, believe it or not, didn’t all ride horses, live in tipis, use bows and arrows, tobacco and sage, and worship Eagles and Wolves.  Why? Well…use your brain.  Tobacco and Sage don’t grow EVERYWHERE, horses came over with the Europeans (and if you saw where I live you couldn’t have and cant for the most part get a horse through the bush if you tried) Eagles and Wolves don’t live EVERYWHERE….get the point?  Anyways….

If you examine Rost, he like most of the men has a braided beard and other seemingly Viking/Middle Ages inspired features, is white, speaks clear, unbroken English, and is a loving, protective and very positive role model for the girl.   Aloy for her part, is also fairly Viking-esque (to the point of looking incredibly like Lagaertha from the show Vikings but with red hair) also Egrit from GoT, and is no damsel in distress who needs men to save her. NOWHERE in the game have I encountered any Tipis, wigwams, Sweatlodges, or Non-White people speaking in stereotypical “Me smoke-um peace pipe, He go dat-a way” fashion.

The  opening cinematic is very touching (and long) as we see the orphaned Aloy as a baby in Rost’s care being carried around in a bundle on his back (which pretty much every culture did in one form or another at some point in time) and him ultimately taking her to the spot where a child of the tribe receives it’s name.

I really liked this idea as it isn’t often portrayed in a lot of mediums outside of stereotypical “Dances With Wolves” bullshit. Also, naming ceremonies are not the sole domain of NA people and what occurs bears zero resemblance to any NA ceremony I know of.  (It was actually a little Lion King at one point lol) But it’s a powerful moment in the beginning with much more that occurs during it but I won’t spoil that either.

Aloy herself is a pretty complex character.  She’s extremely independent, defiant, and questions pretty much everything about why things are the way they are and wants to do something about it.  You actually begin playing her as a 6 year old which is pretty unique and even then she’s tough and fearless and determined to explore her world.  

She is in no way hyper-sexualized (I’m looking your way Overwatch) Her clothing and everyone else’s, is utilitarian and appropriate for the environments she lives in, and so far, I have not encountered anything with her or any other character that made me go “WTF?”and trust me, my radar for that shit is HIGHLY SENSITIVE.  This isn’t Avatar, people.  It’s not John Smith. It’s not The Great Wall or Pocahontas.  This isn’t white dude shows up and saves the helpless non-white people while helpless native woman falls in love with him stuff.  It’s a fictitious future where we maniacs blew it up, damn us all to hell!

But here’s the more annoying thing for me as an actual Anishinabe.  I don’t need people speaking for me or getting offended on my behalf.  I am very capable of doing that myself. I am also in no way writing this claiming to be speaking for any other NA people or persons. It’s based on my observations from actually playing HZD and examining the various fictional “cultural” elements in the game.

If you see a skin tied inside a hoop and automatically assume it’s a dreamcatcher” ripping off “our culture” (FYI Dreamcatchers are a 20th century thing whose popularity was a result of pan-Indianism that exploded in the 70s.) or if you see feathers on a spear or as part of a costume (nowhere is anyone wearing a single eagle feather in the back of a beaded headband or a Dakota looking headdress either) and automatically presume it to be ripping off NA culture, you’re REEEEEEEEEEALY reaching.  If you think caring for the environment, obeying matriarchs, worshipping elemental spirits, or making your own clothes is solely the property of NA culture, see previous statement.

By all means get offended.  Get offended by Chief Wahoo.  Get offended by the Washington Redskins.  Get offended that thousands of Native women have been murdered or gone missing and nothing’s been done about it.  Get offended by Johnny Depp or Robert Beltran playing Native people instead of actual Native people getting those roles.  Get offended by shit like Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous 6” where a native woman is called a “hot piece of red prairie meat” or Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie.

Get offended that my family was destroyed by the Residential Schools and that the 60s scoop took babies away from their families and people, that forced sterilizations took place and mass graves of dead Native children exist at former Residential School sites.

Don’t just jump on the I’m offended bandwagon because you saw some feathers or skins or spears or bows in a game and immediately grew indignant and wanted to claim them as OUR culture.  They’re not.  They’re almost globally universal in numerous cultures at various points in time.  Get offended, as she rightly mentioned, when the game Overwatch sexualizes the shit out of almost every female character and takes West Coast tribal art and makes a costume out of it.  

THAT is appropriation.  White people holding powwows in Europe (powwows are also pretty much not traditional and are extremely pan-Indian, not to mention full of us appropriating each other’s Native cultures ie. Dakotas wearing Jingle Dresses, Ojibway wearing Dakota regalia, etc) is appropriation.

This game……I’m just not seeing it the same way.  And I’m nobody.  I have no ties to Guerilla or anybody other than myself and my community.

And I Drove You Crazy (Bucky Barnes x Reader) One Shot ❤

A/N: Hey y'all! This is most likely the most sinful thing I’ve ever written. I had to take some breaks while writing 😂 but this is dedicated to the lovely, super awesome @diving-down-to-wonderland for her birthday! (HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY HUN!) I hope you like it! ❤❤❤
- Delilah ❤

And I Drove You Crazy: Reader’s bike needs to be repaired asap, leading her to come across an insanely gorgeous mechanic whom she may or may not want to bang the second she lays eyes on him.

Warnings: SMUT! Semi-Public sex. Unprotected sex.

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The Guest House

Description: Yoongi the hostel owner slowly develops a rapport with a girl and her friends that keep visiting.  Maybe a bit of a flirtatious one.  Maybe even a little crush.  One night he gets protective on a date gone bad and it leads to smut.

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader

Genre: Smut (M)

Word Count: 7.1k

A/N: So, basically, this is based off an experience I had last week. Not the smut part (ughhhhh), but the whole hostel owner coming to save the day when this dude just wouldn’t get the hint and leave. I relayed the experience to @ellieljade , because I needed her to die with me, and we both decided it should be used for smut fuel. Like grown adults. 

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Hit Korean boy band BTS is ready to take over Anaheim

Rap Monster, one of the seven guys in the South Korean boy band BTS, says it was only at the end of 2016 that he and the others realized how huge their band had become around the world.

“Somebody in the company sent me a message: ‘You got No. 26 on Billboard OMG congratulations,’” says Mr. Monster, the 22-year-old rapper born Kim Nam-joon, by phone from Chicago where BTS was set to play on Thursday before hitting Honda Center for a pair of sold-out shows on Saturday and Sunday.

“At first I thought, 'Ha ha, your humor isn’t really very good,’” says Rap Monster, the leader of the group and its primary songwriter. “We didn’t believe it.”

But as more messages started to ping onto their phones he says the BTS boys realized it was no joke: Their sophomore album, “Wings,” entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 26 after its October release, making it the highest chart position for any K-pop act – not to mention one that sings primarily in Korean – and offering a bit of foreshadowing for Billboard naming the record the best K-pop album of the year.

Since then things have only gotten sunnier for Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. In February, “Wings” was re-released in a new edition as “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and the combined editions have since sold nearly 1.5 million copies worldwide. Music videos for “Spring Day” and “Not Today” were released a week apart last month as well and exploded on YouTube where they’ve currently racked up 59.2 million and 60.1 million views respectively.

“When we heard that and really got that, I was saying, 'OK, this is going to be a whole other world,’” Rap Monster says of the significance of the Billboard chart success and all that followed. “And I feel like we should do something more, and dream something more.”

This past week they’ve taken a step toward something more, playing their first headlining and sold-out arena dates in the United States, after previously having mostly played on multi-artist billings at KCON conventions held here.

“So many people just to see BTS was really an honor,” Rap Monster says of the opening pair of shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “It feels dreamy these days.”

Not, mind you, that it’s been anything like an overnight success or an easy road for him and the other BTS members.

He grew up a top student in his school who loved American rappers such as Eminem and Nas, performing even as he attended high school and eventually catching the attention of BTS future manager Bang Si-hyuk at BigHit Entertainment in South Korea. And though he says he gave up on music when he was 16, lacking confidence in where he was headed, he says Bang encouraged him to stay strong, believe in himself, and sign on as the first to join BTS, even though at the time he wasn’t sure who or what it would end up incorporating.

“I was not aware of the other members,” Rap Monster says. “But I like the company and I respect them. And he promised to me, 'I will make you do your music and get big someday, so please believe me.’

"So I believed him.”

The other six members soon were selected, each of them bringing different talents on the mic or on stage. Songs were developed by Rap Monster and the other members, with a team of producers working to craft the best music from the raw material, the melodies and beats, that they created.

“Our chemistry is different from other groups,” Rap Monster says. “Everyone has their own points and characteristics. If I’m a bad dancer, a good dancer teaches me. If I’m a good songwriter, I help the others with a good melody.”

We ask the obvious question: Are you a bad dancer?

He laughs and answers: “Yes, I’m a bad dancer.”

Their music is different from a lot of K-pop acts that have made ripples on the American airwaves. They’re not popular because of the novelty aspect of their songs – think “Gangnam Style” by Psy from a few years back. And they’re not quite as bubblegum as a group such as Girls Generation or as eclectic as the synthpop of f(x), the first Korean band to play the South By Southwest festival.

Instead, BTS often aims for that sweet spot where R&B and rap get together, the kind of stuff Justin Bieber might be doing if he sang in Korean and there were six Bieber variations with fashionable hair and eclectic yet unified fashion choices.

“BTS music sounds like it’s from America,” Rap Monster says. “We decide to always watch the trends and watch what’s going on over the world. America’s the No. 1 market in the world so that’s why people in America prefer us.”

As for communicating through the language divide, Rap Monster says that’s partly handled by the group’s wildly enthusiastic social media following: “Fans translate our lyrics and interviews,” he says of a following that has landed them at the top of Billboard’s Social 50 list for a total of 17 weeks since “Wings” dropped in October. “They’re able to say, 'OK, BTS is talking about us and our lives.’”

And it’s partly addressed through lyrical subjects that express the common hopes and dreams and fears and worries of any teenager or young adult in any country.

“Our lyrics are mostly Korean but we always talk about the young people’s lives and their minds,” Rap Monster says. “There’s something similar between every young person in the world, in America or in Korea. We share something together even if we use different languages or live so far.”

American fans are also the savviest music lovers in the world, Rap Monster says, which made heading out on this brief headlining tour a little bit intimidating at first.

“We actually were scared of performing in America as a solo act,” he says. “Their playlists are the best in the world. I was really nervous for them.

"But after we were on stage our fear disappeared. They’re like everybody, they’re like friends. Singing along all of the lyrics even through the raps. They know how to play, the rhythms and the dances.”

An aside here to share our favorite piece of Rap Monster trivia. You might be wondering whether he spoke through a translator. He did not. His excellent English skills were polished in the classroom but also at home through what he refers to as “a Korean mothers syndrome.”

“'Friends’ was really famous for the mothers in Korea for English education,” Rap Monster says of the hit American sitcom from the '90s. “It was kind of like a syndrome. Korean mothers make their kids watch 'Friends’ even when they were eating food or playing.

"I think it really helped. It has like 10 seasons, I think, and I watched it like more than five times through the 10 seasons. They use the gestures and expressions, like, Americans use, right? I think that naturally teaches me how to speak or how to make a gesture when you try to express some emotions.

"Thank you, 'Friends,’” he says, laughing. “God bless 'Friends’!”

Rap Monster recently collaborated with the American rapper Wale on the song “Change,” which like some of BTS’ other songs – and unlike most K-pop – touches on politics and societal issues. He says he’d loved Wale’s music for a few years when the opportunity to do the song came along last year “like a miracle, like a dream come true.

"The song has already come out and we shot a music video together, but still sometimes I lie in my bed and think, 'Did I really do something with him?’” Rap Monster says.

He knows that boy groups from Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync to the Jonas Brothers and One Direction tend to have a finite lifespan before members get restless to move on solo projects, acting gigs and other opportunities. But he thinks the variety of interests and musical genres that individual BTS members have can be handled on the side or even within the group, and BTS itself can carry on.

So while Rap Monster says he’d love to collaborate with Drake or Miguel one day, Suga feels the same way about Kanye West and Flume. Jungkook seems more inclined toward pop R&B – his dream musical partners would include Bieber or Charlie Puth. V is a little bit old school, having mentioned Norah Jones and the Fugees as on his wish list. Rap Monster ticks off the rest of the band: Jimin digs Chris Brown, J-Hope is into the similarly initialed J. Cole, and Jin is a fan of old-school showman Bruno Mars.

“I always tell them that every time we have hits under the name of BTS we shine the best when we are a team,” Rap Monster says. “I know all the seven members, they love music, and I know their No. 1 wish is for us to perform and make music and sing and dance.

"Maybe someday someone will want to be on a television show or be an actor,” he says. “I just hope they know all of the popularity and fame and money is from the name of our team. That’s not one person, everybody contributes to the team.

"Nobody knows the future. I just hope it can last as long as possible.”

Peter Larson @ OCRegister

I need to read percy jackson because i love them AUs

And i love torturing Lance so I give to you this percy jackson AU idea where Lance is the son of Hades because langst and Lance being a outcast are my soul, Shiro is the son of Aphrodite because look at the guy, and Keith is the son of Zeus

and uh… heres some more idea for it

LANCE

  • son of Hades, not well liked
  • really hates that he’s the son of Hades
  • really misses his mother and his siblings, like really really misses them
  • just wants to be normal and go home
  • most new campers assume he’s aphrodites son because he’s a flirt and kind of attractive and they don’t know the ropes yet which always leads to an awkward moment when they ask because he kinda wants to say yes
  • would literally die for his friends
  • and by firends he means hunk, and later pidge, who are the only people that hang out with him
  • is incredibly jealous of keith because everyone loves him and he’s the son of zeus, is incredibly angered by keith because the guy doesnt even care
  • has an obession with water and swimming

KEITH

  • son of Zeus, adored all over
  • couldn’t care less about any of this halfblood stuff
  • was an ophran before he ended up at camp halfblood, knew Shiro before Shiro was taken in by the Holts
  • honestly more interested in his mum than he is zeus
  • does not understand lance, like at all.  the guy seems to have an obession with keith and has created this whole rivalry and keiths just like ‘so thats a thing i guess?’
  • despite being liked, doesnt really have any close friends until Shiro shows up
  • really wants to help shiro settle in, isn’t sure he wants to help shiro get his memories back  

SHIRO

  • son of Aphrodite, has been named the favourite by other campers
  • like keith, he doesn’t care much about his godly parent or anyone elses godly parent
  • also like keith, was an orphan however he ended up in the holts are instead of camp halfblood
  • shiro doesnt actually know how he ended up in camp halfblood.  one day he’s fishing with matt and sam and then something happened (he’s not sure what) and he woke up at camp halfblood
  • really wants to remember what happened that day, and find sam and matt
  • at the very least he wants to assure the holt girls that he’s alive, unfortunitly he’s not allowed to
  • mostly sticks with keith, both can usually be found training because they’re keith and shiro and what do you mean training all day every day isn’t healthy?

PIDGE

  • not a halfblood
  • however she is the first human to ever be able to fake being a halfblood
  • snuck into camp halfblood and has contiuned to pretend she just hasn’t been claimed yet, because of this she (like lance) is mostly an outcast however she (unlike lance) doesnt mind so much
  • their mutaul outcastness somehow lead to lance and pidge being friends and therefore hunks also a friend
  • the reason she snuck into camp halfblood was because matt and sam went missing and matt is actually the son of a god (athena) so Pidge thinks camp halfblood may have some useful iinformation

HUNK

  • son of hephaestus
  • also doesnt care about parentage. honestly the only one out of the 5 that does is lance and he only really cares about his own he aint gonna judge you
  • because he doesnt care, he didn’t mind being friends with lance when the other had no one and now they are best friends
  • also hates keith, mostly because lance does
  • like lance, would die for his friends (just with more fear)

ALLURA

  • daughter of athena, hella feared but also hella admired and liked
  • when you met her she is pretty and regal but dont be fooled, she can and will beat your ass for hitting on her.  some how lance keeps managing to forget this
  • like lance she also cares about parentage and can be hella judgemental.  she despises lance because he’s hades son.  lance will never have a chance with her
  • her father also used to be at camp halfblood as a counselor, however he was killed
  • since his death she’s been looked after mostly by coran and also has gone into prepare-for-revenage mode

CORAN

  • a counselor at the camp
  • didn’t like lance at first, however he paid attention and noticed how self-sacrificing lance was and has a soft spot for him (it helps that lance saved his life this one time)
  • adores allura, wishes she and lance would just get along but knows its not going to happen
  • isn’t fooled by Pidge but is letting her stay anyway because he understands why she’s there
  • is banned from the kitchen, now and forever

THE GALRA

  • Halfbloods who desire to rule over humanity or maybe just destory it
  • Lead by Zarkon, who i’m thinking is either the son od Zeus (therefore entitled and also connection to Keith) or Hades (again entitled because big 3, and also evil connotation, also he’d have a connection to Lance which could lead to some Lance betrayals because he’s treated like shit)
  • Regularly kidnap other halfbloods to force them to become galra soliders, such is the intended fate of Matt
  • Regularly kidnaps humans to be slaves, such is the intended fate of Samuel and also Shay’s family
  • Shiro was their most promising of kidnapped soilders, however he was saved by a BoM member and taken to camp halfblood, not that Shiro remembers any of that
  • The BoM is a huge pain in Zarkon’s side but Haggar is the one that most  deals with them, they’re halfbloods who were taken by Zarkon or joined him willing and later realized how fucked up the situation was and managed to escape or become an undercover agent
  • Zarkon used to be a big deal at camp halfblood, and then he killed Alfor because Alfor didn’t agree with him

OTHER THINGS

  • thace and coran are probably dating
  • and only lance knows, he finds it super gross cause to him it’s like watching your parents flirt badly in front of you
  • which is fitting since coran basically adopted lance and all
  • lance finds allura incredibly attractive and enjoys flirting with her.  however he enjoys flirting with her because it makes for excellent training when she gets mad, he would be so lost if she ever responded positively
  • totally drooling over Shiro becase hello, look at him
  • Shiro is completely unaware, keith is not.
  • Klance or Shance would totally be the end came.
  • Despite Zarkons best efforts most of humanity is still completely unaware of the halfbloods exisitence.  
  • Voltron is the name giving to a squad like no squad.  this squad ends up being the main 5 (funnily enough)

If someone could write this for me i’d be in love

Podcast Recs

I was already making this for @dauphinedolphin (whom I’ve successfully dragged into podcast hell alongside me) so I figured I would just post it here for anyone else who might be interested! 

Note: these are just the podcasts that I’m interested in. Not everyone will enjoy them and there are many many MANY more out there that I haven’t listened to yet that are absolutely amazing. I’ve only been listening to podcasts since about October, so I haven’t listened to many yet. Also I have a significant preference towards audio dramas because I find them easier to focus on. 

All these shows can be listened to for free on iTunes. 

* = personal fave 

The Bridge******** - I literally cannot recommend The Bridge enough. It is INCREDIBLE. They excel at everything from sound editing to incredible writing to incredible voice actors and I just love it. so. fucking. much. It’s so good. And you should go listen to it right now. It’s about the crew of Watchtower 10 out on the Transcontinental Bridge, which spans the length of the Atlantic Ocean. It features spooky stories, eldritch monsters, a possessed doll and my favourite character of all time, so it’s basically the best. I’ll probably be making a separate recommendation post for it soon because there’s too much to say. 

Welcome to Night Vale - I know, I know, Night Vale Presents podcasts are on every single list and everyone’s sick of hearing about them, but seriously folks. They’re popular because they’re good. If you haven’t heard of Welcome to Night Vale before, it’s a radio show set in the fictional town of Night Vale where all sorts of weird stuff happens. 

The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air)* - The only other Night Vale Presents podcast that I’m gonna put on here. It follows Julian, a janitor at the Eiffel Tower who dreams of becoming a famous radio host. 

Wolf 359*** - This show. This fucking show. It’s so good y’all. If you like shows that start off kind of funny and not-so-serious before doing a complete 180 and becoming the most HEART-WRENCHING ANGST EVER then you will love it. Also kudos to them for having the best team of antagonists ever. It’s all about Doug Eiffel, the Communications Officer onboard the Hephaestus Station who finds mysterious radio signals out in deep space. But not everything is what it seems, nor is anyone who they seem… 

Wooden Overcoats - It’s all about rival funeral home directors on the small British island of Piffling. It has a lot of dark humour so if that’s your jam you should totally check it out. 

The Bright Sessions** - This is another show that’s just… so amazing. It’s about this group of humans called atypicals, who are basically superheroes (only they don’t fight crime and they have to hide their abilities from the general public). The show follows a time traveller, an empath, and a mind reader, with more atypicals popping up as the show progresses. It’s another one of those shows that gets darker as it goes, but the plot’s very character driven so you also get a TON of great character development. 

EOS 10* - Apparently the best way to describe this is “Scrubs in space”? But yeah, it’s basically a hospital drama set on the space station EOS 10. The main lead’s a recovering addict and that part of his backstory’s never ignored or glossed over, which is amazing. Also it’s my #1 feel good show sooooo…. 

The Deep Vault* - It’s the end of the world and a group of four people seek asylum in an underground vault created to help humanity survive the apocalypse. But is it really as safe as they thought? 

Archive 81 - Made by the same people who did The Deep Vault. Daniel Powell has a new job working as an archivist at Archive 81. The tapes he listens to seem to be telling a story that he’s not sure he wants to hear but knows he has to. Season two’s a little weird but season one really holds up. 

The Once and Future Nerd** - Three kids from Pennsylvania end up in a fantasy world and soon get caught up in the conspiracies and dangers that are threatening to pull it apart. This one’s got a lot of really great social commentary, particularly of fantasy tropes. 

The Strange Case of Starship Iris* - Violet Liu is the sole survivor of a shuttle explosion, but her ship is going down fast. She’s going to need whatever help she can get to make it out of this alive. Featuring the best alien you will ever meet, government conspiracies, and cases of mistaken identity that might just get you killed. 

The Far Meridian - This one’s pretty new but it’s already shaping up to be absolutely amazing. It’s all about a woman named Peri who wakes up to find that her lighthouse has mysteriously moved locations. Peri’s also agoraphobic but it’s never treated like something weird or used as a joke, which is sooo refreshing to hear. 

Bonus non-fiction podcasts: 

The Podcast History Of Our World - Exactly what it says on the tin. Each episode examines a different part of history, with the end goal of studying every single part of history. Currently somewhere in the Roman Republic.

My Brother, My Brother, And Me - Yeah so I’m slowly being dragged into McElroy brother hell… This is another one that makes basically every single list (or at least one McElroy podcast does) but for good reason. It’s really really good and really really funny. The McElroys run an advice show but their advice is not meant to be taken seriously. In fact, you really shouldn’t take their advice. 

Alternate Ways to End Combat in an RPG

Hello, readers! At the moment, I’m super busy prepping a Lovecraft Legacies LARP event, but I didn’t want to fail to offer some DMing advice this week. So I grabbed an old article I wrote for the website GeeksDreamGirl.com. I wrote it with 4E in mind, but it’s lessons translate to any game. Enjoy!

Combat is an integral part of many RPGs. In some, it’s a necessary evil. In others, like D&D, it’s an exciting part of the game. Sometimes, the PCs are facing truly evil and villainous foes that need to be wiped from the face of your campaign world. Sometimes, however, you want to have a battle end in something other than a complete massacre of one side or another. What if the PCs are facing honorable foes who’ve been duped into fighting them? Or what if they’re facing foes who vastly out-number or out-power them? Is a slaughter the only answer? Obviously, the
answer can and should be no.

Here then are five ways to end a fight before the battlefield is drenched in the blood of one side or another. You can use these ways to keep a battle short, or to offer an alternative to simple one-
sided destruction.

A Fight to First Blood

If the PCs are facing honorable foes, or are fighting in a tournament, they may choose to fight to “first blood”, and I’m not referencing any cheesy 80s action films. In 4E D&D, this is an easy
concept: have the players and NPCs agree to fight until someone hits their Bloodied value, and use this as the threshold of when someone finally draws blood on the other.

This has a lot of basis in reality. Knights at tournament wanted to show their prowess at real battle, and first blood was a way to show one’s skill, but to avoid seriously injuring one’s foe. Likewise, a duel that was serious but didn’t need to be to the death would sometimes be fought to first blood. This served as a grim reminder to the wounded – I bloodied you once. Next time might be more fatal.

Holding Out Like a Hero

This is a particular favorite of mine. In it, the PCs aren’t necessarily planning on winning a fight, but only of surviving and holding off foes until a set goal is reached. This is particularly effective for when the king can get to safety if his loyal knights can last ten rounds of combat, or if a wizard needs them to hold until he gets six successes on Arcana checks. Combined with Skill Challenges, this can make for a memorable sequence. Skeletons will keep pouring out of the crypt until the cleric successfully re-consecrates it as a skill challenge of minor actions, or the room will keep filling with water that’s inhabited with shrieking eels until the rogue resets the trap mechanism. It’s up to the party to hold off the skeletons, eels, or what have you.

You can use this device to simulate a scene like Helm’s Deep. The PCs have to hold out a certain number of rounds until the reinforcements arrive. Especially in combination with an ever-increasing number of minions, this can give the proper feeling of literally holding off an army.

Cutting Off the Head

The orcish army feels unbeatable until their leader, Gruzhgarn, is slain. When the necromancer is killed, the undead crumble back to lifeless husks. The wolves will flee in dismay if their alpha is killed. If you make one or more of the enemies the linchpin holding the rest of the monsters together, then you can give the PCs a goal other than simply slaying every monster on the battlefield. Once the leader-type monster goes down, the rest will surrender, flee, return to their home plane, etc. I especially like the feeling of “kill the wizard and his minions will return to the Elemental Plane.” It’s something that makes a logical sort of story sense, and it gives an out to the players.

A variation on this is “this monster is invulnerable until condition X is met.” In my current campaign, a great example was Auntie Mengybone, whom I’ve mentioned in other columns. She was harnessing the life-force of a captive Arch Fey to constantly heal herself, making her effectively invulnerable. Several of the PCs with Controller-type powers kept her busy and away from the other PCs who were freeing the Arch Fey through a skill challenge. Once the Arch Fey was released, she immediately went into retreat mode, leaving her minions to fight the PCs. She didn’t escape, but, if she had, she would’ve likely become a recurring villain in the campaign.

Live to Fight Another Day

There’s an adage that most PCs would rather have their character killed than have them captured. I’m not sure what the psychology around this is, but I agree that it’s true. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to have your monsters behave the same way.

I befuddled my players in my Eberron campaign by having the changeling villain they’d been fighting step back, go defensive, and offer to surrender, but only if the Lawful Good character
promised him mercy. The party was immediately suspicious, but they reluctantly agreed. This let me draw a fight that was already a foregone conclusion to a quick close and keep a valuable NPC
alive for a future sequence. And when the PCs found out later that he’d escaped the prisons of their patrons, they cursed his name – darned, tricksy changelings!

The other trick is to have monsters flee. They might be running for reinforcements, or they might be running for their lives, but sometimes monsters, especially intelligent ones, might choose to abandon a fight that they’re clearly losing. Earlier editions of D&D had complex Morale check systems to help a DM determine whether or not a monster would fight on or drop their weapons, but, nowadays, story is the arbiter of such a decision.

Stop. Just Stop.

I would never suggest that you should declare a fight against the PCs and tell them they’re all dead. But good news! Your monsters don’t have any ego beyond that which you invest in them.

If you’re down to two half-dead orcs, everything else is dead, and the PCs are still in excellent shape, you can call that fight. Sure, the orcs might do a little more damage, but is it really necessary to eke every hit point from the player characters that you can? I think not.

Some DMs, and some players, don’t like this approach. They want to know exactly who did what, who killed whom, and noodle the fight down to each hit point. That’s not my style of game play. If it’s getting late, and I have an important plot point to make before game ends, and this fight is slowing me down, I’ll sometimes call a fight once it’s clear how unlikely it is that the PCs will lose. “Well, the ogre has 15 hit points, and you’re all going to get to attack before he does. Unless you really want to know who kills the ogre specifically, let’s call it. Someone describe for me how the ogre dies.” My players were baffled the first time I did this, but they’ve
come to appreciate it.

In Closing

Not every fight has to be fought to the last HP. Sometimes, there are reasons why a fight should end early, and sometimes it’s just more convenient to move things along rather than dither down to the bitter end. Using this tool, you can make battles more about the story and excitement and less about drudging down to the last hit point.

anonymous asked:

I'm very conflicted about the bedroom scene,,,it was very sad for me? Lance looked so sad and disappointed and vulnerable but Keith just said "focus on your missions" because when Lance came in, he said it was bc Keith was the new leader. It was very angsty and heartbreaking to see,,,,im very conflicted about it. I hope Keith soon addresses Lance's strengths and what he admires about him bc,,,,,

THIS IS GOING TO BE LONG AND I STARTED TALKING ABOUT KEITH AND LANCE AS CHARACTERS AND I’M REALLY FUCKING SORRY OH MY GODJFDGYDSFS i get what you’re saying and i have to agree with you so i’m going to analyze some shiz… this scene has definitely opened up the opportunity for keith to actually, properly, reassure lance about his part on the team in a future episode. their development has been gradual throughout the show and this is no different… it’s one step towards something greater. we can’t expect them to instantly have all their shit perfect, you know? it’s, along with the entirety of season 3, changed the dynamic of their relationship. mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual support. they are finally really opening up to each other. 

this whole season, we see lance support and comfort keith A LOT and he does it very well… because that’s the kind of guy he is. he’s an uncle and a good friend. he has a big family, in complete contrast to what keith has. lance has lots of experience with people in general and just… having their backs, comforting and supporting them. lance loves people, he loves interacting with them and he is very good at it. family and friends are obviously extremely important to lance. the team is extremely important to lance.

lance is caring and he can read people/situations well, most of the time. i say most of the time because he never picked up on pidge being a girl even though everyone else did. he’s social and charismatic. he lifts people up, he is there for people, he makes people feel at home, in his own way… he lightens the mood with jokes and tries to diffuse the tension with jokes/changing the subject. or just by being… him. just by being lance he can turn the mood around. he can bring out the best in people and he can probably bring out the worst in them, too… i think he just brings out the most in people. this really applies to how keith is with him. lance can bring out a lot of different sides of keith, we’ve all seen that. he fires keith up, but makes him go soft and tender, too. keith is usually very stoic and closed off but lance breaks down his walls so much and it’s really great.

lance grounds people, he can cheer them up just by being who he is, just by being there. he is a constant. team voltron tends to playfully tease him or act annoyed with the things he says sometimes, but i know they are extremely fond of him. i wish they wouldn’t tease him as much as they do because i do think it gets to lance sometimes… but the problem with that is that he has never voiced his insecurities to them before… so they don’t even know that their teasing is possibly having negative effects on him, they don’t know that they’re actually hitting a sore spot. they’re friends and friends tease each other so it’s hard to like, be pissed at them because i can guarantee if lance actually voiced his insecurities to everyone… they would stop with the teasing, or at least, not tease him about stuff that would be harmful to him. i think one of the reasons why lance doesn’t voice his insecurities to everyone is because he doesn’t want them to worry, he just wants everyone to be happy and have fun… he doesn’t want to add onto all the other shit they’re dealing with.

lance uses a rifle, he’s the sharpshooter and he now uses a sniper, too… his role is one that offers support for his teammates and in a way, let’s them use the fullest of their abilities because with someone watching their backs… they don’t have to worry about someone getting the jump on them. they trust in their sniper. they trust in lance. a sniper covers their teammates and allows them to go all out. allows them to focus on what’s in front of them. lance has always excelled in ranged fighting and analyzing the situation/his surroundings and coming up with a plan that will work best for everyone. lance is an expert at supporting people, in battle and every other way.

but keith… keith is, like he even admitted himself, a loner. social interaction is not keith’s strong suit, never has been and that hasn’t changed. he is a lone wolf by nature, through and through. this is slowly changing and he is slowly opening up as he grows to view team voltron as his friends/family… but at this point, it is still there and a part of him. it most likely always will be, to some extent. keith has no family besides shiro and we know shiro is the only one who never gave up on keith… we don’t know much about his past but it is very safe to assume that keith has… never even really had a friend before voltron. he has had nowhere near as much experience interacting with people like lance has. he is very distant and closed off from the team compared to everyone else. most times when keith does seem to open up to the others, it’s during a mission or because the other person talked to him first. he does not tend to seek people out on his own because he is, after all, a loner. keith is not even that good at talking about his own feelings, he has a hard time even being in control of them sometimes… as we’ve seen when he blows up on pidge in season 1 and when he blows up on everyone in season 3. though, keith does actually admit his faults to lance this season… that is a big step for keith. that is a big step for their relationship.

keith has a hard time understanding things people say/do sometimes and he isn’t good at picking up on references or anything. lance is always a part of these scenes. the first time this happens is the “i say vol, you say tron…” scene in season 1. keith tries to play along but he doesn’t understand and lance is patient with him and tries to help him out. it doesn’t work so lance just tells him they’ll work on it. also in season 1, we have the laser guns scene. keith directly asks lance “what was that?” and lance tells him. in season 2, this progressed into lance explaining to keith, on his own, about the “hunter becomes the hunted” thing… that then progressed to when we got hunk and pidge talking technobabble and whatnot in season 3. keith instantly looks to lance for an explanation but this time, lance has no idea either. i just really like this progression shfsyfsg i think it’s important when analyzing their relationship. anyways, keith just isn’t… a social butterfly like lance and he has no fucking idea what he’s doing in regards to interacting with people most of the time.

keith uses a sword, a very quick and to the point weapon. very in your face. keith is a warrior, always on the front lines. brute force, pure instinct and skill. not thinking before acting, sometimes not even thinking about the team, as we saw on full display at the beginning of season 3. keith just goes for it, full swing. a sword does not offer support, it can be used in supportive ways, but that is not it’s purpose. it’s purpose is to go in and kill. keith is not an expert on supporting people, in battle or in any other way.

i think we have to remember all of this about keith and lance when analyzing the keith’s room scene? because yes, lance was obviously looking for a better answer than what keith gave him… he wanted to hear that he was important to the team and that he contributed. that he’s a great paladin and he doesn’t need to worry about his place on the team. but like i said, keith isn’t… good at this… he’s been better at it at times, he’s made progress… like with hunk in “the belly of a weblum” when he calmed him down and near the end of the episode when he was complimenting him but… i don’t think we can expect keith to instantly be a pro at this stuff at all times, especially because this is lance. it’s possible that keith was very confused because lance always seems so confident to him… that’s what lance lets people see, until now. this is the first time lance has come to any of his teammates about these insecurities. the way keith says “what are you talking about?” supports this… he sounds genuinely confused as to why lance would even think this about himself… and it also supports keith, in his head, probably being like wtf dude you are so important and skilled and you are my impulse control and my friend… BUT KEITH DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY ALL THAT BECAUSE HE ISN’T! GOOD! AT! THIS! keith tries to reassure him, he’s just trying to tell him not to worry because he doesn’t NEED to worry because keith knows he’s IMPORTANT… but the way he says it comes off like he’s just brushing lance’s concerns away and telling him to forget about it and focus on his missions… but i don’t think he is? we’ve seen how keith has grown to care for lance, so i know he’s trying to help him, he just really doesn’t know how. it has been a point in the show to show us keith’s poor social skills due to him being an orphan and a loner. 

lance still looks sad when he’s leaving keith’s room because that’s not what he wanted to hear but this next scene is what really made this whole interaction more special and important, for both of them…

when keith says “and lance, leave the math to pidge” it is obviously him trying, in his own way, to at least cheer lance up a little bit. he did not have to call to lance, he could have just let him exit his room and that’s that… but he didn’t and that’s important. not to mention, this whole scene was just very trope-y lmfaosjdfb… this is keith teasing lance, trying to joke with him and lift his spirits even just a little bit… keith probably tried more of joke-y approach because their whole relationship has been full of lots of teasing… he took something from their conversation they just had and tried to make lance smile. like i said, keith isn’t good at this stuff so i think he’s relying on their past interactions to guide him. he is not literally calling lance dumb or useless or anything by saying “leave the math to pidge”… math is one of pidge’s strong suits, they both know this. everyone knows this. when keith said this, as well as keith teasing lance to cheer him up, i read it more as him meaning something like “leave the math to pidge because you have your own strong suits and don’t need to worry about that or your place on the team.” keith is bad with words and he is also a man of few words, in the first place. 

in this same episode, very soon after this scene takes place actually… they need to take the lions out, but just like lance said… there are six paladins now that “shiro” is back and only five lions… but keith now knows that lance believes he’s the one who will end up with no lion. before anyone else even has a chance to say anything in regards to there being more paladins than lions, keith voluntarily gives up the black lion to “shiro” and decides to stay at the castle so lance will not have to give up red. i don’t think keith did this simply because he didn’t want to lead anymore now that “shiro” is back, because he could have easily still said he wanted to take the red lion while “shiro” takes black… but he didn’t, he left red to lance. like, the fact that these two scenes took place so close together is most likely so people could make this connection, i think. it just… doesn’t feel like a coincidence that keith told lance “things will work themselves out” and then proceeded to offer being the one to stay back so lance didn’t have to leave red. of course, black ends up not letting “shiro” in because he’s a fucking fake ass bitch, so this didn’t even end up mattering but like… it’s still important and i think people should at least think about the connection to those scenes. EDIT: this totally mattered because lance was actually aware that keith did this. i just fucking forgot about that entire line like an idiot.

EDIT: please also read these posts i’m about to link. i had more to say about what went down in regards to the bedroom scene here. don’t want to squeeze it into this post so yeah. also, this anon... and this where i talk more about lance’s insecurities and why we see team voltron teasing him so much.

keith knows how talented lance is (and if he didn’t already know somehow, he definitely does now because later in this episode, lance literally saves keith’s life by shooting a blade out of MID FUCKING AIR… that shit is HARD… keith even STOPS mid battle to SMILE SOFTLY at lance and admire him and his skills… acxa is able to run right past him and he almost gets blindsided by ezor because of this… this boy is fucking whipped). keith has experienced for himself in episode 6 of season 1 that lance is very good at coming up with plans when he, himself, would rather rush right in. i think he really admires that in lance because he can’t do that. he is not the plan guy, lance is. keith is all instincts and pure skill. keith has come to know how skilled lance is and he has come to know lance. not fully, of course not, but lance is no longer a nameless face, he is no longer a “who are you?” to keith… lance is the closest person to keith after shiro. he is keith’s newfound impulse control which was shown many times this season. they are friends. lance is the first person that was able to make keith smile this season, when he was extremely upset and angry about losing shiro and the whole leading voltron thing… but lance makes him smile. he makes him smile with one single line, “i’m not the goofball! i’m like the cool ninja sharpshooter.” like i said, keith knows how skilled lance is. i’m sure keith has seen these skills in action over the course of the show… they are a team, it’d be impossible for him not to know that lance actually is an extremely skilled sharpshooter. 

when keith scoffs and says “are you joking?” (accompanied by The Soft Look) i don’t think he’s saying it to be like, “really? you’re not the sharpshooter, funny joke” because keith knows that he is… i think it’s more like keith thinking “but you ARE a goofball, too” because lance is. lance is a goofball and keith probably likes that about him judging from the look on his face… like, lance isn’t JUST the goofball, of course, but he still is a goofball. if you only listen to what keith said and don’t look at his facial expression and don’t think about the progression of their relationship over the course of the show, it’d be easy to think he’s being a dick or something… but combining it with his expression and everything else we know about their relationship, it changes it. teasing like this has always been shown to be part of their relationship. for example, when keith teased lance back in episode 6 of season 1 when he got his lion back for him… along with the many times lance has teased keith. it also really wouldn’t make sense for keith to actually be trying to start shit with lance after lance had just comforted keith in the episode prior. 

[EDITED AFTER FURTHER THOUGHT INTO LANCE’S CHARACTER AND THIS SCENE] after keith says that, i definitely think lance takes it the wrong way and it hits a sore spot (this ties in with his insecurities) so he gets all defensive and says, “i’m being completely serious when i say, i do not want you to lead me anywhere.” (even though this drastically changes later on) and then keith loses his fond look because now lance has hit keith’s sore spot and antagonized him, so he says, “i don’t want to be the leader! that’s just what shiro wanted!” and then realizes he just told them all that and looks upset. i don’t think he even meant to blurt that out, but lance riles him up… lance cracks him open. lance looks very upset, as well, after keith says this… i think lance is concerned for him in a way, because of him losing shiro, but i definitely also think… at that moment, he’s upset because he wanted to pilot the black lion since he goes on to say, “well, i never heard shiro say that, and how convenient that you’re bringing it up now that shiro is gone.” lance is being like this because keith had just unintentionally hit one of lance’s sore spots. this whole exchange gets heated because of lance’s insecurities… because keith unintentionally hurt lance while he was just trying to tease him. so, lance fluffed up his bravado and fired back with venom. lance was just soft and supportive with keith the episode prior, he’s not doing this to be a dick… he thinks keith was being a dick to him. it’s a mess, really. keith tells him, “you want the job so badly, you can have it!” and they just glare at each other.

lance didn’t even want to pilot the black lion for glory or anything, he wanted to pilot it to validate himself to the team and also… himself. his insecurities are quickly increasing. at this point, lance hadn’t even really noticed keith’s insecurities and doubts about being the leader… we see that as soon as black chooses keith and keith expresses that he doesn’t accept it, that he can’t replace shiro, that they were right, he is the loner… not the leader shiro thought he was… lance is instantly backing him up, despite being clearly affected by not being chosen by black. this was a big turning point in their relationship and for lance as a character. he matured a big amount this season. from this point on, lance always has keith’s back. he literally becomes keith’s impulse control and is able to knock some sense into him. pull him back from the edge of nearly pulling the whole team apart, from doing reckless and dumb things. only lance can fit this role with keith as leader. they are equals in this situation but honestly? i don’t think lance realizes that, considering he thinks he should step down as a paladin. considering all his self worth issues. he is literally keith’s right hand man… and the reason this works so well, the reason they are equals in this situation… is because without lance, keith would not succeed as a leader whatsoever. definitely not with how he is right now. lance doesn’t even know this though. his insecurities are about to reach a boiling point, i think… and i feel like keith is definitely going to play a supportive role for lance once he actually knows about lance’s insecurities. once lance actually, properly talks to him about them.

ANYWAYS, back the “leave the math to pidge” scene. this scene is purposefully framed in a way so we can see how lance is starting to view keith… because we are literally viewing keith through lance’s eyes. that is how the shot is set up. i didn’t realize it at first honestly, but when i watched this scene, i couldn’t shake the feeling that it was so… different and special somehow… i just couldn’t figure out why, until i read this post and it all hit me full force and honestly made me tear up. i’ll reference some things that were said but i highly recommend you read that whole post when you finish this. 

we know lance started off as viewing keith as his rival but over the course of the show, that has been changing… and this scene changes it even more, so much more… in a very big way. keith, in the first place, is usually very closed off… we all know that he crosses his arms in front of his chest a lot, people commonly do this to put up a sort of wall between them and the people around them. i actually do this when i’m in a new situation with new people and i am uncomfortable. it’s not that hard to believe that keith would do this too, considering his loner nature. he also seems to be glaring most of the time, even in the background of scenes… the shot of keith when lance is looking back at him is… very open. keith is not coming off the way we have gotten used to him being, which could be classified as very standoffish. keith is not coming off the way lance is used to seeing him. he is seeing him in a completely new and different way.

previously in this scene, while lance is voicing his concerns and his insecurities, keith has his arms crossed in front of him. there is still a barrier. 

but then we got this shot: 

whether it’s subconsciously or consciously, keith is trying to appear more friendly and welcoming towards lance. this goes along perfectly with him teasing lance, he’s trying to cheer him up and this heightens the effect. makes lance feel safe, let’s him know keith is being genuine. he is completely open and his expression is so soft. everything about this shot is so fucking soft. he doesn’t even have his jacket on… they made sure to show him hanging it up before lance entered the room and i think they showed us that because they really wanted to get across the change in keith and lance’s relationship in this shot. keith is not seen without his jacket that often and i just… refuse to believe him taking it off didn’t serve a purpose for this scene, specifically. they are both allowing themselves to be vulnerable around the other. lance voicing his insecurities to keith, out of all people (yes because he’s the leader now, but “shiro” was back at this point, lance easily could have gone to him since he literally talked about shiro going back to the black lion…), lance finally somewhat voicing his insecurities to a teammate and it happens to be keith? that’s important. and keith just… everything about keith in this fucking scene is so unlike how keith normally appears. normally, the less clothes someone has on, the more vulnerable people feel… they feel exposed. keith’s whole stance is open and this shot was also literally coded as romantic… here’s an excerpt from that post i linked before.

When a character is being admired by another character, getting a shot through their eyes of their subject from the waist up, or thighs up, or knees up, etc, is a very common way of displaying that admiration in a visual sense.

this is why so many people are comparing this shot to goddamn dating sims. that’s what it reminded ME of! the way this shot is set up is so commonly used in dating sims. i haven’t played dream daddy myself, but i’ve seen a lot of people specifically compare it to that dating sim. this shot feels intimate, it is intimate. we are witnessing lance starting to view keith in a different light because like i said, and like how that post i linked emphasizes, we are seeing keith through lance’s eyes. we’re not just seeing him through lance’s POV, but directly through his eyes. keith is the center of lance’s focus and this shot? just makes keith look really beautiful? which fucks me up because that is how lance is seeing keith. we then get lance returning the same softness keith expresses towards him:

even as lance is turning away, the smile is still on his face. i do think lance is sad and disappointed that he didn’t quite get the reassurance he needed and wanted… and someone definitely still needs to explicitly tell him he is important to the team and acknowledge his strengths and skills. keith still needs to learn how to comfort him better but i’m 100% sure we’ll get that in the future. regardless of lance not receiving the support he needed to the extent he was looking for, i think he is genuinely happy in this shot. i think keith genuinely made him feel a little better. keith did cheer him up a bit and make him smile, in his own weird ass way. remembering how the shot of keith was from lance’s eyes, the way he was seeing him… it’s safe to say that lance is starting to develop romantic feelings for keith starting, or at least really taking off, from right here.

i think this whole scene was meant to show the current level their relationship has reached and open the way for it to naturally reach a new level, in the future. lance will definitely still struggle with his insecurities, they have been a constant in every season so far… they may even get worse since he didn’t get the comfort and support that was necessary… and with time, i’m sure keith will be able to reassure him better. he’ll be able to express how much he admires him, list off his strengths without a second thought… he’ll know what lance needs to hear once they become better friends. once keith gets better at working with the team, he will be able to support lance to the extent he needs. he’ll be able to support everyone. keith needs to grow and leave more of his lone wolf nature behind because that just doesn’t work when you’re part of a team like this… he needs to get better at bonding with his team, with his friends.

EDIT: talked more about this scene here, here and here. i also compare the shot of lance looking at keith to a shot from voltron: defender of the universe here. i’ve changed my views somewhat on the whole “leave the math to pidge” scene as well, here.

The Lost Special: The One Way to Tie Up Every Loose Thread

In the last month this corner of the Sherlock fandom has thrown out a multitude of ideas for a narrative that could potentially resolve every last inconsistency in Sherlock series 4. Not knowing it, this community has debated different readings – all perfectly valid with only minor holes in logic – but have missed how they might all fit together into an intricate puzzle, each reading validating the other.

I have found one way to connect every loose thread.

Topics resolved include:

– EMP Theory vs “TFP as John’s TAB”: why both readings are meant to be exposed to the viewer (but we just found them too early)
– Benedict’s insanely long monologue they mentioned him having in Series 4.
– How another episode would only be comprised of a few new scenes
– Mary’s character development drifting far from her original plotline
– Moffat’s Doctor Who narrative that includes Toby Jones as a Dream Lord and what that means for Amy in “Amy’s Choice” and Sherlock in The Lost Special.
– How POVs intertwine in TFP, and how TPLOSH inspired the way The Lost Special would end.
– The entire bizarre nature of Series 4
– Breaking the 4th Wall
– The focus in The Six Thatchers on “The Duplicate Man”, “Twins”, “Two places at once”, and “Dead AND alive”.
– Three Garridebs
– Benedict claiming “Love conquers all” while Steven Moffat facepalms.

So if you want to know the one way this could all work, check out the rest of this post. But hear me out until the end, suspend your disbelief until you’ve finished, because regardless of whether or not you believe we’re getting The Lost Special, this reading which combines everything we’ve talked about for the last year is definitely arguable and until something else gets proposed, it is the one I’m sticking with til the bitter end.

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Hit the Books

Summary: jealousy is no one’s friend || prof!//college au

Pairing: professor stan & evans // evanstan x reader

Word Count: 1.2k

Warnings: flirting, sexual innuendos

A/N: uhhhh there might be a part 2? if y’all want it? let me know


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the signs as people from my university
  • Aries: That girl who loves partying and socializing with people, she's a fangirl of so many buffed-up singers and she's so pretty. She's kinda judgmental and she's homophobic but she follows so many gay people and likes their posts and nobody in my generation really understands why. She can be really impulsive sometimes and she hates classes but she's a good friend and a funny person
  • Taurus: That girl who is always late, she has social anxiety and she's silent af. Grades are not her forte'. She tries to socialize very hard and everyone is annoyed by the fact that she tries to discuss things that she really doesn't know shit about. She is afraid of some professors, she is christian af and she is kinda lost, but she's a good girl who believes in the supernatural and she always invites us to coffee at her place
  • Gemini: The girl who loves spending time with people, she always loves to discuss about every topic, she knows so much about many things, she's doing great with her grades and she's among the top 5 students in the entire generation. Also, she has PERFECT, sonorous American accent and everybody loves it. She always initiates coffee gatherings but nobody really comes because she's not that much of a leader and her voice is so soft so nobody could really hear when she's talking. She's also a passionate gamer AND in the same time she finds time to maintain her grades and social life
  • Cancer: That (jock) guy who's the tallest one, he's blonde, buffed-up and he's the definition of a straight white boy. He's childish as fuck and he can become very boring sometimes. Once, my colleagues have shooed him out of the cafeteria because he was bothering them. He also tells so many stupid dad-jokes and laughs at his own jokes, flirts with some professors, has been single since forever (not that he's ugly - he's average looking but he's so much boring sometimes because he doesn't have any real friends and he gets excited about people so he doesn't know WHEN to stop). He literally flirts with every single female human being that he can find and he pushes them all away because he's pushy af. He's also introverted and doesn't really know his way with girls
  • Leo: That girl who's one of the top students in the generation. She's always smiling, she has the best grades, she always tries to present this "perfect" image of herself. She is very intelligent and she loves reading, she gets drunk like every second day but that doesn't stop her from maintaining her perfect grades. She's very successful and she's a good leader, she knows all the fresh gossip and she always sits in the first row with her best university friend. In fact, she and her best uni friend are hated by everyone because they're just so successful and everyone's jealous of them. She also secretly hates everybody and gossips with her best uni friend. She and her friend have tons of screenshots ready to blackmail people if anyone says anything against them lmao. But everyone (every zodiac sign) in this generation pretends we like each other so...
  • Virgo: That professor who's VERY detail-oriented and she's a big perfectionist but she can't fix her awful handwriting. She's very successful and she has TONS of potential, she literally KNOWS EVERYTHING about her subjects but sometimes she can really drain us physically and emotionally. She gives us tons of assignments and homework and she always gives us lectures on the most difficult courses. Jfc she behaves like we study in Cambridge / Oxford. But don't get me wrong, she's NOT a bad person. She's actually a VERY good person and at the end of each semester she buys us coffee and tea, she talks with us about our experience with the course and she just wants us to learn some things that we should learn, that's why we perceive her as "difficult" and "problematic"
  • Libra: That girl who loves hugging, has great communication skills and is a social justice warrior. She thinks that she's everyone's friend and she always tries to criticize everyone's opinion, thinking that she'll seem and sound more intelligent. She also listens to rock and metal, she loves children and she smokes a lot, she's very sensitive and she's very friendly. Once, on the Facebook group of the university, she tried to accuse Pisces of something he didn't do and he literally ruined her in front of all those people, that was one of her biggest mistakes she's ever done in uni because she didn't know that that guy can be pretty evil when someone tries to insult/hurt him. The next day in uni she was on the verge of a mental breakdown because that guy really hurt her with his words, making her look stupid and pretentious, and everybody stopped talking to that guy for like, a month or two
  • Scorpio: That girl who's late in class 90% of the time, and those 10% she's not present in class. She is very quiet and she doesn't show particular interest in anything. She doesn't have a taste in fashion and style, unlike most Scorpios that I know. She just wants to go home all the time and nobody knows what she's doing in her life, she's so mysterious and she's not a good teamworker because she doesn't really care about her grades
  • Sagittarius: That girl who can't stop talking and she's always arguing with someone but we all love her. She's very communicative but she's insecure at the same time. She has tons of likes on Facebook and Instagram. She's a VERY open-minded girl, she hates racism, homophobes, nazi scum and racists. She's a really good friend with Leo and Pisces but Capricorn is her bff and her roommate. She has an excellent taste in fashion, style and music and she has S_L_A_Y_I_N_G eyebrows. I think that she's bi/lesbian but maybe she's closeted. She always hugs Capricorn and gets beaten by Capricorn because Capricorn can't stand people touching her
  • Capricorn: That girl who loves vintage notebooks, loves taking studyblr photos and uploads them on tubmlr and Instagram, she loves journeys and we haven't heard her talking for THREE GODDAMN YEARS. She is very antisocial and introverted but she has excellent taste for art, film, music and she's like 24/7 on her phone because it's obvious that she can't stand most of us but she's always sweet and supportive when someone approaches her. Sometimes she doesn't want to talk and she just smiles as a response. She's Sagittarius' best friend and roommate and they've became really close friends. She also loves journeys and she's a daydreamer but she's very intelligent. Her grades are not that good, she's not an attention whore and she tries to be "invisible" but she simply can't
  • Aquarius: That guy with his cockney accent who has insane memory and loves football. He's actually a loner, he's a bit creepy and weird, le loves britpop and indie nd he was one of the best students in the first two years of uni but his grades dropped. He's like, very secretive and he can be pretty arrogant and you just can't sit next to him because he's telling jokes all the time which takes your attention away. He is a loner and once he publicly told us that he used to have cyber sex with his girlfriend because she lived in another country and they've never met in real life (I mean, who tells such things omg Aqua get your shit together). He tries to insult people and he tries to be sarcastic but he can only be sarcastic with the stupid ones. He also thinks that he's a know-it-all and that he's the most intelligent person in the world. He can be really judgmental sometimes and he pushes people away with that
  • Pisces: That guy who always sits in the first row with his best university friend and is one of the top students in the generation. He's also a model, nerd, gamer, works out and whatnot. He is sweet to everyone and talks to everyone but he can be very sassy at times. He was the one who had a verbal fight with Libra because Libra triggered him and he destroyed her verbally. He's really skinny and dreamy and he has a very deep voice and an excellent taste in fashion and style. His style is kinda dark and he's so aesthetic. He listens to some music that no other people in the world listen to but he also listens to some mainstream music. In fact, he listens to whatever he wants and he doesn't really think about what other people think about him. He tends to roll his eyes a lot and he cares about his physical beauty more than he cares about his love life. He's too egotistic and self-centered and he's extremely picky, which makes him single most of the time.
Hoseok

BOYFRIEND BANGTAN | HOSEOK VERSION 

WORD COUNT: 1,534

FLUFF FLUFF FLUFF with the lightest most PG mention of sex

Originally posted by syubto

masterlist | ask

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A Writer’s Tips for Writing the Batfamily;

Since I write the Batfam so often I’ve collected a multitude of notes for each character and how they behave, either taken from the comics, the movies (mostly for Bruce), the shows (Gotham, dcau), the games, etc. Hope this helps get the boys and girls in character! This is just my interpretations, however, so you can alter things however you want. A lot of these are just for fun or like vague things I know, too!!!


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Roleplaying A God...

MEETING A GOD

When player characters meet a deity, they’re meeting a being with senses that extend for miles. 

A deity merely has to think of or desire something to have it. 

Its awareness of its portfolio covers vast areas, and its control of the building blocks of matter, energy, and life makes it the master of most situations, particularly on the Material Plane. 

The awesome presence of a deity cows most mortals, and may drive them from the deity in fear. 

Gods seek out mortals who do great deeds that favor the gods, as well as those who threaten their power, primacy, or existence. 

Even when a god graces a mortal or a group of mortals with its physical presence, that god’s attention is effortlessly in several places at once. 

Mortals who reach the home of a deity irritate that power with their interruption. 

They can expect a much cooler (or hotter, depending on the deity and the plane) reception. 

As the Dungeon Master, you manipulate the experience of meeting a god to suit your campaign. 

You can frighten the player characters or welcome them, depending on how you want the characters to feel about their deities, and how much you want the characters to interact with them. 

Depending on what kind of pantheon you have, you may be able to draw inspiration from elsewhere.

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The Midheaven - A Staircase to the Highest Star

When you want something,  think about it, envision how it would feel to have what you want,  then release that desire to the universe,   this will set your intention and bring your desire to you.“    - Jasmeine Moonsong                

The Midheaven or tenth house cusp is the highest point in the sky and in the natal chart. A trusty astrologer I once confided in referred to the Midheaven sign as ‘where you want to be’. The Midheaven refers to one’s desires career wise, the approach to one’s profession, dreams, and the public image. In many ways it is like a hologram of the face we want to become, and can become, like a swirling energy we emit to the world. Because the tenth house is an angular house, it pertains to a major focus of the chart. The MC is like a blueprint of the future we dream of, and have the capability of achieving if only we reign in on our Capricorn (ruler of the tenth house) spirit. We are elevated through the Midheaven and develop our single consciousness whilst retaining our understanding of the oneness we all share. It’s the kind of impact we want to have on the world, but through an authentic self expression. .

Midheaven in Aries: I want to be where the action, light, and noise is
The image here is bright, sparkling, and stimulating. The individual may appear more reckless and perilous than he truly is. He dreams of pioneering into new territory and rarely tolerates professions that are repetitive or mundane. He dreams of one day becoming more adventurous, self assured, and confident. The public loves him for his childlike spirit and enthusiasm.
The associated careers could be childcare, engineering, sports, politics. He is at his most radiant when in the midst of their work or passions. He may streak through many new jobs and professional pathways.

Midheaven in Taurus: I want to be encased in luxury
A gentle, moving, and secure public image. The individual has a soothing and earthy effect on others and feels one with nature when working his dream career. The Midheaven in Taurus could relate to creative industries, beauty therapy, finance, accounting, agriculture, wildlife, landscaping, midwifery,  and retail. He will likely be drawn to careers that promise him security financially and job wise. Also those that pay a worthy income - he wants to be at comfort and ease. The public are receptive of his peaceful nature. He may also be very private

Midheaven in Gemini: I want to get lost in conversation
There will be a spiraling ,erratic energy seeming to radiate from the Gemini Midheaven person. He will likely have good public speaking skills and excel at broadcasting to a large audience. He seems to know what people are thinking. Many careers and educational courses will fascinate him, especially teaching, journalism, writing, media, blogging, although he really is a jack of all trades. He will have trouble pinning down his true hopes and dreams. A profession that provides him the opportunity for communication is imperative, and he may remain a permanent student. He is an inquisitive, and clever spirit at work, and he knows how to mold himself into any archetype the role requires. He will enjoy jobs that provide him the chance to learn.

Midheaven in Cancer: I want to be someone’s protector
There is a warm, comforting soul music that seems to shine from the Cancer Midheaven. A great need to protect, guard, and look after others associates with this placement, and being a parent could be the dream. The careers that could resonate here include childcare, midwifery, nursing, teaching, cooking, business, finance, psychology, real estate, and photography. The public feel very warmed and cradled by the individual, and he may find people naturally open up to him and share their deepest fears and worries. He has a psychic gauge on what the public wants and needs on very emotional and subconscious levels. The individual may try to comfort others through humor. There is a great need to provide for others.

Midheaven in Leo: I want to be on top of the world
The Leo Midheaven person seems to have a radiant, revitalizing, and seductive mist to others. Whether he likes it or not, he may find himself in the spotlight or in the middle of situations just for being himself. Careers that can be associated here include politics, justice, childcare and child protection, creative industries, theatre, management, music, writing, teaching, aged care, disability care, social work, and nursing. He will likely be very cheerful in his job and know how to make people happy. Something urges him to preserve his youthful appearance in some way. He has a lot of ambition when it comes to the imprint he leaves on the world.

Midheaven in Virgo: I want to serve others
Something about the Virgo Midheaven person is his ability to make others feel they can depend on him. There seems to be a very soothing connection with others, like a comforting and wise motherly understanding. This placement suggests the individual will be involved in a subordinate position and one of service. Careers that could resonate here include technology and IT support, nursing, pharmacy, technical skills, machinery, communications, teaching, nature work, accounting, and physiotherapy. There will be a great need to provide for others and show he is worthy of his role. He will appreciate job stability and a chaos free work environment.

Midheaven in Libra: I want to create a world of tranquility
There seems to be a very peaceful and serene mist diffusing from the Libra Midheaven person. People feel instantly at ease and in the company of an old friend upon meeting him. The individual has a very receptive gauge on social undercurrents and a disarming, welcoming, and gentle expression to others. People that have never met him may feel that they already know him. Careers that could associate here include law, psychology, criminal psychology, police work, politics, design, social work, relationship counselling and divorce law, mediation. He will require a high level of tranquility at work and need to restore chaos to calm when conflict ensues. His more temperamental, justice seeking, and debating side may emerge when in the workplace. He needs a good work/life balance.

Midheaven in Scorpio: I want to be engulfed in mystery
 
You can forgive people for feeling a little intimidated, a little seduced, and a little perplexed when contemplating a Scorpio Midheaven. He has a psychic awareness on how to soothe the public and likes to keep very private in his affairs. The individual leaves a very thick, resonant energy on his surroundings and seems to remain long after his body vanishes. Careers that could relate to this placement include pharmacy, medicine, psychology, science, nursing, research, law and justice, criminology, biology and marine biology, midwifery, radiography, and politics. He may appear more self assured and guarded than he really is. He just moves people - and doesn’t know how or why. In many ways, he is unforgettable.

Midheaven in Sagittarius: I want to run through unknown lands
Something like a big bubble of delight pops from the Sagittarius Midheaven person. The individual seems to have an authentic, congenial, and carefree image that is natural and genuine. He easily relates to others and enjoys the opportunities he has to learn. Careers that could be associated here include psychology, medicine, animals and wildlife, flying, teaching, academics, research, sports, motoring, pharmacy, philosophy, writing, air and land travel, and jobs overseas. He may feel he can truly achieve his dream when he relocates and enjoy jobs that are on the move and offer constant change. He likes to become a master of his field. The individual wants to know what the public are thinking. People are very warmed by his humorous, honest, and happy distant spirit. Success is a succession of successes.

Midheaven in Capricorn: I want the day I am successful
You feel like you instantly want to impress the Capricorn Midheaven person. Something about them spells a very proud, ambitious, mature, and wise language. There is a mystery about them and the secrets to success that radiate from their fingertips. The individual has very pronounced dreams and desires. Careers that can associate here include teaching, medicine, law and justice, politics, architecture, town planning, business, police work, management, wildlife preservation. He will likely have a great need to provide for others and a very paternal impact over others. He wants to protect and ensure and knows how to consolidate his talents. Many people have the urgency to naturally rely on him because he makes them feel that everything will be okay. He is the CEO of the cosmos.

Midheaven in Aquarius: I want to be in the future
Nothing zaps and lights up others like Aquarius Midheaven person. From afar he is jolting, energetic, intelligent, mentally lively, and quirky. Others may view him as more radical, detached, and outlandish than he really is. He will likely desire jobs that provide him a certain amount of stability with a large variety of opportunities and objectives. Careers we could associate with Aquarius Midheaven include science, music, exploration, conservation, animal work, politics, technology, blogging, psychiatry, gaming, social work, and anything that involves the mind. He has a tremendous humanitarian streak and you seem to feel a very maternal and compassionate embrace stirring out of them. There is a need to be protective, make others feel safe, and guide them wisely. He has an acute aptitude for gauging the thoughts of the public, like radio telepathy.

Midheaven in Pisces: I want to go back to heaven
There is an enigmatic, mystic, and puzzling aura filtering from the Pisces Midheaven person. The individual seems timeless, untouchable, and as if he has walked straight from another world. The career path here undergoes many confusing changes and may be hard to pin down. It likely represents an ideal and involves the opportunity to help others. Professions that could resonate here include spiritual work, drug and alcohol nursing and counselling, rehabilitation work, prison work, creative industries, art, theatre, music, writing, and opportunities surrounding the ocean. The public may perceive him to be quite profound, enchanting, and somewhat of a guru. His hands and spirit are encased with healing honey.

original artwork by: Greenfeed

Klance Recs #2

A Kiss is a Kiss (But it’s never like this) by GibbousLunation (PG, 25k)
Summary: “How does this keep happening to us, every time.” Lance grumbled.

“You’d think they’d stop sending us on away missions,” he agreed. Honestly, between the poisonous plants of their last planet, and Lance’s tendency to always end up on the business end of every blaster or pointy ended stick, Allura was just being inefficient at this point.

Or, five times Keith kissed Lance but the situation was less than ideal, and one time Lance finally kissed him back. [5+1 Times]

supermassive black hole by epiproctan (NC-17, 7k)
Summary: Keith has always known that he wasn’t going to get what he truly wants out of the arrangement, but he also hadn’t ever imagined that it would just…end.

aka that classic fic where lance wants to stop hooking up but keith wants something else entirely [Friends with Benefits, Mutual Pining]

you never stood a chance by kagshina (PG, 12k)
Summary: lance to hunk ♡
>i’m gonna fukin die hunk oh mygod i sent
>keith a work out selfie that i wan supposed to fcukin send to you and you know what it said
>”BET YOU WANNA LICK THESE NIPS”
>HUNK I WILL NEVE BE ABLE TO FCE HIM AGAIN I WANT TO DI E

(Or, Keith is beautiful, Lance has a crush, and there’s lots of shirtless selfies) [College AU/Snapchat]

Love and Other Questions by squirenonny (PG, 46.6k, WIP)
Summary: One week after news of the Kerberos disaster broke, Pidge receives a new Mark–proof that Matt is still alive. She breaks into the Garrison to find him, only to find herself caught up in the fight for the fate of the universe.

Keith keeps his arms covered so he doesn’t have to watch Shiro’s scars compounding on his skin–but doing so means cutting off contact with his romantic soulmate, who greets him each morning with a new (and terrible) pickup line.

Shiro and Matt thought they were the luckiest people alive when they found out they were going to Kerberos together. But Shiro hasn’t seen Matt’s untidy scrawl on his arm in almost a year, and he has no idea if his soulmate is even still alive.

[Canonverse Soulmate AU with romantic and platonic soulmates (and some gray areas in between)] [Soulmates and Soulmate Marks, WIP]

Save a Horse (But Also Spare the Cowboy) by Mytay (PG, 0.8k)
Summary: “Keith, did you just break out your Texas for me? Did you just make a space cowboy pun for me?”

“No. Also, the fact that bad jokes turn you on explains so much.”
[Space Cowboys]

Seven Minutes by LanceMcLame (PG, 2.2k)
Summary: Pidge never should have mentioned sleepovers to Allura.

That was the only thought in Lance’s mind right now, as he tried to make himself comfortable on the awkward nest of blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags. This was all Pidge’s fault. They’d offhandedly mentioned something about having a sleepover party once with their friends, and Allura had immediately picked up on the idea, insisting that it’d be “an excellent team-building opportunity”. And that was how the five Paladins of Voltron and the two Alteans had ended up building a sort of fort in the bridge of the Castle of Lions, and playing the most heinous game known to mankind.

Truth or Dare. [Team Bonding]

Your Love Has Shown Me Proof by freshia (PG, 22.4k)
Summary: “This situation is a bit more complicated than we initially realized.”

Lance raises an eyebrow, but Pidge is the one to question that. “Define complicated.”

Allura takes no more time beating around the bush, “Well, I received a transmission. Keith and Lance–from the future, that is–would like to have their daughter back.”

or: Lance and Keith deal with a walking spoiler, in the form of a little girl who just wants to get back to her own home. [Time Travel, Kid Fic]

dynamic by kagshina (PG, 13.5k, WIP)
Summary: “So, uh,” Keith starts, and Lance notices the way he shifts, like he’s not quite sure how to say what he wants to say. “How are we gonna…do this?”

Before answering the question, Lance makes a quick list in his head of things he should never do:
Ask the boy he has a huge crush on to be his fake boyfriend for the sake of proving a point (even if Lance thinks he’s going to say no, because apparently he might actually say yes!) [Fake/Pretend Relationship, WIP]

You stole a BABY?! by genericfanatic (PG, 24.3k)
Summary: The castle ship has a new stowaway, and Keith and Lance must figure out how to take care of them without alerting the rest of the crew. [Kid Fic, Accidental Baby Acquisition]

Rushing To Say Nothing by LynnLarsh (NC-17, 36.7k)
Summary: “What the hell was that?” Keith says, sounding strangely pissed. Probably jealous; whatever happened, Lance is a lucky son of a bitch and Keith knows it.

Coran clears his throat before answering, and when Lance finally pulls his eyes away from the crowd, that purplish blush from earlier has increased to a noticeable shade of violet across his cheeks. “It seems our boy Lance here has just been propositioned by the local brothel.”

A.k.a. That time Lance went into an alien brothel to prove a point and came out perhaps a little too enlightened.

The Little Things by fairietailed (G, 1.6k)
Summary: On Friday Hunk can hear the two of them behind him as they walk to the control room, and he swears he hears something akin to a kiss, and Keith whispering.

“That’s 10-7, Cargo Pilot. Try catching up.”

When Hunk turns around Lance is bright red, and there’s a foot of space between him and Keith.Or maybe he’s imagining things? [Secret Relationship]

Marital Mayhem by genello (PG, 26k, WIP)
Summary: Cornered by the Galra, Lance and Keith find shelter in a local temple. There’s just one problem—the natives seem to think the two of them are engaged. [Fake/Pretend Relationship, WIP]

Burning Love by TeaAndKittens (NC-17, 7k, WIP)
Summary: An injury sustained on the job for firefighter Keith means an extended medical leave that makes him feel useless and angry. He’s so desperate to get back to his crew at Station 5 that he’s almost willing to try anything - except yoga. Especially after Hunk calls this friend of his that owns a yoga studio and Keith gets supporting evidence for his claim that only crazy people practice yoga.

Somehow, despite all of that, Hunk and Shiro manage to bully him into at least trying it. He shows up for that first class expecting to hate it. What he’s not expecting is for Hunk’s friend to be hot like the fire of a thousand suns. Or even more insane in person.

Or: Keith’s life. So Hard. [Firefighter/Yoga Instructor AU, WIP]

if you’re ready by rhapsodyinpink (PG so far, 2k, WIP)
Summary: “Why was I wearing a wedding veil?” Lance asks, eyes narrowing in confusion.

“Oh wait..wait, shit! Shit! Did I marry a hot babe last night? Talk about a wild birthday!” Lance crows, waving his arms with glee.

“No,” says Keith. “You married me.”

In which the paladins visit Las Vegas for Lance’s 21st birthday, Keith and Lance get married, Allura goes missing, Pidge gets arrested, and Shiro goes to the spa. [Accidentally Married in Vegas - still in universe not au! WIP]

Dancing for Voltron and Follow My Lead by The_Sickfic_Sideblog (PG, 2k total)
Summary: Lance has a hidden talent. It’s not hidden for long. [Dance Skills Lance]

Seven Days by MilkTeaMiku (NR, 63.5k, Series)
Summary: The Galra has a new weapon that de-ages the Paladins into babies for a week. [De-aged/Kid Fic]

Thank God For Hometowns by merycula (thanksillpass) (PG, 6.5k)
Summary: Lance tells his grandparents that he has a boyfriend to get them off his back, and is forced to ask his neighbor Keith to pretend to date him when they come with a visit. [Fake Dating]

seeing him for the first time (again) by breadpoetsociety (G, 1.5k)
Summary: “Who are you?” Keith demanded, excitedly putting his free hand to his cheek. “What’s your name?”

“Eat the cracker, Keith.”

“Did god send you? Are you an angel?” Keith didn’t look very frightened as this concept of being dead worked its way out of him. Lance ran a hand through his own hair, smiling wryly.

“Please, eat the cracker, Keith.”

“What’s your name?” Keith’s voice cracked, desperately, excitedly. “Please. Who are you?”

“My name is Lance,” Lance paused, nerves sitting uncomfortably in the bottom of his stomach– deep, in the part he never searched. He licked his lips and ran a hand through his unwashed hair. “I’m, um, I’m your fiancé.” [Amnesia]

On Thin Ice 
by Minadora (R, 150k, WIP)
Summary: This multi-chapter fic chronicles the lives of a hockey player named Keith who gets forcibly enlisted into figure skating lessons by his brother, Shiro, to “work on his footwork”. There he meets a pompous - yet talented - figure skater named Lance and gets swept away by both the sport and the skater. [Ice Hockey/Figure Skater AU]

it’s time. for meta. about how Viktor Nikiforov is the Most Transparent™ because I need to establish this.

Y’all have accepted that he’s got an excellent control over his temper. You’ve also accepted Viktor’s pretty good at acting. I agree with both of those things, at least, to an extent. 

In terms of his temper yeah I totally agree. He doesn’t lash out (generally), and his actions, if there are any, are highly restrained in proportion to his anger. That being said, it’s super apparent when Viktor’s annoyed. Like here! Episode four!

Look at him he’s blatantly annoyed. He’s got the fucking shadows over his eyes and everything.

But even after Yuuri turns around, look at his face. This isn’t like a true Cheery Viktor™ face. This is like Viktor pretending to be his normal self, but it’s clearly not working like. At all. And we saw him make the transition to this face. Came with a ding noise and everything. We know this isn’t accurate at all anyway. And I think Yuuri knows too considering his reaction. 

Is that fear or is that fear. (Hint: it’s fear). Like, of course part of this is definitely attributed to Yuuri’s anxiety, of this I have no doubts. But I think if Viktor wasn’t so transparently annoyed in the way he made his entrance, to his not quite genuine face, to his tone of voice, it probably wouldn’t look like this. 

in episode 5 you’ve got more annoyed Viktor, but in this episode he makes no attempt at hiding it, I mean look.

Look. 

To quote dub Viktor in episode 2: “that’s not a happy face.”

I could get more from that pre-SP hug in particular but you really get my point here. He’s clearly not happy. Very transparent. 

I’m not going to address episode 10 because everyone and their mother has already addressed episode 10. We all know Viktor was Fucking Pissed (insert that one Kirby picture but like. with Viktor).  

Viktor is very transparent in his anger, but it doesn’t stop there. Because Viktor wears his entire heart on his sleeve, and I think he’s aware of this. That’s why, especially for the public, he acts. And here’s where it gets tricky. Because I think Viktor’s a good actor, but only for a specific type of audience: the general public. 

We know that before Yuuri Viktor was depressed, given how he talks about his past and what little we’ve seen from it. He’s described skating as a shackle around his neck, and his life before Yuuri was devoid of “life and love” But there’s visual indicators of this too. Like these brief glimpse of the old Viktor in episode 11.

He’s so sad and miserable I am going to cry Vitya let me hug you. But there’s another reason I showed this. It’s to compare this, with Viktor by himself, to Viktor in front of a crowd.

He’s won the GPF for the fifth time in a row. The crowd is going wild, but look at his face. His smile. We know Viktor. We know what a truly happy Viktor looks like. He’s got a heart shaped smile and his whole body radiates joy, and this isn’t him. That smile isn’t even a real smile. Viktor’s just doing it because it’s expected, and the crowd eats it up, like they eat up the rest of his public persona. But it’s fake. We know he’s not happy and we even know what happy Viktor looks like. It’s so obvious.

“but if it’s so fake, why do they buy it?” Because they don’t know him. And we didn’t either when all of us first watched this episode, so we all bought it. Maybe we, and maybe some of his fans, think something is off, but no one knows him well enough to prove anything. It’s all speculation. All they have (and all we had) is just what Viktor wanted to show us. That’s why it works. He’s a great actor to the public and the like, because the public is never shown anything he doesn’t want them to see. 

But this wouldn’t work on anyone who knows him. Like Yakov. This is where it gets into hc territory, I suppose but I imagine Yakov would notice. He’s been Viktor’s coach for so long, and if you look at the brief glances of younger Viktor to this Viktor, they’re very different. Yakov honestly feels like Viktor’s dad at this point, so he would notice. Maybe he’s even tried to bring it up, but Viktor acts in front of everyone, not just a crowd. “I’m fine, Yakov.” You’re not, Yakov thinks, but he can’t successfully bring it up with Viktor. 

Less HC territory is Yurio, who clearly noticed something was wrong, but didn’t put it together properly. Yurio concludes Viktor’s lost his inspiration and he’s entered a slump. Maybe that’s true, but that’s not all of it. But he still knows something is wrong.

I can’t argue for anyone else who was probably a part of Viktor’s life at this point, as we have basically nothing to base it off of. With Georgi or Mila or Chris we don’t actually know if they were even close, or how close, before Yuuri. There’s nothing to base it off of. 

We actually see Yuuri make a transition from one side to the other. Yuuri was a fan who didn’t know Viktor, and slowly gets to know him, seeing beyond the man he put on a pedestal. It’s pretty neat.

tl;dr: Viktor is hella transparent. I agree he’s got good control over his temper, and that he acts, but he’s still transparent as fuck.

anonymous asked:

I'm intending to move out of my mom's by fall, but I have two cats, and idk much about how to care for them on my own. I want to do it right, but I'm not very good with figuring out vet info or other care stuff for them.

Okay, so I’ve just spent the last two hours writing this post for you, in the hopes that you will change your mind. It’s way longer than I intended, but I tried to be thorough and comprehensive. Know that I have strong opinions about how to raise cats because they’re a huge part of my life. You might not agree with what I have to say, but this is what’s worked for me. I urge you to try different things and find out what works best for you! Before I get into it, let me talk about my cats…

I have a four year old orange tabby (Mason) and a sixteen year old tortoiseshell cat (Gretel) pictured in Appendix D. They have completely opposite personalities (Mason is super confident and talkative, Gretel is more standoffish) and they did NOT get along for the longest time. I’ve been with Gretel since she was three years old, so we’re very close and she’s very protective of me. After we moved into our current apartment, my boyfriend and I bought Mason to keep Gretel company. He was a rescue cat that had been previously returned after being adopted once, because he was “fresh”. He gave me the runaround when he first moved in, so I understand what it’s like to have a difficult cat.

It’s taken two years for them to both be comfortable with each other, but last week they fell asleep on the bed together (see Appendix D) and it was so beautiful. These cats have brought so much joy into my life, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. All these experiences, good and bad, have taught me that I never want to live without cats in my life.

Please feel free to direct message me if you want to talk about what taking care of cats on your own will mean for you. I am here for all your cat needs!

The Complete Guide to Living on Your Own (With Cats)

Phase 1: Your New Apartment

Before moving into your new home, follow these steps to make the process as comfortable as possible for your cats. You need to understand that they will be upset and act strange for the first few days, and this is absolutely normal and expected. Give them time- they’ll adjust.

1. Move the cats last. Move everything else you own into your new apartment, and get it set up as much as you can before moving your cats. Make sure there are plenty of places for them to hide that are easily accessible, like under your bed or in the back of a closet. Initially your cats will be very shell-shocked, and it will be easier for them to adjust if they smell familiar furniture and are able to find a secure place to hide.

2. Feliway. Buy yourself Feliway and spray it on walls and around doorways at your kitty’s eye level. I can’t tell you what it is or why it works (Science Side of Tumblr please explain), but your cats smell it and will feel much calmer. Feliway also helps when your cat starts peeing on everything, see Phase 2: Tantrums.

3. Moving your cats. If you have two cats, make sure that you move both cats at the same time. Even if they’re not the best of pals, a familiar face in a time of stress will soothe them. In the car ride they will cry, drool, pee, and sound like they’re dying. This is horrible to hear, but no that it’s only temporary. If you were in their situation you would act the same way! 

Hyperventilating. If you hear your cat start to hyperventilate, move them out of the carrier and comfort them immediately. I was transporting a cat with a high fever to the vet once and he started to do this, so I literally pulled over and drove with the cat in my lap the rest of the way. Once in my lap, he relaxed and started to breathe normally. The vet told me that I was lucky I did this, because the cat could’ve had a heart-attack. 

4. In the new apartment. Open your cat carrier and allow your cats to explore their new home at their own pace. Depending on your cat’s confidence, they might make a beeline for your bed and hide under it for the next two days. This is absolutely fine. Your cats may not want to eat or use the bathroom during these first few days, and this is normal. You often won’t eat if you’re stressed out, so understand that when they’re hungry, they’ll eat. If one of your cats is very upset, place their food and water bowl in the room they’re hiding in, so that they won’t feel threatened while they eat. 

5. Give it time. This could be less than a day or over a week, but your cat will come out from their hiding space of their own accord. They will walk around their new home and take everything in, and they’ll make themselves comfortable. Be there for your cat during this time, offering encouragement and love as they need it. It’s okay if they come out and retreat back to their safe hiding space, tell yourself that they will come out again.


Phase 2: Tantrums

Cats are mostly independent animals, but they do require lots of love and attention. Expect at least one or all of these tantrums to be thrown when you move them into your new home. Your cats are in a new environment that they are not wholly comfortable with, so it’s important to be patient and help them through this difficult time. 

1. Pooping. Your cat has an excellent sense of smell- they know where their litter box is. If they’re choosing to poop outside of the box, they are most likely looking for attention. Make sure that the poop has no blood in it (see Phase 4: Veterinarians + Common Diseases) and spend time making your cat feel special. This includes treats, playtime, combing, whatever they like best. 

2. Peeing A. Peeing is a form of scenting, which is essentially your cat being like “this is mine”. Your cats will probably do this a lot when you first move in, so make sure you have the proper cleaners ready (see Appendix A). Clean the spot thoroughly, and spray Feliway all over it. Your cat will smell the Feliway and think “Okay, I peed there already” and walk on. I’m not kidding. 

3. Peeing B. Peeing can also be an cry for attention, slightly different from scenting. Here’s how to tell the difference- does your cat only pee when you’re around? Typically this will only be done in areas that you frequent, like your bed or your couch. If so, then this is a cry for attention- see “Pooping”.

4. Peeing C. Is your cat declawed? I sure hope not, because that’s inhumane. But anyways, if it is… declawed cats require a different type of litter than the normal Tidy Cats brand. Call your local vet and consult with them about the best types of litter to use. 

5. Attacking. Is your cat attacking people/places/things? Get toys and play with them. Cats are evolved from fearsome predators, they need to be stimulated or they’ll get bored and start hunting whatever they can find. Here are some great toys to buy your cats so that they can “hunt” on their own, there’s something in there for every cat type.


Phase 3: A Place For Everyone

Jackson Galaxy is the Cat Guru, and you can find episodes of his show “My Cat From Hell” on Netflix. Whenever Jackson enters a home of a troublesome cat, he always looks at the environment in terms of how “cat-proof” it is. Your cat needs to have their own stuff, and whether this is a cardboard box or a $150 piece of cat furniture, it needs to be there. 

1. Bush vs. Tree dweller. I have a bush dweller and a tree dweller! Bush dwellers are the cats that like to hang out under tables and under beds, and they’re thought to be cats with less self-confidence. Tree dwellers like to climb and look down on their surroundings, reconnecting with their ancestors in the jungle. Cater your apartment based off of your cat’s needs. See Phase 6: Miscellaneous to learn more about different cat personalities. 

A word on bush dwellers. I was initially very upset to learn that Gretel is considered a low self-esteem cat. I kept trying to think of ways to make her more comfortable her surroundings, in the hopes that she would one day want to climb things and perch up high. Since getting Mason, she has slowly become a bush/tree dweller. She now climbs to the top rung of her cat furniture, and asks me to help her up on the kitchen table (it’s tall so she can’t jump). What I’m trying to say is that cats will gain confidence as they get more comfortable with their surroundings, and having a second and way more confident cat has helped her come into herself, even in her old age. So proud of my baby.

2. Cat furniture. I’m not going to lie to you, cat furniture is hella expensive. But it’s life-changing. Your cats recognize that its a piece of furniture for them, and they will run right over to it and begin exploring. If your cat is wary about climbing to the higher platforms or levels of the furniture, entice them with treats or a toy. The general rule is one piece of furniture per cat, because they will fight over them. If you have a very active cat, I’d recommend getting a multi-leveled piece. 

3. Cardboard boxes. The rumors are true- cats love cardboard boxes. Just open it up and leave it in the middle of the floor, and allow your cats to explore. If you’re not ready to drop $$$, place a warm blanket in the box and allow your cats to curl up. 

4. Windows. If you leave for work, leave your blinds open for your cats to peer out. If you don’t, they’ll peer out anyway and wreck your blinds. In the summer time it might seem like a nice idea to leave your windows partially open, but always make sure that your window screens are secure. If they’re not, add masking tape around the sides of the window until you can press on the screen and it doesn’t collapse.

5. Food and water. I like to keep a bowl of water in each room for the cats, and I refresh this daily. I like to add ice cubes in the summer so that the water isn’t that awful room temperature. If you feed your cats dry food, make sure that they’re drinking lots of water after eating. 

6. Litter box. Yeah, I know- it’s the worst part of being a cat owner. I keep mine in my hallway closet, and I leave the door partially open so that the cats can get in and out as they please. I’ve seen people with litter boxes in their bathrooms, their hallways, behind chairs in their living room, etc. The general rule is to have one more litter box than there is cat. I’m sorry, that’s crazy talk. I have a one bedroom apartment and I’m not having three litter boxes. One has worked fine for my babies, I just have to be vigilant about cleaning it. 

As far as choosing a cat litter brand, most cats are not picky. Some, however, are. Tidy Cats is expensive so I use whatever is on sale at CVS. I prefer scented because I have the litter box right by my front door. Find what works for you, but listen to your cat’s needs. 

Be wary of any brand of “lightweight” cat litter other than Tidy Cats. One time I bought Stop & Shop’s “Companion” lightweight litter and it hardened and stuck to the bottom of my litter box and I literally had to rehydrate it to remove it. DISGUSTING. 

7. Wall furniture. If you don’t have a lot of room on the floor of your apartment, consider putting up wall furniture for your cat. This can be anything from an expensive piece like this, or a simple wooden board for your cats to walk on. 

8. The floor is lava. Confident cats like to be up high on tables, window sills, cat furniture, etc. This is because back in their ancestral days, they had to peer down from the treetops to hunt their prey. Allow your cat this luxury, and try not to freak out if they walk on your kitchen counters or sit on your dining room table. Your cat is programmed to do this, the fact that your cat wants to be up high is a sign of confidence, a sign that your cat is comfortable with their surroundings. 


Phase 4: Veterinarians + Common Diseases

Your cat’s health is so important! There are lots of things you can do to maintain your cat’s health on your own (see Appendix B), but know that you will need to take one or both of your cats to the vet sometime this year. Remember to consult medical professionals if your cat is visibly ill. I am not a medical professional, but here are some of the things I’ve dealt with as a cat owner.

1. Hospitals vs. Doctors. My biggest expense as a cat owner is taking my babies to the vet. I have a Veterinary Hospital literally two minutes from my home, and Gretel hates the car so much that I always just take her there to get her to calm down. In general, hospitals are WAY more expensive than regular vet’s offices. Like, I’m talking over $100 difference. The expense is worth it for me, but it might not be for you. Find your closest vet office and put their number into your phone ASAP.

2. Making an appointment. If your cat is having a crisis, you can call during normal business hours and bring your cat in right then and there, but it’s going to cost you extra money. If your cat is not in imminent danger, call and make an appointment for the next day.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to bring your cat(s) or yearly check-ups and make sure they get all their vet shots. I’m gonna level with you- I don’t do this. I wish I could afford to do it, but I live paycheck to paycheck and can’t. You need to be able to take care of yourself, so if you’re poor like me, I’d advise saving vet visits for emergencies only. 

3. Vet insurance. Obviously- I do not have vet insurance. This means that I pay for all my vet visits out of pocket, and vet offices do not allow you to pay in installments, you have to pay all at once. My downstairs neighbor once had her cat held by a vet’s office because she didn’t have the money to pay for the vet bills. She had to get an emergency loan from her bank to be able to pay and get her cat released. Yikes. The one person I do know with pet insurance says that it saves her about 75% of her vet bill, but she’s a grown ass woman with a house. It’s okay if you don’t have vet insurance, there are still things you can do to improve your cat’s quality of life for reasonably cheap (See Appendix B).

3. Flea medication. Flea medication can be expensive, especially if you have two cats. Unfortunately, Advantage is the only medication that I have found effective. I’ve tried several different knock off brands, and while they worked, they didn’t last nearly as long as Advantage. I don’t worry about fleas that much in the winter, but I put it on my cats during the summer because there are lots of stray cats where I live.

4. Vomit. An occasional puke pile is nothing to be concerned about. There are lots of reasons why cats throw up, but 99% of them are digestion related. The worst part of puke is having to clean it up. As disgusting as it may be, the best way to clean up puke is to allow it to dry and to then clean it (see Appendix A). Lots of cats have food allergies (Mason, for example), so if your cat is throwing up multiple times in a week, change their diet (see Phase 5: Cat food).  If your cat throws up blood, take them to the vet immediately. 

5. Feline Respiratory Virus. Cats do not get colds like humans do, so be very wary if your cat has a runny nose, watery eye discharge, is sneezing or acting lethargic. These infections can kill cats if left untreated. If your cat is showing these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately. The vet will prescribe antibiotics that you will have to give your cat, and your cat should be feeling better within 24 hours. Once a cat gets an FRV, they are more susceptible to it. Cats can infect other cats, so keep your cats separated and give them separate food and water until your infected cat is visibly better. 

6. Bloody poop. Bloody poop (while disgusting) does not always signify illness. Sometimes it means that your cat is having trouble digesting, but other times it means that your cat has worms. Keep an eye on your cat’s poop, and if it’s still bloody after two additional days, take them to the vet and bring a sample of the poop with you. This stool sample will be tested by your vet, and if you don’t have one they will send you home and wait for you acquire one before testing anything.

7. Lumps. My cat Gretel currently has a lump on her face. I noticed it a couple months ago and took her to the vet. If your cat gets a lump suddenly, see if you can move the lump around with your fingers. If the lump feels solid and causes your cat pain, make an appointment ASAP. Gretel’s lump moves around freely and doesn’t cause her pain at all, so my vet told me not to worry about it. Cats grow non-cancerous tumors on their faces and bodies, as well as excesses of fatty tissue that cause bumps. Feeling a bump does not guarantee that your cat’s life is in danger.

8. Bottom line. Wondering if something is wrong with your cat? Ask yourself this simple question- Is your cat eating and drinking water? If your cat is not eating or drinking water, then something is wrong. Make an appointment and take them to the vet.


Phase 5: Cat Food

Spend some time researching different brands before deciding what to feed your cat. Here are some guidelines to help you.

1. Wet food vs. Dry food. It’s a scientifically acknowledged fact that wet food is much better for your cats than dry food. Unfortunately canned food can be up to three times as expensive per pound as dry food, and I can’t afford that on my budget. If you feed dry food, make sure that your cat is properly hydrated and drinking lots of water after they eat.

2. Junk food vs. Health food. Some cats are finicky eaters, mine are not. They do not care what type of food it is, they’re just happy to eat it. Meow Mix is super inexpensive and filling for cats, but it’s not healthy. It’s essentially like eating McDonalds every day. As a young adult, you probably can’t afford to spend large quantities of money on cat food. So compromise. Buy a bag of high quality “healthy” cat food, and a bag of cheap cat food, and give your cats a mixture of this.

3. Grain intolerance. Allergies are a real thing with cats. If your cat is having a hard time keeping food down, switch them to a grain free diet. I buy Rachel Ray cat food off of Amazon because Mason has a delicate stomach.

4. Proteins. Switch up the proteins in the food you’re feeding your cats. Spend a few months with salmon, then switch to chicken, then back to salmon, etc. I don’t remember why, but studies were done and this proved to be more healthy for cats.

5. How much food? Current studies say that cats should be feed about a half a cup of cat food per day. PER DAY. Cats also should have definitive feeding times, and should not be allowed to “graze” or eat all day. I feed my cats a cup of food in the morning (2 cats, half a cup each) and that’s all they get. One of the most common problems that cat owners have is over-feeding. 

6. Fast eaters. Mason has this problem where he gobbles down food super fast (he doesn’t even chew it half the time) and then throws up a few minutes later. You can buy special plates online that force cats to eat slowly like this one

7. What not to feed them. Check out this link. Also if your cat accidentally drinks antifreeze give them alcohol

8. Changing food. Remember that you can’t just feed your cat one food one day and a different food the next day. If you do, they’ll throw up. If you need to switch your cat’s food, do it gradually. Here’s how:

  • First day of switch: 95% old food, 5% new food
  • Second day: 75% old food, 25% new food
  • Third day: 75% old food, 25% new food
  • Fourth day: 50% of both foods
  • Fifth day: 50% of both foods
  • Sixth day: 25% old food, 75% new food
  • Seventh day: 25% old food, 75% new food
  • Eighth day: 5% old food, 95% new food
  • Ninth day: 5% old food, 95% new food 
  • 10th day: 100% new food!


Phase 6: Miscellaneous 

1. Cat types. I’m a big believer in the ASPCA feline-alities. ASPCA employees essentially give cats a personality test to see how they perform under stress. They have something wonderful to say about even the shyest of cats, it really puts everything in perspective. Check it out here. Points if you can guess my cat’s personality types based off what I’ve written here.

2. Bathing. Generally speaking, cats and water do not mix. I don’t bathe my cats because they don’t really get gross enough to require bathing. The one time I did try to bathe Gretel was an absolute disaster, so barring her overcoming her fear of water, I’m never going to do it again. She’s old and sleeps next to my head every night, so sometimes I have to help her clean up a bit. If your cat steps in poop or dirt or whatever, use baby wipes. 

3. “My Cat Doesn’t Like to Play”. Bullshit. All cats like to play, you just haven’t found the right toy. Mason responds to strings that are waved in circles above his head, squeaky toys, and things that are thrown so that he can run and “catch” his prey. Gretel likes crinkly things like candy wrappers, and will only chase a string if it’s dragged on the ground. Mess around and figure out what makes your cat tick. After playing your cat will:

  • Have a snack
  • Clean themselves
  • Take a nap

4. Reprimanding cats. I found a great post on Tumblr a year ago explaining this phenomenon, but I currently can’t find it, so I’m going to paraphrase. Essentially, cats don’t have great short-term memory, so you have to be careful when yelling at them. If your cat pees on your couch, and you don’t discover it until three hours later, yelling at your cat will accomplish absolutely nothing. They won’t understand why you’re upset, and they won’t understand what they did was wrong. You have to reprimand your cat’s either while they’re in the act of being naughty (i.e, peeing on the couch) or directly afterwards. 


Appendices 

Appendix A. Cleaners

  • Carpet cleaner (I recommend Resolve)
  • Hardwood floor cleaner (I recommend Bona)
  • Plastic gloves (I recommend whatever is cheapest)
  • Bleach (or a tile cleaner you feel more comfortable with)

 Appendix B. Caring for your cat.

  • Feliway
  • Cat lax (for those with hairballs)
  • Flea medication (you can buy Advantage in bulk on Amazon)
  • Brush (brushing decreases the risk of hairballs, fleas, and your clothes looking like shit. It can also be a way to bond with your cat)
  • Toys (get an assortment like this one)
  • Supplements (if you have an old cat, check out elder cat supplements on Amazon)
  • Ear cleansers like Epiklean (Did you know that you’re supposed to clean your cat’s ears every month? I didn’t! Gretel had an ear infection because her ears hadn’t been cleaned in 15 years)
  • Baby wipes (Gretel is very old, and sometimes she has a poopy butt. I recommend baby wipes for elder cats)
  • Multi-purpose treats (buy treats that are beneficial for your cat’s health, like treats with calcium or treats that help with hairballs)

Appendix C. Cat behavior.

Appendix D. Mason and Gretel