i like the post processing on these i think it worked out pretty well

List of anime series/movies with unique art styles.

For my friends on tumblr, in case you guys want something to watch, here’s a quick list of anime series/movies with unusual/unique art styles that you may or may not know.

Kaiba

With an artstyle reminiscent of the original Astro Boy, Kaiba has a very simplistic (yet stylized) and fluid style of animation and art. The story revolves around the titular character, who wakes up with a hole in his chest with no idea of who he is. I enjoyed this a lot for the art, music and characters, who all have realistic motivations and ideals, as well as the themes handled in it; such as what defines “being human” when bodies and memories are as disposable as plastic.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Psychological Drama

Redline

In terms of sheer action and excitement I got from watching a movie, I’ve got to say that Redline is one of the best ever in those departments. With a highly stylized comic-book-esque art style with a high influence from Western comics like Dick Tracy (with the emphasis on black shadows on solid colours and thick black outlines), this show is extremely fluidly animated, the movie is said to consist of 120 000 hand-drawn frames, taking seven years to complete. The movie follows the story of racer JP (aka “Sweet” JP, because of his refusal to use weaponry while racing) trying to win (and survive) the titular Redline, a race consisting of multiple racers from multiple different galaxies and planets.
Genre: Racing, Sci-Fi, Action

Mononoke

Every frame of this anime could be screencapped and slapped onto someone’s dashboard for their aesthetic. That is how distinct the art style and character design of this show is. The show uses a form of “plaid animation”, where something will be animated over a still color or object as it moves, creating most of the time a jarring effect that is usually the sign of a lazy animator, however in Mononoke, the show utilizes the art to create a sense of a surreal, dream-like environment, intentionally focusing on the jarring effect. The art and design of the environment is also extremely ornate and beautiful.
The show focuses on the story of the unknown Medicine Seller and his travels through Japan (in an unknown time period), killing spirits and creatures known as Mononoke. However, he cannot do so until he learns their Form, Truth and Reasoning/Regret, which leads to some very interesting lessons at the end of each story.
Genre: Mystery, Horror

Dead Leaves

Another comic-influenced movie, and just barely under an hour too; Dead Leaves is an extremely fun, hyper-action-packed movie with amazing character design (almost EVERY good character in this movie has a unique design, barring the civilains and generic bad guy cannon fodder), driven by slapstick, humor (usually of the sexual kind) and more pop culture references than you can digest within the time span they’re thrown at you. The story focuses on criminals Retro and Pandy; Retro having a TV instead of a head, and Pandy having a panda-like marking on her eye, who, shortly after waking up on the moon and causing havoc on a nearby planet, are imprisoned in a super-jail.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Kuuchuu Buranko / Welcome to Irabu’s Office

Combining rotoscoped 3D, 2D animation and live action elements, Kuuchuu Buranko is an extremely surreal look into the world of psychiatry. The art and designs were created by the lead artist of Mononoke, Kenji Nakamura. But whereas Mononoke had some subtlety to its art, this show is bright, colourful and neon as all hell. The show focuses on Dr. Ichiro Irabu and how he helps his patients with their problems, who are all connected in some way or the other.
Genre: Comedy, Psychological Drama

The Tatami Galaxy

With a bright visual style that also manages to be subtle at the same time, The Tatami Galaxy also utilizes not just its art as a device for story telling, but the form of the show itself to convey its messages. I can’t spoil too much about the show, but I can give you this: if you enjoy the first episode, please watch it to completion, as this show basically requires the viewer to watch the show in its entirety. The story focuses on an unnamed protagonist, commonly referred to as Watashi by the show’s fans, who tries to attain the “rose-tinted” college life style he has desired for his whole life, as well as all the challenges he faces on the way. With fast-paced dialogue, a lot of humor, interesting character and background designs, as well as the various forms of “characterization”, and also the themes tackled by this show, I’d say it’s one of my favorite shows of all time.
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Psychological, Sci-Fi

Mind Game

Mind Game. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (also the director behind The Tatami Galaxy, Kaiba and Ping-Pong). I don’t think words can do this movie justice, but I’ll try. Imagine a combination of 3D-morphing-into-2D, sketches, animated photo images of (presumably) the voice actor’s for talking, extremely smooth and fluid movement, plus an insane amount of exaggeration,all coupled with a huge range of bright and dark colours and you’ve got Mind Game’s animation style down somewhat. Go look up more GIFs, they’ll help you understand the range of styles this surreal (and extremely fun) movie goes through. The plot follows Nishi, a down-on-his-luck, 20-years-old manga writer, running into his childhood crush Myon. He discovers she’s getting married soon while they’re talking inside her father’s restaurant. After that (plus another key event), the craziness in the movie begins; Nishi having a new-found desire to live life.
Genre: Comedy, Surrealism, 

Tekkonkinkreet

Tekkonkinkreet, although similar in appearance to some Masaaki Yuasa works, was not made by the man himself (although, it was made by the company, Studio 4°Cthat helped produce Mind Game). This movie has incredibly detailed backgrounds, similar to a Studio Ghibli film, with amazing usage of lighting, camera shots and motion blur as well as a wide variety of colours and shades. The story follows Black and White, two street orphans who call themselves “The Cats”, trying to keep control of their town from dangerous enemies. Although vastly different in personalities, they support each other emotionally, mentally and physically very well.
Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure

The Diary of Tortov Riddle

The Diary of Tortov Roddle, although very short (6 episodes all leading up to 14 minutes! Watch it here! It has three special episodes that are part of the DVD though), is an interesting adventure of a surreal world that seems almost like a moving/animated picture rather than a movie or series. It follows the journey of Tortov Roddle and his pig-steed throughout this world, with just his calm thoughts and experiences. There’s no dialogue in this series but it doesn’t really require any dialogue at all, the only dialogue being Tortov’s journal entries at the beginning and end of each episode. The music, lack of dialogue and artall contribute to a very interesting, mysterious atmosphere.
Genre: Fantasy, Surrealism, Adventure

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Straight outta Compton Studio Ghibli, The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an adaption of one of the staples of traditional Japanese folklore, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This film adapts the ancient story of the young princess who grew out of a bamboo shoot and breathes fresh new life into it while still staying 100% true to the source material. The art can only be described as absolutely gorgeous, using a pale colour palette in a constantly shifting style that recalls the ancient Japanese watercolour paintings that the original story was recorded on.

Genre:  Fantasy, Drama

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Oh man this show.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei follows the story of Nozomu Itoshiki, an overdramatic teacher so pessismistic about everything that he would try committing suicide over pretty much the smallest inconvenience (his name, when its Japanese characters are read horizontally, also translates into “Despair”) and his bizarre homeroom students’ antics. The series parodies almost everything there is to satrize in Japanese culture (the show even parodies itself from time to time with casual 4th wall-breaking from every show), as well as the general media and politics of the world, as well as having an insane amount of references to various things regardless of fame; from Gundam, Evangelion and Gurren Lagann, to Franz Kafka, Edward Gorey and South Park. The art’s very minimal (which itself gets parodied later on in the series), but it, uh, changes a lot, to put it simply.

Genre: Comedy, Parody

Ping-Pong

(gotta lot of requests to list this one)

Sports anime tends to always get a bad rep amongst anime fans for various reasons, whether it be that the viewer gets tired of seeing another Dempsey Roll, or the amount of reused frames in the series, they’re all understandable.
And so comes Ping-Pong to shatter those preconceptions of what a sports anime can be. Focusing rather on the characters, their emotions and development rather than the titular game that the anime’s based on (unlike most sports anime), this coming-of-age show following two boys as they (one actually) strive to become the best table tennis players in the world, is directed by none other than Masaaki Yuasa, who has directed a lot of the shows and movies on this list actually, with his trademark style of not having a trademark artstyle (other than wobbly simple lines and psychedelic colours).

Genre: Psychological, Drama, Coming-Of-Age, Sports

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

(im still in the process of watching Gankutusou and Ping-Pong (thanks school) hence why they weren’t in the original post)

Gankutsuou is what most people would call “art porn”, as it uses various still textures, colours and patterns within the character’s lineart, similar to Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko though to a much greater extent, while using 3D and 2D animation on the characters and backgrounds. The story is broadly based on the titular story of The Count of Monte Cristo, but with many differences, such as being set in the year 5053, plotlines and character endings being altered/removed, the pacing being changed from the original story, as well as the incorporation of many sci-fi themes. The general aesthetic of the show is that of 19th century France in a highly futuristic setting.

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Supernatural

Kaiji

Based off a popular gambling manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Kaiji follows the story of the titular character, Kaiji Itou, an unemployed slacker who spends his days gambling (and always losing), stealing, drinking and being obsessed with money. He suddenly finds himself 3 million in debt, and is offered the chance to erase all of his debt, and maybe even earn some cash, in one night.

Via gambling.

With thick bold lines, exaggerated expressions and hugely caricaturized faces that woul make more sense in a comedy that all serve as a plus to the show, Kaiji is an intense psychological thriller that always leaves you on the edge of your seat, with some of the most insane and dramatic gambles in any piece of fiction.

Genre: Psychological, Thriller, Gambling

Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt

Two angels, kicked out of Heaven, have been tasked with cleaning up the filthy sin-riddled Daten City, and can only return once they’ve gotten enough Heaven coins!

Not like that matters to Panty and Stocking anyways, whose only cares in the world are what tastes good, much to the chagrin of local priest Garterbelt.

With a ton of American pop culture references, humor that would make South Park seem like a kid’s show, action that is so bizarre it can’t even be explained, and an animation style that’s more akin to a cartoon on a huge drug trip than anything else, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt shows that sometimes too much of a good thing is still a good thing.

Genre: Comedy, Action, Parody, Not something to play around Grandma

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

There really is no other gif that explains and summarizes Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure better than this one.

Based off the hugely popular manga by Araki Hirohiko, the show follows the story of the Joestar bloodline. Jojo is unique in that it doesn’t follow one group of characters or main character throughout the entire franchise, but rather a different cast in a different location throughout the world, ranging from 1930s New York, to 1980s Japan, to Egypt and much more.

If I’m being rather vague about describing this rather popular show, I apologize, but there really is no way to properly explain this bizarre series.

With proportions that look like it was ripped straight out of a bodybuilder’s magazine, poses that could probably break your spine if even just attempted, and fights that end up being some of the most hype as well as some of the most ridiculous you’ll have ever seen, as well as a bright, dramatic colour pallete, this is a show that truly lives up to its “Bizarre” title.

(also protip: start with the 2012 adaption first rather than the 90s OVA, and read the manga.)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Mystery

Of Headbands and Hurt Feelings

based on this post by @fistatfirstklance + yours truly. also @wittyy-name asked me to tag her in this (haha im still screaming) so here we go

It starts as a one time thing.

Pidge had looked down one day, Lance’s older brother instinct had kicked in, and he’d ended up spending twenty minutes trying to string a pretty green stone he’d picked up on a piece of string. Any normal person would’ve just given it to Pidge directly, but Lance thought it’d be more fun to hide it somewhere and wait for Pidge to find it. She’d walked out of Green’s hangar the next morning with the stone around her neck and a smile on her face, and well. It spiraled from there.

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Learning Graphic Design On Your Own

A Quick Note…

Everyone learns differently. Some people like to ask questions in class, others like to watch videos that they can pause and replay, and even more people could prefer to just tinker and see what happens (I’m personally a tinkerer). The first thing you should do when learning on your own (so probably online or through books) is to do some research and know how you like to learn.

So, let’s start with… what even is “Graphic Design”?

Let’s get this straight… graphic designers aren’t fine artists. They are problem solvers, visual communicators, and sometimes curators of information in an aesthetically pleasing way. We organize information and try to make the world an easier-to-understand and more beautiful place. Of course, there are other fields like advertising where we communicate to customers why they should buy certain products. Or there are User Interface/Experience designers that will develop websites and video game interfaces and design how you interact with it. Look into graphic design and see what field you want to be in. What do you want to do with graphic design?

Fun fact, the google definition says: “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” and to that, I’d like to say we do SO MUCH MORE.

Now that you know what you’re doing…Here’s the VERY BRIEF process!
(I may make individual posts for each step later on)

  1. Learn the basics
    1. Typography, how to use the basic principles of line, shape, color, and so on is usually for everyone no matter your field.
    2. Basics like composition are also very important. If you’re into editorial then typographic spreads will be more of your focus. If you’re in web design then seeing how websites are typically laid out will be a thing to look into. Basic typography, color theory, and principles still apply!
    3. Basics and principles are a google search (or a book) away! Everyone talks about these things ALL the time.
  2. Look up inspiration and develop an “eye” for design
    1. Follow design blogs! Follow other designers! On all of your social media! (There are so many Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts solely dedicated to graphic design curation).
  3. Look into the big names of the industry
    1. Why were they remembered? Everyone else in the field probably remembers them for that, too.
    2. What was so great about them? Apply what you learn to your own work!
    3. If they’re well known, they probably have at least decent work to get inspired from!
  4. Research is done… time to do some work!
    1. If you’re just starting out, there are some things you’re probably not used to. Doing things by hand with sharpie markers on paper will definitely help train your eye and mind to think more about communication, not pretty things. 
    2. Abstract things down into simple shapes. Then try communicating that same object with fewer shapes. Maybe only lines? Geometric style? Play around with communication! This is key when you get into icons, logos, and other visuals that require a more minimal look. 
    3. Remember, you make information more easily accessible. The best logos are easy to remember because they are simple and effective. Your work may one day need that kind of punch!
  5. The jump from traditional to digital
    1. It’s time to learn about your program(s) of choice… my biggest piece of advice would be to just mess with it. Learning on your own by trying to make something is one of the best ways to train your mind and body on how to use the programs.
    2. Try every tool. Try making basic shapes. Then make basic objects with those shapes. Then try making a person or something more complicated. Try to test every tool to see what you’d use it for!
    3. Don’t know anything or how to do something? Google it! If you’re asking there’s probably 5+ different YouTube videos, 3+ articles, and 100+ tutorials on how to do it.
  6. Let’s work on projects!
    1. Now that you’re familiar with the history, principles, other designers, and the programs… just keep on making stuff!
    2. Making your own projects (make your own website, business cards, a flyer for a club, a T-Shirt, and so on…) is my biggest recommendation on how to learn graphic design. Actually applying everything you’ve learned will make you think in a problem-solving way! Also sharing things that you’ve made that actually matter is way more fun than sharing a fancy circle you made with no context. (You can say “look at this T-Shirt I made!” instead of “look at this weird circle I made!”)
  7. Get feedback from designers and non-designers
    1. Once you’ve made stuff… ask everyone! Non-designers will give you a client’s perspective of your work. A designer’s perspective will help you grow as a designer and they may see things that you and your average person wouldn’t have noticed. (you’re always free to ask me if you’d like!)
    2. Please remember to not take feedback personally (unless they’re being rude, then just ignore them). You’re learning and growing and there’s always room for improvement. A lot of feedback is not a bad thing!
  8. Stay determined!
    1. Being a designer isn’t easy. That T-Shirt you made that took you a couple days? Someone could say they don’t get it. Other designers could say there was a better way to execute your idea. Another person may even say it looks like something else!
    2. When you design you have to expect to make revisions, rethinking, and making more revisions until it’s at a good enough place to publish. But no matter what, you have to remember that it’s not about PERFECTION. It’s about getting it DONE and learning to grow. No one is perfect, and it’s mostly subjective, so just take the criticism you agree with and don’t apply what you disagree with. As a designer, you should know what’s right, wrong, or what you should consider bringing up to other designers.
    3. KEEP MAKING MORE STUFF! You can even remake older stuff as you go on! Just keep going!

That’s my super brief process!

Now honestly, I could’ve gotten down into the nitty gritty details of each step, but this is basically how I’d suggest going about it if you want to get a head start before getting into college, or you want to just learn on your own.

If you guys have any additional questions or want me to go more in-depth about anything, feel free to let me know! :)

anonymous asked:

ana bear, can i ask you something? can you write little quirks and mannerisms you love about our shining babes? like, a eprsonal trait, a habit, all things you think define them (like Taem's magic hands and stuff)

yes y e s  of course I can and I’ll be glad to - let’s start with:

taemin

quirks/mannerisms

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Alright, HERE we go! Awhile ago I had an idea for a MP100/Voltron crossover, and after mentioning it to @x-i-l-verify​ and loooots of brainstorming later, we have…*gestures vaguely* this. These are more or less screenshot redraws just to kind of get across who is who. :) More info, reasonings and musings under the cut, because well…it got long…

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Hey, blossoms! There are times when we get ill, which is perfectly natural. To be honest, I am currently sick, so this is kind of a refined version of my thoughts from a few days ago. I was worried about missing school, and I thought that some ideas I have could help you!

self-care 

 The most important thing to do when you’re sick is to take care of yourself and get better. This may mean putting your studies aside, but health always comes first. Here’s some tips:

- Certain types of tea, like chamomile and ones with lemon, can soothe sore throats.

- (Side note: I’ve heard that marshmallows are also able to help sore throats because of the gelatin they contain, but that may not be true and I don’t have a credible source for it.) 

- Make sure you drink lots of fluids, like juice, milk, and most importantly, water! One of my personal faves is Tang, which is this orange powder that you dissolve in water. It used to be really big in America a while ago but I don’t know widespread it is elsewhere. 

- Try to shower regularly if you’re congested because the steam will clear out your sinuses. 

 - If you can’t shower regularly, nasal rinses will work just fine too! You can get a  system for that at your local pharmacy. (There’s also this thing you can do where you fill a sink with hot water, put a towel over it, and stick your head underneath the towel. This allows the steam to build up, which means you can decongest a little.)

- Medicate regularly!! Check the directions on whatever type of medication you’re taking to see when it wears off and set a timer so you can stay on top of it. This will help your recovery process along a bit faster. However, DO NOT ABUSE MEDICATION. Take only as much as is prescribed because taking too much can actually be worse for your health. 

- If you’re on antibiotics, make sure to eat well because antibiotics are designed to take out all types of bacteria within the body, even the good ones in your digestive system. (I’d personally recommend eating foods with fiber and protein and staying away from dairy if you can. That’s just my personal experience! It may be different for other people.)

- Get some rest!! You may want to catch up on your studies but you’ll be able to catch up quicker and understand material better if you’re well rested. 

catching up 

So, you’re feeling alright and ready to begin making up work. Where do you begin? 

- Here’s some posts on catching up after being away for a while (note some of these are travel based, but there’s still some good information in there) 

- Email your teachers! Text your classmates! Ask for notes, for homework, and for additional help if you’re unclear about what’s going on. 

- If you’re feeling well enough, you could run in to your classes in order to get the homework and briefly conference with your teachers, but it’s always best to make sure you’re not contagious or feeling poorly before doing so. Email is pretty much just as effective. 

- Start small. Trying to catch up on all your work in one day is never good. Try to do the work for maybe one class, and if you’re feeling well enough, do another.

- Do what’s most important first. If you’re in a group project and they’re waiting for your input on a presentation or something else, get that in ASAP. Don’t affect the grades of others with your illness.

returning to class 

As you return to your usual schedule, here are some things to note:

 - Before going back to class, ensure you’re in a good place mentally and physically. For example, if you’re still running a fever or you still feel very ill, take some more time and wait. 

- Make sure your study space is functional so that you can begin to return back to your normal schedule. The desk reflects the mind. 

- Keep up on your fluids! If you’re still a little under the weather or you haven’t finished that course of antibiotics, keep taking those meds! 

- Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t understand something. Being gone is hard. Ask for help and self-advocate.

- If you’re on a sports team or doing some other strenuous activity, it’s okay to take a couple more days away from that to let your body recover completely. 

- The most important thing is to take it easy, even after you’re well enough to come back to class. If you overwork yourself while still recovering, that can lead to backslide, so please be careful!!

I hope this will be useful, darlings!! Take care of yourselves and remember that so many people are rooting for you to do well, including me :]

All the love,

elle (@etudesthetics)

My other posts: Cheap Socials, Pre-College Masterpost, College: A (Terrifying) Learning Experience

anonymous asked:

Could you maybe show us an evolution of your drawings? (Even before this blog?) I love the fact that you are self-taught. I'm not good at drawing but I would love to give it a go, but I would appreciate some motivation by seeing your evolution (if you don't mind)? Big fan! x

Well, basically all digital art that I’ve drawn is posted on this blog, or at least on my dA account :) Although I did delete a few! So I guess I can bring them back… *cringe*

Okay so… In 2015 I got really into Harry Potter and was inspired by all those fanartists, so I tried drawing some stuff of my own. I didn’t have a tablet yet, I was just trying the waters, seeing if digital art is even something I’d be interested in. Here are Hermione and Draco’s portraits I did in mid-November 2015 (I think I was drawing with my mouse, or I might have been using a touch pen on my Asus laptop that has a touch screen, but it’s very tough to work with, not like a tablet at all, no pressure sensitivity, no precision)

Ugh the cringe…. :D

I mean if you scroll to the very bottom of my dA page you’ll find more stuff like this, if you’re interested.
But yeah, those portraits are pretty much the first digital drawings I’ve done.

Continuing with portraits, 4 months later (mid-March 2016) I did Hermione and Draco again, this time already using my graphic tablet and also using references:

Already much better! Yet, to me, still cringy :D I haven’t yet redrawin these portraits (I am planning to), but if we look at my newest portraits (from Ravenclaw set since that one’s the latest, it was completed in February 2017 which is almost a year later from the previous ones), you can see that I have improved a lot too!

They look so much cleaner, every brushstroke has much more purpose, there’s more symmetry and logic and all those things. I like how my portraits changed, not sure how others feel :)

The biggest change in my art was me starting to use references. It helps so much with getting proportions and perspective and body movements right.
And then it was just all about continuing to learn and polishing my style through practice and frequent drawing :) As I did more and more portraits, it sort of felt as though I’ve always been doing them the same way, as though my portraits look the same and no progress is done, but as you can see, during one year, the way I draw changed, or rather got a bit better and precise, so while it didn’t feel as though I’m improving as I’m drawing, when looking back, the progress is visible.

So just take your time :) Miracles won’t happen in a short period of time, especially if you don’t draw at least a couple of times a week (last year in spring-summer I drew like 5-12 drawings a week, so that totally made a difference). You will improve, I promise, but looking at other artists’ art, trying to figure out how they did it, trying out different tools, and learning from references will surely speed up the process of making progress. So yeah, I hope this helps a little :) Sorry I only showed portraits here, I just thought they’re good to show art evolution with since I drew so many of them. Good luck mate! <3

Onions in Witchcraft

So I had two requests, one relating to onions, and one relating to sympathetic magic, and I couldn’t get the two out of my head, so I’m going to combine them and talk about using onions in general, but especially as a poppet! All the opinions are mine, except when stated and sourced otherwise

Onions and witchcraft kind of go hand in hand for me. As a kitchen witch, they also hold a special place in my heart. I found a post once that said something to the effect of, “the smell of garlic and onion cooking feeds my soul,” and it is absolutely so true. There is no other herb/ingredient I use more in my cooking than onion. They are versatile, delicious, good for you, and chock full of uses for witches. Just to list a few;

  • Can be used in protection charms
  • Also good for fertility spells!
  • Great for spirit work
  • Use them in healing spells (or recipes :D )
  • As scapegoats and poppets
  • Also great for curses!

And now, let us delve into these different uses! 

Using Onions For Protection

The reason I think onions are so great for protection magic is about.. 75% based on the fact that they have a very offensive smell. I mean that in both the “eww gross” offensive, and also like, the “actively aggressive” way, especially when it pertains to using them in witchcraft. The stench works for you in two ways. First, it acts as a repellent, it’s the most basic ingredient for any ward I do. The smell makes people (and some other nasties) want to run in the opposite direction! If that doesn’t do the trick, then we get the OTHER offensive side of onions, that literally attacks unwanted energies and entities. Onions are both scary looking and super strong, so just in case something has the balls to try to go face-to-face with your scary looking onion pal, it can then whoop the ass of that nasty! 

Using Onions For Fertility

I consider onions great for fertility related works because they are so easy to grow! Next to potatoes, there’s nothing I am better at growing than onions! Because they seem to reproduce faster than I can use them, I always have extra on hand. While I don’t have any uses for fertility spells necessarily, you can adapt fertility to mean a few different things, including “abundance.” In this case, it means that I use onions in areas where I need “more” of something. For instance, I might include onions in a spell for drawing extra money to me, or in a charm bag to promote an abundance of joy and good health in my home. You catch my drift?

Using Onions For Spirit Work

Alright so I don’t actually do spirit work (on account of my wife being a scaredy-cat but NBD), but what I DO is make a few spell bags and charms to keep ghosties out, and that includes a very large helping of onion powder. In fact, I would say that besides for salt, I use onion the most for everything. I associate onions with spirit work and dead people because they are buried in the ground! In Hellenic Polytheism, things that are buried in the ground usually reside in the realm of Kthonic deities, like Haides, and Persephone, as opposed to Ouranic deities, like Zeus, Apollo, Hermes(in some forms). I would love to hear from people who do spirit work on their opinions on this! 

Using Onions For Healing

Onions are scientifically proven to be super awesome for your body. They strengthen your immune system, help control your blood sugar, speed up the healing process while also being an anti-inflammatory, and much much more! Of course it’s a healing herb! That means I can use it in everything from spells and charm bags to full blown recipes, or even straight on my skin, raw! One of my most favorite kitchen witchy things to do is make Fire Cider every fall! It’s a perfect example of the almighty Onions healing powers! 

Onions as Scapegoats and Poppets

Because of the nature of onions, and their diversity, I find that one of the best ways to use them are for sympathetic magic. For me, onions are pure, basically a blank slate energetically, which makes them perfect candidates to use for poppets and the like. First, they are generally easy to take apart in some form or another, whether slicing it, or carving it like a pumpkin. This makes it easy to put items, herbs and other such things inside it when trying to go for the poppet thing or even just a taglock for the scapegoat idea. Another reason they are great is because onions do overtime have an outward change of state. So, after three or four months, that onion you made into a poppet to catch up all that negativity is looking pretty fucking nasty. Well, that’s an outward and obvious sign of the way your magic and science coincided. You have this physical proof that this onion has been affected by it’s environment, physically and magically. I happen to think that’s pretty awesome. 

Using Onions For Curses

I also like using onions for curses, with the same sympathetic magic idea. One of my favorite ways to curse used to be to slice open a lemon, slide a name inside it, and to put pins through the whole thing. Now, I do that with onions and it works just as well! They also work well by slicing or dicing them and burying a poppet, piece of paper, or something else similar. I would even say that it could be interesting for a kitchen witch curse, to dice onions, shred a paper with the information for the curse on it, throw in a little bit of those *super fucking hot spices* and sautê it all together, only to dump it into the trash or in a jar to rot or what have you! 
So this is in no way an exhaustive list of what onions can be used for in witchcraft, i just wanted to give a little information about how I used them in my practice! 

How to become a good student (again) 3: Yearn for friendship - not worship; not debasement

Hello, fellow ex-good student!

‘tis done! This beast just got longer and longer, so I decided to cut it down a bit for the sake of readability. But let me know if there’s something that was too vague - the nuance might have got lost in the editing process.

Alright, let’s get down to business (to defeat! The Huns!)! So, if you’re an ex-good student, I’m pretty sure that you know this static in your head, right? Whenever you really need to do something but you just can’t get up and do it, so you keep procrastinating even though you hate it and keep scrolling and scrolling or gaming and gaming and feel more and more guilty?

Well, it might not be the most immediate analogy, but for this post I want you to consider that what connects you and your subject of study is essentially a relationship and that this static is (among other things) an indicator of how screwed up your relationship is. Just like with real people, your relationships with subjects can either

  • prosper and bear fruit (me & Creative Writing)
  • become cold and distant (me & French)
  • or, worst of all, turn sour and actively harmful. (me & PE, back in school)

Now, nobody likes to hear that they’re relationship-ing wrong. And it is true that different approaches work for different people. But here are the counter-productive relationships that I’ve personally ended up in and I’m gonna show you how I got into and out of them, so you can try to do the same. Maybe it’ll help you lift that static from your head.

Side-Note: Always remember that, since your subjects are just that (subjects), and not real people, you are the only one who can actually mend these relationships and, conversely, you are the one who screwed them up in the first place (probably with good intentions, though).

So, we’ll take them in this order:

1) Overeager Debasement

2) Undereager Debasement

3) Worship


(Oh, and in case you wanna catch up:

Masterpost 

Part 1

Part 2)


1) Overeager Debasement

What is it?

The desire to do everything, perfectly, at the same time, right now. Not to limit yourself to just one field of study, but to master them all, to reign supreme above knowledge, to keep your mind wide open to new possibilities, similarities and contradictions.
You overvalue your own capacities and undervalue the needs and difficulties of your subject.
(also refer to the first post for this)

How did you get here?

(read picture from right to left)

So. Many. Possible. Reasons.

  • it’s a cage. The idea of doing just one thing for the rest of your life scares you and you feel imprisoned at the thought of it
  • you know that you could be outstanding if you applied yourself
  • you know that you could be even more outstanding if you became accomplished in multiple fields
  • you want to find connections between fields nobody’s ever considered before
  • you feel like you’ve wasted your last few years and need to catch up to others
  • you’re afraid that you’re not good enough
  • you’re afraid of being ignorant
  • you’re arrogant

No matter the reason (I’ve gone through them all), people caught in this state of mind shovel more and more onto their plate.
And then wonder why they can’t swallow it all.

What do you think you’re doing?

A labour of love, most likely. You think you love languages and sciences and athletics and programming and cooking and hanging out with friends and being alone and so you just want to do it all!
You don’t want to limit yourself! You don’t want to lose any time! But there’s just so much and you have so little energy and ugh, if only I wasn’t destined for greatness, then I could relax like other little people, but no, I need to keep pushing! In every! Direction! At the same! Time!

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend who gets up at 6am, watches the sun rise, does yoga, eats a healthy breakfast, goes for a quick run, comes back home, answers all correspondence, is artistic for a few hours, then scientific for a few hours, then social for a few hours and ends the day with tiny masterpieces in each area, goes out with friends or family to grab a healthy dinner and goes to sleep, happy and balanced :)

Well, you know what, my starry-eyed friend?

What are you actually doing?

You’re the mental equivalent of a social butterfly.
You’re being fucking disrespectful.

You’re always on the run and never able to really commit to anything, because you’ve already scheduled something else afterwards. You’re shallow, deluded, that one friend that always comes in running, screaming “Besties  ~ ♥” and everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats and smiles a painful smile and humours you, because they know you mean well, but they also know that you know nothing about them. 
You’ve never been there for them ever, but always expect them to be there for you. Whenever they want to talk about themselves, you nod and then proceed to about yourself and your plans and “ohmygosh, this is so nice, we need to meet more often ~ ♥ “. But at least you mean well, so they’ve agreed to keep it simple and on the “The weather is nice today”-level with you. 

But here you are, wondering why you’re not making any progress.
Mysterious.

So what do I do?

Well, you need to go from this:

To this:

How? More on that below.


2) Undereager Debasement

What is it?

This stage is what happens when you notice that your lofty ideals from Overeager Debasement cannot be fulfilled. You turn bitter, hateful, cold. You think you’re a failure, you think you were too soft. Instead of wanting to be friends with everyone, you now want to rule over everyone, fuck what they want.

You’re burnt out. You’re done. You just want to get through these stupid classes and catch a goddamn break, goddamnit.

And you WILL get through. You’re too proud to do anything else. But you don’t really care about any of it.
You just want to make it.

How did you get here?

If you were a good student, you probably heard at some point or another that you were “different” and that your complex and mysterious ways were not understandable and definitely not achievable for your average classmate.

Most people who tell you this mean well. A few want to make fun of you, but most actually do mean it as a compliment. But they don’t know how dangerous it is to hear it again and again, because regardless of whether it’s true or not, you start to believe it.
You start to believe that somehow, you have a higher calling, a higher standard. And you start to long for that day when your high standards will be met - when you will go to that one mysterious class where everyone is just as eager as you are, where the “Oh, captain, my captain!”-teacher will spark a fire in your brain that will never go out and when your ominous “gifts” can finally be put to good use for the prosperous future of mankind.


And you work.

And work.

And the class never comes.

You feel the weight on your shoulders when teachers talk of “high expectations”, you feel it crush you a little bit every time your friends tease you about your genuine fear that you might not get an A, that you might lose it all, that your “gifts” could disappear and you’ll be stranded and useless and you put in the hours, you work your ass off to keep that high standard, all in the hope of having that one miraculous class that never comes.

I realized that that class would never come when I entered university.

University, I’d told myself, would be my Arcadia, my Eden, my academic paradise where all my hard work would be rewarded!
Instead, I only found more drudgery, more incompetent professors, more disinterested students and even more bureacracy. To say that I was “disappointed” would be putting it very lightly.

I became disoriented and disenchanted. I realized that I could get through most classes with half-assed effort, I was hardly ever challenged, I floated along and hated every second of it. I blamed my boring teachers, the imperfect system, the teachers who had given me hope only for me to watch it crash and go up in flames.

What do you think you’re doing?

Being badass, cool and detached, most likely.

You dream of yourself as a master and your subjects as slaves. They bow to your will, they dance to your tune, you command them with the snap of a finger.

“Look, you slave of the system”, you say, lying on a velvet sofa, “Look, at how it hardly takes any effort for me to pass these classes! Look at how I spend my time doing things I actually like and that are actually worth it, unlike these stupidly easy classes taught by stupidly incompetent professors in a stupidly screwed-up system! Look at me, being edgy and drowning in self-hatred because I can physically feel myself gliding off the rails that made me so “special” and becoming one of the average people in the masses, haha. Ha. Ha. Screw academia, but still give me good grades, amirite?”

I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend that never studies for classes, comes for three lectures per semester and still manages to get perfect grades because everything you do in school is, like, so five years ago. That one friend who has read all the classics in their spare time, has conquered and enslaved all the knowledge actually worth knowing, will quote obscure Polish philosophers you’ve never heard of and plays the piano with a perfect pitch. They’re the wisest, most culture-non-conforming people you know - they’ve been up until 5am, wandering the streets and drinking vodka from a bottle while forcefully pentrating the mysteries of the universe all by themselves until they finally fall asleep on a park bench and awake with an epiphany about Klein bottles.
They’re “special”.

What are you actually doing?

Caring more about appearing “special” than actually trying to be “special”, that’s what you’re doing.

But, look, what made you so “special” and “different” in the first place was not a “calling” or “gifts” or the fact that you wrote good grades and were destined for greatness.

Here’s a handy chart I’ll use later - you were lucky enough to fall into the green zone, lucky enough to be born with an innate respect and a love for learning. That’s what made you “special”. That’s what made you succeed. Not pressure, not warped ideals and certainly not the fear of failure.


But somewhere along the way you forgot that and only focussed on the results. You started to believe yourself to be so special that everybody else should cater to you.
The fancy titles, the awe-struck looks, the “You’re so amazing”s and the “The genius of a decade”, the planned Nobel prize speech and the prestige, the dream others had lovingly created for you and you had slowly absorbed and warped as your own? It got to you. Hell, it got to me.
And it became more important than learning itself.
Somewhere along the way, you and I, we became an arrogant and lazy assholes.

You looked down on your easy courses and homework and instead of recognising how lucky you are, doing it in a minute and a half and then putting in the extra work on top to dig deeper and to maybe contribute something of value and fun, you threw it aside with a snide remark as beneath you.
Of course it wasn’t fun. Of course it wasn’t challenging. You never even tried to make it either.

(And don’t get me wrong: I honestly do think that the education system as it is right now needs MAJOR reforms. But right now? It is what it is. And instead of making the best of it and doing what you once loved so much, you succumbed to societal pressures you found yourself unable to fulfill and said “meh”.
You cared so much about the fame and the title that the relationship itself didn’t matter.)

But this isn’t the master-slave relationship you imagine it to be.
It’s a trophy-friendship. Once upon a time, you got on really well with this person and other people loved your friendship. You fell in love with the ideal, with their connections, their money, their prestige, their name on a CV, and you stuck around just for that.
You valiantly ignore the reality of the state of things between you two
and take them out only when absolutely needed, only when things are this close to falling apart and so you keep walking a fine, fine line.
Whenever a deadline approaches, you shower them with attention and love and, gingerly, they open up to you and you see a depth and complexity to them that astounds you and makes you think “Imagine! Imagine how much more I could have seen if only I’d started earlier?”
But the moment the crisis has passed, you toss them aside once again.

Because this is enough to make your name.
You may not remember much about these nights or about the person at all, but the only thing that counts is that it will fulfill your “special” prophecy and make you a legend, right?

Well, always remember this:
(read picture from right to left)

You’re not “special” if you made it to university. You’re not “special” if you’ve made your name. 
It comes down to a simple choice: do you value appearances over integrity or the other way round? Do you dare to look like a fumbling idiot again when you start something new? Is the “appearing like an idiot”-part more important to you than the “learning/creating something new”-part? 
Have a think about it.

3) Worship

“Alright”, you’ll say, “Alright. I get it. So I’ll treat my “friends”/subjects with respect and integrity and I’ll take all the time and concentration I can bestow upon them, just as I would upon real friends. But do you want me to be like, uh - like…

What is it?

“…like one of those anime characters that lives only for their dream and gets up at like 6am, does the thing, talks about the thing, breathes the thing, goes to bed, dreams of the thing and then wakes up at 6am to do the thing?”

(Google: Did you mean Hinata Shouyou?

Yes, yes, I did, google.)

Well, no, I don’t want you to do that. See, that’s the other extreme and unless you’re an anime character, chances are that it won’t work out for you. 

How did you get here?

Personally, I was caught in this trap for a loooooong time. Anime offered me a new way of relating to my passions that neither my family nor my school had ever shown me: unabashed obsession.
I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be obsessed. I wanted to give myself up to a higher ideal, something above human consciousness, something that would endure. I wanted to, well, get up at 6am, do the thing, talk about the thing, breathe the thing and so on - “the thing” in question being, of course, studying. I made elaborate plans, complicated lists, study-plans that shift on a daily basis and cover all grounds, I wanted to study for two hours before school, wanted to repeat lessons, wanted to give myself up to knowledge, made cool covers for my notebooks, made mock exams for my friends to use, planned to focus on each continent for a month and study it, planned to listen to one new composer each day, planned to go to the museum every week, planned to analyze Sherlock Holmes and think just like him, planned to - you get the idea.

I wanted to be like this:

What do you think you’re doing?

Being but a humble servant to the eternal workings of truth. Knowing thou art unworthy, yet suffering the perfection of study.

I wanted to go from 0 to 100, I wanted knowledge and wisdom to transform and deliver me, I wanted to feel enlightened, I wanted to feel my brain burning, pushing frontiers and breaking through to new horizons, I wanted to elevate myself to touch even the lowest levels of truth.
I wanted to do something noble, something worthwhile, something that could never be critisized and would always be valued, something with eternal meaning that would echo through the ages and I wanted to be even the tiniest cog in the machinery of mind.

What are you actually doing?

Being, quite simply, an idiot.

This is one of my favourite quotes (David Wong):

“There are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.” 

The same goes for studying. As shown above, studying won’t work out if you do not treat your subjects with respect. Conversely, studying also won’t work if you continue to idolize it as work beyond all work and reproach, as the only true calling, as the realm of the genii and by self-flagellating yourself and repeating “I’m but a humble servant in your kingdom of reason and will never reach where you are, but will spend all my time trying to reach you.” 

Why? Because by saying “I’ll never reach you or be worthy of you”, you’ve already sealed your fate. Some students (no matter how well they actually perform) are stuck thinking that they are stupid and incapable of doing well. Others think that the trick is in the preparation and they undergo complicated rituals of finding exactly the right study spot, exactly the right study drink, exactly the right study time, etc. in the hope of channeling the connection between their godly subject and themselves, but it never turns out quite as glamorous as they’d hoped (once again, speaking from experience).

This is because you cannot force a true friendship if you think yourself unworthy of it. It will always be worship. 

And why are you worshipping?
Because it takes the pressure right off of you
. This always annoyed me about some of my fellow students. They treated becoming a good student as this miraculous and unlikely event that only happens to the #blessed.
I insisted that “no”, it could be done. “Yes”, it was hard work, but ultimately absolutely doable. But now that I’ve been in their shoes? I understand.
Admitting that you could have done it anytime implies failure on your part for not having done it. By saying “Oh no, it is so very complex and divine and a lowly worm like me could never hope to crawl in its shadows”, you shift the focus away from yourself and onto the thing itself. 

But this is a synthetic, manufactured relationship with a partner that does not even exist. It is, at its heart, a kyaa  ~ I hope senpai notices me! (๑♡⌓♡๑) - kind of relationship. It’s idolizing not a person’s true character, but their appearance, their aesthetic and the values that they represent for you. It’s not really listening to what they’re saying, but warping their words so they fit into your perfect idea of them.
Just, unlike with undereage debasement, you do not play pretend that everything’s fine and secretly hate the other person deep down - you honestly idolize them to heaven and back, so you could never possible reach them.
You’re using them to fill in the holes in your own personality.

And that … just isn’t fun? I dunno about you, but treating studying as something that must be done perfectly with exactly the right pen and the perfect face-mask after the right smoothie and in the right lighting by a window overgrown with ivy and with perfect concentration from the first moment and unwavering, knightly passion and exact planning from 6am to bedtime all because I know deep down that I will not be able to fulfill these ideals and thus don’t have to feel bad about not reaching them just … isn’t for me. I don’t like my relationships to be all overstructured and “perfect” and high maintenance like that.

I want my friendships and my studying to be authentic. And that means that sometimes it’s messy and sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s quoting Keats while lying on the floor at 2am in the morning and chugging milk out of a carton, but it’s real.
I truly do understand this longing to make studying look pretty and like a magical realm, because when you’re in the flow that’s really what it feels like. But the beauty comes along with the practice, not the other way round.

No, but honestly - what do I DO then?


Y’remember Hippogriffs from Harry Potter? That’s how I imagine my subjects. Approach them carefully, honestly, maintaining eye contact and as equals and they will respect you. This scene:

This scene is what I’m talking about. 
If you were in a worship-state, you would only admire them from afar, gushing over how beautiful they are, but sad that they would never deign to even look in your general direction. (think of all the subjects you thought would be way too difficult for you)
If you were in a debasement-state, you’d either try to make friends with all the hippogriffs, hopping from one to the other and forming no bond with either or you’d “tsk” disdainfully and try to force them to obey you against their will. (*cough* Malfoy *cough*)

If, however, you’re in the green, there will be mutual respect between you and you will be able to fly.

So what does it mean to be in the green? 
It means not to do any of the above, obviously, so 

  • take your time for and invest brainpower into each and every one of your subjects - be a good friend. Be there. Listen. Even if they have crazy ideas at 4am in the morning. 
  • appreciate your subjects and know that they are more than the teacher who tries to get you to know them. Sometimes, some people just have a really shitty PR department (especially maths)
  • don’t think too much or too little of yourself. You can do amazing things, but that does not give you the license not to do amazing things anymore, rest on your laurels and expect others to applaud you for it. 

  • some relationships take longer than others to build, but getting to understand someone who puzzled you from the first moment and challenged your beliefs will improve your own personality as well
    (side-eye at PE. Yes, I love you now, you crazy athletic bastard)
  • do it for the sake of the relationship itself, because you enjoy their company. Results are presents which, although very much appreciated, should not be the main motivator to keep you going.
    This essentially means that you should think of studying as hanging out with a friend - already makes it seem so much more inviting and way less daunting, does it not?

    (Logic and I, being saltmates. Real friends judge other people together)
  • be aware that all friendships go through rocky patches and some subjects might take a while to warm up to you or you to them. But if you think that it’s worth it, then you gotta power through that. If you don’t think it’s worth it, you gotta be brave enough to say good-bye. 


Look, what I’m actually saying is … be Souma Yukihira from Food Wars.

Food Wars is a crazy and at times pretty pervy manga/anime, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t also one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever consumed and if Souma isn’t one of the most admirable main characters I’ve ever encountered.  

The relationship between him and cooking is filled with trust, love and equality. He trusts his cooking skills, because he knows that they have spent a long time together - cooking won’t let him down and he won’t ever let cooking down by stopping to look for ways to improve.

That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s always deadly serious - he loves to play around with cooking and to try ridiculous new things. He never forgets the joy that even the simplest form of cooking brings him. 

There’s one great episode where he puts his life as a chef on the line and someone fearfully asks him what he’d do if he lost. He shrugs and says he could become a lawyer or a teacher or something. So while he loves cooking profoundly, he does not worship it and he knows that there are other relationships he could build up if he had to. He just …doesn’t want to, because cooking is his bff. 

He loves to take on challenges to see how far he and cooking have come -

- and he takes challenges very seriously -


- but takes it even more seriously if he loses -

- and nonetheless knows that they are stronger for the challenges they have faced together. 

So, yes, this is what it means to be in the green. Cherish your friendships, hang out together, be honest, funny, clever, curious and you. 

You’ll be surprised at how much fun the two of you will have, now that all the pretensions and pressures are gone. 

Just …hang out and have fun.

(and maybe watch Food Wars!, because damn, Souma is the MVP of my inspirational heroes)

Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next (and hopefully shorter) part 4 :)

BTS Reaction #1- Ideal Types/What type of Couple You’ll Be

Note- Just a quick description in what I think the members would like and dislike in a partner and what kind of relationship I see them being in.


NAMJOON- Our leader is very smart and open minded.  We already know that he scored very well at tests during school, so I think he would need someone who is equally intelligent (not to say that he would ever talk down on someone for lacking the same smarts) and someone who is very passionate about social and political issues.  Namjoon has been outspoken enough to state his beliefs and I honestly think he would have a very hard time being in a romantic relationship with a conservative.  He agrees that everyone has the right to their own view points however he would need a partner who supports his views and in a way advocates the ideas along with him.  Namjoon is a virgo which means he can be a little bit of a perfectionist in every aspect of his life.  I think he will have high standards for the person he will want to settle down with.  Not superficial standards, but rather standards about intelligence and his partner’s sense of character.  This means you will have to stand up for what you believe in and be able to hold your own when it comes to a battle of wits in order to capture his attention. 

  Namjoon and his partner would be the couple that always has a project they’re working on.  I can see them always travelling to their next big adventure, however Namjoon and you would participate in things like charities or protests in an effort to make your guys’ mark in the world.  Indeed, you guys are a revolutionary couple.

Originally posted by bangthebae

Originally posted by rosanne-esme


JIN-  Jin is very sweet and I expect nothing less from his partner.  More kind-hearted than most, Jin would not be able to put up with someone who speaks rudely and shows little respect to others around them.  Being like a caregiver of sorts to his members, their opinion on his lover would matter a lot to him.  Also, Jin has talked about his ideal type and it seems like he knows what he wants.  Unlike Namjoon or Yoongi, I think he will end up with a traditional Korean girl.  Not to say that he doesn’t like foreigners, but I just think a person who has more background in his culture would be very important to him.  I see his partner being very pretty (I think looks matter to him.) and a very domestic, stay at home, ‘wifey’ type.  As a foodie, he would enjoy it very much if you were a good cook.  It would be nice for him to take a break from cooking for others and let you treat him for once.  As the role of a hyung who is always looking after others, Jin would look forward coming home to you to be taken care of.  Confiding in his partner about his stress would be your guy’s biggest bonding moments, as he spends so much time worrying about others, it’s easy to overlook his own needs and concerns.

  You guys are the classic ‘mom and dad’ couple.  You’ve been together since the beginning of time and whenever anyone in your group of friends has love trouble, they reach out to you two, since you guys never fight and are so patient with each other.  You two tend to stay home rather than go out, since the silence is something you two have learned to enjoy in the absence of the six rowdy members.  Inside jokes, bets about your friends, binge watching tv shows, cooking meals together and going to bed early to have brunch tomorrow, you guys are basically like Lilly and Marshall from how I met your mother.

Originally posted by fawnave

Originally posted by oquevaificarnafotografia-bl-blog


YOONGI-  Yoongi expressed before that he doesn’t judge people by the way they look and the love of his life will be no different.  This means your personality matters most in the relationship.  Yoongi is passionate and hardworking about his music.  Even though he gets a reputation for sleeping all the time, the truth is that no one puts as much thought into BTS’s music more than Yoongi.  Due to this, I think it will be hard for him to fall for someone who isn’t passionate about some type of art.  Whether it be music, writing, theatre or drawing.  Creative minds stick together.  Quiet by nature, I think he would be grateful if you were also soft-spoken.  Someone who is low-maintenance would be required, as Yoongi would be more interested in staying home and spending quality with you than actually going out.  You guys would have very deep talks about yourselves and reach a level of comfortability and trust among you two that most couples don’t even have.  Once you actually get to know him, you’ll realize that he is an actual teddy bear and cuddling would ensue.  Yes, you heard me.  Yoongi is a cuddler.  I think Yoongi likes foreigners very much, I’m sure he is attracted to exotic girls.  Image doesn’t matter, but a cool foreigner wouldn’t discourage him at all. Yoongi would need someone who is as creative as him and loyal.  Someone loud and boring would turn him off completely.  

  You two are the couple that are completely unconcerned with anyone but each other.  Aiding each other in your guys’ creative process has become a daily life for both of you.  You two have a small circle, and most the time you just stay home to continue wrapping yourselves up in one another.  Outsiders don’t get how two young people can be so anti-social and kept in their house for so long. but you two don’t care because you created a safe haven of sorts in your home where your love and minds blossomed.  

Originally posted by bangtannoonas

Originally posted by f--o--r--e--v--e--r


  Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook will be posted in a little bit.

He Doesn’t Deserve You

Summary: You move into your new apartment and have an awkward run in with your neighbor, making a very interesting first impression.

Warnings: angst, sexual tension (minor), smut, Steve x Reader, Bucky x Reader

A/N: I have so many drabbles to write but I needed a break and I thought this up. I was going to make this into a series but I didn’t wanna start another one so I just wrote it as a long fic (hence why it’s a little jumpy / fast paced). If you guys like this I can write a short series similar to this story (with some changes). Just let me know.


You looked around your new apartment, it was fully decorated with your things and it filled you with utter joy. You sighed as you sat on your bed, popping open a bottle of wine to let it breathe, waiting for your friends to show up. A knock on your door sent you flying towards it.

“Courtney! Michelle!” You swung the door open with a proud grin on your face. “How do you like the place?” 

“It’s so cute!” Michelle shrieked as she brushed passed you, taking in her surroundings. 

“Hmmm, not enough Star Wars decor.” Courtney followed Michelle, chuckling as she passed the hanging pictures of you guys from college.

“Raegan couldn’t make it?” You cocked an eyebrow, worried for your newly engaged friend. “She too busy with Noah?”

“Technically, she’s planning the wedding and driving him nuts.” Michelle giggled and poured herself a glass of wine. “Now, let’s get this pizza eating, wine drinking, and Netflix bingeing started!” 

Four episodes into the first season of Grey’s Anatomy and the three of you were blabbering, laughing, drunk idiots. You were shouting at the tv, telling the characters that they were doing regretful, silly things. You were voted the door answerer when a loud banging echoed in your apartment. 

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I just gotta say why I feel that the crewniverse is writing Lapis and Peridot as a couple rather than just as roommates, and it’s not very scientific: personal life experience as an Adult™.  Let me break it down:

1.  I’ll start by saying I have had a LOT of roommates.  We had relationships ranging from cordial to friendship- we would hang out, do some stuff together, but ultimately go our separate ways.  We lived in the same apartment, but we had separate lives.  But from what we’ve seen, it appears that Lapis and Peridot do pretty much everything together.  In the ONE post-Barnmates episode they are apart, we are still reminded of Lapis half-way through the episode.  Their *togetherness* is reinforced over and over again throughout the show.  They are connected on SO many more levels beyond the fact that they live together.

2.  Second, the level of intimacy and closeness between these two reflects a deeper relationship than one between roommates. We can see that Peridot has made it more or less her personal mission to take care of Lapis.  She’s protective of her physically and emotionally, supportive of her emotions and healing process, and is generally invested in making her happy.  I’ve always experienced and observed relationships between roommates as being friendly- being there to listen, doing a few favors to help out- but supporting them in almost every aspect of their life and prioritizing their needs in your life?  THAT’S a couple.  

3.  They got a dog together.  People who aren’t dating don’t do that.  If you’re just roommates, or even best friends, there’s an understanding that you will most likely part ways at some point in the future and getting a dog *together* wouldn’t work. Adopting a pet together is a VERY couple-y thing to do because it implies a long-term commitment to stay together for the duration of the pet’s life.  Idk where we’re at on pumpkin’s lifespan specifically but symbolically, adding a dog-baby to the picture is a pretty clear sign that they are at least a family unit.

4.  As far as the jump between Hit the Diamond and Beta goes….To me I just saw that Lapis didn’t like Peridot at first but they quickly realized they liked each other A LOT….U-haul lesbians anyone? I don’t use this to justify a Lapidot relationship but it’s what I thought of when suddenly they were all domestic and getting along really well.  Don’t think it was done on purpose BUT whatever makes me laugh works.

Everdeen Vineyards

happy valentine’s day, just barely! here’s a little drabble that wouldn’t leave me, hope you enjoy <3


“Have you had a chance to look at the menu yet?” Katniss asked the back of the man’s head, her eyes already scanning the room to make note of the new patrons she still needed to greet. A steady flow of customers through the tasting room was keeping her busy–not that she was complaining. Not much, anyway.

The man turned around, and she snapped her gaze back to him, a polite smile fixing itself to her lips. “Not yet, I’m afraid.” He smiled, and her expression froze as she got a look at his face for the first time. “Hey, Katniss.”

It took an embarrassingly long moment for the synapses in her brain to fire, and her smile slipped. “Oh–Peeta?” Why she phrased it like a question, she didn’t know. Of course, it was Peeta. She’d recognize that face, with those blue eyes and that sweet smile, anywhere. She just hadn’t expected to see it here. “Oh my god–what–I mean, hi. Wow.”

He laughed slightly, and she felt herself blushing. She shook her head, forcing a laugh too. “I’m sorry. How are you?” she asked awkwardly. She wasn’t entirely sure of the protocol for greeting an old high school classmate who’d existed mainly on the periphery of her acquaintances. The last time she’d seen him was graduation 10 years ago.

“I’m good,” he said, sliding his hands into his pants pockets. “I just wanted to check this place out. I, ah, saw your post about it on Facebook.” He looked sheepish when he said that, and she blinked. She wasn’t sure how to feel about that–the fact that he could, and did, apparently, read her posts on Facebook. She’d accepted his friend request years ago in college without much thought; they weren’t friends or anything, but she’d received numerous requests from people she barely knew from high school over the years, so it hadn’t seemed too strange. Some–actually, probably most requests–she’d declined. She hadn’t seen the harm in adding him, though. She didn’t know him well, but Peeta Mellark was nice. Funny. Popular. College wrestling champion two years in a row, or something like that–not that she was keeping tabs. He’d regularly show up in her feed over the years, even though they never interacted.

Since she barely used Facebook these days, it just didn’t occur to her he would ever see anything from her.

“Right, of course,” she said with a dazed laugh. “That was the point. Um, thanks for coming. That’s–that’s really nice of you.” She folded her arms over her chest, feeling uncomfortable and not sure what to do with her hands. They were trembling slightly.

Peeta pressed his lips into a small smile, his eyes darting around as he surveyed the room, the people milling around them. “This place looks incredible.”

She wondered if she was ever going to stop blushing at this point. “Thank you. I mean, most of the groundwork was already laid.” She took a deep breath, not wanting to launch into that story. If he’d seen her post, then he’d already learned of her efforts to revitalize her family’s old vineyard, which had been in disrepair since her father’s death more than a decade ago. “Let me get you a menu.”

He nodded while she grabbed a paper menu from a nearby table, holding it out for him. “We do glasses and bottles of the wines listed here, but we also offer a tasting where you can sample seven of our wines. If you haven’t been here before, I recommend that.” She stopped herself and laughed, shaking her head. “Which, of course you haven’t. This weekend is the grand reopening. I just mean–that’s probably what you want to do.”

His eyes flicked up to her from the menu, a wide smile spreading across his face. “Yeah, that sounds good. I’ll do that. Thank you.”

“Sure. Just find a seat outside if you’d like, and I’ll bring the wine to you,” she said with a vague gesture toward the patio, already turning away to scurry to the bar. She needed a moment to compose herself, inexplicably rattled.

It was just…Peeta. Mellark. Here. To see her. Or rather, to see her vineyard, but it was her vineyard. And he’d come because she’d made a post on Facebook proudly announcing the reopening of Everdeen Vineyards, after three years of planning and toiling and fermenting wines until they were just right.

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anonymous asked:

Hey, if you're not too busy, i was wondering what podcasts you listen to/would recommend? I started listening to the bright sessions and Mabel after seeing you reblog/post about them and i seem to have such trouble finding new ones to listen to. Thanks!

aI AM NEVER TOO BUSY TO TALK ABOUT PODCASTS.

Also, I listen to a HUGE number and I have been meaning to make a list.

so OK, here we go! /Mario 

http://mabelpodcast.com is amazing, it’s an eerie story about a woman trying to get in touch with the estranged granddaughter of the woman she takes care of as a live-in nurse. There’s ghosts, or faeries, or something else eerie.

http://thebrightsessions.com is a sweet, light podcast about a bunch of kids (high school and college age) who have superpowers and go to therapy. There’s a thriller element, lots of queer rep, and tons of in-world documents/blogs/etc created.

http://www.kingfallsam.com/ is about the radio hosts of the overnight call-in show in King Falls, a town where the weird happens.  Reminds me of Eerie, Indiana, if you ever saw that show.

http://withinthewires.com is by the Welcome to Night Vale people and it’s a creepy horror story about an oppressive regime and women escaping from it, and sisters and love and memory and identity.

https://arsparadoxica.com/ is a cold-war-style spy show about time travel and accidental history and science and people who are broken in interesting ways.

http://www.albasalix.com/ is a silly fairy-tale comedy that reminds me in all the best ways of a great sitcom. It’s about the grumpy Royal Physician to the King in a fantasy land and the idiots that plague her.

http://woodenovercoats.com/ reminds me instead of the great old British comedies like Fawlty Towers and Are You Being Served? It’s about a struggling funeral home on a tiny island and is lightly surreal. (It’s narrated by a mouse, for starters).

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/panoply/the-message The Message and Life After are each one-season shows on this same stream. The Message is about a dangerous sound/music being studied; lif-e.af/ter is about people who live on via their social media profiles after death.

http://iriscasefiles.tumblr.com only has two eps, but it’s a cool adventure-y mystery in outerspace about a biologist and, I think, a revolution.

http://www.wolf359.fm/ is incredible, it’s about a small crew on a deep-space science mission that quickly goes bad – but it’s funny and charming and full of found family.

http://www.thepenumbrapodcast.com/ is a genre-bending semi-noir podcast about a grand hotel just this side of nowhere and the people that inhabit it.

http://thebridgepod.com is a tale of the transcontinental bridge, a once-grand project that has fallen to ruin, the mystery of what happened to those who once lived there, and deep-sea monsters and the eco-terrorists who love'em.

http://pleasuretownshow.com/ is about a turn of the century town in Oklahoma that was once envisioned as a hedonistic utopia but quickly fell to the vaguarities of man.

http://thrillingadventurehour.com/ now rarely updated, but with tons of back episodes – an old-school radio play type show.  The two stories that anchor it are Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars (space cowboys!) and Beyond Belief (glamorous NYC couple drinks, encounters the supernatural, amuses themselves by resolving problems) but there are quite a few serial shows.

http://www.eos10.com/ is about a couple of doctors on a space station that serves as an intergalactic travel hub, and is silly and ridiculous and worth it.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-elysium-project/id955156631?mt=2 is about folks who were experimented on and given strange powers, and have now escaped from the people who had them captive.  Really interesting take on how the powers work, IMO, and definitely scary sometimes.

http://rustyquill.com/the-magnus-archives/ is a weekly reading from, well, The Magnus Archives, a collection of eerie, horror-tastic documents in possession of a group that specializes in studying the weird.

http://www.archive81.com/ is also about both the library and librarian of a weird collection.  I stopped listening at the beginning of season 2 because of some pretty explicitly on-tape torture, but before that it was good.

https://www.lessergodspodcast.com/ is about the Final Five – the last generation of humans after a reproductive apocalypse.  They live in decadent fame as the world ends and people desperately try to create more people.  I wish this was fully acted rather than read in-perspective, I have a hard time keeping characters apart sometimes, but it’s good stuff in terms of world-building.

https://greaterbostonshow.com/ reminds me of a slightly more serious Douglas Adams, it’s a slightly surreal show about people in Boston and…weirdness.

http://www.returnhomepodcast.com/ is about an ordinary guy who returns home to find his dad has forgotten him, his mother is missing, and the Society of Shadows needs him.  The writing starts out pretty cliche but it gets better as the show goes on.

http://www.ourfaircity.com/ is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi… I’m not sure what to call it.  It’s not a comedy, but it is weirdly funny.  It’s not horror, but it can be horrific.  I have audio processing issues and this one gives me trouble, but when I can puzzle it through it’s usually worth it.

http://www.limetownstories.com/ is so so so good and I so hope for another season – a decade ago a scientific collective/town disappeared completely, to a person.  A reporter related to one of them investigates what could happen.  Heart-poundingly scary in all the best ways.

http://pnwstories.com/ has The Black Tapes, Tanis, and Rabbits, all presented as very ordinary NPR-style podcasts about weird and mysterious things – a collection of supernatural events that a scientist is studying, a place/state of mind/eerie thing called Tanis, and an ARG/real-world game.  I like’em well enough but they lean on the same tropes, so pick one and stick with it IMO.

http://www.lorepodcast.com/ is more folklore than fiction, but it’s good storytelling about mysterious and creepy and lovely things, so I think it belongs here.

On my yet-to-be-listened-to list:

http://www.hectorvsthefuture.com/

http://www.tarynmaxximilliandafoe.com/welcome-to-mollyville/

I… think that’s everything fictional/storytelling that I’ve got right now.  

orangeisorange replied to your post “Well… hello there. Very interesting. Lyla is back for 5x19.”

I love your reviews, thanks for writing them. The problem I have with Olicity is that a reunion would be contingent upon things we haven’t seen on-screen. Oliver and Felicity hardly feel like friends anymore, so it’s all based on the fact that the writers are delaying the confrontation to end all confrontation. My fear is that it might not happen.

I thought your comment was really interesting @orangeisorange, so I wanted to kick it up to a separate post to respond to it. Hope that’s okay. I would say that if we are feeling a distance between Olicity this year then that’s appropriate. There is a distance between them. Yes, they’ve figured out how to work together. They are fighting crime together, but they haven’t worked out their personal issues.  They aren’t addressing them, because (like I said) if they do then they’ll get back together and Arrow is trying to milk this. Not unusual for a television show. We want the conversations to happen in 5x05 or heck even in Season 4. Arrow decides to push it to the back half of Season 5. The push/pull dynamic on pacing between writers/network and audience is always a frustrating one, but it’s the reality of a television show.

Are Oliver and Felicity as close as they were in Season 4 or maybe even Season 3? NO. That is intentional. They are intentionally leaving this wall between them because A) they are trying to move on and B) they don’t know how to fix what went wrong between them, despite the intense love they feel for one another. Is that frustrating as a viewer? Yes. We can scream, “TALK!” at the top of our lungs, but it’s not going to happen until it happens. Does Olicity work better together than apart? Yes. Does the show work better when they are together? Yes. I’m not saying there isn’t room for complaint, but I don’t necessarily find Oliver and Felicity’s behavior towards one another out of character for the situation they are in. 

That’s not to say there isn’t a rebuild. That’s not to say Arrow hasn’t put in the narrative beats so that when these conversations finally come it makes sense. Closing this distance, finding their way back to one another, is a huge piece of their individual arcs. Simply because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Nor should we really expect it to happen in episode 5 or episode 14 of a season. That’s just not how episodic television works. Frustrating? Yes, but watching a 23 episode season live is a long and arduous process. 

I don’t really agree this confrontation is contingent on things we haven’t seen on screen. We’ve seen the progression of this rebuild on screen all season long. For those who don’t see the rebuild, there’s something I do sometimes. It’s a little trick I play in my mind. Arrow is very much like Buffy where the romantic relationship is a core tennant of the show, but it’s not a main focus of the show. There’s episodes that focus on Olicity and then there’s many episodes that don’t. We get smaller moments, snip its, or none at all. This is true of  every single season of Arrow. So, sometimes what I do to see the narrative beats, is remove those in between episodes and focus on the big Olicity ones.

5x01 - Diggle kicks off the season long question that Oliver has to answer.

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So I have to confess that I’ve always thought of the Lion-Paladin connection as this matter of…

Once you bond to a Lion, they’re in your head. Just. permanent fixture. Pilot and Lion are two circles of a venn diagram and there is now a firm overlapping area, and it really doesn’t matter how close they are physically.

(And, as we see with Zarkon, that connection doesn’t atrophy even after thousands of years of disuse- it has to be actively destroyed)

And I guess I’m making a post on that, because I realized apparently not everyone sees it that way? So here’s some thoughts on brain melding and all that jazz.

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Medical School—A Not-So-Quick Walkthrough

Hey humans! Aunt Scripty here. This post is a submission by Brittany, whose Tumblr handle I surprisingly don’t know. This post came through the Submissions Box. If you’re interested, I encourage people to submit articles to appear on the blog! [though it may behoove us both if you message me first, as I have a few posts in-progress and I don’t want us to duplicate efforts]

Anyway, give Brittany some props! This is an awesome post, and I’m CRAZY thankful she wrote in! And now, Brittany, take it away!

Disclaimer: This applies to the American medical system only, and may be biased by the author’s experiences.  Also note that this is the process for becoming an MD, not a DO (both MDs and DOs are fully licensed physicians, but DOs have a stronger focus on the musculoskeletal system and their schooling is slightly different).

Disclaimer Part 2: I swear, this was SUPPOSED to be a brief post.  Oops.

The quick and dirty:

—4 years of undergrad

—4 years of medical school, 2 in the classroom and 2 clinical

—3-5 years of residency depending on what they specialize in.  Can be longer if they add subspecialties or fellowships.

The in-depth description:

Getting in (Premed student)

Acceptance to medical school is hard enough to start with.  There’s an estimate that 75% of applicants are qualified, but only 50% get in.  Your character doesn’t need to major in biology or pre-med, but there are pre-requisites: two semesters each of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, and physics, plus a couple biology electives, and I think psych and statistics have been added on since I graduated, but don’t quote me on that.  That’s pretty much 2/3 of a science major right there, so you can see why a lot of people just end up with that.  During spring of junior year, they’ll take a giant standardized test called the MCAT that covers all of those topics and is notoriously difficult.

Along with the classroom work, they’ll have to get clinical experience—most commonly volunteering, shadowing, or working as a medical scribe, but you can get creative—and usually do a little research of some kind.  Med school is hard and being a doctor is harder; they want to know that you’ve got an idea of what you’re getting into.  If your character does all that right, they interview with medical schools during the fall of senior year, and hopefully get accepted!

Year 1 (MS1)

Your first year is classroom based.  You get daily lectures on very complicated medical topics, with relatively little patient interaction this year.  Schools will include more practical classes as well, including a cadaver dissection, pathology (where you train to look at cells and understand what a healthy vs. diseased one looks like; some schools are old school and have people still work with slides and microscopes, others like mine do it virtually), and standardized patient encounters (where they hire actors to come in and work with us so we can practice histories and physical exams and basically get a baseline on things like “what does a normal lung sounds like?”).

Patient interaction varies from school to school, but generally is pretty low.  You can shadow a certain specialty you’re interested in, volunteer in free clinics, join different clubs/interest groups, or do various electives that will focus on teaching certain aspects of patient care (nutrition, medical Spanish, global health, etc.), but you have to go look for them.  If I hadn’t done any of that, I would have seen maybe… two patients a month?  Most students will branch out with those other opportunities, though.

Year 2 (MS2)

Similar to MS1 in that you’re still on classroom duty, still not seeing many patients.  Typically you learn more sensitive physical exams this year (urological, gynecologic, breast, etc.), and you’re finished with the cadaver dissection, but things are otherwise the same.  At the end of your character’s MS2 year, they’ll take their first board exam, called STEP 1.  You can take it one time only unless you fail.  Low scores or a fail are really frowned on, and can limit the specialty your character goes into, so you can imagine the pressure.

Year 3 (MS3)

Yay!  Your character’s now ready to be let loose on the clinic/hospital!

Boo!  This year kicks. your. ass.

This year is all about making your character feel like an idiot putting what your character’s been studying for two years into action.  The schedule is broken up into rotations, which are periods of 4-8 weeks where students focus on a specific specialty each time.  These courses are: pediatrics, family medicine, psychiatry, ob/gyn, neurology (usually), emergency (sometimes), surgery, and internal medicine.  Difficulty varies by rotation, with surgery and ob/gyn being the worst (12 hour days with only one day off a week, max; surgery adds in occasional 24 hour shifts too, just to spice things up).  Occasionally you’ll land on a nice one, like psychiatry, with 10 hour days and free weekends.

On a more day-to-day level, third years are usually part of a small medical team that cares for a set of patients.  The team consists of an attending (fully licensed physician), residents (physicians who are training in their particular specialty), and medical students (MS3s and MS4s both).  MS3s will usually get a small subset of hospital patients they care for every day—take their histories, do their physical exams, list what you think they have, and suggest treatments/tests—but because you’re not licensed, you basically take all that to the attending/resident who hears you out and then says ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’  As the year progresses, hopefully you hear more ‘yeas’ and fewer ‘nays.’

At the end of this year/the beginning of 4th year, there’s another board exam called STEP 2.  Half is your typical multiple choice test, with a numeric score—much like STEP 1—while half is a pass/fail practical where you work with standardized patients.

Year 4 (MS4)

Hopefully by now your character has figured out what they want to specialize in.  I can go over specialties in another post if anyone’s curious, but the biggest ones are basically the same as the ones listed as core rotations during the MS3 year.  There’s a giant application/interview process that takes up the lion’s share of the summer/fall/winter for interviews with residency.  At the end of the process, everyone ranks the residencies they interviewed with from most to least favorite, and at the same time the residencies rank their interviewees from most to least.  The whole thing goes into a giant computer algorithm to give as many people as possible as high a choice as possible, and then on the same day of the year, at the same time, MS4s across the country take a deep breath and open envelopes saying where they ‘matched.’

In addition, with those pesky core rotations out of the way, the character has time to take electives that may or may not be applicable to their future specialty—me, I’m going for emergency medicine, so I’m doing several rotations in EM as well as EMS, but I’m also doing a two week course forensics because it sounds awesome.

Otherwise, 4th year is widely known as the ‘take a breath’ year.  People get married or have babies during this time, travel, and generally start to act like human beings again.  There’s space in your schedule that’s off—it’s generally intended for interviews or studying for STEP 2 if you’re taking it late, but people will use it for anything.

Residency

Not going to give too much detail about it, seeing as how your character is technically a doctor at this point, but residency is basically 3-5 years where your character trains in a specialty—yes, they’re physicians, but they don’t know everything about their particular field and need trained.  You’re in this weird limbo between student and employee; you make a salary (although a very low one considering the number of hours) and can prescribe medication, perform procedures, etc., but an attending is responsible for you, you still attend a weekly lecture, and you can’t practice independently.  To give you an idea of how hard these years are, they recently had to limit things like “don’t make residents work more than 36 hours in a row,” and “don’t put the doctor who graduated med school a month ago in charge of an entire floor of ICU patients for a night with no backup.”  Incredibly, some of the old-school attendings think said changes are a bad idea and will produce doctors who are “weak.”

Also, you thought your character was done with standardized tests?  You sweet summer child.  STEP 3 has to be finished before you can complete residency, and is usually done during intern year.  The good side of this is, you’re in a residency now, so as long as you pass, no one cares about the score.

Random notes:

—This is a sample timeline, following your ‘traditional’ student.  It’s becoming more and more common for people to take a couple of years off after undergrad and apply for medical school after that.  If you want a chance for your character to gain some non-medical life experience (travel, other skill sets, becoming a parent, etc.), this is a good chance for them to do it!

—I’ve been asked by a writer I know in RL how young someone could potentially become a doctor.  I think she wanted to put in a prodigy kind of person.  The problem with that is that medical schools don’t just look for smarts, they look for maturity—imagine having someone who looks like they can’t drink yet tell you you’ve got a terminal disease, and you can see why.  That said, there are a couple of accelerated programs, where I’ve seen people graduate undergrad a year early and go straight into medical school, or where they condense medical school into three whirlwind years because the person’s on track for a specific primary care residency.  So if most people graduate medical school at age 26-27, you could have someone out at 25 or maybe 24, but probably no younger.  And remember, they’ll still need residency training from there.

—Not gonna lie, medical school is incredibly difficult.  That said, I think the best students/doctors are the ones who maintain an outside interest or two, so don’t feel like your character can only have medical skills (*cough*Grey'sAnatomy*cough*) .  Give them a few side interests to maintain their spirit.

—I can give more detail about any and all of these if anyone asks; these are supposed to help you understand what your character has had to go through to be a doctor, not be a full detail spiel.  I can also do ‘day in the lifes’ if someone’s writing a med student character and wants an accurate description, but let’s be real: most people want to write the master, not the pupil.

The Truth About Learning Japanese

(I’m going to start with a random side note: If I ever get a book deal to write Japanese primer, I’m going to call it I Eat Cake Everyday: A Complete Guide to Japanese with Stupid Sentences.)

It’s been a while since we’ve just talked, so I wanted to just take a moment to do that.

I think every Japanese platform at one point write an article about “the deep truth” of learning Japanese, claiming to give you the golden key that you need to become fluent in only 6 months or 1 year or whatever. 

The argument for those kinds of posts isn’t hard to understand: People are fundamentally similar. If people are fundamentally similar, it is very likely that works for me will will work for you. Thus, if this works for me, it will work for you. This does work for me. Therefore, it will work for you (most likely.)

This is why all articles start with something like, “I guarantee you that I’m no genius. [Insert daily task that the writer struggles with on a daily basis.] I’m just a regular person that tried out a few things until I found a winning formula.”

I, personally, want to do my own take on this kind of article. I won’t offer a golden key, but I’ll talk about learning Japanese.


1. Japanese is Coded in the Most Inefficient Writing System in the World

Kanji, the logographs that are the bane of all Japanese-learner’s existence, comes from China. Kanji itself, 漢字, means “Chinese characters.” Kanji were invented to suit the needs of the Chinese language (from way back when, before Mandarin/Standard Chinese was a thing.) Japanese, on the other hand, is a language isolate, and it is not related to Chinese. So the use of these Chinese characters has over time been used in different ways for different words and with different readings- for Kanji tend to have multiple readings, sometimes being just 2 and at other times 8. 

In Eastern Asia, the use of Chinese characters was widespread. It was used in Korea, in Vietnam, in Japan, to some varying extent in Malaysia, and the territories these nations conquered.

Korea developed an ingenious writing system called Hangeul, which now has all but totally substituted Chinese characters. Vietnam adopted the Roman alphabet with many diacritics. Japanese, well, Japanese developed two writing systems based on morae. These two writing systems could be used to write out the entirety of Japanese. Kanji is not really necessary. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that there are so many homophones such that even with context one could not make head or tails out of what was being said. 

So, Japanese does have a potential unique writing system that is easy to learn (it’s easier than Hangeul in my opinion), but it does not use it exclusively because of cultural reasons. Kanji is just hardwired into the culture.

But here’s where my personal opinion and advice come in: If you have to choose between loving Kanji and hating it, hate it. Don’t romanticize it. Don’t go “above and beyond” what you have to know because of your love for Kanji. Just learn what you have to learn, and leave it at that.

“How many Kanji must someone learn?” The official common use Kanji list (the Jōyō Kanji) lists 2,136 Kanji. How many readings are among these Kanji? Somewhere around 3,869. There are also some variations on Kanji that one should keep in mind and some Kanji that one sees only in names, so add around 400 Kanji to the official list and about 400 new readings.

“How many Kanji must I learn for my first year of Japanese?” All of them. That’s my honest advice. Don’t aim to learn only a few Kanji. If you’re going to learn Kanji, learn them all. Think in that mindset. As soon as you decide you want to learn Japanese, work on Kanji. Before you enter a classroom and learn your first few greetings and whatnot, make sure you know all the common use Kanji, or at least that you’re well on your way to knowing all the Kanji.


2. Language Learning is an Intensive Process

Learning a language is a process that scientists haven’t quite been able to describe accurately. We do know, nevertheless, that it’s a heck of a lot different from learning chemistry or carpentry or bicycling. 

In the Western world, there is this idea that one can learn a language in a classroom, normally as a subject period, with periods lasting somewhere from 50 to 70 minutes. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t work very well. (There are historic reasons for this way of learning a language, but we can talk about that some other time.) The success rates of language acquisition in classrooms is ridiculously low. This does not mean that language classes are bad: but it means that it just isn’t enough.

There are many reasons why learning a language in and of itself may be hard. It’d take forever to talk about all of them. 

But let’s talk a bit about lexicons. A lexicon, here, refers to the dictionary in your brain where you store the words you know. If you’re monolingual- you have a standard dictionary in your brain with a word and definitions. If you were raised bilingual, then you have one lexicon with two words and definitions. That is to say, if you’re an English-Spanish speaker, then you have “cat” and “gato” in the same space in your brain and you know that what applies to one applies to the other. Then, depending on your fluency and use, you may have two supplementary dictionaries where you store all the information about words that don’t exist in the other language and idioms and expressions and things like that. 

Now, if you’re an English speaker and, say, you want to learn German, part of what you’ll learn to do is to process your English lexicon entries into German. What that means is that you learn to engineer English words into German. “Father” turns into “Vater,” “to drink” turns into “trinken,” “Love” turns into “Liebe,” etc. So the words that have no relation with English (the non-cognates), turn into a supplementary lexicon and everything else is put through a mental processor. 

Because the brain can do this is the reason why many people in Europe can speak many languages. The fact that someone can speak Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, and French is not terribly impressive. The overlap in words (and in grammar) is so immense that what you’re doing is processing one language into another and you’re guaranteed an astonishing success rate.

Japanese, however, is different because it’s a language isolate. You can’t process one language into another. You have to learn words one by one. That takes time. It takes repetition. Memorization is as much an active process as it is a subconscious process. When people talk about the benefits of “immersion,” what they’re talking about most of the time is putting your brain into survival mode, i.e. either you learn all these words (and grammar stuff) or else you will not be able to survive and thus you will die. That is one way of doing it, and if you do not choose this path you have to commit some serious time to this. I believe that if one knows around 5,000 of the most frequently used words in any given language, one is guaranteed to know at least 95% of all the words one will hear/read in a day (given that one doesn’t go read a super technical manual on how to calibrate a nuclear reactor or something like that.) So, the question becomes how will you memorize 5,000 words? How long will that take? If one learns 10 a day, then it’s 500 days, and if one learns 50 a day, it’s 100 days. 

The tradeoff when it comes to speed is that the faster you learn something, the faster you forget. (When you relearn something, it should be faster nevertheless.) So how much time will you commit to learning a language? How will you follow that up? These are important questions.


3. Japanese Media is Considerably Insular

Japan isn’t like the United States. The United States wants every nation to know what music it likes, what fashion it wears, what it believes ideologically and socially, etc. The U.S. is everywhere.

South Korea, recently, is everywhere. K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-SNL, K-Beauty. If you want to know what Korea is up to, it’s pretty easy to find out. They want you know! 

Japan… eh. Japan is pretty good at making anime available globally. People know about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon and the Mighty Atom and all that. When it comes to dramas and movies and tv shows, they’re not quite interested in that. Ages ago I wrote a post on the misconception of “Whacky Japanese Game Shows,” where I basically explained that most of those shows aren’t game shows but segments on variety shows, the only person in my mind having totally insane game shows being Beat Takeshi.

Okay, fine, what does this mean? This means two important things. First, one’s expose to the language outside of going to Japan or talking to Japanese people will be based highly on anime, which is fine but there are other styles of expressing oneself. One needs a bit of variety. If one goes the information/news route, then one is exposing oneself to something very formal and literary, but dull. Second, it means that when people teach Japanese, they’re going to assume that one wants to speak Japanese for business purposes. This sounds strange to say, but let me put it like this: Japanese is an important part of the world economy and STEM and anime, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently large part of Japanese culture so that the Japanese can figure you want to learn Japanese for that sole purpose. If you want to speak Japanese, then it must be for business purposes (and we’ll consider academics to be within business.) So you learn Japanese through the perspective of honorific and respectful language. This isn’t a bad thing either, but the desire to make you sound nice will often lead to lies about how Japanese actually works at a grammatical level.

(On the other hand, in South Korea the K-Pop/K-Drama boom is such a big deal that people around the world start learning Korean in hopes of auditioning for the big production companies in hopes of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and hosts.)

So here’s my advice: Once you have your feet wet with Japanese, once you know your Kanji and you know how to analyze a sentence (even if the lexicon isn’t all there yet), look at something that isn’t anime. I recommend movies, a lot of which are quite nice. Okuribito (Departures) was a great movie. An (Red Bean Paste) is a more recent film that was wonderful. Look up some movies. Sit down, and watch them. Watch it with subtitles, so you know what the movie’s about. But watch it a second time and a third time without subtitles. Try to see if you can make out a few sentences, read a few signs that appear in the background, take note of expressions or words you keep hearing. No, you won’t be able to understand the whole film all of a sudden, but it’s something new and something good and the more Japanese you learn, the more you will be able to return to the film and make out. Eventually, you will be able to listen to a sentence, pause the film, and look up the words you don’t know.


4. Learning Japanese Doesn’t Happen with One Method Alone

This is rather obvious, but it’s worth finishing this off with. There is an abundance of book series, CDs, cassettes, and even online resources (our own included.)

A language is greater than any method, than any curriculum, than any teacher. No one source has all the answers. One has to be encouraged from day one to look at many resources.

A library is a language learner’s best friend. Why? Because books can be expensive, and you will probably not need all the resources you dabble into for a long time. So, when you begin learning Japanese, look at the entire Japanese section, order a few famous books through InterLibrary Loan, if you have access to that, and sit down and just read the books, as if they were novels. Don’t memorize a thing. Don’t do the exercises. Just figure out their style, their aims, their perspective. Do read the footnotes! The more footnotes a book has, the more useful it tends to be in the long run. Information that isn’t relevant in Lesson 1 may be absolutely vital in Lesson 10. 

Check out some old books if you can. The way people learn a language today is not the same way they learned it 50 or 100 years ago. The most useful Italian grammar book I ever read was written in the 1800′s. Japanese books published before World War II may have some slightly outdated things, such as the /we/ and /wi/ morae, but they will be good for most of everything else. I’m personally dying to get library privileges again somewhere to be able to look into these, so if I find some good book titles I’ll let you know.

Because a lot of language instruction was, until recently, modeled after the way Greek and Latin was taught, reading some of our own material gets you familiar with the lingo, should you heed my advice. So people like to talk about cases and declensions and conjugations and moods and all that. The works of William George Aston are some of the most important books on Japanese historically. So, if you can find originals of those, please do read them.


So yeah, food for thought

Some Worldbuilding Thoughts

Recently, I had a fun conversation with @sansjoshiki, who sent us a question on anon but then followed up with my request for more information. (Thanks for doing that!) It’s exciting to be able to answer questions to the best of our ability because we have all the information! 

Anyway, a lot of the stuff I said was not specific to their world, and I think that some of you may enjoy and benefit from it, so here’s some general advice on putting worlds together and incorporating details into your stories!


So, having a single concept (or a few unrelated concepts) and building a world and story from it is completely doable, and can be a lot of fun! But it can also be totally overwhelming and difficult to decide just how much to build, what to focus on, and how to incorporate all of it. 

This process is easier if you have a plot or a character in mind, because you can use that as a lens to decide what parts of the world are important to focus on. For instance, if your character is royalty, do they care how the peasants get water? Will that factoid ever show up? Probably not. With that in mind, it’s fine to have no detail or vaguery in regards to things that aren’t relevant, so don’t strain yourself trying to explain every little thing.

Using guides to help you come up with your world can be extremely helpful to cover all the relevant bases, but no guide will ever match exactly what you need for your story in particular. I think that possibly the best thing for you to do is to start thinking about your character and/or plot. If you don’t have a plot, think about elements in the world that are especially interesting to you and contemplate ways to get those involved in your plot. If you do have a plot, then start thinking about particular aspects of your world that will definitely be involved. If your plot/character(s) are involved with the government, you’ll need to have a pretty solid idea of how that government functions, but if not, that’s a detail you can probably gloss over with only basic details.

If your plot is detailed, start thinking of particular scenes that you want to write in it. For instance, if you want a scene to take place in a store or market, you’ll need to think about how that’s laid out. Is there just one store that sells almost everything? Do most shops specify? Is there an open-forum market with lots of small vendors, or large department stores? How does the currency work? (Actually, “how does the currency work” is a question you should probably answer regardless of whether economics will be a focus, unless the average person on your world doesn’t use currency).

With this in mind, build the parts of the world that pertain to a scene until you can get a sense of what it would be like to be there. Think about real-world situations that are similar; what does it feel like to be in a government building? In a bank? In a convenience store? In a high-priced and specialized boutique? On a farm? How would these things change based on the ways your world works? For instance, if your world no longer employs people to run cash registers and instead uses something like Walmart’s self-checkout, how does that change the experience of going to the store?

Once you have a basic sense for the scene, start writing! You don’t need to know every detail by this step; in fact, don’t try to know every detail. Just place yourself with your character in the scene, and think about what you’d notice and what’s important.

However, be careful about glossing over “unimportant” things, or at least keep in mind that you did. If a detail is irrelevant in an early scene, but then becomes important later, you don’t want to contradict what you’ve said before. I’m guilty of this; I write along willy-nilly, and sometimes when I’m rereading, I realized that a detail I develop well in chapter 5 is contradicted by something I handwaved in chapter 2. This is fixable, of course, but you might save yourself a little headache by thinking about it beforehand. Having to rewrite what used to be the perfect scene because one detail changes everything is annoying.

Also, don’t be tempted to start from the very beginning with this method of worldbuilding a single scene; think of scenes that are critical to your story and what they’ll entail, and work backwards to the ones that are less critical.

Ultimately, don’t forget that worldbuilding shouldn’t get wholly in the way of your writing. It can be lots of fun and create a great story, but if you find yourself never starting because you don’t have all the details in place, relax.

Sometimes, “Just start writing” can be the best thing when you’re stuck with worldbuilding. If a detail is needed to make the story work, or to make the world believable, you’ll realize that as you go, and then you can pause, figure it out, and then carry on.

As for putting an adequate amount of world detail in, we’ve done a few posts about that in past. I’ll say a few words about that:

Putting detail in can be tricky, because you know all these things about your world and many of them might be working together to create a scene. However, you don’t want to annoy or bore your reader, so you have to limit yourself. Having a beta reader can be great for that, because they can let you know when you have too much or too little detail. Personally, I think that erring on the side of too little and then having your beta reader tell you so is best. If you’re confusing your readers, you’ll need to put more detail in, but people are less likely to tell you when you have too much detail. Try to keep in mind what’s essential for the world, and also what’s abnormal. Your character isn’t likely to be thinking about how the space-age toilet works (unless they work in the sci-fi equivalent of plumbing), and even though knowing what happens to the waste can be important to the author, it is unlikely to come up in a story. Put yourself in that situation, remind yourself that everything you’ve built is the norm for that world, and then think about what you’d actually notice.

If you have abnormal things going on, those are easier to explain and make it make sense that you are explaining them. This can also be used to show what the norm is: “Instead of just going into the vaporizer like it always did, [character]’s urine was sitting in the receptacle, making the bathroom smell bad.” Bam, now we know that toilets have vaporizers and that this one is malfunctioning.


Thanks for reading, and happy building! -Werew

Games & Flames (Rivals AU Playlist)

I made a playlist a few months ago to release some of the feels from reading @kazliin​‘s Rivals AU fanfic, Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches (which is seriously one of the best Yuri on Ice fics written out there and yOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ IT!!!!) but then the companion fic came, and the feels dam just fucking exploded again. I just kept hearing songs that sounded like they’d go nicely with the fic, and I knew I had to make another playlist.

And so here we are! I call this playlist Games & Flames because Viktor seems to like playing mind games and playing with fire hahaha rEAD THE FICS AND YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHY. also because I like rhymes. Here’s a link to the series again for reference! Details on the playlist and more of my ramblings about why I chose the songs are under the cut~

YouTube | Spotify*

*One of the songs in my list is not on Spotify, I’m so sorry!

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