i still have lots of songs for them but i digress

7 Reasons Why Auli’I Cravahlo’s Performance of “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars was Amazing

1. The Rock

The biggest night in Hollywood features some pretty huge actors and actresses receiving prestigious awards presented to them by even huger artists. The Academy could have gotten Leo or Tom Hanks to introduce Auli’I Cravahlo’s performance, but no—they got someone bigger (literally). Having Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the god Maui himself, introduce Princess Moana was a touching and undeniably epic nod to the animated movie that SHOULD have won Best Animated Feature (but I digress). On top of that, the Rock’s comical boasting of his singing chops would be great on its own, but the man then goes on to sing a little number from “You’re Welcome” like the cherry on top of a sundae! BOI HE DID IT!

Originally posted by lovedwaynejohnson

2. L-MM

Alright, let me give this to you straight. If ANYONE has ANYTHING bad to say about this prologue, I will personally slap you with a copy of the Hamilton soundtrack. Lin-Manuel “A God Among Men” Miranda expertly gets the audience up to speed with where Moana is at the time of the song in the movie (for those two people in the entire audience who have yet to see the movie…) WHILE ALSO rapping the exposition over an instrumental intro of the song Auli’I is about to sing! It’s like Lin-Manuel just told the orchestra to start playing something and let him riff for a bit before getting to the main event: the appetizer before the entrée. In case it wasn’t clear yet why this man won a Pulitzer, Tony, and Grammy. (Side note: how the eff is he not a PGOT yet!? Lookin’ at you, Academy.)

Originally posted by artemisnewton

3. Dat Transition Tho

So this seems kinda trivial, but I assure you it’s not. Coming hot off the heels of L-MM’s fire verses with suspenseful violin chords, the abrupt shift into Auli’I’s gentle voice and simple cymbal taps gives the viewer a sense of the beauty in store for the rest of the performance. Really lets you appreciate the musical might Princess Moana has to offer.

4. The Set

Maybe it’s my inner theatre geek coming out, but I really enjoyed the makeup of the set for this three-minute performance. The simple hand-drawn blue sky background compliments the blue fans meant to simulate waves while the red-orange-yellow spinning sun (which looks an awful lot like the 2016 Rio Olympics torch) couples nicely with Auli’I’s red dress, making those two stand out against a sea of blue (pun very much intended). The set tells so much about Moana’s story from only so many pieces.

Originally posted by vcncejoy

5. Auli’I’s Voice

Nuff said

6. Fantastic Fans

I know, I know—they’re more like giant flags than fans. But I’m gonna call them fans because of how billowy they are. For one, those things are massive so they must weigh a ton, yet the dancers still move them with such force and ease perfectly in time with the song! And the choreography! From the giant circles to the motions back and forth, it looks so much like waves rising and falling on the sea. Gah, all around 10/10 dancing.

Originally posted by cull3nblaze

7. WHACK

Literally right before the big climax of the song, Auli’I got whacked in the head by one of the fans but kept singing without missing a beat! She didn’t even lose her smile! What a trooper. Bless her soul.

Originally posted by captainamerica-and-fondue

Still kinda salty about Moana not winning Best Animated Feature, but whatever. This performance in and of itself is enough of a reward to show how perfect the movie was. So take that, Academy.

Originally posted by kit-harington

Here’s a link to the full performance (the WHACK is at 3:21, if you’re curious).

The Joy and Life Inside Our Souls

For the 14 Days of Love Fic-a-thon hosted by @softkent

Also on AO3


Growing up, Ransom’s life was dictated for him. It hadn’t been intentional. The thought of planning gave him hives. So when his mom said why not be a doctor like your auntie, Ransom nodded dutifully. When his sister took up pottery for a week, he took it upon himself to take the rest of her classes at the community center by their house. When four of his cousins joined a local hockey league, Ransom followed suit. His family led him through a myriad of phases and interests.

At the end of the day, some of their ideas were truly inspired. Hockey, for instance, got him a student visa and a scholarship to Samwell. That’s where he met his best friends Lardo, Bitty and Chowder. He was also close to their goalie, Johnson. Mostly that was because he understood how to give Ransom a wide birth around exam time.

“Can’t let you drop out of college from stress,” Johnson chirped once.

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anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on the lyrics of Dangerous Animals?

I love Dangerous Animals. The lyrics to me always embodied a sexual frustration/tension/desire he can’t get to. There are a lot of phrases in that song that fit each other “pinned down by the dark, to my knees you do promote me.” Humbug era Alex lyrics are trickier to decipher, especially a song like this. He tends to bounce around, with long winded ideas and concepts that leave you a little breathless and confused. However, his theme and mood are still cast pretty strong. I always liked in Dangerous Animals how he describes the acrobat falling off the beam, the audience watching. Those lines are consistent with the album’s overall theme and tone, the nonsense and the like… Carnival imagery he refers to throughout the entire album. I have another ask about Humbug, and I will write about this more in depth in that.

Anyway, I’ve always struggled with understanding what his message is in this song. Since I can’t actually go and ask him, and if I could he wouldn’t tell me, I can only guess. Usually my guesses have more confidence but this one I never really was so sure. Because he like steers the lyrics in a different direction out of nowhere. I’ll try my best, but don’t take my word for it. And if you have thought otherwise this entire time and want to disagree with me, you can. I have a very weak argument. I’m not sure if I’m right on this one.

The first verse starts with him fighting with his sheets, or struggling to sleep, because he’s frustrated. The well-told gripe. He just wants a girl. “You should have racing stripes the way you keep me in pursuit.” Gets me every time. I don’t need to explain that. “Then do my knees you do promote me” - he’s almost at her mercy, as if to say being pushed down by this girl is a promotion. (Similar theme in She Does the Woods. “She turns my back to the earth and shows me that’s where I’m meant to be.” I’m just assuming by his consistent bottom position he likes to be… Dominated? Inappropriate. I digress.)

He’s stuck in the dark thinking of this girl. “The light it fidgets though, the thoughts’ll soon revert to you…” He’s stuck in the dark, or presumably at night (another major theme on this album; night time, sleep, darkness) thinking of her again. “About as bashful as a tribal dance” - tribal dances are the opposite of bashful. His thoughts aren’t bashful at all. They’re enough for him to later say “so let’s make a mess lioness.” His head pirouettes, or spins around more than he’d like to admit to himself or to the girl he’s thinking of.

The lines I have always struggled with are his circus sounding lines, which are the ones  about the acrobat falling off the beam. Where did it come from? Are his friends the audience, divided, telling him how he should feel about this girl? Is it her friends telling her to stay away from him? Who is the acrobat on the beam? Was he just like… this sounds right I’m doing it? (Maybe?) Those lines always stuck out to me because I couldn’t figure them out. I can’t make sense of them. If you have an idea, tell me. I’d love to know.

Some people/interviewers said that AM was the sexy, raunchy album that was kind of unexpected. I always disagreed because of Dangerous Animals. It’s him expressing a frustration, something sexual and laced in desire he can’t let go of. He’s losing sleep over it. He just wants her, doesn’t know how to get to her. It’s been long enough now, so just make a mess already. That line makes my stomach flip, every time. “make a mess, lioness.” Ugh.

anonymous asked:

Hey Nick, I had kind of a lousy day and it's so late but I'm still up. I can't help but be upset by Spotify. Streaming insanely, you know i always planned to work hard for H, but didn't expect this. Why do bad things have to happen to the most dear people. I know you'll say sth helpful so I dump this on you,but feel badly for it. I hope you reach out if you ever need help bc I'll jump and be wherever you need me to be. Hope a higher power comes thru for Harry despite the glitch. Love you xx

My darling Anon.

The Spotify glitch certainly robbed Harry of numbers that he’s earned and I can’t really assure anyone that it’s going to be redeemable, but here’s some things I’ve learned about charts and the biggest artists who have been on them:  

The slower the numbers rise, the better.

This has been said by a few people who have seen it enough times.  An artist puts out a song.  It does well, sometimes even gets to #1 fairly quickly and stays there for a bit.  The song gets played a lot.  People stop buying it. People stop streaming it, and this is really a big issue I take with streaming culture, but I’ll digress on that one.  Anyway, the song begins to drop off the top of the charts.  Sales go down.  

I see Harry’s slow burn strategy and I think it’s the right one.  We’ve seen big artists put their song out, then will immediately begin to pump it with live performance after live performance and fifty interviews in a day.  

I’m going to use Michael Jackson as an example here.  

When Thriller was released, it didn’t do great.  People weren’t terribly interested because Michael was still known as little Michael from J5 or The Jacksons.  It was still fresh and though Off The Wall did well, people were over disco by then and didn’t really give Thriller much of a chance.  “Billie Jean” got some radio play and people liked it, but still Thriller was pulling rather mediocre numbers.

That was, until Michael did Motown 25.

No one had ever seen what Michael could do on his own.  No one had ever seen his art and this was sort of the world’s first glimpse at a Michael who had separated himself from other things and had developed into what we now know to be the legend he was.  Yeah, he’d had a couple of videos out, including the video for “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” by then, but they weren’t anything spectacular.  The video for “Thriller” didn’t come out until after Motown 25 and he’d already caught peoples’ attention, but the “Thriller” video catapulted him even further.

Here’s what I think, Anon:

Despite what has happened with Spotify, Harry’s single is doing very well right now.  It’s a little slow and the streams will probably slow, but you just wait.  He doesn’t have the ears of many people because he’s still being written off as some boybander and, worse, and this is why I take issue with him being compared so much, a boybander who’s trying to copy legends like Bowie.

But you just watch those numbers after SNL.  Watch them after his video is out.

Harry is the most phenomenal singer and performer I have seen in years. People cannot just write him off anymore.  I’m already seeing people who didn’t like the song when it came out start to change their minds.  

Harry is doing this promo the right way, Anon, and it will make a difference in the numbers.  Every time he’s going to hit the stage, he’ll catch everyone’s attention, even those who have previously written him off.  

So keep your head up, Anon.  It’s doing well and the single is better than anyone ever anticipated.  Let his art speak for itself, especially live, because that’s where his light really shines.  That’s where he’s going to make people take a second listen and say “Oh shit, this kid is actually incredible.”  

Hopefully Spotify will crank some numbers or recover them somehow, but if not, trust that Harry is doing well and will do well regardless.  

Much love, Anon!

[FAN ACCOUNT] 170304 INFINITE Fan Gathering III

******* WARNING: Super long post ahead! Like super duper extra long post this time! We apologize ahead of time!

Hi everyone! We know it’s been such a long time since we’ve posted anything besides asks, so we first want to thank you all for your patience and understanding! We’re not too sure why, but life has been kicking both of our butts simultaneously for quite some time now. Also, sorry it’s taken so long for me to do this. I’ve been hit hard with post-concert depression and I’m still quite busy. I also needed some time to collect all of the memories that have been slowly coming back to me. Good news is that our boys had a fan meet and I (dayounggie) was lucky enough to nab a ticket for the Saturday one. Unfortunately, since I work late hours, I was unable to even attempt to get tix for the Friday meeting, but luckily and LOTS of stress later, I managed to get a ticket for Saturday. I was really bummed out to miss out on L-soonie and the ladder game to pick the next member for the v app show, but the Saturday rally had its own perks!

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Park Jaehyung/Brian Kang; Screen Talk

Summary: “What do I do now?” Jae asks. Is there like, some kind of protocol he needs to follow? Is idol etiquette even a thing? What does one even do after your favorite artist follows you on twitter?“

(Or: the one where Brian is still an idol and Jae’s a fan, but they somehow manage to fall in love anyways.)

Read on ao3  (where the formatting is better)


Jae is just about to take a sip from his mug of coffee when he hears a quiet chime to his left. Turning away from where he had been half-listening to Jimin rant about the new asshole who’s now chasing after her, Jae looks down to where his phone lays on the table and can’t help but stare wide-eyed at the bright blue notification that flashes back at him.

@youngk_5live is now following you!

Jae blinks at the screen, once, twice, and then promptly chokes on the mouthful of coffee he had been just about to swallow.

“Jimin,” he hisses, making a garbled noise at the back of his throat as he flails around for the girl’s attention. “Jimin,” he insists when he gets no reaction, tone borderline frantic.

“What,” the girl snaps back. She raises her head to look at him over the rim of her coffee mug, one perfectly plucked eyebrow raised high. Judging.

“Look at this,” Jae says. He thrust his phone in her face, almost making Jimin spill coffee all over her crisp white skirt. “Am I dreaming?” he asks, phone wobbling in his grasp from how much his hands are shaking. “Is this for real?”

Jimin squints at the phone for a second that seems to go on forever while Jae hold his breath, nails digging into the wood of the table in anticipation. He sees the exact moment when realisation hits Jimin, recognizes it in the way her eyes widen and her lips part in surprise.

“Holy shit,” she breathes, taking the phone from him and swiping her thumb across the notification to make sure it’s not a mistake, and then, when she’s certain it’s not, “holy fucking shit.

She’s gaping, jaw hanging slightly open in disbelief. Any other time and Jae would have relished in the fact that he had managed to render her speechless, a true feat on its own. As it is though, he’s still too dumbstruck himself to enjoy the moment as he should.

“When did this happen?” Jimin asks as she hands him his phone back, which Jae takes with reverent hands.

“Just now,” he says, still working on believing it. “It just - it just happened.”

“Way to go, boy,” Jimin drawls, already back in control of herself, the complete opposite of Jae himself, who has to bite down on his bottom lip to keep himself from squealing like a schoolgirl. “You finally got your crush to notice you.”

“I do not have a crush on Youngk,” Jae huffs, glaring at Jimin when all she does is smirk at him. Jae knows she thinks he’s lying, but he digresses. So okay, his admiration for Brian Kang may go a little overboard at times, but that’s all it is. Admiration. Respect for a talented musician who just so happens to be a member of one of Korea’s most famous bands. And who’s maybe Jae’s phone wallpaper. Maybe. And his laptop’s screensaver. Not that that means anything, mind you. Jae does not have a crush. Jimin can smirk all she wants.

“What do I do now?” Jae asks. Is there like, some kind of protocol he needs to follow? Is idol etiquette even a thing? What does one even do after your favorite artist follows you on twitter? Apart from freaking out that is, though Jae seems to have that part down already.

“Say something to him,” Jimin answers as if it were as simple as that. Jae snorts. This is not some random guy on the street they’re talking, this is actual Brian Kang, 5LIVE’s bassist and national sweetheart. Jae can’t just treat him like he would anyone else. He needs - he needs to make an impression, make sure he’s remembered.

“This is what you’ve been waiting for, isn’t it?” Jimin asks, looking at him with narrowed eyes and taking absolutely no pity in his obviously frazzled state. “This is why you decided to post your cover, dumbass, to get him to notice you and he did. Now do something about it.”

Jae mumbles something that may as well be an agreement as it could be a plea for help, he’s not sure himself. Jimin is right of course. Jae did decided to post a small cover of 5LIVE’s latest song a few days ago. Jae, of course, had claimed he did it only because his subscribers on his youtube channel had been asking him to cover the band for a long time now. But Jimin, who’s known him since they were both gangly kids in middle school, had immediately figured out the real reason behind his bit-sized cover.

It’s no secret that Jae’s a fan of 5LIVE, anyone who follows him on twitter knows that. He goes on rants and talks about their music constantly, tweets and makes jokes. It’s gained him quite a public over the years - his follower count is somewhere around five digits now and steadily climbing higher. Jae knows people follow him for the covers he does in his youtube channel, both of korean and english songs, but he likes to think those followers stay for his random fact of the day tweets and his hashtags - which are awesome by the way, not matter how many times Jimin may roll her eyes at them - not to mention that his odd selcas here and there get retweeted a lot.

So yeah, Jae’s a fan, has been since the band first debuted in 2015, but he had never expected for this to happen when he decided to post a small video of him messing around with his keyboard, too afraid of making a real cover, scared of messing up such a great song. He had been hoping for some kind of recognition yeah, but now that it he has actually gotten it, he has no clue what to do with it.

“Hey,” Jimin says then, snapping Jae back to attention. “It’s going to be fine.” The girl reaches out a hand and squeezes Jae’s shoulder, expression softening the tiniest bit. “Just tweet whatever. A thank you, a rant, how you’re feeling. Do as you would normally. Forget he’s Brian Kang,” Jimin says and Jae nods, thankful.

Jimin’s right. Brian Kang is just another musician, he’s just like him. Jae has no reason to be nervous. He can do this.


Jae fucks up.

As soon as he gets home to his dorm in the far east side of the university he bundles himself up on the couch and logs into his twitter account to check his feed.

It’s blowing up. He’s got a fresh new wave of followers and people asking him if he’s seen the new follow, most of them as surprised and elated as he was when he first realized what it meant. There’s a lot of screaming in all caps and keyboard smashes, but there are are also quite a few honest congratulations, which Jae takes grateful note of.

He opens up a new note on his phone and starts typing his answering tweet. Jae rereads it a few times and then deletes everything with an annoyed groan, fighting the urge to stomp his feet down in frustration. This shouldn’t be as hard as it is really, but Jae can’t for the life of him find the right words, much as he tries. In the end, it takes him about fifteen minutes to come up with something passable. It’s a short message, straightforward but thankful and with just the right tags to keep it from becoming too formal. It’s not very him, but it’s something at least and right now, Jae will take what he can.

He is just about to tweet his overly-edited response to Brian’s follow when a notification pops out on his screen, leaving Jae scrambling all over again.

An unholy sound of surprise tears its way out of Jae’s throat. He bites down on the edge of his blanket to keep himself from screaming and waking up his neighbours as he stares at his phone in a shock, blinking at the screen to convince himself that this is real.

And it is real, because the tweet isn’t going away. Instead, it’s getting retweeted and liked and Jae can do nothing but stare as he watches it spread like wildfire.

Say what you’re feeling, Jimin had said, forget he’s Brian Kang. Jae doesn’t think he can do that, at least not the forgetting part. This is 5LIVE’s bassist talking about him, recognizing his work and fucking praising him for it, the musician Jae has admired for two years now is finally taking notice of him.

So no, Jae doesn’t think he can forget who he’s talking to - doesn’t really want to - but he can at least make his response honest and open. Taking a deep breath, Jae deletes his revised answer and types in another one instead.

The response is instant. His phone blows up with notifications and Jae watches in horror as his message gets retweeted and commented on. He regrets posting it almost immediately, but there’s nothing he can do about it now. So Jae turns off his phone for the sake of his sanity and drags himself towards his bedroom where he crashes on the bed as soon as it’s on reach. With a groan, Jae shuts his eyes and settles for ignoring the outside world for the night. He’ll deal with the repercussions in the morning, when he’s not as exhausted as he’s now.

He just hopes he didn’t ruin whatever chances he had of impressing Brian. He wouldn’t forgive himself if he did.


Young K
so i’m you’re senpai now?

The message blinks at him, expectant. Jae swallows loudly, rubbing his palms over his ripped jeans to keep them from sweating. He knows he has to answer, he knows, but it’s been three hours since he first read the message on twitter and he still can’t find it in himself to type anything in.

God, how could he have been so stupid. Now Brian must think he’s a creep or something. Jae regrets everything.

Still, creep or not, Jae has to say something back.

Chicken Little
omg hi
it was a joke i’m sorry

Young K
it’s ok man I was just messing with you
just wanted to see if you were really as cool as you said you were :)

Chicken Little
are you calling me liar
I’m the coolest dude
haven’t you seen my hashtags

Young K
you named yourself chicken little
excuse me if I was a little skeptical

Jae bristles. His nickname is awesome, thank you very much. It was given to him by his yellowpostitman subscribers back in 2011 and Jae has stuck to it ever since. He looks around the hall where he’s lounging around killing time until his next class starts and quickly snaps a photo, sending it before he can lose his courage.

Chicken Little

don’t you see the resemblance

Young K
doesn’t mean you have to call yourself a chicken dude

Chicken Little
you’re just jealous brian
what kind of name is young k anyway

Young K
a better one than chicken little for sure
and don’t call me brian

Chicken Little
whatever you say brian

Jae mutes his phone before he can see Brian’s - he refuses to call him Young K - answer.
It was surprisingly easy to talk to the other, at least after Jae got over the fact that he was an idol. Brian didn’t make a big deal out of it and he didn’t seem to find Jae annoying, if the way he answered his texts quickly was anything to go by. (Jae likes to think it is.)

Jae looks down at his watch and winces. He’s running late for his music composition class, having lost track of time talking to Brian. Shrugging his bag over one shoulder Jae makes his way out of the hall, feeling lighter than he has all morning.

Maybe he didn’t fuck up so bad after all.


“-ehyung. Park Jaehyung.”

Jae startles so hard he knocks his knees on the underside of the table, sending his music sheets flying all over the library’s floor.

“Goddammit Jimin,” Jae hisses, turning to glare at the girl standing before him. “What is wrong with you?”

Over by the front desk the librarian makes a shushing motion, glaring at them over the rim of her glasses. Jae grimaces.

“What’s wrong with me?” Jimin huffs, taking a seat in front of him and primly rearranging her plaid skirt. “I should be asking you that. I must have called your name a dozen times. Who on earth are you texting that has you grinning so much?”

“No one,” Jae says, clicking his phone shut before Jimin can take a peek at it.

“C’mon, who is it?” Jimin prods, no doubt taking pleasure in the way Jae squirms in his seat under her piercing stare. “You can tell me,” she croons.

“It’s none of your business,” Jae snaps back, defensive. It’s a mistake. Jimin latches onto his reticence like a hound to blood, grin turning into a smirk that bodes nothing good for him.

“So that’s how it is.” She points a finger at him, crimson red nail polish glinting under the lights. “It’s Brian, isn’t it? The idol? You never look like that unless you’re talking about him - to him now, I guess.”

“I, uh - I don’t,” Jae begins but then grows quite. It’s not like he can deny it. Because it is Brian. Ever since the bassist send him that first message they have been talking constantly, exchanging messages back and forth until well into the night where it’s so late it becomes almost early.

It’s been about a month since Brian first followed him on twitter and Jae no longer hesitates before answering his messages. Instead, he finds himself teasing the other, ranting at him about schoolwork and his awful music theory professor that makes Jae want to fall asleep every lesson. And Brian, he listens, says just the right things back, like he’s known Jae too long for their conversations to be anything but comfortable and easy.

It’s kind of amazing really.

Still, Jae’s dead if he ever tells Jimin that. The girl already teases him enough about his supposed crush as it is. Jae really can’t take more embarrassment.

“Fine, keep your secrets,” Jimin says, waving a dismissive hand his way. Jae can tell she’s a bit hurt. Jae would tell her. Honestly, he tells Jimin just about everything, she’s his best friend after all, but something always stops him before he can come clean to her about this. He wants to keep this to himself just a little bit longer, this side of Brian only he gets to see.

This Brian, the one who whines about his diet and asks Jae about his opinion on the new lyrics he’s writing, the one who sends him stupid memes and silly selcas, that Brian is not the same Youngk the public sees, he’s not the one Jae has to share with other fans.

So yeah, maybe Jae is being selfish, but he has never claimed to be otherwise, so he’s going to keep this close to his chest for as long as he can, until Brian gets bored of him and moves on to something better.

Just then his phone pings and Jae, so attuned with the sound now, barely wastes any time in opening up the message.

Young K
dowoonie broke the ceiling
again

Chicken Little
lmfao what was it this time

Young K
wonpil saw a bug, flipped, and asked him to squash it
sungjin is going to murder them both

Chicken Little
and you’re gonna help him hide the bodies aren’t you

Young K
:)

Young K
also junhyuk made me download snapchat
idek how it works
go add me anyways

Jae doesn’t notice he’s grinning at his phone until he spots Jimin smirking at him out of the corner of his eye. Self-conscious now, he schools his face into something more calm, but it’s too late, she’s already caught him. Thankfully, Jimin decides she’s teased him enough for a day and all she does is stand up and ruffle his hair.

“I’m gonna go now, loverboy,” she says, amused. Jae swats her hand away from his hair and scowls at her. “I’ll see you Friday though, right?”

“What?” Jae mumbles, attention already back on his phone where Brian has just send him a pic of his broken ceiling followed by a candid of Sungjin’s enraged face with an explendid background of Wonpil’s and Dowoon’s horrified expressions.

“Jackson’s party. Friday.” Jimin looks at him, judging. “You didn’t forget, did you?”

“No, no, of course not,” Jae is quick to reassure. Honest, he didn’t forget, it just - slipped his mind for a moment. “I’ll be there, don’t worry.”

“You better,” she says, a clear warning in her tone. She turns on her heels and heads for the door, throwing a jaunty wave over her shoulder as the door slams shut.

Jae opens his mouth to shout something back but just then a notification pops up, taking his attention away.

Young K
what is a filter
why does my face look like a dog

Chicken Little
HAHAHAHA this is gonna be fun


In the end, Brian figures out the workings of snapchatting faster than Jae would have liked him to. He only manages to gather a few embarrassing selcas for blackmail before the other gets a hang of the app, sadly enough.

Much to Jae’s surprise, Brian turns out to be an avid snapchatter. His phone light ups at least once an hour with a new notification to the point where Jae just assumes it’s Brian whenever he hears his phone chime.

Not that Jae has a problem with that, mind you. If Brian’s an avid snapchatter, then Jae’s nothing but an addict. That’s why as soon as his composition lesson is over and Jae can breath fresh air again he takes out his phone and snaps a quick picture.

Chicken Little

The reply is instant, as always, and Jae can’t help but grin when he sees Brian’s response.

Young K

Something warm curls around Jae’s chest when he catches sight of Brian’s smile, fluttering around his heart and settling there, making a better job of keeping the cold autumn wind at bay than his jacket does. Still, Jae does his best to squash the mushy feeling down. This is dangerous territory he’s heading into and Jae knows himself well enough by now to realize that this thing he has going on with Brian, whatever it is, is only going to get him hurt.

Somewhere in between the days he spend talking with Brian the admiration he felt for the musician he thought he knew thanks to recorded fanmeetings and interviews turned into a something else. It’s not disappeared, not at all. If anything, it has only grown bigger. Now that Jae knows just how much work Brian puts in into his music, the endless hours he spends rehearsing and writing and composing until Jae has to remind him to eat and go to sleep has made him realised just how incredible the other really is.

Jae refuses to call it a crush, but much as he tries he can’t deny that a simple message from the other boy can turn his day around, can’t deny that he would do almost anything to get a glimpse of the boy’s dimpled smile, even just through a blurry picture.

Because, and Jae knows this without a doubt, he has gotten to know the real Brian Kang,
not the bassist he shows himself to be in front of the public. Even if they have never met face to face Jae knows him. He knows that Brian hates mornings almost as much as he hates anyone apart from his band members touching his bass, knows that Brian owns at least twenty pair of picks and even more mismatched socks, knows that when english words start slipping into his messages it means that the other boy is homesick, missing Canada but not letting it show.

It’s kind of daunting really, being trusted with this side of Brian. It’s also dangerous, because Jae can feel himself slipping further and further into that something he refuse to put a name to whenever he manages to piece together another part in the puzzle that is the younger boy. Jae is smart enough to know that this thing they have going on is bound to end eventually, because even if it no longers feels like it, Brian is still part of one of korea’s most famous bands. He’s still an idol, and that immediately puts an expiration date on this budding whatever they share now.

For all that Jae is aware of this though, he can’t find it in himself to put a stop to it. And yes, maybe he should end it now, pull away before Brian does it himself so that he can fool himself into thinking it hurts less, but he can’t . He’s going to keep stubbornly clinging to this until it’s forcibly pried away from him.

So when his phone lights up with another message, Jae does the opposite of what he should and opens it.

Young K

Jae smiles, helplessly and despite himself. He sends a quick answer back before starting the long walk back home, trying not to feel like there’s a clock somewhere out there counting down until the day when this expires and Jae is forced to go back to the time where he was just another fan, forever on the other side of the screen.


It’s one in the morning, the bass is pounding in his ears, loud enough to drown out his own thoughts and make his head spin. The buzz of the crowd has faded into a dull white noise and Jae is now squinting to see in the darkness of the frat house looking for Jimin, having lost his glasses half an hour ago somewhere near the beer pong table.

It’s one in the morning, and Jae is drunk as fuck.

“Jimin,” he slurs, throwing an arms over the girl’s shoulder and pressing his face to her back as soon as he spots the girl by a corner of the living room. “You know I love you right?” he asks, paying no attention to the guy who had been leering at the girl and who’s now trying to bury Jae six feet under just by glaring at him.

“Sure I do,” Jimin says, beyond amused. She’s not even tipsy, even though Jae is pretty sure he saw her chug down a few shots like ten minutes ago. “That doesn’t mean I’m not going to lord this over you once you’re sober though.”

“It’s okay,” Jae mumbles, patting her on the head, slipping into english without realizing it. “You only do that with the people you love. Like Brian, Brian does that too.”

“God, you’re such a lightweight.” Jimin rolls her eyes, taking Jae’s beer away from him. Jae whines, making grabby hands at her. “No, you’ve had enough,” she says, firm enough to make Jae pout.

She’s right of course, but that doesn’t mean Jae has to like it. Honestly, Jae hadn’t meant to drink that much. He still doesn’t know how one beer turned into three and then into five, but he thinks it had something to do with the photos Brian had been spamming him with all night.

The younger boy is currently on tour with 5LIVE, a small one, just in Korea. Still, all the photos Brian had been sending had him grinning brightly in front of a bunch of fans or backstage, just about to perform. Seeing him like that, it just served to remind him that Brian was still miles ahead of him, both metaphorically and figuratively.

And so with every picture Jae got, he had poured himself another beer and drunk himself into a stupor until he couldn’t remember why it was a bad idea to do this:

Chicken Little
brian
briaaaan
bri bri
broster
bro

The reply comes barely a few minutes later, making Jae preen. He stumbles his way out to the backyard, past where Jaebum and Youngjae are making out near the pool and waving away Jackson’s attempt to engage him into a girl group rap battle. Jae plops himself down near the edge of the frat house, where the music fades into more of a dull echo and he can focus only on Brian, like he should.

Young K
how is it that you can come up with all this ridiculous names
and still dont call me youngk
is not that hard hyung

Chicken Little
youngk is stipid
stupif
whatever

Young K

you hurt me

Something uncomfortable clenches around Jae’s chest at the sight of Brian looking so dejected. He fumbles for his phone, clumsy in his drunken stupor, and types in a quick reply. Much as Jae hates the name ( because that’s what the fans call him, it’s impersonal and public and not Brian) Jae’ll call him whatever he want just to get him to smile. Jae sighs, he’s honestly so gone for this boy.

Chicken Little
FINW
Youngk is an amwesome stage name
happy nw?

Young K
elated :)
Im screenshotting this btw

Chicken Little
when ar you comin back hone

Young K
today was the last show
should be back in seoul the day after tomorrow
why
do you miss me? ;)

And maybe it’s the alcohol, clouding his judgment, or maybe it’s the prospect of having Brian near again (not near enough, never near enough but still better than miles away) but Jae can’t find it in himself to lie.

Chicken Little
yeah
maybe a bit too mcuh

Before he can see Brian’s response he feels a hand come down on his shoulder, a quiet tut, and then his phone is being plucked away from him. Scowling, Jae looks up the see Jimin standing with her hand on her hips, looking down at him with narrowed eyes.

“You don’t text when drunk, idiot,” she says as she hauls him up to his feet. She’s tiny, especially in comparison to Jae, but somehow still strong enough to carry him all the way back to her car parked in front of the house and shove him into the passenger seat.

“Give me back my phone,” he slurs, trying to make a grab for it.

“Not until you’re sober,” Jimin says, buckling him in and starting the car. Jae relents, letting his head hit the window and turning away to look at the city as they speed by.

“I’m in trouble,” he mumbles, trying not to think of Brian and failing.

Jimin’s fingers clench on the steering wheel for a second before she reaches out a hand to card through his hair, something not quite like pity but close to it on her voice when she says, “I know. I’m sorry.”

Jae just shuts his eyes, letting the low rumble of the car and the passing streetlights lull him to sleep.

In Jimin’s purse his phone lits up, unnoticed.

Young K
it’s okay hyung
I do too


The next few weeks pass by in a blur of exams and overwhelming stress. Finals means that Jae spends every waking moment drowning himself in coffee and pouring over adagios and half-diminished chords, tempos and melodic lines.

His social life suffers for it. He hasn’t posted a cover in two weeks and his subscribers are getting restless, asking him to upload something. He hasn’t seen Jimin in five days either. Last he saw of her she was heading to the library to cram for her financial economics exam. She hasn’t returned since.

So when when finals weeks finally ends and Jae turns in his last exam, praying to every god above to let him pass, please, the first thing he does is go home and take out his guitar.

It’s instant, the calm he feels take over him as soon as he strums his fingers over jenny’s strings. He hasn’t had the chance to play in a long time and the need to make music is itching underneath his skin, making him listless.

Jae spends almost an hour just strumming, tuning his guitar and letting himself get used to the feeling of having her in his hands again. It’s only when the pads of his fingers are red and sensitive that he grabs his pick and sets his camera to record.

He uploads his cover of Sunday Morning to his channel with a quick message saying sorry for disappearing for so long and doesn’t even bother changing out of his clothes before he crashes into bed.

He wakes up the morning after to hundreds of comments and likes, people praising him for his singing, happy that he’s back on track. Jae skims through them, thankful as ever, but it’s the direct message he finds on his twitter that actually grabs his attention.

Young K
finally done with exams i see
got your life back now?
(also amazing cover!!! as always)

Jae flinches. Brian doesn’t seem to be upset but Jae can’t help but feel guilty. They haven’t talked nearly as much as they used to, Jae too busy with finals and Brian just a few weeks away from another comeback. Still, Jae knows he could have made more of an effort to keep their conversations going. It’s just that everytime he went to open their message thread his mind went back to his embarrassing drunken confession and he got cold feet. Jae has never felt more like a chicken than he did those times.

He doesn’t know what Brian took from that message, what he thought Jae meant, what he didn’t mean. Their relationship hasn’t changed, neither for better or for worse - though Jae doesn’t even know what that means anymore - but Jae still feels like that night brought up a few things neither of them were ready to talk about yet. So Jae did what he does best and ignored the whole issue in hopes that it would go away.

Brian though, he doesn’t seem to share the same opinion.

Young K
hyung you there?

Chicken Little
yeah sorry
I can breath again
and thanks! appreciate it

Young K
great cause I wanted to ask you something

Jae swallows, sitting up on his bed. This - this sounds serious. Fingers trembling, Jae types in a response.

Chicken Little
uh sure
shoot I guess

Young K
we’re having a small concert before our comeback
its at a small convention center
do you want to go?

Chicken Little
you know i would but im a college student remember
kinda broke dude

Young K
And I’m part of the band remember
tickets are not a problem

Chicken Little
then sure
ill come

Even if his answer is collected, Jae is anything but calm. He’s clenching his fists into his blanket, trying to keep them from shaking. He’s going to meet Brian, like in person, where he can see him smile and laugh in real life and not just through pixels. Jae doesn’t know if he should cry or laugh. He’s leaning towards both.

Young K
also bring your girlfriend if you want to

Jae stares at his phone in disbelief. His what now?

Chicken Little
dude
what are you on about
what girfriend

Brian takes a little longer to answer this time and Jae watches in apprehension as he types.

Young K
the one you’re always posting pics of???

this one

Jae stares, again. He doesn’t know what to think. Just to sole idea of him and Jimin being anything even close to romantically involved is enough to make him nauseous. They’re almost brother and sister, but he can kinda see why Brian would have thought otherwise. His twitter is filled with photos of them and Jimin has appeared on his youtube channel a few times as a guest to sing with him in a few of his covers.

Still.

Chicken Little
DUDE THATS JIMIN
gross she’s like my little sister
*annoying little sister
also
im gay???

Brian doesn’t reply for a few minutes but when he does, it goes something like this:

Young K
oh
OH
I see
that’s a great then
not the girlfriend part I mean
you could totally get a girlfriend
or boyfriend
that’s cool too

Despite himself Jae lets out a laugh, relief flooding him like from head to toe. Brian hadn’t really struck him as the type to judge, but he couldn’t be sure. Knowing that he doesn’t have a problem with his sexuality lifts a weight of his shoulders he hadn’t know had been there until it went away.

Chicken Little
thanks for ur faith in me I guess??

Young K

no sorry its just

I didnt know

sorry

Chicken Little
its ok man
no worries
ill see you at the concert then?

Young K
yes definitely
I’ll text you the info later
can’t wait to meet you in person hyung

Chicken Little
yeah
me neither


In the end, Jae does end up taking Jimin to the concert.

As soon as he’s done talking to Brian, Jae phones her and spills everything. Jimin listens in silence and then, when Jae’s done rambling, the girl chews him out for not telling her what had been going on and calls him stupid in more ways than Jae thought it was possible to.

Still, she agrees to come to the concert with him as moral support. Jae doesn’t think he’ll be able to go through with it alone, at least not without losing courage and hightailing it out of there, so he’s grateful for her presence, even if she teases non-stop him when he spends a bit more time than usual when choosing what to wear.

And so Friday comes, faster than expected, and Jae finds himself in Jimin’s car, driving to the convention center where the concert is taking place. He’s trying not to show it, but he’s the most nervous he’s been his whole life, even more so than when he posted his first cover in youtube back in 2011.

It’s nerve wracking really. Much as Jae had hated it sometimes, talking to Brian only through Twitter had had its advantages. Jae had the time to think his answers through and keep Brian from figuring out how much of a mess he could be sometimes, especially when the other boy became involved. Now that safety net is gone and Jae can feel himself getting more and more tense as he and Jimin make their way into the concert hall.

Brian had lied, the concert it’s nothing small. There must be about a thousand people milling around, girls and guys of all ages standing in line, waiting for the doors to open up so that they can go in. Most of them are wearing some kind of merch, shirts and bandanas and whatnot, but Jae can also see a few Brians in poster form scattered here and there. It’s strange, almost disquieting, to see the image of the younger boy held in other people’s hands. Jae finds comfort in the thought that no one but him has pictures of Brian half-awake, face bare and puffy from sleep, saved in their phones.

Jae and Jimin go to stand in line. Brian had sent him two tickets a few days earlier, right by the front of the stage, and Jae fiddles with them nervously as they wait, watching as the line slowly crawls closer to the entrance.

They’re just about to go through the doors when Jae feels his phone vibrate in his pocket. Hurriedly, he takes it out and unlocks it to read the message that just popped up on his screen.

Young K
hyung where are you?

Chicken Little
waiting in line

Young K
ah hell
I can’t go out
we’re just about to start

Chicken Little
its fine
we can meet after

Young K
ok
I’ll wait for you backstage then
just show them the pass I gave you and you should be able to get in

Chicken Little
noted
break a leg

Then, before he can talk himself out of it, Jae adds:

Chicken Little
dedicate a song to me

Young K
I will
just because its you
gotta go now
enjoy!

Jae smiles and pockets his phone, handing the tickets over when asked and then making his way inside the hall. It’s a bit crowded in there and Jae is forced to grab a hold of Jimin before he can lose her tiny form in the crowd. Thankfully, the people attending are respectful and no one makes a fuss - Jae only gets hit in the head with a Wonpil face once and the girl responsible for the sudden attack apologizes profusely after, so there’s no harm done, at least not to him. Fake-Wonpil does get a hole on his nose though.

After a few minutes of standing around the lights dim, casting the hall into an almost-darkness. The buzz of the crowd dies down into an excited hush. Then, suddenly, the stage lights up in a myriad of colors and the first notes of a familiar song ring clear through the space, echoing against the walls.

The crowd screams, stomping their feet in time with the fast beat of How Can I Say just as a white beam of light settles front and center on the stage, illuminating the band.

Jae is dumbstruck, gaze fixed on the right corner of the stage. There, a few feet in front of the keyboard, back silhouetted against the red background, is Brian. He’s grinning, smile brighter than the lights of the stage, blonde hair held back by a bandana and his bass held firmly in his hands. He’s there, barely a few paces away from him, so close that Jae could reach out and touch him.

The song passes by in a daze for him, too busy watching Brian play to care much about what is happening around him. But then, just as the first verse dies down and the lights do a sweep of the stage, Brian’s eyes shift. There’s a moment, a beat of silence in between notes where their eyes meet and Brian grins, big and bright and beautiful, making Jae helpless to smile back.

After that, the concert blurs together. Jae had meant to take a few videos, maybe tweet something, but all that is left forgotten because Jae can’t do nothing but stare at Brian as he plays song after song.

It’s only when the concert comes to end and the band is taking their final bows that Jae seems to return to himself. And just in time to, because is when the crowd calls for an encore that Brian finds him in the public again, sending him a smile, one made softer by the yellow lights. Or, Jae thinks - hopes - maybe by something else altogether.

Brian leans in to whisper something in Sungjin’s ear and Jae sees the look of confusion the passes over the leader’s face before he straightens up and nods at Brian.

“So,” Sungjin says into the mic, swinging his guitar over his shoulder again. “At Youngk’s request we’re gonna do one more song tonight.”

The crowd cheers at that, excitement kicking up again. All Jae can do is watch in confusion as Brian takes his position again, strumming his fingers once over the bass’ strings as the song starts to play.

The first chords of Say Wow echo around the hall and Jae laughs, because is all he can do not to let the mess of emotions he feels take over him. Brian grins at him over the lights one last time before the songs ends and the band is ushered out, leaving the stage empty and dark.

“Hey,” Jimin says, grabbing his sleeve to get his attention. Jae turns down to look at her. Something in his expression must make her hesitate because she brings her hands up and rests them on his shoulders, squeezing once. “I’m going to go wait by the car okay? Take your time.”

“Okay,” Jae says back, voice choked but still grateful. “Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me, idiot,” she says, rolling her eyes. “I enjoyed myself too. Now go, there’s someone waiting for you.”

Jae swallows, nods once and then leaves in search of the backstage entrance. It takes him a while to get there though. There are a few fans with VIP tickets who also have passes like his crowding the entrance, but eventually he finds the changing room by the back of the convention center and makes his tentative way inside. Through the gap on the door Jae can see both Wonpil and Dowoon lounging around on a couch, and he thinks he spots Junhyuk somewhere in the back picking up his keyboard, but there’s no Brian. Jae swallows.

“Um, hi,” he says, knocking lightly in the door to announce himself.

The members’ heads snap up at the sound of his voice. Jae shifts on his feet awkwardly when he feels their attention focused on him.

“Who are-” Wonpil begins but then his gaze settles on his glasses and his blonde hair. His eyes widen, face breaking out into a grin. “Oh,” he says. “You’re him!”

“Him who?” asks Dowoon from the side, staring at Jae with a puzzled look on his face.

“Hyung’s secret twitter guy,” Wonpil answers, grabbing Jae by the hand and pulling him into the room. “It’s nice to finally meet you,” he says to him, smiling brightly. “Younghyun always gets super shy and blushy when we ask him about you so we don’t really-”

Before Wonpil can finish, a door Jae hadn’t noticed by the right side of the room opens up and Sungjin walks out, followed by Brian. The younger boy stops dead on his tracks when he spots Jae sitting sandwiched in between Wonpil and Dowoon, jaw going to tiniest bit slack when Jae waves sheepishly back at him.

“Hyung,” he breathes, so quietly that Jae is not sure he heard him say anything at all. “You’re here.”

“I told you I would be,” Jae says back, shuffling to his feet. He makes a move to take a step forward but he stops, hesitant as to what to do with all the other members still in the room.

Thankfully, Sungjin chooses that moment to step in. “Okay guys, c’mon,” he says, hauling Dowoon up to his feet and motioning for Wonpil and Junhyuk to follow. “We gotta go pack our things.”

“I already did that though,” Dowoon mutters but then Wonpil digs an elbow into his ribs and nods his head towards Brian, who’s still standing by the door, almost frozen, and the drummer’s eyes widen. “Oh.Oh. Yeah, uh, let’s go,” he says, grabbing his backpack and then walking out of the room with the rest of the band.

The door slams shut behind them and then there’s just Jae and Brian, together in a room for the first time without a screen separating them.

Jae coughs. He opens his mouth to say something, anything, but before he can there’s a shuffling noise, a strangled gasp, and then Jae finds himself with an armful of Brian.

Jae had never noticed it - never had to chance to - but Brian is actually kind of small. Jae doesn’t mind it though, it just means that he fits perfectly in his arms, just the right height for Jae to tuck the younger’s blonde head under his chin.

Before Jae can get the chance to tighten his arms around him like he wants to Brian pulls away, face red as he rubs a hand over the back of his neck and glances sheepishly up at him.

“Sorry,” he says, grinning shy and small. “Sorry, I just - I’m happy to see you, hyung.”

“It’s okay,” Jae answers because it is, having Brian this close could never be anything but okay. “I’m happy too.”

“How was the show?” Brian asks, taking a seat in the couch and pulling Jae down next to him. He can’t seem to stay still, moving around and jiggling his leg in a nervous gesture that makes Jae want to reach out and calm him down. He doesn’t though, can’t bring himself to.

“Amazing,” Jae answers, even if all he can remember of it was the flashes of Brian’s smiles. Jae’s sure it all went well though. “You were - you guys were great.”

“Thanks,” the younger boy says before he grows quite. Then, “did you like your song?”

“My song?” Jae asks, swallowing hard. “Yeah, I- I did.”

“Good,” Brian mumbles. “That’s good. I’m glad.”

The silence stretches, filling up the room until it becomes almost deafening. Jae is at a completely loss. He’s been waiting to meet Brian for what feels like forever, but now that he actually has him here, sitting so close to him that their thighs are almost touching, it feels like Jae has reached to end of the line, like there’s simply nothing more he can get out of this. It’s a horrible feeling.

“So, what now?” Jae asks, when the silence gets too heavy to bear.

“What do you mean?” Brian asks, turning to look at him.

“I mean, is this it?” Jae presses because he has to know for sure. Now that they have met, where do they go from here? Is this - this whatever they have going on something else than they have been pretending it to be or is it just him, looking for something where there’s nothing to search for.

“I, uh,” Brian mumbles before he takes a deep breath, gaze turning determined. “No,” he says then, tone firm and sure and everything Jae doesn’t feel, everything he wants to hear. “No, this is not it - at least I hope it isn’t. I - I really like you, hyung.”

“That’s - that’s good,” Jae croaks, heart jumping up to his throat and settling there, making it hard to speak. “Because I really like you to.”

Brian smiles at that, not bright, not big, just a small quirk of his lips that somehow manages to feel more real than any other kind of smile Jae has gotten from him before.

“Does that mean I can get your number now?” Brian asks, threading his fingers through Jae’s own and winding his other arm around his waist. “Twitter is getting kind of tedious.”

Jae laughs then, loud and hard and completely unrestrained. “Yeah, you can,” he says, trying not to chuckle and falling. “Of course you can.”

“Good,” Brian says before he leans down and shuts him up with a kiss.



Huge shoutout to @jihminshi and @augustds fro beta-ing this for me!

Also, comments give me life!!!
Danny Elfman gave an amazing commencement speech when I graduated from college

I recently came across this transcript of the speech Danny Elfman gave when I graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2007. His words sustained me through many tough years, and continue to do so today. It’s not a short read, but it is an amazing one, so I wanted to share it with y’all. Enjoy.

First, I’d like to begin with my sincere congratulations onsuccessfully completing something that must have seemed, not too long ago, to be a remote, distant, semi-impossibility – and yet, here you are. 

Second, a disclaimer. I’m reading from notes because, aside from having to rely on memory cells ravaged and pillaged by the onslaught of time and functioning more or less like a 1981 Commodore 64 computer with only 32K left intact, aside from that, one of my greatest fears is that of public speaking. And yet … here I am. 

And the question is … what words of advice can I possibly offer that might in any way be useful to you? 

I could talk to you about “following your dreams,” which is a wonderful sentiment, but that seems just too obvious. This is a school of the arts and you are all, in one form or another, artists. So in fact, you are already, without my encouragement, following your dreams or you wouldn’t be here. 

So I began by looking to my own experiences, to see if I could find some shred of something relevant. At first I really didn’t think so. As I reflected, it occurred to me as it often has in the past, that my life has basically been a bunch of random events, bizarre occurrences, and coincidences, some working out better than others. But then as I gave it more thought, it began to feel more like a season of “Lost” where everything happens for some strange “reason.” 

And I began the process of rummaging through those remaining memory cells to recall the many dreams I attempted to follow, to see if I could find any patterns that made some kind of sense. And slowly, (in a way) it did… . 

And so, I will in fact, talk to you today about “following your dream” and “going down that road.” 

But I’d like to talk to you about how strange and unexpected the “real” process of “following one’s dreams” can be. Because for some of you, that road might be a smooth, paved highway. I envy you, and I wish you well, but what I’ve got to say will have no relevance for you. (This might be a good moment to get those iPods and headphones out.) But for many of you that road might be like it was for me: twisted, bumpy, full of potholes, misplaced exit signs, and dead ends. 

So now, with your permission, I’ll tell you a crazy, meandering story. Mine. And like my life, I’m afraid it’s rambling and a little complicated. And for that, I apologize. And I invite you to draw from it what you will. It will take some patience, so bear with me.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I shall digress. 

By the time I got to high school, I had only two interests: radiation biology and movies. I pretty much went to the movies every weekend I could remember. They were a major part of my life, but I had no dreams of actually working on them. Too impossible and distant – so science was my only option. I was quite sure of it. 

However, I was an odd, shy kid who didn’t make friends easily in a new school, in a new neighborhood, with no old chums to rely on. My first couple of new friends were kind of odd and shy like myself and, to my surprise, were all artistically inclined in one way or another. Poetry, cartoons, writing and, in several cases, musicians. 

This was a new world. Stuff rubbed off. Through my musician friends, I was exposed to 20th-century classical music and jazz. I was blown away, but I also felt that I’d long since missed the boat. I had no musical ability that I was aware of. They had all started playing music as children. It was, I wistfully observed, too late for me. 

Now high school was over, the travel bug had bitten me, and my only dream at that moment was to beat it – as far and fast as I could. College could certainly wait for my return, and, as I had saved up a little cash by various questionable and sundry means, a year of world travel seemed quite reasonable. But – and this is where that “dream” thing came in – I decided to purchase a violin to bring with me, and to attempt to learn to play while I traveled. I thought, though my time may have passed, why not? I thought just maybe … . Well, anyhow. 

Skip to several months later, in Paris, getting ready to start the “big journey” and staying with my older brother who lived there and worked there. One day, while I was practicing that fiddle, I was overheard by the director of an avant-garde theatre troupe who was visiting at the time, and to my astonishment, was given the offer to “join up” for a summer tour. No money. Room and board. He seemed to think I was good enough, and being a “rag-tag” kind of thing, I simply had to play along with a number of crazy songs they had in their show. I thought, maybe I could get good and become a violinist? Now that seemed like a worthwhile, though distant, dream. 

But wait: This particular dream was supposed to be about a big world journey. The music thing, like college, would just have to wait. 

I spent close to a year traveling across Africa (I though it would take a couple of months) and lo and behold … I didn’t get good at the violin, but I did fall in love with percussion, and got to listen to a lot of incredible music and shipped quite a few instruments home. 

Cut to … finally back home … off to college? Maybe music or film school or both but … no go … . 

While I was traveling, my brother had come back to the States and founded his own street troupe, inspired by the French experience, and upon my return he immediately inducted me to be their “musical director.“ I didn’t even know what that meant, least-wise what I was supposed to do. I had still never taken a lesson nor could I read or write music. No matter. I played a poor but serviceable fiddle and had a bunch of cool West African percussion. And that was enough. To use the description “rag-tag” would be a wild overstatement. 

We worked our asses off night and day. Because of the lack of money, there was a constant turnover of musicians. I think it took me about a hundred hours of work and maybe 1,000 phone calls to locate and find each replacement. But somehow we slowly improved. Every single night I wasn’t bussing tables, I was rehearsing. I passed the hat for money. 

I gave myself a year max to “follow that dream” before going on to school. The year turned into seven or eight. We loved old 1930s jazz, so, reluctantly, I was forced to teach myself to transcribe various Duke Ellington big band orchestrations because somebody had to. And I taught myself to write them down on paper. 

We really believed in that dream. But we also starved. There seemed to be no way to make this thing viable, and we couldn’t fit into any niche that might qualify for grants or endowments. The commitment and effort were enormous, but I finally came to the realization that maybe it had reached its limit – and the “dream” had no future. 

Time for “a new dream”? Maybe I could refine some of these skills with the crude composing and arranging I had picked up. Could this be it? Perhaps. Also in that troupe we had begun to build our own mini percussion orchestras. Maybe I could become an ethno-musicologist, or better yet, start a homemade percussion ensemble. Now that’s starting to make sense, right? Wrong. 

Woke up one day and heard this new up-tempo pop music from England called Ska. It reminded me of the West African pop music I used to listen to, and damn it, that’s what I wanted to do. Gotta follow that dream … again … but now I’m really having a hard time figuring out: Exactly what dream was that? 

Cut to … 

Now I’m playing electric guitar and singing in a struggling eight-piece rock band modeled after a West African pop group. Violin and percussion skills moot. Composing and arranging, useless. It was all very fun but I was kind of bitter that I’d wasted all those early years and got such a late start. I was 30 years old. Aren’t you supposed to start your first band at around 16? Whatever … . 

A year became five or six. Again, we busted out asses and rehearsed night and day. We got better. We built a strong following. Even got a record deal. Things are going OK. I guess I’m finally realizing my dream? 

Can’t put my finger on it. Something’s still not right. Still not quite seeing “the future.” 

Then a young animator doing his first feature film comes to see my band. He liked it and thought maybe I could score his film. How the hell am I going to do that? I have no training. I felt woefully inadequate. My newly acquired band skills now seemed useless for this endeavor. I came so very, very close to saying no. So, time for a big deep pause. 

Remember back – all those movies I paid so much attention to (including the music)? Combine that with what I’d picked up with the theatre troupe – I developed a pretty good ear during those years. 

I did learn to write down music on paper once. And I did remember all the film scores I grew up with. And so I reluctantly agreed. 

The young animator kid, by the way, was Tim Burton, and the movie was PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. I did it, and guess what happened? It jump-started a new dream and a whole new career. But that’s not the point of this story. That was a lucky break. 

So here’s the point. 

Over the next 10 years, I busted my ass to learn this new craft and to my surprise, I found that every detour and dead end I had encountered in the past ended up giving me great advantages. I began incorporating all of my ethnic percussion and love of rhythm. As my teachers, I turned to a half dozen film composers that, although I didn’t know it at the time, had embedded themselves into my soul and brain. 

I drew from some of the crazy, irreverent stuff I did while banging it out in the street troupes, both French and American, and the ear training I got from transcribing those Ellington records. 

And strangely, in a weird way, the “go screw yourself” attitude I got from being in a rock band paid off too, because it allowed me to be more fearless. 

Even the starving years taught me to sharpen up my intuition and people skills and how to figure things out with nothing to work with. Things that proved to be really useful. 

But most importantly, all those detours taught me not to lose hope from failure. One door closes, another opens up. And amazingly, in the end, nothing was wasted. All the time I thought I had lost wasn’t lost at all. 

So now finally I’m getting to the message. Time to preach a little. 

Whatever field you’re about to embark on, by all means, go ahead and follow that dream, but here’s some simple lessons to keep in mind. 

The only absolute promise that I will make to you today is this: While pursuing your dream, you will find that you’re going to encounter tons of stuff, both good and bad, that I guarantee you will not expect. You may think you know where you’re going, but in fact, it’s likely you have no idea where any of your chosen paths will take you. It will be difficult. 

But if your path is twisted and uphill and all over the place, you’ll still acquire some tools, some skills, some experience, no matter how small, no matter how random, that could add up to something that is above and beyond your original dreams, in ways that may startle and surprise you. 

So, whatever happens in your life, starting now – remember it. And use it. 

You’re artists. You can, and should, use everything. 

There’ll be many unexpected obstacles … use them. There’ll be many disappointments … use them. There could be some real heartbreaks … use them. Leave every possibility open all the time. 

If you end up in the commercial arts, like I did, you may find yourselves up against an all too common beast: the combination of limited imaginations attached to egos larger than anything you thought possible. You may encounter small minds that judge you and whose approval you may need to move forward, and that will make you frustrated and angry. Use it. 

In my first 10 years as a film composer I was up against so much criticism, slander and abuse from my industry, it was astounding. Mean-spirited rumors were commonplace and abundant. 

And I can tell you this, the frustration and anger I felt toward my detractors and those who took shots at me from high safe places became my greatest fuel. 

I know this sounds really sick. And it is. But the point is that adversity, and the need to prove yourself and to show what you’re capable of can be a tremendous motivating factor. If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself overflowing with frustration like I was … use it. Own it. Don’t waste it. It’s not just fuel, it’s rocket fuel! And when your weapon is your talent, revenge is sweet! 

And now the platitudes. 

Know that it’s OK not to be the best at what you’re attempting to do. That doesn’t mean you don’t have something worthwhile to offer. I never for a second imagined I’d ever be half the film composer that my idol Bernard Hermann was, and I was right, I’m not. But it’s OK. 

Expect your first pass at anything to be flawed … and your second, and your third and sixth and maybe your tenth. It’s OK. It’s normal. It’s something we all share. 

Don’t expect a lucky break. But they’ll happen. They’ll find you. 

If you’re lucky enough to find success, learn to accept praise warily. Those who accept and believe praise too readily—or worse, those who seek it—inevitably suffer in their work. 

There are no dead ends in your life … until of course, you’re dead. 

But, believe it or not, there’s one more point I’d like to make. I was discussing all this stuff with a writer friend who posed an interesting question: When and how does one know when to stick with their dream and when to bail for another? Sadly, there’s no good answer for that. If I had stuck with the violin, I have no doubt that I would by now have become a mediocre violin player at best. It simply wasn’t in me. 

We all have to learn to find our strengths and weaknesses. To learn self-criticism but to sense when it’s becoming self-destruction. We all have to have faith in ourselves but need to know when to stand firm without bending and when to become fluid, elastic, and agile. 

There’s no easy answers to that. We’re all different. You’ve all heard the stories about listening to your gut, your instincts, and they’re all true. Over time your instincts will evolve. 

Observe it all. Use it all. Keep your eyes and ears open and learn from everything you can. Remember that it’s just as important to discover what doesn’t work for you as what does. 

Today you’re graduating. And you’re beginning this long, wonderful, terrible, agonizing and ecstatic, draining and fulfilling process. Now your learning has just begun. 

And may the elusive gods of inspiration at least occasionally reach down and touch you. 

Good life, and good luck. 

THIS IS MY COMING OUT STORY

(TW: self harm and depression mentioned)

Okay.. I never thought I’d type this out but I went on a Connor Franta marathon and his coming out video played and I’m not confident enough to make a video so
I will write this out as a small late Christmas present for anyone that feels alone.

My name is Sammie and I’m 15 and here’s my story of figuring out my sexuality and everything in between that.

I was raised put into a Catholic school by my grandparents and in 1st grade something happened that I didn’t understand.

In the school across from the library was the 8th grade hallway and as I was leaving the library one day in 1st grade I saw two boys leaving the gym which was next to the 8th graders lockers giggling and they went to their lockers to get something I’m guessing I can’t really remember since it was over 9 years ago and when one of the boys opened his locker a few book fell out so his friend yanked him back by his waist so it wouldn’t hit him in the head and that is when another boy in the hall yelled a word I had never heard before “GAY!” And I saw this pure look of panic on the boys faces and I thought at the age of 6 that whatever “gay” was I didn’t want to be it if it resulted in that. That was in 2006 or 7

I never thought about it again till 2009 when I was watching some award show with my parents and Katy perry came on and sang her song “I kissed a girl.” And I was so confused 9 year old me was staring at the screen listening to a song about a girl kissing another girl. I had never heard of that before and I asked a question to my dad and she said that when a boy likes a boy or a girl likes a girl that makes them gay. And that word made me remember everything that happened that day in 1st grade and I sat there and just nodded.

In 4th grade someone wrote on the wall in the bathroom that someone said that I was gay and I remember my teacher saying that I was making it up to get attention and to go back to class and I had whispers going on about me and I dealt with it till 5th grade and after that year I was put into public school for my 6th grade year

But it was lot harder from here on out

I had started to hit puberty around 12 which was in 2012 and I was really questioning things now like why I looked at girls more then I did at guys and It was driving me crazy and well in 2012 glee did an show called crazily enough “I kissed a girl.” I actually didn’t know this was the name of that episode till I looked it up for the timeline of this story but I digress.

One of the characters on the show in case you haven’t seen it was outed to the school before she was ready that she was in love with her best friend and she said in the show that she had told her parents and they were fine with it and I thought “Oh maybe parents don’t care.” But then it went to the scene with the characters grandmother and she told her and she kicked her out of the house and I remember leaving the room and going to my bedroom and just sobbing. I couldn’t stand the thought of my grandparents hating me.

Then 2013 and 2014 was really hard for because I tried to push it away as hard as I could even told my friends I had a crush on a guy in my class. I even dated a guy just to see if I could do it but I couldn’t it felt so wrong to me and that terrified me and I started getting very depressed.

But I’m going to talk about a day in 2013 August 7th 2013. 7 days before my 13th birthday. A little guy named Troye Sivan that I had been watching for about 5 months at the time uploaded a video that said “Coming out.” And I watched it and he just seemed so happy to say it and he said one line in it that just hit me very hard he said “My aim on this channel is too make you guys smile and make you guys laugh and that’s never going to change. I’m still going to make the same videos. I’m still the same Troye. This is just some new information about Troye.”

And that hit me hard for some reason and he was 100% right about that. No matter what sexuality I had I would still be me. I wouldn’t become a whole different person and then 2013 and 2014 went on.

School for harder, I was still questioning a lot, I was finding out more about sexualities and also questioning my religion and I was seriously depressed and around March 2014 I start self harming which was the worst choice I ever made but this is important to story.

I started question certain things like how people would say “the bible says Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.” And other things like that really messed with me.

In May of 2014 I decided I defiantly liked girls.

In July I came out to a close friend of mine and she said it changed nothing and she hugged and said it was great so I decided to tell some other of my friends and I got a terrible reaction from one person that I won’t mention their name but it was terrible and my mom came in me trying to hurt myself over it. (AGAIN DO NOT DO THIS)

And she took me outside and told me tell her what was wrong and after holding something in since literally 2007 I just started sobbing and told her everything and she got up and hugged me and told me that I was her daughter and that I could like trees and that she would love me no matter what and I felt this sense of security run over me and I haven’t harmed since then.

And my life was a lot better for the rest of the year

Then on December 8th 2014. The most moving coming out video I have ever personally watched came out and it was by Connor Franta. I watched it and I remember crying for an hour because everything he said I could relate too. I never wanted to hug someone as much as I wanted to hug Connor that day. His video moved me and made me feel so much more happy in my skin.

Then 2015 came and more people I watched started coming out including Joey Graceffa and Ingrid Nelson. I told my dads mom and my cousin and they both said it was perfectly fine. Unfortunately my moms parents and my dad are not as supportive of the topic so I have not come out to them because I’m not ready but what I have learned over the years is this

You can not change who you are. You are born this way. You’re not a freak, you are not a monster. You are a human that happens to love another human who identifies as the same gender you do. That’s perfectly okay. Remember you were taught that what is on the inside is what counts right? That doesn’t change when it goes to what sexual organs they have. You can still have children if you want them, you can still hold hands in public, you can still go on cute dates, nothing changes. As Connor said in his video You are you and you should love that person.

This was very hard for me to write but I wanted anyone who felt alone this holiday or that feel alone about something like this whether you are

Bi,poly,pan,lesbian,gay,transgender,etc.

You are valid. You are loved and you deserve love and you will find it. It is okay to be who you are and I hope this helps at least one person. You are not alone.

I’m actually scared to post this but here we go..

Okay. Let's talk about Elphaba Thropp.

(Inspired by this post here.) Note that I’m not sure I can write this without giving spoilers for Wicked, both the book and the musical. I’ll do my best, but you have been warned.

Now. For those who don’t know, Wicked is a novel by Gregory Maguire exploring the backstory of the woman who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West: Elphaba. It’s also the wildly popular stage musical inspired by said book.

Now. As fans of Wicked will know, Elphaba and Glinda (and if you don’t know who Glinda is, I fear I’ll have to send you back to The Wizard of Oz) are best friends in both versions of the story. In the book, it’s important; in the musical, it’s central. I think one can make an argument that either or both of them could be bi, or whatever the Ozian term would be.

Elphaba’s only clearly visible relationship, in both versions of the story, is with (spoilers) Fiyero, a Winkie prince. In the musical there’s a love triangle involving the two of them and Glinda; in the book there’s no such thing, but Glinda is stated to have married some lord or other. But they are also super close to each other. It’s more obvious in the book; in one scene Elphaba calls Glinda “my sweet” and kisses her goodbye. I swear there’s a reference to sharing a bed somewhere, and how brave and vulnerable it made Glinda feel, but I’m having trouble finding it. (Help, anyone? I think it was fairly late in the book, after Dorothy arrives in Oz.) But the hints are clear enough that even my former seventeen-year-old self (who was barely out and really not attuned to spotting this stuff) could pick up on them. In the sequels to Wicked it’s even clearer: even the author ships them, I think. Elphaba isn’t a viewpoint character very much, so it’s often hard to tell how she feels, but in my mind it’s darned obvious that Glinda fell in love with Elphaba, though she may not have known it at the time.

They still both show interest in male characters; so I would peg them as bi. (Worth noting is that Elphaba’s son, in the sequels, is also bi, and it’s spelled out a hell of a lot better.)In the musical, alas, all this is way toned down. It’s possible to read Glinda and Elphaba as very close friends, but both straight (no thanks to the Fiyero love triangle). This kind of annoys me because, well, Wicked is a really popular show. Really popular. And the Glinda-Elphaba relationship is the heart of the show; their final duet, “For Good,” is very nearly a love song. There’s a thriving “Gelphie” sector of the fandom, as you might imagine; I’m part of it. In my head, Glinda/Elphaba is a love story that never had a chance to come true, but for reasons entirely unrelated to the fact that they’re both girls. That is, perhaps, why I ship it as hard as I do. (I also quite like Fiyero/Elphaba, which can get confusing, but my personal attractions lean so much towards girls that at the end of the day, it’s Gelphie. Or headcanon-poly-Elphaba. Or both. But I digress.)If Glinda/Elphaba was just a bit more obviously canon, especially in the musical, the two of them would be some really wonderfully mainstream queer characters. As-is, it’s subtle, and to me it’s frustratingly easy to, well, straight-wash them.

But then, Wicked remains one of the only fantasy novels I own with even a potentially-queer main character. And when you’re seventeen and barely out, sometimes subtle representation can be a godsend—if you know where to find it.

The story of how/when I met Twenty One Pilots.

Okay, so this is the story of when I somehow managed to meet my favourite band ever. I’ll give you some backstory to set the scene, and am writing this up before my shocking memory shoots it into oblivion. There are pictures included for the eyes. It’s long winded, but..


Now, not many of my friends like the same music I do, it’s been that way for a long time. I often find myself going to concerts of my favourite artists with people who are just not as in to it as I am, and it just doesn’t feel as fun.

Now, over 10 years ago, when Myspace was m’thing, I made a friend called Leanne - same name as me, but she lived down South and I live in the North of England. Now, somehow, we managed to remain friends ever since, it was always on the outskirts of each others lives, but we talked. We liked the same bands and would always Tweet (hey, we’re growing up, Myspace was OUT), each other favourite lyrics from certain albums, etc, then one day I asked if she liked Twenty One Pilots, and we started talking about them.

Anyway, I would say around summer last year Leanne messaged me that TOP were touring, which I knew, but they were playing my local date (Manchester) in November, the exact day I flew to America on holiday. Sucks, right? Not that I had anyone to go with! And neither did Leanne. So when they announced new UK tour dates for early 2016, Leanne had messaged me, and again, I said I had no one to go with and neither did she. I had talked about going down to London but I was doing a qualification outside of work and was quite busy. The tickets went on sale and Leanne messaged me that she’d bought a pair and would either find someone to go or go alone, so I said FUCK IT! I’LL GO!

Fast forward to present day. Okay, mid Feb. Everything was ready to go for me going down to London. I was excited and scared to meet Leanne after so many years, and then to just see my favourite band play live. TOP changed everything. For so long I felt like I was losing my mind because nobody understood what I was going through in my own head, and I couldn’t gather the words to express it. Twenty One Pilots could. I found a part of me in their music and I knew I wasn’t alone. I would say Leanne felt the same. We could tweet each other our favourite lyrics and we’d know how the other was feeling, when those words would just be lines in a song to those who don’t understand.

Okay, we’re getting to it now. So I was due to travel to London on Wednesday 25th Feb. On the Thursday before, a competition was posted on Twenty One Pilot’s Facebook page about a secret handshake competition to win meet and greet with the band. Leanne tagged me in this saying it sucked that we couldn’t do this as we won’t meet until the day of the show, to which I replied, we could try a split screen where we both film a handshake and lay them together. We didn’t have long to learn a handshake and it was super basic but at least we tried, right? I sent my footage to Leanne who edited it and it looked SO much better than I could have expected! She had mentioned that we’d been friends for 10 years and were meeting for this band.
I didn’t pay much mind to this as there had been so many amazing entries for this competition, I just wanted to be put out of my misery to know who had won. Tuesday rolled around and we were complaining to each other that they must have just told the winner privately, and we wanted to know what handshake had won. I was at my office job minding my own business on Tuesday afternoon when Atlantic Records UK followed me on Twitter. I didn’t think much of it as earlier that day I had Tweeted a screen shot of Apple Music recommending me a Dr Luke playlist like “hm, no thanks”, and I thought it was related. UNTIL..I got a tweet from Atlantic Records asking me to follow them as they had some important information about the Twenty One Pilots competition. EVEN STILL at this point I thought they were just letting me know we hadn’t won, as we had been publicly moaning about it. So I screen shot the Tweet and sent it to Leanne like “THIS BETER BE REAL” as I was freaking out at my desk. I then had to leave my desk for work stuff for about 20 minutes and couldn’t follow up any conversations or anything, so I got back to a DM from Atlantic Records telling me we had WON the competition to meet the band and to email them my information.
Okay, I almost cried at my desk. I am 25. I sit with people who I would refer to as “proper adults” (aka - they have their shit together). One of them commented that it was nice to see me actually get excited about something.


Okay okay, I’ll fast forward to the day of the show. My train from Manchester was due to arrive in London at 2:30 and we had to be at Brixton Academy to meet the label rep at 5. This didn’t leave a lot of time to get to the hotel, “freshen up” and eat. Oh, and more importantly..DRINK.
I was emailed by the label that as well as the meet and greet, they wanted to film a little about Leanne and myself and how long we’ve been friends, and I would say I’m never camera ready, so I was nervous as fuck. So was Leanne. This is why we needed some dutch courage to settle our nerves.
So we got some food and a couple of cocktails then headed to the venue. By now we were excited and slightly hyper. Here, have a picture of me phoning the label rep and doing my excited dance:

You’ll have to excuse my face, I can’t afford to do anything about it.
So, we found the label guy at the side of the queue and he called some guy who met us at the production door. Now, a quick Instagram stalk tells me that this guy is called Jordan? I think he’s the band manager, correct me if I’m wrong. He took us backstage and lead us upstairs and into a room which just so happened to have a sign outside saying “Spooky’s dressing room”, so Leanne and I (mostly me at this point) were freaking out, as we were left alone in the room whilst they went and got the people to do the filming,
We calmed down enough and they came back with a camera lady and a sound guy and I think a guy called Mark (Reel Bear Media on Instagram) - I really struggled with these guys names as they already looked like people I knew in real life. So Mark sat down with us and talked about how we met, and why Twenty One Pilots. And on reflection I’m so mad at myself for not explaining it as well as I could, I don’t think I justified how much they mean, but how can you explain something so intimate to a room full of strangers? To say that this band found the words I didn’t have the courage to say. I think the interview went well, albeit a little awkward ‘cause we had zero time to prepare. Then…they went to get the band.

The camera stayed in the room as they were filming this bit, too. They said it was for a piece for the bands Facebook page, but I don’t know. I know Mark interviewed quite a lot of people and they filmed the show we were at, so it could be something bigger..
Okay, so we were sat waiting, when the door opened, and in walked Josh Dun followed by Tyler Joseph. Josh walked over and introduced himself to us, shaking our hands, then did Tyler. (Now, for the record for if this video is ever released - our brains didn’t engage and we didn’t stand up to say hi which is so UN-BRITISH OF US!!), but I digress.. Josh was surprised to hear we were both called Leanne, then asked if it was spelt the same, before spelling it out, then asked if we were just adding loads of Leanne’s on to Myspace (which is EXACTLY what I was doing!). I can’t even remember all too much about what was said, but we had to show them our handshake. We’d never done it together before and it was SUPER lame, which we explained, but I bargained that we’d show them ours, if they showed us theirs. So Josh asked if they should go first, to which I said no, because they’d be a tough act to follow, so we did ours, and Tyler said “..is that it?” to which we were like..LOL yes. But he elaborated like, it should have a bigger finish. They then did our handshake and tried to add something a little extra on, before showing us their own handshake, which we all know is super ace.

Let me tell you the PRESSURE I felt when talking when both Josh and Tyler would turn to look at me or Leanne as we spoke. It was like, whah, these two humans that are like, huge in my life are LOOKING and LISTENING to little old me. I don’t deal well with strangers and big groups of people, so this attention was already unnerving, but I think I handled it well. We then did a “fake picture” for the camera, so they just filmed us in picture pose. I asked Tyler if he wanted to go in the middle, and he was all like “we’ll keep the Leanne’s together”. So we got our fake picture. Then they did another real picture:

The fake picture which was done first, I had my arm around Tyler, but moved for the real picture as I thought we were done, which resulted in me looking like I had a million other places I’d rather be. (I didn’t - I was hyped!)
Once the camera had left the room we could talk about more private (I guess) things, things Tyler doesn’t want to talk about with cameras there, he said, and just listening to someone who (in my opinion) writes some of the most amazing lyrics talk about these things was inspiring and I felt extremely lucky to hear him say these things himself..to us. I know a lot of people don’t get that chance and I am truly grateful.

After this, it was about 5:45 and we had to go get in the queue, which was fine as Leanne had o2 priority queue stuff. We got into the venue and the view was good, we were quite close. Oh yeah, did I mention..I’m 5′1″. I can’t see for shit in most places, and I’m not very good with crowds. It was okay, though, and some guys nearby let me switch places with them as they were taller. I had warned Leanne if we split of it gets too much for me I’d just be at the side. The show started and everyone surged forward but I was alright dancing and stuff but then a couple of songs in, I couldn’t see Leanne, I couldn’t see the stage really and, not to sound like a pretentious twat but I kept knocking my engagement ring and my watch, and I’ve already had to get that watch sent over from Disney World before as my original one broke, and my fiancé would skin me alive if I damaged my ring, so I went to the side.

Honestly, I felt a ton better at the side. I could see, and I could breathe. Yeah being stood alone I felt a little bit paranoid kinda dancing and singing to myself, but I didn’t care, it’s Twenty One Pilots, and I feel like everyone who goes to there show, in one way or another, goes for the same reason, they find something in their music that speaks to them. So I had an amazing time.

Both Leanne and I had said way before even the competition that there was going to be something different about this show, than any other show we’d been to. This one meant more from the get go, it was going to change us. And it did. We met the band, that was something I hadn’t even let myself even think to be a possibility, and they were such nice guys, their whole team was, and all my expectations for that show was completely exceeded. So, Twenty One Pilots - I thank you, from the bottom of my shitty heart.

Only Few Understand.


(All pictures are my own or Leanne’s - please do not use without permission.)

Hedwig 10/25/16

Gather around everyone because I’m going to tell the story of my very eventful night last night at Hedwig.

Okay, so I saw Hedwig for the second time in SF last night (10/25) and compared to Sunday’s (10/23) matinee performance Darren got SUPER into it last night. Out of the 4 times I have seen the show (all with Darren as Hedwig) I think this is the best one I have seen. Which I’m really happy about because that’s the last time I was ever going to see Darren play Hedwig. (excuse me while I go cry in the corner) Last night’s show was incredible for so many reason’s. During Angry Inch, which I know is already a really emotionally charged song, but I felt like Darren just turned it up a notch. Hedwig SLAMMED Her and Yitzak’s mic stands down and Hedwig really aggressively pulled the sheets down off the sides of the set and you could just FEEL the anger in her body language. Also, during the serious parts like when she yells “THEN LOVE THE FRONT OF ME” the theater was dead silent and just uggghhhh it was so goooood. Oh and during Midnight Radio when Hedwig is singing “and you’re spinning, like a 45 ballerina” Darren was dancing like…I don’t know, the best way I can describe it is writhing like a snake. Just slowly twisting and turning, it was glorious. I was just @_@ the whole time because those legs and arms and where did those LEGIT abs and pecs come from and the BOOTY in the shorts. There was definitely a lot of under cheek action.

Ehem, I digress. So, I thought the show was going to be the most exciting part of my night, but boy was I mistaken.

Keep reading

i’m trash for secretelydating!klance esp at the early stage of their relationship and i honestly think they would be convinced they’re doing a good job at hiding but in reality everybody has all figured out. hilarious things ensuses.

  • The mice would understand what’s going immediately. They would surprise Keith and Lance in the training room being overly affectionate with each other. They would obviously still be competitive but in a more playful way. If one accidentally hurts the other in combat, a “oh shit i’m sorry i didn’t mean–” “shh not so loud” will be heard. An hug would be shared between them, patting each other’s back, and proceeding towards their rooms holding hands ‘till they’re in the hall where they can be seen.
  • The mice would go tell Allura, who is not surprised at all. “What are Keith and Lance doing? Oh.. that? Oh yeah I already knew! It was so obvious… Didn’t you notice how Voltron is even stronger now that everybody, not only Lance and Keith, has a better bond?”
  • Coran is there as well, curious about what the Princess is digressing about. “Something’s wrong with the Paladins, Princess?” “Oh no, the mice were just telling me about Keith and Lance dating." "Oh, so nothing new.” (He has totally caught them trying to always sit next to each other at dinners and how they seem to get lost in each other during some dinner discourses to the point he has to call them by their names to get their attention again).
  • Hunk is definitely the first one to know. He’s Lance best friend and he’s very observant, so he can tell something has changed between the red and the blue paladin. He would notice Lance being over the clouds a lot, smiling randomly and humming some songs quietly. He needs nothing but a glance to realize love is in the air for his bff, and has the confirmation when Lance and Keith accidentally discuss something at breakfast. They’re arguing on who snores the most. “I told you my snores are louder than yours!” “No? Mine are! I’m the champion of snores!” (Cause yeah I honestly picture them competing over silly things as well, as long as one is better than the other). Hunk immediately takes advantage of the situation and asks them: “Do you guys really snore that loud you ear each other through the walls?”. He tries to contain his laughters as long as he can. Keith and Lance look at each other blushing furiously (Hunk must not know they were cuddling in Lance’s room!! spoiler: he knows) and they find an excuse to get out of the room.
  • Shiro has known Keith for some time so he would perceive the change as well. He would jokingly tell Keith he has noticed he has been quite distracted recently and teases him about what the reason might be. Keith is super flustered and tells him he’s just warming up more and more about their whole mission. And indeed when they’re on missions, that’s when he studies how Keith and Lance act around each other. One day theyì’re extremely in danger he overhears Keith whispering to Lance “Promise me you will be safe” with a very worried expression. Lance nods at him, smiling warmly and holds his hand briefly, convinced no one will see. Shiro notices, but stays silent, willing to respect their secret until they’re ready to tell.
  • Pidge would get the most suspicious and would also have the most fun with it. She would catch them sneaking out of their rooms at late night, to go stargazing on the roof. One day she follows them, to find them sleeping peacefully on top of each other, and can’t resist to the idea of snatching some pictures. She doesn’t want to use the photos against them, but just as a memory she’ll show them, when they’re ready to give them the big talk even if everybody knows already. She discovers that, and so plans with the others to act very surprised when the truth comes from their mouths, and eventually make a photo album to give them, with all of their failed attempts to be slick.
Miserable Lester, Part One: A Leisurely Character Study, Interrupted By the Protagonist Of a Mountain Goats Song

So, Les Mis opens with like 90 pages dedicated solely to exploring the personality, worldview, and daily life of Bishop Myriel, a character who will not be appearing in the story at all after this. (I make this assumption based on the fact that he is reported dead several chapters later, and I’m pretty sure there aren’t ghosts in this novel.)

I like this part, to be honest; in a lot of stories, a character like the bishop would only exist as a plot device. His role/plot contribution is– spoiler alert– to show mercy and kindness to Jean Valjean by letting him get away with stealing his silverware, then giving him his expensive silver candlesticks on top of that, as a gift. This act both blows Jean Valjean’s mind in a way that enables his moral transformation– it’s been about 900 years since the last time anyone was kind to him, and he hasn’t behaved in a way that warrants it–, and gives him the resources he needs to start a new life outside of prison. The narrative doesn’t actually need to establish the bishop as a nuanced, well-rounded figure for Jean Valjean’s redemption to be believable and effective; it would work fine if readers only ever knew as much about the bishop as Jean Valjean does. (Which isn’t a lot.) And, from a technical perspective, I have to admit that would probably be a “better” pacing decision.

However, Victor Hugo LOVES writing characters. Oh my god. This guy is SO INTO his own characters, guys. He has no problem stopping the plot dead in its tracks to give you exposition on someone’s backstory or general outlook on the world. This can happen with almost anybody, at any time. You’ll be ambling along through the text, following the main thread of the story where it leads you, and suddenly, WHAM! Victor Hugo ambushes you with a digression about a person who would be credited as “Man In Coffeeshop”, “Elderly Neighbor”, or “Random Jackass #2” if this were a Hollywood movie. Since I am someone who is a lot more focused on and interested in Characters than Plot and/or Concepts in my fiction, this tendency doesn’t bother me.

…In fact, I really appreciate the degree to which it gives me a sense that this novel takes place in a real world, inhabited by real people, who all have their own histories and dramas and lives worth caring about even if we the readers aren’t privy to that much of them. No one in Les Mis (so far) comes across as an NPC. A literary NPC. You know what I mean, right?

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practicingproductivity  asked:

Hi, Sami. I'm a new follower and your blog has been very eye-opening to me, who is thinking of applying for JET either next year or the year after. I have two weird questions. As a woman also from the US and a feminist, is there anything especially different I should be prepared for so I don't start flipping tables? Is your husband also a JET? I want to do JET and my serious SO wants to join me, but he's not sure he wants to do JET as well. I worry it might be hard for him to find a job.

Hey @practicingproductivity, thanks for the follow and the compliments <3 You have some good questions here, let me try to do the best I can. I tend to ramble, put up with me if you please~


FEMINISM IN JAPAN:

 I’ve become super vocal over the years, in regards to my beliefs, and feminism is one I defs feel strongest about. I have some slight advice, but I think you gotta just experience it. HOWEVER I will try. Culturally, Japan is not America (insert big ole duh from everyone here) but this doesn’t mean that you should come over saying that feminism is not a thing here. I literally had an ALT come into Japan, and within a week she posted a “free the nipple campaign” video and, I verbatim quote, said, “I’m so glad I come from America, where women have a voice. Did you know that feminism doesn’t exist in Japan?”

Needless to say, me, my husband, and several other female friends of hers went off. I found some documents from the Meiji era to shut her up, as well as some more modern examples. But that is neither here nor there sweet thing.

Now there are two reasons why she said this. 1) she was new and culturally the feminism that she was expecting (like the free the nipple campaign) wasn’t directly in her line of sight in our rural city—- and 2) she’s a bit of a self-centered egotist who kind of lost touch with reality a while ago. But that’s less related than the first part.

The point of that is: there are some things that will make you want to go “Wow, do rights for women even exist here?” but take it with a grain of salt, because the same could be said for any country struggling to get women’s voices heard just as equally as mens’. Just in different ways.

However, you wanted me to let you know what to look out for, and Ima do it!!!

BASICALLY YOUR REAL ANSWER FROM ME STARTS HERE!
TABLE FLIPPING THINGS!

These are just things that pissed me off. Women in Japan, feel free to reblog, but let’s try to be proactive about it!
- sexual harrassment and how it’s dealt with is the biggest thing that bothers me here. Gonna add some subsets of ideas for a second:
     a) fuckin kabe-dons. I don’t like the idea of men cornering women with kabe-dons, which is the tamest and probs most accepted and squealed after bullshit thing I’ve found so far. Have you ever seen the movie Grandma’s Boy? It’s kind of dumb, bit of a stoner film, but like… I really love it? There are a lot of positive messages about the “mlady” type of asshole going after a girl, men thinking she’s a fake gamer, etc etc. But I digress. In one part, creepy dude traps Girl with a kabe-don. And her face is PERFECT. This is not sexy, it is being trapped.
   b) public gropers, and how very often the police here react with “What were you wearing at the time?”
     c) stalkers. There is a huge culture in Japan of seeing a foreigner and this subgroup of super special snowflakes (do they get together once a month to decide how to harass gaijin?) think “Hey free English lesson!” and follow us in public. Sometimes it’s harmless. But sometimes it’s harmful and scary, and there is literally no way to tell the difference between the two until you’re past your comfort zone. I dislike the way this is dealt with too, in Japan. But I dislike how it’s dealt with in most cases anyway >.>
    d) “jokes”. I’m sure if you peruse through my blog you’ll see the progression of Rude Sensei’s saga, where he touched my food and would go ‘Mmm say yummy’ or when he would gesture about my body or when he went so far as to joke about me and him having an affair when we had unrelated business trips within the same week. Basically, shitty people exist EVERYWHERE. Be aware of this in coming to Japan, because no it is not normal, and no it is not okay, and no you do not have to put up with it!

- women’s roles in relationships. I cannot tell you how often I’ve gotten laughed at when I say that my husband cleans and cooks and I do not. I really don’t. But they don’t believe me. Culturally, that’s absurd.
      My husband worked all through my time at university, sometimes upwards of 90hr work weeks. He pushed himself so hard, and when he came home, I would clean and do the dishes and the laundry etc. It was the least I could do. Now, the roles are switched. I work more than he does, and I want him to have free time to spend how he wants. I don’t want him to go back to 90hr work weeks. But my teachers are just amazed that he does these things for me.
      Basically, in Japan, women either work until they have kids, or they don’t end up marrying (this is a big generalization, but one that isn’t exactly unfounded). Basically, I get  GOT asked all the time, “Does your husband mind if you go to the enkai? Oh no, who will cook his dinner?” and I would just shut that shit down whenever I could. My husband does not and has not gotten these questions in the sheer volume that I have. It’s ridiculous.
    Google: “japanese women in the workplace” if you want to peruse articles about women’s experiences in Japan. I’m not Japanese, I can’t attest to it, but I have had several coworkers who’ve said to me “As soon as I have a baby, I’m going to stop working. That’s just how it is.” And that burns my grits, that men can talk about their kids at work no problem but if a woman does, they’re seen as an “absent mother”– unless they forfeit their job and stay home. Again. Not a problem limited to Japan, but one that is prevalent here.

- black bag of shame. Tampons, pads, condaaaaams, anything to do with your downstairs goes in a black bag of shame then in your regular grocery bag. I hate it because it associates something we as women have no control over (our periods) with something we do have control over (sex, and by extension contraception). I am not embarrassed by having to buy toilet paper, and I will not be cowed into being embarrassed about the blood I just happen to have every month. Everybody poops, and a lot of girls have their periods. I am more ashamed of the fuckton of bread that I buy after a 5k run.
       Hubs about made a cashier faint when he bought tampons for me once and said “iranai” to the black bag. He carried them out in his hands. SCANDALOUS. He’s a sweetheart.

These are just a few of the things to prep for, but I want you to try to prep for conversation versus confrontation. Sure, confrontation IS necessary. Better believe I told Rude Sensei, “No. Not funny.” when he ‘joked’ like a dickweed. But other times, like when I was talking with other women in the workplace, it was not my job to confront the system. It was my responsibility as their friend and coworker to talk with them civilly, respectfully, and share my own culture as an exchange (job descrip thrown in there, yeayuh). So come over not expecting these things to happen, but being open to talk with other ladies if and when they do! <3


ABOUT HUBS!

Hubs is not a JET, he’s just a Hubs which is the most important thing in the world to me but also still not a JET. He works now part time at a nursery school, reading books and playing with Lego’s and going to the local grocery store with a parade of baby ducklings in his wake. It is SO cute. We don’t want kids, but damn if my heart don’t melt when I see pics of him “getting his nails painted” by the little two year olds in his class. Sweet babies. Here’s a pic of his class making some crafty “alligator" bracelets that they were gonna use to eat some “monkey” finger puppets for a song about counting.

He came over because we were married, so he had a dependent visa to get into Japan. My work sponsored me, and then I sponsored him. Jobs kind of fell in his lap in our small town, but he disliked all of them that related to teaching. At nursery school and preschool, he gets to just play with the kids and speak more Japanese than English, so it suits his style more. I wish I could tell you more about the ease of getting a job, but really we just go to a TON of stuff in our city and have a ton of friends in the area. Never underestimate word of mouth. It’s gotten Hubs every job he’s had in Aomori.

He has a dependent visa with a stamp to work part-time now. If he got a full job, he could switch to a different working visa. There are other ways to stay in Japan for longer. There is a cultural studies visa (not sure how you get it, but worth looking into) that a couple of JET SOs actually have in Aomori! We have a JET in Shichinohe whose girlfriend is on a visa to study ikebana for a year (flower arranging), and we have another JET in Hashikami who is bringing her boyfriend over on a similar visa (with a different area of study I think). So if you’re not ready to get married, and they’re not into teaching/JET, there ARE ways to have them stay with you!!


I hope this helped. I ramble so much. I just want you to have a good view of things without feeling like it’s some scary place where perverts are going to grab you every day on the train. I honestly feel safer walking at night in Japan alone than I ever did anywhere in the United States. I feel better on public transportation than I ever did in the US too. Flip side to gaijin getting picked on that Japanese people can’t always account for: I will go fucking CRAZY and embarrass the shit out of you if you lay hands on me or get in my bubble. And that usually puts an end to it. That whole “don’t disturb others/crowd culture” in Japan can be used to your advantage, whereas in the States I have seen too many videos of women being harassed in public and the person’s reaction is to whip out a phone instead of help her.

So there are cultural differences to be aware of here.

Point that we make at every AomOrientation: it is not legal for you, in most cases, to hurt your attacker in any way. Therefore things like mace are considered a weapon and “not okay”. It is a bullshit law, and so break it if you must, but if you are harassed or assaulted and can break away by screaming or crying or calling the police or running— do that FIRST.

I feel like I’m getting distracted, but also like all of this is necessary. Feel free to reblog as always, tumblr fam, and correct or add or just get the word out.

Wonderful questions, and I wish you the best of luck in your decisions regardin’ JET!

ギターがしばし旅立ちました...!| My guitar went on a little journey...!

 in which Kashitaro got a little high…


Ito Kashitaro here!


It has, at last, reached the point where my guitar has been entrusted to the hands of the repairmen at the repair shop.


The guitar that has worked so hard for me for seven years.


Even during winter in Kawasaki when it’s snowing and the temperature is below freezing point,

or during the summer in Yuigahama when temperatures rise over 40ºC,

or braving the rain during the rainy season,

or when 20 days out of a month were spent outdoors,

or when I didn’t change your strings for 3 years because they didn’t snap,

the guitar that worked so hard to produce sounds for me,
that Gibson J-45 Rosewood Custom,
has finally been sent to the repair shop.


And the reason was, the sound.


One day, when I was strumming as usual,
I thought, Hmm? It’s kind of different…!


It wasn’t cheerful.
The sound wasn’t cheerful.


Even the rockstar guitarist, Shibata-san, who joined me for rehearsals that day, pointed out the same thing.


Not just me, if even others have noticed this,
does it mean that the guitar which robustness I was so proud of,
has finally reached its limit?

That was what I thought.


If it were a professional guitarist who was just a little on the fussy side, he would send his guitar for maintenance at least once every six months.


This just shows how delicate a living musical instrument like the acoustic guitar is.


Ever since I bought this instrument, I have never pampered it, which is to say that I’ve never given deep thought to anything else and just strummed it everyday with all my might.


For song compositions and of course live performances, it’s always this guitar.
We’ve written so many songs together at Tamagawa and Sumidagawa.
Even the music tracks in my album, I recorded them with this guitar.


As to why I’ve never sent it for maintenance throughout these seven years, it’s because the sounds that my guitar produces have never changed, and I thought that it was alright not to.


To be frank, there were more than 10 times that my guitar fell from its stand when it was blown by the wind during street lives.


And when there was a huge earthquake, it also easily fell neck-first.


Even so, my guitar has always continued to produce the same unchanging sounds,
and I started to think that it was always going to be alright.


It was naive of me.
As expected, using it for seven years without maintenance was a push too hard.
Because I myself noticed the change in sound it was starting to have.


With that said, while weeping I decided to send my guitar for maintenance.


Of course I thought that it was better to send it to be repaired earlier, but to be honest, if it isn’t this guitar, I can’t think of any melodies at all…


I also own another travel guitar, but it’s a little difficult to think of ideas with its sound…!


So in the time when it’s under repair, I’ll use my travel guitar for song compositions.
With that in mind, I weepingly sent my guitar for maintenance.


I got the repairman to take a look at my guitar.


“Somehow, recently the sound sounds a little tired, like it’s lost its vigor and shine…
I suspect it has got to do with age, or the physical impact from dropping it so many times,
so maybe the neck has become crooked or there are some holes which caused the change in sound…!”

was what I told the repairman.


“I see, then let me take a look at it for a while,” was what he said as he unstringed my guitar and looked into the sound hole.
He knocked on the body and inspected the curve of the neck.
He carefully inspected it for about 20 minutes.


Alas!


“I’ll be honest here, but I can’t find any problems…?”


was what he said…!


It’s got to be a lie right???
was what I thought so I asked him again.


There seems to be quite a lot of dents on the body (probably from dropping it so many times) but they’re not deep enough to damage the internal structure.


And even though I did nothing to the neck throughout these seven years, it was not in the least crooked at all.


And as for the rest, the wood of the internal structure didn’t have any splits or cracks at all.


However, the change of sound still remains a fact and when I told the repairman once again, he said,
“I don’t think that would’ve happened though, why don’t you play it once more for another listen?”


So heeding his suggestion, I restringed my guitar,
and when I strummed it…!


The usual sound was produced.


What on earth was that!!!!!!!!!


I had an inkling as to why this happened.


It was the strings.


I usually use “Martin Acoustic Light Range” strings for my guitar.
One pack costs about 600 yen.


It’s the most standard item out of all standard items that every music shop in the world would be selling.


But when I went to the music shop in Shinjuku the other day, it (looked as if it) wasn’t on sale.


Hmm? It’s such a common type of guitar string, maybe it’s sold out?
But, it’s such a standard item so it’s kind of unthinkable that it’ll be sold out. Is this music shop going to be okay?
I thought as I started needlessly worrying.


As to how unthinkable this situation really is, let’s use CD shops as a comparison.


Whichever CD shop in Japan you go to,
there will always be the albums of Mr. Children, EXILE, and SEKAI NO OWARI on display.


It might be possible to find a shop that doesn’t carry any of their CDs at all if you search hard enough.


But to not carry all three of them?


All three of them??


We can safely say that the shop isn’t a fan of these three artistes,
but is this CD shop okay?!
Isn’t this an emergency?!
Dragonight?!
Lo-lo-love somebody tonight?!
(t/n: at this point kstr is high and he’s using all sorts of Japanese memes. They’re all really random and I’m really sure what they really mean or when they should be used, but they’re ドラゲナイ and ラララサムバディトゥナイ in Japanese)


as such was the situation.


I came up with a comparison that’s more relatable,
but even if I didn’t do so, there are a lot of other examples I can think of.


In an electric guitar shop, there aren’t any Gibson or Fender models.


In a livehouse, there isn’t a mic from SHURE.


In a pet shop called “DOG&CAT”, there’s only the Medaka fish (Japanese Rice Fish).


The next chapter of Hunter x Hunter is published in Shonen Jump.


In SMAP, Kimura Takuya is missing and Mori-kun has made a comeback.


There’s no hypocrisy in the 24-hour television.


The ending of Yu Yu Hakusho’s Makai Touitsu Tournament has been clearly drawn out.


In Honey and Clover, there’s no Honey.


In “Hello Kitty in collaboration with Mickey Mouse”, Minnie’s face is completely destroyed.


Melos isn’t full of rage.


Togashi-sensei I’m begging you please do your work.
(t/n: As a fan of hxh and yu yu hakusho I burst out laughing at this)


That’s about it.


If these things were to really happen in reality, we would definitely feel as if something is out of place.


We would definitely feel as if something is out of place.


Yes, it was such a grave situation.
That is, that there were no “Martin Acoustic Light Range” strings!!!


I was left with no choice, so I ended up buying strings from a brand that I didn’t use.
Because I really had no choice, I ended up stringing my guitar with the strings that cost 399 yen.


I totally forgot the fact that I bought these strings while thinking, “It’s 200 yen cheaper than usual I’m in luck!”
I TOTALLY forgot about stringing my guitar with these strings…!!


Of course it would produce a sound void of its vigour and shine!!
And I learned that there’s a lot of difference in the sound made by strings which cost 200 yen cheaper…


Martin Acoustic Light Range” costs 600 yen, but there are even more expensive strings out there.
There are some that can cost up to 1500 yen, and I’m sure they’ll produce a sound on par to their price…!!


I don’t know whether a more expensive string will produce a better sound,
but I learnt that the sound produced by the 399 yen strings were not good at all!


With that said, there was actually no problem at all with my guitar.
And since I was already at the repair shop, the consumable parts of the guitar were completely worn out, so they offered to replace them for me.
Also, it seems like even though the internal structure wasn’t damaged, the dents will also be straightened out so that holes won’t form.


That’s why I’m able to get it back within 10 days!


Yay!!!


To think that I fell into despair when I learned that it might take up to two months at other places…!


With that said,
I pray that my guitar will come home
much, much more healthier than before!!


And actually since there wasn’t any problem with the sound, after the dents have been straightened out by the repairman, I’m actually looking forward to hearing an even better sound!!!


But you know, I’m a little touched…
The acoustic guitar is really a “living” instrument.
On top of not being as durable as electric guitars,
it also takes a lot of skill to do a proper maintenance.
It’s a musical instrument that requires a lot of care and love.


Even so, I’ve never pampered it, I leave anywhere and everywhere,
I play it anywhere and everywhere,
and I bring it overseas even if it’s not stored in the hard case.


Even though I treated it so much more harshly than the average guitar owner!!


For it to not have any problems,
that guy has seriously worked its hardest for me.


No matter how much I work it, for it to not have any problems,
to me, felt like it was saying that it wasn’t dissatisfied at all…


“What a resilient guitar,” I thought and without knowing I was on the brink of tears.


Really, thank you so much.
Because of you, I was able to create so many great songs,
I was able to find the greatest partner, and I’m able to sing anywhere and everywhere.


Because even after such treatment you’re still as sturdy as before,
I might’ve worked you to the bone until the day you die.


Please come back soon. I want to play again!!!


I digress a little, but the strings that I was talking about had a change of packaging which I was unaware of, so they were actually on sale as usual…


This was the packaging it was originally sold in,


But now it’s changed to this!!
It’s even politely written there “The packaging may be changed without prior notice” (laughs)!!


Well, I wouldn’t notice this, would I…?


Of course not?!


Dragonight?!


Lo-lo-love somebody tonight?!
(t/n: here he goes again ww)


Oops, got the wrong person, it’s this guy!


(t/n: seriously don’t get this one sorry guys not the most updated when it comes to Japanese memes ;w; but thanks for reading!!!)

Unpopular opinion: The pair ice skating scene was cute, but that’s it.

 It’s just cute. It didn’t serve any point in the story. It didn’t further the development of any characters. It didn’t push the plot in any direction. It was pointless. It was adorable to see them skate together to the song, I’ll give you that, but the scene is practically useless and I would’ve traded it in a heartbeat for a scene that actually showed progress in Yuuri and Viktor’s relationship.

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#I’ve spent way too much time lately wondering if Paul ever meant for the subtext of this song to be known to anyone except John and himself.

I mean, it’s a public song. And it’s a mean song – I’ve seen lots of Macca fans deplore “How Do You Sleep” and sort of handwave “Too Many People” as “mild jibes, why did John have to be such an ass about it” but the more I listen to “Too Many People,” the more I think it hits hard. It’s subtle and efficient, like an emotional ninja. I mean, Paul throwing it in John’s face that Paul’s in love with Linda and not him? Without being a full-blown McLennoner myself, it’s pretty obvious that in the early 60s John was kinda besotted with Paul and that, while John was one of the most important or even the most important person in the world to him, Paul was the one with that slight edge of power in the relationship. He was the beloved, who got to soak in John’s attention. To later, in the breakup years, play on that wound is… almost impressively nasty.

Then there’s the implication that John was less talented and that Paul was his “lucky break.” This arrow seems to have really hit home, inasmuch as John uses the phrase “lucky break” repeatedly in interviews throughout the 70s… I know it seems crazy considering that then and now John is popularly regarded as the genius and Paul the superficial hack, but Paul must have known very well that John had this insecurity. He went for the jugular. Considering how John went nuclear, he hit it too.

Finally, that fierce, sassy, mocking soundscape in the coda (that guitar! that barking!) is the subtle musical equivalent of sticking out your tongue and crying nyeener-nyeener. Really, this whole song is a masterpiece of emotionally fighting dirty. Reminds me of John once saying (with pride!) that Paul can be even nastier than himself. (“’Course, he’s got more patience than I have… [but when he wants to] hits the nail on the head and doesn’t beat around the bush, does Paul.”)

But, even after putting all this digression out there, the other thing I really wonder is how shocked and maybe even terrified Paul was when, instead of just licking his wounds and sulking with Yoko and maybe showing up one day and taking a swing at him, John basically explained the subtext of this song to the whole world, again and again and again. As far as I’m aware, no one made that connection until John publicized it (it’s nicely camouflaged as a political/social critique). I can’t help but think that, for as poisonous as the song was, Paul thought of this as a very private message. Expecting, maybe even hoping, for a revenge song back… but thinking of their song exchange as something that they sort of did secretly-in-the-open and enjoying how only the two of them would know that they also had the subtext going.

If I am right about this, the most hurtful thing about “How Do You Sleep” would be simply that John made it obvious even to the most casual dial-turner that he was tearing Paul apart. Aired their laundry out in public instead of doing the artsy hidden-meaning (and strangely-still-very-intimate almost-like-we-are-still-creatively-linked) thing.

EDIT: Some really good commentary on “How Do You Sleep” from @coffee-and-classic-rock in the Notes. 

(I apologize in advance that this ended up being as long as it is, but I promise it’s as worth a read as Allegiance is worth watching on Broadway!)

I knew from the moment Allegiance was announced that I was going to have to see it no matter what, initially because of George Takei and Lea Salonga, because of course. And then because of the fact that this was an Asian American musical that was about this time in our history where the American government did an utterly unforgiveably shit thing to Japanese Americans by placing them in internment camps just because of military aggression from a country all around the world.

There are a lot of shows we all wish weren’t closing, but Allegiance is a show that NEEDS to be on Broadway, it’s a show that needs to be seen because it’s a lesson in what America did to Americans 70 years ago because of the color of their skin and it’s just not a part of history that gets talked about enough and it needs to be all the more because we are terrifyingly close to it happening again. with Trump and George Takei KNOWS it because he lived through it. 

Allegiance is his story of what happened to Takei and his family and thousands of other Japanese American families who were rounded up and sent to these camps with nothing more than what they could carry, with literally no choice but to sell their property to their neighbors for less than fractions of what it was actually worth. People got sick and died in these camps because they had dirty water, inadequate medical supplies and overall just terrible forced housing conditions and ALL of this happened under orders of the president and the American government on American soil in the 1940s and we are NOT so far removed from this time in history that survivors of that incarceration are still here to recount their tales (and tell their story)

It’s 2016 and there are politicians trying to do it all over again and the only thing scarier than that is the fact that there are people who actually blindly support something so goddamn horrifying because it’s not new, America has casually done it before and this country absolutely cannot get to a point where it might even do it again and THAT is why Allegiance matters.

It’s a history lesson. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a lesson that needs to be taught and learned and it’s certainly a more entertaining more emotionally engaging way to teach it than through perhaps more traditional outlets like documentaries. 

I’ve gone really far in this post without touching too much on the show itself, so here we go: it’s INCREDIBLE. It is a theatrical experience. It was beautiful, and it was funny at times, utterly harrowing and heartbreaking at others but also 100% immersive.

I think there’s the underlying thought in a lot of people’s heads (it was in mine at first) that the show is probably closing because some part of it is lacking in some way. Does it rely too much on star power? Is the music just meh?

No. Everything about this show is fucking amazing. The choreography is a mix of traditional Japanese movement and dance in some numbers and American swing in others and the same goes for the music, we get a lot of that classic Broadway sound but we also get a tremendously refreshing amount of distinctively traditional Asian styles round out many of the songs so that you never really forget it’s as much a Japanese musical as it is an American one, it’s not an either/or. 

The most striking thing about it for us was the production design a the way a lot of the big events were depicted and adapted for the stage. I don’t want to give it away because there are a lot of moments that you just NEED to experience in the theater for yourself and I really hope a lot of you get to. It’s intense in so many ways, and the three of us walking out of that theatre not just sobbing, but sobbing in a way that we just couldn’t talk about it for about fifteen minutes while it all sank in.

I think ultimately one of the worst hands this show was dealt was that it opened right as Hamilton, another show that so prominently and importantly features POC, was hitting the high point in its popularity, enough that Allegiance (a show that is of equal historical importance) fell by the wayside as far as media coverage and other buzz, that when people hear about it they just think of it was “that show with George Takei and Lea Salonga” and it is SO much more than that. And I also think the marketing team could have done a lot better a lot sooner in regard to really sharing to the public what kind of show it is, the kind of impact it has on anyone who walks out of that theater at the end of the night.

To digress, please please please spread the word about Allegiance. Please tell your friends and family in New York to go see it, tell your friends on Facebook to go see it and then if you can, absolutely get your ass over to the Longacre Theater and watch Allegiance for yourself so you can experience this historical piece of American musical theater for yourself because it closes on February 14th. The good (and bad) thing is that you definitely won’t have to worry about being able to get tickets.

[Fanaccount] INFINITE EFFECT LONDON 091015

So you have already heard about the terrible pushing, fighting, even strangling and the queuing and how horrible the entire experience was at IE London. I’m just going to focus on the good stuff that happened because to me, that’s more important, although I’d have preferred to come away with just good memories, not bruises.

So even before the concert, I saw Sungyeol and Sunggyu arriving at the venue in a slick black car (the others went in through a different door on the other side). I didn’t quite see Gyu properly but I saw Sungyeol clearly and nearly fainted (from surprise and happiness). I kept saying to my friend, “They’re real, they’re real!”


Once inside the venue, I thought I was doing well. I started out in the 7/8th row from the front and I had a good view. I was having fun singing along to the songs – their mvs were playing. It was nice, no pushing and I thought it was not bad. How wrong I was. But I digress, just the positives.

But before going into it, let me tell you something. If you’re lucky enough to have INFINITE going to your country, make sure you go to the concert. Just do it and I swear you won’t regret it. You might be broke for months after and you might be exhausted from queuing and such but I promise you won’t regret it. Going to IE London was the best decision I made and the most memorable incident in my life.

One more thing – if you have never seen INFINITE in real life, you don’t know what you’re missing. Seriously, the HD photos, the 1080p videos – they do not do justice to INFINITE’s beauty. They are way more gorgeous in real life. They are like actual sculptures. So if you think you know how handsome INFINITE are, you’re wrong – it’s their pictures and videos multiplied by 100.

I can tell you exactly what happened in sequence because I can still see it happening if I close my eyes (except for certain periods where I blacked out) but that would make this fanaccount into a novel so I’ll just go for the highlights.

Eye contact list: I went to the concert with one goal – eye contact with Sungjong. Sadly, no eye contact with Sungjong. He focused on the first row mainly and I was disappointed. I saw him wink and smirk at the people in the first row and I was in shock. Maybe it was a good thing he didn’t look directly at me because I don’t know what I’d have done if I was receiving his wink. I wonder what happened to the girls who were on the first row – I’m sure they have all come out of the concert as Sungjong fans. I know a girl who was a Myungsoo stan but after the concert converted to a Sungjong stan. And seriously, if Sungjong winks at you like that, what are you supposed to do? He came to the front of the stage, he winked. He winked during his parts and that smirk….aaaargh. He was the angel and the devil at the same time. I actually needed time to recover from his flawlessness. He seemed determined to make the first row fall for him (and I’m sure they did).  And his laugh…he laughed mainly because of Sungyeol (during Heartbeat and Cover girl, there were YeolJong moments which made Sungjongie laugh – thanks Sungyeol). But seriously, Lee Sungjong is the textbook of perfection.

The greatest disappointment I have in this concert is not getting eye contact with Sungjong. Honestly, I was staring at him so hard. I stared at him for 30% of the concert without looking at anyone else but still no luck. But I think he noticed me though (I had a Sungjong headband) and I’ll tell you why later.

Hoya looked in my general direction and it would have been an eye contact if he didn’t have those stupid sunglasses on. Dongwoo also looked in my direction but no eye contact.
The first eye contact I had was Woohyun during Love Letter (I had been pushed to the 4th row by then). He smiled at and it was such a beautiful smile. But seriously though, Woohyun was so good. He made eye contacts with a lot of people, smiled at them, did aegyo. And guess what I did when he looked at me – I looked away!!!! I got shy and I looked away. I acted like a stupid shy schoolgirl being stared at by her crush and LOOKED AWAY!!!! I hate myself for that. But at least I prepared myself for the next eye contact. Which was Sunggyu. It was more like he was laughing at a group of us who were making finger hearts for him and then BAM, our eyes meet! But his laughter is so cute. And his eye smile – argh, I totally melted. Whatever anger I had towards him washed away.

The next eye contact was Sungyeol and he didn’t smile at me. He kind of stared for half a second but he looked a little mad. The thing is, all the members were worried about the situation in the stalls and they were all trying to hide it and be professional – some did better than the others. Like with Sunggyu did really well to mask his surprise and worry but it was evident that Sungyeol was worried. He smiled and did fanservice but from time to time he was looking at the crowd with a worried expression. They had the best view of the absolute mess that was going on at the stalls. I felt so embarrassed.
Anyway, the next eye contact was Myungsoo. He stared at me with that L look in his eyes for 2 full seconds. He didn’t smile but he was going for the seductive burning glare so I don’t mind.

Couple stuff: There wasn’t much really, or at least I didn’t see much. There was some YeolJong as I mentioned before. Dongwoo tried to strip Myungsoo once. During H performance, YaDong happened. But apart from that, they wasn’t anything. The reason is probably because they were too busy worrying about the fans who were going through Hunger Games at the pit.

One thing I will say, the members looked out for the fans. I spoke to a girl who fainted and Hoya called the security for her. Dongwoo also over. They were being really professional, trying to keep the show going. They were considerate too, cutting the show short, not doing the plushie and paper planes thing. Honestly, if the show lasted for 5 more minutes, I’d probably have fainted. I wanted to keep seeing INFINITE for as long as possible of course but I think it was in the stalls fans’ best interest that the show was cut short. They changed really quickly and everything.

I couldn’t see all the members at once so instead I just stared at whichever member was right in front of me. So I’ll briefly go through the highlights of each member.

Woohyun - Woohyun is so sweet and nice. In fact, if Sungjong hadn’t been so stunning, I would have come out of that concert a Woohyun stan. But anyway, he still managed to win my heart. He did so much aegyo especially to the front row fans. There was a fanboy there and Woohyun showered him with fanservice. Some fans gave him their phone for a selca but instead he decided to mess with them and pretended to take the fans’ picture (I’m not sure if he really took their picture). Throughout the concert, he was adorable. During Love Letter, he was acting out the words with expressions; seriously, he is super sweet and genuinely connected with the fans. During his solo, he came out in that super hot jacket, stood right at the front and sang his lungs out. The veins in his neck aaaaaah. And then he suddenly jumping around, bouncing wildly and enthusiastically. His energy was no joke but I loved every second of the performance.  Unfortunately, a fan fainted right in front of him and had to be carried away. He was so shocked, his voice actually wavered for a bit but he kept singing and smiling. Anyway, I would go as far as to say his solo stage was one of the best performances of the night. It was my most favorite solo/subunit performance even though I love F to bits and Kontrol is my jam. Sorry guys, best solo/subunit perf goes to Namcheese.

And his nose….ohh his perfect, perfect nose. Once again, the pictures don’t do his nose justice. It’s so sharp and straight and perfect – no joke guys, his nose is insane!


Dongwooo - He was such sunshine and energy. He’s like a cartoon character, bouncing about looking energetic smiling widely and trying to convince fans with aegyo to stop pushing. He called us “Baby and cuties to persuade us to not push. At one point, he asked the fans to take three steps backward. Woohyun had to actually count for us, “One, two, three.” And then Dongwoo went, “No, you can’t step to the right, step back.” Still the pushers…argh. Anyway, Dongwoo also did loads of fanservice and was nice to the people on the levels. He was really adorable. Hoya didn’t dance at all and I feel like Dongwoo danced with twice more energy to make up for his missing partner. He even covered Hoya’s dance break in Sorry, I’m busy.


Hoya - Poor guy looked sad that he couldn’t dance. And I do feel sorry for him. I know people tend to focus more on the performance so Hoya was bit lonely by himself sitting down. But the fans chanted his name and I hope it made him happy. He made us do the ‘I say Ho you sa Ya’ only once, during Nothing’s Over. Goes to show that they were indeed hurrying and they didn’t want to waste any time. Hoya’s another person who couldn’t mask his worry for the fans too well.


Sunggyu smiled at fans a lot. And I mean a lot. He’s gorgeous though. He seemed really cute with all the smiling. His best English of the night:

SG: Do you speak English?

Fans: Yes

SG: But I don’t speak English.

Then continues the speech in English.

He also said, “Because I love you and you love me.” So cute! Kontrol was an amazing stage and Sunggyu probably had the most fans because the fanchant during Kontrol was though the roof. Everyone shouted ‘Kim Sunggyu’. He, along with Hoya, L, and Sungyeol seemed the most popular.

Sungyeol – Brownie points for him for making Sungjong laugh. He was really nice, he held out the mic to fans to sing, touched their hands, took selcas. And smiled loads. But at times he looked worried. He also seemed to be keeping an eye out for fans in the stalls. His live singing is so great though. Anyone who sees him singing live can’t say he’s a bad singer. He was really good. Oh and when he danced, I could see how defined his arm muscles were. Good job Yeollie, good job.

Myungsoo – Myungsoo was actually being cute. He did some of the familiar poses – the cat smile and the victory sign with eyes closed. And he did some L-like staring. Don’t forget the cheesy – “I’m your boyfriend, L.”

But I guess I now know why Myungsoo is considered the visual. He actually looks the same as in the pictures and videos. I guess cameras can capture his full beauty, unlike the other members, who are a lot more gorgeous in reality.


Sungjong - Finally Sungjong. What can I say? Did I mention he winked and smirked and killed off everyone? Seriously I wanted to cry because he was being so charming but he was serious with the seducing business. He made some bruises for sure (good ones). He threw towels, two in a row at first. Then, remember how I said I think he noticed me? I’m saying this because he threw a towel during Entrust in my direction. I know because he took his time throwing, not like the first two where he just randomly threw them. The third one was planned – you could see it. He had it ready in his hand and he was waiting for an opportunity and then he threw (and no, I don’t think I’m delusional; I could be wrong but I honestly don’t think I am). His aim was brilliant, my reflex just the opposite so I touched it before someone else snatched it away from my hand. My heart broke into pieces.

But seriously, Sungjong is so flawless and gorgeous. If I thought he was beautiful before, now I think he’s even more ethereal. His best performance was probably For You, their new song. He was so wild and mouth-wateringly sexy during that performance. His energy during the song was no joke either and his every move seemed to slice the air. He was sharp. Hot. He meant business. I just wished he paid more attention to the fans in the back as well as the first row. But I guess he was terrified of the kind of savagery he would have to see if he looked beyond the first row.

I didn’t think I could be any more in love with INFINITE than I already was but I was wrong. I’m even more in love with them. And we promised Woohyun we would always be together and I plan to do just that.

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On Jessica Jung's Scandal

**Extremely long post ahead**

If you’re too lazy to read the whole goddamn thing, i’ve typed up a tl;dr for you. i know i get lazy too. but instead, if you read the whole thing, then thank you very much~ <3

Now, let’s enjoy the ride~

There’s going to be a lot opinions here so if you are weak-hearted/easily butthurt or simple can’t take into account of other people’s opinions, then saunter off because this post is not for you.

Tl;dr : Jessica was misbehaved and I feel like Jessica could’ve still benefit GG in a way! Do kpop idols always behave a certain way only for the public? Crying and saying certain things for sympathy votes or whatever? Think about it. Are they really playing the victim card or can we trust them? Even our biases can lie.

Since this is still a touchy subject to talk about and a lot of people want to look past this incident as if it never had actually happened, especially sensitive hearted SONEs (SNSD’s official fan club name), let’s start this on a happier note. I can’t wait for SNSD”s upcoming comeback! I really hope it would be better than Mr. Mr. since Mr. Mr. was quite meh. The MV was just aesthetically unpleasing and plain jane and the vocals weren’t exactly doing the song justice. And that awkward dance break sequence? But then again, what is Kpop without awkward dance/rap break sequences? And the meaning of the song alone? I approve. So yeah, score for song meaning. Thought the thought of SNSD continuing to promote as eight is extremely upsetting and just doesn’t seem to sit well inside my mind.

Okay, I digress.

Just like every other SONE out there, my heart broke when I heard the news that Jessica was kicked out of/left or whatever SNSD. The reason to that? We, the public, don’t know and probably never will. So I’ll try my best not to jump into any conclusions.

But of course, I want to know the reason why Jessica was out of the group. I guess she was kicked out since she, herself, said that she had no idea about the subject matter and was really upset about the situation. Definitely this was done against her will. Because if she had left the group with her own self-conscious, she wouldn’t have felt this horrible. (Assuming she does since she probably had mourned about it) Poor Jessica who was just minding her own business for a fan meet in China or whatever only to be informed that morning that she will never be promoting as a GG member anymore. I mean. Double what the fuck?

That is just plain fucked up.

There are sources that say SM had kicked Jessica out of SNSD but not the entertainment itself. If that makes sense. Honestly, what was going through SM’s mind when they did this? I can only imagine.

Maybe it was because Jessica wanted to start her own fashion business or whatever. But can I just say that that is completely unfair? There are other SM artists out there running their own businesses and cafes or whatever and they don’t seem to get flamed for it. What did Jessica do to deserve that kind of treatment? (Talk about a major double standard here.)

Other people had said that it was the SNSD members themselves who have decided to kick Jessica out of the team for ‘side-tracking’. That doesn’t even make sense at all. Every member in SNSD or any music group out there for that matter has the right to be diverse and do their own solo activities, Jessica included. I anything really, the members should cheer her on and hopefully Jessica might give them free sunglasses from her new collection before everybody else could purchase them. Just saying.

Again. SM and the SNSD members need to realize that SNSD is aging and that they can’t sing pop songs in an idol group forever. SNSD has an end to it. Jessica doing her business (this sounds ambiguous, lol) is smart. At the end of the day, Jessica has to do something to be able to put food on the table and have a roof above her head. Not only will the business benefit Jessica financially, but Jessica would also gain international recognition (something that most Korean idol groups yearn for) from the fashion business and it’s people and followers. If she were to stay in GG, she would be famously and professionally known as Jessica Jung from Girls’ Generation by a completely new (read: different and fresh) audience. It will also boost GG’s popularity in a way. But instead, she is known as Jessica Jung, creative director of Blanc and Eclare, who managed her business alone (and was skid away from GG.)

When fellow SNSD member Tiffany said on the last episode of Korean variety/talk show Strong Heart that she wanted SNSD to stay together after decades just like The Spice Girls did, I was happy. I mean, wouldn’t that be cool? They would be able to reminiscent of the old times where they had to act cutesy for the camera. But after Jessica’s incident, I’m starting to think that kpop idols often say those kinds of things just for the sake of saying it.

I’m not saying that Tiffany is fake, per se, and she probably meant what she had said back then. But SNSD as nine has been around for nearly a decade, their sisterhood bond should be almost unbreakable. And I assume nine is like their magic lucky number or something. It was such as shame that all those years they have spent together was thrown away down into the drain. How they could have turned their backs coldly and so fast against Jessica was mind-boggling. SNSD has been together for such a long time; they probably trained together back in the days. It’s unbelievable that their minds could change so easily about each other.

This makes me think that they could easily stab the next person in the group without any hesitation if they were to misbehave even the slightest bit. It is a sad thought indeed.

It also irks me that people say that Jessica is only still relevant because SNSD made her well known. Okay, that’s acceptable. But, I’m just going to put it out there that there a buckload of Gorjess Spazzers (Jessica’s official individual fan club name) who will support Jessica no matter what group she is in or whatever activities she might be doing. PREACH. Okay. Jessica is also one of the members that are slightly more popular. I dare say even that Jessica had also boosted SNSD’S popularity in a sense. SM made the wrong move to kick Jessica out. What is SNSD without our gorjess (JESSICA’S FLAMMIN’-JAMMIN’ WORDPLAY) ice princess? Incomplete. Jessica might not be the prettiest looking one like Yoona or the most talented in terms of singing and dancing like Taeyeon and Hyoyeon respectively, but that’s okay. Jessica is Jessica and we love her for she truly is. She adds color and depth to SNSD.

The situation really is vague that is saddens me to my core that the only thing I am able to do is speculate. In a recent interview, Jessica mentioned that she had no intentions on meeting Yuri when the both of them were in Hong Kong. Friendship over? That is just sad. Jessica even looked uncomfortable at the slight mention of GG. But then again, kpop has never really been the best at sisterhood/brotherhood relationships. Leave that to real people with real bonds!

There are so many other things I want to point out but these are all the things I can’t think off at the top of my head right now. Again, this is solely my opinion about the whole situation and I hope you respect that. My opinions shouldn’t change what you think about it and remember, other people’s opinions matter! You can have your own and I am entitled to mine. The same ol’ same ol’ agree to disagree. I will always support Jessica even if she has to stand alone on stage or a platform or whatever she has to stand on to be on a higher level than everybody else. I will also continue being a SONE even if SNSD will continue to promote as 8. I’m pretty sure the girls don’t feel too great about the situation as well. Everybody’s trying to maintain a tough exterior! Anyways, I would love to hear what you have to say about the situation also!

s/b: I don’t need butthurt SONEs telling me to fuck off and jump off a cliff. I have other shit to attend to. Thank you.