in-store performance

3

A perpetual spell to cope with intrusive thoughts

Thanks to severe OCD and PTSD, I’m often stuck in my own head with a bunch of intrusive and obsessive nonsense. I came up with a perpetual banishing and transmutation spell to help process and deal with unwanted thoughts.

The Banishing Bin functions somewhat like a computer’s recycle bin:

  • write unwanted thought/feeling on a sticky note or piece of small paper
  • draw banishing/transmutation sigil over words
  • fold up paper and throw in banishing bin 
  • burn/rip/trash them during the waning crescent or dark moon

This is a great spell if you’re a spoonie or not open about your craft. It’s fairly easy to perform and store without raising eyebrows (it literally just sits on my bookcase unsuspiciously). I found the mini trashcan at a local discount store for a couple dollars. The cheapest one I can find online can be purchased from Amazon here, but you can use any container you like as a bin. If you don’t have a banishing sigil you’re already working with, feel free to use mine

8

David Tennant as Romeo in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet (2000) - Part 3

Excerpts from a Scotland on Sunday article on David at the RSC in 2000

“He is perfect casting, because of the intensity he brings to his work,“ Michael Boyd says.  While Tennant’s great friend and former landlady, the comic performer and author of Does My Bum Look Big in This?, Arabella Weir, says: "He’s astonishingly focused for his age and amazingly straightforward and honest. He’s trustworthy and he’s honourable.”

There is still something uncynical and unspoilt about him, though. He confesses that being with the RSC can be scary. “Not only because you are in the home of ‘world class classical theatre’ (as all the brochures tell you), but these big Shakespearean roles come with a lot of historical baggage attached. People tell you how romantic Ian McKellen was as Romeo, or how masculine Sean Bean was, or how marvellous Laurence Olivier was. You feel the weight of all those ghosts, those performances that have taken on a mystical resonance. And because it’s Shakespeare, you feel it’s hard to make it believable, because it is so beautiful.  With this play, everyone has so many ideas about it, that you almost want to play against the beauty. We did the balcony scene the other day and I was doing: 'But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!’ And I was going: 'How can I say that?’ It is beyond parody, but all you can do is be personal with it and make it your own, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I know that’s how Alex [who plays Juliet] feels about famous lines like, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow’.”   

The intensity of the rollercoaster he is on is overwhelming. Stratford is a grueling, sometimes stifling, hothouse. Rehearsal followed by show, followed by rehearsal, in one long punishing schedule. After one-and-a-half hours in the rehearsal room, there is just time for a snack  before voice warm-ups for the matinee of The Rivals. There, Tennant’s rapier-thin young blade gets involved in sword fights and various cunning derring-do disguises, then he is off again for lunch. And back on again, for The Comedy of Errors. A short show, but a physical one, as Tennant slides down those banisters, executes pratfalls and turns in a brilliantly funny double act with Ian Hughes, who plays his manservant, Dromio. He also does the neatly witty trick of lighting two post-coital cigarettes after seducing his long lost twin’s wife and then buries his head in Nina Conti’s cleavage.

Later Tennant is in his dressing-room, stripped to the waist, slapping Simple moisturizer onto his face, swigging pints of mineral water, and packing up his make-up box, an old-fashioned leather bowling case. As we leave, we trip up over a bloody but unbowed Hotspur, about to go on stage and die in Henry IV, Part 1. Falstaff is plumped in the corner and wishes us a courteous good night, while various make-up girls daub elderly knights. “It’s like this every night at this time,” says Tennant. “You can’t move for men in armour and there’s blood everywhere.”    

Photo credits include:  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, photostage.co.uk, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and more 

Other parts of this Romeo photoset [ Part 1 ]  [ Part 2 ]

Stress signals in dogs...and why they are important!!

I was watching a video the other day of a service dog in training. He was heeling beautifully beside his handler in a department store, sitting on command, performing a long distance down stay, and just being a really good dog. The handler wrote a short bit about how proud she was for how well her puppy was doing with his public access training. However, my heart truly breaks for this dog.

What the handler failed to realize is how completely uncomfortable her dog was to be there. Despite him behaving near flawlessly, his body language was screaming he’d rather be anywhere but where he was right then. Unfortunately many dog owners fail to notice subtle, yet key, signs of stress for their dog. Without knowing how to read subtle changes in body language, you can easily cause your dog to go from mildly nervous or uncomfortable, to a full on panic or rage in a matter of seconds. This is what happens when people say their dog “just had a meltdown,” or even snapped at someone, for “no reason.”  Ignoring stress signals is incredibly dangerous for everyone involved.

When out training with your service dog (or your pet dog for that matter), it is important to get into the habit of carefully watching your dog’s body language. It helps to write down in a training log exactly how your dog reacts to different stimuli. This way, you will be able to clearly see where your dog is solid, where your dog is not, where you are improving, and where you need more work.

Below are signs of minor stress signals for dogs.

When I say minor, this doesn’t mean you should continue what you are doing in hopes he will just “get over it.”  What I DO mean is that these are the signals which are almost always overlooked… when key stress signals are overlooked by the handler, it can lead to much greater problems.

  • Lip licking when no food is present
  • Yawning when he didn’t just wake up
  • Rapid sniffing of the air or ground
  • Stiff movement or tense muscles
  • Slowed movement or a laggy heel
  • Lowered tail
  • Hyper vigilance (rapidly moving eyes trying to scan the environment)
  • Hardened facial features
  • Dog stops taking treats/food
  • Dog starts taking treats in a more hard/bitey manor
  • Hard eyes (fast/sharp blinking)
  • Weight shift changes
  • Panting when it’s not hot out
  • Slightly roached (curved) back
  • Ears back
  • Not responding to handler’s commands
  • Looking away from handler
  • Whiney and uneasy
  • Nibbling on treats but not actually eating them
  • Leaning on the handler
  • Scratching themselves

Now here are some major stress signals for dogs.

If your dog is experiencing any of these, it is not only time to remove him from the situation ASAP, but to also rethink your training plan. Many of these signals will occur just shortly before a complete panic and/or bite.

  • Tightly tucked tail
  • Whale eye (dog’s eyes go wide and you can see the white rim around them)
  • Pulling towards an exit
  • Pulling away from the handler
  • Spinning on the leash
  • Not responding to the handler’s commands
  • Not responding to the handler’s voice
  • Shaking
  • Urinating
  • Low/tucked body position with a roached (curved) back
  • Sweaty paws
  • Whining
  • Heavy breathing when it’s not hot out
  • Teeth chattering
  • Tense lips and incisors (front teeth) showing while licking at the air
  • Laying down on the ground with their chin down and not wanting to move

Your service dog depends on you JUST as much as you depend on him. As your dog’s handler, you are 100% responsible for his mental and physical well-being at all times. No matter what situation you find yourself in, your dog’s needs should always come first.

Pushing a nervous dog into a situation where he is uncomfortable is one of the absolute worst things you can do for your SDiT, and creates the potential for much greater behavioral issues further down the road. Thinking your dog can “just get over it” is an extremely outdated training tactic. Just because your dog appears to stop fighting does NOT mean he is comfortable in that situation… it simply means he has shut down.  He’s still anxious and afraid, but he’s decided there’s no point in fighting anymore. This is one of the most dangerous situations your dog may find himself in. He appears “calm,” but a second later has the potential to lash out and bite.

I get it, we are all excited to start public access training! However, the goal for service dog training should always be to create a mentally sound and stable dog in all situations. Subjecting him to situations which cause him fear or panic is just NOT the way to do that.

So my friends and I performed Candy Store for a night of shorts at our school!! There are a few lyric changes, but that’s to be expected lmao. I had a lot of fun pulling this together and performing it! (I’m Heather Chandler btw)

Maya Stovall employs a mix of anthropological observation and urban intervention to create what she considers performance and ethnography. Stovall’s current research focuses on Detroit, where she grew up. The subjects in her video for the 2017 Biennial are her neighbors in the McDougall-Hunt area on the city’s east side. In Liquor Store Theatre, she dances on the sidewalks and streets outside neighborhood liquor stores, combining elements of ballet and contemporary movement. After each performance, she invites her audience—largely these establishments’ patrons and other passersby—to share their recollections of and predictions for Detroit, which she records on video. The artist focused on liquor stores in particular because they serve as hubs of both commerce and community, with individuals selling clothing, electronic goods, and other everyday items in their immediate vicinity. They are, in Stovall’s words, “a backstage view of ongoing life in a neighborhood, in spite of narratives of abandonment.”

[Maya Stovall (b. 1982), still from Liquor Store Theatre vol. 1, no. 1, 2014. Digital video, color, sound; 4 min. Courtesy the artist, Eric Johnston, and Todd Stovall. Photograph by Eric Johnston]

Rainy Days and Mondays

Hello there! I’m back with another headcanon after a while :3 This one was requested by the fabulous @itshaejinju. Thanks for the request (and sorry it’s so late!) <3

“Hmm how about comfort foods and comfort activities for the bros and whoever else that you are comfortable with writing.*”

Note: I included a few songs that the bros might listen to if they’re feeling down. Just click on the letters at the end :3 I didn’t put the titles because I wanted it to be a surprise ^^ (don’t worry, no jump-scares XD)

The letters at the end of the bonus content contain a song as well, so check those out too ^^

Tagging: @themissimmortal @ohgodsnowwhat (thanks for helping me bounce around ideas for this!) @blindbae @stunninglyignis @chocobro-hijinks @crown-city-moogle @insomniacapples @gyrogearlooser​ (since you liked reading my other stuff XD)


Noctis Lucis Caelum

- That the Prince of Insomnia is quite the avid sleeper himself has become a running joke among his closest friends. He sleeps wherever and whenever long he damn pleases on normal days, but even more so when he’s feeling particularly depressed. His philosophy on these days is to just sleep it off until it goes away.

- Cats are also a great source of happiness and comfort for the Chosen King. Whether it’s a cat video or cat-themed items (and especially if it’s an actual feline!), any of these will instantly put a smile on his normally sulky visage. He has a cat-eared hoodie (a gift from Prompto the first Christmas they spent as a group) that he uses as pajamas when feeling blue. He wore them more often when Regis died (and even more so after Altissia).

- Unhealthy food is the way to go with him. Expect all-meat pizzas, potato chips, and plenty of junk food in general. If he is craving something sweet, he’ll ask Ignis to “help him” make some (AKA Noct will stir, cut or taste test while Iggy does everything else). Back when they would do this in the Citadel, the two would call over Gladio (and later on, Prompto) to have an impromptu dessert party. There would always be a batch set aside as well for Ignis to take back to Regis.

- Video games are also a good way to work out any frustrating or confusing feelings. Expect full-day marathons of King’s Knight and RPGs galore if he’s in a bad mood. If he wants to calm down and not really think while playing, Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon are his go-to games (farming and fishing erryday).

- Fishing is by far the most effective method to get his spirits back up. The calm of the environment alone helps clear his mind and make his troubles melt away. Getting a major haul will have him on Cloud Nine for days on end. Fair bit of warning first, though: Don’t do any backseat fishing if he’s feeling particularly testy. He will threaten to shove his fishing rod up your ass many times over.

- Bad Day Playlist: A | B | C | D | E


Prompto Argentum

- Our resident sunshine boy is on the prowl for hugs and fluffy animals (both, if he can find them) when he’s feeling blue. Back in Insomnia, he would hit up most, if not all, of the animal cafes the city had to offer. During the trek around Lucis, these are replaced by constant trips to Wiz’s Chocobo Post. Hugs he’ll either get from the residents of these particular places or from some plushies he collected over their travels. He has a pair of black and white dogs that look similar to Umbra and Pryna, plus a set of four chocobos that look eerily similar to each of the bros (the light brown one even came with a small pair of glasses, while the chocolate-colored one has scars similar to a certain Shield’s). He loves hugging the black chocobo the most, but has hugged the glasses-wearing one more often since Altissia.

- Prompto’s hands tend to get twitchy when he’s sad, and constantly fidgets with either his phone or one of his automatic weapons. During one of their visits to Hammerhead when he was in a funk, Cindy gave him a small pouch filled with a couple of spare parts lying around the garage (cleaned, of course!). Since then, he’d fiddle around with them and see what he could create. One time, he was able to create a customized fidget cube.

- When he was a kid, his go-to comfort food diet was similar to Noct’s, but spicier. But since losing and becoming conscious of his weight, he’d been avoiding junk food for the most part. His love for spicy food, however, hasn’t changed. Curries, stews, skewers…he’ll take it as long as it’s packing the heat he craves. The spicier, the better!

- Of course, video game sessions with his buddy Noctis always cheers him up. He usually prefers King’s Knight or a game like Nintendogs when he’s sad, but when he’s the angry kind of upset? He becomes the most aggressive gamer you’ll ever meet. Prompto becomes the King of any FPS and GTA-type games, and will wipe the floor with any poor soul who dares to challenge him right then and there.

- As he likes to say so himself, he never misses…a photo op! The group’s resident photographer will be moving around more than usual to grab tons of shots, mostly of the other bros. This may not seem very different from what he normally does, but the other three can always tell when the pictures are taken when he’s in a gloomy mood: (a) Prompto will only use the Journey, Time or Dawn filters and (b) there are never any selfies, even when Noct asks him to.

- Bad Day Playlist: F | G | H | I | J


Gladiolus Amicitia

- He’s the kind of person who feels like he has no time to feel sorry for himself, so he basically throws himself even more into physical activity when upset. Whether it’s fighting monsters or going on seemingly endless hunts (or going through the Trial of Gilgamesh)…Gladio will do all this and more, almost always pushing himself to the brink of passing out, much to Iris’ chagrin.

- If it can’t really be helped, the Shield turns to writing about his thoughts and feelings. From poetry to fan fiction, this guy will spin sultry sonnets that will make even Shakespeare’s head spin (or stories that will make even the most straight-laced reader melt into a puddle of goo at the intensity of the smut he writes). He has quite the large following on Tumblr and Fanfiction.net as a result, entire communities of blogs being dedicated to all his writings.

- Three words can accurately describe Gladio’s entire comfort food list: meat, noodles, and booze. He’ll crave burgers, steaks…pretty much any thick cut of meat. Noodles are a given when it comes to him, chugging down at least three large servings of his beloved Cup Noodles at a time. No matter which he chooses to eat, this will always be accompanied by an ice-cold beer or six, depending on the intensity of his mood.

- When depressed and hit with massive writer’s block, Gladio will do one of three things. His first option is reading, immersing himself mostly in historical novels with the occasional erotic piece. If he isn’t in the mood to read, he will park himself in front of the television and binge-watch until he either falls asleep or gets inspired to write (he’s a low-key fan of K-dramas and soap operas thanks to Iris). The third option involves clubbing, drinking and…well, let’s just not disturb him.  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

-  In line with the Shield’s desire for physical activity, expect him to disappear for a few hours. He’ll be trekking around the area near the haven/outpost, going for a jog all over the place to clear his head. Looking around helps ground him and remind him of what else he’s fighting to protect. During the time that Noctis disappeared into the Crystal, Gladio went away for close to a month after completing a daemon hunt by Longwythe. When he came back, he passed out from exhaustion, bruises and new scars littering his person. As it turned out, he’d walked all over Lucis, only stopping to slay daemons, eat/drink, and relieve himself.

- Bad Day Playlist: K | L | M | N | O


Ignis Stupeo Scientia

- If Gladiolus is the one who feels like he has no time to feel sorry for himself, Specs literally has no time to do so. On bad days, music becomes his constant companion. Expect him to either have a set of Bluetooth earbuds plugged in or, in case he doesn’t have them on him, for Ignis to be humming to himself when he works. You know he’s having a particularly rough day when you can hear him singing (and damn, he’s got a hell of a voice on him), especially since he doesn’t normally sing in the presence of others.

- Theatre in general is something that can put Ignis in a good mood, whether from laughing at a particularly funny play or shedding a few tears during an emotional scene thanks to quality acting. When he was younger and there happened to be a show in Insomnia when he wasn’t particularly busy, his uncle would surprise him with premium tickets and they’d watch together. During the road trip, he’d content himself with watching the anniversary performances stored on his phone whenever they’d stop to rest.

- For Ignis, cooking is always a good way to take one’s mind off things. When he is in a funk, expect a seafood feast fit for the Astrals. Shellfish, trout, trevally…you name it, it’s there. For dessert, fluffy chiffon cake, chocolate-covered fruit and wine or cocktails.

- The comfort activity that never fails to surprise the other bros no matter how many times they’ve seen it is Ignis watching anime or reading manga. He’s actually a low-key fan of Studio Ghibli, together with the occasional josei and shoujo anime. Apart from the theatre performances stored in his phone, he has a few volumes of manga stored at a time, updating them whenever they stop by an outpost. He’s currently watching Koe no Katachi and reading Orange.

- If Ignis is having a bad day and isn’t in the mood to sit around, he will either do yoga or dance (usually contemporary or ballroom). How do you think he got so flexible? Specs will often find himself getting lost in the motions, whether he’s performing a particularly difficult set of poses or being drawn into the world of the song he’s dancing to.

- Bad Day Playlist: P | Q | R | S | T


BONUS!

- Cor is someone who draws or paints when he’s upset. His work revolves mainly around two themes: the scenery of Lucis and his past experiences (his trip to Accordo with Regis and the Trial of Gilgamesh, in particular). His skill has considerably grown over the years, the drawings and paintings now indistinguishable from photographs. ( U )

- Ravus is a writer like Gladio, but of music. The High Commander played the piano and violin as a child, much to Queen Sylva’s delight. He rarely touches the violin ever since he got his new arm, much to his chagrin. Ravus usually composes with his mother and sister in mind, the resulting songs being beautifully haunting and filled with a sense of longing. ( V )

- Lunafreya is one who wishes to be one with nature when feeling down. The sylleblossoms outside of Fenestala Manor have only grown more beautiful and numerous over the years thanks to her care. She also keeps a small garden at the balcony of her room in case she’s too unwell to go outside, the planters filled with more sylleblossoms, lilies, and orchids. ( W )


Thanks for reading through this! Hope you enjoyed it <3

EDIT: For some reason, the post didn’t tag properly. Fixed now!

NCT 127 Discuss the Group's Unique Concept, Breaking Into U.S. & More

In January 2016, SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-Man announced the formation of Neo Culture Technology (NCT), the globalized band with an unlimited number of members divided into units, tasked with bringing K-pop beyond Korea’s borders. Months later came NCT U, the foundational alpha unit to which members from any of NCT’s local units can be added. Later in 2016, two more units made their debut: NCT Dream, the delightfully poppy unit featuring the bright-faced youngest members of NCT and KCON NY 2017 performers NCT 127. The nine members of NCT 127 sat down with Billboard before their Saturday night performance to discuss the possibility of smaller units, the boundary-defying nature of their concept and the potential for more shows in America.

Though NCT 127’s base is Seoul – the 127 represents Seoul’s longitudinal coordinate – the unit has enraptured American K-pop fans without so much as a concert in the States thanks to their Western-leaning sounds. They take direct cues from trap, drum ‘n bass and the latest chart-topping hip-hop, and have worked alongside producers The Stereotypes (Bruno Mars) and Dem Jointz (Janet Jackson, Anderson .Paak). They’ve even garnered support from Apple Music as the first K-Pop act featured on Ebro’s Beats 1 show with their debut song “Firetruck.”

The unit made their debut last year with Haechan, Taeil, Mark, Yuta, Taeyong, Jaehyun and Winwin; this year, they made two additions with Johnny and NCT U’s Doyoung. With the nine current members of NCT 127, each member possesses different talents, from traditional Chinese dance to DJing. As such, the possibilities for duos and subunits are endless, as the members explained. “There’s a limitless amount of units that could come out just with nine people,” Johnny says. “One day, maybe if I DJ and some people come out to sing, some people come out to rap – there’s a lot of things we could try out.”

“I don’t think you can expect which unit will come out next in the NCT team, it’s so unexpected,” Mark adds. “It’s just something we all have to look forward to.”

As part of the global initiative at the heart of NCT, NCT 127’s members are a mini United Nations, where Japan (Yuta), China (Winwin), Canada (Mark), South Korea (Doyoung, Jaehyun, Taeil, Haechan, Taeyong) and the U.S. (Johnny) are represented. NCT 127 stars alongside other unit members in NCT Life, a reality show where they travel and explore various cities, from NCT U member Ten’s hometown of Bangkok to Yuta’s hometown of Osaka. “We do come from various cultures, so we do have some times where we conflict with each other,” Yuta says. “But I feel like we go in with the mindset of trying to understand each [member] and respect each other.”

“The more we don’t understand each other, the more we try to understand each other and try to help each other out in navigating different things,” 127 unit leader Taeyong adds.

The language barriers and cultural differences have led to some sitcom-worthy situations in the dorms. “This guy here, Winwin, the way we talk to him, he picks [it] up really quickly,” Johnny says. “In Korean, there’s a way to raise your formality [based on age]. What happens is if we talk to him with formality, which the younger kids usually do, he’ll speak back to them with formality, because that’s what he hears. When the older guys [use informal speech, or banmal], he’ll speak back to us like that.”

One thing that manages to transcend linguistic barriers is their complex and powerful performances. They’ve worked with noted choreographers Kevin Maher and Tony Testa on “Limitless” and “Cherry Bomb,” respectively. The members have gone on record to note how exhausting their choreography is and how much effort the moves require – six members ripped their pants while doing the memorable split leg choreography from “Cherry Bomb.” “Because we’re singing in Korean, our fans abroad may not understand what we’re saying, but our strength is in performance,” Doyoung says. “I feel the way we see a performance is universal. If fans worldwide would see our performance, they would immediately catch what the essence of NCT is.”

NCT 127 flew in late Friday and had an Apple Store performance in Williamsburg the next morning at 10 a.m., giving them little time to explore New York City. Beyond their short and simple to-do list (Times Square, pizza and hot dogs – the members seem to love fast food), Johnny wanted his bandmates to get something more important out of the experience. “What I really want everyone to experience is the energy that New Yorkers can give us,” the Chicago native says. “We already can feel everyone looking at us with bright eyes. I wish everyone could get that energy and go back to Korea like, 'Whoa, we just came back from New York with good vibes.’”

When asked if there will be more American shows in the unit’s future, they didn’t hesitate to keep the possibility open. “If there’s an opportunity, yes!” Johnny says. “We really think this is the beginning.”

And if the lines of fans camped outside the Apple Store at 1 a.m. post-KCON were any indication, this is only the beginning of something huge.