it's all so important to me on a personal level as well

(for @yoituuri and @starryfeathers. I accidentally deleted this whole thing once so hopefully it doesn’t happen again/ it’s not rushed. I hope you enjoy you two, and anybody else who reads this!)

I made a post about my favorite boy Victor not too long ago, and I mentioned a shot in passing that I really loved, but because it wasn’t the focus of the post, I didn’t go into it. I would like to now. Here it is:

This is the first glimpse of Victor we get within canon. Well, beyond the opening sequence with Yuuri watching Victor skate as they grow up but I think we can all agree that was outside of canon and can be discarded here.

Anyway.

It’s a damn good first glimpse. As you’ve probably already noticed, Victor’s eyes are covered. Deliberately. Dude fuckin does a twirl and the camera is framed in such a way that we don’t get to see his eyes until he looks up for the cameras. That’s an interesting touch, for several reasons. 

First, when a character’s eyes are not visible, it implies something is hidden within them. A trait, motivation, true emotions, etc etc. 

Secondly, the fact that we can’t see Victor’s eyes until he turns to the cameras with that fake-ass media smile. In this scene, we’re being treated as the public. Victor is immediately hiding from us and the rest of the world. You know, something he does all the goddamn time.

Victor is scarily good at masking. For those who don’t know what I mean, masking is the act of hiding one’s true personality, desires, and/or emotions to conform to society. I mask due to past trauma. Victor masks to meet public expectation. 

You’ve probably guessed already that masking is incredibly unhealthy–it’s repression, after all. If it gets bad enough, you’ll stop knowing where masking ends and you begin. Sometimes it takes me months to figure out how I feel about something because I need to sort through so many layers of masking and anxiety and doubt. It’s really difficult sometimes. 

We see tons of lovely examples of Victor masking throughout the show. Here are a few off the top of my head: 

(^absolutely terrified vitya trying to be smooth)

(^living up to his press image)

(^so incredibly upset on so many levels but he doesn’t dare show it)

(^pissed enough that yuuri picks up on it. and then acts dishonestly w/ yuuri by trying to come off as pleasant)

(i love that yuuri is comfortable enough by this point to call victor out on his bs. if you’re gonna get mad, get mad) 

(you can actually see Victor’s hand shake if you watch the scene. boy is so pissed and he’s holding it in)

etc etc. 

Victor is actually incredibly reserved in all the emotions he shows, especially if it’s anger or sadness. For most of the series, he only lets himself go in front of Yuuri or alone. Victor hides from himself, he hides from Yuuri, and it helps no one in the end. 

The beach sequence, actually, is important to this idea too. As we know, Victor asks Yuuri what he wants them to be. 

And then he lists off all these options before essentially asking to go out with him, but in a way that says he’s too scared to do it outright.

Now, this is partially to gauge Yuuri’s feelings towards him, but it’s also highly revealing of Victor’s self-worth. He’s willing to put on any mask, any persona to be with Yuuri. Yuuri, of course, doesn’t want this at all. 

🚨 HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP ALERT!🚨

And looking at Victor’s reaction (guarded surprise)

This may be the first time Victor has been asked to just be himself. 

So if Victor was a world champion at 16

(boy is 15-16 in that article)

He must have been skating for a while beforehand. We can probably approximate by saying he started competitions around the time Yuri did, which I estimate to be about 12-13. However, Victor does say this 

And if we’re to believe him, 27-20=7, and therefore something happened at the age of 7 to force Victor into backing away from others and working himself to the bone. Uhm, wow. I don’t know how accurate it is to say that, but regardless, he’s been in the public eye for a long fuckin time. 

Victor has spent this long fuckin time building an image: elegance, confidence, charming yet untouchable. The perfect playboy, in a way. This is the person he presents to the public. I think he’s been masking like this for so long he forgot that this isn’t who he is–Victor has the ability to be all those things, but it’s not who he is. Victor is excitable, bubbly, caring, vulnerable, depressed, lonely, hardworking…Yuuri, by asking Victor to be himself, released a metaphorical floodgate on Victor’s emotions. He’s broken that carefully crafted persona. 

Victor is now publicly goofy and affectionate

(i love how he hides his face a little here…how cute and shy while showing off that he’s yuuri’s)

And can drop his composure comfortably 

(also vitya always wears gloves to competitions until they get the rings and then victor keeps the gloves off completely :v) 

I love that Victor’s relationship with Yuuri has allowed him to find himself again, and peel away those masks to live and breathe and love as he was always meant to. 

Back to School/Uni Tips!

I’m headed into my 3rd year of uni, so I thought I’d make a post sharing my tips on how to do well in school, not burn out, and keep your mental health relatively stable.

1. Snacks - seriously, don’t leave home without at least 2 substantial snacks in your bag. If you’re go-go-going all day and suddenly your sitting in a lecture about to crash cause you haven’t eaten anything all day, you’re gonna want snacks. Some suggestions: Cashews (they’re not super loud/crunchy, so they’re perfect for lecture snackin’), a granola bar, an apple, cherry tomatoes, trail mix.

2. Don’t buy the textbook before you go to your first class - I’ve worked at a university bookstore for 2 years, and every year, people end up buying 700$ worth of first year text books, and then they don’t even use them. Wait. and then wait some more. If there are required readings, then get the textbook, if your prof says there will be questions from the textbook on the exam, then get the textbook, but trust me, for 90% of first year classes (and a lot of other ones) you don’t need the textbook. SAVE YOUR WALLETS

3. Take notes efficiently - honestly the best way to take notes, is type up the lecture notes that are provided, BEFOREHAND, and then during lecture, fill in the blanks/add information/take down any important things your prof is saying as you go through the lecture on your laptop in a different color. This way you’re much less likely to miss any important information, you won’t be confused about what to take down, and you won’t fall into the trap of taking down notes that are already being provided to you. After class, or while making study notes, copy these notes out by hand to remember what you learned.

4. Keep it simple - pretty notes are GREAT if you have the time, but once you get to upper level uni, and you have 100 slides of notes to turn into study notes, you will not have the time to make your notes look aesthetically pleasing. Just get the info down so you can focus on learning it.

5. Have a designated study space - i did all of my highschool homework and studying in my bed, and 90% of the time, I ended up falling asleep. My bed wasn’t going to cut it for uni, so I got a cheap ikea desk, and it’s made me so much more organized and productive.

6. Take as much ‘you time’ as possible - take a bath. light candles. binge watch a tv show. veg out with a book for 4 hours if you have the time. do your makeup super special one day. get yourself that venti pumpkin spice latte with extra whip whenever you feel like it. Uni is a shitty time I’m not gonna lie. It’s stressful as f*ck, and whenever you can spare a couple hours or a couple dollars to TREAT YO SELF, do it.

7.  If you have anxiety, CUT THE COFFEE. caffeine is a huge trigger for anxiety. Caffeine takes away from your sleep, messes with your adrenalin systems, and can make you super paranoid and anxious all the time. 

8. If you think your in the wrong major, change it - I started in geology, and I HATED IT. Now I’m in psych and I love it. It is never too late for a change of program. If you think you’re doing something you don’t wanna do, or your not enjoying it, don’t do it.

9. For mornings you have to be ready and out the door, or if you’re a person who always runs late, have a getting-ready routine and get it down pat. Have a mental list of things you need to do, and things you need to remember, and find out how much time it takes you. Get up at 8am, shower, wash face/brush teeth, get dressed, do makeup, pack bag, remember keys, wallet, laptop, notebook, pen and train pass, have breakfast, put on shoes, leave by 9am.

10. Utilize your time in transit. - finish a reading, go over flashcards, read study notes, listen to an album you’ve been meaning to listen to, read a book, read some fanfic, idk but don’t just sit there unless just sitting there is what you need.

11. Find a hobby or passion that is separate from your school/uni life. Whether its playing sports, or running, reading, collecting plants, making scrapbooks, curating a refined taste in tea, having baths, writing in a journal, find something that if you’re bored with watching shows or studying, you can go do it, and enjoy it, and get your mind off all the other shit that’s going on in your life for awhile.

[TRANS] ‘WINGS’ Concept Book Interview - Jungkook

© peach_kku
KRN - ENG © ktaebwi

Thinking of <WINGS>, I feel like I have a lot in common with Sinclair in <Demian>. He wants to break free from the care of others and be an adult, and so do I. Rather than saying it’s a special album, I would say it made me think a lot after hearing the album concept. “I want to be a real adult too.”

You graduated from high school.
“If I kept studying and spending time with my friends like an ordinary person, I would think ‘So I finally became an adult’ when I graduate. But since I started living sort of an adult like since I was 15, I still feel like I’m a kid. I’m 21 but my mental age is like 15 years old. There’re a lot of adults around me too.”

Do the other members treat you as an adult?
“Rather than treating me as an adult, they tell me “You’re an adult now”. Things like ‘Be mature’, ‘You’re an adult too, act carefully’ (laughs) Especially when my jokes go too far, they tell me to stay still, to not go too far. I tend to have to go through something to know it. If they tell me so, I’ll fix myself little by little. I’m gradually learning thanks to the hyungs,”

What you said earlier is what your solo song “Begin” is about.
“There was a time when Bang Shihyuk Producer-nim and the 7 of us gathered and talked about all the stress, the distress we had been piling up for a long time, and we all cried together. Rap Monster-hyung listened to my story from that time and wrote the lyrics.”

Comparing before and after debut, do you feel you have changed a lot thanks to the members?
“I changed a lot for sure. I gained a lot of confidence too. I couldn’t even talk like this before. I kept watching the hyungs doing interviews from the side and as time goes by, I started talking little by little and eventually was able to do interviews. Hyungs really made me. I learn music by watching foreign artists and pick up basically everything else thanks to the hyungs.”

Are you the type to express your feelings well?
“I’m not good at it. I feel embarrassed even from saying thank you so I basically never do it. I’m good at complaining though. (laughs) I can complain easily but when it comes to good talks, it always feels awkward. I can do it through texts since it’s somewhat easier, but talking directly is really hard.”

BTS grows up along with each album’s story, and Jungkook grows up along with BTS too.
“Thinking of <WINGS>, I feel like I have a lot in common with Sinclair in <Demian>. He wants to break free from the care of others and be an adult, and so do I. Rather than saying it’s a special album, I would say it made me think a lot after hearing the album concept. ‘I want to be a real adult too’. Looking at the other hyungs, don’t they know themselves and do well? They can think and create something by themselves, but I still lack a lot so there’s not much I can do by myself. It’s not like I’m good at composing or anything. I want to try my best and be able to do something well.”

Are you talking about wanting to compose music?
“On some level, yes. I stayed up until 7 in the morning to try composing with MIDI the day before this interview too. I don’t know piano chords since I didn’t learn it, so playing the song’s very hard. The hyungs were all tired, I didn’t want to bother them by asking what I don’t know. I want a certain sound to be at this part but finding it is difficult, so I just try pressing every key. I keep telling the company I want to learn piano so I can start composing, and now I’m planning to properly start working with MIDI.”

But is it necessary for every member of the team to make songs?
“Just because 2-3 members of the team will make songs doesn’t mean the others don’t have to do it. It’ll be great if everyone can. Besides, the kind of music and emotions I like are different from what the other members like. I want to make my emotions into a story and hear it in sound. But I’m upset that I still can’t do it well. Not long ago I was playing with MIDI before I slept and it make me think I want to get my name on the album credit soon too.”

To what level do you want to make it?
“I haven’t considered that. I just plan to do it slowly without thinking too hastily.”

What kind of music and emotions do you like?
“I like quiet songs. The emotional and sad songs, kind of gloomy rather than bright. I really like listening to piano and guitar sounds. When I want to get excited I listen to loud songs such as hip hop or EDM, but usually I listen to quiet songs, like pop ballad.”

You have been nicknamed “Golden Maknae” for being multi-talented since debut, is there any time when you have no confidence?
“Rather than having no confidence, I’m the type to cower inside a little bit. I tend to think I have a long way to go even if I dance well, or think “I can’t sing” even if they say I sing well. I would still be like that 10 years later, when I practice and become someone who can really sing well. I would keep this thought even if I’m the ultimate vocalist. I’m originally this type of person.”

Don’t idols have to show that they think “I’m the best” on stage?
“It’s different on stage. There, I must show everything I can there and then come down. Only after that do I think about myself. It’s closer to thinking I have a long way to go than me having no confidence.”

<WINGS> contains the solo songs of each member and it somewhat revealed each person’s color a little more in various ways. What do you think is your role in BTS?
“What am I in the team… I’m curious what the hyungs think about me but I have never asked them. Can I ask like ‘What do you think about me’? (laughs) I just wish I don’t cause harm to the team, that I’m helpful. And, of course the other members are doing very well but, I hope I can become the kind of existence that without me, a part of it will fall apart. I hope I can become a member that shows our synergy when the 7 of us gather.”

To do that, it would be important to find what is of your own.
“I still don’t have it yet, my core. I’m thinking so. That’s why I have to learn more and work harder so I can step up my game. Finding what only I have is, in some ways, the goal of my life.”

Before I start this little spiel, I need you all to know: I’m not hating on people who don’t vaccinate their kids, and while I know for a fact BASED ON facts that vaccines don’t cause autism or other “defects”, I’m all for continuing research to make them even better and safer.

But you know what really, really scares me about the anti-vax movement? As a future Public Health Professional, the thing that scares me most about this is the fact that our cultural mindset has become so CHILL about vaccine-preventable/”childhood” diseases that there is even room for such a movement. Let me explain.

Do y’all know what an R0 is? The R-naught, as it is called, is the basic reproduction rate of a disease. It tells you how many new infections can come from one existing infection. For example, an R-naught of 3 (R3) means that, on average, one sick person will infect three other people. Every disease has an R-naught, some greater and some lesser.

Do you remember when everyone was freaking out about Ebola? Everyone was terrified of catching it, because it’s SOOOOO contagious and deadly, right? Ebola has an R-naught of 2. That’s it. R2. One person with Ebola, on average, will get 2 more people sick. And we were freaking out about that.

Well guess what? Measles is the most contagious disease known to mankind, and it has an R-naught of 18. 18. One person with measles will give it to 18 new people, and those people will give it to 18 new people EACH, and so on. That’s what happened with the Disneyland outbreak; it’s so ridiculously contagious that just ONE sick child was enough to start an epidemic.

And yet very few people are as scared of measles as they are of Ebola. Why is that? One reason could be the nature of the disease, sure; Ebola is terrifying in its progression and symptoms. But I would suggest that a major reason is that measles has been so well-contained by vaccination that people no longer fear it. It’s not a part of every-day life anymore; this disease is no big deal because nobody gets it, because so many people are vaccinated against it. Let’s put this another way.

What are the diseases that scare everyone the most: Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and SARS are pretty high on the list of terror diseases. But let’s look at the R0s, shall we: Ebola-R2. HIV/AIDS-R5. SARS-R5. 

Now let’s look at diseases that people are voluntarily rejecting vaccinations against: Measles, Pertussis, and Diphtheria are the major ones. Their R0s? Measles-R18. Pertussis-R17. Diptheria-R7.

Everyone focuses on the former set of diseases– rightly so, I suppose– because they’re more dangerous at the present time. What makes them more dangerous? Not their R0; it’s the fact that there is no viable treatment, and NO VACCINE. Seriously, that’s why the medical community is worried about them. There’s no way to treat or PREVENT their spread biologically. Well guess what? There’s no viable treatment for Measles or Pertussis, and only limited treatment options for Diphtheria. That’s why the medical community doesn’t focus on them as much, because we can prevent them at the biological level, safely and effectively.

But now that the Anti-Vax movement has taken hold so firmly, the medical community is now being forced to once more worry about diseases it had almost eradicated. And not only that, it’s endangering herd immunity for the people who can’t receive their own vaccines due to compromised immune systems. I’m allergic to eggs, so I can’t receive the flu shot, but I’m also asthmatic so I can’t get the inhaled vaccine. I rely entirely on the people I associate with to keep me safe from the flu by getting their yearly shot. This made public school a living nightmare, because almost NOBODY got their shot. They caught it, and while it didn’t affect them TOO terribly because they were generally healthy, when I caught it, it was very dangerous because of my asthma. And then there’s that time when I caught the flu, and then right after because of my weakened immune system, I caught Whooping Cough from someone who hadn’t been vaccinated. I HAD been vaccinated, but my body was so fatigued from the flu that it couldn’t keep up with immune demands. And so I caught it.

Have you ever had Pertussis (whooping cough)? It’s hard enough on someone with full lung capacity; it can break ribs, it makes you cough so hard. You cough until there is literally no air in your lungs, and you have to inhale so forcefully it makes the “whooping” sound that gives it the name. It’s painful beyond belief, and it can last for weeks. Some people will survive it. But add that to asthma, or to a young child, or to an elderly person, and you are looking at either permanent damage or death, no exceptions. When I had it, I was about 6 years old, and asthmatic; I spent 81 hours awake because the coughing was so violent I physically couldn’t sleep. I tore abdominal muscles. I vomited during coughing fits and aspirated the vomit. I was actively dying. The doctors could barely suppress the cough enough for me to breathe at all. My inhaler wasn’t helping, none of the cough syrups or breathing treatments were helping; I was getting pneumonia on top of the virus. It was Hell. I was LUCKY that I didn’t die.

Who would wish that on their child? Nobody, I hope. And if you KNEW you could keep your child from ever experiencing that, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to ensure their safety?

Or would you look at the safeguard and say, “Nah. I’ll take my chances with my child’s life.”?

That is what the anti-vax movement is doing. Perhaps not purposefully, but that’s the end result. These aren’t just names on syringes designed to make a child cry; the diseases are real, and real threats to health and life, and the vaccines are how you prevent them. Yet we are so far removed from the impact and effects of these diseases BECAUSE of the peace brought to us BY vaccines that people now feel no qualm about refusing vaccines.

That’s what scares me about the anti-vax movement; people have become so complacent that they no longer worry about these very real, very deadly diseases. They’d rather risk their child’s life than get a shot? The side effects of vaccines are unproven (nonexistent), but the efficacy of vaccines are very much proven.

When the pertussis vaccine first came out, people jumped on it right away. They were so grateful to have it, and for a while everything was smooth sailing, and whooping cough was on the decline. Then, in the 70s, some groups started claiming the pertussis vaccine was causing brain injury in young children. Less than 50 in 15 million cases were reported, but it was enough to scare people away from the vaccine. And children began dying again. It was later discovered that it was NOT the vaccine, but the result of infantile epilepsy, that caused the brain damage. People began once more vaccinating their children, but not before hundreds if not thousands had died.

And that’s what’s happening now. A falsified claim scared just enough people that time-tested, lab-tested, fully-proven, totally safe vaccines are being rejected, and we’re already starting to pay with lives. And I’m scared it’s going to get worse. People don’t really grasp the full import of these diseases and the necessity of the vaccines until they have experienced the disease. I’m scared that it’s going to come down to new epidemics before people will realize the mistake of not vaccinating.

Right now we’re still in the semi-safe zone. Enough of the population is immunized that we could probably keep most pandemics of these diseases at bay. But if this movement keeps gaining momentum, there might come a day when measles and pertussis could once again destroy thousands of people yearly. Imagine if some terrorist group weaponized Ebola and used it against this country; so many people would die, because we have no vaccine for it, no way to prevent it. That is what could happen with diseases like mumps, rubella, measles, pertussis, Diphtheria, and polio. Except it wouldn’t be terrorists using a disease as a weapon; it would be some kid in your child’s class, or your neighbor across the street, or the guy who delivers the mail to your office. That’s how life used to be, and if someone from the pre-vaccine era could see us now, they’d weep for joy at the idea that we can prevent these horrific diseases; and then they’d weep in sorrow at the idea that people are voluntarily turning down that safeguard.

It’s true, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective; I was immunized, but still got Whooping Cough (lowered immune function, if you recall). But you know who didn’t get it? My baby sister. My big sister. My cousins. My mother and father. My classmates, the other kids at my doctor’s office. The nurses at the hospital. The pharmacy workers. Their children. The kids my mom taught at school. All those people were safe because of vaccines. And you know what else? When I was in India, I was exposed to polio. Didn’t get it. Know why? I was vaccinated. I was exposed to chicken pox in 5th grade. One unvaccinated kid got it, and the other 4 kids in our class who weren’t vaccinated got it. But you know who didn’t? The rest of us who WERE vaccinated.


Vaccination may not be perfect, and the only way we will improve them is by continuing research. But the fact remains that as they are now, vaccines cause no lasting side effects (injection site pain goes away), and are extremely effective at preventing dangerous, painful, debilitating, often deadly diseases. Let’s keep researching, yes, but in the mean time, PLEASE vaccinate. It’s not worth your life, or your child’s, or anyone else’s. Vaccines save lives, not destroy them.

K-Pop Group BTS Reveals Its Biggest Beauty Secrets for Glowing Skin

Last month, BTS, a K-Pop group from Seoul, cemented itself in American pop culture by winning the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards. The second the boy band hit the magenta red carpet, thousands were exposed to the wonders of K-Pop. Since then, people have been quick to call BTS, which is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan (or Bulletproof Boy Scouts in English), the One Direction of South Korea. However, that’s just an easy way to give them some context. In reality, BTS is actually completely different. Why? The seven-piece group’s performances are complete with flawless choreography, expert rapping, high-fashion looks, and insanely catchy vocals. Oh yeah, and they look damn good while doing so.

No matter where BTS is, their skin is forever smooth and has an enviable glow to it. Their eyes are typically adorned with a subtle smoky eye look, which both Jin and Jimin told me is their favorite part of wearing makeup. Their lips always have that popsicle-stained look that everyone’s been craving lately. Their hair colors are constantly changing, too. In 2017 alone, Jimin’s hair has been bubblegum pink, silver, platinum blonde, sandy blonde, and caramel brown. If they had to choose just one shade, though, Rap Monster tells Allure that he prefers “ash gray and ash blue because these complement my skin tone well.” Agreed. Also, Suga added that his favorite hair color is blonde because “I just need to de-color and that’s it.”

The beauty aspect of BTS’s fame alone separates them from the likes of One Direction, the Jonas Brothers, and the Backstreet Boys. And their legions of fans, lovingly called A.R.M.Y., live for it. YouTube is filled with makeup tutorials inspired by looks from BTS’s music videos. A whole Tumblr account called Dewy Bangtan is even devoted to tracking down the beauty products BTS uses based on screenshots from behind-the-scenes videos.

If the names I mentioned above didn’t ring any bells, let me give you a quick summary of each of the seven members of BTS.

Jin

At 24, Jin is the oldest member of BTS, but he doesn’t act like it. He has a very specific skin care-related reason for that. In a recent video, he said, “I have a motto of my life, ‘If you behave young, your face becomes young, too.’” Noted. His good looks went viral after the Billboard Awards. On Twitter, he was called the “third one from the left”, accompanied by dozens of heart-eye emojis. His response? He’s “worldwide handsome.”

Suga

Many will identify with Suga, one of the group’s rappers, on a spiritual level, as I do. When he isn’t working his ass off producing, writing, and composing songs, he just likes to lay. Same. Just as his hair color preference suggests, he’s the most low-maintenance of the Bangtan Boys as far as beauty routines goes. He’s basically a granddad trapped in a 24-year-old’s body.

V

V’s interests lie in the finer things in life like Gucci, Van Gogh, and photography. The 21-year-old also makes some of the most hilarious facial expressions and has the most velvety voice in BTS. Some consider him to be the most handsome in the group, but I’ll let you decide.

Jimin

Jimin is the king of selfies. BTS’s Twitter is filled with evidence of this statement. In their music videos, you can pick him out by his sharp dance moves. In a group photos, you can pick him out by his seriously adorable baby face. Don’t let it fool you — he’s not the youngest. He’s 21. And if anyone was wondering, he’s what K-Pop fans call my “bias,” aka my favorite. His pink hair sealed the deal for me.

Jungkook

Ok, now it’s time to talk about the youngest member of BTS. Jungkook, 19, is a classic, hard-working millennial. He can do everything, including sing (in English), dance, and rap, and do it all incredibly well. When not suited-up in a dress shirt or velvet bomber jacket on stage, you can catch him wearing a white T-shirt and Timberlands.

Rap Monster

Meet the leader of the group. BTS was literally built around the 22-year-old. As you probably could have guessed, Rap Monster, well, raps. He’s also BTS’s mouthpiece. Fluent in English, he usually takes the lead in stateside interviews. (Watching Friends helped him learn the language.) He has a habit of winking in photo shoot and making people across the world melt. Cringe-worthy hairstyles from BTS’s debut in 2013 aside, Rap Monster has some of the best looks of BTS.

J-Hope

I’m convinced J-Hope’s ever-positive personality is the true secret behind his glowing skin. (More on his actual secrets later.) Also 22, he’s like BTS’s portable charger, giving them (and fans) the energy and encouragement. Watching him dance will give you strength, too. Trust. He’s s-o g-o-o-d.

Now that we’re all on the same page, here’s the best part: BTS took a break from their massive world tour, which has made stops in the US, Australia, and Brazil, to chat with me about their skin care routines. Yup, you’re about to find out some of their secrets.

Why is it important to you to take good care of your skin?

Jin: “Skin is what completes my appearance. I value my looks very much, so it’s equally important to take good care of my skin — that’s a pivotal part of my face.”

J-Hope: “Taking good care of your skin is the No.1 rule for all celebs. I get to meet a lot of fans face-to-face at fan meetings and similar events, and I’d like to look my best for them.”

What’s your biggest skin concern?

Rap Monster: “My skin is dry most of the time, and my biggest concern is keeping it [moisturized]. I get zits from time to time and that concerns me as well.”

Jungkook: “I get pimples sometimes, and it’s very stressful.”

You guys travel a lot. Do you do any skin-care treatments while you’re on the plane to keep your skin from freaking out?

V: “On the plane, I dampen cotton pads with toner and put on lotion twice as much.”

Jimin: “I don’t really do anything extra special for my skin on the plane, but I try to drink as much water as possible.”

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

V: “I’ve been looking for my absolute favorite beauty product for a long time because my skin becomes dry and oily relatively fast. I haven’t found the right one, but I’m not giving up! Any recommendations?”

What is your skin routine like?

J-Hope: “[In the morning, I use] toner and face cream. [At night, the steps are] toner, essence, acne care, lotion, cream.”

Jungkook: “Toner and cream for night and morning routine.”

A lot of people find skin care routines to be a form of self care. Do you agree?

Rap Monster: “I totally agree. My favorite brand is Mediheal, and it has a variety of sheet masks you can choose from after a long day of work.”

Jimin: “I do agree because I try to clear my mind by cleansing my face after performances.”

Do you have any bad skin care habits?

Suga: “My bad habit is that I don’t take care of my skin.”

V: “I don’t particularly have a bad habit, but I’m worried about my skin having lack of elasticity. How can I prevent this?”

Are there any Korean beauty trends that you particularly love?

Jin: “I love sheet masks. I try to put them on whenever I feel my skin is dry and exposed too much to the sun. They help me make up for lost moisture and brighten my skin.”

Do you have any go-to skin care tips for clear, glowing skin?

J-Hope: “I try to go to the dermatologist when I have some free time after work.”

Jungkook: “I wish I had one! Let me know, and I’ll try.”

© Devon Abelman @ Allure

Moon thru the signs 🌙
  • Aries: emotionally comfortable in the thick of firey adventure, extremely uncomfortable with stagnation in life, things always need to be exciting, they are on the go go go towards new life, will shake things up even if that means they have to ruffle some feathers, they can't sit still with the concept of boring.. Feeling bored is something they have no patience for. The sense of Self is a strong component to their emotional balance.. "What do I need right now? Will this feel right for me? Is this what I want to do?" Aries is all about personal will. They need to feel like they are expressing that will in ways that ignite their passion. Being forced into exerting energy towards something they don't care about is a deep root of distress. Emotionally quick tempered, their emotions are always evolving and morphing into something new..their emotions hit them like fireballs that encompass their entire being.. In the heat of their emotions that moment is the biggest and most intense moment ever ever ever !!! ...for a few minutes.. Then they're onto something new. When your Aries Moon is flying around on fire in the heat of their emotions, sit with them and LISTEN to the experience they are having. A deep therapy for the Moon here is to be able to express their emotions to you within their personal "I" experience. They matter a lot to themselves. Hold space for this.
  • Taurus: slowww and calmmm, Apple pie and lemon balm... I've seen this placement be wonderful and disastrous.. These people are comfortable in their home, in sensual pleasures, earthly delights. In a lower context they are way too attached to the material world, they will acquire so much random stuff that they don't know what to do with themselves but they feel like they need all the stuff.. If they ever got to a moment where they needed something completely random and they didn't HAVE that random thing.. Well that would be distressing for them. While their dependence on the material world can hold them back at times, it is absolutely admirable just how deeply in touch with it they are. They take the home very seriously, they are ones who will just stay home and be grounded instead of going out and running around in life.. Like a happy bear in its cave.. Within that cave there they are listening to awesome beautiful music, making great food, working with herbs, stacking wood, loving their good company.. Why would they ever want to leave that ?? Because there's a whole world out there moon in Taurus.. A whole world:)their emotions hit them on a bodily earthly level where they process and move through the emotional realm with the help of the natural world.. A moon in Taurus needs to be connected with nature more than any other moon.. They are the grounded ass f**kers.. They are emotionally comfortable BEING grounded.. So on the flip side when they can't find grounding or comfort in their material home they are in a state of perpetual chaos..
  • Gemini: emotionally comfortable anywhere and everywhere!! As long as they're having fun and being stimulated by interesting things it's all good! Moon in gemini's really can and will talk to any sort of person. They are comfortable in any situation they are in. Moon in gemini's often have to learn how to find a home within themselves, they could be all dirty playing music on the side of the street with a nice hobo, or they could be in a rich million dollar apartment around a ton of people they don't know.. Where ever they are, they are super curious and interested in everything happening.. Happy to be there..Needing that stimulation from all things interesting.. They are very socially adaptable folk.. They know how to dissect conversation and meet people where they are at.. Which often entails them wearing a mask and not being their truest self.. Being who someone wants you to be in a situation.. It can be distressing at times once they realize how much energy they put into connecting with ones on a shallow level, it takes a lot out of them, they have to bring it back and realize.. Yes this is all fun and good but they ones who will feed my soul are the ones who KNOW my soul.. As for emotions.. It's mutable so the experience of emotions is very impacted from the rest of the chart but this conscious moon energy really rationalized and intelecualitzes emotions.. Sometimes they box their emotions up for a rainy day.. They need to learn how to let themselves feel emotions, they have emotions but they are literally capable of making themselves not feel them.. A way a moon in Gemini would relax and calm down would be through researching, chatting, and thinking about thing.. Here the moon lives within the mind. (My placement)
  • Cancer: to put it simply, uncontrollable emotional state. This is a beautiful thing.. Moon in cancers have an emotional inner world that renders a fine work of art.. So many colors. What they experience in the waters of human emotion is special and unique because the moons archetype is fully at home here.. The moon is felt deeply in this person.. There's so much beauty.. But the conflict here is that the cancer moon doesn't have control of their emotional state, so it can be really difficult to do things because their FEELINGS are first priority.. They are likely to feel more comfortable within the comfort of soft lights, warm tea, nice fireplace, and loving company. However this is fully dependent on the rest of their chart. Water signs are fluid. Maybe they are more emotionally comfortable partying and having adventure because of a Mars in Aries and a sun in Saggitarius.. no matter what influences their emotional world goes so deep. They care. They want to nurture. They FEEEEEEEL. The moon is integral for these people, its important for them to connect with the moon through ritual or meditation.. This will help balance their emotions.. Even if they don't understand it on a conscious level, creating a personal relationship with the moon will subconsciously help them with emotional balance. A moon in Cancer wants to make you feel safe. They want to take care of you and your emotions. They will give so much... Sometimes too much.
  • Leo: these ones feel comfortable in the spotlight, whether that is within an intimate relationship, their family, their social sphere, or literally on a stage.. their comfort state lies within broadcasting their life for all to see. They have a need to share everything.. they want to share themselves, share their experience, their relationships, even the clothing on their back. This moon energy is so warm and generous. In return, these ones need a lot of admiration, attention, and affection in their relationships, they need to feel validated through being so expressive or insecurity will arise. Moreso than other Leo placements, the Moon here truly needs that attention from others, their emotional state depends on it. They draw life energy through being among different influxes of energy and shining their bright creative light within it. As for emotions, they are dramatic, hopeless romantic sonnets of internal poetry for the ones they love, dramatic boisterous crying when a sharp chord is struck, or totally uncontrollable angry fire rage when provoked. A series of extremes. They must channel their emotions into creative expression, they must have people who can give them the attentiveness they need in their bouts of emotion. Pushing them away will hurt them. They want to be close to you, themselves, their life.. they don't want to feel separate and distant. You'll find your moon in Leo being the life of the party, the friend in the group who brings all of the creative fun, their light is strong.. Its their emotional state. This placement has its challenges but I find it so beautiful.
  • Virgo: A strong need for everything to be in order, for life to be in order in all of its finer details. Whether the moon in Virgo reaches that or not reveals their level of emotional balance. They are going through life on the outside looking in. Anylizing, discerning, critiquing, this will either be deeply channeled inward, outward, or both. If you meet a Virgo Moon who does have their life in order, looks put together, has a clean organized place to live, is actively working and integrating into the structure of the world.. They are probably emotionally balanced.. And their emotions express themselves as a steady stream of relaxation due to a success of implementing order in chaos. So on the flip side.. If you meet a Virgo Moon who, to put it simply, does not have their shit together.. They are likely extremely ungrounded with their emotions scattered everywhere and nowhere living in the mercury depth of their overactive mind. They process their emotions by THINKING, they need to understand everything about what it is they are feeling and why before they can ever reach a state of peace in that feeling. Overthinking, irrational worrying, vicious self criticism are shadow elements to this placement. This is a very challenging place for the Moon. The moon is the fluid intuitive waters of emotion and Virgo is the Mercury virginal energy of mental structure and organization fine tuning life to be perfect. They don't exactly mesh well together in their natural archetypes. However, if an individual has a well aspected Virgo moon or learns how to make good use of this placement.. its an extremely competent energy. Their life will be ordered and structured to the 9's.. No worry will ever need to surface about anything because they have their shit together in the most perfect way. And in that state they experience ultimate relaxation.
  • Libra: to feel emotionally comfortable these people need a balance. They need to feel like there is a balance in their workplace, relationships, home life, and within themselves. They need to feel like there is an equal contribution on the part of everyone involved in every aspect of life, that everyone is contributing equally to establishing a balance. If it's imbalanced there is distress.. A distress that either causes emotional turmoil or a distress that motivates them to mediate the energy of the imbalanced situation. They have a very calm and .. Well.. Balanced approach to their emotions. It hits them in an intellectual way where they really observe everything they are feeling and transmute it into a steady stream of balance. They could repress emotions because of this. If emotions are going upppp and doowwwwnn they are gonna try and pull it to the center and push it forward. A continuous evolution of feeling. This steady stream causes them to have challenge with experiencing intensity of emotion.. To experience the full spectrum of emotion.. They don't want their emotions to hold them back or bring them out of alignment in any way. Hence, the repression.. And repressing anything leads it to bubble up and explode... That's where the intensity comes in.. When the bottled up and down emotions are forced up to the surface they HAVE to face it and deal with it or else they feel unable to move forward. Another component to this placement is that they Deffinetly feel emotionally comfortable and fulfilled with Venusian things.. They are gonna really value art, atheistic beauty, the beauty of ones soul, physical features, and emotions.. Because it fills THEIR emotion to experience such pleasure. The pleasureful side of life integrates with them on a deep level. They are likely to be pretty romantic in relationships, they completely romanticize and paint their love emotions like a beautiful painting of exquisite design.. Whether the reality of the love experience lives up to that is either their emotional challenge or their emotional exaltation.
  • Scorpio: INTENSE EMOTIONAL WORLD. Uncontrollable deep waters of emotion like moon in cancer.. Accept in a life or death kind of way. Emotions go to the core of ones soul. "I LOVE you." "I HATE you" "You have BETRAYED me" "I NEED you" Nothing is shallow or superficial in their emotional world..they are literally incapable of that. These people will love you to death, litterally. There is a likely hood for possessiveness with this placement. A likelyhood for nothing to be taken lightly. I remember I was babysitting a moon in Scorpio girl one time and she dropped a bunch of cards or something and they were scattering everywhere inbetween the couch cushions. I watched this girl get so distressed, heavy breathing, intense look on her face, super not at ease as she was trying to collect everything that just fell apart. My Virgo self completely cleaned up and organized the cards for her. She was passionately thankful that turmoil was taken care of for her. These people are very perceptive.. They have a really acute sense of awareness in their surroundings.. The psychic eyes.. They pick up on the subtleties around them.. They are empathetic to the energies in their life. There is a strong possibility for metaphysical psychic ability with this placement of they are exalting their energy. A moon in Scorpio on the light side will have a deep power and capacity to have such an amazing passionate colorful emotional world. A less evolved moon here will be experiencing such intense emotions they can't help but burn bridges with people. Their emotional needs and requirements are strong. With this placement they are also likely to keep their emotions very secretive from the world. They don't think anyone needs to know what they are feeling. This can cause deception and being super guarded in themselves. On the flip side, there is a powerful opportunity for transformational beauty when they do open up their inner world to someone. I'd say overall moon in Scorpio is awesome but it's extremely challenging. Like the moon in any water signs- emotions come FIRST.
  • Sagittarius: ahh the endless explorers of life. These individuals need a sense of expansion in their life to feel emotionally fulfilled. They need hope, inspiration, purpose, a promise of adventure.. Of growth.. Of a new horizon. They are comfortable in the action of expansion, whether that is going to a new place, learning something, or integrating into new relationships. It's hard to emotionally pin them down. They are on the move in their fluid state. In a relationship they need some who can hold space and swim with their currents because of they are in a flux state of perpetual evolution in regards to their emotional world. Like moon in Gemini or Aries.. They are so forward directed with going towards some new energy with their emotions.. They can be flakey. With these folk there can be room for emotional shallowness. Not always, but Saggitarus is the one who wants to have fun! They are the lighthearted archers prancing through all of the parties and people and foreign lands. It is a potential challenge for them to get caught up in some dense, heavy, stagnant emotional turmoil. They don't want to experience turmoil, they want to be having a good time! However, this is a fire sign.. The heat of their emotions DOES hit them. It's not like moon in libra where intense emotions come in and immediately get brought to a neutral line of balance. No, the intensity of emotion IS there. It's a matter of them taking the time to let them go deep into uncomfortable emotions. They would rather not be concerned with uncomfortable emotional depth at all if they didn't have to. But they have to deal with it or they will totally explode into a fire ball of saggitarius aggression. Give your little moon in Saggi some space in the heat of emotional turmoil and know that with a gentle touch and soft heart they will come to a place of opening up their emotional world with you.
  • Capricorn: Emotions here are very guarded. This is a hard placement for the waters of the moon. One may even fear their emotions with this placement, they may be mechanical and cold in this sense. Their emotions will not be tolerated if it's holding them back in anyway. Their emotional comfort lies in knowing they are competently moving forward into success with their life. The feeling of having their shit together is key for emotional balance. A moon in Cap won't want to be held back due to their emotional world. This is powerfully beneficial because they can really get shit done without having to deal with any of that cancer moon emotional stuff. However unless there is water in other places in their chart.. It leaves them in a place of emotional lack. They just aren't capable of feeling to the extent that others do because they don't let themselves. And that can be a conflict in itself because maybe it would give them a deeper feeling of competence if they COULD feel how others do. They really need to feel safe and secure and sturdy before they open up their inner world to someone. You have to win their trust to get to break that shell. This placement has a lot of good potential but also an immense possibility for challenge. With any moon, especially this one, that is all correspondent to the other aspects in a chart.
  • Aquarius: Emotionally comfortable in the realms of individualism.. they like their own kind of music, their own style, their own unique "fit" into the world.. They are emotionally satisfied in their inner world of "ME". Not "me" in the bright beaming self-centered way of Leo, no, its in the sense of "I am standing here feeling so different than all of you people" Whether they find solace or distress in that.. its a deep archetype that they feel. These people are living on the outside looking in- they are extremely extremely observant. They often they feel separate and detached out in the world, observing, putting all of the pieces together like mechanical machinery. They are very interested in life, in you, in your thoughts, in why things the way they are. They are taking it all in. With their emotions they need a lot of space to process it. They can really distance themselves from their emotions and the people who are making them feel emotions. Emotions are a lot for them to intellectually grasp, they want to grasp and come to an understanding of every facet of it, and they need time on their own to do this. Theres also room with this placement for close mindedness towards other ways of doing things. There is a likely hood for these people to feel they are doing and handling things they absolute best way possible, better than anyone else, they know how to handle their emotions, their life, their inner world. Its possible for arrogance and ignorance to be found here. Maybe they do really know how to handle their inner world better than how you think they can..... But also maybe... They really could use a word of advice. Theres a rigidness to this moon placement. These people find self-justified satisfaction in doing things exactly the way they think they should do it, it eases their emotional realm. There is room for complacency in arrogance here as their is room for extremely positive inner innovation and evolution of self.
  • Pisces: Your inner world is the ocean. Where does it begin? Where does it end? You don't know, actually, no one knows. Your emotions are the definition of fluid. Interchangeable and uncontrollable. You are melting into your emotions. When you fall in love, you FALL in LOVE. When you feel sorrow, you FEEL sorrrrrrowww. Emotions are so real for you. You feel your emotions in your blood. Your emotional world is operating in the dreamstate. You are comfortable in ethereal experiences, the surreal beauty of nature, the most amazing poem recited at a word slam, looking deep into the eyes of your lover. Life just holds a more surreal note for you. When you feel emotionally comfortable, every single particle of who you are integrates into a peace and calm of giving everything to the moment of emotional comfort. When you feel emotionally uncomfortable, red sirens are going off in your being, everything is viciously not okay. You might have issues with boundaries, you let people in so deep into your emotional realm and you share so much. Yet, when you draw a boundary, you aggressively instate it into being. You want what you want, you may disregard what is good for you, or you may draw every boundary in the book to make sure whats happening is good for you. No matter what situation you're in- good or bad, you're in it for the feeling, for the essence, the energy. Moon in Pisces will bring you into a different world.
How to be good at interviews:

I’m having next Wednesday my first professional interview (eeeeek) so I decided to share the research I’m doing. I googled all of this and chose the information I found most important, and organized it. I truly hope it’s helpful for someone out there :)

PLAN AND PRACTICE:

  • always do your homework: learn about the organization, its ideas and story 
  • don’t necessarily memorize responses, but try to have a planned general strategy for answering common interview questions
  • practice in front of the mirror
  • be ready to briefly describe related experience
  • compare your qualifications to what the organization wants from you

COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s your biggest weakness? Think of a genuine issue you have as well as ways you have managed to work with/around it.
  2. What’s your biggest strengths?” Stand out from the crowd and don’t be afraid to speak about your strengths in an authentic and compelling way. See if your strengths align with the company’s needs.
  3. Why do you want this job?”/ “Why should we hire you?” Stay focused on why your background makes you an ideal candidate and tell them how you are going to contribute to that department and that company. 
  4. Tell me about yourself.” Don’t tell them your life story, instead discuss what your interests are relating to the job and why your background makes you a great candidate.
  5. Why did you leave your last job/position/school?” Do not go into details about your dissatisfaction, tell them that while you valued the experience and education you received, you felt that the time had come to seek outo a new opportunity, expand your skills and knowledge, and to find a company with wich you could grow. Try to put a positive spin on things. Be honest if you were fired but don’t trash your previous boss.
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?”  Be honest about what your greater aspirations are.

And much much much more (from your behaviour to work experiences, education, interests and motivation or problems and challeges you’ve faced previously), I would encourage you to try to write down some topics for each questions that work for you. Being prepared is everything.

THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW:

  • sleep and eat well so you look rested and healthy on the big day
  • give yourself time to calm down/meditate/relax
  • don’t noodle around on your phone or electronic device while waiting - it may communicate boredom and frivolousness, maybe stick your notebook/notes

What to wear: normally it’s best to dress neutral, professionally/formal, not overly fashionable or trendy, and brightly colored clothing is bad. Make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle free, and make sure your image is very clean and neat.

What to bring: if revelant, extra copies of your resume on quality paper, a notepad or professional binder and pen, information you might need to complete an application.

IMPORTANT TIPS:

  • make eye contact
  • show courtesy to everyone during the interview, this means everyone from the reception staff to the interviewer herself
  • smile
  • have good posture
  • avoid fidgeting too much or playing with your hair/touching face
  • have a good handshake
  • don’t cross your arms over your chest
  • walk, act, talk with confidence
  • be comfortable and relaxed
  • choose the words you say
  • don’t place stuff on their desk
  • manage your reactions - facial and body expressions give clues on how you feel: project a positive image
  • show interest and enthusiasm
  • show warmth and personality - being personable is about getting the interviewer’s emotional side to like you and believe in you
  • don’t lie to make it seem like you know something you don’t. You probably won’t fool your interviewer, and admitting to not know something is much more impressive than lying
  • be honest
  • keep things simple and short, talk in 30-90 second chunks. Any less and you’re likely to seem unqualified; any more and your interviewer is likely to lose interest in what you’re saying

THINK OF QUESTIONS TO ASK: participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. Most of times it is more adequeate to ask in the end of the interview.  But I feel like you really need to make sure your questions are adequate. Examples:

  • “What types of training opportunities do you offer?”
  • “What are the chances for professional growth in this job opportunity?”
  • “Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?”
  • ALWAYS ask the “ When can I expect to hear back from you about the position?” question if  the interviewer does not tell you

Good questions are open-ended, and thus cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Better questions are behavioral: they ask how things are done or have happened in the past, because current and past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW:

  • shake hands with the interviewer - try to invest some feeling into the handshake and pleasantries, even if you think you bombed the interview
  • hold your head high and keep your cool
  • your emotions are probably teetering at the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, but try to stay measured
  • project a cool confidence, not cockiness, and walk out of the interview with your head held high

SOMETHING TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND:

  • when you know in your heart and your gut that you bring to the table something just as valuable as a paycheck and maybe much more – your tremendous experience, intellect and instinct – you’ll carry yourself differently. You won’t trip over your words in an effort to please His Majesty or Her Highness, because you’ll see yourself and the interviewer as equals on a level playing field. 
  • you are valuable and unique. You have something very special in you and you deserve to be given a chance. good luck!
Twenty-One Questions - Peter Parker

Words: 6,320 (sorry its super long, I got carried away)

Warnings: Unedited, very mild makeout session (;

Paring: Tony Stark’s Daughter x Peter Parker


The Avengers compound was quieter than normal Saturday night. The television flickered in the corner as the men switched flipped back and forth between NFL games. Natasha and Wanda chatted amongst themselves ignoring the sporting event like it was their job. Shouting resulted to a bare minimum much to the surprise of the young teenager propped on the kitchen bar stool. Peter Parker had been apart of the Avengers for a little over three months and never in his time apart of the team had he witnessed them so lifeless. The Avengers slumped around like deflated balloons lacking interest in all activities.

A soft sigh fell from Peter’s soft lips while he pushed himself off the metal seat. His warm brown eyes fell to the watch fasten around his wrist. 10:06, Aunt May would expect him home by midnight but with the lack of activity, calling it a night didn’t seem like such a horrible option. Peter was use to hating the time that rolled around when he was forced to take the long haul back to his apartment. The train rides were sketchy, the walk in the cold was gruesome, and the local New York civilians had a tendency to be the most bitter people in the world. But out of all the things Peter hated about having to leaving the tower, Y/n was by far the most.

Keep reading

oh, shit, people actually asked me to follow up on Preaching The Good Word of A Functional Alignment System, okay

i hope you people know what you’re unleashing here

(whole thing prompted by this right here, notably including the tag #unpopular opinion: the definition of lawful and chaotic has been thoroughly twisted over the years since od&d)

So some of you (the ones who didn’t request this) might be wondering: “Alterz, why would you want to go back to the old alignment method? If people generally agree on the new alignment definitions then why confuse things by trying to change them? Is this just some old system nostalgia?”

Well 1) I’m too young by far for old system nostalgia but more importantly 2) people don’t? agree????? on the alignments???????

And that’s a problem, because the whole point of the alignments is to give some rough guidelines on how any given character is likely to act. It should be inarguable. The very fact that people can have arguments over what an alignment is means that the system has failed.

If you look in the alignment section on the more recent D&D editions, they literally have to go into detail on each alignment to explain what each one means. Worse still, for a system theoretically set up as a gradient, the different alignments are basically buckets and it gets really confusing if a character doesn’t neatly fit into one of those buckets.

Some examples from characters I have actually played: a mercenary who I labeled as neutral because I could make equally compelling arguments for why he should be lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, neutral good, and neutral evil. A hermit who at any given time was chaotic neutral or neutral good, but could never reliably be described as chaotic good.

Under the system I’m about to provide you, the mercenary is inarguably chaotic neutral and the hermit is unambiguously lawful good. End of sentence, all cleared up.

Keep reading

House Rules (M)

Originally posted by nnochu

Summary: Frustration over recent political changes sets you off, and your loving husband helps you see the error of your ways.

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader

Genre: Smut

Word Count: 7,492

Warning: Dom!Yoongi, husband/wife relationship, teasing, punishment, edging, ass play, dirty talk, political themes

A/N: I could probably add more warnings. Rest assured, this is not vanilla. Enjoy!

Keep reading

Pendulum 101

Alright, pals! Time to learn all about pendulum divination!

Strengths:
-Pendulums are best known for their ability to give quick yes/no answers! -Pendulums are don’t cost a lot of money and are easy to make.
-Pendulums are very easy to pick up and learn quickly… no extensive training needed!

Weaknesses:
-Pendulums require a steady hand, which some people struggle with.
-Pendulums don’t provide in-depth information, just surface-level answers.

How To Do It:
-First, set up a pendulum board. This can be a set board or cloth, or you can scribble it down on an index card. It’s traditionally two perpendicular lines, one for yes and one for no. Other things can be added as well! (Many people include a “Maybe,” “Rephrase the question,” add a circle of numbers or letters, even zodiac signs!)
-Grab your pendulum and “set” it to the board. (I usually do this by tapping each point on the board with the pendulum and saying, “yes, no, one, two,” whatever is appropriate.
-Give it a test run before asking the big questions. Ask it questions you already know, to make sure there isn’t anything interfering with the pendulum. Try to ask at least one yes and one no question!
-Ask your question out loud. Then wait. Eventually the pendulum will start swinging towards your answer!

How It Works:
There are a few different schools of thought, here. Some say your Higher Self guides the pendulum, others say that spirits do. Some say the pendulum itself has a consciousness! Other people attribute its movements to the ideomotor effect. Many skeptics will try to discredit it this way. My personal response? So what if it uses the effect? We all know your subconscious is wayyy smarter than your conscious, so you probably know the answer to your question deep in your gut, somewhere and just need to bring it to the surface. This idea only increases the validity of pendulum divination, in my eyes.

Tips:
-You don’t need a fancy crystal pendulum. Any weighted object on a string will do! This includes necklaces, keys on lanyards, a needle and thread, you get the idea.
-Pendulums are best used indoors in areas without drafts. These air movements could interfere with your reading!
-I find it better to weigh my yes/no questions as a positive affirmation. For example, “Jenny likes me.” The yes/no response here would be very clear, where as “Jenny doesn’t like me” raises questions. Is a “No” because the statement is incorrect, or no because she doesn’t like you? Affirmations also give you the added help of gut feeling. If you say, “Jenny likes me,” and your gut feeling makes it feel like a lie, that’s important information. (Remember your subconscious is smart!)
- If your pendulum is acting weird, try giving it a good cleanse! Sometimes they pick up “gunk” from extended use and get bogged down.
-Pendulums are very useful for contacting spirits! If you hold your pendulum still and call for a spirit, they can signal their presence by moving it. I prefer this over tarot because tarot always guarantees a response, whether a spirit is there or not. Pendulum, meanwhile, is better for confirming your answers are genuine.

If you’d like to see me do any other posts like this one, let me know! :)

anonymous asked:

Isn't there a really dodgy bit in Why Does He Do That? I read somewhere that it says a man who says he's being abused is the abuser in a relationship, which... no, male victims of domestic abuse exist too...

Yes.  I was actually going to post about this.

It’s not just a “dodgy bit”.  There are multiple points at which he says things that I didn’t care for.

The “male abuse victims are probably lying” thing is is the biggest flaw in the book, but the book is still absolutely vital, and people should still read and recommend it.  Full stop.  Because a thing is flawed does not mean it has no value and should not be circulated to those people that it could help.  If the book were less shockingly accurate and unflinching in its portrayal of abusive men, if it were less good in the ways that it is good, perhaps I would feel more hesitation.

I’ve read basically the whole thing so far (I’m about 20-30 pages from the end in the PDF), and here’s the deal.

He doesn’t say unilaterally that men lie about being abused.  He says that abusive men lie about being abused by women.  It’s a fine distinction, and not really much better, but I want to be clear that that is what he is saying.  Not that men lie about all abuse, but that they lie about being abused by women.  Abusive men, especially, will tell this lie to get the upper hand.

Based on what he has seen after dealing with a couple thousand men who abuse women, I do not doubt that this is true.

But he seems to think the number of abused men is smaller than the number of abusive men who are lying about being abused.  Even if that is true, abused men are not acceptable collateral damage.  It’s not okay to act like the issue isn’t important just because liars exist.

He uses SOME qualifying language. I’m not going to go digging for it, but it’s along the line of “Male victims of domestic violence are really rare compared to the number of female victims.”  After that he kind of treats it like they either don’t exist, or the fact that they do is irrelevant in the face of the much more widespread problem of men who abuse women.  I won’t lie, that’s not good.

To be frank, he does not seem all that aware of social justice issues the way that all us gigantic queers on Tumblr are.  His awareness of LGBT issues is peripheral.  When he says “men” and “women”, he definitely means “cis men” and “cis women”.  And the book definitely reads like a book written by a cis dude to me.  But honestly, this is a book that only a cis dude could have written, because only a cis dude could have worked with other (cis) men the way he has, and it is precisely that experience that makes it so valuable.

The fact that he’s biased doesn’t mean he is talking out his ass the rest of the time.  He’s not.  At the time of publication (2002) he had worked with over two thousand abusive men whose targets were women.  He pioneered recovery programs for these men.  He was the first to really get down and work with them on a daily basis, both in group and personal therapy settings.  And that experience shows.

No.  He really really doesn’t understand abused men.

But he understands abusive men.  Specifically, he understands men who abuse women.

On the one hand, it’s given him an unprecedented level of insight into abusers’ mindsets, and that is so valuable.  

On the other, the graphic and awful examples he has seen of men who are lying to get themselves out of trouble or justify their behavior have definitely colored his views of male victims.  These men – men, I emphasize, referred to him by the legal system, meaning they were entirely confirmed abusers – WERE almost always lying about it.  I think he mentions two exceptions?  And yeah, that sounds like shit abusers fucking do.  I believe him.

Within his setting, within his sample, I believe he is 100% correct in his assessment – abusers are likely to be lying about having suffered partner violence.

That setting absolutely is not the rest of the world, and I think he loses sight of that, if he ever had sight of it to begin with.  That’s a terrible flaw.

Another flaw is that it gives very little face-time to same-sex relationship abuse.  It goes into it a little, and does it a little ham-handedly but not too badly, but mostly it gets ignored.

Rather than raise these issues at all and then doing it badly, I wish he had said “The issue of abuse in LGBT relationships, as well as the issue of women abusing men, is sadly beyond the scope of my experience, and therefore this book is not about those issues.”

There is nothing wrong with focusing on one aspect of the issue of intimate partner violence.  That he did so is not a bad thing.  The bad thing that he did is to treat the rest of it like a non-issue, when it isn’t, and that he said some things that encourage the reader to be generally suspicious of men who say that women have abused them.  Those are bad things.

Would I recommend it to a man who is being/was abused by a woman?  No no no.  Absolutely not.  Those dynamics are completely different, and the abuse is likely to look very different, and I feel like very little of it will be accessible to someone in that situation.  I think it would do more harm than good.

Would I recommend it to someone in a non-cishet relationship?  Maybe, but probably not, unless I had a little insight into the relationship and felt like it would be a good match.

Would I still recommend it to women, or to people who want a general understanding of the dynamics between abusive cis men and abused women?  YES.  YES A THOUSAND TIMES.

The book is not “good” in a morally/ideologically pure, okay?  It is flawed.  But for what it is, which is a book about men who abuse women, it is very good.   He is on the side of abused women, all the fucking way.  And that is still an astonishingly rare thing to find. 

It validates the experiences of women abused by men by showing different types of abusive behavior and different types of abuser.  He says at multiple points “If you’re wondering whether it’s abuse, then it probably is.”  And that is still such a radical, necessary, healthy and badly-needed thing to say.

I’m not going to defend the way he treats the issue of abused men, or abuse in LGBT relationships,  He barely deals with these issues at all, and when he does, it’s halfhearted at best and actively regressive at worst.  In that regard, it’s shitty.  If that is what you are needing, this book won’t give it to you.

I am going to defend it as an excellent starting place for women abused by men, or in toxic almost-abusive relationships with them.

I would prefer it not be flawed, and if it has to be flawed, I would prefer it come with a disclaimer, but I would rather it circulate flawed and without a disclaimer of any kind that fail to reach someone who really, really needs it.

We could be waiting a long time for a better, more inclusive book to come out.  There’s not time to wait.  This book is needed now.  TODAY.

That said, I am always glad to reblog helpful resources for abused men, or for people in non-cishet relationships, if you know of any.  I would love to know about comparable GOOD books for LGBT people, if you know any, or would love to know about GOOD books written for male victims of domestic violence.

flirting in french; god, how i would love to be smooth in any language. i’d like to think this is pretty important - as this is part of socializing in any language. flirtation is a very different thing than “picking up.” picking up is a kind of hunting game with a very pointed and invariable goal. flirtation, at least in france, is a totally different thing. it’s a different culture, a different lifestyle. it’s a way of being in everyday life, and unlike picking up, it has no defined goal. sometimes the french flirt because it’s just delightful to do so. think salt to pepper relationship. allowing each one to check, and at different levels, if he or she still has some charm operating. 

i would say that simple is always best: merely walk up to your chosen girl or guy and say je vous trouve absolument charmante, or i find you absolutely charming / beautiful. be classy and to the point. with that and mind, read on!

so; why flirt in french?

  • well, french is a sexy language. not going to lie. 
  • it’s the planet’s most-hyped language of love.
  • reaching that level of fluency feels amazing.
  • it gives you that confidence. social confidence.
  • helps to develop communication skills. 

french learning and french flirting 

  • let’s face it: in france, (or in any country for that matter), nobody speaks like a textbook, the president, or a language learning site (i’m looking at you, duolingo). it’s great for memorizing the fundamentals, but lacks that extra step that stands between you and complete fluency. 
  • flirting is part of socializing - and linguistically (i don’t know, it helped with me) it improves retention. it’s also just interesting to learn! 
  • flirting is just well.. fun. even if it doesn’t go anywhere.
  • a bit of verbal charm isn’t always necessary : but in my opinion, it helps you sound more natural / at ease / friendly. 
  • i somewhat lack verbal charm (i’m very, very awkward in social situations) so i probably need this masterpost as much as anyone else (: 

the classics: make love last. 
this is based upon what i’ve heard at school / restaurants / bars. 
okay fine: it’s based on the movies i’ve watched too. 

  • j’ai envie de t’embrasser / embrasse-moi - kiss me.. annouce it - make your intentions known! i’d like to kiss you’ - okay, you could just kiss someone instead of letting them know. but i don’t know.. there’s something romantic about it? best with a longing, meaningful stare. 
  • je t’aime: i’m pretty sure we all know this one. best with someone you care deeply for, i wouldn’t say this on a first date - but if you’re the direct type : this can help you get from a to z pretty quickly. 

the simple compliments
using these with a flirty look / tone of voice  can do wonders. play with your expression while practicing these: it makes a difference, trust me. t’es toujours canon toi ou quoi?

you can also add trop ( = too). example: trop belle, trop mignon(ne).
you can also add tellement ( = so) example: t’es tellement belle!
you can also add si ( = so) example: t’es si mignonne.
you can also use grave ( = totally) example: t’es grave belle. 

  • t’es mignon(ne).
  • t’es belle (/beau), toi. 
  • t’es canon. ( = you’re smoking hot). 
  • t’es con. ( = you’re an idiot) - i’ve seen this used a lot flirtatiously.
  • t’es drôle. ( = you’re funny)
  • t’es magnifique. 
  • t’es charmant(e). 
  • t'es coquin / coquine! ( = you’re such a tease.)

the ‘social and the flirty’ 
these can be used as compliments / or flirtatiously. depends on your relationship with the person you’re giving them to. 

  • cette beauté chaton, tu m’ éblouie. ( = you dazzle me with your beauty.)
  • une beauté divine. ( = a divine beauty or: you’re so divine.)
  • ouloulouloulouloulou. ( = you really have to hear this one.)
  • tu brilles de mille feux.
  • j'te pécho. ( = like the equivalent of ‘to pick up someone’ in english). 
  • bg, or beau / belle gosse ( = hot guy, hot girl). 
  • une petite merveille. ( = a wonder, someone to be marveled at). 
  • une bombe. ( = bombshell, someone pretty - same thing as ‘belle gosse’.)
  • le petit côté mystérieux femme fatale je kiffe. - je kiffe means i like. 
  • la beauté à l état pur ( = beauty at its purest form). 
  • dingue! ( = crazy, as in crazy beautiful). 
  • j'ai pas les mots.( = i have no words). 
  • wahhh, la classe! ( = classy!)
  • c’est fou, tant de beauté ( = you’re so beautiful, it’s crazy.)

flirting at a bar or restaurant? 

  • t’as d’beaux yeux, tu sais? the phrase ‘you’ve got beautiful eyes’ pretty much works in any language (though, i think it sounds extra gorgeous in french). the phrase actually comes from a french film called le quai des brumes. fair warning: this is an extreme cliché, : it’s basically the english equivalent of do you come here often? it can be said ironically, if you’re not the cliché type.  
  • je peux t’offrir / vous (formal) un verre ? : can i buy you a drink?
  • vous êtes célibataire ? mais comment est-ce possible ? - you’re single? but how’s that possible? 
  • vous venez souvent ici ? - do you come here often? classic.  a phrase that transcends cultural barriers: “ the sentence could be followed up by complaints — about the bartender, about the clients or about how the bar isn’t as good as it used to be. a french tradition is râler, a sort of complaining. finding things to complain about is a way that many french people choose to bond with new acquaintances. this is not true of anyone.
  • t’as une miette (you’ve got a crumb) as you pretend to stroke something off of someone’s face, first with your fingers, then with your lips.
  • tu m’excites ! ( = you turn me on.)
  • “j’ai une première édition de ‘à la recherche du temps perdu.’ tu veux le voir ?” -  i have the first edition of “in search of lost time. (written by proust). do you want to see it?” in france (for me, at least) cultural knowledge is sexy. in America, we often ask if you’d like a nightcap. choose something cultural and intellectual in france, and you’re far more likely to get a oui.
  • je veux te revoir. ( = i want to see you again.) 
  • quoi de beau? ( = how you doin’ - joey, friends.)
  • excuse-moi. est-ce que t’embrasses les inconnus ? non ? donc, je me présente. excuse me, do you kiss strangers? No? then let me introduce myself.
  • excuse-moi, j'ai perdu mon numero de téléphone. est-ce que je peux t'emprunter le tien?“ excuse me, i seem to have lost my phone number. could I borrow yours? 

let me know if you’d like to know more! you can never be too charming.

Can Conscious K-Pop Cross Over? BTS & BigHit Entertainment CEO ‘Hitman’ Bang on Taking America

On April 2, BTS played the fifth and final date of a sold-out U.S. arena run, performing to the shrieking fans who helped the group’s second full-length album, Wings, become the first K-pop project to crack the top 40 of the Billboard 200 in 2016. Since debuting in 2013, the seven-piece boy band has become a commercial behemoth in its native South Korea while continuing to make inroads within American pop culture. “Change,” an English-language hip-hop collaboration between BTS member Rap Monster and U.S. star Wale, was released three days before the kickoff of the stateside run.

“Change” touches on topics like voting rights and online harassment, while some of BTS’ biggest hits have addressed mental health. “Worldwide, our young generation shares the same issues socially and politically,” says BTS member Suga. Although K-pop music generally steers away from controversy, Rap Monster says that remaining outspoken “is important to us. And the bigger the voice we get, the more powerful our words become.”

A new BTS album is already underway and more U.S. dates might be on the way later this year. Bang Si Hyuk, the CEO and Executive Producer of label/management agency BigHit Entertainment who is better known as “Hitman” Bang, hints at “special features” designed for international listeners but thinks BTS will continue playing to its base.

“I’m not a believer in releasing full English songs to the U.S. market, like many K-pop artists have,” Bang tells Billboard in his first-ever interview with American press. “We must focus on what we do best as K-pop artists and producers and maybe add some special features to which international or U.S. music fans can feel attached. That is the best way for me to put K-pop into the mainstream U.S. music market and, in that regard, BTS will participate and perform in a way that is not much different from what they have been doing in the last three years. We’re adjusting and improving the way we do shows on the tour to meet the international or global level and expectations so that anyone, regardless of their culture and background, can enjoy BTS music and performances.”

Bang is sure to add that the group will be “very active and responsive in releasing new songs that would come out of collaborations with international artists, like 'Change.’” And, looking ahead, both the CEO and band see their most recent accomplishments as inspiration to achieve even more in the future.

“I’m so excited and thrilled at the response to the U.S. tour,” Bang says. “It’s still overwhelming and unbelievable at some point. I even further feel responsible for producing better music and production for fans around the world and I’d definitely think harder on what makes fans enthusiastic and passionate about BTS music and the band.” Meanwhile, the ambition within the group is perhaps best felt when member V winks that the group has “grander goals”; as if arena shows are just the beginning of what he and his band mates plan to accomplish around the world.

Below read on for an extended interview with BTS held before the tour kicked off. All member answers are taken via a translator except for Rap Monster.

With five arena shows, this tour is so huge and I think the main reason for that and why you guys are doing so well in America is because you sing about personal topics. Why is that so important to talk about in your music?

​Suga: Worldwide, our young generation shares the same issues socially and politically. I think that young people feel the same way about similar issues and BTS wants to cheer them up with our songs and talk about our feelings and social issues.

Rap Monster: These topics, like you said, they’re important, right? They should be told by someone. Someone should talk about it. And if someone should talk about it, then it feels like we have to talk about it. It’s very much an honor that we get power and attention from our fans them when we use our voices more. It’s important to us and the bigger the voice that we get, the more powerful that our words become.

These topics – loneliness, mental health, bullying – you don’t hear about in K-pop or even Korean culture much. Or, really, in American pop music either. Have you ever worried it might get a negative or opposite response?

​Suga: There are people who think negatively and there have been people who react negatively towards BTS’ music. But I think it’s way more important to make music with those issues because I think it’s important to encourage people to fight for those issues and, through the music, have a resolution for those issues. But I’m going to continue to talk about those issues through the music anyway. [Laughs]

Do you think K-pop needs to get more personal to gain a wider audience? Would you like to see that more in future?

Rap Monster: We still need some party songs, we still need some light love songs. I love to listen to them and feel the vibe from that. Everyone has their luggage and their shadows, but it’s up to everyone’s own [devices]. But we’re us. I think if we talk about it and if it gets more voice and attention, then maybe there are a lot of people in the world that accept us start to talk about those issues. I think that’s the change.

I thought “Spring Day” was a really big musical moment for you guys. Not only did it do really well on the charts, but this time you were showing a progression in thinking and a message of hope. The idea of recovering and winter moving to spring. Was that a conscious decision?

Rap Monster: It’s just like what you said, that was one step further. We’re always talking about the crises, the sorrows and youth’s feelings of getting lost. In many [television] programs, when we’d introduce our new album, I’d always talk about the word “recovery.” Like you said, it’s all about the recovery. Winter going to spring. The middle of the winter going to the spring. You got that.

​Suga: In addition to being what we are as BTS, we wanted to bring some changes and we actually wanted to evolve as a group. We wanted to show our many colors, but we still want to console others and give hope to others.

Something that was unique was all the solo songs on the Wings album. You’ve done mixtapes, but instead of full-fledged solo or unit releases, you got to show your different sides of yourselves. Why was that necessary?

Jin: The solo tracks were important because it was personal, an individual story and it was represented in the way that we are good at it. We worked a lot on each track and that’s why it was important to each of us.

Rap Monster: When I get questions about why is K-pop is so popular; I always tell them K-pop is like a great mix of music, videos, visuals, choreography, social media and real-life contents. Making the solo tracks on the album was quite a venture, but it’s connected to the concept. Like, when you watch the “I Need U” video, everyone has their own crises and characters. It’s kind of connected to our real personalities and characters, but the solo songs have their own characters and personalities. It’s all connected. It’s a mixture and that’s why people get interested in the concepts.

Speaking of solo songs, “Change” recently came out. Rap Monster, you and Wale are talking about different-but-similar issues when South Korea and America are both having interesting political times. Did you guys have a chance to discuss your different viewpoints?

Rap Monster: We didn’t have the time to get into it deeply, but I’m always watching the news about Trump and America; I always watch. When he first suggested a collaboration, I was like, “What should we do?” We could just do you know, a common hip-hop song, but I wanted to do a little more special. We have our political situation in Korea and the students are very angry. So, I think, if we talked about what’s going on, then we’ll have a real special collaboration. I think my guess was right and it became special.

Do you see or feel your influence among other groups in the industry?

​Jungkook: When we debuted back in 2013, we were influenced by our sunbaenim [Korean word for “senior”]. Over the years, as we watched other younger groups, we know they talk about us, they cover us and they follow us. I think they’re saying in interviews that they learned a lot from us and that makes us feel great. Being a sunbaenim, we want to be a good influence and be a better role model to other groups.

Last question, are you happy?

V: For now, we are very happy as we are, as a group, together. And I think we are happy because we are walking on the same path, walking the same direction. We wanted to get Daesang [Best of the Year award], but we have it already so our goal is to make great music, to share it with our fans.

Rap Monster: And a worldwide, stadium tour. That’s the goal.

V: We have grander goals.

© Jeff Benjamin @ Billboard

Tarot in Magic Use

I have a tarot deck that was gifted to me made entirely of leather and just the major arcana. It has an extremely powerful energy to it, and I knew right away this was a tarot deck to be used in spell work, not divination. So I started meditating and looking into the cards and really thinking about what they could be used for/associations. So here’s what I came up with!

(Note: I mention curses in here because some of the cards do lend themselves really well to that. If you don’t curse personally, feel free to disregard those parts. This is based on my personal relationship with the cards, so your personal associations and meanings for your deck may be very different. Be sure to understand the nuances of your cards before using them in a spell.)

🗝0 The Fool: Wiping the slate clean, a fresh start. Opening oneself to new experiences and knowledge.

🗝I The Magician: Manifestation and invocation. Energy work. Personal capability. Utilizing the power already within you and bringing it to the surface.

🗝II The High Priestess: Secrets. Hide and obscure knowledge to others. Increased intuition. Knowledge of the occult. Learn other people’s hidden knowledge while keeping yours under wraps.

🗝III The Empress: Fertility and abundance. Vibrancy, nurturing. Also to some degree, sensuality and sexiness.

🗝IV The Emperor: Strength and stability. Generic masculine power. Traditionalism.

🗝V The Hierophant: Jobs, mentorship and other positions that require some level of conformity. Traditional knowledge, coming more from a dogma or set path rather than a personal experience.

🗝VI The Lovers: Love (obviously,) union, harmony between two people. But mostly love.

🗝VII The Chariot: Success, motivation, overcoming any nasty obstacle. Personal power working with outside powers for your benefit.

🗝VIII Justice: Pretty self explanatory. Justice, getting what one deserves for better or worse. Could also be used as an aid to help guide you to the best decision when stuck at a crossroads.

🗝IX The Hermit: Knowledge latent within oneself that you want to bring to the surface. Cutting ties between yourself and people/groups that no longer benefit you. Any spell designed to get people to stay away from you (but warning here, the Hermit doesn’t discriminate between the people you still want to see and those you don’t!)

🗝X Wheel of Fortune: Luck, a change of fate. Finding one’s true calling/destiny. A request of a long-term type of success.

🗝XI Strength: Emotional strength, mastery of emotions, self-control. Resilience and courage.

🗝XII The Hanged Man: Release of unwanted emotions, new perspectives. In a curse or hex setting, it can also be used to represent someone who has been traitorous, especially in decks with a more traditional art style.

🗝XIII Death: Can be used to represent death during rituals such as a dumb supper. Important endings, rebirth, shedding the skin of the past. Hard cutoffs.

🗝XIV Temperance: Balance, cleansing, a restoration of energies as they should be. Healing.

🗝XV The Devil: Addictive negativity. All things bad in life that can be avoided, but are easy to slip into. Can be used to sic this on someone else in a powerful hex, or can be used as a representation of your own demons as you break free from them.

🗝XVI The Tower: Another card that’s particularly good for offense magic. Sudden, unexpected crisis. A destruction of what one has been working for. Upheaval. Could also be used to try and protect oneself as much as possible from this before it happens, if you sense trouble ahead.

🗝XVII The Star: Hope, guidance, generosity. Can be used when searching for a sign for something or for a pathway to be illuminated.

🗝XVIII The Moon: Mystery, emotional/spiritual fog, being stuck in a grey area. Illusion, hiding/obscuring yourself or something else. Could be used as a more gentle hex to weaken somebody without wrecking them like some of the other cards. Alternatively, it could be used to represent the literal moon, as either a replacement (if you can’t access the moon) or as a way to draw down the moon’s power.

🗝XIX The Sun: Recharging, success, vitality and enlightenment. Celebration. A powerful source of positive and productive energies, but without a lot of direction on its own. Similarly to The Moon, it could also be used as a representation of the literal Sun.

🗝XX Judgement: Guidance in making tough decisions. Luck or good fortune in the final stages of something important. Reaping the benefits (or punishments, so be careful) of our work up to this point.

🗝XXI The World: Harmony, tying up loose ends. Completeness and wholeness. Resolution of all conflict.

this a post (complete with links, pictures and other tips) dedicated to all of you struggling through what seems to be a hell they call high school. i get it. i struggled through it, all my friends endured it and you’re probably in the same boat of wanting to throw yourself down each flight of stairs that presents itself. but please don’t do that! i’m here to help, friend!! this is a comprehensive list of all the things i learned from my time in high school. i hope this helps at least one person out there! as always, if you guys have any questions, my ask box is open :)

before we get into it: this is a link to my study routine because some people have been asking for it and don’t have a section in this post to put it under so i’m just going to leave it here.

self-care advice:

okay so, i’m going to be completely upfront with you. high school is hard. it’s especially hard if you want to do well. i can honestly say that senior year took its toll in more ways than one when i didn’t take care of myself or pay attention to my body’s needs. so here are some self-care tips to keep you happy & healthy.

1. eat a lot & stay hydrated

when you’re trying to finish a 2000 word essay, or pretty much all but shoving toothpicks in your eyes to stay up studying for an exam the next day, food is your best friend. food helps your brain work better and you’ll find that your concentration levels increase when you study on a filled stomach. there are lots of brain foods out there like dark chocolate, nuts, vegetable sticks etc. but don’t forget to reward yourself with a food of your choice after you feel like you’ve done a lot of work. couple all of this with lots of water to keep you feeling refreshed.

2. pamper yourself

i am completely aware of the fact that high school students don’t have the time to go to a spa or sauna every other weekend. however, you deserve a nice long bath or a good face scrub every now and then. other things you can indulge in:

  • sheet masks
  • body lotion (especially the nice smelling ones)
  • scented candles
  • hand cream
  • nail polish
  • eye masks
  • a good facial cleanser
  • serums
  • bath bombs

and the list goes on. trust me, being physically relaxed plays a big part in how your brain performs. if you feel a bit gross, take a shower before you start studying. it’s little things like that that’ll make a massive difference.

3. sleep

everyone says it, i know. but it’s so important. if you don’t get sleep the night before because you were cramming for tomorrow morning’s exam, go home and take a nap in the afternoon. get some shuteye in one form or another. pls. 

4. believe in yourself

it sounds so weird, and it’s usually not included in posts like these but in my opinion it’s one of, if not the most, important factor in high school success. think about it. if you’re spending those years of your life doubting whether your answer is correct, whether your science report is as good as the next person’s or whether your friends truly like you, you’re using up a lot of energy that could be used for things that’ll actually benefit you in the long run. that’s why my blog is titled “breathe” - because that’s exactly what you have to do, and sometimes that’s the only thing you can do in order to keep going. chin up. you’re going to be okay. you’re doing great. i believe in you. and you should believe in you too. 

organisational tips:

1. plan everything

i’m telling you now, get some kind of planning system. whether you want to use a bullet journal, a planner, a diary, an app, a computer program or your grandma’s paper napkins, seriously just pick something. when you have seven different classes and you have assessment for each, i highly doubt you’re going to remember every task that goes along with them. so, just take my word for it and plan plan plan.

here’s a link to how i used my planner back in high school. 

i also recommend a whiteboard monthly calendar so you can keep track of all of the important dates you need to remember.

2. post-its

i love love love post-its. i honestly can’t stop myself from buying them - especially the cute animal ones. post-its saved my butt when keeping my books organised and easy to navigate. you can use them to separate different semesters, chapters, lectures, topics etc. i also use post-its to mark any questions, sections or subjects that i’m unsure of so that i can ask my teacher about it the next day. i then write down the answer or explanation on a separate sticky note and stick it next to the question so i can refer back to it when studying for exams.

+ look at all the different kinds of cute post-its you can get!

so you can obviously get all your standard, basic post-its.

buuutttttttt, you can also get all of these fun ones too! they make studying a lot easier and a lot more fun, trust me. 

3. figure out a system that works for you

so in high school, i liked having notebooks for each class and having an accordion folder to hold all my papers. that worked perfectly fine for me but there may be other methods that work better for you. i suggest, especially if you’re just about to start or just started high school, that you experiment with different organisational systems to find which one suits you best.

i’ve got a page dedicated to my favourite supplies and how i use them. i hope you can get some inspiration from it in some way. 

motivational tips:

1. quotes

go on google, tumblr, facebook, instagram, weheartit or whatever tickles your fancy and search up some quotes that inspire you. it sounds really corny, but i’m telling you that it works. i had three quotes above my desk and they always used to motivate me when all i could think about was crashing into the comfort of my blankets. i would pick quotes and write/draw them out myself so i could add my own spin on them. i used:

  • “make hermione proud”
  • “effort only fully releases its rewards to those who refuse to quit”
  • “you have galaxies in your head, don’t let anyone tell you you cannot shine”

ta-da!

2. studyblr

this community! it’s the best motivation in my opinion. whenever i was in a procrastination slump, i would scroll through the studyblr tag or scroll through studyblr blogs and before i knew it i’d be ready to study for another hour. it’s honestly one of the most helpful resources, and if it’s available to you then i definitely recommend that you use it!

3. music

get yourself a study playlist. it’s amazing what music can do for your mood. add a mix of songs that will get you pumped to blitz through that 5-star difficulty chemistry question and songs that will help you concentrate when you need to find the right word for that english essay. studying when it’s dead quiet is weirdly deafening to me and i can’t concentrate if there isn’t some sort of background noise. just add whatever helps you - whether it be panic!, classical or in my case, kpop hehe

i have a playlist suggestion on my blog if you want to try listening to some new songs. :)

that’s all, folks!

in all honesty, high school isn’t going to be a walk in the park if you want to succeed. it takes dedication, a lot of persistence and a consistent work ethic. you need to know what you’re aiming for, and you need to want it just as much, if not more, than the person who wants the same thing. my high school experience was stressful and anxiety inducing, but i can honestly say that the rewards on the flip side are very much worth it. you’ve got this. you’ll do a lot more than survive. you will succeed. 

you can do it! i believe in you! 

stay motivated x

I’ve Got You

IT’S WHUMP WEEK! Hope you’re all as excited for this as I am. I’m going to try and throw some (k)lance whump at you every day!

Day One- Fever


Lance glared up at the ceiling with narrowed eyes, as if its very presence offended him. “Why do we even make plans?” he wondered aloud. “They always go south, anyways.”

Keith rolled his eyes. “If we just stormed into Galra bases with no idea what we were doing, then we’d be caught pretty easily.”

Lance eyed him, unimpressed. His skin looked unusually pale in the dim, purple light. “Kinda like how we are now?”

Keep reading

foofoocuddlypoopsgavesokkaapples  asked:

Can you do more of that mafia au? Like, the team's reaction when they learn abt it through a mind meld thing and shiro is all like "You're a Salazar?!" And it causes shit. Also, can the dad be named Ernesto? Like, I was watching a Mexican telenovela in Spanish class and there was a mafia leader named Ernesto Salazar. It's called "La Tempestad" if you wanna watch it. I hope you do, it's really good.

I still don’t know how the MafiaAU gained a lot of attention (why did this gained a lot of attention? Can someone tell me the reason? I think we all just want to see Iverson to go down.) but here is Part 2. Oh, I like it. Okay, I’ll name the Dad as ‘Ernesto’. I’ll try to watch that show when I get the chance :) .

Warnings: OOCness, AU, some grammatical errors.


After five years of fighting against a war that was on going for the past ten thousand years, Allura finally got the chance to grant the wishes of her Paladins to temporarily go back home. Sure, there were still loose ends that were supposed to be taken care of but it wouldn’t hurt to let the other planetary leaders to handle it for a while. After all, everyone agreed that team Voltron needed some well-deserved vacation.

Throughout all those five years, Allura learned a lot of stuff from her Paladins and in return she watched them grew more as a human and as a soldier. They taught her how to have fun from time to time and cherish every minute of relaxation with her second family. They taught her that she should not devote her whole life fighting, that she had people watching her back and would never judge her if she would trip and fall. They taught her that it was fine to make mistakes as long as she would learn to reflect upon those said mistakes. And most of all, they taught her to trust them indefinitely.

If there was one Paladin that confused her the most then Allura would definitely chose Lance.

The Blue Paladin initially showed himself as this person that never took things seriously unless it was a life and death situation, flirty in a point that always leave Allura exasperated (but later on she accepted it as part of Lance’s nature and she would not change it in any other way), say things that sound idiotic some of the times but a good strategist especially in abrupt situations like being trapped or ambushed by the enemies. All in all, Lance was a human that always contradicted himself from the way he let others know him. At least that how Allura had perceived it.

Lance even became the face and voice of Voltron when it comes to diplomatic situations. Sure, Allura was the Princess and Shiro was the leader of the Paladins, but they could never mirror Lance’s charisma and the way he weaved his words to gain the favour of important individuals. From these situations, Allura eventually learned that some flirting of Lance was used to make the other person to let their guard down and gain their trust. It was as if Lance was trained ever since he could speak on how to have such silver tongue.

A bit of praise in here, a bit of touch there, a little bit of a dance, a little bit of sympathy, and Voltron already gained a new ally by the end of the night. All thanks to Lance.

Shiro once tried to open the discussion about family backgrounds. Pidge and Hunk ended up crying in that session because they suddenly realized how much they missed their blood relatives. Keith tried to play it down on how he didn’t have a family to miss on Earth but he still didn’t get away from the group hug. Lance simply smiled sadly and mumbled something along the lines of ‘at least I cut off some ties…still miss my Mom’s hugs though…’. Shiro attempted to make Lance to speak more about it but the Blue Paladin remained silent for the rest of the session.

They all changed a lot in the course of five years.

Lance’s changed though was like a flip of the switch.

After that hysteric laughter that one fateful breakfast and with an added disturbing explanation, Lance started acting as if the weight of the world was finally off his shoulders. His shooting skills improved in a speed level that Allura was inclined to think that Lance was born with a gun on his hands. His hand to hand combat didn’t rely on strength alone but more in flexibility. Allura never thought that dancing could also be used as a form of combat. As days passed, Lance gave a few opinions here and there on their battle strategies that ended up with them having low casualties compared to the initial plans.

What bothers Allura the most though…was the way Lance gathered his information. He was not like Pidge that hacks in the system. No, Lance liked to do his information gathering in person. Often times it was the Blue Paladin who corners commanders of the ships they were raiding. Lance would take a lot of time but eventually he would return with more information than they have gathered from the ship’s database. The specks of bloods on his body though didn’t escape Allura, Coran, and Shiro’s attention. All of them have the same assumption that Lance used torture to get what he wanted.

It was an assumption that was never proven but could not be denied also. Allura feared that it was her fault that Lance changed so drastically, that he showed more thirst for blood like a soldier excited for a new battle, all because she pushed her Paladins in a war that they were not aware that was happening in the first place.

But all of it was better left in the back of her mind for now. Today was a day for her Paladins, a few months on Earth would do them some good. They explained to her and Coran that it was much better if the Earth’s government would still remain unaware of the existence of other life forms outside of Earth. Hunk and Pidge told her that humans might be in par with the Galra when it comes to experimenting the unknown. Most humans would rather treat aliens like mindless animals than creatures with feelings. Shiro suggested to them that it was better to leave the Castle of Lions outside of Earth’s radar, meaning they needed to stop out of the Milky Way Galaxy, and just use the pods to get near to their home planet.

Surprisingly, it was Lance who suggested a safe place to land. They left the Castle in the hands of a few friends they managed to have through the years of fighting the Galra empire and set course for the coordinates that Lance gave to them.


Hunk was so excited to finally meet Lance’s family…wait, that could probably be said a bit better but that was what he still meant. Hunk never had the opportunity to visit Lance’s home and family even if they had been friends for years. It was always Lance who visited Hunk during vacations and holidays and never the other way around. So for Lance to suggest a place to land and when he realized that it was the beloved beach that the Blue Paladin always talked about with his best friend, Hunk could not contain his excitement. 

“We’re here!!!” Hunk heard the enthusiastic scream coming from Lance and chuckled himself when Shiro shouted words of caution to their Blue Paladin, which was went unheard due to the happy cheers.

One by one they all followed Lance and soon reached the only building found in the area, at least the area that could only be reached by their eyes.

Through all the years they had traveled in outer space, Hunk saw a lot of vacation houses. He saw a lot and it was enough to say that the one if front of them could be classified as one. The house itself might be 250 square meters, excluding the garden part, it has three floors with a rooftop and balcony. The color scheme was a mix between shades of blue and streaks of white, ocean waves and Earth sea creatures adorned the walls while tropical flowers was engraved in the pillars and glass windows.

Long story short, it was like a vacation house owned by a very rich family.

“¡Bienvenido a mi casa!” Lance said with outstretched arms to emphasize the house behind him, “Well…at least for now. This is not the main house after all. But make yourself at home to my vacation house! Tomorrow we will take a plane to Italy and meet my whole family!” he was about to run away again but Hunk held him firm this time before leaving them behind.

“Wait, Lance, buddy, my friend, what do you mean by ‘going to Italy and meet my whole family’ thing?”

“Also, did you just said that this is your vacation house?! Are you some kind of rich kid here on Earth?!” Pidge was clutching her hair, that has grown past her shoulders, as if it could help her making sense of the information she had just been given.

“Um…oops?”

“Oops? Oops?! That’s all you can say?! Why you—!”

“Relax, Pidgeon!” Lance put his hands in surrender, “Let’s take a rest for now! I’ll answer your questions tomorrow once we got to that main house!”

Pidge was still steaming with mix emotions but decided to let it go with an angry huffed. Lance might be the most talkative human she had ever met but he rarely pull out personal information like family backgrounds.

“Okay now? Follow me!”

As they were walking towards the entrance, Keith asked an important question, “How are you so sure that this place still belongs to you? I mean, it’s been five years, right?”

Lance looked back at the group with a playful smile on his face.

“I just know it. Besides, this place was a gift for me by the Decimo himself.”

Decimo?

That was the question that revolved around everyone’s mind. Allura and Coran was just confused by the baffled expression of the rest of the Paladins towards Lance so they opted to stay quiet. This was not their planet after all. They still don’t know the majority of human customs due to its diversities.

Before Lance could knock, the door suddenly opened and they were greeted by a scene that they thought could only be found by exaggerated movies. For before them, four maids to the right and four butlers to the left were lined in a row. Judging from the posture of the man and woman who opened the door it was safe to assume that they were the heads.

What caught Shiro’s attention though was the banner that was proudly displayed on the wall directly on the path of the entrance. It had the symbol of a beautiful mermaid with her tail wrapped around a bullet and the sides were designed with twin towers. It was a very familiar insignia for Shiro and he was sure he had seen it during his years in Japan.

Everything clicked in though when the maids and butlers spoke simultaneously.

“Welcome back, Young Master Lance Salazar.”

Shiro looked at Lance like he had just seen him for the very first time. The others just felt their jaws dropped at the sudden revelation.

“You’re a Salazar?! As in that Salazar?! Salazar Familia?!”

This time, Lance gave them a mischievous smirk that was clearly up to no good.

“Oops.” There was no remorse or guilt laced tone when Lance said that.


Part 3? Anyone wants a Part 3?

Langst Mini fic

Previous / Next

The Witchy Lifestyle: Shrines, Altars, and Holy Places

Last week, I posted up an article on Domestic Garden Witch about building shrines near trees in a garden in order to provide a space for magic or worship or meditation. The amount of popularity that this article had gained showed me that, at least to some extent, there is a love or desire for building shrines and altars in many places where shrines aren’t necessarily as common as one would like. Indeed, as I walk through the beautiful city of San Luis Obispo, I see a lot of religious diversity - a gorgeous mosque, the imposingly beautiful Presbyterian church in downtown, the historic Catholic mission at the heart of the city, and a pagan boutique on the very same road where we hold our Farmers’ Market.

Each church has its altar. And I’ve been in pagan stores that have community altars. When it comes to shrines, however, I hardly ever see any around here in public spaces. It’s not to say that I don’t see shrines on occasion. There is a lovely salon near where I live which has a gorgeous shrine right in the front of their store for welcoming business and honoring the gods. But I found myself wondering, “could part of this be due to a bit of confusion over what is a shrine and what isn’t?”

The only concrete answer to that question is “maybe.” But in thinking a bit harder, I realized that it would still be good to discuss shrines in a little more detail. As a community, we as witches and pagans talk a lot about altars and magical spaces (or holy spaces, depending on what vernacular you prefer). As such, it’s not uncommon to see a witch or pagan with at least one space in the home which has candles and some sort of religious iconography, either in a simple and clean setup or in as complex a setup as my coven’s Lughnasadh altar.

So much happiness and peace!

But to get back to the point… What is the difference between an altar and a shrine? And what role would each have to play in a tradition?

Magic and Worship In Communal Space

Altars, as I’ve mentioned, are something we see a lot of in the witchy and pagan communities. From aesthetic posts to tutorials, as well as instructions in some spells for how to properly set up an altar. I have yet to see a “starter’s guide” to witchcraft or paganism that does not have a chapter devoted to building and consecrating an altar.

In short, an altar serves a couple of purposes: providing a place for meditation and worship for a pantheon, and anchoring/grounding magical workings done on and near it. In this way, an altar is essentially the Swiss Army Knife of witchcraft. It is in itself a tool, but also houses multiple other tools, such as wands, athames, candles, stones… you get the picture. By itself, an altar need not be religious, and instead serves a much more practical use in magic as storage and anchoring space.

As an anchor, altars are places where we place ourselves into a magical mindset. A circle may be cast around an altar, with the altar being the focus for where spellwork is being done. Like a magnifying glass focusing sunlight, the altar can help concentrate energy to enhance our magical workings. And, in guided meditations, the altar can also serve as a beacon - helping us find our way back to ourselves if we begin to feel that we’re straying too far in the astral.

As a religious space, the altar becomes dual-purpose. In this situation, it is not only used for magical workings, but also for worship - usually to multiple deities in polytheistic traditions. As such, my home altar can be seen with statues for archetypal god and goddess, as well as dragon imagery and more specific symbols for my deities (such as a raven’s feather for the Morrigan, a rose for Cerridwen, a Brigid’s cross for Brigid, and occasionally an arrowhead for Cernunnos). My coven’s altar setup varies depending on who is with us - at times, it is strictly generic, while more often we incorporate the deities and traditions of all present (thus resulting in symbolism for Celtic, Norse, Greek, and Egyptian gods, as well as offerings and symbolism for Hecate specifically… we even sometimes have Christian imagery if we’ve got a Christian witch with us).

It’s this variety and ability to be so generic, coupled with its practicality which makes altars so appealing to so many people. It’s why we’re more likely to see communal altars in a public space than a shrine, and it’s why much of our worship tends to happen around them. But this isn’t to say that shrine’s can’t have a particular role in a tradition.

A Familiar Space, with a Special Face

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to tour some of the historic California missions. Most California schools have us do this in grade school, but as I was older, I was doing this for personal research. And in some of the buildings, I came across areas that were set aside for a specific saint - not part of the main altar in the chapel. This intrigued me, given my Lutheran background. My protestant upbringing acknowledged the saints, but that was about the extent of it. Later on, when I was learning more about Dia de los Muertos, I was further intrigued by the same practice being extended not just to saints, but to family members who have passed away.

The traditions revolving around these two practices are different - shrines to saints have a much different purpose than those built for ancestors. This is something that I understand. But break the practice down to its absolute basic level and you have the same practice being done - a space is being designated for honoring and/or worshiping a specific individual. This practice isn’t limited to saints or ancestors, either. 

A shrine to Buddha in Oakland, CA.

There are many religions that are polytheistic, in which there are further denominations, cults, or sects devoted to a more specific deity (e.g. the cult of Demeter in ancient Greece, or the sect of Bast in Lower Egypt). Even monotheistic and non-theistic religions have been known to construct shrines in areas as a means of honoring or worshipping spirits, or as a way of creating a space in which meditation can be done closer to home.

What sets a shrine apart from an altar is its purpose. While a shrine may occasionally be rather large and grand - it is often described as being almost like a home in some practices (in Shinto, a shrine is quite literally the home of a kami or other spirit) - a shrine may also be very simple, like flowers on the roadside where an accident had occurred.

Indeed, some shrines are built without religion or spirituality in mind. A couple of great examples of public shrines are the 9/11 memorials and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. They are non-denominational shrines dedicated to the memories who have lost their lives in combat or in acts of terror. 

Where is the Line or Distinction?

If my description of shrines and altars sounded very similar to one another, this is because both are closely related. Both altars and shrines: are used for meditation or worship or honoring, are spiritual places, and can be very complex or very simple. Some shrines double as temples, and some altars double as churches.

Ultimately, we can use the terms interchangeably in many situations. But what I’ve discovered is that altars are generally practical and used for magic in addition to worship and may or may not be permanent. Meanwhile, I’ve found that shrines are usually permanent, used exclusively for meditation or worship, and usually to only one or two people or deities.

How Can I Use Them?

First, one of the most important things to consider is how you plan to use a space. Is it for ritual or is it for worship? Is it for honoring ancestors or for worshiping gods?

For me, I consider something an altar if I plan on tearing it down regularly for various reasons (my altar which I frequently picture is an altar because I sometimes tear it down for coven work) and if I plan to use it for magical workings. A shrine, on the other hand, is more permanent and may be used for worship more often than magic in my particular brand of paganism. 

If you plan on constructing a shrine, who is it devoted to? I particular god or spirit? An ancestor? Then use materials on it that are appropriate for that individual and tradition. For instance, if I were to construct a shrine to Cernunnos, I may construct it of wood and place plants on and around it. Then, I may incorporate ethically sourced antlers or bones, as well as a candle or two, and possibly an offering bowl. It may also have an image or statue of Cernunnos, depending upon whether it feels right to do so or not.

If I were erecting a shrine for an ancestor, i would consider that ancestor’s beliefs. For instance, if I were to build a shrine for my grandfather, I would have Christian imagery on or around it, as my grandfather was Lutheran. This is out of respect for him and who he is.

In these two instances, I would have shrines for two different purposes - a shrine of worship to Cernunnos, and a shrine honoring the memory of my grandfather.

In Conclusion…

Regardless of the subject of devotion, shrines can add a particular bit of spirituality to any tradition. Throughout history, we have seen both altars and shrines erected just about anywhere humans have lived. We have a natural tendency to assemble images or symbols in one spot in order to more easily pray or honor someone or some spirit.

Perhaps a shrine is right for your practice? Or maybe an altar is best for your work. Work with what helps you most in  your life!

Blessed Be! )O(

10

>Observer_  (Bloober Team  2017)

On August 15th, the developers behind Layers of Fear will release their new game, >Observer_. Set in a dystopian cyberpunk world, you play as Dan Lazarski, a neural detective known as an Observer. With your augmentations, you can hack into peoples minds to solve crimes all while reliving some of their biggest fears and nightmares. One rainy night you get a call from your estranged son, seemingly in danger and asking for help. Once you trace that call to a decrepit apartment complex in the slums of Krakow, your investigation begins.

This game hit me just like Soma did. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but the environment immediately grabbed my attention and before long, i was immersed completely in the world and its characters. With a mix of Blade Runner, Midgar from Final Fantasy 7, the movie Brazil and the developers own unique touch, the gritty look, feel and atmosphere of Observer are pretty much perfect. We’re talking Rapture/Arkham Asylum/Tallon IV (Metroid Prime), level of detail and quality here. While most of the game takes place in and around a single apartment complex, its size and labyrinth like layout are deceiving. I was often reminded of how Stanley Kubrick purposely built the hotel in The Shining to be confusing and off-putting. You constantly feel a sense of unease at the multitude of tight hallways with rooms that are so close, or at such odd places, they couldn’t possibly fit inside the building. While the observing (hacking minds) parts are interesting, thrilling and a nice change of pace, the true star of the show in my opinion is the incredibly realized “real world” aspect of the game. Whether you’re going door to door learning about the residents, or finding rooms that are open/unlockable and searching them for clues, or simply just exploring this steamy, crumbling, wire-strewn slum, each aspect is immensely enjoyable and rewarding.

Keep reading