it's people like you who make my job very very very frustrating

not the lost princess

because somebody said “write it” when i said this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I’m not the princess,” Liza told the first man who informed her, shocked, how she had the green eyes of the royal family and hair as dark as the late queen’s. She had been joking, of course, pretending to take him seriously as she counted out his change. No one had accused her of being the princess in the first place. Princess Aliara, the last of the royal line of Adamar, had drowned in the Silver Sea ten summers ago. Everyone knew that.

~

“I’m not the princess,” Liza told the old woman, the princess’s childhood nurse, who clutched her hands to her chest the moment she fell off her horse in the castle courtyard. She didn’t want any more confusion than there already was.

There were silver streaks in the woman’s hair and tears in her eyes. “It’s you,” she repeated, as if she hadn’t heard.

“No,” Liza explained, already impatient. “It’s not me. I’m not her.” It was what she had told the royal minister who had been fetched by the man in the shop last week at least seven times by now, but he’d insisted that the other royal ministers had to see her, had to see if she was real, and wouldn’t leave the shop.

“I’m real,” she’d said. “Really annoyed.”

The man’s eyes had filled with tears. That seemed to be happening a lot around her recently. “You sounds just like you did when you were little.”

Liza threw up her hands and told anyone who would listen that this man hadn’t known her when she was a little girl growing up in a costal town far away, but finding out she had lived in some proximity to the Silver Sea only sent everyone into more of a frenzy. In the end she agreed to come, if only because the royal minster would take care of the cost, and the capital city had a real library to visit.

“I’m not the princess, though,” she reminded all the minister’s servants when they bobbed curtsies to her. “Just to be clear.”

~

“I’m not the princess,” Liza told Kara, the girl who had claimed the right to interrogate her first. She was the lost princess’s best friend, or something, and she’d said she was the only one who could possibly tell if this so-called princess was an impostor.

Kara scoffed, hands on her hips and her eyes mistrustful. “Of course you’re not, kid. No one who claims to be Liara is. She’s dead.” But her voice sounded a little more uncertain with each word as she looked Liza over. “So what’s your excuse? What’s your made up story for how you’ve suddenly regained your lost memory and remembered you’re a princess, or whatever?”

Liza glanced around at all the court watching her, still bewildered as to how she was being interrogated as a possible impostor when she’d never claimed to be anyone in the first place, and finally repeated what she’d been saying all day. “My name is Liza. I’m a baker. My parents were bakers before they died. They were not the king and queen. I am not the princess. Can I go to the library now?”

The room filled with deliberating murmurs rather than answers, and Liza leaned back in her seat with a groan.

~

“I’ll give you credit,” Kara said, sounding as if she’d rather do anything else, “you really do look like her.”

“I’m not her,” Liza said, as if repeating it for the hundredth time would make Kara finally believe she wasn’t trying to pretend she was. As if saying it a thousand more times would make half the royal ministers stop thinking she really was.

She wasn’t allowed to go home, not until they’d come to a consensus on her princess-related status. “I’m a prisoner,” she yelled at Alder, the most annoying of the ministers.

“You’re home,” he’d responded fondly, and she’d screamed in a very un-princesslike manner and gone to find Kara, who at least wouldn’t keep asking her if she remember so-and-so-’s name, or how she had tripped on that step and sprained her ankle when she was six.

“When I was six I was frolicking happily on a beach somewhere on the southern coast,” she told Kara crankily. “Not cooped up in this castle.”

Kara laughed derisively. “Oh, honey. Liara’s ship sank near the eastern coast. You don’t even have your story straight.”

But despite Kara’s firm belief that Liza was a liar and a pretender, Liza sensed that her laughter was becoming warmer, and she directed more snide comments at the ministers than she did at Liza. Perhaps, Liza even dared to think, Kara was starting to like her.

Kara noticed that she was being stared at, and half-smiled back. “Don’t be offended. You’re almost as bad of a liar as she was, too. That’s actually a point in your favor.”

Liza rolled her eyes and tugged at Kara’s sleeve to pull her closer. “Show me the way to the library again. I get lost in the halls every time I try to go without you.”

“They say true royalty isn’t capable of being lost in the royal palace.”

“Tell that to the ministers.”

~

“I’m not the princess,” she said automatically, before she’d processed the boy standing in front of her. He was supposed to be the princess’s illegitimately-born cousin, or something. One way or another, he was one of those next in line for the throne if the princess did not magically turn up sometime soon (which she wouldn’t, because she was dead).

“He’d do a rotten job,” Kara had said, curling her lip, when they’d seen him march through the front hall from their little alcove in the balcony. “He can’t be king.”

“Why do you care?” Liza asked, trying to sneak a peak at Kara’s cards.

She pulled her cards away and whacked Liza’s arm lightly with them. “I’m engaged to the throne, silly. The real princess would know that.” But that last sentence was an afterthought. She’d almost entirely stopped accusing Liza of pretending, recently. “And I won’t marry Henry. He makes fun of anyone once their back is turned, and he spreads rumors about whatever he likes, and once he kicked Liara’s puppy because it was in his way.”

“That sounds like an exaggeration.”

Kara shook her head, looking almost grim. This clearly wasn’t one of her jokes. “No. Liara was so angry she threw her shoe at him. Hit him in the head, hard. He was bleeding. It was a big scandal that she would hurt her own cousin, everyone rushed to cover it up with a story about how he fell and hit his head.”

“I take it they didn’t get along?” Now she was worried. If Henry wanted to be king, what would he do to Liara? What would he do to her, if he believed she was the princess? “Is he dangerous?”

“Don’t worry, Liza. I’ll protect you.” She was kidding, her brown eyes soft, but Liza felt a little safer anyway.

~

“I know you’re not,” Henry sneered, and walked past her.

Kara gripped her hand, which was all that kept Liza from running after him to yell about just how many people were pretty sure she was, and how he was a rude, terrible person who would never marry Kara because she wouldn’t allow it, and how someone who kicked puppies was not fit to look at the throne, let alone sit in it, and how, also, he smelled.

He didn’t, but it would have been nice to tell him that. She almost didn’t let Kara pull her away.

~

“I’m not the princess,” Liza said when Alder asked yet again for another retelling of how she’d come to be a baker in a small town far from the castle. She was too tired to go through it again, too frustrated with all these dithering people too scared of having to work out the convoluted succession of a throne that had no obvious heir to accept that their princess wasn’t there to solve the problem.

She was not, however, too tired to notice Henry’s small victorious smile as he sat in the back of the room and listened. Everyone knew that the one year in which the royal throne could remain empty in the wake of the king and queen’s deaths was drawing to a close. An heir would have to be announced soon.

If it wasn’t Aliara— wasn’t Liza— it was almost certainly Henry.

After the horrible, boring meeting was over, she found Kara in the library and bunched up next to her in the window seat too small for two people. “Tell me about the princess,” she said, and Kara complied, because they were both coming to wish, like the ministers, that she was there.

~

One year after the queen of Adamar had passed away with her daughter’s name on her lips, the royal ministers met in the throne room. Liza had denied being the princess to the very last. There was nothing else for it but to declare the heir to the kingdom.

Henry hadn’t stopped smirking since he’d received the message asking him to attend that morning. Kara watched him with a blank face but a sick stomach, thinking how she would never sit on a throne next to his— thinking about running away, grabbing Liza’s hand and running with her back to the beach far from where the princess had died.

It wasn’t fantasy. It was a concrete plan. She had the horses waiting. She felt herself calming as Alder called everyone to attention, knowing that even if they could do nothing for Adamar once Henry was king, at least they could do this.

And then Aliara walked into the room.

No, she glided into the room. She swept in so like a ghost that half the company spooked or flinched, but she was very, very real. She had the green eyes of the royal lineage. She had dark hair braided over her shoulder the exact way the queen used to wear it. She had a smile that was almost, almost smug.

“Please,” Liza said, sweeping a curtsey and lifting her eyes to the sunlight falling through the high glass windows as if she could look any more perfectly innocent. “I must beg your forgiveness. I have been a coward to insist for so long that I could not remember my childhood here, when I have never forgotten my true self. I thought I could bear the shame of never coming forward. I even convinced myself it would be better for Adamar to have my dear cousin as king.” She pressed a hand over her heart. “I’m sorry, Henry, for pretending not to know you, and almost letting this burden fall on your shoulders. But I have seen the light in time. I am here, Alder. I am the princess.”

Henry went pale with fury, meeting her halfway across the wide floor of the throne room and catching her arm so she could not approach the throne.

“Don’t you dare,” he snarled. “We both know you’re a liar. Everyone else will soon realize to. Don’t bother trying to pull it off.”

She yanked her arm back so hard that he was almost unbalanced and fixed him with a glare that had no princess in it and all of the fire she used to pump in her huge ovens at the bakery. “Don’t cross me, cousin. Or do you need me to throw another shoe at your head?”

He faltered just long enough for her to walk past, head held high, and up to the dais. “Come here with the crown, Alder. Careful on the steps. I tripped on them when I was six, you know.”

“Y-yes, princess,” Alder said, hastily coming forward.

She raised an eyebrow, indicating with one hand that there was no one else on the dais with her. “I’m not the princess. I’m the queen.”

~

“I’m sorry,” she told Kara, late that night. It had been a very long day, and her head ached from the weight of the crown, and she only wanted to go to sleep, and she didn’t know if Kara was angry, and didn’t want her to be.

“I’m the one who needs to apologize,” Kara said, stepping closer, reaching out for her hands.

“For?”

“For my false accusations over the past year, of course,” she said with a straight face. “I don’t know how I didn’t recognize you from the beginning.”

“The princess,” the new queen said, unable to figure out full sentences as Kara pulled them closer together, gently pushing strands of her hair back.

“My princess.”

“Yes,” the baker-princess-queen sighed. “That.”

An open call for episode transcripts from our Travelers, struggles in creating the Penumbra as a small team, and why we need your help

UPDATE: Some extremely generous fans have stepped up to organize @thepenumbrapodcasttranscripts , so please head over there if you would like to participate! We are deeply touched by the speedy response to this post.

Hey there Travelers,

Kevin here. Over the thirteen months since the Penumbra’s first episode, we’ve received a lot of requests from fans for access to episode transcripts. Many of you have contacted us with well-reasoned arguments about accessibility for those with hearing and processing disabilities. Many of you have expressed frustration about the $7 Patreon reward level, at which donating patrons get to look at the scripts the actors see.

We’ve stayed quiet on this so far, but we haven’t been ignoring you. We recognize your frustration. We apologize if the packaging of our show has made you feel like we don’t notice you, or listen to you, or care about you. We do. Internally we’ve been discussing this for months – and after debating it and trying a lot of things, we’ve come to what we think is the only conclusion that makes sense given our situation. I’ll tell you the conclusion first, and then move backward to our reasoning:

We are asking for help from you, the fans, in making these transcripts a reality. If fans create a tumblr or website that features fan-made transcripts of every episode, we will gladly post a link to it on our website and promote it whenever a new transcript has been completed.

We have asked for this from you all before, but it understandably got lost in the weeks and months that have passed since. As a result, should fans express interest in creating transcripts, we will be reblogging this post once every two weeks until all of the transcripts have been completed.

We recognize that it is frustrating not having the supports you need to access our show as others can. We recognize that asking fans to create those supports is also frustrating. Please know that we are frustrated, too. We are living a very uncomfortable, very difficult reality in creating this show, and up until now we’ve kept the details of that reality invisible to you all. But if I can ask for just a few minutes of your understanding, I hope I can communicate clearly about the obstacles in the way of us creating these transcripts, which are also, not coincidentally, the biggest threats to the Penumbra’s continued existence in general.

What follows is an in-depth look at my reasoning. If you’re satisfied with the above, hey, skip it! You can find the couple of transcripts we had time to make here (as well as one by a fan who asked to be credited as subtlepuns), so go for it, work together, create a platform for them, and feel free to use what we’ve made to get you started. If you’re still bothered, or you don’t understand why we can’t just make all the transcripts ourselves, I ask only that you read and think about our position, here. It is not one made hastily.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

When you're training let dogs with no background in "discipline" or rules of any sort, do you have to preface to the owner that they will probably never be as well trained as Creed? I imagine you get clients that see him working and want that level from their pet dog. Do you have to tell them it's a complete lifestyle of dedication and training? How do you let them down easy that their dog will never touch the level of Creed's expertise?

Hold on hold on hold on- never?

If the bulk of my clients can’t achieve with their dogs what they like to see in Creed, then I have failed as a dog trainer. My job is not to lord over them how smart and handsome and amazing my dog is or how good I am at dog training, my job is to teach them to become good trainers themselves.

That said, during the first class, I do go over how Creed is different specifically because of how he is a Lifestyle Dog ™ and not a Take Out and Run Sometimes Dog ™. This is typically with my working breed clients who are frustrated that their understimulated rottie/bully/gsd/whatever won’t settle in the house and have no idea about impulse control. With these clients, I typically have to go over the fact that they will not get a dog like Creed if the only thing they do with their dog is a quick walk around the block on the weekends and weekly training classes. These are dogs that you have to change your lifestyle in order to suit, not the other way around.

Similarly with my fearful adults- I go over how our goal is better but not necessarily normal, because not all of these dogs are capable of being “normal”.

Lastly, I bring up the reality that Creed is a dog that has had nearly 3 years of dedicated, targeted training and that he still acts very much like a regular dog when off duty. For some of these clients I might use him as a demo or distraction dog when in class, then at the end let him offleash so he can play with their dog and they can see just how normal he is. A lot of people think he’s some cool robotdog that is perfectly trained (ha!), never wild (ha!!), always on point (ha!!!), never a toe out of place (BAHAHAHAHA)- so for them seeing is believing when I show them just how much of a dog he is. To quote one of my managers- when you see him out of the vest and just being himself, it’s like he’s not even trained. When they see this, they stop beating themselves up about how their dog is not at the level they thought Creed was, because they realize that they had a very unrealistic idea of what it’s like to live with him. As I’m typing this, he’s hitting me in the back with one of his toys because he wants to go outside and play- that’s very different compared to the quietly dozing dog in a tight tuck under my chair at cash register that they see when they sign up.

As an aside- Creed’s level of training is hardly “expertise”. We are in preparation for our BH which sounds cool and fancy until you remember it is the very first level in IPO and mostly just an obedience and temperament test to make sure your dog is capable of trying the harder stuff. He is a trained service dog with two CGC titles and two temperament tests- I suppose you could call him a working professional experienced in his field, but hardly an expert.

Christopher Nolan interview about Dunkirk in Premiere (translated by YFR3)

The popular filmmaker, inventor of crazy concepts, who reigns on global entertainment for ten years, is back. But this time, Nolan is naked : without his magic tricks or his theoretical scrolls. Farewell the world of dreams of Inception, the upside down editing of Memento or the black holes of Interstellar. Dunkirk tells the story of a handful of routed soldiers (Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles …) stuck on a beach, between the Channel’s gray and angry sea and the Germans who fire. A real, brutal, anxiety-provoking and authentic war film. Really ?

Naturally, as always with him, it’s a little more complicated than that … “I guarantee you there’s no SF,” he laughs, welcoming us into the editing room. For its hardcore fans who rewatch frame by frame the two available trailers, to see when the film can twist. No: “Dunkerque will be faithful to events, the reality of history and the reality of places. ”

Perhaps this is where the most “Nolanian” aspect of the project nests. Some people still wonder if, at the end of the dream of Inception, the spinning top continues or not to turn. The same is true for the Operation Dynamo (code name of the evacuation of May 1940). For some people, Dunkirk’s rescue was a victory (340,000 soldiers saved while Churchill was expected ten times less); For others, it was a terrible humiliation (“War is not won with evacuations,” declared the same Churchill). This is this weird episode of the phoney war that Nolan chose to tell through the fate of aviators, sailors, soldiers and civilians. A story full of ambiguity, ideal to play with the genre. There’s always been in this man a desire desire to refuse the constraints of narrative logic, to explode into a thousand pieces the linearity of storytelling. Whatever the genre he confronts, his cinema is based on an art of rhythm and editing that allows him to deploy his incredible immersive mechanics. And that’s what we witness when we get into the editing room at Warner Studios. We see Nolan at work. We see it deconstruct a plan, subtly modify a sound to boost an image and make it indelible (his sense of frame is intact), all with a virtuosity of a killer who knows as well mix formats (prologue mixing 70 mm and IMAX is a visual madness) that learn his job to the most experienced sound engineer. It is this moment that he chose to welcome us and lift the veil (In Premier exclusivity …) on Dunkirk.

PREMIERE : I was very surprised to see how accurate you were in sound mixing. Can you explain what you were doing? 

NOLAN: It’s pretty simple in reality. In the room, the editor on the left is dealing with the music of the film. The other on the right the sound effects.  And at this stage, we ensure the balance, the mix between these two flows. It’s a very subtle process, but when we add these two elements (music and effects), working on hundreds of sound details, we finally define the tone and cohesion of the film.

(Rest of the interview after the jump)

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to fall in lust

“Noona, sleep with me.”

You startle at his words, the pen slipping out of your hands as you manage a feeble yelp. You turn to gawk at him. “What?


In which you really need to study for finals, but Jungkook really just wants to get laid and possibly get you as his girlfriend as well.

tags: college!au, oral sex

word count: 2,920

Originally posted by kookie-bts

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anonymous asked:

Tampon help? I'm new to tampons and periods in general!

A Beginner’s Guide to Periods

General Information

The most important thing to remember is that everybody’s body is different. Don’t be alarmed if your first few periods aren’t what you thought they would be, just go with the flow and give your body what it needs.

Duration: Periods vary greatly in length. Normally they last about a week, but I once met a woman whose period was only 4 days! Mine is 8 days.

Occurrence: Periods are monthly events for most people, and will typically happen during the same timeframe each month. If you have your period on the 14th of this April, odds are that you will have it again around the 14th of May, and so on.

Irregular periods: Some women do not experience a monthly period, or even a bi-monthly period. My period came every two months before I started birth control, which is not ideal. If you have an irregular period you may want to talk to your doctor about regulating it with birth control.

Colors: You will notice a myriad of different colors during your period! Darker blood (almost brown colored) is older uteral lining that was shed several hours previously, while redder blood is freshly shed. You will probably start your period with brown blood, move through your heaviest days with red, and end again on brown. 

Flow: Flow is what we ladies call the rate at which we bleed during our periods. You will need to use different types of pads/tampons to help accommodate the flow changes throughout your period (see tampons/pads/cups).

  • Females typically start and end their periods with very light flow and/or spotting.
  • Every single female I have ever spoken to has told me that her period is heaviest during its second day. I can’t state that this is a scientific fact, but expect that this will be the case for you.
  • Many women experience “false ends” during the last day or two of their periods. You may experience a large amount of time with no bleeding (I actually go an entire day), and may think that your period has ended and that it’s safe to wear nice panties again. WRONG. Your period will return!

Spotting: Spotting is any light vaginal bleeding which occurs at any time other than when a period is due. There are so many reasons why it may happen, most of them hormone related. If you are spotting on a regular basis, call your OBGYN.

Cramps: Cramps are typically experienced in the early stages of your period. You can get them before your period starts (a harbinger of times to come) or even during the first few days of your period. They vary from imperceptible to cripplingly painful. You can’t really do much to temper them, so this is a time for you to focus on yourself being comfortable (see below).

Pregnancy: No you cannot get pregnant while on your period! 

Sex: Yes you can absolutely have sex on your period, and I recommend that you do. Vaginas are at their most stimulated and sensitive during menstruation (not to mention lubed up and ready to go) and period sex is AMAZING. That said, always talk to your significant other about what they’re comfortable with, and remember to use a towel!

Pads/Tampons/Cups

There are so many options when it comes to caring for yourself while on your period! Try out different brands and types of feminine hygiene products to find what works best for you.

Pads

  • Pads are the perfect product for a period beginner, or else someone who is uneasy touching “down there”.
  • They vary in thickness and size, and Always is my favorite brand. You’ll want to use thicker pads for your heavy flow days, lighter pads for your lighter days. The product bag will tell you how many hours each pad is good for, and they’re very accurate representations of when you will need to change your pad.
  • It’s a good idea to buy at least two different thicknesses of pads so that you’ll be able to transition through your period with ease. 
  • You do not need to remove your pad whenever you use the restroom.
  • Pads do not expire, and how many you use depends on what your body needs. If you don’t use an entire pack, save the rest for next month!
  • How to use pads.
  • NEVER BUY SCENTED PADS. 

Tampons

  • Tampons are my go-to feminine hygiene product! I prefer them to pads because pads make me feel like I have two tons of cotton stuffed down my undies. Tampons are virtually undetectable when used properly, I sometimes forget I have them in!
  • You may choose to use a light pad in addition to a tampon. This ensures that the tampon is placed properly and that nothing leaks out. 
  • Like pads, tampons vary in thickness. As they get thicker they get bigger in length. Light tampons are very small, while heavy tampons can be as long and thick as your ring finger. Tampax sells an assortment of tampons that is ideal for transitioning through your flow patterns.
  • I typically go through about half a box of tampons per period.
  • In my experience, store brand tampons are less comfortable than name brand ones like Tampax. Do what works for you!
  • You do not need to remove tampons when using the restroom, but some women opt to. If you choose not to remove your tampon, make sure that the tampon’s string is tucked out of the way when you do your business. I like to hold the string aloft while I pee, to ensure that it doesn’t get wet.
  • How to use tampons. This video is a little silly, but does a good job at thoroughly explaining inserting tampons.
  • NEVER BUY SCENTED TAMPONS.

Cups

  • I have personally never used cups, but I didn’t want to leave them out because they’re becoming increasingly popular.
  • Unlike tampons and pads that have to be discarded after being used, cups can be washed and reused for many years. 
  • This makes them environmentally friendly and 100% cost efficient, because you don’t have to keep going out and buying more every other month. Note that cups will cost significantly more than tampons or pads for this very reason.
  • How to use a cup.

Dealing With Cramps

The rumors are true! Cramps are painful, frustrating, and tiring to deal with. Your ovaries take turns releasing eggs, so you will notice that your cramps will alternate on left and right sides of your body. One side always hurts more than the other!

I highly recommend taking some time off when your cramps first hit. I understand that we all have busy lives and cannot just opt out of obligations. In that case, you absolutely need to tell your female coworkers or fellow students what is going on. 

  • Take aspirin. Cramps don’t all come at once, so make sure to take an aspirin ASAP after experiencing your first wave. You’re not called on to deal with that much pain without light medication.
  • Hot water. This can be in the form of a shower, hot water bottle, even a bath if you can stand it. This helps relax your muscles and therefore relieves the cramps. Btw, women don’t bleed while in water, for whatever weird reason. Take a shower and see what I mean.
  • Chocolate: Get those endorphins flowing! I find that I crave fatty, salty, and sugary foods during my period, and I allow myself to follow those cravings.
  • Tea: Brew yourself a cup of your favorite herbal tea to help relieve some of those cramps. Coffee not so much.
  • Back rub: Ask your significant other (or a good friend) for a back rub to help relieve pain. Have them focus on the lower part of your back, taking special care to massage around your abdominal area.  
  • R&R: Lay on your couch or bed and watch some Netflix. Or else, do something that doesn’t require a lot of cognitive thought. Let your body relax while not doing any physical exertion. 
  • Sleep: If all else fails and you’re feeling miserable, allow yourself a two hour nap. 
  • Birth control: If you have severe/crippling cramps please please please talk to your OBGYN about birth control. Birth control can help reduce the painfulness and length of your menstrual cramps.
About POI’s accuracy on technology

As someone that’s “good with computers” like they say on the show, I’ve been watching Person Of Interest with my geek goggles on. What I saw was so deliciously satisfying that I felt the need to check on the Internet to see if others had noticed how accurate this show actually was. Surprisingly, I didn’t find many posts, there were some, sure, but I was sad it wasn’t praised more. So, I put together a list of the things I noticed were true or really close to the truth. [Geekmode == ON] Here we go : 

1. The most impressive fact is how Person Of Interest predicted the NSA scandal one year before it happened. In 1x22, Reese was sent by the Machine to protect NSA agent Henry Peck who wanted to reveal to a journalist how his agency was conducting illegal surveillance on a massive scale. In 2013, Edward Snowden did exactly that. 


2. The show once mentioned a dangerous virus called Stuxnet whose source code was in the laptop that Reese and Kara were sent to retrieve in Ordos by the CIA (1x20).

In the real world, Stuxnet really exists and is indeed a very dangerous virus. In 2010, Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges.


3. In Person Of Interest, they like to show real code without explaining it. It’s just for fun, they know the general audience won’t care because most people don’t understand it but they also know that geeks notice these things. For example, they showed Finch casually manipulating the real source code of the Stuxnet virus in 4x05:


4. Speaking of Finch, you know how one of his aliases is Harold Whistler, right? We know that he chooses his aliases based on bird names but this one in particular can also be explained by Harold’s past. More specifically his teenage years, back when he used public phones to call people in other countries for free (3x11).

            Btw, the guy on the phone is definitely not French, horrible accent ^^

In the real world, the first hackers were called phreakers, they did exactly what Harold did using… whistles. The blue whistle Harold uses in this scene is the actual model the phreakers used in the 70s, crazy right? It’s in fact a toy that was found in Cap’nCrunch boxes of cereals back in the day. That particular whistle produced a sound that matched with phone operators’ systems and provided to the phreaker a free international line. So, Harold is indeed a Whistler and a good one at that.


5. Still about young Harold, when he built his first computer in 1980, he hacked the ARPAnet (the ancestor of the Internet) which is why he has been wanted by the FBI for treason ever since (screenshot from 3x12).

In the real world, in 1980, someone introduced a virus in the ARPAnet which temporarily halted its functions, they still don’t know who the hacker was.


6. Once again, about Harold, his struggle to accept his creation is already a real life issue. Scientists and engineers are indeed working on building AIs and are facing ethical and moral issues similar to Harold’s. The possibility of a benevolent AI is also mentioned as the only way to avoid a Samaritan-like AI in this very interesting TED talk:


7. In 5x01, Root and Reese stole a truck of Playstation 3’s to rebuild the Machine. I remember smiling at that at first, then I thought about it and figured it would probably work. Of course, in the show, they left out a lot of parameters that would have been needed to make it work and building it should’ve taken at least a day or so but I won’t blame them for that, an episode only lasts 45 minutes after all.


In the real world, the US Air Force actually built a similar supercomputer called « the Condor Cluster » using 1,760 Playstation 3’s. Well done POI, very well done !


8. This one is about Root and is more of a fun fact than technical stuff but still. When Root first appeared on the show, she was this anonymous and mysterious hacker who had managed to break into Harold’s system, which is huge considering how much of a “private person” he is.

So, what is all the fuss about ? Well, when you use a computer, you have a username, right ? All Linux systems have a default user which is called « Root ». So, the root user, also called « superuser » or « poweruser » has full access to everything in the machine. Basically, Root likes to be called a Superuser in her daily life. Now, thanks to my job, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t see root…

                                 Yep, this is me becoming root ;)


9. Other fun fact, in Linux systems, the « admin » user is like a common user, the root account is the only one who can modify the system. Just like Harold is « admin » to the Machine, she is Root to everyone (except Harold, I can understand why he always calls her Ms Groves, it must be frustrating for him to be constantly reminded that she bested him). She’s a hacker so the way I see it, when people call her by that name, they literally recognize her talent (even though they don’t know it), saying she’s so good she can access anyone’s system. Considering how the show ended, I’d say that her name is more than ever accurate… Love you Root, you classy, sassy, badass cinnamon roll.


10. Now, this cool trick that we use at work with my colleagues of the IT department: neodym magnets taken from (old) hard drives are some of of strongest magnets you can find. They’re so strong we use them to fix screwdrivers to the wall but they can also mess with electronic devices. This trick was used by Root in 5x07 to open doors which had an electronic lock. Root, you badass geek, forever in my heart.


I’m choosing to stop here because there’s just too much awesome accurate tech stuff in this amazing show to count!

If some people want to add to the list, or discuss it, I’d love to know your thoughts! [Geekmode == OFF]

First addition to this list by ellainthetardis:

11. When writing code, everything must follow a specific order, otherwise the code will act up and don’t know what to do. Think of HTML and CSS codes, which are what you see in web browsers every day!

The element in an HTML file (or root element) tells all the other elements in the code what to do. What order they should appear in, what to make certain things look like, etc.

So my first thought when I saw Root’s chosen name was this: like the person before me said, Root considers herself a superuser. Add to that the fact that she thinks she’s superior to everyone else, even Harold. Like a code in a string of HTML, she loves telling others what to do and expects them to follow her commands.

She’s always saying “Trust me” because she actually knows what’s the better option here. And also, because even though she thinks (knows) her mind is superior, she is still asking for other people to really believe in her. (And now I’m gonna go cry. Excuse me.)


About POI’s accuracy on technology 2.0 is now posted! It’s here : x

Why Wash, David, and Agent Washington are all acceptable names

So I’ve been waiting for this moment. For a really long time. So… prepare for a long post under the cut. (Mobile users… sorry. :( I feel your pain.)

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anonymous asked:

Hey i hope it's cool to ask you this and not a bummer or anything- what would you say to the claim that worrying about people more is just dean's personality rather than a specific cas thing (and difference with sam in that context)? I'm in a bit of a frustrating debate lol. Feel free not to post this if you think it'll give antis ideas or anything :-) thanks

Hey there! Well - Dean tells us himself he’s the kind of person who feels responsible for everything and everyone, and we know he’s generally a mother hen and a worrier. I think that what’s also frustrating for him is that he’s got great difficulties in properly expressing his feelings, and the result is that the people he cares about the most sometimes end up convinced that he doesn’t, in fact, care at all. Think about Sam crying about this very thing at the end of S8, or Cas who still believes he’s not good enough and Dean won’t want him around, all the way to Mary, the original person Dean couldn’t fix (remember he tried, as a small child, to comfort his mother and promised he’d be there for her and everything else?), and also someone Dean is only now learning, slowly and painfully, to be more open with. Personally, as someone who generally has no trouble understanding what I’m feeling and expressing it, this is the trait of Dean’s personality I find perhaps the most heartbreaking. I’ve met people like that IRL, mostly men, for some reason, and I’ve seen how painful that can be - to know that there’s stuff you should say, but you don’t know what or how and so the thing weighs and weighs on your stomach and people around you mostly think you don’t care at all. 

(Sigh.)

In answer to your question, I think the difference with Cas is that Dean doesn’t know how to do relationships, and he’s aware, on some level, that the way he generally cares about people needs some work as well. 

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Why your art isn’t getting attention from professional clients. | Insight from a client’s perspective.

So a lot of you guys don’t know this, because I don’t like to show my hand, but I am actually an author and the leader of an independent business [we’re JUST getting started so nothing too flashy]; but we’ve got 2 major projects in the works and we’re going to work closely with a lot of artists/designers in the very near future.

As someone who’s been on the “other side” of it, actually seeking professional artists for quite some time, I thought I’d share some insight as to why you’re maybe not getting the responses you want when you submit your portfolio for jobs. 

1: You’re too young.

| When I tell my graphic designer to find an artist, one of the requirements I have is that you must be 18 years or older. I don’t do this to be “ageist”, but there are a lot of things we’d have to take into consideration if we were to work with a minor. Here are just some of my personal reasons why I don’t work with minors.

| +Do you have your parent’s permission? Yes its just drawing, but it’d be frustrating to have to constantly go through your parents every time we wanted to work with you. You are not able to sign any sort of legal documentation [such as a contract to grant us rights to the work] and therefore they’d have to sign for you. 

| +Time vs Workload. In the United States you are legally required to attend school until you are 16/17 years old. You being in class for 8 hours a day, then having homework plus whatever other obligations leaves you a very small window to work for us, vs someone who does artwork full time or controls their own schedule. 

| +Ethics. When adults interact with minors there is a certain set of boundaries and power dynamics that need to be observed. I require anyone who does ongoing work for us to provide a secondary means of communication other than email; this is to make sure we can reach them if there’re any problems. It’d be inappropriate for a high school student [you] to exchange contact information with us, 25-30 year olds. While I know my team and none of them would ever behave inappropriately, this is to protect both us and you. 

So I don’t work with minors period.

2: You require payment up front, but don’t want to sign a contract. 

| When I purchase something online, whether it be from a store’s website or Amazon, I don’t have any problems paying up front. This is because I know it is an accredited retailer with a lot of people and systems in place that ensure I receive what I pay for within a certain window, as required by law. There is also quality control which ensures that I get exactly what I was promised. 

There is no entity that holds you legally accountable aside from me. Even with a contract, the legal process is a strain on time, energy, and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. I’d have to get a lawyer. They’d have to review the contract. They’d have to determine if we have a case. We’d have to wait months for a reply and a court date, then we’d have to show up, and then pay said lawyer: meanwhile for all the time and money spent I could’ve just hired somebody else.

It’s time, its money, its an entire ordeal that isn’t even worth it for whatever work we’re getting 80% of the time anyways. “I promise!” is not sufficient for me to give you a portion of our very limited budget.

If you require your clients to pay anything before you start drawing: expect to sign a contract. 

3: You have no variety/You look just like everyone else.

| I have personally looked through over 140 portfolios submitted to me and I can tell you all but maybe 8 of them: Looked. Exactly. The. Same. Both to each other and to all the other work in your portfolio.

For example: I said I was looking for an anime-style artist for my dark fantasy novel. Every single artist except 8 who showed me their work only had cutesy doe-eyed anime girls posing with pastel colors. They had the same faces, the same body types, the same poses, etc. Which is fine if that what you like to draw. But if you submit to my ad and I’m wondering “okay, but can they do a fight scene? Can they do a different style [chibi? shounen? shojo? etc] What about clothes? Weapons? Different facial expressions? Poses? Different genders? 

[Seriously, why do so many of you only draw young girls/women? 

If I have any male characters (like the protagonist!) then you just disqualified yourself right off the bat! 

Please think about this when you’re putting your portfolio together!] 

Different ages? Different skin tones? Different body types? Hair Textures?” 

- Then I’m going to pick someone else.

No matter what kind of artist you are, variety is so important. Because even if someone says “I need somebody to draw a lamp!” and all you literally draw is lamps- somebody else just submitted a portfolio that looks like an Ikea catalog. Why should I pick your lamps? Especially if all your lamps look the same. If all you draw is one thing and you have no range, it looks amateurish compared to someone who can do what you can plus more.

Telling me “I can draw guys!” when your portfolio doesn’t have one guy in it, vs someone who has male and female characters at the very least- right away I’m looking at them over you. 

| +You never know what someone is looking for. Don’t show them only what you think they’d want to see. It’s always best to show them a little bit of everything you can do. Your portfolio speaks for you. No matter what you tell me, the evidence is right in front of my face. Make sure your portfolio is always an accurate reflection of your skill and range. 

4. You come across as unprofessional.

| This one is a little bit harder to define, but please make sure you present yourself as a professional. Even if you’ve never done this before, approach it like a job interview because it essentially is. 

| +Always use proper spelling/grammar to the best of your ability. At least at first, then once you become more familiar feel free to relax a little. But you want to show people you’re taking this opportunity seriously. Someone who puts effort into their communication vs “lol ok xD” simply looks better. Your personal page/website can have whatever, but the important question you should ask is “how do I want to present myself?” If you come across like you don’t care about whatever you’re doing for me, I’m going to assume you don’t.

| +Keep your page/website active. If your page looks dead then you may get passed over for someone who appears more “present”. It can be as simple as having a blog update every once in a while or uploading a quick sketch of something, or even having a link to a twitter. Something where clients can see “Oh hey, this person is still around.” Even when there’s nothing going on, always try to have recent updates. 

| +Avoid harsh negatives. This is the big secret right here folks! Having your own set of guidelines and boundaries is important for anyone. However, if the first thing someone sees when they go to your page is a giant list of things you “ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT DO!” it makes you appear inflexible. 

A technique I suggest is one I call the “vague refusal”, at least when it comes to professional quarries. Instead of, for example, “NO PORN” a better phrase is “Unfortunately, I’m unable to accept work with sexually explicit themes at this time; however feel free to contact me with any other ideas you have!” This communicates 3 very important things.

|++1: That you understand and sympathize with the client’s needs [Even if you don’t really].

|++2: That you are not necessarily unWILLing, but unABLE [wording is important!]. Even if you’re unable because you’re unwilling- never say you wont, only that you cant. If they ask why then feel free to say whatever, but if a client is professional then they will not challenge your refusal.

|++3: That although you cannot do those things, there are lots of other things you CAN do, and you invite clients to approach you.

[This is a technique often used when it comes to rejection emails.]

“Hi Sarah! Thank you for your interest in a position at ___. Unfortunately we are UNABLE to offer you a position AT THIS TIME, however we will keep your application on file and encourage you to seek employment with us in the future.”

5. You can’t meet their needs.

| Sometimes you just aren’t what they need right now. Maybe your style isn’t what they’re looking for, maybe your price is outside of their budget, or maybe they need more done than your schedule allows for. Chances are it has nothing to do with you personally and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad artist. It just means that they’re looking for a very specific person right now and you simply aren’t that person. Keep drawing! Keep your portfolio up to date! Practice with expanding your range! 

In Closing

I wanted to write this to give a little bit of insight to what goes on in mind of a client who’s looking through your work. Whenever an ad is posted we get hundreds of submissions so it really becomes a game of choosing people who have that perfect storm of prices, quality, and professionalism. Hopefully you guys find this helpful! I had a lot of fun writing it. 

anonymous asked:

Do you think DnP have any sort of resentment towards the phandom? I think it's very obvious that they (or at least Dan) did in 2012 but do you think that they still get frustrated with us? They seem like they are much more emotionally stable these days and are enjoying just being themselves but a part of me worries that the phandom will take things too far and DnP will start to retreat from us again.

Yeah, I am positive they have some resentment toward us, but they’re also adults who realize that the trade off for dealing with something that might be an unwanted pressure and unwanted invasiveness is that they have millions of dollars in the bank and are in the top tier of youtube success stories. In an ideal world their careers would be based on the content they put forth and nothing else, but youtube is about personalities and chemistry and their chemistry is what people see and want to explore more of. 

The next part of my response is something that, from the way you worded your ask, I’m pretty sure you already know. But since I’ve gotten other asks in the past from people being afraid of another 2012 scenario where Dan is lashing out and angry and Dan and Phil barely associate on camera - I’m going to answer it anyway, and hope some of those people whose questions I passed over in the past are still reading. :) 

The thing is, the way Dan acted in 2012 has a lot of context to it. 

Dan was 21.
Dan was very newly popular on youtube, and very new to handling an audience the size of the one he suddenly had. 
Dan was nowhere near as comfortable expressing sexuality as he is now. 
Dan and Phil were still struggling financially. 
Dan and Phil were trying to make sure they locked down the BBC job. 

The actions of fans also did not happen in a vacuum uninfluenced by anything else besides fans just being awful. The vday video was unprivated, and people reacted to that. That was the catalyst; a disastrous, from their perspective, occurrence that as ultimately no one’s actual fault and no one - neither fans nor Dan and Phil - knowing how to handle it. 

It’s extremely implausible that another scenario would arise where Dan and Phil are suddenly outed to a large audience of people who treated them mostly like any other RPF pairng before. But even if it did happen - Dan and Phil aren’t the same people they were five years ago. 

Dan is 25, almost 26 now. 
Dan is very comfortable with how he expresses his sexuality and being perceived as not straight. 
Dan and Phil have had years to learn how to handle their audience.
Dan and Phil have very stable careers and no financial concerns. 
Dan and Phil, together, are extremely comfortable being perceived as a unit.

So tl;dr -  I do not think Dan and Phil retreating from us is something you really need to worry about. :)  

(Until they adopt a kid. Then we are gonna be shut out of their lives so fast, bc no fucking way do I see them raising a kid for our entertainment pleasure.) 

What caused VFD’s schism?

How staggering to believe people such as Count Olaf or Jacques Snicket once belonged to the very same organization! Surely it would take an immensely traumatic event, a dramatically expanded argument to lead likewise individuals on such different paths. On one side, a cohort of thieves, murderers and arsonists, determined on stealing fortunes. On the other side, a secretive alliance of researchers and experts evading persecution. Did they ever have anything in common?

“It’s complicated and confusing,” Olivia explained. “They say that long ago it was simple and quiet, but that might be a legend. There was a schism in V.F.D., a great big fight between many of the members, and since then it’s been hard for me to know what to do.
[The Carnivorous Carnival, Chapter Seven]

There is something quite absurd about this conflict. Actually, Kit and Dewey believe the Schism happened when they were about four years old, which means that most of the adults of "A Series of Unfortunate Events” are probably too young to remember it anyway. The origins of the Schism are so obscure they border on mythology: children follow their elders’ instructions without questions, and with each generation, more and more knowledge is lost. Does anyone actually understand what the Schism involves at this point?

Let’s try to move beyond the fog of war and carefully analyze the strategic dynamics of VFD before and after the Schism. Only then will we propose a frightening theory on the reasons which led to this great divide… after the cut.

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Exclusive Interview: Dustin Lance Black (and his husband Tom Daley) in Paris!

It was just before their surprise wedding, on May 8th: TÊTU met the director Dustin Lance Black and his fiancé, the diver Tom Daley.

Dustin Lance Black was the surprise guest of the Mania series in Paris. The filmmaker, Oscar winner in 2008 for the screenplay of Harvey Milk , came to defend When We Rise , his mini-series tracing 40 years of LGBT activism in the United States from the early 1970s to the present. On this occasion, TÊTU met exclusively the 42-year-old filmmaker to discuss his series, of course, but also the future of militancy and his next projects. While at her side, her husband, British Olympic diver Tom Daley, was watching …

TÊTU: Your series When We Rise is aimed at an audience that knows nothing about the LGBT movement but about homosexuals, right?

Dustin Lance Black: Together! The show has been designed for a large audience but LGBTQ community members do not know much about their own story! That’s why I said yes to ABC. In recent years, I have received several proposals from other networks to work on similar projects. We would surely have had more money, more time, but in the end we would have preached converts! We would have addressed a public already sensitized. For ABC, it was necessary to build a series that people who are not from the LGBT community are able to understand. That’s why When We Rise does not start with LGBT activism, but with young people who campaign in feminist movements, for peace or for civil rights …

You were not afraid that ABC, Disney’s chain, would water down the series?

DLB: I wanted to work with them! I heard a rumor that they were trying to develop a project around LGBT issues. I asked to meet with the leaders of the chain to see if they were serious. When I realized they were, I told them “I’m going to need a year of research,” which is very long for them. They said “no problem”. It was inspiring because ABC was the only channel I had the right to watch when I was a kid. I grew up in a Southern family: Conservative, Military and Mormon. ABC was the only channel my mother let me watch because it is a family network. This show is the opportunity to touch children who, like me younger, may feel alone in the world. It is even the only reason to do it! You know, Nobody makes money with this kind of project. If you do this job for big checks, go write movies where the guys wear capes!

You started working on When We Rise long before the election of Donald Trump and yet the series resonates terribly with what is happening today in the United States. Or with what could happen in France …

DLB: Or in the UK with the Brexit! (He turns to Tom Daley) It’s your fault Tom, you started this bullshit!

Tom Daley: I know! (Laughter)

DLB: More seriously, I started writing the series four years ago. At that time, we were experiencing a very progressive and exciting time in the United States in the evolution of LGBT rights. And already at the time, I was afraid. Fear because we, the people of diversity, had lost our connection to each other. Yet there was a time when we were all in solidarity. Not only the LGBTQ, but also people who pray for another god, people from other countries, people whose skin color was different, workers … But we ended up dividing. Thunderstruck by our own struggles. We have forgotten that we must also fight for our brothers, for our neighbors, as well as for us. To say that is not politically correct. It’s being smart! If minorities do not work together then we will be easily defeated! My series puts forward several ideas, but one of the most important is that each of us on this planet, in your country as in mine, we are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England. We are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England. We are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England.

Condensing 40 years of LGBT history in 7 episodes is a real challenge …

DLB: And if we remove the ads, there is only 6 hours of program! I have a lot of rushes, maybe one day I would make a director’s cut! (Laughs) But there are tricks to get by. The first is to be very strategic and very determined on the story we want to tell. The challenge is not to tell the life of every person in the LGBT movement, only a handful of them who created a family in San Francisco to survive homophobia. It is their history, their perceptual. There are other LGBTQ heroes whose lives have not yet been told, many struggles that have never been described. I heard the frustrations of LGBT people telling me “you have not talked about this person! From this place ! Of this struggle! Instead of annoying me, it made me very happy. I said to myself, "Okay, I laid a frame, your turn to tell these lives! People begin to understand the power of history. This is something we have not had so far in the LGBT movement: a popularized and easily accessible story.

Can we see your series as a response to Stonewall , the film by Roland Emmerich, to whom many have criticized taking too much freedom with the reality of the riots in New York?

DLB: Let me tell you one thing: Roland is my friend. He has donated a lot of money to a number of causes, particularly in favor of LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles. He saved heaps of lives and I love him. So I may not be the right person to ask this question … He made me read a version of his script and I told him what I thought. When I was researching When We Rise , I had interviewed Stonewall survivors. Two have since died. I sent the recordings to him and said, "These interviews are yours. You can do whatever you want. In a way, I see how he got closer to what I sent him but I also see how he got away from it … But in the end, it’s his film. I often tell my film students, When it comes to writing about a true story: each filmmaker must decide how much he wants to twist the truth before filming. I want to twist it as little as possible.

Is that why you want the activists whose lives you depict to be consultants on the series?

DLB: I try, as far as possible, to interview myself the people who have lived the things I want to tell. I do not like to rely on books or interviews. Interviews are often edited and a book is always the point of view of its author. When I write, I want to come closer to the truth to create an essential story. For opponents of equality will always try to say: "None of this has happened! And I refuse to give them that power. Even before the series was broadcast, American ultra-conservatives were already saying "this is all wrong! I was able to answer them: "The people who have lived through these events are there to tell you that everything is true. You will not snatch our history from us! ”

You wrote Harvey Milk , J. Edgar , Part 8 , Now When We Rise … Are you the one-man man: LGBT history?

DLB: I started as a screenwriter for series like Big Love , where I was mainly talking about my Mormon education. I’ve also produced, Prophet’s Prey , a documentary about the Mormon Church and I will soon begin a mini series with Ron Howard, Under the banner of Heaven . This is another side of me, which has nothing to do with my homosexuality but it remains related to my experience. To be an artist is to be endowed with a history. The more complicated the better! (Laughs) And the more one puts oneself in a narrative, the more it becomes universal. For example, at this time,

Why are you looking at Tom?

DLB: Because Tom is the symbol of romance! (he smiles)

TD: And I’m the star of his film!

DLB: Do not say that, it’s going to make the front page of all the English tabloids! I would like to make this film next fall. And I also work on a biopic by Byron Rustin (a close adviser to Martin Luther King), who was also gay, for HBO. There is so much to tell because LGBT history has been buried for so long. Women’s movements or for racial equality have had the right to films! And it gives people inspiration. Thanks to them, they feel less isolated. All this work has not taken place on LGBT history. Forty years ago, in the United States, you were at risk of electroshock, lobotomy or prison treatment just for writing this story. We lost time because at the time, to do what I do today, the price to pay was too high. And if my mission is to rectify that,

When We Rise episodes are available on Canal Plus Series

@ask-tina-after-dark

Newt’s first letter to Tina can be found here and her reply can be found here.

Tina,
Miss Goldstein,
Tina,

Miss Goldstein,

In your last letter you said that we are friends.  Friends?  Yes.  That must be what we are.  I had been so sure – so hopeful – No.  So sure that something more than that was between us.  I had thought – when you asked me about Leta, when you were so devastated to see me go – that you felt something – romantic – but I see I was wrong.  It comes as no real surprise to me, of course.  Very few people are interested even in friendship with me and even fewer in something more.  This is why I have not written in so long; I did not know how to respond.

I apologize for not having written in so long.  I have been very busy with my manuscript.  My editor keeps sending it back with more corrections, which is extremely frustrating.  Every time I think we are done, he sends it back to me with more ideas he has of how to change it.  Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that he sends the same ideas, but as they are all bad ones, I refused to made the suggested changes.  If his goal was to wear me down, he has succeeded, however; I have kowtowed to his will and have made the edits he seeks. This should, hopefully, mean that my book is on its way to being printed.

You ask why I would wish to travel halfway around the world for your sake.  What can I say, Tina?  I misread the situation.  It is something that I do.  I had promised myself that Leta would be my last mistake in this regard, but, much as with my manuscript (at least according to my editor), I am doomed to repeat my mistakes.  As it is, I have promised you I will return, and I do not break my promises.

Thank you for keeping your eye on the Magical Meteorology department.  I should like to know how Frank is doing; I assume he has made it to Arizona by now.  I hope he is happy.  I am not.

I am glad at least that I have (it sounds) effected a change of your perception on the subject of wizard-Muggle relations.  You cannot imagine being parted from someone you love, but as someone who has experienced this in the past, not to mention the present, I can assure you it is very unpleasant.  I sincerely wish the best for your sister.  I could see how much she cared for Mr. Kowalski, and I know this is far from easy for her.  If only you could see how much I care for you.

I hope that things at work have since calmed down.  I am glad to hear that there is no outright hostility between you and Madam Piquery – I imagine that that would make an already difficult job even more difficult.  But I know you could handle it even if that was the case.  My comments were not flattery but truth.  You amaze me.  You always will. Congratulations are of course in order, Miss Goldstein; to be back on the Investigative Team is no small thing.

All is not well in England, at least as far as I am concerned.  Thank you for your inquiry as to my well-being.  I also hope that my manuscript will be finished with all haste.  If only you anticipated my return on my account rather on only my book’s.

Regards,

P.S.  Call me Newt.

learningtodolivingtoserve  asked:

I just finished my first year of undergrad, and while I've shadowed at a vet clinic before, I'm about to start a job as a veterinary assistant. While I'm super excited, I'm also extremely nervous. Any advice for starting a first job at a vet clinic?

Ooh fun question!
Congrats on finishing your first year and getting your first job as a vet assistant!

I volunteered/shadowed on and off from when I was 12-18, then got my first job as a part-time assistant at a general practice when I was 18-22, and now I’ve been working full-time as an assistant at an emergency hospital for the past year.

So much comes to mind, so this may be pretty long.

———-

-Be willing to learn! Accept that there is a lot you don’t know, and always be willing to listen and learn from more experienced people.

-Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors questions about cases. Most are more than willing to answer and explain.
(Everyone there who is more experienced has been where you are now one day in their life - when you become an experienced person, remember what it was like to be a nervous, new assistant.)

-Don’t be afraid to ask the other assistants/techs for help. If you don’t know how to do something, it’s a million times better to ask than to guess and do something incorrectly. (Same goes for clarifying what you’re ALLOWED to do.)

-On the same note, if you don’t know how to do something, but want to learn, say so, or the experienced assistant/tech may just do it FOR you.

-Restraint. Start with the nice ones!
If you’re not comfortable restraining an aggressive animal - SAY SO.
Don’t be afraid to use muzzles, e-collars, comforters for big dogs or cat-muzzles, e-collars, towels for cats - they don’t hurt the animal and they help keep everyone safe. Despite what the owner believes, the dog CAN breathe through the muzzle (be careful with muzzles and vomiting patients though).
Sometimes you can even distract patients with food (make sure they’re not on a special diet or NPO or anything). You can also pet their heads (if they’re not aggressive, just squirmy) or tap their heads gently with a pen (if they are aggressive) to distract them.
If an animal is really stressing themselves out or has a high possibility of hurting you or someone else - tell the doctor. Medical restraint (drugs) is great!
There are so many different ways to restrain animals of different sizes and temperaments for different procedures, that I don’t even know where to start. You’ll learn over time! Always be cautious. Even the nicest animals will bite when scared or in pain. Watch out for teeth and claws, but also those sneaky back feet and headbutts.

-Bring a notebook! Write down any questions you have (if it’s too busy to ask them) - you can look them up yourself, or ask them later. Write down things you learn, write down instructions on how to do something new, etc. (I actually looked back at my notebook from a year ago and had some fun reading my old questions).

-Bring snacks/drinks. My GP (general practice) shifts were 12 hours, my ECC (emergency and critical care) shifts are 11 hours. It’s a long day!

-Wear good shoes. When I started working, I wore converse sneakers and my god did my ankles hurt. It’s constant standing and walking - buy good walking sneakers!

-Everyone has their own way of doing things. If it’s something menial, take everyone’s methods into account and form your own way. If it’s something important, find a high ranking person (doctor, practice owner, head technician) and get it clarified which way YOU should do it.

-Try to keep busy! If you don’t know what to do, ask anyone if there’s anything you can do to help them. If not, you can always sweep/mop/clean. Your coworkers and employers will definitely take note of it.

-Check on patients. Maybe this comes from my emergency experience, but you can never check on patients too often! From something small like pee sitting in the cage, to a change in breathing patterns, you don’t want anything to go unnoticed for too long. If anything looks abnormal to you - ask for a second opinion.

-(May be targeted more toward Emergency.) Learn normal vitals. These are your first indicators of something going seriously wrong. Learn what a normal heart rate is for a small/medium/large dog and for a cat (and how it sounds!), learn a normal respiration rate, and normal gum color. Not as urgent - but temperature too. A change in vitals may be a normal occurrence of a disease process or side effect of medication, but always bring it up to the doctor just in case.
Hopefully you’ve been around mostly healthy animals before shadowing, so learn what “breathing weird” looks like, and whether it’s increased effort (dyspnea) or increased rate (tachypnea)… or both. You hear about pale gums and cyanotic (blue/purple) gums a lot, but if you ever get to see them, take note of what they actually look like on a living patient. Mentation is important too - is that crazy energetic puppy suddenly only glancing over at you when you open the cage door? That cat who wanted to kill you an hour ago not even hissing when you disconnect his fluids?

-(May be targeted toward emergency). Triage. In the emergency room, we triage everything. In GP, we did not. Sometimes it’s obvious, like a patient hit by a car needs to be rushed straight back, and a puppy hopping around for a vaccine appointment does not. But if you get a chance to look around the waiting room, take a look at the patients. Take note of any abnormal breathing, mucous membrane color, a patient lying on its side (laterally recumbent) and not really reacting to its environment. Sometimes owners don’t realize how serious of an emergency they have. It’s important to pick out the important pieces of information from what owners tell you. You’ll learn how to ask the right questions.

-Double check your math. If your doctor gives you medication doses in milligrams, you’ll have to convert them to milliliters. Even if you’re just filling oral meds in the pharmacy, you may need to figure out how many tablets equates to the right number of milligrams. Double check your math. Triple check your math. Ask someone else to check it. Check it until you’re confident. (Soon you’ll get an idea of “that seems like a really high dose”, is it written correctly?)

-Be clear. Working around other people who know a lot about animals and medicine gives us a skewed perspective. Don’t assume every owner knows something that’s “common sense” to you. Be very clear with explanations or medication instructions. 

-Label everything! If you have a pill just sitting somewhere, that’s extremely dangerous. Always write the type of medication, the dose, and the patient name. If an owner drops off treats for their pet in the hospital - label it! If you have a pet temporarily in a cage, write his name (you definitely don’t want patients getting mixed up and getting the wrong treatments). Label everything!

-Always keep a record, write things down. When the doctor asks you 8 hours later what diet you fed a specific patient this morning when there’s 20 other in-patients, you’ll be glad you did!

-Be nice to clients. People are frustrating, some people are very rude, but get used to your “customer service” persona!

-If you don’t have qualifications, be careful answering client questions. Depending on the rules of your practice, you may not be allowed to answer certain questions unless you’re a doctor. Unless the doctor explicitly tells you that you can tell an owner something, always tell the client that you will have the doctor come right in to talk with them.
Unless it’s a straightforward question like, “Has he vomited today?”. (I’m talking about questions like: “When are we gonna decrease his medication?” “When can he come home from the hospital?” “Do you think he’s gonna live?” “Have his kidneys gotten worse?”)

-Learn how the front desk works! Just because you’re working as an assistant in the back doesn’t mean you should be confined back there. In my first job, the front desk was completely separate from the back treatment area, and none of the assistants knew how to work the front desk. Sometimes it’s busy or you need to cover someone for lunch, and you should learn how to check someone out, book an appointment, answer a phone call. It’s very helpful to understanding how the practice works as a whole. 

-Clean up after yourself. If you make a mess, don’t leave it for someone else to clean up - this is a good way to annoy coworkers, haha. Of course, this isn’t always doable. Sometimes it gets busy, and everything turns into a mess at once.

-Respect the dead. Everyone in the medical field gets calloused to death/euthanasia because we have to. As sad as it is, sometimes euthanasia really is the best option for a suffering animal. We see death so often that letting every death tear us apart emotionally would be unsustainable. (Ever see that Scrubs episode where they talk about a patient dying, and how his whole family is taking the day off, but all the doctors have to move right on to the next patient a minute later? They say how they make jokes because it’s the only way to cope.)
All that aside, have some respect for the patients. It’s okay to be emotionally calloused, but don’t be disrespectful. Don’t throw patients into body bags. Remember that this was someone’s best friend for a number of years. Treat them how you would want your deceased pet to be treated. 

-That’s a good overall rule. Treat your patients how you would want your own pet to be treated in a hospital. 

-Shadowing is a lot different than working. I’ve heard stories of people who graduate veterinary school, and all their experience is shadowing. They’ve never worked as an assistant or a technician, and when they handle their first patient, it’s clear they’ve never restrained a fractious cat. When shadowing, you just kind of stand there and watch. Your whole purpose for being there is to watch and learn - so you get to see all the “cool” cases and procedures and ask questions whenever. When you’re working, you may miss a “cool case” because you’re busy restraining the dog with an ear infection. But you learn what it’s REALLY like to work in an animal hospital on a daily basis - your future career! And it taught me a huge amount. A recent veterinary graduate told me that having all this experience working will help me immensely in veterinary school. Instead of just learning the concept of a disease in school, you’ll be able to relate it to that patient who HAD the disease and what the symptoms actually looked like.

——-

Good luck! 

chocolatequeennk  asked:

One word prompt: Chocolate

Title: Frustrated Inspiration (part 1/3)

Rating: Teen

Relationship; Ten x Rose

Notes: OK, so this is the first of my prompt fills for my Milestone Fic Giveaway (from a couple of months ago). Sorry it’s taken me so long to get to them! Nancy, I know this is probably not quite what you were expecting (and there’s a wee bit more than there was supposed to be, ahem, sorry!) but I hope you like it anyway! Thanks so much for all your support!

Just a few housekeeping things- the fi is c a LOT longer than I intended so I’ve decided this will also double as my @timepetalsprompts fic for the week, for the ficlet prompt ‘frustration’. There are actually two more chapters of about the same or shorter length, so if people (especially you, Nancy!) are interested, I’ll post them. :) The silliness ran away with me here, so I’ll understand either way.

Oh, and to those who are worried, there are no illicit drugs in this fic! It’s all very innocent. LOL.

And now, I present to you….Frustrated Inspiration! Now complete! Parts 2 and 3 available on all sites below!

Also on A03 and Teaspoon.

Tumblr Ch 2

Tumblr Ch 3


“It’s what?”

“Inspiration!” the tall, green guard assured her.

Rose stared. “But it’s chocolate.”

“Ah, it certainly looks like chocolate, it smells like chocolate and even tastes like chocolate, but I assure you, Dearest Lady of the Fluffy Very Shrunken Tunic, that it is indeed edible Inspiration, and it is my most humble honour to guard it.”

“Fluffy shrunken…oh, my jumper.” She waved her hand dismissively. “Right, never mind that- what’s in it, then? This inspiration?”

“Alas, that is a secret known only to the Inspirators Most High, the Guardians of Gabble, the Lords of the Lingo, the Counts of Creativity. It is made in secret on the first night of the month of Opening and distributed throughout the land in secret, O She Of the Fluffy Pink Quite Small Tunic ,Whose Fluffiness is Unsurpassed Through the Ages.”

She sighed. “You been sniffin’ this stuff on the job, then?”

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anonymous asked:

your writing has also inspired me to try my hand at it again; i have ocd and it feels like a constant struggle for words, phrases, things to say in general, etc. do you have this problem too and/or any tips? my brain feels like it's totally useless and maybe i'm not suited to be a writer

writing is a learned habit. no one is born stringing together eloquent phrases, it’s something you learn over time.

ok, so, personal details: i was on medication for a long time that had a side effect of taking a mallet to my memory and cognition. in a short period of time i went from being able to write as easily as talking to struggling to remember simple words, having a conversation was embarrassing bc i had to keep stopping to plan out what i had to say, etc etc etc. it sucked a lot. i lost my job in print media, i couldn’t maintain my monetized blog, and i was a real turd to really nice people and ruined a lot of good friendships. it suuuuuuuucked and i was not a very nice person to be around. very, very angry at this time, and i took it out on people who didn’t deserve it one bit bc i was scared of losing what was (and will be again, i hope) my source of income, and my marginal talent and the one thing i was good at.

but! i finally went to a new doc, i was yanked off the medication and put through neuro bootcamp with a specialist. i was diagnosed with a non-traumatic brain injury and was rehabbed in the same way as someone with an early intervention stroke. rebuilding plasticity, learning to hold chains of thought again, articulating ideas verbally and written, etc etc etc. my oc is basically a working model of being able to finally lock down a thought and remember small details.

like, tmi, who cares, but all of this horseshit has made me super conscious of writing as a learned activity, and what it’s been like to go from being able to write easily to getting frustrated and upset that i couldn’t take the words in my head and put them on paper any more, or hold on to a thought long enough to be able to articulate it.

so i think my advice is to disregard advice about ~the sanctity of the craft~ and keep your expectations bite sized and make your work accessible to yourself.

i moved my stuff to google docs and have the docs/drive app on my ipad and iphone, as well as access on my laptop and desktop. if i have a moment free while watching tv or sitting in an uber or w/e i can look at whatever story is on my mind and write a single sentence or change a word or just reread what’s there. having it in my pocket to look at while i’m on the can instead of having to go make the active choice to sit at my pc takes a lot of the pressure to perform away.

if the words don’t come then ok, maybe not now, i can just do something else and see if the pieces fall into place a bit later and not get stressed about it. there’s always time when it’s just a matter of picking up my phone.

and the bite sized bit is really important to me. do what you can, but do it on a regular basis. if i write a single word tomorrow and nothing else comes out then i don’t sweat it, because one word is a whooooole lot better than no words. if i get a paragraph down, great! if a page comes out, great! if i move a few words around and suddenly a sentence flows better, then great! it’s all better than nothing.

don’t measure yourself against other people’s productivity (and in my case i can’t measure myself against the productivity i used to have). a thousand words at lunch is their thing, not necessarily your thing. it’s never gonna be my thing again for years, if ever, and i’m getting better at being ok with that!

i think that’s it. everyone can write in one way or another, but a lot of writing advice is too high falutin’ with the ~art of the craft~, not ‘how do i get the words down when it’s like pulling a tooth just to hold onto a thought and sitting down to capital w Write is a one way ticket to frustration’. it’s just reducing it down to building your story brick by brick, word by word until you can look back at it and go, yep, that’s pretty much done.

i hope this helps.

Some Thoughts on Bismuth (Part 2: The Crystal Gems)

Coming off my last post on Bismuth, I wanted now to discuss the differing ideologies Rose and Bismuth had during the war and why I feel they’re significant. So I’m just going to jump right in with the theme of: The context of war changes values.

1. Bismuth believed shattering the elites would remove the oppressive hierarchy

I think at the moment, there are very polar reactions towards the idea that Homeworld gems should be shattered in battle.

But we also need to approach Bismuth like a time capsule. She hasn’t seen anything since the middle of the war, when the CGs were probably losing, many of their friends were lost, and Homeworld was closing in. Since then she has had no catharsis, no healing, no closure. That anger is still as raw as the day she was bubbled.

I’m certain Bismuth wasn’t the only Crystal Gem to think that the only way to truly be free of Homeworld was to destroy it. I think this is why Bismuth even brought up the idea of the Breaking Point

People do desperate things in times of extreme. I brought up in the last post, why Rose didn’t want to make use of the Breaking Point. It’s not that the CGs wanted to lose, it’s that the CGs stood for choice, individuality, and change and ending the lives of their opponents spits in the face of that, because they’d be taking away their ability to change. A weapon like this would also lump together all Homeworld gems, no matter what their reasons for fighting, which from the Homeworld gems we’ve seen, is a smattering of widely different reasons.

Bismuth believed that Homeworld had to be stopped permanently. She saw each soldier as an agent of Homeworld’s regime. From her perspective, for as long as there were people who stuck with HW’s oppressive system, who were willing to be oppressed by the “upper crust” and “elites” she despised so much, no gem could be free. 

Her fight is directly against those at the top tiers of Homeworld’s hierarchy. She mentions them repeatedly in her pep talks and when she shows Steven the Breaking Point. And to an extent, there is credence to her views. By not joining the Crystal Gems, the other members of HW are implicitly granting the system more power, and a stronger foothold in their lives. The “upper crust” are in the position to begin changing the system but don’t.

In sociology, analysing a social group in terms of a dominant group controlling or fighting against another less dominant group is the conflict-theory perspective. It’s very effective in terms of riling people up and making them angry towards a particular group of people. Why are certain things happening? The elites do it to maintain their power and keeping us down.

This is what Bismuth sees. Given her role as a mason and then later a blacksmith, we can understand why. She’s always been at someone’s service. Even when she decided to be what she wanted to be, it seemed as though being a blacksmith was all she could be. War can do that. It compartmentalises jobs and roles because it’s sometimes necessary. War erases the individuals and their faces and labels them as “good versus bad,” “us versus them.” 

Sometimes, that’s the only way to justify why you’re fighting and killing people in the same boat as you, but on the other side of the river. Dehumanising the enemy has been a very effective way to rile people up for a long time now. The Ancient Greeks called everyone who didn’t speak Greek a Barbarian. In the World Wars, propaganda was used for this exact purpose.

It’s not a pretty picture, and I would definitely not say that Bismuth was plotting all of that charismatic talk for the express purpose of getting people to shatter Homeworld gems. I would say though that her thinking is a product of the time. Rose couldn’t and never wanted to police everyone’s thoughts. This was how Bismuth, and many Crystal Gems felt about the war: Frustrated, vulnerable, angry. 

I’m certain Bismuth didn’t want to use the Breaking Point after the war. She wanted it to be peaceful. But she’d introduced that weapon already. In the last post, I mention that HW would have been engaged in an arms race, and that’s something that could lead to even more loss of life.

When the Gems are watching Lonely Blade, it’s foreshadowing for how Bismuth thinks. Why is it wrong for Lonely Blade to accept limitless power in a fight? He needs it, right? Bismuth was upset with Rose because she brought up this idea to help the CGs, to make the battle tilt in their favour. But Rose, and now Steven at that point, made his own views clear. The answer is no. 

We don’t know exactly how the conversation went, but she was set off by the words Steven had used. This means Rose did try to reason with her but as I’ll explain later, it probably didn’t go as well as Steven’s. So Bismuth’s long time friend and trusted leader declined and pushed aside a solution that could help them all.

The circumstances are different, but it’s very similar to the exchange Peridot had with Yellow Diamond. Given the resource shortage on Homeworld, why should we just destroy Earth? Why can’t we just keep it as a colony with its organic life, which can also be utilised, intact?

In both these situations, we have one gem facing her leader with a solution she thinks is best for their struggling population. And the leader whom they’ve looked up to for the longest time, immediately shuts them down.

Peridot had logical research to back her up. Bismuth was witnessing the horrors of war firsthand. Of course they’d be angry about it. The difference here is that Bismuth was acting based on that frustration and she wasn’t thinking thing through. If she’d shattered the Diamonds as she intended, the system would still remain and someone would take their place and the cycle would perpetuate. In fact, it’s martyrdom to watch your leaders be shattered by someone they’ve been labelling the enemy for a long time now. It would only reaffirm what war propaganda Homeworld has been telling their people.

2. Rose understood that the system hurt everyone, but she didn’t believe Homeworld would change

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Kris Wu: My Time Has Just Begun

ELLE MEN December 2016

Kris Wu celebrated his 26th birthday with the release of his new song. This youth, contradicting and full of endless possibilities, had also begun to understand the real meaning of life and come to an age of accepting regret, therefore having to work even more firmly to treasure time. He said that, his time has just begun.


It was just slightly over half past seven when I had stepped into Shanghai Gymnasium and realised that I was already late. The lights were switched off, and I found myself surrounded by a sea of hundreds, thousands of phone lights. “Happy birthday to you” a medley of high and low voices rang throughout the venue like waves, each subsequent time resounding with increased excitement. This was Kris Wu’s 26th birthday party, and although he had yet to appear on stage, the air was bursting with excitement, as if it was a balloon that would rupture at any moment a scream were to pierce the air. When he finally emerged rising from the center of the stage in a silver jacket, without a word, screams erupted with the force of lava spewing out of a volcano.

I managed to catch several little things about him when I saw him a couple of days ago in the photography studio: The bluetooth speakers which accompanied him throughout (“Use music to change the working environment”), the grey hair with hints of pale purple and sky blue, and his black leather flip phone case, that had several bank cards which looked like something a conservative middle-aged person would opt for. It’s rumoured that fans have tried gifting him [phone cases] in a “more fashionable style”, but he turned them down. Having used the previous [similar styled phone case] till it was worn out, [Kris said it was] “because it was practical”, and thus went to get several of the exact same design, just in case.

From time to time he would gently furrow his eyebrows, and walking amidst the people he would maintain a steady gaze. His gaze was not one which could be easily met; it was polite and distanced. He likes to use declarative sentences, being direct and straight to the point, very rarely containing a sense of uncertainty. He is a person who is used to taking in charge when it comes to making decisions. “Others say that Scorpios are natural-born leaders, and I’m like that.” However he burst out laughing before even finishing off, his brazenness giving in to shyness. He is aware that he appears to possess a combination of contradictory elements: a little new, a little old, a little far, a little near. “Many people feel that I am really cold, actually I have a rather warm heart. Everyone needs to have a second chance to be introduced.”

After the shoot that day, I accompanied him to his next work venue. He had to continue with movie dubbing, and the expected end time was around 2am. He changed into his own hoodie and sweatpants in the car, falling back comfortably into the seats, and time to time hummed and moved to the music. When the staff did not know how to use the airdrop function, he simply reached out to take the other party’s phone and worked it out himself. While watching his fingers dance along the two phone screens, I could not help but think, here is such a joyful 26 year old.


Music is like a switch on Kris Wu’s body, once switched on, it is as if he is powered up by a sudden surge of energy. When I mentioned the “singer” written on his Weibo verification, he let out an exaggerated expression only seen on manga characters and his fingers began to move animatedly. “We’re finally able to talk about my music? Come on, let’s.”

He couldn’t wait to introduce his new song <July>. “From debut till now, this is the music-related work which I am most satisfied with. This is the first time I have put in my all, and was immersed in all parts of making this piece of music.” It is evident where he has invested his time in, and he strongly believes that. “It’s not to say that I haven’t put in enough effort in the past, but if a time limit is put on the creation process, it will definitely have a huge impact on the quality of your final work. So having many films is good, <Bad Girl> which was released last year is good too, now even more so, I would wish for those to be seen as trailers, because right now is where it truly begins.”

He had spent three months completing the composition, recording, mixing and mastering in America. As producer, he had stayed on throughout, keeping close watch from beginning till the end. Talking about it, he sounded like a proud kid. “All of the people I worked with were incredibly outstanding musicians, and one of them was even a two-time Grammy award winner!” During that period of time, he would be in the studio every day from 2pm till 10pm. I asked if it was because that was the time when his voice was at its best, and he pondered for a moment before replying, “I’m not sure about my voice, but I can say that I am most comfortable with that timeframe. Many singers are used to recording through the night and into the morning, but I definitely can’t. Even more so, I can’t do so in the morning – I am not a morning person, the music I have done in the mornings were all in frustration.”

One song, three months - based on his jobs which were scheduled to the hour, is really a luxury. “As an artiste, whose time isn’t valuable? I can film a movie within three months. Actually all this while there have been others who have been buying songs from abroad, but there are very few who go overseas to do production work. Not only would it cost even more time and money, but one would also be faced with many uncertainties. But as long as there are people who are willing to try, why not?” He feels that this has to do more with being courageous. “In the end, what matters is how much you want to do this.”

He then began to explain the different genres and history of development of hip hop music to me in detail. “It is what I love the most, there is nothing else like it.” This was what he concluded his feelings toward hip hop with. “It’s like being unable to extricate yourself after having fallen in love with it. Perhaps there would be no way to do other genres of music, for example if you asked me to do rock, it would be very hard.” Since young, he loved wearing baggy drop-crotch pants and oversized tees, and felt that a little more satire could be included in life. From the inside to his appearance, everything was all a homage to hip hop. “My friends around me all watched, listened, and talked about hip hop. I love every single beat and rhythm, it’s as if it is imprinted in my body.”

Why go to America to produce music? “The most direct reason is that, the quality of music depends hugely on the equipment. Lyrical songs can be done to perfection in China, but when it comes to hip hop or electronic music, there isn’t enough equipment or knowledge about it in China.” He hopes to do the best with all the resources he has. “Not only the equipment, but in terms of producing hip hop music, America has more experience.” The most critical point is of course himself. “During the mixing and mastering, I would ask others if there was any difference between the two? They would not hear any difference, but because I could not choose which was a better version, I would continue on, without sleep, till five in the morning.”

He repeatedly emphasised that <July> is a song which has a “completely new hip hop style, one that has never been seen before”, [and that he wanted to] “present the purest form of hip hop to everyone”. Having a listen, besides having fun, also endowed him with a little sense of responsibility. The new song was only digitally released online, and he felt that it was “very embarrassing” if he were to release a physical copy of just one single. “My goal will always be to spread a type of music, some art, some happiness. I won’t think so much on making profit.” As to how wide a scope of affirmation he wished to have , he expressed that he did not demand of it. “I just wish to convey a work of mine, a music piece which I feel highly satisfied and extremely happy after listening to.”


That day, after driving for over an hour, we were still held up in that evening’s Beijing traffic, inching forward at a snail pace. Looking ahead at the sea of red tail lights, he could not help but rub his eyes tiredly several times, and was starting to get a little restless. “In the car, I cannot fall asleep nor get any rest.” He sighed softly, as the car switched lanes. He was worried that he would not be adequately focused. “I have to complete everything before I can relax, otherwise it would be like carrying a rock in my heart.”

Having returned to China to develop his career for two years, Kris Wu already completed filming 8 movies, and worked with Luc Besson, Stephen Chow, Tsui Hark, Feng Xiaogang and other internationally renowned people. He has graced the cover of almost all the top magazines, and was even appointed brand and product ambassador to Burberry and Bvlgari and several international top labels. View on the music video of his newest song exceeded 1 million within 14 hours of its release. The opportunities and results which other people dream of, he had grasped into his hands, and yet facing all of that, he merely explained that for all that he did, “I like it, I am happy, I work hard, and I don’t let myself down.” He is a little of a workaholic. “The most important thing is that passion, as long as it is burning in my heart, there is no problem which cannot be overcome. The scariest thing for people is to get tired of something.”

Such an answer sounds like the “standard inspirational words of wisdom of idols”, but the solemn expression on his face made others feel that this is truly his attitude towards his long term, demanding career. While working, he can forget that he is cold, hungry, or tired. He sacrificed his freedom for his job, and even when there were misunderstandings, he felt that it was within reason. Everything is fair: You win some, you lose some, and during the growth process he learned an important lesson - as long as one persists in what they genuinely love doing, and put in their utmost effort into doing it, the journey would be much more interesting than the results.

He had just wrapped up filming <Journey to the West 2: Conquering the Demons> not too long ago, playing the part of Tang Sen. To the viewers and himself, this was something which was completely unthinkable at the beginning. “Stephen Chow and Tsui Hark brought out a side of me which I did not know, and I can only say that I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to meet them.” His first meetings with both directors were not a walk in the park: Stephen Chow wanted him to try acting like a person with Parkinson’s disease. “I had no idea that I was able to act out that kind of trembling.” When he met Tsui Hark he had yet to shave off his hair, and both of them were unsure of how his final look would turn out. “There was unease in my heart.”

It’s not a huge deal to shave off hair for a role, even more so when he loved changing hairstyles since his younger days. But his shortest hairstyle was never more than a crew cut, and he had no idea how he would look like bald. Seeing the final result in the mirror for the first time, he merely felt that it was new and strange. “I still look rather handsome!” He just spent a little more time getting used to being bald. “When I woke up in the morning I would still be in a daze, I was used to touching my head, [but now] oh no, why is my hair gone? At night before sleeping, I would always wonder why it was so cold… therefore I constantly kept a beanie on.” Those months led him to have a new understanding of the ability to keep warm with hair. “People with hair really have to thank the heavens.”

After shaving off his hair, he felt more like a monk, and even practiced meditating at home. “I hoped to get into character as much as possible. For example before filming <Mr Six>, at that period of time I maintained a very cool persona, and I conversed with others in strong Beijing dialect.” Filming had taken part during the coldest time of winter in Beijing, staying up overnight outdoors with temperatures below negative ten degrees, and in the daytime having to fly around suspended by wires. He recalled that that period of time was “rather strenuous”, but even more so, clearly could feel a sense of excitement in his heart. “There are many people who were a little afraid of Stephen Chow while filming, but I didn’t feel that at all, instead I felt that his way of thinking was simply… Stephen Chow’s shots make use of abstract ideas, and there are many brief yet brilliant moments as well.”

Kris Wu paused to find the right words to describe what set them apart from the rest. “They can help you make up for the loss of 2%.” What is 2%? “It’s the minor difference in art. At times you may feel that, this is not bad, but actually there’s just a difference of 2%, which can only be seen if one has acquired an appreciation of the arts. People like Feng Xiaogang and Stephen Chow can accurately grasp that point to the fullest.”

He knows that before being able to grasp this “2%”, he would first have the ability and belief to accept imperfections. “You would constantly think, why couldn’t I do better at that time? But that can’t be helped. When I filmed my first movie, Director Xu Jinglei told me that movies are a form of imperfect art, and a sense of regret was necessary.” Right now while filming, Kris Wu simply does not watch playbacks of his scenes. “This has nothing to do with having or not having self-confidence, it’s just that I do not wish for this to impact my performance later on.”

The same goes for music. He loves the feel of performing live at the venue, there are flaws, but the joy that comes from the combination of excitement and fear is something which is most valuable. He has already accepted that “before going onstage, I would definitely feel nervous”, and said, “I will always be worried that I’ll make a mistake, but the moment I step onstage, that is forgotten. Really, I’ve never thought of what I’ve said onstage. When I stand onstage, I enjoy [the moment].” This year, as a model he walked for the Burberry show in London, and before the fashion show began, he inwardly prayed, “Hope that when I walk out I won’t go around in circles and be unable to find my way, and not fall in front of the audience.” Later on the evaluation he received was that he was calm and composed.

Since entering the industry, he felt that he himself did not change much. He liked staying at home before, and now there were even lesser opportunities to go out, “But this is alright, actually I like staying at home and watching movies, it feels like I have the whole "cinema” to myself. When I feel bored I will play video games, and I can make many interesting friends in the 2D world.“ Moreover, he has never felt lonely, as his best friends (t/n: referring to fans) were always by his side from start till end. All around the world, whenever he walked out of airports, there would always be fans waiting. "Wherever I go feels like home, it’s really warm.” They love him, and also understand him. “I have my own way of doing things. At times there would be ten days, or half a month of not posting on Weibo, and my staff would all tell me that that shouldn’t be the way, it’s as if I disappeared into thin air… But my fans know that, whenever I want to say something I would say it. They wish for me to live my life well.”

The only change “Is that I have become old!” He repeated it several times, of course as a joke – since he was young, therefore he talked about age in such a carefree manner. In the face of numerous new things coming towards him at once, he is not greedy, and deeply believes that the ability to say “no” is necessary. “I am extremely clear about what my boundaries are, and I would never let myself do things which I do not like.”  He has also begun to experience the pressure of time. “No one knows how tomorrow will be like, so it is better to view things in the present, not so much of the future. Therefore I wish to maximise the limited time to a better extent, so as not to leave behind any regrets.”

translation: @wu_yi_fan

OkiKagu Library

Rating: T

OkiKagu Fanfic

Set in the Timeskip arc

Kagura woke up to the sound of incessant knocking on the bedroom door.

She doesn’t open her eyes to know that it was already morning. The little sunlight that was seeping through the curtains and entering the dark room was enough to let her know. And she doesn’t need to ask the person outside why they were knocking.

With difficulty, she tries to pry off the arms that were encircling her waist and failed. She then resorted to push the bare chest away from her but only received a groan.

“Bakaiser-sama?” The voice outside asked. “It’s time for the morning assembly, sir. I’ve been asked to fetch you.”

But the said Bakaiser still wouldn’t get up. It started to annoy Kagura that her much needed rest, after a very tiring night with him, was being disturbed all because he was too lazy to wake up.

“Oi, Sadist, wake up! Get the door.” She murmurs. For emphasis, and because she couldn’t remove his arms from her, she shakes his shoulder in a violent manner. “Hurry up.”

“In a minute…” He replies.

But the officer outside didn’t know that. He continued to knock on the door and kept on calling their Kaiser. Physical means won’t goad him to get up so maybe something else?

“Alright. Maybe I’ll go back to the Yorozuya. No one ever disturbs my sleep there.” She said in a more cheerful voice. It didn’t take the Sadist half a minute to get out of bed and head to the bathroom.

Bingo!

Kagura rolls around and stares at Okita who was already wearing his pants and was washing his face by the sink. She could see the frustration he had in how intense he was scrubbing his face with soap. She knew he didn’t like it when she made those kinds of jokes but it always got her what she wanted. After cleansing his now reddened face, he heads to the drawer next to the bed to get a clean, white shirt.

“I was just kidding, you know?” She sported those puppy eyes she often saw on TV when people wanted to apologize. Her Sadist’s stern face soon formed into a smiling one.

“I know.” He rested his hand on the bed and leaned in to kiss her. She, in turn, held on tightly to his arm. “Very good tactics.”

She smiled, acknowledging his rare compliment, “Hurry back.” She whispered against his lips.

“Weren’t you the one who wanted me to go so quickly?” He teased and her smiled turned into a pout.

Their hands lingered for a few moments as he left for the door. He was very clingy, that Sadist, but he was never vocal about it. He showed it through actions. Her, on the other hand, would always voice out her complaints of intimacy. When she wanted him near, she was sure to speak her mind.

The voice of a scared officer and the clicking of the door signaled that he had left. Kagura sits up to get the Sadist’s recently used shirt from the foot of the bed and slips it on. She really loved wearing his shirt. It wasn’t too big and was comfortable enough for her to wear in bed. But it wasn’t often that she was able to do it since he always placed in a laundry bin after taking it off.

Falling back on the bed, she takes a whiff of his scent from the collar. His shirts always smelled like cologne but she was sure she hasn’t seen any kind of cologne bottles in their room. And she could register a bit of a woman’s scent on them every once in a while. But she never worried he had another because ever since they got together, at night, they were never in separate rooms.

She recalls how he had proposed the idea months ago. It was in the afternoon and he had asked someone to fetch her from the Yorozuya. She was reluctant of course, what would the Bakaiser want with her? She initially thought it had something to do with her illegal immigration but she was a bit surprised when no one handcuffed her or brought her in an interrogation room at their headquarters.

It had been very unusual. Instead of the hostile behavior the Yorozuya often received, she was met with hospitality and respect. Whenever she and her escort came across any lower ranked officers, they would stop to greet her. What’s more is how the escort was giving her a tour of the new Shinsengumi HQ; giving her irrelevant or trivial information about how a room had been made or what was its purpose. She even noticed that he was really trying to make a good image for their Bakaiser by praising him every now and then.

The boring tour continued until they arrived in front of a room with very large, wooden doors. She guessed it contained something very important to the Shinsengumi and maybe she was called there to receive a job.

“Please, step inside, Kagura-san. The Bakaiser will be with you shortly.” The escort had said.

Kagura was right, the room contained something very important. Judging by the extravagant and red-themed furniture, beddings and drapes, this was most likely the Bakaiser’s bedroom. Her feet walked on their own and she marveled at how beautiful the room was. She’s never been somewhere so nice; she only saw them on TV and this definitely felt like one of her soap operas.

She was very confused. What did that Sadist want? The Shinsengumi would never lower their pride to ask them for a job and she knew it was excessive of them to get her as their maid. In her musings, her feet lead her to the bathroom near the bed. She hadn’t really paid attention to her surroundings and didn’t register the stinging coldness of the marble sink but was still trying to figure out why he had asked for her.

A familiar voice invaded her mind; snapping her back to the present. “Do you like the place?”

With grace under pressure, she shifts her head to look at him, Okita Sougo the Bakaiser, standing by the doorway without his red cape and uniform’s coat. “Well?”

“What did you want from me?” She had blatantly asked. No use in beating around the bush.

But Okita dodged the question and moved to sit on the bed. “Did they treat you well? You can tell me if you have any complaints about your escort.” He said. It was really starting to get weird. The Sadist was concerned about how she was treated? Was this even the Sadist she knew from before? Maybe she was being pranked and if she gives in he’ll just laugh at her face.

“Why did you ask for me?” She stands in the doorway, just a few feet away from where he sat. She keeps her respectful mode on. For some reason, the fact that he was able to go higher than a commander made her develop a sliver of respect for him. “Just tell me.”

He gives her an amused smile. If he was expecting that she would give him answers while she didn’t get any, then he’s going to be disappointed. “I just wanted to know if you like it here.” His eyes briefly scans the whole room. “So, do you?”

She still wasn’t convinced with his reason and so she chose to ignore the question again. She crossed her arms, signaling that she was expecting a better answer.

He sighs. “Alright. I have something to propose to you, China.” Though she was reluctant, she let him continue. “After today, you can go back home to Danna; keep eating your egg on rice, keep working there, and continue your daily routine—”

“That’s what I plan to do.” She interjects but Okita ignores her and continues.

“Or you can still keep doing all those except for two things.”

Now this piqued her interest. She raises an eyebrow to question his statement.

“You’re not going to sleep in a cabinet and you’re not going to live there anymore.” He bluntly states.

She gave him a bewildered expression and then scoffs. “Are you crazy? Where am I supposed to live then?”

“Here, of course.”


Did she hear it right? Did he just ask her to move in to the Shinsengumi compound where girls weren’t allowed in? She just laughs at his preposterous idea. Even a job like that was too big for the Yorozuya. Specifically her.

“You’re crazy, I’m not going to be your slave if that’s what you think. I’m going home.” She said but before she gets a feet away from him, he spoke again:

“I’m giving you a choice here, China. You’ll keep the freedom that you already have and continue your daily activities, whatever they are. The only difference is you’ll be coming home to me.” He points to himself to emphasize his point. “I won’t chain you down or force anything on you. It’s all up to you.”

Now it was really getting weird. Why was he acting all so submissive and generous to her now? Well, what he was offering her didn’t seem so bad to her. After all, she’d be finally relieved of that cramped cabinet and she’d definitely get to eat things better than her egg-over-rice meal. Also, it wasn’t really that repulsive to imagine a life with him; she had grown very open minded in two years. Seeing him was kinda exciting and mysterious at the same time. The only problem was the catch.

“What’s the catch?” She aggressively asks. “I don’t want to be your pet or sex slave.”

His eyes widened at the bold statement. “Sex slave? Well if you wanted to be my slave that cou—” she gives him a deadly glare. “I could easily go to the Red Light District if that was what I wanted.”

“Then what?”

He breathes sharply before answering:

You.


Kagura blushes at the thought of what happened next. It was the first time she felt a mixture of pain and pleasure in the years she had been alive. He wasn’t rough like she had expected him to be; No. He was gentle and had made sure she was enjoying it as much as he was.

Of course she ended up accepting his offer on the condition that they were to test it out first and both of them could tap out if it didn’t turn out well. He kept his promise of not obligating her to do anything for him that she didn’t want and she kept her part of going back to him at the end of each day. She was actually expecting everything to fall apart in just a few weeks but it had been months since that agreement and Okita seemed to show a little more effort.

It was uncharacteristic of him, but she liked how he really tries to keep her happy. Just like a while ago, any threat she makes about leaving him doesn’t end up in a physical fight (like most of their conflicts) but ends up in him automatically doing anything to please her. Of course, she made sure she kept him happy as well.

The creaking of the door and Okita’s voice announcing himself made her aware of his presence. He was clearly still sleepy as he removed his ridiculous cape and removed his coat. She scoots to the right to give him enough space to lie down next to her.

“Are you still sleepy?” She asks and positions herself on his chest. He shakes his head but his eyelids were closed and his movement was a bit sloppy. She guessed he was trying to stay awake just because she was. “We can sleep in, you know?”

Upon those words, he flips their position and hugs her tightly again. “Just wake me up if you need me…” His voice softens as he drifts into sleep.

Kagura embraces his head against her chest and smiles. They were making each other happy jsut because they wanted to, not because they had agreed on it. This wasn’t a trial anymore; she’s sure she won’t be leaving him.

END