major losses

Reserve in Namibia, Africa ©

I bet you didn’t know that the Giraffe as a species is in serious trouble since populations have plummeted by nearly 40% in the past two decades across Africa.

Why? Well, it’s mainly due to major habitat loss, habitat degradation, and population fragmentation, worsened by illegal hunting and human population expansion. At the end of 2016, the Giraffe was uplisted on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species from “least concern” to “vulnerable”. While other African animals such as the rhino and elephant are known to be threatened worldwide, the Giraffe has not gained much attention at all and is silently slipping towards extinction. What no one realizes is that there’s actually less Giraffe than there are elephants…
Rigorous conservation efforts will need to be undertaken in order to restore declining populations. Greater awareness of this issue is the first step.

Today, I wore a crop top for the first time in public.

360lbs before. I want to say there’s about 165lb and three year difference here.

Even though I had been obese my entire life I knew the day I took this picture that I was going to succeed. Be a visionary. Think about who you want to be, not what you want to weigh. Adopt a healthy and active lifestyle and you’ll see the results physically. :)

anonymous asked:

What are other books/series that you'd recommend that are in the same vein as Animorphs?

Honestly, your ask inspired me to get off my butt and finally compile a list of the books that I reference with my character names in Eleutherophobia, because in a lot of ways that’s my list of recommendations right there: I deliberately chose children’s and/or sci-fi stories that deal really well with death, war, dark humor, class divides, and/or social trauma for most of my character names.  I also tend to use allusions that either comment on Animorphs or on the source work in the way that the names come up.

That said, here are The Ten Greatest Animorphs-Adjacent Works of Literature According to Sol’s Totally Arbitrary Standards: 

1. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L’Engle

  • This is a really good teen story that, in painfully accurate detail, captures exactly what it’s like to be too young to really understand death while forced to confront it anyway.  I read it at about the same age as the protagonist, not that long after having suffered the first major loss in my own life (a friend, also 14, killed by cancer).  It accomplished exactly what a really good novel should by putting words to the experiences that I couldn’t describe properly either then or now.  This isn’t a light read—its main plot is about terminal illness, and the story is bookended by two different unexpected deaths—but it is a powerful one. 

2. The One and Only Ivan, K.A. Applegate 

  • This prose novel (think an epic poem, sort of like The Iliad, only better) obviously has everything in it that makes K.A. Applegate one of the greatest children’s authors alive: heartbreaking tragedy, disturbing commentary on the human condition, unforgettably individuated narration, pop culture references, and poop jokes.  Although I’m mostly joking when I refer to Marco in my tags as “the one and only” (since this book is narrated by a gorilla), Ivan does remind me of Marco with his sometimes-toxic determination to see the best of every possible situation when grief and anger allow him no other outlet for his feelings and the terrifying lengths to which he will go in order to protect his found family.

3. My Teacher Flunked the Planet, Bruce Coville

  • Although the entire My Teacher is an Alien series is really well-written and powerful, this book is definitely my favorite because in many ways it’s sort of an anti-Animorphs.  Whereas Animorphs (at least in my opinion) is a story about the battle for personal freedom and privacy, with huge emphasis on one’s inner identity remaining the same even as one’s physical shape changes, My Teacher Flunked the Planet is about how maybe the answer to all our problems doesn’t come from violent struggle for personal freedoms, but from peaceful acceptance of common ground among all humans.  There’s a lot of intuitive appeal in reading about the protagonists of a war epic all shouting “Free or dead!” before going off to battle (#13) but this series actually deconstructs that message as blind and excessive, especially when options like “all you need is love” or “no man is an island” are still on the table.

4. Moon Called, Patricia Briggs

  • I think this book is the only piece of adult fiction on this whole list, and that’s no accident: the Mercy Thompson series is all about the process of adulthood and how that happens to interact with the presence of the supernatural in one’s life.  The last time I tried to make a list of my favorite fictional characters of all time, it ended up being about 75% Mercy Thompson series, 24% Animorphs, and the other 1% was Eugenides Attolis (who I’ll get back to in my rec for The Theif).  These books are about a VW mechanic, her security-administrator next door neighbor, her surgeon roommate, her retail-working best friend and his defense-lawyer boyfriend, and their cybersecurity frenemy.  The fact that half those characters are supernatural creatures only serves to inconvenience Mercy as she contemplates how she’s going to pay next month’s rent when a demon destroyed her trailer, whether to get married for the first time at age 38 when doing so would make her co-alpha of a werewolf pack, what to do about the vampires that keep asking for her mechanic services without paying, and how to be a good neighbor to the area ghosts that only she can see.  

5. The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner

  • This book (and its sequel A Conspiracy of Kings) are the ones that I return to every time I struggle with first-person writing and no Animorphs are at hand.  Turner does maybe the best of any author I’ve seen of having character-driven plots and plot-driven characters.  This book is the story of five individuals (with five slightly different agendas) traveling through an alternate version of ancient Greece and Turkey with a deceptively simple goal: they all want to work together to steal a magical stone from the gods.  However, the narrator especially is more complicated than he seems, which everyone else fails to realize at their own detriment. 

6. Homecoming, Cynthia Voight

  • Critics have compared this book to a modern, realistic reimagining of The Boxcar Children, which always made a lot of sense to me.  It’s the story of four children who must find their own way from relative to relative in an effort to find a permanent home, struggling every single day with the question of what they will eat and how they will find a safe place to sleep that night.  The main character herself is one of those unforgettable heroines that is easy to love even as she makes mistake after mistake as a 13-year-old who is forced to navigate the world of adult decisions, shouldering the burden of finding a home for her family because even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing, it’s not like she can ask an adult for help.  Too bad the Animorphs didn’t have Dicey Tillerman on the team, because this girl shepherds her family through an Odysseus-worthy journey on stubbornness alone.

7. High Wizardry, Diane Duane

  • The Young Wizards series has a lot of good books in it, but this one will forever be my favorite because it shows that weird, awkward, science- and sci-fi-loving girls can save the world just by being themselves.  Dairine Callahan was the first geek girl who ever taught me it’s not only okay to be a geek girl, but that there’s power in empiricism when properly applied.  In contrast to a lot of scientifically “smart” characters from sci-fi (who often use long words or good grades as a shorthand for conveying their expertise), Dairine applies the scientific method, programming theory, and a love of Star Wars to her problem-solving skills in a way that easily conveys that she—and Diane Duane, for that matter—love science for what it is: an adventurous way of taking apart the universe to find out how it works.  This is sci-fi at its best. 

8. Dr. Franklin’s Island, Gwyneth Jones

  • If you love Animorphs’ body horror, personal tragedy, and portrayal of teens struggling to cope with unimaginable circumstances, then this the book for you!  I’m only being about 80% facetious, because this story has all that and a huge dose of teen angst besides.  It’s a loose retelling of H.G. Wells’s classic The Island of Doctor Moreau, but really goes beyond that story by showing how the identity struggles of adolescence interact with the identity struggles of being kidnapped by a mad scientist and forcibly transformed into a different animal.  It’s a survival story with a huge dose of nightmare fuel (seriously: this book is not for the faint of heart, the weak of stomach, or anyone who skips the descriptions of skin melting and bones realigning in Animorphs) but it’s also one about how three kids with a ton of personal differences and no particular reason to like each other become fast friends over the process of surviving hell by relying on each other.  

9. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar

  • Louis Sachar is the only author I’ve ever seen who can match K.A. Applegate for nihilistic humor and absurdist horror layered on top of an awesome story that’s actually fun for kids to read.  Where he beats K.A. Applegate out is in terms of his ability to generate dream-like surrealism in these short stories, each one of which starts out hilariously bizarre and gradually devolves into becoming nightmare-inducingly bizarre.  Generally, each one ends with an unsettling abruptness that never quite relieves the tension evoked by the horror of the previous pages, leaving the reader wondering what the hell just happened, and whether one just wet one’s pants from laughing too hard or from sheer existential terror.  The fact that so much of this effect is achieved through meta-humor and wordplay is, in my opinion, just a testament to Sachar’s huge skill as a writer. 

10. Magyk, Angie Sage

  • As I mentioned, the Septimus Heap series is probably the second most powerful portrayal of the effect of war on children that I’ve ever encountered; the fact that the books are so funny on top of their subtle horror is a huge bonus as well.  There are a lot of excellent moments throughout the series where the one protagonist’s history as a child soldier (throughout this novel he’s simply known as “Boy 412″) will interact with his stepsister’s (and co-protagonist’s) comparatively privileged upbringing.  Probably my favorite is the moment when the two main characters end up working together to kill a man in self-defense, and the girl raised as a princess makes the horrified comment that she never thought she’d actually have to kill someone, to which her stepbrother calmly responds that that’s a privilege he never had; the ensuing conversation strongly implies that his psyche has been permanently damaged by the fact that he was raised to kill pretty much from infancy, but all in a way that is both child-friendly and respectful of real trauma.  

“aaron minyard is the worst fox” sounds fake but ok

oh i’m sorry, you don’t believe me? well bud here have some reasons the other foxes are problematic™

Andrew 

  • literally carries knives around which would be fine if he didn’t regularly pull them out and threaten people with them.
  • regularly shoves and hits nicky. sure, you and i both now there’s reasons that he is the way he is, but it doesnt excuse his violence. 
  • there’s also the taking people to a club and drugging them because he doesn’t immediately trust them thing. 
  • the whole “you can’t date anyone and if you do i’ll want them dead” deal
  • regularly attacks people both on meds and sober need i honestly list the specific events
    • fuck it lets list some
    • attacking katelyn in the library, choking out allison, choking out kevin, i could go on
  • cool_motive_still_murder.gif

Neil

  • has definitely killed people on the run (cool_motive_still_murder.gif)
  • “i called you a fucking cripple” bruh
  • neil literally stone cold curving everyone who isnt on the exy team
    • if you can go on and on about how aloof and cold aaron then logically this here is up for judgement too
  • thought allison deserved whatever she got from andrew after she hit aaron
  • to him the only way to get back at riko was murder
    • i hate riko too sharon but do i really have to say again what jake peralta said so well

Nicky 

  • kissing assaulting neil to drug him
  • flirting with other guys despite having a boyfriend
    • i know he has a List™ but neil, matt, and guys at the club aren’t on it
  • genuinely believed andrew was better off manic and high than sober
  • all the predatory jokes (i.e. getting neil drunk enough to “swing”)

Kevin 

  • the probably countless times he’s screamed at the others in practice for not being up to his standard
  • im paraphrasing but he tells neil he shouldnt come out about his relationship with andrew because it will jeopardize his career sooo
  • “what about the line up” dear god
    • “it wasn’t a major loss” dear. god.
  • the general insults out of practice. dude’s literally an asshole.
  • andrew choking the explanation out of him after neil disappears implies kevin wasnt going to tell them that neil had literally just been hauled away to be tortured and killed

Renee

  • murdered a guy and doesn’t regret it
  • also sidenote i doubt Renee would be all that happy you goblins think Aaron is irredeemable

Allison

  • slapping aaron
    • bucko if you think someone giving you attitude is grounds to dish out a bitch slap pls reevaluate yourself
  • the way she talks to the monsters is super nasty like. she’s not friends with them yea i get it but damn some of the comments and insults? allison girl calm down they’re people too
  • on that point treating people like animals just because you don’t understand them is Not Good so jot that down

Matt

  • punches kevin like 7 times c’mon dude

Now, before you get your knickers in a twist: this is in no way a post encouraging you to hate any of these characters. This is simply to show the lapse in logic surrounding hatred of Aaron. It’s highly biased to hate on Aaron for saying shitty things and being aloof or insulting when we only see him the the narrow and unreliable perspective of Neil - we only know what he knows and sees and how he feels about it while reading. You don’t have to like Aaron. You don’t have to love him. He doesn’t have to be your favorite character. Just consider that hating on him doesn’t make sense when other character do much of the same things he is condemned for, as well as having their own flaws. Aaron has a checkered past tragic as any of the other foxes, so he doesn’t deserve the vast amounts of hate so many are so quick to dish out (and fans of his are even less deserving of hateful messages and the like they often receive).

All the foxes are flawed, are problematic, do bad or questionable things. Aaron isn’t the only one who says or does shitty things, so hating on him doesn’t make sense. Stop sending hate to people who like Aaron. Reconsider how you see him. Have a grand day, i guess, too.

2

Before & Now

About two years and 150lb difference here I want to say. In my before pic I am 300+ pounds and I look exhausted because I was killin’ it. Here I am now feeling good, and super proud of past me for getting me here.

Lena: has been manipulated and abused by almost every person in her life so far

SG writers: u know what would be a hot new twist? if someone came in right after she suffered a major loss and is still traumatized and emotionally vulnerable and manipulated her a bit more ;)

Help for when a Relationship Ends

1. Try not to take it personally. Some relationships were never meant to be, and some simply don’t work out in the end. It isn’t always a reflection on you (or even them).

2. Act as if you’re happy, and are coping, with your life. Often, “fake it till you make” can make a difference. It can give you needed strength so you can make it through each day.

3. Choose to be thankful for the happy memories; and choose to forgive for the heartache and the pain. (Although this may be difficult and likely will take time.)

4. See this as a stepping stone – the future lies ahead. You may still meet someone special who will bring you happiness!

5. Let go of the old memories, the unmet expectations, the bitter disappointments and frustrated hopes and dreams. Only then will you be ready to live and love again.

6. Be patient, understanding and kind to yourself. It takes time to recover from a major loss in life.

7. Keep your eyes on the future, and what still lies ahead. You have good reason to hope that you will find true love again.

Don’t Stuff Your Pain, Tell God About It

BY RICK WARREN


“Get up, cry out in the night, even as the night begins. Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord” (Lamentations 2:19a NCV).

Think you’ve had a bad day? The biblical character of Job had a Ph.D. in pain and loss. In the very first chapter of Job, after everything fell apart in his life, “Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 GW).

Job expressed his pain to God. When you have a major loss in your life, the first thing you need to do is tell God exactly how you feel.

This may surprise you, but God can handle your anger and frustration. He can handle your emotions. Why? Because he gave them to you. You were made in the image of God, and he is an emotional God.

When your 2-year-old has a temper tantrum and beats on your knees, you can handle that. In the same way, God is bigger than your emotion, and it’s okay to tell him exactly how you feel. When you prayed for a promotion but it didn’t happen, when a loved one walks out of your life, when you get the dreaded call saying, “It’s cancer,” you can tell God, “I’m mad. I’m upset. I’m sick. I’m frustrated. I’m ticked off. I doubt.” God can handle your complaints, your questions, your fear, and your grief. God’s love for you is bigger than all of your emotions.

My kids know I love them. They know that I’ve been on this planet longer than they have and that I’ve had more experience than they have. But my children sometimes question my judgment. Can you believe that?

I’d rather have an honest, gut-level conversation with them than have them stuff their frustration and disappointment inside. God is the same way! He would rather have you wrestle with him in anger than walk away in detached apathy.

The right response to unexplained tragedy is not “grin and bear it.” Lamentations 2:19 says, “Get up, cry out in the night, even as the night begins. Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord” (NCV).

4

Another full day of eating post! More people liked my first one than expected, so I decided to do another one, here’s what I had yesterday:

Pic 1: Breakfast (9:30am)
Cinnamon bun from a local cafe
Green tea

Pic 2: Lunch (1:30pm)
Everything bagel
Jalapeno creamcheese
½ avocado
2 hard boiled eggs

Pic 3: Dinner (6:30pm)
Ground beef with mushrooms, onions, Lawry’s taco seasoning
2 tbs shredded cheese
1 cup white rice
Side salad

Pic 4: Snack (10:00pm)
1 sleeve rice crackers
2 tbsp spicy hummus
Strawberries
Greek yogurt (full fat) 

Not pictured: A cup of coffee and loooots of water.

Exercise and physical activity:
Leisurely walk around town, 4 miles
Intervals on treadmill; 2.25 miles 35 minutes

Note:
There’s a couple things I want to point out. 

1. I started the day with a sugary pastry today. Diet culture frequently promotes feelings of guilt about eating foods like this and you’ll often hear them referred to as “empty calories”. Empty calories basically means the food offers no nutritional value, but if you look at the bulk of my everyday diet you’ll see it’s balanced and full of nutrient-rich foods, so in other words, I’m not lacking in nutrients. Calories are units of ENERGY, not units of fat. You need a sufficient amount of calories to function properly. Along with being tasty af that cinnamon bun gave me the energy for my four mile walk. Ty cinnamon bun. 

2. I ate a snack at 10pm. Why? At 8pm I was on the treadmill for 35 minutes, I took a shower a little before nine and around 10pm I was ready for my snack. I was hungry and my calorie deficit would have been too large if I didn’t eat. The time you eat does. not. matter. You can eat right before bed and it makes no difference. However I will say eating on a regular schedule can be very very helpful and it’s a good way to stabilize your eating, but if you eat later than normal - don’t worry about it. 

just Altissia things

so i’ve been watching cry play ffxv and got to the altissia chapter, and:

  • Lunafreya sings/hums the song of the stars to summon Leviathan from her slumber, did she sing for all of them???
  • song of the stars is always incorporated in Ravus’s character/battle  theme(s)
  • Weskham mentions that Niflheim officials frequent his shop, probably for drinks, the sight of them is nothing new and everyone is used to it
  • a girl wants her wedding dress to look like Luna’s, her boyfriend says: and i’ll be your prince noctis! (aka everyone considers them otp material)
  • People keep talking about how cool Ravus is, and how awesome his magic arm is, and how sad he looked on the wedding day, HOW OFTEN DID RAVUS COME TO ALTISSIA BEFORE NOW???
  • Ravus was in charge of ‘keeping the peace’ in Niflheim’s territories on Lucis, he was only removed from that task after the fight with leviathan because it caused major losses for the army. my headcanon is that he must have visited lucis a lot even before the guys went on their road trip, maybe even acted as an ambassador before ardyn showed up in his place that one time (in kingsglaive).
  • The trident wasn’t with Luna until the very last moment when she got on the altar to speak to leviathan, apparently it is the weapon that connects the power of kings to the chosen one because that’s how luna used it when it looked like Noctis was losing. where was it before then?? who had it?? why is it more important than the oracle herself????? why did shiva have it afterwards????
  • Camellia says something about: “the empire had gone crazy these last ten odd years” is that when ardyn was put in charge?
  • a news article says something about a foreign hugeass tree growing in Fodina Caestino that’s taking over the swamp after shiva was slain, what’s up with that???
youtube

Shostakovich - Prelude and Fugue no.7 in A Major

It’s been rainy and dreary all day. I’ve been lazing around watching Netflix, being a generic lump under the blankets. I opened youtube and this fugue was recommended to me. Mini tragic story: months ago my computer died and I lost everything. I’d lost my ENTIRE music collection. I spent the next few months uploading tracks off of CDs in my house, and then going back and fourth to my local library that I’d used to build a collection back in high school, and I’ve been trying to buy back whatever the library no longer had. One major loss was the complete collection of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, performed by Keith Jarrett. It’s on my wishlist, but I haven’t felt compelled to get it back immediately. Now, listening to the beautiful crystalline mood of the fugue, I realized that I’d forgotten how much life was in the set, how much music I’m missing out on. This recording is of Shostakovich himself, and if you’ve heard Shostakovich play before you won’t be surprised at the hyper-speed he plays at…as if he is taking in coffee through an IV. Either way, here is a breathtaking performance of an underrated work. Enjoy!

Simple Guide: How To Read Palms

For insight into your work life and how you present yourself to the world, focus on your dominant hand. To examine personal relationships, dreams, and emotional struggles, look at the other hand. Having trouble making out the lines? Cup your hand slightly under a bright lamp. Keep in mind: According to hand analysts, a less prominent line reflects an area of life that may need work, while a deeper one signals that the characteristic related to that line is strong and fully developed.

1. The Life Line

Contrary to popular belief, the life line does not show how long someone is going to live. Instead, it tells you about your subject’s quality of life. A long, deep life line is a sign that things are good: you have health and energy. A short, deep line means the subject has the ability to overcome physical problems. A faint life line suggests a lack of energy and adventure, while a complete absence of a life line suggests that the subject is struggling with anxiety.

Breaks in the life line are indicative of past traumas or major losses. A moderate amount of breaks could be a sign of someone “burning the candle at both ends.” In this case, it’s a good idea to actively seek better rest at night and pay more attention to your self care.

2. The Head Line

The head line, which stretches across the palm diagonally, indicates a subject’s psychological makeup, intellectual development, and intuitive abilities. Packard explains that a long head line that stretches across the palm can be an indicator that one thinks too much about things, overanalyzing problems again and again, while a short head line(stopping at the center of the palm) suggests that one is a quick thinker who doesn’t hesitate. 

A short head line can indicate that one moves too quickly, making decisions without fully sorting out their implications. A curved headline is a sign that someone is romantic, creative, idealistic, and tending to trust in intuition. A broken head line, in contrast, suggests one is suffering from nervousness and mental exhaustion.

3. The Heart Line

Crossing above the head line, the heart line gives insight into a subject’s emotions. A long, straight heart line indicates that someone is a rational and considerate person; a long heart line that arcs upward, in contrast, suggests that a person is openly and unapologetically driven by his or her passions and desires.

 A short, straight heart line suggests that someone isn’t particularly driven by thoughts of romance, and that a short line running parallel to the head line is a marker of emotional stability. A curve, or lack of curve, in the heart line makes all the difference,  curvy line people are those that outwardly express their emotions easily, and are willing to initiate those heart to heart discussions. The folks with a straight line are more comfortable working things out in their own mind on their own time.

4. Fate Line

The fate line is tied to one’s life path, an indication of obstacles that may be faced, educational and occupational choices, accomplishments and how content an individual is with his life. The fate line also tells us about duty and responsibility. Here we can trace major events that happen through the individual’s working life.

5. The Apollo Line, or Sun Line

This line, which runs vertically down the side of the palm, is an indicator of success, a sign that someone is creative, self confident, and extremely capable of following through on a plan of action. They emphasize that lacking this line does not reflect one’s success or lack thereof (so if you don’t have one, don’t worry.)

6. The Mercury Line, Health Line, or Intuition line

The Mercury line often starts at the center of the base of the palm and works its way outward and upward toward the pinkie. It is tied to health. Winter explains that its very presence can show someone with refined communication skills, and someone who is more conscious of their health. 

If the line is broken it can be an indication of possible illness or those illnesses that have come and gone.

Before: August 2013 After: May 2016
-85lbs lost!

Figured it’s been a while since I posted a progress pic. I’ve hit a bit of a plateau, which is frustrating. I know 85 pounds is nothing to sneeze at, but my goal is to hit 100 pounds by my 2-year veganniversary which is in July. So only 15 more pounds to go, which shouldn’t be too difficult (key word: shouldn’t) but I, like many others, struggle with the stagnant maintaining weight that often is a result of losing weight. In the beginning the weight comes off super quick, but then your body inevitably adapts and adjusts to your new healthy lifestyle so you have to work even harder to keep losing. But all I have to do is look at pictures like this when I need a little extra motivation :) What are some of your plateau-busters that you can share with me??