no really i was going to devote my life to *jazz*

Visited, or Visitors? (a weird college story)

So this is my own Weird College Shit story and requires some set up. I had my first year of college in 2009-10, and I spent it at a tiny school in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farms. The nearest major city was about three hours drive away. The small town I lived in was literally built around the college. My apartment was to the east of school grounds, and my high school best friend (we’ll call her Elise) was in the dorms on the opposite side of campus.

Elise was heavily involved in the drama department. I was in the improv troupe, but my depression and social anxiety meant I was more of an outlier than a “true” drama kid at the college. (They tended to devote all their time and energy to whatever play was happening at the given time and I just… couldn’t.) As a result, while Elise was invited to every drama department-hosted get together in existence, I only found out when she asked if I wanted to go along.

It was Halloween and while most of the college students were at a huge party being held at an apartment as far from campus as possible in this Nowheresville of a town, one of the seniors in the drama department had rented out the black box theatre for the night. Dress code was 1920s and 1940s, and they’d hired a few members of the school’s junior jazz band for live music.

Elise forgot to tell me until the day of the party. As a result, while her hair and make up were perfect and she was dressed in a pretty, beaded and fringed dress from a play she’d done in junior high, along with a faux fur coat borrowed from the props department for the occasion, I had nothing era-appropriate. I ended up going in my clubbing clothes - a mini black dress, a leather jacket, skull-print stockings, and my knee-high, PVC bitch boots. (The heavy jewelry and black lipstick was just a required addition at that point.)

Please keep in mind that neither of us had anything to drink that night, so everything that happened hereafter was while we were both stone cold sober.

We arrived late, only to find we weren’t really welcome. Everyone was acting… off. (We found out later that one of Elise’s “friends” had been spreading ugly rumors about her, jealous that Elise had gotten a part for which they had both tried out.) When we approached folks to say hello, they were polite but talked over any of our attempts to join in their conversations. It was awkward and uncomfortable, and at the time we had no clue why, which was aggravating. Despite the party going to till 2 AM, the pair of us decided to call it a night after half an hour, heading back to Elise’s around 11 PM.

Despite never talking about it,  the deal whenever we went somewhere late was always that I would get Elise back to her dorm room, then call her as soon as I got to my apartment. (Neither of us had a car, and of us two I was the paranoid one who carried a knife and pepper spray, and had no problem telling people who were creeping me out to fuck off or being willing to actually dial the local police dispatch number if my instincts started screaming.)

We were walking through the middle of the deserted campus on the way to Elise’s, when we passed the bell tower. (Just to clarify, the “tower” is actually three open blocks built of bricks, the first one five-by-five across, and the same in height. Each block was progressively smaller, stacked on top of one another with four clocks set into the sides of the top block, all showing the same time.) What caught my attention was the three people sitting in the open space underneath. They seemed about our age, but I didn’t recognize any of them. Two guys and one girl, all wearing beanies, light coats, and flip flops despite the cold. (It was low-30s Fahrenheit, or 0-2° C.)

One of them had a bongo drum. He was keeping a beat, while the other two traded lines of improvised poetry.

I slowed down enough to figure out what they were saying. Elise was shivering, but I was wearing more layers than her so I didn’t feel the chill as strongly. Before I knew what I was doing, I’d plopped myself down beside the trio and pulled Elise onto my lap, wrapping my arms around her to keep her warm.

I nodded to the last person to speak - the girl. The three of them were staring at us, but eventually she repeated the last line she’d said, and I responded with a new line.

We went back and forth, from me to the girl to me to the boy, and around again. Bongo Guy started to up the speed of his beat pattern with each turn. I can’t repeat a single line from the entire time now, and only have a distant memory of feeling lightheaded and high. (A few days later when I asked Elise about it, she told me our words were about the moon and old gods and eternity vs the human life span. She said she’d been surprised and caught up in the whole thing until she didn’t care that she was freezing her ass off.)

This went on until the bell above us started to chime the time - 12 AM. I was suddenly aware of how bad Elise was trembling from the night air, and the cold I’d been ignoring came creeping up my body. I finished a pair of rhyming lines as I stood and helped Elise to her feet, then gave the trio a little bow. (I was in a traveling Shakespeare troupe in high school. You don’t finish a verse of poetry without a bow. It’s Just Not Done.) I wished them “a lovely All Hallow’s” and goodnight. They nodded and stayed seated.

I got Elise to her dorm then headed for my apartment. On the way, I passed by the bell tower again. The three people were no longer there.

No names were exchanged that night, and in the two semesters Elise and I were at the school, neither of us saw them on campus or in the town before we left the school.

My favorite part about the whole thing is that from my perspective, these three modern beatniks were strange and possibly magic. But from their point of view, what did me and Elise seem like? Two girls you don’t recognize (one wearing a flapper dress, and one looking like she just walked out of a 90s goth club) invite themselves into your poetry circle on Halloween, three days before a full moon. One of them matches you, line for line, for nearly an hour. And as soon as the clock strikes Midnight, they leave. You never see them again.


Let’s face it, we bookworms tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, when it comes to our reading, because we’re weird like that, but in a good way. And, the truth is that reading should always be fun. Guilt free. ALL THE FUN SO MUCH OF THE FUN BECAUSE WORDS ON PAGES *insert screech* You know what I’m talking about. So I thought that compiling a list of the reasons that bookworms feel guilty and why they should just stop would be a great idea

  1. Not reaching our Goodreads challenge/lowering our goal for the year

In the past few years, the Goodreads challenge has become a staple of measuring achievement when it comes to reading. It has become insanely popular and it’s honestly such a good tool to keep track of everything you’re reading. But it also adds an immense amount of pressure. I’ve been there. When December rolls around and you see that you’re to the Goodreads challenge what Pluto is to being a planet in the Solar System (a.k.a. not even close; also VIVA LA PLUTO because Pluto deserved better smh), the panic sets in. You’re left with two options: lowering your goal or not finishing the challenge. Both make you feel like crap. But honestly, life makes us feel like crap far too many times, thank you very much, so let’s not let reading add to the ever growing pile of crap, am I right?

There’s no reason to feel guilty. If you read one book that year, you’re still a bookworm and it’s still a HUGE achievement. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t reach your challenge. It’s just a stupid tracking tool on the internet, it’s not something to measure your worth as a reader or as a person. You’re still awesome, even if you read just a page. Even one page counts. We’re busy, school and work get in the way 99% of the times. Unexpected life events occur. Shit happens. It’s normal and it’s expected, because life is fun and all that jazz.

Also, may I suggest a great idea: set your goal to one book for the year. Boom! Pressure off. You’ll still be able to see what books you read, how many pages and all that jazz, with the bonus that you don’t feel like hyperventilating every time you open your Goodreads account

  2. Not finishing books (the dreaded DNF)

Let me tell you something right off the bat: life is too short to waste on books that you’re not enjoying. Yes, I know, if you’re like me, you die a little on the inside every time you are at that point where you want to scream at the book you’re reading: BUT WHY ARE YOU NOT GOOD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME WHO DID I OFFEND IN A PREVIOUS LIFE FML FML. It’s a reality. But let’s face it: you’re not going to enjoy every single book you pick up. It’s just not written in the stars. Which is why it’s perfectly acceptable to just…stop reading it. Put it down. Hug a kitten. Contemplate the universe. Leave it be. Maybe pick it up at a later time, maybe not. But don’t feel guilty. You didn’t disappoint the book, yourself, the book gods or literature as a whole. It just wasn’t meant to be and you should never force yourself to read a book you’re not enjoying. In my case, every time I force myself to keep going with a book I’m not enjoying, I tent to end up in The-Thing-That-Should-Not-Be-Named a.k.a. the Book Slump™. Just…no.

  3. Not reading classics

80% of the classics I’ve read have bored me to tears. I mean. I want me some dragons, magic and lost princesses. There are no such things in most classics (a huge oversight on the part of the writers, but I’m not pointing fingers). I’ve stumbled upon some that I really enjoyed, but too few to really make me actively pursue reading classics. The trouble is that a lot of people cringe so badly when you tell them that you don’t read classics.

“So yeah, I don’t really read or like classics”
“Um, I just..don’t really enjoy them/relate to the stories/want to live while I’m reading them”

Whenever people react like this, it puts me off reading classics even more, because I hate judgy people. But I digress. My point is, the amount of classics that you read or don’t read doesn’t indicate how “good” of a reader you are (fyi, there are no good or bad readers imo). It’s just indicative of the genres you enjoy reading. That is all. People who read classics aren’t THE BEST BOOKWORMS™. They’re just people. Like you.

  4. Rereading books

I will shout this from the rooftops: I LOVE REREADING BOOKS. It’s something so refreshing and comfortable to go back to a book universe you fell in love with. To revisit favourite characters and go on adventures with them again. I reread at least a few books every year. Last year, I actively tried to reread at least one book each month. It was so much fun!

Rereading books can get you out of The Slump™. Rereading books is an excellent alternative for when you can’t afford to buy new books because stupid life costs money booooo. Rereading can be so insightful, because you notice so many things you missed on your first (or second, or third or…you get my drift) read. Rereading can be a whole new experience years after reading that book for the first time. Rereading a certain book can be the best for you at a certain time, because everything is familiar and safe. Rereading is absolutely no reason to feel guilty – people usually say they’re wasting time when they’re rereading (um, no), missing out on new releases (they’ll still be there a week later when you finish rereading your favourite book thank you very much), they fear not liking it as much the second time around (fine, I’ll give you this, it’s a possibility, BUT I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE). Long story short: reread more books 2k17.

  5. Neglecting books because life

We’re bookworms, yes. But we’re also People Who Need To Live and Function in Society. What does this mean? That we sometimes don’t have that much time to read (I know, it’s just so rude). Days may pass when we don’t read at all. Weeks. Sometimes months. Years? (all my college years were spent reading almost academic books exclusively; it was a dark time in my life). But that’s okay. There’s no reason to feel guilty for doing our best to live out lives. Doing that sometimes implies giving up certain things, because we simply don’t have the time or energy to do them. That doesn’t make us bad people or bad readers. Your books will still be waiting for you when you have the time to devote them your full attention. Books don’t judge.

Surprisingly or not, this is just part one. I have many feelings about this particular topic, because I really really want people to read books guilt free. And live the bookworm life to the fullest

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these points. And if there was ever a time you felt guilty for something book related

Happy reading, bookish people <3


Your relationship with Johnny from his POV


Next one in the series! This was a little harder because Johnny is kinda hard to read in the sense, I’m not sure how he’d be like in a relationship. He could be exactly how I describe him or he could be the complete opposite. Either way, he’s definitely boyfriend/husband/father material so enjoy :)

also i went fucking crazy with this, it’s 3200 words lmfao which is surprising because i found this really hard to write - either way, enjoy!

Your relationship with NCT from his POV

I will do all the debuted members in NCT excluding Sm Rookies, but first I’m starting with the hyung line of NCT before doing the maknae line!

Originally posted by 13-living-memes

Keep reading


I laugh at that name every time, and I’m not even sorry.

So I haven’t touched the 2 latest episodes because I’m lazy, but this was so much fun that I had to devote some time screaming to it! So get ready kids, because there is screaming (and spoilers) below the cut.

Though first: someone who’s never seen Camp Camp tell me what’s going on in this picture:

Keep reading

The List

Since the portal accident when he was fourteen, he’d been keeping a record of all ghostly abilities that he exhibited as well as a short explanation of each power. At age fifteen, with everything that had happened and continued to happen, Danny was still just as confused about his ghost-half as he had been a year previously.

Maddie and Jack had offered to analyze his notes to determine whether or not his abilities were finite or if they would continue to grow along with him, which Danny had refused at first. When Danny discovered that he was continuing to add to his ever-growing and ever-changing list of powers, the boy consented to letting his parents look at his recordings. His only question was: “Am I finished getting new powers, or should I expect more?”

This was why both adults were slack-jawed in their lab, Danny and Jazz upstairs with their own business to attend to, staring at the expanse of paper before them. This was his latest, most recently revised list and it was more than impressive; organized by the amount of energy spent on each ability.

Accelerated Healing - The title underestimates the actual ability. Mortal wounds become not-so-mortal when in ghost form, unless the central-core energy is specifically targeted to be harmed or weakened. When in ghost form and with enough energy, anything but complete disintegration would bring me little (real) harm. In human form, I can tap into these healing abilities to a lesser extent of my ghost self. (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Enhanced Sensation - All of my five senses are much more sensitive. (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Ecto-Location (Ghost Sense) - When a ghost is nearby, a cold puff of air from my core is sent out (usually through my mouth). If I focus just slightly, I can also determine the ecto-signature of the particular ghost (provided they are familiar to me, i.e. Skulker, Box Ghost, etc.…) (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Invisibility - Manipulating both myself and the light around me, I can make it so I am unable to be seen without special equipment. (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Intangibility - I can become abstract in a way that means I cannot be touched by any human-world item not meant for catching and/or harming ghosts. Tied slightly to invisibility; often, when intangible, I revert to a more corporeal form that is difficult to see (not impossible, but difficult nonetheless). (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Flight - Probably because of the composition of ectoplasm in comparison to the Earth’s atmosphere, I can fly without accessories. (Energy Drain - Instinctual)

Body Modification - Includes (but probably not limited to): formation of a ghostly tail when flying at high speeds, ethereal fog materializing between body parts to stretch them, also I can shift to a rubber-like constitution at will. (Energy Drain - Instinctual to Low)

Ghost Stinger - If I react quickly enough, I can turn other ghost’s ectoplasmic energy against them and re-direct the energy. Often this produces an electrified effect on the ‘already-used’ (meaning the energy wasn’t mine to begin with) ectoplasm. If I choose to, I can use energy from my own core to amplify this effect. (Energy Drain - Low)

Ecto-Blasts - I can release energy from my ghostly core outwards in varying degrees of power (up to my control when coming to how much I want to release). (Energy Drain - Low to Moderate)

Ectoplasmic Manipulation - Instead of unfocused ectoplasmic energy, I can dictate what the energy from my core does. Shields, ecto-weapons, and bindings (like chain or rope) are my most often used forms of ectoplasmic manipulation. (Energy Drain - Low to Moderate)

Cryokinesis - Same premise as Ecto-Blasts, provided I concentrate on cold energy rather than unfocused ectoplasm. (Energy Drain - Low to Moderate)

Telekinesis - By surrounding an object (or objects) with a light form of ectoplasm, I can move things around. Size and weight of the item are factors, but longer distances make it harder to move the object(s). (Energy Drain - Moderate)

Ice Fog - If I slowly release cold energy from my core and with it releasing minute amounts of raw ectoplasmic energy, I can create a dense icy fog that decreases visibility around a particular area. (Energy Drain - Moderate to High)

Beacon - Using energy from my core, I can create a beacon of white-green light (from my hands) that attracts ghosts in the near vicinity-friend or foe. The stronger the beacon, the greater area the light reaches (meaning more ghosts the beacon calls to). They seem to be entranced by the light enough so that they’re unaware of their surroundings until I stop the beacon. (Energy Drain - Moderate to High)

Duplication - While making sure not to split my central core, I can manipulate the ectoplasm inside of me to create an identical copy of myself. The more core energy I use, the easier the copy is to maintain, the more durable they are, and the closer they are to. Side note, memory transfer is still a pain. Currently able to maintain 2 low-stamina clones, 1 moderate-stamina clone. (Energy Drain - High)

Ghostly Wail - Using the raw energy from my central core, I can create a series of ectoplasmic sound-waves that do severe damage to those in range of the attack. Also slightly inflicts damage on those not in direct attack but who are close enough to me that the screams penetrate their ears. (Energy Drain - High to Critical)

Arctic Howl - Using more central core energy with focus on its element of ice, a much more devastating effect to the original Wail can be achieved by the waves manifesting into a blizzard. The above effects of the original Ghostly Wail remain in place with the addition of the deep-freeze extending the attack radius. (Energy Drain - Critical)

Jack was the first to speak up.

“Heh… Who knew he was holding out on us this whole time?” He chuckled with an odd sort of smile, still unable to process that his fifteen-year-old son possessed the power that he did. Maddie was still gobsmacked as she flipped through the pages of edits that her son had done.

How he was doing abysmally in English class with this obvious mastery of the language was beyond her, for one thing.
For another; after his list of powers, Danny had composed several theories and hypotheses that could put other doctors in the Paranormal sciences to shame. They were well thought out and carefully laid down with just enough proof threaded in with his theories that made them seem credible. The woman seated herself and blinked. Who knew? She’d always thought that it would be her daughter to follow in her footsteps, even when Jasmine had proclaimed her love for psychology. Jazz had been the one with the book-smarts and Danny had been the boy with his heart in anything he does. The way his notebook looked, however, told her that Danny wasn’t letting on nearly how intelligent he actually was; and it also told her that he had a knack for the thing that her and Jack had devoted their lives to. Rather than her eldest taking over the Fenton family tradition of ghost-hunting when they were gone, it seemed that her youngest was more than equipped with the knowledge to step up to the plate now.

For once in her life, Madeline Cassandra Fenton was truly stumped. She’d thought that she’d have an easy answer to her son’s question, but she was absolutely, 100% baffled just by what Danny was stating simply in his journal as if it were nothing. Jack was too, if his calculating expression told her anything. Despite his tactless way of approaching situations and his general lack of common sense, Jack Fenton was truly a genius and had a wonderfully creative mind; it was one of the many reasons that she’d fallen in love with him. He was deep in his ‘scientist-mode’, as he said it to be. Brows drawn together, the man nodded and looked to his wife.

“I think that he’s yet to apex, as far as these powers go. From the looks of things in here,” he referred to the generous edits made to the notebook-including the changing ‘energy-drain’ levels, “the longer he has these powers, the more control he has. Probably even the strongest attacks he has now will be nothing if we give it a couple years.” Jack grinned like a child in a candy shop. “Who knows, Mads, he might just be the most powerful ghost ever! And he’s only halfway there!” Maddie found herself smiling at her husband’s eagerness.
“Maybe, Jack, maybe…” She trailed off in favor of looking over the book again while Jack began rambling about he and Danny teaming up to be a dynamic duo of sorts.
Through all of the questions that his notebook had left her with, one thing was clear to Maddie when she finally left the lab that evening; she had really only just begun to learn the double-life her son had been leading for the past year and a half.

And she was more than ready to continue learning, as any good scientist would be.

anonymous asked:

hopetaegukkie <3 i was thinking about tae and how i've never seemed to read a post or fic that manages to capture who tae is! unlike jimin, suga, kook, mon, who are so transparent - I never know what Tae hates or loves, only that he absolutely loved his grandma and loves army, and he can get strangely upset at times. I wonder if what your thoughts about this boy is? because I just can't grasp him at all

I’m…so…glad…that…you…noticed. i’ve been waiting on an ask like this because Kim Taehyung is easily, at least in my opinion, easily the most complex and private member of BTS even though you wouldn’t think so. Especially now that Yoongi has lovingly shared such a big part of himself with us (and honestly seems happier for it which is very nice.)

So, Kim Taehyung. Well, firstly, a basic profile as of currently.

Summary/short ver:
Kim Taehyung.

Capricorn sun sign. (and tbqh he really reads like one, even though when he was younger I thought that he didn’t seem very Capricorn, as an adult 100% does.)
Was born in Daegu, lived on a farm with his family.

hobbies & likes:
BTS, ARMY, family, animals. High fashion, jazz and blues, art and photography especially high fashion or people and nature photography, and artsy, romantic films. Fashion in general. He often wears very up to date fashion in SoKo despite the fact that people like to think of him as having a ‘hobo’ style TT. Anything soulful or rich in texture, his favorite music has lots of baritones and soul/warmth. He prefers big animals to small but likes all kinds, and has never stated much physical preference for love interests besides the fact that he wants someone loyal. when asked at fanaccs for other specifics, most of the time he puts down big numbers for weighs and the average height for females(or would be a shorter cis male height in SoKo, because while the fans tend to super target their questions for a female audience, i don’t want to be presumptuous.) He has a preference for sophisticated things. Even as a kid he showed a more refined tastes because he kid picked saxophone to play (when asked what he would do if he wasn’t an idol anymore it would either be to stay on the farm with his family or become a saxophonist.) He loves acting and modeling!!

Full discussion:

Kim Taehyung is a man of refined tastes and despite the fact that you wouldn’t think so, he’s an incredibly private man. As a teenager closer to debut he was a bit more playful, but as he’s matured he’s a lot more closed off. When he lost his grandmother at the end of last year that only became more distinct.

As for what he likes, Taehyung has a very ‘old soul’ approach to things. He’ll most likely pick whatever is more soulful over something mainstream. When they got the chance to have influence over their own solos, Taehyung said he worked hard and much on his, and that it ‘suited his tastes very well’ and he said something very confident about how it was ‘quite nice’. Stigma is a very heavily jazzy song, that suits his warm tones and shows of his range. It’s honestly, a really, really good window into who Taehyung is.

For the record, people think that Taehyung is a goofy guy and tend to brush him off or stereotype him that way but Tae is a LOT more complex than that. And not only is he complex, the man tends to hide those parts of him.

The real truth is, Taehyung IS hard to get a read on. You have to be good at reading people in general, or REALLY love him and pay ALL the attention to him and REALLY absorb every inch he gives us. Because the truth is, Taehyung doesn’t give us that much private things about himself.

On a love and family front, we all know that he’s a family man, a man who loves animals, who believes in true love and soulmates. He wants to have a large family with many kids, and he wants to be the light of his loves life, just like they’ll be for him.

On a work front, we know that this career/life wasn’t the one he would have picked without it finding him, because he wanted to be a farmer. But he found himself becoming a bighit trainee after being asked by the staff who went out of their way to call his parents to ask for permission. This life picked him, but he has what it takes. He works HARD on his voice, his dance, his everything. He said he almost didn’t make it into the final group if it wasn’t thanks to the members (which is why he loves them so much and is so devoted) but every day current day he works, SO, hard. When Minjae called Tae on his Vapp, it wa like 7pm SoKo time and Taehyung said that he was just sitting down to shower and eat for the first time because he had been working and training all day. He works his a$$ off. NEVER forget how UPSET and just, devastated he was, when he couldn’t properly use his voice or sing because he was sick and strained, during AHL when they were doing the training. Because he felt he was letting them down and not showing his full capacity.

On the Hobby and interest front, we know that he likes fashion, whether that’s wearing it, high fashion, fashion photography, etc. and he really loves taking pictures. He loves BEING in pictures and modeling. Photoshoots are one of his favorit things, he said in the NOW’s (i think it was NOW2 that i’m referencing but he’s said it more than once.) that he really likes photoshoots and the reason that he likes doing photoshoots with Namjoon is because Namjoon likes high fashion too.

He also loves jazz/blues music. Lots of times he tries to play it from “Taetae’s jukebox” (otherwise known as his phone) and the fans ask him to turn it off. He won’t outwardly show his discouragement but I’m sure that’s not easy to hear multiple times when he’s trying to share a piece of himself. Sometimes he comes right out and says he won’t turn it, and i’m so glad. Remember when he tried to share that he liked Nude Photography on the fancafe and the fans were calling that erotic/weird so he ended up taking his post down and never talking about it before? Taehyung has very artistic tastes and the fact is, when he shares those tastes, they often get frowned at by fans for being weird or just too artsy.

Jimin VERY recently said that Taehyung is his movie connoisseur who always recommends movies. (including movies like Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, which is a VERY artsy, emotional, beautiful movie.)

TBH guys, I could talk ALL day about Kim Taehyung. He’s a very private man who doesn’t WANT to let a lot of people in, and when he does, things tend not to go his way. But he’s fearless, he’s loving, he’s powerful and elegant, and there’s SO f*cking much to love about him. Taehyung is the most beautiful, amazing puzzle there ever was to solve. He’s like a stained glass window before it’s all put together. If you take the time to pay attention to him, watch him when he isn’t speaking, listen to him when he DOES speak, I promise that he’ll reward you. Every second of ‘people watching’ Kim Taehyung, is such an experience.

Thank you so much for this ask. Truly. From the bottom of my heart.

"I’m your jazz singer, you’re my cult leader..”

“Years ago where everything was so wrong in my personal life that I let go and stopped willing my way into life. When I let go of everything and stopped trying to become a singer and write good songs and be happy, things then fell into place. I was surrendering to life on life’s terms. It was this very real experience with a life science that nobody had taught me. You let go of everything you think you want, and focus on everything you love, so it’s the only vibration you’re putting out there.” 

“No. It’s feeling like you’re already there; that you are where you wanted to be the whole time. You just have to imaginatively let it already be so.”

“There are so many things, really. I guess one of them is a personal experience I had with a person who believed in breaking you down to build you back up again. And although that mindset didn’t really agree with me, there was something freeing in letting go, for me, [with] this particular sort of guru-esque character. It’s a little bit about being in love with the act of surrendering, about being confused whether that’s a good idea.”

“The act of surrendering sort of puts me in a different mindset that allows me to be more of a channel — because I’m not holding on so tightly to things, I’m letting go, and I find that in letting go I become more of a channel for life to really happen on life’s terms. I mean, maybe that sounds sort of metaphysical, but that’s honestly how I feel.”

“And I mean, it sounds really strange, but just in general, I have found that devoting your life to the people around you and caring for them is the true road to general happiness.”

‘Solvet et Coagula’ is a latin expression that translated means ‘dissolve and coagulate’. In other words this pagan expression has a very broad meaning, but can be translated as ‘Something has to be completely destroyed to be created’.

“I used to be a member of an underground sect which was reigned by a guru. He surrounded himself with young girls and he had this insane charisma I couldn’t resist as well. So I was in this, I’ll call it sect, because I was longing for love and security. But then I found out that this guru wasn’t a good but a bad person. He thought that he had to break people first before he could build them up again. At the end I left the sect.” (Grazia)

“Ultraviolence” is a look back on my time in New York. I was for a while part of a sloping underground scene, which was dominated by a guru. He believed in the concept, finished close people first and then rebuild. I fell for him because that time I longed for security.” (Kulturnews)

‘River on the Rise’ by Debra Blake for Vegetarian Times, March 1988 (Part II, final)

How the family took their vision to Hollywood dates back 10 years ago, to their final days in Venezuela. The family had little money when they left the religious community and River, along with his sister Rainbow, often took to the streets, restaurants, and even airport waiting areas to sing to people, entertaining them while trying to earn a dollar. River had been playing guitar since before he was 5 years old, and his talent became increasingly apparent to Arlyn and John. Back in the States, the family headed straight for Los Angeles, where Arlyn took a job at a broadcasting company to get the family’s collective foot in Hollywood’s door.

“We weren’t going for the glamour or the fame of it all,” Arlyn says. “We were going to take the kids’ talent-which was so obvious-to us-and turn it into something and help make change at the same time. That’s why we went.”

Weren’t they afraid that the kids wouldn’t share their vision, or perhaps lose sight of it as the endless glittery parties began to welcome them, threatening to turn them into Hollywood brats?

“No,” says Arlyn. “I knew they wouldn’t get into the Hollywood scene. We had our own business to attend to, and it wasn’t Hollywood. It was making change in the world.”

River’s business is making change, too. He’s clear on that score. “If I didn’t think I could be a part of a movement that could influence,” he says, “and be a part of helping and change, if I couldn’t help that through what I’m doing, I wouldn’t do this. But I’m seeing that through this position-in this career, and where I have these magazine interviews- I can be an example, and I think that’s important. In all the interviews I do, I say something about my being vegan. I don’t want to come off as if I’m a savior. I’m only a very small part of anything, but I think it’s important to be involved. I’m interested in meditation and finding spiritual fulfillment. But for me to just go off and devote my life to monkhood in the jungle would be ultimately abandoning the world, and the consciousness would be on a selfish level. I think I can do a lot more good for this planet if I am out there.”

River is still young. Does he share his mother’s confidence that he’ll be able to withstand the pressures that Hollywood places on young people-pressures that make them grow up quickly, losing their dreams and ideals in the process?

“Being out there,” River says slowly, looking around at the giant oak trees on the lawn, “you can go astray, and everything can be destroyed. I’m aware of that, but I don’t think I’ll get into that. Maybe I’m lucky; I’m not really attracted to all of that now. I think I’ll be strong enough, but I do see there’s that chance.

"You can’t really make any plans about things like this, though. You go with the flow but still against the grain, not for the ego of it but for the belief of it. The only thing I have to show is how I live. The vegan thing is one of the main things. I’m a peaceful person; I think that’s manifested through how I live. I don’t start trouble. But time will tell.”

River has moved around a lot over the years. He was born in Oregon, went with the family to South America as a young child, and has lived in countless California towns. He’s traveled-sometimes with only part of the family-to different countries to film on location. Just before last Thanksgiving the whole family moved to Florida, where they now reside. They wanted to leave the Hollywood scene and revive ideals about living in the country.

Florida winter afternoons are warm, and River spends hours in the garage, hunched over his new 12-string guitar. His hands are square and strong, and after so many years they’re used to playing the chords that sound good to him. He has the guitar plugged into an amplifier, and the rock rhythms echo out in the yard. He’s not in school (he was privately tutored for most of his life), and he says he’s not interested in working until the summer. These days he’s mostly hanging around, traveling a bit, hoping a bass guitarist will read the signs he placed around the University of Florida campus. “Needed,” the signs read. “Bass guitarist with young blood who’s into progressive rock and roll, jazz. For demo recordings.” River is looking for a buddy to jam with.

If he didn’t have his acting career, River thinks he could be a musician. He’s driven to it. “I love music,” he says. “It’s so much a part of me.” The roster of his favorite musicians is long and eclectic; he’s especially into early Squeeze and U2. But the rest of his list reads like the playlist of an early ‘70s FM station. “I like jazz, folk music, Bob Dylan. Older Bowie and old Roxy Music to fall asleep to. I like old Steely Dan music and some Pink Floyd. Old Led Zeppelin, too. The Beatles are my Bible; that goes without saying. And I like classical music.”

Modern music disappoints River, and he doesn’t like much of what’s commercially produced. His tastes in books and movies also show that River has one foot in a different age. He sounds a little frustrated by that, and says things like “movies nowadays. ..books nowadays. .. music nowadays.”

He doesn’t see too many new movies, preferring witty, intelligent classic comedies, and he likes the great slapsticks. But his idealism comes through even here. “I haven’t seen Cry Freedom [about Steven Biko, a martyred black South African], but it’s top on my list for a real conscious movie. And I liked Brazil. I like intense movies. Did you ever see Brother Sun, Sister Moon? It’s about St. Francis. I felt a rebirth after I saw that.”

He doesn’t find much time for reading, though he’d like to, but somehow he’s picked up a lot of information on health and political issues. The novels he’s read, or would like to read, are those that kids grew up on 15 and 20 years ago: Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, Richard Bach’s Illusions, Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

As for his own movies, he’s hot enough to be selective about the scripts he accepts, and he’s been pretty happy with the results. “I feel no need to invest in a movie unless I have an incredible passion for it,” he says. “And one that will not only be good for me but one I can be proud of-one that’s a benefit to society. I always hope the movie will, if nothing else, be a part of good art and influence people in a good way.”

Up to now, there’s been no compromising in River’s work, and he’s not planning on changing his record. Even as a child, no commercials he ever made endorsed white bread, and when he was in Seven Brides, the family made sure he wouldn’t have to go fishing or wear a coonskin cap.

River still chooses carefully, hoping the ideals he lives by will be reflected in the characters he plays. He liked his character of Chris Chambers in Stand by Me, directed by Rob Reiner. “Chris came off as a victim of the mentality of his town, but he was a good person. He was a great friend, he was loyal and he wasn’t an idiot-not just a big dumb l2-year-old. He was a real sweet guy, smart and intelligent. A good character.”

The last movie he worked on was Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty. (Lumet directed Dustin Hoffman in the Academy Award-winner Tootsie.) River plays the son of parents whose antimilitary activities have kept them on the run for years. River likes the character but sees him as a victim, too.

“In dramas, kids usually are victims, either to their parents or to society:’ River explains. "I want to get away from that. It would be wonderful to see someone already in a clear-minded reality take it from there and maybe go beyond that, show what can happen.”

He can’t say precisely what kinds of films he’d like to do or what kind of work will draw him next. Theater would be interesting, perhaps, and possibly directing at some point. Unlike many actors, he’s not even thinking about who he’d like to work with. “I would like to work with Rob Reiner again,” he says, “Maybe just a cameo role in one of his movies. But for the most part I don’t think like that. I figure that time will tell, and if it’s right, I’ll meet the right people and work with them at some point.” Outwardly, River has few doubts about himself, as an individual and as a Phoenix family member. “I’m definitely an individual,” he said. “I feel very secure as an individual. And I’m proud of my family and what we’ve done together. I’m a product of my family, just like everybody else. These are my roots.

"I just want to live my life. Acting is what I love to do, and it’s worked out this way. I don’t know if it’s God’s perfect plan or whatever, but for me, not only do I love it and get great satisfaction out of it, but also I can work my beliefs in. I’m free to believe in what I do, and I can share those beliefs with others. Not in a preaching way, not telling others, but just by what I do. I find that very fulfilling.”

After lunch-tabouli, nori, blue corn chips, tofu omelet, tahini dressing-River and Rainbow, like older brother and sister in any family, take the family jeep to pick up the other kids from school. Back home, River runs into the yard to swing on the rope hung from one of the oaks. “Hey, look at this!” he yells. While Rainbow watches, River laughs, jumps high and grabs hold. 

A Phoenix on the rise.

Me & Jack Kerouac

The first time I ever heard the name Jack Kerouac I was fifteen years old and my dad was cracking a joke about my friend James Thiede who wanted to take a bus to California: “you guys want to be Jack Kerouac now huh?” I had never heard the name but man somehow right after hearing that I did want to be Jack Kerouac. Or at least know who he was. The name alone–the rhyme, the funny French vowels in the surname, it just sounds endearing. So I checked out On the Road from the Redford library. It turns out it was the perfect time in my life to come across him, I was going into my junior year of high school that fall which meant that my friends had licenses for the first time (I didn’t get mine until I was seventeen), which then in turn meant everyone was able to really start partaking in the activities high schoolers tend to partake in at night. Just by nature of having cars suddenly the world seemed so open to adventure. In retrospect many of these “adventures” have certainly been romanticized by nostalgia, after all driving around from parking lot to parking lot smoking pot after football games and drinking your parents’ weird liqueurs while listening to Built to Spill in the back of a minivan isn’t exactly Treasure Island, but reading Jack Kerouac made it all feel the more fantastic (in the most literal “of fantasy” sense). Reading Jack Kerouac that fall was the first time in my life my eyes were really opened to how fiction can make the mundane magical, how with just the slightest bit of imaginative perspective the everyday world could be transformed into the sublime. I was sixteen reading this book about this guy riding around with friends getting high and drunk “in the American night” looking for something to give life meaning and purpose and here I was doing the same thing for the first time. And for the first time in my life I saw fiction not as just entertainment or a window into some other world but also as some weird sort of funhouse mirror that could reflect life and refract it back upon itself in ways that made it seem more beautiful, more full of purpose. Reading Jack Kerouac meant that suddenly eating cheeseburgers in the glow of a diner at night could be beatific, and that drinking beer in an apartment while listening to records with friends could have the potential for religious experience.

Of course a lot of this is me being sixteen and having the sort of dopey, romantic feelings sixteen-year-olds have, but those are exactly the sort of feelings Kerouac plays too, he finds what Springsteen referred to as the “waltz between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy.” His perspective was so childlike and wondrous that he saw his life not only as adventure and material for fiction but also as part of this big intertextual tapestry of American history and literature. He sees Steinbeck characters in the faces of lunch cart cooks, sees the rolling land of America as the result of Paul Bunyan’s axe and other folk mythologies. The American landscape is one giant Thomas Hart Benton mural through Kerouac’s eyes. And so when reading Kerouac, I began to do the same as him- projecting the history of American fiction onto my reality- seeing Dean Moriarty and Carlo Marx in the faces of friends I was having my own nocturnal American adventures with.

I know for a lot of people it’s the bebop rhythm of his writing (“glug a slug from the jug”) or the spontaneous prose approach he had borrowed from the modernists and placed in a jazz improvisation context– writing full sized novels in weeks at a time holed up in bathrooms on Benzedrine—but for me it’s less about the form and process and more about his mood and tone. It’s that aforementioned childlike wonder that really gets me with Kerouac, the romance he finds in simple scenes like eating beans and hot dogs over a fire while hopping trains in The Dharma Bums, or finding redemption from his downward spiral into alcoholism through something as kind of simple and naïve as looking at the stars in his backyard at the end of Big Sur (“on soft spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars, something good will come from all things yet, and it will be golden and eternal just like that”). Perhaps the best example is the famous closing passage of On the Road. After following an over three-hundred-page journey that spans several years of traveling coast to coast across America all through his eyes he tracks the camera back to a bird’s eye view of America, and in one giant paragraph-sized sentence he paints the entire country going to bed:

“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight… the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”

He’s also at his best when his writing appeals directly to the senses. Short of Hemingway I don’t think I’ve read anyone who’s better at writing about food, from the apple pie in On the Road (“it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer”) to the breakfast he cooks for himself in The Railroad Earth:

“and make raisin toast by sitting it on a little wire I’d specially bent to place over the hotplate, the toast crackled up, there, I spread margarine on the still red hot toast and it too would crackle and sink in the golden, among burnt raisins and this was my toast. Then two eggs gently slowly fried in soft margarine in my little skidrow frying pan about half as thick as a dime in fact less, a little piece of tiny tin you could bring on a camp trip—the eggs slowly fluffed in there and swelled from butter steams and I threw garlic salt on them and when they were ready the yellow of them had been slightly filmed with a cooked white at the top from the tin cover I’d put over the frying pan, so now they were ready, and out they came, I spread them out on top of my already prepared potatoes which had been boiled in small pieces and then mixed with the bacon I’d already fried in small pieces, kind of raggedly mashed bacon potatoes, with eggs on top steaming, and on the side lettuce, with peanut nearby on side.”

This is the stuff that I love. It’s so simple. The guy devotes an entire page long paragraph to the breakfast he cooks for himself. That appetite too. You read that and suddenly you’re hungry, he’s great at that type of thing. If Kerouac writes about bowling, suddenly you want to go bowling.

Now I also should say there’s also a lot to Kerouac’s oeuvre that hasn’t exactly held up for me in the last seven years since I first read him, and specifically a lot of what I don’t like is directly connected to what I love so much. There are times for me when his childlike wonder and optimism can drift into the proto-hippy abstract a little too much, times when I wish Jack would kind of see the world through more of a rational, adult point of view. There are also times when this rose-tinted POV and childlike appetite for adventure can cast a shadow on his ethics, such as the myriad number of scenes throughout On the Road when you just want to grab Jack by the collar and beat it into his head that Neal Cassady isn’t a good guy. He has three different wives with children all across the country and here he is still behaving like he’s a kid, manically running back and forth across the country answering to nobody and living solely in search of “kicks”. Not to mention the different times both he and Jack discuss wanting to have sex with high school girls. That stuff pretty obviously can’t be reconciled. And as much as I’d like to section off the Jack Kerouac that I love and admire from the Jack Kerouac that makes me want to gag and regret ever mentioning that he’s a literary hero of mine, that’s just not possible. Those parts are connected.

But while it can be disheartening to see your heroes pale when you revisit them later on, the more critical approach that comes with rereading someone you loved in your youth as an adult I think can actually deepen the meaning of the work and your connection to it. When I first read Kerouac there was an authority that came with it. This was serious literature. The context of mystery and coolness that surrounded the book in my mind when I first found it that summer in high school meant that no matter what was written inside I was going to think it the greatest writing ever. But as I keep rereading it over the years I come at it each time with a more critical eye and I begin to pay attention to the authority of context that comes with reading writers that have been canonized. I start to notice that the Neal Cassady that I thought was so cool as a kid is actually a shitty father who cheats on his wives as well as a child predator. Now I start questioning if the Beats are just some hedonistic, self-righteous hipsters. After all this Neal Cassady is their proclaimed “Hero” and Jack and Allen are both very enchanted by his ethos and show no real signs of critique towards him. But then I remember that they were both also very religious. And quite pious too. Jack claims in the Dharma Bums that he was celibate for a year as part of his Buddhism. The sex, drugs & rock and roll jazz lifestyle they lived wasn’t solely for pure bodily pleasure, it was supposed to be part of a search for experience. “Truth”. I don’t know these days I feel about all of that. It becomes this big chess game of sincerity and authenticity that I don’t like getting into. “Were they doing this because they sincerely believed it or were they doing this to be cool?”
I worry a lot about whether or not I identify with the Beats or not. When I imagine the Beat Generation that’s been portrayed to me over the years through pop culture I see a café filled goatees and berets and people snapping to spoken word poetry over congas. That feels really ridiculous to me. When I think about the real life antecedent for an image like this, like Ginsberg’s famous reading of “Howl” for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco, and Kerouac’s recollection of this night that supposedly spearheaded the “San Francisco Renaissance”, how they passed around jugs of wine and started yelling things like “go!” and “yeah man you’ve got it!” like it’s a jazz club, I’ve got to be honest I kind of roll my eyes.” And I don’t like that I’ve become cynical like that. I hate that it turns into this game of “I really and truly and authentically like and “get” the Beats, you’re just posturing to be cool.” Because that’s how I got into them. I got into the Beats specifically because of this context of supposed cool that I saw around them when my dad first cracked that Kerouac joke and sent me down the rabbit hole that’s led me to right here, right now.

I know that I do love Jack Kerouac’s writing. It’s tender and exciting and it feels like talking to an old friend. It reads best in the late summer and the fall and it’s September now so.

Creole Love Call

One of my favorite minor characters appears in Episode 1.3, “The Green Mill Murder.”  In this episode we get to meet the talented Noreen Rodgers (I’ve seen this spelled several ways) – played by the equally talented Deni Hines. I come back to this episode again and again, mostly for the part of the plot that has to do with her.  I have nothing against the Freemans or Bobby Sullivan, but they don’t have lines like “Honey, it was so far up my thigh, I would’ve slugged you if you even tried” and “Girl, you must be half fried, ‘cause, uh, you ain’t makin’ any sense.”  Plus, one of my most-played tracks in my iPod is “Mr. Music Man”.  Sometimes I hear that “angel-child” song as I’m trying to fall asleep.  Her voice is magical – capturing the sultry and flamboyant atmosphere of a Jazz Age speak easy, the soothing feeling of a deep, true love, as well as the devotion of an abiding lover when circumstances become bittersweet.

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Our Brooklyn Promenades (Part 11)

Summary: Steve is being vague and slightly shady. What could it mean?

Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader

Words: 1621

Warnings: probably swearing, bit of non-explicit smut.. if you’ve made it this far, you got nothing to worry about.

A/N: More insight into Steve and why he’s being lame. I’m so empathetic. I am though. Promise. Read Part 10 or check out the Masterlist for more.

Originally posted by imultifandomstuff

Chapter 11: Sweet Chick

After he had dropped her off and wished her a good night, [Y/N] made herself comfortable in her bed, but could not stop wondering about what his actions meant. The following day, she discussed it with one of her closest friends, who told her that Steve was probably just a really old-fashioned guy who, as Steve himself had said, just wanted to take things slow. Yet there was something about the situation, [Y/N] did not know what exactly, that made her feel uneasy. Or maybe I should just stop being insecure? She really did not like feeling this way.

When it took him a whole damn month before he was able to meet up with [Y/N] again, her growing worries were not appeased. One freaking month. He had insisted that he could not get into regular contact with her, because he was out on a longterm covert operation in the heart of the jungle of Muang Loa, in a location so remote that it would attract too much attention to repeatedly make outgoing international calls. Of course he was unable to go into the details of his mission, because those were government affairs and she, as a common citizen, did not have any clearance. He also said he never would want to endanger her life by burdening her with confessions or complaints about his work life. Perhaps that was another thing that [Y/N] feared would create a wedge between them. Steve had a whole life, separate from hers, that he could not tell her about, that she could not be a part of, and sometimes it made him seem distant.

“Sweetheart, this is such a good place.”

“Hm, knew you’d like it.”

“I’m just a bit surprised you’re having shrimps at a chicken place.”

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anonymous asked:

I loved your dragon slayer only head cannon post. What are your head cannons for the dragon slayers and their mates. Like who each dragon slayers mate is, what they love about their mate, how protective they are of them, their favorite thing to do with their mate, things like that? If its not too much to ask. Thank you!

So this ask has been sitting in my inbox for a few days, and I get ridiculously excited every time I think about it. I love getting asks like this, so please never think you’re asking too much when you ask for my headcanons. I find it so flattering!

Alright, alright, alriiiight. (Please tell me someone here watches Kevin Hart’s stand up…) anyhoo, off we go!


Mate: Gray. (Who else would I HC as his mate, though)

What he loves about him: okay, where the fuck do I even start. He loves his drive. The man does not give up on the things he believes in and Natsu finds that more inspirational with every challenge they take on together. He also happens to believe in Natsu a LOT and that gives Natsu so much more confidence than he already has. Like “Gray believes in me, fuck yeah. You bet your ass I can do this, I won’t let you down, Gray-bae”. His determination in everything he does is also something that could keep Natsu up at night. It’s really admirable. I’ll cut it off there or else we’ll be here forever.

How protective Natsu is when it comes to Gray: uh. Dude. You’ve seen how protective he is over his guild mates. It’s like that times 10. It irritates Gray but he also finds it endearing that Natsu thinks he’s special enough to protect so fiercely. Harm one hair on his head and Natsu will be on your ass before Gray can say “I’ve got this, Flame Brain.” (I headcanon Natsu as the most protective dragon slayer and I stand by that).

His favourite thing to do with Gray: FIGHT. Whether it’s fighting against him or by his side, Natsu loves it. He also really loves talking about their parents and often thinks about how he wishes he could have gotten to know the people who made an amazing person like his Gray.

“Things like that” (I’m just gonna put a random headcanon for these): Natsu loves Gray’s hair. It’s super soft and looks fantastic. Gray almost cut it short once and Natsu threatened to shave all of his off if he did. Gray changed his mind pretty fast.


Mate: Levy.

What he loves about her: how smart she is. She’s constantly teaching him new things and the way her face lights up when she talks about something new she’s learned is the cutest thing to him (even if he doesn’t always understand what she’s saying). He loves that she can be stubborn because it’s fun to him to try to break her will and get her to agree with him. He also loves how tiny she is because her reaction to being called Shrimp is the highlight of his day.

How protective Gajeel is when it comes to Levy: scale of 1-10? A hard 8. He is super protective, but will let her analyze the situation if someone’s giving her a hard time and wait for her to give him the signal to move in and kick ass. Even when she can handle the situation herself, she often lets him help because he loves to beat the hell out of anyone that messes with her.

His favourite thing to do with her: go on missions. Watching her in action is fascinating to him and he thinks she doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how bad ass she can be. When the job is over, he takes her for dinner and softly whispers praise in her ear about how great she did.

Random headcanon: some douche bag once laughed at Levy’s headband and called it “stupid, girly, and childish.” Levy was actually really upset about it. Gajeel punched the guy in the face and stormed off. Levy was really confused until he came back 10 minutes later with a headband of his own (and rocked the fuck out of it, might I add) and before Levy could say anything, he just shrugged, “don’t get all mushy on me, Shrimp. My hair was getting in my eyes anyways.” He left it at her house once and she still has it to this day and will wear it around the house when Gajeel goes on solo missions.

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Queens of Darkness spinoff

half-hour web series that goes with Once. small town, big magical drama.

Maleficent gets some tedious taxes and paperwork job for the town, because Regina’s out of the office often saving the town, going to Camelot and the Underworld but governing still has to happen. It is mind-numbingly complicated and involves so many forms, mayoring used to be a full time job for Regina, after all, before the Snow Queen and Peter Pan and the Camelot invasion. 

She secretly loves it. It’s like being able to horde an entire town. She’s also very patient, and meetings take a distinctly different tone. 

Ursula returns from the far oceans because she misses the internet , and indoor plumbing. Her father and other merfolk visit, occasionally. She opens a bar. Hilariously, at first it’s just ‘the dive bar’ but it sticks. It has a strange sort of underwater and antique aesthetic and she performs several nights a week. 

Since Storybrooke has a housing shortage, Ursula and Maleficent live together in a big old Victorian house (like the Dark Swan house). Ursula takes forever in the shower, but she sings beautifully. Maleficent has a collection of various kinds of hot sauce that takes up a whole cupboard. 

Cruella discovers she can haunt them both, as she’s now queen of the underworld. (turns out it’s meant to be a ghastly place, and she’s really quite good at convincing people to move on in one way or another). She appears in mirrors, in glasses of water, anything reflective, and she can occasionally possess animals, to hilarious effect. (squirrels, rabbits, the neighbor’s cat). 

She jokes that she could possess Maleficent in dragon form, but they’re trying to get along. Cruella didn’t really abandon Lily in the woods, she brought her to a fire station and left her with some very attractive firefighters. How was she supposed to know that Lily wouldn’t stay there and grow up with them? She would have left herself there if she could have. 

Lily gets pissed off and accidentally destroys her apartment by turning into a dragon and has to move in with them because no one else will rent to her. Leading to the hilarious problem where everyone but Lily knows Regina is Lily’s other mother. (Cruella promises not to tell because she wants to see Lily’s face when Mal eventually has to tell her). 

Maleficent’s quietly unrequited love for the Evil Queen turned heroic Mayor of Storybrooke is hilarious to Cruella (She’s gone soft, how can you find that attractive, Mal, really?) and Ursula (Well, the chances of actually having a successful relationship are much better now that you’re both reformed, less curses, less heroes causing trouble.)

Kathryn returns from law school, now a real lawyer and sets up a magic friendly legal practice, as well as helping Maleficent with the town business when Regina’s away. She’s also their neighbor, who has a cat that Cruella keeps possessing.

They have over the fence style discussions and garden together (Ursula can uproot anything and Maleficent is very good at weed control). Kathryn helps them navigate.

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WHAT TIME IS IT IT’S UPDATED BOOK REC LIST TIME FUCK YEAH! Alright so I’ve recced quite a few of these before, primarily here and here, but I’m just gonna relist all the stuff I’ve read and found worthwhile here anyway, because updated lists are great. This is three goddamn pages in Word, so I’m gonna put it under a cut to spare your dashes because I’m nice like that you are all welcome. Under the cut: over a dozen book recs with rambly occasionally-capslocky reviews for most of them. All book titles link to the book’s Amazon page. Buy them. Be scholarly. You don’t need food. Updated 07-21-15; “buy or borrow” notes added!

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January 5th, 2015

It’s uncomfortable peering out from this place. Where you’re looking back at that fast, young, furious version of yourself that couldn’t be told nothin’ never no how. Who had it all figured out. I hate writing or thinking or talking or musing about transitions. About the loss of innocence and wonder between childhood and adolescence. Or the gradual dulling of the edges of life as adult-hood bleeds through the page. Because we just end up repeating the same narrative, and I wonder if we really find it to be true…or robotically step into the story that’s already been written? 

Everyone seems to talk about the same things and go through the same things and it bores me thinking my life could fit amongst the masses. I’ve come to terms with narcism so no use throwing that at me. Is it absurd to want to be exceptional? Tonight we talked about boys. Almost an entire evening devoted to dissecting. In that sense not much has changed. The same girls, the same feverish debate, the same reviewing of text messages, the same spiraling of opinions. That I don’t mind. We started watching Coven on Netflix, and in a particular scene Jessica Lang’s character is being wooed by her boyfriend to go off and lead a life of love and simplicity on a farm. “You’ve done so much,” he tells her, “But you’ve never really been happy.” What he’s offering her is peace, security, serenity. Love, comfort, companionship. And you can see it in her eyes that it doesn’t interest her one bit. Her character is evil. Literally told she has no soul by the voodoo, creepy, underworld dude. And to her there is just so much left to do than to be…happy. Than to just be. 

That is how I feel.  Women for so long were taught that our lives lead to some golden peak of being loved, of being safe. Jessica Lang’s character is evil, and it just made me think how that’s just something girls don’t get to be very often. What would we be, what would we have accomplished, what chaos would we ignite if we could just be bad. The entire construction of our identities relies on how we are assessed by men (boys with beards). We have been denied the underbelly of life. The way I think about relationships, I’m finding, is pretty unconventional, and it makes me feel like a bad person. Like I’ve lost some piece of my humanity because true and absolute love is not of particular interest to me. My friends all seem to want the same thing, or at least are intensely focused on it. And I just don’t get it. A boyfriend is a step above a dog and a step below a baby. 

I say this all from the comfort of having someone amazing in my life who loves me deeply. So I say this all from a safe place. But I can offer the following: too much of anything can turn it to poison. 

the thing about Fenris that can make him so gosh-durned confusing is that his whole… thing… about mages is basically operating on two separate but connected levels.

There’s the level where he’s just not grasping/refusing to grasp that Tevinter is an anomaly within Thedas, and that outside of Tevinter mages do, in fact, qualify as an oppressed class with whom he should be in ideological solidarity if he’s for-realsies serious about the whole ‘fuck slavery’ deal.  Which he does seem to be, and can serve as a motive for him to oppose Meredith under certain circumstances.  But anyway, my point is: part of his thing really is just pure unthinking bigotry, and that’s not cool.

And then there’s the level were dude straight has PTSD and magic/mages are a massive fucking five-alarm trigger for him.  They’re a blind spot, and yes, part of that is straight bigotry - but the thing that’s entrenching that bigotry and making him unwilling to see that things are different in Kirkwall is his PTSDand the merry havoc it wreaks on his reasoning.  This is a huge thing, and can’t really be ignored when you’re discussing his actions and beliefs: it’s critical to understanding his character, because there are no psychiatrists in Thedas.  The vocabulary and intellectual underpinnings required for him to understand why mages affect him so simply doesn’t exist - he can’t go 'hey, mages freak me out, but that’s because my neurochemistry got buggered up all to hell and back and it’s not anything to do with any qualities inherent to mages as a demographic’ because the ideas and understanding of the mind that would allow him to draw that conclusion literally do not exist in the time and place he inhabits.

I mean, they exist, but they haven’t been identified, named, analyzed.  He would have to work that conclusion - that his personal feelings about mages as a result of his horrific experience are one thing that can and should be kept separate from his feelings about mages in general (except those fuckers in Tevinter, but no one really likes them anyway) - out from first principles, without much aid in the way of a sophisticated understanding of neural structure and psychology and all that jazz we don’t really fully understand that well ourselves, and we’ve been working on it for the better part of a century.  It’s a massive, massive undertaking.  The fact that he can get as far as he does under the correct circumstances is a huge indication of the quality of his character.

Mind, this isn’t to say he’s completely blameless, poor innocent snoogie-woogums, hdu hold him responsible for being, well, kind of a fucking jackass for the first part of the game - it’s important to remember that there are circumstances and potential endings where he throws up his hands and joins the dark side.  But it’s also important to keep in mind that his first-act bigotry isn’t 'pure’ in the sense that some other characters’ feelings on mages are - they don’t result from cultural memes or superstitious fear or simple failure to question the status quo, but from a mind-bogglingly horrific experience which in all likeliehood worked actual chemical changes on his brain.

Think of it this way: if a woman was raped (and, well, Fenris was raped, literally and metaphorically, so this analogy ain’t too far off), you wouldn’t blame her for hating and distrusting men, right?  Okay, so now imagine she finds herself through some accident in a world of pure matriarchal genderflip, where men are legitimately an oppressed class.  It isn’t inevitable that her response would be a relieved, vitriolic "thank fucking god,“ because she’s safe, finally, men are kept powerless and away from her and she doesn’t have to deal with them - but it is entirely understandable.  And furthermore, it’s understandable that it might take her some time - seven years or so, perhaps? - to really grasp that the situation in this new place is different.  That her personal feelings are valid, but have to be separated out because the political situation is different now.

But she can do it.  And Fenris does, under certain circumstances which really aren’t as hard to achieve as the fandom groupthink would have you believe.  Which is what I love about him - I love that story, of him letting go of his hatred.  Of his journey from darkness into light, from survival to life, from chains to freedom.  I love it when you friend him and I love it when you rival him. 

Now, there is a criticism people make which I want to address, and that is that Fenris never really overcomes his bigotry, he just makes Hawke his exception.  That’s a pretty subjective thing, and I don’t happen to read it that way.  If that were the case, I don’t believe that Fenris would be willing to side with Hawke in the final battle - if his bigotry was truly that entrenched, I don’t think he would be able, come the end, to 'defend mages in hopeless battle’ - even if that was what Hawke chose.  That is too fully a repudiation of his Act One beliefs to be simply the result of him thinking "all mages are subhuman except Hawke, s/he’s one of the good ones.”

I think that what leads people to that interpretation is the fact that Fenris never really has a road-to-damascus moment on either the friend or the rival track.  The post-Alone conversation, on both tracks, is pretty subtle: a tentative probing rather than him falling to his knees and crying that the scales have fallen from his eyes.  And I believe that was quite deliberate.

The tricky thing about epiphanies is that they come at the end of the journey.  And by the end of the game, Fenris has just started his.  He’s closed one chapter of his life and is beginning another: it is not until he confronts his past and his fears and kills Danarius that he stops being a fugitive slave and becomes a free man.  Erm, elf.  Only I feel weird typing that because I used to be in Harry Potter fandom and yeah, you know the joke.

While he is a fugitive slave, he doesn’t really have the emotional resources to commit to fully examining and untangling the messy knot of mages and the memory of Danarius, of his fear and hate and the observable facts about how the rest of Thedas operates (and he is not dumb, is the thing: he saw the Qun for what it was, he knew Flemeth for an ancient being when he saw her.  He’s quite damn smart - just uneducated and focused on survival to the exclusion of almost everything else).

As a free individual, however, he can devote time to sorting all that out.  To truly healing.  And he does, under the correct circumstances.  It is almost indescribably significant that, without that much effort on behalf of the player, his first important choice as a free person is to do something that is an almost complete repudiation of his previous bad beliefs.  Not a total repudiation - he hesitates, for a moment, thinks what the hell am I getting myself into -

But he does make it.  And once it’s made, he commits to it, and is at peace with his choice.  His first free act is to choose love (romantic or otherwise) over hate, and faith over fear.

That’s not nothing.  That is, in fact, a whole lotta something.

…and I don’t really have an endgame for this very long essay, except to say that Fenris is my favorite and all of the above is why.

That is all.

Pharmercy - >1000 words

Angela invites Fareeha to dance one night as they’re walking down from a mountain path, their breath coming out in warm white puffs against the cool autumn air. She’s listening to something in her headphones, as she usually does when she accepts Fareeha’s invitations to walk. Even when they don’t talk, even when Angela blares music to distract herself from her breathing, Fareeha is thankful for every opportunity to be nearer to her. Fareeha is listening to a frog in the distance, but more than that: relative silence, so the request catches her off guard, if a little bit.

“Please?” Angela says, a genuine smile on her lips, her hand extended to Fareeha.

Fareeha isn’t much of a dancer, has never had much of a reason to invest time in learning, but she has recently discovered that she may very well love the doctor, so she’s willing to try anything once for her. She gives Angela her hand.

Angela takes out an earbud, gives it to Fareeha. The song is slow and lyric-less and oddly ambient. Angela wraps an arm around her neck, and not knowing what to do with her free hand, Fareeha rests it on Angela’s hip. And that’s truly where it starts.

It’s not really dancing, in as uneven a place as a walking path on a mountain, the most they’re really capable of doing is swaying, and yet it still feels too intimate.

Fareeha watches every action; wants to memorize the expression on Angela’s face, how her eyes close and she rests her head on Fareeha’s chest - Fareeha suspects that Angela is listening for a heartbeat, as she does when they’re laying in bed together, and occasionally when she’s being cheeky during Fareeha’s check-ups and checks once, ear pressed firm over Fareeha’s burning skin, before she reluctantly brings out the stethoscope. And through all of this, they give no name to themselves.

Perhaps it’s a lot to ask for a label. Fareeha and Angela have only danced in the woods like this once, but they spend endless days dancing around what they are, who they are, how the choose to approach the world. It’s easy to find happiness, harder to commit to working to keep it. Life is so resplendently short, it is unfair to ask Angela to divide her time up, to make room for Fareeha as something preminente, when she has devoted her life to greater causes; it would be selfish to ask Angela to give her what she no longer posses herself.

The song fades out and Fareeha is so wrapped up in her mind she doesn’t quite notice until Angela places a cold hand on her cheek and literally shocks her out of it.

“Are you alright?” She asks when Fareeha looks down. It’s probably the faraway look in Fareeha’s eyes, or the confusion etched in the lines at her forehead that cause Angela to worry her lip briefly and then elaborate. “You heart, Fareeha, it’s hammering.” Fareeha’s mouths oh and then smiles slightly.

“I think that is just the effect of you.” She says, it comes out smooth, like milk or satin and because Angela cannot take a complement gracefully, she bumps her shoulder against Fareeha’s and attempts to look put upon.

She always falls short; Fareeha has learned that although Angela does not need it to be incredible, to do what she does, Angela hunts for praise, and likes to receive it.

“All the same,” Angela says, “I will listen if you need to talk.”

For a moment, neither speaks. Fareeha drops her hands from Angela’s hips, removes the earpiece from her ear and hands it back. Fareeha watches how Angela moves when she takes it, focused on her fingers and then her eyes, like looking into a cracked geode, reflected and splintering shades of blue. Too perceptive.

“If I told you I love you,” Fareeha says suddenly, “what would that do to us?”

Fareeha hadn’t particularly meant to say it, but she also doesn’t regret it. Her heart hammers, but not for fear - just of that same vein of feeling which follows saying something foreign and new for the first time.

“Do you love me? Or are we exploring a hypothetical?” Angela says, smiles prettily, but she is impossible to read.

“I do love you,” says Fareeha, and then nervously: “but only if it means that nothing has to change.”

Angela hums, puts a hand behind Fareeha’s neck and pulls her into a kiss. It’s a nice reprise from the cold air and the rushing blood Fareeha can hear in her ears. It’s a nice reprise because Angela wants, and she may be hard to read at times, but skin to skin Fareeha can feel every jerky move of self-containment, revels in every nip to her lip, and the way Angela’s hands grip like she is scared to let go. Perhaps she is.

Perhaps Angela is tired of losing people; Fareeha had never thought of it before.

“I suppose I love you, too” Angela says playfully, after a time, withdrawing. She twines her hand in Fareeha’s; walks with her down the path once more.

“Suppose?” Fareeha echoes and chuckles a bit.

“No, you’re right.” Angela says, “I do love you, I know that. Does it worry you that we don’t say these things to each other?”

“A little,” Fareeha confesses. Angela laughs quietly.

“We’re in a bad position to fall in love,” Angela says, softly, almost to herself. “But then, I think I often make the mistake of assuming life is linear and easily navigated. It’s not.”

“No,” Fareeha agrees, and for a time they are quiet.

“Do you like dancing?” Angela asks as they approach the watchpoint.

Fareeha turns to her, grins stupidly, guiltily.

“Not particularly,” she confesses.

“That’s too bad,” says Angela, looks at her out of the corner of her eye and smirks, “loving me means that you will probably need to learn to like it.”

“Well, I think that it will be a fair trade,” a pause, “loving me means occasional workouts at 4:00 on Saturdays.” Fareeha says, smiles. Angela balks.

“Absolutely not.”

“Love is pain,” Fareeha grins, swoops in and steals a kiss.

Here’s Fall Out Boy’s Induction speech for Green Day:

Patrick Stump: So let me ask everybody a question — what is punk rock? Now that should seem like a simple enough question to answer, but kids and critics argue with fervor and furious devotion, religious sects and political parties…Star Wars fans…so, I guarantee you that someone, somewhere will be very pissed off when I say this, but what’s more punk rock than pissing people off? What I’m saying is that one of my all time favorite punk bands is Green Day.
So, I remember the first time I heard Green Day. Give you a little background…I was a little bit of a music snob when I was a kid. My dad was a Chicago folk singer and he was very psyched to see all the punk bands of the day. And he played a lot of fusion jazz when I was younger, so you can imagine I was pretty upset with my friends who were punk fans. So one day some friends got me to sneak out of class, and mostly we just went home and listened to this cassette tape that one of them had…it was Dookie. So the thing that struck me right off the bat was how musical it was. It was all the things that you’d expect from punk rock, it was angry, it was loud, it was fast, but there were these subtle overtones of awareness of music theory and music history that was wise beyond its years. Now, other kids had Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana and all those things later. 1994, none of that was good. This, this one I was like, “this is mine.”
After that, I was all over it. I tried to dress like them, I tried to play my dad’s music real low like Billie Joe did. I followed every interview, I watched every TV performance…and the more immersed into the world I got, the more I thought that this band was one of the greatest. You have to think to yourself, “Wow, how’d they get all these guys in one band together?” Now, the thing that kills me is sometimes you have that point in your life where you think, “Yeah, they should maybe be in the fall of fame but ah…maybe not everyone’s pulling their weight.” Maybe you see one guy and, “Ah, he’s cool but…maybe he just the maybe he just drove the van.” But with Green Day, every player, every sound that came out of these three guys was as important to the entire thing, including the one guy.
Billie Joe’s singing and strong, sarcastic lyrics that totally…those bright, open chord structures…the way he played guitar. Mike Dirnt! And those bass lines…up there with the lights of James Jamerson and Jaco Pastorius, identified the bass players in the history of his playing. Tré Cool…your drummer is Tré fucking Cool. That is the coolest thing ever. And there’s not a drummer under the age of 30 who didn’t spend their entire summer trying to learn…to play that rabid fire build at the beginning of “Basket Case” just like Tré. And guess what? No one can. The passion, he makes it look easy. It’s incredible.
Pete Wentz: Now, no one else can do anything the way Green Day does. I have this distinct memory of Billie Joe. He was interviewing at MTV somewhere around the album Nimrod, where he said something along the lines of, “I don’t want to be making punk rock the rest of my life.” Sorry man, you still are.
When you followed up Dookie with a single about methamphetamine, and another in two movements, that was pretty punk rock.
When conventional wisdom demanded another fast rock punk song and instead you put down a stripped down ballad single that became the go-to prom song for a decade, that was pretty punk rock.
When you put out three companion albums in a year — in an era of digital singles — that was pretty punk rock.
When you put out an acoustic folk album at a time when you were fooled by obviously Green Day-inspired pop-punk, that was pretty punk rock.
When in an era of basically no socially conscious discourse in pop music, you put out a scathingly political rock opera and somehow managed to make that career-redefining, that was insanely fucking punk rock. Not to mention you’re alleged involvement in side projects like the Network and Foxboro Hot Tubs.
Everything you guys do is punk rock in the sense that you’ve gone for the easy route…the obvious route, the safe route. You’ve never repeated yourselves, you’ve never done anything to please suites. Suites aren’t really pleased by changed, but a brief band plays a set of their hits, there should be a lot of change. Like Queen, the Who or the Clash, the best bands go to defy and define the labels they get savvy with…the best bands are legend on record and onstage.
Now I have to say, the impact that Green Day has had on pop culture…when we walk through an airport, about 80 percent of the time when someone takes a picture with us, we hear them walk off like, “Holy shit, I just got a picture with fucking Green Day!” That’s totally true. Now Fall Out Boy has never for Green Day, and honestly part of us kind of likes it that way. Because Green Day is honestly one of the best live bands on the planet right now. If you’ve ever opened for them, they put on a show that’s so epic and engaging, that the audience forgets about you by the way they’re halfway through the first chorus. If you’ve ever played after them…sorry.
This is a band that’s so in tune with their audience that let a random kid onstage and play in the band, in arenas literally filled who probably daydreamed every kid has playing onstage with their favorite band. That’s not image consultants, cleaver A&R, or media trainee, but by cutting your teeth in community halls and basements in post punk squats. So let some Red feed argue the definition of punk rock. Me, I already have my answer. It is our great honor to induct Green Day into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.