notebook magazine

2.2.17 Just a quick shot from my local stationery shop! I absolutely love it here and I keep having to forcibly remove myself. It’s right next to the green grocers so I walk past it every time I get vegetables! I honestly might see if I can get a job here because, having a studyblr, a know a lot about stationery. Xxx emily

Like She’s Mine (part thirteen) - Stiles Stilinski

warnings: swearing, mentions of sex, angst again i’m back baby
word count: 2735

Originally posted by mypackismyanchorr

[two months later, april break]

“I like this one” Allison said as she chewed on her licorice.

“Lemme see” I leaned over the kitchen table, peering onto her magazine.  She pointed to a long white gown with a sweetheart neckline.  It was slightly bejeweled, and the model wearing it had a long veil attached to a crown.

“I like the strapless idea” She said, yanking off a part of her licorice and chewing with a smile.




And with that, I went back to scrolling on my phone and eating my cereal.  We’d been looking through magazines and books and pinterest for all of these cute wedding ideas.  From places to rent, decorations to have, people to invite, shoes, dresses, tuxes.  My favorite part was that I was her maid of honor, and Madi was her flower girl.

“So I’m thinking a bouquet of blue roses.  Something unique with traditional ties, you know?” She asked, and I nodded.

“Yeah that’d be cute.  Maybe a few white in there too” Her mouth made an ‘o’ and her eyes widened.

“Ooh, yeah, I like that” She pointed a finger at me shaking it excitedly as she rushed up to the counter.  She picked up her notebook, labeled wedding plans, and opened it up to her final checklist page.  I watched as she neatly wrote down the flowers she needed.  Right now, all that was written down there were the bridesmaids and and groomsmen.

It consisted of Lydia, myself, and two girls Allison met in college who were together, named Kira and Malia.  I’d sort of met them, one time they stopped into Lou’s.  I would recognize them, but I couldn’t tell you much about them.

Scott had chosen Stiles to be his best man, which was no surprise.  He also had his friends Liam, Mason, and Isaac.  I didn’t know any of them, I hadn’t even met them.

“Hey guys” Stiles called as he walked into the kitchen.  I grinned over at him as he set grocery bags onto the counter.

“Hi Stiles” He walked over to me and kissed my head sweetly before going into the living room.  He instantly began to play with Madi and I went back to scrolling through wedding things on my phone.  “Bubbles or rice?”

“Bubbles.  Most definitely bubbles.  They’re so much cuter and I read this article that the rice is actually bad for the birds…” This went on for another hour, until it was the late afternoon and I was sitting on the couch watching tv.  Allison was still looking through her magazine, and Stiles was putting Madi to bed for her nap.

“Stiles” He walked out, and I held my arms out to him.  He chuckled and walked over to me, lifting me up with ease, and sitting on the couch below me, setting my on his lap.  I smiled and snuggled against him.

“Baby I missed you today” He said, and I nodded, folding my arms against his chest.

“I missed you today too” I replied softly.  “You were gone a while” I curled up more, getting impossibly closer to him.  “But thank you for grocery shopping” He nodded, rubbing my back.

“No problem”

“Will you stay overnight tonight?” I asked, looking up at him through my lashes.  He smiled softly and nodded.

“Yeah yeah of course” He said gently, and kissed my nose.  I giggled and crinkled it up a little.

“Hey guys we gotta figure out colors for the dresses and the groomsmen’s bow ties” Allison said, walking out to us and sitting on the couch.  Her notebook and magazine in hand.

“How about pink?” Stiles asked.

“Gross no” Allison and I replied at the same time.  He pretended to be wounded.

“I was thinking a deep blue… or green maybe?”

“Blue.  Blues pretty” I said, and she took a bite as she looked over the different shades the magazine had to offer.

“Yeah… yeah I’ll show Scott” She said, uncapping and writing on her arm.  ask scott about blue.

“Al no need to stress, you’ve got until July” I said, reaching out to her and putting a hand on her shoulder.  “Really, allow yourself a break”

“Thanks y/n, but I work in a flower shop.  It’s on my mind all the time”

“Well of course it is Alli.  You’re marrying your high school sweetheart, even I’m thinking about it twenty four seven” I said laughing slightly, and I got off of Stiles’ lap.  He made a pout but I pretended not to see as I pulled open a drawer in the entertainment center.  I took out a photo book, and sat back on the couch, in between the both of them.

“I forgot I made that for you” Allison chuckled as I skimmed through pictures.  Her Scott Stiles Lydia and I took up most of the slots.  At amusement parks or shopping trips.  I stopped on the page I was looking for and showed her.  On one side was her and Scott, all dressed up for Prom.  He was kissing her cheek and she was smiling wide with a blush as the photo was snapped.

“Look at you guys” I said, and she held the book slightly, her fingers brushing over the protective sleeve the picture was held in.

“Weird to think that was over two years ago…” She sighed.  “I feel old”

“Al, you just turned twenty one.  You’re not that old”

“Yeah.  And if you’re old that makes the rest of us old too so watch it” Stiles said, swatting her head.  She went to throw her fist at him but I caught her wrist and gave her a look.  She groaned and set her arm back down.

“Point is, you’re my OTP, Al.  And it’s you and Scott, seriously.  You could have a huge wedding in a beautiful church, or a jeans and tee shirt one in my doorway.  I will be just as excited for you, I’ll still cry, and you’ll still get cake smashed into your face” Allison chuckled at me but smiled genuinely.

“Thanks y/n” I nodded.  “Also it’s gonna be outside.  And beautiful”

“You’ve decided on the outside thing?” I asked.

We spent another half hour discussing the scenery of her chosen area of wedding.  Poor Stiles fell asleep next to me.  His head lying on the back of the couch.

Scott came over later on, and he was going to hang with us for a while, but I guess he had a long day at the clinic.  Yeah, I can’t believe he’s still part time working there either.  It didn’t work out well tonight, seeing that both Madi and Stiles were passed out, I only wanted to eat dinner, and Allison was on the edge of her seat waiting to tell him all about her ideas for their wedding.  So they pretty much said their goodbyes for the day.  When I’d waved and shut the door, I wandered back to the kitchen, reheating some leftovers and eating while standing at the kitchen counter.

This, this is the life of a single mother.

When I finished, I went back to my room, pulling out a throw blanket and grabbing two pillows from my room.  I checked to make sure Madi was still sleeping, kissing her forehead then making my way back to the couch.  I picked up Stiles’ head, putting one pillow under him, and setting my other one on his lap.  I laid across him and pulled the blanket up.  A few seconds after he shifted, and his arm wrapped over me.

“Sorry for waking you up” I said softly, but he didn’t reply.  Just scooted me over slightly, and laid on his side.  I rolled over, nuzzling my face in is shirt.  Neither of us were even in pajamas.  It wasn’t even nine o’clock.  But I didn’t care.

Stiles kissed my forehead and his arm tightened around me.  “I love you” I looked up to him, and he opened his eyes, just a little bit.  We’d never said that before.  But I smiled at him and kissed him sweetly.  He hummed and brushed my hair softly with his fingers.

“I love you too Stiles” I whispered back.  He smiled at me and buried my face into the crook of his neck.  “So much” My voice was muffled but he heard me because he let out a laugh.  One of those heavy breathed ones through his nose.

“Mm” He pressed his lips to my head for a few seconds.  “Goodnight y/n”


We fell asleep like that on the couch.

I’m glad I woke up without a crick in my neck.  I’m not as glad I woke up trapped in Stiles’ arms.  I mean, yeah, I loved being with him and cuddling.  The whole shebang was amazing.  But not when my stomach was growling and I was in yesterday’s clothes

I tried everything, wiggling, squirming, even prying him off.  But that just woke him up.

“Mmph y/n stop” Stiles mumbled, and held me closer.

“Stiles- I’m hungry” I whined.

“We can go out to Panera or something”

“Yeah that sounds goo-”

“Not now” I sighed as he tugged me harder.

“Stiles you’re suffocating-”

“Sh sh sh…” I just shook my head and laid there as he fell back asleep.  But as soon as Madi’s baby monitor began producing crying sounds, he was shot up and I nearly fell off the couch.  I actually did fall off.  But Stiles was already in her room.  I scrambled up off of the floor and raced into her room.  “It’s okay, sh sh, it was just a dream, shh…” He turned and saw me and smiled a little.  I wrapped my arms around myself and leaned on the crib post.  Madi was still quietly crying in his arms, and he was just cooing to her.

“How do you do that so well?” I asked.

“Do what?”

“That.  Calm her down so easily” He smiled at that.

“I don’t know I guess…” Stiles looked back down to Madi, tickling his finger under her chin and making her giggle.

“It’s cause she-” I was cut off by the doorbell ringing.

“Allison coming over today?” Stiles asked.  I shook my head.

“No, is Scot?” He shook his head.

“Just cause I sleep here every night and eat three meals here doesn’t mean I live here” I rolled my eyes and chuckled, then pushed off the crib and walked out to the living room.

“Mama?” Madi called, and I head Stiles go back to his baby talking that made my heart flutter for an unknown reason.  I reached the door and opened it, looking up from the handle to the visitor we had.

“Hey there y/n”

I closed the door in a second flat.

“y/n? Who is it?”

“No one”

“Well it was someone, who?”



“Drop it now Stiles while I’m not wanting to rip someone’s head off” He rolled his eyes and walked over to the door.  “Stiles sto-”

“Who are yo-” Stiles’ eyes narrowed the second he saw Theo.

“Stiles? What the hell are you doing-”

“I’m sorry” Stiles put up a hand, finally someone got a sentence out.  “I don’t like the language you’re using in front of my girl” He turned, handing Madi to me.

“Mommy!” She said excitedly as I rested her at my hip.

“Interesting Stilinski, seeing that she’s not, your girl.  She’s actually mine, isn’t she?”

“Not as far as I’m concerned” I said, holding Madi a little tighter.  Theo turned his head and raised a brow to me.

“Do a DNA test sweetheart.  She’s mine”

“Alright cock twitch-”

“Stiles” I warned.

“Don’t even try y/n, tell him to leave” Theo raised a brow.

“Leave? But I just got here?” He said.

“y/n, tell him to go”

“Go ahead, tell me to go.  But I’ll come by to visit my daughter”

“Theo, Theo just go” I said, walking forward and pushing him out of the door.

“You do realize y/n that I’m not an idiot, I’m coming back”

“Well you’re not today so get out” I said, and shut the door as soon as he was out in the hall.  I could hear him growl, and stomp away.  What a wuss.

“Thank God” Stiles breathed and leaned in to kiss me but I turned and walked off, still holding Madi.  “y/n?” I went into Madi’s room, looking for something for her to wear today.

“Not right now Stiles, I have to get her ready for the day” I said monotone as I retrieved a poofy blue tutu and white long sleeved shirt with a bow on it.  She was smiling at me as I brushed her hair and pinned a flower into it.  “There you go pretty girl” Madi giggled happily as I lifted her again.

“Hey, did something happen?”

“No Stiles, I’m just busy.  We’ve got lunch with Allison in an hour and a half”

“Do you need any-”

“Nope” I walked Madi back out to the living room, setting her on her blanket.

“Okay well do you need a ride into-”

“Nope, she’s picking us up” I replied, already walking back to my room in search for clothes to wear.  But Stiles trailed right in after me.

“y/n will you just pause for a moment” I blew out air and spun on my heel to look at him.

“Well? I’m waiting?”

“Yeah? So am I? What just happened in the past ten minutes?”

“Stiles.  What happened is, again, you got all alpha male!”

“Over Theo!?” He whisper screamed.  I shook my head and went over to my closet.  “y/n, that’s ridiculous, what right does he have to come barging in here-”

“Every right, every right Stiles.  As much as I hate to admit it, he is her father

“Oh yeah? Then where the hell-”

“He never knew Stiles, we can’t hold that against him!”

“We sure as hell can-!”

“Mama?” I looked down to where Madi was stood at the doorway behind Stiles.

“Not now baby- baby!” I shrieked excitedly, moving around Stiles to see where she stood.  “You’re walking, she’s walking!” I was yelling and grinning as I kneeled down in front of her, holding my hands around her face.

“Mommy’s proud?” She asked, and I nodded, tears springing in my eyes.

“Yes she is, she’s very very proud” I said, brushing my hands through her hair, and adjusting her flower.

“Daddy proud?” Her finger pointed up at Stiles, and my face fell.  I looked up to where he stood with his mouth agape.

“Yeah, yeah real proud of you kiddo” He ruffled her hair and quickly excused himself out of the room.  Madi looked at me with a frown.

“Is Daddy upset?”

“No, no sweetie Stiles is fine” I assured, caressing her cheeks gently.

“Is Daddy lunch?” I chuckled barely at her inability to form proper sentences.

“No, it’s just us with Aunt Alli and Uncle Scott” I told her.  Her little eyebrows furrowed.

“Why not Daddy?”

“Honey, that’s Stiles, his name is Stiles”

“Stiles?” I nodded.  Again her brows furrowed and her lips curled down.

“Come on let’s walk out to the living room together” I said, and made my way slowly behind her as she toddled into the room.  “Look, Stiles I’m sorry I snapped at-” I paused when I saw he wasn’t there.  I quickly went over to the door and saw his shoes and jacket were gone too.  On the small table, a piece of notebook paper was left.

Sorry that Madi had a deadbeat for a father and you’re blind enough to buy his act of caring for her.  Trust me, he doesn’t.  Whenever you wanna talk about it, if you even will, I’ll have my phone on me.  Or you can just keep telling Madi that I’m just Stiles, and I’ll always be just Stiles, and laugh about it with Allison later.

Yours truly,

I ran my hands through my hair, tears falling uncontrollably.

“Mommy sad?’

“No Madi… no I’m fine” I said, snuffling and quickly rubbing my eyes.  “Now, I have to go get dressed and then Alli will be here to get us, okay?” She nodded with a smile as I made my way back to my room.

Why do I always end up fucking everything up?

#depressedasf but y’all didn’t think i’d give you nice fluff forever right? nah it’s not in my nature.  i like torture before the rainbows

tagged: @morganschiebel@celestial-writing@bunnyboo10154@imissyoualittlemoreeveryday@peter-andhislostgirls@almondmilkislove@dreamshadedpeter

xoxo ~ jordie


so i see a lot of pictures of gorgeous study spaces on tumblr and they’re all perfect. but for those of us who are a bit messier, more disorganised, creating a study space that’s so pretty and picturesque might feel a bit unrealistic. but fear not! for i am here to give you a quick guide on how to create a study space that is organised and mindful. 

define: mindful means being fully aware of your surroundings and avoiding going autopilot. but it also suggests an idea of tranquillity and thoughtfulness. by a mindful study space, then, i mean creating an environment that fosters productivity, promotes thoughtfulness and creativity, and does not distract you from your work. everything should have a place, and everything has a purpose.

things that you might need:

  • some basic filing accessories, for pieces of paper and notebooks. magazine holders are good for notebooks, ring-binders and files, and you might want to get a paper-tray if you have lots of lose paper lying around. try cheap ones from Ikea, or some nicer ones from Muji. you could even make some from cereal boxes.
  • a way to store pens and pencils. there are loads of stationery organisers on amazon, or you could use glass jars, or mugs. 
  • some postcards, or photos, for an inspiration wall. i have found zazzle to be a great resource, and there are loads of sites that gives you free photo prints. i also recommend printing off a calendar.
  • perhaps a cute little plant! i obviously highly recommend a succulent. i get mine from local gardening stores.
  • or some nice tealights! they make me feel calm.
  • a glass of water, or something else to drink. but not soda. if your desk is nice, you might want a coaster.

what you need to do:

  • take everything off your desk. literally everything. pick up every notebook, every scrap of paper, and put it on the floor. keep going until your desk is completely empty. then, divide the pile up between work and stuff. so a hand out from a lecture will go in the ‘work’ pile, and a stapler would go in the ‘stuff’ pile.
  • clean your desk. get a rag and some washing up liquid and wipe down your desk. i was amazed by all the dust and grime there was on mine. it was gross.
  • create your inspiration wall. i would say do this now rather than later, because your desk should be clear so you don’t need to worry about knocking everything over. don’t worry about it looking perfect - this is meant to be for your eyes only. you can find inspiration on pinterest or tumblr.
  • sort through all your ‘stuff’. pick up each thing in turn, and ask it three questions: do you make me more creative? do you make me more productive? and do you make me feel inspired? if it answers yes to any of them, then it has earned a place on top of your desk. if not, then it needs to find a new home. only things that are related directly to your work should be on your desk - not even a hair brush. they’re just distractions.
  • organise the ‘stuff’ that is now on your desk. how you do this is completely up to you. but bear in mind that we are trying to create a mindful environment. keep everything organised, and purposefully think about the reason that you make each choice. so i put my favourite pens in glass jars, so i can move them closer to me when i’m studying. i put my other pens and pencils in a desk organizer, so they’re all in the same place. 
  • organise your ‘work’ carefully and give it a deliberate home. put the same subjects together. how you do this is completely up to you. 

tldr: the basic principle behind this post is that you should clean and de-clutter your desk, and only have things that you actually need on it to study. in so doing, you can create a study space that encourages productivity, and stops you from getting distracted.

coming soon in my MINDFUL series:

  • how to revise mindfully
  • how to study mindfully
  • how to live mindfully

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for a first time flyer? Tips for going through the process, the long flight, and exiting the airport/picking up your luggage and all specifically that would have helped you in hindsight? I have a trip coming up and I'm slightly nervous even after googling tips since I'll likely be flying alone. Thanks ^^

As someone who has flown more than a bit before, and usually by myself, I will give you The Sudden Adult’s Guide to Surviving Plane Trips ™.

Checking In:

  • For most flights, you can “check in” as early as 24 hours before your flight. This will allow you to print your boarding pass at home/library/etc. and cut some of the time you’d be wasting standing in a long-ass line waiting to print your ticket. Gotta love technology.
  • Check your flight the morning of, or a few hours, before you’re scheduled to leave for the airport. Make sure the time hasn’t changed due to weather/mechanical issues/etc. No one wants to arrive at the airport to find out their fucking flight was delayed 5 hours and they now have to wait at a crappy airport coffee shop.
  • Get dropped off at the terminal for your flight. The best way to ensure this is to have a general idea of where your terminal will be. You don’t have to be dropped off there, but it saves you from walking and dragging your luggage down to your airline’s bag check.

Luggage Tips:

  • TIP YOUR BAG PERSON. That person who you drop your luggage off with when you arrive at the airport? Tip them. I usually give $5 per bag. A nice tip and friendly attitude ensures your bag arrives at its destination (usually).
  • If you have a black/brown/gray suitcase, try making it stand out. Usually I see people tie ribbons to the handles. Personally, I have a lime green ribbon and a pink skull luggage tag that are hard to miss (but then, my regular suitcase is also metallic, so it’s a pleasant eyesore).
  • Put luggage tags on your suitcase and carry-on. Make sure your information on the tags is up-to-date. In case your shit goes missing, you want to give the airport a way of finding you.
  • Know what your airline considers a carry-on size. Sometimes airlines will change the carry-on requirements because why not do things to piss off passengers? Check by calling the airline directly or Googling “What is a carry-on bag + name of airline.” Usually you are allowed one carry-on and one personal bag (purse/backpack/laptop case).

TSA/Security Tips:

  • Know the 3-1-1 rule and follow it. Keep your tiny liquids bag in an easily-accessible front or side pocket so you can whip it out without digging through your bag. Same goes for laptops. Make it easy to pull out, because it will have to go in a bin by itself.
  • Wear shoes that easily slip on and off, because you will have to take them off to go through security. Also, wear socks, because who knows what the fuck’s on that airport floor.
  • Take any coats/hoodies off while you wait in line. TSA agents will ask you to take these off anyway, so might as well save the people behind you some time. Same goes for any jewelry, belts, or cellphones that will set off the metal detector. Put them in a pocket of your carry-on.
  • Pay attention to the line when it moves. As a (former) frequent flyer, I cannot explain how annoying it is to be stuck in a line behind someone who is not paying attention. Don’t be that person.
  • Also, if you’re not a frequent flyer, do not get in the experienced flyer line. We can smell the inexperience.
  • Keep your ID and ticket (and passport, if required) easily accessible on your person. This will make going through any additional security nice and easy for you.

Airport Tips:

  • Find out where your terminal is, then worry about getting food or drink. Nothing is more stressful than finally getting your $20 sandwich and then having to run around a large airport trying to find your terminal. Find your terminal and then embark on the search for food.
  • Do not leave your bags unattended. This should really speak for itself.
  • Pee before you fly. Like Ma always said, use the loo before you fly, boo…especially if you need to poo.
  • Good fucking luck finding a place to charge your phone/laptop/nintendo 3DS if you’re flying out during a busy time (holidays, weekends, etc.). Solve the problem by charging these things the night before you leave.

Plane Tips:

  • Put your carry-on in the overhead bin that’s near your seat. If you have anything in there that you might want during the flight (magazine, notebook, etc.), consider getting it out before you get on the plane.
  • Sit in the seat you’ve been assigned. Unless it’s a Southwest flight (which lets passengers choose their own seats upon boarding), your ticket will say where you’ll sit. Sit there. Don’t be the seat-stealing prick of the plane.
  • If you’re nervous, listen to the flight attendant at the beginning. They will explain all regular and emergency procedures. Sometimes knowing how to survive if shit hits the fan can make you feel better.
  • If you think you may  feel sick during the flight, try chewing mint-flavored gum. Gum also helps with you ears popping. If the flight serves drinks, request something soothing like ginger ale. If not, buy a $3 bottle of lemon-lime soda from a place in the airport. My personal experience is that ginger ale solves all flight sickness (or maybe that’s a placebo effect, I don’t know and don’t care, because I like ginger ale).
  • Don’t get up when the flight attendant brings out the little drink cart. There’s never a way around it, so just sit tight until it passes you if you need to get up and pee.
  • Try getting to know your seat neighbor(s), if you’re comfortable with that. Last time I flew, I had an interesting discussion with the old dude sitting next to me about the status of the US economy.

Landing & Leaving:

  • BRACE YOURSELF! Sort of kidding, but if you’re like me and planes make you nauseous, you might want to prepare yourself (I know that I personally feel most sick during turbulence and landing).
  • Don’t bother rushing to get up and stand. The damn plane’s not going to take off again while you’re still on it, so chill out and take your time. If you’re on a flight that’s part of a connecting flight, they’ll usually ask passengers who need to leave to make their next flight to get off first. Some people are jerks and will pretend just so they can leave slightly sooner than others.
  • Be careful when you open the overhead bin. They aren’t kidding when they say stuff may have shifted around. I once saw a lady get beaned on the forehead by her kid’s carry-on.
  • Make your way to the baggage claim. If you have to pee, do it now, because luggage can take a while, so you might as well empty your bladder while you can. And if you’re lost, just follow the people form your plane, or ask someone who looks like an airport employee.
  • Stand around the luggage carousel and wait for your bag. A lot of people crowd around the opening, but you can stand out and wait near the end. The bags go around in circles for fucks sake, so it’s not like you only have one chance to grab your bag. Also, double-check that it is your bag.
  • Check that your ride knows when and where to pick you up. Let them know your flight number, arrival time, and terminal so they can be on the lookout. Pick someone reliable (I’ve been left waiting before, I can tell you it sucks ass).

So…yep. That’s all the tips I can think of.

-The Sudden Adult

PS. If you’re gonna fly, don’t let your arms get tired! HA. HA. HA.

Inktober Challenge, Day 30. 


From Dusky’s beautiful Edit

Sakura Pigma Micron 005 and ShinHanArt Touch Twin Marker (CoolGray 1, CoolGray3 and 120 Black)

My Inktober Tag

Gregg Araki, Eternal Teenager by Charles Bramesco

“Life is lonely, boring and dumb.” —The Doom Generation

“I feel like a gerbil smothered in Richard Gere’s butthole.” —also The Doom Generation

Gregg Araki likes young people. He likes their asymmetrical dyed hair and ripped denim, the tight fabrics that look like placeholders waiting to be ripped off. He likes shoegaze and dream-pop music, Cocteau Twins and Ride and the Smiths. He likes drugs, whether that’s the de-stressing release of a hand-rolled joint, the supercharged kick from a bump of coke, or the rush from the right colored pill. He likes junk food, low-budget grindhouse movies, and joyriding. And he likes sex— all different kinds, with boys and/or girls, with multiple partners, often at once.

Araki clutters his films with signifiers of his many fixations, like a student doodling in the margins of their marble composition notebook or taping up magazine clip-outs to the inside of their locker. It’s all mashed together into one overstuffed barrage of out-there allusions, conspicuously cool stylistic flourishes, and endlessly quotable catchphrases. In the case of Totally Fucked Up, The Doom Generation, and Nowhere—three of the director’s early films that fans have colloquially bound together as the “Teenage Apocalypse trilogy”—those qualities of adolescence and freewheeling messiness are inextricably linked. The soul of Araki’s trilogy, the key to its rowdy pubescent essence, lives in the flaws that make these films as perversely charismatic as they are. To be a teenager is to be a fuck-up, and nobody fucks up more beautifully or entertainingly than Gregg Araki.

His earliest films were highly experimental, blithely erotic projects slapped together for next to nothing, suffused with their director/writer’s passions and fetishes. But even as Araki advanced out of both his twenties and the five-figure budget range, his unapologetic teen spirit polarized audiences. It outright alienated Roger Ebert, who notoriously slapped The Doom Generation with a zero-star rating and called its director “a stylist who can use concepts like iconography and irony to weasel away from his material.” The esteemed critic objected to the constant sarcasm and thick stew of references, and while his charges may very well stick, they’re also integral to the film’s representation of teenager-dom.

Totally Fucked Up is a Handicam-shot chronicle of queer teenage life in fifteen parts, The Doom Generation follows a nasty-tempered ménage à trois on a bloodsoaked spree across the California sprawl, and Nowhere tracks the evolution of a relationship between two polyamorous bisexual teenagers during a secret alien invasion. All three films share the foremost objective of replicating what it feels like to be young, punk, and horny. Rather than merely depicting the radical mood swings and world-is-ending dramatics of the pre-adulthood years, Araki’s films actively perform adolescence.

Nobody could possibly deny that Araki’s trilogy has a whirling chaos to it, but rather than the mark of an undisciplined filmmaker, this constitutes a deliberate aesthetic choice befitting the material. The Doom Generation’s combustible trio on the lam calls to mind the previous year’s Natural Born Killers as well as Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands, and a host of forgotten teensploitation flicks that all gibe with Araki’s arrested-development reference points. What, after all, could be more recognizably teenage than bearing your influences and personal faves for all the world to admire? Nowhere (named after the 1990 EP from shoegaze godfathers Ride) applies that more-is-more-is-more philosophy to its narrative structure, which jumps from character to character whenever the plot threatens to stagnate even for a moment.

His films are terminally chill when they’re not manic, finding quiet interludes (emphasis on ludes) for fake deep philosophizing. “Ever feel like reality is more twisted than dreams?” wonders James Duval as The Doom Generation’s cuckolded Jordan White. Araki’s not affecting the irony that his opponents so frequently accuse him of; while he’s not sincerely asking the question (even he’s not that stoned), he’s sincerely presenting the act of asking it. The director understands what would possess the character to say such a thing, and because he treats the line of dialogue as valid instead of an object for mockery, the overall tone comes off as sneering snark. The closest Araki’s characters get to an undying devotion of love is “I hope we die simultaneously, like in a car wreck or a nuclear bomb blast or something.” Grappling with meaning far beyond one’s sphere of comprehension is also a fundamental component of the teenage experience.

Oh, and the sex. There is, to put it mildly, a lot of doing-it in le cinema de Araki. He’s unabashed about the pleasure he takes in the image of the body, male and female alike (Araki has self-identified as bisexual), though most of his scenes aren’t oriented around mutual pleasure or even romance. There’s a hectic, desperate sting to the furtive rutting that goes on between the main couple of Nowhere, the assorted lovers of Totally Fucked Up, and the central threesome of The Doom Generation. The movements are fast, sloppy, driven by hunger. Araki skirts any unearned romanticization of youth sexuality and exposes a truth often denied by cinema: teenagers are not necessarily better at boning, they just try harder. Jordan and Amy Blue (a standout Rose McGowan) share the following exchange as they lie in postcoital cool-down:

“Don’t you think sex is, like, totally strange? Just the whole idea of it: all fleshy and stiff, inserted in these warm squishy places?”
“I think it’s more powerful than we’d like it to be.”
“It’s fuckin’ trippy, that’s for sure.”

Araki welcomes the awkwardness, the uncomfortableness, all the wrinkles of lovemaking that get ironed out with experience. The unsanitized experience, warts and all (occasionally literally), make it to the screen intact.

If the gratuitous sex or hormonal shifts in tone don’t get his detractors bristling, Araki’s retro razor-blade dialogue can still come off as overbearing. To acolytes of colorful Z-grade cinema scripts, lines like “You’re like a life support system for a cock!” qualify as sacred psalms. To non-believers, however, a one-liner as gleefully trashy as “This party’s about as much fun as an ingrown butt hair” sounds like the handiwork of a man infatuated with his own voice. But again, that characteristic, however amateurish, emulates the teen preoccupation with slang. Youths form social groups and individual identity through highly specialized vernacular; if it sounds like Araki’s speaking an insular language that only his chosen people can pick up, that means he’s on the right track.

The MTV-on-even-more-drugs highs and lo-fi lows, the incorrigible horndoggery, the too-cool-for-school dialogue, the efforts to do everything at the same time — it all comes back to Araki’s core nature as a trier. The Teenage Apocalypse trilogy finds Araki trying extremely hard to be cool, and this may be the most quintessentially teenage, nakedly honest aspect of his entire oeuvre. In his trilogy, Araki strives to produce a pop-culture object that will transfix the same burnout punks he fetishizes in his films, an obsession he clearly shares. That desire to be liked, to fit in, to be like your idols—that’s the central pillar of school-aged emotional immaturity.

Across the scores and scores of movies about young people, the default authorial viewpoint has been that of someone who’s been through it all. Tragedies and triumphs are kept in perspective, and by the time the end credits roll, our protagonist has probably learned a valuable lesson or two about the world of adulthood. But the most honest, true-to-life portrayals of teens don’t come from the worldly-wise stance of an adult looking back; they should hum with the ragged-around-the-edges, work-in-progress feeling of that specific life phase. Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse trilogy gives us cinema’s closest approximation of an impossible dream: a professional film about the agony and ecstasy (and Ecstasy) of being a teenager, straight from the source. Ah, to be young, hot and turned-on forever…