obviously i am not yet quality

Questions re MPC

I have had two Anon questions about MPC  - I am not posting them because they included disparaging remarks with which I completely disagree. I will, however, answer the questions about MPC. 

At the end of each month, the MPC team puts out the nutrition component and exercise component for the following month, i.e. in a few days, MPC members will get the nutrition and exercise information for the month of March. This information is quite detailed - meal plans for each day with recipes, as well as videos of the exercises and a manual to keep track of your daily work. Anyone who has ever put a program together knows this stuff takes a long time if you want things to be done well - MPC is done well! 

Two of the four key MPC team members live in LA. Valbo came over from Glasgow and obviously Sam is in LA now. They’re not just watching sunsets and going out to eat - they’re working hard on the materials for upcoming months. Additionally, they are likely working on the MPC gathering to be held in Scotland in September. Again, planning and executing this event takes a considerable amount of time. They have not yet released details of the event and I know from Facebook posts that they want to get information out ASAP so folks who may wish to attend can make plans.

I know MPC is not everyone’s thing, but it is important to many people, and it is obviously something to which the team is very committed. As someone who believes in MPC and has seen its value in the lives of many participants, I am grateful for the MPC team’s dedication to putting out a quality program. 

If anyone is interested in MPC, I am happy to answer your questions. There are many MPC participants in our tumblr community who would also be able to answer questions. Here is the link to get more information and/or sign up. 

anonymous asked:

I really liked what you did with the demon ask w/ human s/o for reaper! If you have time could you please do a prompt where reaper is in the reader’s dream and she can see him through a glass window and he puts his claw on the glass?

Every night for the last three months Reaper has been entering and walking alongside you in your dreams. A year ago Reaper had done what no Grim Reaper had ever done before: he had allowed you to live instead of dying as destined. Those rules were in place for a reason, but the universe seemed to not have noticed for once the disruption within its system.

Grim Reapers were not meant to feel emotions, nor did they hesitate when taking a life-no matter how unfair the circumstance or how kind the heart, Grim Reapers were to take the souls and bring them back to the gates of Life or Death, where they were to be judged.

Yet, upon seeing your beautiful smile and the innocence in your eyes…for the first time, Reaper had felt something in his chest…and ache of regret. It was the first time he had felt since he had died as Gabriel Reyes and become a Grim Reaper, and it apparently would not be the last. That regret was just enough that he had spared you.

And in him, you had unlocked a lonely heart longing for companionship. A heart that seemed to connect to yours instantly…alas, the two of you were not meant to be. Humans could not see or hear Grim Reapers, and that was when Reaper had realized how truly alone he was in his existence.

Once Reaper had found though that he could enter your dreams and speak to you there, it had become almost like an addiction. Never did he tell you what he was, yet you did not question seeing the same being in your dream night and night again. Never did you seem frightened, only kind and curious. And without meaning to, Reaper fell in love with you.

All of this flitted through his mind as he gazed at you now, watching you walk through an endless field of daisies. How beautiful you looked, wearing a long flowing dress and a sun hat with flowers on top. That smile, as you ran and twirled, arms spread…

Reaper watched from a distance, under a tree he had conjured for himself within the dream. It was nice watching you be so happy. He wondered sometimes how aware you really were in your dreams, and if you were conscious about what occured here.

Spotting him, you smiled and waved. Seeing this sent a warm feeling through him, one that he couldn’t help liking. “Come on!” you yelled, “Lets go to the cottage!”

Reaper wanted to ask what castle, but as you turned, suddenly this small cottage seemed to appear in the fog. A soft smile curved under his mask, and after a moment he followed as you went inside. It was nice inside, homey-he wondered what had made you think of a place like this. Perhaps this was a fairytale home you’d once wanted to live in.

“Gabriel?” you called, voice light. 

Following your voice, Reaper walked in. How normal it felt, hearing his name upon your lips. When you had first asked who he was, it had rolled off his tongue almost too easily, despite years and years of forgetting it himself.

“I am here,” he rumbled, stepping into the kitchen to see you standing on the other side of the table, grinning wide as you held a chocolate chip cookie. “I see you have dreamed yourself a bunch of sweets.” Your sweet tooth had been evident in most of your dreams.

Laughing, you offered him one that he waved away. “Of course! LIfe is meant to be experienced with happiness, and I find happiness with sweets,” you said, winking at him as you finished off your cookie.

For a moment, you regarded him curiously.

As always, he stood there in his black robes, nothing revealed beneath his mask. Wisps of black smoke always trailed behind him, as though he was death himself. His voice was rough….but it was his voice you’d first fallen for. In his voice, you heard a man who was lonely and wanted a love that always seemed out of reach.

How odd of me to dream, you thought, though sometimes you wondered if he was a dream at all. Every night he was there now, and you enjoyed his company…but he answered so many things, had such a vivid personality…surely you couldn’t make him up.

“What are you thinking about?” Reaper asked softly, snapping you back from your thoughts.

Smiling coyly, you linked your fingers behind your back and winked. “Just about you,” you said to his surprise. “But I wonder, Gabriel…are you real?”

The words tumbled from your lips with no control, and the two of you stared at each other for long moments of silence. How real this all felt, you thought, and yet it held the dream like quality…all except for him.

“What makes you ask such a question?” Reaper asks quietly.

“You don’t feel like a dream,” you murmur softly, watching him with wide eyes. “You…you don’t act like a dream. And honestly… I hope your not a dream either. Which sounds crazy…I’m obviously asleep. But…I like you.”

Nothing could have caught him more off guard. The thought that you had put so much thought into this…and the idea that you liked him, whether romantically or not…it just….befuddled him.

“I…I am not real,” Reaper said finally. “You can touch what’s real.”

Frowning, you walked from around the table. “Silly Gabriel, I can touch you,” you said, reaching for him. 

And your hand touched cold glass.

Surprise flared in you as you realized that a wall of glass had formed between the two of you. It was like a massive window dividing the room, and yet…you didn’t even think of it as the dream world around you melted away. All that was left was empty white space, Gabriel and the glass that separated you.

“How did this get here?” you scowled, trying to imagine it disappearing but it wouldn’t. It stayed there all the same.

“You cannot touch me, y/n,” Reaper said gently. “I am no more real then the rest of your dreams. We are both here, and yet we are worlds apart.”

You felt like this was a riddle, but you could only lay your palm flat against the glass. “Your are. I’m sure of it…Gabriel, I…” you said, staring at him hopelessly. Would it be better, you wondered, if he was a figment of your imagination? Then at least the pain in his voice wouldn’t sound so real.

Reaper stepped forward, and gently laid his claw against the glass where yours was. The pain was more real, he thought, the hole in him more present by the day. The separation was becoming unbearable.

“You are important to me,” Gabriel says quietly, staring at you through the mirror, swearing he could almost feel your hand. “I want you to know that you are the first to have made me feel in a long time. I thank you for that.”

“Gabriel-” you started, not liking how it sounded like a goodbye.

“I must go. Farewell, beloved,” Reaper said, without a full grasp of the words that slipped from between his lips. Closing his eyes, Reaper was forced to rip himself away from the dream before his will could crumble.

“Gabrie-” you gasped when he disintegrated into a cloud of black smoke, swirling for a few moments before disappearing.

And suddenly, you were left again in the field of wild daisies, alone.

Slowly you sank to your knees, your hand still outstretched, but nothing was there for you to hold or reach for… Slowly it dropped, and you lowered your head.

“Please come back tomorrow,” you whispered.

anonymous asked:

sorry if this has been asked before, but is there a place where we can access your ever growing list of to-reads? been facing a bit of a dry spell lately and i've always enjoyed your recs. also hope you don't mind if i ask where you source original stories to read from? i ask this with the course of honour in mind- found that through your blog- but mostly i am wondering if there is a Great Repository somewhere and i am yet to discover it, or if it's just a matter of following the right people :)

honest to god, this is me just copy-pasting my BOOKS TO READ email draft into this text box. I cannot vouch for the quality of any of them because, obviously, I have not read them, but they were all added to the list because they sound up my alley, or just as reminders to myself because I’ve read other things by these authors.

(I have a lot–a LOT–more books on my to-read list which are literally ON MY SHELF and so never needed to be added to this physical list. but I am not going to list those because we will be here all day.)

most of these are recs from friends or mentioned on podcasts (I recommend galactic suburbia!) or based on good reviews I’ve stumbled across:

Aliette de Bodard - House of Shattered Wings
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan saga
Italo Calvino - Invisible Cities
Tessa Crowley - Godspeaker
Jennifer Cruisie - Bet Me
Samuel Delaney - Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Cory Doctorow - Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother
Thoraiya Dyer - Crossroads of Canopy
Joseph Fink - Welcome to Night Vale 
Max Gladstone - Three Parts Dead
Nicola Griffith - Hild
Joe Haldeman - The Forever War
Robert Heinlein - The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Christopher Hibbert - The House of Medici, The Borgias
N.K. Jemisin - The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate
Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House
Alaya Dawn Johnson - The Summer Prince
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - Illuminae
Mary Robinette Kowal - Valour and Vanity
Justine Larbalestier - My Sister Rosa, Razorhurst
Cixin Liu - The Three Body Problem
Sarah J. Maas - A Court of Thorns and Roses series
Walter Moers - The City of Dreaming Books
Nnedi Okorafor - Who Fears Death
Bob Proehl - A Hundred Thousand Worlds
Natasha Pulley - The Watchmaker of Filagree Street
Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn
Emily Skrutskie - The Abyss Surrounds Us
Angela Slatter - Vigil
Charles Stross - Glasshouse
Cathrynne Valente - Deathless, Radiance
Genevieve Valentine - Persona, Icon

in terms of original stories posted for free online: I am yet to read course of honour, and the last time I read an online serial it was CAPTIVE PRINCE, ON LIVEJOURNAL, so I am not exactly sitting on a dragon-like hoard of them, alas.

NOTE FOR MY BELOVED FOLLOWERS: please, for the love of everything, do not leap in to tell me five more things that should be on this list. usually I enjoy getting recs, but I am not in the greatest space at the moment when it comes to my overachiever neuroticism and tendency to shout at myself about Things I Am Not Doing And Should Really Be Doing, so I am not in the mood to lengthen any to-do lists. thank you.

rittymadness: chloe’s kinda the known delinquent at school, instead of using her as a means to sort of act out? go to parties, get drunk, get high, of course she doesn’t NEED chloe to do those things but sometimes kids that wanna do destructive things find people who also do destructive things. chloe can get all these things and wont question any of it because she’s also a destructive person.

You have a really good point that i kind of forgot about. Chloe has a very clear reputation at Blackwell as the rebel burn out who’s always getting drunk or high and getting in trouble. Even though though we the players know that she is actually a giant NERD.

Rachel even says at one point, “I’m hanging out with Chloe Price, why i am i not drunk yet?!”. Obviously that’s not the exact quote but she does make it clear that she knows what kind of reputation Chloe has and maybe that is why Rachel sought her out??

So yeah i agree that it’s likely that Rachel saw the qualities she wanted to see in Chloe and also wanted to be destructive and cause trouble, because she clearly knew something was up with her dad and wants to act out. But I also think that the more she actually learns about Chloe she realizes that all of Chloe’s edge is a front to protect herself. And i think together they try and become the badass people they want to be. 

Barbies on a Budget

I’ve been getting a lot of asks about how to look like a Barbie when you’ve got a limited budget (I certainly do)! I’ve had to adapt to keeping up appearances while spending little money. I’m going to make a list of Barbie-essentials: the best (and usually most expensive), some good alternatives (for those on a “medium” budget), and then some great hidden gems for those of us who are poor. I’ll also list items that are not worth splurging on, and items that require some cash to be worn right. I apologize ahead of time: the prices and availability I’m listing are based on living in the U.S. If anyone from outside of the U.S wants to add to this list or convert the cost on some of this stuff- that’d be great! Here we go:

Hair:

Extensions: (these are in no way a Barbie essential, but having unicorn hair down to your ass can certainly aid in doll-like aesthetics):

$$$ Best: Salon-quality, permanent extensions. Fused, sewn, taped- you name it. Prices can range anywhere from about $500 to $5,000. I have no personal experience with these types of extensions. 

$$ Great: Clip ins! These are an investment, but if you take really good care of them, they can last you half a year- a year (depending on how ratty you’re willing to wear them…) HeadKandy is my favorite ($200 without shipping for 24-26 inches- the longest length). LuxyHair is also good, $160 without shipping for medium-thickness of 20 inches- the longest length). I hear great things about Bellami as well but have no personal experience. 

$ Okay Alternative: Sally’s! This is a good alternative if you’re on a budget and want a quick option or don’t want to pay for shipping. Your nearest Sally’s Beauty Supply should have a selection of extensions for around $90. In my experience, quality is surprisingly awesome. Problem is- if you’re a blonde, the color selection sucks and you’ll probably want to color them yourself. The longest length available is also only 14 inches. 

Color: (Obviously coloring your hair is not part of being a Barbie, but it’s something many of us do! Blonde hair, especially very light blonde, is the hardest to maintain- so that’s what I’m talking about here).

$$$ Best: High-end, trusted salon with great reviews. Well-trained and professional colorists who are experienced in hair coloring. They will get you to a blonde shade with the least amount of damage, as well as the most natural looking color. High-end salons also offer some really top-of-the-line hair treatments to keep your hair hydrated and healthy-looking despite the trauma you’re putting it through. I paid about $200-$300 every 6-8 weeks to maintain my hair at such a salon. 

$$ Great: Get on Google and read reviews for salons near you. Locate a salon and stylist with good reviews, and bring in a picture as well as a good idea of what you want. Your color will not look as natural, and the process may be a little dirtier and more painful- but I personally always come out very happy. At the high-end salon I had gradual highlights using foils. I now go to a hairdresser who just bleaches my roots- no foils. No expensive conditioning treatments. However, my hair isn’t too damaged, though this route is a little less predictable. Your hair may be brassier than you’d like at times with a less-experienced stylist (but this is easily corrected with some toner or purple shampoo). I pay $70 every 8-10 weeks and this is what I currently use to maintain my bleach blonde hair. 

$ Okay Alternative: DIY! This is a super tricky process (especially if your roots are very dark, like mine). If you can, enlist in a friend to help you (though it is possible to do yourself). Watch as many YouTube hair coloring tutorials as you can. Results can be unpredictable (but almost every mistake can be corrected). You’ll want to get your supplies from Sally’s, and they’ll probably include a bucket of bleach, developer, toner, a mixing bowl, foil, and some gloves. All should cost under $30. Put baby-powder, white/yellow eyeshadow, or root-covering spray (I found some at Walgreens) over your dark roots if you can’t afford to touch them up as often. 

Wigs

$$$ Best: You get what you pay for with these. Online you can find many high-quality wigs. Look for a lace-front, made of human hair (so you can heat-style it). These can be incredibly expensive. Typically over $1000. I have no personal experience with these wigs, but they’re what you see celebrities sporting. 

$$ Great: Still pretty expensive. As said- you get what you pay for. Go to a local wig-shop and try some on. You still want to be looking for a lace-front, though the hair will probably be synthetic. Make sure the wig you purchase isn’t too “shiny” looking. The shinier the hair, the lower-quality the wig. I paid $250 for my wig, and I am happy with it. Whether or not you can tell it’s obviously a wig is debatable. 

$ Okay Alternative: If there is a cheap alternative for wigs- I have not found one. If you buy a cheap wig, it will look like you are wearing a cheap wig. There are tons of wigs on the internet for as cheap as $30. Proceed with caution. 

Colored Contacts: 

I’m not going to discuss ocular implants in this section, as I have no personal experience and they are not yet available in the U.S. However, as mentioned by some followers in previous published asks: there is a procedure that permanently changes your eye color, like a permanent colored contact (though the color can be taken out and changed). Natural-looking. Cost at around $3500. This would probably be ideal for an eye-color change if you have the funds for a procedure and for travel. 

$$$ Best: FX Eyes. These are the colored contacts most celebrities opt for. Almost all are $475 without shipping. I have no personal experience with this brand of contacts, but they are apparently natural-looking and comfortable. These are the best-quality lenses you will find. The downfall is the obviously high price, and the fact that contacts need replacing and tend to be fragile. 

$$ Great: Desio eyes. They have an awesome Instagram page. This is the brand you see models/makeup artists/YouTube gurus sporting. Desio eyes are becoming ever-more popular. They are an Italian brand, and the price is about $54 without shipping. The downside is: It takes a month to arrive in the U.S! For this reason, I have not ordered from Desio (but plan to as my next purchase). 

$ Okay Alternative: Turtle Contacts! Despite the name, these are delivered relatively fast in the U.S. My favorite is “Dual Color Sky Blue”. $50 without shipping. The website seems kind of sketchy, but I’ve ordered from them a handful of times with no trouble. Contacts are not as natural-looking or as bright as Desio. Comfort is good. 

Makeup: 

I have not personally found a brand I find to be superior to MAC. There are many brands of expensive designer makeup (Dior, Chanel, YSL, etc.) However, I would not label any of these brands as the “best”. For this reason, I’m only going to list “Great” and “Okay Alternative”, as MAC is in the “medium-budget” range.

Powder: 

$$ Great: I have not tried a MAC powder I didn’t love. The one you pick will depend on your skin-type. Around $27. 

$ Okay Alternative: I currently wear Loreal True Match and love it! It’s just a nice, reliable powder. Medium converge, keeps shine away. Does what a powder needs to do. About $9. 

Lipstick:

$$ Great: MAC Snob is the best Barbie-pink for any skin tone. (Saint Germaine is a very Barbie-pink as well, but also a little dramatic and not flattering on everyone. MAC Russian Red has been, and always will be, THE best red lipstick. $16. 

$ Okay Alternative: I have yet to find a good drugstore dupe for “Snob”. Ulta or Sephora may have some okay dusty pinks, but they won’t be much less expensive than MAC. I suggest splurging on “Snob”. Drugstore lipsticks are going to be around $7-$12 anyway, and I’ve not tried a drugstore lipstick with a texture I didn’t hate. However, Revlon’s “Certainly Red” is a great and vibrant color (and apparently a favorite of Alena Shishova). $8.

Mascara: 

$ Okay Alternative: In this case, the cheapest is the best. This should not be “okay alternative”, this should be labeled “only logical choice”. Maybelline Falsies is the best mascara. Ever. Handsdown. No debate. $7. 

Tan:

$$$ Best: A good, old-fashioned spray-tan. They’ve really improved in quality over the past 5-10 years. (If any of you got your first spray tan for the middle school dance back in 2006 and ended up being nicknamed “Pumpkin Girl” for the rest of the year- you know just what I mean). No, the modern spray-tan is great. I’ve basically tried every single provider, so I’m not even going to differentiate between salons/brands. I’ve also gone to a personal spray-tanner (i.e, done by a human and not a machine) and the results have always been equally as good. Spray-tans are nowadays a reliable way to get an even, dark color. They last about two weeks. Downside is, they cost about $20-$30 per session, and at the end of the first week, can get sort of splotchy in places (exfoliate beforehand)! Also, standing naked and being sprayed by cold liquid for 15 minutes either by a scary machine or a person is not pleasant. The chemical smell and sticky-feeling over the next day is not ideal either. I prefer the cheaper alternatives. Though it is worth noting, this is the only option that can quickly cover the entire body and is almost guaranteed not to be streaky. For this reason, I suggest a spray-tan for occasions/outfits where you’ll be showing a lot of skin (i.e the beach, a revealing prom/pageant gown, etc.). Self-tanners are difficult to spread evenly on the back and torso. 

$$ Great: XenTan. Been using this one for five years now. Love it! I spread it on my face, neck, chest, and arms. It’s tinted, so you can see where you’re spreading and smooth out streaks. I’m never streaky with this lotion and it is never orange. $40 for a bottle that lasts me a year- year and a half. The only downside is that it takes a lot of lotion to get the legs, and can be time-consuming to apply if you’re tanning your whole body. Ideal for an every-day tan that requires little effort/time and you’re only going to be showing your chest/arms. One application lasts at least 2 weeks. 

$ Okay Alternative: Sally Hansen leg makeup! This stuff is amazing. My favorite drugstore product of all time. Severely underrated. It’s not a self-tanner, but a makeup. You spray it on your legs (I do a little on my arms sometimes as well, or upper-back), and immediately you have a dark, even tan. It’s water-proof and I haven’t had a problem with it coming off on my clothes (however my boyfriend has been unhappy with me for it ruining his white jeans). $13 at any drugstore. 

Nails: 

(Of course just painting your nails like everybody else is always on option- but where’s the fun in that?! I’m going to be discussing fake nails/acrylics. They’ve become really popular in recent years- as seen by all those fierce talon-nails plastered all over every Rosy blog in existence). 

$$$ Best: Salon acrylics. This is the obvious best option. If you’ve got the time and the money- go to a salon. Your nails will look beautiful and perfect. Downside is, it requires maintenance (also remember acrylics will damage your natural nail- making the upkeep of acrylics essential, as your natural nails will not be pretty to look at without them)! Salons typically charge somewhere between $20-$40 for acrylics. You also will need to revisit the salon as your nails grow to get the acrylics filled, which costs about $15. 

$$ Great: At-home acrylic nail kit. I found one of these at Walgreens. This kit costs about $25 and comes with many long, plastic “nails” and the tools to make your own acrylics. Downside is, though cheaper and saves trips to the salon- you must cut/shape the nails yourself. They are not going to be as beautiful or polished-looking (sorry) as what you’ll get in a salon. 

$ Okay Alternative: Drugstore acrylics. I know, I know- you totally associate these with the tacky gems that completed your glam-trash prom look way-back-when in 2004. They’re not all bad. I personally love the plain, french manicured sets. They take only a few minutes to apply, and last up to a week and a half. $6-$8. Downside is, they tend to pop off easy. I suggest carrying the small tube of nail glue in the package with you everywhere. There is nothing worse than sporting half french-manicured- perfection and half mangled-naked-nails that look like they’ve been stuck into an electric pencil sharpener. 

Marilyn Monroe was a legend. In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.

But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe. We gathered here today, knew only Marilyn – a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out for fulfillment.

I will not insult the privacy of your memory of her – a privacy she sought and treasured – by trying to describe her whom you knew to you who knew her. In our memories of her, she remains alive and not only a shadow on the screen or a glamorous personality.

For us Marilyn was a devoted and loyal friend, a colleague constantly reaching for perfection. We shared her pain and difficulties and some of her joys. She was a member of our family. It is difficult to accept the fact that her zest for life has been ended by this dreadful accident.

Despite the heights and brilliance she attained on the screen, she was planning for the future; she was looking forward to participating in the many exciting things which she planned. In her eyes and in mine her career was just beginning. The dream of her talent, which she had nurtured as a child, was not a mirage.

When she first came to me I was amazed at the startling sensitivity which she possessed and which had remained fresh and undimmed, struggling to express itself despite the life to which she had been subjected. Others were as physically beautiful as she was, but there was obviously something more in her, something that people saw and recognized in her performances and with which they identified.

She had a luminous quality – a combination of wistfulness, radiance, yearning – to set her apart and yet make everyone wish to be a part of it, to share in the childish naivete which was so shy and yet so vibrant.

This quality was even more evident when she was in the stage. I am truly sorry that the public who loved her did not have the opportunity to see her as we did, in many of the roles that foreshadowed what she would have become. Without a doubt she would have been one of the really great actresses of the stage. Now it is at an end. I hope her death will stir sympathy and understanding for a sensitive artist and a woman who brought joy and pleasure to the world.

I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality – I will say au revoire. For the country to which she has gone, we must all someday visit.

Marilyn Monroe’s Eulogy presented by Lee Strasberg