Dean smiled as he spotted another note taped to his
apartment door. Every week for the last two months, Thursdays to be exact, he
would find a small blue envelope taped to the center of his front door. He had
no idea what time of day they were left there, since he left for work at seven
in the morning. But, when he returned from work around six o’clock, it was
He pulled the small envelope off the door and slipped it
into the breast pocket of his automotive technician uniform. Then, he unlocked
his door and slipped into the apartment.
The space wasn’t large, but it was his. It had a small,
functional kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, and a small bathroom. And that
was all he needed.
Dean had lived alone for over three years, since his brother
became engaged, and later married, his college girlfriend. Dean had a few
relationships here and there, but none of them felt… right. So, he carried on, working for his long-time family friend’s
automotive shop. His dream job, if he cared to admit it.
1. Saturn Devouring his Son, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 143 x 81 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
2.The Dog, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 131.5 x 79.3 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
3. Two Old Men Eating Soup, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 49.3 x 83.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
4. Judith and Holofernes, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 143.5 x 81.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
5. Two Old Men, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 146 x 66 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
6. The Fates, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 123 x 266 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
7. Fight with Cudgels, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 123 x 266 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
8. Witches’ Sabbath, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 140 x 438 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
9. Fantastic Vision, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 125.4 x 65.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
10. Man Mocked by Two Women, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 125.4 x 65.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source
Here is a selection of works from Goya’s famous ‘Black Paintings’ series, which consists of fourteen murals that were painted directly onto the walls of the Quinta del Sordo house in Madrid, where the artist lived between 1819 and 1823. They have since been removed, transferred to canvases, and become part of the Museo del Prado’s collection.
The series is pretty dark, to say the least. It is rife with themes of witchcraft, insanity, violence and death’s inevitability. My personal favourite is Saturn Devouring his Son, which is based on the story of Saturn’s Greek counterpart, Cronus, and how he ate his sons after hearing that they would eventually overthrow him. However, Saturn/Cronus was tricked by Rhea into swallowing a stone instead of one of his children. This son, of whom Rhea was the mother, was Zeus, and he would eventually have Cronus and the other titans imprisoned. Goya’s depiction is deliciously gory and terrifying. Saturn’s face is enough to give you nightmares!
New Monarch timeline video. Isla de Mona is a real island in Puerto Rico, though there is no volcano on it. (That we know of!) Some Wikipedia excerpts worth noting:
“There are no native inhabitants; only rangers and biologists from Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources reside on the island, to manage visitors and take part in research projects.“
“In 1583, the Spanish archbishop of Puerto Rico received royal permission
to bring Christianity to Mona Island. However, by this time most Taínos
remaining on the island had either died or fled to mainland Puerto Rico
due to repeated raiding by European (especially French) ships. From the
end of the 16th century up until the mid-19th century the island was
largely abandoned by the colonial authorities. It seems to have been
sporadically inhabited, although records from this period are somewhat
sketchy. It continued to be used as a refuge by pirates and privateers,
including the notorious Captain Kidd who hid out there in 1699.”
“The island’s circumstances changed in the mid-19th century when it became the site of commercial guano
mining operations. Various companies were granted licenses to extract
the bat and seagull guano (a valuable fertilizer and key strategic
commodity for the production of gunpowder) from the island’s caves.
Mining continued until 1927.”
“In July 1972 the Environmental Quality Board of Puerto Rico, because
of growing interest in the development of the islands, made a full
scientific assessment of Mona and Monita using a local team of volunteer
scientists. A two-volume report with maps of natural and historic
features was produced. It evaluated the climate, geology and mineral resources, soils, water
resources, archaeology, vegetation, animals and insects, and pelagic
life around the island. Shortly thereafter geotechnical and bathymetry
studies were conducted by engineering firms to determine the feasibility
of using Mona as a deepwater terminal for transferring oil from
supertankers to smaller tankers which would continue to the mainland US;
this plan was never implemented.”
“Around 200 caves are on the island with thousands of native art designs and the marks and names made by early Spanish explorers.”
“From 1945 to 1955 Mona Island was leased to the U.S. Air Force as a military exercise area.”
This is the fault of every single one of the thirsty anon who came in talking about how the color of his head is the same as his mouth and how big he is. It’s sloppy (no pun intended) and quick and mostly written on my phone, but. Have at it. x
Harry has his moods.
But you have yours, too.
Sometimes, you just want
to crawl into his lap and pepper his face with kisses until his dimples have no
choice but to pop and he has to stretch his jaw wide with the threat of a bite
to get you to stop (it isn’t much of a threat, though, when he nips at your
jaw, neck, and cheek, and then he’s the one peppering kisses about).
Sometimes you just want a
fight, and those are the days he tries to avoid you.
Sometimes you just want
quiet cuddles because he’s leaving again, soon, and you won’t get the chance
for this for a long, long time.
Sometimes, though, it’s
one of those moods. It always catches him by surprise,
because of its slow, simmering that he doesn’t notice until it’s boiling over.
It always happens at the
oddest times, too. Barefoot, t-shirt, skin a little spotty from a weekend of
alcoholic indulgences, and hair bordering on greasy because he knows he
shouldn’t wash it often but he fails to remind himself not to play with it too
much lest he transfer oils from his skin to his hair. He’s not at all the baby
rockstar who prances on stage, grabbing the object of your desire in front of
thousands of screaming, willing people; rather, he’s Ps and Qs and, “Love,
where’s the– found it”, and, “I’m going to go pickup, did you want something
while I was out?”
This recipe restores 125 energy and 50 health. It also gives a +3 Combat bonus. It can be obtained from achieving Level 3 Combat and sells for 100g.
Difficulty: Easy, 45 minutes. Serves 4.
I make this recipe quite often, but I usually just use potatoes and carrots.
-Root vegetables: turnips, parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, etc -Tubers: potatoes, yams, etc -¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil, as needed -One Step Greek seasoning (or seasoning of your choice!)
For 4 servings I used 2 parsnips, 2 carrots, half a rutabaga, 3 small potatoes, and half a yam. I didn’t use turnips, but about 2 of those will do if you choose to have some as well.
Preheat the oven to 395°F.
Chop up the tubers and roots into small chunks, removing any unwanted peels and ends. I keep the peels on the potatoes. For rutabagas, you may need to use a knife to remove the peel since most vegetable peelers aren’t strong enough to remove the skin.
Combine the olive oil and seasoning in a large bowl, and add all the vegetables. Toss to fully coat them, ensuring an even distribution of oil and seasoning.
Transfer the vegetables to a baking dish and cook for 35 minutes, or more if needed. The larger the chunks, the more time needed.
Serve hot with lunch or dinner. Some root vegetables don’t hold a lot of flavour, so the seasoning helps a lot! This dish is tasty and nutritious.
Saint Mary Magdalene, fragment (c.1522-1524). Workshop of Luca Signorelli (Italian, c.1445-1523). Oil on panel transferred to canvas.
Signorelli’s drawings bear a close analogy to the method of Michelangelo. He aimed at powerful truth rather than nobility of form. He had a vast influence over the painters of his workshop, some of whom would have completed this work.
Long story short, a new ring was damaged shortly after acquisition and I suspected the fixers of swapping stones when fixed. I had enough references to make the accusation that it wasn’t the same stone but I didn’t come out and say that when I went back later. Only that I was concerned that the fixing process may have damaged something else.
I was offered a trade for a new ring. I said I’d consider it and to call me when it arrived.
That was Saturday.
Sunday: The stone looked even more “wrong” and no amount of viewing in alterative environments could convince me otherwise.
Monday: When the light hits it just right, the stone gleams a certain way and I get the sensation I’m watching someone struggle to waken.
Tuesday: It looks wrong from one way but kinda looks right from the other way. It feels apologetic that it doesn’t feel right.
Wednesday: I recall some things I overheard in the store, prompting me to look up the industry procedure for repair. Turns out the stone is cleaned of everything organic, including human oils that would have transferred to the ring no matter how careful I was. This stripping is known to “dull” a stone compared to before the process. The stone feels like it’s trying very hard to be something I would want to keep.
Thursday: I realize I have an unconscious habit of rubbing my thumb over the smooth stone. I put the ring under water to see if the stone changes appearance. It nearly matches what I remember and the photos I’d taken before the incident.
Friday: The stone is trying very, very hard to make me happy. I try rubbing a wee bit of oil on the ring. It’s still not exactly what I remember but I concede that I may be remembering wrong in the first place. I decide to keep this ring, swap or not, and purchase the replacement if the quality was sufficient. The stone feels comfortable, as if I had a small pet snoozing in my pocket.
*ring ring* “The replacement ring is here! And it looks… Interesting.”
Friday evening: Under the lights of the store, I see the stone I’m wearing flashing almost exactly as it did the day I bought the ring. As no two natural opals are the same, the chances of a second stone doing this is very, very low. I compare it to the replacement ring.
It was like comparing a name brand with its knockoff.
“I thought it was the same but now that you’re here, they are nothing alike. Can’t even pretend they are.”
Maybe the stone was swapped. Maybe the stone was only stripped of filth. Either way, I make the decision not to purchase the replacement, nor to make a swap. This is my stone now, I will not abandon it.
I make other purchases instead and move on.
Friday night: My phone beeps and I reach for it. In the electric light, I notice the ring flashing a certain way.
It’s the pattern I have been absent of all week.
There is still a slight “off” to it, but in the way a broken bone doesn’t heal perfectly straight. The way it was damaged could have shattered the stone after all. But it has been cleaned of clinging organic films I had bestowed upon it and I have been purged of my snobbery and elitism of expecting absolute perfection in a natural thing.
As I go to get coffee for the drive home, the stone speaks loudly with hues of color and flashes of light, feeding my animism and chatting with anything that pauses to listen.
Let’s talk about skin. There are many causes you may not know are behind your break outs. Switching up a few daily habits and making some minor life style changes can drastically improve your skin and keep spots away! Besides eating healthy and drinking loads of water, every day things can have a major effect on your skin.
Talking on the phone. Do you have a cluster of pimples on your cheeks where you talk on the phone? Try to use headphones, to talk on speaker or sanitize your phone screen once a day to avoid getting all that bacteria on your skin, girl!
Not washing your pillow cases.Try to wash your pillow cases once a week! Makeup, oil, sweat, dirt, etc all builds up on your pillow case while you sleep and could be transferring onto your skin every night causing break outs.
Not exfoliating.Exfoliating your skin once a week helps buff away any dead skin that could be blocking and clogging pores. Exfoliating will help your skin get a deeper and more effective clean as well give the skin a more even, smooth texture.
Not washing your makeup brushes. Makeup brushes can have built up dirt, oil and makeup which you’re applying back on your face every time you apply makeup with dirty brushes. Make sure to wash your brushes, especially face brushes, once to twice a week.
Drying your face with a dirty towel. After cleansing your face, dry off with a towel… normal right? Well if you aren’t washing your towel almost daily you could be applying old makeup, dirt and oil back onto your just clean face. Keep your skin clear by washing your towel daily, having back ups of clean towels or using a clean sheet of paper towel to dry your face.
Sleeping with your hair down.Many girls don’t wash their hair every day causing a build up of dirt and oil. Sleeping with your hair down while it’s “dirty” causes dirt and oils transfer onto your face while you’re sleeping! Avoid this by tying your hair up in a bun while you sleep to prevent dirt and oils from getting on your skin and pillows.
Not fully removing all of your makeup. Makeup is made to stick to the skin so sometimes a light cleanse won’t fully remove all your makeup causing you to go to sleep with left over makeup residue clogging your pores! Use a makeup wipe to remove any makeup and then cleanse the skin for a proper cleanse or simply wash your face twice once to remove makeup and once to cleanse the skin. You could also go in with a toner and cotton pad to remove any excess dirt and oil after cleansing.
Using too many/too strong of acne medicated products.Using too many or too harsh of acne medicated products could be irritating your skin causing it to break out even more! Keep the rest of your skin care gentle and simple and stick with one acne medicated product like a cleanser or spot treatment. Try to avoid acne medicated products that are too strong with over 1 - 2% of a medicated ingredient.
Touching your face/picking at your skin.Try to avoid popping and picking at current acne! When you touch your face and pick at spots you’re spreading bacteria causing new acne. Popping a pimple will spread bacteria and cause the pimple to heal incorrectly resulting in acne scars. If you do pick at your skin make sure you’re sanitizing the area afterwards with a medicated toner to prevent new acne.