only the best in the midwest

“I deleted your number from my phone month and months ago so that I wouldn’t text you in the late night. I know you sleep well, and fully throughout the night, and you grew sad and distanced yourself each morning you woke to find my frustration, years too late. I unfriended you on Facebook because you liked all the posts I put up, the happy ones, the good ones, the fun ones. I trained my brain to forget your last name. I taught myself not to think of your eyes. Or the shape of your collar bones. I now can proudly say I don’t think of you late at night when I stare at the light coming in my bedroom windows.”

I’m trying to slow time, and stay still enough so that I don’t wreck anything. That I don’t turn any of the good let in my life into something negative. 

I’m writing everything down lately. Because I don’t trust my memory to catch all the good and bad. It’s like a recently mended net, about to test it’s new strength. 

I hate writing K’s and G’s in my handwriting. I like writing L’s and S’s. I bought a spray bottle at the dollar store and filled it up with water and eucalyptus essential oil. I’ve been burning lavender incense and spraying my pillows with the eucalyptus water. I’ve rearranged my bookcase, and listened to an old FM radio. I searched for a station that didn’t have commercials for about 20 mins. My internet had been down some 24 hours at that point and I just needed a little something in my ears.

I’ve been gone 11 days, and now my cats don’t leave me alone. They come, twirling and dancing between my feet as I walk around surveying this apartment I missed. Each tiny and large thing put in a place that feels right, at least for now.  

In college I would repaint my studio apartment’s walls in the middle of the night because I needed a bit of a change. I would rearrange pillows, shelves and furniture because it felt better thinking about how I’d never been kissed. How I’d never known the touch of a trusted lover. Now I do it because it feels good to seek and find solace and comfort here, away from the world outside. 

I’m not sorry that I’ve allowed certain men take root in my memories. Idaho with his grumbling, growling, and breathtaking smile, his declarations. Brown eyes with the way his mouth moved when he talked and his tattoos, and his love of achingly soft music. The midwest gent for his attentive nature, patience, and his stoicism. My southern best friend who made me laugh like no other, with goofy memorable moments of pride and care, his strength. My contractor ex, nationally ranked rugby boyfriend who lived in the Poconos and who made me feel delicate, womanly, but who trusted me with a hammer and power tools. The tall gangly boy who grew into a handsome man, one night to take my hand late at night in his sports car only to whispered beautiful words of praise besides a lake under the moonlight some miles later. 

But that’s because I sometimes forget the bad associated with each. Or the bad I brought to them. 

I’m sitting on the floor, my legs have fallen asleep and I know I should shed my clothes and crawl into my bed. I should make a list of all I want to accomplish tomorrow, and I should, I should, I should, I should. 

I think I’ll soak in the tub, or change my sheets and get into bed and play a song that starts slow and sad, but builds in my chest like road trip views where you get surprised by a great landscape after the same sad thing miles and miles. Just one more hill. Just one more hike, one more mile, until you’re closer. I’m closer.

Everyday, I am thankful for those who have loved me, and who have allowed me to love them, even if it wasn’t enough for either of us in the long run. Because I’m learning to love myself more, and more. Learning to call myself out on my bullshit. Learning that exciting things happen every day, that I can make exciting things happen, worthwhile things.  

That one day, doesn’t matter how soon, all these memories, all this growth will mean a more successful relationship with another extraordinary person. With my extraordinary person. Who will grow with me. That will take me as I am, a person capable of greatness, even if that greatness is just great according to each of us, and the small things I do to affect others positively. 

I just have to breathe in, make several small movements that turn into larger ones, exhale, then do it all over again. 

J. Cole, the Platinum Rap Dissident, Steps Back From the Spotlight

RALEIGH, N.C. — Ask J. Cole about when he realized that the traditional life of a platinum rap star didn’t suit him and he’ll tell the story of the 2013 BET Awards, when a stylist dressed him in a loud Versace sweater that two other people ended up wearing on the red carpet. He’ll talk about meetings with label executives and personal heroes who encouraged him to make musical decisions that, deep down, he never felt comfortable with. He’ll recall an awakening to the potency of the love of the woman he’d been with for years. And he’ll remember his trip in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown to Ferguson, Mo., where the most valuable thing he found he could do was just to listen.

And so, a couple of years ago, after he’d released two platinum albums, he began to make changes. A move back down to this part of the country, not far from where he grew up, in Fayetteville. Meditation every day, or as often as he could manage. Marriage. A commitment to asking about the needs of others rather than only his own. And a decision to make music that spoke to his own creative and emotional idiosyncrasies, no matter how far it strayed from that of his hip-hop superstar generational peers.

Keep reading



Lmao notice its only been like this for the past three days then suddenly tomorrow is a high of fucking 69???? MidWest Weather at its best XD

Spideytorch Big Bang 2016 Masterpost!

Without a Hitch by Mizzy, art by Pariah Arts

When Peter loses his girlfriend Gwen Stacy horribly, dramatically, until the end of time— because she’s hooking up with his neighbor — Peter figures he’s probably just desperately terrible at the boyfriend thing. He needs an expert. Which, sadly, is the one guy in his life who really doesn’t need the ego boost of being told he’s an expert in love.

Johnny is delighted to help his bud Spider-Man find love. Johnny has his eyes on someone, so he could do with the practice. It’s just a shame, because when Peter finds his healed heart turning in another direction, the last person he would expect to get in the way does.

let the choir bells sing by GottaLoveV, art by Alina In Wonder Art within fic

Johnny and Spider-Man are on assignment at the Carnival of Venice, and asked to be present at an influential politician’s costumed party. When he becomes worried that said politician wants to match him up with his daughter, Johnny announces he’s secretly married to Spider-Man.

They can totally fake being secret husbands for a few days! Not a problem, not even when they have to share a bed. After all, they are good buddies; it’s not as if Johnny would have to sleep with someone he has a crush on, like Peter Parker.

Tales From The Back Pages by Traincat, art by MaryJaneWatson

Peter Parker was born with his words. Johnny Storm’s been sure his will be said sarcastically since he was a child. Everything else more or less happens according to plan.

A first words soulmate AU.

Fantastic Four Plus One by Naomida, art by Captain Sharkspeare

Who would have thought that the biggest hardship of being a superhero would be to have to hang out with his arch-nemesis because Johnny was a slut for free hotdogs?
AKA, the story where Johnny is the one getting bitten by a radioactive spider, and hiding your secret identity to the super-powered people you live with is super hard, especially when Peter Parker is dead-set on becoming your best friend.

Broken Crown by MissMHO, art by A Little Huntress

Peter and Johnny were promised to each other when they were still little boys, a political alliance that were to create the merged kingdom of Fantastika. Then came the accident, followed a couple of years later by a tragic loss of the ruling royal couples. Peter and Johnny were officially married not long after and the burden of the crown fell now to the two young rulers… Except Peter hasn’t seen his supposed husband for the last decade.

all of these thousand miles by hippolytas, art by Sciderman

One year after the Fantastic Four have disappeared: where are they now?

No one really has a clue, and Johnny seems to be the only one still searching for answers. When the universe (or someone with control over it) starts sending him signals, Johnny decides that it’s time to go looking. Peter’s just coming along to make sure he survives the experience. It all goes about as well as can be expected.

Tar & Glass by honest, art by Inkpaws

After disappearing for two years, Johnny Storm returns to his midwest hometown a different person to when he’d left. At least, he thinks that’s the case. Seeing his best friend Peter Parker again reminds him that some things, no matter the distance, remain exactly the same.

And that’s just it, isn’t it? Johnny could’ve left the town behind, his family and the friends he’s had since he was two because no one new ever comes and no one ever leaves - except Johnny, but he failed at that, didn’t he? He’s back. He could’ve left the town but he couldn’t erase the stars, the sky, the thread that weaves his universe together. He couldn’t leave Peter.

The Camera’s On Us by weekend_conspiracy_theorist, art by that_one_mod

Top Chef Season Twenty comes to a close with a reunion episode you won’t want to miss! Tune in for the answers to questions we’ve all been wondering–Why does Kate Bishop wear so many sunglasses? Are Doreen and Nancy really dating? Did Johnny dump that bag of flour on Peter on purpose? And, of course, just who is the mysterious MJ?

(A Top Chef AU told through the reunion episode and a series of flashbacks to earlier events–including a teary goodbye kiss, the aforementioned flour incident, and when Johnny met Mary Jane… or, well, not quite.)

New York’s Finest Disasters by JustANerdyGirl, art by digitalgraphite

When 21-year-old Johnny Storm accidentally causes the Baxter Building to burn down, he accepts a bet that he can live for a year without the rest of the Fantastic Four babysitting him. Johnny believes he can handle it, but of all places in New York, why did it have to be a rundown apartment in Queens? Meanwhile, Peter Parker is struggling balancing his senior year of college, his internship at Stark Industries, his freelance photography gig at the Daily Bugle, being one of New York’s masked heroes, his roommate Harry’s addiction problems, and now he has none other than Johnny Storm pestering him as a next-door neighbor.

Features: A slightly anxious Peter Parker, a wonky balance of canon from comics, movies, Netflix series, and original antics, Prank Wars, Drunken Makeouts, Enemies to Friends to Lovers, New York’s heroes being extremely protective of Peter Parker, and basically everyone wanting Peter to take a freakin’ nap.

The Color of Your Energy by bexorz, art by lebearpolarr

Johnny Storm is the Human Torch, but only the other members of the Fantastic Four know this. Why does he have a secret identity? To protect his bakery, of course. Wake and Bake is one of New York City’s finest bakeries, and Betty Brant from the Daily Bugle is about to write a human interest story about it for the Food and Culture section. Who does she choose to bring with her as photographer? Peter Parker, obviously. Johnny is immediately intrigued.

Peter is juggling a teaching career, freelance photography for the Bugle, and his superhero routine, with moderate success. He immediately falls in love with Johnny’s pastries, and it doesn’t hurt that Johnny keeps giving them to him for free.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man and the Human Torch are trying to renew their friendship, having no idea they’ve just met face-to-face.

Lost Without You by TimeLadyRomana, art by Meereswiederkaeuer, Bex

Johnny and Peter fall into a wormhole and are sent careening across the universe together. With no hope of rescue, they end up having to figure out their own way home, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

To make matters worse, Johnny’s been in love with Peter for a long, long, long time. Nothing’s happened ever because Peter doesn’t seem too interested, but now Johnny’s stuck alone in space with the guy of his dreams and a whole lot of feelings that just won’t go away.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated! You’re all amazing and we hope to see you again next year!

anonymous asked:

I cast another midwest opinion into the ring, the best way to do it is to find a nice, smaller town that is relatively close to a big city. that way you can still usually find nice, traditional conservative folks but also it's not super deep into rural farmland, and you have access to the things a city offers, but usually without the problems that kind of population density can bring

I’ve only ever been to Indianapolis but the Midwest seems very nice!

lunarassassin  asked:

You're like the best person I know to ask! soooo do you know of any more Lost Boys screenings/shows coming up? I live on the west coast but moving to the Midwest, was wondering if anyone knew any places showing or playing it this year (or even Halloween) thanks a bunch!

The only other event I’m aware of is Horrorhound which isn’t exactly a screening but it’s something. A very big something. Aside from that I don’t know. 

Actually I just found another something here 

anonymous asked:

Allison and Kevin reluctant friendship headcanons?? I love the idea of these two being "reluctant" friends.

yes i am so here for this ok

  • so this takes place some time in the future (aka after palmetto) because let’s be real kevin’s only free-time throughout his palmetto years was spent playing exy 
  • after kevin grows up a bit he and allison eventually starting hanging out more
    • to both of their utter disgust (or so they say)
  • seriously, i’m a firm believer that these two could be the ultimate Reluctant Best Friends™ 
  • anyways, they end up living pretty close together after graduation, but purely by accident
    • kevin gets put on a team in new york… his apartment’s only about a short five minute walk from allison’s new apartment
      • also a ten minute walk from her design studio
  • anyways – they’re the only foxes even remotely in that area.
    • dan got a coaching job somewhere in the midwest and matt followed (of course)
    • renee’s off in the peace corps
    • nicky is in germany with erik 
    • aaron and katelyn ended up on the west coast
    • andrew and neil, while on two different teams, meet in the middle in colorado whenever possible
    • wymack, abby, and bee are still at palmetto
  • so, really if they want someone from the “olden days” to hang out with, there isn’t much choice
  • they avoid talking for the first five months or so, out of pure stubbornness and dislike for each other
  • then, they accidentally bump into each other at a starbucks and reluctantly drink their coffee together before dashing off to their jobs
  • but it seems like after that starbucks incident, they keep bumping into each other EVERYWHERE
    • turns out one of kev’s teammates is also great friends with allison
      • the teammate always invites allison to the team’s nights out so kev and allison end up spending more time together than originally planned
    • they bump into each other on the subway
    • they meet up when another fox is in town
  • literally anywhere you can think of that they could possibly run into each other, they do
  • so eventually they start having small conversations here and there over the phone when they miss the foxes and being like a close-knit family
  • this turns into meeting every now and then for coffee or a relaxed (”dammit kevin this is not a real game calm down”) exy scrimmage
  • without either one of them realizing it, this develops into an actual friendship and they start hanging out more and more 
  • for example, say someone is being so incredibly stupid that there isn’t even a point in correcting them because it won’t do any good
  • kevin and allison give each other The Look™ that all best friends use
    • it is simultaneously code for lmao look at this fucking idiot and dear lord what did we do to deserve this
  • they meet up at least once weekly at a coffee shop, or if one of them is too far away to drive, over skype (with coffee in their hands, ofc)
    • seriously coffee is part of the ritual 
    • if one of them doesn’t have it the other is like immediately offended
  • anyway so they meet up to just talk shit about people 
    • allison: “did you see on exy news that neil’s still wearing those fucking jorts?”
    • kevin: “did you see the drunk selfie nicky posted of him and erik last night?? drunk and sweaty in a club at five am is not a good look for him, just saying.”
  • they also hang out and watch shitty reality tv together
    • kev’s a huge fan of the kardashians, while allison’s more into the real housewives of *enter city name here*
    • allison: “we should like, get a reality tv show for all the foxes. we’re hilarious as fuck and violent enough.”
    • kevin: “we’d get sued and someone would end up dead.”
    • allison: “…….so?”
  • BUT they will also vehemently deny being friends if anyone ever asks
    • dan to allison:  “so, heard that you and kevin were hanging out yesterday.”
      • allison: “what the actual fuck why would i hang out with day he’s the literal worst”
    • neil to kevin: “is allison in town? i wanted to invite her over on sunday to hang out”
      • kevin: “how the fuck should i know where that bitch is?? i don’t keep tabs on here i have better stuff to do what the fuck”
  • kevin’s name in allison’s phone is “DON’T ANSWER” 
  • allison’s name in kevin’s phone is “Catty Bitch”
  • allison is the one assigned to call kevin when he’s late for the foxes annual get-together
    • “where the FUCK are you asshole”
    • “i’m five minutes away calm down”
    • “fuck you, day”
    • “fuck off”
    • “oh please, you were probably staring at your beloved exy racquet for so long that you lost track of time”
    • “and how late were you?? i was sure you were probably making sure the wrinkles on your face were covered up”
  • but, for all their fighting and bickering when they’re around other people (and alone, if i’m being honest… these two physically cannot rest on the sass) they truly are Best Reluctant Friends™ 

doctorwhoandrory  asked:

leaf, mountain, snow, wind and breath 👀🌹

Leaf: What’s your favourite season?

I live in the midwest and so my favorite season is actually a combo of two - mid fall to late winter. This is for several reasons.

  1.  I cannot stand the heat. It just gets too hot and humid and downright miserable here during the spring and summer. If it’s cold I can just drink something warm and add on a layer and grab a blanket. There’s only so much you can remove when it’s hot :p
  2.  Clothes are so much better to buy??? Sweaters and boots and scarves are the best!!!
  3. No severe thunderstorms so my lilasophobia doesn’t get triggered *throws confetti* 
  4. And like snow is so pretty!!! Not fun to drive in though….
  5. Longer nights more sleep! 

Mountain: What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled?

Orlando! Family trip down for the main goal of going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I was so happy that the number of times I teared up was in the double digits. God, it was amazing! 

Snow: Does it snow where you live?

lol I as just mentioned it does snow. And it can snow a lot. Fun story tho! Back in my senior year of high school, they had our graduation date set before winter finals happened and we went on winter break. So the days pass and soon it’s the sunday night before we’re to go back for the second semester. Blizzard hits. We get Monday off. Then more snow happens and we get Tuesday off as well. We go back on a wednesday and finish off the week. BUT this starts a vicious circle of snow/cold days and early releases (if it’s too cold out school could get canceled) and it wasn’t until mid-march that we actually had a full week of school. Yeah. During that stretch of time we had at least 2 days of school canceled every week. 

And because we were seniors we didn’t have to make up a single one in the end!

Wind: What’s your favourite song to dance to?

…I don’t think I have a specific one???? If it has a good beat I’ll end up dancing (horribly) to it :)

Breath: What type of music do you listen to?

Oh all types! My music will go from Disney to Alternative to Broadway to Indie. If I like a song/album/artist, they get added to my Spotify :)

ask me elemental questions

Where the Line Blurs: An Odd Friendship (Chapter 5)

Steve’s POV

I leaned up against the car Nat let me borrow as I waited for Y/N. I sighed and folded my arms over my chest as my phone began to ring.

I glanced down and seen Sharon’s name flash across the screen. “Carter.” I said as I answered.

“Morning Cap.” She said.

“Any activity?” I asked as I stared up at Y/N’s floor. What if she was doing exactly what she said? What if giving her the cold shoulder is-

“No. “She says sighing. “I just I have this gut instinct about her.” She added as an after thought.

I nod. Y/N had a lot of demons. Demons that she made sure distance me from her, which only made me question her and her motives. She was the perfect HYDRA mole, but something about her just did not make it seem like she was.

I watched as Y/N  walked out of her building and quirked and eyebrow at me. “Talk later.” I said before hanging up on Sharon not waiting for a response.

“Carter?” She asked as she stuffed he hands in her pockets.

I studied her for a minute. There was something different about her today. Something that I just could not seem to put my finger on.

“Not really any of your business.” I say standing up. “Sam is going to me-“
She narrowed her eyes at me. “Just stop. You want my help? Fine, I am more than willing Rogers but the hostility has to stop.” She says waiting for me to speak.

What changed? I nod not voicing my thoughts. “Agreed.” I said rounding the car. “We have a short drive.”

She nods before climbing into the car. “That’s fine.” She says turning to look at the window.

I bit back a sigh. It was hard not to be hostile against someone who’s sins could take down entire countries. Hell it was hard not to be hostile when they would not let you in.

She turned to stare at me. “I was born in the Midwest, I was an only child, and my nickname was Ace.” She says vaguely before turning back towards the window.

I kept my face clear of surprise. Ask and you shall receive.

“When I was six my parents were murdered, part of being a spy I guess. But instead of being put in the system I was trained by everyone from Russians, to Italians, to Americans, and pretty much any top notch intelligence operatives to be the best.” She says sighing.

I glance away from the road to look at her. “Why tell me this?”

She gives a small smile. “So you understand I was raised doing this. It was not a sense of duty or patriotism and when I grew up I was great at it, the best in fact and it was all I knew so I stuck with it until…”she broke off and turned to outside of teh window. “Until I found something that made me change.”

“So you’re saying that you were raised by it so therefore it excuse what you’ve done?” I question as I tighten my knuckles on the steering wheel. Her words rang in my head. What made her change? What happened?

I hear her groan and lean her head back against the seat. “Forget it.” She said turning back towards the window.

I pulled the car to a stop behind Sam’s. “This is where he was last spotted.” I said putting the car in park but turning to look at her versus getting out. “Look I-“

“I said forget it Rogers.” She said shoving the door open and walking towards Sam.

I watched as she brushed by him and into the warehouse. Maybe my instincts were right, maybe she was trustworthy. I shook my head at my own idiocy. Even after all these years I still did not know how to talk to woman.  I climbed out of the car and walked up to Sam. “Find anything?” I ask not wanting to draw attention to what had happened in the car.

He quirked an eyebrow between me and the place where Y/N disappeared, “You two have a cozy car ride?” He asked smirking at me.

I gave him a weak smile. “Not what I would say.”

“Did you call her a traitor again? Because I heard that really grates on a woman’s nerves.” Sam says as we walk towards the warehouse.

“No she tried telling me her life story. I just…It doesn’t matter.” I broke off and shrugged.

“Oh. What did she tell you?” Sam asked as we began to walk towards where Y/N disappeared into the warehouse.

“Her parents were spies and were murdered. Also that her nickname as a kid was Ace. Also-“

Sam stopped me. “Please tell me you were not a dick.”

I gave him a weird look.

Sam rolled his eyes at me. “She wants you to trust her.” He says before turning to enter the warehouse. “And to be honest Cap I trust her.”

I stared after him. Why now? Did Sam know something that I did not? I shook my head and followed Sam into the warehouse. As Sam and I entered I watched Y/N walk around and examine everything.

She turned to look at me before turning to speak to Sam. “He was here alone and wounded pretty severely. From the blood pool and the rust on this bed I would say that he has not been here in a few days.” She says squatting to look at the something before standing again.

Sam nods. “He would most likely keep moving.” He says turning to look at me.

She shook her head “It is not just that HYDRA…They are not just looking for him they are hunting him. He’s not only a symbol to them and what they want but a message of pulling one over on S.H.I.E.L.D and its allies.” Y/N says as she paces around the warehouse.

“You got all that from this?” I say gesturing to the warehouse.

She stopped pacing to glare at me. “No I got that from knowing them. Bucky was not only an asset to them. So trust me when HYDRA loses its assets they try to get them back or wipe them out.” She say shrugging.

I studied her. Did she know this from personal experience or was she just assuming from the knowledge that she did have from them?

Sam nodded. “He’s not only physically hurt but emotionally. He is going to seek out someone who he trusts above all us.” Sam says looking at me.

I nod. He could come to us. Or maybe there was someone else that he trusted.

Y/N shook her head. “That all you wanted from me Steve?” She says before turning away from me and heading further into the warehouse.

I nodded. I think that was the first time I have ever heard her say my name.

Sam looks between the two of us. “I’m going to head out. I have a buddy who has some HYDRA info. Maybe he can give us a better idea of what we are dealing with.”

“Sounds good.” I say heading after Y/N.

I found her standing staring out into the field through a huge hole in the wall of the warehouse.

“I get it you need him.” She says before taking a deep breath. “But Steve I-“

“You think it is selfish of me?” I say staring at her.

She shakes her head. “No. He’s family. I get that, but right now with HYDRA still around the corner do you really think actively seeking him out is the best?” She asks turning to stare at me.

“I need him to be okay. I need my best friend. I need someone who understands me.” I say weakly. It was hard admitting it to a woman who probably never needed any one. I look down at my hands.

I felt Y/N’s hand on my shoulder and jumped slightly. I had not even heard her move.

“I know.” She says giving my shoulder a squeeze. “I also know he needs you but having him in your life and protecting him may be two different things.”


Loretta Claiborne, “Let’s Talk About Intellectual Disabilities”, TEDx Midwest.

I’m always incredibly gratified to see people with developmental disabilities  in settings that are generally full of intellectual snobbery.  Because the rest of the time, I’m wondering “Where are we in their world?”  I once went to a self-advocacy conference and two days later I went to MIT.  At the self-advocacy conference I was totally welcome and felt a belonging I rarely feel anywhere.  At MIT I felt like I didn’t belong, like I was trespassing and would be unveiled in an instant as one of those people who doesn’t belong on a university campus – something I’d been told many times when I tried and failed to go to university.  I did my best, while I was there, to open it up for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, but I don’t know how much good I did.  I got angry more times than I can count, for reasons I couldn’t even name.  And I get angry the same way when I watch TED talks, it’s the same bunch of people there as were at MIT, the same mentality.  

At MIT it didn’t matter how much they reassured me that I belonged there.  I knew I really didn’t.  I knew it every time anyone told me my “real IQ” couldn’t be as low as it was last time it’d been measured.  I knew it every time someone made it clear I was only interesting insofar as I had talents to make up for being disabled.  But I did my best to make it so I belonged there, to change the environment so that more people could follow me there.  And I don’t know how much change I made in just a few days.  But I tried.

So to see someone with an intellectual disability presenting at a conference full of intellectual snobbery makes me overjoyed.  It’s not everything but it’s a start.
Illinois officially bans anti-LGBT conversion therapy for minors
Illinois' Republican governor on Thursday signed a law banning mental health therapists from trying to change a young person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner

Yesterday, Illinois’ Republican governor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, signed a law that bans the practice of anti-LGBT conversion therapy for youth. The law specifically bans “therapy” targeted at changing a minor’s sexual orientation OR gender identity, meaning it’s not just about “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

Illinois is the fourth state to pass a law outlawing conversion therapy, after California, New Jersey and Oregon (D.C. bans it, too). It takes effect January 1.

“Every major scientific organization has dismissed conversion therapy as harmful,” Illinois Rep. Kelly Cassidy said. “The Illinois Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association for Social Workers, and so many more have not only disproven its utility, but they have decried its effects.“

Cassidy noted that children who are rejected by their communities based on sexual orientation are six times more likely to suffer from depression and eight times more likely to attempt suicide.

Jim Bennett, Midwest regional director for the LGBT rights group Lambda Legal, applauded the governor’s signing of the measure, telling The Huffington Post the law "puts the best interest of our young people first.”

“A more accurate name for conversion therapy is child abuse,” Bennett said. “Our LGBT young people deserve to be embraced for who they are.”

Bravo, Illinois. Only 46 states to go. 

Dean expects it to be like the movies- like one big grand sweeping gesture, with a pop song playing loudly in the background as they slowly embrace, words slipped out accidentally after heart-pounding sex. Dean knows that real life isn’t like the movies (god does he know), but for someone who has survived the apocalypse, his life is built on sweeping gestures and grand pivotal moments. So he expects the moment he realizes he’s in love to be similar. 

He doesn’t expect it to hit him out of nowhere. For that feeling of fondness to turn into the realization that he’s in love with his best friend. 

So it takes him by surprise when he’s sitting in some shitty diner in the Midwest, watching his best friend eating a hamburger unaware of the ketchup that has dripped onto his tie with a fondness that only he can feel for the former angel, that this would be the moment he realizes he’s in love with Cas.

Goddammit, how has he missed this? How has he not figured this out before? Right now he’s watching Castiel, who is looking down at his tie with an expression of confusion and outrage that a condiment would dare land on his person. If it’s love that Dean feels at that moment, it’s lust that he feels next when Cas swipes the blob off of his tie and licks it off the back of his finger.

There it is. In a simple gesture, Dean’s life has changed, and if he acts on his feelings nothing will be the same between them.

And when Cas turns his attention to Dean, his eyes kind, his face reflecting a similar fondness, Dean is okay with this fact. 


Kick-Ass Chicks: Illustrator, @biancaxunise

“It is better to keep your head down and keep mastering your craft than to compare yourself to other’s success.”

Impactful words spoken by the strong and talented Chicago-based illustrator, Bianca Xunise. In a world fueled by “likes” and “followers,” it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. But when you’ve got a humble head on your shoulders, and a heart hungry for growth like Bianca, there’s no reason to dig yourself into a hole of self-doubt. Our admiration for the young aritst first sprung after becoming entirely consumed with her comics on Hello Giggles. Over the years, that admiration has greatly surpassed into obsession as we watched her grow, and her illustrations mature with relatable female-centered themes. Recently, we caught up with Bianca to chat more about her struggles of growing in an “instant gratification” industry, and honing her craft in the form of secret comics. 

Keep reading

Just a Scratch  (Steve Rogers x reader)

Request:  Hi can I request a Steve x reader where the reader is like a paramedic or something and after a big battle she is helping with all the casualties but then she notices Steve is hurt and makes him sit down so she can patch him up? Fluff fluff fluff. Thank you!

Here you go, lovely!  Hope you like!

This was a big day for you. It was your first day as an Emergency Room nurse at one of the best hospitals in all of New York City.  You were from the Midwest, having just moved to the giant city only a month ago.  Nursing back home had become a bit routine, and you felt like you were no longer being challenged by your work.  Sure, you still cared about your patients, and honestly caught yourself getting too attached to them and their families, but the work and skills themselves had peaked for you there.  You needed excitement in your career again, and what better place than New York?  

It was a brisk January morning, your nose cold from the wind across your face.  You had been staring up at the building for nearly 10 minutes when you finally decided that you should go in.  You’re okay…you’re okay… Rubbing your cold hands together and straightening your posture, you stepped into your new home.


Your first six months were pretty uneventful; a few gunshot wounds, a lot of stitches and casts, a few heart attacks, and far too many patients with vague problems, just looking for a place to stay to get themselves off of the streets.  You had learned the most important parts of your job very quickly: where to punch in, how to get to the cafeteria, and most of all where the bathrooms were.  

Today was just the opposite; the city had gone crazy.  There were aliens- yes, aliens attacking the city from a giant hole in the sky.  No one back home is going to believe this.  All of the available ambulances were out scrambling to pick up the wounded, and every staff member in the ER had been told they needed to stay until the job was done.  At least the overtime would look good on your next paycheck.

After about 4 hours of a constant stream of patients with wounds ranging from dust in their eye to large debris lodged in their head, you were thinking that you would be able to go home any minute now.  This was probably the worst that you’ve needed a shower in your entire life.  Certainly this had to be blood in your hair, right? But did you really want to know what else it could even be at this point?


“Can I get some help over here, please?!”

Running to the ER entrance to assess the situation, you were met by a very large, very handsome, very patriotic appearing man holding a woman in his arms.  She was unconscious and bleeding.  She was extremely pale and didn’t look long for the world.

“Jim, I need a gurney over here!  Get her into room 2!”  Grabbing your phone, you alerted the attending physician to meet them there, hoping that the poor woman had arrived to you in time.

The attractive man was turning to leave.  

“Excuse me, sir?”  He stopped and turned, his face looking exhausted and dirty.  “Do you know who that woman is?  Is there anyone we can contact for her?”

Taking a few steps towards you, he looked as if he was searching his mind for any information. After a moment he shrugged his shoulders and sighed.  “’I’m sorry, ma’am.  I don’t know who she is, but I found her on the corner of 39th and Park.”

You began to write some notes on a paper in your pocket when you noticed a large stream of blood soaking thru the man’s pants and dripping onto the floor next to him.  “Hey, we need to get that looked at!”

“It’s nothing, just a scratch.  I need to get back out there.”  Again, he turned to leave, but you grabbed his arm to stop him.

“You need to sit down.” Pulling his arm away from you, he took a step back, losing his balance slightly.  “You will sit down now, sir.”

He looked torn, looking to you and back out the front door, trying to decide which way to go. Finally, he relented to your orders. “Yes, ma’am.  Maybe I should get this checked out, but please be as quick as you can.”


Pulling up the leg of his uniform, you gasped at the size of the wound.  Trying to not alarm your patient, you attempted to mask your reaction. “Wow, that’s so…I mean…I just realized that I don’t even know your name yet.”

“Steve.  Steve Rogers.”

“Well, Mr. Rogers, this is going to take quite a lengthy repair.  We’re going to have to stitch this shut in layers if you hope to ever have it heal appropriately.  Not to mention that you’ll need antibiotics to be sure you don’t develop an infection. You may need to stay overnight.” You were shaking your head as you spoke, still marveling that he could walk on this leg.

“Please, call me Steve.” He cleared his throat, looking apprehensive to say more.  “I heal quickly, so I’m sorry if I’m not as alarmed as you are.  Could you just clean and cover it so I can be on my way?  They still need me out there.”

You looked at him as if he hadn’t heard a word you said.  Who is this guy?  And what’s up with the outfit?   “Well, Steve, you do have the right to refuse treatment, but I highly recommend you stay.  I would hate for you to lose this beautiful leg.”  Yep, you were the master of saying stupid things.  “I mean, this otherwise healthy limb.”  

He sighed, clearly frustrated at the situation.  “Tell you what, can we strike a deal?  How’s about you cover this up so it stays clean, I go finish this job and try not go get hurt anymore, then I come back and you do what you need to do?”

It was clear that you weren’t going to win this, so you reluctantly began to dress his wound. “Ok, but I’m off in a few minutes, so I’ll just have to take your word that you came back.  Judging from your spangley appearance, you’re probably trustworthy.”

His head snapped up, a large smile on his face.  “Did you just say…spangley?”

Your face was heating up, and you were sure you were now as bright as the sun.  “Uh, yeah.  Your uniform is very…Star Spangled Banner-ish.”

Now he was laughing, and wow, did his gorgeous eyes light up when he laughed.  “I may know a guy that you would get along really well with.”

Ah, screw it.  “You seem like a guy that I could get along with too.”  He didn’t say anything, but you heard him take a deep breath.  You had just finished your work and pulled his uniform back over his leg.  “There you go.  I held up my end of the bargain, so you had better hold up yours.”  

He hopped off the gurney, testing his leg for any pain.  “See? Good as new.”  He took a few steps, slowly and with a small limp. “Well, almost,” he smirked.  “So, will you wait for me?  I’d really like it if I could see you again when I get back.”

You stood from your exam chair to look him in the eye.  “Alright, Steve.  But I have one question.  Now, you be honest with me, are you really going to come back and finish the deal?”

He moved to stand within inches of you, looking down with those beautiful eyes, so close you could feel his breath in your hair.  “Ma’am, I’m always honest.”

Part 2

It’s 10 AM. I’m sitting in my car drinking my first coffee of the day and smoking my first cigarette of the day. Today seems like every other day really. But I feel like I have deeper thoughts today. Thoughts of appreciation and reflection. I stared at the sky and disconnected myself from anything in my life that doesn’t seem right. I also thought about everything that this band has become.

I remember four years ago getting together with Dave and writing songs in his parent’s basement. We didn’t think much of it. But we could both agree that it felt right. I also remember time passing and writing more songs. We used to practice in a warehouse of my family’s old garden center every Friday night. This was way before we played many shows or even left the midwest. Most people we knew were out at bars or parties. And there we were playing the same songs over and over. Talking about everything we wanted to do with this band. We would literally play music until the sun came up. We would all go home and sleep til noon. I would wake up and feel a void filled in my life. All of my teen years I just wanted to play music with my best friends and have that be the only thing that mattered. At the age of twenty two I finally had that. And most importantly the people that I was playing music with felt the same way.

Time passed and we released more music and people started to care. If you’re reading this you may have been one of those people that cared. And as more time passed we started touring. We played music in places that I never thought we would. We played our songs for people I never thought would care. And of course the clock never stopped ticking. And as more time passed we saw ourselves touring and writing music full time. This band literally changed all of our lives. We kept touring and touring and writing and writing. We have been to multiple countries playing music. We have written songs that have been heard by way way more people than I ever thought they would. And most importantly people connected with the songs and the songs helped them.

I just wanted to write this to say thank you. We seriously love all of you. This band has indeed changed our lives. But without you it would have never happened. Any support you have given us means the world. We are still just give five dudes from the suburbs but we get to do what makes us happy. I feel like sometimes we don’t appreciate that enough. I never want to lose grip of that. We love you! This band is your band just as much as it is ours. Hope to see you all of you this year at a show. Thank you. Much love

- Kyle

while waiting

October 23, 2013

You made your presence known almost immediately. The unending sense of off that just did not sit right. A protracted feeling for days of sick and tired and urgently, direly, rapaciously hungry. The kind that gave no warning, and could not possibly wait. The halted walks to put my hand against the wall and wait to feel the desire to heave to pass, and yet I brushed it off. It seems senseless now. You were quiet, yes, but you were unmistakable. Yet mistake you I did. Two tests on a Sunday and after all that I was looking at the wrong faint line. Not sure how that is achievable, but somehow I managed it. Convinced as I was, just as quickly the knowledge wavered. So I put the idea of you away, for a week or so. Waited for my body to tell me otherwise. I took a third test on a Tuesday at 6am, first thing. And I stared at the box harder this time. It was pretty clear after all. There you were. The feeling I felt first was not shock; it was validation. I was right.

I lived with the news on my own for a day. Quietly knowing. Waiting for your father to get home, to get off that plane – from Seattle or LA. I bought an impossibly small pair of shoes and waited to inform him that his wife did not know how to read a pregnancy test apparently, but she had learned. His first reaction was disbelief. Then joy. Then that we needed more life insurance. In that order. How about that? He marveled at the fact that I had known in my bones ahead of confirmation, but it did not surprise me really. I had never felt that way before.

I became an excellent liar. Or so I thought. Something that is not actually my strong suit in reality. I invented excuses not to partake when everyone else was ordering wine. Out of character for sure and feeling like that was a dead give away all the time, I fooled exactly no one. And yet on the days I had to bottle up the truth I started to almost convince myself of the reasons other than you, wondering if you were in fact real or something I had just conjured in my mind. This strange double life…

That changed when we saw you. The abstract made vivid and so real in an instant. Black on white, a hazy relief. Your father came with me to the doctor for evidence, for proof, neither one of us willing to risk believing this too fiercely until it was official, that is to say until it was confirmed by someone other than myself and a finicky piece of plastic. Yet there you were, tiny bean already with a heart that fluttered and fluttered at a voracious pace. Now, I have never had an out of body experience, but that moment truly felt like this must be happening to someone else. To be in that room watching that screen was like a scene stolen from a film. Such a strange role to assume. These milestone moments, materializing as they are beforehand in our minds.

I was silent watching you. Crying. Your father was shocked, and quiet, and amazed.

Now I can picture you. That is a welcome change.

A week later we went across the country and down to Atlanta. At the wedding I learned what it meant to be the only sober person in the room and it was funny until it was not, finally, around 2am. My exhaustion is utterly palpable these days. And yet your father, lover of crowds that he is would not be pried away from the dance floor so easily. Still, I hope I can remember later when we are tired and you have swallowed us whole, the way he kept marveling that night – excited and inebriated – at how there were three of us there, actually, this secret between us whispered over and over in my ear, as I bargained to leave in three more songs.

You could not have come at a better time. And yet, you have accelerated everything. Your nomad parents are for once thinking longer term. About planting somewhere potentially. Yet that place still feels like it could be anywhere. No doubt we’ll need to move now (again), an unwelcome realization that quickly followed the news, unless that is you are literally to sleep in the closet, which I suppose is ok for awhile, if not ideal.

But that is a decision for later on and meanwhile I am in love with the process of quietly telling our friends and family the secret of you, one by one. I love the moment of reaction on their faces – like ‘what, now, how?’ as we confirm that it is in fact true. I am savoring it, and spreading it thinly.  

March 20, 2014

I feel you rolling inside now. You are all elbows and knees and shudders and shakes. I feel you rolling inside, and these signs of life, they sustain me day to day. They feed my curiosity endlessly. I cannot help wondering who you will be. What face will greet us. What will become of you eventually.

I am told that you can dream now. And I try to envision you there on the inside, hiccupping so often, catching your breath, practicing how to breathe. I marveled in the early weeks at how you were stitched together so precisely, a tiny figurine. Straightening spine and growing bones, eyelashes and fingernails, vocal cords, teeth buds, fingers and toes.

Your father has accomplished the impossible, convincing me to wait the duration to know who you are, which may just be his greatest sales job to date. Patience is not my strong suit and yet, I am surprising myself. We are rounding the bases, and after what for so long seemed like an endless ramp up, we are counting down now. There is a real part of me that is living in the future, and another that cannot even picture it yet. Still, lately it’s hard not to notice, the weeks are markedly picking up speed.

I find myself imagining you here, 3 years from now, palming the same clementines that I’ve been eating by the dozen these past months. Asking for ice cream. I dream of you small and walking. And yet I cannot quite envision the idea of holding you, so light and dependent in a matter of days. I almost think it might surprise me. This disconnect between seen and unseen suddenly materializing.

Everyone I meet thinks that you are a boy, overwhelmingly, so if you are not I’m sorry to have thought so, love, but I cannot deny that is my guess. I practice one name and then another to see how it feels. I trace it on my tongue and imagine a lifetime of repetition rolling through my lips and wonder if there are any that will quite fit. A moniker seems so monumental a choice to choose for you. But we will be doing more of that yet…

It’s these choices really that are daunting. I severely underestimated this bit. Fundamental things like where we will live and how you will be raised. The great east / west (coast) / midwest debate continues, stronger these days. Even things that once seemed clear, suddenly I am stunned by the sheer cascade of gray. Choosing for you feels different than choosing for us, it was such a crisp process by comparison every other time. The stakes are higher now and there is not much to orient ourselves around. Only judgment calls on the horizon, and more beyond that, so I get the feeling we’re just going to have to work on replacing the best decision with the best we can do somehow in our minds. It hardly feels like an ample trade.

Still, I cannot shake the feeling that you have just a few months of safety left inside and from there on out, there is so much less I can prevent. It’s surreal this process of bend and shift our usual life, and bulge and surrender my old body, and just how much we are in this together these days. How much it’s just you and me right now. How no one else could know you this way. It is incredible and petrifying and also satisfying in a way I cannot quite articulate.

I feel you shift and tumble to the side when I sleep and fall forward when I rise. I feel you knocking. Just hang on till May.

April 14, 2014

Two things I know about you so far: you either love or hate to fly (for that is when I felt you first and so clearly on the take off to Switzerland, and on nearly every aerial trek after that). And you are a glutton for fruit and ice cream. I think this is a good enough start.

There are several things our middle-aged neighbor with the rampant red hair, whom I have had approximately four passing conversations with in our entire tenure here, thinks she knows about you. First of all, that you are a boy. Secondly, that you are coming two weeks early. That, or on the 22nd of the month. It’s a bit imprecise. Thirdly, that you will be a swimmer, and a strong one at that. Fourth, that you will be artistic – a singer, dancer, poet is what she said. And finally, that you will be a team player with us.  It’s funny the visions we create for you and how long they’ll take to prove false or true.

I think of that often when I think about choosing your name, how a name is really like a hope. For what kind of life you’ll lead, of the kind of pursuits you’ll have, the kind of person you’ll be. Or a hope that you will be like someone else who shares the same syllables really.  It’s hard not to test the options against a certain vision. And each one conjures up something distinct.

You should know, we are so looking forward to you. There’s no other way to say it really. Your presence has become enormous now, in our conversations, in our one-bedroom apartment (which in fact we are not leaving just yet after all, the hall closet having been transformed into the ‘baby closet’ and whatnot lately), of course, physically. And it’s not just me that thinks so. Your cousin here, Austin, a wonder at age 3, likes to remark in his small voice, “I cannot believe how huge the baby is!” when he sees me ambling down the street and honestly Austin, I have to agree. Every week I think I can’t get any bigger, and yet you continue to grow, stealing shreds of my mobility. I shock myself in the mirror, still. 6 weeks to go and it’s all feeling very upon us. Heaven help us, we’re in the red zone now. Get here soon, but please don’t rush.

May 9, 2014

We are two weeks away and the one thing people keep asking me is how I feel. It’s the question I can’t quite find an answer to despite the fact that overall, all is fortunately well. The word I keep finding though, for lack of a better one, is encumbered. But I also feel… you, protruding, farther than seems possible and in a way that is still shocking when I turn to the side. I feel elbows. Elbows and feet and sometimes even a well-defined leg under layers of skin, sharply they extend. Often I can press that small part of you between two fingers in a way that’s almost like touching you before, gun-shy, you move away. I feel claustrophobic, for you that is. No, but literally. The diagrams that illustrate your size and shape these days, the new capabilities you’re forming, I can’t look at for too long, it makes me so uncomfortable on your behalf. I can’t imagine how cramped you are in there, doubling in size in a matter of weeks with nowhere new to go it seems. I feel impatient, to see your face and know who you are, and also supremely out of control. There is no predicting the timing of you or planning ahead as I’m used to, only the rushed but gradual checking off of a to-do list that is slowly dwindling down. But more and more, I feel…ready, in a way. The excitement and ease of the first several months has decidedly given way to this new phase, where the discomfort of every day starts to outweigh the fear of delivery. It’s begun to matter more that this process ends rather than how exactly. I’ve read what books I can, I’ve got a general idea, I’m holding it loosely. One way or another, in the next few weeks little one you’ll actually be here.And that will be a welcome change.