perfectly pretty

It’s just natural? So I don’t think you can do it? At least not with my help. I’m really sorry! Oh! Wait here will you?

< Pix rummages throught his box. >

Ah ha!

< Pix pulls something out of the box and drops it in the grass in front of the Lycanroc. >

It won’t make your fur shine like mine, but it’s really pretty and bright? Mom got it from Chargestone cave in Unova. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly harmless, just really pretty. If you want it you can have it, but it’s alright if you don’t.

< @daily-midnightlycanroc >

Houses as things I overheard while hiking
  • Gryffindor: "I went off the trail and scaled a steep cliff by accident but the view was amazing. Worth dying for? I don't know, because I didn't so I want to say yes."
  • Hufflepuff: "Stop hopping? You're the one who told me to be one with nature. So I'm a bunny. Hop hop hop."
  • Ravenclaw: "I learned something about myself today. I learned that my body can undergo a lot more torture than I ever expected."
  • Slytherin: "I would totally do this again, but I'm not into self endangerment or masochism. I've had enough exercise to last a lifetime, thanks."

OKAY SO, I was thinking about this earlier (due to fic reasons of my own WINKWINK) but are Balmeran crystals just solidified quintessence?

I know that some people might be like, “That’s dumb, quintessence is just like a lifeforce thing that keeps Zarkon alive and junk.” However, I have things to back this up. Potentially. Hear me out.

So, we all know that Allura harnesses quintessence to power the castle and that the lions choose their paladins based on their quintessence. We also know that Haggar just… stole the quintessence from a planet. And she worked out how make it into a liquid form. This is kinda important, but not the defining factor to me.

(wow what the heckie guys, just murdering a planet to make ur weird pee coloured healing juice)

ANYWAY, the important thing here is that you can actually turn quintessence, a form of energy, into a physical form. So what’s the say that Balmeran crystals, which are the same colour as quintessence, aren’t just… quintessence in material form?

Hell, there’s even a ceremony that only Alteans with a lot of quintessence in them can perform because they give the quintessence to the Balmera. Perhaps that’s because it’s an exchange of quintessence for quintessence in a differnt form and not just goods and services? All I’m saying is that the Balmera is a living planet that solidifies quintessence. Maybe.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of Allura exchanging quintessence for quintessence. 

7

It is pretty easy for a friend to become a lover. One of the two has to take a step closer to the other…like this. This one step makes the relationship between the two change.

“You had to play bloody cat and mouse, didn’t you?”

Just like everyone else (and Chell, ha) I was blown away by the unexpected reprise of “Suddenly Wheatley” during the boss fight. Everything about this scene was perfectly done and pretty chilling. Brilliant execution by the folks at @geekenders!

Drawing this was a lot of fun - I haven’t drawn anything unhappy in years so it was a little weird, but a fun challenge. Nice way to ruminate on my broken heart, ha.

Jake English is the most intelligent character in Homestuck. And he hides it deliberately.

For a given value of “intelligence”, anyway. I don’t hold that much truck with the concept in general–there are different kinds of intelligence that run the gamut of human skills, and reducing that to a single concept is reductive, to say the least.

However, it’s hard to deny that there are real cultural forces in our society that do treat intelligence as a monolithic descriptor of skill and worth, and it’s a cultural idea as pervasive in reality as it is in Jake’s character arc.

For that reason alone, I’ll be using “intelligence” as a term referring to Jake’s awareness of and competence at identifying and solving problems throughout this sequence. The term as I am using it here is only relevant in the context of the themes and language Homestuck sets up. 

Intelligence, competence, and awareness are key parts of Jake’s relationship with the people around him, and particularly with the way he is dehumanized, taken for granted, and abused. 

In fact, almost every character Jake is close to in canon questions his intelligence at some point:

And this dynamic isn’t just present in the characters. It’s in the fandom as well. 
Fandom perception of Jake English often considers him comically unaware of his surroundings and reality, dense and slow or even straight up unable to pick up on ideas that come naturally to many of the other characters.

This is true across the board of opinions of his character: Some consider Jake a self-absorbed, thoughtless asshole, others still consider him a helpless victim who isn’t quite quick enough on the uptake to keep up with how he’s manipulated by others.

It’s hard for us–the fandom, I mean–to be sure of just how much Jake understood about how badly Lil Hal treated him (and by association, Dirk, in much of the fandom’s eyes). Or that Jane liked him. Among other things. It’s part of the general air of helplessness and incompetence that surrounds Pages, I guess, and air set up around Jake for quite a lot of his narrative:

(Note: This is Brain Ghost Dirk specifically questioning Jake’s intelligence.  
I hope you’ve got some good note taking pens, because this is going to be important later.)


It’s pretty much accepted that the degree and reach of Jake’s intelligence is, at the very least, a matter of debate. I am here to say that it is not. At all. And I can prove it. By allowing ourselves to doubt Jake’s intelligence, we–the fandom– have performed the equivalent of deciding Dave’s cool guy act is the real deal. 

We have fallen for Jake’s bluff. I’ll explain. 

Plenty of people are aware that Knights, as a class, tend to act out personas that reflect ideas about how they think they should act. 
For Dave, that’s the stoic Cool Guy archetype, which he eventually grows out of:

For Karkat, it’s his ideas of being a Ruthless Big Shot Leader, which he also outgrows by the end: 

And Latula has the thing about being a R4D SK4T3R G4M3G1RL!!! I don’t really think we need a quote to establish that–Dave and Karkat prove my point well enough, and this is pretty much common fandom knowledge. 

What I don’t think is common fandom knowledge is that Pages do the same thing, but for a different purpose. Pages and Knights both set up Personas that they project into the outside world. And both of them do it to control how other people perceive them. But for different reasons.

Knights do it because they want to be perceived as capable, in control, and unflappable, basically. Karkat wants everyone to rely on his executive ability as a Leader. Dave wants to be admired and validated by his friends, or. Well. Anyone. In essence, Knights want to be relied on by others. 

Pages, on the other hand, develop this fabricated identity for themselves. At this point, I should mention I’ve come to agree with Tex Talk’s view that Knights are a passive class and Pages are an active one. 

Knights use their aspect to benefit others. Pages use it to benefit themselves.

Horrus develops a strangely blank persona, so conspicuously fake it is hard to tell if he even reacts to input–so it’s easy for him to just pretend he didn’t hear it when Rufioh tells him he wants to break up–again, I don’t really feel like going through all of Openbound to get all the screencaps and I don’t think they warrant that much space on this post. 

Tavros does the same thing, enveloping himself in his games and fantasy so much that he veers away from almost any responsibility in the session, and does only what he wants to…unless Vriska is stealing that ability from him. However, even through her abuse,  Tavros manages through sheer presentation of his person to encourage the other trolls to help take care of him. 

Specifically, by giving him increased mobility–mobility and freedom of movement being concepts closely related to Breath. It’s worth mentioning Tavros is able to inspire this care not just in Kanaya, but in Equius, who looks down upon lowbloods and whose culture would have encouraged him to KILL Tavros for his weakness rather than help him. 

But because of Vriska’s exploitative and cruel influence on him, I’m not sure to what extent he really lives up to his full potential. That said, he DOES manage to completely live out his own personal fantasy, coming to embody both his childhood image of Peter Pan…

BUT ALSO being the only one of the Alternian trolls to accomplish his original childhood goal: Becoming a Cavalreaper.

Get it? He’s literally cavalry. Ha ha. Is this kind of a fucked up victory? Maybe, yeah. But it’s fitting that the character obsessed with the Peter Pan fantasy of leading a troupe of “Lost Boys” never really grows up with the goals he sets for himself. Maybe it says something about Tavros, or about the nature of Ghosts–either way, it definitely seems intentional. 

Anyway, the Ghosts are another essay for another time. Time to talk about the kid I actually want to talk about:

Jake English has a fabricated persona, too. For Horuss, it’s nothingness. For Tavros, it’s endless childhood and Peter Pan. But Jake’s persona is a contrast to Dirk’s (and Dave’s) Cool Guy persona. Personas that, for each of them, sit at the dead opposite end of the spectrum from who all three characters actually are. 

And for Jake’s constructed persona is that of the Hot-Headed Hero.

And like Horrus and Tavros, Jake indulges this fantasy version of himself even when he actively knows it makes no sense to do so, simply because it’s the fantasy about his life he wants to live out. 


But like Dave and Dirk’s presentation of themselves as cool guys unphased by anything, this persona is a complete lie.

Jake is demonstrably extremely nerdy…

He collects pointless minutiae about his favorite movies and comic books. He looks up to comic book heroines so much he wants to dress up like them. 

And also intelligent, curious, and good at evaluating the potential consequences of his actions–traits he literally willfuly holds himself back from. 


His Modus is by far the most complex of all the kids. He uses a Puzzle Modus that allows him to fit any amount of items he wants in it’s storage space…so long as he can successfully spatially fit every single object within a finite space. 

And Jake captchalogues a LOT of shit. Meaning he has to keep all of this inventory and know how to spatially navigate it to fit everything he wants at all times. And he does this casually, as a part of his daily interactions with the world around him. 

But perhaps more telling than that is how Brain Ghost Dirk describes his own creation: 

Brain Ghost Dirk implies that he is a Dirk splinter, but specifically a Dirk splinter that exists entirely through the ideas Jake has about Dirk. 

In other words, Jake knows and understands Dirk so well that he can pretty much perfectly remember his body, movements and mannerisms on command. Again, not even actively, it’s just kind of how Jake English rolls-thinking about Dirk all the time is the status quo. 

And Brain Ghost Dirk claims to be Jake’s literal brain, talking back to him.

Which means when Brain Ghost Dirk calls Jake out on something, he is forcibly communicating important information to Jake that Jake is actively choosing to ignore. It’s Jake talking to himself, not Dirk giving Jake information he doesn’t have by talking to him through Brain Ghost Dirk.

We have reason to believe the Ghost about this, since Dirk never expresses having any awareness of Brain Ghost Dirk’s existence. 

So what important information does Jake willingly ignore? Well, earlier we saw him justify beating up a random alien girl even though a part of his brain knew she wasn’t actually Sea Hitler, and he kind of just wanted to play the part. But surely we can do better than that. How about everything about his friends’ feelings about him that makes him uncomfortable?

Callmearcturus wrote this brilliant thesis outlining why she thinks Jake deliberately manipulated Jane into failing to confess to him
, but I’m gonna run over it real quick to ground it in this context and sell you on the idea that this is, in fact, not a theory and explicit canon.

Because we don’t need to guess at this by reverse-engineering Jake’s well-established feelings for Dirk. Roxy literally tells him Jane has these feelings before Jane herself does:

Jake recognizes what Roxy is saying, and guesses what she was alluding to on her own. Roxy doesn’t deny it by any measure, and when she asks Jake to drop the issue, Jake says he understands the dilemma this puts her in with Jane. 

To stress: He received this information in confidence and knows it for a fact. And he trusts the information he receives so much that he then ACTS on it. After talking to Roxy, Jake messages Jane himself, OPENING by mentioning Roxy told him Jane was going to be contacting him.

And then he himself broaches the subject of their romantic feelings for each other:

But when Jane outright asks him if he has something he wants to say to her, Jake expertly dodges the question, keeping his options open while putting the onus of taking the first step and revealing her feelings on Jane again. 

And then, once he’s got her trying to answer…

He KEEPS asking her, interrupting her several times while she starts to try sorting out her thoughts. He puts Jane under a LOT of pressure here, which…considering Jake literally KNOWS the answer, is a pretty shitty thing to do! Even if Roxy hadn’t LITERALLY TOLD HIM mere minutes ago, Jane’s reactions here would have confirmed Jake’s suspicions beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt. 

Unless, of course, one has a reputation for not thinking things through or being aware of their surroundings. 

Once Jake has his answer, he doubles back, making sure to ask her AGAIN while she’s off balance….

And he then shuts her down when she tries to take the initiative on taking it back and being honest, quickly following up by IMMEDIATELY letting her know he’s relieved about this–signaling his disinterest BEFORE she has a chance to reveal she actually does have a stake in the matter.

He then uses his goofy, unaware, trusting persona to set up a status quo where Jane continually helps him by acting as a sounding board for all his thoughts about Dirk–essentially, putting Jane inside a gender-flipped version of the laughable stereotype of The Friend Zone.

But wait a minute. Jane is one thing. But if Jake is actually this smart, aware, and capable–then it kind of has ramifications across all of his character interactions. What else changes if we read Jake this way? I know I said my next post would be on Roxy, but, uh…yeah. This one kind of got away from me. 

In our next entry, we’re going to talk about Why Jake does what he does, and Why he seems so genuinely confused about it later into his narrative. We’re also going to look at some of the other consequences his Jake’s approach to his friendships has for his friends. 

We’ll also make a case for Why exactly Jake ultimately falls in love with Dirk Strider, how and when Jake demonstrates and acts on that love, and if I can manage to squeeze it in–maybe even uncover the way the Heart aspects’ two different themes of  Souls and Romance/Shipping are conceptually connected.

And on that note, it’s worth pointing out that there’s one notable exception to the list of people fooled by Jake’s presented persona. One character who not only never talks Jake’s intelligence down…

But instead talks Jake’s intelligence UP when he talks badly about himself. 

Dirk Strider.

See you again soon, everyone. 

Until then, Keep Rising. 

One of my favourite lines in Wonder Woman that keeps coming back to me was Steve’s “When there’s something wrong in the world, you can do something, or you can do nothing, and I tried nothing.” Like honestly it was such a perfect line and it pretty much perfectly sums up why people become heroes. Because they need to.

Things NOT To Do When Studying

I was going through some old papers from freshman year and I was thinking about what I was doing wrong when I didn’t achieve the grades I wanted, even though I got As in my classes. What things could I have done better to get a 100 instead of a 96? I don’t ask myself this so much as to be a perfectionist (even though I am one). I ask myself these questions because: 1) I must not have had a completely solid understanding of the material if I couldn’t get a 100 on it. 2) Maybe my less-than-stellar test-taking skills got in the way. 3) I’m a tutor, so I want to be sure I understand everything thoroughly enough to help others with the material.

I may add to this later, so you can always check out the original post here. As always, feel free to comment or message me if you want to add something to this list!

General:

  • Don’t simply read over your notes to study. It doesn’t work. You might pick up pieces here and there or even memorize certain things verbatim, but reading something 20 times is very inefficient. Your brain learns by making connections, so if you’re only straight reading the material you’re not making extra connections. You’re much better off going through your notes to make your own questions and quizzing yourself on them, marking down connections as you read (either in the margin or by literally connecting them in the text with a pen), or creating a study sheet (whether in text format or a mind map).
  • Don’t simply highlight, either. While there is a proper way to highlight, most people I see using a highlighter are doing it wrong. If you’re the person who highlights 90% of the paragraph, I’m talking about you. Okay, so highlighting is physically more active than glancing over your notes 20 times, but it’s about equally as effective if you’re highlighting everything. I recommend instead highlighting (or marking with eraseable pencil) things you want to go back to later. But, again, highlighting and reading alone is not useful. Go back to your highlighted parts to reread something that was hard to understand the first time, a topic you want to revisit to make a review sheet, etc. Whatever you use it for, make sure the purpose is to quickly find information later, not simply so you can read those things again. Try making a study sheet, in your own words, based off of your highlighting.
  • Don’t forget to write things down. And I don’t mean just in your planner when you have homework or papers due. This isn’t so much about getting absolutely everything down in terms of notes, either, I have a separate post regarding that. But in class you should always write down questions you have and the answer.  If you don’t get a chance to ask during class, ask ASAP whether it’s directly to your teacher or asking a classmate. If it’s that important, do some research on it, too. Also, make sure you write down information on due dates or paper topics. You probably already do that, but I would recommend having a piece of paper with you every day where you can write anything important down like dates and to-dos to organize all in one shot. If you simply write down “paper due” in a block in your planner before rushing to the next you may not see that reminder until close to the due date. I like to take all of the information on the piece of paper (which also has my day planned out and a to-do list) right when I get up in the morning so I’m prepared for the day and don’t forget anything.

What I Did Wrong:

  • Don’t take it easy at the start of the semester. To be perfectly honest, I’ve pretty much always done that, but my freshman year of college it wasn’t a huge deal since I pretty much already took those classes. Sophomore year, however, everything was new, so memorization and understanding didn’t come quite as easily. The harder your classes are, the more essential this is, especially if you actually want to sleep during finals week. The best thing you can do is start doing work before the semester even starts if you have a syllabus handy, or even just looking through your books to see what’s ahead. While everyone else is doing fun things the night of that first day, make sure you get some work done first before you have your fun. This sets the tone for the rest of the semester and gets you into the habit of working. Don’t let yourself get behind! It’s easier to stay ahead than it is to struggle catching up.
  • Don’t leave your notes to rot after class. Meaning, do something with them right after class! … or at least ASAP. Mark them up, edit them, rework them, copy or type them (if your handwriting sucks like me), or, best of all, write a short summary. Take the several pages of notes you have and condense them into one or two paragraphs. Don’t worry about the details, just make sure you’re hitting on the key points. As a bonus, you can type up some questions based off of your notes to save for later studying (details are allowed here). Everything will be fresh, making this a much easier process than if you did it right before the test. At the end of the week, make a summary of your summaries and quiz yourself on the questions you made. You’ll probably want to use those questions again, so try to reword them or even combine them into bigger questions that cover many topics. That way you’re being active with the material and will actually understand what you’re answering as opposed to parroting.
  • Don’t make study sheets by copying off of something else. Yes, I made this mistake. I wasn’t copying initially, but rather, using a review book as a reference to make study sheets. However, the more I was pressed for time the less I started putting things into my own words. Now, this wasn’t a big deal in terms of legality, since I kept them to myself, but it didn’t turn out to be all that helpful in the end. If you want to make study sheets, you could either take concepts you’ve been learning and put them together in different ways or make a summary in your own words. I recommend both, but whatever you do, make sure you’re actually creating something new or else you’re not going to remember it. For example, in organic chemistry I took the reactions and grouped them in different ways (by subtstrate, reactants, products, etc.) as a reference while studying. The act of sorting and looking through the reactions in order to make the sheets helped me remember them, then I had the sheets to look at while doing practice to help me memorize them further.
  • Don’t save the bulk of lab work for after the lab and don’t wait to write your report. By this I’m referring to the post-lab report. Spend the extra time while prepping your pre-lab materials to start your report! You’re expected to know the theory behind your labs before you perform them, so writing the introduction to your report should not be a problem. If it is, then you’ll be glad you took the time to understand the lab before you tried actually doing it. By doing this you may also find that you have questions that can be answered by the professor before you get confused in the middle of a procedure. Also make sure you have data tables prepared (not just in your notebook, but in the report file to fill in after) and anything else you’ll need to take down data. Once the lab is finished do the report immediately. Everything you did will be fresh and you’ll be glad you finished it well ahead of the deadline. At this point you can show your lab to your professor and get any corrections fixed so you’re ashooin’ for an A!
  • Don’t try to write a paper in one shot. I understand if you feel like your papers flow better if you do it all in one shot, but at least make sure you plan it out thoroughly ahead of time before you actually write it all out. But even then, you will likely benefit from splitting your paper into chunks to tackle one day at a time. If you have a research paper that’s double-digit pages then you’ll be forced to do that anyway, but be sure you’re splitting up the work for small papers, as well. It may not seem like a big deal to do a short paper in one day, but if you end up having other assignments or tests due around the same time it might up your stress if you’re crunched for time trying to finish that “insignificant” paper while juggling a few other assignments as well as some test prep.

Advice Suggested By Others:

  • Don’t listen to distracting music while studying. To some degree, the types of music that are considered “distracting” vary when it comes to the subject you’re studying and personal preference. However, the general rule of thumb is that you avoid any sort of music with lyrics if you’re studying a subject that involves language. Art, math, and certain sciences are an exception if you’re working with pictures or numbers, since language usually doesn’t interfere with those things in the brain. But if you’re reading anything, even if it’s worded directions to a math or science problem, lyrics will probably be distracting. Some people suggest that listening to new music with lyrics is okay because you won’t be tempted to sing along with something you don’t know while others get distracted by hearing any type of language. Again, it’s truly up to you, but genres such as classical, jazz, and nature sounds are usually recommended. Heck, if you’re a musician and get distracted by any type of music, silence or brown noise may be the better option for you. (Suggested by aslongasitsfiction)
  • Don’t study in bed. Scientific studies have shown that doing anything in your bed that isn’t sleep or sex-related affects your ability to fall asleep in your bed. When your brain primarily associates your bed with sleep, it’s much easier to fall asleep. But having trouble sleeping in your bed isn’t the only part of the problem. While studying in your bed is really comfy, you’re also more likely to fall asleep if the association with sleep is strong enough. It’s generally recommended that you don’t even study in the same room as your bed, but as college students this may not be possible if you want to use your desk. So if you don’t want to make the trek out to a more secluded study space, at least try to make sure your desk doesn’t have your bed in view. Because let’s be honest, if you’re exhausted, simply seeing your bed might be enough to make you nod off. (Suggested by rare-footage and ane-mia)
  • Don’t go on tumblr. Okay, this may seem obvious, but sometimes a reminder is all you need to get off your computer! I suppose it’s better that you’re looking up information to help you study, but I think we both know what the better choice would be. (Suggested by oneofakindgizibe)
  • Don’t study in a place you can’t focus just because your friends are there. Us humans are social animals. We like being around other people. But this can cause you problems if you’re trying to study. Unless you’re in a productive study group, make sure you separate study time and social time. You’re probably more likely to gravitate towards fun, social things over studying, so make sure studying is a priority and you get it done before seeing your friends. If you have a roommate or two, then your dorm room is probably not the right place to study. Find a few of your focus hotspots and go there for your study time. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
  • Don’t forget the little things you know you’ll need. This includes but is not limited to things such as chargers, books, snacks, and water. You don’t want to be in-the-zone and all of the sudden realize you need to run back to your dorm room to get a book. And then 10 minutes later realize you’re hungry and need to run to the cafeteria. If you don’t already have certain things that are always in your bag, simply keep a list of things you generally need to bring with you, leave it as a reminder on your desk, and check it over before you hit the library. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
  • Don’t take naps while studying without setting an alarm. Or even better, avoid naps all together. If you’re like me, 15-minute naps usually turn into 2-hour events. But regardless, if you need to get some extra sleep, get the extra sleep. It’s better to take a nap when you know you need it as opposed to falling asleep on your desk unexpectedly when you have a paper you need to get done for the next day. 15-20 minutes the recommended time for a short nap, but if you need something more robust, try for 90 minutes or use sleepyti.me to figure out the right time to wake up. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
  • Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes. I personally find that “dressing for success” works really well for going to lectures and virtually everything else, but terribly if you’re hitting the library for a long study session. You’ll probably wanna look cute if you’re heading somewhere public, but just make sure you’re comfortable. Yoga pants are fine for the occasion! (Suggested by fitspoforever)

@xxtorchxx made this gorgeous manip and it lit a fire of inspiration in me.  She was kind and generous enough to allow me to lend my words to her perfect image.  Just bask in this brilliance for awhile.   As should go without saying, do not repost, re-use or claim this work as your own.  If you like it, use that little reblog button in the bottom right corner of the post.

A million thank-yous @xxtorchxx for your talent and creativity and for your thoughts on this little fic to complement it.  

Thanks to @reginalovesemma for the edits.  As always, you elevate my work.


A note about this little fic.  Mon-El was never Kara’s boyfriend.  In this little world, he was the funny, goofy, sidekick pal we all deserved him to be.  Kara misses him and does have to deal with the loss of a friend, but he did not have the dominating presence in her life he was given in canon.

Please enjoy!

Keep reading

I’m starting @berrysweetboutique‘s Pastel Rainbowcy Challenge! I’ve never actually played with berry sweet sims before, but I’m excited to try. So meet my founder, Eidolon Cassata!~ He was prettier in CAS, Ima tweak him some more >.>…