relative success

anonymous asked:

Is there a story behind the blue jacket?

kind of. 

besides me being a fashion bombshell, even in the midst of wwii, the jacket was nice and warm and full of pockets. which is always a nice thing when you have to literally carry everything you need with you everywhere you go.

but on top of that, i grew up with tiny pre-human-lab-rat steve. among a very long list of medical issues which fueled his must-punch-everything attitude, steve was colorblind. (in a very typically steve move, he decided to become an artist, despite not being able to see half the colors out there.) 

 the modern term for what he was is ‘protanopia’ which is a type of red-green colorblindness which meant his ability to see the color red was not so great. pretty much everything in the red spectrum got toned down to taupes and greys, and yellows and greens were kinda muted. but his ability to see the color blue was basically unimpaired, so blue things stood out in his field of vision. back in the day, i wore a lot of blue because it was easier for steve to spot, and somewhere along the line it just kinda became my favorite color, and i tended to pick blue clothes out of habit. 

these days steve’s favorite color is red, just for the novelty of being able to see it.  

types of love

*check venus

Aries: Bold. Aries makes for extremely spontaneous lovers; they are full of energy and they don’t like to beat around the bush (unless that’s the fun of it. They love to tease.) They are surprisingly romantic and give off a child-like fun vibe with every move which keeps it exciting and adventurous. An Aries in Venus knows what they want, and will go for it directly and confidently. Their charm and in-the-moment actions will make them a memorable partner, even if it does not last long.

Taurus: Cautious. Taurus lovers are very careful with who they fall in love with, and will shy away from people who don’t seem secure. They find pleasure in the simple things such as hand-holding and a quick kiss before work. They are also very possessive, although, which may be a problem for some people, but their possessiveness branches from the fear of losing you. Either way, these signs are definitely marriage material for those who enjoy the simple, romantic things in life.

Gemini: Thoughtful. Gemini’s use their knowledge, wit, and stimulating conversations to win others over, and the fact of the matter is that it works. Gemini’s prefer a stimulating relationship over a comfortable one, as they like variety and to have plenty of fun. A Gemini is not someone who will let you hold them down, and they will not be stuck and cling to you. Gemini’s are full of life and adventure and are curious about the world around them which gives them a child-like innocence and approach towards love. However, due to their curiosity, they over-analyze every detail in their relationship, so be prepared.

Cancer: Sensitive. Cancer’s generally want a predictable, committed relationship that feels secure and comforting. It’s not that they crave a fairy-tale ending, but they know that if they hurt, it will hurt badly. They will pay more attention to your feelings rather than your words. They act out for your attention, and sometimes they want it just to know that they can still have it. They are very needy, but when their needs are met they return the favor with patience and love. They are kind, sentimental, and affectionate lovers, who crave the same sort of warmth from you.

Leo: Passionate. Leo’s crave that new, warm feeling in the beginning of a relationship and want that part to last forever. Settled and stale relationships drive them away. They love passion and spontaneity, as well as interesting and exciting people. Leo’s will love to brag and yap about you to anybody who will listen to them, and everyone will know you two are in a relationship. They can be quite demanding because they need to feel special, but everything you give them they will give back. If you can respect a Leo, and appreciate them, then they will never lose interest in you. Feel free to remind them that you have feelings too, and their affection will take into over-drive.

Virgo: Loyal. Virgo’s give devotion, nurture, and love rather than materialistic gifts. They give up their time and effort to see that a relationship works between you two. They enjoy when you appreciate the little things that they do for you, as most of what they do is small and seems insignificant, but they are strong believers that it’s the small things in life that count. They aren’t too keen on getting to know everyone at once, either. They are the definition of “taking things slow” but in the end, it’s all worth it, as they are devoted, loyal, and trustworthy. Definitely someone to take home to your parents.  

Libra: Idealistic. A Libra wants to impress you, and show you how kind and fair they are. These lovers believe that two halves do make a whole, and work in the relationship is 50/50. As long as you do your part, they will do theirs. While this is charming, they may compromise on too many things too often. If you like someone who can take charge and put people in their place, a Libra is not your best bet. They like to keep things civilized and peaceful, and don’t like to argue. However, they are true romantics. They will always consider how you feel, and treat you how you deserve to be treated.

Scorpio: Intense. These lovers are devoted, passionate, and emotional. Scorpio’s don’t beat around the bush when it comes to relationships, their approach is up front and direct. They try to win you over with their honesty and integrity, but even so they have their secrets that they keep to themselves. Scorpio’s are happy to devote themselves to you, but it important that you stay loyal to them as well because they have no problem with leaving you. What you may find although is that Scorpio’s are very controlling in a relationship, and are easy to explode with anger since they take everything to the extreme. They are not afraid of their own emotions but you may be, and that’s where part of the intensity in their relationships come from.

Sagittarius: Adventurous. They have a strong love for life and love to share that with everyone, and although that means they have a tendency to wander from their partner, they always come back. Sagittarius is a flirty sign, they are fun and pretty much open to anything. They always want to be on an adventure, and they want to share their experiences and happiness with you. Though it is sometimes difficult for them to make long-term commitments since they are not the settled type. They don’t like to feel like you are holding them back and not letting them explore, and may leave when things get far too serious.

Capricorn: Responsible. Capricorn’s impress you with their wit, their passion towards their goals, and their smarts. Relatively, they are very successful people with a drive to get things done and do it efficiently. Capricorn’s are generally attracted to those who are stable, serious, and have a set goal in mind with an idea of how to get there. Loose ends make them feel weary, as they take comfort in security. They try extremely hard to not hurt you, and to appear like the perfect partner because they strive for this sort of perfection. They want to be someone that you can count on, and they want the same from you. However, they are still warm and generous people, and have an old-fashioned charm to their love style.

Aquarius: Provocative. Aquarian’s say that there is no rules when it comes to love, as well as no restrictions. They love fun, unique relationships, kind of like the type that really can’t be described in those prime-time shows. They want to be loved for their brains, their uniqueness, and their personality above all. When they commit to a relationship, they actually commit. They are spontaneous, free-souls with high intellect which is easy to be drawn in by. However, they are known to stir up controversy and arguments from time to time, and can be very stubborn when it comes to how they want it to be.

Pisces: Unconditional. Pisces are dreamy, warm-hearted lovers with an old-fashioned romantic charm to them. Definitely someone who care about what’s on the inside rather than on the out, Pisces want to love you passionately and unconditionally. They want to help you through your hardships. Although, Pisces can stretch the truth a little bit, and are not the most reliable when it comes to information, but this comes from the fact that they don’t want to hurt you. Sometimes they forget that it will hurt more later when the truth comes out. They are empathetic, though, and sensitive. They tie in humor with love, and are gentle with affection.

Logan and Legion

The latest additions to the X-Men Cinematic Universe take the franchise in different, and distinctly grown up, directions.

Logan features the swan song of key franchise star Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine. It’s an exercise in R-rated action intensity that sports a surprising amount of introspective character moments. Legion is a niche TV hit for F/X, focusing on David Haller, the mentally ill son of Professor X, as he comes to grips with his powers.

In some ways, Logan and Legion are very different. That’s partly a function of their different mediums. With just over two hours allotted on the big screen, Logan needed to face its central plot themes head on. While it afforded a surprisingly generous amount of the run time to character introspection, including some sterling interactions between Logan and the ailing Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), it sports several big ticket action sequences that make the best use of its large scale playing field.

As a TV production with ten hours to play with and a more intimate focus, Legion has room to play around. Its storytelling approach is often non-linear, bordering on stream-of-consciousness. Scenes play out languidly, often stretching beyond typical television conventions. The proceedings are highly impressionistic and symbolism-laden. Action intrudes into the character study, but often at the edges or even offscreen.

Logan takes place in a near-future that’s not really so much a dystopia as a logically potential end road of the past decade. Legion has a deliberately non-specific retro sensibility that could place it in any decade from the past forty or so years.

But both have a lot in common. Each production is interested in using the tropes of a comic book adaptation as a vehicle to explore a very damaged lead character. Not that building a comic book adaptation around a damaged lead is new ground; it’s practically baked into the genre. But Logan and Legion seem to take their protagonists’ troubled souls very much to heart. Each is interested in its anti-hero’s damage for its own sake, not merely as the excuse to don a colorful costume and go save the world.

Logan has an autumnal feel. If the erstwhile Wolverine is still ready to throw down at a moment’s notice, he’s also weary, slowly weakening and haunted by a lifetime of losses, hard choices and miseries. Logan and Charles both wrestle with the questionable legacies they’re to leave behind. A sense of mortality accompanies them everywhere, punctuated by rare moments of grace. It’s probably the first movie in the X-Men franchise to really give its central actors a showcase for some “capital A” Acting. Jackman and Stewart make the most of it.

Legion starts with the premise that David isn’t actually mentally ill, it’s just his immense power set that makes him seem unstable. But over the first half of the season, as the plot moves forward languidly, the show makes clear that David actually is as troubled as he seemed at first, though the genesis is a lot more insidious. Star Dan Stevens is a long way from his beloved Downton Abbey role, but provides a firm anchor for some very challenging, often defiantly weird, material. The actor’s inherent likability provides viewers with an interface to withstand some of the production’s odder touches (like the occasional Bollywood-style dance breakdown or David strumming a sad banjo and crooning “The Rainbow Connection”).

Both productions are squarely aimed at adults. Logan’s action takes full advantage of its R rating, with some brutal action sequences and heavy profanity. This grittier approach really works for the character, aligning it with some of the more adult-oriented Wolverine comic book stories.

Legion features almost casual acts of violence, a bit of profanity, some sex, some drug use and a pace that is almost entirely unsuited to young viewers. It may be set in the same world as the X-franchise, but it has neither the intent nor the interest of engaging the younger part of the X-Universe’s audience.

Logan and Legion also demonstrate how effective the genre can be when producers give an auteur room to do his thing. Director/co-writer James Mangold communicates a singular vision for Logan. The outré ethos of Legion is almost entirely thanks to series creator Noah Hawley, who’s written or co-written most episodes and directed the pilot. The superhero genre doesn’t always lend itself to the auteur approach. Given the big stakes usually at play, studios tend to exert tight control and enforce specific parameters. Logan and Legion both mine strong results from letting a creative mind execute his vision and pushing against the genre’s conventions.

And that might be the biggest lesson studios can take from the relative success of Logan and Legion. Taking chances and allowing creative minds to run with their distinctive ideas can yield strong, possibly very offbeat, results.

I’m already starting to see the “ugh I guess those angry El Gee Bee Tees are just impossible to please, they say they want representation but then get mad when you make it” line of logic cropping up around this LeFou thing and like….

Blizzard Entertainment, a scrap-pile of mistakes and bad decisions that has somehow by random chance coagulated vaguely into the shape of a relatively successful niche video game studio, just barely confirmed a gay character and the whole internet turned into a Big Gay Party for about a week, the decision was met with near-universal acclaim (discounting the anti-SJ crowd, we’re only talking about actual people here)

Like, Blizzard didn’t even do anything particularly right, they just didn’t actively go out of their way to do things wrong like “pick the one character everybody thinks is weird and gross and make them gay” or “name the gay character Idiot” or “have the gay character’s entire arc involve lusting after their straight friend, because that’s not a tired and offensive plotline or anything”

So basically, like, maybe the problem isn’t Too High Standards when the company in question seems to have gone out of their way to do everything wrong

disciplineddedication  asked:

On your recommendation I'm reading the Power of Now. Eckhart talks about the delusion of time and how we should strive to end it. But without a sense of time, how would we function? If we don't think about the future, what goals would we have to achieve? How can we separate the desire to be somewhere, do certain things, be relatively successful. Of course not to attach our sense of being and happiness with material success but still...a certain direction in life..

There is a difference between using time and being used by time. 

Using time means you know how to set a schedule. You know how to use the hours in the day efficiently. You know how much work or activity you need to get done, you know how long it will take for you to do it, and you plan accordingly. 

Being used by time means you live in such a way that past and future become palpable parts of your reality. The past lives on as a source of prolonged suffering or nostalgic desire. The future dangles out of reach with the promise of fulfillment or change. Time becomes thus a structure in which you live. It also becomes a tension and a burden. Many mental “parasites” live in our mind’s past and future.

When Eckhart insists that we should put an end to the delusion of time, he means that we should stop pretending like the past and future are so real. They aren’t. The future is nothing but a soup of probabilities. The past is nothing but traces of stories we carry with us. Perceiving the Now as a small slice between an endless future and beginningless past is a method of self-imprisonment. 

The past is the memory of a Now and the future is the imagination of a Now. But the Now is all there is. To live any other way implies a certain level of illusion. 

No one denies we need to be able to use our intellectual mind to plan our time appropriately. Yet to assume linear time is reality and to live in that reality is a circumstance that allows our ego illusions to persist. 

Be present; be free. 

Namaste :)

The Room is the cult classic that is widely considered to be the best bad movie ever made. It’s mind-bogglingly awful, yet painstakingly produced – it was not a lazy project by a disinterested hack. It was a full-fledged $6 million production by a desperate, unrelatable maniac.

Because of this, the entirety of the $6 million was funded by writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau. How did an obviously insane Eastern European man come up with that kind of money? Nobody has a goddamn clue. He had no wealthy relatives or successful business ventures that anyone knew about. He simply showed up one day with a bag of crazy money and a bigger bag of crazier ideas. He’s stated in interviews he got the money from Korean yo-yo and pleather jacket distribution, but that’s more a pile of strange words than a business plan, and he’s been so misleading and cagey about his past that nothing he says can be trusted.

The mystery surrounding the money has sparked a number of conspiracy theories, and they are batshit insane, but not as insane as this man having a perfectly ordinary backstory. Castmates have alleged in interviews that Tommy had mob connections in San Francisco, and he amassed his fortune doing favors for them. Others have taken things a step further, alleging that Tommy Wiseau is actually D. B. Cooper, the famous plane hijacker who stole $200,000 then jumped out into the stormy nether below. Was he never seen again, or did his head hit 25 different trees and turn him into Tommy Wiseau?

The Bizarre True Stories Behind 6 Crappy Movies

I don’t like to use the term “to create” in connection with art. Man has, ever since he emerged, attempted to make images. Images whereby he can begin to approach an identification with the cosmos. Sacred art, the sacred in art, is a relatively successful attempt to achieve the unattainable…
   I don’t think the function of art is to be “art.” We make it that. And teach it in our art history courses. The function of art has been to communicate ethical, religious values. And it can be done with a landscape or it can be done with a portrait…
   Go into the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul where space, rather than the object, is really the sacred thing, and you become identified with it - you’re enveloped with the space and light…
   The sacred in art is, in a sense, really divorced from the religion or the faith or the socio-political structure. It’s that little spark which tends to unite man to man over the centuries, over the millenia, and that I find the enriching thing…
— 

Ron Bloore       ,    Speaking at the CBC-TV Symposium on the Sacred in Art, printed in artscanada, April/May 1971

 (via huariqueje)

anonymous asked:

what do you think of the recent vox article: No easy answers: why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism

tl;dr: It’s bad. 

Apologies for how incredibly long this is, and further apologies if I stop making sense at some point, as these are all rough first thoughts (and, again, this is really long).

Keep reading

Pillowtalk (II)

Author: kpopfanfictrash

Pairing: You/Jaebum

Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 4,077

Summary:  It’s been three years and, while you profess yourself to be over the draw of that Im Jaebum - it turns out that may not be the case.

Author’s note: By special request, part II! 


Keep reading

He’s Taken

Written for @leojiweek 2017: Day 1 

Prompt: Others’ Interpretation of Leoji/Social Media 

read on ao3

Laura xoxo: ugh

Laura xoxo: dani im so sry but my sister saw that picture u put on insta of u and ur brother at the water park and now she’s begging me 2 get his number from u

Laura xoxo: she went on his insta and found out he’s a wrld famous figure sk8r and she wont shut up abt him

Laura xoxo: pls ill buy u ice cream 4 a week if u can make her stop gushing abt how hot he is

Daniela sighs.

This is not the first time this has happened.

Keep reading

Hey, Who Really Cares?: The Lost Women of American Music

Words: Dan Murroni

1970 was a turbulent year for music. Appearing to be unraveling before the eyes of the world, the Beatles had released their final album Let it Be, while Simon and Garfunkel’s foreboding Bridge Over Troubled Water would become a recognized American classic. Yet on the dusty outskirts of Los Angeles there existed a girl and a musical creation that would go unnoticed for nearly forty years. That girl was Linda Perhacs, who recorded her debut album Parallelograms in Topanga with the production help of a client she held while working as a dental hygienist. In 2004, her album was re-issued by folk enthusiasts and it found success among a new generation of listeners. With newfound attention, she’s contributed to Devendra Banhart’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, performed with the likes of Julia Holter and even released a new album The Soul of All Natural Things in 2014.

Now despite the vivid contrast between the sandy slopes of Topanga Canyon and the towering skyscrapers of the Big Apple, Americana still manages to bring forth similar stories from around the nation. In the rapidly expanding urban jungle of 1950s N.Y.C., singer-songwriter Connie Converse found solace in writing and recording heartfelt tunes in the home of recording engineer Gene Deitch. Tragically, she mysteriously disappeared in 1974 and was never seen again. Inspired by a 2004 radio broadcast in which Deitch highlighted Connie Converse, a compilation of Connie’s only existing recordings How Sad, How Lovely was released in 2009. A solely acoustic affair, tracks like “Two Tall Mountains” and “How Sad, How Lovely” are hauntingly beautiful, emotional, and only add to the mystery surrounding her disappearance. The recordings prove to be timeless, and evoke the sounds of lo-fi albums like Angel Olsen’s Strange Cacti.

Another native of the Empire State, jazz-turned-pop artist Margo Guryan had found relative success with 1968’s Take A Picture. The album’s most popular track “Sunday Morning” is filled with catchy late ‘60s guitar hooks and wholesome instrumentation involving strings and an organ. The album would be her last however; Margo hated performing, and when pop music unfortunately gravitated towards disco during the 1970s, her lack of acclaim forced her from the music industry and she humbly became a music teacher in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until the emergence of a cult following led to 2001’s 25 Demos, a collection of unreleased takes from Take A Picture. The following undoubtedly grew, and the heroes of underground pop-rock at California’s Burger Records released a newer edition, 27 Demos, on cassette just last year in 2014.

Karen Dalton grew up on the vast plains of Oklahoma before moving to New York in 1960 to become involved with the Greenwich Village scene later made famous by a certain Bob Dylan. Turns out she was the only one among them city-folk who came from a rural background. With a distaste for the recording and performing environment, her first album It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best only came to be after Dalton was forcibly influenced to record by Greenwich acquaintance Fred Neil. Mostly written by other songwriters and recorded entirely in one take, the album is filled with soft yet raw blues featuring mostly nothing but Dalton’s guitar. Her uncompromising, strong voice was perceived as an oddity and would affect the popularity of her debut recording (and the 1971’s In My Own Time for that matter). However, both albums would prove to be enough to gain the attention of New Weird America artists Joanna Newsome and Devendra Banhart. The recent popularity of Dalton’s music would also lead to the release of a series of lost tapes including 2008’s Cotton Eyed Joe and 2012’s 1966.

A listen to Linda Perhac’s excellent “Hey, Who Really Cares?” inspired this written endeavor, and it should make the reader wonder how many other talented American women have been lost to obscurity and are waiting to be re-discovered. After all, recorded tapes of Karen Dalton had been largely kept a secret by a Colorado barowner for decades. And whether it was for their atypical voice, their hesitation to perform, or a lack of support from the ole big wigs in the music industry, it is a miracle of sorts that with time each woman has unknowingly created an enduring piece of American history. May their recordings continue to reach the ears of listeners and inspire home-grown musicians, whether they be from Spokane or from Charleston. You never know when the next girl from Topanga might come around.

Listen to a Lost Women playlist (here).

6

Westley ‘Monkey Tail’ Portuguese Army Contract pistol

Designed by Westley Richards in 1857, rifles patented in 1858 and pistols in 1867, manufactured in Birmingham c.1873. Serial Number 585.
.451(bore)/.475(rifling) caliber, using the Whitworth patent hexagonal bullet and a 25 grain powder charge. Breech-loading, caplock, single-shot, with an automatic extractor and a concave brass breech plug.

Being a very early breechloading small caliber firearm design, monkey tail guns enjoyed a relative success as a specialist weapon in the 1860′s, being employed mainly by their country of origin the United Kingdom and its colonies. Originally shunned, notably in the USA, because of the antiquated notion that .577 was the minimum amount of death to reliably stop someone, it received renewed attention in the 1870′s with the advent of the Dreyse and Chassepot rifles, leading to a 10000 rifles purchase by the kingdom of Portugal, extended later to include a thousand pistols like the one pictured above. Later models, precursors to the express rifles, were employed by the Boers for their remarkable accuracy.
This breech loading system, unlike the later Tabatière and Snider systems, is akin to the Pauly centerfire rifle.

My favourite sun x moon combinations

Obviously all combinations are amazing in their own individual ways, but these are my personal favourites.

ARIES SUN / VIRGO MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign shows that you are very cool emotionally. A fine critical nature seems to replace a good deal of the impetuosity often associated with Aries. You are likely to have a mind that is channeled into practical matters, and you have a “no nonsense” attitude about most issues. Efficiency is all important to you. You have a driving determination to get things done, and to get them done right. You are definitely an achiever, combining your cool-headed judgment and the energy to put your thoughts into action. You may be lacking in creativity and originality, but you readily absorb knowledge and put it to use in a very efficient way. You figure things out from every angle and never overlook the smallest detail. 


TAURUS SUN / LIBRA MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign produces one of the most likeable personalities in the Zodiac. Others may have more wit, ambition, or intellect, but none equal the charm and appeal of this combination. A nice home and a close family are your first loves; social contact and involvement, a close second. Your keen social personality is aided by a fine sense of humor and an easygoing outlook. This personality is marked with optimism, even if you’re up to your ears in private woes. Anyone that doesn’t like you is probably motivated by jealousy. 

GEMINI SUN / PISCES MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign provides a high degree of what would be called a sixth sense that always helps you get along in the world. This blending is one of the most versatile and adaptable, but one in which frequent change and inconstancy can be a problem, at times. Learning the difficult lesson of concentration can be an early life challenge. You are highly receptive and sensitive to the intangible vibrations around you, and these will at least guide you along a path of survival. This receptivity of mind encourages assimilation of knowledge, making it possible for you to be well-informed on a variety of subjects, while not really becoming an expert on any of them. Sometimes you have trouble seeing things in true perspective because you are anything but a realist. 

CANCER SUN / SAGITTARIUS MOON

The combination of the Sun in Cancer and Moon in Sagittarius blends the contradictory elements of caution, tenacity, and a need for security, with the much more outgoing Sagittarius tendency to be outgoing and independent. This pairing gives you a more sociable and progressive demeanor. You can relate to generalities and ideals, but on a more real and practical basis. You can inspire confidence in people. In your relations with others you demand absolute honesty. When you detect falsity and insincerity in your dealings with people, the sensitive and defensive side of your nature quickly appears. Petty jealousies and trite behavior repels you. You live more or less by your own set of rules, often trying to live up to some ideal or idol you have set up as a goal or inspiration. You are innately the philosopher in the way that you look at life and consider those around you. In many ways, you are a true “free spirit.”

LEO SUN / TAURUS MOON

The combination of a Taurus moon with the sun in Leo makes a rather classy and well-mannered individual. This individual has a very strong personality and is extremely stubborn, which can often cause issues as they refuse to take the high road. However this individual is extremely practical and is generally successful in business. This combination gets things done very well. People born under a Leo sun and a Taurus moon are also very romantic and require complete devotion and eternal love, as well as being quite generous and nurturing.

VIRGO SUN / CANCER MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign shows a sensitive, but harmonious personality; one that can think and feel very deeply. The intelligence, analytical insight, and discrimination of Virgo, blends well with the emotional sensitivity of Cancer. You have a receptive temperament often deeply influenced by outside conditions or other people with whom you come in contact. Inwardly you are practical and discriminating, but outwardly you seem changeable. The combination of practical intelligence with feeling and a vivid imagination, can support success with relative ease. An intuitive insight into facts and details allows you to often “feel” the truth of an issue. 

LIBRA SUN / ARIES MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign produces a personality not easily tied down, fenced in, and one that doesn’t like obligation, duty, or possessiveness. Routine, responsibility, and details depress you. You enjoy practical jokes and catching people off guard. Erratic and impulsive, you enjoy life most when it is exciting and full of surprises. This combination blends the emotional balance, courtesy and friendliness of Libra with the confidence, assertiveness and enthusiasm of Aries. Born under a full Moon, you are extroverted and open. You like to support the underdog and in many ways you are a true soldier for justice. 

SCORPIO SUN / LEO MOON

Your Sun in Scorpio and Moon in Leo creates a strong, positive personality, with fixed opinions and fixed emotions. If you don’t let your intense emotions completely take over, you will become a person of considerable influence and importance within your circle. The blend combines the emotional force, power of will and determination of Scorpio, with the pride, dignity and authoritativeness of Leo. Certainly the two will naturally produce a very strong character and a personality that is full of personal confidence, persistence, determination and courage. Your weakness may be that your feelings and passions are a little too strong, requiring rigid control at all times. You have a complex set of ideals that you strive for, and you’re a very passionate person in many ways. You have a rather idealistic view of love and romance, and in fact, most of your other interpersonal relationships. You are a bit harsh on your partner, or just about anyone else, when they show weakness or human frailties. 

SAGITTARIUS SUN / CAPRICORN MOON 

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign produces a vigorous thinker who is capable of rising to a high position through the strength and originality of mind and expression. We probably don’t have to worry too much about your self-esteem; it is naturally strong and a key feature of your success. This is a very practical and executive combination. It blends the personal dash, optimism, enthusiasm, foresight, and directness of manner common with Sagittarius, and the ambition, shrewdness, realism and practicability of Capricorn. This is great for dealing in business affairs. Viewed as practical, realistic and ambitious, you garner a good deal of responsibility. Personal integrity is a strong point in your nature and this help you build a flawless reputation. While the Capricorn Moon will never let you lose sight of your goals, the Sagittarius Sun want more than just power and is ever seeking happiness and personal satisfaction in the job well done. While its almost certain business will be the center of your attention, other interests will be important, as well. Cultural associations such as music and art can have decided appeal.

CAPRICORN SUN / GEMINI MOON

The combination of your Sun sign and your Moon sign produces a very mentally ambitious personality. You are likely to be very studious and interested in developing your talent for self-expression in respect to writing or public speaking. A lot of mental curiosity keeps you alert to new ideas and simulates your interest in learning. The Gemini Moon makes you flexible, versatile, and adaptable. This shows up mostly in your mental quickness; you are such a fast learner, swiftly assimilating impressions and ideas and making quick decisions. Your variable nature is also shown by the number of times you change your mind, your opinions, and your ideas. You are always so clever, never at a loss for words and this is the talent you can really build a reputation on. A good planner and organizer, you have much personal ingenuity and inventiveness producing a constant stream of new ideas and methods. 

AQUARIUS SUN / SCORPIO MOON

This individual is very appealing to others and they live by their own rules. These people possess a highly fixed blending of independence and originality of Aquarius and the emotional intensity of Scorpio. They demand respect but they also have a great deal of self-respect, which is a great quality! You are ambitious and determined, once your mind is truly set on something you get it done. You are very honest, some may even call you brutally honest as you may not believe in sugar coating things. It is important for this individual to not take themselves too seriously and to laugh at themselves once in a while!

PISCES SUN / AQUARIUS MOON

A true humanitarian, the Pisces sun and Aquarius moon individual is easygoing, charming and versatile. These people have a large circle of friends and find it easy to socialise. This can help them gain success in careers as they are good at making friends out of strangers. The mix of Pisces and Aquarius balances the emotional side of things. These individuals are not too coldly intellectual or too emotional. You have a very original way of thinking and a strong inner imagination.

Carry On Countdown -Opposite Day

I didn't mean for this to get so long…

Also I kind of did a different take on the theme Opposite Day.. you’ll see what I mean. Anyway. Enjoy!

(btw the beginning is kinda angsty but it’s just fluff <33)

Words: 5.3k 

 Simon 

I’m a mess by the time I reach the room. My knuckles are bleeding from the walls I’ve been grazing them along, and my hair raw and dry from the amount of times I’ve raked a hand through it. I don’t even want to think about my face. I haven’t cried, but it wouldn’t take an idiot to see that I’ve worked myself into a state. 

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Star Trek: Pavel Chekov [ENFP]

OFFICIAL TYPING by Charity / The Mod

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Chekov has a quick mind that easily adapts to its environment, and sees many possibilities as tangible realities. He can “do dat!” when necessary and doesn’t hesitate to leap into action when and wherever he is needed. Even though he’s a bit overwhelmed when asked to take over the mechanics of the ship, Chekov can explain to Kirk the ways the damage has impacted the core and what is likely to happen as a result. He’s animated, incredibly energetic, and often leaps into situations before he fully thinks through all the mechanics necessary to get through them.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): He’s a sensitive, compassionate, and gentle soul, mindful of other’s emotional needs and rarely self-assertive in expressing his opinions. You don’t really know what Chekov thinks about personal issues, because he doesn’t over-share. He cares deeply about his friends and seems to worry about letting them down. He isn’t influenced by other people’s emotions, so much as he is guided by his belief in his own abilities.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): He lacks Scotty’s technical abilities to improvise creative solutions; instead, Chekov sometimes gets stuck on the facts of the situation. When he and Kirk crash-land, and must improvise in the environment, Chekov doubts Kirk can pull it off, and starts pointing out the facts of the situation (“Do you even know what it LOOKS like??”). He seems content to let Kirk come up with solutions. Chekov tends more to follow along, and use more obvious methods to problem-solve.

Introverted Sensing (Si): His former experiences give him the confidence to assert that he can do things with a relative degree of success, but other than that, Chekov shows very little interest in the details (like taking over the engine room from Scotty). He sometimes references Russian culture, in order to impress girls (“Did you know the Russians invented…?”).

An alternative to “Love Never Dies”

(Warning: I do rag on LND a fair amount in this, but I’m pretty gentle. Please don’t feel got at if you happen to like it. My issues with it are plot and character-based. The music’s fine. Except the sex song. Ew.)

Watching the 25th Anniversary of Phantom of the Opera completely reignited my love for the musical, especially since I could now look at it with an adult perspective and do all this fun character analysis.

I found the Phantom - Erik - engaging for similar reasons I found Josh Washington from Until Dawn engaging. A human being that does despicable things, but who is still understandable and sympathetic. If anything, Erik is worse than Josh, because he actually goes into full jealous-lover-control-mode, and he kills a couple of people. And yet I still really, really like him and would have loved to see him get a happy ending.

That said, I still think Phantom’s ending is perfect, because it has Erik making this huge jump in character and performing his first act of legitimate true love: letting Christine go. It’s brilliant, and beautiful, and bittersweet.

Which is why I take such enormous issue with Love Never Dies.

Now look, if you enjoy Love Never Dies, then that’s absolutely fine, more power to you. I absolutely understand why it must be cathartic and gratifying to see Erik and Christine as a legitimate couple. No one should ever try to take that away from you. I have pieces of media that I love, even though I know they’re riddled with flaws and other people might hate them.

The reason I hate Love Never Dies so much is because it removes everything about Erik that I find interesting or even sympathetic. He has tons of money, a support network, already had sex with Christine offscreen somewhere (which I feel totally invalidates the kiss she gave him at the end of Phantom), and a kid - and yet he still acts like he did in the last one, threatening and bullying. It’s like he learned nothing. He’s no longer a tragic character whose actions are understandable: he’s just an entitled douchebag. Also, making Madame Giry and Meg the villains and killing Christine; what the heck was all that about? What in the last story made it even plausible that this is where things would go?

I don’t feel Phantom honestly needed a sequel; the ending was perfect and wrapped up all the loose ends. We don’t know what happens to Erik, but we don’t need to.

That said, the sheer screwing around Love Never Dies does with the story and established characters made me so mad and got under my skin so much that I felt the only way I could purge it from my mind was think up my own sequel idea, one that I tried as hard as I could to keep in line with the story of the original. So that is what I humbly present to you today: my sequel idea to Phantom of the Opera, in place of Love Never Dies. As yet it has no title.

So where could the story go after Phantom? The only thing I could honestly think of was continuing the lesson Erik began learning, i.e how to love. How about he learns about a different kind of love? Say, platonic love, maybe?

Let me tell you a story…

It is five years after the events of Phantom. Christine no longer works at the Paris Opera house, and instead has disembarked to a smaller one elsewhere in the country, where she is much happier with a relatively successful career as an opera singer. Amongst the regulars is a young girl of Romani background whom Christine has taken under her wing. Let’s call her… hmm, what’s a traditional name from that period…? Maria. Let’s call her Maria.

Maria has a very pleasant voice which Christine sees a lot of potential in. Unfortunately the girl lacks technique and has poor breath control. Christine thinks she could become a great singer with the right training, but because Maria comes from a difficult background, no one is willing to spare the time or the money to train her, and because she abandoned her star role at the Paris Opera, and has a growing family, Christine cannot fund her training either. She attempts to teach her herself, but Maria’s progress is slow.

Christine is tempted to send Maria to Paris, hoping that the Phantom may still be living there and might teach her. Her husband Raoul, understandably, is not keen on this plan. (They’d probably have a long duet here weighing up the pros and cons.) Maria overhears their conversation and insists she is not afraid. Eventually they decide it’s possible Erik might have changed and it may be worth the risk. They send Maria to Paris with some funds, a letter for Madame Giry and Meg who are still working at the opera house, a letter for the Phantom if they find him, and a young man Christine employs to look after Maria. This chap is Auguste and he wants to be a doctor. He’ll be important later.

In Paris, Maria and Auguste are greeted by Madame Giry and Meg, who manage to find them some rooms to stay in. Madame Giry and the owners audition Maria and agree that while the girl’s technique is all over the place, if she improves, she may land a job as a chorus girl. Maria and Auguste intend to go searching for the Phantom, but Meg warns them against searching for such a dangerous man. When Auguste and Maria point out that getting lessons from the Phantom is the only reason they are here, Meg reluctantly admits that she believes the Phantom made a new lair somewhere in the Paris catacombs. The next day, the two enter the catacombs, but quickly lose each other in the darkness. Auguste gets out offscreen, but Maria hears eerie organ music playing and follows it, only to come across a dark chamber and the Phantom, though all she can see is a vague silhouette (they could have a lot of fun here with lighting and effects). The Phantom is now sporting a black half-mask instead of a white one, because why not.  At first he doesn’t believe that Christine has sent Maria, thinking that she would have tried to forget him. Maria insists:

“She has not. She speaks of you often.”
“What does she say of me?”
“She says that you were her teacher, and that you were the best.”

The Phantom is still reluctant, but he asks her to sing for him anyway. Maria ends up singing an exercise she used to do with Christine, which turns out to be one which the Phantom taught her. This finally convinces the Phantom to begin training her.

Cut to a month or so later, and under the Phantom’s tutelage, Maria’s voice has grown strong enough that she now has a job as a chorus girl. Hijinks ensue at the Opera house when one of the bitchier girls, Jeanette, sabotages Maria’s performance, but later slips on a wet patch on the stage, earning her a twisted ankle. Auguste cares for her, being a trainee doctor. Meg and Madame Giry wonder if this could be the Phantom’s doing and fear that he may have returned to the opera house, but when they check his original underground lair, they find nothing. Still, stories begin to spread about the opera ghost’s return.

Maria, suspicious, attempts to quiz the Phantom in their lessons, but he keeps the topic strictly on their task, snapping at her if she tries to change the subject. He reveals to her that he is still writing music, and has in fact written a short aria intended for her. Maria is shocked and doesn’t think she’s even close to being ready to perform a solo. The Phantom assures her - surprisingly gently - that he has put in many short phrases, to help with her breath control, and that he believes she will soon be skilled enough to perform it. Thrilled and full of gratitude, Maria kisses his cheek before she leaves, leaving the Phantom stunned.

Later Madame Giry and Meg overhear Maria singing her aria backstage. They suggest she submit it to the opera house’s current owners, and ask the identity of the composer. Maria makes an excuse and leaves, eventually voicing her concerns to Auguste. She has grown to care for the Phantom (basically he’s been playing Grumpy Dad to her), and she wants his music to be heard, but knows he is not welcome here. Christine never told her why, but she did mention the Phantom’s deformed face, so Maria assumes it’s because of that. 

To her surprise, the Phantom agrees to submitting his aria, and they put it in under his real name, “Erik”, to avert suspicion.

Rehearsals are under way and the opera house has an unexpected guest: Carlotta, with her new partner. Turns out lovably bitchy Jeanette is her niece. Carlotta expresses distaste that this young gypsy upstart with little experience is going to sing a solo - reminds her of another unfortunate series of events that occurred not too long ago. Cue over-the-top grieving for Piangi. When Maria asks her to elaborate, Carlotta tells the story of how the Phantom abducted Christine and killed both Buquet and Piangi, before disappearing. She insists that the Phantom’s influence alone was what started Christine’s career, that she was never truly talented, and after he disappeared she had nothing left, hence why she moved away.

Maria, of course, tries to protest this, but there are too many questions now, and too few answers. She knows that there’s something really iffy going on and that the Phantom and Christine have both kept lots of things from her. Once again she has a conversation with her teacher, which becomes pretty fiery. 

“You know everything you need to.”
“You are a man with two faces! You tell me your real name, but you won’t let me see the truth! Christine told me what that mask is concealing; surely it cannot be worse than what I have imagined! I’m a gypsy - I’ve seen my fair share of freak shows!”

The Phantom is incensed, and almost kicks her out, but the sound of the Masquerade music box makes him hesitate. He calms.

“I will tell you - after your performance. As soon as I know your future as a singer will be secure, I will tell you anything you want to know.”
“Do I have your word on that?”
“You have my word.” He touches his hand to his mask. “You have earned it.”

Première night comes, and Auguste drops a hint to Maria that the Phantom may well attend, in disguise, to watch her sing. He reckons the old grouch has grown - gasp - fond of her. As the final act begins and Maria prepares to sing her aria, she notices a masked figure slip into Box 5 next to Auguste. She sings and gets a round of applause, then pleads with the crowd to meet the composer of the aria, hoping that the Phantom’s different mask (not the half-one this time, but a full-face one vaguely similar to the one he wore during Masquerade) will disguise him.

Unfortunately Carlotta remembers the Masquerade incident and recognises this man as the one who killed her husband, so interrupts and accuses him of Piangi’s murder. When the Phantom doesn’t deny it, Carlotta’s boyfriend, who is a trigger-happy chap at the best of times, fires two shots at him. The first misses, but the second catches his mask a glancing blow, shattering it. Erik flees back to the catacombs and chaos descends on the opera house.

Maria sets off for the catacombs to find Erik, but Auguste begs her not to go.

“I need him to tell me the truth!”
“I’ll come with you!”
“No - no, I daren’t. He’ll trust me better if I go alone. Get help. Hide outside the lair in case something goes wrong.”
“Maria - how can you think of going there alone, knowing what he is?”
“I’ve always known what he is - but if we don’t give him the benefit of the doubt, he’ll only act as we expect him to. He deserves one chance, Auguste.”
“All right. For pity’s sake be careful, Maria.”

She reaches the lair just as Erik arrives, now back in his black half-mask. She is furious with him and gives him a huge mouthful: is it true that he committed those murders? Did he lie to Christine? Has he been lying to her? Should she truly have been afraid of him all along?

Erik denies nothing, and when she’s run her mouth for a while, he admits that it’s true, all of it. Why did she think Christine gave her all those warnings about him? He hoped that by teaching her as Christine requested, and looking out for her, he could atone for the dreadful things he did. But now he knows that the people will never accept him, not just for his deformed face but for the severity of his crimes. He removes his mask to demonstrate: he is a monster inside and out, and he knows it. He cannot run from it, however hard he tries. No wonder Christine walked away.

Then he collapses. Turns out the first bullet did hit him, in the side. 

“He shot you!” exclaims Maria. “I didn’t know…”
“Of course not. I never said.”

Maria is horrified as she rushes to tend to him. Erik of course goes through that usual tirade that ‘it’s better this way’ and ‘better kill the monster before he harms anyone else’. At this, Maria snaps.

“I don’t think you’re a monster! You’ve never been a monster to me. You were good to me; you taught me. You were strict, you were stern, but you were patient. Christine warned me, she told me to be wary, but you never gave me a reason to fear you. Not even your face.“

Erik is deeply touched at her words, and wonders if by caring for her he has earned a place in heaven, as before him stands an angel, in a form he recognises.

Of course it’s not an angel. It’s Christine. She came to hear Maria sing his music. Because despite the bad history between them, she still cares for Erik, too.

“Why did you return?”
“Because I believe you still have so much to give to the world. Hearts soared with your music tonight. You made people happy.”

She’s so proud of him. She heard what Maria said. She feels he’s finally learned to love, and earned someone else’s love in return. It’s not the romantic love he always craved, but it’s love nevertheless.

Following her is Auguste, Meg, Madame Giry and Raoul - and of course Auguste is a trainee doctor. Maria begs him to save her teacher. Auguste says he’ll try - but the wound is very deep… (lights down! Cliffhanger! Aaah!)

An unspecified time later, the opera is preparing for another performance. Madame Giry meets with the opera house owners. It appears the dramatic première night only served to sell out tickets.

“Nasty business, though, very nasty business. You say the man died?”
“Indeed Monsieur, there was nothing that could be done.”
“Do we know if he truly was this so-called ‘opera ghost’?”
“As he died before he could give a confession, I feel we may never know.”
“Pity. He may have been a criminal, but the chap wrote good music.”

Meanwhile, Christine, Raoul and Auguste watch Maria sing her final aria. The music swells. The audience applauds - and in a dark, distant corner of the opera house, a man in a mask can be seen, watching.


…Okay, so it is fanficcy, but y’know what, it’s lot less fanficcy than what we got in Love Never Dies. I hope I managed to keep all the returning characters in-character, with their development from the first story intact. No drunken, gambling Raoul, but a sympathetic and cautious one. No villainous Giry or Meg who are loyal to the Phantom for some reason; they’re a neutral force as always. No kid whose parentage drives the plot. An active Christine who makes her own decisions and isn’t treated as an object for the guys to fight over. God, that pissed me off!

Honestly, there was no chance of Christine and Erik getting back together. Their romance is toxic, sorry guys. And their story is over when he lets her go. That said, I didn’t see why Christine couldn’t be part of his later character development. Erik does still angst about her, because she’s the only person who has ever shown him compassion, and she still walked away. Christine could be the catalyst to help him start changing, but for the main lesson, I had to start him afresh with someone else.

I like to think Maria is not a Mary-Sue - for a start she doesn’t hook up with Erik, and she isn’t a singing prodigy like Christine either; she’s got potential, but she needs a lot of work. She doesn’t go searching for Erik in an attempt to ‘fix’ him; she needs something from him. He’s her teacher who at first she cautiously respects, but later grows more attached to as he does legitimately nice things for her. At first Erik only does this to honour Christine’s request, but later it’s because he genuinely wants to. He learns to love, and he also learns that yes, his deformity is a huge social handicap, but if he’s kind and does good things, he can still earn love. That was the best reward I felt I could give him - but he had to earn it, and he couldn’t have everything. After all, this guy’s a murderer. So no, he doesn’t get accepted into society, he doesn’t get Christine - but he does earn applause for his music, he earns Maria’s love, his relationship with Christine becomes a whole lot healthier - and he becomes a better person.

So yeah, if you hate Love Never Dies as much as I do, I hope that was cathartic - at least as much as puncturing an abscess could be.  And to be fair, there is one good thing that came out of that wretched musical: the ultimate Phantom/Christine power duo that is Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess. They met through LND and have since forged a friendship that is the purest, sweetest, cinnamon-coated bond I’ve ever seen. And when they’re playing Erik and Christine, their chemistry is so hot you could fry eggs with it. I absolutely understand why they were picked for the 25th Anniversary version. And they make LND almost tolerable. Almost.