single-monk

Suits, volleyball, and all the headcanon in between.

[Terushima, Futakuchi, Noya, Tanaka, Ushijima and Tendou here]
[Akiteru, Kei, Kageyama and Hinata here]
[Ladies of Karasuno here]

Kuroo.

  • Black on black. No tie, open two-buttoned suit jacket that hugs his waist, the top two buttons of his shirt are undone. Tailored wingtip derbies, black and matte- polished to perfection.
    • He’s actually the one who dislikes wearing suits the most (I mean, have you seen the guy, he literally looks like he throws on whatever he has lying on his bed).
    • Oh, but if you challenge him, or if the need arises- he’s going to be the sexiest guy in the room because he sure as hell isn’t going to lose at anything.
      • Hours of research and a lot of changing rooms is not going to be for nothing. If he’s going to suffer, he’s going to do some real damage before he goes (namely to your short-circuited brain and perhaps severe blood loss via nosebleed).
    • He tried the red and black combination once, until a girl actually came up to him and asked him which host club he worked at, and he’s stuck to black from then on.
    • Those undone buttons on his shirt? Collarbones. They’re so sharp that they can slice through paper, and it makes his neck slimmer and his smirk all the sexier.
    • Everything’s been absolutely tailored at least twice, and it’s so on purpose. Can you imagine those legs- miles and miles of slim height and oh, he knows you’re staring. He’ll wink right back.
      • Now that he thinks about it, he’s never had to buy his own drink before, and thus Kuroo’s legendary alcohol tolerance was born.

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Fic: A Single Monk in Good Standing Must be in Want of a Bro

A Single Monk in Good Standing Must be in Want of a Bro (20,563 words) by scaramouche
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Chirrut Îmwe/Baze Malbus
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Romantic Comedy, First Meeting, Friendship, Flirting, Pining, Fluff, First Kiss, First Time, Light-Hearted, Baze POV, Baze is chill and oblivious, Chirrut is confused, young Baze & Chirrut

Summary: Baze tries to befriend new arrival Chirrut Îmwe, but accidentally woos him instead.

Ah, I see the anti-Christian and historically illiterate pagans-who-want-to-act-persecuted are trying to appropriate Easter again. 

So far, no Puritian-like, historically illiterate Christians have come out of the woodwork to say Easter is satanic. This year is a mixed success if you can call it that.

theguardian.com
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman review – nice dramatic narratives, but where’s the nihilism?
With its chatty gods and gentle giants, Gaiman’s good-natured version of the mythos lacks brutal tragedy at its heart
By Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite writers, reviews the new Neil Gaimen interpretation of “Norse Mythology” and gives it an honestly brutal treatment.

“For the Norse myths, we really have no original, only interpretations. Most of the material was first written down by a single monk a century or more after Christianity had outlawed and supplanted the “heathen” religion of northern Europe. Later came scholarly attempts to translate and present the stories so as to glimpse what the lost original versions may have been.

Then came use of elements of the mythos in drama and opera, free adaptations for modern readers, and the appearance of increasingly familiar tropes in books for young children, cartoons, graphic presentations, animated films, and so on. A luxuriant growth indeed from the few, fragile stems of medieval manuscripts, one of which lay hidden for several centuries in a barn in Iceland.

Their survival is remarkable, for the Norse tales are about as un-Christian as you can get: no all-powerful creator deity, no human virtue rewarded but courage in battle, and on the Last Day, no salvation for anybody. Their fascination for us may be this near-nihilism: a world created essentially by nobody out of nothing, an existence of endless warfare and the rivalry of brutal, dishonest powers, ending in defeat for all. In contrast, the classical myths retold to us through centuries of splendid verbal and visual art can seem pallid. The stark cruelty and essential hopelessness of the Norse stories suits the artistic taste of the last century, our hunger for darkness.”
….
“Gaiman plays down the extreme strangeness of some of the material and defuses its bleakness by a degree of self-satire. There is a good deal of humour in the stories, the kind most children like – seeing a braggart take a pratfall, watching the cunning little fellow outwit the big dumb bully. Gaiman handles this splendidly. Yet I wonder if he tries too hard to tame something intractably feral, to domesticate a troll.”
…..
“What finally left me feeling dissatisfied is, paradoxically, the pleasant, ingratiating way in which he tells it. These gods are not only mortal, they’re a bit banal. They talk a great deal, in a conversational tone that descends sometimes to smart-ass repartee. This chattiness will be familiar to an audience accustomed to animated film and graphic narrative, which have grown heavy with dialogue, and in which disrespect is generally treated as a virtue. But it trivialises, and I felt sometimes that this vigorous, robust, good-natured version of the mythos gives us everything but the very essence of it, the heart.”

Someone asked for some Chirrut POV from A Single Monk in Good Standing Must be in Want of a Bro, so I did something (approx. 600 words):


“It’s done,” Janos says, quiet but urgent. “It’s done, he’s noticed.”

Contrary to what some elders might say, Chirrut is capable of tact and caution. Right now he displays those skills excellently, for he limits his reply to an equally quiet, “Where is he? How is he?”

Keep reading

Zen Habits

Zen Habits Live Simply (don’t just shove it under the rug)

  1. Do one thing at a time. This rule (and some of the others that follow) will be familiar to long-time Zen Habits readers. It’s part of my philosophy, and it’s also a part of the life of a Zen monk: single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

  2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.

  3. Do it completely. Put your mind completely on the task. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished. If, for some reason, you have no choice but to move on to something else, try to at least put away the unfinished task and clean up after yourself. If you prepare a sandwich, don’t start eating it until you’ve put away the stuff you used to prepare it, wiped down the counter, and washed the dishes used for preparation. Then you’re done with that task, and can focus more completely on the next task.

  4. Do less. A Zen monk doesn’t lead a lazy life: he wakes early and has a day filled with work. However, he doesn’t have an unending task list either — there are certain things he’s going to do today, an no more. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do.

  5. Put space between things. Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together — instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.

  6. Develop rituals. Zen monks have rituals for many things they do, from eating to cleaning to meditation. Ritual gives something a sense of importance — if it’s important enough to have a ritual, it’s important enough to be given your entire attention, and to be done slowly and correctly. You don’t have to learn the Zen monk rituals — you can create your own, for the preparation of food, for eating, for cleaning, for what you do before you start your work, for what you do when you wake up and before you go to bed, for what you do just before exercise. Anything you want, really.

  7. Designate time for certain things. There are certain times in the day of a Zen monk designated for certain activities. A time for for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly. You can designate time for your own activities, whether that be work or cleaning or exercise or quiet contemplation. If it’s important enough to do regularly, consider designating a time for it.

  8. Devote time to sitting. In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. Each day, there is time designated just for sitting. This meditation is really practice for learning to be present. You can devote time for sitting meditation, or do what I do: I use running as a way to practice being in the moment. You could use any activity in the same way, as long as you do it regularly and practice being present.

  9. Smile and serve others. Zen monks spend part of their day in service to others, whether that be other monks in the monastery or people on the outside world. It teaches them humility, and ensures that their lives are not just selfish, but devoted to others. If you’re a parent, it’s likely you already spend at least some time in service to others in your household, and non-parents may already do this too. Similarly, smiling and being kind to others can be a great way to improve the lives of those around you. Also consider volunteering for charity work.

  10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Aside from the zazen mentioned above, cooking and cleaning are to of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).

  11. Think about what is necessary. There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary. He doesn’t have a closet full of shoes, or the latest in trendy clothes. He doesn’t have a refrigerator and cabinets full of junk food. He doesn’t have the latest gadgets, cars, televisions, or iPod. He has basic clothing, basic shelter, basic utensils, basic tools, and the most basic food (they eat simple, vegetarian meals consisting usually of rice, miso soup, vegetables, and pickled vegetables). Now, I’m not saying you should live exactly like a Zen monk — I certainly don’t. But it does serve as a reminder that there is much in our lives that aren’t necessary, and it can be useful to give some thought about what we really need, and whether it is important to have all the stuff we have that’s not necessary.

  12. Live simply. The corollary of Rule 11 is that if something isn’t necessary, you can probably live without it. And so to live simply is to rid your life of as many of the unnecessary and unessential things as you can, to make room for the essential. Now, what is essential will be different to each person. For me, my family, my writing, my running and my reading are essential. To others, yoga and spending time with close friends might be essential. For others it will be nursing and volunteering and going to church and collecting comic books. There is no law saying what should be essential for you — but you should consider what is most important to your life, and make room for that by eliminating the other less essential things in your life.

  13. Live in the NOW

anonymous asked:

You wear a suit 4-5 times a week with either black captoes or black wingtips. What is the next best black shoe to purchase? It seems there is no perfect option, as it appears the jury is still out on whether black tassel loafers are appropriate with suits. Similarly, a black split-toe is interesting, but I imagine it may seem out of place or too casual with a suit. Finally, a "whole cut" seems nice but awfully formal and a brogue too boring. Am I wrong? What is your take?

My knee-jerk reaction is a single monk strap in espresso or black calf. I’d go with something slick (see: here, here, here, or here), but depending on the cut of your suit, you may want to be more conservative (like this or this). You can also go oxblood if you’re looking for a bit more interest. Personally, I prefer to wear suede when possible (including with suits), so any of the above would work in a nice, dark brown reverse calf.

Obviously if a single monk is in play, then a double monk would also be suitable. However, I’ve found the proliferation of the double monk has lessened the luster of the shoe. It would appear every other shoe sold by Aldo these days is a double monk, given how often I see cheap, cheesy looking examples in the wild. While there are certainly nice designs and models, the whole idea is somewhat played out to my thinking.

Another option is the faux-Oxford. While I don’t (and likely wouldn’t) own a pair of these, I know a number of well-dressed guys who love them. Given my conversion from chukkas to Chelseas a few years back, I can totally see the appeal of shoes that slip on but appear they shouldn’t. Not too many makers offer a version of these, so you’ll likely need to splash out to do it right. That said, they will certainly blend into a more conservative, formal workplace. 

While I was once a staunch supporter of the “no loafers with suits” look, I find myself wearing a navy or charcoal suit, open collar, pocket square, and cigar shell tassels (holy shit these got expensive) at least once a month. It gives a bit of a louche Italian businessman vibe that I dig. I will say, however, the look is easy to mess up and I wouldn’t reach for loafers with a tie. 

The final option would be the least conservative - the dress boot. A brogued dress boot or a Chelsea would be my suggestions. Obviously both are pretty off-the-wall and likely unsuitable unless you’re the boss, but if you’re truly desperate to break the cycle, I often pair weathered RM Williams with a navy suit for weddings or relaxed client meetings. An expected, yet appropriate-looking twist. 

archiveofourown.org
A Single Monk in Good Standing Must be in Want of a Bro - Annie D (scaramouche) - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Chirrut Îmwe/Baze Malbus
Characters: Baze Malbus, Chirrut Îmwe
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Romantic Comedy, First Meeting, Friendship, Flirting, Pining, Fluff, First Kiss, First Time, Light-Hearted, Baze POV, Baze is chill and oblivious, Chirrut is confused, young Baze & Chirrut
Summary:

Baze tries to befriend new arrival Chirrut Îmwe, but accidentally woos him instead.

I AM the Chosen One

I was young when the monks came to my village and told me I had been chosen. I was a rice farmer’s daughter and knew nothing of fates and destinies, I had always believed I would grow up to tend the rice fields as my parents, grandparents and great grandparents had before me.

But the monks believed otherwise. “You’re the One” they cried, I had never been looked upon with such reverence as I was in that moment, “A girl with skin as black as night and eyes of earth and sea, she will be our saviour and bring about a new era of prosperity!”

Indeed I was a girl with skin as black as night, with an eye of brown and one of teal, this seemed as much evidence as the monks needed to insist that I be taken to their temple, to learn their ways and train for my destiny.

My parents, though they would miss me, were more than happy to oblige, I would be given a good home, with enough food to keep me well, and the monks would have herbs of healing if I were to get sick, my poor village had none of these luxuries and so my loving, caring parents sent me away, they were happy to believe that I could achieve greatness and make a change to our land.

The monks were kind and respectful, and as they had on our first meeting, would only look upon me with a shine to their eyes that I imagined a God would find in the eyes of their worshippers. Yet though they had only the utmost respect for me, they did not spoil me. My clothes, food and lodgings were as humble as any other monks, they would scold me fairly if I misbehaved and praise me when I did well, I trained among other acolytes and was not given any favouritism (though I could sense they wished dearly to).

The monks were weary of raising me spoiled, and had mastered the art of avoiding such tragedies. So it was that I came of age, a wise, strong and competent young woman who was ready to depart on my journey.

I was to travel and the fates would throw tests upon me, the great size and strength I had been gifted aided me well in battles against savage beasts. The meditation and mindful thought practices taught to me by the monks proved an asset when faced with manipulative Fae creatures who prayed on loose thoughts and rampant emotion to bend you to their will. Growing up in poor farming conditions had taught me to be humble and kind to those who had little, and to always break bread and share rations with those who so kindly gave me lodgings.

Over the years of my journey I had become battered and bruised, leaving scars to remind me of my past triumphs and losses, my will had been bent and nearly broken but in the end was all the stronger for it. I made friends and enemies and learned lessons about naivety and ignorance and all the flaws I had grown with were gradually swept away by the experience and knowledge I gained on my quest.

Until finally, with a warm heart, a full mind, and a lifted spirit, I returned to the monks, a sight different from how I left. A scar gained, an arm lost, strength doubled, will unbreakable. A warrior, a diplomat, a hero, a Legend.

I expected a humble hero’s welcome, I expected proud faces and shining eyes.

I received none of these things. “You have returned.” the single monk at the gate regarded me coldly. “We thought you may have perished.” I did not miss the disappointed tone in his voice.

He took me inside and I met with the head of the temple, he kept his composure well, but I could read from his body what his face would not betray. He was furious.

“You are not the Chosen One.” he told me.

It was the first time I had ever been told such a thing. I would have thought this a test some years ago, before I learned how to read through lies, and sense deceit. There was no deceit here.

“We spoke with your parents after you left for your journey, we spoke to them many times, they asked about you and we kept them informed of your progress when your letters came. When you wrote of a male colleague you were journeying with we were concerned about… accidents… occurring. It is difficult to quest when you are with child after all.”

He had poured himself tea, he did not offer me a cup. I would not have been able to swallow even a mouthful anyway, I knew where this was conversation was going… and I was terrified.

“Your parents told us something interesting. You are not capable of carrying a child, they said. We had always assumed your physical development was simply the way you were built, broad shouldered and small waisted, we believed it was the fates giving you the body of a warrior.”

He sipped his tea, taking longer than was necessary. He was watching me, watching me sweat and shake.

“You have the body of a MAN.” his composure finally slipped, he slammed the cup back down on the table, an acolyte outside the door jumped at the sound but did not come in to investigate. “The prophecy told of a GIRL, a GIRL with skin as black as night. A GIRL with eyes of earth and sea. SHE will be our saviour and bring about a new era of prosperity!” I had heard these words many times over, but never had they felt so sharp, so raw, so painful.

“You have lied to us from the very beginning! You are no Chosen One, we wasted all these years, all this effort, all our hopes and dreams all for just some common rice farmer’s SON.”

He waited for my denial, he waited for my excuses, my apologies, my grovelling for forgiveness. I did not give him any of these things. I gave him the truth.

“I have the body of a man,” I said to him, “But I am a woman, from birth I have been a woman, as soon as I could speak I asked that my parents call me by a woman’s name. I wore women’s clothes and grew women’s hair, all my life I have spent being a woman to all those who have met me, all those who know me know me as a woman. You taught me yourself that your mind and your spirit can hold truths that the body could never know, and my spirit knows that I am more than my body, my spirit knows that I AM A WOMAN.”

It was my turn to lose my composure. My voice blew open the chamber door, it thundered through the temple halls and onto the grounds. It brought with it wind and energy and POWER. Magick that I had learned and woven into my voice, imbued into my very being. My words were power, and that power rattled the hearts and minds of all those who believed me to be what I was not.

A man.

The head monk sat speechless, eyes wide. I waited, time passed.

He pointed to the door. The look in his eyes made it clear that I was no longer welcome here.

I left, I did not bow in respect as was custom, he had lost his right to my respect. I had given up my family for his prophecy, I had given up my home, my hand. But it was not enough, because after everything I had gone through, the journeys I had taken, the quests I had completed, the tests I had passed, none of it was enough for the monks.

Because the Gods gave me a body that was not meant for me.

I would love to say I was above it all. I was above feeling hurt by the monks’ rejection, I was above feeling furious and betrayed and lost and… and… I didn’t even know what else I felt, but I did know that out of all the heartbreak and loss I had ever experienced in my travels, this day left them all behind. The monks had been my family and they had deserted me. The destiny I had been promised had been taken away in a fleeting moment.

Perhaps they were right, perhaps I was no Chosen One. I was just a rice farmer’s daughter. If the monks had rejected me for my false body, why not destiny? Why not fate? Perhaps there truly was another girl with skin as black as night and eyes of earth and sea, one with a body that truly matched her mind, perhaps all this time I had been playing someone else’s role…

I did not know what to do with myself after this revelation. I had no path without the monks’ guidance. So I went home.

My parents were more than happy to see me again. We hugged and kissed and they served me a bland dinner of rice and fish and it tasted like home and love and acceptance. My mother told me I had grown to be a beautiful strong woman, my father told me I had made our village proud. They had heard stories of me, would you believe it? Stories of my exploits had spread so far and wide they had made it back to my little village, to my home.

Despite everything I slept well that night.

The monks continued looking for their Chosen One, but could find nothing. Some years passed, I tended the fields with my mother and father, I helped the village in ways no one else could, blowing away storm clouds with my magick, setting complex rodent traps that only I knew how to build. I could carry more supplies than any. I helped everyone. I was loved. It was nice. It was calm.

It was wrong.

Everything within me yearned for bigger things, my spirit wished to soar, my body ached to battle, my mind was desperate to be challenged. There were people I wanted to see, places I wanted to visit, problems in the world that had yet to be solved. My home village, as peaceful and quaint as it was, could not be my home any longer.

I rubbed a hand over the stump of my right arm, I gently touched the scar marring my perfect black skin, the scar running over the eye that was the colour of tilled earth. I had lost so much, things I could not get back, my sacrifices had been wasted here in the rice fields. I had a destiny to fulfil, and if the monks weren’t going to tell me where to find it, I was going to track it down myself.

I travelled the roads on which I began my journey, back then a tall, wiry sprig of a girl with a heart full of adventure, I travelled this road now with shoulders that could carry the world, a heart hardened by pain and softened again by love. It was ready to begin this journey anew. My quest now was not to better myself, not to prove to anyone that I was worthy, that I had to be given my path, that I was reliant upon any prophecy.

My quest now was to make my mark upon this world. To help it and to change it, I would aid those in desperate need, tear down the walls of the ones who hoarded their treasures, I would start rebellions and topple corrupt systems.

Because regardless of the body the Gods gave to me, I AM the girl with skin as black as night and eyes of earth and sea, and I will be your saviour and bring about a new era of prosperity.

…hi hi, so I wrote this thing because the idea of fairytale scenarios involving people of different genders and sexualities is so interesting to me, so I gave writing it a shot. I am not trans so I don’t have the insider info on what it’s like but I tried very hard to be respectful. If there is anything offensive, disrespectful or just wonky about my portrayal I am very sorry and please let me know what I can do to fix it.

Mad respect for all y'all non-binary folk out there, I very much hope I did you justice ~