the opening of this show is pretty fantastic

Harry Styles Vocal Health on SNL

Hello!  So first and foremost I wan to put out there how much I love Harry and his voice.  Dear god it’s SO COOL and unique.  I love how when he’s in good vocal health he has all these different textures to it- the gruffness of his chest voice, the purity of his falsetto, the power of his belt.  When the studio version of SOTT came out I couldn’t sing his praises enough.  His voice sounded SO HEALTHY.  He was making such good choices!!!  Everything was relaxed and well supported.  He let the song build naturally.  He MUST have gotten some solid vocal training over his break because that isn’t something that can just happen over night.  I was very impressed and very proud.  I was also a bit nervous to see if these changes would hold when he started performing live….and… looks like I had good reason to be nervous.  

Here’s the thing. There are a few reasons I’m so hard on Harry in particular when it comes to poor technique. First, compared to the other guys, his technique is the only one that’s actually physically DAMAGING.  Could the other guys benefit from proper training?  Sure.  Of course.  Every singer can.  Even those who have been singing for years still should train on a regular basis.  But the other boys’ bad habits are just that- bad habits.  They aren’t going to do long term damage, not the way Harry’s are.    The second reason is BECAUSE I know he can do (AND HAS DONE!!!!!) so much better!!   I know he’s CAPABLE of so much more and so yeah, I’m hard on him because of that. And finally, I know exactly what he’s doing physically and exactly what’s going through his mind because I have the same exact bad habits and I can see him using the same exact thought process as to why he slips into these again.

Harry is the Ultimate Performer. He wants nothing more than to put on a good show for everyone, even if that means sacrificing his own vocal health.  Now, that’s isn’t a HUGE problem…until it KEEPS happening.  Which is what happened with OTRA.  And possibly might be happening now, although that remains to be seen.  One performance of one song slips into an entire show of this slips into two shows of this slips into the entire tour and wham, you’ve got nodes.  I think the biggest problem with Harry’s performance last night is he doesn’t trust the material or HIMSELF to sell it the way it is.  He feels he needs to overcompensate and big Big and Bold right from the start and that song is not built to be sung that way.  He started at a level that he couldn’t sustain throughout the entire thing and had nowhere to go.  That’s when he ran into trouble.  

As soon as he opened his mouth, I knew it wasn’t going to go well.  Don’t get me wrong, he sounds fantastic in the beginning…but like I said, there was nothing for him to build upon because he already started it at too high a height. His voice sounded raspy to me too, raspier than usual.  That can be caused by a few things- he could have been dehydrated (you can’t sing right if you don’t pee white!), he could have been tired (we know he’s a morning person and that show is pretty late for him), he could have strained his voice at the concert the night before, he could have over rehearsed, he could have smoked a bit.  I don’t know what the cause was, but he didn’t start off the evening in the best vocal health, especially for a song that’s very difficult to sing.  I also think he KNEW that so again, he tried to overcompensate for that by pushing.  

There is so much tension throughout his whole body, particular his shoulders on up.  I’m sure a lot of that is due to nerves.  I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again: the SNL stage is one of the hardest venues for artists to play.  There’s something particularly rough about it.  He’s also always had problems tensing up his face when he sings, but it what was particularly striking to me was that he did it during the falsetto parts.  That should have been EASY for him to sing.  That’s something light and relaxed.  Almost a break from the tension of the rest of the song…and yet he looks like he was in pain.  Which makes me wonder if he WAS in pain.  it’s hard to tell, but it almost seems like the second time he does it he pushes it more to a mix than a pure falsetto. 

It’s notable to me how relaxed the second syllable of  “bullets” around 2:44-2:48 is compared to the rest.  THAT is what the whole thing should have sounded like.  it’s relaxed and he’s got a great vibratto on it that comes straight from the diaphragm there- compare that to how tight “bullets” are the second time he sings it in that phrase at 2:58ish-3:04.  Why did you change what you were doing, sir??? In fact, to me it seemed like he KNEW it sounded good the first time and did his cute li’l dance and then came back to it feeling like “yeah I got this…” and then tightened right back up again.  because he didn’t trust himself.  

Thennnnnn the bridge happens.  And this is what i mean by he had nowhere to go.  THIS should have been his first belt it out moment.  but he pushed too hard too quickly and his voice just…wasn’t there.  It was tired.  The first scoop up to the first “we” was off key because of it and I think he knew it which made it even worse and MORE tense to the point where he just didn’t have the vocal agility to flip into his fasletto again for “learn”.  And then we’ve got the “it’s just what we know” which was just a poor choice.  I have a feeling he nailed that MULTIPLE times in rehearsals and mannnnn if he was in good vocal health how killer would that have sounded!??!!?  But instead, we got what’s called harmonic distortion which is SUPER VERY YIKESY AND A BIG SIGN OF HOLYSHITYOU’REDOINGDAMAGE (i sincerely hope he has an appointment with an ENT this week and gets scoped to check that out).   This was another instance of him trying to put on a great show and overcompensate for what he probably felt was lackluster vocals (which for the record WERE NOT THAT BAD.  I’m picking it apart because…well, it’s what I do.  and i don’t think I would have had too much of a problem if it weren’t for the super damaging choices he ended up making).  

From there he’s thinking “Oh shit that was bad…I REALLY fucked up…better step up my game and make the end better!” and once again tries to overcompensate and push a voice that’s already been pushed to the brink.  there just wasn’t more in there for it to give.  He couldn’t sustain it.  He had already given everything that there was go to give.  

When it comes to ESNY, it was a much better performance.  I think it’s partially due to the fact that it’s an easier song to sing and partially due to the fact that he was playing guitar so he wasn’t as much in his head (Side note: CAN YOU BELIEVE HE FINALLY BLESSED US WITH HIS GUITAR SKILLS?????).  His belty part towards the end wasn’t as good as it could have been, but I think that’s just due to the fact that his voice was kinda shot and that’s the best it was going to be.  It wasn’t TERRIBLE and obviously it could have been better, but I am curious to hear the studio version to see if there’s more belting that he just wasn’t comfortable with last night.  I could have done without the facial affectations because it just adds more tension and tension is bad, kiddos  But I think it’s a stylistic choice and I’m trying to pick my battles here.  Additionally, as we’ve seen in gif form his li’l neck vein was popping out so yeah he was tensing up pretty good there…but again, it wasn’t as terrible as it could have been since the song itself isn’t as taxing vocally.  

All in all, the performances were great, especially if you’re not as picky as I am. I know this was his first time singing live in well over a year and SNL is high stress and it’s his first time out there ALONE.  I’m curious to see what happens on Graham Norton and if he improves his technique. I’m also really curious to see how he’ll be on tour as well. I do wonder if he’ll lower the key of SOTT so it’s not as taxing.  No one would really notice and it would make things a little easier on him. It’s just frustrating because I know he has it in him to do it well.  We’ve HEARD him do it well.  But he just doesn’t trust himself enough to do that and that kind of breaks my heart a little.  Thankfully, he’s young and has time to learn.  He can still break these habits and make new, healthier ones and learn to trust himself more.



B <3 

I really, really, really, REALLY miss Downton Abbey.

Last year, to help ease the pain of having no new season in September, I suggested an unofficial Season 7, and many of you participated along with me.  I enjoyed having new material every week.  And so this year, I propose we have a Season 8.

If there were going to be an eighth season, it would likely start next Sunday, 17 September.  But since there will be no Season 8 – at least not an official, televised one on ITV - my initiative might help to provide a fancraft/fanart/fanfic/gif set/photo manip fix for those of us who need one.

Besides missing the show itself, I miss all the creativity that new episodes would generate.  It seems that since the show has ended, enthusiasm has waned and the number of paintings, drawings, craft projects, stories, gifs, and photos has dwindled.  So I hereby put forth a challenge to all you creative people out there: an unofficial Downton Abbey Season 8.

For everyone and anyone who wants to join me, here’s what I’m thinking:

Every Sunday for eight weeks, from 17 September until 5 November, post a new Downton-related story, chapter, one-shot, drabble, piece of artwork, photo set, gif set, needlework project, character doll, or whatever.  It can be canon, AU, modern, pre-canon, post-canon, crackfic!, space aliens, zombies, fairy tale characters, or barnyard animals – whatever inspires you.  A penguin Charles doll.  A detective Elsie painting.  A photo manip of Beryl hosting the Great Yorkshire Bake-Off.  Anything at all.  When I say “Season 7” and “Season 8,” that doesn’t mean it has to be a continuation of canon and pick up right where Season 6 left off.  (But it certainly can be if that’s what you’d like.)

I suggest posting your work on tumblr (and if applicable) at about Downton time: 9:00 PM in the UK.  It’s not strictly necessary to do it right at that time – or even on Sunday at all – if that’s not convenient for you, but I think it would be nice to have a flood of new stuff all at once.  And it might be nice to have it at the time we’d normally be watching the show live.  You know … something to fill the void.

Obviously, there is no “commitment.”  Nothing is required or demanded.  There’s no sign-up, and there’s no pressure to produce.  This is just an open invitation to anyone who’s interested.  If you can contribute something every week, great!  If you can manage only a single submission, we’ll take it!  Anything is a bonus at this point.

And speaking of a bonus, if you’d like to cap off your Season 8 submissions with something special for our pretend Season 8 Christmas Special on 25 December, that would be fantastic!

I know there are lots of talented people out there.  Show us your stuff.  Pretty please?

If you’d reblog this to help spread the word, I’d appreciate it.  It’s an open invitation.  The more participants, the merrier.  From my own perspective, I’m thinking mostly in terms of Chelsie stuff, but please feel free to share this with friends in the DA fandom who might be on board other ships or who are fans of the show in general.

I hope to contribute something every Sunday. Please consider joining the fun.  Thanks, all.


part 1, part 2, part 3 (you are here), part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, based on @skygemspeaks‘s prompt

His son is sixteen when he discovers volleyball, and Yuuri couldn’t be more happy when he does.

Lev has always been a tall boy, would have been gawky if he hadn’t been an enthusiastic member of their family of athletes. So while he isn’t exactly gawky, the way his peers are during puberty, he has always been a little intimidating. It didn’t make him many friends in school, though that was combated somewhat by his almost terrifying friendliness.

He’s drawn in so many people, and he has more acquaintances that Yuuri wonders sometimes how he keeps track of them all, but so few true friends that it breaks Yuuri’s heart. He spends most of his time trying to figure out where he fits in, and what he likes.

There’s no doubt in Victor’s mind that if Lev really wanted, he could be a top figure skater. He’s got the physique and the command over his body that it requires, despite his impressive height. That’s largely because he spends so much time working out with the rest of them.

Unfortunately, there’s no doubt in Yuuri’s mind that no matter how much Lev loves skating– and he does, he adores it –it’s not what he wants to do with his life. Even if he hadn’t said anything himself, which he has, Lev skates like someone who loves skating for what it is, rather than as a competitive sport. He skates lazily, for fun rather than for practice. His jumps are crisp and clean, much to his sister’s dismay more often than not, but Lev doesn’t feel the music in his bones the way the rest of them do. He’s always been buzzing with energy rather than humming with it.

But when he comes home from school in his third year at middle school, clutching a volleyball with a blinding smile and a hopeful glint in his eye Yuuri’s never seen before, he can feel his heart soar.

He knows next to nothing about volleyball, to be completely honest; he had no idea that tall, lithe players were at an advantage in a way that they weren’t in a lot of other sports. He’d never have thought to suggest it to Lev, but the way he lights up when Yuuri agrees to watch a match with him before his Dad, sister, and Uncle Yuri get home makes him wonder exactly why not.

It’s too late in the school year for Lev to gain anything from joining his school’s volleyball team, but Yuuri and Victor promise to help him however he needs. Alisa is a little more skeptical, telling Yuuri that “You’ve heard about it, but I’ve seen how the kids at school treat him, Dad. I’m not sure volleyball is going to be the way to fix it.”

Still, she supports her brother and works out with him and their parents. Yurio whips Lev’s arms and core into shape when he isn’t busy training himself. Yuuri would never let Yurio hear him say it, but his spartan upper body training (“because a good spiker needs to be flexible, dummy”) reminds Yuuri a lot of Lilia.

It’s not uncommon, nowadays, for Yuuri, Victor, and Alisa to come home from a competition to find Yurio, Otabek, and Lev in the backyard, practicing Lev’s admittedly powerful spikes. The rest of them join in when they can, playing friendly three on three games with no real semblance of rules.

Yuuri asked Lev once how his uncles were able to help him practice so much. To his complete surprise, it was mostly Otabek.

“Uncle Beka has a friend who plays volleyball.” Lev sounds excited to be able to talk about his uncle’s friend. “He’s my age and he has a friend who’s a lot like Uncle Yuri–”

“Wait, slow down Lev.” Yuuri smiles at his son’s enthusiasm. “How did Otabek meet him?”

Lev shrugs. “He won’t say but Uncle Yuri says it’s from one of those aesthetic blogs he loves so much and when I found out about volleyball he reached out to this guy because he knew he played and Uncle Beka is famous on Instagram so the guy was really happy to help!”

It takes Yuuri a moment to decipher the rambling, as it always does, but once he does, he resists the urge to chuckle. It’s an awkward way to help, since it would have been much easier to just get some books, but awkward, well-meaning help always has been Otabek’s style.

“Your uncle hasn’t let you meet this boy in person, right?” Yuuri trusts Otabek and Yuri, but he has to double check; the internet can be a wonderland, but it can also be a dangerous place.

Lev shakes his head. “I’ve talked to him a few times through DMs and Uncle Beka’s facetime though! He’s a lot like you! And he has this friend who sounds exactly like Uncle Yuri, it’s so weird! And they even act the same, too! But they live all the way in Miyagi and they’re still in school too so they wouldn’t be able to come visit anyway. They said they’d be joining a volleyball team in high school too, so maybe I’ll be able to play against them–”

Aaaand he’s lost him. Yuuri smiles fondly, infinitely happy that Lev has finally found something he loves doing enough to ramble on about. For the rest of them it’s always been ice skating, but Yuuri knows Lev has always been destined for different things.

There’s only a month before Lev goes on vacation, and then he’ll be a high school student. It’s hard to believe when it feels like no time at all has passed since the night they brought the kids home. But now Alisa is about to graduate high school and Lev is about to start and yeah, it really has been fourteen years.

Yuuri is looking forward to a lifetime more, especially now that everything is falling into place.

~Two Months Earlier~

“Ooh, how pretty!” Tadashi snaps a picture of the rose in the neighbor’s yard from a few different angles, then he put his phone right under his friend’s nose. “Tsukki, look!”

Tsukki rolls his eyes, but glances at the photos. “They’re alright.”

Which is Tsukishima-speak for those are fantastic, great job Yamaguchi, and Tadashi beams, opening his editing app and putting a few filters over the image to give it a dreamy quality before posting it.

The notification icon blinks red at him, showing that he has…


Nine hundred and seventy two new followers, seven thousand seven hundred and seventy six likes, and two thousand nine hundred sixteen comments.

Tadashi nearly drops his phone when he finally gets to the bottom of today’s notifications, seeing what sparked all this. There, in stark black print, is the notification that started it all.

@altin_beka started following you. 6h

@russian_ice_tiger started following you. 1h

“Tsu… Tsukki?” Tadashi asks, feeling faint, “Can you punch me in the face? Please? I think I’m dreaming.”

The fact that Tsukki just blinks at him in confusion instead attests to how close they are, because Tadashi knows he wouldn’t hesitate with most other people. “Yamaguchi. I’m only going to ask this once. What the hell?”

Tadashi shoves the phone into Tsukki’s face, feeling a little hysterical. “Otabek Altin followed me! Yuri Plisetsky too! Why? Why would they even know I exist? How did they find my account? Tsukki, who am I?”

Tsukki blinks again, looking annoyed. Then he sighs his trademarked you moron sigh and Tadashi gratefully feels a little less like he’s in a dream.  

“Isn’t that the old skater guy whose life you stalk? Maybe he just finally noticed it and threw you a bone.” Tsukki slowly pushes the phone away from his face.

Tadashi spends the next few minutes staring at it in disbelief, much to Tsukki’s irritation. That isn’t ideal, because it hurts Tadashi’s chest when Tsukki is upset with him, but he can’t help being preoccupied.

He really does drop it when a DM comes in from Otabek, asking bluntly if Tadashi will teach him the basics of volleyball for his nephew.


I’m curious to listen to what the wide world of OP’s have to offer. For fairness (and because I’m feeling like gushing), here’s some of mine! These songs have actually helped me out during rougher times in my life by giving me the spring in the step I need, so here’s to you, ya weeb songs!

departure! - Hunter x Hunter OP 1-6

This song is used for every OP with changed visuals each time, and it looks great for all of them! I specifically chose 3 because I love the Phantom Troupe. Anyway, I love this OP because the song always puts a spring in my step (a common theme among these), and helps me feel energized and confident when I need!

The Rock City Boy - Fairy Tail OP 8

Fairy Tail was the first anime I watched all the way through and I saw it with my girlfriend, and this song was our favorite out of all of Fairy Tail’s great openings (Fiesta, Yumeiro Graffiti, and Masayume Chasing was a VERY close second). Like the show it’s based on, it has it’s flaws, but I still absolutely love it’s high-tempo energy all the same. It’s mostly that opening riff and the melody that hits in the chorus. So nice!

Great Days - Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure OP 7(and 8?)

Anyone who’s been following me knew this was coming since I havent been able to shut up about this song or the anime it’s from. Honestly, all of the OP’s from JJBA are fantastic (specifically looking at Bloody Stream and End of Za Warudo The World), but this one is by far my favorite with an energetic and memorable opening to a “beezer” chorus! I put the full version of the song for the video because the song actually contains a small hint to the villain’s abilities.

Papermoon - Soul Eater OP 2

I just think this is a neat song, and they made a pretty slick OP to go with it so hey how bout that!!

So those are four of my favorites!! And that’s just from shows I’ve seen! I know I haven’t seen a lot of anime yet, but I’m more than happy to hear what awesome openings you all enjoy, so post your favorites! I’d love to see them!!

anonymous asked:

2D finding his future S/O sitting in a graveyard late at night, smoking at taking to their dead grandparents?? It can be as fucked up as you want I just love pain and I'm sorry if this is too specific or if you're uncomfortable with it!!!!

No worries at all, I love specific asks! It means I know what to write :D

2D shoves his hands deeper into his pockets as he trudges down the cracked path, covered with weeds and small, determined tufts of grass. It’s already dark, and the biting November wind steals straight through him, whipping his hair off his face and making him shiver hard.

The Guy Fawkes night parades had shut down the road he usually walked up to get home, and he didn’t want to risk getting mistaken for a Guy, which had already happened twice before. (Ok so one time Murdoc had stuffed straw up his sleeves and jeans, knocked him out cold and left him in the front garden, but that didn’t defeat the point that the kids had still thought he was made of burlap and hay)

He looks around as he walks. Most of the graves are grey and old, covered with moss and lichen and half faded so the names are either difficult to make out or downright impossible. Candles, snuffed out by the wind, sit in front of some of the graves, and flowers of varying levels of decay are propped up in front of others. Some lucky bastards have both. Others have nothing at all.

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I need friends...
  • Hello peeps! This may be a bad idea but like screw it! I really want to make internet friends so if you are in any of the fandoms tagged below and also want to make friends, I'm here and pretty much always on my phone so I'll pretty much always respond! Also messages are open! Whoop!
Unmistakable Signs

After the battle, Tauriel held Kíli’s hand while the dwarvish physician stitched up the gash over his ribs. It was a painful business, but it helped to have her there to be brave for. Probably if Fíli had been with him instead, he’d have made a fuss over each needle prick, but he certainly couldn’t have Tauriel thinking he was no better than an infant, especially since he already was so very much younger than she.

So he schooled the pain from his expression and kept his eyes on her face. Her own look was sympathetic and sweet, and she did not seem to care that he crushed her fingers in his own.

“Sorry,” Kíli murmured, releasing her hand when the final stitch was tied off and the physician was putting away his tools.

Tauriel shook her head, dismissing his need for apology. Then she leaned forward and, right there in front of the half-dozen other dwarves in the medical tent, she kissed him.

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Snapshot: The Beginning

Two in two days? What???

This has been requested by multiple people so I hope you all enjoy the story of the moment Shawn and Zoe met :-)

“Zoe!” Mike exclaimed.

“Hey! Happy house warming!” I said, holding out the bottle of wine in my hand to him.

“Thanks!” he replied, taking the bottle and stepping aside so I could enter the house.

“I know I’m a bit early, but I figured I’d help you set up,” I said, following him into the kitchen. “First, let me go wash my hands. Where’s the bathroom?”

“Down the hall, second door on the left,” he said, starting to pull vegetables out of the refrigerator.

I walked down the hallway, about to enter the bathroom when I heard the plucking of guitar strings coming from the room across from me.

“Hey, how’s it going, can you meet me down on Adelaide Street,” a sweet male voice accompanying the guitar traveled through the door that was slightly ajar. I took a step towards it, pressing my ear closer. “Can you talk, for a moment, there’s no way to say this that easily.”

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I apologize in advance for the rant-y-ness of this. Press J if you wanna skip.

I’m not a big anime watcher. I definitely used to be, especially in middle and high school. But for the past four-something years I didn’t watch anything until Osomatsu-san was introduced to me. So know in advance that I’ve only been on Crunchyroll and handful of times and of the nominees in this year’s weird anime awards thing Mob Psycho 100 is the only one I’ve seen.

I’m also aware that it is basically a popularity contest. That’s what I expected and that’s what I got.

THAT BEING SAID. I am more than a little miffed that in any category that had Yuri!!! on Ice it had over three times the votes on the runner up. I can’t say anything on the story or characters. I haven’t seen the show. However I have GOT to talk about the opening and ending categories because I am legitimately frustrated by those.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna go watch the opening for this. Who knows, maybe it’s really pretty and creative and has really nice animation” *watching* “Okay, watercolors are pretty nice, I’ll give them that. Nicely animated choreography. Not much colors but that’s okay. Okay, they’re skating. More skating. Uh, more skating. Okay, they just reused the same animation right there. Guys. Guys.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry, that does not beat this.

Like. For real, outside of me liking the show for the characters and story and stuff, they did a fantastic job on the opening.

You can watch this a dozen times and STILL find things you never noticed before. And there is so much symbolism.

I mean even if the first part wasn’t as interesting, I’d still promote this just for all the transformation animation at the end.

Then there’s the ending. It’s a smidge typical. Most endings are relaxing and low-key, and that’s what you want at the end of a show. This one’s just Reigen getting ready in the morning.

However, it is animated using paint on glass.

Which for some reason I can’t find gifs of. >>>:[

But yeah, it looks cool as heck. <<< Link because tumblr has failed me on gifs.

Long story short, it’s a popularity contest. I get that. But the folks who worked on mp100 put a lot of effort on making things look smooth and cool and creative when they didn’t have to go that far and I just want to throw some appreciation out there for them, y’know? :(


Hey guys, I haven’t posted any art for a whole month and I’m sorry D: But I greet you with some new magical feline creations… hope that makes up for it! Apologies if my attempts at gif-making slows down your computer. 

If you’re itching to see more of these fantastic glittery beasts, come down to the opening reception for Q Pop’s Unicats and Caticorns show at the Q2 Gallery! It’s this Friday from 7-10 pm at: 312 E 2nd St. #121, LA, CA 90012 in Little Tokyo. It’s my first time submitting to a Q Pop show and there are some pretty fantastic artists in the list :)

Ex- Friends 'Til The End

Hello dearies! 

Here’s the smut for you all! Following a very democratic process I’ve decided that Calum would be the star of the show! I hope you guys enjoy it!



External image

Ex-Friends ‘Til The End

‘Fantastic show tonight Y/N, you guys were on fire!’

‘Thanks Nige. Couldn’t have done it without you pal!’, you laugh as you make your way back towards the dressing room. He was right, tonight had been a pretty kick ass show. The crowd was fantastic and you felt like you were on cloud nine when you heard them singing your songs right back to you. You’d been touring for a while now but that felling never got old. Smiling to yourself you push open the door of your shared dressing room to be greeted with the sight of eight grown men mock wrestling on the floor.

‘Y/N’, your bandmate Quinn calls from across the room when he spots you, ‘where have you been? We thought you’d been kidnapped.’

‘I went for a shower dipshit! It’s called personal hygiene, you should try it out sometime’, you retort earning a chorus of laughs from both your own band and the one you were touring with.

‘Always with the sass’, you hear Luke groan from underneath the pile of bodies. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t enjoy the playful banter that came with touring. It was, in your humble opinion, the best job on the planet. You weren’t even sure if you’d call it a job. Did travelling the world playing shows to thousands of people every night really count as work?

‘Alright losers, everyone to the busses please! We’re heading straight for the hotel tonight so anyone who isn’t on the bus in ten minutes, gets left behind’, your tour manager and life-long friend Y/F/N calls from the doorway, ‘and for the love of god, would it kill you people to shower after a show? It smells like a zoo in here’.

‘Hey! I take personal offence to that statement!’, you cry in mock outrage.

‘Don’t worry Y/N’, you hear a voice say close to your ear as you feel a hand been placed gently on the small of your back, ‘I think you smell great’.

‘Easy tiger, we wouldn’t want the others to hear you now would we?’ you whisper, nudging him slightly with your elbow and walking away, being sure to put an extra sway into your hips knowing his eyes would still be on you.

‘What was that about?’ Y/F/N asks catching up to you and linking her arm through yours.

‘What was what about?’ you shrug nonchalantly.

‘That saucy little exchange I just witnessed between you and Calum, that’s what’.

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about. How far away is this hotel?’, you ask, hoping she’ll drop the subject.

‘Don’t try to change the subject honey,’ she jeers, ‘I’ve known you since we were four years old. I know your flirting face and believe me I’ve been seeing that face a heck of a lot lately. Especially when a certain Calum Hood happens to be around.’

‘Bullshit’, you scoff, hoping against hope that you’d managed to put her off the scent.

‘I’m just looking out for you. I don’t want to see you getting hurt. I don’t know what arrangement the two of you have going on but just be careful yeah?’

Thankfully, the two of you reach the bus before you were compelled to give an answer.  You already felt bad for sneaking around but having to lie to your best friend’s face was more than you could handle. You weren’t sure why you and Calum had come to the unconscious decision to keep your relationship a secret but you preferred it that way. Living with nine other people in very close quarters meant that you rarely had any privacy, so maybe you just enjoyed having this all to yourself? And besides it wasn’t really a relationship in the traditional sense. You were fuck buddies. Just there when one of you needed a release. Right? You didn’t have time to analyse the situation any further as you were jerked forward by the bus grounding to a halt outside, what you assumed was your hotel. Grabbing your bag, you wearily make your way off the bus and into the lobby to grab your room key.


‘Finally’, you groan as you flop down onto your monstrous double bed. The adrenaline from the show was starting to wear off and your muscles were beginning to ache with fatigue. You were never so glad to have a room to yourself. Normally you ended up sharing with someone, but tonight the gods were smiling down upon you. Or so you thought. You were debating whether to have a bath or to order some room service when a sharp rapping on your door pulls you from your musings.

‘Someone had better be dead or dying’, you warn, pulling open the heavy hotel room door, only to be greeted by the smiling face of Calum Hood.

‘Hello gorgeous’.

‘Cal, I’m really not in the mood’, you start to protest but you’re cut short by the tall boy barging past you and into your room, completely ignoring your objections.

 ‘Well how about I put you in the mood then?’ he grins, as he kicks off his shoes and settles himself on your bed.

Dammit. How did he turn you on so easily? Were you really that easy that a cheeky smile and a cheesy line could hook you in? You look over at him and already you can see his eyes have darkened with lust. He’s looking at you now in a way that a lion might look at its prey. He motions you over to with a curl of his finger and against your better judgement you obey. He opens his legs and you take your place between them. His hands roam south immediately, coming to rest on the tight material of your jeans.

‘I’ve been thinking about this all day baby’, he mumbles against your lips, ‘I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do to that pretty pussy for hours. I loved watching you on stage tonight. All of those boys were watching you too. Imagining what they’d do to you. But it’s only me who gets to have you, isn’t that right princess?’

‘Fuck, yes baby, it’s just you’, you groan as his hands make their way around to fiddle with the button of your jeans.

‘Who’s pussy is this baby?’ he asks when he finally works the tight denim material down your legs.

‘Yours Cal’, you moan breathlessly.

‘Excuse me, I didn’t catch that?’

‘It’s yours Calum, it’s yours’, you say moaning louder now as his one hand snakes into your panties, to stoke your folds while the other hand tears your shirt from your body.

‘That’s right baby girl. It’s all mine. And I’m going to make this pussy feel so good. Would you like that baby? Would you like me to make this pussy feel good?’

‘Yes’, you scream, desperate now for his touch. Your hips rise towards him involuntarily, in an attempt to ease the throbbing in your clit.

The breath is ripped out of your lungs and you collapse forward onto his shoulders with an almost pornographic moan as you feel two fingers plunge into you.

‘Fuck Calum’, you moan as he begins to pump them furiously.

 ‘You are so fucking beautiful Y/N. Do you know that? So fucking beautiful’, he sighs, his fingers still moving at a frantic pace.

 ‘Shit Cal, I’m so close,’ you whine, bucking your hips up to meet his hand.

‘Not yet baby’, you hear him say before you’re lifted and thrown roughly onto the bed. Kneeling at the foot of the bed Calum grabs your ankles and pulls you down to meet his mouth. Once he has you where he wants you, he starts to nibble and suck on your aching clit, all the while still working you with his fingers. Your senses are in overdrive as Calum pushes you closer and closer to the edge.

‘Calum’, you cry desperately, ‘I can’t hold it. Please. I have to come’.

‘Then do it’, he says, his lips never leaving your sensitive bundle of nerves, ‘come for me baby’.

Your back arches off the bed and your hands fly to his hair as your thighs quake on either side of his head. Your breathing is strangled and rough and you could swear to seeing stars.

‘Fuck Y/N, you look so hot when you come for me’, he growls as he stands watching you. You hadn’t even noticed he’d stood up. His own hand is palming his hardening bulge and the sight makes you need him all over again. You watch, enchanted, as he practically tears his clothes off and aligns his body with yours once again.

‘Are you ready baby?’, he asks running his cock over your slit, already knowing the answer. Your head falls back and your eyes roll to the back of your head in sheer pleasure as he buries himself in you. You expect him to start thrusting hard and fast like he normally does, so it catches you totally off guard when you feel his soft lips press against yours. His hand moves to caress your cheek and when he does eventually start to move, his thrusts are deep and slow.  You open your eyes to look at him and a breath catches in your throat when you realise he’s staring right back at you with a look you’ve never seen before.

The room, which is usually filled with animalistic moans and profanities, is silent save for the sounds of your laboured breathing. You can feel yourself edging closer to your orgasm with every thrust Calum lands to your g-spot. You know he’s getting close too judging by the way he’s gripping your hips.

‘Are you close baby?’ he whispers softly.  

‘Yes’, you breathe out.

You come with only a strangled cry of his name passing your lips and he follows in the same way. You’d never come this way before. Normally it was hard and fast but this was something else entirely. It was soft and loving. Holy shit, had Calum just made love to you?

‘You need to leave’, you pant with panic lacing your voice as you push him away and lunge for the sheets to cover yourself.

‘What? Y/N? Why?’, Calum questions, the unmistakable look of hurt on his face.

‘Because that wasn’t part of the deal Calum’, you cry out as tears begin to prick at the back of your eyes, ‘this wasn’t supposed to happen’.

‘But Y/N…’

‘No Calum! Just leave!’

‘Fine. You want me to go? Fine, but I’m not fucking coming back’, he storms pulling his clothes back on, his hurt morphing into anger as he charges out the door.

‘This wasn’t supposed to happen’, you tell yourself again as the tears fell freely down your face, ‘you weren’t supposed to fall for him.’



Some Chinese Cartoons

One day I’ll add pics and make this actually formal and stuff. But for now…

我为歌狂/Music Up:

Summary: Two musically talented, insanely popular high school guys - but that’s about all they have in common. In fact, they hate each other’s guts. And yet, through complicated circumstances, they and two others join to form a four-man band, “OPEN.” Both individually and as a band, they face a variety of problems: financial, academic, familial, romantic, and everything in between, in order to pursue their dreams. (52 eps)

Commentary: This is set in modern(ish) day, real world. Made in 2001, so keep that mind when considering the animation quality. They do have a lot of good songs, since this IS a show about singers and pop bands. Overall the tone is pretty light. Some things are a lot more dramatic than they need to be but that’s fantastic. And a lot of the problems are highly relatable. Development of characters and relationships is def one of the selling points. HUGELY nostalgic for me and a lot of Chinese people it seems haha

Links: the second opening.

战龙四驱/Go For Speed:

Summary: Two years ago, the genius high schooler Fei won the minicar (4WD) racing Nationals. But only shortly afterward, he disappeared, with only a short note hinting at why. Now, his younger brother Dragon follows in his footsteps, designing and creating his own minicars to compete in the tournaments and steadily working his way up through the rankings. Along the way, he meets many people, makes friends and enemies, and struggles to find Fei and his reason for leaving. (64 eps)

Commentary: Modern/slightly future-day, real world (Shanghai!!). Okay so this show is based around like the gimmick of “minicar racing” - not sure what to really call it. The races are surprisingly fun to watch actually imo, with the technological abilities of the minicars, interactions between players, and obstacles to pass… but you’d probably have to decide that for yourself. For me, the biggest draw was probably the surprising number of subplots, which explore the complex relationships between all the characters - literally every single side character is well established and developed. Family and familial relationships play a pretty big role. Revenge and forgiveness are there too. I got hooked into this show when it was airing on TV solely because of one character haha. Caveat that it starts slow, I don’t know how much you’d actually like this, there needs to be some suspension of disbelief, and the animation quality isn’t fantastic… rip

Links: (a trailer, in english for some reason even though i’ve never found an english dubbed version of this and don’t want to. It mostly focuses on the racing aspect, but as before, don’t let that fool you, it’s surprisingly deep. Come for the races, stay for the chars) since when was this on youtube?? :o WAIT HOLY SHIT SINCE WHEN DOES THIS HAVE ENGLISH SUBS THIS IS A GAME CHANGER AAAAA NOW LIKE I MIGHT GO REWATCH THIS - just kidding, only the first episode. Man what a letdown

弹珠传说/Danzhu Legend:

Summary: This is a world where people have Danzhu battles: competitions involving channeling your magic energy into Shooters to launch marble-like Danzhu at targets. These objects have great power, but, so far, no one has decided to take advantage of it… until now. One day, a young boy who has always dreamed of becoming a Danzhu battler is chosen by one of the five Legendary Shooters. He journeys into the mountains to seek training from the Danzhu Master, where he meets the other four Legendary wielders and learns that their job is to stop the evil threatening to take over their world. (52 eps)

Commentary: Fantasy world. So this is like your pretty standard “boy discovers power and works to save the world” story, but still enjoyable in its own right. The gimmick of this are the aforementioned Danzhu. The Guardians are also very important; all Shooters are linked to a spiritual animal/creature/something that’s the basis of power. The battles are all very cool! Quick disclaimer: for various reasons I am more familiar with this show than maybe any other of the ones here. This fact made me appreciate how much potential this story had, but also made me realize all of its flaws. There are a lot of things it could have done better - character development jumps to mind, because aside from the MC and one of the antagonists, most of them don’t change all that much. Also there’s lots of recycled animation. Just keep these caveats in mind. However, I still found the adventure/plot/magic very exciting to watch, a healthy dose of idealism and humor as well as tension/smarts/raw courage, so if you’re interested in that aspect more, I’d recommend this!

Links: ALL THE EPISODES ARE ON YOUTUBE ONCE MORE PRAISE this is very helpful for me because when i needed them to be on youtube, someone had like taken all of them down, which was very upsetting, but now they are back again, glorious playlist isn’t in order but you should watch the opening theme to get a feel for it - if you want even more of a feel, watch to 4:50, which is kinda like a prologue and a better summary of what I said above lol

开心宝贝/Happy Heroes:

Summary: Just read what’s on tvtropes tbh haha (link below) (Ongoing, 10 seasons, 52 eps each (except season 8 which was 40 eps) )

Commentary: Imo the best seasons were 3, 5, 6, and 8. After 8 the animation style changed a bit and the humor quality kinda went down…well, that might just be me, though. Either way, though, there are so many amazing earlier episodes, and I’ve gotten really attached to all the characters. It being a kids show, there’s no super deep plot or lasting impact of anything (aside from the last arc of season 7, heh. I remember watching when it came out in 2014 and flipping out bc I did NOT expect that, knowing HH) but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable. There are also two movies: the second movie is kinda confusing and meh but the first movie is pretty good and I think you can find it on youtube. In fact I believe all the episodes are on youtube, but I imagine you have those links already

Links: is the channel with everything. Watch the trailer for season 8! It’s v epic and got me hyped when it released.


Movie 1: (there are english subs too! haha)

Movie 2 isn’t worth watching trust me

星游记/Rainbow Sea:

Summary: Years ago, a man dressed in all red made a declaration to the universe: behind the largest black hole was a mysterious place called Rainbow Sea, a place where any dream could be fulfilled. Enchanted by the stories, people from across the universe joined the man in red in his journey. Unfortunately, no one ever returned. Rainbow Sea was scoffed at as a myth and a lie. The man in red was cursed, nicknamed by people as the Red Demon. The sinister organization known as the Galactic Eyes quietly gained control of the Solar System and numerous other star systems, sealing off the planet where the Red Demon had come from, Earth, and forbidding any ships from entering or leaving. Now, ten years later, the Red Demon’s son Maidang has reached adolescence and is determined to fulfill the pinky promise made to his father before he left: to reunite with him at Rainbow Sea.

Commentary: Quality stuff right here. Best part is the backstories of all these characters, there’s some really moving stuff. The characters are p great - Maidang is so inspiring, Gudong is highly relatable, Diya is awesome… The art style (esp for their eyes) is really nice. …Not much else to say off the top of my head, esp since the story is far from over, but even if it starts off slow, this is definitely worth your time!

Links: all the episodes. The opening theme/sequence was what got me hooked, you should def watch it (up to like 1:20 or whatever, then if you want like a prologue watch to like 3:07)

26 eps so far. Season 2 and after are apparently going to be “web movies” instead of episodes, something like 60 minutes each, and will cost money (rip) but I’m sure they’ll show up for free somewhere eventually. Fingers crossed this’ll be soon. Wanna join me in hiatus hell :DD


Summary: Kan is happily chatting with his closest friend on an ordinary school day when, all of a sudden, he finds himself pulled into an alternate fantasy world. This world is filled with Zinba, large and powerful creatures that may form bonds with select humans, called Linkers, for immense battle power. After becoming a Linker with one of the strongest Zinba ever to exist, Kan joins the peacekeeping Dux force of the kingdom of Toria and fights against the various evils threatening the land, all while trying to find his way back to his own world. (52 eps)

Commentary: Okay, so you know, I wouldn’t recommend this as much as some of the others on this list, esp since it’s the most recent Chinese show I actually watched, but it made enough of an impact on me to have it worth talking about. I started watching bc a) it showed up as recommended for me on youtube, b) the opening is SICK as HECK, and c) the protag of this is voiced by the same person as the protag of DZL, and generally looks/acts kinda similar haha. Anyway, overall thoughts: basically, it had a lot of unrealized potential. The world and the character designs are AMAZING. I liked the animation. The plot is interesting, with a surprising number of plot twists as to who’s the real ultimate villain. But there could have been So Much More development – we could’ve gotten more thorough backstories for the main crew, for example, or seen more of the world/magic/tech, but instead a lot of the people as well as Zinba just… exist, as static and boring entities. There were like two interesting characters total (Kan’s aforementioned “normal” friend being one of them heh). Kan himself was suuuuper annoying, esp at the beginning. (can you tell I really appreciate/prioritize the characters of a show?) However, some moments were quite well done and epic, and I wrote some fanfiction and commentary on basically every episode, so it holds a place in my heart. Also, there is a full English dub lmaooo (the voices suck but the translations for names/places/etc are interesting) (episode 1 has 318k views??? That’s a TON for a chinese cartoon)

Links: the opening which is good and worth watching, full playlist, lol

anonymous asked:

GomxKagami -Whatever- trying Kagami's food for the first time.

It had been difficult, since everyone had their own plans and some of them even lived in different cities, buy finally they all got together. The whole Generation of Miracles was back to remember the old times and try to recover even a little part of the friendship they had. And, in the middle of them all, like if it was natural for him to be there, was Kagami.

“What’s this idiot doing here?” Aomine bawled the question, pointing at Kagami as he said it.

“Right, why is double eyebrows here?” Murasakibara continued, frowning a bit.

“Sorry” Kuroko apologized “It’s my miss. He discovered we were meeting…”

“Like I could pass the opportunity to play against all of you!” Kagami laughed, not caring about the glares that condemned him as a ‘non-invited’.

Keep reading

kairi-ou  asked:

Hey! I read a lot of your meta essays and while I don't agree with every little thing I really really love how you got to the conclusions you did. So as a Massive Shipper On Deck for the science bros I'm just as disappointed in the AoU OOC-ness as you are. I read in one of your essays that you believed Natasha and Bruce's characterisations were bad and I was wondering what you thought of it without the shipper mindset? I'm so disappointed Tony went from looking to Bruce for help in IM3 to this.

Oh boy, this is a big can of worms for you to open. Bruce Banner is one of my favourite Marvel characters, so I’ll start with him and how Hulk-smash his characterisation made me:

First off, him agreeing to go along with the development of this AI without taking all reasonable precautions and agreeing to keep it from the rest of the Avengers made me twitch. According to the MCU-verse (Norton!Hulk is MCU, since General Ross from that film is showing up in Civil War), Bruce was turned into the Hulk by experimentation that went wrong, because protocols weren’t followed.

Bruce would not ever let a science experiment go ahead so sloppily, knowing what it did to him. He would never lie about it and hide it from members of his team, who he is meant to trust. Most of all, he would not just roll over and take it when Tony says so, because we’ve seen he’s pushed back at Tony more than once before. He clearly thinks it’s a bad idea, and I don’t believe Bruce Banner, victim of extremely bad ideas designed to save the world, would EVER EVER stand by and let it just happen because Tony says so.

Then we have Bruce’s whole arc in the first Avengers film, where we see how screwed up he is by everything that happened to him: he doesn’t trust the military or anyone like them because of what they did to him (see turning him into the hulk/being hunted and chased for his life across South America, and even tracked down to India) but through the course of the Avengers, comes to see that the Hulk is a useful weapon that can be unleashed.

Instead, he is taken back several steps to the hand-wringing, uneasy version who hides at the edge of the battlefield until needed. Where is my Bruce who walks the hell up to a giant flying alien beastie and punches it in the face? Where is the man who smiled and said “I’m always angry”. No, thank you. Do not undo the fine character development that was there.

Then we have how he treats his team mates. Quite aside from being cowed by Tony re. the experiment, where’s the Bruce who sassed everyone? Where’s the Bruce who is snarky and dry and eyerolls at them all like he did while they hunted the tesseract? And most importantly, where is the man who worries about his friends? Where is the man who, when Natasha tells him her deepest ad most heart-wrenching secrets, does nothing. Says nothing. Does not even react to it or offer her some kind of emotional support?

Nat has seen him at his worst. She has been attacked by him and she reassured him that they were okay afterwards (see Avengers 1). And when she offers her most private secrets, he just stares at her. (I could go into a rant about Betty here, since she has been casually erased from the MCU, but then this would turn into a novel) I get that he’s coping with horrendous and awful stuff, but seriously, when someone you’re meant to care about is clearly having a hard time to, you could at least say “I’m sorry”.

We also have his confrontation with Wanda. By this point, I’m pretty sure they’re all meant to know what the Maximoff kids have been through and what they have lost. And yet he says to a teenage girl that he would strangle her. Bruce Banner. The man who hates to hurt people. The man who - if you include comic backstory - was an abused and traumatised child. Would strangle a clearly-traumatised and grieving angry child, especially when she’s trying to make things right. Yep. So in character.

And lastly on the Bruce front, the gun. Bruce Banner carrying a gun. Bruce, as set up in these films is incredibly bad with weaponry. He avoids it for the most part. He knows he’s far more dangerous than any gun. That whole scene with the cage could have been improved so much (if we’re going with a shipper perspective here), if he had arrived to help her, and she just shakes her head and says “I want you, but I need the Hulk”. It would have been much more impressive to see him rip the bars open to get her out.

Now as for Natasha, it’s pretty much her Mommy-Natasha thing that is her arc through the whole film: she’s the one who does the lullaby for the Hulk, she’s the one who gets broody over Clint’s kids, she’s the one who had a graduation ceremony that sterilised her, and she’s the one moping on her own in the dark over baby photos in her second-last scene.

If this had been foreshadowed anywhere in the previous films, okay, fine. Nat wants to be a mother, but can’t be biologically. Fair enough. However, the last time we saw Nat, she was with Steve and she had just blown every one of her covers open, and pretty much bared her true self to the world for the first time.

For the first time in her life, she had a chance to go and do what she wanted to do and be who she wanted to be, and it would have been fantastic to see her learning to be herself for the first time. More dork Natasha with her smiley emoticons, and casual clothes, showing up to fight with the Avengers “because you boys need all the help you can get”.

Instead, her arc in Ultron keeps coming back to one of two things: romance with Bruce or babies. Sure, she fights from time to time and does have some pretty shiny combat moments, but still, Bruce or babies. She’s supposed to be best friends with Clint and/or Steve at this point, but we don’t get more than a couple of moments with them as parts of a group, because hey! Romance and babies. And don’t even start me on the fact that her major interaction with Fury, her mentor, friend and ally, comes down to “dude, did you matchmake me with greeny?”

She deserved so much more from this film. They both did.

So it occurred to me while re-watching the G:KND animatic...

We never actually hear what fate Nigel Uno is choosing for Earth.

Sure, he’s essentially going to press a big red button and Chad is horrified, so we all assumed he was choosing something like planetary annihilation (or at least I did, don’t mean to speak for anyone else), but it could just as well be Nigel launching some sort of biological weapon on Earth to subdue the entire population. Hell, he could be providing his booger to disable the KND’s planetary defenses and allowing the G:KND to swoop in and occupy the planet.

There’s also the whole business of C:KND being no stranger to milking melodrama and humor out of mysterious misleading openings and otherwise laughable “anti-kid” things. Remember how “Operation: BUTT” began with a super serious interrogation scene? Or when in “Operation: TEETH,” how “horrible” it was that the floss net that Abby and Hoagie were tied up in was “slowly cleaning their teeth, and there was nothing they could do about it?”

Hang on. Ignore the strange syntax and stay with me for a moment.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey, I love Half-Life and your art but I have a question. Why do you like Barney so much? I like Barney too, nothing not to like, but I don't see much that makes him hugely interesting either. Maybe something went down in Blue Shift that was cool?

Oh man, that is a good question. And I’m sorry, anon, because I really like discussing characters so this reply might run a bit long. 

The Half Life series is really important to me, I first played it when I was young and it shaped my interests as an artist. I like all the characters but I love Barney the most, despite him not having very much screen time. Back then, it was because he was funny, he was Gordon’s best friend (so kinda automatically my bff since I was playing as Gordon), and he saved me from being beaten nearly to death by Civil Protection. And I think “Now about that beer I owe ya” is a fantastic opening line. Also, his voice and face make me very happy.

Now I’m older, and all of those reasons still apply, but I can appreciate some things my 10 year old self didn’t pick up on. Yes Barney can be labeled as simply the comedic relief, but there’s a lot more to him if you think about his past. Blue Shift was a very short game compared to HL1 and even Opposing Force, but Barney still went through some pretty nasty stuff during the Resonance Cascade; hostile aliens abruptly show up and murder everyone, while HECU soldiers are doing the same thing. He was a security guard, there was no way he was trained to deal with shit like that (although a few books in his locker about aliens and government conspiracies suggest he believed in aliens and the like). Yet, like Gordon, he managed to fight his way through Black Mesa and escape. 

Gordon’s adventure at Black Mesa ended with the Gman tucking him away in some sort of other-dimensional freezer, and then skipped directly to City 17 about 20 years in the future. Barney didn’t have the luxury of taking a 20 year nap. He had to endure 20 years of the Combine invasion and its occupation of Earth. Through Gordon’s eyes the Combine occupation is strict and horrible things do happen, but it’s organized. It’s been established for many years. I imagine when it was just beginning it was a hell of a lot more bloody, and that would’ve been something Barney had to live through and cope with. Add all that to the shit he went through at Black Mesa, and Barney’s got a heap of physical and emotional scars, and very possibly survivor’s guilt. If he and Gordon were BFFs at BM, then he also has to cope with not knowing the fate of his friend. It’s also got to feel weird later knowing that he’s now 20 years older than his friend, who was supposedly around the same age during BM.

Somewhere down the line Eli and Kliener invited Barney to join them in the Resistance. Eventually he was asked to infiltrate the Combine ranks and spy on them for the rebels. Such a job is obviously dangerous and very stressful, but I think that Barney would’ve been forced to do some unpleasant things to convince the Combine that he was one of them; beating innocent civilians, splitting up families, raiding apartments, possibly even killing some people. Obviously I don’t have any experience with that but I’m certain doing all that awful shit to whom he saw as good people messed Barney up real bad. He had to do bad things for the greater good, at the cost of innocent lives and his emotional health. Years of doing that, just imagine it. If you compare his character model from the beginning of HL2 to his at the end of Ep. 2 you can even see how disheveled and tired he looks. Then when Gordon is reintroduced in HL2, Barney steps up and apparently becomes the leader of the Resistance forces, helping people evacuate the city and get to rebel outposts. 

This guy is a champ. He went above and beyond what was expected of a security guard, and ended up (in my opinion) even more of a hero than the main character, the One Free Man. He is WAY more than good lookin’ comedic relief, and I’m amazed that Valve made such a complex character out of a generic security guard. 

Thank you so much for your question anon, and I’m sorry if I talked your ear off. 

We spotted some fantastic Channel Frederator and Cartoon Hangover statistics in this Wall Street Journal piece by Mike Shields on the growing influence of internet animation. It’s pretty amazing that we occupy two of the top five spots from the best third party online video research  and analytics company, Open Slate

We’re among the newest of the top animation entrants, which you can tell from our relatively smaller view count. But, do not ignore our stunning showing in the critically important Influence, Engagement, and Consistency categories. For a couple of new channels, we’re really kicking it. Thank *you* all. –Fred 
From the postcard back

You are one of 200 people
to receive this limited edition
Channel Frederator postcard!

October 7, 2014
Channel Frederator & Cartoon Hangover:

Two of the
Comics & Animation
Top Five on
OpenSlate’s online videoSlateScore®

Series 24.13.2
Series 27.10.2
[mailed out October 24, 2014]

So I’ve noticed there’s some discussion about whether or not this is a kiss.  If anyone has to even ask then I really worry about your state of mind cuz uhm.  ^^ THAT’S A KISS.  Do me a favor: don’t listen to “Emergency Awesome”.  He’s a poster child for the exact sort of fanboy that rails against Olicity.  Of *course* he’s going to try to find some reason why its not happening.  He’s deluded and will find out just how much on  October 8.  I imagine it’s going to come as quite a shock. ;) 

Exhibit A: Oliver closes his eyes.  Why would he close his eyes if he’s just going to whisper some “secret plan” to her?  

Exhibit B: His hands cupping her face.  Tenderly.  Thumbs brushing her cheeks.  

Exhibit C: Her eyes close at the same time his do.  Why woudl she close her eyes to hear a secret plan?  

Exhibit D: He’s tilting her face towards his.  So his lips are better poised to brush hers. 

Exhibit E: His nose pushes her glasses.  That’s pretty close for a whisper. 

Exhibit F: He is LITERALLY brushing her lips in the last frame.  Go ahead.  Go open your graphics program, take the promo, load it up in all its 1280 pixel glory like I just did.  YOU WILL SEE.  He is brushing her top lip with his.  He’s testing, teasing… it’s fantastic.  I’m dying. 

So there you have it.  IT’S A KISS.