Summary: Dance school!AU (or the Step Up/Pride and Prejudice mash up nobody asked for). Bucky Barnes is forced to take twelve hours of commercial dance classes to pass the year- and that just happens to be your regular weekly dance class.
Warnings: Swearing. Profanity. Cursing. Beep Beep is also not fucking around (if you’ll pardon the expression)
HOLY FUCKING SHIT Y’ALL. HERE WE ARE. AT THE END. (Well, nearly the end). I will do a full honour call in the next part because I have so many people to thank but have a generic thank you right now because you deserve it. And! Before you get into devouring this enormous chapter! Please read the author notes at the bottom! It will have a direct effect on what you see in the Epilogue! OK, that’s all. Let’s do this.
Saturday dawns with the
kind of clear, bright light that promises heat to come, and you jump out of bed
with excitement already pulsing through your veins. You’ve always loved the
thrill of competitions. The nerves, the camaraderie, the elation when you finish-
all are just as potent now as they were on your first attempt, however many
years ago. You spend the afternoon wandering around your flat, texting Bucky
and waiting for your lift to arrive.
B: how are you this morning? Excited?
Y: Only always
Y: I assume you don’t get nervous ;)
B: nah, cool as ice ;)
Y: Of course
Y: Is Clint giving you a lift?
The competition is at a
high school somewhere on the far side of town, and those of you without
transport have been forced to carpool. Thankfully, both Wanda and Pepper had
offered you separate lifts- but you had opted for the latter. Competition days
sent Wanda into a state of nervous frenzy that was quite alarming to behold.
B: and nat and sam and steve
Y: They’re all coming?
You’d already had a good
luck text from Steve (he’d also called and apologised for the incident on the
night of the party for at least half an hour- it seemed far simpler to forgive
and forget the whole thing) but you had expected them to stay away from the
actual competition. The thought of seeing them all again makes you smile.
B: couldn’t keep them away
B: nat threatened to bring banners
Y: Is Sam bringing pompoms?
Y: Tell him I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t
B: Your wish is my command
The blast of a car horn
from the street makes you jump.
Y: got to go, my ride is here
B: see you soon
You pick up your bag, check
you have your keys, then dash down the stairs. Pepper’s car is sat by the curb,
and you can hear music coming from inside. When you open the passenger door,
she leans across and smiles.
“Hey! How are you?”
“Good!” You slide into the
seat and buckle your seatbelt. “Excited. And nervous.”
Pepper shifts into first
and pulls out into the road. “Just for the competition?” Her tone is deceptively
neutral. Your first instinct is to brush her subtle question away with a joke,
but, to your own surprise, you sigh.
Wordlessly, Pepper turns
the radio down, and waits.
“I mean…” You struggle for
words, “I just- I didn’t expect things to work out. With him. I thought he’d
mess it up, or we just wouldn’t be able to go back to that kind of… easiness.
Pepper lets you trail off
into silence before speaking. “Do you want my advice?”
At this point, you’d
probably take the advice of a lamppost, if it offered: you’re nodding before
she’s even finished her sentence.
“OK… I think you’re
thinking too much about this.”
“Oh, right,” You scoff,
“Because I shouldn’t be thinking about it at all.”
“That’s not what I said.
What I mean is that you should just let it happen.”
“Go with the flow.” Your
voice is wry, but Pepper just nods sincerely and thumbs the volume back up. You
turn her words over in your mind. Maybe she has a point. You stay in silence
for the rest of the journey, lost in thought as you watch the suburbs slide by beyond
day one: grow a pumpkin day two: pumpkin face mask day three: come up with halloween costume day four: paint nails black day five: read a scary short story day six: scary movie night day seven: pumpkin patch day eight: halloween desserts day nine: black outfit day ten: make a ghost story day eleven: make a halloween playlist day twelve: solve a mystery day thirteen: watch friday the thirteenth day fourteen: visit a scary theme park day fifteen: halloween food day sixteen: have a pumpkin drink day seventeen: the office halloween special day eighteen: that’s 70’s halloween special day nineteen: freaks&geeks halloween special day twenty: visit a park late at night day twenty one: have a pumpkin breakfast day twenty two: halloween crafts day twenty three: pumpkin smoothie day twenty four: plan trick or treating route day twenty five: finish costume day twenty six: pull a prank day twenty seven: hocus pocus day twenty eight: susprisia day twenty nine: make trick or treating bags day thirty: jack o lanterns HALLOWEEN
In regards to Muraganda and a vanilla creature theme, sets tend to have only 15 or so cards with any given keyword ability with a few extra cards to support that ability. So, for Muraganda, you make 15 vanilla creatures or so, sets usually have about 5 so you're only increasing it by 10, put 5 more cards that care about vanilla creatures like Petroglyphs, and flesh out the rest of the set with 2 or 3 other mechanics. So for about 20 cards out of 264, not sure what the problem is.
Let’s walk through this. I’m going to talk about this as a limited theme because it’s easier to show the problem.
Players play roughly sixteen creatures and seven spells which means fifteen creatures in the set would have to push heavily towards common to get the as-fan up.
Usually we concentrate a theme in certain colors because it allows us to make less cards of the theme, but vanilla creatures serve a general purpose and need to be in all colors.
We could just push the theme in certain colors and have other colors have the normal amount of vanilla creatures but we’re creating a trap for players unaware of the full content of the set. We don’t usually put one Goblin in an off-color if we have a Goblin tribal theme, for example.
That means fifteen might not be enough and already we’re above the level of vanillas in core sets. We have bigger problems to fry though.
What cards are you going to enhance vanilla creatures with? Creatures? That would make them not vanilla and eat into your viable creature space.
Let’s assume you make them noncreatures. That’s a smaller pool and you still need things like creature removal and other utility cards (card drawing, other permanent removal, counterspells and such).
Let’s say we work all that out. What is the play experience? If you don’t draw the cards that care, you’re playing a game with mostly vanilla creatures. It’s a bit monotonous and is missing important things like evasion to keep games from stalling.
Making you care about a tribe can be fun because we can make a bunch of cool individually evocative cards in that tribe that play fun even if you don’t draw the tribal cards. That’s very hard to do with vanilla creatures.
I’ve just hit the tip if the iceberg. There’s a limit, for example, to how many power points you want to put into vanilla creatures as they aren’t sexy.
And that in many words is why “vanilla matters” is tough to do.
That’s not saying we won’t ever find a way, but it is a lot harder than I think most fans of the idea understand.
We took a deep dive into Swift’s albums to track her evolution on these other themes:
Theme: Life lessons
Album: “Taylor Swift” (2006)
As the story goes, aspiring teenage singer-songwriter Taylor Swift knocked on doors around Music Row, dropping off demo CDs. Her parents eventually saw enough promise to move from Wyomissing, Pa., to Nashville, where Swift became the youngest songwriter ever signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing at age 14.
Shortly after, Swift landed a record deal with Big Machine. As she was suddenly thrown into an adult world, her songwriting was still very much from a high-schooler’s perspective.
“I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me,” she sings on “A Place In This World” (Swift, Robert Ellis Orrall, Angelo Petraglia). “ 'Cause I’m still trying to figure it out.”
Her lyrics veer from extreme confidence to self-doubt: “I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, oh, but life goes on — I’m just a girl trying to find a place in this world.” She also assures her listeners: “I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.”
This direct connection to her fans — many young girls indeed felt similar to Swift — would catapult her to superstardom. She also captured the insecurities of her teenage fanbase with the darkly sad “Tied Together With a Smile” (Swift, Liz Rose), about a friend who seemed like she had the perfect life yet struggled with bulimia.
“You don’t tell anyone that you might not be the golden one,” Swift sings. “You’re tied together with a smile, but you’re coming undone.”
Album: “Fearless” (2008)
Swift’s solo-written “Change,” an anthem about not giving up, was chosen as a 2008 Summer Olympics theme song, but “Fifteen” was the standout track from the Grammys’ album of the year, convincing critics that Swift was a true force. (Rolling Stone dubbed her a “songwriting savant.”)
In the song, also a solo write, Swift takes on the role of the older and wiser teen: She knows what it was like walking through the school hallways, terrified to make eye contact with anyone but also hoping to be noticed by the cute senior. She tells the cautionary tale of her best friend, Abigail, who “gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind — and we both cried.”
Ultimately, Swift wanted listeners to know it was okay to feel overwhelmed by high school. “I’ve found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you’re supposed to be,” she sings. “I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at 15.”
Album: "Speak Now” (2010)
Swift wrote this entire album herself. While the quiet “Innocent” got many headlines — it chided Kanye West for interrupting her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards — one overlooked song was “Never Grow Up,” a melancholy guitar acoustic tucked between Swift’s forays into rock and pure pop. In the track, 20-year-old Swift grapples with the fear and loss that arrives during the early years of adulthood.
Swift addresses her words to a newborn baby. “Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room, memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home,” she sings, adding, “I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.”
Swift makes a similar wish to keep an iron grip on memories in “Long Live,” a triumphant love letter to her band and Nashville team, who started as underdogs and conquered the music world. “If you have children someday, when they point to the pictures, please tell them my name,” she sings. “We will be remembered.”
Album: “1989” (2014)
“Welcome to New York” (Swift, Ryan Tedder) kicked off Swift’s official pop era — the album’s opening track was bursting with glee at all the excitement the Big Apple had to offer: “Welcome to New York — it’s been waiting for you!” Swift had only just recently purchased a $20 million penthouse in Tribeca, so she earned some mockery when she was then named New York City’s “global welcome ambassador.”
But the pop star didn’t care as she reveled in the freedom of the city. “Everybody here was someone else before,” Swift sings. “And you can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.”
Album: “Taylor Swift” (2006)
As obsessed as Swift would eventually become with her powerful “squad,” a BFF group made up of models, singers and actresses, she frequently talked about how she was bullied and ostracized in middle school. On “The Outside,” which she wrote by herself as a teenager, you can feel her pain: “How can I ever try to be better? Nobody ever lets me in. I can still see you, this ain’t the best view, on the outside looking in.”
The music video for the buoyant “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” (Swift, Robert Ellis Orrall, Angelo Petraglia) shows Swift goofing around with her bandmates and best friend, Abigail. Although the lyrics allude to romantic soulmates (“I don’t try to hide my tears, my secrets or my deepest fears, through it all nobody gets me like you do”), Swift’s fans have adopted it as an ode to friendship.
Album: “Fearless” (2008)
A similar phenomenon occurs on “Breathe,” co-written with singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Listeners could easily assume it’s about a boyfriend (“You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand, and I can’t breathe without you, but I have to”), but Swift confirmed it’s actually about the end of a close friendship.
Swift continued to reflect on the hurt of her middle school days in “The Best Day,” a tribute to her close relationship with her mother. Writing solo, she reflects: “I’m 13 now and don’t know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys,” she sings. “And we drive and drive until we find a town far enough away, and we talk and window shop till I’ve forgotten all their names.”
Album: “Red” (2012)
Swift’s most famous — and happiest — friendship song arrived in the form of “22” (Swift, Max Martin, Shellback), an upbeat track that basks in a carefree existence, dancing and making fun of exes and eating breakfast at midnight after a night out: “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time, it’s miserable and magical, oh yeah!”
The song’s hidden clue on the album liner notes is “ASHLEY DIANNA CLAIRE SELENA,” also known as her close pals Ashley Avignone, Dianna Agron, Claire Kislinger and Selena Gomez. Swift explained she wanted to write with the attitude of “we are in our 20s and we don’t know anything and it’s awesome.”
Album: “1989” (2014)
Although “New Romantics” (Swift, Max Martin, Shellback) is hidden as a “bonus track” on “1989,” it’s a fan favorite, and Rolling Stone recently ranked it as the second-best Swift song. It has “22” vibes with an ‘80s sonic spin, celebrating the heartache and joy of being young: “Heartbreak is the national anthem, we sing it proudly, we are too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet.”
Album: “Red” (2012)
By her fourth album, Swift was officially an international celebrity. She also started to collaborate with Swedish maestros Max Martin and Shellback, who helped shape her new pop sound.
But “The Lucky One,” which she wrote by herself, was a bit of a return to form. Like a country song, it tells a story — a starlet accomplishes her dream and then realizes that the perks (“big black cars and Riviera views”) might not outweigh the dark side of fame (“your secrets end up splashed on the news front page.”)
“They tell you that you’re lucky, but you’re so confused, 'cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used,” Swift sings. Many guessed that Joni Mitchell was her inspiration. Swift wouldn’t spill, and only admitted in an interview that the song “expresses my greatest fear of having this not end up being fun anymore.”
Album: “1989” (2014)
Swift’s stardom skyrocketed again as her pop songs took on mass appeal. “Blank Space” (Swift, Max Martin, Shellback) is a parody of the tabloid media’s characterization of Swift: A needy serial dater with a long list of ex-lovers who can tell you she’s insane. And someone who, when she gets dumped, “goes to her evil lair and writes songs about it for revenge,” as Swift once put it. Swift started writing the lyrics as a joke, and then realized the character was actually fascinating — as the song goes, “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
Martin and Shellback also co-wrote “Shake It Off,” one of Swift’s top-selling singles, an earworm that hits back at her critics who she says are “gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” In a YouTube interview, Swift said she wanted to write a “joyful” song about the criticism she gets on a daily basis — otherwise she would just burn with resentment forever.
“I Know Places” (Swift, Ryan Tedder) takes a more despondent view of a lifestyle in which privacy simply isn’t an option. Swift has repeatedly talked about the difficulties of starting a new relationship while the world watches and mocks her, and this track is a wistful tune about hiding out: “They are the hunters, we are the foxes, and we run — baby, I know places we won’t be found.”
Album: “Speak Now” (2010)
Swift first displayed her thirst for vengeance against exes on songs such as “Picture to Burn” (Swift, Liz Rose) on her first album and “Better Than Revenge,” about a romantic rival, which she wrote for “Speak Now.” But on that third album, her motivation also went beyond boyfriends with “Mean,” a single that she wrote by herself and that earned her two Grammy awards, including one for best country song. The song’s rumored genesis was a critical blog post by music writer Bob Lefsetz, who roasted Swift’s cringeworthy duet with Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammys.
In return, Swift painted her critic as an eventual bitter, washed-up loser, “drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing.” Swift concludes, “All you are is mean — and a liar and pathetic and alone in life.”
Album: “1989” (2014)
Swift’s most infamous revenge track is “Bad Blood” (Swift, Max Martin, Shellback). Once she revealed that the tune was about a fellow female pop star that tried to “sabotage” an arena tour, the Internet quickly figured out that it was Katy Perry, who hired several backup dancers away from Swift’s Red Tour.
Although it might seem like a benign slight, Swift’s lyrics are rough: “Did you have to hit me where I’m weak, baby, I couldn’t breathe, and rub it in so deep? Salt in the wound like you’re laughing right at me.” Things only escalated when Swift recruited her famous friends for the song’s fiery music video, which shows her vanquishing an enemy. In summer 2017, Perry fired back with a track of her own, “Swish Swish,” although it received more mockery than anything.
Album: “Reputation” (2017)
After her longest break without releasing new music, Swift dropped “Look What You Made Me Do” in August. She and collaborator Jack Antonoff shared writing credits with Fred Fairbrass, Richard Fairbrass and Rob Manzoli, the trio behind “I’m Too Sexy,” because Swift and Antonoff interpolated the 1990s hit.
The dance-pop track declares that the “old Taylor” is “dead.” Still, she leans heavily on her tried-and-true revenge theme, clearly aimed at her nemeses Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, with whom she has been feuding for years. “The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama,” Swift chants. “But not for me, not for me — all I think about is karma.”
Good morning Everyone! What did everyone think of 8x03? I
thought it was great! There were SO many great callbacks and interesting things
in it. Let’s just dive right in!
First, of course, was Morales. While I didn’t expect him to
be around for a super-long time, I did kind of hope/expect a few seasons.
Apparently not. But in a kind of twisted way, this is a good thing for TD. A
lot of people expressed worry that he was the big resurrection we’d been
waiting for. I told them that couldn’t possibly be the case, but this surely
proves it. They wouldn’t do four seasons’ worth of resurrection symbolism for
His convo with Rick was pretty epic, in the amount of ground
it covered. There must have been fifteen callbacks/themes in that conversation.
I couldn’t even keep up with them the first time. Let’s go through them:
“I knew you’d made the same trip as me.” This is
pretty thematic/symbolic, and I’m side-eyeing it where Beth is concerned as
well. One of the main themes of this episode is that everyone is a monster,
everyone has done horrible things to survive, etc. So Morales is talking about
the emotional “Trip” from who they were in S1 to who they are now.
But it’s also true literally. Both of them made the trip from Atlanta to D.C.
at some point, which means someone else might have too. ;D
“You’re a monster.” My FB group talked about two
things with this line:
Adam birkholtz definitely had a themed bar mitzvah and it’s killing me that I don’t know what the theme was
• was he #that guy who’s theme was like a sports team or something? Picture a Lil 13 year old Holster smiling in front of a buffalo sabres cake. Did his parents pay for the Sabres mascot to come and take pictures with the guests? The answer: maybe. This is very plausible.
• or maybe baby holster, ever in touch with his theatrical side and a proud member of his middle school chorus had a broadway themed bar mitzvah? Karaoke is a thing. the only songs allowed are from Holsters favorite broadway musicals. He subjects his family and friends to hours of Defying Gravity
• I know a guy who had a money themed bar mitzvah. Yeah. Like the theme was money and there were fake stacks of bills as center pieces on the table. In the end everyone got a sweatshirt that said ‘make it rain’ on the back with the date of the bar mitzvah underneath. My question is, did Economics major Adam Birkholtz know even as a young lad that he was destined to study a subject that practically revolves around the concept of money? Did he center his entire bar mitzvah around this?Perhaps. The world may never know
I’m increasingly in love with John Watson’s poor typing abilities. Not because it’s hilarious to think of Sherlock’s reaction to them and just on their own (though it is), but because of what they say about him and the SH tradition.
See, I’m a second-generation fan of Sherlock Holmes, or if you prefer a third-generation with a generation skipped. My grandmum loved putting on what I call “old school Holmes,” basically any radio and film adaptation from before Granada. I grew up spending a lot of times in her kitchen, baking or doing the dishes or when I got older playing away on my computer with those shows wafting in from the other room. And in some of them Watson comes off okay but in a lot of cases Watson is just the chronicler. There is the great detective with his feats of wit who solves the crime and saves the day, and then there’s his faithful companion who records it all but doesn’t bring much in the way of brains or help at all to the table. He’s often not particularly smart, and to be fair by the later Doyle canon one has to wonder at Watson. The deductions aren’t that hard to predict, especially if you’ve had decades of watching Holmes at work, and there he is pulling his best impression of Arthur Shappey in opening scene after opening scene.
Ritchie and Granada avoid this issue and definitely make Watson a full participant (*hearts Jude Law’s Watson 5ever*), but they also don’t really attack it straight-on that much. It’s just not something that come up.
Whereas the BBC’s John Watson… he’s a bad typist. His blog is painfully out-of-the-box. Seriously - when you find out the Queen reads your blog, maybe it’s time to switch to something other than the default WordPress skin, or even use the fifty pounds you won off Sherlock at Baskerville to get some kid to tweak the CSS file, maybe buy a slightly pithier URL. Maybe update your bio at some point in the last five years. Something. He’s a successful blogger, but I’d hardly call him a good one. And he seems to do this out of compulsion, first from Ella and then because it’s how they get their cases (and also because it gives him a bit of a community to grieve with, when Sherlock “dies.” He doesn’t really want to be writing about Sherlock, certainly not at first, nor is he particularly skilled at it.
Which is really quite brilliant, because it means John’s value isn’t in being a chronicler. He’s still hugely important to Sherlock, but it has almost nothing to do with his gift for recording Sherlock’s exploits. John Watson is good and important for reasons all his own, and it really turns that traditional way of dealing with his character on its head. It’s hard to imagine (say) Peter Cushing talking about the two of us against the rest of the world the way Benedict does, and it’s really quite a glorious change.
So the next time you think of John Watson pecking away at those keys, remind yourself that it’s more than just a gag: that this John Watson isn’t all that good at what a long succession of Watsons have been known for, and he’s still worth having around. (Then think of him deleting a sentence he spent five minutes typing out, hitting the backspace key thirty-seven separate times, and have your laugh anyway.)
ok but imagine singlefather/ceo!calum always wanting to spoil his daughter but at the same time not wanting to because he wanted to show her the value by working for what you want because calum worked his ass off to get himself to the ceo position of his company and he would want to send the working hard to get where you want to be attitude to his little princess. however, he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to buy her everything under the sun because he was a sucker for those puppy eyes (inherited from him no doubt) that she would give him whenever she really wanted something and omfg imagine calum taking her to disney for her birthday, allowing her to invite some of her friends and he rents out the whole theme park and the fifteen something kids wouldn’t have to wait in line to get on rides or to take pictures with the characters; ooo also imagine his daughter being best friends with your daughter and you were single too and omfg i can’t even finish because !!!! :))
I decided to let the approaching Halloween holiday influence my floral pattern for a darker twist. I really enjoyed learning how to do something new this month and I’m going to keep practicing this technique to make more dynamic patterns in the future.