Today somehow marks a year since @further-up-further-in and I sat down and designed Dex and Nero?? We may or may not have each driven almost an hour to meet up and celebrate. They’ve come a long, long way since the first vague “what if we made twins, and one was the Inquisitor?” Really. I promise. We just…don’t post much…oops. Happy birthday twinsies!
when you remember that korra, the protagonist of a popular children’s show, is a bisexual woc who struggles with emotional trauma/ptsd, and isn’t ever shown to have completely “overcome” said trauma, but instead learns to cope with it and lives a fulfilled, happy life with her girlfriend.
Hiroko Katsuki is good mom. Hiroko Katsuki is best mom.
But let’s talk about Toshiya for a second?
Let’s talk about Toshiya Katsuki who never told his son that it’s not okay to cry.
Toshiya Katsuki, who is literally never not smiling, even though life can’t be easy for the patriarch of a family who owns an inn in a rapidly-declining tourist town.
Toshiya Katsuki, who gets silly drunk and draws a face on his belly and makes his wife giggle like a schoolgirl.
I think there was a point in Toshiya’s life when he realized that neither of his children were going to follow their prescribed roles–Yuuri was not going to take over the inn after his parents got old, and Mari was not going to get married and have children–and indeed that they were switching those roles completely around. Mari is a pragmatist, and good with her hands. She wants to live as quiet and comfortable a life as possible. Yuuri is a romantic. He spends his days with music following him everywhere he goes–with a song in his head and his heart on his sleeve and sometimes that heart breaks.
There was a point in Toshiya’s life when he was faced with his son weeping, just completely losing it over something seemingly inconsequential, and he sat down and held him and told him it was all going to be alright. No bootstrapping, no belittling. Just love.
There was a point in Toshiya’s life when he was faced with his daughter, stoney-faced and stiff upper lipped. Hurting so much that he could feel it in his own bones, but unwilling to show it. And Toshiya sat with her all night and waited to see if she would talk about it. He didn’t force her to talk about it, or tell her to go talk to her mother. He waited.
There is a time in Toshiya’s life when he meets a young man who loves his son so much that it is almost visible. A young man he has practically watched grow up, through television screens and on the pages of magazines. A young man he welcomes into his family as easy as taking a breath because Yuuri loves him, and because he needs a family.
And when that young man comes to him and says How, please, tell me how I show him that he’s everything, Toshiya can only tell him to keep doing what he’s doing. Because Yuuri is a romantic.
There comes a time in Toshiya Katsuki’s life when he is sending his son to Russia, to live with the man he now calls his fiance, and he thinks of the baby he held, and the toddler whose bruises he kissed, and the boy whose heart he saw broken time and time again. And he looks at the man in front of him and knows that his son’s heart is safe.
“I won’t say be careful with him,” Toshiya says to Viktor then. “Because I know you will. So I’ll say…you have my blessing. For whatever comes next. And always remember that you have a home here, in Japan. Both of you.”
And Viktor? Viktor is somewhere in the middle of Yuuri and Mari. He is both emotional and cold at intervals. But Toshiya is confident that he has the tools to be a good father to him, too.
It’s a hand, Andrew says, not a question, but not quite mockery, when Neil’s gaze lingers a little too long. It’s your hand, Neil says, and doesn’t bother to explain. Instead he slips his fingers through Andrew’s and digs in like he can leave his fingerprints on Andrew’s pale skin. Andrew doesn’t pull away, and they don’t go in until the storm breaks.
I guess you can also call this thing: Andreil, a summary.
Joan Beauchamp Procter: her best friend was a Komodo dragon and if that doesn’t entice you to read this, I don’t know what will
Joan Beauchamp Procter is a scientist every reptile enthusiast should admire.
Joan was an incredibly intelligent young woman who was chronically ill (and as a result of her chronic illness, physically disabled by her early thirties). Her health issues kept her from going to college, but that did not stop her from studying and keeping reptiles. She presented her first paper to the Zoological Society of London at the tender age of nineteen, and the society was so impressed that they hired her to help design their aquarium. In 1923, despite having no formal secondary education and despite being only 26 years old, she was hired as the London Zoo’s curator of reptiles. Now, that in and of itself is an awesome accomplishment, but Joan was absolutely not content to maintain the status quo. Nosiree, by the age of 26 Joan had already kept many exotic pets (including a crocodile!) and knew a thing or two about what needed to be done to improve their lives in captivity. So Joan got together with an architect, Edward Guy Dawber, and designed the world’s first building designed solely for the keeping of reptiles. She had some really, really great ideas. Her first big idea was to make the building differentially heated- different areas and enclosures would have different heat zones, instead of having the whole building heated to one warm temperature. She also set up aquarium lighting- the gallery itself was dark, with dim lights on individual enclosures to make things less stressful for the inhabitants. She also insisted on the use of special glass that didn’t filter out UVB. This meant that reptiles could synthesize vitamin D and prevented cases of MBD in her charges.
But advances in enclosure design weren’t Joan’s only contribution to reptile keeping. She was also one of the first herpetologists to study albinism in snakes- she was the first to publish an identification how albinism manifests in reptile eyes differently than in mammal eyes, and stressed the importance of making accurate color plates of reptiles during life because study specimens often lose pigmentation. She also was really hands-on with many species, including crocodiles, large constrictors, and monitor lizards. Joan had this idea that if you socialize an animal and get it used to handling, then when you need to give it a vet checkup, things tend to go a lot better. This really hadn’t been done with reptiles before. She was able to identify many unstudied diseases, thanks to her patient handling of live specimens, and by being patient and going slow, she managed to get a lot of very large, dangerous creatures to trust her. One of them (that we know of) even came to like her- a Komodo dragon named Sumbawa.
In 1928, two of the first Komodo dragons to be imported to Europe arrived at the London Zoo. One of them, named Sumbawa, came in with a nasty mouth infection. His first several months at the zoo were a steady stream of antibiotics and gentle care, and by the time he’d recovered enough for display, he had come to be tolerant of handling and human interaction. In particular, he seemed to be genuinely fond of Joan. She was their primary caretaker and wrote many of the first popular accounts of Komodo dragon behavior in captivity. While recognizing their lethal capacity, she also wrote about how smart they are and how inquisitive they could be. In her account published in The Wonders of Animal Life, she said that "they could no doubt kill one if they wished, or give a terrible bite" but also that they were “as tame as dogs and even seem to show affection.” To demonstrate this, she would take Sumbawa around on a leash and let zoo visitors interact with him. She would also hand-feed Sumbawa- pigeons and chickens were noted to be favorite food, as were eggs.
Joan died in 1931 at the age of 34. By that time she was Doctor Procter, as the University of Chicago had awarded her an honorary doctorate. Until her death, she still remained active with the Zoological Society of London- and she was still in charge of her beloved reptiles. Towards the end of her life, Joan needed a wheelchair. But that didn’t stop her from hanging out with her giant lizard friend. Sumbawa would walk out in front of the wheelchair or beside it, still on leash- she’d steer him by touching his tail. At her death, she was one of the best-known and respected herpetologists in the world, and her innovative techniques helped shape the future of reptile care.