woman of distinction

BANDANA - Jamaica’s National Fabric and Folk Costume

Bandana cloth originated in far off Chennai, in Eastern India. However this light, inexpensive and cool cloth became a symbol of Jamaican national culture after the 1940’s. Bandana’s plaid patterns and colours along with several other symbols became associated with the traditions and heritage of the ordinary Jamaican people.

Prior to that, Bandana has long been associated with Jamaican working women. When India fell under almost complete British control in the 19th Century, the Madras cloth trade proved a cheap fabric for enslaved and Black working class women in the Caribbean. The cloth, however, was worn as a mark of pride and distinction, particularly among market vendors. 

#RespectDUE!!!

so @ehonauta tagged a gifset of Steve Rogers and Diana as #the hold my beer twins

and I really, really need to draw it

first panel is Steve Rogers and Diana about to Open a Costco Sized Can of Whoopass

second panel is Steve Trevor and Bucky, each holding two beers, looking (respectively) deeply awed and deeply pissed

I’ve Lived A Long Bloody Time

Captain Duckling Soulmate AU. Everyone is born with a soul mark that only has one match. The day you reach 20, you stop aging until you find your match. (1/?)

For my lovely valentine @princess-emma-of-misthaven. Sorry, it’s a little late. I loved talking to you these past weeks and I hope to chat more.

Killian Jones has been plagued his whole life, a lot of bloody years, by the swan beneath his collar bone.

It’s a simple soul mark but a rare one.

Simple in it’s design, it consists of two lines—a thick curving line in the shape a hook, swooping down and out, thinning into a gentle curve like that of a closed eyelid and another, slightly rippled line starting about two-thirds of the way down from the first, rising, falling and then rising again, flicking up like wave smashing against rocks.

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Romanov Aesthetic 1/? : Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia (1895-1918)

“Olga was perhaps the cleverest of them all, her mind being so quick to grasp ideas, so absorbent of knowledge that she learned almost without application or close study. Her chief characteristics, I should say, were a strong will and a singularly straight forward habit of thought and action. Admirable qualities in a woman, these same characteristics are often trying in childhood, and Olga as a little girl sometimes showed herself wilful and even disobedient. She had a hot temper which, however, she early learned to keep under control, and had she been allowed to live her natural life she would, I believe, have become a woman of influence and distinction. Extremely pretty, with brilliant blue eyes and a lovely complexion, Olga resembled her father in the fineness of her features, especially in her delicate, slightly tipped nose.” - Anna Vyrubova : Memories of the Russian Court

anonymous asked:

Who would you say is the most iconic/important director (obvs female) and why?

This is such an interesting question. What is iconic, what counts as important? To me it would be someone who’s shown longevity in their career, someone who is critically well-regarded but has also had some measure of commercial success, someone with a distinct visual style and someone who has been influential to other filmmakers.

Off the top of my head I can think of maybe 10 women who would easily deserve that title.

If someone put a theoretical gun to my head right now and made me pick one I’d probably say Jane Campion. People maybe not have watched her movies but they usually know her name or if you mention The Piano they’ve heard of it even if they haven’t seen it. People also think she was the first woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars (she wasn’t, it was Lina Wertmüller a woman with a distinctive incredible style who is one of my favourite filmmakers but one whose work has faded into obscurity). The Women and Hollywood blog does mini-interviews with every female director at every major festival and one of the questions they ask everyone is what their favourite film directed by a woman is and films by Campion routinely turn up (she’s probably one of the most cited directors).  

However even though she’s young and I still think has a long career ahead of her, I feel Sofia Coppola coming up fast. Coppola is another one of those few female film directors you can mention that everyone knows. Her earliest films are almost at their 20 year anniversaries and they have endured and are remembered. She’s won a slew of awards, her style is distinct to the point where it can be parodied. People like to mock her for her tumblrcore style but her movies predate tumblr by nearly a decade. Also as someone who watches a lot of no/low budget movies just because they’re directed by women her style is imitated a LOT. I admit that I used to take her talent for granted, but after watching the umpteenth movie about a teenage white girl having existential ennui while staring out a window I started appreciating Coppola as a filmmaker. She knows what she’s doing in a way people trying to imitate her just don’t.

Bigelow is another one I feel strongly about. I think she is super under appreciated as a filmmaker, even with the Oscar. I spent a few years watching all of her films and she’s so distinct, even her action movies are carefully crafted. The only thing with Bigelow is that despite her age she peaked rather late (after Coppola despite being twenty years older) and I still feel like her best work is ahead of her so it’s hard to say what her longevity as a filmmaker and her influence will be. Point Break and Strange Days have held up well, but I also want to know what the legacy of her late career work will be.

Of course, women didn’t just start directing in the 90s. There are many women who directed before then who put out iconic movies that are well regarded, but these women aren’t known at all to mainstream audiences, even if they are beloved by cinephiles. Alice Guy Blaché was the first woman to direct narrative films, but few people outside of film students want to watch shorts that are over a century old. Leni Reifenstahl pioneered several film techniques but her legacy is tainted by her associated with Hitler and the fact that her most innovative films are literal Nazi propaganda. Agnès Varda has a career that spans over 60 years, but until recently people didn’t take her seriously as a filmmaker and most of her films were unavailable outside of France. Chantal Akerman is a legend and so many filmmakers were inspired by her and borrowed from her, but her movies made little money, were not widely seen and are not well known to mainstream audiences.

And of course it wouldn’t be right to mention how many women of colour had their careers completely decimated literally for just being who they were and wanting to tell stories about people who looked like them. If there aren’t women of colour who fit my criteria of iconic/important it’s because they were never able to build up the body of work to be so. White women in western countries don’t necessarily have it easy (even someone as privileged as Coppola has faced rampant sexism, including accusations that she doesn’t direct her own films), but they do have more opportunities than other women.

Recently their has been a small resurgence of the work of black American female filmmakers getting released or re-released. I finally got to watch the work of Kathleen Collins and Julie Dash and you know what? These women had genuine talent, they were truly gifted, and they were never given the opportunities to create more than one feature film. That’s why I try to stress to people that it’s important to go to the theatre and buy tickets for movies made by women, especially women of colour, and to appreciate them in the now. Because if  you don’t support them they won’t be able to make more films and not everyone hits it out of the park their first time. Bigelow won an Oscar for her 8th film. So many women directors don’t even get to make a second.

Different- A BATIM Fic

Man these stories just keep popping out of me. Who knew @doodledrawsthings Hell’s Studio AU would be such a burst of inspiration for me? Anyways, this one deals with the passage of time, and a few events that happened in the U.S. during that shift, namely the 60s-70s sexual revolution and how our 40s era friends might react to it. Still takes place about 30 years after their creation so time period is somewhere in the 70s, probably late 70s. Hope you guys enjoy!

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slate.com
France now recognizes a legal third gender for intersex people
France’s intersex population scored a major legal victory on Wednesday. For the first time, a French court recognized a third legal gender option, making the nation the second in Europe, along with Germany, to recognize a gender identity beyond woman and man.

Last week, France became the second nation in Europe to legally recognize a third gender. The new “neutral gender” category will hopefully help to decrease the number of unnecessary genital surgeries performed on intersex babies and increase acceptance of trans people. 

The catch is that the third gender option applies only to intersex people. Trans or nonbinary people who don’t fit into the male or female checkboxes will still be forced to choose between those two. This is standard in some countries that have introduced third genders, but not all of them – New Zealand, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh all have third-gender laws that allow transgender people to opt in, too. 

Many of the world’s third-gender laws are underpinned by this kind of rigid biological determinism. In Germany, too, parents of children born with both male and female sex characteristics can leave the gender space on the birth certificate blank, thus labeling the baby “indeterminate.” When those kids are old enough to decide whether they want to keep that term or identify as a man or woman, they can choose to place an X on their passports in place of an M or an F.

Australia’s third-gender category, which was affirmed in the country’s highest court last year, is bound by bodily norms, too, albeit in a different way. The “non-specific” gender identification is only available to transgender people who’ve undergone gender affirmation surgery, which defies any sense of logic about the way gender works. That somebody who identifies as neither a man nor a woman (a sociological distinction, not a biological one) should be forced to change their body to conform to a different biological sex standard exposes Western society’s deep distrust of those who live unapologetically outside accepted gender norms.

Tomorrow is Intersex Awareness Day, so this is especially timely. We have to keep working toward acceptance and equal treatment for people with all kinds of bodies, all kinds of identities and all kinds of genders. Nothing less. 

Little reminder that Damien is drawn as a muscular man with broad shoulders and masculine trades. Him being trans doesn't change that.

Please don’t draw him with distinctively feminine trades just because you think that’s how trans men ‘should’ look. It’s not. It’s a stereotype. A very harmful one too boot.

It’s not any less offensive as when you draw a trans woman with distinctively masculine trades.

Reverie

Words: 1265

Request: No

Pairing:  Poe x Reader

 

It was a cold, foggy morning on the small central base of the Resistance. Even though it was very early, the base was busy. X-Wings started to land on the small parcel of land, pilots with the distinctive orange uniform of the rebels descended from the spaceships. “Recruits?” Poe Dameron, the best pilot of the galaxy asked as he stood beside the general, the woman in command look at him and with a smile on her face General Organa responded:

“That’s the silver squadron,” A single figure started to appear from the dense fog of the early morning, a woman from the distinctive curve of her hips and the soft sounds of her boots against the pavement. As the figure started to get closer, Poe could distinguish the distinctive features of the female; Y/H hair and Y/E eyes. “Commander—”

“Y/N”

Y/N looked at the man behind General Organa, Poe looked at the woman before him, he scratched the back of his neck; what could he said. It had been years since he had seen her. Y/N looked down the floor and smiled, as she looked at him her smiled diminished. Meanwhile, General Organa smiled looking between them; with a nod, she took a step back and left them alone on a cold morning.

Poe could still remember that day he had seen her, it was at the recruitment facility on Yavin 3. Another boring lunch, but there she was laughing as her friends make dramatic gestures with their hands. He groaned as Snap hit him in the ribs with his elbow. “Stop staring, it’s creepy”

“She is beautiful, why can I say?” Poe said as he took a sip of the soup but quickly regret it as the tasteless soup touched his tongue. “This thing is disgusting” Poe rolled his eyes as Snap happily poured all the soup in his mouth.  

Y/N looked down at the horrible soup in front of her. “Is not that bad?” Jessika said with a smile taking a spoonful of the weird concoction. Y/N simply looked down at the other edible things on the plastic tray. Nothing seemed appetizing.

“The red puree is good” Y/N looked up from the blue plastic and saw a young man with curly brown hair smiling at her. She raised an eyebrow, “I am Dameron, Poe Dameron” his hand was extended towards her, Y/N bit her lip and rolled her eyes as Jessika squealed beside her.

“It’s really good!”

Y/N shook her head and took Poe’s hands in hers. “L/N, L/N Y/N”

 

Poe chuckled at the memory, he took a deep breath. “How are you?”

Y/N bit her lip, why this felt like the first time they met? “Fine and how are you?”

Y/N still remember the days back then… the way Poe waved at her across the hall just to get her attention. “YOU GOT THIS Y/N; I BELIEVE IN YOU” she merely rolled her eyes and laughed, “GO Y/N” a red tint appeared on her cheeks as the other cadets looked at her with judgment written on their faces. She just nodded and looked down at the floor walking into the small laboratory.

The days on the old cafeteria where they met, she still hated that weird concoction, but somehow Poe made it taste better. He put rice and some weird looking plants and feed it to her. “What’s on it?” Y/N had dared to asked one day; Poe smirked at her and signaled to get her closer.

“It’s a secret,” Poe whispered loud enough for her, but not for the other people around them to hear.

“Poe,” She said with a cute pout and Poe pinched her cheeks, “Poe!” she scowled rubbing her throbbing cheeks. Poe bent down to her ear like he was about to tell her a secret, he folded his hands, Y/N could feel his hot breath on her ear tickling it; she giggled.

“I LOVE YOU!” Poe shouted at her ear

How he softly kicked her leg as she fell asleep in one of the many lessons imparted on the small improvised rooms. Y/N laughed and continue to listen to the creature in front of them talking about, what was it— ah yes the ventrical cannon of the mother ships that the old Empire used before.

As the last light of the room was turned off, Poe stood up and Y/N put a hand on his arm. Poe sat down and looked at Y/N. “Is there something wrong?” Y/N shook her head and stood up from her seat.

“I got something for you” Y/N said with a smile walking at the back of the small room. Removing the small cover, “Tada” a double spherical droid beeped and rolled its head to look at Y/N than at Poe. “BB-8 meet Poe, Poe this is BB-8”

“You didn’t have to,” Poe said looking at the white and orange droid.

“I made it for you,” Poe took her head in his hands and softly kissed her.

“And I got something for you,” He said taking a black box from his pants, “It was my mother’s” Poe declared opening the box, inside was a small and simple titanium band. “My dad gave it to her”

Y/N shook her head and looked at the ground, “I am fine,” Poe responded nodding his head.

Poe cleared his throat trying to come with something to say that sounded smart. “What brings you here?”

Poe bit his lip; he remembered that day at the library…

“Come on I need an archive, a blueprint of this droid” Y/N said tugging Poe’s hand. His head hit the tall, metallic structure as Y/N pushed him against it.

“Are you trying to kidnap me?”

Y/N rolled her eyes and pulled him by the collar of his uniform, a smile formed on his face as Y/N kissed him. “I love you, Poe”

Poe looked through the small spaces between the archives, he frowned not founding Y/N. Jessika told her she had seen Y/N around here, with frustration ran a hand through his hair. “And just—”

Poe, as he rounded the corner, saw Y/N with a guy, he turned around and walked out of the old archive room.

“Wait, Poe! What’s wrong?”

Poe stopped in his tracks and scoffed. “What’s wrong?” he laughed and with incredulity looked at her. “Nothing, everything is fine. Dandy, actually” he said sarcastically.

“Poe, he just asked me a question” Y/N alleged, “Why are you so mad?”

Poe bit his lip and took her hand, “Where is the ring?”

“I repair droids, Poe. I can’t work with—”

Poe merely walked away and like that the days passed, he passed her by the hallways and ignored her. Y/N looked at his retreating back with sad eyes.

Y/N took a deep breath and remembered the last day he had seen him, Poe’s head was on another girl’s lap as she softly ran down her hands through his dark curls, he moved his head to look at Y/N and smirked turning around to look at the girl.

“I am a pilot now”

Poe looked up and his eyes widen, “Droid reverse engineering was not my thing” Y/N smiled at Poe. “He was one of a kind,” she said looking at BB-8 quickly approaching them. Something shimmered on her neck, looking closely it was the ring Poe had given to her.

“Y/N, I—”

“Love, the General is looking for us”

Poe looked at the guy walking towards them, “Who is this?” the man asked

“Poe Dameron, this is my husband. Love, this is Poe Dameron an old friend”

A LETTER TO MAGNIFICENT MEN

My dear beautiful man,

What I relish from you more than anything is presence. I hunger for you to have the capacity to maintain deep, unwavering eye contact, undistracted by anything in the background.

I crave your deep, resonant voice, and the slow methodical speed of your well thought out words. I yearn for you to breathe each breath with me and guide me to deepen my presence through example.

I am eager for you to stand strong, tall and powerful without fidgeting or getting restless. I love it when your face is relaxed enough to take me in with or without smiling, but always with deep breaths and a steady gaze.

I love it when your head is held high, your spine is tall, your body looks strong and powerful. I adore it when you can hold me in a tender embrace long enough for me to melt.

I ache for your stability so I can be wild, expressive, and emotional. I want to be able to let go and go crazy with desire, passion, anger or sadness and see you still here and unwavering, just being like an eternal mountain range~ grounded and dependable. I long to feel your ability to stay through discomfort.

I love and adore your power because it is great and ferocious, but only when it is fuelled by protective love instead of anger or the desire to control. I yearn to feel your devotion instead of any agenda to fix, solve, or match my energy.

I want you to be a man so I can be fully what it is to be a woman. I love the strong, distinct flavour of male energy and I want to taste it in you through your passionate dedication to show up.

I need you to desire and cherish my radiance above your own. I need to feel that my beauty brings you into your body and gives meaning to your life. While I love that you feel emotions and I want to know about them, I hope overall you are the force of stability so I don’t need to constantly carry the mantle of strength… that diminishes my feminine light and hurts my spirit.

I love it when the flow of masculine and feminine ebbs back and forth between us both. It feels nice when you can show your strength in softness and I can flow my femininity through action… this feels delicious when we play it together.

What I crave above all is the polarity in whatever dance we explore so we are magnetically drawn together.

Overall, I need you to know that I adore you! When you stand tall in your greatest power, I become the most tender, flowing and open. I want nothing more then to unleash and soften with you. I want nothing more than to trust you fully and give myself totally to you.

Love Christabel Zamor
(Inspired by the work of David Deida)

Love at first Lizard Chapter One

Surprise! Me and @green-love-paternoster totally tricked you guys, because it’s not actually cancelled! There is 3 planned chapters and today we are presenting chapter Number One!!! Yay!

@idemandaspinoff @zaridaxe @dorvanie

————————————————————————

“Everything is goin’ to be alright, Greeny.” Jenny whispered reassuringly, hugging the travel cage for her chameleon lizard closer. She’d owned ‘Greeny’, as she called him, for little under a week, and already she had to take him to the vet.


Glancing up at the building in front of her, she swallowed audibly. It hadn’t been easy to find a vet that even catered to lizards to begin with, and now that she had found one that claimed to have an in-house reptile expert, she felt nervous. It was not that she was nervous about what they’d think of her, or Greeny, but rather the fact that she had never been to a vet’s office before. She had always hated hospitals, and the vet’s office gave her the same creepy feeling in her gut.


Nonetheless, Greeny needed looking after, and there was nowhere else she could go. Taking one last, deep breath, she grabbed the door and opened it, stepping inside.


The waiting room was small, but cozy, with pictures of delighted animals - mostly dogs and cats, but also a few horses and a rabbit - lining the walls, and a childish jungle themed carpet covered the floor. In the corner, a reception desk had been placed, and serving it was a petite dark haired girl that hardly seemed tall enough to see anything over the counter.


Swallowing loudly once more, Jenny gathered her courage and approached her. “Excuse me, ma’am?”


The girl, who had been absentmindedly drawing doodles on a notebook, instantly looked up upon hearing Jenny’s voice.


She looked at Jenny with big, warm brown eyes and a welcoming smile exclaiming, “Oh, hello there! Aren’t you a delightful surprise, business has been slow today, as you can see.” The girl made a sweeping gesture around the empty waiting room with pen still in hand. “My name’s Clara, how may I help you today?”


Feeling a little more confident thanks to the girl’s cheery attitude, Jenny smiled back. “Hello there. I’m Jenny Flint, and I need someone to look at my lizard? He seems to be a bit ill.” She lifted up the travel cage still in her hands for the girl to see, as if to emphasise her statement. “I heard you help lizards.”

Clara’s smile shrunk a bit as she switched her gaze from Jenny to the lizard huddled inside the carrier cage. The poor thing clearly didn’t seem to be doing so well, since he barely moved within the cage. Clara’s no lizard expert, but she hoped whatever that is wrong with the lizard will get fixed soon.


Clara then glanced back toward Jenny with a slightly sympathetic expression, for she saw that Jenny was genuinely worried about the health of her pet lizard. “You heard correctly indeed! Our certified in-house reptile expert is certainly the best in all of London….but I must warn you that she can be a bit of a grumpy old tightwad sometimes,” added Clara with a mischievous lilt in her tone, an attempt to make Jenny feel more at ease. “If there’s anyone who can figure out the problem with your lizard, it’s her!”


Jenny bit her lip, barely holding back a smile. While the way Clara presented the woman was a bit odd, she sounded good enough. Before she could answer her, however, she was interrupted by another person entering the room.


“Clara! Have you got the file on that dog who…oh.” As the man, a tall brown haired guy in a doctor’s coat, spotted Jenny, he stopped immediately. He was standing just short of the threshold to the waiting room, and casually leaned against the wall as he gave Jenny a once over. “Clara, who’s the new customer?” He smiled, a mischievous and quite silly smile, that almost made Jenny wonder if vets were always this casual.


“John, this is Jenny,” explained Clara, returning an equally exuberant smile to the man in the doorway. “She came here today because her lizard is sick.”


Clara giggled as soon as she said that, which Jenny found quite odd, and the man’s grin seemed to grow even larger, as if this was some kind of inside joke just between the two of them.


“Right! A lizard!” John said enthusiastically, giving Clara another suggestive look. “Two beautiful female specimens for our dear loony lizard lady to take a look at. Oh, Vastra is surely going to be satisfied by this!” His grin was almost covering his entire face now, and Clara looked as though she was struggling very hard not to laugh her head off. What was supposedly so funny about the situation, Jenny didn’t know, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to find out, either.


Jenny had no idea what to expect next, but her attention soon got caught on the stunningly gorgeous woman that appeared beside John, most likely having been drawn in by all the commotion he and Clara was causing. The mystery woman was tall, about the same height as John. She had brilliantly sharp blue eyes framed behind thin, rounded black glasses, well defined cheekbones and jawline, and there was a strip of green running along the middle of her dark brown hair, which she kept tied in a neat bun. Jenny also noticed the woman’s seemingly impeccable sense of style, consisting of a silken form-fitting purple blouse tucked into her black slacks, and flats on her feet with a slightly raised heel. The woman definitely exuded a distinctive aura of flawless elegance and meticulous professionalism, that was in stark contrast with the easygoing atmosphere projected by the other two employees. Jenny couldn’t help holding in her breath at the awe inspiring sight of the beautiful woman, as something told her that this visit to the vet was going to get a lot more challenging.


The Doctor gave Vastra a far too gleeful look. “Ah, Vastra, glad to see you sticking your head round these parts. We got two fresh female samples for you to look at!” He tried to keep a serious tone, but utterly failed, and Jenny once more found herself confused as to why the doctor was referring to her and her lizard in such a way.


The woman, now identified to be Vastra, appeared to be utterly unimpressed as she shook her head and grumbled, “God grant me the strength to deal with these two foolish comedians without losing my sanity!” Vastra then stepped in closer and peered at Jenny’s lizard in the carrier cage for a moment, before looking back over her shoulder at John to say, “Nice try, Doctor Smith, but this one is a male. Honestly, for you to be a veterinarian, your horrendous grasp of biology troubles me!”


“Oi! I am a female!” Jenny objected sharply. Honestly, for a woman like that, gorgeous as she might be, to come here and call her a male. Like a male animal!


“And I do know biology!” John added, in response to the insult against his credentials as a veterinarian. “It’s just lizards that are, well…green and not green. Or the other way around!”


Completely ignoring John’s complaint, Vastra simply turned her head to face the visibly indignant Jenny and spoke smoothly, “Calm down, miss, I was actually referring to your pet, not you.” She allowed herself to do a quick visual scan of Jenny’s physical features and attire, noting that she was in fact rather attractive. Vastra immediately dismissed such inappropriate thoughts and continued in the same strictly formal tone, “Now, if you wouldn’t mind following me into my office room, I will be able to start properly examining your lizard there. It’s absolutely beyond my knowledge how Doctor Smith over here manage to get any work done, when he’s too busy making juvenile jokes with Miss Oswald.”


Sharply, Vastra turned around on her heels, and Jenny bit her lip hard to keep herself from letting out a noise as she caught sight of the woman’s well trimmed arse. It was the perfect, circular shape and Jenny could feel her cheeks heating up as she bit her lip even harder. Now was definitely not the time to lose herself to the appeal of the Lizard veterinarian, but by god, she was hot.


Holding the cage up in front of her like a shield, Jenny reluctantly turned to follow Vastra into her office.“Coming, Ma’am.” She said quietly, holding the cage a little tighter as she looked back at John and Clara by the desk, seeing them still giggling among themselves. “His name’s Greeny, by the way.” She didn’t know why she said the last part. It was stupid, extremely so, and she knew it. She knew no one who named their lizard Greeny, and yet, she had, thinking herself funny.


She just never thought she’d have to answer for it in front of an extremely hot lizard veterinarian.


Vastra stopped just before the door to her office, already having her hand on the doorknob, and Jenny swore she nearly dropped the cage when the oh so magnificent woman struck her with an expression of dubious disdain, one perfectly curved eyebrow raised up toward her forehead


“You can’t be serious, Miss Flint. ‘Greeny?’” Vastra scoffed in a haughty manner that was beginning to rub Jenny’s skin the wrong way. Throughout her years working in this clinic, Vastra had encountered pets with almost every single name you could imagine under the sun, but ‘Greeny’….now that was a new one; And by far, the least original she’ve ever heard. “You ought to be more creative than that, even my three year old nephew could come up with something better!“


Then without further ado, Vastra effortlessly twisted the doorknob to open the door leading into her office before walking in herself, and leaving Jenny standing outside with her mouth hanging agape in the wake of her surprisingly rude comment.


“Well I’m sorry, but I rather like calling my lizard Greeny. He is green.” Jenny couldn’t help but get defensive, because she couldn’t believe how unimaginably rude Vastra had just been. As if she had the right to judge what Jenny named her lizard!


Vastra wordlessly walked over to her desk at the other end of the room, where she picked up a disheveled stack of papers and proceeded to shuffle them.


“Well anybody with properly functioning eyes can clearly see that to be true, so my point still stands that naming him ‘Greeny’ is terribly redundant,” retorted Vastra while loftily waving away Jenny’s statement as if it was a pesky and insignificant fly.


Jenny huffed in annoyance. She’d told herself she wouldn’t care what they had to say about her and Greeny, but it was proving increasingly difficult, seeing as the veterinarian seemed to be hellbent on making everything harder and more embarrassing for Jenny. “Then what would you call a lizard? I, for one, cannot think of a better name.”


Vastra continued to occupy herself with various little miscellaneous tasks around her desk in order to avoid looking directly at her client, who she had mentally admitted to being the very most loveliest creature she’d ever laid eyes on, albeit not without tremendous difficulty. God knows it had been an excessively arduous task for her to maintain a steady, neutral composure out in the waiting room with Clara and John. No doubt those two would be cackling their heads off like hyenas if they could see her now, flustered out of her wits because of this stupidly beautiful girl with dark brown hair and charming brown eyes. She was exactly Vastra’s type, much to her utter dismay.


Using her naturally embedded cynicism as a pretense to mask her rising attraction, Vastra quipped in response,“How would I know, I’m only the vet around here. I don’t get paid enough to consult with painfully bland pet owners who can’t look beyond their animal’s physicality to give them an appropriate name.” Very subtly, Vastra’s head and shoulders seemed to become tense as she anticipated Jenny’s inevitable rebuttal, and the intoxicating sound of her Cockney accent that would come along with it.


At this, Jenny gave her an ice cold glare. Even for such a gorgeous woman as her, there wasn’t any good explanation for being quite so rude. The woman wouldn’t even look at her! It was almost as though she was not worthy of being acknowledged, for Vastra had better things to do.


Even with Clara’s warning poking at her from the back of her mind, it was frustrating. “Well then, maybe you could do your job, instead of complaining about things you clearly claimed are none or your concerns?”


Vastra could practically feel Jenny’s probing glare on the back of her head, causing an involuntary shiver to run down her spine. Nonetheless, she still managed to produce an articulate reply, “I simply stated my sympathies for your poor lizard who has to live the rest of his life with such a mediocre name as ‘Greeny’.” Then closing her eyes, Vastra inhaled a deep breath, and eventually was able to muster just enough courage to turn around toward her client. Obviously trying to be a bit more cordial, Vastra suggested, “Perhaps it would be best if you go ahead and tell me the reason you’re here, since we’ve just wasted half an hour debating your lizard’s name.”


Seeing her eyes, Jenny almost couldn’t breath. Gone was the frustration and anger, it all washed off of her like an unpleasant shower coming to an end. The brilliant blue eyes looked at her, waiting for her answer, and unconsciously, Jenny smiled. She didn’t even care that she had to spend half-an hour justifying her pet’s name to a stranger when she should have been at work. It didn’t matter anymore all of sudden.


“Yes, of course, uh, well…” Taking a deep breath, she tried to gather herself and figure out what to say next. “I recently bought this lizard, you see. I’ve only had him for little under a week, but he already seems to have gotten sick. He barely moves and won’t eat.”


It required every last ounce of willpower for Vastra not let herself become undone right there at the sight of Jenny’s radiant smile. She mentally cursed herself for getting too carried away with her unnecessarily snarky attitude, when she really should be helping Jenny tend to her lizard. Her demeanor softened considerably upon witnessing the apparent nervousness written all across Jenny’s face, and she smiled pityingly while gesturing toward the examination table in the middle of the room. “That does sound troublesome indeed, miss. I truly want to do everything I can to alleviate your lizard, but first I’ll need to ask that you take him out of the carrier cage for me.”


Jenny nodded, swallowing audibly as she walked over to the table, putting down the carrier case and opening it. Greeny was hiding in the furthest corner of the space, and she glanced at Vastra uncertainly. “Do you want to take him out?” She asked politely, standing by to lift him out herself if Vastra thought it was better.
A little dumbstruck, Vastra nodded positively with a reassuring smile, “It would be my utmost pleasure, Miss Flint.”


Jenny’s ears instantly perked up upon detecting a mild, but still relatively evident Scottish accent among Vastra’s words, thus making her all the more attractive if that was even possible. Vastra went over to a cabinet on the wall where she retrieved a fresh pair of gloves, pulling them on with a satisfyingly audible snap.That simple action drew Jenny’s attention to Vastra’s exquisitely long fingers, which then set loose a chaotic whirlwind of very impure thoughts running through Jenny’s starstrucked mind;They might or might not, have been something along the lines of getting her body pinned against the office wall by the bewitchingly sexy veterinarian, and letting those surely capable fingers have their way with her. All that Jenny could do was keep biting her lip even harder, almost to the point of drawing blood, while simultaneously trying her best to appear normal in front of this goddamn goddess of a veterinarian. Jenny soon stepped aside to give Vastra access to the carrier and watched with baited breath as her hands reached into the carrier.


“That’s it, Greeny, who’s a good green lizard boy. Yes, come here to the nice veterinarian, I’m not going to hurt you,“cooed Vastra in such a beautifully soothing voice that it made Jenny want to laugh and her heart melt at the same time. Thanks to a bit of highly effective coaxing from Vastra, she finally succeeded in bringing Greeny out of his cozy carrier, holding him in a carefully firm, yet gentle grip.


Alas, everything was put into jeopardy, when the calmly quiet atmosphere of the room was suddenly interrupted by someone else bursting in through the door like a mighty blast of gale force wind.


“Madame! Strax is here to assist you, for the glory of this clinic!” The man standing and shouting in the doorway was short, buff and bald. He had slightly brown colored skin, and had Jenny not known any better, she would have compared him to an oversized, sentient cartoon potato. Only potatoes didn’t walk around screaming, nor did they dress like nurses. Still, in her mind Jenny decided to refer to…him? Him, as a potato.


The ruckus caused by Strax’s impromptu entrance did not sit well with Greeny, who began flailing his entire body within Vastra’s hands. That, in turn, caught Vastra off guard and she nearly dropped Greeny out of shock, but luckily she was able to catch herself at the last minute, and narrowly avoided getting her eye poked by one of the lizard’s sharp horns.


“Careful, Madame. The poky lizard would not do well on the floor.” Strax provided unhelpfully, the little potato not moving an inch and grinning like a madman at Vastra.


“STRAX! How many times must I tell you, not to be so BLOODY loud when you come into the office!” Barked Vastra in her exasperation at the rambunctious potato man. Then suddenly realizing the kind of language she had just used aloud, Vastra gave Jenny an apologetic grimace and said, “I am deeply sorry about this, Miss Flint, but my assistant can be quite….enthusiastic in his job sometimes.”


Inwardly, however, Vastra made herself a mental note to remember to kill the person responsible for feeding Strax the sherbert fancies that are making him obviously hyper.


Jenny merely shook her head. Nearly causing Vastra to drop Greeny aside, she found the little potato man quite adorable. “I believe it is fine. It does not appear to have been Mister Po…Strax’s intention to be disruptive. Right?” She smiled at the potato man, who smiled right back, as enthusiastic as ever before.


“Quite right, boy!” He confirmed, missing Jenny’s unamused expression as he turned his attention back to Vastra. “The Doctor was making coffee and thought you might be in need of assistance, Madame.”


Vastra was definitely looking forward to the Doctor’s funeral, in that case. As if this whole ordeal wasn’t already stressful enough, now that lanky buffoon had sent Strax in to cause even more trouble than necessary. This was just perfect, thought Vastra.


Jenny watched the two persons in front of her, swallowing hard as she felt the tension simmering between them. Vastra was obviously angry with Strax, but the latter was either too daft, or too oblivious of his surroundings to notice. Timidly, she spoke up. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be a bother, but this appointment is coming out of my salary, so perhaps we can get on with it now?” She smiled half-heartedly, hoping it would be enough to get everything back on track.


Jenny’s voice cut right through Vastra’s flaring temper and brought her back to the situation at hand. Once again, she smiled sheepishly at Jenny saying, “Oh, yes, that we do indeed, for surely I would hate to put your paycheck at risk.” After taking a few seconds to compose herself, Vastra looked back toward Strax in silent resignation to address him with, “Alright, Strax, I’ll let you stay in here to assist me, but only if you promise to be quiet for God’s sake, and not touch anything until I tell you otherwise.”


Hearing that he was allowed to stay, Strax punched one of his short, stubby arms in the air, trying to make some kind of victory gesture. “I will help you Madame! For the glory of this clinic!”


Jenny laughed a little, not able to hold it back. Strax really was adorable. “Thanks. Scotland Yard doesn’t pay nearly as much as you’d think.”


Vastra paused in the midst of her inspection of Greeny the lizard to look at Jenny, equally impressed and curious. “Really, you work at Scotland Yard? Well, that does sound to be rather exciting, is it not?”


Jenny shrugged. “Yes ma’am, though it’s not very exciting. It’s mostly a lot of paperwork. Gets a bit lonely, too. That’s why I got a lizard - so I’d have some company that doesn’t require being walked three times a day and are allowed in my flat.”

“I see….even if it’s not as glamorous is you say, I have immense respect for anyone willing to risk their life in the name of justice at Scotland Yard. Although, I am sorry to hear that you’re feeling lonely,” spoke Vastra sympathetically, making casual conversation with her client as she continued to study Greeny. “I was just under the impression that such a seemingly likable, and decent girl as you would have plenty of friends to keep you company.”


Jenny blushed a little at Vastra’s glowing compliments, looking down at the floor. “I didn’t have many people before I joined Scotland Yard, and my current working schedule doesn’t exactly encourage lots of socialising and spending time with friends.” She bit her lip, trying not to let the other woman’s words get to her. It never bothered her that she had few people that she considered close to her, why would it now?


Vastra risked a brief discreet glance at Jenny and replied, “It would appear that you and I are the same in that regard, since I’m not exactly the type of person to put myself out there for all the world see. I’ll admit that I am much more adept at dealing with animals than I am with people. Apart from Doctor John, Clara, and even Strax, there’s actually nobody else that I can view as my friend.” Sensing Jenny’s increasing discomfort, Vastra then cleared her throat and decided to immediately change the subject. “I must say, Miss Flint, this is a really handsome Jackson Horned Chameleon you have here. It’s a shame that he had gotten sick so soon….what are his symptoms again, if I may ask?”


“He is not handsome, but well equipped for battle! It is most glorious!” Strax declared, before Jenny had a chance to repeat her lizards symptoms.


His eyes shone like stars as he spoke and Jenny found herself a bit uncomfortable by the thought that maybe he was attracted to things and people that could defend themselves. She shuddered.


“He’s not eating, and barely moving, ma’am.” Jenny told Vastra, trying to push Strax’s comment into the back of her mind where she’d never have to think of it again.


Vastra shot Strax a heated death glare as a warning before inquiring further, “Hmm, yes, he does appear to have lost some weight….what have you been feeding him?” Vastra then became aware of how Greeny was gradually curling himself against her arm, seemingly attracted to her natural body heat.


“I feed him insects. Mostly crickets, as instructions says.” Jenny said, looking straight at Vastra, a little questioning.


“Why are you looking at me like that?” Asked a befuddled Vastra, afraid that she might have somehow offended her pretty client again. “I swear, I wasn’t trying to accuse you of any wrongdoing. Jackson Horned Chameleon diets are typically composed of insects and crickets, so at least you’re doing that right. Do you have some kind of enclosed habitat in your home to contain him in?”


Jenny nodded rapidly. She felt eager to please the gorgeous woman handling her lizard, wanted to show her that she was not some clueless person who just adopted an animal without a plan. “Yes, I have an enclosure at home, as one should have.”


Jenny’s confident statement was then rewarded with a dazzling smile of approval from Vastra that knocked all the air out of her lungs. Vastra’s tone was almost rather playful when she said,“Quite the responsible pet owner now, aren’t you? Very good, and can you please describe this enclosure to me?”


Jenny blushed at the praise, looking down at the floor, but glancing back at Vastra as she spoke,”It’s a mesh cage, as the guide said to avoid glass enclosures, and there’s a little tree for him to climb. That is about it.”


“Well I suppose that minimalism does have its appeal to some people, but I will advise you to add in a few more plants for his habitat,”Vastra suggested wisely. “What about the climate and average temperature of your home? Do you have any type of heat source that can be kept near Greeny’s cage?”


Jenny stared at her as though she’d suddenly grown a second head, or possibly a third eye. “Heat source? Climate?”


Jenny’s confused expression prompted Vastra to tilt her head, and lift one skeptical eyebrow as she spoke, “Miss Flint, you are aware of the fact that reptiles like Greeny are cold-blooded, and must gain heat from their surroundings in order to function, aren’t you? Or did they not teach you that back in grade school science class?”


At this, Jenny gave Vastra what she believed was the most apologetic smile ever to have existed, eyes quickly diverting and looking back down on the ground. The peach carpet sure was interesting to look at, Jenny decided. “I’m afraid I was never the sharpest one, ma’am. Haven’t had much education altogether, and can’t say I remember being taught anything about lizards.” She sighed, embarrassed. She had really hoped she would have done enough research to avoid exposing her rather lacking education in general.


The underlying sadness in Jenny’s words struck Vastra’s heart heavily, and she immediately regretted being so snide in her remark without actually meaning to. It physically pained her to see this beautiful, sweet young girl defeated by her own insecurities, which was preventing her from recognizing her full potential and self worth. Vastra, too, dropped her gaze to the floor as she was suddenly desperate to find something that could cheer up Jenny.


“There’s no reason why you should be embarrassed, Miss Flint,” Vastra began sincerely, eyes fixed onto Jenny’s depressed form. “Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, it’s a natural part of life. I know that you are trying your best to take care of Greeny, and I do not blame you for being uninformed regarding the biological anatomy of reptiles. You may not be well educated, but I can tell that you must possess a considerable amount of merit since you were able to get into Scotland Yard. So chin up a little, will you, for Greeny’s sake?” Vastra held up Greeny as if he was a sort of mascot in an attempt to uplift Jenny’s falling spirits, while acquiring a pleading puppy dog face herself to boot.


Jenny couldn’t help but smile a little. No one had ever tried so hard to encourage her and make her happy. If you want to be happy, you make yourself happy, her mom had used to say. But here this gorgeous veterinarian was, cheering her up like her life depended on it, and Greeny looking confused as he twisted around in her hands. “Alright, for you and Greeny.” She agreed finally, giving Vastra her largest grin.


Vastra released a little sigh of relief, and returned a pleasant smile of her own to Jenny; She was most delighted to witness how Jenny had transformed from a hopelessly wilted plant, to a lively blooming flower being fed by the rejuvenating waters of a spring shower. Another, albeit quite unexpected, result was that Vastra also found herself having a strange and powerful urge to always make Jenny happy like this in any way possible….depending on the probability of whether or not she’ll ever see her again at the clinic, that is. A part of her was already wishing and praying for Jenny to come back someday.


Vastra was so enraptured by her client’s joyous beauty, that it took her several minutes to find her tongue again. “Excellent! It is a scientifically proven fact that pets thrive much better when their owners possess a positive attitude, as opposed to being down in the dumps,”proclaimed Vastra, who included a sly wink to show that she was only teasing. “Now, I assume you will be glad to know that Greeny’s condition isn’t as serious as you think, and he can easily be cured with the use of a proper heat lamp. I’m sure that you will be able to buy one at your local pet store, or online if you prefer. Either way, I highly recommend that you get one as soon as possible, because Jackson Horned Chameleons need to be kept at a temperature of between 20 and 32 degrees celsius.”


At this point, Vastra didn’t mind in the slightest that Greeny was practically holding her arm captive, because the poor thing had clearly been deprived of warmth for so long.


Jenny nodded at her words, acting like a school kid confirming her teacher’s instructions for her homework assignment. “I’ll see about getting one uh…,”She glanced at the clock, trying to estimate how long she’d been there,”…on my way home. My shift’s over, by now, so I won’t really have anything better to do. Besides, the sooner Greeny gets what he needs, the better.” Jenny turned to Vastra and smiled, stretching out her hands expectantly.

“Smart thinking, Miss Flint, Greeny will certainly appreciate the sentiment. He should consider himself lucky having such a thoughtful and committed owner as you,” concluded Vastra while she prepared to give Greeny back to Jenny.


What was supposed to be a standard transaction suddenly became much more complicated when their hands touched upon Greeny. Both Jenny and Vastra gasped softly as sparks seemed to fly from the very first second they made that physical contact, feeling the invisible electricity race up their arms before ultimately exploding against their hearts. Their bodies trembled due to the sheer force of the impact, which continued to echo in massive rippling waves throughout their entire frame. Meanwhile, their overlapping hands had become extremely hot as if they were laying on a furnace, though the two of them fought the urge to jerk away lest they drop Greeny. The heat quickly spread to their faces, and their cheeks lit up with a blazing red color. Hearts pounding, palms sweating, minds spinning, neither Jenny nor Vastra had ever experienced anything this intense before, and they both struggled to fully comprehend what was happening to them. Eventually, they were able to remove their gaze from Greeny and locked eyes with each other instead. They immediately froze in place where they stood, as if some kind of mysterious unseen power had stripped them of all their ability to move. Everything else seemed to fade away until it was just the two of them left in this lofty, and surreal dimension that separated them from the rest of reality;The very air surrounding them had morphed and shifted itself, becoming significantly heavier with a daunting, unspoken question that loomed over their heads. Despite their current immobility, there was still a distinctly spiritual energy of restlessness that caused their souls to be irresistibly attracted to one another like opposite ends of a magnet. Vastra and Jenny both realized that something needed to be said if they were to break free of this awkward situation, but every word they meant to say instantly evaporated off of the tip of their tongues before they even had the chance, thus rendering their voices utterly useless.


Whether they liked it or not, they are completely, effectively, undeniably stuck.


They kept standing there, stagnant and unable to move for several more moments, before the door suddenly opened. Stepping in through the opening, was none other than Dr.John Smith himself.


“Strax, I need you! That pitbull that likes you is here and…” As he saw what he walked in on, he stopped, confusion quickly replaced by a mad grin. “Oh my…I’m sorry, Vastra, I thought you and Miss Flint would have been finished by now!” He let out a small laugh, and Vastra could see the joke in his eyes. “But I guess she required a lot of care!” He did a not-so subtle wink with his eye at this, and Vastra wanted to strangle him for his shameless behaviour.


The Doctor’s surprise intervention was enough to startle Vastra and Jenny into jumping apart from each other, with Jenny frantically clutching Greeny close to her chest. His gaze kept switching back and forth between the two women, as he was clearly relishing in the rare sight of a highly flustered Vastra. The other veterinarian glared daggers at him with laser point precision, being not thrilled at him barging into her office wearing that infuriatingly smug grin that she would love to tear off his face. Vastra fastidiously wiped her hands on her coat and hardened her facial expression, all in a futile attempt to make herself appear more dignified, yet the tell-tale fiery blush on her cheeks still remained. The Doctor always had the worst sense of timing, and Vastra hates the fact that this one incident has now given him basically unlimited ammunition to bombard her with.


“Ahem…uhh…Strax, it would seem that I will have to relieve you of your duties here at the present moment,” began Vastra calmly, as she was determined to pretend that nothing had ever happened. “Go ahead with Doctor Smith and report back to me when you are done.” She then turned her head to look directly at the Doctor and said to him, “And you, Doctor Smith, I simply cannot comprehend why you still insist on calling Miss Flint’s lizard a ‘she’ after we’ve been over it already. He did require a lot of care, but fortunately we were able to reach a viable solution. Now, do be so kind and remove yourself from my office, your unsightly hideous face is apparently causing Greeny some considerable discomfort.”


Vastra also made sure to punctuate her biting statement with an equally sardonic smile that told the Doctor ‘two can play at this game’.


“Ma’am!” Jenny couldn’t help the complaint that escaped her lips. Despite lacking in many other areas, Jenny had very good manners, and she knew what Vastra had said was not acceptable. Though the man had been immensely rude to his co-worker, and Greeny did look quite uncomfortable, it was simply not right to say such mean things to anyone.


John, however, didn’t seem as bothered by it. He simply gave her a wink and a smile, showing that it was all okay. “Don’t worry, my dear, the cold blooded tend to behave this way. Now, if you excuse me, I must be off.” Wasting no more time, John turned around and left the room, Strax hurrying to follow in his lead.


“Sir, wait for me!” He called out as he, too, left the room, short legs moving him as quick as possible away from Jenny and Vastra, leaving them completely alone once more.


Jenny glanced awkwardly around the room, trying to avoid looking at the veterinarian as she finally settled in with the task of putting Greeny back into his traveling cage. “Well, if there is nothing else, I suppose I should get going. I’ll remember to buy a heat lamp whenever I can.”


Jenny didn’t know why she was saying goodbye. She didn’t want to go, didn’t want to leave this gorgeous woman before her and likely never see her again. Yet, she had no choice, as there was no longer anything keeping her there. She sighed, deep and heavy.


Vastra’s head instantly swiveled back toward Jenny, her anger at the Doctor suddenly replaced with a grim sense of despair upon hearing Jenny say that. Truth be told, Vastra really didn’t want Jenny to leave either, but she knew she couldn’t risk violating professional business protocol by letting her suspiciously not-so-platonic feelings be revealed in front of this beautiful and lovely client, who had become the object of her affections. Rubbing the back of her neck with one hand, Vastra merely gave a small sheepish smile as she responded, “Yes, of course, it’s getting rather late….and I’m certain there are other clients that I need to attend to. Before I do that, though, I’d just like to say that it’s been my absolute pleasure helping you and Greeny today, Miss Flint.” Vastra paused for a moment, overcome with a sudden bout of self-consciousness, and temporarily diverted her gaze to the floor. She was soon able to look at Jenny again while her blue eyes shone faintly with optimism, and added, “I hope that you found my services here to be satisfactory then?”


Although they had gotten started on the wrong foot earlier, Vastra did genuinely mean what she said. Out of every other client that Vastra had come across during the course of her four year career at the clinic, none of them had ever fascinated or outright perplexed her quite like Jenny does. There was an unexplainable, penetrating, persistent feeling deep within her gut telling Vastra that maybe….just maybe….it will be different and special with Jenny. She had utterly no idea why she is willing to get her hopes up so high for this girl who she never knew existed until an hour ago, but at the same time she found herself unable to stop, too. While Vastra may be a certified know-it-all expert of lizards, she is actually terribly ignorant when it comes to matters of love.


Jenny couldn’t help but feel disappointed. After their hands had touched, she’d actually believed there was something between them, a connection perhaps. That maybe Vastra felt the same and shared even just a fraction of her own feelings. But, of course, not for her as she was just another worried pet owner. “Right. Yes, your service was excellent and much appreciated. Goodbye, Miss McIntosh.”


The two of them approached the door together, and there was a brief episode of awkwardly treading around eggshells, before Vastra finally insisted on holding the door open for Jenny to get through.

Glancing back wistfully at Vastra as she went, Jenny left the room, walking down the corridor and back to the waiting room. At the reception section, she saw Dr.Smith and the receptionist, Clara, standing there and chatting away amongst themselves. Quickly, Jenny tried to make a bee-line for the door, hoping to avoid any more awkwardness by escaping unnoticed. She really didn’t feel up to listening to another of the other veterinarian’s comments, with his painstakingly clear innuendos.


She was just about to open the door and step outside, when suddenly, she heard someone calling her name.


“Miss Flint, wait! Please don’t leave yet!


Jenny was able to recognize that voice as belonging to Vastra, who nearly tripped and fell over her feet while rushing to catch Jenny at the door before it was too late. Dr. John and Clara both ceased their animated conversation in favor of watching their co-coworker chasing after a particular client like a madwoman, which was something they’ve never seen before. Every muscle in Jenny’s body became notably rigid with anticipation, and she closed her eyes, gathering herself so that she could face the gorgeous veterinerian again without automatically falling apart on the spot. When Jenny finally turned around, Vastra was standing only ten inches away, looking rather out of breath as her chest heaved rapidly to refill her lungs with air, and there was a thin sheen of sweat covering her forehead. Even in this disheveled and exhausted state, did Jenny still considered Vastra to be the most extraordinarily attractive woman in the whole world. She also noticed that Vastra was holding a sheet of paper in her hand, inspiring a newfound sense of curiosity within her mind.


Once she had recovered enough of her energy to speak, Vastra said, “Pardon my, err, inconvenience, Miss Flint, but I’ve just realized that I forgot to ask for your phone number. It’s a precaution to help us keep in contact with you, in case any problems should arise with your pet, Greeny, later on in the future.”


Not really knowing what else to say, Vastra simply held out the sheet of paper in front of Jenny, silently requesting her to sign it.


Seeing the paper, Jenny couldn’t help but smile. It was only for Greeny’s sake, she knew, but a small part of her just couldn’t help but hope that there was something more to it. Smiling nonetheless, she took the offered paper and pen, quickly writing down her number before giving it back. As she did, however, a sudden and crazy idea hit her. “There you go. And, uh, if you wouldn’t mind, could I have your number as well? In case something does happen.”


It wasn’t until now that Vastra became aware of two other pairs of eyes watching them intently from across the opposite side of the room. Vastra blinked obliviously and tilted her head aside, trying to confirm if she had heard that correctly, or were her ears playing a false trick on her? Naturally, she found it hard to believe that anyone would ever want her number, especially this angelic, amazing young girl who she had been so insensitive to.


“Come on Vastra, do it!” Vastra could hear John whispering behind her back. “I know you can do it!”


“No way, she won’t!” Clara protested, indicating that there was probably a bet taking place between the two of them. “She’s always been all talk and no action!”


As soon as Clara said that, it was like two circuit wires had been inserted inside Vastra’s brain to shock it back to life again, and she managed to smile charmingly at Jenny. “I suppose that would be alright, even if it’s not something that I normally do,” answered Vastra, who then unceremoniously grabbed Jenny’s hand and scrawled her own number on it. “Well, there you have it! That’s actually all the information that I need, so….have a wonderful evening, Miss Flint.”


Vastra couldn’t understand why she just did that, writing her number onto Jenny’s bare hand instead of a piece of paper, like any other reasonable and normal person would.


Jenny smiled at her hand and turned around with the intention of walking out the door, but somehow ended up colliding headlong into it. Though a bit disoriented, Jenny was luckily able to find the door handle and swiftly exited the building. She wore a huge grin on her face, feeling more satisfied with herself than she’d been in a very, very long time. As she began heading down the sidewalk towards her apartment, Jenny abruptly stopped and carefully put the carrier on the ground. She then pulled out her phone from her pocket, typing the number on her hand into her phone’s contact list, and also taking a picture of her hand for good measure. She really didn’t want to lose the number, after having gone through so much just to get it.


And who knew? Maybe she would need to call and ask about Greeny….wait, who’s Greeny? Oh yeah, her pet lizard, how silly of her to forget for a minute there, again.


Still smiling, she bent down and picked up the carrier. “Love you little guy!”


Jenny truly did love Greeny. She had originally bought him to be less lonely, and now it seemed as though it had all worked out, in the best way possible.

————————————————————————

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Experinences w/ ADHD by your resident inattentive type

I.

I realized I hated – no, despised – school when I was in third grade. I had already been marked by all my teachers as either lazy or stupid by the middle of that winter, but I had yet to acknowledge the general awfulness of the situation.  At the time, I still saw the world through the distorting lense of an oblivious, optimistic nine year old.  That changed the day that my homeroom teacher, Ms. Burke, became frustrated with me handing in crumpled pieces of paper from the bottom of my backpack.  She marched over to my cubby, unzipped my lime green, rolling bag, and dumped its contents onto the floor.  I tried to repress the tears as she barked, “You need to keep your backpack more organized. Clean this up.” I stared down at the pile of unfiled paper, pink Legos, Ticonderoga pencils, and unidentifiable gray powder.  I squatted down towards it, letting my tears fall upon the already overflowing mess.

My classmates, who were disgusted by what they had seen, stopped talking to me after that.  I felt like an alien, a distractible puppy in a world of sensible cats. My teachers, of course, were cat people, so they continued to punish me, doubting both my dedication and intelligence.  I was a bit indignant; I was trying hard, and – for a time – I thought I was smart.  Despite my distractibility in the classroom and the fact that I couldn’t add single digit numbers, I was able to read books far above my grade level and had taught myself basic programming language.  Still, in the scheme of things, the ability to get a mark other than “needs improvement” on a report card seemed far more impressive to me than anything I had ever done.

II.

My sixth grade geography teacher, Mr. M, was the strikingly intelligent and well-spoken principal of the school.  He intimidated me at first, but I began to feel excited at the prospect of going to his class each day, wanting more than anything to learn. On my report card, he described me as a bright, strong student, words that I had never before heard in combination with my name.  For once, I felt like there was a chance that I might succeed.

That spring, my friend, Sidney, bragged to me that she had been accepted to CTY, explaining that it was an academic camp that admitted students based on their standardized test scores.  Boosted by Mr. M’s confidence in me, I decided that if she got into the program then so could I.  When I approached my parents about the camp, they agreed to let me try out.  About a month later, I received a letter from CTY informing me that I received their award of high honors and was admitted to the program.  I returned to school feeling more self confident than ever.  

My confidence, however, was short lived.  A few weeks into seventh grade, my advisor and history teacher, Mr. O told me to stay after class.  “I need to call your parents,” he informed me.  “Your science teacher is complaining that you laugh too much in class and take everything as a joke.  Your math teacher tells me that you never pay attention in class.  Your French teacher says that you never appear to be listening when she speaks, but always know the answer when she calls on you.  You always talk to other students during class during Latin.  You are one of the best students in my class, but it seems that it is the only one you are trying in.”

I felt so horrified that I couldn’t swallow for the rest of the day.  I told Sidney what had happened, and she said, “You might have ADHD.”

When I got home that night, I googled the symptoms.  “Forgetful, misses details, difficulty focusing on one thing, unorganized, seems not to listen when spoken to,” I read.  That’s so me, I thought.  

My mom, on the other hand, did not think that was me at all.  “Are you kidding me?” she rolled her eyes.  “You don’t have ADHD.  Those kids really can’t sit still.  I have seen you spend the entire day reading Harry Potter.  Of course, it is hard for you to focus on things you’re not interested in.”

“I don’t think you have ADHD,” my dad agreed with her. 

III.

I was nothing if not persistent, so by the time I went for my annual check up in June, my dad agreed to ask the pediatrician about how I could get tested.

“Educational testing is expensive,” she informed us, “so I wouldn’t do that unless you really think you have it.  I can give you some forms to hand in to your teachers.  They can evaluate you, then we can diagnose you if you have it.”

The next September, I handed the forms into the administrative assistant at my school, Ms. Blackman.  The leaves turned red and orange, then fell off trees as September turned into October, then November, then December.  Winter break neared, and I would be moving to California in a few weeks.  Finally, I asked Ms. Herlein, the academic resource coordinator, what had happened to my forms.  “Your teachers have them,” she snapped angrily at me.  “We will return them to you when they’re done.”  They never gave them to me or my pediatrician.  

IV.

My closest friend in California, Mia, had ADHD, dysgraphia, and dyslexia.  She was a member of SAFE (student advisors for education), which aimed to “educate, mentor, and support students, parents, and teachers regarding the challenges and strengths of learning disabled (LD) and ADHD students.”  Convinced that I had ADHD, she brought me to a few meetings.  The members of SAFE discussed ways to change the educational system to make it more LD friendly.  At the time, I felt awkward because I didn’t know if I had an LD.  If I could rewind time, I would share what I know now: that teachers should recommend students for testing,  respect accommodations, and listen when a student comes for help. 

V.

The next fall, I moved to DC and started at a new high school.  Since I did well on the placement test and in my eighth grade science class, I was recommended for Honors Biology.  I got a 56% on the first test, so I asked my mom to get me a tutor.  She agreed and asked the teacher, Mrs. C, if she had any recommendations at Back to School Night.  “No,” Mrs. C responded, “students in this class don’t need tutors.  Lauren belongs here, she will be fine.”  Unfortunately, she was wrong, and my performance in the class only went downhill from there.  Guiltily, Mrs. C agreed to meet with me every day in order to help me review the material we learned in class.  She was able to help me raise my grade to an 80%, but my confidence was severely depleted.  

VI.

That summer, we moved back to Baltimore, and I started at another school the next fall. It was an easy transition socially, and I quickly fit in with my classmates, who invited me to parties, sleepovers, and hangouts almost immediately after meeting me.  However, although there was decidedly less work at my new school, I still felt hopeless.  My worst class was Ecology, which everyone else claimed to be an easy A.  The first quarter, I got a 70% in that class.  I’m glad I like partying so much, I thought bitterly, because that’s all the college I’m getting into will be good for.  I complained to my friend Maria about my poor performance, and she responded, “What do you expect? You never pay attention.  It’s your own fault for not trying.”  Her comment made me feel sick to my stomach, and I started spending much of my free time in the library after that, wanting to prove that I could succeed.

The time spent studying, however, did not seem to help.  Near the end of the year, math became particularly challenging for me, as I still struggled with adding and multiplying.  Furthermore, I always felt especially distracted in that class.  I tried to listen to my teacher, Mr. F, but somehow - driven by some subconscious force that I was unaware of - I always found myself talking to whatever student sat next to me.  I began to get C’s on all my tests, so I met with Mr. F after class to ask for help.  After getting one test back, I apologized to him, wanting him to know that I really did care about his class.  “I know, Lauren,” he said.  “Your focus just isn’t always there.  Just work hard, we’ll get those grades back where they should be.”  I thanked him and quickly ran out of his classroom, trying to hide the tears.  As soon as I reached the hallway, I started to bawl.

That night, I told my mom that I wanted to be tested for ADHD again.  “I don’t think you have it,” she said, “but if you think you do, then let’s get you tested.”  She emailed my dad that night, and - although he was still skeptical as well - he agreed to set it up.

VII.

HP, a thin, Asian woman with distinct cheekbones, was a psychologist who would determine what learning disabilities I had (if any).  She administered the WISC, an IQ test with problems ranging from adding basic numbers to completing high level math, assembling blocks in patterns to defining the relationship between two words, naming all the foods you can think of in two minutes to remembering pictures and words.  The test was a grueling, five hour long process.  After we were finished, Dr. P gave me forms for my teachers to fill out about my behavior in the classroom.  That night, when I got home, I kept thinking, what if nothing’s wrong? What if this is how I’m supposed to feel?  I tried to push the thoughts from my mind, but I couldn’t wait to meet with her in two weeks.  

The same night, convinced that the bottle read detergent, I put soap in the dishwasher.  I had already done it twice before.  My mom tiredly came to my room, telling me to clean up the kitchen full of bubbles. “I’m sorry,” I cringed.  “It was an accident.”

“No, Lauren,” she sighed.  “You were just being careless.” She then proceeded to explain the difference between making a mistake and being careless.  Mistakes are hiccups of fate, things you never could have predicted. Carelessness, on the other hand, is synonymous with negligence. She was right, I could have prevented it … or at least, someone else could have. I felt incompetent and disgusted with myself.

VIII.

When we returned to Dr. P’s office, she explained the WISC results,  “The test has four sections: verbal, nonverbal, working memory, and processing speed.  Lauren scored highly in both the nonverbal and verbal section and exceptionally in the working memory section.  Her processing speed, however, was very low - only in the 20th percentile.  She’s been compensating for this with her high scores in the other areas.  Even with the low processing speed, her IQ is 117, which means she is bright.  Still, she just processes things more slowly than other people.  For example, Lauren, what’s 3 x 4?”

“Ummm….12”.

“See how she needed a second to answer the question even though she already knew the answer?” Dr. P asked my mom.  “It’s just that second that makes the difference.”

“What’s 5 x 4?” my mom tried me.

“Umm-”

“20,” Dr. P interrupted.  “See what I mean? We would be able to answer that just off the top of our heads, but she needs a bit longer”.

“So what does that mean?” my mom asked her.  “Does she have ADHD?”

“Considering her scores and the forms filled out by her teachers,” Dr. P responded,  “I would be inclined to make a diagnosis.   I will be writing up an official report with accommodation recommendations, but right now I will go over some options as for what you can do to help her.  One option is tutoring and counseling, which means that someone would teach her strategies for dealing with some of the issues that come up with ADHD.  The other is medication”.

“I don’t want her medicated,” my mom decided.  

That day, on the car ride home, I started crying.  Would things be different for me if I had known this years ago? I wondered bitterly.  

IX.

For the next few weeks, I continually begged my mom to put me on medication.  Each time I brought it up, she told me it was not an option.  Finally, some time in early-October, I got a text message from my mom, saying that she had spoken to a nurse who put her son on medication.  “You can try medication,” she told me later that night.  “But if it doesn’t go well, then we’re taking you off of it”.

Even though my mom had agreed to let me try medication, the problem of getting an appointment with a child psychiatrist, which are in high demand, remained.  Finally, after two weeks, my mom managed to schedule an appointment with BK.  When I met her, she told me, “There are non-stimulant medication options, but they take awhile to build up in your system.  You’ve waited long enough already, I don’t want you to have to wait one more day”.

That night, she sent me home with a prescription for Concerta (extended release Ritalin).  The pill has a colorful coating (cream at 18mg, gray at 27mg, white at 36 mg, red-brown at 54mg) of fast-acting medicine.  This layer dissolves within an hour of being exposed to a wet environment (the gastrointestinal tract).  That exposes a semi-permeable membrane, which slowly - over the course of 7 or 8 hours - allows water to enter the core of the pill.  The liquid displaces the drug, thus releasing it into the system.  

I always hear people talking about the awful side effects of Ritalin, but I don’t really feel that different.  The first few times I took it, I felt sick to my stomach, and it still makes me feel less hungry.  I do not, however, feel antisocial or aggressive, and I certainly have not slipped into psychosis.  Yet, it is not a solution to every problem either.  My processing speed is still slow, I’m still a bit careless, and I continue to have impulsive moments.  It does, however, make a difference.  I can choose what I want to focus on.  I can think more clearly.  I can succeed, but I still feel the effects of my learning disability.

X.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my science teacher’s classroom, finishing up a test when another student asked, “Do you have ADHD?”

“I don’t particularly believe in ADHD,” he responded slowly and deliberately.  Ugh, I thought, he doesn’t understand.  There are so many more levels - the processing speed, the uphill battle, the pain - that he just doesn’t understand.  I felt like I was going to throw up knives, but I just sat there quietly and tried to focus.  

“I would not show him your throat,” says a voice from somewhere behind Alex as she fusses over the dog on the steps of her apartment building. When he hadn’t left after two hours, she’d brought him a bowl of water and some chicken from her fridge, the last edible food in the joint.

“He’s a good boy,” Alex insists, ruffling the big gray dog’s ears.

“While you may have mistaken him for one of your domesticated animals, this boy is much closer to a wolf than anything you had in mind.”

“A Kryptonian wolf at that,” Alex supplies, looking up at the taller woman, noting the white streak in her hair. “I suspect we have more than this mutt in common, don’t we?”

“Why does he not attack you?” The woman has a distinct whine to her voice. “Despite many treats, he never lets me fuss over him like this.”

“What’s his name? And yours, while we’re at it.”

“I am Astra, General of the Kryptonian Armed Forces. And he is…”

“Yes?”

“…Astro.”

“You… named him after yourself? That’s bold.”

“Men do it all the time.”

“I’ve never been that interested in men,” Alex admits. “I think he could do with a walk. Got time for a trip around the park?”

“With someone brave enough to make kissing face at an alien wolf?” Astra shoots back, hands on her hips. Just as suddenly as she appeared, she relents. “I suppose I can make time.”

Current Affairs recently published an article that signals, I think, the real beginning of the Hamilton backlash, which has been in its incipient stages for a few months now, if only because everybody I know who’s sick of hearing about Hamilton shared it, even though it’s terrible criticism.


Called “You Should Be Terrified That People Who Like Hamilton Run Our Country,” the piece is by Alex Nichols. He dislikes Hamilton’s refusal to talk about slavery, because the Founding Fathers the musical talks about didn’t really deal with slavery either. At its core, Nichols’s piece worries that by turning the Founding Fathers into self-consciously “cool” characters, the center of a hip-hop musical that rewrites the founding of the country to star people of color, Hamilton is trying to sweep America’s sins under the rug. (Nichols uses this to draw a connection between President Obama’s love of Hamilton and his love of drone warfare, which…)


But this fundamentally misunderstands everything Hamilton is trying to do. It isn’t a celebration of the Founding Fathers. It’s barely even a demystification of them (though that’s closer to the mark).


No, Hamilton agrees with Nichols more than he thinks. It’s not a work that tries to excuse Alexander Hamilton’s failure to do anything substantive about slavery. At times, it even loathes the title character. Instead, it’s a story about how inadequately we are all preserved by history, about how after our deaths, we are all reduced to stories our survivors tell each other.


As such, Hamilton is mystified by its own characters. It turns over its final half-hour to Eliza Schuyler, Hamilton’s wife and a supporting character who, by virtue of outliving everybody else in the cast, left behind more of a record of her life than the other characters did. It wants to stick to history, more or less, but it conflates events and fudges things to make a better story. It’s not an accurate record of these people’s lives. It’s a rumination.


So Hamilton is a mystery. In its first song (“Alexander Hamilton”), in its first lines, no less, it asks a question:

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore
And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot
In the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?


But the show never really answers that question. It tries, but it’s cut off by the dark mist that surrounds the past.


[…]


Why didn’t the show end with the duel, when the two men at the story’s center were forever marked and changed? Why the Eliza-focused conclusion that comes out of nowhere?


The answer is surprisingly similar to the one I usually give for Lord of the Rings — the story that seemed like the most important one wasn’t actually the most important one. Eliza outlives everybody. She gets to cement the legacies of so many, and she works tirelessly to make the world a better place for as many people as possible. She builds an orphanage in her husband’s memory, for God’s sake.


And that would make for kind of a crummy protagonist in a work of dramatic fiction, where we expect characters who are strivers, who are after something. But why does fiction insist the only thing worth going after is something impersonal and massive? Why is building a nation somehow more worthy than preserving a husband’s legacy?


Like Angelica and Hamilton, Eliza is never satisfied, but only in the sense that she sees the world as a template to be made better. She enters the story as a supporting character to her sister, becomes a supporting character to her husband, but exits it as the protagonist. If anyone’s model here is to be emulated, it’s hers. It’s the show’s biggest, most ambitious leap, one that’s hard to get on board with right away, but one that works better and better for me the more I think about it.


And in a show about attempting to rewrite the country’s founding to include everyone, not just the white men who are usually at the story’s center, it’s quietly radical to end everything by talking about a woman whose achievements aren’t as distinctive but have proved longer-lasting.


Or maybe the answer is present from the first, from very nearly the first words Eliza speaks on stage, a simple phrase that the entire chorus picks up multiple times throughout the show: “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”


We are, all of us, accidents, in a sense. The events that create us are terrifyingly random, and the paths of history that led to our existence are as unknowable to us as the paths that will stretch out from our own lives, into the distant future.


The characters in Hamilton tell stories and worry about legacies and hope for greatness, but Hamilton’s greatest gift in the end is that it reminds us that there is more to life than living the kind of life that gets a Broadway musical written about you centuries after your death. Kindness is important. Building a better world is important. Compassion is paramount.


There is immense value in greatness, yes, but in the end, Hamilton says, there is even more value in goodness. It’s a hard message to argue, and it’s one Hamilton argues imperfectly. That it even tries, though, is, to me, worth all its frayed edges.

anonymous asked:

Okay so explain to me then as a South Asian woman how oppression of women is a western specific phenomenon. Abrahamic religions are sexist too and they originally are eastern. Shinto also has sexist ideologies. I'm just bummed because you are one of my favorite anthropology blogs and you assumed I was being rude or something when I was trying to learn a new perspective. Best of luck in the field.

I mean Woman as a distinct category with a distinct set of expectations is going to vary society to society, and I was referring to specifically the Western, English category ya absolute loon You think I don’t know that patriarchy exists everywhere??? ‘my fav anthro blog’ like OBviously you haven’t read a single thing I’ve posted 

Class Feature Friday: Mage of the Veil School (Wizard Subschool; Illusion)

While other forms of illusion project false information into the world or the minds of others, glamer magic is more subtle, altering the perception of things that already exist. With it, bad food can taste good, a pauper can look like a king, and the visible can become invisible.
Glamer specialists, which are today’s subject, are known as Mages of the Veil, due to their connection in the Golarion setting with the goddess Sivanah, the goddess of illusion and so-called “Seventh Veil”. Outside of that setting, however, veil mage is simply an appropriate moniker for a class of wizards that distort reality beneath cunning glamers.
Veil mages are naturally equipped to become spies and infiltrators, using magic to walk openly or invisible where others would have to sneak and hide. Others may have picked up the art to hide from hunters and oppressors for various reasons. Whether spymaster or shadow, few can find these mystics when they don’t want to be found.

As skilled as they are with both magical and mundane forms of deception, one of their most useful abilities is a catch-all glamer that makes them appear so unexceptional and bland as to be ignored by most everyone, who otherwise view them as belonging there, like a servant in a castle, a customer in a shop, and so on. However, situations where it is blatantly obvious that they don’t belong, such as one person of their race in a group made up exclusively of a very different race, or a noble among commoners or vice versa, tends to break the illusion, though they can supplement this with other spells.
To aid their allies in infiltration, these wizards learn to cast complex blanket glamers to ward entire groups with illusionary appearances for a short time, allowing for group infiltration, assuming the disguise makes sense for the situation.
Wanting to make an infiltration mage specializing in invisibility, illusions, and magical disguises? This one may be what you’re looking for. In addition to other stealthy glamers and illusions, I recommend a wide variety of spells, especially transmutation and enchantment, to enhance your stealth game and have something to fall back on when stealth fails. Needless to say, this particular subschool works best in urban games due to its focus on stealth and disguise.

Many of these mages have multiple false identities, both under glamer and mundane deceptions. Even if they don’t, they likely keep to themselves mostly, rarely opening up to others, if only for an overdeveloped sense of personal safety. The person who is granted full access to who they truly are under all the disguises is lucky indeed.

The figurehead of the Rebellion, the one only known as Golden Smile, is a mysterious woman named only for her distinctive lipstick, a clue that would surely lead to her capture and execution, if not for the fact that those golden lips and indeed the entire identity of Golden Smile is an illusion. In truth, the leader of the rebellion is none other than the king’s own daughter, tired of her father’s tyranny and the suffering it brings.

The party needs to meet with Unopened Gaze, the leader of the secretive Order of Eyes, to discover the location of the kidnapped Duchess, so they seek them out, each clue leading to someone else who in turn leads them to another. Eventually, they meet the leader, who explains that each person they met was actually the Unopened Gaze in disguise, testing their worthiness to meet with them.

Naga that study wizardry are rare indeed, as most prefer to use their innate sorcery over learned magic. However, some learn to do just that, enveloping themselves in such illusions that they may slither among humanoid races without arousing suspicion. Some are even benevolent, undetected benefactors secretly aiding mortals, while others are secretive manipulators in the shadows.