All regional sales managers are required to take a written knowledge test of the day to day operations of one of the stores they’re responsible for. A score of 50% or higher immediately disqualifies them for the position.
They are considered exceptionally qualified if, during one of their visits to a store, a customer approaches them with a question and leaves with more questions than they started with. And confidential company information.
The only remake of Lord of the Rings I will accept is one in which there is not a single word spoken in English, but all actors learn Westron and Sindarin and Khuzdul for the film. Then, and only then, will a remake be acceptable.
Vader wants desperately to deny that him and Anakin are the same person, going to any length to separate himself from who he was and what he used to be. But, as the ROTS novelization also tells us and though it is no longer canon, I think it’s a valid way of putting it - Vader knows, somewhere deep down that he is Anakin. He knows he’s still the same man, but he doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
Because that would mean he’s still weak, in the eyes of himself and Palpatine. It would mean he destroyed himself, and what he wants to believe is that what he destroyed was someone else’s life. He wants to see Vader as superior, because glorifying the deprived state he’s currently in is the only way he can handle his own remorse, rectify what he’s done to get there.
If he admits he’s still Anakin, he admits that what he’s done wasn’t making anything better for him. That he himself hurt and scarred the people he loved. He wants to believe Anakin’s persona is separate from his own, that Anakin’s love is somebody else’s love. Even when he draws on his own - Anakin’s - emotions to plunge into the Dark Side, he denies that they’re his.
Still, when he thinks of Padmé or Obi Wan or Ahsoka or Shmi - he always thinks in first person before rectifying it. Because they were his - and even when, as Vader, it’s almost a compulsive thought to add on that “no, they were Anakin’s beloved, not mine,” he deep down knows that’s not true.
Vader hates himself, more than he could ever hate the part of himself he calls Anakin. Because he is Anakin, and the part of himself he refers to as Anakin is the young slave boy from Tatooine. The naive kid, who fell in love with Padmé Amidala and loved her enough to marry her in spite of the Jedi Code. Who shared the most intimate of Force bonds with his Jedi master Obi Wan Kenobi. Who taught Ahsoka Tano in Jedi arts with the care of an older sibling. Who loved his mother Shmi Skywalker so deeply, all he wanted was to free her from slavery.
To Vader, Anakin is the kid who has yet to commit genocide; who has yet to be at the beck and call of the most evil man in the Galaxy. Who has yet to sacrifice a perfectly good state of being - where he’s loved and secure - for a life of misery and agony. He won’t even admit that he’s literally put himself in the place of a slave by obeying Palpatine’s every word.
Because Anakin lost everyone he ever loved. Everyone who ever loved him. Vader wants to tell himself he doesn’t need them, he doesn’t care. But if Vader and Anakin weren’t one and the same, he wouldn’t be pained by Anakin’s memories. He wouldn’t be affected by the thoughts of Padmé, Shmi, Obi Wan or Ahsoka. He would feel nothing when faced with reality; when Ahsoka or Obi Wan are standing in front of him, ready to duel to the death. When the thought of resurrecting Padmé - as a shell of the person she was in life - becomes a possiblity. If Vader weren’t still Anakin, he’d brush it all off. He’d go about his day, with no attachments.
But he does feel. He feels pain, and sorrow, and rage. And if those were not his emotions, because of his connection to the people involved, he’d be empty and unfeeling and void of suffering. And he’s not. When Ahsoka addresses she’ll “won’t leave you, not this time”, he falters. Briefly, and not enough to return fully to the light or to admit to himself who he is and what he has done. But, he does falter and he does hesitate, if just for a moment.
When he strikes Obi Wan down, having told himself for decades he’d be delighted and thrilled to finally rid himself of Obi Wan’s memory - instead, he crumbles. The cry for help, of agony goes out into the Force; so strong that even Yoda can sense it on Dagobah at the other end of the Galaxy.
Even the first instance of this grief, when he’s informed of - and subsequently lied to about - Padmé’s death by Palpatine, he is crushed. If Vader did not care, he would have been unfazed by Padmé’s death. His first step as the man behind the mask is to grieve Anakin Skywalker’s dead wife. Of course, she was the reason he used to justify the heinous acts he committed, but it was never really about that in the end. It became an excuse to glorify his own new state of being.
Vader tells himself he is not Anakin Skywalker, but yet all of the things he feels, all of the things that ground him in his pain and thus in the Dark Side, are Anakin’s grievances; are Anakin’s misgivings. Are Anakin’s losses.
The same thing happens when he’s confronted by the truth that Anakin’s son lived, that Luke Skywalker exists. That there’s a possible future for him, as a father, and he immediately thinks of Luke as his son - despite always pressing the fact that he is Darth Vader, and that Anakin Skywalker is no more.
Subconsciously - and perhaps on some distant and faraway conscious level - despite all the things Vader wants to convince himself; he’s still Anakin. He knows he’s still Anakin. Anakin Skywalker, who’s done despicable, deplorable things. Anakin Skywalker, who has taken uncountable lives - murdered children - all in the name of a misguided sense of justice. It’s a way to cheat himself out of guilt, because having a conscience is for the weak and Anakin does have one.
And to admit that he’s still the same man, would be to admit that Anakin was never a wholly good and pure person to begin with. That Anakin was always damaged, that Anakin was always flawed. To admit the insecurities that Anakin felt - that the thoughts of how he never deserved love, that he was never good enough, that he always wanted more than he had - are all his. That Anakin was never betrayed by anyone but himself.
That’s why it’s not until Luke redeems him, that Anakin can admit who he is.
That every vile thing he’s ever done was all on him, not somebody else named Vader. It is then that he accepts that he is Vader, and that Vader is Anakin, and there never was any real difference. And despite the horrible things Anakin has done, he saved his son and finally did the right thing. Finally did something good, and pure, and utterly selfless. Finally loved someone else enough to sacrifice himself, rather than toss them along the wayside to justify himself.
And that’s how he’s finally coming to terms with the fact that in spite of everything he’s done wrong, of all the mistakes he’s made, he could still do good. He may not be a good person, but he is capable of doing good deeds.
When Anakin stops separating himself into two different personas - who are ultimately one and the same - is when he finally finds peace. Because that’s where he finally admits that Anakin Skywalker ruined his own life by putting himself before everyone he ever cared for. It’s only by accepting that he is Anakin Skywalker and always has been, that he can forgive himself.
All regional sales managers are required to take a written knowledge test of the day to day operations of one of the stores they’re responsible for. A score of 50% or higher immediately disqualifies them for the position.
I have always been partial to stories which feature the removal of many layers of clothing as an important plot element. One of my favorite Scandinavian folktales is about a queen who, through some magical conception mishap, gives birth to twins. The younger twin is beautiful and normal in every way, but the older twin is just. Y’know. A big horrible snake with arms.
When the younger twin grows up and wants to get married, the lindworm returns and insists that he, as the elder prince, must be married first. When a massive horrible snake with arms lays down the law like that there isn’t really any room for disagreement, but it turns out to be awfully hard to find a bride willing to marry him. The king and queen search far and wide for a woman who will take a husband who is 50 feet long, doesn’t have legs, and may or may not eat his would-be wives when they are appalled by him, but eventually they find a local shepherd’s daughter who is either coerced, a monsterfucker, or just very open-minded and agrees to marry the lindworm.
Depending on the version, the bride either seeks out the advice of a witch or comes up with the idea all by herself, and goes to the bedchamber on her wedding night dressed in many layers of dresses. Her big horrible snake with arms husband is waiting for her and bids her to disrobe, but she asks him to shed a skin as well. Her sexy Russian nesting doll cosplay has so many layers that by the time she is naked, he has shed all of his skins and is 1.) either a sexy naked human dude underneath or 2.) is this meaty blob of helpless worm meat that must be whipped and bathed in chemicals before he transforms into a sexy naked human dude. Either way, they presumably live happily ever after and the younger prince can finally get married.
I’d like to know how the elder prince adjusted to having a human body. He was born a lindworm and lived his entire life slithering around—he’s never worn pants! He’s never had to sit on a toilet! What’s he gonna do now that he’s a sexy 20-something heir to the throne? Is it a shock for him when he looks down and he’s just got one sexual organ? His butt is in the back now, he’s got to shave, he’s got to eat with a fork and a knife and chew his food instead of unhinging his jaw and swallowing it whole…. is it weird for him? Is his honeymoon spent learning to walk on two legs? Is his instinct to crawl out of bed and drag himself across the floor by his arms? Does he roll onto his back and play dead when he gets scared? Does he wrap his torso around his lunch and attempt to constrict it? Is his wife… into this?
I actually get asked to see a lot of portfolio’s while I’m at cons. And while I LOVE looking at other people’s art and offering critiques if they ask, it’s sort of cringe-y to be handed a messy stack of papers or something. Nice portfolio’s look so much more professional!
putting this up, since my website project for university is finished and I don’t have to put it on the web anymore.
a very, very basic image guide on how your portfolio should be presented or appear, whether you’re in fine arts, graphic design or illustration, illustrated by yours truly
please do NOT remove the commentary while reblogging, do not reupload anywhere else.
THIS is important
This is a great guide. I look for portfolios like this when hiring tattoo artists. I rarely see good portfolios, and it’s sad because sometimes there’s really great art in there that would look SO MUCH BETTER if it was presented well.
If a tattoo artist can do good work AND present themselves well, I know they’ll make customers very happy. They care about every aspect of the job and follow through.
Mae Carol Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama. When she was three years old, her family moved to Chicago, Illinois for better employment and education opportunities. Jemison was always interested in science and dreamed of going to space from a young age. Once when she was little a splinter infected her thumb. Her teacher mother turned it into a learning experience and she ended up doing a whole project about pus.
While Jemison’s parents were always very supportive of her scientific interests, her teachers were not. Jemison once recalled: “In kindergarten, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her a scientist. She said, ‘Don’t you mean a nurse?’ Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a nurse, but that’s not what I wanted to be.”
Jemison went to Stanford University when she was just 16 and graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering. She received her doctor of medicine degree at Cornell Medical College in 1981. During medical school she traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand, to provide primary medical care to people living there.
Jemison first applied for the space program in 1983 after the flight of Sally Ride. The program was delayed after the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, but she was accepted into the program after reapplying in 1987, one of 15 applicants out of 2000. One of her biggest inspirations for pursuing the space program was African-American actress Nichelle Nichols, better known as Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek. Later Jemison would go on to guest star in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, becoming the only actual astronaut to appear on the show.
As a lover of dance, Jemison took a poster from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater along with her on the flight saying: “Many people do not see a connection between science and dance, but I consider them both to be expressions of the boundless creativity that people have to share with one another. She also took some small art objects from West African countries to symbolize that space belongs to all nations, and a picture of African-American pilot Bessie Coleman.
Jemison is now 60 years old and currently serving as the principle of the 100 Year Starship organization.
Star Wars #3 Preview | by Charles Soule Jesús Saiz
THIS IS SOME FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC LANDO CHARACTERIZATION.
He’s still a scoundrel and he’s basically cheating here, but it’s done with style and so much genuine charm and the way he does it is by remembering the people of the city that he’s in charge of, remembering their kids’ names, giving them plausible deniability of when the Empire asks what the hell happened.
This is a Lando who is still that same guy who adventured his way across the galaxy, cheating and charming everyone he possibly could, but also cares deeply about Cloud City and hasn’t forgotten them. This is a Lando who didn’t sell out Han for his own sake, but was entirely genuine that he did it to protect the people of Bespin, while still allowing the Rebellion a way out of Vader’s clutches as best he could.
I love the flirty moments, the distraction away from the serious with, “Well, I am a lovely man to look at.” that makes you kind of underestimate him, until you realize what his plan is and it’s their best shot and that he genuinely is helping here. He can be obnoxious at times, maybe you still have that sliver of doubt because he does some shady stuff.
But when it’s time to place your bets, you can place them on Lando.
I LOVE LANDO SO MUCH AND THESE PAGES ARE FANTASTIC AT GETTING WHO HE IS.
so… Star Wars is one of those things where I love it so much because of the way the story turned out, but at the same time I have a million AUs for how I also wish it could have gone.
I-I just really want one where Anakin doesn’t turn/turns back early and ends up as a leader of the Rebel Alliance (the Jedi Order having still been destroyed), while Padme remains on Coruscant as a senate spy to leak intel to the rebels. of course, they’re separated to the public eye, and end up with one twin each… so ~*~THE SPOILER ~*~ is still a spoiler for Luke, it just happens earlier haha. and I love the potential dynamic of switching the twins around… X)
This is literally the most bomb-ass D&D story I’ve ever read in my life oh my god.
Holy shit ._.
Some RP sessions have better stories than actual fiction. I mean, goddamn.
For those having trouble reading the text:
We had a campaign in D&D where we assembled a steampunk-ish time machine. After many sessions travelling through time, uncovering mysteries and learning harsh lessons about changing history, we had to stop a time-travelling cult from destroying the gods, and therefore the world. We failed.
Our machine crashed, we were stranded earlier than we had ever been able to travel. We found the Gods, but only a few of them were present - it was as if some had never existed. Then we realised - we had to become those Gods. Our party was entirely divine (Cleric, Paladin, Avenger, Invoker), and each of us was a worshipper of a god who had been unmade - and we were the only people in existence with enough knowledge of the forgotten deities to assume their roles.
But two of the players were worshippers of Io (in his twin forms of Tiamat and Bahamut, who would of course form later after Io’s ‘death’), and only one could become Io. The other would have to be the un-created Asmodeus.
So the most just, honourable and dedicated Lawful Good paladin I’ve ever seen roleplayed became the god of tyranny and evil. If he hadn’t, the gods would never have defeated the primordials, and the world would never have been completed.
In our setting, Asmodeus is every bit the epitome of evil you would expect him to be. Nobody but the gods who abide his presence know him as otherwise. He adheres to his role because he knows he has to - and that in doing so, the world can exist. He can never tell anyone his duty, and no-one who knows can ever discuss it.
In the farthest recesses of the Nine Hells, in a chamber sealed tighter than any other in existence is a pocketwatch of finest gnome craft with a photo of his family in it - his wife, son, and little baby girl.
They were killed by an orc army marching under the orders and banner of Asmodeus. Their deaths are what drove him to become an adventurer.
Imagine the other end of it tho.
Imagine that time has passed almost back to where they had begun. Asmodeus knows the date—of course he does—and watches as an orc army destroys all the loves of his life. Again.
He cannot, of course, go and comfort his former self. That would be the temporal-mechanics equivalent of sticking a fork in a toaster and would probably set the universe on fire.
But what becomes of the souls of the dead here? Most particularly, that of his wife, who, one presumes, loves her husband, and for whom a good afterlife would of course include the promise of him being restored to her?
I can think of two possibilities. One, that she is brought to the Paradise of Io, and asks after her husband’s fate, and watches as he becomes an adventurer, travels through time, and meets the fate he must shoulder to right the universe—at which point she would, trembling with some sort of hope mixed with fear, depart from the halls of Io to go and confront Asmodeus, whom she now knows to be her husband.
The other is that Asmodeus claims the three of them (or the one of them? perhaps she bargains for the release of her children to Io’s halls), and gives them comfortable quarters in his palace and shows up for dinner every night, and she is frightened and angry and grieving but unharmed, and she asks him why she is here, why is she in his power, why is she comfortable and not tortured, et cetera. And he answers things like “this is as it must be,” and when she presses further he asks if she will hear a story.
It may be some time before she agrees, but he will not tell it before then.
He tells her about a man, a follower of Io, who became an adventurer after the deaths of his family by a follower of Asmodeus. He tells her about that man’s adventures, about time travel, about a threat to the world and how that man and his companions met it and failed. And he tells her of the burden demanded of them, and the most terrible fate which one of them, the bravest of them, the best of them, shouldered: to become him.
The understanding that he is talking about her husband grows slowly in her, and the understanding that he who stands before her is her husband dawns more slowly than that, and the understanding that even though he is her husband, the man she knew and loved for his kindness and goodness, he is also everything Asmodeus is and can never again not be, comes upon her great and terrible like the advance of a glacier, and he stands up, not to approach her, but to unbar the door.
This path leads to the halls of Io, he tells her. She is more than deserving of paradise, he tells her. He will never bar or hinder her; she may go where she will. (This is a tweaking of the Rules, perhaps, permissible only because Io holds a claim on her for her own faith. Or perhaps, because his orders have killed her, it is his prerogative to do what he wants.)
She looks to the door, and she looks back to him. It is as heavy a choice, in its way, as his at the dawn of the universe, but with no press of duty in a singular direction to ease the making if not the consequences. He waits.
They say, afterwards, that Asmodeus the Lord of Evil has a wife. Nobody knows how, nor why, for she is kind and sweet, yet she is no captive, and she loves him. They call her the Lady of Mercy, or sometimes the Lady of Hope, and alone of all the universe he is said to raise no hand against her. They say he has a son, and a daughter, but these have yet to make themselves known. Sages and philosophers make much over the argument of whether Evil can love, but it is pointed out that Good can hate, and anyway, the other gods do not destroy Asmodeus when surely they must outpower him, but suffer his existence.
Asmodeus listens to their conversations sometimes, and perhaps smiles a bit as he continues his dread work. His Lady listens too, and smiles perhaps a bit more, and lays a soft hand over his, and they continue, jointly, to endure that great and terrible burden by which the universe may exist.
Actually I have to talk more about the Balrog plotline I really haven’t come to terms with it- so first you go to Nurn and you meet with some not-entwife (it’s a big woman made of wood but it’s NOT an entwife ok and oh you KNOW this bark woman has tits don’t you worry she has barky barky tits are you not entertained??) And Celebrimbor’s like ‘oh this is Carnan and she’s scary’ and then you wait for him to explain how he knows her or what she is and friends? you will go to your GRAVE waiting on that! And then you chat to her for a bit and she casually oh my god this part is SO important she just throws out there that ORC NECROMANCERS are trying to raise a Balrog from under Mount Doom and then Talion’s like ‘what’s a Balrog’ and you all turn to Celebrimbor so ready for him to maybe scream or perhaps cry or even just raise his voice slightly to show that he’s just the least bit nervous about the sudden appearance of this GOD DEMON FIRE BEAST that killed like a good quarter of his family and hasn’t been seen in 6000 wholeass years and FELLAS. MY GOOD COUNTRYMEN. THE CUTSCENE ENDS AND CELEBRIMBOR HASN’T SAID ONE SOLITARY WORD ABOUT IT.
*wheezes* SO THEN you go to the plains of Gorgoroth and guess what you’re just not in time to stop this big big Balrog from crawling out of it’s lava bath (jesus it’s so important to understand- this is eARLY game, you get this quest like JUST after the intro area, you FIGHT this BALROG at hour like 7 I’m not making this up) And- ok so pay attention ok so- THEN. That barky titted tree woman flies in out of nowhere and turns into a giant troll made of LEAVES and WOOD. And then you wrassle- (this was a very purposeful word choice) you WRASSLE with this BALROG. Ok I’m gonna say this one more time- you sit on this big troll made of wood and leaves. As it FULL CONTACT wrestles. With this demon that is. -it just couldn’t be moreon fire ok.
AND THIS WORKS SOMEHOW.
Oooo but the Balrog runs away! Because the devs rendered this rig, and by god they’ll get all the playtime out of it they can! So SMASHcut now you’re somewhere snowy in Mordor. You click on the Quest and Celebrimbor, in a very bored tone, tells you that if this Balrog gets out of Mordor then Middle Earth is DOOMED. Like yeah! No shit! That’s what I thought!! Why aren’t you less calm about this!!! But nevermind ok, so you hunt down this Balrog and god this part is so boring I have to skip it- it all ends up with you riding a dragon made of (once again) wood and leaves!! as you fight this Balrog on top of a frozen lake.
Why isn’t your leaf dragon being incinerated by any fireball the Balrog throws? We don’t know.
Why isn’t the Balrog melting the ice under it’s feet? We don’t know.
But the goal is obvious, we’re gonna break the ice and sink the Balrog into the water and at this point I was like ‘oh so are we like legit killing it? stab it in the ice when it’s weakened maybe? nice, one less problem to worry about’ so- oh friends imagine my surprise- when the Dragon you’re on barrels headfirst into the Balrog, drAGS it into this inconceivably deep lake and then just freezes the water over the top of it. Somehow.
And then Talion and Celebrimbor are like *wipes hands* haha! I guess that’s that! What a good job we did, mission accomplished! We’re such a good team, mark this plot thread TIED. UP. :)
*hacks my way through the fourth wall with a hand axe* HANG ON BOYS ifIcouldjusthaveonesecondofyourtimejusttoanswermeONEQUESTION!!!
Could someone tell my why the FUCk we’re getting a video game called ‘Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ Gollum? Gollum??? You wanna play as Gollum!!?? fucking GOLLUM??? I don’t care how much you love Gollum as a character, does that mean you wanna play as him snatching babies from cribs and eating raw fish for 8 hours?? Are you SURE??