#and live through another year
So let's talk about the Lost Generation.
This is the generation that came of age during WWI and the 1918 flu pandemic. They witnessed their world collapse in the first war that spread around the globe, and they -- in retrospect, optimistically -- called it the "war to end all wars". And that war was a quagmire. The trenches on the Western Front were notoriously awful, unsanitary and cold and wet and teeming with sickness, and bloody battles were fought to gain or lose a few feet of territory, and all because a series of alliances caused one assassination in one unstable area to spiral into a brutal large-scale war fought on the ground by people who mostly had no personal stake in the outcomes and gained nothing from winning.
On some of the worst-hit battlefields, the land is still too toxic for plant growth.
And on the heels of this horrific war, a pandemic struck. It's often referred to as "the Spanish flu" because Spain was neutral in the war, and so was the first country to admit that their people were dropping like flies. By the time the warring countries were willing to face the disease, it was far too late to contain it.
Anywhere from 50 to 100 million people worldwide would die from it. 675,000 were in the US.
But once it was finally contained -- anywhere from a year to a year and a half later -- the 20s had begun, and they began roaring.
Hedonism abounded. Alcohol flowed like water in spite of Prohibition. Music and dance and art fluorished. It was the age of Dadaism, an artistic movement of surrealism, absurdism, and abstraction. Women's skirts rose and haircuts shortened in a flamboyant rejection of the social norms of the previous decades. It was a time of glitter and glamour and jazz and flash, and (save for the art that was made) it was mostly skin deep.
Everyone stumbled out of the war and pandemic desperate to forget the horrific things they'd seen and done and all that they'd lost, and lost for nothing.
Reality seemed so pointless. It's not a coincidence that the two codifiers of the fantasy genre -- J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis -- both fought in WWI. In fact, they were school friends before the war, and were the only two of their group to return home. Tolkein wanted to rewrite the history of Europe, while Lewis wanted to rebuild faith in the escape from the world.
(There's a reason Frodo goes into the West: physically, he returned to the Shire, but mentally, he never came back from Mordor, and he couldn't live his whole life there. There's a reason three of the Pevensies can never let go of Narnia: in Narnia, unlike reality, the things they did and fought for and believed in actually mattered, were actually worth the price they paid.)
It's also no coincidence that many of the famous artists of the time either killed themselves outright or let their vices do them in. The 20s roared both in spite of and because of the despair of the Lost Generation.
It was also the era of the Harlem Renaissance, which came to the feelings of alienation and disillusionment from a different direction: there was a large migration of Black people from the South, many of whom moved to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Obviously, the sense of alienation wasn't new to Black people in America, but the cultural shift allowed for them to publicly express it in the arts and literature in ways that hadn't been open to them before.
There was also horrific -- and state-sanctioned -- violence perpetrated against Black communities in this time, furthering the anger and despair and sense that society had not only failed them but had never even given them a chance. The term at the time was shell-shock, but now we know it as PTSD, and the vast majority of the people who came of age between 1910 and 1920 suffered from it, from one source or another.
It was an entire generation of trauma, and then the stock market crashed in 1929. Helpless, angry, impotent in the face of all that had seemingly destroyed the world for them, on the verge of utter despair, it was also a generation vulnerable to despotism. In the wake of all this chaos -- god, please, someone just take control of all this mess and set it right.
Sometimes the person who took over was decent and played by the rules and at least attempted to do the right thing. Other times, they were self-serving and hateful and committed to subjugating anyone who didn't fit their mold.
There are a lot of parallels to now, but we have something they didn't, and that's the fact that they did it first.
We know what their mistakes and sins were. We have the gift of history to see the whole picture and what worked and what failed. We as a species have walked this road before, and we weren't any happier or stronger or smarter about it the first time.
I think I want to reiterate that point: the Lost Generation were no stronger or weaker than Millennials and Gen Z are today. Plenty of both have risen up and fought back, and plenty have stumbled and been crushed under the weight. Plenty have been horribly abused by the people who were supposed to lead them, and plenty have done the abusing. Plenty of great art has been made by both, and plenty of it is escapist fantasy or scathing criticism or inspiring optimism or despairing pessimism.
We find humor in much the same things, because when reality is a mess, both the absurd and the self-deprecating become hilarious in comparison. There's a reason modern audiences don't find Seinfeld as funny as Gen X does, and many older audiences find modern comedy impenetrable and baffling -- they're different kinds of humor from different realities.
I think my point accumulates into this: in spite of how awful and hopeless and pointless everything feels, we do have a guide. We've been through this before, as a culture, and even though all of them are gone now, we have their words and art and memory to help us. We know now what they didn't then: there is a future.
The path forward is a hard one, and the only thing that makes it easier is human connection. Art -- in the most base sense, anything that is an expression of emotion and thought into a medium that allows it to be shared -- is the best and most enduring vehicle for that connection, to reach not just loved ones but people a thousand miles or a hundred years away.
So don't bottle it up. Don't pretend to be okay when you're not. Paint it, sculpt it, write it, play it, sing it, scream it, hell, you can even meme it out into the void. Whatever it takes to reach someone else -- not just for yourself but for others, both present and future.
Because, to quote the inimitable Terry Pratchett, "in a hundred years we'll all be dead, but here and now, we are alive."
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like. say what u want. but spn has absolutely maneuvered itself into a position where depending on how next week goes it will either go down as the best or the worst tv show in history, no in-between. they realised that they are in a very unique position in their industry because of how long they have been running and instead of quietly sizzling out they have upped the stakes as high as they can. allowing castiel to be explicitly in love with dean after twelve years sets a precedent for all other tv shows who until then could always half-ass their lgbt stories because well, look at how this still-running cult classic is handling it. but we don't even know which precedent they will set because the final episode hasn't aired yet! all we know is that the impact of making the angel gay shook enough people to their core that it trended in the middle of a historical election! like they will go out with a bang for better or for worse. i am forced to live through yet another historical moment this year
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I know that a lot of us don’t hear it from our parents, but I’ll say it to you, because God, you deserve to hear it
I am so proud of you for what you’ve done this year. For passing that test, For failing that test, but taking a deep breath and letting yourself move on. For leaving that toxic person behind. For making new friends. For building up old friendships. For cleaning your room that one time when nobody asked. For trying to take care of yourself. For being clean - whether that be for one day, one month, one year, or ten years. For putting more love and joy into the world. For being yourself. For breathing. For living. For surviving.
Life is hard and uncertain and scary sometimes, and I am so incredibly proud of you for living through another year. Keep on going. You can do this.
May next year finally give you the peace, love, joy, and warmth you deserve
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~even more dumb inquisitor comix~
the empire is exhausting, but onderon is great!
Shaar has not survived a single run so far.
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“Question. You take a broom, you replace the handle, and then later you replace the brush, and you do that over and over again. Is it still the same broom? Answer? No, of course it isn't. But you can still sweep the floor.”
- Deep Breath, 8x01
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Happy new year folks! 🎉
Take care of yourselves and stay strong! Love you all and wish you fantastic 2020! 💜
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Hey all. I really hate doing this, I've never done this before, but dire times call for humbling so.
My bearded dragon, Max (or, Beardimus Venemous Maximus the Secondus, as some of you may know him by) has been sick for a few weeks now. He has an infection that his vet hasn't been able to find the cause for yet. We're currently in the middle of an antibiotic treatment where we inject saline and antibiotics between his scales under the skin every 48 hours, in addition to giving him an oral pain and anti-inflammatory medication every day. This doesn't seem to be doing anything. He still refuses to eat. He still has a hard mass (either his liver or gallstone most likely) that is causing his stomach to be pushed upwards.
The first image on top is a radiograph of Max after they gave him a barium solution. That white boy is his current stomach placement. The second picture is how it's supposed to look.
Because this course of treatment doesn't seem to be doing anything, we booked an ultrasound with his vet for July 30th. Because of the nature of this, his vet will be transporting him to an emergency clinic in the next town over that has a much higher quality ultrasound available so that they'll for sure see what's going on, no questions. We had to put down a $980 deposit down for this visit, which was the minimum of what the visit for that day alone will cost. If they have to do a biopsy while there, which will require anesthesia, it could cost up to (and possibly more than) $1716. This is on top of the $889.50 we've already paid out of pocket for his treatment. And we have no idea what the cost of treatment will look like once we determine what's happening.
I'm disabled, currently on my third year of trying to get approved for disability in this country that seems to not believe disabled folx, so we're surviving on my husband's not great income in a city where cost of living is already pretty freaking high. Max means the world to us, he's what gets me out of bed even when I'm in insurmountable pain, and we'll do anything we can to make him feel better. He's only just turned five. His vet is extremely qualified and we know we've done the best for him under her guidance, so the fact that he's going through this is breaking my heart. He could live another fifteen years. It's just not fair.
I hate asking for favors. I know times are tough for a lot of people right now, and if you don't feel like you can spare anything right now I 100% understand and don't expect anything from anyone. But, I feel like I need to put this out there into the universe.
If you can spare anything, even just $1, our venmo is @ dragonparents , ko-fi is https://ko-fi.com/darlingrutherford if you prefer that way
Again, I'm not expecting anything, I know these times are tough. And please don't feel bad if you can't help out. But I figure it's good to put things into the universe. I wish I could offer something substantial in return. If you do donate and would like something, I could offer an over DM tarot reading, I can do a "good energy" ritual for you, send healing energy your way through ritual, etc. Unfortunately my CFS just isn't allowing me to write well right now, so I would feel like I would be offering a disservice offering that up. But, I can offer those (culturally responsible, pulled from my ancestor's culture and not those of other's) energy offerings/readings to you if you'd like ❤️
Most of all, I hope all of you remain healthy and happy, that your pets and loved ones stay healthy and happy, especially in these times ❤️
And, of course, paying the pet tax:
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are you for or against private health insurance?
i am for fully affordable, fully accessible coverage for every person residing in the united states. full stop.
but let’s talk for a hot sec about why you felt the need to pose this question the way you did, because it indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the health care system is structured in the united states and what it takes to fix it:
like it or not, the system we have now isn’t going to just go away. do you remember the aca? that was the most monumental systemic overhaul of the health care system in united states history, and it didn’t even try to get rid of private insurance in favor of a single-payer system as a way to create universal coverage. it was designed to create universal coverage via medicaid expansion and individual mandate, and it was gutted from the start by the nascent tea party in 2009. it was still passed and showed marked improvement in providing health care for people in the us over time, and then 2016 happened and now you have trump’s administration and seema varma, the cms administrator, doing their level fucking best to shit all over it every day until it falls apart the rest of the way.
now. let’s say your best case scenario happens. bernie wins! (i’m going out on a limb to guess you’re a bernie sanders fan. no idea why.) we get a democratic senate and house! medicare is expanded to cover every person in the united states! private insurance is eliminated! yay!
this is probably just a weirdly technical hangup but roll with me for a minute: what happens to said insurance companies? bcbsa has something like 35 companies within it but if they’re all suddenly kaput, where does their capital go? is the government seizing their liquidity? what about their debt? united health group is one of the largest insurers in the united states, yeah, but they also have a bunch of data analytics subsidiaries and clinical consulting arms, not all of which are located in the united states and some of which are heavily intertwined with the insurance branch. how do you split that up? what about employees that have been investing their bonuses in stock options? what about the stock exchange in general if you eliminate an entire multi-billion dollar industry? does the government cover all of that?
but: now a lot of people are now unemployed. and i’m not talking about insurance company executives, i’m talking about the hundreds of thousands of admin-level employees. i used to be one of them and i made barely above minimum wage. those people don’t have a golden parachute or cushy savings account to fall back on, and now there’s a heavily crowded employers’ market picking and choosing overqualified, nearly retirement-age people who are all looking for jobs. idk if you remember what the job market was like post-recession in 2009/2010 or. like. if you were even out of the sixth grade at that point. but i was fresh out of undergrad and interviewing for minimum wage jobs against people with 20+ years experience, and basically none of us were getting jobs no matter how much experience we had because there would be sixty people, applying for one minimum-wage no-benefits receptionist job that required you to have a bachelor’s degree and minimum three years experience in an office just to be a mail clerk. the economy would be crippled.
but let’s say that white jesus has decided that everyone who was working at a private insurance company will be guaranteed a government job of some kind, or like. just. any job. idk. i’d hope anyone that proposes eliminating an entire industry that employs over two million people would have a contingency plan in place to help them find employment. but let’s say he does! now we have a true single payer system, where everyone is covered, and private insurance is illegal, and everyone has a job. things are GREAT.
okay. awesome. but now you have to integrate everything into one system. there are a handful of major electronic medical record systems– epic, cerner, allscripts, etc.– in the country. most hospital and provider systems have invested millions of dollars in custom-designed systems that integrate across multiple sites and interface directly into their major insuring partners’ systems. billing is based on icd-10 codes but aside from that unified– and, importantly, clinical, not specifically billing– coding system, billing requirements are wholly different. do you push everyone onto one system? will there be subsidies to provider systems who, in good faith to maintain compliance with the government’s ongoing meaningful use requirements to date, have invested millions of dollars in functional ehr systems that they’ll have to potentially completely overhaul now that the billing approach is completely different?
but let’s say that they figure THAT out. everything is great. medicare for all! no private insurance! the private companies were broken up completely and amicably and no national, state, municipal, or county economy was crippled! all of the millions of people who lost their jobs immediately found new ones! the billing system was perfectly designed and implemented and everything is beautiful smooth sailing! this is good shit, yo.
not to be a wrench or anything, but: remember that bit up there about the aca being gutted even more once the administration changed? yeah. so. this administration that’s done all of these nigh-miraculous things? ends in eight years. then what? it’s been less than one term since obama was out of office and the system has been put into a steeper nosedive than ever as the shit trifecta of trump/varma/azar pulled back on patient protections and price regulation, started pushing for medicaid work requirements and block grant funding, and generally are doing their damndest to just fuck everyone who isn’t them over. so what happens when we hit that term limit in eight years after whomever it is–sanders, warren, literally anyone– leaves office?
the backlash against obama came in a myriad of ways– racism and islamaphobia, sure, but also very deeply rooted in values-based (and let’s be clear because i’m sure someone is going to warp this: i don’t agree with those values that say that all-for-me-bootstrap-your-own-way-up, but the fact remains that they are, in fact, value judgments in a value system) policy objections, and the aca was the thing that was most cited against him by rival politicians. do you really think that an even larger, more drastic overhaul of the system won’t account for more egregious backlash? i’m all for the importance of ideals and values, but i’m also a fan of things working and surviving. i’m not even confident we’re going to make it out of this administration with medicaid intact, to say nothing of the way that social security–y’know, medicare– is going to be insolvent by like 2030. our best case scenario won’t be starting on the foot we’re on now, it’ll be starting five steps back in the midst of a pending economic downturn.
it’d be great if we could get rid of private insurance. honestly. like, full stop, no sarcasm. i have existed in this health care system in so many ways– as a patient when i was fortunate enough to have great coverage; as a patient when i had terrible coverage; as a patient when i had no coverage; as a minimum-wage analyst at an insurance company who had to come into work deathly sick for a month straight just so i could almost make rent; as a consultant working with a bunch of other people who’re doing their actual fucking best to try and make a broken system work in a way that makes it affordable and accessible to everyone. i’m fully away of the problems caused, iterated, and perpetuated by private insurance– and i am painfully, brutally aware of how extraordinarily broken it is. i’ve had to choose between paying medical bills before they go to collection and paying for rent or food. i’ve stayed above water solely because of luck and privilege. my entire career is tied to trying to find a way to fix some of these problems in a way that lasts.
but i also know that the wholesale removal of the private insurance industry is hamstrung by the way the country’s government is set up and that as nice as it is to talk about living in a world where this system– this capitalist, racist, sexist, homophobic, cruel, vindictive system– the fact remains that this is where we are. this is what we have, and we have to live with it, and i’d rather fix it right than keep going forward one step and then back two, like what happened with the aca and like i very much believe would happen with a medicare for all implementation. i’d love to be proven wrong, truly; i just don’t think that i will be.
so let’s go back to your original question. maybe you want me to say that i support private health insurance so that you can call me a dirty capitalist who’s been fooled into hating on medicare for all by lobbyists and propaganda. but let’s go with a few nice and concise tl;dr bullet points:
i think accessible, affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right
i think the united states needs to have universally available, universally accessible, universally affordable healthcare coverage for every person living in the country
“are you for or against private insurance” is a grossly reductive question that presumes that the existence of private insurance is the one fundamental deciding factor regarding the health care debate, and it’s not
so if you’re looking for a simple answer, let’s go with this: universal, affordable, accessible coverage. that’s what i’m for.
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is it too much to ask for 4 different versions of loki to be running around the mcu
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Ben Solo has a beautiful dimply, toothy smile and I’ll no doubt be writing fics where he gets to smile that gorgeous smile until my fingers are worn to stubs.
There’s a line in my fic that goes, “He returned her smile with one of his own, and in that instant, she knew that she could live a hundred years and never tire of it” and that’s exactly how I feel.
I’m going to give them as many happy endings as I possibly can, where both get to smile that hard and where neither are alone. 💖
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trigger warning: family member dying.
I lost one of my grandmothers a couple of days ago. She lives in another country, but I've seen her a lot through the years. She died alone in her apartment. My heart breaks only thinking of that. I can't even look at my parents without crying, seeing how they blame themselves. She didn't want to come live with us, she liked it there.
And we can't even fly to her funeral because of the fucking pandemic.
How can you ever make peace with someone dear to you dying, without blaming yourself?
Jaskier's face fell as he continued reading the letter in his hands.
Geralt, who noticed that the room has gotten too quiet, lifted his gaze from the potion ingredients in front of him. "Jaskier?" He asked, slightly frowning. "What is it?".
Jaskier folded the letter with shaky hands, giving Geralt a small smile. It didn't reach his eyes. Geralt could cleary see how the younger man's lips were shaking.
"It's nothing" Jaskier said, his voice slightly breaking at the last word. "Um. It's just. My father".
Geralt snorted, going back to his work. "Another threat of disowning you unless you quit being a bard and traveling with a Witcher?".
Jaskier's laugh was short and bitter, and that's what finally made Geralt finally drop what he was doing and focus on the man in front of him. "No," Jaskier said, trying to maintain a light tone. "Um. My father, he- well- He died. Heart attack".
Geralt blinked back at him, not knowing what to say.
What the fuck should he even say?
Panicking, he said the stupidiest thing possible-
"Are you okay?".
Jaskier snorted at his question and got up from his seat, pacing across the room. "Well, I- As you know, my father and I weren't exactly close. He was very mean to me on some occasions. Always said he was ashamed of me. He and my mother, they fought- a lot. To be honest, I hated him".
Jaskier stopped in front of the small window of their rented room.
"I think I hated him. I don't know. In the last few years, I never cared about what's going on in his life". The young bard buried his face in his hands. "Then why does it hurt so fucking much right now?" He sobbed quietly.
A moment later, strong arms wrapped themselves around his waist and pulled him against a warm body. Jaskier started shaking violently.
"C'mere." Geralt murmured and Jaskier turned around in his arms, burying his face in the fabric of his shirt. He was sobbing openly now.
He didn't remember how it happened, but at some point he and Geralt eneded up on the floor, Jaskier sitting in his lap, his fists curled in the Witcher's shirt, sobbing into his neck.
Geralt ran his fingers through his hair, whispering "it's okay, I'm here, let it out", occasionally pressing kisses to the bard's shoulder and temple.
When Jaskier's sobs turned into quiet sniffling, Gerlat gently picked him up in his arms and carried him to the bed.
Lying down, Geralt continued murmuring soothing words, rubbing small circles into the bard's back. Jaskier continued crying into his shirt.
"I-i- He- W-when I got that scholarship to O-oxenfurt, he told me never to show my face in the courtship a-again. B-but, nonetheless, he sent me money when I was stru-struggling".
Jaskier took a deep breath. "He hated me being a b-aard, but my sister, Izzy, she told me he requested other bards to play my songs. Th-that he just wanted to hear that I was okay".
Jaskier took another shaky breath, tears streaming down his cheeks. "I was a horrible son, Geralt. I, I, I let him down all the time, he- He died and it is all my fa-".
"Stop it," Geralt cut him off, frowning slightly. He wiped Jaskier's tears away with his thumbs, cupping his face tenderly.
"He wasn't the ideal father and you weren't a horrible son." Geralt said quietly. "You are a person. With your own wants and dreams. Your father sometimes couldn't accept that".
Jaskier squeezed his eyes shut, more tears rolling down his cheeks. Geralt wiped them away, too. "You did nothing wrong, Jask. You're grieving. It's okay to feel that way. But none of this is on you. Okay?".
"Okay." Jaskier sobbed quietly, but it didn't sound convincing. So, Geralt did the best thing he could do at the moment. He pulled the bard closer and held him tight.
"I want to be there for the funeral." Jaskier said quietly into his chest.
"Hmm." Geralt replied, tracing his fingers through Jaskier's hair. "We will go".
Jaskier was quiet for a moment. "We? I thought you wanted to head north, to Kaer Mor-".
"We can go there after the funeral. Or spend the winter in Oxenfurt. My brothers and Vesemir will understand". Geralt suddenly got up from the bed, fetching Jaskier some water.
"Drink." he ordered. Jaskier frowned at him, but took a few gulps nontheless.
"Okay." Geralt said, sitting down beside Jaskier on the bed. "Do you want to keep talking?".
"No." Jaskier replied quietly, staring at the floor.
"Okay." Geralt said again, reaching for the top button of Jaskier's shirt. When Jaskier didn't push him away, Geralt started to unbutton his shirt. "Then try to get some sleep. We need to leave early tomorrow".
Jaskier sighed, allowing Geralt to undress him and pull him beside himself under the covers. "I don't know how am I going to deal with all of this." Jaskier mumbled into the other man's chest.
Geralt put an arm around him and pressed a kiss to the top of his head. "You won't. We will".
Don't feel guilty.
They wouldn't have wanted that.
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Nauryz: The Kazakh New Year
As many of you may know, recently we've been celebrating Nauryz, so, first of all happy belated Nauryz to everyone, and secondly, I just wanted to make sure everybody knows what it is.
Nauryz ("new day" from Persian) - it's a celebration of a long-awaited arrival of spring, of people managing to live through a severe winter to see another day, another year. The "living through winter" aspect have always been extremely important to the Nomadic Turkic (again, TurkiC, not Turkish) tribes of Central Asia because winters in the Great Steppes have always been severe as were the life conditions. In other words, Nauryz in KZ is pretty much another New Year aka the Original Kazakh One™.
It's celebrated on the Spring Equinox, on March 22nd (in KZ, the dates may slightly vary depending on the country), that is usually considered to be the real start of spring. Contrary to the popular belief, Nauryz has nothing to do with Islam, it's a purely pagan tradition, was originally celebrated by proto-Iranian tribes. The custom sort of spread across the parts of Central Asia, including most of the Turkic (again, TurkiC, not Turkish) nations, including Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, Uzbeks, Uyghurs, Turkmens, Azerbaijanis and many others. It is still a big deal and, apparently, is an official New Year in Iran. Because of its interethnical quality, it has many name variations, so if Kazakhs call it "Nauryz", for Kyrgyzs it's "Nooruz", Persians name it "Nowruz", other versions include: Nevruz, Navruz, Norooz, Nowrouz, etc.
From what I know, every nation celebrates it a bit differently. In Kazakhstan, celebrations include continuous festivities, visits to and from relatives and friends, yurts are built in the cities, people dress up in traditional Kazakh costumes (although, not everyone, mostly performers), eat traditional Kazakh cuisine, sing songs, dance, and even (if the necessary preparations are made by city hall/other organisations) make shows of traditional Kazakh games involving horse-riding.
I've got to mention the traditional drink - Nauryz Közhe that's made of 7 ingredients: water, meat, salt, fat, flour, grains and milk. The ingredients themselves may vary, but it's usually lamb and/or horsemeat, wheat, barley and/or rice for grains, cow milk, sheep milk, Qymyz/Kumys (aka horse milk), Airan (something like kefir), Irimshik (aka Kazakh cottage cheese, but the regular one is often used too), Qurt/Kurt - for dairy products.
All and all, it's a very bright fun holiday, a true celebration of life and renewal.
BONUS: In the Western part of Kazakhstan, mostly in Atyrau and Mangystau provinces, people pretty much start celebrating the coming of the New Year on March 14th. It's called Körisu Ait or just Körisu that literally translates as "to see each other" when you ought to see and greet your family, distant relatives, friends to congratulate each other with the coming of the spring, of successful passage of winter in good health. From what I know, the reason why Körisu precedes Nauryz is because, historically, the Western Kazakh tribes were the first ones to move out from their winter settlements (Qystau) to the spring pastures (Kökteu), meeting other tribes along the way and heartily greeting them with the knowledge of being able to see yet another year.
This is by no means a comprehensive post about the event in question, just a little free-form summary by me. Sorry for disappearing though, sort of failing to keep things regular due to various reasons from my own celebrations (of International Women's Day, Nauryz, birthdays of relatives and even my own, although not really lol) to the banal laziness. I've got to start writing more though, as I'm clearly feeling that my English is slipping away from me at an alarmingly accelerating rate. This post already seemed a considerable strain of brain muscles. Oh maybe I'm just too sleepy.
Anyway, feel free to ask questions, add clarifications, comment, share and repost.
Cheers and Nauryz Qutty Bolsyn!
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aaron burr said “if there’s a reason i’m still alive when so many have died then i’m willing to wait for it” and then lived through misery after another for the next 60 years
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Was raised by grew up with 5 meezers, haven't been able to afford another pair for several years so I'm living vicariously through you and other meezer owners. Ours figured out things like school schedules, where to scream so it echoes the loudest, how to open doors - like closed and latched doorknob not door handle doors - the snooze button, and where the harnesses and leashes were kept so they could drag them upstairs one step at a time at 3am sounding like the ghost of Christmas past and ask for walkies. Tobi do anything like that?
Okay so this is sad lol, but, I have had other Siamese in the past who were VERY smart and did these sorts of things! Opened doors, knew words or subtle signals, like very in step with me I'd say. They were very good at signaling what they wanted, when, and understood how I'd respond.
Tobiko isn't like that. Tobi doesn't know words, not any of them. He doesn't know his name, he doesn't know "food" or "chicken" (his favorite food), and he doesn't know "feather" (his favorite toy). I mean I'm saying these words all the time trying to teach him something, but to Tobi, words are just random sounds.
Even Tobi's meows are nonsense meows. Cats normally have different sounds for different wants/situations. I always knew what my past Siamese were saying. Tobi........ Tobi's meows all sort of sound the same. I think this could be why he doesn't understand that human words may also have specific meanings.
Opening doors, tricks, or anything that would require more than very basic thought are beyond him.
He is still a very good boy, though. He's very dumb, but the sweetest and cuddliest cat I've had. He's also very patient when I trim his claws or clean his teeth.
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i want to live forever. i want to listen to every album and read every book and watch every movie, ever. i want to meet infinite numbers of people. i want to see every pretty landscape on this earth. i want to touch the surface of the moon and see humanity occupy mars. i want to be alive when the skyscrapers go well beyond the clouds, when there is walking artificial intelligence among us, and when we can fly just to see the stars. it’s so sad that at best i’ll only live for another 50 years. not 500, not 1000. i’m living through such a small patch of human history and i won’t get to see so much this makes me so sad
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pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader
summary: you forget that Disney World changed the theme of Splash Mountain, and you and Bucky are scarred forever.
warnings: rollercoasters, fluff, inappropriate use of Disney songs, mentions of sex
a/n: this is apart of my bucky barnes shifting experience series which can be found on my Bucky masterlist! hope you enjoy!
Bucky was insanely excited to go on Splash Mountain.
you had been a little worried originally, wondering if the big drop would remind him of the train, but luckily he was fine. he had watched some youtube videos of the ride, and watched a few of the log flumes go down before even getting on the ride, and he assured you he would be fine.
he was practically shaking from excitement while in line, especially when one of the screens lit up with his name.
"oh my god how do they do that?" he asked, his eyes wide in wonder.
you giggled and explained it to him. "that screen is connected to the fast pass scanner we just scanned our Magic Bands on, so it registered our names." you said and Bucky awed in amazement.
finally, it was your turn, and the two of you got in the front of the log flume. "there's seat belts on roller coasters now?" he exclaimed, and you laughed and shook your head.
the ride took off moments later, and you were taken aback slightly when you realized they changed it from the original theme of The Song of The South to The Princess and The Frog.
you shook the shock out of your system, and enjoyed the ride, and more specifically shielding your body with Bucky's whenever water was splashed towards you.
eventually the ride was nearing the drop, and you turned to look at Bucky, to make sure he was okay. he turned to look at you and smiled. "i know you're worried, but I'm going to be fine." he said, and pressed a kiss to your forehead. you smiled, but it instantly fell from your face when the music changed from "Down In New Orleans" to "Almost There".
you watched as Bucky's eyes widened in horror, and busted out laughing as he turned bright red.
you covered your face with your hands as the music continued to play, and heard Bucky groan.
"this is worse than the brainwashing." he admitted and you slapped his arm.
"Bucky!" you exclaimed, unable to hold back your laughter. "you can't say that!"
Bucky snorted, trying to ignore the music. "as the one who actually went through the 20 years of brainwashing, then lived for another 50 not knowing who the hell he was, i think i can say that!" he said, and groaned again as the chorus began to play.
you covered your ears. "i'm never going on this ride again." you proclaimed, and Bucky agreed, but then tapped your arm.
you looked up and breathed a sigh of relief when you saw you were in line for the drop.
30 seconds later, you were falling down the 49 foot drop, the scream dying on your lips due to the air rushing at your face.
as the ride concluded, Bucky took a deep breath and looked at you. "that was horrible."
you nodded as the ride came to a stop and the lap bars came up. you undid your seat belt and took Bucky's hand as he helped you out of the flume like the gentleman he was.
the two of you walked out hand in hand, and Bucky leaned close to you just as you exited the building.
"we should stop playing almost there from princess and the frog whenever we have sex," he said, and you busted out laughing again.
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hello from Mexico. i know that Hector being 21 at his time of death and 17 when he got married shook you badly, so i wanted to give you some of historical context: by 1910 the life expectancy was of 31 years old for men, women didnt even have one; add 7-10 years of civil war (La Revolucion Mexicana) and by those standards, Hector was in his middle age and Imelda? she was a lucky one. Most women married at 15-16 with men that were in their 20s or their 40s; hope this helps. if it doesnt, sorry :)
The marriage part doesn’t really have me shook, and tbh considering Héctor is a magnet for disaster I honestly don’t think he would have lived past 40 or 50 through natural causes.
It’s more the fact that life just… goes on without him. His best friend lives another 21 years of fame through using his talent. His wife stubbornly lives to her 70s (inevitably working herself to death). His daughter lives to be nearly 100!!!!!!!
It kind of hit close to home for me, that this kind, affectionate, caring man is forced to just Carry On in the Land of the Dead on his own when it’s clear he’s not a man who can function Being On His Own.
He’s always had Ernesto in his life, keeping him from getting in over his head and protecting him from danger. He thought he was going to spend the rest of his life with Imelda and Coco, who he needs for emotional support as much as he thought they needed him. He’s a born performer and that must’ve stemmed from at least a meager need for attention, for adoration of his work, being the big ham/natural class clown that he is. Heck, he forms tight bonds with complete strangers in Shantytown, despite knowing any of them could disappear the following morning.
Héctor is a man who can’t be happy living by himself, and is thus miserable in death, by himself. That is what really has me shook more than anything.
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Lessons in Mortality (3/?)
Part 1 | Part 2 | AO3
Short recap: After rescuing Jaskier from a Nilfgaardian prison, Geralt took him to an old healer named Mother Mora. They’re staying at her cottage while Jaskier recovers.
The next day dawned clear and cloudless. When Geralt felt the warmth gathering in the room, he brought himself back to full consciousness. He stood to open the window shutter a little wider and then turned to check that the quilt still covered Jaskier. It was exactly as he’d left it; Jaskier hadn’t moved at all in the night. Geralt watched as his chest rose and fell in the slow rhythm of deep sleep brought on by exhaustion and herbs.
A whicker from outside the window drew his attention, and he smiled at Roach as she nosed at the open shutter. He reached out to give her a scratch at the neck.
Satisfied by the small attention, she ambled off to explore the bounty of the still-green pasture. The leaves of the forest trees were still mostly green as well, only the uppermost branches fading to yellows, oranges, and browns. Mora’s goat wandered out of the small barn and immediately trotted to Roach and began a litany of bleats. Mora herself came out next, holding a pail full of fresh milk.
After one last glance at Jaskier, Geralt left the room, but he kept the door open behind him. The cauldron over the fire still bubbled. He investigated the smaller pot that hung beside it--chucks of salted pork bobbed in simmering water--and then sat himself in a chair at the table that afforded him a view back into the bedroom. Mora bustled in through the front door, setting the milk pail on a counter and shaking loose her shawl.
“Got tired of impersonating a statue, hmm?” she said to Geralt. “Your friend still asleep?”
Geralt nodded. A moment later a covered plate landed in front of him. He lifted the cloth and found several thick slices of bread, still warm. Mora pushed a small pot of strawberry jam at him as well.
“Eat up. Then you can make yourself useful.”
As Geralt ate, Mora made several trips from garden to table, bringing in potatoes, onions, and carrots and then bunches of herbs. She laid it all out on the table and then went out again. Geralt had time to finish his breakfast before she came back with a bucket full from the well. She set it down at Geralt’s feet and wiped her brow.
“They teach you to scrub and peel vegetables up at Kaer Morhen?”
“Good. Too many young men think themselves above such work, the fools.”
“I’m not a young man,” Geralt noted as he bent down to clean the first potato in the bucket of water.
Mora made a scoffing sound and sat down heavily in one of the other chairs at the table. She pulled a bundle of the herbs toward her and then took out a small paring knife from the pocket of her apron.
“Don’t say that to a woman when you look the same age as her son. Especially if she’s holding a blade.”
Geralt smirked as he set the clean potato on the table and grabbed another from the pile. “I’ve lived more than a century.”
“You’ve survived more than a century,” she insisted, slicing through stems. “How many years you’ve lived is another number entirely. And not a high one, I’d wager. You could learn a lot about living from someone like me.” She gestured toward the open door of the bedroom with the knife. “Or someone like him. My chaos couldn’t rattle a henhouse, but even I can feel the spark of vitality in that man. He loves life, that one.”
Geralt didn’t know how to respond to that. He couldn’t deny it. No one who had spent more than five minutes around Jaskier could.
“He’d certainly be willing to teach you if you’d let him,” Mora added.
Geralt glanced over at her, frowning, but she just looked back with the same placid expression as when he’d pointed out Jaskier’s healed hands.
“So why haven’t you let him, hmm?” she prodded. “Too stupid, too stubborn, or too scared?”
Glaring down at the potato in his hands, Geralt scrubbed it until flakes of the peel floated in the water. “It’s not that simple.”
“You’re that simple,” Mora countered.
He slammed the potato on the table, and Mora tsked at him like he was a child having a tantrum. “What’s so complicated about it then?” she asked.
“There are other…” He grabbed a carrot and scrubbed that raw too. “I have a child to consider.”
“Oh? I didn’t think Witchers could sire children.”
“She’s not mine by blood.”
“How did she come to you then?”
Geralt stared at the dripping carrot in his hand for a long moment before meeting the old healer’s eyes. “The law of surprise,” he muttered.
Mora snorted. And then snorted again. And then her face crumpled as the snorts turned to full-belly laughter that had her banging the table and clutching her chest. The carrot snapped in Geralt’s grip, and both halves plunked back into the bucket.
“Oh, oh, my,” Mora gasped as she wiped at her eyes. “Destiny set you a nice little trap, did she? And you walked right in, blithe as a bird. No wonder you reek of her bullshit.” She reached across and patted his arm. “Oh, Witcher, you are good and properly fucked.”
Geralt couldn’t deny that either. He only hummed as he retrieved the drowning pieces of carrot. “My name is Geralt.”
Mora nodded. “You are good and properly fucked, Geralt.” Then she assessed him, tilting her head like the owl on the fence post. “But maybe not entirely, hmm? Maybe Destiny’s plan isn’t so terrible as you once thought.”
“Don’t read my mind,” Geralt said, but it lacked heat. He found it hard to be angry with the woman while sitting at her table with Jaskier peaceful in her bed.
Still chuckling to herself, Mora stood and gathered up her shawl and a basket. “All right. I need to go into the forest to get some things for your friend’s feet. You keep scrubbing and peeling.” She laid another covered plate on the table along with the tin cup with more herbs in it. “If your friend wakes up, get him to eat and drink. Kettle’s by the fire.”
After the door banged shut behind her, the little cottage fell quiet. A bumblebee buzzed through the open window and set to investigating the herbs laid on the table. If Geralt focused, he could hear the soft sound of Roach and the goat cropping the grass outside. If he focused more, he could hear Jaskier’s steady heartbeat. He lost himself in the simple task of preparing the vegetables and only paused when he heard the bed in the other room creak. He set down the potato he’d been holding, then stood and wiped his wet hands on his trousers. As he watched, Jaskier blinked open bleary eyes, so Geralt hurried to fill the cup from the kettle and bring it and the plate into the bedroom.
“Geralt?” Jaskier’s voice was a sleepy rasp, and he lifted one fist to rub at his eye like a child.
Geralt set the plate and cup on the small table by the cot and then carried it all over to the bed. “How do you feel?”
“Good? I think? Better at any rate, though that wouldn’t take much.”
When Geralt removed the cloth covering the plate to reveal the fresh bread, Jaskier’s stomach growled. An eager smile crossed his face, but when he tried to sit up, he winced and pressed a hand to his stitches. Geralt took gentle hold of his shoulder and helped him ease forward as he rearranged the pillows to prop him up.
“Thanks,” Jaskier sighed. His smile returned when Geralt handed him the plate, and he took a large bite of the bread.
“Go slowly,” Geralt reminded him. “Don’t make yourself sick.”
Jaskier nodded as he licked crumbs from his lips. “Gods, this is the best bread I’ve ever tasted.”
“Hunger will do that.”
“Or this healer is an exceptionally fine cook.” He craned his neck to see around Geralt as he took another bite of bread. “Where is she, by the way?”
“She went out to the forest.”
The next swallow didn’t seem to go down as easily, and Jaskier reached for the tin cup. He took a sip and then released a pleased hum. “Chamomile and honey. That’s nice of her. I was expecting some foul-tasting medicine.”
“I think that comes after the trip to the forest.”
Jaskier grimaced in response but didn’t look up from his contemplation of the tea. “I suspect you’re right.”
When he did lift his eyes to Geralt’s, the smile he wore reminded Geralt of another bard they’d once seen in Vizima. Jaskier had criticized the man for his forced emotion; “a false promise,” he’d called it.
“Don’t let me keep you from whatever it is you were doing,” he told Geralt.
Geralt frowned. “I was just peeling vegetables.”
“Well, you’d better get back to it,” Jaskier said. “I don’t think you want the healer… what was her name again?”
“Right. That was it. I don’t think you want Mother Mora cross with you. She strikes me as the kind of woman who’d be rather terrifying when she’s cross.”
Just then the door of the cottage banged back open, and Mora walked in and plunked her full basket on the table beside the vegetables. “Dammit, Witcher,” she hollered to him from the outer room. “Aren’t you finished yet?”
Jaskier shot him a smug grin that clearly said “I told you so.” Geralt was thrilled to accept it over the uncomfortable smile of before.
“Mora, my angel,” Jaskier called back, “your bread is divine!”
Mora came to the door of the bedroom, leaned against the door frame, and gave Jaskier a very obvious once-over. “Save your flattery. You aren’t getting under my skirt.”
Jaskier snorted into his tea and coughed as he choked on a bite of bread. Geralt thumped him gently between the shoulders until he swallowed thickly.
“Mora,” he croaked, “you will leave me a broken-hearted man.”
“Not the first time I’ve heard that,” she retorted with a smirk. “Not even the first time I’ve heard it from a bard within these walls.”
Jaskier’s eyes lit up the way they did when his interest as a storyteller was piqued. “Really? That sounds like a tale I have to hear.”
“Later,” Mora said as she turned and went back to her basket of herbs. “After I’ve treated your feet.”
All of Jaskier’s good cheer drained in a moment. He gazed down the length of the blanket covering him to his heavily bandaged feet, and Gerat realized he hadn’t tried to shift his legs once since he’d been awake. Even as he took another bite of the bread, a shudder cut through him.
“I was afraid she was going to say that,” he muttered around his mouthful.
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I’m really happy we didn’t have to live through another cringey hammer xmas card this year ya know
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it’s so crazy to me that my great grandmother who passed away only a few years ago lived through the spanish flu
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