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Adventures in post-patch GW2 leveling, part 2

This time, I’m on a norn ranger, level 5-9.

Mostly, I just wanted to say that I’ve finally experienced how the stat changes impact leveling, and it really, really, seriously sucks. For example, my level 7-8 ranger was dying a lot. In Wayfarer Foothills. I remember, pre-patch, that for a new character, the very north of the map (where the Sons of Svanir group event happens) could be a bit tough. But no. I was dying squarely in the middle of the map. And rangers are usually among the more survivable classes! Enemies three or four levels above where I was were absolutely destroying me, which never happened when I was leveling my 4 pre-patch alts.

This is inflated difficulty and it is not at all fun.

A couple of days ago, I was walking around in Guild Wars 2 when I saw a ranger with a Black Widow spider pet named Natalia Romanova.

The perfection almost killed me.

(Though I was super bummed to learn that apparently you can only get a Black Widow spider if you had a Guild Wars 1 account, which I don’t have :(((( )

Wow, I just saw a photomanipulation that I did reposted without credits…?

(For anyone curious, it’s this one. Which I originally posted here.)

I…don’t know if I’m allowed to say something like, “Hey, please reblog this from me instead of reposting?” Because it’s just a photomanip, I didn’t actually draw it so it’s not fanart, but I’d still…prefer for it to be reblogged.

I dunno…

How to Get Away With Murder 1x01



Laughing like crazy because no law school works like that. There’s no way a bunch of 1Ls would be invited to participate in a real criminal case before they’d studied any case law or procedure.

Also, way to keep stereotyping the legal profession. Breaking rules and destroying evidence so a guilty client can walk free? Oh, TV shows.

(I’m not a forensic scientist, so anyone who knows more about this can feel free to correct me, but: (1) Why would they try to destroy the DNA of the corpse? Police can’t do a DNA match unless your DNA is in the system, and I think that would only be the case for people convicted of a crime; and (2) I’ve seen enough episodes of Bones to know that if the skeleton survives the burning, people can use that to ID a victim.)

So many issues:

  • 1L’s in Crim Law their first semester and being hired for a firm
  • Attorney/client privilege? Does it exist? The fuck?
  • Where was the case law and what law school lets the professor use an ongoing case?
  • Discovery? Judge-“Meh” The fuck?
  • A crim professor depending on their students to provide “gotcha” evidence to win their case *SIDE FUCKING EYE*
  • Professor making students miss class even though the ABA will ban them from exams for truancy 
  • A trophy to get out of exams? 

It really goes on and on

Yup. I get that the actual life of a law student is too boring to make for good TV, but this is just…the farthest thing from real life.

How to Get Away With Murder 1x01

Laughing like crazy because no law school works like that. There’s no way a bunch of 1Ls would be invited to participate in a real criminal case before they’d studied any case law or procedure.

Also, way to keep stereotyping the legal profession. Breaking rules and destroying evidence so a guilty client can walk free? Oh, TV shows.

(I’m not a forensic scientist, so anyone who knows more about this can feel free to correct me, but: (1) Why would they try to destroy the DNA of the corpse? Police can’t do a DNA match unless your DNA is in the system, and I think that would only be the case for people convicted of a crime; and (2) I’ve seen enough episodes of Bones to know that if the skeleton survives the burning, people can use that to ID a victim.)


Anonymous asked:

Hello! I have a bit of an... odd question. But ths something that has been bothering me greatly. Most of the time I have seen people tell someone that (both in media and real life) "they weren't born for combat". Do you think anyone can become a fighter? Or do you need some "talent"?




No, there’s no such thing. Whether they want to admit it or not, every single person has the capacity for violence.

There are some people are so phenomenally talented like Ernie Reyes Jr., Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, to name a few, that their skill leaves you breathless with envy. However, the same can be said for any person who is extraordinarily talented like Gabbie Douglass, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, or any Olympic level athlete. You hear phrases like “they were born for it” tossed around for them, because predestination is an easy way to explain why some people are just more talented than others.

However, by linking their success only to fate does them a disservice. It cuts out the second and perhaps most important aspect of what lead to their success. Hard work.

Being the best is a combination of multiple factors: skill, luck, love, determination, and perseverance.

You can get skill without talent, because what you need to become skilled is a willingness to apply yourself and work hard. You could be the most talented person ever to throw a punch or land a kick in Taekwondo, but if you don’t love it or want to do it then you won’t succeed. You’ll quit.

Martial arts schools have an incredibly high turnover rate because a lot of people do give up. From adults to children (especially children), the vast majority of those who sign up will be gone within the first three months. When I tested for my first black belt, though it was in a group of six or seven candidates, none of them were from the original group I’d started out with. Second and third, however, was with most of the same people at my school from my second test.

Why? Because by that point we’d built a camaraderie, and though we ran the age gamut from fourteen to fifty, we were a team. The ones who stick with it are the ones who stay. It’s not talent, it’s perseverance, and the willingness to put in the extra time.

"Born for it" is just an excuse. It’s easy to comprehend, it’s bite size, easy to swallow, and you don’t have to think about it much beyond that. The failure is outside,  whatever happened this person was always going to fail. It’s not a black mark against them, it’s just fate. Risk free and guilt free. "It’s okay, you weren’t meant for it".

For me, it’s right up there with “women can’t fight”. You’ve heard it, “nature didn’t build them that way”. “It’s not your place”. People repeat it, even when we have a slews and slews of evidence in any martial arts school around the country that it isn’t true.

"You’ll never be good enough, so why even try?"

Because trying is the only way you will ever be any good. This is true of anything, you have to be willing to stick with it and keep going even when it’s not easy. Keep pushing when it’s hard, volunteer to put in the extra time, do what you don’t have to do.

In my martial arts school (and most schools do this), we had early practice on Saturday mornings at 7am-8:30am at one of the local high schools. We’d work out, run the mile, focus entirely on our conditioning. It was hard. Hard to wake up that early on a weekend, hard to sacrifice the first few hours of the Saturday Morning Cartoon Block, hard to show up rain or shine. It became mandatory at red belt, but the instructors suggested starting as early as blue belt, or even earlier.

The ones who put in the extra time earlier than it was required were the ones most likely to make it to the test. One of the reasons is that training for black belt not only has a conditioning/endurance test, but also a commitment test. Training for black belt takes time, the serious training starts six months in advance (though it really starts earlier than that), and training upgrades from three times a week to five with special and extra practices tacked on to what you’re already doing. Our Saturday Morning practices were taken over by the main organizations and required going down to Willow Glen to train with Master Ernie every Saturday. That required getting up at five in the morning for the hour long commute and getting home at ten. We picked up extra optional Sunday Beach Training for black belt candidates.

That’s just one example.

The most difficult part of training to fight (or any sport) is the time commitment. Training for first degree black belt was 10-15 hours a week (including travel time) on top of the 45 already covered by school. It was often late in the evenings, which meant I had to go to bed early. It left time for little else.

What do I think? I think talent is nice, but not relevant. Determination is, the will to show up even when you don’t want to (and there will be days when you don’t) is, putting in extra time and extra classes when you don’t have to be there is, volunteering around the school and helping your fellow classmates is.

You have to want to be good. You have to be willing to work to get better. Many more talented people will quit. If you work hard, you can go from being worst in the class to best in the class in a year.

You don’t need talent, you need will and to believe that you will improve. Both are much harder to come by.

Still, skills for surviving life.


There is a difference to be noted here, though - psychological comfort.  Not too many people are ethically or deeply uncomfortable with the idea of being athletic - but there’s good reason to be deeply uncomfortable with the concept of violence against another person.

Some people can’t work around that, nor, really, should they try.  Some people instinctively go straight for the throat without a second thought.  You can train your way into an effective reaction and response time with practice and muscle memory, but you can’t really train yourself into not being horrified by the feeling of someone’s nose breaking under your hand.

Actually, you really can. Conditioning someone into being comfortable with inflicting violence on another human being is horrifyingly easy.

That said, you’re also confusing a sadist for an effective combatant. Being able to put aside your discomfort and do something you find distasteful from time to time because it’s necessary is just a fact of being an adult.

With combat, your choice is to do something distasteful, or have horrible things inflicted upon you. This has nothing to do with if you’re “comfortable” with violence. Ironically, most martial artists are less comfortable with inflicting violence on other people than the theoretical “normal person.”

They have a better grasp of what it entails, and as a result, a greater aversion to it out of school. Put another way: the more you understand about violence, the more unpalatable it becomes.

The techniques, the training, the physical action? Those are all a sideshow for many martial artists. It’s something you do, but not to other people. For a lot of martial artists who come out of a sport or recreational background, the transition to practical combat is something they have real trouble reconciling. “This was all fun and games, but now you expect me to push a little further and kill someone?”

Also, you don’t ever want to train with a sadist. Full stop.

Someone who is genuinely comfortable with hurting their training partner is a serious liability when you’re trying to learn how to perform a technique. I know, I’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of those and I, quite literally, have the scars to prove it.

In my experience, people who are comfortable with hurting other people are far more prone to “training accidents,” and as a result, people you want out of the school as fast as possible, before they seriously injure another student.

In combat, even with training, they’re less capable of moderating their behavior, and more prone to leaving themselves exposed, or being effectively baited.

So, no, being a sadist doesn’t help you fight, and it is certainly not a prerequisite.


Those writers you think are masters of the craft aren’t created that way. They aren’t supernaturally capable ninja writer-bots. When you read the work of a writer operating at the top of her game, you’re not seeing all the years of failed efforts, of work that wasn’t quite right, of work that was well-intentioned or built off of strong ideas but had slick and wobbly legs like a newborn fawn.

You see the author operating at a high level and you wonder: why am I not doing that?

The reality is:

You’re only seeing the island, not the heap of volcanic material that pushed it out of the sea.

Chuck Wendig - "Polling Your Intestinal Flora: How A Writer Cultivates Instinct" (via likeatumbleweed)







I’m gonna depress the hell out of all of you. ready? ok go

so, that “stop devaluing feminized work post”

nice idea and all

but the thing is, as soon as a decent number of women enter any field, it becomes “feminized”, and it becomes devalued.

as women enter a field in greater number, people become less willing to pay for it, the respect for it drops, and it’s seen as less of a big deal. it’s not about the job- it’s about the number of women in the job.

observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field. so has happened with scores of other areas; nursing comes to mind

so the thing is, it’s not the work or the job that has to be uplifted and seen as more respectable. it will never work out, until people start seeing women as respectable

but there’s a doozy and who the fuck knows if it’s ever happening in my life time

"observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field."

Personal anecdote time!  I’m in a biology graduate program.  An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major.  When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”

I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”

The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.”  She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.

Same thing happened to literature. Used to be poetry was the medium of educated men, and novels were “the trashy, unprofessional writings” of women. The more poetry women wrote, the less esteemed it became, and the more men wrote novels, the more value novels had. Now YA novels are frowned on, and also considered women’s territory. If I could find it, I read a few months ago the personal experiences of a female scifi writer and the bias there. Women are expected to write “less intelligent” soft scifi while hard scifi is for men and considered superior. One is valued more than the other based on the genders that tended to write them, and now men and women are pigeon-holed into those genres and disrespected if they don’t adhere to them.

This is probably like 90% of the reason for the backlash of “Anti-gamers” when it comes to women in nerd culture. Nerd culture isn’t really respected anyway and even though it originated as a massive boys AND girls club (really more a girls club since the first ever sci-fi nerd convention was created by women for their love of star trek) but there’s probably a subconscious knowledge that whatever respect they do have (and it’s getting more respect right now too thanks to nerds growing up into people with money and making movies) that it’ll be “lost” if taken over by women because we’ve been taught over and over again that women ruin everything.


Why? Because we live in a society that has been hard wired for centuries that to BE a woman is weak so anything women excel at must be also weak and of no value, hence why we try to keep women out of EVERYTHING and then once they get in people scoff and go “yeah well it wasn’t that hard to begin with that’s the only reason you got in at all…”

God all of this is so true. People always change the rules and change the goal posts and it is fucking frustrating as hell.

I had a pharmacy school professor who would go on and on about how it was SUCH a SHAME that women had entered the profession in such numbers, that we would ruin the profession and that our presence would devalue the profession — that women in pharmacy drag down salaries, make the profession less respected, and basically be the Ruin of Pharmacy As We Know It.

The thing that really grates, though? He didn’t hate the societal attiudes that caused this — he hated women for entering his profession, because the drop in salary, devaluing of the profession, etc., would be *our* fault for entering it — not the fault of people who automatically devalue any profession that has a large percentage of women working in the field.

40 Questions — Meme for Fic Writers




  1. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
  2. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
  3. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
  4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
  5. Share one of your strengths.
  6. Share one of your weaknesses.
  7. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
  8. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
  9. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
  10. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
  11. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
  12. Is there an episode above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
  13. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
  14. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
  15. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
  16. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
  17. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
  18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
  19. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
  20. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
  21. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
  22. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
  23. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
  24. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
  25. What do you look for in a beta?
  26. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
  27. How do you feel about collaborations?
  28. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
  29. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
  30. Do you accept prompts?
  31. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
  32. How do you feel about smut?
  33. How do you feel about crack?
  34. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
  35. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
  36. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
  37. Talk about your current wips.
  38. Talk about a review that made your day.
  39. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
  40. Write an alternative ending to [insert fic title] (or just the summary of one).

Drop a number in my Ask, and let’s see what answer I come up with.


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