BPAL Imps - Take Three
I will admit, the reason I got Antony when it's one of the more definitely masculine scents on BPALs list (most being gender-neutral) was because it sounded like it would be great to wear for crossplay. Not that people would likely be able to smell it much, but it would help put me in the frame of mind needed to strut around a Con like a conqueror. Well, okay, and maybe on the off-chance that people would smell it. Anti-con-reek for the win! (And it just sounded like it smells good. XD)

The embodiment of Classic masculinity. A warrior's scent:
the green hills and grasses of the battlefields,
the resinous incense from the prayers to his Gods, and a
touch of the musky leather of his armor. Ambergris
and frankincense with sage, and basil.

In the imp: I'm getting a whiff of the sage and basil, and perhaps the frankincense. I honestly have no idea what ambergris smells like, so I can't speak for that, and I can't detect any leather.
On skin: Herbs and frankincense, and I might detect the leather starting to come out (. Definitely a more masculine scent. Nice and subtle, too, not overwhelming. Wait, there's the leather! It's not as obvious as Dwarf's leather; it's more of a leather jacket than leather for armour.
After 30 minutes: The leather has become more prominent than the herbs, but the frankincense is still there, so it's a bit like incensey leather. Not bad at all!
Later: Dies off into a warm men's cologne sort of smell, fairly pleasant.

Verdict: If my brother ever needs help with a date, I'm going to slather him in this. Crossplay... maybe, maybe not.

BPAL Imps - Take Two
ronsenburg halves
Iron filings and chips of stone, Styrian Golding hops, and soot-covered leather.

In the Imp: Stone and metal. Not really smelling the leather or hops at all.
On skin: Whoa. Whoa. This is... this is stone and leather, with a sharp, bright undercurrent of iron. The hops aren't really there, but I can't say I'm complaining when I have this. The stone... it's not sedimentary, definitely igneous or metamorphic, like great halls of granite or statues of marble, and the leather is warm and smokey, as if its wearer had been standing by a wood fire or forge. The iron is not a hammer but an axe - there is definitely an edged, sharp quality to it. They said iron filings, but if so, they're flecked from a whetstone.
After 30 minutes: Still going strong, but the scent has mellowed out somewhat. The iron has toned down to flecks and filings but is still there in the background, and the leather and stone stay at the fore, not overwhelming but warm and supple (the leather glove with a rough-hewn sample in hand, bringing it up to discern grain size).
Later: About the same, really, just growing fainter with time, but even ten hours later, I could still catch a whiff from my wrists.

Verdict: I want to roll in this scent. Seriously, just roll in it. It's not complicated, but simple and straightforward, and the lasting power is great. Dwarf = Win. Definitely wearing this slathered on when I go to see The Hobbit.

BPAL imps came in today!
Soooo, this is my first time experimenting with BPAL, and really with perfumes in general. I had never really tried them before because although I kinda wanted to, the good one always seemed so darn expensive, and there was nothing really drawing me to them. Cue bumbling around on ThinkGeek one day and finding BPAL's RPG line, which immediately perked my interest, so I went to go find out more. And damn, did I find more! This is certainly an experiment that I have not embarked on before, so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

FIRST EVER IMPS: Port Royal, Kubla Khan, Antony, Black Tower, Oberon, and Dwarf. FRIMPS: Queen Sheba, 'Tis the Voice of the Lobster.

I'm starting off with Port Royal, for no particular reason. Hoping for a bit of a piratey-naval feel.
The Sodom of the New World! -- touted as the richest and wickedest city in
all creation! Port Royal was the center of 17th century Caribbean
commerce, a notorious safe harbor for pirates, and the site of our third
flagship store, which was, sadly, destroyed in the earthquake of 1692.
Spiced rum and ship's wood mixed with the body-warmed trace of a
prostitute's perfume and a hint of salty sea air on the dry-down.

In the imp: Rum and perfume! I was expecting more wood and salt, but we'll see how this goes.
On skin: Immediate omg!perfume but then it dies down and I'm getting rum and a lot more wood, with a hint of spices. No hint of "salty sea air".
After 20 minutes: I'm getting a teensy bit of something that might be sea air, but not really. I think I'm imagining it. The rum has died down and I'm left with a perfumey wood that's rather soft and pleasant, but seems more like "scented candle spice". Also, fainter than before.
An hour: Meh. Still with the soft, perfumey wood. A decent background scent, but nothing impressive as I was hoping, though it's got a bit of staying power.

Port Royal Verdict: I think my either my skin eats aquatics, or the blend was just really low on them this batch. Either way, this is not the scent for me, more's the pity. Perhaps I'll chase my brother down and see how it smells on him. Or perhaps it will age well. We'll see.

GL - rain tears
Rideback, episode 10.

Holy shit.

Holy SHIT.

Starting some new animes
So at the last Con I saw some AMVs that intrigued me, and two that looked like they might be animes that I might enjoy - Rideback and Fate/Zero. Rideback has been pretty awesome so far. Girl loses ballet-dream, girl finds mecha-motorcycle club, due to ballet-skills is actually believably awesome on this machine that requires precision balance, and then you get government conspiracies and looming hostility and terrorist attacks and it's actually really good. I suggest it.

Fate/Zero is a prequel, but came after its predecessor, Fate/Stay Night, so I figured that I should watch that first. The AMV's summary on amv.org made the main female character out to sound rather badass, and I figured that hey, here might be a character that I might actually consider wearing a skirt to cosplay as! (The FMA military buttcape, despite appearances, does not count.) However, in watching Fate/Stay Night, I find myself increasingly frustrated. I've been through ten episodes so far, and was pissed enough to rant about it to friends on two separate occasions. The rage-flail went as such:

I did start watching Fate/stay night yesterday, and so far it's just been annoying. The main character is /useless/.
what did I tell you!!??
And yes, Saber has a very blank personality, but I'm getting the feeling that she's raging at being kept from fighting
If I hadn't been spoiled for her identity already, I'd probably be guessing Jeanne d'Arc
I'm going to stick it out for a little while longer, to see if it gets any better, but as of right now I want to reach through the screen and throttle the main character - at first, his hero complex was slightly endearing, but that didn't last long before it became annoying, and now it feels practically like /mysogyny/, the way he treats Saber.
I feel the strong need to punch him in the face.
Glad to know we agree.
I'm still holding out on the opinion of Saber - I think she probably has personality buried under the ice-shell, but we haven't seen it because SHE HASN'T BEEN DOING ANYTHING
Because Mr. Idiot Main Character is all "No! I do not think you should fight! You're a pretty girl and you shouldn't put yourself in harm's way! Stay at home and be my waifu!"
*proceeds to punch in face*
hateful little bug, hu?
And he holds the Command Spells so she /has/ to obey him
*rolls eyes* I was expecting some awesome fight scenes, but so far it's been more like a romance/harem anime with the occasional side of fighting
it has the potential to be a kick-ass anime, but... *holds up hands* they waste it.
I have heard good things about Fate/Zero, but that's set in an entirely different timeframe
So..... yeah
We'll see how long I can manage without trying to mentally eviscerate Emiya.
-------------------then, a bit later

Okay, so I'm watching the next Fate/SN episode while you're gone, and Emiya has /already/ made another point to get on my bad side
He's going to practice with Saber, and she's in modern clothes, and he says something about how he thought she'd be in her armour, to which she's all "Oh. Well, I'll put the armour on then. As if you aren't going to get your ass handed to you /anyway/."
To which /he/ says 'no', and then, I quote "Besides, girls look better in those clothes anyway."

And that is the extent of my feelings for this anime so far. I'm holding out in the hopes that it gets better. We'll see.

World, what the hell?
So, the last time I went home and picked up all the mail that was sent to me there, I had, over the course of two months, received not one, not two, but three recruitment letters from the US Navy. Not my brother, me. Before I went off to college for a science degree I was (rather secretly in the back of my mind) considering ROTC instead.

Is the universe trying to tell me something? (And should I consider listening to it?)

Sewing, Pumpkin Scissors, and Korra
So I've been sewing in preparation for Crown Tourney - I needed more colour variation in my garb, since right now most of what I have is rather monochromatic or makes me look like a very odd OSU fan (not that scarlet and grey aren't rather pretty together!), so I've gone the green and brown route (for kosode and hakama respectively). It should look pretty good, I think. All I can afford right now is cotton, but at least that's period for the era my persona is from. I really need a new pair of waraji, but I doubt I'll be able to get them in time for Crown, sadly, so it'll be sticking to modern sandals, as my current waraji are literally falling apart.

Well, sewing means that I've been doing a lot of sitting in front of the television watching things, as opposed to playing video games, so I've rewatched all of Firefly, been going through Monk, and I actually started up a new anime, Pumpkin Scissors, which I would actually recommend to people. It's not fantastically popular or anything, but it's on Netflix, so I suggest at least taking a look. It's set in an alternate world, but is more or less Earth at the end of World War I, with the setting being Germany. The main characters are an army propaganda unit that focuses on war relief efforts, trying to present a face of the military that isn't trying to rob the common folk of their marks or young men, and helping impoverished communities get back on their feet. Oftentimes this leads them into trouble, whether it's from people angry at the army and government or drug dealers trying to swindle money or people trying to cut in line at the soup kitchen they run. A few twists are thrown in, mostly from one of the main characters being a former corporal from a secret experimental unit, and all the issues that come with him. If you want a comparison, it reminds me a lot of the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, but without the suck. Or the alchemy.

Also have been watching the Legend of Korra - the new Avatar series, for those who don't know. For those of you who do, you might have been watching. If you have, well then. You probably remember the ship-wars of the A:tLA. Hopefully LoK won't get nearly that bad, but there's been a wrench thrown into the works already, and episodes haven't even hit the double-digits yet. Korra is, what, sixteen? So yes, she's going to have crushes, and there's going to be drama - she's a teenager. However, throwing in an entire episode that's all about the romance and teenage angsty-drama-woe-is-me-etc.? After only five episodes? I'm not sure if Bryke are trying to start the ship war just to get it out of everyone's systems or just to sit back and watch the fandom explode, but... but... I DON'T EVEN. The reasoning fails me. I throw up my hands in defeat here. I'm just going to sit back, relax, and watch all the pretty animation. And draw. Because seriously - from the first episode, I was cheering inside that I finally once again had a character to draw that was part of the main crew and not an absolute twig. Bolin? Fuck yeah, I can pull out freakin' Dragon Ball Z for reference here, and no-one can complain about massive shoulders and linebacker-necks BECAUSE IT'S CANON DAMN IT!

Birthdays and Doctor Who and Plans and PROMPT
So my birthday is tomorrow. Happy 23rd birthday to me! This promises to be a happy event if just for the fact that for the first time in the past four years, I won't have to brush it off due to impending year-end projects and upcoming finals studying? I mean, one year I was in class for the entirety of the 14th, and then immediately after classes holed myself up in Koffenya until the wee hours of the morning and didn't even have anyone acknowledge my birthday except for Nora (dear, dear Nora). So there's that. On the other hand, it also reminds me that I still need to get Silvia's birthday present sent off to her, since it is phenomenally overdue, and getting my present from her made me feel extra-guilty that I hadn't gotten it to her yet (it's coming, luv! After my trip, I swear!) And I need to call Nora tomorrow.

Anyway! I have been rewatching nuWho after seeing the trailer for the new season, and I am reminded of just how much I prefer Nine!Rose to Ten!Rose. The way her character changes after the Doctor's regeneration is... well, almost painful, for me at least. With Nine, she was what a companion needed to be: she had a sense of adventure (jeopardy-friendly, yeah?), a bit of snark, a bit of fear,  and wasn't afraid to stand up to the Doctor and call him out when she thought he was wrong. The episode Dalek especially. She also had flaws, and not the Mary-Sue perfect-despite-the-problems flaws (see: Father's Day). And the Doctor eventually grew to hold her as something unique in his heart, this first companion after the Time War (I'm not going to debate love/platonicness lest I start a ship war). But when Nine regenerated into Ten, suddenly all we have is this lovey-dovieness between them, and any actual romantic moments that may have happened were buried under the smothering clinginess - not just Rose, who has apparently come to regard the Doctor as her entire world, and not bothered to expand her character beyond that, but also the Doctor, who clings to Rose nearly as much. Don't get me wrong, I like Tennant/Ten, but the Ten/Rose interaction became almost unbearable the further one went through the series - no longer a romantic love but an obsessive love - on both sides, and we somehow lost Rose as a true character. Where did the snarky back-and-forths go? When did Rose lose the balls to call the Doctor out on bullshit? I just... augh. Anyway. Mrrr.

Plans! Plans plans plans. Plaaaaaaaaaans. Planning. Yes. I am going to Washington DC with a friend next weekend! Whoohoo! We have managed to secure a hotel (I found it, she actually secured it) for a fantastic price. The original impetus for going was actually to see the Video Game Art exhibit that the Smithsonian is putting on, and everything else was extraneous. But we will find stuff to do, I'm certain. I've been getting tips from co-workers, and we're just going to walk everywhere and use the metro when needed. Hopefully we'll have good weather! *crosses fingers* And I shall make sure to charge my phone and take pictures.

Okay, okay, one last thing. Fic-prompt. I'm hoping to do it, and I'm hoping that anyone who wants to also takes up the prompt, 'cause it's kinda the best thing ever, and with such potential that I doubt anyone's version will turn out remotely like anyone else's. So, here we go: Eleventh Doctor. Isaac and Miria. Hat shop. GO.

[Fanfic] Against the Sky Ch. 3 - The Gravity of Choice (Part II)
Part II of Against the Sky: The Gravity of Choice, picking up directly from where the first part left off at the break.

The Gravity of Choice, Part IICollapse )

[Fanfic] Against the Sky Ch. 3 - The Gravity of Choice
Title: Against The Sky
Author: nightblink
Rating: T
Warnings: Violence, some minor gore, and crossover material. No America in Chapter 3, alas.
Notes: Posted in two parts due to LJ's character limit. Can also be found on FF.net.
Summary: Hetalia/Temeraire crossover. Chapter three - first update in about a year.

"“What are you?”

Kirkland’s gaze bored into his own, and Laurence felt the world drop away from under his feet.

The Gravity of Choice, Part ICollapse )


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