Aight, new Minecraft house incoming
So on my first world with the Big Boy House, I spawned in a forest and explored until I found a savanna. On the second world with the Tiny House, I spawned in a dark oak forest and found a treasure map which lead me to a jungle.
On this my third world, I spawned IN the jungle. And near the beach, where I found a shipwreck. And a plains biome which lead to a badlands biome. And a broken nether portal which I fixed
So. Suffice to say I spawned in a pretty good spot if I do say so myself :D
I play on peaceful because it's more fun, and for this world I also turned on keepinventory. With all that said, onwards we go:
To my beach house.
Now you can see a little bar off to the side - I build these structures on all my worlds, because I use them for extra storage, but it's not the focus here (but it does look really cute so maybe it'll get a post to itself ^^)
The house is :)
It has two stories (?), it's made almost entirely of jungle wood (and put out campfires), it's covered in vines and plants and there's a beach parasol and mats, because it's the beach and it needs a beach flair :)
I always wanted a house on the beach, both irl and in game, so I'm living vicariously.
Now this is where I flex my interior decor skills:
I learned a couple of tricks from watching people building MC houses on youtube, especially when it comes to using banners and trapdoors. This is what you see when you come through the front door, here is mostly work and storage. I like to pretend it's a kitchen
It's full of leaves which I'm pretending are hanging ferns. I also always wanted a house with lots of ferns so again, living vicariously
The chests are for general materials, the barrels are for food and fuel respectively, hence the item frames :3
On the other side of the ladder wall is this little cozy room. I plan on adding more stuff eventually, currently my cow farm is very tiny so as I expand that and get more materials I'll add more bookshelves. I don't think there's enough room for an enchanting table here, but I want to build a little wizard tower too so the bookshelves here are probably gonna be mostly for show - this is a place for chilling.
Also that glazed terracotta flooring is my pride and joy and I absolutely adore it :>
There's doors on all sides of this room but this is what i call the big door, it leads out through the side of the house and into the beach
This is the side view. I use the banners both inside and outside as curtains. I wanna add more things to this side, maybe a campfire and a nice sitting area, maybe more cacti too. I think a lot about my trolls specifically as I build this world, so I like to imagine them hanging out here at night and having a chill time :)
I had to do some terraforming to get the space I needed on this beach, which is something I hate doing, but for the vibes it was worth it - back inside now:
Up the ladder is the bedroom. Bed, loom, crafting table and these three idiot birds. I didn't exactly want this many parrots, but the light blue one got itself stuck in a tree and the only way I got it out was by having it sit on my shoulder, and the other two were out in the middle of the goddamn ocean and I was scared they were gonna drown. I take them all out on adventures occasionally but I'm scared of them getting hurt, so they mostly sit up here and chill.
Most of the windows here are made out of acacia doors and trapdoors for a more rustic (?) feel. Also because I really like acacia wood. It's orange :)
Last but not least here's the view from the bedroom balcony. That's the jungle I spawned in, only had to walk a little to find this beach. As I said there used to be a shipwreck there in the shallow, but I dismantled it for the wood. There's a dark oak forest and a spruce forest really close by, so I have access to a lot of different wood types :)
I also fixed the broken nether portal close by and jave already gone on lots of adventures in the nether. I even found a strider that spawned with a saddle already on... but then I took it on a little trip that ended up killing me, so I have no idea where it is now xD
I wanna build a pier, or maybe a bridge connecting my little beach to the two landmasses near it. I also wanna make that wizard tower, and expand the storage bar, but those are for another time.
For now enjoy my little beach house :)
The Cowboy - Part 2
Summary: Leaving the city for a rural area called Blayne seemed simple enough. Your task was to convince the people to agree with selling their land for a resort redevelopment. But once there, you soon realise that your city ways are entirely different to theirs. Winning their trust was going to take some effort, and when you start to fall for a local cowboy, you wonder if you really needed Blayne more than the city life after all.
Pairing: Jung Jaehyun x female reader
Genre: cowboy au / drama / romance / if you squint there’s some enemies to lovers up in here.
Warnings: Jung Jaehyun is a cowboy, need I say more? (a bit of angst and drama, and it sometimes might feel like you’re reading a Nicolas Sparks book, so I’m told lol)
Word count: 1708
This series will be updated every Thursday and Friday starting 7th January.
Preview | 1 | 2 | 3
You barely recovered before he walked off, rounding the outside of the building. Scrambling after him, you soon fell into step with the son of the household.
The incredibly attractive Jung son.
“So you’ll be able to put on the power?”
“Sure, I’ll just wind up the generator and in about three hours-”
He laughed then, the sound making you halt in your tracks in a daze. Glancing back at you, he smirked. “You’re sure easy to fool, Miss City.”
“Well, I was expecting a teen with the way your mother spoke of you, Mr Cowboy.”
“We’re a loving bunch around here,” he answered, walking over to a box on the side of the house and patting it. “All I have to do is flick a switch, and you’ll have power.”
“Not willing to rough it even for a night?”
He smirked again. “You sure don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into.”
“So people keep telling me. I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
“I’m sure you will,” he replied, staring back at you for a moment. You raised an eyebrow, and he chuckled, pulling open the box and turning on the main switch. You saw the lights in the house you had flicked on come to life, and you clapped your hands together with glee.
“Are you scared of the dark?”
“Are you always this full of yourself?” you shot back, and he grinned.
“Anything else I need to know about so I can survive the night?”
After shutting the fuse box, he returned to your side, stuffing his hands deep into his jean pockets and leaned towards you. “You sound like high maintenance.”
“Perhaps I am.”
“You’re in for a rude awakening here then.”
“I’m adaptable,” you announced and he laughed. “What, I am!”
“This isn’t something you just get used to, Miss City. You’ll be gone before long.”
“And what will you do if I prove otherwise?” you challenged, and his eyes lit up, glinting with enjoyment.
You had to admit this banter was doing things for you too.
“There’s no point making plans for things that won’t come into fruition.”
“I know, but it seems that you’re enjoying it.”
“Fine,” you stated simply, throwing your hands up. “Thank you for turning on the power, Mr Cowboy.”
“Enjoy your night, Miss City.”
You both rounded back to the front of the house, where you went to the veranda, and he approached the truck. You eyed it warily. “Is that thing legal?”
“Don’t try and use too many appliances at once. Houses like these can get overloaded, and it’ll trip the fuse and turn the power off. I’ve got cattle to run tomorrow, so you’ll be without power for some time if you do that.”
You blinked, trying to decipher if he was being serious or not. He shrugged and opened the door to the truck. “R-Really?”
“Take it on as some friendly advice.”
“Ah, is that what it is.” You nodded with a laugh as he climbed into the cab of the vehicle. Dashing down to the driver’s side, you leaned on the open window, and he watched you curiously. “Can you give me some more friendly advice?”
“Don’t open the front door. There might be coyotes howling out in the distance that you’ll have to get used to and by the hay barn, there is an old owl that likes to hoot around three in the morning. You’re welcome.”
“Wait! I was meaning more like if there’s regular mobile data service out here. I’ve got some files to-”
“You’re in the wrong place if you want to be on the internet, Miss City. I’ll give you two days out here before you head on back to your four-gee or whatever the thing is called.”
“You’re getting on my nerves.”
He grinned. “And you’re on my door stopping me from getting home to dessert, ma’am.”
Lifting your arms off, he tipped his cowboy hat at you again and started up the truck. You shook your head as he reversed down the drive before turning the vehicle around.
“Wait! I didn’t even get your real name!” you called out into the night, pouting some.
It didn’t matter. Even if he was the most handsome guy you had seen in months, he was also not your type with how easily he assumed so little of you.
Fishing out your phone, you held it up in search for a stronger signal. Groaning when there was only one bar, you stomped into the house and shut the door behind you.
When your alarm went off the following morning, you were already wide awake, staring up at the ceiling in sheer frustration. The advice you had received last night had been helpful, but what you needed was earplugs instead. You never knew the wilderness to be so loud.
“How am I going to get enough sleep here until I can order some earplugs?” you questioned to no one in particular, sitting up in the bed. You had to admit, whilst the sounds of the outdoors had kept you up, the bed had been surprisingly comfy.
There had to be some perks for being this far detached from proper civilisation.
“Might as well get up,” you decided, flinging back the blankets and padding across the hall into the quaint bathroom. You hadn’t paid a lot of attention last night to the house, too exhausted from travelling for two days. As you did your morning skincare routine, you used the mirror to look around your space. It had a cozy cottage-core vibe that you had recently seen come up as a trend on Pinterest.
“Natty loves things like this,” you told the home, smiling softly before heading downstairs to the kitchen.
The house was decorated warmly. Although many modern conveniences were missing, you couldn’t help but feel like you were in a home that was cherished.
Someone must have loved this place like that at one point in time, you thought, jumping when the phone went off again.
“Miss L/N, is that you?”
“Ah, yes it is, who am I speaking to?”
“Oh! June told me that someone was staying at the old Jung house so I figured I’d give you a bell and offer you some breakfast down at the diner. You won’t miss it. We’re the first building on Main Street.”
“That’s so kind of you to offer, but I have all the ingredients for a power green smoothie here-”
“Smoothie? Darling, a drink isn’t going to give you enough energy to get through your day.”
“Aren’t you starting your surveying job of Blayne today? There’s a lot to get through.”
Not really, you thought wickedly and bit your lip in case you said anything out loud. “Ah, right. Well, I’ll come down then.”
“Do come!” And then the line went dead.
“Who was I even speaking to?” you wondered when you placed down the phone, blinking slowly.
You got ready and headed down the bumpy drive and then another fifteen minutes until you reached what the inhabitants of this strange place called Main Street. You had to admit, it was the only area of Blayne were you saw more than two people at once, and it relaxed you to be back around people.
You hadn’t realised just how overcrowded the city was when you found yourself now missing the constant sight of people.
Once you parked your car, you got out and locked it, checking to make sure the door wouldn’t open. You heard a snigger from the sidewalk. “You’re new here.”
“You don’t need to lock your car here. No one is going to steal it,” the young girl said, eying you curiously. You nodded politely and walked inside the diner, instantly hit with the smell of fried food.
You were hungrier than you expected.
“Miss L/N!” a voice called, and everyone in the establishment turned to look at you.
Smiling politely and rushing over to the front counter, you sat down on a stool. The woman who greeted you smiled graciously. “I’m May.”
May laughed. “Our parents weren’t all that creative with our names. I’m June’s older sister.”
“Oh! It’s nice to meet you. Please, feel free to call me Y/N.”
“Earl, can you serve up our guest the breakfast special?” May called out without taking her eyes off of you.
You smiled gently before darting your gaze to the menu distractedly. “You have a nice place here. Do you sell soy chai lattes?”
“Ah, nothing. Coffee. Coffee will do.”
“Black or white, darling? Any sugar?”
After sorting yourself with caffeine, you then glanced around again. There were about six others in total, and most of them were looking in your direction. Nodding politely at them, you turned back to May.
“I guess you don’t get many visitors.”
“They don’t stay long, no,” she replied, placing a large plate loaded with a fried assortment and pancakes. You eyed the meal. It would be triple the macros for your daily intake. Still, you were hungry.
You picked up your knife and fork. “They don’t?”
“I think the last person stayed a week. That was pretty long.”
“Only a week?” you cut into a hashbrown. “Why did they leave so soon?”
“Unless you’re a farmer or born into farming, you wouldn’t really enjoy being out here. We have only twelve stores. Nothing arrives here quickly, and you have to be pretty self-sufficient to survive. There’s not a lot calling people here.”
“There could be. I mean, you have a lot of land-”
“For farming,” May cut in, and you swallowed down a bit of hashbrown before nodding.
“Yes, but it’s beautiful and picturesque. People who want to escape the daily grind would flock to a place like this if there was an establishment to stay in.”
“Our inn hasn’t had a guest since nineteen-eighty-three. You want to know why?”
“It has a ghost story?” you asked innocently, and May merely smiled haughtily.
“The only people staying in Blayne were born and raised here, Y/N. You’ll soon realise the utopia you and your company are hoping to build out here is a pipe dream.”
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THH Boys Playing Minecraft:
Yeah this idea came from me watching Minecraft videos at 5 AM. Typed this thing up, passed out, then realized I forgot to post it. Enjoy?
Spawns in a desert biome, hits the wrong block and suffocates
When he respawns, he avoids sand for the rest of the game
Is that a desert biome? *immediately turns and goes a different direction*
Totally settles down in a forest biome and builds a small cozy home
Takes his time and spends the majority of his time in the Overworld
Went to the Nether once and immediately went back home
No thank you, Mr. Nether, he’d rather stay home and create farms
Finds rare biomes surprisingly easy
Has pet parrots
Lots of them.
He claims he doesn’t like the game but really? He’d play it all day if he didn’t have shit he needed to do
Hates doing stuff by himself and prefers multiplayer
Lives in a village
What? Did you expect him to build his own house? With his own hands? Ridiculous
Lowkey sucks at fighting mobs, but when he successfully kills one, he won’t stop bragging about it
Likes being in caves because the ores
Dislikes being in caves because the mobs won’t lEAVE HIM ALONE
Mines ores for the sake of having them.
“What do you mean I have to build tools out of these? This is diamond.”
Definitely prefers Player Vs Player over survival
And when he DOES play survival, he plays HARD MODE
Doesn’t understand redstone whatsoever
Isn’t all that good at building
Prefers fighting mobs and mining more than he prefers building
The most he does is a small one story house where he keeps the stuff he can’t carry
Absolutely hates the End. Elytra just ain’t for him
Women love him, llamas fear him
One blew up half of the house he built and he nearly broke his computer
Has about 7 dogs and is slowly growing his dog family
When one of them dies, he cries
Likes building big houses even if he isn’t good at it
Brings about half of his dogs with him when he goes mining but is EXTREMELY careful when around lava
Fights villagers AND pillagers
Also tried to fight an iron golem
He doesn’t like how they look like Squidward ok
Grinds the game 24/7
Has houses in all 3 worlds
Likes collecting stacks of at least every block
He uses them to create pixel art of various things
Created one world and stuck with that world for a while so it’s very developed
Has a cat army.
Has a huuuge base with many rooms
He’s not trying to be a sweat he swears
He just has a lots of time and lots of passion
Already kinda sucky with technology so he struggles at first
Spawns in a plain biome and stays there for the majority of the game
Takes his time building a nice house surrounded by various flowers
Carries a map wherever he goes
You remember those official Minecraft guidebooks? He totally has them and follows them to a T
Likes seeing the different structures around the world
Can’t decide whether he likes the Nether or the Overworld more
Actually manages to get to the Nether AND the End
Vibes in the Nether for some time. He likes the ghasts
Prefers iron over diamond
Gets netherite though
Lots of it…
Really good at the game
Has lots of farms; mobs and all
Does lots of cool projects to fill his world/pass the time
Like covering parts of the world with end stone or turning the Nether into the Overworld
Tried having pets but they all died in a lava experiment gone wrong
Hates causing raids in villages and tries to avoid them
Very fond of the trading system and likes watching the villagers interact with each other
Has a vendetta against witches
They’re just bitches
Likes riding horses
He, too, lives in a village
Not because he’s lazy though
He just wants to vibe with his homies
Doesn’t understand the trading system at all whatsoever but he’s trying™
Likes taking his chances and mines straight down
Somehow works for him because he always returns with more than enough ores
Likes enchanting things
VERY fond of farming
Has named every villager in the village he lives in and somehow has good relations with them??
Dislikes the Nether because he sees it as literal hell and he’s “too young to die”
Built his own house in the village since he didn’t like stealing one from a villager
Certified wheat farmer
Jar of Rebuke Episode 3 Unofficial Transcript
Season 1 Episode 3: Cherry Tobacco
The following audio recording is classified documentation for Case [audio distortion] with the Enclosure. Unauthorized access to this information will lead to immediate intervention. Progress further if proper clearance has been given.
I really need to get into the habit of doing this more often. Dr. Daman keeps asking how this is going, but I rarely have anything to tell her that she seems to want to hear. She really wants me to do this regularly, but sitting at my desk with a sore back didn't sound too appealing, especially if I didn't have to. Even though my back is feeling a bit better after the snipe hunt tournament incident, I'm actually recording this from a bed and breakfast. And I'm tired. Not even a vacation, it's more of a work trip. Not terribly much has happened since my last update. Darius's birthday was recently. He had a little get-together with some friends and he even invited me along, which was really nice. I made sure to get there a little early especially since it was a day off of work for me. We met up at Waytooth, a restaurant that his dads and him frequent often. I got there and just sat outside for a bit fiddling on my phone, then Darius showed up. He was so excited for the party, I could tell. He smiled the second we made eye contact. He jogged over to me and we talked for a bit. The weather is still pretty nice, it's finally starting to get chillier, which is actually nicer, I prefer the layers. So we sat outside and enjoyed the weather as we talked until his other friends showed up. They were all nice, but I kind of stuck by Darius most of the day since he was the only one that I really knew.
After lunch, we all went to a drive-in theater that they've got set up here in town, which is mostly just a projector and a large painted brick wall, but it was still a nice time. His friends all sat in different cars as we watched the movie, but Darius and I sat in the bed of his truck and ate snacks that he had packed. Darius is a really good cook. He's learning a lot of cool stuff from that class he's taking. I gave him a little gift, of course. Well, two things. I got him a new wrench set since he'd been saying that he needed a new one, his old one's been a bit worn down for a while. Uh, gifts to give him in front of his friends, since he really plays up the whole inheriting the family farm shtick around them. But we, when we were in his truck, just the two of us, I gave him his second gift. He said he had really gotten into cross stitching recently and he seemed a little embarrassed about it. But I wanted him to know that I thought that was interesting, so I got him a little pack of stitching patterns and some thread organizers. I wasn't sure what kind of patterns he'd like, so I just got him a couple of different kinds. He was quiet for a few moments after he opened that gift and I kind of panicked for a moment honestly. But he then gave me a really big smile and put his hand on my shoulder. He gave me a really soft thank you and I told him it was my pleasure, as long as he made me something. It was an obvious joke, at least I hoped it was obvious. But he asked what I'd want. I told him I like birds. Birds have so much freedom to just fly around and always sing such pretty songs. Besides geese, I don't like geese. He asked me if I had any favorites. I said I like blue jays. Major assholes, but beautiful. He laughed and he said he'd give it his best shot, but I told him that I’d hang up anything he made me. And that was about it. We barely watched the movie, we spent most of the time quietly talking actually.
What else have I done? Well, Dr. Castillo and I went and investigated the energy signatures from the cornfields after Todd told us to do so and you know what we found? Corn. That's it. Oh, and more corn! No energy spikes, no signs of tomfoolery of the natural or supernatural kind, nothing. It was almost strange how untouched by supernatural energies it seemed. We investigated during the day and at night. No changes. So we've been keeping tabs on the fields but nothing that's been too notable has happened when we're out there. We've been passing a lot of our time in the labs reorganizing files going over the energy spikes that have been recorded and theorizing what we could possibly be dealing with there. But until we can further examine it, there is not much we can do. Ever since they replaced my old lab partner my workload has been much lighter. I actually prefer to be busy than bored, and I think Dr. Castillo isn't used to having idle hands either. They only ever give me small menial tasks and it's becoming more annoying than anything else. But I did recently see my old lab partner, Dr. Lomax in the hall this morning. I've seen them in passing a few times but we haven't been able to catch up much since the sudden change. Dr. Lomax also has no idea why they got suddenly switched to a different lab. Seems that none of us know why the change was made. All Todd said was “just had to rearrange some staff, don't worry about it!”
Speaking of, before I left work today, I got another email from Todd. Typically his emails are him asking us to do something and then him talking himself up for multiple paragraphs and making it seem like it should be a privilege to do what he's asking you to do. But this email was him actually giving me lodging information for the local inn, and explaining that I had to pack up a bag and go. They apparently planned to do renovations or something on my house due to a concern of faulty plumbing. I'd mentioned to Dr. Daman about the less-than-stellar heating system when I wanted to take a bath or do dishes, but I didn't expect anyone to actually do anything about it. But a night without weird tapping on my door sounded nice, and even though I replied to the email basically saying “oh no, you really don't have to, I can live with it”, Todd insisted. I could just see his smug smile on the other side of the screen. He'll subtly hold it over my head for later, but the rule of one denial for good polite measure then acceptance of an offer had been met and I was off home to pack a bag. And here I am now.
The Chronicle Inn bed and breakfast is run by an older married couple, Ester and Laura. I'd met them a few times before my stay here but I hadn't spent much time with them. This place is mostly a restaurant and homemade goods store rather than an inn, considering we don't get many outsiders who stay here any longer than to grab a bite to eat and get gas. But for times like these it's nice to have an inn available. Even if it's only a few rooms, it's much better than staying at the facilities that the enclosure has on site. Work would have likely put me into a temporary on-site lodging space if the inn wasn't available. To be honest I'm surprised they actually put me in the end instead of just tossing me into some temp lodging room for a night. Maybe they remembered how much I hate that place. It's nearly impossible to sleep with the buzzing lights and the beds really aren't made for comfort and the bathrooms are all so claustrophobic. I swear, they make that place as uncomfortable as possible so people want to leave. That, or they just skimped on the prices for a comfortable setup to focus the money elsewhere at the Enclosure. I'd believe that. Though maybe they booked me at this place to have me investigate something while I'm here. Can't even enjoy this nice little one-night getaway, huh? They expect me to work? Do they plan to pay me for looking into things overnight? Probably not, not like they ever pay me for the full work I do anyways.
The room I’m in is kinda known for weird happenings. The whole town knows but there's not a huge fuss over it. No one's died from it, so why be too concerned? Ester warned me about these weird happenings while I was checking in. There's word of a spirit that haunts the upper floor of the building. Been here for as long as anyone can recall. She explained it all to me with a smile and a jovial tone, so she doesn't seem concerned. After the literal run-in with the deer a few weeks ago, I really just wanted some rest. Her wife Laura told me that they serve breakfast at 7 am but they'll be at the desk to take my key as early as 6. Thankfully tomorrow my shift starts at 8 instead of the usual 6 so I might be able to actually get some real food in me before work.
Didn't take me too long to get up here and settled in. I decided to just relax today instead of going out into town. So I did some reading in bed. Not that I could really focus much, the bed here is nice and cozy, but there's definitely a vibe about it. The room, not the bed. The rest of the inn is very homey, lived in, but in a good way. But the second I got to the top of the stairs it was like the air got barely but still noticeably cooler. When I came into the room I saw a little baggie of homemade beef jerky that Ester made and gave me. She's known around town for her jerkies and her woodwork. She's always so hands-on with everything she makes, whether it's snacks or a new set of chairs. She may have actually made the chair I'm sitting in right now, actually. I sat outside for a bit. There's a nice balcony that looks over some gardens and in the far distance I can see the vast fields. The evening felt so nice and I could see the little lightning bugs flying around as I got darker. I've always liked watching their dances. I often watch kids running around catching them in jars and then letting them all go just minutes later, but I prefer to watch them do their own thing out in nature. I watched the stars and the flicking lights of the lightning bugs for a bit, sipped on some sweet tea that Laura had brewed and offered me, ate some of the jerky that Ester made, and relaxed. I let my mind wander to wherever it went off to which as usual was all over the place. But no tapping on the doors, no weird deer staring at me, it was nice. But I keep feeling like something, or someone, is watching me. I feel that pretty often but this is different. It feels closer, if that makes sense. Like right now I'm sitting in a plush chair by the window in the room looking over the nice herb garden out back. The stars are still twinkling, the wind is just slightly blowing, and I've been able to crack the window open for some breeze. But I feel like something is watching me from the doorway. I swear to gods if I turn around and someone is standing there... (deep inhale) nope, nothing.
When Ester was telling me about what I could possibly expect, she said that a spirit had been wandering around in the room I'm staying in. Sometimes the spirit watches people. Sometimes the spirit just walks around and ignores the tenants. Must depend on her mood. But apparently something about the blue lamp by the bedside table really draws her out. Considering my line of work, and that my boss sent me here, I'm obviously going to turn on the light. Even if she's not rumored to be particularly dangerous, if they're just wanting to keep me busy then I could see Todd throwing me here to look into it a bit more. Okay. Hold on, give me a sec, let me see what happens. [lamp clicks on] It's a pretty light. I don't think I've seen a light this shade of blue outside of some of the lights they put up around town in the winter. It's nice. Oh, uh... hello? I don't know if she can hear me but I do see someone standing by the door, on the other side of the room, and um, [sniffs] tobacco?
THE BLUE LADY
I can hear you just fine.
[startled] Ah! Sorry about that. how are you?
THE BLUE LADY
Why do you ask?
Manners, I guess? Should I ask- who are you?
THE BLUE LADY
I don't think it really matters now. Besides, it's better I ask who you are.
Oh, uh, Dr. Jared Hel. I'm a scientist with the Enclosure on the edge of town. I…
THE BLUE LADY
WHO you are, not what you are. I know what you are.
...What I am is a person who would like to get some rest.
THE BLUE LADY
No, what you are is different. At least different from what I remember.
From what you remember? Have we met before?
THE BLUE LADY
Not exactly. “Met” isn't the word I would use. But we've interacted.
THE BLUE LADY
I've watched you from afar, I've seen what you do. I guess our paths have more indirectly crossed.
I've never studied you before. You're not exactly the kind of thing that the enclosure typically sends me to study.
THE BLUE LADY
Then why are you here?
Well, work decided to fix the plumbing in my house so they put me up here. To get some rest.
THE BLUE LADY
And yet you're not here to study me?
Well that's actually unclear, I guess. I mean, if they're going to book me in the most haunted room at an inn, I guess they're having me investigate. Or Todd's just messing with me. That seems like something he'd pull.
THE BLUE LADY
Messing with you? [scoffs] When did you start putting up with the antics of people like that?
Okay, I'm gonna be upfront- if we met more than two years ago I have zero memory of any of that time. So this vague, cryptic talk is going to get you nowhere.
THE BLUE LADY
What are you doing with that thing?
[rustling sound] This it's an audio journal. It takes less focus and energy than writing. Are you just gonna keep staring at me or..?
THE BLUE LADY
People don't usually understand me this well for full conversations, so it has been quite a while. It isn't as if Ester and Laura can clearly understand me, even if they have tried.
How long have you been here?
THE BLUE LADY
Longer than I can remember. The rumor is that I've been here since the establishment of this town, whenever that may have been.
And when did we meet? I mean interact indirectly.
THE BLUE LADY
For the first time? It was many, many years ago. But again, you've certainly changed.
But again, I don't remember. You keep saying that and, [winces in pain] oh god my head!
THE BLUE LADY
We won't be getting very far right now.
No wait wait wait no hold on hold on.... and she's gone. [slams fist on table] Damn it! Why won't anyone just tell me anything outright? Oh my head... it's always like this. They disappear for a while and then come back so suddenly. Oh I hate this flesh prison! I'm done recording for now I need to try and nurse this headache now and recover from whatever the hell… oh it seems she left a little gift. Some blue ribbon? It's maybe four or five inches long, a little frayed at the ends. It's the same color as the lamp. There's something written on it. The handwriting's a bit hard to read but it looks like “you need to remember”. Remember what? How am I supposed to remember if no one ever tells me anything? Everyone always pushes me to try and remember but there's nothing to remember if they're making me grasp at thin air! They say they support me, they say they want to help, but what do they do to help, huh? All of this performative support is getting me nowhere. [facing away from recorder] And how is this ribbon supposed to help? You couldn't have given me something a little less vague? [groans] Why is everyone always so damn vague? Are they scared to just say something concrete? Why can't anyone ever give me a straight answer! No, it's fine. It's fine. I'm just… I'm going to go to bed. Right. I'm going to get some sleep. No tapping, no knocking, just sleep. I'm gonna go turn off the lamp and get some rest. Right. Ugh. Whatever. This is Dr. Jared Hel, signing off, I guess.
Jar of Rebuke is written and produced by Casper Oliver, who is also the voice of Dr. Jared Hel. Voice of The Blue Lady provided by Misha Bakshi. The intro is read by Vanessa Rosengrant, and credits are read by Ashley Craft, who has created the podcast official graphics. Music was created by Luke Menniss, spelled m-e-n-n-i-s-s, who you can find and support on Bandcamp, Spotify and Twitch. Find us on Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else you get your podcast fix for more Jar of Rebuke and also to get updates on upcoming official merch for our show. Support projects by this crew on Patreon to further other queer-lead projects and get neat perks. All donations are appreciated and will grant further clearance to special Jar of Rebuke content. You can also make one-time donations on Ko-fi. And special thanks to our patreon supporters Becky Thompson, Perry Bruns, and Tristan Fraud.
It goes without saying: the first level always matters. If it doesn’t leave a good impression, it would hardly motivate you to give the rest of the journey a chance, would it? Being in fanfic form aside, Beyond the Stars is no exception, and because of this, Gleaming Meadows was actually one of the longest zones to work out. Viridonia is meant to stand out from previous Sonic settings after all, and kicking things off with a poor man’s Green Hill wouldn’t cut it.
Since the first level in a Sonic game usually tends to be either a hilly area (Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Seaside Hill) or an urban area (City Escape, Westopolis, Windmill Isle to an extent), I decided a good way to set this zone apart would be to... combine the two! This was inspired very much by Neo Green Hill from Sonic Advance, since although that zone wasn’t a city, it did add some minor urban elements the further it went on, most notably the bridge at the end where you fight Eggman. So as tribute to a forever underrated installment, Gleaming Meadows does that too, but in a different way.
Creating Zone 1: Gleaming Meadows
1-1: Blossom Fields
What’s a good way to make your first level stand out from all the Green Hills? Give it more than green, obviously. While it’s important that the entire adventure is full of interesting locations, I really wanted the first level to sound as gorgeous as possible in order to leave a strong first impression for this new journey, so what better inspiration than tulip fields, particularly those of the Netherlands?
The added use of yellows, oranges, reds and pinks already help set it apart, but there’s also the fact that although there are some lakes and rivers here and there, it’s not particularly coastal.
This aesthetic not only serves to get things off to a good start, but it also sums up the running theme with Beyond the Stars in general. Namely, that although plenty of the basic level tropes will be familiar to us all, many of them will be handled in rather different ways, thus proving that as long as you can think outside the box, there’s plenty of life in them yet. Some examples are more extreme than others, but other times, even a simple change of colour, weather, or time of day can make all the difference.
I mentioned in Chapter 1 proper that the cliffs in Blossom Fields have unique markings that convey a vague, lore-hinting narrative. I couldn’t find a better image to explain how this would look, so I’ll have to resort to this shot from Paper Mario:
See the cliff behind them, with its starry patterns on the soil? That’s basically the gist, but with a more complex pattern.
Also mentioned was the addition of a tunnel near the end of the stage, which is one example of the Neo Green Hill-esque hillside with minor urban elements that I intended.
Don’t assume the inside is drab however. On the contrary, it comes with abstract graffiti in a style reminiscent of the Colinton Tunnel in Edinburgh:
Very Jet Set Radio, eh? In addition to simply being more interesting this way, I figured it fit Sonic perfectly.
But you might question what a tunnel inspired by Edinburgh is doing in a level inspired by the Netherlands. Well, this is another running gag with Viridonia. While not always the case, a lot of times there’ll be combined aspects of real world inspiration, as opposed to Unleashed and its clear cut Not-Greece, Not-New York, etc. This is not just me throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, there is in fact a purpose to it, as it’s one of the more subtle ways of showing how peculiar Viridonia can be compared to other places in Sonic history - partly due to the Ethereal Zone - with only the Little Planet truly competing with the island in that field.
And y’know, it gives it that extra bit of identity and variety, eh?
Now, with music choices to explain what sort of musical atmosphere I’d have in mind for each level, I’m gonna have to use basic links from now on, since I rediscovered the hard way that Tumblr only allows up to five or so direct posts. It’s also worth noting that if this were a real game, it would do what SA1 (and, uh, ‘06) did before it, with each level having at least two different bits of music for the appropriate sections to add even more flair. I’ll still be listing two examples each for extra comparison’s sake, so with that said...
First Section (the fields):
Opening Demo (Sonic Mega Collection)
Ending B (Sonic Advance 3)
Second Section (the tunnel):
Topical Tropical (Sonic: Before the Sequel)
1-2: Swanky Suburbs
Continuing the Netherland theme going on, the local town has a touch of Giethoorn to it, with its calming rivers and little pathways. Though unlike Giethoorn, there would be some cars and short roads sprinkled about.
Again, really wanted to convey that feeling of low-key beauty and coziness, and provide more justification for why Sonic and Co would come here for a vacation. But that’s not all: when it comes to the houses and other buildings, the red and white colour scheme is more based on those of Portugal:
And of course, you have the local parks as well. You can even interact with the slides and swings if you want, because you’re never too old to make the kids wait their turn.
First Section (calm):
Neo Green Hill Classic
The Amazon (DuckTales Remastered)
Second Section (when Badniks start wrecking things up):
Wave Ocean ~The Inlet~ (Sonic ‘06)
Andy’s Neighborhood (Toy Story 2)
1-3: Yellow Hills
As we go on, we leave the Netherland influence behind, and with the countryside in sight, the clue is in the name. Lots of yellow to be had indeed.
And inbetween all these fields, we have some villages, of which the rural vibe suits the place just fine.
Then as we go into farmyard territory, the yellow actually starts taking a back seat in favor of red, because I guess even I’m not immune to the subverting expectations fever. Hopefully I’ve done it in a way that isn’t asinine though.
The barnyards would be the stereotypical red and white, since it works well enough with the autumn colours, and can still pop out despite there being so much red surrounding them.
And yes, there are many farm animals hanging around here.
Yes, that includes horses.
No, they’re not Trudy’s family.
First Section (yellow):
Tornado Alley (Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex)
Mount Lineland (Super Paper Mario)
Second Section (red):
Green Hill ‘12 (Tee Lopes)
Menu (Mario Tennis)
1-4: Rusty Mill
A wooden mill doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination, so it would look pretty much exactly as you’d expect, albeit a tad more old and worn.
The same goes for inside, really. Since the interior of mills are tricky to find interesting images of when elaborating on your quirky Sonic the Hedgehog zone, I’ll be using another game for comparison instead, specifically Donkey Kong Country 3:
Except multiply the cobwebs by five.
It’s decayed, and a bit grim, but not enough to the point where it would feel like it’s near the endgame. Yet another thing I go in hard on in this story: escalation. In order for later zones and climactic moments to be more striking and impactful, you gotta start off by taking it easy. There’s still action to be had, and there’s still mysterious and/or ominous touches here and there, but it’s for the purpose of organically building things up, so that when things do escalate, you actually feel it when shit starts going down. Pacing, boys and girls! Learn it!
Then again, as with Angel Island in S3&K, this place gets set on fire halfway through, so maybe I need to remember my own lessons. But on the other hand, also like S3&K, it still pales in comparison to what happens later, so...
Lastly for today, when you’re fighting the fearsome Paindozer, the section of the mill that you confront it in suspiciously takes a form more akin to a old fashioned warehouse. Like... IKEA, I guess. But on fire.
So congratulations, you got through IKEA Zone. Looks like Eggman should have stuck with B&Q Zone instead.
First Section (calm):
Pogo Painter (Crash Bash)
The Walk of Life (Rayman 2)
Second Section (on fire):
Vs. Rotatatron & Refreshinator (Sonic Colours)
Set Point - Match Point (Mario Tennis)
Pass the happy! 🌻 When you receive this, list five things that make you happy and send it to the last ten people in your notifications!
So my sister and I were legitimately discussing making a Wonderful!-style podcast where we just talked exclusively about abstract things that we enjoy, but it ended up not happening (good audio quality is expensive y'all!), so I have a pretty good list already prepared for this one. Also, I read this the wrong way around and thought it was 10 things and 5 passing-ons, so... whoops.
(I am also not great at picking people to pass things on to, but if you would like to write about stuff that makes you happy, you absolutely should.)
1. Mundane secret passages. Do you have access to an ancient castle or some catacombs? I sure don't. What I do have though is a shortcut from the liquor store I work at to the supermarket where I buy snacks in my tea break! It is mainly used for getting shopping trolleys in from the carpark, and is barely used, so it absolutely counts as a secret passage. Also, it has automatic swinging doors, which feels magical as fuck. I always make a point to say thankyou to them, just in case it is actually a fairy or a sprite making them open.
2. Having the right amount of something. I feel this one the most when the bobbin on my sewing machine feeds out the last little bit of thread as I am going to cut it. It is just, such a good feeling. But also like, having a piece of fabric that is just the right size, or having exactly enough eggs to make the recipe, or when you finish a meal and are perfectly full but not so full you feel sick.
3. Unusually coloured cars. A bright yellow car? That is tight as hell. One with a pretty foil wrap? I will be remembering it fondly for months.
4. An unexpectedly warm spot. When you walk past a store and a gust of warm air comes out? That's that good shit. The secret passage I mentioned in the first thing has about 20 metres of cozy warmth, and few things can top finding the hot water vent in a just-warm swimming pool. (Also applies for unexpectedly cool spots on a hot day.)
5. Making toilet puns about the names of the towns you are stopping at during roadtrips. Here are a few towns in South Australia with added toilet puns. Coonalpyn/Coonalpooin'. Padthaway/Padthawee. Pinnaroo/Pinnaloo. Loxton/Looxton. Port Pirie/Port Peerie. Willalooka/doesn't need changing because it is right in there, but you can also say Weellalooka if you really want. I base my toilet stops on if I can text these puns to the groupchat. All my friends secretly hate me because of it.
6. When clouds look like mountains on the horizon. I love anything that brings a bit of difference to an otherwise flat vista, but the mountains where I live are just too damn small. I want to feel the immensity of the earth towering over me, and if I cannot have that, then some really big clouds that at least look that way will have to do.
7. When you see a truck with something really big on the back of it. I once saw a convoy of trucks carrying houses, which was cool, but I have a soft spot for trucks carrying improbably big farming equipment. Harvesters are absolutely huge, and as someone who grew up around tractors, I love seeing them get a piggyback ride down the highway. But nothing compares to the time that they had to shut the highway through our town for 3 hours every week while they were transporting the parts for some windmills they were building along the coast. They actually use the parts to connect the truck to the trailer, because the semi-trailer trailers are not long enough. It is just so cool to watch something so impossibly huge try to go through a roundabout.
8. When you need to buy something specific at short notice, and it is on sale. This works in small scale, like when you are out of your favourite chips but they are half price at the supermarket this week, but also when your sister is very drunk and decides to go for a swim and you have to rescue her but your phone is in your pocket and it dies a horrible death, but the S20FE is on presale and you get it on you existing phone plan for $300 less than RRP and you get free headphones.
9. Finding someone who knows the same obscure music as you do. I listen mainly to Dad music, which like, okay, lots of people do that, but any time I find anyone who knows anything by Dr Hook I will immediately begin annoying the shit out of them, because I think that Cover Of The Rolling Stone is the best karaoke song there is but the only friends who will sing it with me live between 5 and 7 hours away, but if I can convince this random person to be my best friend then they will have to sing it with me.
10. When a wild animal has decided that you're chill. Tell me a better feeling than this. You simply can't. Sure, it is pretty cool when a strange dog comes up to say hi, but that is what dogs do. No, that good good shit is when the birds with the nest in the tree out your front door come down and land at your feet when you get home. When you are chilling in the backyard and a blue-tongue lizard just wanders up. When you go to your shack at the river and there is just a koala hanging out there, for some reason. They think your vibes are good. They are the best judge of good vibes. This is the best day of your life.
Storytime with Auntie Dragon: Betrayal edition
Gather round, children, it’s time once again for “Storytime with Auntie Dragon.” Today’s episode: NYC & Betrayal, a tale of adventure, excitement, and how a certain actor is seemingly easily impressed with modern technology. Hey, it’s pretty snazzy stuff…
We begin our tale at the dawn of November. Your dear Auntie D had just purchased a house, and because closing fell in such a way that I had no housing payment in November, there was some spare cash to be had. A friend of mine who lives in the UK (@mrshiddleston-uk) had been talking about her upcoming trip to the states to see our beloved Mr. Hiddleston in his Broadway debut, and after careful scouring of countless calendars, I decided that the Boychild could miss a day of school to make the trip and decided to go. Another friend ( @silverink-goldenlies) came along for the ride and the trip was set.
THE TRIP: Bloody hell, why is it every time I drive north, roads are torn up? I mean seriously. I spent more time on the brakes because of construction than I did with the cruise control engaged. For 698 miles! I did not, for those who may be curious, drive up I-95. Oh, the hells to the NO. I have driven that stretch of disaster quite enough to know that it’s a toss-up as to whether you get Hell on earth or a multi-lane, multi-hour parking lot. And that’s just around Richmond. D.C. is worse. Much. Worse. But I digress…
I-78 is (mostly) a beautiful drive. Lots of mountains, rolling hills, farmland, all that. From southern Virginia up through parts of New Jersey, there are lots of farms. LOTS of farms. With cows. And steers. And horses. And even an alpaca - dude had a long neck. Somewhere along the way, every time we passed a farm with cows, @silverink-goldenlies would just blurt out “cows.” In the middle of a conversation, “cows”. Passing silence for miles and suddenly, “cows.”
And occasionally, “cows. And horses.” The boy child would even chime in now and again.
THE ARRIVAL: We made it to NYC around sunset. When we were 25 miles or so out, I spied the city skyline and told @silverink-goldenlies to look out the window. Poor thing was so excited I think she almost cried. We took the Lincoln Tunnel into the city because I missed an exit. Which reminds me, Google Maps, get your turn-by-turn shit together. I spent more time on the road than necessary due to a lack of “in 500 feet, turn here.” Waze doesn’t treat me like that. It just crashes. And Waze has Cookie Monster voice. Anyway…Lincoln Tunnel. That was fun, kinda. I kept having flashbacks of Independence Day with the fireball coming up the tunnel following the alien attack. Not cute.
We emerged in the city and I very quickly learned that upstate NY driving is totally different than NYC driving. I lived in Albany for a couple of years, and in upstate, you can use your signal and mostly expect someone to let you in, or at least get out of the way. Not NYC. Nope nope nope. You signal, insert the front fender of your car and hope the person you’re essentially cutting off is paying attention. It only took one missed turn (thanks Google) for me to learn the ways of the natives and navigate correctly through the city. Which I did successfully. At rush hour. Praise Asphaltia, Goddess of the Road.
NYC: After a night of bullshit sleep thanks to the rock-solid beds of the LaQuinta - Queens, our party was up and in the city by 9:30 am. I’ve always had this mental image of NYC being small because of how tightly packed everything is. My friends, that is absolutely not the case. The city is M A S S I V E in both size and scope. I was totally a tourist, videoing everything in Times Square and looking up like I expected the sky to fall. I learned something I never knew, and never really thought about: they leave the big crystal ball on top of the building after New Year’s. It’s sitting up there, pretty as you please, changing colors all year long. Who knew?
We hit the highlights of Manhattan like my son speed runs through Dark Souls. Times Square, Hard Rock New York, the M&Ms store (3 floors…3 FLOORS of chocolatey goodness), one of two Lego stores, and Rockefeller Plaza. The tree is up, but not on display. I need them to slow down on the trimming it back. There won’t be any tree left, and it’s looking a little scrawny, to begin with. Ice skating was in full effect, but we didn’t go. I knew I had a show and another 10-hour drive back to NC to get through, and doing it on a seriously bruised ass would not have been a good look.
Noon hits and we head back towards the Jacobs theatre. By the time we got there, the box office was open and there was already a line. Thank the gods for online purchases. Easy in, easy out. Around 1 pm, we met up with the lovely @mrshiddleston-uk and attempted to get lunch at some Irish pub. @mrshiddleston-uk briefed us on all things stage door and helped to craft a plan of attack to get the best spots for meeting the cast. The line to get into the theatre was already formed and growing by the time we decided to bail on the never appearing food.
THE JACOBS THEATRE: This is a gorgeous space. The theatre is on the small side, but I genuinely believe that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. We were in the balcony house left and could see every bit of the stage. Beautiful architecture, comfy seats - if not a little (LOT) short on the legroom - and a pretty chandelier made the place feel cozy and warm. The staff was wonderful as well. I’d totally see another show in this space.
BETRAYAL: So here’s the part you all came for, right? Right. Cows. To be honest, I’d never heard of Harold Pinter before Tom Hiddleston took the role in the London production, much less read any of his work. I didn’t know what to expect except for what I’d heard from @mrshiddleston-uk after her viewings of the London show. The concept of the show is intriguing enough - following a love triangle in reverse order with a minimalist set and lighting design. I’m a tech nerd anyway, so I was excited to see how well this would work.
Oh. My. Goddess. This show was AMAZING. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a show that totally sucked me in to the point that I was actually invested in the story. Betrayal did just that. From the moment the curtain rose (more on that in a sec) until the stage went black, I was sucked into the world of Robert and Emma and Jerry and how the affair went from disintegration to conception. I have absolutely no sympathy for any of these characters at the end of the day. They are all seriously flawed and have caused themselves the pain that they experience in this story. But, that’s what makes good drama, right?
The sheer lack of set made it easier to pay attention to the actors and the script, which is a huge perk in this game of verbal tennis. The characters go from normal speech patterns to the famed Pinter pauses to this back and forth without missing a beat (or a syllable) that will make your head spin. The boychild told me later he found it a little hard to follow, which is understandable if you’re not used to hearing it in an English accent.
There was a lot of play with light and shadow in this show. It’s no secret that all three actors are on stage for the duration of the play, with the “odd man out” lurking somewhere in the shadows. It was thrilling to see, to be honest, because you catch yourself looking around to see what the odd man is doing while the two in focus characters are speaking. Robert standing against the back wall facing the wings; Emma curled up on the floor eating an apple; Jerry sitting off the side with his back against the back wall. All making little gestures or motions that hint at what that character is experiencing in that moment in time.
Even the shadows themselves told a part of the story. The sharper focused shadows cast by Robert and Emma when she confesses the affair created a tension that doesn’t exist when Robert is lurking in the background of scenes involving Jerry and Emma or Emma hiding almost when Robert and Jerry are in the forefront. I found myself watching the shadows in this scene more than the actors themselves. It’s that intense.
One other tech geek note: the back wall moved. Now, I’ve seen plenty of moving sets. Hells, I’ve moved a few in my time. But this simple change had a tremendous impact. When the wall moved forward, it cuts the surface area of the stage down to 1/8th of what it was at the beginning. It puts the confession right in your face. You can’t get away from it, just as the characters can’t. There’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. They, and you, just have to deal with it. Absolutely brilliant on the part of the designers. Enough about the sets, or lack thereof. Cows. I could go on all day.
THE CAST: We’ll start with Zawe Ashton. She’s a perfectly lovely woman, all smiles and bubbly at the stage door, very sweet. I don’t know that I like her as an actress. Or maybe I don’t like her character, Emma. I haven’t really decided yet. But, if there was a downside to this show, she was it. Her laughter was fake to the point of cringy, and there was something noticeably self-absorbed about her on stage. The other thing I noticed is that she was never standing or sitting straight. She was always twisted, curled up, or otherwise contorted in some fashion, and that gave me a twitch. An acting choice? Maybe. It would stand to reason that this was some subconscious outward expression of Emma’s mental/emotional state. She struck me as whiny, and maybe a little “woe is me” to boot. My thought throughout the play was, bitch, you got yourself into this. Suck it up.
Charlie Cox as Jerry. Great guy at stage door, seemed to be enjoying the fans. Again, I haven’t read the play so I’m not 100% on what Jerry is supposed to be, but Charlie was giving some serious lovesick puppy vibes for this show. And that’s all I got from him. Maybe bits of remorse here and there, but not much. Some great comedic moments, but otherwise, he really didn’t stand out for me.
Tom Hiddleston as Robert. We’ll discuss stage door in a minute. I’ve worked in the arts and journalism long enough to know that you often hear about how someone “is” but that’s not really who they really are. They pretend to have a presence that doesn’t exist, or they’re not as talented as they, or their agent, would have you believe. And sometimes that “wonderful” actor is really just a prick in real life. Children, I am here to tell you that Thomas William Hiddleston is EVERYTHING he’d cracked up to be.
When the curtain goes up at the show open, Robert is sitting in a chair, and all you see of him is legs. The man has legs for days…digressing again. Cows. Tom has such a presence that you know exactly where he is. When Charlie and Zawe are sharing their scenes, your eyes can dart straight to Tom. I remember actively looking for Charlie and Emma in scenes they weren’t involved in, just to see what they were doing. Never, ever had to do that with Tom. He was always there, always on the edge of the shadows.
His performance as Robert is an emotional roller coaster. I watched him run the gamut and back again several times over the course of 90 minutes, and really wonder how the hells he does it every day (and has been since June). No wonder he looks exhausted. He was giving that trademarked smile in some scenes, growling with anger in others (your Loki is showing), and on the verge of tears in still others. I looked down at him during the confession scene and his eyes were brimming, reflecting the bright white light that was shining on him. That one hurt my heart. Dude can do anything, and I need someone to give him more meaty roles on film. And for the love of the Gods, cast him in a romcom, comedy, something! He’s proven time and again he can act - let him have something besides Loki.
Disclaimer: I love Loki, don’t get me wrong, but I hate to see talented performers pigeonholed into one role. Tom is so much better than that, as most of them are.
STAGE DOOR: The show ends, the lights come up, and I can’t get the damn Hard Rock Cafe bag out from between the seats. So this is how it’s gonna go down, eh? WRONG. ANSWER. I get downstairs in record time only to be blocked by old people who can’t decide if they need to pee or not, then distracted by Tom speaking on stage about the fundraiser the theatre is doing. That voice, those long assed legs, and holy hells is the end of the stage right fucking there???
FOCUS WOMAN! Cows. Eldery folks having determined that yes, in fact, a stop by the loo is in order, I’m out the door, still struggling with the bag and my coat and not being run over by those who are sprinting to the barricades set up to queue for stage door. Sprinting. Really? It’s like, 300, 400 feet maybe, from the entrance to the stage door. I wanna have 0.5 seconds in front of Tom too, but damn y’all. It ain’t that serious.
Secure in our spot upfront and personal by the lovely @mrshiddleston-uk, I got myself squared away and place the Facebook group chat video call. We all agreed that since @firithariel, @igotloki, and @mischeviousbellarina couldn’t be there in person, we’d bring them along digitally. For once, my phone behaved. Did I remember to put them on speaker? That would be a no.
So, Zawe comes out first, signs programs and chats with fans. She really is adorable. Charlie comes out next and follows the same route, and then the man of the hour (and really the whole point of this trip) emerges in the “uniform”, looking a little frazzled. But, he makes the rounds of autographs, even going so far as to sign a Thanos Funko.
Really? REALLY? Thanos? How you gonna do my boy wrong like that? Grrrr….. Amusing thing was that Tom really didn’t even acknowledge it, but he looked annoyed by it.
That’s when Tom got to our merry little band. @silverink-goldenlies showed him the tattoo done by her husband of a Loki helmet with runes surrounded by flowers. He seemed thoroughly impressed with it. I’m next, with our video chat going strong. I asked him to say hi to the girls, and he got a weird look on his face until he saw the phone. He did a double-take, “There are four people on the screen! How did you do that?” We told him about Facebook group chat and where the girls were located. There’s a video floating around Instagram/Twitter of his reaction. It’s entirely too cute. He leaned in and smiled, said hi to them, showed them an autographed program, and handed them to me. He looked me right in the eye for about a second and a half then moved on. I can still see it in my mind, and it makes me smile every time.
Tom finished the autographs and came back around for selfies. Mine is blurry AF, because of course, it is. It’s the only one I have of him. Maybe I’ll try to fix it in Photoshop. A fucking photographer can’t take a damned selfie. SMH Oh well, you can tell it’s him. @mrshiddleston-uk got some great shots, and I’ll always know I was there, that we spoke, however briefly.
I’ll spare you the details of the trip home because, well…traffic. And cows.
And so ends the tale of the very long too short awesome weekend in NYC where I got to meet Tom Hiddleston.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
This is where I will be posting about my Star-stable AU! I will be posting the drawings and comic strips both here and on Instagram, but I didn’t want to write out the stories that goes along each drawing on Instagram, which is why I made this page! So if you’re someone that’s interested in knowing more about these stories and the characters, this is the place to be :D
My instagram: alfaraptor
About my AU:
In my AU every canon star-stable character exists. The only characters that are not canon are my original characters Ellie Williams, Angel Wetton and Bambi Skyhill, and their horses Trooper(E), Midnight(E), Crow(A) and Silver(B). Ellie and Trooper are the main characters in my story (simply because they happen to be the characters I’ve had the longest).
The story starts of with Ellie running away from home and ending up on a weird island known as Jorvik. This is where she meets the sweet girl Angel, who tells Ellie she can offer her a place to stay at her grandfathers farm, the Jorvik Stables, but only if Ellie promises to help out with the horses. She didn’t want her to just end up on the streets, or worse, be found by the people she ran away from. Angel got weird vibes from Ellie, but to her it seemed weird in a good way.
Ellie of course accepts the offer, as she would’ve never been able to afford a horse but has always wanted one to take care off. As close as she ever got to owning one was going once a week to a run down, tired, riding center. Sure this wouldn’t be her very own horse, but at least it’s something, and it’s way better than what she had before. Angel tells Ellie to work with one of the horses at the farm called Trooper. A big, mean-looking, mustang that no one wants to be near. She saw them as a perfect fit. Mean-looking outcasts.
Bambi is one of Angels friends, she has her horse Silver stabled at the farm and comes by every day to take care of him. At first she doesn’t appreciate Ellie being around at all. She tells Angel she gets vibes off her too, but not any good once. Really bad once in fact. Angel tries to convince Bambi to see past it, as Angel and Ellie have become pretty close at this point, but Bambi refuses. She is dead set on the fact that there’s something really strange about Ellie.
Despite this Ellie soon manages to find peace in this new life that she’s been offered, and things seem to finally go her way. She gets to stay in a small, cozy house right by the stables, and gets to take care of several horses each day. Go on long trail rides with Trooper, Angel sometimes tagging along with her pony Crow. She gets to listen to crazy stories about magic and druids and weird octopus monsters told by Angels grandfather Herman.
Everything is great.
But maybe those stories about magic and crazy things happening isn’t just stories. Ellie has a sneaking suspicion that it’s all a bit to real ... especially when strange things starts happening to her and Trooper. She keeps seeing a weird little blue squirrel in the corners of her eyes wherever she goes. Trooper is acting strange whenever they ride past the big dead tree on the golden fields and refuses to walk on certain roads around Jorvik ... Somethings not right ... and Ellie needs to figure out what!
This is just the summary of the AU, I will be drawing character reference sheets for every character that isn’t canon (information about canon characters mentioned can be found on http://jorvikipedia.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Stable_Online ) and ones I’m done with that I will post chapter 1! I won’t be able to have a specific schedule for this, my posts will simply go up whenever I have time to finish them! I can say maybe 1 or 2 drawings a week and maybe 3 or 4 chapters a week. NO PROMISES.
THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT 🖤
Halstead Agents’ Favorite Small Businesses
Last Sunday marked the end of National Small Business Week, and there is no better way to honor this past week than to highlight the very businesses that keep our markets unique and special. As neighborhood experts with a plethora of knowledge, our Halstead agents leverage small shops and restaurants to show what makes their areas of business distinctive. In honor of this past week, we decided to share with you the exact places that make NY, NJ, CT and the Hamptons the best areas to live.
217 East 26th Street, New York, NY
Ice cream and liquor are two hot commodities on their own. Now, imagine them together. Agent Elizabeth Abbott knows just the place. “Tipsy Scoop is New York’s first ice cream ‘barlour’ that serves liquor infused ice cream that is not only delicious but visually creative,” Elizabeth says. Owned by a young entrepreneur, Melissa Tavss Beranger, the Kips Bay shop has a high enough alcohol content to actually get you buzzed.
(Recommended by Elizabeth Abbott of our Park Avenue office)
The Momogram Shop
19 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY
According to agent John Scott ‘JT’ Thomas, The Monogram Shop has been a staple in the Hamptons for more than 10 years. “It’s family owned by a mother and daughter, and it’s my go-to place for all gifts,” JT says. “Whether it is for a closing, dinner party, wedding, new baby, etc., The Monogram Shop is somewhere to provide a warmer, more personal touch to your gifts. Everyone loves to receive something personalized!”
(Recommended by John Scott ‘JT’ Thomas of our East Hampton office)
Kirby and Company
1029 Post Rd, Darien, CT 06820
Run by a motivated, strong, talented role model named Elaine Kirby, this adorable gift shop is agent Amanda Davenport’s favorite place to buy closing gifts. “Their assortment isn’t the only draw, as the owner always has a bright smile on her face and she knows how to create the perfect gift,” Davenport says. While the shop appeals to anyone who searches for boutique decor and other adornments, Elaine believed Darien needed something for a younger group of residents. Thus, Kirby Girl was introduced as a sister shop to celebrate being kind, witty, smart, fierce, unapologetically awesome, confident, fast, athletic, creative, and proud of what makes each girl different and unique. Kirby Girl is located at 14 Brook Street.
(Recommended by Amanda Davenport of our Darien office)
1260 Second Avenue (Corner of 66th Street), New York, NY
“With a relaxed European ambiance, simple interior décor, and charming café details, I feel like I have taken a trip back to Rome,” agent Jennifer L. Hoxter says. Mediterraneo, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, is known for their thin crust pizza and wood-burning pizza oven. Jennifer’s favorite Roma-style pizza is the Pizza Al Portobello, with Portobello Mushrooms, tomatoes, mozzarella and garlic and fresh basil. “The ingredients are so fresh,” she says. “There are many varieties of thin crust pizzas, such as, Pizza Mediterraneo with shrimp, tomato sauce, capers, garlic and scallions. I would also recommend the homemade pastas, and Grilled Calamari.” Mediterraneo’s outside seating has just opened for the warmer months so enjoy your favorite pizza and an ice cappuccino, and maybe run into Jennifer!
(Recommended by Jennifer L. Hoxter of our East Side office)
5 Edward M Morgan Place, New York, NY 10032
“Taszo is just one of those neighborhood joints you grow to really love and appreciate,” says agent Erik Freeland. Owned by a Tunisian who grew up in Sweden and Paris, Taszo offers the highest quality espresso, craft beer, and wine in a relaxed brick-walled setting. They have delicious bites to compliment your favorite beverage. “They have great coffee and pastries (from Balthazar) in the morning. Then, in the evenings it switches over to a great, cozy wine/beer bar and the owner makes an amazing lamb tagine and Swedish meatballs,” Erik explains. With very reasonable prices, this double-edged sword is a Washington Heights staple.
(Recommended by Erik Freeland of our West Side office)
Columbus & 74th Thrift Shop
306 Columbus Avenue at 74th Street, New York, NY
Known for their large inventory of clothing, shoes, and accessories, this Housing Works thrift shop will soon take over your closet. “For over 20 years this store has provided unique deals on clothes, furniture and bric-a-brac that I never would imagine I wanted until I saw the item,” says agent Ed Herson. Most of the staff have been working there for many years and I always get a friendly smile when I go there.”
(Recommended by Ed Herson of our West Side office)
171 E 88th St, New York, NY 10128
“You know it’s the place to be when the baristas know all the locals by name and the coffee is strong enough to keep you awake all day – even in the city that never sleeps,” says agent Nicole Hay. Birch Coffee, is intentionally situated mid-block directly across from the magnificent new development 188 E 88th Street. It is a cozy nook among the hustle and bustle of New York, with a Brooklyn vibe on the Upper East Side.
(Recommended by Nicole Hay of our Park Avenue office)
White Gold Butchers
375 Amsterdam Ave, New York , NY 10024
“This artisan butcher/restaurant has the best quality meat out there,” agent Keith Marder says. “To top things off, they allowed Olga and I to do our lifestyle photoshoot inside the restaurant.” White Gold Butchers is a place where you can eat and also buy meat at the butcher counter. This restaurant has been featured in Fobres, Viceland, New York Times, Vogue and Eater NY, to name a few.
(Recommended by Keith Marder and Olga Bidun of our West Side office)
The Ballfield Café
65th St Transverse, New York, NY 10019
This hidden gem in Central Park is surely mistaken for just another annex/shack in the park for those who don’t know it. “Across from the baseball diamonds in Central Park is a small cafe with umbrella shaded tables where lunch and a light supper are served, plus delightful summer cocktails,” explains Christine O’Neal. This café boasts a good beer/cider/wine list and delicious, quick comfort food. You can order to-go at the counter or sit down for a full-service experience outdoors. “The baseball diamonds are just south and the carousel is within sight,” Christine says.
(Recommended by Christine O’Neal of our West Side office)
Round Swamp Farm
184 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, NY 11937
“Beloved by its loyal clientele, Round Swamp Farm is a throwback to days gone by,” says agent Philip Judson. “Originally started over 50 years ago by Carolyn Lester Snyder in a small red wagon to peddle her family’s vegetables grown on their farm, now four generations continue the tradition. The produce grown on the 20-acre, 250-year-old farm is picked by hand and used to make carrot cakes and zucchini breads, chutneys, sweet and hot pepper relishes, pickles and salsas, fruit jellies and jams, cobblers, pies and muffins. In addition, the farm has an eye-popping array of local seafood caught by family members and dozens of made-from-scratch-daily prepared foods that change with the seasons. The stand is charming and quaint – kids will love visiting with the chickens and rabbits out front – and goods are displayed old style in wicker baskets and baked goods are ties with gingham ribbon. Carolyn and her extended family have become family to us over the 20 years we have been shopping there and we always look forward to their opening (May 11th this year) and to almost daily visits during the summer and fall. In fact, we stock up on homemade soups and dinners before they close after Thanksgiving and freeze them so we can enjoy Round Swamp Farm all winter.”
(Recommended by Philip Judson of our East Hampton office)
820 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Riverdel offers the widest variety of artisanal vegan cheeses around, and a well-curated selection of non-dairy yogurts, nut milks, and gourmet foods. You can sample fresh breads, pastries, and made-to-order sandwiches! “I love getting the ham and cheese croissant but they also have great desserts like Cinnamon Snail, and lots of vegan grocery items too,” says agent Kris Sylvester. “The store owner Michaela is almost always there when I go in and they carry more vegan cheeses than any store in the city. They’ve been in business for 3 years and I am happy to see they are thriving,” Sylvester explains.
(Recommended by Kris Sylvester of our Village office)
622 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Looking to release some stress, or maybe just some thrills? Agent Marta Quinones-McCarthy recommends trying out a new axe throwing venue in Gowanus. “At Kick Axe, you rent a lane and get an experienced axe thrower who organizes games and gives you instructions on how to throw an axe,” explains Marta. Sounds like a kick ‘axe’ time to us!
(Recommended by Marta Quinones-McCarthy of our Cobble Hill office)