Category Archives: Life

I’m still on a hiatus but . . . .

I’ve gotten more and more wrapped up in Marvel, happily reading and writing crossover stories with spidey and fantastic four, shipping Pepperoni like no ones business, and even getting into the hulk a little bit.  During all this I decide (not for the first time) that I want to try reading american comics again and while it hasn’t been a success ( I think I need a guide) I’ve learned a lot more than I knew before

1. American comics have multiple artists and authors, which adds to some of the confusion in their continuity.
2. you can start in on the middle to certain plot arcs

As a manga reader the idea of picking up on one piece 700 chapters in is an appalling  concept but I’ve been assured that I can start reading the newer arc of xmen and don’t need to start in the pre-Phoenix days.  I’ll admit, the idea of reading x-men without Jean is pretty foreign to me.  Go figure, most people don’t like jean but do like scott.  I have to be opposite, and deal with dear old scottie-o.

If I do start a young child on xmen though I’m going to tell them not to look up anything about wolverine’s past, since piecing it together was apparently part of what made him most popular.  I doubt this will be possible, but I can try for a little while.

I’m really frustrated with the multiple artists and the fact the large crews put the comics together.  I really like the uniform art styles for each series and the continuity from panel to panel.  Reading many american comics feels rushed and jerky, like they’re trying to get as much in in as few pages as they possibly can.  Mangakas put out chapters by the week so it makes sense to stretch each scene out, beyond just the flow of it but I really feel it makes you feel more like you’re reading a real book or story as opposed to some half baked picture book.

Some of the non-marvel/DC american comics I’ve read do it more in the Mangaka way but I’ve yet to find an xmen or the like done this way.

^ this is how I feel when frustratingly trying to figure all this out.

Meanwhile I hop back on here from time to time and see my post from before I watched avengers and feel like such a little poser.  Its all made worse when I remember how much I didn’t enjoy fantastic 4, spiderman, hulk, etc and when I watched them again now they’re like the best poorly written few hours of my summer.  This I do not understand.  Eventually my avengers and general marvel hype will die down again and I’ll be back to the little x-fan I was before.  That is- until Iron man 3, Avengers 2, Thor 2, and Captain America 2 and the currently untitled 2014 marvel studios movie.  I can’t decide if I want a black widow movie or a Mark Ruffalo hulk more!

Alas alas, I’m off to tumble and write!

psssssst, I’ll probably get more active again when school starts back up and my new roomie Natalie and I cook awesome things in our fantastically clean kitchen that’s only the two of us! Plus, we’re both art majors so expect great crafts to be born and I’ll share them with you.

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This is a Hiatus

Summer has begun and remember how I said I might have to fangasm a little? Well, I’m fangasming out the wazoo.  I’m catching up on all my Thor cannon and creating my own entire head cannon.  Widow has been added to my list of female characters I need to add to my portrait gallery (which so far is  . . .  just wonderwoman.  but I’m getting there!)

While I’m off in the bowels of the internet/ trying to find a job look at what I’m obsessing myself with on tumblr

http://amarnaphile.tumblr.com/ 

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oh, and I’ve also joined Hiddleston’s army. His smile melts my heart to putty.

it’s the end of the Semester and I’m running on 3 hours of sleep .. . . urgh

It’s that time again, yes you know what time I’m talking about! . . . No, not finals and summer, what are you thinking about? I’m talking about Studio clean up day and crits!

While all you other college students took finals at the end of the semester (never cramming I’m sure) and there was a standard week of hell, all us little art majors forgot what the sun looked like, having donned our welding hoods or locked ourselves into the photolitho room in the back of the print studio. In my case, I’m got to do both!

I’ve chugging away at my next sculpture and have almost no time to complete it. YIKES. assembly go go go! but Print making has been the thorn in my side all semester.  Now I love scheduling and planning so I have all my prints worked out and planned out to be finished on time. . .  except I didn’t really remember how to make a Lithograph.  Oh dear.  So I have to wait until my lovely friend had the time in her busy painting schedule to come help me.
Off we trotted at 9PM on Wednesday night. Into bed I climbed at 5AM Thursday morning and out again for art history at 8.  I love it when I get a full nights sleep of 3 hours! [/sarcasm] The only thing that made it tolerable was that the ceramics grad student with the rainbow hair (I love art students.  our grads totally top the others) had an awesome presentation.  She did her presentation of William Wegman.  To quote her “you probably don’t know his name but I’m sure you’ll know him when you see his work.”  I was skeptical but now I’m going to make the same claim.
The first video she showed us was . . . well, this.

http://www.wegmanworld.com/gallery/works.html

Now I’m sorry, but no matter how tired I am a man with a talking stomach will make me laugh.  At this point I run out of tea but no matter, I’m interested. So on she moved to the works that are his current style. My favorite being this one.
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but you probably know him best for these (unless you had no childhood)
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Yeah, you know who I’m talking about now, right?  The guy behind the dogs on sesame street!

Well, these dogs get me reared and ready to head back over to Printmaking after class to finish my Photolitho.  Yes, because even though I was there from 9-5 the litho press was never free so I could only prep my plates.  URGH. Instead I helped my friend finish up all her plates and get at least her etching printed.  Then clean up began.  Printmaking clean up alone is almost enough to make me never want to take it again.

Now cleaning that studio I run into many of the same problems I do with my dorm kitchen. I clean as I go, make sure I’m polite to those around me and leave counter spaces and at least rinse things that I can’t get to right away.  The others in the studio did the last minute rush and wrecked the place last night in addition to their caked on mess.  URGH.  A lot of it was general maintenance though, like cleaning the parts washer and sweeping up the rolly-pollies. (which we had an infestation of).  Now I’m pooped from no sleep and working all day and night on really only a mug of tea and a sandwich at 5 AM, but to top it all off I was already exhausted before I began from studio clean up in sculpture the other day. True, cleaning up metal side really just consists of a lot of sweeping for the most part but then you need to clear the dock too.  Sometimes you even have to get rid of all the scrap metal and junk that’s been accumulating for years.  Lifting = not my speciality.  I was SO SORE all afternoon!

Well, all that’s left now is to study for my exams (since I decided to do liberal arts instead of art school.  Woo! physics and history! [/sarcasm again] At least there’s no english of philosophy this semester.) and finish my art projects.  Alright I can do this . . .  maybe? I have paint, epoxy, wire and still access to the power tools.  just take a deep breath! My prints just need to be matted.  The BANE of my existence, I swear. My future roomie and I are getting BLACK matt boards for our last few prints (as opposed to the tragic white ones we can buy from the professor.  So hard to keep clean!) Then make sure to call about an interview for my summer job and fly home! (this’ll be my first time flying home with 2 suitcases.  I’m Looking forward to a light carry on so bad!)

Hopefully I’ll get around to posting up some pictures of my studio and prints next!

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its getting warm out side . .. time for ice tea!

Its probably the British in my blood and the southern in my brain that’s got me jumping for ice tea once the temperature gets too warm to rationalize hot tea, but oh dear is it a lovely thing.  Apparently, I lived years and years not knowing that one could drink ice tea without buying specifically labeled “ICE TEA”, but now that I know there’s not much holding me back.

Now I love herbal tea, which works great for iced.  My favorite tea at the moment is Green Cinnamon though, which was a surprisingly successful experiment.

you didn’t know that any tea could be iced either? well, here’s what I like.
Now I like using my tea leaves that I got from the korean grocery store near my school simply because it’s super yummy but a simple tea bag works fine as well. Obviously though if you’re making more than a single cup you’ll need more than a single bag.
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I like just dumping the leaves straight into my bottle since the tea diffuser only makes 2 cups.

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This time I used my VOSS bottle, because it’s kinda epically shaped and glass.
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so in went maybe just over a tablespoon of that and a few pieces of cinnamon bark.

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I like using my cinnamon bark, as opposed to sticks because A. they were cheap to buy in bulk at the indian grocery store and B. I store them in a plastic bag and the broken pieces that collect at the bottom work well for this (since they’re half the size of the rest of the bark)

then I steep it like regular tea! only thing (I realized after I’d been carting around my iced tea from class to class) is its kinda a yellow-y colour. I’ll let you guess what it looked like.  So I decided to milk it, and that worked just as well, if not a little better!
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If wanted, sugar’s added while it’s still hot, to help it dissolve best.  You can get the leaves out if you want but since my bottle’s so tall I’m not really worried about drinking them.  I always like my ice tea strong anyways too, so the longer it can steep, the better.

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If I never see another fish it’ll be too soon

So my show was a few weeks ago now, so my hatred of fish is waning but still burning pretty well
I finally “finished” my paper mache fish, by which I got them completed but not perfected.  they still have a bunch of problems: namely the tails which I practically forgot and didn’t get to spend too much time on making the way I wanted to look.
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If you were curious how they turned out, here’s some pictures! only took me way too long.
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As you can see I had to construct a trellis for them to hang from and it was a little last minute stressful.  I also failed to realize the difficulty with hanging pieces and how nice it would be to have hooks on pre-measured string for hanging them. yeah, learning experience. The fish line (oh the irony) showed up so much less in the gallery, which was awesome.  Something to think about when using fish line, the lighting. There’s also one little fishie who didn’t make it to the party since he’s still hanging up in the sculpture building. he would have helped get my idea across, as well as 10 more fish and a veiling I could drill into. It’d hard to tell from the pictures, but they have a minor V formation going too (like geese, which strikes my funny bone in ways to long to explain now)

My friends also showed in out tiny intermediate 1 week show (but they’re both painters, so we won’t judge them too hard c; )

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JuneBug

JuneBug

I hate them. I had 5 fly into my apartment last night. The first two I was with my roomie nicole and she smooshed them as they flew around the apartment like the wicked witch of the west’s flying monkeys, out to get us with their sticky legs. The last 3 came is 2 shifts. first I was with my roomie Gabriella and we were talking when it flew up from between us and sent us running. It flew into the sink, where my first thought was to drown it. Gabriella took pity on the nasty little bug and saved him (with much screaming) but then TWO MORE FLEW IN! (into the sink again?)
Well, after much screaming we enlisted a boy who was passing our apartment to come rid us of the fiend but luckily out 4th roomie hannah came home just then and took care of it for us. People have stopped coming now when we scream we do it so often. This saddens me but there’s way to many beetles in these apartments.

I see bugs in every shadow now and I’m pretty sure they’ve given me night terrors.

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Oh Technology

I saw my favorite use of smart phones today at mass. Usually I roll my eyes at people playing angry birds in waiting rooms or doing pointless apps just because they can. I really only see a few that really seem worthwhile for the price but today the elderly couple in front of me leaned together in mass and me, being the nosy nose I am, craned over so I could see between them where they were both reading this Sunday’s reading . . . on her iphone. That’s worthwhile I feel.  Churchs spend so much money of every Sunday’s bulletin and things for the congregation to follow along with and sometimes there’s just too many people are you’re gushing in to get near them.  What a lovely alternative, having it on your phone!

Now the only thing to make sure is that paper doesn’t get totally outdated.  I still refuse to pay to upgrade for a smart phone while my lovely little touch screen still works perfectly fine for everything I need it for.  For as much as I love technology I’m the worst about updating and getting my upgrades while they’re still new.  Maybe that’s half the reason I can adapt to them so quickly?

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My contemplations on Art History over the last decade

Sitting in my contemporary art class some of the most interesting thoughts come to mind.  Does this mean the artists works are a success, since they’re making me think this much? Well, I don’t like to think of it that way.  I prefer that it’s just my dear little professor who’s so great at making even bullcrud look like the platonic ideal. (As I type this a million references pop into my mind that all surround Plato, Aristotle. Milton, and every classical artist you could think about.  I suppose one has to face the harsh reality that they’re become a by product of University of Dallas when they start popping up in your casual thoughts.  Yesterday Plato was used to explain some juicy gossip.  Somehow I don’t feel that’s how he intended his work.)

As I stare up into the vast expanses of abstract expressionist paintings and eventually the large red colour field of Lovely Mr. Newman my brain just kinda freezes time for a minute and turns to me, asking, “Miss. Alex, What on earth are you looking at?”

“Art.” I reply to it, preparing my explanation of the great philosophical transcendence of the zips.

“Seriously?” my brain asks, its little voice laced with mockery.

“Well-“

My brain doesn’t allow me to continue. “I mean look at that mess of unorganized shapes? Do you really think that’s art?” my brain asks, pointing it’s little ethereal finger at Painting by DeKooning.

            As I stare into the work I can’t help but to note that my brain has a point.  It’s probably the ugliest thing to be made. It’s black forms neither have order or any sense of fluid automatism.  It’s as if someone with no eye for design just thought it’d be fun to slap some shapes down on the canvas, add some drips for the movement, and call it fine art. “Well,” not willing to give up yet I continue trying to argue. “DeKooning didn’t really ever consider it done. They had to wretch it from his studio, the paint still wet, remember? Think of your own work.”

My brain would have rolled its eyes, had it any at this comment. “That’s a cop out argument.” It flatly tells me. “What about Rothko?”

“Alright,” I take up the gauntlet and flip through he images in my notes, settling upon Slow Swirl by the edge of the sea. “What do you have to say about this one?”

My mind doesn’t even have to respond.  I know as well as it does that neither of think much more of it than we did De Kooning.  Sure, many of the shapes hold beauty for us-me, but there’s no composition.  There’s no balance, it doesn’t look purposeful. You have to own your space and show a skillful ability to manipulate it, no matter if it’s a sculpture on a pedestal or a painting confined in it’s little square canvas (which De Kooning’s Excavation tried to escape from with humorous means.  If only they had spilled over onto the wall too. A canvas painting that flows down its sides and becomes a wall drawing as well? Doesn’t it sound spectacular?)

My mind finally convinces me that the artistic-ness of their works is severely flawed so I sigh and wave them goodbye and move along in art history. Past Pollak (who my mind and I have to perform this little dance over all over again), to Barnett Newman (who my mind and I never had to argue about no matter how much my little professor explained),  and onward to Rauchenberg until Neo-Dada srung it’s nasty little head.

I hated Dada with a passion when I first encountered it and now NEO DADA? It’s like vomiting up a poorly cooked dinner.  It did’t taste good the first time and it sure doesn’t taste good the second time. As I stared at giant 10 foot projections of a taxidermy goat on a plank of wood and listened to Jasper Johns try to explain how painting a flag was any different that rendering an artistic version of a poster (for those people who think posters are only for college students. That’s what Frames are for dearie.) I find myself wanting to go back to the logic and emotions of Abstract expressionism.

“WAIT- WHAT?” my mind asks, taking several steps back.  It’s face would have been most humorous at this thought, had it one contort.

“Well, I think what they were onto was still art.  Look at De Kooning’s seated woman.  Yeah it’s weird and half finished, and doesn’t look that hard or anything else you sometimes use to judge art with but it harkens to all your senses.  I find it beautiful, emotional, and thought provoking.  Then on top of all that it has all its significance that the professor tells me about.  I could put it in my home, or on a museum wall and enjoy staring at it imagining the implied movement in her thrice placed limbs.  It’s descriptive of his emotions and the woman’s emotions.  A taxidermy chicken on top of a box with some porn is just tacky and made by someone who thinks they should be in philosophy.”

“Well I can’t argue with your second point,” my mind tells me, “but what about something a little bit more on the abstract side.  What about Jackson Pollak?”

“Even there, he’s got something.  I used to scoff at him when he said he would get disconnected with the painting and give up when all he was doing was splatter painting but I’ve done the same thing now.  When hanging up picture of doing layout jobs I may have 30 images but if I loose my vision of where they’re going I can’t finish.  How many unfinished sketches and works do I have that I gave up on not because they got too hard or took to long but because I just lost the vision of where I was going? Stories that I love and reread wishing against anything that I’d continued but had lost the vision of the story as a whole? It reminds me of the story where one day the Pope came to visit Michelangelo in his studio while he as sculpting his David. The Pope marveled at the partially completed work, and asked, “How do you know what to cut away?” Michelangelo’s response was, “It’s simple. I just remove everything that doesn’t look like David.” Well how did Michael Angelo know what was part of David and what wasn’t? If he sculpted a wrong turn and it didn’t fit his vision he wouldn’t have made the same statue, right?”

“You’re asking me to take a mighty leap . . .” my brain said slowly, thinking over what I was trying to convey.

“If this is so bad, with no artistic elements then why, as a child, where you obsessed with it?”

My brain thought back to the days in which it was still just a wee little mind and wore overall shorts and princess braids while struggling over basic arithmetic.  IT did indeed love what it deemed to be called “squiggle paintings”.  It loved looking for the images in the shapes, navigating them like a maze, searching for something personal and exciting.  Following the pattern of the lines, trying to decipher how the artist painted them. Did they just squeeze the tube and let their mind make the squiggle? Or maybe they took the brush and just made shapes that spoke to their inner idea of beauty.  I loved slanty hearts, maybe he loved loopty loops? There was something there, emotionally, that my young brain grappled onto and loved so much that I fell in love with the torpedo factory and indeed decided to purchase my own canvas painting from the art market it Yerevan that now hangs on my brother wall that he loves too.  And he’s not even as mamby pamby as I was, he’s strictly a math and engineering sort of kid. “I suppose there’s something they were getting at.” My mind conceded, “something beautiful and thought provoking that does take skill, just like Gentileschi and Caravaggio’s works did.  It just takes a different sort of skill.”

“Exactly!” I said, thrilled we’d finally agreed without one of us mowing over the other.

“But very few managed to find it.  Too many big name artists that tried to continue the idea took the wrong direction.  Instead of grasping that innate human-ness that the works depicted that took some strange psycologial, philosophical, and emotionless undertone that have to be there by the nature of the work itself and tried to glorify that as the meaning of art.”

I couldn’t agree more at this comment but my opinions are still growing and changing just as my opinions of the abstract expressionists changed as my art history knowledge grew.  I’ve just reached conceptual art in my studies and let me tell you, I feel like I’m looking at writing prompts for Artists.  There has been very little museum art I’ve thought as fine art at all since 1950, but maybe this will help me solidify my idea of what art is anymore.

Just as we look back at the past and laugh at their stupidity I’ve quite curious to see what the future will think about these past decades since the dawn of photography.  Forced to redefine studio art we’re just making a mess of all our ideas, desperately trying to beat out a solution to that infernal question: “What is Art?”.

Am I more understanding of old people or finally an old person?

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I suddenly realize what old people feel like.  Maybe its not that they’re too old to understand new electronics but that they’re too wise? And maybe a little past their learning curve too.
But this idea came to me as I was turning on my old PS2 today for a long time since a long time and I remembered the first time I got it.  I was probably around 12 but I had been playing computer games for ages and ages and I assumed the rules of a computer would carry over to a console.  Well they didn’t.
For starters I thought that the screen the PS2 opened up to was the same as one’s desktop.  Thus it made sense to me that everything I needed to do could be opened up from this menu.  I can’t quite remember what I was trying to do but I kept opening up the browser trying to click the option I wanted and activate it.  I think it was playing a DVD, so I would check and try to click until I got so annoyed that I couldn’t open it.  Thankfully I was resilient and probably tried restarting the system and moping so that it auto started.  Whatever is the case I wasn’t completely Internet literate yet so I don’t think I googled it.
The second particular instance I recall was trying to quit a game.  I was playing Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone (or Jet X2o both were one of my first games) and I decided I was done.  Well, I saved like a good little kid who’s used to their computer crashing every few minutes when they play their Nancy Drew games and then proceeded to scour the game for an option to quit and go back to the browser screen.  Alas I couldn’t find it and having to look away and wince, I shut it off from the switch.
But these thoughts stemmed from my knowledge of years of playing on the computer rather than my lack of knowledge of consoles.  Had I never played games on the computer before I’m not sure what my actions would have been.  I might have read the manual (pft, as it) or I might have given up in exasperation.  Chances are that If I was still the kid I was and not some strange anti-me who avoided all electronics I would have kept with it until I figured out how it worked all the same.  I might just have  done like I did when I first needed a playstation memory card and played for hours not knowing what to do next only to risk loosing all my data (I think I re-played the beginning of Final Fantasy VII at least 6 times before I actually go a memory card.  Even tried just not dying. Heh, that worked out well.)
I think these thoughts were all born from my watching of singing in the rain the other day where they switched from silent movies to movies with sound.  I know the change had to be huge but it never occurred to me all the changes.  I recall talking to my dad about how every year he’d wait for the wizard of OZ to show on TV and how people were so awed by the burst of colour as she entered OZ.
I’ve been mulling over this all night (with some garlic cheddar Jalapano biscuits, mmm~) thinking back to my first technology experiences.  When I first realized computers were easy to hook up, when you had to restart a computer for the keyboard you just hooked up to respond, playing with my friend’s old ipod mini and thinking it was so thin, thinking an ipod nano would snap it was so thin, when I first had easily accessible internet that didn’t make those annoying noises with every webpage, and my first e-mail account with Hotmail.  I feel compelled to write down a in depth account of all my electronic experiences as something new comes out so that I can give it to my grandkids to read and laugh at my excitement over something that will become so commonplace or even dated by then.  I think it’d be fascinating to have my own grandmother’s first thoughts on turntables or cassette players, don’t you?
And so fittingly as I write this I have my all time favorite comedy duo on in the background in one of their old black and white movies: Abbot and Costello, Pardon my Sarong.

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I’ll get to Art History Later but for now You can Learn how I’m Hipster

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Since learning about the hipster Late last year I’ve come to the realization more and more that I unfortunately embody this trend and have been for years and years.  So does that make me hipster before it was cool?

After recollecting on my favorite story of how I was aghast as twilight hit the forums hard the week after I read it, thus allowing me to say I hated twilight before it was popular to like or dislike it and several other similar ones I had it pointed out to me I’m a skinny jean wearing, large sweater donning, tea drinking, story writing, big glasses, and paisley scarf person.  Oh dear. At least I don’t wear the palestine liberation scarf that seems to be big in the scarf world (but I was a fan of it before it became a fashion trend)

I do believe my poor friend Jon was horrified when he discovered this whilst sharing in my tea drinking habit.

Lets look at the other horrifying ways in which I am unfortunately hipster:
I go to a small catholic college you probably haven’t heard of
I graduated Highschool in a small european college you probably haven’t heard of (unless you’re a history buff or think it’s Siberia)
I own myself 2 pairs of shwanky jesus Sandles
I’ve given serious consideration to peace corps
I regret every day I didn’t buy that burlap canvas shopping bag from fresh market.
I gave serious consideration to buying records not because I love the turn table sound
I’ve been wearing oxfords with heels for ages and spent the last 2 years looking for a great pair of moccasins
I’ve been being a bit of an organic nerd for a while
I wear tight pants and scarfs and drink tea in big glasses
I knit
I love thrifting

and the worst part, I was doing all of this before it was cool (except for thrifting.  my Thrift store buddy got me into that two years ago)

My only rational is that I’m an artist.  It was pointed out to me that by being counter culture as culture become counter culture I become mass culture? So the question that bears asking is it more Hipster for me to continue being hipster because that’s where I naturally ended up or be even more hipster by trying to escape?

I think the world’s hipster’s will blow over soon enough and leave me behind.  Then I can dance to my own drum once again without fear.

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