katekat: (Default)
As far back as I can remember, I've believed somewhere in the back of my head, at a gut level of knowing-ness, that the stories in books go on without me. If I put a book down in the middle, it means the story might go somewhere else that I can't see and won't know. I know this isn't a logical attitude, but it's what my brain thinks.

This has led me to sneaking books under the covers, into classrooms in middle-school, and under my desk at high school. Lead to me sitting up all night when I had to be at work at 8 am the next morning just to *find out.* Hilariously I used to get reprimanded for reading too much. Even as an adult. Of course I was often reading the wrong thing since it was mostly sci fi or fantasy books with lurid covers and crazy stories. But even with other types of literature I've always had trouble putting the damn book down.

Which is why I have trouble with WIPs, I think. I mean, I think in some fashion everyone wishes the story were complete, but I think there are a lot of people who really enjoy the getting there and don't mind if there isn't an end in sight.

Me, it's not the end I mind. I LOVE the getting there. It's that a WIP is like a book I'm being *made* to put down. And not being allowed to pick it back up (because there's nothing *to* pick up).

There are only a couple of writers I'll read WIPs from, and it's only because either I love them so much that I don't care, or that the world is so big it's ok, I wouldn't be able to take it all in anyway. For example:

[personal profile] seperis has been writing the epic, world-eating SPN AU fic Down to Agincourt (Dean/Castiel, eventually NC17, currently at 1,077,012 words and STILL unfinished) and I love that. An enormous take on one of the AUs that the show itself spawned, she asks what would have happened if Dean had gotten stuck at the end of the world? It's so fucking dense, textured, ridiculously complex, and yet I *want to know* what happens. But it's also so sprawling that it's ok that Dean and Cas are sitting around at the end of the world waiting to figure out how in the hell they're going to get screwed over AND screw Lucifer's endgame all at the same time. I mean she brought in Goddesses on this stuff. There's whole subplots that make me want to do research as a reader. I have hope that eventually it'll play out, and I'm fine with them living in the back of my head. Though I still tend to try and read not chapter-by-chapter when she publishes, but entire story-by-story so at least an arc is complete.

the ONLY fic that I've ever been pretty into as a WIP isn't so much a WIP as there are short, self-contained fics that are added to a collection periodically that expand the universe just a little bit more.

[archiveofourown.org profile] feather (or [archiveofourown.org profile] lalaietha) wrote this pretty long MCU Steve/Bucky recovery fic your blue eyed boys (Steve/Bucky, M, 123,233 words), which is amazing and lovely. It's all about Steve really trying to figure out what *will* help a Bucky who shows up on his doorstep but is relearning how to ask for things, want things, remember things, consider himself human. But then.

Then she started writing shorts in the 'verse.

(even if i could) make a deal with god (Steve/Bucky, Natasha/Clint, Bruce/Betsy, Pepper/Tony,) that has at last count 121 short fics in it. And short sometimes is 1,000 words, but sometimes is like 20,000. Word count on these "shorts" totals 478,092. Also though it's got some of the most amazing OCs ever, like, ever. When she puts a new segment out in this 'verse it's nonlinear, she jumps around, even though the timeline is incredibly well thought out and everything does fit together if you went and decided to read it right now. It also works though because Bucky's recovery is non-linear, and the form fits the emotional tone of his and Steve's life. Some of the fics make me cry. Some make me sigh. Some make me cheer. There's a young girl Mercedes who you will want to make friends with. Actually the best part of this series is that it's populated with incredible women - a vet named Chloe, her girlfriend Paula, even Betsy Ross is clearly Feather's Betsy Ross. Oh and there's a whole other sub-collection for the Natasha-focused stories [to see you there] (mostly Natasha but also Natasha/Clint, and it's another 133,179 words!)

But these two are pretty much it.

Until last night. When I made the mistake of following links from [archiveofourown.org profile] BetteNoire's Lucky Seven (Steve/Bucky power-AU, very NC17, 94,264 words) where Bucky is ex-russian mafia and fixes/races bikes and Steve is a very tired superhero to this:

([archiveofourown.org profile] silentwalrus, Steve/Bucky, PG13 for violence at this point, 109,211 words)

Steve gets out of the hospital in two days, but just barely. “I’m fine,” he tells Sam, Nurse Eunjung and the phalanx of doctors assigned to make sure Captain America didn’t bleed out and die and get bad PR all over their nice clean hospital. “I have an advanced healing factor. It’s fine. See? I’m standing.”

“That is not standing,” Sam tells him.

“You’re bending the IV stand,” Nurse Eunjung adds pointedly. “Let go and sit down, they don’t grow on trees.”


aka Steve and Bucky's Global Honeymoon Revenge World Tour.


But it's only 12 of 16 chapters done!!

And I didn't realize that until 1:30 am last night, as I'm rounding the corner on their adventures and the boys are getting a little bit lighter and less covered in grim and grime, and there are some truly funny and amazing bits in this and it has all my favorite loves for these two -- Steve getting to have faith in his Bucky, Bucky getting to be a badass but also getting to be fucking wounded and figuring his own way out, Natasha being the one who actually calls everybody for being ridiculous, even herself, and I just....

I don't want it to END per se, but somewhere they're still out there in the back of my brain moving forward in ways that my rational brain knows the fic hasn't moved forward yet. But the irrational gut feeling of me knows that I'm standing still not reading and is worried they'll be going places I can't catch up to.

Thank god for subscriptions.
katekat: (Default)
I'm in love with the new XKCD comic about practicing literacy, which I'm sure you all already saw. There's nothing wrong with practice, nothing.

Other links:
01. 50 Years of NHK Television (this is the national television station of Japan - it's cool stuff)

02. 7 Black Women Science Fiction writers everyone should know. I will straight up admit I need to read many of the women on this list.

03. Millions of Scanned Images - this is an amazing resource AND a way to literally lose hours of your life. (or it links to the flickr album that will suck your time but delight your eyes) I searched Japan and found scanned photographs of Japan in 1900. So cool. Like this one:

Image from page 200 of "Hildreth's "Japan as it was and is" : a handbook of old Japan" (1907)


And with me? What have I been doing?

Weellllllllll...

a. started looking for new housemate (my current is moving to San Diego for a job)
b. classes started and while I'm not taking them, I am going to school for talks
c. probably am trying to go on the job market this fall if I can get another chapter written by October (which I will do, because my dissertation writing group needs something to read, and I have to mail it to them by the end of September).
d. am single. not in an apocalypse kind of way, though, hopefully.
e. went back to the Getty and the Norton Simon museums, so I feel all full up on art
f. guided a friend through her qualifying exams while she stays with me (she's moving to France for a year and needed a place to crash for the month between the end of her lease and her move)
g. rewatching Teen Wolf with friend from (f). She noted, and I agree, that show is sometimes smarter than it knows. And often dumber than it wants to be.
h. translated the most important piece of scholarship (so far) I found in Japan
i. have gone to breakfast parties, and walks out to Santa Monica, been out for drinks to celebrate (f)'s birthday, had a party at my house to celebrate her passing her quals
j. participated in nostalgic photo posting on facebook last night that led to a three hour conversation with my college roommate, who i dearly love. and who is moving to hawaii and contemplating buying an island.
k. bought a bust of Apollo for my mom for her birthday present, a side table for my living room, eaten out, made a lot of chicken (A LOT OF CHICKEN) and started reading the Discworld Sam Vimes books again for fun (and to make me fall asleep).

so far, that'll do.
katekat: (Default)
I don't mention it often here. Which is weird. But I consider myself almost a radical feminist. (almost, but not quite, because while I do actually believe there is socially institutionalized sexism that can be found pretty much in every part of in my own culture and quite a few others, i actually do like men and believe they can be feminists and to believe that trans* people are real people too and undergo oppression and deserve to have a voice in multiple movements, including the feminist movement, and because i do still actually like hetero sex and because i do believe women have agency and choice...)

But for some reason it doesn't come up for me in a fandom context as much as it does in my other online spaces, particularly on facebook. Racism discussions too. It's not that I don't have them about things I am fannish about...or think thoughts about those texts that critique their gender politics (and they've all got gender politics, boy howdy). But I'm in a radical feminist community on facebook that has really fascinating discussions (and occasionally just blow your pants off drama). And now, apparently I'm also picking fights with sexist freethinkers.

And picking fights with sexist freethinkers wasn't actually on my menu for the weekend. It is draining to try to explain to someone systematic and institutionalized predjudice if they don't believe it. It is, I think, almost impossible to convince a white male who doesn't want to listen that women are sexually harassed or denegrated when he's a skeptic. Or it was for me. The guy wanted me to prove that sexism was a widespread problem in the atheist community, but then when I pulled up personal blogs from women atheists describing their experiences he denegrated them because they were never 'properly investigated'. When I linked him reports from atheist conferences where there were widespread reports of abuse, he called them hearsay. When I asked him to refer back to the original article I'd posted about Male Atheists and White Knight Sexism he tried to tell me that the tweets in question were just one bad apple and that it did not indicate a widespread trend of anything.

I finally gave up, after calling him sexist. Because he was - at one point he compared unreported sexual harrassment to reports of aliens -- both were equally doubtful in his mind.

I think part of the reason I don't usually engage on topics like this out there on the interwebs (though I read a whole lot of other people engaging on it, women and men alike) is because hitting a wall of doubt like that, when I know so many women who have been made to feel inferior, or disregarded, or put down, or ignore, not just in atheist spaces (but including them) is emotionally exhausting.

So today I was exhausted. Watched bad TV. Watched the rest of the season of Orange is the New Black (which OMG crap holy crap!!). Read Adorable Teen Wolf Derek/Stiles Thanksgiving fic, and completely CREEPY BUT TOTALLY AWESOME Hannibal fic, and only got about a chapters worth of Korean History down.

School starts tomorrow and I will return to my policy of not engaging with people whose minds are impossible to change. (or perhaps I will encounter them in class, but then I'll be their TA, and Korea is WAAAY more fun to talk about than sexism. Sorry, but true.)

Monday can't actually come fast enough.
katekat: (Default)
I post them elsewhere, so I thought I'd post 'em here too....

Setting The Table: The Aesthetics of Hannibal
Bryan Fuller and David Slade are major talents, so coming into the project I was immediately aware that this was a chance to do something complex and haunting. In our first conversation, Bryan invoked the painter Francis Bacon as a reference for Lecter, and from David came a very striking image, the Blood-Stag; this is how it started. I assembled an array of paintings and photographs through which the three of us discussed realism and expressionism, architecture, qualities of light and palette. In addition to Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Todd Hido, Gregory Crewdson and the French painter Caillebotte. I included Wyeth for his anxious rendering of the Midwest and certain paintings by Edward Hopper. David’s photographic images were key in defining the look of the series.


How To Talk To Little Girls
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.


Map of US Places with their literal names
It’s easy to think of words such as California or Texas or New York as just the places on the map, but those words actually meant something, once, and those meanings offer a little glimpse into history. The above map, designed by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust, labels states, cities, and landmarks with the literal meanings of their official names.


What Man of Steel Gets Wrong About Superman (SPOILERS)
There are a lot of radical reinventions of the Superman character in Man of Steel. Some of them are intriguing. And then there’s the thing that happens at the end of Man of Steel that was so ill-conceived and poorly handled that you almost start to wonder if anyone attached to Man of Steel knows what makes Superman so special.
katekat: (Default)
Ok, so, I caught another cough this week and ended up being at home wed & thurs just to try and rest it out (and drink buckets of water and tea - BUCKETS!). I was really worried wednesday night because it was the second night i'd had night sweats, until i realized that the weather had warmed up significantly and it wasn't my body it was actually, you know, the super-heavy-winter blanket i had on my bed making me so hot. LOLZ.

after dragging myself to class today (which was good - i actually did mostly ok, and did the reading, which was good, and class helped explain the reading, which was *even better*), i gave myself a friday off.

this afternoon and evening I've been doing marvel-movie marathon! Captain America, Thor, and finally my 50th viewing of the Avengers. (ok, not 50th, but seriously, like possibly 7th? 8th?). And so here are some thoughts that at this point can't be spoilery, right? )

Oh, and on the heels of that fannish stuff, I was mentally musing about Black Widow and how she came off to other people, and ran across this awesome review/discussion talking about black widow spinning a web around the avengers that gave me an entirely different lens to look at her actions with. Not that I think Joss is the be-all-end-all in feminist directors (because he's not) like the reviewer does, but because it brings up *really* good points about the actions Black Widow takes in the film and HOW she goes about doing it all as a human amongst super-beings.

Finally, looking for a giggly little bit of Sterek? (you know you get your Teen Wolf on), check this out:

The Scientific Method by uraneia
Stiles/Derek | Teen Wolf | Teen | 5,947 words
Stiles’s life was so much easier before his BFF got super powers. “But, so, werewolves have super strength, right? And super speed. And better vision, and better muscle control, and healing powers, and stuff. And some of that’s probably, like, genetic, if you can be born a werewolf. Right?”

“Yeah,” Scott says. From the perplexed look on his face, he doesn’t yet know where Stiles is going with this. “So?”

“So what if you have condom-defeating supersperm?”


YES. IT IS AS AWESOME AS YOU THINK. IN A 'NOTHINGHURTSANDEVERYTHINGISFINE' kind of way.

have you guys heard of the other non-facebook/tumblr/twitter sites in this article? cuz I haven't. made me feel old.

i miss my oven because of things like this chicken bastilla recipe (cinnamon + chicken = GOOD)

my favorite death in the last episode of sparticus was this guy's death (SPOILERS!) but I was mostly pleased with the last episode - or as pleased as I was going to be by this third season because really, this season had problems )

and now that i've prattled away, i'll let you get on with your day/night/what have you.

OH, but if you're into Giles, don't forget about [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles sign ups! Or just join the comm to see what happens.
katekat: (Default)
today i have:
x done laundry
x cleaned bathroom
x set up stuff for [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles
x talked to both parents
x watched spartacus finale
x talked to [livejournal.com profile] gray_ghost about spartacus finale and possibility that japan will get bombed by korea
x mock interviewed another friend who is applying for a mechanical engineering position
x organized my food stores
x done dishes

do you notice the lack of homework on there? i do! apparently i really really really needed the weekend off. this is good for the brain. not so good for the homework monday, that's for sure. ugh.

anyway, before i head into the trenches, i thought i'd say that i am alive! and this is what has been going on... )

and now, to homework!
katekat: (Default)
1. man, I never get to say that! 今晩は (konbanwa), i mean. It's partially that I end up studying at home at night, and partially because you don't *really* say 今晩は much anyway when you walk by people at night (my neighborhood is very much a 'nod' 'nod back' neighborhood, not a spoken greeting neighborhood). All i know is i hate the way the announcer guy says it on the American Iron Chef. Hate like burning.

2. Anyway!! HI everybody! I have been wrapped up in the end of school stuff for the last two weeks... Not that our program is over, but we are four days away from finishing our third semester. And then we get a two week break! SO needed - I was getting exhausted just from the schedule and the continual push pull of homework.

3. My presentation today went well - 15 min in Japanese on revising the definition of SF, with ten minutes or so of question and answer. The lovely part is that people got enough of my presentation to really actually ask probing questions. Good and simultaneously tiring since it's heavy lifting answering these questions in either language.

4. So all my shoes died. Not that I had a ton, but I had three pairs of boots all get holes or start losing their soles one after the other. So I found our neighborhood shoe repair place. Of course the two guys who work there are very nice and chat with me about what the hell i'm doing in Japan. They are literally astonished that I am studying Japanese literature and told me over and over that they had NEVER heard of anyone doing that. I am a serious curiosity. When I picked up my shoes yesterday they invited me to hang out with them and other shop owners in the neighborhood - apparently they get together on the weekends and grab food and drink. I gave them my number, so we'll see if they call, but it will be interesting. I'm afraid I'll feel a bit like a zoo animal, "Come one! Come all! See the Japanese Literature Grad Student in her Japanese-habitat!!" but we'll see.

5. I am currently involved in making plans to go to a festival in Japan where they parade a giant penis around the town. Yes, for reals. It's a harvest festival called 豊年祭り (Honen Matsuri) I will not be praying for my own fertility though.

6. As a treat I made myself this chicken piccata and OMG. If you like chicken and capers and lemon, you must eat this IMMEDIATELY (or as soon as you can). I took pictures of my own dinner and will post them when i get the energy. But OMG SRSLY.

7. hanging out with Sam's housemate last week and I found out she is in fandom too, and was sort of horrified that one of the other students in the program had found her fandom tumblr. Of course, the reason why that person had found the tumblr was because *she* was *also* a fan (so hey, equal levels of geekyness). We did have a talk about anonymity/revelations/etc. One of the things I comfort myself with is that if someone's going to find my stuff they will also have to be fans themselves to find it. Though these days I'm more ghost-like than fan-like, but hopefully there will be two solid months this summer when I get back to the states wherin I will PLAY ALL THE TIME and make some fannish contributions above and beyond 'kudos' at A03.

8. got linked by another one of the students at our program (who is nice enough to rec sherlock fics to me) to a post at fandom_wank and got lost down the rabbit hole this afternoon. It's been a while since I've paid attention to their posts and I love them so. Also, please, take a look at this ridiculous Misha Collins Youtube Video of him and his son having the most goofy time. I don't know if it'll strike you guys as totally awesome or not, but I literally laughed out loud over and over again.

And if you're curious about the Sherlock fic, I haven't read it yet, and the reccer tends to like angst with a happy ending, but here:

The Fabric of Life by [archiveofourown.org profile] holyfant (Sherlock/John / 150,000 words / read the warnings)

9. did my taxes! am getting money back! (of course, that's because according to my earnings statement i'm not exactly living above the poverty line). glad they're done though. i just wish all the other paperwork i have pending (forms for my program in the states, etc.) would be as easy to take care of.

10. it is *almost* cherry blossom season. There is a plum tree that is covered in white blossoms (very like cherry, but white) I see every day on my walk to school. The starbucks has started offering 'sakura' (cherry blossom) flavored drinks (which taste like pink). Over break I will be trying my damdest to get to one of the viewing spots that isn't super croweded to take some pictures (well, if things actually blossom during break...) it's hard to pinpoint the time exactly, but the air is getting warmer these days, and the sun does feel stronger, so I have hope! ... well damn, just checked, and the best viewing day according to the "sakura weather map" is April 4th. oh well, at least spring is coming!
katekat: (Default)
on fun
went out last night to the favorite neighborhood bar and had these, where they serve my new favorite drink. it's called a 'blue moon' though actually violet, not blue. and not sweet at all. but omg tasty:



and some of those, with really good company, plus fried oysters (on my part tasted for the first time and they were ludicrously good) made the evening beautiful. the oysters were after we ended up at a pool place and stupidly amazing shots were made (not by me - i suck, but i'm cheerful at sucking). everybody made it home before the last trains died, and i didn't even have any problems getting into the apartment on my way back home. miracles!

on classes:
we have three weeks left in our current semester, and while it's all rushing up super fast, it's also not coming fast enough - everybody is tired and strung out on a lot of japanese - and each day is a grind. i did two presentations last week, one on monday on the meaning of pop culture, and one on friday on posthumanism. this next week i'll be doing one for our fiction class on feminist rewriting of a mountian-witch fable, and another one that i have yet to choose yet.

i don't think i mentioned before that this semester we have elective classes - so i've been taking literature and popular culture - lit two days a week and pop culture four days a week (and then we have regular grammar studies two days a week).

next semester we change classes again. i'll actually be doing independent research three days a week, literature (two classes) three days a week, and grammar two days a week. it's going to be busier but i'm looking forward to finally getting to my own research. I have two books that i'm going to be trying to read, which is terrifyingly exciting to have as a project. RESEARCH! OMG ALL THE THINGS I WILL HAVE TO LOOK UP.

but in between we get a break and i can't wait to take it. even if i spend half of it poking around tokyo and doing little else.

on recs
Speaking of miracles, if you're a graphic artist and you don't know about hybrid genesis, you should seriously check her stuff out. she just posted some really beautiful new textures, and has both a free and paid stuff available on her website. Or you can follow [livejournal.com profile] hgx to see new updates too. she does completely inspirational artwork too, and seriously, just, words can't even explain. check out her stuff.
katekat: (Default)
Music: Ok, this isn't fandom, but it's such a cool transformative work!! (even if i'm not the biggest fan of one of the songs). The person takes a Miles Davis song & a LCD Sound system song (both on youtube), and plays them together. Its beautiful.



Gardening: Moss does NOT equal mold... and should possibly be encouraged to live in our homes? Also, Japan has moss in its national anthem?

[english language news article about moss pictures]

Art/Advertising: Apparently in LA they're doing a campaign to fundraise for LA schools by getting artists to design really awesome things. One of them is a bunch of buses that are covered with Emmerson quotes! And a billboard that reads HUMAN HISTORY BECOMES MORE AND MORE A RACE BETWEEN EDUCATION AND CATASTROPHE (which, um, so true)

[see cool pictures here]

Literature-ish: Curious about Japanese ghost stories? I got directed to this "Litrolab" pod-cast of Lafcadio Hearn's ghost stories. The interesting thing is that he wrote them down because no one else thought they were important ... and then they got famous outside of Japan, and the Japanese themselves took notice and translated his english-language book back into Japanese... and these are the forms of the tales that are most famous today in Japan.

[oooooo, scary .... ok, well, maybe not totally scary]
katekat: (_nihon-flower)
it's been hot in lalaland lately. and i know, most of you in the rest of the country/world live with summers filled with evil humidity - my favorite quote from Tom Robbins was something I thought was just fanciful imagination until I went to New Orleans and felt that humidity for myself.

The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get the aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po'boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week - yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat day and night, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors in your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars.


Here's the thing - it's been in the high 90s every day for two weeks here in lalaland, two weeks of heat that isn't supposed to sidle up to us and grin in a lascivious kind of way, two weeks of more humidity than anyone is supposed to feel in the desert, and we're just not equipped to deal with it. I'm not equipped to deal with it. No air conditioner, no fan, no gumbo-type coping mechanisms.

Adding insult to injury three days this week the housemate came home and turned on the oven to cook dinner - effectively doubling the heat.

Basically I've felt like my brain is boiling with momentary fragments of fractured time spent breathing in relief as breezes come through the windows in the depths of the night. I haven't even been under a sheet in the evening.

Of course my brain is already a rat in a treadmill because in just about 13 days I am going to Japan for a year. A YEAR. And I can't grasp the enormity of the adventure - I keep seeing little flashes of what it will be like. Finding a grocery store in the neighborhood. Trying out local bars so I can hopefully speak to Japanese to actual natives, not just other grad students. Wondering how big my room is going to be, and looking at the outside of the apartment building and the neighborhood streets via google maps. Remembering the daily grind of last summer and hoping that I'll find some reserves of energy to do that again for the entire year.

But I'm having trouble planning for the weather. It snows in Yokohama in the winter (though I'm told it doesn't stick to the ground), and I can't even imagine Japan in the cold because I've always been there in the summer. To me Japan is a place where you take showers in the evening that cool you down before you sleep, where rain is mostly warm and makes you stickier, where it's often too hot to eat but the food is light enough that it seems refreshing (except for mugicha, which i hate, but that's ok, others can drink it).

oh well, i'll figure it out or be sending urgent messages home for more warm clothes.

and here, rewards for reading this far:

political link I wish my mother had aborted me. REALLY interesting pro-choice article posted at ONTD_political. I am amazed by the strength of the woman who posted her story, and it certainly is a counter-argument to those who claim abortion kills future productive members of our society (and seems to dismiss the affect it has on the current members)

fic rec Things That Haunt Us by [archiveofourown.org profile] emungere
Mal/Simon (Firefly) | NC-17 | 58,460 words
Mal’s brain is pleasantly fuzzy. His arm is slung around Zoe’s shoulders for support– his, not hers, since she of course is steady as a rock. It is summer on Greenleaf, or at least this particular part of Greenleaf, and the air is body-temperature warm and wet enough to swim through. His ears are buzzing gently, blocking out traffic noise and Zoe’s quiet complaints alike. He knows she is complaining because that is her accepted role at times like this. He is dizzy in that way you are when you’re drunk, when the world stands still but your brain is spinning slowly in your skull.
I don't often read Firefly fic, and am fairly standoffish about most of the pairings I find there, but I really liked this Mal/Simon - it's a great slow build that seems believable and yet really sweet. It takes place pre-Serenity, and should probably just be considered AU since it does its own thing, but could be considered case!fic too if you squint. Just read it, it's cool.
katekat: (Default)
I have keyboard back! My keyboard went out last week sunday, and let me tell you, the internet is lame with just a few letters. (all of my most typed letters went out, so i lost most of the vowels first. :( but at least if this happens to you, you can have it fixed too!). The great part about it was that I found a repair person who works out of his house, so he'll come and pick up your computer (and drop it off) from your house! He was also kind of cute, and we kind of were awkwardly flirty with each other at drop off and pick up. If i could afford it i would actually consider having him clean up my computer system just so i could see if it was just situational flirtation or not.

In LJ Scrapbook stuff - I guess there has been a discussion about LJ overhauling Scrapbook and somehow simultaneously reducing the amount of storage space one gets? There's some problems with that message:

1) I've had a paid LJ expressly for the scrapbook feature and I've never had more than 2GB space (you have the option to buy *more* if you want, but it's an additional cost).

2) And look, I also may be unpopular in saying this, but LJ's scrapbook needs an overhaul like burning. I have hated it ever since I started using it -- the upload interface is terrible (srsly, uploading files one file at a time? ugh), the administration interface is clunky, it took/takes a million clicks to get to the perma-url for your uploaded pics, the automatic 'post to journal' formatting is ucky and has bad choices, even the design and presentation of the photos in folders is dated-bordering-on-foul. The only good part about the functionality for me was if you moved photos from one folder to another they didn't change their permalink, so reorganization was possible without breaking links. (but even photo and gallery management within the interface is just ... ugh). It's easier to arrange photos on tumblr, and I consider their photo arrangement to be so limiting that it discourages creativity.

The problem with all of this is that there is NO way they can retain the old system and 'upgrade' it. I can tell it was built on old code that was never intended to handle images the way we daily do on the web. Remember at one time that a 50kb image was, like BIG? I mean, I just bought myself a 1.5 terabyte hard drive. I remember a time when 1.5 terabytes of storage meant you had a ROOM of hardware. And LJ's scrapbook just isn't set up for the kinds of ways we use it, even with people who just want to upload one pic for a post. So in order to put something in place that is better they *have* to break the old system. HAVE TO.

Now, I'm assuming that whatever they put up in its place isn't going to actually work well for someone who is like me (or used to be like me) as a graphics person on LJ. Because they're probably going to go with something that mimics photo hosting services for other social media. Part of the reason why I've kept paying LJ and kept my scrapbook was it was the choice I was used to out of a lot of sucky choices for photohosting, especially for a million little 100x100 px icons - NO ONE does that well anywhere on the internet (if you know of someone who does that well who hasn't custom designed their system on their own paid webspace, SHARE NOW DAMMIT I WANT *grabby hands*). I don't expect the new system to not suck too in new and exciting ways. If I knew how to code and I could design a system myself I'd *still* have trouble knowing what to design/how to design for it.

But perhaps LJ's new system won't suck in the old and lame ways anymore?

Onto better things:
In the most awesome convergence of fan and stuff I (occasionally) study, there is fucking HEIAN period FANFIC. Yes, there is a tag for it over at AO3, and there is even Sei Shonagon/Murasaki Shikibu fanfic. I make no promises about quality since I haven't read it yet, but honestly, this just makes me happy in a "fandom, you are awesome in all the best ways" kind of way.

And one last rec:
The Sensation of Falling as You Hit Sleep by [archiveofourown.org profile] greywash
Sherlock BBC // Sherlock/John (with John/FC at first) // NC17 // 80,000 words

Post-Reichenbach, angst but in all the best ways. With the additional tag "well now that everyone on this show is canonically a fourteen-year-old-girl" which I love, but is a bit belied by how fabulously this does John trying to move on and Sherlock somehow *not* letting him. It's a train wreck with saved people at the end, and has a much smuttier (WIP) sequel that is 1 part away from being completed too. Just *emotionally tasty* in the way Post-Reichenbach fics are going to have to be for me to like them.

Now, back to correcting papers!!
katekat: (WC_neal hat)
ok, so, managed to get a bunch of work done last week, have not done any today (because of fics below, OMG, but more on that in a second). I did, however, meet up with a friend I hadn't seen in like a month to have sushi wed, and on friday actually managed to do my laundry, read the intro for a book i'll be using on my paper, get four pages (out of 20) of a rough draft done, and talk to half a dozen friends because i'd asked the ex to help out with dog expenses and the resulting email got me a little tied up in my own head.

it's not that it threw me into a tailspin, just that it was a good place to check in with myself. and i found out that )

So, that was two days or so where I went back over my decisions about the way I'm currently structuring life, especially this connection to my past, and re-chose the choice I made when that relationship ended. And I think it is good and healthy to periodically check in with onesself and make sure the choices we choose are ones that are sound, emotionally. I am not perfect. For a long time I had convinced myself that the choice I was making to choose to stay in that relationship, even when it was sucking, was because we were trying together. I don't regret that. But now that I know that he fundamentally missed a major part of my emotional foundation, there isn't a reason to have to choose to be in something that did not work. Even when it feels like I am churlish for having done so, for being brief when he is chatty, for being on topic when he so clearly wants to go off of it and ramble, for asking only for what I need to maintain the dog and for not meeting his offer of friendship 'halfway'.

whew. no wonder I didn't really work last night. this was on my brain.

That being said, I have two recs from the same author that i just discovered today. WHITE COLLAR. One of them is a Star Trek reboot cross over, and OMG THEY ARE BOTH SO GOOD. You all probably have read them, but if you haven't YOU NEED TO. just be careful - they will suck you in and they're like 100,000 words each.

Contractual Obligations by Shaenie
White Collar // Neal/Peter/Elizabeth // NC17 // 56,664 words

The way Neal says it, though, amused and dismissive, is almost insulting. Of course Peter would never do such a thing, Neal's tone implies. Absurd notion.

Break down in the Shape of Things to Come by shaenie
White Collar (Star Trek crossover) // Neal/Peter // NC17 // 102,000

After the battle in the Laurentian System, the Defiance requires extensive repairs, leaving Captain Burke filling in at Starfleet Academy (whether he wants to or not), where he meets troubled half-Vulcan Neal Caffrey, under what are not the best circumstances for either of them.

(PONN FARR PEOPLE AND CAFFERY IS THE HALF-VULCAN. SOOOO WORTH IT)
katekat: (tara - happy to see you)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] lostgirlslair - Comment to this post, and I'll give you seven topics to talk about, which you then post your LJ, and so the meme spreads.

She gave me: Favorite ever fanfic, sushi (requested by [livejournal.com profile] mrtwstedwhsprs ;-), Los Angeles, Japan from a tourist prospective, favorite graphic tool, favorite class, and... ice cream

so here they all are! )

wow, ok, i can type apparently. anybody surprised? :D
katekat: (Default)
Language placement tests are like a two hour marathon for your brain. Even though it was multiple choice I still had the potential of crashing and burning - fifty questions or so on reading, grammar, kanji, and listening (each). The last two questions on the listening section were about conversations held in a seminar class about the nature of personal belief, and whether or not we should recategorize chimpanzies as human since they can read kanji. I will be honest, I am not sure if I got the question right on the last one.

Hopefully all that work was worth something - if my scores are high enough I will get into the program I want this fall and be going to Japan for a year. Which is kind of horrifying to contemplate, but in a good-kind-of-terrified way.

So fandom vids:

What New York Used to Be, by [personal profile] giandujakiss. White Collar. Nice editing, nice kind of longing vid.

#believeinsherlock by Deductism. (spoilers for searies 2) This was sweet enough to make me tear up. Like I'm serious. Fandom is love.

and an actual fic rec:

headlong (I'm falling in a) by [archiveofourown.org profile] hito
TeenWolf // Derek/Stiles // NC17 // 80,931
summary Kink meme fill: When Stiles goes to college, for some reason, he has to share an apartment with Derek, which sucks, because Derek still hates him the most. They fall in love.

I love how this came out - both of them being totally confused by the language the other is speaking, and then some worrying at the end, but also? sweetness, hotness, wanting to belong, goofy college crap where they never go to class, and strange new werewolves. What more could you want?

and hmmm, i didn't have tags made for teen wolf or sherlock.... graphics may be required or something.
katekat: (_xmas girl)
Some of you may have heard/noticed this whole LJ comment thing (especially people who play on kink memes). What you might NOT know is this is just the first of a whole host of changes that are coming from LJ. ok, so far, the most succinct summary I have found is here at [livejournal.com profile] raemia.

there's another set of links/roundup at [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama here

if you are migrating, and you haven't found me on dreamwidth, or if i haven't found you, please do!!

(there's a link at the bottom of this post for LJ friends. Additionally, we did create a mirror comm for Summer of Giles ([community profile] summer_of_giles) there, and it sounds like Dreamwidth is trying to create a community import (which would be AWESOME), so I'll be using that if I can when I can.

as for everything else, if you need/want a little humor that turns slightly dark (read the warnings), I am deeply amused by helens78's Maybe If We Just Wait (Things Will Improve) (Fandom/Livejournal, Angst, Relationship problems, G)
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
man that's weird. I feel very proud of myself though - I managed to draft the six page theoretical paper that discusses random visual studies project in detail )

Anyway, now onto other things. Plans for the weekend are as follows:
- walk doggie
- buy groceries for coming week
- do laundry
- buy sandpaper for shelving unit i 'liberated' from the street so it can become linen cupboard
- write draft of my prospectus (which means four short papers) by Tuesday
- shower
- hang out with friends tonight

I am annoyed that the client I use for updating dreamwidth/lj is not compatible with firefox 8 (and don't hate me, but I hate semagic, so I can't use it). It is weird to be typing into the 'update' page.

It's been a cold and gloomy day here in LA. And since they happen so rarely it's actually been really nice as a kind of excuse to stay in jammies and not go outside. Not that I usually need excuses, but still, the operating principle is sound.

And in other random things, I have also been consuming adorable fanfiction ... here, you can have some of it too:

Downtown (everything's waiting for you) by anon at xmen_firstkink
XMen // Charles/Erik // Pretty Woman AU // NC17 // 10,000~ words
Tight jeans and eyeliner, bright lights and dirty streets. Downtown LA, with its rumbling traffic and crowded sidewalks. It’s a place you go to forget your cares. A place where everybody’s got a dream. His dream was decent money, a client that didn’t leave marks and a roommate that he didn’t want to punch in the face. None of it was likely to come true any time soon. Still, it was better than no dream at all.

OMG sure you were like if anyone was going to do Pretty Woman Charles would totally be the prostitute and YOU WOULD BE WRONG BECAUSE ERIK WORKS SO MUCH BETTER. This is awesome and just everything you want in a movie AU and OM NOM NOM. Plus special appearance by Tony Stark

Quickening Days by [livejournal.com profile] fahye_fic
Merlin // Merlin/Arthur // R // 20,000
In which dragons & ghosts & prejudices are confronted, Merlin wears a hat (twice) and a dress (once), Arthur breaks some crockery (lots), there are more pranks than pillowfights but at least one of each, and many secrets are revealed.

I'm a sucker for good plotty Merlin-reveals-his-magic fics and this is one of the good kind. And growdhog day esque fics, because they also work.

The World On Hist Wrist by [livejournal.com profile] bendingsignpost
BBC Sherlock // John // AU // PG13 //30,000~
First, he is shot in Afghanistan. Second, he wakes to a phone call in Chelmsford, Essex. Third is pain, fourth is normalcy, fifth is agony and sixth is confusion. By the eighth, he's lost track. (John-centric AU)

Ok, so this is a more serious story than I usually go for, but it's kind of incredible and a really weird but lovely time traveling (but not, not at all) idea. It takes a little bit to get one's legs, so stick with it if it feels weird, but the ending is all worth it and super cool and just... sometimes a really good concept fic is what your'e in the mood for. And even if you didn't know it, you're in the mood for this one.

I have more recs (like this number times oh, 100 since my last recs post) but am too lazy to do the write ups. Want to find them? Visit my fanfic tag at pinboard.
katekat: (_metal scream)
First, Delicious. YOU SUCK.

Second, after almost successfully avoiding being annoyed by co-student in Japan even though we were both there at the same program (I had lunch with her a couple of times and that was it) she has gone back to annoying the hell out of me - and we only have one class together!  this time, i got to bug her back )

So here, have some recs of awesome fic, because that will always make days better.

Still and Steady by helens78
XMen: First Class | Erik/Charles | NC17 | 2,872 words
Charles could tie Erik up, could pin him down, but all he really needs is his mind.
Oh my gods hot. I've been reading her Hellfire Series (which is AWESOME but still WIP, but go read if you are ok with WIPs). This little sexy one-shot is my favorite kind of telepathy-sex though :)

The Pizza-Verse (Pizza and a Movie, The Secret Life of Lawyers, A Series of Covert Disasters) by Closer
Suits | Mike/Harvey | NC17 | AU | 65,600 words
In an alternate universe, Harvey's still the best closer in New York but Mike's not a runner for Trevor: he's a pizza deliveryman, Harvey's favorite pizza deliveryman. And Harvey's discovery that Mike's more than he lets on will change everyone's lives...
Love this verse SO much! Don't ask me why the shift in dynamics works, just let me tell you that it totally does. I think I've actually read this twice already.

Shatter by Aria
Thor | Thor/Loki | NC17 | AU | 32,000 words
"Loki," Odin says, heavy with disappointment and regret for all he has to raise his voice, "Odinson. I cast you out."
Oh my gods so worth it. I love how Loki is like fandom's darling misunderstood boy, but also how some writers actually keep him unable to apologize and smart and calculating and still with that broken bleeding heart. So, um, AU for if Odin sent Loki down instead of Thor (in case that wasn't obvious).
katekat: (Default)
Show Me by [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy
AI | Adam/Tommy | R | 1,461 words | HS AU
A day in the life of a teenage Adam and Tommy, three weeks into their relationship.
SUPER cute lovely little fic!

I'll Wait Here by [livejournal.com profile] cards_slash
StarTrek Reboot | Kirk/McCoy | NC17 | 5,000 words
from the st_xi_kink meme: Kirk/Bones anti-sex pollen. Kirk is hit with a chemical on a mission and loses his sex drive entirely. It's not permanent but no idea how long it'll last. Bones, who normally can barely keep up with Jim, slowly goes crazy from sexual frustration until it explodes into furious, rough sex when Jim's libido comes back.
Love the premise - would have liked it to be a little bit longer ending, but still.

Master Work by [livejournal.com profile] mahaliem
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | R | 35,000 words
Harry's eighth-year at Hogwarts is going about as well as all the others. Someone is out to get him, Aurors keep questioning him about the final battle and, worst of all, Draco is determined to repay his life debt to Harry. Warning(s): Minor character death. Set pre-epilogue, implications of EWE.
slightly OC Malfoy (he's a little breezy) but in a way I enjoyed

When Hearts are Freed by Dysonrules
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | R | 22,000 words
When a priceless magical artifact is stolen from Draco Malfoy’s art galleria, it’s going to take all of brilliant Chief Auror Harry Potter’s experience, and a touch of ‘spiritual intervention’, for the case to be solved.
Romance & mystery, and a self-confident grown-up Harry (and Draco).

They Come In Pairs by [livejournal.com profile] nqdonne
Harry Potter/Torchwood crossover | Harry/Ianto, Ianto/Jack | NC17 | 10,000 words
Ianto knows his name is Harry Potter, that he is twenty-six years old and that at some point five or six years ago, he came into possession of something Torchwood wants, that Jack wants. But Ianto plays dumb, and asks him all the right questions.
Warning, Jack is not a nice person here, at all.  But I really like the dynamic between Harry and Ianto.  Unlike most of my choices though, this ends on a not precisely perfect note. Still worth a read though.

Captian Spanky Series by [livejournal.com profile] media_fic (link goes to last part - author links to the rest)
Star Trek Reboot: RPS | Pine/Quinto | NC17 | 30,000ish I think | warnings: kink, and D/s, and S&M.
Chris puts his foot in it with Zach, then starts to wonder whether he might be gay himself, or just a big old kinkster. Zach does NOT want to help him find out. Yet.
Veering perilously close to true maschosim in one chapter, this is actual S&M, not the sweet version, and man, I liked it. It had been a while since I'd read something like this, but it's HOT. Also, really slow build even though it's seriously porny.

Arthur and the Real Boy by [livejournal.com profile] franticsga
Merlin | Merlin/Arthur | R | 16,231 | modern AU
Merlin is an indie geek who works at a used books, cd and record store. (And by indie geek anon would like the whole stereotype. Listens to weird rock bands, read obscure books, big black framed glasses.) Arthur is the average golden-boy-super-jock-perfect-preppy-soccer-captain. He sees Merlin somewhere and instantly starts going out of his way, going to Merlin's store, reading his weird books and listening to his weird music just to impress him.
Just cute - and is exactly what it says.

tonight [say when] by [personal profile] holycitygirl
AI | Kradam | PG13 | 1463 words
kradam first time hook up, same as it ever was
Awesome.

Unless it's lies or it's love by [livejournal.com profile] sprat
AI | Kradam | Explicit | 25,400 words | Kidfic AU
In which Adam (a rock star) meets Kris (a single dad) at an Emergency Room in Arkansas at the end of a particularly shitty night. Also features: San Francisco, fresh starts, baked goods, OCs, cameo appearances by Matt and Megan, pirates, monsters with garbage heads and a recording studio.
So frigging cute it doesn't even compute. And tasty.
katekat: (_pink and yellow girl)
Trajectories by [livejournal.com profile] bookshop
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | PG | 35,000 words
Rembrandt's phrase in describing his painting: "Die meeste ende di naetureelste beweechgelickheijt", can be translated as greatest, most natural movement (emotion or motive).
Really lovely H/D about dealing with the aftermath of defeating Voldemort, but EWE - 8th year fic where they all return to school, and not only has there been rebuilding, but painting. It may have also almost made me cry, in the nicest of ways.

And I'll Tell You No Lies by [livejournal.com profile] annafugazzi
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | R | 23,600 words
It all started with a stupid interrogation. Or: Don't ask a question if you're not prepared to hear the answer.
Ah, Auror Training! I like. Lots.

The World Thy Gaol by [livejournal.com profile] novembersnow
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | R | 18,300 words
In the post-war world, nothing seemed to fit quite right.
Malfoy, potions, unexpected blackmail.

Draco Malfoy, It's Your Lucky Day by [livejournal.com profile] faithwood
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | NC17 | 37,000 words
Even though he's unarmed, injured, lost in the Forbidden Forest, and facing a possible murder charge, Draco Malfoy gets lucky.
Romance novel plot, sort of, and out of character 'sweet' Draco, and still it made me want to cuddle.

A Confusion of Will and Desire by [livejournal.com profile] gatewaygirl
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | NC17 | ~50,000 words
When Harry starts to have erotic dreams about his godfather, he questions his sexual preference. The real issue turns out to be even more complicated and disruptive. Then there's Draco.
Warnings: Possibly inadvertent drug rape (in the past). Rape fantasy. Dealing with trauma. Infidelity. Sex with a prostitute. Angst. Sex in semi-public places. Sex toys and charms.

I don't tend to read chan, and this isn't it precisely, but it did totally draw me in.  A little dark and a little messed up, but there's something that works with messed up here.

The Finder Series by [livejournal.com profile] gatewaygirl
Harry Potter | Harry/Snape | NC17, D/S, teacher/student | ~70,000 words
In his seventh-year class, Severus mentions how rare basilisk scales are. When Harry leads him down to the Chamber of Secrets, Severus ensures that he's satisfied.
The first is PWP, but then it went and got plotty, and I couldn't resist.

The Potter-Malfoy Problem by [livejournal.com profile] who_la_hoop
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | NC17 | 29,000 words
The room of requirement's gone mad — at least, that's what Harry thinks. There's no way that Draco Malfoy 'requires' him, of all people, but why does it keep dragging Harry there like he's some kind of furniture, every time Malfoy enters it? Throw in Pansy the pervert and a clipboard-wielding Hermione, and things can only go from bad to worse. And that's not even mentioning the pirates . . .
I'm pretty sure this is one variation on a similar theme, and I know I've read this before, but so?  there is pleasure in the repetition.

Chasing Time by [livejournal.com profile] taradiane
Harry Potter | Harry/Draco | PG13 | 30,700 words
"Happiness is temporary, but joy is not. After everything that your father took from him, we owe it to him to try and give some of it back. The debts that we owe the Potter boy cannot be numbered, and what we took from him cannot be measured, but you will find a way, and maybe then, you can find a little joy of your own."

#LOVESTORY by [personal profile] sam_storyteller
Torchwood/Iron Man Crossover | surprise pairing | PG | 3,300 words
"I await your variable input." "You say the nicest things."
Computer love in the digital age? OMG so cute. So cute.

The Best by [livejournal.com profile] mango_fic
AI8 | Kris/Adam | R | 22,300 words
Tale as old as time. Adam's beautiful, fierce, and a total asshole until a stranger changes everything. AU.

Love Story by [livejournal.com profile] waldorph
ST:Reboot | Kirk/Spock | R | 8,500 words
Summary: We were both young, when I first saw you
A sweet HS AU set in the ST verse, but with Spock as the dashing vulcan prince. Sort of. Really cute.
katekat: (Default)
Reparations by [livejournal.com profile] saras_girl
HarryPotter | Harry/Draco | NC17 | ~100,600 words
Harry is about to discover that the steepest learning curve comes after Healer training, and that second chances can be found in unexpected places.
This, and it's sequel Foundations, were some of the most satisfying reads I have had in an age and a day and forever.  It took me two days to read, I was totally and utterly enchanted by the characterizations as well as the world thought up for this, and I just could not help myself and returned again and again and again.

The Job by [livejournal.com profile] whichclothes
Btvs | Spike/Riley | PG | ~4,000 words
From [livejournal.com profile] maleslashminis Spike round, set sometime during AtS Season 5, Spike & Riley set out to do a job.

"22" by [livejournal.com profile] polly1ester
Btvs | Buffy/Giles | G | VID
My first Vid rec! But I discovered this gem by Polly1ester's and couldn't resist - it's a fantastic use of light flashes, a lovely Lily Allen song, and she's trying to redeem Buffy/Giles in Season 6 (and anyone who tries to redeem season 6 is a hero in my opinion)

Hot Like Wasabi by [livejournal.com profile] abusing_sarcasm
AI8 | Kris/Adam | NC17 | ~11,000 words
From [livejournal.com profile] aianonlovefest prompt - Kris masturbating to one of Adam's ~naughtier photoshoots, nervous and totally not able to help himself. He comes all over the magazine, and Adam later finds it. And is totally turned on by the idea, so he keeps ~pushing it with his photoshoots until Kris just jumps him.

#5 by [livejournal.com profile] ruby_fruit
AI8 | Adam/Brad/Kris | NC17 | ~2,000 words
for the [livejournal.com profile] ontd_ai porn prompt challenge. #5 Adam/Kris/Brad, anything. Adam isn't completely shallow.
dirty dirty dirty porn, just so you know.

It Is, It Is A Glorious Thing by [livejournal.com profile] astolat
AI8 | Kris/Adam | Adult | ~6,400 words
Adam/Kris, adult, explicit, pirates ravishing missionaries and anachronisms galore!
OH MY GOD of course we needed the Adam!pirate fic, like yesterday. Hopefully this will spawn hundreds of other Adam!pirate fics (although, of course, it's good enough it doesn't need more companions, but seriously - adam! pirate!)

The Difference Engine by [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge
SGA | McKay/Sheppard | R | 4,900 words
Sheppard remembered dying in Afghanistan, but since he was still walking around he didn't pay that memory too much mind. 
There are very, very, very few people who could start out writing a creepy Shepard is a robot story and end up making it so sweet that I was happy I read it.

(and for those who might not believe it - this is the skim off the top of two weeks of reading, and I really am studying in between, promise, really)

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