Music Review: John Legend's "Evolver"

>> Friday, October 31, 2008

Love it. Go get it.

Well, how do I expand this into a full entry? Um... I really, really like it and you probably would too?

Let me try again. Back in 2006, I got a copy of Once Again in Starbucks, listened to it and fully enjoyed it. So I backtracked and got his debut album Get Lifted, and fully enjoyed it as well. Usually a lot of "artists" only have enough juice to lasts one or two album at most, so I'm pleasantly relieved to find that his talent expand beyond just like I thought he would. Ok, enough fluffing although he IS freaking hot.

John Legend's third album Evolver is a 13-track album that left me wanting more after listening to it. Its first single Green Light is really upbeat and catchy, Andre 3000 from Outkast or maybe Will.I.Am gave it a brilliant beat, although I have some problem with Andre's freestyling rap. Compare to Andre, Kanye West's rap in It's Over sounds way better, and the track is really catchy as well, it's groove actually gave me goosebumps. Although John's subjects seemed to be heartbreaks all the time, I still would categorize his music as feel good music. It's just so smooth.

Continuing from his last album mysterious girl named Maxine, this album still laments on (his?) breakup. I'm starting to thinking John might have an addictive personality and if Maxine is really that drop dead gorgeous. Everybody Knows and This Time are strong ballads still wondering about if he can give his relationship "One More Try". Surprisingly, he brought back Brandy in a duet called Quickly that reminisces Full Moon and kept me wondering why Brandy's not singing much anymore. Also surprisingly, John seems to have a better grasp on Reggae than his protege Estelle in No Other Love.

I guess I like John Legend because of his sexy voice and his music style is quite retro Motown in that it feels like you have listened to his songs before but it's done with such sophistication and a modern twist that make them memorable. Satisfaction for example got simple beats and lyrics that makes you think you'd be able to sing along after listening for the first time. Don't get me wrong, the music arrangements are in no way inferior or mundane. Although Take Me Away sounds to be a potential resort commercial song for Sandals or the Carribean Cruise. Good Morning is a lazy morning stay-in-bed with your lover kinda song, I'll file it next to the Singing in the Rain one. I Love, You Love could content to be the best sex music since Boyz II Men's I'll Make Love To You. If You're Out There speaks like a campaign song that encourage people to vote , ending with a big gospel choir in the background, just in time to be published before November 4th.

The only song that's a bit awkward other than I Love You Love is Cross The Line. Cross The Line crossed the line for me because it's about telling his best friend that he wants to have sex with her and it's a bit too much for me because it's a bit perv-y. His songs are already very sexual with PDA and hooking up with ladies in the club and unrequited love and all. I know supposedly that men are dogs but do we have to hump everybody including our best friends?

Anyhow, I really enjoyed this album. It's not everyday that you get something this high quality. B+

Favorite Songs: It's Over, Green Light, Quickly, Everybody Knows.

Green Light

Oh I almost forgot... Happy Halloween!!!


Phillies Aftermath

I guess I really spoke too soon about the Phillies and their fans. I walked around center city and there were substantial damages. After digging some more, I came across these clips:


Car Flipping

Looting Robinson

Can I just say I don't understand the mentality for trashing your own city when your team wins? I'd understand if the visiting Tampa Bay Rays fans destroying the city because their team lost and they need to vent or beat their wives because they just lost their SUVs in a bet or something similarly trashy, but if your team won of course you'll be ecstatic but how do you get so happy that you need to physically destroy stuff?

So they flipped cars, climb things and tear things down, set things on fire and loot a store, all very unnecessary. Tons of beer cans and beer bottles smashed and lined the pavements. Confettis, well more like shredded documents that reminded me of Enron, it'd be the perfect hiding place too. Lots of people and noise. If you shout "Let's go, Phillies!" people around you would do the "Clap, clap, clap clap clap!" thing automatically like robots. Everybody is in some kind of uniform and congratulating each other like they were on the field playing. I just don't get it, I feel as emotionally removed as Dexter Morgan.

I think people just have too much testosterone and this is just an excuse to act out. I also wonder who's gonna play for all the damage and cleaning; the taxpayers, insurance, the city or the Phillies themselves. Are those looters gonna be arrested?

The crowd at the Phillies parade, I'm estimating at least 25,000 people. I wonder if they have all took the day off.

I'm actually tempted but I don't want to get arrested.

A picture during that game night, it's a bit incriminating, no?

Robinson store afterwards, notice the beer cans and bottles on the floor ground.

The only nice thing. A few trumpet players joined the fun above Merriam Theater.


Making It Work

>> Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sorry for disappearing for a few days, I'm fine so you can call out the search parties. It's not that I don't have anything to write, but I've been busy making my Halloween costume. The Gay Luck Club is hosting a Halloween fundraiser for the local Asian HIV/AIDS organization and dressing up is mandatory, so I thought since it's my very first Halloween party, I might as well go all out and make the most out of it.

So I thought I'm gonna be a Chinese Vampire. A stereotypical Chinese Vampire if there is such a thing, comes from Tao stories where brainless dead corpse would come back to life and such the life essence (or chi, but not blood) from the living. Stereotypically, these vampire are brainless like zombies but they are generally evil and in the movies I grow up watching, they'd wear government uniform from the Ching dynasty. Since they are stiff corpse, their movement is reduced to extending their arms in front of them and hopping around, but of course they can jump pretty far Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style.

Exhibit A - Cute Version

So I've got this Chinese style black silk short sleeve with authentic rope buttons that I bought from Shanghai Tang a few years ago when I felt eccentric and I have never been able to find an event to wear it, so I thought that would be a good top, if I can find a proper skirt or two aprons and some accessories accompanying it, I might just have a proper outfit. So I was looking around and found a polyester graduation robe at the AIDS thrift store, then I bought one yard of blue/gold Asian looking fabric for trims at Philly's fabric row, A Chinese-y hat, wood beads necklace, cloth shoes and some embroidery in Chinatown, peacock feather, safety pins, sewing needles and a black bobbin from the local art & craft store and this is what I've got:

I also bought some make up and vampire teeth, so the final look will be different, but the robe should seriously look more like this:

I was slaving away hand sewing everything, my grade school HomEc class did me good. Back then everyone had to choose an extra curriculum activities and I hated sports, so it took me a long time to make up my mind and when I have my mind made up, everything was full and all that is left is Home Economics, we spent a lot of time sewing little purses and all. Developing for my future sweatshop career which have yet to be fulfilled.

Oh and the Phillies won, I didn't know anything about baseball until this season. It was actually quite exciting. Lucius told me that a major win like this could cause some rioting, looting, people flipping cars and burning them. I don't get it, but I was a little worried. Thankfully from the 3-minute walk to the supermarket earlier, nothing seemed to have happened, but then I don't watch the news, so I can't say for sure. (Oops, forget that. A friend just told me that people smashed windows from all the stores along our major streets.)

Tomorrow night I'd be attending the fund-raiser and the gay Halloween ball in town. Maybe I'd be able to report some more.


Bothering News (October 2008 Edition)

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It has been a few days since I've heard about the tragedy that happened to Jennifer Hudson and her family, about how her mother and brother got shot and killed by her brother-in-law and how her 7-years-old nephew is still missing. Well, the latest development seems to have taken a even darker turn as there are news about the body of her nephew being found inside an SUV. I don't understand how things like that can happen. I first thought someone kidnapped her nephew because of her new found fame and riches, but to have a family member killing other family members and even a 7 year old? I feel terrible for Jennifer Hudson and I don't know how people recover from such lost, that's probably why I hate visiting hospitals. I just don't know how to deal with bad news.


During the over-excited and unfinished baseball game last night, Lucius told me that a rape happened around my corner a few days ago. I don't watch the news or read the newspaper, so I wouldn't know. Apparently a couple came back from a night of fun after the bars have closed and they were held up with a knife when they were entering their place. The boyfriend was tied up and the burglar raped his girlfriend in front of him and then he robbed them and fled. Just around my corner... I wonder how big of a wound the knife would have caused and how much it would hurt by comparison to all the trauma and the stolen goods. I might just tough it out for the stabbing.


Via Towleroad and Daily Kos comes this horrible news:

ES&S iVotronics touch screens have already been observed now in four completely separate States, flipping the votes, in the early voting that has taken place to date. Eye-witness reports of repeated, consistent flipping of votes (from Obama to McCain naturally) has already occurred in the States of: West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Texas that have had early voting. Missouri, of course, is a key background State in McCain's electoral vote math.

These are not "glitches".
This is also not the result of just "one faulty machine".
How about some straight-talk:

Fact: This is not a "glitch".
Fact: This is not a one machine problem.
Fact: This is not a one State problem.
Fact: This is not a one Election problem.
Fact: This is neither a "theory", nor speculation. It's real.
Fact: The Democratic candidate is getting their (would be) votes systematically stolen.

I don't even know how to process this, I guess I can just pray that it is not true. How can people even think about violating other people's fundamental rights? How can you fix it? I'm sure they can hire someone to look over the codes. But then what? Sue them? Politics is just too, too dirty.


I'm just dumbfounded most of the time when I watch these McCain/Palin campaign clips by the reasoning of their supporters. Someone told me that those individuals fear change because deep down inside they are very insecure and it's very likely that they don't think about what it is like to be poor or of other race, they just live cimfortably in their bubble of a life and don't have the urge to go outside of their communities. The Hussein = Muslim = Arab = Terrorist logic is just too much, it just blows my mind when I watch these clips.


Other than the all important presidential election coming up, it is also the fight on Prop 8 which I find to be more important. Given, it's only for Californians but I believe that the rest will fall like dominoes once California rejects Prop 8. Money has been pouring into California for both camps on the issue and I still have difficulty understanding what the money is for besides advertising and how much is enough. But speaking of advertising, this clip is the best I've seen thus far:

Only one more week til voting day.


Happiness Is... A Photo Essay.

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

Happiness is... apparently it's a two hundred bucks corduroy vest with suede details. I've decided that the vest is now my new boyfriend. It's masculine, rugged, good-looking, keeps me warm at night and doesn't talk much at all. Perfect. It's a little bulky but I don't like skinny men anyhow.

Happiness is... a huge ass bowl of hot Pho, especially in a cold winter day. If you haven't tried Vietnamese Pho, I'd definitely recommend you to try a bowl. It's cheap, tasty and satisfying. Although the best tasting Pho contains MSG and I'm slightly allergic to it. It's hard for me to breathe when I'm full and the MSG makes it worse, but I'd still eat it no matter.

Happiness is... getting Beyonce's song out of my head. Yes, it has turned into a 24 hours full-on invasion but not because of the music, but the dance video done by that guy.

Happiness is... playing Mahjong. No matter how much I play, I still can't get enough.

Happiness is... being with someone I like. I don't think sex count as happiness, maybe contentment but not quite happiness.

Happiness is... a warm bath. Go on, judge me, I like baths!

Happiness is... a warm gun? Not necessarily, sometimes I just like to see small towns and little houses passing me by when I'm on a train or on the bus, it's very calming. I'm very much like a dog that way. :)


Weekend Meme: If I Were... Meme

>> Saturday, October 25, 2008

This week's Meme is a bit silly but fun nonetheless. I got this from Chris at My 2 Cents. It's quite self-explanatory.

If I were a liquid I’d be… Chicken Broth
If I were a metal I’d be… Stainless Steel
If I were a tree I’d be… Willow Tree
If I were a fruit I’d be… Pineapple
If I were a flower I’d be… Lavender
If I were weather I’d be… Gusty Winds
If I were a musical instrument I’d be… A Grand Piano
If I were an element I’d be… Hydrogen
If I were a color I’d be… Navy Blue
If I were a feeling I’d be… Gloom
If I were food I’d be… Noodle Soup
If I were a sentence I’d be… A Question

I'm off to hunt down a Polo corduroy vest that I really wanted at Macy's, an they are having a sale for Men's wear. It's nearly half price if they didn't have them sold out yet. It's gonna be my early, early X'mas present to myself. Wish me luck!

Oh and have a great weekend!

What do you think?


TV Review: Swingtown

From Left to Right: The Thompsons (Josh Hopkins and Mariam Shor), the Deckers (Grant Show and Lana Parrilla) and the Millers (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport).

There was a marathon on Bravo for the CBS series called Swingtown earlier and once I caught the end of the fourth episode, I couldn't keep my eyes off the TV.

Swingtown is set in the 70s, in the Suburbs of Chicago. The Millers just moved to Chicago's North Shore area, befriended their new neighbors the Deckers and come to find out that they have an open marriage. The Millers and their reserved old friends, The Thompsons, got involved in this new discovery and ravels in the new possibilities and the consequences.

I was very surprised how a major network would feature a show with sex being its main topic. I was wondering why no religious nut had made a big deal out of the show before, but it turned out they had. Producers Alan Poul, of Six Feet Under fame and Mike Kelley from the O.C. and One Tree Hill did shop around with HBO and Showtime, but then HBO already have shows like Big Love and Tell Me You Love Me and Showtime already have Californication and CBS scooped it out and greenlighted it. Good for them, really, to have the guts to have this show on primetime. The bad news is though, that the ratings for this first season was less than ideal and there's no words on whether they will be having a second season or not.

Jack Davenport who played the goofy husband in Coupling is in the show playing Mr. Bruce Miller, I didn't detect any British accent from the guy and incidentally his character's wife in this show is also called Susan, who's played by a pale-skinned, elf-like beauty Molly Parker, who's actually the heart of the story. The open-minded swinger couple Tom Decker, a pilot with a porn stache who looked like a member of the Bee Gees, is played by Grant Show and smart and beautiful Trina Decker is played by Lana Parrilla. Conservative couple controlling Janet Thompson is played by Mariam Shor and her husband Roger Thompson is played by Josh Hopkins. Josh Hopkins is a hottie, especially when he takes his shirt off. Yum.

Combining the compelling storylines, their kids growing up in the 70s, drugs, rock and roll, political climates and the occassional sexual tensions and scenes, you've got yourself a decent and intriguing show. I sure hope they come back with another season and if you find another marathon of the show, you might want to seat down and spend some time on it, it's well worth it.

10 pounds heavier and a chest of hair and we've got here my dream lover.


Fashion Show Victims

>> Friday, October 24, 2008

With no job prospect in sight, let me rephrase that, with no urge or motivation to even look for a job, I spend my time watching a lot of TV. My schedule has been very off, I wake up around noon and don't go to sleep until 3~4am. I like to think I'm living in the Pacific time zone now.

In the afternoon shows, other than catching up with the all important Desperate Housewives since I haven't really seen that much of it previously, although sometimes I wish it was on HBO or Showtimes, so I can see some more risque shots of Jesse Metcalfe, James Denton, Shawn Pyfrom or Lee Tergesen. Of course, the storylines are embarrassing and Terri Hatcher can't act for shit, but that's beside the point.

Along with soaps, another show that comes up on the afternoon is a reality makeover show on TLC called What Not To Wear. I used to watch a lot of TLC during their interior decorating shows phase with Trading Spaces and While You Were Out, by comparison What Not To Wear is a lot crappier but they serve to kill some time. But then there are something about these shows that bugs me...

When I say these shows, I meant to say makeover shows in general. Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, and TLC's Ten Years Younger follows a formula in which the first part of the show is to berate and shame their subjects to give them motivation to change their appearance, then a tutorial correcting their ways followed by a shopping spree and then a dramatic reveal in front of their friends, colleagues and families.

My problem with these shows comes in a few folds. Aside from the people getting helped are 99% female, some of them don't need help. Some of these participants are nominated by their friends and families that supposedly love these fashion victims but can't bare to be seen with them because of what they are wearing. It's just too embarrassing. Or these fashion victims didn't realize their full potential that their friends and families realized for them, hence they need to change. If you love he person, shouldn't you just accept them for who they are?

Some of them have quirky personalities and their X'mas sweaters or giant scarves reflect that, why does everyone have to be the same and dress the same way? Given, I'm not advocating for my big chested sisters to wear a t-shirt saying Juicy right around the chest line to the office, (Even though it actually happened before) but not everyone have to wear matching suits or get a $150,000 wardrobe. Why abandon your sense of self just to make other people happy?

Most of the transformation happens during the haircut and the make up anyway. Aside from a master like Tim Gunn, some of the transformations are not really that necessary. The results are not much better than before the transformation, sometimes even worse. The subject turns into another generic figure that can be easily forgotten, the personalities get lost and what do you have afterwards but another mannequin on the street? Of course being the center of attention would make anyone feel good, but what do you learn from the experience? Give anyone a few thousand dollars and they can get pretty clothes, aren't we just promoting commercialism and that money can solve everything?

I feel worse for those who didn't want to change at the first place and then get defensive and hesitant to change and ends up with something that neither them nor the stylist wanted.

I guess I have a problem conforming for other's approval. I got really heated reading an etiquette article online where the author said you have to pay 25% for tips when you're dining out and a few dollars more matters that much, you shouldn't eat out at the first place. Another article can come out next month to say that if you don't tip 30% or 40%, you're completely low class and you should just stay home. It's quite irresponsible and obnoxious to even suggest that. But then maybe it's just me, maybe I'm just insanely jealous...

What Not To Wear Before and After - Is it really that bad before and is it so much better after? The after pic just look so fake.


How Liberal Or Conservative Are You?

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I don't know if this truly reflects my political inclinations but it seems that I'm more conservative than I thought I was. :)

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal


Viral Video: Beyonce's Single Ladies Dance

I feel bad about making fun of this, I mean I can't really do what he does without 3 months of training and even then I won't have the sass ans attitude that he possesses. What about being to do what you see in mere days? It's actually quite incredible when you think about it, but it is still very funny.

The dance itself is over the top even for Beyonce and for a guy in a very skimpy outfit to do it is just too, too much. The ass spanking, the limp wrist and the bobbing head, can you really keep a straight face watching it?

Here's the original:

The reason why it didn't make my music invasion segment is that I still have a hard time finding my appreciation for it. To be honest the song is a little annoying, the dance is fierce but I doubt that the song could stand on its own without the visual interest.


Mahjong Miscellany

>> Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I regard Mahjong as a social game, when I was growing up I attended hundreds of games alongside my grandma. She usually starts her day with an early mountain hike that might involve all some sorts of group Tai Chi or other slow martial art exercises, followed by a group dim sum, then finishing grocery shopping right before noon. The Mahjong games start around 1pm almost everyday. I remember listening through the coordination phone calls on who she will play with and who she won't play with, a lot of bickering and bitchery in display. This one plays too slow and that one is a cheat, but all in all I believe in the relationship building aspect of Mahjong; much like the ladies in Joy Luck Club, where over hot tea and snack these old men and old ladies would usually gossip and discuss about the most recent topics and deepen their friendships. Hence, I always associate a positive feeling with Mahjong and it is a fun and complicated game regardless.

So I have been attending these games every weekend, with SV, his best friend and his wife A&Y, student couple M&Y, their friend GL, Gay Luck Club member BY and me. Eight of us altogether, just enough for two tables. Occasionally, a few of us will be busy and either they'll find replacements somewhere or shrink it into one table with alternative players. The details might be a bit complicated and besides the point so I'll spare them.

My friend SV has quite the addictive personality, he can play tennis for a whole day until he gets a full body muscle spasm, he once eat an entire box of oranges in front of us (15~20), and when we play Mahjong with him, it's usually at least for 8 to 10 hours. Once he pleaded to stay over at A&Y's so we can play again in the morning for another whole day. We are all young, fun-loving and we all love the game, so it doesn't present too much of a problem.

The problem is SV's competitiveness and his need to produce drama, it's rubbing me the wrong way. He's a bit loud, obnoxious, aggressive, competitive, self-centered, inconsiderate but desperately seeks approval. I can't decide whether I should dismiss them for him not having the Asian qualities or lump them for him being stereotypically gay hence the drama-queendom comes with the territories, at times I thought he's trying to see how far he can push and still getting away with it. Maybe I value kindness and humbleness too much and he acts quite the opposite of who I am, it's especially hard to be with someone that I find offensive for 8 to 10 hours at a time. But I do believe the reason for SV's success and wealth comes from his personality, and given my career status, maybe I should try and act more like him.

All I can do is to help him with his Mahjong etiquette by grumbling and complaining every now and then which I dislike doing at all. I seemed to remember a pencil stabbing in junior high with a classmate who acted similarly, but I'd like to think I've grown up quite a bit since then. I reckon that next time when the Mahjong crew calls, I'll get all Alzheimer and forget all about these feelings like nothing had ever happened anyway.


On my way back from another day of Mahjong with GL, we have began to talk quite a bit about our past and came to find out that we have very similar backgrounds. We are both only childs, and came to the states about 10 years ago and we are both in the IT field. While discovering that my family are all overseas and I am in the States all by myself, GL said the nicest thing anyone had said to me for a long, long time: "Then you should hang with us a lot more." I don't know why I was so touched by that particular phrase, but then I too must have wanted approval myself and the sincerity and the frankness that comes along with it was very comforting and refreshing. Maybe approval seeking is why people buy Hummers and what moves commerce and the basis of every relationships.

I guess I should be nicer to SV, even though he IS annoying doesn't mean that he's not a good guy.


Weekend Meme: Middle Name Meme

>> Saturday, October 18, 2008

Traveling upstream from some of my favorite blogs, I found this week's Meme at Mike Says. Since I just put up a post for W., it might just be the most appropriate Meme.

The rules are quite simple:

Use the first letter of your middle name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same first initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Middle name letter: Y
Famous artist/band/musician: The Yanni Man! (He's big in Europe, lol.)
Four-letter word: Yelp!
U.S. state: I thought that the Yukon State was a nickname for a U.S. State, but it turns out to be a Canadian district. So... Y-o-ming?
Boy name: Yogi
Girl name: Yolanda
Animal: Yak
Something in the kitchen: Yeast
Reason for being late: Yo' Mama! (It could be the answer to everything)
Body part: The Y-chromosome (Does that count?)
Drink: Yager, I actually don't know the difference between that or other beers. Ooh... I know! Yakult!
Something you shout: Yesssss!!! (Fortune cookie additive: In Bed!)
Something you eat: Yam... I don't like Yams... How about Yorkshire Pudding or Yakitoris?

I have kinda a tough middle name to play around with, so there's a limit to my response. Hope you'd have a better time with it.

Have a great weekend!

Other things that start with Y: 1. Yggdrasil, 2. Yolk, 3. Yarn, 4. Yankovic, 5. Yellow, 6. Yacht, 7. Yogurt, 8. YoYo, 9. Yale, 10. Youth, 11. Yin & Yang, 12. Yoda


Movie Review: W.

First of all I'd like to thank Ted and Toni for their insightful comments to my previous post. Since this upcoming election carries a lot of importance, my interest in politics has piqued so my blog entry might reflect on that. I'd like to apologize first if this is not your favorite topic or my views seems completely naive to you.

W. is a very interesting film about how our current president George W. Bush (Dubya) goes from frat house to white house, I was reminded by the people seating next to me that a film has never been made about a president while he is still in office. I first thought its intention is to sway voters one way or another before the election, but I concluded that while the intention might be to remind people that the Bush legacy is indeed a failure, the perceived rush to the theaters might just be to gain maximum revenue while politics are hot and maybe to qualify for a few Oscar nominations before the year ends as well.

In this film, Dubya is not portrayed as the babbling idiot who schemes for war and who destroys everything great about America, at least it is not emphasized in the film. Instead, everyone in the Bush cabinet are seen as real people. Dubya is the antihero who is warm and charming, he has amazing people skills but doesn't seem to be able to excel in anything. Coming from a lineage of politicians, Dubya is seen by his father as the inferior one comparing to his brother Jeb. After a few failed career attempts, Dubya went to Washington to help his father's presidential election campaign and went on to run for office on his own in Texas and eventually became the president of the United States. (I'm still a bit stumped on how easy it seems for anyone to be a politician.)

We all know that story pretty well, there's a symbolic scene where W. lead his inner circle into an excursion in his ranch, everyone looked very uncomfortable and he came to find out that he missed a turn a while ago but was sure how to get back on track.

But then the scenes of Iraqi war planning are separated with scenes of a young man trying hard to gain approval from an uncommunicative father; It was never his father's intention for him to run for office, after all Jeb is the smart and competent one. Dubya grow up knowing that he'll never be the son that his father wants him to be, and yet with deep convictions that god himself communicated his will to him (?) and convinced by his colleagues that it is the right thing to do, he went into Iraq set to complete his father's legacy and at the same time trying to be his own man.

Oliver Stone delivered a touching film, Josh Brolin, James Cromwell and Jeffrey Wright were especially exceptional in the film. Regardless of what you think of George W. Bush, you can't help but take empathy with the person you see on screen. It might just be the perfect farewell present for Dubya as he's going out of office. "B"


How a Soul Gets Lost

>> Friday, October 17, 2008

I was going to write an entry on how much I love Keith Olbermann; I am very much impressed by how he can be so blunt and call politicians on misconducts and lies, it is a breath of fresh air. In fact, I am still deeply impressed by Mr. Olbermann, if I ever decide to watch real news, he'd be my premier news source. (Somebody give this guy a job in one of the main channels.)

But I decided to change the entry because at the middle of another sleepless night playing Tetris, my tired and confused brain has lead me in a different direction on the issue and I decided to entertain it for a while: What if McCain understands that his campaign is doing more harm than good to his beloved country?

There's no doubt in my mind that McCain is much more intelligent than Bush and I'm pretty sure he loves his country. It is just very unfortunate for him to run for the Republican party after 8 years of Bush, for there is no legitimate way that a Republican could win this year. The only route that can possibly gain him some edge is to do negative campaigning creating rumors, lies and utilizing voters misconceptions and insecurities.

Imagine knowing you can potentially do some good in a position of power and after years and years of work, it's finally your turn to run but then there's no way you can win so you're running for show. Imagine hiring a person you've never met before just because your party and your advisers thought it would tap a new demographic that has been ignored but come to find out the selection cannot be worse. Imagine you have to inject racism and utilize people's fear to mislead the uneducated in giving you their votes. Will you at some point feel the utter frustration and the tremendous guilt a normal person should feel?

Given, being a seasoned politician like McCain, one should always carry a brave face and sticking to your guns like you're straight-talking no matter what, but one might wince every now and then especially when you come face to face to the ignorant mob you have created with your scare tactics. And if the ones that yelled the "Terrorist!" and the "Kill Him!" were not hired actors and one day turn into sniper assassins ala Kennedy/MLK, can McCain live with his conscience knowing that his campaign has created such a wedge between members of different races and religions that leads to physical violence and set the country back 50 years?

How should an intelligent person feel knowing that he's exploiting people's ignorance for votes? Even if that means losing respect from others devoted supporter who are now disgusted by his act? Who votes for a person that associates himself with racists?

How should a person feels knowing his supporters are either bigots and idiots? Or is their number so big that the majority of U.S. are made up of these people and he'll win if he can rattle all their chains?


Music Review: Jennifer Hudson's "Jennifer Hudson"

>> Thursday, October 16, 2008

When a diva gets born like Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls, I think it becomes a requirement to get their first solo album once it comes out. So I bought the album last Tuesday along with Robin Thicke's Something Else, I liked Spotlight before and the rest of the songs are really not that bad. When a promising starlet is discovered, everyone in the world would want to collaborate with her, and everyone did. Each song in the album is written by different people, I thought If This Isn't Love is a love ballad with great arrangements, Pocketbook with Ludacris is sassy and fun it's one of the few tracks that really injected personality in the song and made it pop. Robin Thicke wrote a very simple and beautiful ballad in Giving Myself. I didn't even mind the duet with special effect T-Pain in What's Wrong (Go Away).

Another former American Idol contestant Fantasia lends her voice in a snarky I'm His Only Woman, which reminds me of Brandy/Monica's The Boy is Mine. Who are all these two timers that inspire these songs? I wonder if these two former contestants regard this song as a competition of sorts, because it showcase their voices pretty good. I also like Can't Stop The Rain about a drunk driving accident a la Eminem's Stan, And I'm Telling You from Dreamgirls is in the album and not to be stereotypical but the album ends with a Christian song called Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There.

The problem I have with this album is that with all that many different talents producing the album, it clearly lack some sort of directions. There are way too many ballads that make this album a bit boring to say the least. There's no clean cut personal style, it feels like everyone is demonstrating what they can do with Jennifer and no one is writing specifically for her. It's more of a demo than a debut album. Again, individually the songs are not bad, it's just if you hear them altogether you'll lost track of who you're listening to along the way. (That's why I liked Pocketbook) Maybe it'll take time for her to develop her own signatures and personal style but some songs made her a little Kelly-Pricey or Angie-Stony. I guess success takes time. C-

Favorite Songs: Spotlight, Can't Stop The Rain, Pocketbook.


Project Runway Season 5 Finale

Um... should I feel ashamed for not watching the Presidential debate? I mean maybe I would have if Project Runway didn't happen to air their finale at the exact same time, so being a good gay, I've made my choice to watch the finale instead of the debate. Those presidential nominees have been bickering for a long while anyhow and I find it too ugly to watch. (What's with McCain's supporter yelling "Kill Him!" when McCain or Palin mentions Obama? I don't think politics can get any lower than that.)

I didn't watch the Phillies' decisive battle against the L.A. dodgers either. I heard the Phillies won and the city must be overjoyed. Seriously, I didn't know people were so passionate about their own sports team until I was in a bar and everyone were yelling and shouting when someone gets a point. Even while walking on the street, I heard someone yell something fierce and obscene that made me think some domestic abuse was going on before Lucius ensured me that it must have been baseball-related. I'm sure with some tutelage and a subscription to Comcast's expensive sport package, I could learn to like sports. I digress.

This season of Project Runway is a little disappointing for me. Some challenges are recycled from before, the talents seemed to be a bit inferior from previous seasons, maybe I'm getting old and out of touch, but the designs lack luster and lack a definite point of view. (Although, I think the drag queen challenge was pretty much the best challenge from all season.) After watching the last two disappointing episodes (The botanical inspired nightgowns are all quite disappointing and Jerell got auf'd even though he won an challenge was quite bullshit), for the remaining three designers, I like Korto the most and from the wedding gown she made, I wasn't particularly excited to watch the finale.

I was wrong though, all three designers brought it and although Leanne's collection seems to be a cut above the other two, it's hard to tell who will win.

Favorites from Leanne's Collection:

Favorites from Korto's Collection:

Favorites from Kenley's Collection:

Leanne's use of color and their silhouettes reminds me of Calvin Klein, it's simple and classic. She added a lot of interesting wave details which is great. It's refreshing. I love Korto's use of hair buns and the fans, the look is very African and cohesive. I'm glad to see her redesigned two looks from scratch in 48 hours, it shows how much she wanted to succeed and how talented she really is. Kenley's collection has a lot of interesting silhouettes and she used a lot of prints and she even hand painted a few garments herself. I can't deny that she's talented even though she's more delusional then Suede. But I don't believe that she did not know that other big designers have done what she created before and I think she straight out copied those looks. It's unfortunate. I'm happy for Leanne though.

For some reason watching this finale wasn't as satisfying as watching Wendy beat the crap out of Cartman on Comedy Central right after midnight and I just found out that I changed my blog template exactly after the last Project Runway finale... Strange.


Blog Update

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I was tired of the top of my blog template constantly disappearing on me and since I wanted to update a few elements on my blog, I thought I'd redo the whole thing.

I hope you like my new blog template courtesy of Our Blogger Templates. I had to wrestle it a bit to change a 3-panel template down to a 2-panel, and losing my old widgets are kinda annoying but I think I like it better now. What do you think?

Oh, if I forgot to include anyone's website in my blogroll, send me an email or comment on this post. Thanks.


The Talented (And Very Handsome) Mr. Moog

Don't want to get all schoolgirl-y on you but I've got a new crush. I found Mr. Moog while browsing my new favorite website: Flickr. I think Moog is a contact of Doug (Oh, happy belated birthday, Doug!) and I can't help but swoon for that incredibly handsome face. (drool!)

Apart of being extremely handsome (see above), in great shape, having amazingly hypnotic pale skin and having the coolest tattoo ever, he also has a very sexy accent and seems to be a sweetheart of a guy.

And look at his brilliant Photoshop skills... I mean wow. Is there any class I can take to do what he does? I especially love his X-moog series, because it is very freaking cool and I too love the X-Men. Maybe I should rethink my Halloween costume, but with this body of mine I have limited potentials... (Juggernaut or Omega Red? Sunfire and Psylocke are out of the question...)

Seriously how can one go about creating these images? (Top Row: Dazzler and Storm, Bottom Row: Gambit and Pheonix)

If only he's not already taken by an adorable guy and his chest is not smooth as butter. Seriously what could I do? Fly to London and stalk him? (lol) I do wonder why he's not already a movie star though.


System Recovery

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fine-freaking-nally... phew...

My friend got me a copy of Windows XP Pro on Sunday and I reinstalled it and forgot that I should have some drivers ready to be reinstalled, so I was without internet for the past few days. I just got everything fixed now. I'm afraid that my laptop is not the same anymore. I guess I'm still missing some components, but at least I can access the web now. I assume this laptop can last for another 6-12 months, it's surprisingly well built and none other lasted this long, so hurray for VAIO. The sad thing is I don't have access to a copy of Microsoft Office or Photoshop now, they are way too expensive to buy, so I'll have to see if I can borrow them from a friend.

I've been catching up with the blogs since 4 hours ago and I think I'm getting a headache from sensory overload. It's still way better than not having online access, it makes me feel like I'm in jail. It's surprising how dependent on the web.

I think I need to mentally recover from this computer meltdown incident. A lot of files were backed up before so I'm thankful, but the applications are another story. Hopefully, my blogging will return to normal starting tomorrow. Cheers.

Found David's version of Britney Spears' new song Womanizer, can I just say I like this better?


Too Much Wood

>> Sunday, October 12, 2008

My grandma used to always tell me not to complain when I'm too full, because one day you'd get hungry again and you might not have anything to eat then. I know the logic doesn't quite make sense, but I guess in the world of karma one shouldn't complain when there's too much of a good thing.

Well, just so we're clear that I'm not complaining I'm having lots of action lately. I'm pretty sure for the past week, "it" is happening about once a day and with future offers too. I have no idea what has happened, maybe fall is coming and people feel the need to consummate like deers, or maybe I changed my pictures on some online cruising sites, maybe this confidence thing is working wonders, sex has become plentiful. Again, not complaining, I'm just stating facts here.

Although sex is fun, few of these guys are dating material. I find that I can always nit-pick or find something wrong with these guys. They live too far, they are not exactly my type, too bossy, live too far, a bit too heavy, a bit too old, not attractive enough, already attached... and even the guy is passable or seemingly has all the dating potentials, I find it to be too much of a hassle to pursue a real meaningful relationship, maybe I'm not looking for a boyfriend (which is strange, I thought I was.) It wouldn't matter now, any potential date discovers what a whore I am by reading this will surely run the other way anyhow. (knock on wood)

I'm still not in the mood finding a job yet either and my half-broken computer is surely not helping. I wonder if I'll focus on my job hunt once I get tired of these frequent encounters, I think eventually I will get tired of sex, right? Again, I'm really not complaining. (If this was Ancient China I would have been put in a bamboo cage and drowned in the river, also, can someone teach me how to politely tell the guy in my bed to leave?)


Weekend Meme: The Mistake Meme

>> Saturday, October 11, 2008

We all have our lessons to learn and things we wish we could change. I cringe whenever I was reminded of some terribly embarassing moments and mistakes I've made. This weekend's meme comes from my recent meme god Ur-Spo at
, let's all learn from our own mistakes.

Simple rules this time, just answer the following questions:

Were you a “mistake”?
Depends on who you asked, but I think so.

A mistake in grade school?
Getting detention and lying to say my family went to Macau, so the teacher left me there for 6 hours and come to find out that I was lying when my family called.

A mistake in high school?
Besides given up on my studies, I was also quite the bully and mean to certain people.

A mistake in college?
Being secluded and not participating in any school activities... In other words, not party enough.

A mistake in dating?
Investing too much in people that are unavailable.

A mistake made recently?
Not backing up my recent pictures.

A mistake this year?
Spending too much money on meaningless things, I should cut back.

A mistake at the store?
I usually dislike trying clothes on when I buy them, I got nice T-shirt but the cut is a bit too close, so I gave it away.

A mistake at the cinema?
Not much, other than walking out of a few movies.

A mistake at home?
I also loathe cleaning and dusting, I need to do that more often.

A mistake at work?
Not leaving the company along with the first batch of laid-offs.

A mistake you think is in process?
I didn't know that I have to call in every two weeks to cliam my unemployment and I haven't done some for the past 6 weeks. I hope they will send me the back payments.

Well, that's it. I can't access my hard drive so I can't put any graphics on here, hope that would be fixed soon.

Have a nice weekend.


Back That Thing Up

>> Friday, October 10, 2008

Let me be an example to you all; back up your stuff. I know, I know, we all know it but few of us actually does it. A geek from the Geek Squad determined that my laptop will need to be wiped out and all its data will be lost unless I pay a few hundred bucks to retrieve the files. My last back up was done around 2-3 weeks ago and for the god in me, I have no idea if any of my recent pics are backed up. I have, of course, stored some on Flickr and I also have emailed my friends some of the picture that they are in, but the originals are all stored on my hard drive, everything sent out are altered in size. It sucks.


Troubles I Don't Need

>> Thursday, October 09, 2008

There's something strange going on with my laptop. Windows Explorer is stuck and I can't use it at all, I need to stop it and load my Internet Explorer separately. I hope it's just a virus somehow, or it can be fixed easily. I don't feel like buying a brand new laptop or have to replace the motherboard. I was eating onigiris near it and maybe some nori fell into the cracks. Maybe not. I don't remember doing anything harmful to my laptop, so I have no idea what happened.

I went to my holy land the huge Japanese supermarket in Edgewater, right across the river from Manhattan. It was not easy to get there but I had to get some stuff to repay my friend who bought me dinner at the Cliff House, so I went. I couldn't find the Brie tasting pasta sauce that I really wanted but I still managed to get one hundred dollars worth of snacks. It's not recommendable, but I can't stop.

I still need to get some Chinese music and comic books, all the while forgeting to activate my unemployment benefits. I need to hunt those people down.

I don't know what will happen to my laptop, without it I won't be able to stay in touch, but I might be without it for a few days. Hopefully I'll be able to post soon.


Miniature World

>> Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Saw these at Towelroad and I really love them. Apparently you can use something called a tilt-shift lens to achieve the effect of shrinking the objects in a wide environment and making them look miniature. I remember going to Madurodam in Holland when I was a kid and got fascinated with being able to see things in from a completely different angles. I still get that kind of wonderment when I use the satellite function of Google Maps or watching these clips.

Hope you enjoy!


Loving Myself

>> Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Just got some pictures back from when I played one of the best men during A&Y's wedding. During another Mahjong-filled weekend at their place, they were playing a DVD replaying the details of their wedding day and one of the friends commented that I looked good in a suit and for the first time in a long while, I agreed. After moving from Hong Kong to the States, my weight have skyrocketed 20 pounds during my freshmen year, and then it's 40 more pounds after I discovered my cooking abilities and during the periods when I have a boyfriend and my attempts to satisfied them domestically. I remember when a friend took my picture during a party and I was horrified by my resemblance with the Michelin man.

Now that I have lost some weight and vanity in tow, I feel better, happier. I think San Francisco, my recent activities or maybe even leaving my former toxical work environment have lifted my spirits up. I'm beginning to see myself and loving what I see. I can't believe how long it has taken me to feel this way. I noticed that I can be more attractive if I smile more so I'm making efforts. Hope that'll boost my confidence.

The Gay Luck Club is hosting a fundraising costume party for Halloween, it'll be the first Halloween costume party I ever attend. I'm thinking I might go as either Frankenstein, because everyone teased me about looking like him when I was growing up, or going as a Chinese vampire to add some cultural interests. I also thought about going there in leather gears as my excuse to purchase some leather stuff for future use. Too bad I didn't have time to get some while I was in SF, I've heard that there was a 20% discount during Folsom.

Poll: So Frank... vampire or white t-shirt, jeans and a leather armband?


The Margaret Cho Beautiful Tour

>> Monday, October 06, 2008

I've seen Margaret's show before, I think it was the I'm The One I Want show which happens to be at the same venue a few years ago. Although Margaret is married, she's quite open about her bisexuality and being surrounded by gay guys while she was growing up in Polk Street of San Francisco, she sees herself as an ally of the gays and the ultimate fag hag. She's very open about how she loves sex and of course, I also identify with her for being Asian-American.

I was ecstatic to see this show, not only because my love for Margaret. For an added bonus, Liam Sullivan from the fame for his portrayal of Kelly (With 20 Million plus YouTube viewings) is the opening act, what a genius.

So I went out with the Gay Luck Club group Friday to see the show, with much anticipation Liam started the show as Aunt Susan, the lesbian aunt of Kelly, and sang a song called Two-headed Dildo. I believe that set the tone for the night; as if you don't know what the night has in store for you. Then Liam went backstage for 10 minutes while a big screen is playing some videos about a couple seeing a sex conselor seeking to improve their sex life. It was particularly funny when they were listening to a Chinese erotic story tape and the guy made those exaggerated sex sounds in the tape. Another video showed with Kelly singing Let Me Borrow That Top (See Below), then Liam came out as Kelly and sung a new song called What's That Aboot? making fun of the Canadian accent which made BL a little uncomfortable since he's from Vancouver, and then it's Shoes

As much as I love Liam, I find his set to be a little awkward. To show videos on a live show is a little unconventional. And while Kelly sings live, there's nothing visually stimulating enough. Since his songs contain so much repeated lyrics, he could benefit from two background dancers or maybe some psychodelic graphics playing behind him. Some details need to be ironed out.

Margaret was amazing. She was wearing a black leather/rubber jumpsuit that showed off her voluptuousness and unlike some other shows I've seen, her hair was wavy and glorious. There's a sense of glamor and as the title of her tour, she is beautiful.

I was surprised on how current her topics goes from. Being an Obama supporter, she did started the show by "commenting" on Palin, and then goes to McCain and the stock market crash. It also touched on human rights, gay marriage and other issues but overall I would say that the major focus on the show is self-esteem and sexual liberation. I was imagining how many right-wing heads would have exploded, especially during her farewell song called Eat Me Out.

Her set was hilarious, you won't believe what can come out of her mouth. After the show, my friends dispersed but I was determined to get myself a picture with Margaret and Liam, from my previous experience I knew the door that they will be coming out from and it was made obvious by a small crowd and a waiting limo. After waiting for 15 minutes or so, Margaret came out and took her time to take picture and signed autographs for every waiting fan. I got extremely shy and can't even speak to her much but still managed to take a picture with her, I took note that she's a bit shorter than me even her personality is larger than life. After she left Liam came out with friends and he was also very accomodating to me. They are both very nice people, really.

You can see both Aunt Susan and Kelly here. I really wanted to get a T-Shirt that said Deck on the front but I was too busy stalking Liam and Margaret and I didn't have time.


You can find a good recount of the show here.


Weekend Meme: Nasty Food Meme

>> Saturday, October 04, 2008

From Spo-Reflections' Ur-Spo again comes this week's Meme, entitled Nasty Food Meme. It's about food that we dislike and kitchen blunders, oh boy, I've had quite a few. Food is one of my favorite topics, I love to eat and there's little to nothing that I won't try at least once. Although, like friends, once you get on my bad side, it'll be hard for me to give it another chance. (I'm talking about you dried oyster!)

Here we go:

1.Your oddest craving?
My cravings are more towards dishes than ingredients: crab meat pasta in a tomato sauce, crab and celery salad in half avocados, Ajisen Ramen's soft pork bone ramen. I will spend time running around restaurants that I think might have those stuff and "cruising" their menus and if all else fail, I'll make it myself.

2. The forbidden food?
I will eat almost anything but dried oyster. It is great for making broth but horrible to eat. It's a Chinese thing, so most people are immune to it.

3. A dish that makes you queasy?
Brains, the Chinese believes that if you ingest a specific body part, it'll be beneficial to that part of your body. Some parents insist on making brains for students. Yuck.

4. Your least favorite food vegetable?
I think it has to be Brussels Sprouts, hard to make tender and there's a slight bitterness to it. I'll still eat it, it's just my least favorite.

5. Your worst cooking disaster?
For a X'mas gathering at a friend's place, I followed a recipe to make a hazelnut almond torte. I stayed up late the night before and I was not really present. The recipe called for a meringue that required boiling a syrup to it's softball stage. In my tired mind, I was thinking how do I know it's softball stage? So I stuck my finger in the boiling sugar thinking I could test it out. My index finger received a third degree burn, putting my finger in running water only made a sugar crust around my finger (hard ball stage). Although I remade the meringue despite my burn and finished the cake and it was the best cake I've ever made. I think it hurted for a week and I've since purchased a candy thermometer.

6. A Cooking exercise you don’t do well?
Baking genoise and tempering creme anglaise. It should be so basic.

7. Food that arouses the most suspicion?
Clams and oysters. I won't eat them if they are not from high volume restaurants. I don't want to bite on sand or get food poisoning, you know.

Raw oysters and clams for $1.50 each at SF farmer's market in Ferry building. Yum.

8. A drink you used to drink but no more?
Coffee. Well, at least I only drink it "recreationally" now which is about once a month or less.

9. Least favorite fast food chain?
Taco Bell, I'm not a fan of refried beans.

10. When in doubt, eat….
Wonton and BBQ pork noodle soup, or fried an egg and put it on top of my instant noodles. So my answer should be noodles then.

11. A restaurant faux pas that would get you to speak up?
Lack of/bad/slow service.

12. Is there something spoiled in the fridge right now?
There are sauces that has been in there for months and I'm afraid to open them and find out.

13. Food you can’t buy as your spouse/partner won’t allow it in the house I'm single now, but a picky eater is grounds for divorce. Hehe... Well, my ex doesn't eat pork or shrimp or anything spicy and we were together for 6 years, but he never not allowed anything in the house. (As if I need to be get permission.)

14. Food your spouse/partner likes that you don’t like.
Not a picky eater here, so I wouldn't know. Plus, I'm usually the cook in a relationship, so it's harder for me to find out what I don't like.

15. Your least favorite type of cuisine?
Moroccan. The use of spice is very different.

16. A food you hated as a child but now love?
Fermented tofu, it's an acquired taste.

For me, it doesn't get much nastier than this. You actually know that you're eating decomposing carcasses. It'd be vulture's favorite, but then they'd have to fish, deshell and dried them under the sun. It's too much work.

Have a great weekend.


Luck With Strangers

Sorry but I'm postponing my Weekend Meme this week to bring you a recent strange observation I have; I'm having great luck with strangers while sucking my existing relationships. It's hard to explain but let me use some examples:


1) During the SF trip, I met someone who was willing to drive me around the city. We went to the Golden Gate Bridge for the very first time, he also brought me up to Twin Peaks. Nice guy, really.

It was really foggy, and I was on the bridge.

2) Met some really great folks through JS. I feel like I can form some great friendships if I ever go back.

3) I got pictures with Francois, Arpad, Dillon and Steve. (Yes, we're on first name basis now)

4) I've had a SF "boyfriend" for a day and a half, another very sweet guy. We're both unemployed so we shared some comraderie and we've had a lot of fun during those 36 hours. There's certain romantic quality with a relationship with an expiration date. You might think it hardly quantify as anything much and you're right, but during those two days we felt free to let our emotions ran as far as possible and it was pretty sweet.

5) Just went to see Margaret Cho's Beautiful Tour and look what I've got:

Sorry but that shirt had become my favorite and I'm wearing it a lot.

Liam's hand felt incredibly warm on my shoulder, nice guy. And I really should look in the mirror and learn how to smile.

Existing Relationships:

1) I actually baked some brownies for CuteCub who just moved into my neighborhood because I said I would and of course I do like him. He said he would stop by for them but he never did and now he's avoiding me.

2) BL is behind on his studies and giving me the brush off.

3) Medic Guy is moving to Washington D.C. but he said he's willing to give up everything to be with me. I've had to reject him which I really don't like to do. We've broke up and getting back together 5 times, it proves that we're really not compatible. Since he said he likes D.C., he should really follow his instincts. I'll pursue S.F. to my best abilities. You really can't live for another person.

I wonder if it's me who's not interesting anymore after getting to know me or maybe my luck in relationships have turned. Maybe I should use this luck to find a job since I seem to be able to charm strangers. It might not have anything to do with charm or luck at all but I got to meet tons of people in the past week alone, more than I've had in the past year beforehand.

Have a grest weekend!

Oh and I won the captioning competition for Lil' Bastard comix at The Mangina Monologues... Can I get a What-What? lol.


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