One week from electronic mayhem

In one week my brand-spankin' new computer will arrive, and I will nce again become the scourge of demon-kind.

I have been wanting my own computer for a long time now, but due to a prticularly nasty backstabbing run-in with Bally Total Fitness during my first run through college, my credit is shot, and so I've been unable to attain one. Until now.

Now that I'm going back to college and more so because it's all online, I actually need my own computer, instead of just wanting one really really really badly. So, along with tuition, the college fund has paid for a computer for lil' ol' me. I'm excited.

Since my classes don't start till July 8, I wil have a full month of gaming time in which to fallinto th wonderful world of Sacredand slay demons till I pass out. And I intend to take advantage of the time to do just that, because once classes start I'll have no play time. Being a full time student, I'll need to spend 24 hours a week online, which works itself out to 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. Since Friday is the one day we both have off together, the boy and I have decided that Friday is Our Day, and no computer shall intervene, class- or game-related or otherwise. This will leave me only one other mostly free day - Saturday - and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend more than the required 4 hours on the computer that day. Despite my love of technology, I really don't want to spend 6 out of 7 days on the damn computer. There is more to life, you know.

Well, unless it's raining. Then, demons beware: my Seraphim will be out for blood, and you're on the menu.

Wow. Just ... wow.

For the last two weeks or so, I've been dealing with college stuff (hence the lack of [meaningful] posts), much of it in regards to financial aid. Today I recieved the news that I am approved for a federal Stafford loan, which over the course of both school years will cover most of the cost of my schooling, leaving me with a bill of about $7,000 left over to come up with myself. Cool, thought I, who had no idea really how much aid - if any - I'd be eligible for.

Well. That was before I talked to my grandmother about half an hour ago (we were at he bank, for college stuff) about just how much money is in the college fund that she and my grandfather set up for me when I was born. A the moment, I'm a little bit shell shocked, but in a good way. I don't need that stafford loan. I won't say how much is in the account they set up, but suffice it to say it will cover damn near the same amount the stafford loan would, only, you know ... without interest. And without the next ten years of my life being aimed solely toward paying off that huge loan, plus interest. Now, I have only to get a much smaller loan for the leftover amount, which I could probably get from my bank for a smaller interest rate than any student loan out there.

My near-future views just went from rather intimidating to, well ... if it were possible to walk on clouds, or sunshine, baby I'd be fucking frolicking. This is such a huge relief for me, truly.

Now I've always known about the account my grandparents set up for me, but had no idea until about half an hour ago just how much was in it. When Imentioned how much tuition for CTU is, Grandma was understandably shocked. It is pretty damned expensive, although for an online college, with tuition that literally covers everything I'll need, it's actually pretty damn good. She said that the account "didn't have quite that much in it," which I had assumed was the case before I even applied, but with the emphasis she placed on the word "quite," I figurd that if I was lucky the account would have enough to cover at least half of it. Maybe.

Boy, was I off.

Not quite, indeed. Although the amount leftover is still something I'll need a loan for, that college account will pay for most of my college costs. Like, most of it, if you get the emphasis there. I think I'm still a little too shocked to be outright giddy, but I am certainly very very very very happy. Very.

Very. (Ok I'll stop that now. You get the point.)

Thank goodness, or God, or Goddess, or Buddha, Alah, Ra, Thor or The Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster
(may he bless you with his noodley goodness), or whoever for grandparents who know the value of education. Thank (whoever) for grandparents who, when a grandchild is born, set up a college account for them to be slowly added to as that child grows, until the day they're ready for college.

They already paid every red penny for my first round of college when I got my AA in Graphic Design, and as they paid so much there, I thought there wouldn't be a whole lot left over for getting my BS now.

Boy, was I wrong. And I have never been happier to be so very wrong.

Ah fuck it - I'm thrilled! (Have I mentioned how happy I am?)

Wow. That's what keeps running through my head. Just ... wow.

In the hopes that you all enjoy such good fortune as I'm finding myself, may The Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster touch you with His Noodly Appendage and bathe you in His Sauce forever, RAmen.

Because pork needs love, too

As some of you may know, I have fallen victim to Myspace. Yeah, that's right: I spend hours a day posting stupid "surveys" just to pass the time. Most of them really are stupid and pointless - and is this one - but the big difference is this one is a fun kind of pointless. A co-worker, who is a tad on the odd side himself, made this one up, and I simply had to answer. It was too good to pass up. Becuase I find such oddity amusing, I'll tag a few others to answer it themselves: blue wren, of course, patrick, winter, and fatso. Answer, post, and tag.

C'mon; it's fun.

And so, on to the "survey:"

1. What is in your pocket?
A finger.

2. Is the pork ready?
No. It's having a bit of trouble buckling all those black leather straps.

3. Have you ever had to rock to and fro to make your poopie go?
You know, I've really never bee that fond of my poop, and the feeling so far has been mutual, so no. We're glad to be rid of each other.

4. Do you like onions?
Smell my breath?

5. So, how big is it?
Well, now, I don't want to make anyone jealous ...

6. Budweiser or real beer?
Real beer. Preferably german or japanese.

7. What do you feel about your nose?
It would be great if it would stop running at night. I wake up awfully tired in the mornings.

8. Children: baked or broiled?
Slathered with a good tangy sauce and broiled!

9. Do you like it when I do this?
You know it.

10. Do you like the sound of chickens?
Only when they're screaming.

11. Would Beyonce clip her own toenails?
I would hope so. Let's go ask her.

12. Do you like pork?
More than you'd think (see question number 2).

13. If the butter is soft, would the bus arrive on time?
No; the bus only arrives on time when the butter is hard beause that's when you're too busy trying to spread it on the toast to get to the bus on time.

14. When do you get up?
When my nose wakes me.

15. How did you survive childhood?
Lots of Band-aids.

16. What do you do before bed?
Tickle the pork.

Seventeen. What are your hidden charges? $4 every time I pick my nose.

18. Who's behind you?
There's someone behind me?!? Oh, this is it then. This is the end. I've really enjoyed the time I've spent with you all, and hope that you remember me fondly. I promise there will be good rum and whiskey at the funeral bash.

19. Why don't people go to the bathroom on TV?
Because that would be called porn, and you have to pay for that.

20. What's a soylent green popsicle?
An alien-poop-kabob.

21. What does it taste like?
Alien poop. You know, kinda like spinach, only more like an orange, with a slightly curry-ish aftertaste. It goes great with salsa.

22. Why doesn't Consumer Reports rate hookers?
You know I was asking myself that very same question when I was looking for a new pork the other day ...

23. Does George Bush replace the toilet paper tube?
I bet he has secret agents do that for him, just in case there's a terrorsit hiding in it. I mean, fully aoutomatic bazookas and tear gas and everything, just in case.

Kiss of the Dragon

Harry Face

Harry wishes you all a smoochiferous week.

I'm in!!!

I went to work early this morning, because when I'm anxious about something I have a tendency to schedule everything so that I end up waiting for whatever it is I'm anxious about. However, I didn't expect to wait as long as I did. My college advisor said she would call me at 8 a.m. at work to let me know if I was accepted at CTU or not. So, at 7:30 I walked into work, sat down, and tried not to count the minutes till 8 (I think I looked at the clock about every four or five minutes anyway, though).

At ten minutes to 9, she called. And I have been accepted and am scheduled to start classes on July 8!

Right now I am feeling a mix of terrible excitement (I hopped up and ran outside to call Mama Wren when I got the news, and had to leave a message - Mom, answer the damn phone!) and a curious lack of anything. Which I think is the result of so much nervous excitement suddenly gone. Like the light, airy, detatched feeling you sometimes get after an unexpected and notexactly welcome adrenaline rush. I want to jump up and down and giggle. I want to just go out and sit quietly in the shade and think about nothing much at all.

It's an odd mixture of feelings, but I'm sure that any minute now it will hit home: I am a college student again. I have to buckle down and study and be responsible n' stuff. I can do it, I know I can, but it's a wee little bit intimidating anyway. In a good way though.

Now all that's left is to look into financial aid (and CTU has access to some pretty good financial aid, from all I've heard and read) and get a computer. By the way, CTU has a deal with Dell, so that students of CTU get discounts on Dell computers. Sweet.

So, wow. This is really happening. By fall of next year I'll have my Bachlor's degree. Possibly even before that I'll have enough informatyion to get the ball rolling on a business selling my artwork in the form of not only framed drawings, but as tattoo designs and custom-decorated clothing and purses, etc. Check out the purse that I bought a few weeks ago and drew on with Sharpies:

Demon Purse

The purse was twelve bucks at Walmart. Now I could sell it for quite a bit more — at least twice that to start out until I get a name for myself, and from there on ... who knows?

I'm going to find out soon enough.

(And yes, the grin is bigger now.)

I did it

This morning I applied for Colorado Technical University Online for a Bachelorof Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing ... I know, I know; I said I was going to go for Art History, but after discussion and much thought, I've decided that a business degree would be better for me, since I do want to start up my own business selling my artwork in various forms.

My boss recommended CTU to me, as he is starting his first class there on Monday, and upon speaking to an advisor there, I'm very very impressed with the program and the way they work. My boss was very impressed as well, and he is a ratherskeptical person, and does tons of research into, well, everything, beforedeciding on anything. The fact that he was so impressed helped me to decide on this school. It's a completely online school,s o there will be no need for me to take any on-campus classes, which is what I was looking for in any college for any degree.

Now, here's the really big part: I find out tomorrow whether or not I am accepted. Tomorrow!

I'mexcited! I feel like a kid. My advisor said that I had a great attitude, sounded very motivated, and that she thought I had a very good chance of acceptance. She'll be calling me at 8 a.m tomorrow to let me know.

So, wish me luck, please. If I am accpeted, I'll be starting July 8, and will be finished in October of next year. From there I can either get a second Bachelor degree or go on for a Master degree (I'm not sure yet which of those I'd go for but I'm leaning toward the Master's, of course.)


Iwas kinda hestitant about posting this until and unless I found out I was accepted; didn't want to jinx it, you know? But really, I don't actually believe in jinxing things, and I doubt I could have kept my blog-mouth shut for long anyway.

I'm grinning real big right now. Hope the grin is still there - and bigger - at this time tomorrow.

Shits n' giggles

When Dragons Laugh now has a banner!

I threw it together yesterday and Patrick Hillman from Blowing Shit Up With Gas was kind enough to face the HTML horror of it to get it posted for me. (Thank you thank you Patrick! As promised, I'll draw you a picture; just let me know what you'd like. I still think a zombie Jesus would be fun ... )

On another note, I received a postcard from Winter yesterday! check it out:

Postcard Front

Postcard Back

It's silly, but I love postcards. Or any sort of communication through the mail that's not a bill. I think having a pen pal would be awesome, with actual hand-written letters n' stuff.

I'm not sure what the "Big Money" means, but considering my horoscope for yesterday said that I'd soon come into a large amount of money - and to be careful with it - this is sorta, well ... creepy. But cool; I love shit like this. And to think I was expecting a check in the mail after reading that horoscope. Ah well; a postcard won't get me in trouble with the bank.

Any HTML gurus out there?

I'm asking this in desperation. I keep seeing wonderful banners across the top of people's blogs instead of the simple tex blog name and description, and well, not to sound like a petulant child, but, I want one!

I've come up with several banners - though with the color change I'll have to come up with a new one again - but for the life of me I can't figure out how to tweak Blogger's HTML code to get the damn thing in there. I know now how to get images posted, but it's not that easyof course - I can't seem to override the text and borders, so I end up with a cropped off image (despite my careful sizing) with "When Dragons Laugh ... blah blah blah" over the image.


Help me. Please. Anyone? I'll draw you a pretty picture ...

Art and Life #1: The music of Bjork and Disturbed

This is the first installment of a series of posts about art and life. It's long, it's rambly, it's opinion mixed with just a wee bit of fact. It's fun.
You have been warned.

It has been said many times, and in many ways, that art imitates life. Some even go so far as to say that life in turn imitates art. This concept has always intrigued me, but not in the way that concepts or ideas usually do. Usually I'll grab hold of an idea and treasure it for its "what if" value, as I call it; that the idea is fascinating and wouldn't it be great if that's how things actually were? I am fascinated with the art and life concept more as a kid in science class is fascinated with the organs they expose while dissecting a frog.

Now, forgive me, but I know that's not a very pretty way to describe it. What I mean is that I'm usually fascinated with ideals that, while very real and liveable on an individual basis, usually have not been proven work on a global scale. For instance, the old golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Well, that's fanstastic, truly, but there are so many people in the world that do whatever the hell they want to others with no care as to the consequences. So, it's a nice idea, but not one that is so very widely acknowledged in the individuals that make up our global community.

Art imitating life — or vice versa — however, is not simply an idea, or something that either the artist or the viewer would like to have happen. It's the very basis of art, really, in that the creation of art stems from the desires, needs, and ultimately the base emotions of life as we silly humans know it. For as far back as the history books go, art has always been born of some need to express some part of the artists life or view on life, encompassing everything from personal experiences to politics to religion. On a side note and just for fun, let me point out that one of my favorite painters was Hieronymus Bosch, and that's who Harry is named after. I can't think of any art that doesn't stem from some aspect of life istelf, whether as a reaction to the times or as a purely pysocological extension of the human brain with all its memories, instincts, and unconscious desires.

So art does imitate life, and every piece of art you see proves that, if you take the time to look past the surface. Even the sweating wren that Mama Wren sketched out several months ago is more than mere pretty fancy (I liked that drawing, by the way, Mom). Now I could get into life imitating art but I'll leave that for another day and concentrate now on art immitating life and, as promised, I'm going to zero in on music, starting with Bjork.

The idea for this post came to me last week while listening to Bjork's Greatest Hits album (her only album, sadly, that I own). Being at work, I was therefore unable to just sit and type out all the thoughts that came into my head as I listened, but in the end I think this post may be better off for that, as I've had time now to mull it all over. I don't remember how that particular day started out, but Bjork always leaves me feeling calm and somewhat melancholoy but refreshed at the same time. The word spiritual might work here, in that it's almost like a form of meditation that takes place in the back of my mind while the rest of my brain concentrates on work, and in the end leaves me feeling as if I've realized some peaceful and profound truth about life.

The first song on this album is All is Full of Love, a sort of daily affirmation that, well, all if full of love, no matter how dark things may seem. It's a reminder that things aren't so bad, really. This is follwed by Hyperballad, a song that at first I didn't like at all. Hearing the lyrics describing the need to visualize one's own dead body slamming into jagged rocks at the bottom of a cliff in order to obtain peace of mind, my first though was, "Wow. Talk about psycho. Couldn't you just - oh I don't know, eat some ice cream maybe, to 'feel happier,' or take self defense classes to 'feel safe'? Why the ritual with imagining your own horrid death?" Despite my own rather gothic tendencies, I couldn't understand how such a seemingly morbid practice could bring a sense of peace and give meaning and hope to each day. I saw it as the selfish act of a drama queen, a way to scream out "Look at me! Pay attention to me! Love me! Me me me me me!"

Older now, and — if I may say so myself — at least a wee bit wiser about life in general, I think I get it.

What goes through my head now upon hearing this song is not disgust and confusion, but a bittersweet sort of joy, or a thoughtful kind of peace. As I see it, the act of "throw(ing) little things off" the cliff and imagining them to be one's own body is a type of daily meditation, if you will. It's a way to say to one's self, "Simply by living, this destruction is the risk I take, whether I go out into the world or wait for the world to come to me, and by understanding this I am prepared for it and can go forward without the fear of it. I can do this because I understand that the death that will take me — today, tomorrow, ten years from now — is as random as someone throwing a fork or a rear-view mirror off a cliff, and just as pointless to try to interpret or worry about. Death, like those rocks, is inevitable and unmovable by me, so worrying about it is useless and will only steal the joy from life."

In this meditation, the cliff is symbolic of life's lack of predictability; we go forward each day not knowing if, throughout the courses of our various actions, there will be ground beneath our feet to stand on at the end of the day or if we will be lying overthrown at the bottom of some vast pit wondering what the hell happened and how to go on from there. The rocks at the bottom of the cliff are the pain or death we could possibly face if we fall, be that fall physical or centered in the course of a job or relationship, or in the striving to achieve a dream. At the end of this meditation, we leave the cliff having looked death in the face, saying, "You cannot frighten me," and with each step the realization that we alone control our reactions to life and whatever it throws at us grows and a sense of peace takes root. We are "safe" again in the knowledge that we're alive and that is all that matters. Not in the end, not here and now; it is all that matters, period, because with the simple act of being alive without fear of what might happen at any given moment, we are more free than can be imagined or enacted through the trappings of life.

Hearing this song now inspires in me a confidence in myself and my ability to do whatever I dream, be it someday building my own house, selling my artwork and becoming a well known artist before my time, or simply having the courage to apply for a new job in a field I've never worked before. I find it highly appropriate that these are the first two songs on = an alubm that encompasses the "best" of this particular artist's works; it's a very good introduction, if you will. It tells you that life is beautiful and love is everywhere, and then tells you why and how to find that love, or peace, or sense of safety.

Hyperballad is the only Bjork song I'll break down to that extent, because I do have a tendency to ramble on. However, most of her songs have a similar effect; they make you think about more than just the words or sounds themselves and to find a meaning in them that is rooted in the intimacies of life itself.

Bjork, I think, is a very wise woman, and her manner of dress only enforces the confidence found after the death meditation in Hyperballad; in her own way, she's saying "This is my life, and no matter what may come of it, I will live it and share it as I choose." I think that society as a whole could learn much from this. There are many teachers in life; it just takes an open mind to recognize some of them. Remember that next time she chooses to wear a swan to an award ceremony.

The third song — and I promise this is the last Bjork song I'll interpret ... this time — is Human Behaviour. Again appropriately placed, this song seems to confirm the odd subject of Hyperballad, and the psychology or philosophy of it. Humans do strange things, and you don't always know why (see my "Wow. Talk about psycho," knee-jerk reaction) but it's almost irresitable to poke at it and prod it until you figure it out. The journey to find out what the hell someone is doing or saying, or why, is not always easy — "there's no map and / a compass / wouldn't help at all" — but damn is it fun. Take this post for example; I'm having a wondeful time musing on all this. I can only hope you're getting as much enjoyment out of it as I am but if not, well, it certainly wasn't a waste of time for me.

Of course Bjork is not the only musician out there to hit the mark so dead-on where life itself is concerned, as opposed to zeroing in one certain parts of life, like drugs or rodeos or love (lost or found) or even bowling (thanks, Weird Al), but to discuss all of them is beyond my humble ramble-musing ability. Instead, I'll go on to just one other artist, a band that I find to be pretty damn intelligent in their own right.

Although some may dub them mainstream, I don't think that Disturbed is your average "I hate life so I'm bitching about it in my parents' basement" rock band. Rather, in most of their songs I find messages that have valid points and meanings that are connected to current world events as well as some more psychological views of the human mind or spirit. The ambience of Disturbed's music makes me think more in terms of the human monster rather than in terms of the strangely peaceful optimism that Bjork brings up. This is not to say that Disturbed is depressing; rather they are a flip side of Bjork, in a manner of speaking. Both Bjork's and Disturbed's music — their art — is born of the human experience, but where Bjork dazzles you with light airy sounds around a deeper meaning, Disturbed just grabs hold and drags you right down into that part of yourself where anger and outrage at all the injustices of life brew.

This, too, is important, and full of lessons. Anyone who says that we should only embrace that which is happy and bright, and should shun all that is angry or sad or dark has more than a few screws loose. If the darker emotions were of no value, they would not exist. We need outrage as much as love; both are needed to repair the damages that we humans ourselves make in the world. Think of Hurricane Katrina. Think of Tibet. Think of the wolves in danger of being taken off the endangered species list and slaughtered, again. These things inspire outrage as much as love, and one without the other, I think, would not be enough to move us to act. One wothout the other very often leads to apathy.

That said, Disturbed is the metaphorical slap in the face. Their songs demand that we wake up and take a look at what is happening in the world around us and how that affects not only people as whole groups that can lose identity in an apathetic mind, but how it affects the individuals as well on deeper, more psychological levels.

The lyrics of Disturbed's music has always been a wake-up call, but has progressed with each album from an introspective view to a wider world-view, and has become more political because of that. Their last album, 10,000 Fists, is a cry for the people of America to wake up in terms of the war in Iraq and the man who has led us all on this deadly wild goose chase. Although Mama Wren has never struck me as much of a rock music person, I'm sure she'd love the song Deify if she heard it, and might even sing along. The lyrics alone do not do it justice; if you get the chance to hear it, do. Along with that is the song Overburdened, about the soldiers who die for a cause that was seen as something good and right but is finally understood to be an atrocity. This one brings tears to my eyes every time, and makes me even angrier with Bush and Company. Truly, if you never buy any of their other albums, and even if you don't like rock, and metal especially, the album 10,000 Fists is a must. It has its introspective songs as well to balance the world views, and in all it demands that even if you don't like what you hear, you listen and learn from it.

From the previous album, Believe, is one of my favorite Disturbed songs, Darkness. This is a truly thoughftul piece, pleading that the listener understand the words spoken and the lessons in them. This, too, tears me up, but again the lyrics alone hardly suffice. Listen to it if you get the chance. I think it's a good song to end this post on, being as it asks that you understand not just the words in (any) song, but that you take back with you some meaning and lesson for life.

In the end, this is the highest and most basic purpose of art in any form. The object of creating something and sharing it with others is to share an experience in an attempt to teach a lesson, to better life in general. Teachers are everywhere; just open your mind and you'll see (and hear) them at every turn. And realize, too, than in creating something, anything — even a blog — you, too, are a teacher.

Next time I get to rambling, I'll ramble about life imitating art. You just know there will be tattoos in that one, though certainly they won't be the only thing I cover in it. I'll even post a pic of my fish tat, if you ask really nicely.

Now, get out there and let your crazy art shine, no matter what form it may take. You may be suprised with the lessons people take away from it.


For all my loyal and adoring fans out there (har, har, grin) I apologize for the lack of posts recently, but for the last week or so I've had either no time or no patience to write, though I've had plenty of things to write about. For instance just two days ago I was determined to write out a long and philosophical discussion on the music of Bjork but was so busy I barely had time to take a restroom break, much less compose some awe-inspiring novella about life, so it fizzled out of its almost-existence in a disconcerting mix of teeth-grinds and sighs. I don't feel nearly so philosophical and smart about her music now that I'm not listening to it, so I can't promise to bring those thoughts back from the dead, but I will listen to nothing but Bjork on Sunday (a slower day) and will give it my best.

I was also intending to, in a separate post, delve into the moral ins and outs of wearing just a bra under my new mesh-backed shirt so that people can see my back tattoo, and what the visible bra back and straps might say about me despite my actual morals. The front of the shirt is regular, non-see-through-able fabric, so it wouldn't be a full-on flashing, really ...

Well, ok then, there you have it: discuss and report on the possible social acceptance of undergarments visible not for the sake of the undergarments themselves, but for the art on the flesh beneath them. I'm not talking about going to work or a nice restarant dressed this way, but rather just out and about shopping, touristing, lounging by the American River, etc. Would I be seen as a slut, and if so, by what generalized group of people, and should I care about that if in the end I get more comments on the tattoo rather than the bra? Or should I wear a bikini top under it instead of a bra, as those are perfectly acceptable?

That's something I never really understood, actually. How is it that it's perfectly alright for women to walk around shirtless in bikini tops but not a bra? Think about it: They're the same damn thing. The only legitimate difference bewteen the two is that bikinis are made specifically for water-use, and bras are not. The less meanigful difference would be in the styles, but really, with so very many different styles for both bikinis and bras, does that difference really count? Both are made to cover breasts - or at least the pink parts, for those women brazen and/or small-breasted enough to wear those silly little string things.

So why do we discriminate against bras so much, to the point that some frown upon seeing even the tiniest accidental sliver of a strap, but don't even think twice about seeing someone walk in with a string and two (small) triangles of fabric as the only things between eyesight and flesh? Honestly, I really don't understand the demands of a 'moral' society sometimes.

So. Bra? Bikini top? Hell - nothing? Or should I give up on ever showing off that tattoo unless I'm properly attired for and planning to swim?

Of course, I could be entirely logical and remember that it really doesn't matter until I actually finish the tattoo; it's sort of silly to purposefully show off one that's less than half done.

On a completely different note, check out this picture of Harry. Just because I have a thing for dragons and books, and he was showing off anyway with his head up high like this:

Book Wyrm Harry

Here is an earlier photo of him on the bookshelf, this time wearing his halter and leash, which the boy insists on calling his "pink bra:"

Book Wyrm Harry 2

Now that you have been honored with reptilian wonderfulness, have a nice day, and a spiffy weekend. Bjork post on Sunday or Monday, I promise.