Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13th, 2011 09:59 pm
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Since we had guests last night I did not have a chance to watch “Bones” which is probably a good thing since I would have been cross stitching. And this episode was actually really good, so I’m glad I watched it this morning.

Bones S6E22 )

“Brothers and Sisters” is officially cancelled. I was checking the news every day and even though it was expected I’m still sad about it. I know it is just the TV show but I loved the characters.

I finished my semester today. I graded all the final exams and calculated the grades. I have a few students who did not turn in their final papers and I gave plenty of chances so those are the only D and Fs. The rest did pretty well, a nice curve. I was done by 2pm and took the rest of the day off. Yay, it is summer.

I watched “Grey’s Anatomy” and one “Avatar: TLA” episode and then I went outside and actually did something active.

I was showing the Kid and her brother how to rollerblade. It felt nice to get on the roller blades again, it really feels like summer now. I spent an hour outside.

Our guests are staying until next Thursday, I think. It is weird to have to be social every evening.

Cross-stitching: all purple is done, that’s Big Bear’s bow and middle bear’s suit. It is coming along, two more weeks if I keep up this pace.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 11:20 pm
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In the morning, with Lady Gaga’s HBO concert playing in the background, I graded map quizzes for Section 2 of my history class. I still don’t understand how students who have all the places beforehand and blank maps and an Atlas can get less than an A on this. At least my two football players who did not do well on the last map quiz, actually studied for this one.

My cross stitching today while watching Bill Maher. I need to pick up my pace a bit.

I went for a walk in the late afternoon and as I was coming back from it I ran into my neighbor Laura and her kids and they invited me to go get frozen yogurt. I got pomegranate, raspberry and original tart flavors and it was very delicious. I didn’t even realize we has a frozen yogurt store close to us. The Kid wants to learn how to roller blade and she wants me to teach her, so I promised I’d do it. It will be fun.

Brothers and Sisters S5E22 Love letter to the show in case this was the last episode. )

Cross-stitch: more terra cotta. I like this color. I don’t get tired of it. Cross stitching is sometimes about colors for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday, May 1st, 2011 11:21 pm
bearshorty: (Bearshorty Blue)
White House Correspondence dinner and Obama’s mockery of the birther issue and Trump was hysterical. I liked the Lion King and Obama making sure Fox News knew that it was a joke.

Doctor Who S6E2 )

[profile] mar_see_ya made me icons with my username. They are so pretty.

My neighbor, whose paper I proofed this weekend, gave me two free movie tickets as a thank you. I will probably save them for the new X-Men movie.

I was watching “Brothers and Sisters” which had an excellent episode (which I will have to finish tomorrow) when the show was interrupted to announce that Bin Laden has been killed. I don’t know how to feel about that. I should stay up and watch the presidential address but I need to grade more.

I also need to stay away from the internet until Thursday afternoon, other than checking my email because of upcoming folder review.

Cross stitch: pumpkin color of giraffe head and neck and big bear’s head.
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Bear drove me home this morning, right after breakfast. Coming back from his house always feels like coming back from vacation. I didn’t have to go to work today since Local College has Easter Monday as a day off.

I finished the National Geographic April issue with the article on acidification of the ocean. The weather and amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere changed in other eras, but not so rapidly. The life in the oceans can’t keep up. The whole article and the situation is just very sad.

Doctor Who S6E1 )

For entertainment sake I rewatched “Brothers and Sisters” pilot on Netflix – amusing to watch now. Still consistent in character. But in five years the show moved on from so many plots.
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After the rain yesterday, today was summer. It was so warm that I ended up in a t-shirt.
And it was perfect day off where we could just relax.

pictures )

The day started with the Easter breakfast. Bear’s Mom made egg and sausage bake (and she made sure all the food was kosher for Passover, so I could eat it. She used mazza instead of bread. I really don’t like causing all that hassle, but it was very nice of her.

I read National Geographic article on an active volcano in Africa that is pretty much endangering one million people. And more people go to that place every day for refuge from war. Volcano pictures were gorgeous. And I like reading at breakfast with Bear there, since I can tell him about interesting stuff from the magazine. He was reading the newspaper.

Then while Bear went to church, I started Ursula Le Guin’s “Lavinia”. I like it so far. I really like the premise and I read “Aeneid” a few times, including once in Latin. Well, the second half in Latin. I had a class on it. And I like Le Guin’s writing style in general. I just read “Left Hand of Darkness” before but I can tell I will like this too. I probably won’t have time until the semester is over, or until after May 5th at least, but it will be good to read a real book.

In the afternoon, we all (his parents, sister and Bear) went to visit his Grandmother and have some Easter treats. There was fruit and cheese and other snacks. We sat outside in the garden area for a bit and it was warm and summery and nice.

When we got back to Bear’s place, Bear and I went for a walk since I was tired of sitting all the time and I didn’t want to waste such a gorgeous day and then we went for a bike ride too since we could. I got lovely exercise of the best kind, where it just feels like fun. Bear lives on really hilly roads and I don’t even have to pedal sometimes and I just feel the wind. (I do also have to go uphill, but the downhill is worth it.)

After the family Easter dinner (all very delicious), Bear and I watched “Megamind” which was cute. Lots of great one liners. If they just had one more female character, the movie would have went from fun and good to excellent. But it was really amusing and played with superhero tropes really well.

“Brothers and Sisters” S5E20. Now that was an awesome episode, so much drama. Kevin and Scotty, I will always adore you. You are the best couple and no matter the drama, you will always persevere. And writers on this show never drag out plots, which I kind of like. More de-Walkering. This kind of episode reminds me why I love this show so much and this tv family. I was all accepting with the idea that the show might actually end in two weeks, but now I hope the show will be renewed. And I discovered that Netflix has the whole show on Instant Queue. I will so rewatch some scenes.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate.
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Happy Passover!

Tonight is the night of the first Seder. And for the next eight days I won’t eat anything with flower, corn or rice. So no bread for me. So mostly vegetable and lots of potatoes and lots of mazza. And that means bringing my own lunch everywhere. My parents and I do have a very basic Seder. We make mazza ball soup and have the fish and salad and egg. I made a Seder plate. I actually have a nice Haggada, a book that tells the ritual of the Seder meal (seder means order) with all different blessing and recounting the story of Moses. Passover is the recollection of the Exodus from Egypt but we talk of it as if it is happening to us right now. But my parents are impatient for the whole ritual. But that is OK, since my friends and I have a tradition of Seder on the Saturday of Passover, where we cook and cook and cook and then I lead the Seder in all its glory.

We always had some sort of meal around Passover/Easter time and I remember eating mazza when I was little. But my first real Seder happened when I was in London in 2000 for study abroad. All the Jewish students from the program, maybe ten of us, gathered for it and I enjoyed it a lot. In grad school, I started going to Chabad House for it. When I moved into my own apartment in 2005, I started hosting my own Seder and when I moved back home, I organized a Seder with my friends and since then we have it every year. I’m very much looking forward to Saturday.

I gave a lecture on Black Death today and then we had a discussion on the readings. Black Death lecture always goes over well. I postponed their Paper 2 because I didn’t finish grading Paper 1 yet, not that they minded. I did spent the morning grading Paper 1. Will do more Wednesday and Friday.

I caught up with “Brothers and Sisters” Poor Nora, she can never catch a break with any guys. That is a great plot twist with Michelle and Kevin and Scotty. I’m looking forward to it.

House S7E19 )
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I keep going to sleep at 3:30-4 this weekend. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
And I still wake up at 8:30. I know I need more sleep but I can’t help it. Mostly it is all this new fic archive.

I spent the day in pajamas.

Watched “Brother and Sisters” while working on Mongol lecture. Second episode: Oh, Saul. Poor guy. That letter made me all teary. First episode: Too embarrassed at Kitty’s actions to watch that scene
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Rain, rain, rain. Suits my mood. With folder coming up next week it is all about making myself grade and finding things to do to avoid it.

Today is Bear’s Grandma’s 94th birthday. I think she is the oldest person I ever met. She is not in the best health but when we come round she is always welcoming and behaves well (she is not above telling it to the other residents of the nursing home, but she always polite with us). I like her and I like visiting her whenever I’m visiting.

Brothers and Sisters S5E16. The directing and editing of this episode was a bit weird. And it was a bit silly. Still, they always feel like such a family. My favorite moment was the joyous face scrunch Kevin did when one of his sisters referred to Olivia as his daughter.
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I’m getting “sexy sick voice” which always makes me think of that episode of “Friends” where Phoebe loved her sick voice so much she tried to get sick again after she got better. I’m very glad I don’t have to lecture tomorrow since talking for more than 10-15 minutes makes my throat hurt.

Today, I started reading John Barrowman book for real and it is funny in many parts and sometimes suddenly surprisingly dirty. Good fun.

I started “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 3 too. “Brothers and Sisters” had a really good episode tonight too – better than it has been in a while.

In general, a day where I tried to relax, drink lots of tea and be annoyed at my throat.
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My taxes are done. I’m very happy to get it over with. We’ve been going to an accountant in Brooklyn for probably ten years now and he just makes it easy. I give him $75 and in half an hour he e-files the taxes. All my refunds will later magically appear in my bank account. The power of the internet and the made up money that no one sees. And it is all refunds this year, a nice chunk of it too. Go vacation this year!

We also stopped by my grandparents. They always want to give us food, most of it they receive from various places. They had tomato juice this time and I was really craving it for some reason.

Writing “Persia and Alexander” lecture was pretty easy since I really just needed to do Persia – I taught Alexander the Great before. One of my first historical novels, that I read when I was maybe 6 or 7 was about Alexander the Great – so he holds a fold place in my heart. But it was really fun to focus on Persia too and present both sides of that story.

In honor of the fake romantic holiday a Cracked article on 6 most cynical exploitations of romantic love in history .

I watched “Brothers and Sisters” in the evening. Saul is adorable.

Exercise: walk
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I went to sleep late but I still woke up right after 7am and I couldn’t really fall back asleep. I guess my body is not that tired.

I do like it when my brain figures things out when I’m sleeping or about to wake up. When I trying to go back to sleep this morning and maybe nap some more, my brain figured out my Global History syllabus breakdown - two papers, one final, 5 in class exercises and map quiz with attendance – all worth 20% each. That meant that once I did get up at eight, I finished my syllabus in less than an hour. So yay. I can print it tomorrow to give to my students on Wednesday. This school is really strict on attendance which I find a bit weird – they are not children anymore.

I can’t believe the semester starts tomorrow already.

I had an appointment at Local College with Professor S to coordinate our syllabi but she completely forgot and didn’t answer her cell until a few hours later. I waited for 20 minutes and then went home. At least I looked around the campus a bit and found my classroom and the building I need to go to for my ID on Wednesday. She did call me a few hours later and apologized profusely and we talked over the phone. She thinks I should have a few more readings and she was the one that didn’t want the students to buy a few books I wanted. I will add a bit more articles. I have time to figure that out tomorrow.

Hollywood Foreign Press is having a fit about Ricky Gervais’ jokes last night – well, they were very British, ‘I can’t believe he said out loud what it actually true’ kind.

Watching “House” is like comfort food. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I sat down to watch it. And it really feels like the start of the new semester now.
House S7E9 )

I also caught up on "Brothers and Sisters" from last night. Wow, Tommy lost weight. I hope he is not sick. This show is in decline which is a bit sad.

Cross stitch: light brown for little bear’s face and paws and the wonderful dark pink for his ears. That color is just so rich and wonderful.
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Pretty ordinary day, which is a good thing. I read a bit more of Marco Polo and Silk Road and I watched the second episode of Russian Sherlock Holmes tv show which was really close to the “Study in Scarlet” book. Really great adaptation.

I also saw the first two episodes of “Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child” the very first Doctor Who that aired in 1963. I liked the first episode when Barbara and Ian, schoolteachers, first meet the Doctor. They were teaching Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter, and got curious and concerned about her and her weirdness. I saw the pilot episode first and then the actual first episode, which was reshot in the first meeting with the Doctor. In the pilot Doctor was too strict and too serious and creepier and was kidnapping them. So I’m glad for the reshots. He is a little more like the Doctor them. The second episode was a little boring with the cavemen but I’ll see where it is going. I do like Barbara and Ian a lot. I really enjoyed watching the comedy sketches that came with the DVD.

I liked “Brothers and Sisters” episode and I thought it was a good goodbye to Holly but I’m not sure about the end with the old video of Nora. Are they setting up a new mystery? And what is going on with Kitty?

Poor little girl, Christina, who was killed yesterday in the Arizona shooting. I caught a phone interview with her mother on TV and it was so hard to just listen to that account and to imagine being that family.

Exercise: 30 minute walk. Today’s weather was very nice.

Cross-stitch: I finished the ducky body with light yellow and light orange and started on the bow around ducky’s neck with a really beautiful color of dark pink. Every Sunday I’m taking a picture of what the project looks like so I can assemble a string of pictures showing the progress. Because this project has a deadline I need to really keep at it.
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This folder review was probably the least stressful one I ever did. Mostly because I only had four papers to finish grading this morning and I was done with more than an hour to spare. (In folder review, I bring all the work the student have done in the semester and the final exams to one of the program directors and we go over those who fail and then if there are any that I’m not sure of. Or if I feel I’m being either too nice or too harsh. After the first year when this process was a little nerve-wracking, I learned to trust my grading and folder review now is like getting a second opinion.) Two people failed and two people got As out of my two classes. The rest were mostly in C+/B range. While waiting to see my boss, I got some breakfast and watched the very silly and funny “Brothers and Sisters” Christmas episode that I missed last night.

In another first, all but four of my students actually showed up to my office hour later in the afternoon to pick up their folder. I do like this office hour – some are so excited to get that C+ or B. One girl was so surprised and happy that she got a “B” that she really made my day. I only had one guy who was sad for his grade and I felt bad for him – he can’t write as smartly as he argues in class.

Then I got on the train for my trip to Montauk – which took me six hours (the train rides were an hour and three hours but I had a two hour wait in Manhattan). I really didn’t want to hang out in Penn Station for two hours. Then it occurred to me that I was in Manhattan at Christmas time and that Macy’s was right there and I might as well go take some pictures. I do love the city at Christmas. I also stopped by Victoria Secret and bought myself a sparkly lipstick (I’m very spare with makeup, I’m not a girly girl in any way, but I do like my sparkly lipstick). The sales girl gave me the wrong one which I discovered after I paid for it so I spent extra time exchanging it. Then, I walked up to Lord & Taylors on 5th ave and 38str because I always love their Christmas window displays. This time it were rotating houses and other Christmas memories. Some ‘traditional’ Christmases involved women in the kitchen and other 1950s gender specific tasks that made me raise my eyebrows. They had better windows in previous years, still pretty.

pictures of Manhattan at Christmas time )


I got a sandwich to eat on the train and I then discovered a curious fact. In the morning, I picked up some bags of tea from our department holiday table so when I asked for a cup with just hot water at both Dunkin Donuts this morning and at Tim Hortons this evening it did bewilder the people there. And they did not charge me for the cup with hot water – they have no recourse for that kind of request. I thought they might charge something for the cup – but no. This is a very interesting fact to know.

I read the National Geographic article about Alaska’s Bristol Bay, which is a big salmon fishery. Now there is a controversial proposal to build a mine there since there is a big deposit of copper and gold there. Environmental concerns vs possibility of jobs and wealth. This will be an interesting debate to watch. With the way world’s fisheries are going we really can’t afford to lose any more big reserves due to mining ‘accidents’.

The three hour train ride from the city to Montauk actually passed very quickly because my laptop has awesome battery life. I finished writing my fic and then read a little.

Bear and I watched “Shrek Forever After” and we both really enjoyed it and we agreed that after the first one this was our favorite one. The alternative world is just dark and really creepy if you think about it and they really acknowledge all the trauma Fiona went through when she was locked up in that tower. To prove to Fiona that he knows her, Shrek lists as one of the reasons his knowledge that she sleeps with a candle on because she is afraid to wake up in the tower again. It is actually great for this movie to really explore that fairy tale trope and its creepiness. The story is about Shrek who is feeling run down by his daily life as husband and father and misses is bachelor life. And, of course, he needs to learn to appreciate what he has. I was actually thinking that it would have perfect to end the whole Shrek franchise on the moment when he disappears.
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We went to Brooklyn for most of the day, first to visit my grandparents and then for Papa’s doctor’s appointment. Most of the afternoon, Mama and I did some errands and some grocery shopping. I got some nice veal liver. Mmm. Can’t wait to fry some up on egg and flour. We also got lunch and walked along the boardwalk while waiting for my father to finish some tests. Mama was actually pleasant most of the day, and then had to ruin it by lecturing me on my relationship with Bear. I get where she is coming from and she is my mother so of course she will butt in, but it really doesn’t help my general state of mind. End of venting.

I saw the trailer for Julie Taymor’s “Tempest” again and it looks so wonderful; I realized that it has been awhile since I read the play and I barely remember it or even most of the characters. So I decided to reread it. I have The Norton Shakespeare so first I even read the intro to the play by Stephen Greenblatt. (When I got this book in college I didn’t know who Greenblatt was, and then I read lots of his stuff in grad school). It was a good intro, it really gave good introduction to all the characters and the play itself. Usually when I read Shakespeare (and it has been awhile) I read an act a day, so today here are some thoughts on Act 1:

Tempest Act 1 )

Dexter S5E8 )

Brothers and Sisters S5E8 )

After Dexter there was a teaser about “Borgias,” a new Showtime series coming next year. I’m intrigued. The preview is next weekend (and because of music awards no “Brothers and Sisters” so I will try to see it). I didn’t like “Tudors” so I’m not sure about Showtime handling another historical drama but I will give it an episode. That family was insane so the possibilities for this series are fabulous. We’ll see. I’ll certainly check it out.
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Highlander S6 E11-13 )

Grading today so TV served the needed break in grading. I need to return Paper 3 to the students on Tuesday. Bah.

I also took a break to order Papa some birthday presents from Amazon. I wish I had the money to get him a Kindle, since I know he really wants one. He had a really hard year with his mother's open-heart surgery and his own thyroid cancer and all (although technically, he had it for years and just didn't know it) and I wish I could get him something to really make him happy. I hope he will like the stuff I got him.

Dexter S5E7 )

Brothers and Sisters S5E7 )
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Happy Halloween! My first Halloween was when I was 13 and my friend told me about this amazing holiday. (I just moved to America six month before and we dressed up in costume for New Year). She convinced me to go trick-o-treating and I made my own costume. Since then it became one of my favorite holidays and I have good memories of this day. This year I was determined to do a lot of Halloweeny stuff.

So today I convinced Bear, who was a bit reluctant to do this, to dress up in costumes and go visit his 93 year old grandmother in her nursing home in costume. I was Catwoman (since I had the mask and the whip from a Halloween party seven years ago) and Bear was Batman. Bear is certainly much shyer than me, but I persuaded him since – hey, mask. We were a hit. We put some smiles on people’s faces and I hope we cheered people up a bit. His grandma certainly enjoyed it. I was happy to dress up even for a bit; I do like being silly.

Brothers and Sisters S5E6 )
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Dexter S5E4 )

I finished the full stitch portion of my "Good Book" cross stitch project since it is not a big project. Now I just need to do backstitch. I do like cross stitching and having “Real Time with Bill Maher” in the background. At least I know the main political issues of the week.

In the afternoon I took a walk and I found myself paying attention to the trees and multicolored leaves. There was one tree with green, yellow and red leaves and I wish I had a camera with me. The neighborhood is just very pretty now with leaves changing color – I also liked this deep red color that was in the leaves on the ground. I also ended up taking a nap in the afternoon, which I haven’t done in a while. I guess I really needed to rest this weekend.

The new British “Sherlock Holmes” series finally made it to America on PBS for the next three weekends. I’ve heard things about it and PBS usually streams, so I’ll definitely will try to catch it online. PBS also has Patrick Stewart’s “Macbeth” set in 20th century. I wanted to see this when the play came to Brooklyn a few years ago, but the play has sold out. So I started watching it tonight and just caught up in it. I might have just watched the whole thing (I’m up to “Is this the dagger” portion) but my neighbor Laura called and invited me to dinner with her family and some guests so I went over there, instead. But I will try to watch more tomorrow.

It was a very delicious dinner, they made shish-kebabs. It was nice to just hang out and be social for a bit. There were five adults and four kids and it was good chaos.

Brothers and Sisters S5E5 )

Fun link of the day : Halloween costumes that should not exist. I was laughing so hard at these that tears came out.
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Dexter S5E3 )

I had my phone interview for the adjunct position to Local College today. I think it went pretty well. Since I actually have teaching experience I always feel pretty comfortable talking about teaching. So far so good. I think I might be teaching two sections of global history. Fingers crossed.

Bear came over today and we had a nice lazy relaxing day. We went to Home Goods to get some housewarming presents to his friends in the evening and I got ingredients for dinner – made angel hair pasta with fried eggplant and tomato sauce (plus there were cutlets in the fridge). Bear helped with the pasta and drying the dishes. I didn’t realize we were out of breadcrumbs – I like to dip the eggplant slices in egg and then breadcrumbs and fry that. But since we were out, I just used oil and pepper and Italian seasoning and a little flour. It came out well, but I still wish we had breadcrumbs. I also actually used milk to make special hot chocolate someone gave us as a gift. It wasn’t that bad, but not too special.

We also watched the first half of 1981 “Clash of the Titans.” I was very cheesy but in a good way. We’ll finish it another time.

Brothers and Sisters S5E4 )
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It’s 10/10/10 Only two more years of fun dates left.

I keep meaning to link Bear’s “Killing Joke” monologue 3D animation project. He finished it this summer and it came out great. (For those who don’t know, Bear is my significant other of twelve years and computer animation is his passion). Well, here it is .

I read this fun article about procrastination in New Yorker today. “Procrastination” is my favorite word in the English language and I love its Latin derivation.

This morning, after we dropped Mama off at the last day of her seminar, Papa and I went to visit my grandparents. Then we went to the store to get bread and I got Cranberry Blood Orange tea.

I also went rollerblading today since the weather continues to be nice. The way to the peer was pretty smooth, but going back I was facing a really strong wind so it felt I had to put twice the effort into the rollerblading. I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. My legs will probably complain tomorrow.

Two of my favorite ways to relax is rollerblading by the ocean and cross stitching and I got to do both today. I really needed that because my palpitations decided to be loud today for the first time in a while. They are not as bad as they were a year ago but they just make me tired. At least when I woke up this morning and noticed that I had trigeminies I just noted it very matter of factly and didn’t pay too much attention. So yay to that. I guess I really did learn to live with them now.

Today I also spent a very boring hour just sitting in the car listening to stupid talk radio while waiting to pick Mama up. She underestimated the time when she would be finished. I missed “Dexter” because of it, but I can catch it later onDemand. I did watch “Brother and Sisters” and this show is like comfort food. I think this is the last season and I would really miss the characters.
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Brothers & Sisters S5E1 )

House S7E2 )

A look at religious views in America. Very original study.

grading, grading and more grading. I need to get the grading for this Paper finished already and stop procrastinating on it.

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