All About Doctor Who

{includes discussions about verbal abuse, the Matt Smith era, and thoughts on Season 8.}

Doctor WhoI haven’t talked about Doctor Who on my blog in quite awhile, and with Season 8 finally here, I think I need to get around to discussing it again. The reason I haven’t talked about it in awhile is because I didn’t enjoy Seasons 5 through 7 and that saddened me. I love Seasons 1-4 very much, and wanted to keep liking Doctor Who. As it turned out, my opinions on the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who is a very unpopular one–everyone seems to love 5-7 a lot.

It’s uncomfortable when my opinions form on the unpopular side; it makes it harder to be true to myself. I’ve struggled merely writing this post for about two months because of fear of hitting the publish button.  However, I’m going to stop feeling uncomfortable for being different and share my thoughts just as I need to. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything as there is one serious issue in particular that needs to be addressed and I hope everyone reads at least that part of this post.

tumblr_mi8217YrC51r5pjkqo3_500Before I begin, I want to address everyone who’s thinking I carried prejudices into these seasons because I didn’t want to like anything after David Tennat’s leave. This is not true. Although I was hesitant, I gave them an honest try and left it up the writers and actors to win me over to their side. That’s their job, after all. It simply didn’t happen that way.

I hated almost everything about Seasons 5-7 of Doctor Who. A lot of that stems from the fact that I couldn’t stand most of the characters that populated the show.

Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor was awful and almost ruined the character for me. Eleven’s silliness and rudeness was very distasteful; I could neither take him seriously and I couldn’t respect him. He wasn’t whimsical or lighthearted; he became a blundering, smart alec-y, catch phrase-spouting fool. The gravity of the character was gone and the attempts for gravity in the last season was a hit and miss. On top of that, we as the audience were told “The Doctor lies” which waters down the moral compass that is The Doctor. The Doctor was someone I could trust before Eleven. But suddenly, I’m supposed to believe he’s a liar? Why?!? Just so the writers can change some time traveling rules? Overall, Seasons 5-7 were incredibly hard to watch because of the main character’s drastic and distasteful personality change. I never warmed to Eleven and am very glad Peter Capaldi has taken over at last.

dr-who-s6-01I disliked River Song a lot. River  never came off as a “strong woman” to me. The actress attempted to make her come off strong-willed and smart but she was only ever over-dramatic and annoying. I couldn’t connect with her. She was also a know-it-all, which I absolutely hate in almost any character. Although that was her whole character’s thing–knowing the Doctor’s future–it was not pulled off well, at least not in a way that made me like her. I also didn’t care for her romance with Eleven as it felt very forced and not at all natural. Overall, I sighed very hard whenever she appeared in an episode and I will be glad when she stops appearing on the show.

fab59890a76b9426a8e8b80555ad61bcRory Williams was the only character I liked from the Matt Smith era, even though he had his own faults. He was a very sweet, adorable character and had a fantastic growth from a insecure boyfriend to a strong adventurer who could roll with the punches. His faithfulness to Amy–who I will talk about in a moment–was endearing, but only to a degree. Overall, Rory was the one bright spot in these three seasons and is definitely one of my favorite companions. The only thing I didn’t like was his relationship with Amy.

Amy Pond. Wow. What an abusive woman. The show attempted to show her as a “strong independent woman” but that was not at all what she was. A strong woman does not need to whip-lash people with her tongue and this was a huge problem in these seasons. Amy put Rory down all the time–in fact, the few times she seemed to care even a little bit about him was when his life was in greater danger then usual. This was very off putting. Her “witty” comments were not at all funny but merely rude, unthoughtful remarks. I do not consider this an aspect of a strong woman. And sadly, I didn’t see any character development in the character throughout the seasons at all! This was disappointing.

tumblr_mjpd9wcRK41qksmhwo1_500I did not appreciate how verbal and emotional abuse was shown as normal and “funny” in Amy and Rory’s relationship. Amy did not want to do the work of building proper trust in their relationship, and insisted that Rory just “trust” her when he had doubts, WHICH IS NOT AT ALL HEALTHY. People. Please understand that this is not healthy. I know this from first hand experience. I come from a family that has suffered from verbal and emotional abuse and it is wrong and needs to be talked about more and it is not funny or healthy. What does a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship look like? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN AMY AND RORY’S RELATIONSHIP AS THAT IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE. I plead all of you, both men and women, please learn from my own suffering from this abuse and do not be Amy in any of your relationships. And either sex, men or women, if you’re in a relationship with someone who is treating you like Amy–GET OUT. Now! They do not truly love you, what you see on the screen is not going to play out so great in real life. 

This is a serious problem and it made many of 5-7’s episodes very hard to enjoy when they were saturated with abuse. Sadly, I’ve never seen anyone else even have a problem with Amy’s behavior and that simply reinforces the fact that very few people are aware of what verbal and emotional abuse is or understand that this type of behavior is very dangerous and harmful. It makes me sad that so many girls see Amy as a positive role model.

Clara-D-doctor-who-32962678-933-1280There is one last character I should cover quickly and that is the current companion to The Doctor, Clara. As of right now, I still do not really care for Clara. She’s okay at best, but usually she comes off as overly confident, in a way that I can not relate to, and the actress annoys me. It’s also annoying that now, each new companion The Doctor meets is suddenly, unbelievably important to the entire ticking of the universe to some degree or another. To quote Syndrome from The Incredibles, “When everyone is super, no one will be.” Come on, writers of Doctor Who. This is getting old. What happened to just having ordinary relate-able companions go on adventures? Those are characters I can personally relate to best! (This is why Rose will forever be my favorite companion.)

Overall, because of unlikable characters, bad writing that led to the show trying too hard to be funny, and some very obvious rule changing to time travel that made me very mad, I found that I did not enjoy the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who. The show seemed to be caught up in have “smart” fast dialogue and overly complicated story arcs rather than delivering solid, likable, healthy characters and strong simple stories.

To round off my thoughts on Seasons 5-7, I will highlight the only episodes I manged to enjoy from the three seasons. There are only eight of them, and I will keep my thoughts brief.

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Doctor Who 2I liked Flesh and Stone a lot for the Weeping Angels. They’re cool. I liked Amy’s Choice as the plot was actually fascinating and enjoyable. Day of the Moon with the Silence was great; they instill some great terror. 🙂 And Rory was awesome in A Good Man Goes to War. Night Terrors was all around great; it had some fantastic horror elements and was a nice simple story. The God Complex reminded me of old horror films as well, as while I didn’t enjoy some of it, the first half was good. Hide, again, had the horror/scary element that I enjoy. Finally, The Crimson Horror I really enjoyed for the period setting and creepy element. And, yep, those are the few episodes I ended up enjoying to certain degrees.

Before wrapping this post up, I want to touch briefly on the fact that Doctor Who is back on the air! As most Doctor Who fans are aware, Doctor Who has finally returned to television this past Saturday with Season 8’s first episode, Deep Breath. I ended up enjoying it! Capaldi was great as The Doctor, although what his Doctor will be like is not completely clear as we’re still meeting him. So far I like this version; some gravity to the character seems to have returned and I hope that remains because that was sorely lacking from Eleven’s personality. I had some quibbles with a few things about the episode but nothing to warrant conversation as of now.

About time … Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who and Jenna Coleman as Clara.I look forward to the future season with hope! I’m really hoping the characters will be less annoying this time around, which should make watching the show more enjoyable. I really hope I can get back to loving DW again. I dislike disliking Doctor Who. 🙂 Here’s to a brighter chapter in the future of this science-fiction show! Please don’t disappoint me like that again.

~Jamie

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Soundtracks//Darkly Clever

One of my favorite types of soundtracks is the scores for murder mysteries. Murder mysteries are interesting things because their usually very enjoyable with quirky characters and intriguing plot twists but are also about death, betrayal, and bitterness–a darkness of one’s soul that can move them to murder and the uncertainty of whole will die next. The combination in these stories makes for a interesting score because it must convey a forebodingness yet remain playful at the same time. These are two of my favorites.

Murder By Death: Opening Titles

I really enjoy Murder by Death with it’s spoofs of popular detectives and ridiculous, extremely self-aware plot twists. The music perfectly captures that curiosity of the detectives while at the same time keeping to it’s mysterious melody of uncertainty. I’ve rewatched Murder by Death at least four times since getting it for my birthday and the music is something I especially noticed and appreciated.

Clue: Opening Titles

Most of you know by now Clue is my most favorite film ever and I enjoy the soundtrack within the film itself. It is a lot darker than Murder by Death as the film takes itself a bit more seriously (Not to say Clue isn’t fun–it’s just that Murder by Death is just about as ridiculous it can get.) However, despite the darker feel, the score still contains that mysterious energy of a puzzle waiting to be solved.

Sherlock: The Game Is On

Can’t end without this one. It’s pretty self-explanatory if you listen to it. 🙂 One of the best TV musical scores ever.

(I would love to bring back my soundtrack blog series but I’m not sure at the moment how many I’ll do. We’ll see what happens.)

~Jamie

3 Things I Want to See Happen In Sherlock Season 3

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I’m really psyched for the Third Season of Sherlock; it’s nearly here and yet sometimes it seems very surreal. I will probably go into a mild form of shock when I actually settle down to watch The Empty Hearse. Vellvin recently asked me what I wanted to see happen in Season Three and I thought this was a great post idea, even though it turned out to be a short one.

1. One scene, one conversation, one moment, in which we see John truly forgive Sherlock for letting him think he was dead. This is something I really want to see happen, and I hope it makes me cry. 🙂 After all, the friendship between John and Sherlock is one of the best parts of the series!

2. A detailed explanation to Sherlock’s survival. A whole montage that clearly gives a scientific explanation for everything and how he executed it. That would be fantastic. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! We all want to know how he did it!

3. Lots more hidden references from the stories. This is a rather broad hope. All the sneaked-in references is one of my favorite things! Being a fan of the originals, I like catching references that are snatched from different stories. It’s like being in a super inside club and it gives the show a lot of depth! And it makes me happy to see the creators give some homage to the original work.

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Thank heavens they finally got around to filming Season Three. I shall be happy as long as they keep these adaptions alive and going! That’s all I really want. 🙂 But is it too much to ask that they not make everyone wait two years between seasons next time? 😛

~Jamie

These Are My Heroes

These are my top nine cinematic personal heroes; the key word being personal. Personal heroes. 🙂 The numbers are also subject to change; heroes One and Two will probably almost always stay there but the rest will probably get bumped around a lot because I always like someone more right after I watch them in their movie or tv show. 😛 So, the numbers are in a figuratively-speaking way.

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9. Tony Stark from The Iron Man Trilogy and The Avengers. Of course he’s in the top nine, are you kidding me! I love Tony and I have to really bite my tongue when I see people hate on him because he’s ‘superficial’ or ‘flashy’. They’re either a) trying hard not to see that he actually does grow throughout four movies or b) they’ve not watched those movies and therefore have not even given him a shot (and no, you can’t just watch The Avengers–you need to see all his movies to make a fair judgement to his character.) Tony Stark has some great character development; yes, he’s extremely superficial to start out. But that’s okay because you can’t grow unless you have problems to deal with. By Iron Man 3 he shows so much deep growth in his core character, like what’s most important to him, that it’s pretty much impossible argue that he’s not made some huge improvements on how he lives in, say, Iron Man 2. Tony Stark is one of my heroes because he manages to work past some of his flaws and learns to put others ahead of himself, which is the true mark of a hero. And he’s Iron Man. How can you not like him.

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8. Obi-Wan Kenobi from The Star Wars Saga. Obi-Wan was my favorite part of Star Wars prequels. What I liked about him was that he was honorable, patient, willing to learn, willing to teach; you could see how he turned out to be such a wise, good man later on. Anakin should have been more like Obi-Wan in AOTC in my opinion; I would have sympathized way way more in his fall if he had been. So, to me, Obi Wan is a great example of a noble hero.

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7. Han Solo from The Star Wars Trilogy. Who’s not going to have Han Solo amongst their heroes? Do I even need to go into detail with him? He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s funny and he’s grows through the three movies into quite an honorable character. He learns to think outside of himself and do things for others! What more do I need to say?

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6. The Doctor from BBC’s Doctor Who Reboot. This is the only alien to make it on this list. 😉 I have only seen the Ninth and Tenth versions of The Doctor but I love them both. Besides saving the world a million times (seriously, it’s, like, what he does for a living,) he’s also just a great being with heroic attributes. He sees value in everything, he’s supportive, he understands freedom, and he doesn’t run away when enemies or problems arise; he tackles them instead. He believes in people when they don’t believe in themselves and is an excellent motivator. And he gives great hugs. 🙂

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5. Luke Skywalker from The Star Wars Trilogy. Luke is that classic character to rise from nothing and achieves greatness. He’s my hero because he had the courage to fight tyranny, aid those in need, and learn from others and then learn from his mistakes. He faced horrible truth without becoming bitter about it (that is very hard thing to do, people, I personally know.) He’s also a great friend, putting himself at risk to help his friends when they’re in trouble. He’s the classic Star Wars hero and no, he is not whiny. I’m sorry, but I need to say this: he whined one line to my memory and whining once doesn’t make you a ‘whiner’. Why don’t you come and tell you’ve never whined once in your life: if you haven’t out loud then you have in your head. People get over yourselves and start appreciating the greatness in this character. (Okay, I’ll stop spouting now. :P)

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4. Rocky Balboa from The Rocky Saga. In some ways, I feel like not a lot of people take Rocky seriously. But I really can’t repeat enough times how much Rocky showed me what a real man’s man is–sorry, I want to go into some details here so you know where I’m coming from; sit tight for me, okay?

I come from a certain church background of six years where certain guys judged other guys, both real and fictional,  if they were quiet or not beefy (real example I know was used: Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon): and immediately stereotyped them as those who have ‘let society turn them into wimps’, who needed to stop playing video games,, who needed to ‘man-up’. Without regard to the fact that God make’s men in all sorts of different body types and personalities. Not all men are naturally loud or naturally physically strong–and that’s completely okay! And the attitude I felt coming from certain men who promoted this idea left a bad taste in my mouth. Being tough and judgmental of other people does not make you a man. It just makes you into a shrimp.

So I was so happy and hopeful when I discovered Rocky. Because here was a guy who was tough, strong, able to take a punch and give one too, but was naturally quiet. He was a gentle guy when off the boxing mat. He was kind, protective of others, a gentlemen to the ladies, and even repentant when he learned he had been wrong about something. Rocky is my hero because he’s what a real man should be like on the inside. And I wish I could have seen this idea come from someone other than a fictional character. But hey, I’ll take it from where I find it.

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3. Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. He’s my rough redneck who turned out to have a heart of gold. He became my hero by watching his character build through struggles and separation from a poisonous influence in his life (aka his older brother); and y’all should know by now that I’m a real sucker for characters with great development. Daryl is my hero because he’s now a noble protector who’s passionate about saving and keeping lives safe, is now respectful of people, and understands that a true family is made of those who build you up and not those who tear you down. He’s a role model to me because he represents that you can survive a bad past, leave behind the shell of who you once were and move on in life with hope. This is something I really need to see as I’ve come out of poisonous relationships myself, so I connect with him to different degrees.

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2. Steve Rogers from Captain America and The Avengers. YOU ALL KNEW HE WAS COMING, DIDN’T YOU! Steve’s my hero for his heart. He has a pure heart. He stands up for others and he has a strong sense of humility that makes him so endearing. That was one of the things that really made him such a huge favorite of mine, was the humility. Like with what I was talking about with Rocky, I’ve gotten tired hearing lot of Christian guys talk pridefully–about anything! And Steve is a breath of fresh air when it comes to not patting himself on the back or becoming full of himself. He has a sense of honor and nobility that is extremely rare in this age. It’s good to see a character like him shining smack in the middle of Hollywood!

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1. Sherlock Holmes (from the original stories, Basil Rathbone’s films and BBC’s Sherlock). Sherlock Holmes is piece of complicated fictional material, in a sense. He’s a flawed character with tendencies to be more like a machine than a human. However, Sherlock Holmes has been one of my biggest heroes for most of my teen life. What are some thing I like about this guy?First, if we’re talking about the original version of Sherlock from the stories, I also love how kind he is towards women. While he has no desire for romance (STOP GIVING HIM ROMANTIC PARTNERS IN THE MOVIES RIGHT NOW IT’S SO NOT IN HIS CHARACTER HOLLYWOOD SOMETIMES YOU DRIVE ME INSANE) his original character was very, very kind and gracious to the fairer sex, and I appreciate that about him a lot. I also like that he is flawed. Near perfect heroes are awesome (CAPTAIN AMERICA) but I like a flawed character too; Sherlock fails on a lot of levels, he’s inconsiderate, he’s does drugs, I mean his really screwed up and I don’t excuse those bad traits. But in a sense they make him a well-rounded character and that’s a good thing. The thing I like most about him, though, is that he lends his gifts to helping others; he doesn’t have too, but he does. And that’s all it takes to be a hero, in my book.

That’s why we can be heroes too; no matter how ordinary or flawed or under-confident we might feel about ourselves compared to the people on the big screen, we can be heroes just like them. The only time it is hard to be a hero is when you are too busy being caught up in yourself.

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I have lots of cinematic heroes; here are some that made it to the honorable mentions. They include Phil Coulson, Thor, Merlin, Nolan Ross, Rick Grimes, Batman, John Watson, Nick Burkhardt and Spider-Man (I’m fairly confident that after I watch a bit more Supernatural, Dean and Sam will easily soar into honorable mentions and one of them might jump into the top nine!)

The only other ‘list/tag’ post I have planned is the Non-Disney animation one but I have a few more movies to watch before I’ll be ready to start doing that one, so we’ll see if I come up with anything else in-between. 🙂

~Jamie

The Sherlock Challenge

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To open up my posts of ‘lists’, I’m going to start with a challenge for one of my most favorite things: BBC’s Sherlock.

– favorite episode

This is probably one of the easiest questions ever: The Reichenbach Falls. They’re all pretty amazing but this one tops with it’s twists, plot and the emotional trauma it left me in after my first viewing. Absolutely fantastic.

– least favorite episode

A Scandal in Belgravia. Although it has some of my favorite quotes and I did enjoy the mystery, I have a dislike to Irene Adler when she’s taken outside of her original context–the original short story. The sexual themes that kept popping throughout also makes it rather awkward to watch. So, even though it’s really good, it has to go at the bottom.

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– favorite main character

Obviously Sherlock, but I talk a lot about him already. John Watson is my other favorite and Martin’s version is my favorite adaption of the character because it’s perfect. They’re both perfect!

– favorite minor character

I have two that I think can be considered minor characters. First, Mrs Hudson; I’ve always liked Mrs Hudson; she’s such a special character. She’s one of those very few people who Sherlock cares for and you can tell that even when you first see them together. Her gentle but steady personality brings a good balance to 221b’s atmosphere of chaos, too. The second minor character–although I don’t really think he’s a minor, is Inspector Lestrade. He’s rather nice and he’s not too proud to refuse help from Sherlock. I think he and Sherlock make a good pair in the crime-solving force, too. And even though Sherlock didn’t even know his first name till the fifth episode, he liked him enough for Moriarty to use him to his advantage right along side John and Mrs Hudson.

– favorite quote

There are so many! “The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221b Baker Street.” “We can’t giggle, it’s a crime scene!” “Shut up, everybody, shut up! Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t breathe, I’m trying to think. Anderson, turn the other way, I’m trying to think!” “There is a mute button and I will use it!” “Not your housekeeper.” *at doorbell* “SHUT. UP.” “You’re on the side of the angels.” “Welcome to London!” and John’s speech in the cemetery.

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– favorite ship

I actually don’t really ship anyone in Sherlock; I used to ship John and Sarah but I don’t anymore since the writers are sticking with the books and bringing Mary into the picture. I’m really excited to see where that’s going to go…

– what you would like to see in series three

I want them to keep slipping more things to catch from the original stories. I really hope that they adapt The Sign of the Four well; I have great faith in the writers and actors, though, so I don’t have a lot of worries or wishes. As long as they keep as true as they have to the original work, I shall be thrilled.

– a moment that made you squeal

The end of A Study in Pink where Sherlock and John walk away from the crime scene in slow motion. I got chills from that scene when I first saw it.

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– a moment that made you cry

The cemetery scene at the end of The Reichenbach Falls was the only scene that made me cry–more like sob. But then who didn’t during the end of that episode–if you weren’t crying on the outside you were crying on the inside.

– character that is most like you

GOSH how do you answer this?! I actually don’t think I am like anyone in Sherlock. I can relate to John an awful lot, though, so we’ll leave it at that. (If you think of someone I’m similar to, please don’t be shy to share because I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.)

– feels moment

There are a lot of feels moments in Sherlock for me, but I really like the scenes during and after Sherlock rescuing Mrs Hudson; tossing the bad guys out the windows and of course his line to John.

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– favorite headcanon

Having nothing sad ever happen to either of my boys, ever; they just solve murders and have jolly fun doing it without one of them having to jump off a roof and leaving the other one all alone, again…

– favorite actor

I have to shine the light on both Benedict and Martin here because they both deserve it. Benedict does the modern version of Sherlock very well because he sticks close enough to the original version. Even though it’s a bit different, he gives a more accurate version of what a man like Sherlock would be like in 21st century; more enclosed, more thoughtless, more intense. And on the other hand, Martin plays modern John perfectly. His John can stand on his own, he’s not just there to play Sherlock’s side-kick, which I believe is rather rare for Sherlock Holmes adaptions. He also has some of the best facial reactions. 🙂

– favorite actress

I like Louise Brealey in her role of Molly Hooper a lot. Even though Molly doesn’t come from the books, I still really like her awkward character who has a crush on Sherlock. Louise does a good job in making the character like-able without doing too much other then react to Sherlock. She compliments the show nicely. 🙂

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– favorite thing about Sherlock

His character development, easily. Although I like his ability to deduce and seeing right through people, I really like how his character develops at the end of Season Two. He’s more thoughtful; he cares more then he would like to admit. And that’s really neat to see. I also like his wit. 😛

– favorite thing about John

I love everything about John. It would take too long to discuss him here.

– favorite scene

That’s too hard! Oh my gosh! . . . . let me think for a moment . . . . . Okay, I got one; I really really love the scene in A Study In Pink where everyone was looking for drugs in 221b and Sherlock was having a verbal battle with everybody and Mrs Hudson kept telling him to handle his taxi driver and there were eyeballs in the mircowave and then he just solved mystery. That was a really good scene. 🙂

But, what am I saying??! All six frickin’ episodes are really good: this is easily my most favorite TV show and if you haven’t seen it yet then you need to as soon as possible–just do it. You can come back and thank me later.

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~Jamie