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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
1:30 pm - Tarot Reading

I suck at livejournal. I really do.

That aside, I desperately want a second opinion on a tarot reading I did for myself (yes, yes, I know you're not really supposed to for yourself) but I don't know anyone else who reads tarot.

So, in case if it's important, I use the Rider-Waite deck with a Celtic cross layout, with an additional card over the Querent card (center) as the Querent's "environment" at the time of their question. In this lay, I did not choose my own Querent card and instead chose one at random, ending up with the Sun.
I'd like someone (anyone with any bg in tarot) to give me their reading of this lay. I know it's difficult to do when it's not your own deck and you didn't lay the cards, but if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thank you!


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Friday, January 6th, 2012
1:17 am
Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett MillaisEffie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais by Suzanne Fagence Cooper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely a very interesting story. I liked how Cooper tried to give the story from everyone's point of view and didn't quote the reference letters TOO extensively, though a few direct quotations certainly would not have hurt here and there. Overall, I liked it and genuinely felt as though I got to know these historical figures.
Personally, I love pre-Raphaelite art, and Millais' art, being one of the most popular artists of his time, is especially interesting when you have his history and familial stories to augment it.
It's definitely a must for any fan of art, history, or love stories.

View all my reviews

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Thursday, September 15th, 2011
11:39 am
Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

If you're    ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.    emergency.cdc.gov

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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
10:29 am - Book review! The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this last book only slightly less than the first two. It didn't burrow into my emotions as intensely as they did. However, it was an intriguing end to a wonderful series. I couldn't put it down, the characters were a bit more intense, despite the fact that Katniss' POV seemed to gloss over things more than it did in the previous books.

The things I loved most about Katniss and the other characters were the choices they made. I loved how Collins portrayed them, how their choices were not always sure or even if they realized they were making them. But they were their choices. In this last book, I feel like that was taken away. Don't misunderstand - she's still Katniss and she still makes trouble just by being herself. But I've lost the feeling that I can connect with her. That she could connect with anyone. Maybe Collins meant to do this, as a casualty of war sort of thing. How it makes us less human. But I might be overthinking that.

It also feels contrived when the "romantic" aspects are finally resolved - one more thing glossed over. I'm not a shipper of any couple here, so I'm not arguing that. I just feel like after all they've all been through, after things that were said, simply stating what happened instead of really showing us feels a little cheap.

Then again, after everything, maybe it needed to end that way.

I know I sound like I'm complaining a lot, but I'm not. I liked it. I would definitely recommend reading it, but with this one warning - something about the way it crests and ends unsettled me. I cannot pinpoint it; I cannot explain it. But I was left with a feeling that something was incomplete or a nagging suspicion that I may have missed something important that would make this feel okay. After rereading it quickly, I still haven't found what that thing is.

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10:26 am - Writer's Block: The long and short of it
What's the longest book you've ever read? What's the shortest?

Longest book, I believe was Tathea by Anne Perry. Shortest: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.
And no, I did not see the movie.

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Monday, May 2nd, 2011
12:03 pm
Why?: The only times my horoscope is right is when it tells me something I already know but don't want to hear. And the universe fucks me AGAIN.

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011
7:33 pm
Sometimes finding out you were right about a person is comforting, even if the thing you were correct about was disappointing.
You might have found out things about me but I know things about you now, too. Beware.

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Friday, April 29th, 2011
9:29 am
I am that girl my mother warned me about.

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Sunday, April 24th, 2011
9:49 pm
So I just finished watching that Disney movie Lemonade Mouth - which was interesting, btw, with surprisingly good music and NOT the typical all-around, completely puke-worthy happy ending that I've come to abhor Disney for... but moving on - and I was, futilely, looking for FF, when I found someone else's very extensive shipper list, broken down into three parts: Canon, implied or once together, and never together and never will be.
And I realize about myself, this: If I have seen or read it, I have considered the possibility of the characters having a romantic relationship. I may have my favorites, the ones that pop out, but if I remove one, I will invariably move the character that is left with another in some way. It's weird. But it's also awesome. I can create relationships out of absolutely nothing. They need not even have met or been aware of each other in canon.
Now if only I could get this crap down as fast as I think it - that would be a real feat.

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Monday, April 18th, 2011
8:02 pm
At the next comiccon I go to, I want to see the following costumes:

I want a comics version SilverFox
A Power Girl
Black Canary
The Flash
Lady Deathstrike
The Silver Samurai
And can some hot guy PLEASE decide, for once to be Gambit? I just want one good cosplay! It's not like there's even that much makeup required! Not like I'm asking for Nightcrawler (which has been done and is awesome).

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Friday, April 8th, 2011
3:50 pm
You know what reeeeally annoys me?
Other than everything else that annoys me I mean?

Propaganda. Not the good kind, obviously, like, “Fruit is delicious! And Sugar is bad for you!” which is like a ‘No shit’ sort of statement that sometimes we just need to be reminded about sometimes because we in America can be real fat asses…
No, the kind I mean is personal attacks on institutions or individuals, playing on public fears or misunderstanding. For instance, I HATE getting propaganda emails from friends and family claiming that the government is doing something stupid and, please send this on if you’re a true American! And please sign this – we need to stop them! Death to Big Brother!
I’m all for death to Big Brother (except of course, then people like the team on Criminal Minds wouldn’t catch half as many serial killers as they do, so… win-lose here) but that doesn’t excuse the stupid things they say about government. Government is a necessary evil.
Aside from that, do these people ever check the veracity of what they’re forwarding? NOOOO of course not, that would be too easy! I did it in a five second google search on Snopes. Don’t be a moron.

What set this off?

I got an email saying that Obama was canceling National Prayer Day. I wasn’t even aware there was a widely celebrated National Prayer Day, but ok… That he is a terrible person, blah blah, and then there’s a picture of him with some Muslim men and he’s taking his shoes off. The caption reads – “Not worried about offending CHRISTIANS, Obama holds a National Muslim Prayer Day.”
Ok, one, National Prayer Day is non-denominational. That why it’s simply “Prayer.” Two, according to Snopes, Obama is actually defending the right to have National Prayer Day in court against the Freedom from Religion Foundation, some crack pot people that I would punch in the throat if they ever told me I couldn’t pray in a public place. Your existence offends me.
A person doesn’t stop being human when they become a public official. Having a National Day of Prayer, though I fail to actually see the point of one, doesn’t force you to pray or believe in anything. Seriously, the things these people will waste legal fees on. Whatever. I hope they fail simply from spite.
Back to the point: three, the picture is taken of him in a Muslim country he was visiting and he had to remove his shoes to enter the building; not on Capitol Hill, like it implies.

Now let’s be clear. I don’t really like Obama and I certainly didn’t vote for him. But don’t make shit up. Don’t try to crucify someone based on false information. That’s stupid and wrong on so many levels and I won’t be a part of it. For once, try to make me proud of my country-men instead of embarrassing me.

For the full story, go here.

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Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
10:08 pm - Writer's Block: Stories of old
Who is your favorite mythical creature/character, and why?

I'm a big mythology fan, which is why it might sound weird that I don't really have a favorite beast or character. I find them all fascinating.

I like dragons, even when they're evil (see: Saint George and the Dragon); I like Egyptian myth for it's dark, earthy feel. Succubi and Incubi/vampires in general are always entertaining, as are werewolves.

One story that sticks with me though, despite the fact that I can no longer find mention of it, is this: Pavarti, wife of Shiva, sick of being made fun of for her dark skin, washed the darkness off of her in a sacred mountain stream. This darkness became incarnated as Kali, who is an aspect of the goddess Pavarti and wife to an answering aspect of Shiva.
She is associated with death, time, battlefields, and the feminine, though it be a violent, fighting feminine. She is the destruction-bringer, though if the destruction is yours or your enemies, is never clear, because she is an impartial goddess.

That's the first explanation I ever heard of her and it's stuck with me, true or not. Plus, there is definitely something to be said for a goddess who seems to be the complete opposite of the Greek goddesses, so consumed by their vanity and pride.
But of course it's been a while and I could be totally wrong.

Not gonna lie though, I totally have a thing for Loki (as in the trickster, thorn-in-the-side of Thor, bringer of Ragnarok) and Native American tricksters in general.

<3 the bad boys.

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9:40 pm
woooo.. Kinda in a happy, crazy mood tonight. Maybe it's sleep deprivation (it usually is) but I've noticed I've started sounding all crappy and emo again when I talk about my own life. I dislike this. See if this were a Friday/Saturday/this coming Thursday, I'd be the life of the party. Yknow, if there was a party, of which there usually is not around me... But I'd be the life of my own party!
Ok that sounded really lame... ramble, ramble... I dunno.

I just want to be happy and make people laugh and have a good time with those people. Feel pity for any who happen across me in this condition. Happy mood, commence!

::prances off to read funny fandom stories, a la Gundam Wing, Harry Potter, etc.::

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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
3:33 pm
Is it better to live a long life, safe and caged, or to die young and have had adventure?

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Monday, March 21st, 2011
1:31 pm
I've got lots of things to write and lots to catch up on but before I can talk about anything else, I have to talk about this:
I watched a lot of tv/movies this weekend, simply for lack of anything better to do. There were some things that were so utterly forgettable that, lo and behold, I only know I've forgotten them because I'm aware of the lost time; and there were things like Jim Jeffries, terrible person that he is, that made me laugh so hard I cried - and my brothers and I watched it together and had cute family moments when daddy wasn't there to be horrified for us - and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him emasculate himself; there were episodes of Breakout Kings (t-bag!) and Criminal Minds ("The Performer," with Gavin Rossdale as an aging performer, and Inbar Lavi, who did a great job as the schizophrenic girl).
But nothing - NOTHING - has stuck with me like one episode of Criminal Minds, one of three that I watched yesterday. Nothing has disturbed me so much. The episode was called "Mosley Lane," about child abductors and this one kid in particular who manages to stay alive. It's a frightening, terrifying episode; I'm not even a mother or an aunt so I guess this is how I know I'm growing up. Every instinct in me is breathless and itching to find and save those children, to go back in time and save all the ones that bastard killed and so terribly. And there was one moment, when they showed the disposal of a body and I kept rewinding to the moment when you could see his face and I kept looking, so close because I had to tell myself, "no, no, he's dead; there's no way he's still alive and this is happening."
I think it might be robbing the people who worked on it of some well-deserved credit to say the shock factor was entirely due to the subject matter, though that was a huge part. But it wouldn't be entirely true anyway. It was an amazing episode, though it did disturb me to the point where two hours later, I was unable to sleep, still thinking of those two boys, and their stories and certain scenes with the parents. Nothing definitive, but today, I woke up with a story in my head.
Back to the point, it's all I've been thinking about, all day today - the looks on their faces, the dirt, the haunted look... I found myself looking at children on the train, and wondering if the adult they're with is their real parent. I find that dangerous, but I never want to be that person that hesitates long enough to watch someone take a child. The thought alone of being that slow and useless at the expense of a child's life and a family's sanity... it leaves me with a sort of abject terror.
I don't know why I say this, but seriously, see this episode. Even if you never see another episode of the damn show in all your life, see this one. Because it will make you so nervous, so vigilant... it will touch a place you try to protect against. Sometimes, we need a wake-up call.

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
3:21 pm
TVs Loser Husbands and Boyfriends Oh no. They did not go there with #10. That is a beautiful monster right there. Of course, no one else wants him, I am all down for wrangling Spike.

Also, Steampunk in a bar!!! Yes, I will venture into the wild place known as "Brooklyn" for this. Steampunk and Dr. Who!

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1:34 pm
I’ve been paying attention to current affairs lately and with the exception of the stuff going on in the Middle East, I have come to one glaringly obvious conclusion over and over – people are morons. From Cali to Wisconsin to NY, there is just no escaping the shouting range of the dim-witted. Or their idiotic exploits. Scary how most of them seem to be elected officials. So, so scary.

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Monday, February 28th, 2011
4:08 pm
So, two weeks ago, we buried my great aunt (which I completely forgot to write here, and I'm so sorry, Aunt Millie) and now this weekend, we started putting the finishing touches on cleaning out my grandmother's house.
They've been talking about it happening for so long, I just assumed it would end up being some big event. I guess moments like these, I expect pomp and ceremony. But there wasn't any. The closing is today. They took the kitchen table out of the house on Saturday, so Friday was officially my last night eating there, around that table. And I didn't even really eat there. No more crazy Christmases, no more Thanksgiving, no more backyard BBQs for all the summer holidays. At least not there. Not with random neighbors they've known for 35 years showing up for meatballs or hotdogs or just to chat over coffee. No more spoiling the few neighborhood kids we know. No more falling asleep on the plastic-covered couch with family watching tv around you (or more likely, on the carpet, if you could find room). No more looking for the treasure they always said one of their uncles hid somewhere in the house.
There are still four little handprints and four little footprints in the cement in the backyard where the pool used to be. They belong to my brother and me - my mom made them when I was only two and he was just a baby. My aunt wanted so badly to pull it up, but it would have destroyed the cement and there was no time to redo it. So now the new owner's kids will have our tiny feet to wonder at - the date will seem like a hundred years ago, some long lost time in 1988 or 89... Our names will sound foreign, like something reaching out from the past.
That's how I felt every time we found something from the previous owner in my house. But my house only had old people leave last - they never left evidence of children. I wonder what stories these kids will make up. I wonder if their parents will dig up the cement, fix the decaying fence behind the house and disrupt the neighbor's garden. I wonder if they'll knock down the big green garage, with its shelves and space - so empty now, but you couldn't walk a foot in there before without tripping over something. When they were cleaning it out, my cousins were raking a huge pile of leaves off the back shelf when a huge mound of something fell off with the leaves. And then suddenly sprang to life. The (manly) screams of surprise and terror could be heard even throughout the house as they scattered and the fifteen pound opossum ran under a different, lower shelf. They steered clear of that corner for the remainder of the clean up.
I guess what makes it the worst is that, this house is home. I mean, my home is where I sleep, but my grandmother's house was where I lived. It's where my mother and aunt's grew up. It's where all the parties were held. It's where I went every afternoon after school and did homework and ate and played. It’s where my cousins, who lived in the second floor apartment at the time, showed played their records for me and introduced me to the oldies, even though I was in the single digits and they were type-writing their way through college. We were there every Sunday and almost every Saturday, even during those very short stints when we didn't eat there every night of the week during high school. It was usually my first stop on my way home from college every weekend, before everyone started migrating to my house when Mommy got sick.
It's where I heard the ghost stories - the man in the trench coat; our cousin (Maria?) who died as a teenager of TB in the upstairs bedroom; the man who used to climb the stairs at night and who used to watch my aunts sleep. - and made me wonder why, when an Asian doppelganger supposedly showed up at my house for my cousin Joey's wake, and the trench coat man showed up for the baby's wake at grandma's, why none showed up for my mother's or Uncle Marty's, or (Great) Aunt Millie. My family owned it for thirty-five years and before that it belonged to our grandmother’s cousins. Which is also funny, because, see what family stories do to you?
It's an attachment to those memories which aren't even yours to begin with. Finding old photos and books in the basement, years and years of treasure, now most of it trash. Being too frightened to enter the wine cellar, which is really more like one of those cells you see in horror movies - no wine down there - and Grandpa's workshop, with his overalls and rusted tools still lying in their positions, waiting for him. No more sitting on the overhang porch with Aunt Maggie, people-watching, listening to her talk about stories her aunts told her about Great grandpa, and how the San Gennaro parade they used to have on Staten Island would walk past our house and they would stop and he would wave to them. And then at night, all those people would be in the basement because g-grandpa ran a speak-easy out of there and our poor, beleaguered g-grandma used to have to cook for ten plus extra, to make it look like it was a restaurant and not just booze. Of course, these are stories half the family vehemently denies and the others delight in telling and it's been so long that who really knows what the truth is anymore. But it's part of my family narrative. And now a living part of that narrative is leaving the family. On Sunday, we stripped that house bare, and yet, somehow it still felt like home. That's how you know you're really losing something. Because even with empty rooms, pictures off the walls, chairs and tables on the sidewalk for the taking, it was still home. And even without the American flag flying on the flagpole in the front garden, as it hasn't since a few years after grandpa died, I still associate that sea-foam green house with every crazy antic, every eccentricity of my family. As I know I’ve talked about here before, we’ve been falling away from each other for a while now. Without this house I don't know if we'll be able to keep us all together, fractured as we all are into separate lives and hurts and desires. But I know that I'll think of that house, of my mother, of my home, and I know that I'll always try.

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2:59 pm
Alright, so I entered the Strand Short Love Story contest (yeah, I'm sure it sucks) and I'm really tired....

I stayed up to DVR and watch the Academy Awards... which is weird because generally I disagree with them anyway. But whenever I remember to watch the stupid award shows, I do because sometimes they're funny and I like to write down all the movies they mention, on the off chance I may not have heard of them or I might try to watch them even if my previous notion told me to steer far away.
Which brings me to: yes, I agree, James and Anne were not the most hilarious hosts ever, but I think they did a good job and they were pretty freakin funny. It's not necessary to upstage the awards and the presenters in order to be good hosts. Plus, Anne Hathaway's dresses = gorgeous! Except for that lightning blue, plastic number. Pretty color, looks very uncomfy...
So just back off people! Just back the fuck off! (Oops, pulled a Melissa Leo! Bravo to her - she didn't mean it and it was funny. Get over it.)
Kirk Douglas is love... and RDJ and Jude Law were just absolutely priceless... it could have been a little more effortless, but they were GOOD. I enjoy seeing RDJ and Jude recently. Anyone who knows how to make fun of themselves (see: Lindsey Lohan on Jimmy Kimmel after the Oscars) gets two thumbs way, way up in my book.
It's all these people who are too afraid to make fun of each other because they don't want to get snubbed next year that I can't stand.
And why the hell was Bob Hope on the screen introducing RDJ and Jude? That's fucked up. Bob Hope should get his own show or nothing at all. That's like sacrilege right there. That was so, so fucked up. I mean, I love those two, and Billy Crystal is great and all, but you don't fuck with Hope.
Also, they left mad people out of the Memoriam; looking at the list of people they're writing online now, I can't even believe (Corey! Peter Graves!). And what the hell was with Halle Berry and that Lena Horne tribute? Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Lena's and I was upset when she died... but singling her out when she hasn't made a movie since the Wiz, and she was only in movies because they were musicals... I mean, really. It's black history month (bullshit that it is turning out to be) but what does that have to do with the Academy Awards? They're supposed to honor people based on the merit of their acting abilities. Not because they're black or white. And you certainly don't cut other people so that Halle fuckin Berry, who hasn't made a good movie since ... I'm sorry, first thing I always think of her in is the Flintstone's movie... I don't even remember the last good movie she was in! What the hell did she win for? Why did Adrian Brody, that ugly mofo, kiss her? Does anyone freakin remember?!
Tangent. Sorry. But really, what was the point of the tears, Halle? Did you know Lena Horne personally? Because your speech didn't sound that way. Just because she's black doesn't make her your BFF.
I'm actually kind of sick of all the posturing. But whatever. Entertain me with your useless lives, bitches. As long as you do that, I and the rest of the world, will pay to watch your train wrecks.

Next order of business.
blooming_cosmo is coming for a visit!!! I'm screaming, over here. Happy happy happy!!!... Wait that means I have to clean my room. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Also, anyone who knows of jobs in Japan for an English major with barely functioning Japanese skills (that would be ME!) please let me know; I'm working on fixing that problem. I recently conned daddy into buying me Rosetta Stone. If I can do that, I can do anything. Call me!

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Friday, February 11th, 2011
2:00 am - vague Cpt. Wentworth POV "Persuasion" fic... thing
No, I've never read the novel (yet), yes, I've only seen the BBC version with Anthony Head as the douche-baggy Dad... but I couldn't get the looks in the actors eyes out of my head... Just.. it's whatever. I have to start writing more anyway.

Edit: Oops. POV shifts adjusted. Sowwie...

Standards of Wooing..?

It swelled his pride to see her discomfort during dinner when his barbs about women’s inconstancy and feeblemindedness seemed to strike straight through her. In his room, his cravet half off and sitting on his bed, Frederick knew how childish it had been to say so just to spite her, even if it was how he felt. Saying so in her presence was decidedly ungentlemanly, the opposite of what he aimed to be and the exactness of what Lady Russell had feared in him, those years ago.
When she fell, he felt so strongly the pull to sit beside her and try to fix her… his coldness was simply a means to keep himself distant and as unfeeling toward her as he could. The Musgrove girl was a pretty little distraction; but being entertained by Louisa with Anne so near was like trying to look at stars through the exploding of fireworks. It was difficult and required a vast amount of concentration.
He could not bear to see her hurt and just when he felt particularly uncharitable toward Charles for lending his arm to her, Mrs. Croft appeared at an opportune time to lend a helping hand in the matter. Wentworth led Anne, forcefully, mindful of her ankle but trying not to let her see it. She was arguing – so practical and selfless and worried of taking advantage of others and their troubles when it was obvious she’d not seen to her own needs in years. How infuriating that she could be so forceful in this instance but not when it mattered most.
It would have been so easy to just pull down the step and lend her his hand as she climbed to the wagon herself. It would have been easy to ask Charles to help her up instead – dear Charles, he too had seen what separated her from her sisters and the other girls, and instead had been forced to settle with an inferior specimen – but no. He gave in to temptation, for just a fleeting moment, feeling her shivers when the warmth of her arm on his hand sent matching ones down his spine. He might have been a little short, depositing her unceremoniously in the back of the wagon, but with his hands on her hips, her lightness in his arms again… and too many thoughts, running through his mind, he could not take the risk. Wentworth thanked God for those clamoring thoughts, because with her eyes on his, if he’d not been thinking so hard all at once he knew he might have been lost there - might have done something quite stupid.
It has come to this, he realizes as he turns his back to her and leads the others away to Uppercross… She has successfully split his mind so effectively that at once, he wants to hurt her as she hurt him and yet, so much of him wants to go to her and take her hand and never let go - wants to forget the years of bitterness without her love, when she did not write and his pain and fear and pride got in the way of him doing so.
It is with a particular flash of this bitterness that he comes to another realization. With Louisa talking nonsense beside him, Frederick finally becomes self-aware: He thinks, I am a man of contradictions. I have become a man who cannot make up his own mind.

Louisa’s voice is cacophony to his ears but he let her play on and follows as she leads him away.

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