Monday, August 31, 2009

Episode 12 -- Eric! That's not Sookie!

Two weeks until True Blood's season finale, "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'." (That's September 13.) I know she's the Queen and all, but Eric! That's not Sookie! I don't approve of vampire/vampire kissage when it comes to Eric and Sookie. Tsk tsk.

I hope they explain the egg, because I am very confused by the egg. Sometimes book to show changes make no sense to me at all. You think when Charlaine Harris thought, "Maenad," she also thought, "Giant egg."? I think not.

Bill's being painted really positively now, but I'm not so sure how sacrificing Sam will go over with Sookie. There's no way they're killing Sam, btw. Maenad, or no. I'm mostly concerned about Eric and Sophie-Anne. Which now that I think about it, did we even hear her name yet? I can't recall.

All I can say is, two more weeks, people. Two more weeks. And there were too many quick cuts in this one, not enough dialogue snippets for my taste. I guess we'll have to wait to find out what happens later. Two weeks. Frowny face.

UPDATE (9/7/09 at 9 p.m.): I'm not so sure I can enjoy these scenes with Eric and the Queen in the finale now. Not after rumors of Alexander Skarsgard and Evan Rachel Wood dating for real surfaced here. I said on Twitter earlier today, "This is worse than when I found out our zodiac signs were incompatible." It's still true. Although, I'm slowly convincing myself it's just a rumor. Please?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A & Me -- Cut Off My Arm, College.

It's 11:31 and I'm feeling shyt. I'm sitting home alone tonight. And I can't even watch True Blood online. (To the tune of "Backfire at the Disco" by The Wombats, if you please.) Note: This video is brilliant. People are jerks. I love Frosty's.

But seriously. Quirky song lyrics aside, I have something to say: I hate college. Why do I hate college? Well, for 3 weeks (2, but I'm blaming it for them not broadcasting on Labor Day as well) I hate it for keeping me away from my HBO. And my True Blood.

There are several things I've learned while REALLY waiting for True Blood. That's past Sunday, past 9 p.m. and past the point of my sanity. And I took the time to write them out in 10 colorful steps. You can actually pinpoint the moment I lost my mind.

Here I am, in my room in the semi-darkness in front of the computer, pacing back and forth stuffing my face with green grapes and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (Original Style, fyi). And I feel like a mental patient. I'm compelled to eat these grapes, which are just sitting in my fridge, and I'm reminded of a story about my brother.

When he was little, after returning from the grocery store with my mother, he sat in front of the television with a bag of green grapes. He proceeded to eat the entire bag in one sitting and then threw up the same grapes all over himself.

Now, why am I reminded of this story? Because I'm getting pretty crazy. That is, I've eaten an entire bag of Goldfish and the grapes are just sitting there looking at me. I know that road leads to green vomit, but lack of True Blood has addled my brain.

But there are still lessons learned from this experience:

1. I thought waiting a week to watch True Blood was bad. Watching the hour between 9 and 10 o'clock tick by while you stare at the wall because you have no HBO is like watching someone cut off your arm and repeatedly beat you with it.

2. No HBO is the equivalent of being exiled to a Leper colony. At the time when you most want to vent, you're banned from all online outlets. That means Facebook, your favorite blogs and ESPECIALLY Twitter. (That includes BlogTalk. Frowny face.)

3. When you're waiting for an upload, sitting in the dark in front of your laptop, refreshing web pages every 40 seconds seems like a good idea. (For 3 hours.)

4. This waiting period feels somewhat like I'd imagine labor feels. There's shaking, sweating, mood swings, cursing and a sudden need for drugs. (Drugs = True Blood in this case.)

5. No True Blood Sunday at 9 p.m. makes me want to eat chocolate and ice cream more than any failed relationship ever could. If it ever gets cancelled, I'm padlocking my fridge or gaining 45 pounds.

6. Never knit while you wait. True Blood anxiety = Many dropped stitches and unhappy feelings.

7. People talk about masturbation in chat rooms more freely than they should. They're also stupid, mean and have terrible spelling and grammar.

8. I'd feel better about humanity if they didn't talk so much about boobs.

9. I get angry at people who just like Eric for his hotness or jumped on the bandwagon late in the game (after the dream sequence, much?). Chat names are usually something along the lines of Ericslover, Eric4Me and EricsBoyfriend. I feel like the best girl friend seeing her boy date another girl (or guy) when she wants him for herself.

10. I hate college. But only when it comes between me and my True Blood. Like sisters. I think those girls would be ripping off each other's heads if their man was Eric Northman.

There will be a recap when frickin' Niall Brigant sends a miracle my way. I've been working on the Newlin angle, and I think all that'll save me now is a little Fairy magic.

Sayonara from getting beaten by my own arm by my stupid education. More people would go to college if there was HBO. Hey, it goes along with my theory that taping Skars to my homework will improve my GPA. Melancholy thy name is Alison.

UPDATE: The end of this story? It's 1:04 a.m. I watched a jumpy grainy video with (thank God) good audio after several anxious hours. I also missed the last 15 minutes. Which I'm pretty sure was mostly Eric. And I'm also pretty sure that this time, that last bit of lovely True Blood actually exists. Unlike last week.

The end. Still armless. Like frickin' Jane Bodehouse when she's finished with that machete.

UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. Monday. Saw it all now. Recap will be up later tonight. Wtf, True Blood? Wtf. Giant egg?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Think Helicopters = Hot Swedish Pilots.

It's now twenty minutes of one and all I can hear out of my new dorm window is helicopters. And what do I choose to think about? What I always choose to think about. Pop culture references. There, I was feeling a little Pinky and The Brain action. In this case with the helicopterus interuptus, a little of this:

"The Drinking Song" by Moxy Fruvous:
I can't explain this except for my mom took me to a lot of folk fests as a kid. I still heart the Fruvous. Live Noise especially.

"Helicopter" by Bloc Party:
In my head it's this version by RAC. -- Free download for the album at Stereogum, btw and it's brilliant.

Short Film with Alexander Skarsgard -- Because I'll use any excuse... Did I mention it's a musical? And he wears a uniform and is a helicopter pilot? Interested now? I think so.

I can't sleep, but not bad. Not bad at all. I'll take a little Skars any day. Or a lot of Skars. I'll take some randomly literal pop culture references in there as well. Moxy Fruvous and Bloc Party may not make sense together, but why not? I try not to question my brain's connections. Maybe that's why I see a little True Blood in everything.

Oh, Skars. Is there anything I can't connect you to? Helicopters = Hot Swedish Pilots. I like it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Porté Disparu" -- Super Bulky Cabled Hat

Every knitter has stash problems. Or that's what I like to tell myself. Like most knitters, I have an unusual fondness for yarn. I try to buy yarn project by project, but there's a sale or a certain color catches your eye and it's bye bye budgets... helllloooo yarn. This is a stash busting project that I've made before with success. I thought it was time to revisit the good old Super Bulky Cabled Hat.

The Stats:

The Pattern - Super Bulky Cabled Hat
Yarn - (substitution) 1 Skein Lion Brand Landscapes in Country Sunset and 1 Skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Fig (used about 1/4 skein Thick & Quick)
Needles - Size 13 needles (Knit straight not in the round, but I usually use circs anyway.)
Source - Online at abmatic/k
Price - Free Online

A little WIP action...

Songs*[rep]to end. - "Porté Disparu"

I've chosen Malajube's "Porté Disparu" from their latest, Labyrinthes because I think it pretty much embodies my yarn stash craziness both in the insane situations and color palette. I kind of love that this video is in French, so the obviously quirky video idea seems that much more absurd with the incomprehensible song lyrics. Dead chickens, murder and colored suits. Yes, that is my life. And bonus points for disappearing like my yarn stash!

Cable Pattern:

Let's Get Cozy - Super Bulky Cabled Hat (CO 8/13/09, FO 8/23/09)

I just want to start out by saying that the time it took me to complete this hat is completely unrealistic. I would have finished it in one day if I hadn't lost the second ball of yarn. Sometimes you have to factor in the crazy misplacement time. This hat is knit flat and then sewn up at the end. They recommend that you use a mattress stitch, but I usually use a whip stitch because it was the first way I learned to sew up a hat. It works just fine. I used the Fig for the band and then for the last 4 decrease rows at the top. I've considered adding a pom-pom, but for now it's been left plain. This is just a simple, quick hat. I'd recommend it for using up your stash. I'm thinking of turning it into a gift, but we'll see what happens.

So, 2 skeins down and a (number that I will conceal from my parents) of skeins to go. I can only pray that my weakness for pretty wool doesn't translate into a fondness for felines. It's a slippery slope from, "Aaawww kitten!" to "I have 17 cats and they're all named Chester Cheetah." I'm keeping tabs on myself. And on the number of litter boxes I have the urge to purchase.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Playlists -- I'm Not The Grasshopper.

I come to you in a sort of moving back to school depressed limbo. It's almost the end of the summer, and I will soon be forced to stick to normal human hours. That's instead of the Vampire Bill circa beginning of Club Dead full-on computer junkie vampire hours. So it's a sad and weird time which requires some last hurrah summer music. And so I bring you, "I'm Not The Grasshopper." And if you don't understand that reference, then you're probably starving to death this winter too. Welcome, my fellow Ants. It sure was worth it.

The Lineup:

1. "Grasshoppers in Honey" by The Meligrove Band ( -- Remember the grasshopper from Aesop's Fables? Yeah, I'm the other guy. Life lesson I didn't follow here.)

2. "The Carnival" by The Spinto Band (Live in a Lighthouse)

3. "Swimming Pool" by The Submarines (Live at Paste)

4. "The Ocean (Is Bleeding Salt)" by Margot & the Nuclear So and So's (Live)

5. "She's Only Happy in the Sun" by Ben Harper (Live)

Video. "Black Sand" by Jenny Lewis (Live - partial)

Skarsgard Fix -- Happy Birthday Mr. Eric!

Alexander Skarsgard (Better known as Sheriff Eric Northman to Truebies) turns 33 today and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to ogle him. Actually I think any day would be perfect the perfect opportunity to ogle him, but that's beside the point. There are an insane number of Skars videos out there to choose from, but I wanted to have kind of a celebratory video post. I've been saving these gems up for a special occasion. So here's what I have to offer: Alcohol!

The first clip comes from Om Sara, and shows Alex's character celebrating a victory in a football (soccer) match. This is the Alex that Nystacular affectionately calls, "Drunk Alex." (Right about the peace sign... watch for it!) So I thought it would be appropriate.

Now, coming from someone who doesn't drink, this probably seems strange. But I pretty much died the first time I saw this. There's something about the Chicken Dance that makes multiple expletives in succession extra hilarious. You have to marvel at the awesome editing skills in this clip. It's entitled, "True Blood Drinking Game" and it's got Alex in spades! Smirking, anyone?

Happy Birthday Alexander Skarsgard! You couldn't be a better Eric Northman or guy in general. Cheers!

Let's end with a little tribute video. Because you can never have enough of The Skarsgard.

There is a Virtual Birthday Party in the works for Alex, thrown by his fans. It's happening at 9 p.m. E.T. Visit True Blood Net for the details here.

Videos by SkarsgardChannel, Tru3Silva2 and barbarah4 via YouTube.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Episode 11 -- It's Eric! He's snappy.

In next week's True Blood, called "Frenzy," there's a war a-brewin'! And among other things, we get to see Sam take a trip to Fangtasia and see Eric on his throne in a snappy suit (Lucky dog! Har de har.) and Pam in a sparkly red catsuit. I'd love to hear the story behind that one. Eric tells Sam that he "May know someone who might be able to offer something useful." Who? Who knows. Maybe the Queen, but we all know that Bill's tighter with her than Mr. Northman. Maryann's pissed (Shocker.) and still demanding her sacrifice. Well, everyone who isn't a zombie is going to ban together to save Bon Temps! And get rid of this season's most boring plot line. Get rid of Maryann? Yes, please.

What About Eric?! -- He's Dreamy. Bite me.

Well, I'm not as jazzed as I usually am right about now. I know, GASP at that for a moment, but it has a lot to do with the fact that this week's True Blood, "New World In My View," ended 15 minutes early this week! So there I was, sitting on the couch, all ready for a little more Eric screen time and cut to credits. Frowny face. How about 15 minutes of gratuitous Eric flesh? I don't think anyone would have complained about that, HBO.

Can I just have an aside for a moment? What are they thinking over at the show? First, they cut many of the memorable scenes from the novel while adding in hours of really boring Maryann stuff (basically an excuse for orgies.), then they give us a little more Eric. And we thank you. But the thing is, for most people, Sookie's sudden fondness for him comes completely out of left field. You can't blame it all on the blood exchange, either.

I can understand the idea of putting Eric in more scenes and having more of a romantic interaction between he and Sookie, but why would you cut all of the smaller instances of flirtation in Book/Season 1 and heap it all on us in the last few episodes?

I love the idea of Sookie dreaming of him, but the fact that Sookie comes downstairs and finds Eric crying and HE'S SHIRTLESS, the "This is a Dream" flags go straight up. At least leave a little mystery in there. The best thing about the Eric-Sookie dialogue in the book is the flirting, the joking, Eric's leers. I can't understand why there's nothing and then everything.

UPDATE: (8/24/09 9:26 p.m.) After watching this clip again, I want to point out a few more things. How cute is it the way his nose twitches when his fangs come out? And I'm going to amend what I said before and say that we do see a little more of Book Eric here, in that Sookie goes to pull away from a kiss and he grabs her hand, pulling her back. Sookie always needs that extra push over the edge if she's doing something she's not sure is a good idea, and Eric knows just when to help her along and when to passively flirt.

I'm glad they're finally putting more Eric into the episodes and creating this love triangle, but you can't just throw us Team Eric people a dream sequence every once and a while and expect us to be happy. There's this Big Scary Eric and there's the Sensitive Eric, with no happy medium. There's no impish flirt that we've come to love. I'm still waiting, HBO. Still waiting. End Eric rant.

So here we are, with Sookie, Jason and a becoffined Bill heading back to Bon Temps. They run over a couple of the locals (who are Sam's captors from an earlier episode, if you recall.). But basically the whole town's all gone to hell. And Maryann's a kid in Candyland. She's all "MORE MEAT!" for her, well, what Andy from Blood Work called a "Giant Meat Tree" on BlogTalk tonight. She's still a diva. And can anyone else appreciate those Dr. Seuss flowers (Beginning 1:55) she stuffed in there? It was like the frickin' Lorax (There he goes with his moustache.).

The influenced Eggs was sort of creepy in a overly positive kid's show actor way when he says, "So it's extra fresh?" after Maryann calls for organs and murder. Alright kids, what color is the spurty blood coming from Sam Merlotte's heart? Red! Gold stars!

I loved Andy and Sam together in this episode. Andy's she's a "She's a MAY- WHUT?" was pretty classic. And Sam's "I think she wants to cut out my heart while a bunch of naked people watch," was up there too. For a "sometimes nudist," Sam sure doesn't show the free hippie zombie devil people much love.

The regular cast was looking really good this episode. I don't know whether that was because everyone else looked so horribly mussed and haphazardly clothed (if at all), but I did have a problem with Bill's Johnny Cash outfit earlier in the episode. But all I could think as Maxine Fortenberry was standing there in her fuchsia Hawaiian shirt playing Wii was that Sookie looked like she stepped out of an Ann Taylor ad.

I guess I should mention the fact that Jessica's had enough of ole Maxine and takes a bite out of her. I thought that Hoyt was going to throw himself in front of her or something, but we'll see how that plays out. I'm really glad that they went with having Maxine go after Jason, because I was cringing those scenes with the Jocasta set-ups there. I don't think I could have taken it.

There was a lot of instances when you weren't sure who was going to be affected and who was not. It was like a zombie movie. But, c'mon Sam! You knew that was a trap. How could it not be? And he and Andy go into the freezer. I especially love when Andy stops to grab the liquor bottle. Another great Sam-Andy line? Sam: "These are our friends and neighbors." Andy: (mutters) "And customers." Oh snap! Andy tells it like it is.

SPOILER for non-novel readers: We knew that Jason would be immune in the same way that Sookie was because of their lineage. But how that genetic quirk translates into full-on pulsing life force glowing thing... I don't know. I think that's an addition that lays on the, "WHAT?!" or so I like to yell at the T.V.

Are we just meant to assume that someone told Sookie that her house was now Maryann's house? Because she seems surprised when Maryann shows up and when Lafayette tells her to leave. But there she shows up at her house looking for Maryann after Hoyt says, "Party at Maryann's," etc. etc. That's a little fuzzy. And how are they going to bring Sookie's house back to normal for next season? I wonder if they're going to cop out and explain everything mystically. Like poof! Back to normal. There's a few "in the kitchen" scenes next season. I can't picture homey Southern life around all the vines and scum.

UPDATE: I think I expected a bigger reaction when Sookie found out about her house being orgy party central. About the time Bill, Sookie and Jason arrive, Hoyt mentions that Sookie's house is Maryann's house. All Sookie says is, "What?" As if Hoyt had just told her he ate the last Oreo. Actually, I would expect a bigger response for that. She reacted as if Hoyt told her he used the wrong setting on the lawnmower. This one line of dialogue slipped by me amid the saucer-eyed Maxine Fortenberry Wii fest. Apologies.

Another question about immunity to Maryann's influence: Why is Lettie Mae immune? At first I thought the reason Maryann allowed some people to be controlled and others not was so that it would keep up the charade. She left out the outsiders, so to speak. Think, there's: Lettie Mae (Drunk), Lafayette (Gay), Andy (Drunk), Sookie (Telepath = Weird/Crazy Sookie). -- That would be before we knew about her immunity. It would make sense for her to selectively influence people, but I'm not quite sure where they're going with this whole thing. I just hope it ends somewhere close to Eric in pink Lycra... (If you want a Lycra spoiler, it's the last paragraph of the plot summary here.)

Sadly, probably not, but a girl can hope.

Maybe I'm watching too closely and too frequently, but I feel like they're hitting you over the head with a lot of the maenad clues this season. Bill's reading that book in the flashback about Greek Myths after we already heard Maryann talking about Greek maids and gods. Then, OH! HELLO AUDIENCE! THIS IS IMPORTANT! There's something wrong in there. It's getting a little too obvious with the foreshadowing.

Since I talked about the Sookie's Moon Tiara Magic! (har de har... Maybe I wasn't that far off last week...) in the spoiler part, let me just say that the first thing I wrote in my notes after that scene was BULLSHIT! Seriously? How does Sookie's telepathy translate into blue glowey psychic force field magic?!

Of course, Bill drinks from Maryann, and gross vomit scenes ensue. Is it weird that I thought that Bill vomited with an accent? Oh, was that just me? And then just as I'm thinking, well, yelling at the T.V. again, "WHY DON'T YOU CALL ERIC?!" Sookie says, "I'm callin' Eric." It's nice when the television is interactive.

I really enjoyed the, what a lot of the chatters have been calling, "Jambo" scenes. Jason with a bandoleer, nail gun and chainsaw. Oh boy. And the set dressing at Merlotte's was pretty priceless too. Notice the bobcat and goose stuffed animals with Mardi Gras beads around their necks? Nice touch. My main thought during the Jason scenes was, "Wtf is he going to do?" The answer: Slice a stereo in half with a chainsaw. I should have known.

Terry Bellefleur's part was amazing, and although I'm a non-smoker, I loved the way his cigarette moved when he talked, with the black eyes and everything. Pretty awesome. He really took charge of the situation. Good for him. If his main objective wasn't to fillet Sam, I'd be cheering right about now.

When Bill and Sookie head over to save Tara and Bill goes all fangy for the V-buyer, I had a "Yay Bill!" moment. Shocker. Bill does scary well. The fangs help. And Lafayette isn't afraid to let it slip that Eric's pushing him to sell the stuff. Which is probably a mistake. Has his basement time taught Lafayette nothing?

Black-eyed Tara is super creepy. Like really creepy. Bravo, Rutina. That laugh gave me chills. And did you notice that the go-to insult for Sookie's enemies is the "C" word? Think about it: Steve Newlin, Zombie Tara and Denise Rattray come to mind. Sookie saying the Latin phrase that all the zombies were repeating in her accent was a nice moment for me. I had a giggle at that. This scene was a chance for Sookie to play a more active role (in her own frickin' show...) but I don't know if I'm 100 percent happy with it. The tag team saving thing was interesting, but again, I have to say that I'm not so sure they explained it well.

For book folks, we know that Sookie has a sort of hypnotic power that is introduced at the beginning of Living Dead In Dallas, when she helps interrogate vampire bar employees in Dallas to help find Farrell, the missing vampire. Godric actually lures the Dallas vampire to be kidnapped and taken to the Fellowship. But that scene was left out in the show, and the magical Tara-saving was explained away with one throw-away line. They're just relying on the fact that people know the story too much. There's confusion when they leave out large chunks of the novel.

In other Jambo news: I effing love Jason. He uses his "I'm scary!" gas mask that he used to scare Amy Burley last season (Look for it at :52). And is shirtless. And exclaims, "It's me! The guy who comes!" and at Terry Bellefleur's "Bullshit. God has horns!" adds a nice pair of tree branch horns. I had to ask myself, "Why flares?" in there, but I guess the actions of Jason Stackhouse cannot be explained.

Sam's "Smite me!" was perfect with the twitching and the flashlight going. That was hilarious. I think that really saved the whole episode for me. I did wonder where Sam got that apron, though. It's not like Andy's never seen him in the buff before. Plus shifters aren't the most modest people.

Although that scene was really funny, in the end, there was just not enough Eric, and a little too much Maryann, and a lot of weird shit happening without any real explanation.

Visiting the Queen's compound was pretty epic (Note: I just typed Eric there. Not even thinking about it. Have Eric typing syndrome.). Bill's in slow motion and as Dallas from Loving True Blood in Dallas said on BlogTalk, The Queen's compound was also "badass." I wrote that exact word in my notes. So it must be true. I like how the queen has secret service people. In the book, I always pictured them as more like guards. Like military style. This was more political. So that's a surprise for me.

Well, we're back to square Season 1 in the Eric department. Let's hope he's not just a glorified extra next episode. At least this one proved what we've been saying all along: Eric's dreamy. Only now, it's literally. Eric dreams? I'll take one please, extra shirtless. And a little bite never hurt anyone. At least not anyone who lived to tell about it.

Oh, and people, after next week's episode, we have to wait until SEPTEMBER 13th for the finale! Suckfest, right? Think happy bitey Eric thoughts until then.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Strange Phenomenon -- Blood Pop or Cake?

There's something going around. And it's not the carousel in Schenley Plaza. (Or a record...) No, it's True Blood fanvid makers and an obsession with Evanescence.

I was searching some YouTube videos for my last post earlier and I kept seeing the same things pop up on my search. Every other set-to-music clip I clicked on was from Evanescence. In just a few minutes of searching, I found 10 different clips that used an Evanescence song. 10. And it's not over yet. I can't add them to my playlist all day, so here are the search results. That's a lot of that... stuff.

Okay, I dimly recall Evanescence being one of Sookie's songs to sing in the car, but unless all those people read so closely that they all remember that one line from one book (which I doubt), and made the connection, I'd understand. But if that were the case, we'd have The Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood over Eric's smirking and Sookie's glares. And I'm sorry to say so, but Book Sookie does not have as rich a music palette as does Show Sookie.

Now, I'll admit it. I am a music snob. You can clap if you want, offer me buttons and party hats and cake, but I'm not going to quit being one. I will forever be a music snob, but something that I'm willing to change? You people, and if I could, Book Sookie Stackhouse. But don't get the wrong idea. I just want to help.

Here's my theory for the Evanescence/True Blood phenomenon:

You're listening to Top 40, MTV before they discover the indie stuff after the album's been out for a year or two and someone decides to use it in a movie... Exhibit A: M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," (Original and Pineapple Express) Exhibit B: Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole." (Original and Twilight - still don't understand this, btw. Listen to the lyrics. Think of Edward and Bella. Oh yeah, that's them. Oh, and just to prove my point about the overexposedness here's a video from the baseball scene with what? EVANESCENCE.)

You need some dark pop to match up to your dark and dirty vampire show. Think about it. What is out there? I'm no popular music connoisseur, but I can't think of one other than Evanescence. Again, another movie soundtrack pick up (Daredevil), but the difference between Evanescence and Muse is that one is good and the other is... not. The first set of videos contain the song probably the one you'll remember from Daredevil, "Bring Me To Life." The second set features "My Immortal" over an actual scene from the film.

But I don't blame you if you like them, or if you use them in a True Blood video. You're already a better pop culture person in my estimation because you care enough about True Blood to post a video (unless it's about Bill... just kidding. I want to like Bill, but Eric keeps winking at me.). Anyway, you don't know anything better.

I'll tell you a secret: Once upon a time, I listened to some pretty embarrassing music. And I will not utter those words here, but let's just say I was a kid in the 90's so you can probably guess my shame. It actually took good television soundtracks for me to make that transition from what I would now call, "I'll never tell and will deny it if it gets out," to "I like that song I heard on T.V." to "I have no idea who they are." You'll be hearing that last one in no time. And you'll be hearing those shame bands... never.

Here we go:

Alison's Lessons in Dark Pop/Rock, What to Apply to True Blood Scenes, and How It's Already Been Done Right

How It's Already Been Done Right:

My choice for the True Blood music video done right is this one by smvgrey74. It's a tribute to Godric set to Band Of Horse's "The Funeral."

I'll you why this is such an amazing video. Check the comments. At least 3 people's first comment was, "What's the song?" The fact that smvgrey chose a more obscure piece means several things:

1. Her work is unique. -- Check the number of True Blood fan videos that use an Evanescence song. Now check the number that use a Band Of Horses song. Well, here are the results, and as far as I can see, besides smvgrey's, there's zero.

2. She's using music to its full advantage. -- The best fanvids match up both music and lyrics to the clips. Anyone can choose a song. It's not that hard. Choosing one that fits means a lot more. It will strengthen the emotion, the humor and the romance. There's nothing like a good song.

3. She's exposing people to new music. -- One of the reasons I love True Blood so much is the amazing soundtrack. Now that's not only the score, but the songs chosen by the professionals. Let's not forget that every episode title is a song. That's True Blood at its core. It's about good music. The same goes for a fan video. Maybe I'm a little biased about her song choice since I know and love the band already. But it makes me smile to see that so many people loved it too.

It's like smvgrey made a big cake and she's sharing the new recipe with everyone. That's how the indie goes mainstream. It's word of mouth at first. Sure, now most of that word of mouth is actually typed and beamed out to millions of people on the internet, but there's still your good old magazines and radio. They know what's what. I'd go on to say that great underground music is just as delicious and elusive as Caroline Holliday Bellefleur's chocolate cake. And if you've read the novels, you know how amazing that is. You only get it when someone dies.

What to apply to True Blood scenes:

I'd say that more than music style, it's the lyrics that you should concentrate on. I'm not saying that it's a good idea to set romantic exchanges to yodel music if they're talking about something similar, but it's better to stray musically than lyrically. Think about it this way: You're telling a story, they're telling a story. You just want those stories to mesh well. The music added to a scene isn't telling the story of what you're watching onscreen. It's telling the story of what the characters are feeling. You can tell that Bill's a vampire just by looking. You don't need to chose a song that says, "I'm a vampire," literally. Although that isn't always a bad thing. Choose the feeling behind that. The "I'm tortured," "I want to be loved," or "I'm emo." (That last one was a joke. I'm making friends all over the place today.)

Alison's Lessons in Dark Pop/Rock:

Maybe these won't all help you out with a video, but they'll help your playlists. If you're looking to expand your dark-themed pop/rock and more specifically, your True Blood fan video tracks, I'd start with these:

From a general vampire place: Radiohead -- An oldie but a REALLY goodie. Maybe with Thom Yorke's vocals you can't always understand the lyrics, but they're dark and clever and amazing. I'd point to "We Suck Young Blood." Queens of the Stone Age -- Tend to be heavy on the rock, but I'd suggest "The Blood Is The Love" for Vampires. (For more vampire songs see my old Playlist post: "A Fangy Salut.")

From a character-based POV: The Twilight Sad or Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- "Modern Romance" A good Bill and Sookie one, originally sung by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but covered by The Twilight Sad. (Lyrics here.) Neither band is usually this mellow, but this is a sort of a track by track and not blanket rule deal.

The best Evanescence replacement I can suggest, both in general and from a True Blood fan video standpoint is Bat For Lashes -- That is, if you're looking for something a little closer to Evanescence's brand of pop (If Evanescence and Cat Power had a baby that was smarter than one of them...). For TB I'd chose "I'm On Fire" (Lorena and Bill, anyone? From Sookie's POV. It's also a Springsteen cover altered a bit.) or "What's a Girl to Do" (For some Bill/Eric reflection! Plus the video is weird and I love it.) or "Glass" (From an FotS place, sort of a Sarah Newlin finding her knight, Jason questy feel.) (All lyrics here.)

Reason You Should Not Hate Me:

Listen. I'm sorry if this offends you Evanescence lovers out there. But if you can't giggle at the sheer volume of Evanescence/True Blood fanvids, then there is something wrong with you. I'll tell you right now, it's not because they're the best band ever. It's because they're more exposed. I also really like all the Evanescence fanvideos I chose, excepting the music. If you're uncomfortable with the way I've used your work, contact me and I'll take it down. I hope you understand that I'm not criticizing anyone personally. Except for Evanescence. And I hope you'll think about these alternatives for future videos or search out the more obscure of the genres.

P.S. If @SookieBonTemps does another song contest, I'm screwed. I'll have a lot more competition if anyone actually reads this.

Playlists -- Yes? Yes? Yes?

Just a couple of songs based on a song title and the ultimate monosyllabic answer. That is, if you only say it once and not three times... Unless the question is "Don't you hate True Blood?" or "Want this pack of Necco Wafers?" (They taste like old antacids.) That is all.

The Lineup:

1. "Hell Yes" by Beck (Official -- I love this. Dancing robots? Hell Yes.)

2. "Yes/No" by The Futureheads (Sound Only and "Toddler Style" -- Man, isn't it hilarious how all little kids do the same dance? Giggle, bend knees, raise arms, jump!)

3. "And Then I Dreamt of Yes" by The Dandy Warhols (Official)

4. "Yes" by Coldplay (Live)

5. "Yes I Am" by Radiohead (Live)

Video. "Say Yes" by Elliot Smith (Live)

Video. "Yes? Yes? Yes?" by Flamingo Crash (Official)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Episode 10 -- Jason's Gettin' Soldiery.

It's in linky form for right now over at E! Online, but the sneak peek for this week's True Blood, "New World in My View" is here. (Or you can see it on HBO's site here, along with the full preview.) This one's all about Jason Stackhouse and his heroics, which aren't very smart. Leave it to him to be interested in a new waitress over the idea of a clawed monster running around. Jason is nothing if not consistent. I also enjoy the Jason's "gettin' soldiery" music.

There's also an interesting video playing in background. Possibly Bill's Wii? I thought I saw some sword action going on.

Anyway, I'll put up the HBO video, but they never work for me for some reason. It's worth a try.

UPDATE: Video's no longer wonky and is posted below (I left the original link above), but in a related story, @SookieBonTemps posted this link for a video explaining the game playing in the background of the scene on Bill's Wii is called Dead Space Extraction (Released Sept. 29) and from the clip it looks more like zombie-ish creatures than sword-wielding anything. I guess I've got swords on the brain. And did you notice that Hoyt's also been pretty observant? I guess with Jason gone, he had a lot of time on his hands before Jessica showed up.

Eric Tees -- Sigh. And Not the Good Kind.

I both love and hate to tell you this. They are now selling Eric Northman and True Blood t-shirts at Hot Topic. Sigh. (An exasperated one, not the good kind.)

Why do you ruin everything I love, Hot Topic?

Let me tell you. For now it's okay, but the first time I see someone wearing an Eric shirt who wouldn't know Eric's ceremonial dagger from his bic, I may have to scream.

When they start printing GP jokes on them, I may have to off myself. And any girl who pronounces his name any of the following: Saarsgard, Skarskard, Derrick or Alec. And I'm throwing in "That guy." for good measure.

You have been warned. And when I pass the store in the mall, I may have to fall to my knees and cry bloody tears when I scream, "HBO, don't do it. Please! Please! Please. HBO," in Old Swedish. (Too soon?)

Not that it'll help anything, but maybe @EricNorthman will eat any of the people who are unworthy. He'd enjoy the sport.

Maybe it was naive of me to think that True Blood would have a cult following forever. But it looks like our favorite Viking is going to populate those dark-colored shelves with our favorite Sparkly Pansies. And then I will die a little inside. And it won't be from sexy Eric bites.

UPDATE: Friends are the best. Now, I was feeling all sad about the prospect of Eric Northman becoming a Hot Topic commodity but Nystacular knows just what to say. "Think of it this way, she's just a fangbanger." To which I could only reply, "Awwww. Because then we're Sookie Stackhouse and Eric loves us! (Mostly me.)"

You know you're friends are awesome when they make you feel better with obscure pop culture references. So, I'm spreading the love around. There is hope. Don't worry. The zippered Hot Topic girls are the Gingers and the ones who really appreciate him are the Sookie Stackhouses. Best idea ever.

Sailor Moon -- My Grade School Sookie

After revisiting my childhood pop culture faves with last night's post and An American Tail, I looked up another one. I used to love Sailor Moon. I even had the theme birthday party with the cake, cups and the paper plates with Sailor Moon winking up at all my party guests. I can remember watching it with my friends and lusting after stuffed Luna dolls at the mall.

But what I didn't remember was the villain seen in the video below is sporting some nasty fangs, then turns into an evil-looking corpse dressed in a harem outfit. That very well may have been my first vampire, but a saw more of a connection to Sookie Stackhouse's role than to any of the True Blood vampires.

Unless you count them as objects of my affection and fictitious character crushes. Oh, Tuxedo Mask, why don't they wear the capes anymore? Oh, yes. Maybe this is why. Racerback tanks are more badass.

Sailor Moon was my grade school Sookie Stackhouse. It's not just because they're both tough, spunky blondes, it's all they represent: A strong female role model. Of course, True Blood doesn't always paint Sookie as she was written. There's a lot more "Save me, Bill!" than I can remember reading, but the principle's the same. Like Serena, all Sookie needs is a little motivation and she saves the whole world. Even if she sometimes gets distracted by the cute guys. (Note the fact that Tuxedo Mask is the gentlemanly tall, dark and handsome, Sailor Moon's the fair-haired heroine and the evil guy's a blond with similar new Eric hair?)

Lessons Learned from This Rediscovery:
1. Eric Northman still trumps every fictional character (and real-life?) crush I've ever had.
2. Sailor Moon was probably the reason for my elementary school obsession with Feminism.
3. Luna was responsible for my Crazy Cat Lady tendencies. (I thought I might be a Sailor Scout.)
4. Cartoon hair is ridiculous. And awesome. (And sometimes talks to you?)
5. It's okay for heroines to cry and wear skirts and short shorts if they get results.
6. Whether it's a tiara or a chain, my girly role models can turn bitches to dust, save their worlds and their loves.

There's someone to teach you about life through pop culture at every stage of your life. Sailor Moon set a standard for me at a young age. She's all about justice and love and cute outfits. Without that, I can't imagine that I'd feel the same about Sookie.

UPDATE: I can't stop watching this Sailor Moon clip. Old habits die hard?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Eric?! -- Of Mice and Stackhouses

Maybe I'm having too much fun with last week's episode of True Blood, "I Will Rise Up," but when these things occur to me I usually just giggle to myself. Now, I feel compelled to share them with the world or at least with the people who find this blog. This is yet another installment of "What About Eric?!" but without the Eric. Sadly.

Anyway, I got to thinking about Sookie and Jason's heart to heart. I don't think I gave it enough time. I was too busy spazzing over Eric. (Still am.)

But after I thought about that scene, all I could think of was this scene from An American Tail where Fievel and Tanya Mousekewitz are trying to find each other. A movie which I saw again recently after watching it incessantly as a kid... and finally understanding the Communist references (Beginning 4:36).

The mice sing about love and family togetherness and cute mouse things. And I always thought it was a little too romantic for siblings, what with the moon and the stars and the orchestral music... At least both of them are fully clothed. And also mice.

Maybe that was the inspiration for last week's scene. Can't you just picture Sookie in that babushka?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Playlists -- I MUST Have the Beat.

Today, I am trying very hard not to fall asleep after setting my alarm at an insane 6:30 a.m. after months of vampire sloth-like hours. Ask any college student that isn't slightly strange and you'll understand the hardship of getting up before 9.

But seriously, it isn't just coffee that gets me going (although my cup was delicious with my banana brown sugar oatmeal...). It's the music, duh! Maybe it's not "Macho Man" (See Clip from "Witch" below or watch full episode on hulu -- Actually one of my favorite episodes of Season 1) and I'm not hyped up on blood spells, but I still "I MUST have the beat." (That one's from "The Dark Age," opening scene but full episode is below.) Oh, Buffy reference. Sometimes I scare myself.

OK, have the beat. Or at least the upbeat.

The Lineup:
1. "Paris" by Friendly Fires (Official)

2. "Magique" by We Are Wolves (Official -- I feel like adding only We Are Wolves right now, but that's not a proper mix! Bad Alison.)

4. "Hummer" by Foals (Official -- I wanted "Tron," but hates me.)

5. "It Don't Move Me" by Peter Bjorn and John (Official)

Video. "All in My Head" by Good Shoes (Official)

Skarsgard Fix -- Zodiac, Heartbreak

This article recently appeared on The Vault about the Zodiac signs of the True Blood stars. I'm posting it here because I found it very amusing that I share a sign with Stephen Moyer, a Libra. (This isn't an invitation to pinch my butt, but, by all means, take it as one to pinch Moyer's.) What conclusion did I draw from this? Well, the fact that Virgo Alexander Skarsgard and I are not meant for each other. You hear that? It's the sound of hearts breaking... Yes, the hearts of Skars-loving Libras all over the world breaking. Today is a sad day.

I don't think heartbreak is too much of an exaggeration, do you?

What have we learned from this? It's okay to be jealous of Leo Anna Paquin for one more reason. Luckiest girl ever. And her lucky day is Sunday. Imagine that.

P.S. Today is my friend Nystacular's birthday! Head over to her blog to send happy thoughts and listen to some retro Happy Birthday tunes! (She's a Leo too. I dare say, her compatibility with The Skarsgard very well may ruin our friendship.)

UPDATE: 8/21/09 9:56 p.m.

The Vault just posted a new Zodiac reading for Vampire Bill and Sookie based on novel birth date info. Sadly, no Eric. And I'm still bummed about The Skars. I'll go back to my crying...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What About Eric?! -- Proof of Bill Wickham!

Now, I'd like to add onto my earlier "What About Eric?!" post and add some visual aids to strengthen my Pride and Prejudice Eric-Darcy/Bill-Wickham argument. I'm not saying too much because I don't know exactly how the story will play out book to show, but I will put up these little snippets for your consideration.

Take a look, my friends. See any similarities? Add in a couple of leers and a pair of fangs and you've got Mr. Northman. Although I don't think Mr. Darcy would be quite so vocal about wanting to get into Elizabeth Bennet's petticoat. Oh, and take a minute to picture Alexander Skarsgard in those pants. What was I saying again?

And Mr. Wickham, where did you get that haircut? At Vampire Bill's House o' Sideburns? I think so. And you don't have to picture Stephen Moyer in those regimentals. His Civil War duds are close enough aesthetically. (P.S. I kind of love the screen caps for these videos side by side. It makes me right. Down to the letter. I am observant.)

UPDATE: Darcy and Elizabeth are also really big on the eye contact, as you can see. And while he has many admirers, seeks to have the best woman or none at all. I'm pretty sure Eric Northman would enjoy a country dance just about as much as Mr. Darcy does initially, but I don't think he'd mind feeding on a few ladies' femoral arteries for his trouble before he scowls and goes to chat with Pam. What would Vampire Darcy do? That remains to be seen. (They already fought the zombies!)

Webtastic -- Date My Avatar

I love The Guild. It's the pet project of Felicia Day (Of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and last season Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame). Here's a new music video from The Guild folks called, "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar." This is so funny. And I am jealous of their outfits. What does that say about me? I don't know, but I might be frightened if I wasn't laughing so hard. See The Guild on YouTube here or on The Guild Website here. New season August 25! (Also Alexander Skarsgard's 33rd Birthday!)

Now you can also see all of the videos featured on Record Cozy and some that are personal favorites of mine, or just plain amusing, on the new Record Cozy Channel on YouTube. I hope I inspire much time wasting! (Videos for knitters, music enthusiasts, Truebies, Skarsgard fans, and more await!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Episode 10 -- It's Eric! Possibly Shirtless?

Next week's True Blood is called, "New World in My View." Oh, more Maryann. My favorite. Maybe it'll all be worth it to see Jason wielding a chainsaw. Maybe he'll chop his arm off! I hope not. Who's idea was it to give Jason a chainsaw? And... I just noticed the colorful graffiti. The residents of Bon Temps have turned into the dude from Superbad (Exhibit A beginning 3:12). Only one flash of bitey Eric... but very possibly shirtless?

What About Eric?! -- It's Wickham and Darcy.

This post is coming a little later than usual because I, like I suspect many of you, needed a moment or two to collect my muddled thoughts. And to stop drooling. And spazzing in front of the TV. I also felt it was quite necessary to watch the dream sequence again, not only to enjoy the... splendor... but to catch the lines of dialogue due to my distractedness during the first viewing. Oh, Eric. Yes, please.

In Episode 9, "I Will Rise Up," we saw a bit more emotion, and a focus on the family units in True Blood. That means there was Lettie Mae Thorton and Maxine Fortenberry acting maternal. (Surprisingly strong in Lettie Mae's case and unsurprisingly bitchy in Maxine's.) The babies remark from Mamma Hoyt was a low blow. But we know she's "full of hate."

But I can't contain myself any longer over the Eric scenes, and the explosion, so I must leave the family stuff for later.

How incredible was the bullet suck? I have been on pins and needles waiting to see if that scene would be cut in the book-to-show transition. Gladly, it remained, with a little tweaking.

So, the bomb goes off and there's squishy guts everywhere. And there goes Eric, covering Sookie. To protect her... maybe. Or because he's "opportunistic" (wink wink)? In the book, I imagined this as a face-to-face positioning, and I think it was. But, it worked out well here. When Eric leans back and grins fangily, I swore he was about to wink at the camera. I wish he had.

I lament the omission of the book Eric-Sookie kiss, after Eric's lust is kindled by the blood and Sookie taking his, where he says, "Your lips are bloody," and proceeds to... rectify that situation with his own.

Bill then explains that Sookie and Eric will have a blood bond of sorts. Sookie reacts to this by girly punching Eric and calling him an "A-hole." I kind of love it when he's all, "Yes, Bill, I do believe I can sense her emotions." and after she calls him a "monster," there's the classic, "I think I'm gonna cry." I love Eric.

Things I don't understand: Bill grabbing the Fellowship dudes and biting then claiming to have shown mercy. Hey, I guess he didn't chain them up in a basement or rip of their extremities, but he's no Mother Theresa.

Oh, and Bill: Why did you have to say SEXUAL like someone's Health teacher? No complaints about Eric and SEXUAL anything, Mr. Compton. At least not from me. His attractions are working without that blood bond, unless you know something I don't. The way Bill talks about it, you'd think Eric was frickin' Quasimodo or something.

I loved Jason's thumbs up for guts! I eeeewwwed after Luke's severed hand, of course it was the honesty ring one. (Sidebar: You know you're Twittering too much when you see a severed hand and think, NEW Twitter account for someone! @LukesHand... Hey, there's @EricsButt.)

Sookie and Jason's hotel conversation was very real, and touching, if not a teensy bit sullied by the fact that Jason was in a robe and chatting about his "sexual abilities." Maybe I'm more of a prude than Sookie, but I don't think I'm cool enough to be comfortable with that kind of talk with mon frere.

Lafayette was a big hero this week. He may be a "person of low moral character," but I loved him for being a good cousin and for taking Tara out of a bad situation whether she wants to be taken or not. The mix of emotions you felt when he tossed Tara over his shoulder pretty much embodied the show's appeal for me. It was a little funny, but it was sad and also strange and creepy with her hollering and black eyes.

So sick of Maryann, btw. And give Sam something better to do than run from Maryann. Or be a fly. Yeah, that was Sam Trammell's best performance so far! He really pulled off the fly. Geez. I like Sam, not every woodland creature that is good at fleeing from mobs and maenads.

Maxine's culinary prowess astounded me. Yeah. It was cheese toast with chips. And it was even the plastic cheese. Hoyt standing up for himself made me smile, and the fact that he's all, "I'm a grown-ass man!" ...but I'll take this sandwich!

I'll admit that I thought he looked a little more attractive to me standing up in that room with the low ceiling. Is Eric Northman inspiring tall guy fetishes? What? Who said that? For a moment, I thought Hoyt would deserve a card on Blood Work this week over Eric, even with the bullet suck. Little did I know...

Listen, I took notes during this scene, and just for a picture of how muddled my thoughts were, I will type them out verbatim, and then translate/elaborate with my real, second viewing notes.

Alison's notes, Take 1: HOLY CRAP! Hard to focus on dialogue... AAAAH! Hair. Just a taste of later. "There's love in you." "Only for Sookie." HE DESERVES A CARD. Guilty sex! Good Lord that was hot.

So, let's translate that, and add in my real notes (albeit still forcing my brain to focus when there's naked Skarsgard): I fully expected a guilty sex scene when Sookie wakes and turns to Bill. But, I guess that'll happen later, since it follows the formula (See the original post at Blood Bonds Blog).

NOTE POSSIBLE SPOILERS for non-book readers this paragraph... One of the things about the dream sequence is the fact that you pretty much could have taken it out of Dead to the World. And I appreciate the fact that they dropped another hint at Sookie's lineage. "Can't trade the sun for the moon and the stars."

You'll notice that he didn't bite her, which I expected, but they really meant to humanize him, yet again. But isn't this all coming at once for people who haven't been waiting all this time for Eric's real personality to come out? There weren't as many breadcrumbs left to lead you home to our "sense of humor" or love for "only Sookie" Eric. The first we saw of him was last episode. Hell, I loved it. But that doesn't mean everyone else will if you didn't set it up from day one like Charlaine Harris did.

This episode really showed the Eric I loved since Loving Dead in Dallas. The impish flirt, the loyal, the sensitive and noble man. He smirks and plays at a time when many of his brethren are dead. Bill punches Eric at a really, really bad time and he walks away. He cares for Godric enough to cry in front of Sookie, enough to offer himself to die in support of his maker. The dream Eric is really our future Eric, and the one we know is in there, it's both touching and painful, to see him like that now. Let me tell you, there are going to be a lot of red faces come two years from now, if there is a True Blood god.

The Godric parts were emotional, and I'm not a Godric fan, but you really saw the Sookie that Charlaine Harris wrote, come out. Maybe that's because the "Meeting the Sun" scene was done very similarly in print. I loved Sookie for taking Eric's hand and crying while Godric burned. And I loved her for being herself and doing what was right and not hiding behind Bill, for once.

I've talked to people who only watch the show and they ask me why when I say Sookie is my favorite character next to Eric. Well, this is why. I like the flirting with Eric-Sookie and the crying for Godric-Sookie and the cares for her brother-Sookie. I even like the cares for Bill-Sookie. But enough is enough. You are your own woman, Sookie Stackhouse, and it's not your job to run to Bill every time something goes south! At the very least you should run to Eric. He's not going to coddle you.

You know what my Bill and Eric philosophy is? Why would you want Mr. Wickham when Mr. Darcy's right there? I mean, HE'S GOING TO MARRY YOUR SISTER! Metaphorically speaking, Ms. Stackhouse. Wake up and smell your Mr. Northman. Preferably naked. Take a note from Elizabeth Bennet. She got it right, and I'm getting tired of waiting for you to follow suit.

Playlists -- Boy's Names

I'm an equal opportunity poster. And I like boys. So, here we are. There's one name we all know on there! And it sounds just like his Fellowship days... or at least the part about the sun (It's son, but I don't care!). Oh, Jason. I like you so much better when you're fighting bigotry with paint balls than when you're the bigot. And it doesn't hurt that you're pretty.

The Lineup:

1. "Alfie" by Lily Allen (Official -- Puppets are creepy. Except for Angel puppets. I still love "Smile Time" best.)

2. "Phil & Don" by Camera Obscura (

3. "Saint John" by Cold War Kids (Live)

4. "Georg Bendemann" by Siberian (Sound Only)

5. "Jason" by Sufjan Stevens (

Video. "Jimmy Fallon" by The Willis (Live -- I think I needed a famous one. Burn a CD-R.)

Video. "Oh Larsen B" by British Sea Power (Live -- So it's a male Antarctic shelf. Because I say so. -- For poor audio... Lyrics.)

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