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January 22, 2011

Fans are crazy, 2011 Edition, Part 2

Actress Ashley Greene tweeted about her dogs while boyfriend Joe Jonas's dog was in surgery. OH NO. Seriously, people. I mean, aside from this particular issue being rather silly to start with, there seems to be a trend of assuming that if someone hasn't said something publicly, they haven't said it at all (or don't agree with it). Let's take a deep breath and try to give people the benefit of the doubt, okay?

Posted by Kat at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2011

Spoiler Policy

Since I'm trying to write about all the books I read and movies I see this year, and also tending toward writing about TV shows as I have something to say about a specific issue rather than reviewing each episode, I thought it was time to revisit my spoiler policy and make sure everyone knows what they're getting into.

TV: I know this can be an unpopular opinion, but if it's aired, it's not a spoiler and I won't label it as such. If you're reading things about a show that you're not caught up on, you're reading at your own risk. On the other hand, if I'm mentioning leaked information about something that hasn't aired yet - and I don't usually do that, but I suppose I might - I will definitely label it as a spoiler.

Books: Since I'm often reviewing books to advise you on whether to read them, I'll avoid giving away big twists at the ends - especially on things like mysteries. (I assume you know how romances end.) But if you really don't want to know anything about the plot of a book, don't read my review.

Movies: If I'm going to give away the end of a movie currently in the theaters, I'll warn you. Older movies are fair game.

Posted by Kat at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2011

Fans are crazy, 2011 Edition, Part 1

(I know I've posted things along these lines before, so I thought this year I'd actually number the posts instead of jokingly calling them "Part 581" or whatever.)

It's not that I thought fans would suddenly be sane in the New Year, but we're off to a roaring start: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez seem to be dating, which means that Gomez is getting death threats. People. Come on. I just . . . don't get it. I mean, I get the idea of being really interested in a celebrity's personal life. I don't tend to get that way about most people, but at least that impulse makes sense to me. But honestly thinking you have a chance of getting together with someone you don't think you'll ever actually meet? To the point of hating people who do actually know the person? That I don't get. At all.

At least (most of) the Bieber fans are very young, so maybe they'll grow out of it. As I mentioned earlier, David Tennant is getting married. His fans are older, and, thank goodness, I haven't seen any actual death threats intended for his fiancee. But there's been plenty of grumbling, and people saying they're "heartbroken" and talking about holding vigils. Now, I'm sure some of this is exaggeration, and that's fine. But . . . I don't know. I guess letting your emotions get tied up in the life of someone you don't know just seems self-destructive.

Speaking of people with really devoted fans: there's photographic evidence (although I can't find it right now) that Bradley Whitford no longer has facial hair, so go ahead and throw a party or whatever!

(Hey, now that I think about it, this issue, too, is dealt with in Jane! A book for every occasion! Go read it!)

Posted by Kat at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)

December 30, 2010

Update: There is a God!

Ahem. Snooki is no longer dropping the New Year's ball in Times Square. The world might not actually end after all.

Posted by Kat at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2010

Oh to be in Ambridge...

I've spent the last three days catching up on dozens of episodes of The Archers, so over at Alyssa's place I went on about it for a while. I also found this shop of Archers stuff, and I want practically everything. Sigh.

Posted by Kat at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2010

Fans are crazy, Part 5483

My friend Alyssa Rosenberg is moving into her newly-purchased apartment this week - congratulations, Alyssa! - so I'll be doing some posting over at her place to help hold down the fort while she's busy. Tonight's post is about fans and showrunners interacting on Twitter and how fans shouldn't get a say in creative decisions.

Posted by Kat at 09:41 PM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2010

Katy Perry and Elmo

Here's the Katy Perry video that was too hot for Sesame Street. You're welcome, Dad.

1. A few thoughts: It's cute! I like it.
2. This song was practically destined to be on Sesame Street. It's about opposites!
3. To everyone who's saying that the fact that they had to change the lyrics means that it shouldn't have been on: Have you ever WATCHED Sesame Street? This is what they do. Sesame Street markets to parents. That's why it's so watchable and hated so much less than other kids' shows.
4. On the other hand, sure, she could have worn a few more clothes. But it really doesn't seem like that big a deal. There were no fewer clothes than you'd see watching the Olympics or going to the beach.
5. It has to be said: Elmo never wears any clothes.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 22, 2010

Journalists at Comic Con

Are you at Comic Con? No, me neither. Want to pretend you are? Here are some of my favorite journalists, bloggers, and other writers who are tweeting Comic Con coverage. (Suggestions of others? Hit the comments!)

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
Carina MacKenzie, Zap2It
Conception Allen, Blast Magazine
Daniel Fienberg, HitFix
Jenna Mullins, E! Online
Jethro Nededog, Zap2It
Korbi Ghosh, Give Me My Remote
Kristin Dos Santos, E! Online
Marisa Roffman, Give Me My Remote
Meg Masters, E! Online
Melissa Wiley, writer
Michael Ausiello, Entertainment Weekly
Mo Ryan, Chicago Tribune
Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy
Tierney Bricker, E! Online

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2010

The child star who SHOULD be emulated.

So. Lindsay Lohan is in jail. I'm not particularly a fan, but it seems vaguely surreal, even to me. I mean, for one thing, she's in jail and Roman Polanski isn't? Really? Anyway, it really seems like The Parent Trap was both the beginning and the high point of her career, and I can only feel badly for her. I was always a huge fan of the original 1961 Parent Trap, so I was very skeptical when a new version came out. But Lohan totally won me over:

She's really good! I'd forgotten how good until I rewatched that (fuzzy, sorry) trailer. Playing two roles against each other like that can never be easy, and for a kid, and with two different accents . . . it's impressive.

People sometimes say it's all but unavoidable for child stars to end up in some sort of trouble or failure. Maybe they all need to pay a little more attention to Shirley Temple.

She makes clear in her memoir that her life wasn't all lollipops and rainbows, and some of the stuff the studio executives did to her then would never be allowed now. But she grew up, retired from acting, raised a family, and became a diplomat. She was even Chief of Protocol. Not bad for someone who started as a "baby burlesk." (No, really.)

Posted by Kat at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2010

Podcast Recommendation: The Archers

Slate's June Thomas mentioned The Archers on Twitter recently, so I downloaded a few episodes and very quickly became addicted. It's a long-running BBC radio soap set in a village in England, and it's thoroughly enjoyable. There are 13-minute episodes six days a week, and an extensive Web site with summaries, family trees, and more. Just be careful when you get excited and start telling your friends about how someone was learning to make yogurt, and someone else was making a meat pie, and it was all SO DRAMATIC, because they're not going to get it.

Posted by Kat at 01:00 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2010

The Most Incredibly Exciting Week Ever

Okay, that may be overstating things a little, but seriously, folks, there's a lot of exciting pop culture stuff going on in the next week or so. Here's a rundown of the things that interest me. (Notes: All times are Eastern. Here's an explanation of "upfronts".)

Thursday, May 13
8 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries season finale (The episode description promises death and destruction. Damon says he wants to eat cotton candy and steal Stefan's girl. Yes, please!)
10 p.m.: Private Practice season finale (Okay, I'm not actually that excited about this, but apparently a main character will die, so there's that.)

Friday, May 14
Robin Hood and Letters to Juliet come out. No, I'm not expecting cinematic greatness from either, but as I am a fan of Matthew MacFadyen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and laughably bad historical movies, in the former case, and Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, silly Taylor Swift songs, and Italy, in the latter case, I am looking forward to both of these.

Monday, May 17
9 p.m.: Gossip Girl season finale (Blair responds to Chuck's ultimatum and, as usual, Jenny does something that makes us want to kill her. Necessary preparations: watch An Affair to Remember; buy scotch.)
10 p.m.: Castle season finale (I'm rather hoping this will see the end of Anders Demming getting between Castle and Beckett, but we'll see. It's too early in the series for Castle and Beckett to get together, anyway.)
Muse's new single, "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)," is released. (On a Monday? Yeah, I don't know.)
NBC and FOX Upfronts

Tuesday, May 18
9 p.m.: Neil Patrick Harris guest stars on Glee. Joss Whedon directs. (I don't need to explain why this is exciting, do I? Didn't think so.)
11 p.m.: Bradley Whitford on Chelsea Lately
The Demon's Covenant, the second book in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon trilogy, is released.
The third album of songs from Glee comes out.
ABC Upfronts

Wednesday, May 19
8 p.m.: The Good Guys preview episode (If you're unclear on my feelings about this, um, head over here.)
Google I/O 2010 begins.
CBS Upfronts

Thursday, May 20
8 p.m.: Bones season finale (They're saying it's going to be shocking and polarizing, again. So I'm a little worried. But at least no alternate realities this time!)
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy season finale
10 p.m.: The Mentalist season finale
Google I/O 2010 ends, so we'll hopefully have an Android-as-hotspot announcement by then.
CW Upfronts

Posted by Kat at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

February 08, 2010

10 Thoughts on the Super Bowl

1) I am not particularly a fan of either team, but I was rooting for the Saints because a) I like underdogs and b) that's who my father said we liked. (I tend to outsource these decisions to my father and/or brother.) So, that ended happily.

2) This is self-evident, I suppose, but football is so much more interesting now that I have some idea what's going on.

3) Of course, the problem with caring about both the football and the commercials is that it makes it hard to figure out when to get up to get a snack.

4) So. THAT was the Tebow ad? Well played, Focus on the Family, well played. You got us all excited about something that didn't even mention abortion. The message was in the pre-ad controversy, not in the ad itself.

4a) To all of you saying how bizarre it is for a college football player to tackle his mother, I ask: Have you spent much time with college football players recently? They do that all the time. In my experience, though, they're usually joking around and don't actually knock their mothers over.

5) The rest of the commercials, though! If they are a reasonable metric of society (and I certainly hope they are not), women are evil and/or worthless and men must assert their masculinity by buying cars. Or, um, pants. Seriously, though, I was shocked by the consistent level of misogyny, and if Twitter is anything to go by, I wasn't the only one.

6) Mark Sanchez's ad about women and heart disease, however, was a lovely exception to the ongoing assumption that only men were watching this broadcast.

7) And Google's ad was adorable. I choose to believe that the fact that they advertised does not mean that they are in any danger from Bing, but was instead done as a public service to give us a break from all the awful ads.

8) Oh! And the Harry Potter thing! I want to go!

9) So yes, The Who are past their prime, but I enjoyed their performance. But then, I like old British rockers. (I was disappointed that they did a weird medley thing instead of whole songs, though.)

10) Drew Brees's son is adorable. And who did the little ones in pigtails belong to? SO CUTE.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2009

Buffy vs. Edward

I this this video does a good job of explicating some of the more problematic elements of the Twilight story. It calls itself "an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward’s character and generally creepy behavior," and it's quite well-edited. The only problem is that some of the things it presents Edward as doing as similar to elements of the Buffy/Angel storyline, and Buffy didn't react to Angel the way that this video is making her react to Edward.

Posted by Kat at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Oh, CNN...

Did you really have to use the word "TomKitten"?

Posted by Kat at 11:24 PM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2006

"I think Coke has jumped the shark."

That was my roommate's response when I showed him the four-pack of Coca-Cola Blak I brought home from the grocery store last night. For those who haven't heard about this, it's Coke with "coffee essence." It's also $6 for four 8oz. bottles, at least in my store. Expensive, but I can't imagine it'll last very long, and I realized that I just wouldn't be able to live myself if it went off the market and I'd never tried it. Plus, there was a coupon. I like coupons.

We just opened the first bottle at work this afternoon. My roommate doesn't like it and stands by his shark-jumping claim. My verdict, shared by a third friend who tried it, was "It's not as bad as I'd feared." It's odd-tasting, but not unpleasant, actually. I'll probably drink the others I bought, but I doubt I'll buy it again (except possibly to bring to a party as a novelty or something), at least at this price.

And on a related note, ever wonder how much of your favorite caffeinated drink it would take to kill you? Death by Caffeine solves this burning question!

Posted by Kat at 02:30 PM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2006

Books and TV and blogs, oh my!

I was all conflicted this morning: do I post about Black. White. or do I do a book meme? Decisions! Luckily, Cate made the decision for me by starting a new group blog: Reality TV Sociology. Come read or blog along with us if you're so inclined.

So the book meme! This is from Carole, even though she forgot me in the librarian list. ;-)

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Secret History - Donna Tartt

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

Hmm. There are some that might be on my bookshelf but I don't remember that they're there. (Someday I will complete my inventory...) Or that I've borrowed. Yeah. The Atwood is on my night table, actually, now that I think about it, but it's not mine so I didn't count it.

Also, apparently I do not decide that I won't read books. I mean, I'd read pretty much anything if you put it in front of me. (Vickie, this means you.) Also, yes, I've heard of all of them. Lit degree + enough time as a bookseller will do that.

Oh, and I forgot to tag people. How about Erica and Rachel and Kristen? (Sorry if any of you have already done it.)

Posted by Kat at 03:46 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2005

Things I Have Learned in the Past Few Days

1. Six Feet Under + Birch = up until almost two am. Yeah. Bad combination. By which I mean "extremely fun and wonderful." At least I didn't have to be up early the next morning.

2. When my apartment is 49 degrees, it is pretty difficult to get out of bed.

3. Knit.1 seems to have a gift for writing simple patterns in the Most Confusing Way Possible.

4. On Friday afternoon, my roommate had to go to a meeting that might have coincided with our free snacks here at work, so I was to grab a snack for him. I realized that I'd be more confident in ordering for him at a decent restaurant than I was picking out a candy bar for him. Does this make us snobs, or just adults? I'm not sure.

5. It is, in fact, possible to talk on the phone while rolling very hot cookies in powdered sugar. Just in case you were wondering.

6. Sometimes those "Oh yeah, this IS my real life" moments actually help. Yesterday I was trying to simultaneously bake cookies and write my novel, and feeling vaguely annoyed at the situation. And then I realized that, if all goes according to plan, I will be writing novels while baking cookies for the rest of my life. (Well, eventually it would be nice if I didn't also have two jobs and school to keep up with while writing novels and baking cookies, and then maybe I could have enough time to give the writing a break and concentrate on baking for a few hours. But really, no guarantees.) And, somehow, once I realized that this was it, the writing got much easier.

7. A radio station that replaces its DJs with recorded messages about how they no longer have DJs to talk too much is, in fact, more annoying than the stations that actually do have DJs that talk too much.

8. I want to be Meg Cabot when I grow up.

Posted by Kat at 01:41 PM

November 18, 2005


You scored as Serenity (from Firefly). You like to live your own way and do not enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you that you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

SG-1 (from Stargate)


Nebuchadnezzar (from The Matrix)


Serenity (from Firefly)


Moya (from Farscape)


Galactica (from Battlestar: Galactica)


Enterprise D (from Star Trek)


Millennium Falcon (from Star Wars)


Bebop (from Cowboy Bebop)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
Posted by Kat at 02:41 PM

November 09, 2005

Random Wednesday

(Yes, we had Random Kat Facts just last night, but that's a different kind of randomness. This is the "Here are twenty things I've been meaning to tell you but didn't have the time/energy/inspiration to write a whole post on" sort of randomness.)

1. If you would like a link to get a coupon for "Friends and Family Weekend" at Borders - 20% off now through Monday, I believe - let me know.

2. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the election results. Yay New Jersey and Virginia and Maine. Boo Texas.

3. Whoever decided to play "Saturday in the Park" (you know, the "every day's the fourth of July" one) right when the majority of listeners would be headed to work on one of the coldest days yet this autumn really should not be a DJ. (Or computers shouldn't be picking out music. Whatever.) That said, it did make me smile and it's a good one to sing along with. Can you dig it? Yes I can! (Of course, listening to "My Immortal" next didn't exactly do wonders for my mood, but who can resist the line "Your voice, it chased away all the sanity in me"? Yeah, I'll be listening to that the rest of the day...)

4. I finally finished the school assignment that had been hanging over my head being impossible for two weeks. Turns out I was making it far harder than it actually should have been. (What, you, Kat? Making something hard for yourself? Really? Shut up.) I'm ridiculously excited about it being done.

5. I'm also ridiculously excited about the fact that I'm wearing my "skinny jeans" that haven't fit in about a year. Whee!

6. Novel? What novel? No, really, it's... coming. I'm a bit behind but not irreparably so. As I said to my roommate this morning, I have nothing planned this weekend other than working all day Saturday (yes, he laughed), so I'm hoping to get a few good sessions in and get ahead.

7. Meg Cabot blogs! I somehow just learned this last night. Happiness ensued. (I know what I'll be doing during my down time at work today...)

8. I took a vacation day yesterday and Erica and I headed out for a day of excitement involving Harrisville, the Woolery, and crazy fundamentalist pizza. I'll let her tell you her big news herself, but let's just say that she picked me up at nine and by noon we'd managed to spend about $500 between us. And that was before the Woolery.

9. At Harrisville, I found a copy of Knitting Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves: 40 Great-Looking Designs by Carole Rasmussen Noble. A friend, with whom I had never before discussed porn of any sort (I don't think), recently told me that this was one of his "favorite books of knitting porn." It's out of print, and I didn't want to order an expensive used copy sight unseen, but there it was in the bookcase at Harrisville! And - yes. My friend was absolutely right. (And yes, I have started a glove.)

10. I may have also started the Irish Diamond Shawl from Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World1 in Harrisville Shetland in Evergreen2. I bought the "weaving" version of the yarn, on the cone, because it was a fraction of the price (and it's what the pattern called for, technically). I'll let you know how it goes.

12. I finally went to an orchard and got local apples, unpasteurized cider, and cider doughnuts yesterday. Yum.

13. Okay, my computer here at work is freaking out, so I think it's time for some quality time with AdAware.

14. But I don't want to jinx my bad mood by leaving off on number 13, so let me just mention how annoyed I am that my online registration for next semester is at 5 pm on Saturday. Because that is clearly the best time for everyone to be at their computers. (I get out of work at five, so I'll be at least a half hour late and probably not get my first choice of classes. Bah.)

1 Am I going crazy, or does my copy have a different cover than the one Amazon shows? Hmm. Check your copy. What's on the cover?
2 They have three million about ten shades of green, so I'm not sure if the picture of Wendy's I linked above is in the same color, but it's close.

Posted by Kat at 09:42 AM | Comments (3)

October 30, 2005

Random Sunday

Because randomness can happen any day of the week, right?

1. Something strikes me a bit wrong about Weight Watchers sponsoring a figure skating event. Let's see, how many ways can they find to screw up American women's body image all at once? It's multi-tasking!
2. That said, boy, are there some pretty boys in skating. I've decided that Evan Lysacek is my new favorite. (And when I was finding his Web site, I realized how young he is. Eek.) But no, I like him for reasons other than his looks... he's one of the few skaters I've seen recently who really seems like he is a) paying attention to his music and b) having fun. Whee. Can't wait for the Olympics!
3. You know the "shoemakers' wives go barefoot, and doctors' wives die young" proverb? (No? Well, honestly, I only know of it through Anne's House of Dreams, but I figure Gilbert is a decent authority for this sort of thing.) In any case, it seems that a little-known corollary, at least in this house, is that knitters get hypothermia. At college, I was known for always walking around knitting things in the dead of winter but never actually wearing any of the hats or scarves or anything I made. Apparently the habit has stuck with me; when the cold weather hit last week, I couldn't find a single hat or scarf or mitten. All I found were my leather driving gloves. So. This must be remedied, especially as my roommate and I are playing the "heat game"; I seem to feel that if I can knit us enough warm stuff, we can keep the heat off indefinitely. His fingerless mitts will be done tonight and then I'll start on a hat for myself. Pictures soon.
4. I tried to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and failed rather spectacularly. A freaking grilled cheese sandwich. Since I am, in general, considered to be a darned decent cook, I have logically concluded that the cause of my sudden culinary failure is the fact that I seem to be considering an advanced degree1 and maybe even a career in academia. (Yeah, I was surprised too.) The fates are reminding me that no, in fact, I can't have it all! Didn't they notice how I kindly conformed to traditional gender roles and let my roommate take out the trash the other day? (He said he needed to assert his manliness somehow.)
5. Have you read Michael Nava? No? What are you waiting for? I started with the last of the series, Rag and Bone, and absolutely loved it; I'm now tearing through the series from the beginning. Fascinating main character, insteresting mysteries, bittersweet romance. What more could you want?
6. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions (especially Cate, who has gone above and beyond) and expressed their support for my novel. I can start writing in 27 hours and 24 minutes! Not that I'm counting...

1 In this context, an "advanced degree" means a Ph.D. in something more strictly academic; I am currently in an MLS program but I see that more as professional training. (And really, it's about the most ladylike degree you can get, so the fates aren't interfering. They realize that spinsters need a way to support themselves. Isn't that why libraries were invented, anyway?)

Posted by Kat at 08:37 PM

September 29, 2005

What NBC taught us tonight

1. Spank children - not even your own!
2. Say things like "All the gays up against the wall" and people will just laugh and happily comply!
3. Deceive people and they will be thrilled to go out with you!

Will and Grace
1. Make fun of fat people!
2. Lie to anyone about anything, just for the heck of it!
3. Talk about strange women's breasts!
4. And I don't even know where to start with their stereotypical portrayal of gay men, but that's nothing new...

Okay, now that that's out of my system, I must say that Debra Messing was delightfully giggly, they all seemed to be having fun with the live premiere thing, and at least they made her decide not to sleep with the married guy.

And they showed a trailer for Serenity, so it's not all bad.

Posted by Kat at 09:35 PM

March 29, 2005

Yay! I love Violet.

Which Incredibles Character Are You?

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Posted by Kat at 11:30 PM

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