sexta-feira, 29 de abril de 2011

Concept sketches & travelling beauty advice

So I'm back to my (not so little) home in Lisbon, where thunderstorms are raging, just like they were when we left a week ago. Back to the mess of Chanel and Dior nail polish bottles that is my desk, back to my tiny little hyperactive balls of fur... and to the hell that is University.

I will show you all some pictures from my trip as soon as I get around to resizing, editing and uploading them.... not to mention selecting them (out of 1500). It's tiring and I'm not up for it tonight honestly so I'll just show you something else.

This is the armour for a character in a story I'm working on. It sounds pretty vague, I know - but I know me; I get over-excited whenever I make a new story and I continuously build on characters and worlds and when I get on to writing it I never go past two pages (yet I still continue building on the whole plot, just not in writing). So right now I'm trying not to get too over-excited and tell everyone about every single detail because a) they don't care and b) too much talking, too little writing. I'll just tell you his name is Cornelius, he's not one of the main characters but his role is pretty big and he's a crown prince. And this is a pretty bad asymmetrical sketch but I don't really care because I like the design of the armour and I never drew armour before so here.
I am in love with the helm. Go on, judge me, I don't care. I think it's sexy. And fur trims on capes, hmm.

Also while I was reading fashion mags on my way to Lisbon I made a mental list of all the must-have beauty items on-the-go: airplanes, trains, anything where you can't have your whole makeup set with you.

  • Light, all-round moisturizer
  • Powder foundation (for my skin, yours might be liquid) and/or concealer (I don't need it but most people do).
  • Neutral eyeliner pencil - brown or black, not necessary, just in case.
  • Black waterproof mascara - essential, even if you don't wear eyeliner or lipstick, a little mascara makes a huge difference.
  • Treatment/hydrating lipstick. You can use it as a base for your colour lipstick but a good, skincare lipstick is essential. I always have mine with me!
  • Anti-frizz hair cream, your hair probably gets frizzy when rubbed against train/airplane seats for a long time, trust me.
  • Moisturizing/repairing hand cream - hands and skin in general gets really dry especially in closed, air-conditioned environments.

My basic makeup routine when I know my day will consist of hotel -> car -> airport -> airplane -> airport -> airplane -> car -> bed (and it happens very often) is exactly that: basic. It has to be fast so you can reapply during travels, uncomplicated so any light will do and you don't have to check every 5 minutes. 1. Morning skincare - any way you do it. Exfoliating, cleanser, facial soap... 2. Moisturizer, and keep it at hand with you during your trip. It will help. 3. Light foundation, just a tad! I use powder because I have mixed skin. Powder is very practical for trips, you just slip it somewhere in your bag, no need for transparent liquids bag. 4. Hydrating lip-care lipstick, then your own lipstick or gloss over it. 5. Mascara
As you can see, no need for eyeliner!

Okay, I'm tired and I'm done here but I will try to work through my photos tomorrow.

Hope you're all having a lovely week (now weekend)!

sábado, 23 de abril de 2011


So today I went out to see the lovely city of Siena. The weather isn't as nice as last time we were in Italy - a little cold and rainy with very grey skies - but if you wear a blazer over a t-shirt you'll be fine.

On a sadder note, last night when I arrived at the hotel and opened my suitcase I noticed my laptop screen was broken.

This is what it looks like now. I also think the computer itself was damaged as it's acting weird so it's going to the PC clinic as soon as we're back in Portugal. Which pisses me off because I love this computer but oh well, what else can I do?

(some candles in the Basilica S. Domenico in Siena)

Multi-coloured pasta!

The cathedral. Gorgeous, love the stripes, made most of my pictures look like optical illusions.

The stained-glass window inside the Museo Del'Opera. I have better pictures but I don't want to upload them in their original size here.

These amazing owls were being fed in the tiny town of Monteriggioni when we got there! 

The best pictures will have to wait until I get home but I'll keep this updated (probably not daily though). As soon as I have a picture of our rental car I'll show you, parents and I have been laughing like idiots because it looks just like a funerary car, only blue. I'm not kidding!

quarta-feira, 20 de abril de 2011

There is time for everything.

Tomorrow I will be getting my documents translated, hopefully a University document will count as a high school diploma.
I will also be taking photographs at an abandoned factory. I want them to turn out wonderful so I can put them in my portfolio! Diana will be my model, if the weather is nice enough. Then I will be picking up more black and white photographs, some film I got developed.

Then on Friday, I'm off to Italy for a week. I can't even express how much it's calming me down thinking about this. I've been horribly stressed lately for more reasons than I've posted here and today has been a particularly rough day, especially when it comes to my ego - which seems to be practically non-existant sometimes. Today I gained 1kg and completely broke down, as if that meant I'd lost control over myself; I've been in a dreadful mood all day because one thought pulls another thought along and in five minutes, I'm telling myself I'm ugly and disgusting and untalented and everything is wrong with me, nothing is ever right.
This happens, day in and day out. I've tried to deal with it and stop it from happening but I can't, at least not right now. Maybe with practice, who knows? But I don't want to feel like this so often, if you know how it is, then you know I mean it when I say it destroys you from the inside out; when you're like this, nothing is good, everything has a bad side.

But a week in Italy is just bliss to me right now. I absolutely adore Italy. Everything is beautiful, the people are amazing and this is partly the reason I want to get into Rome so much. This time we will be visiting Siena, Pompeii and Ercolano (I write it Herculaneum, like the olden days), three places I've always wanted to visit since I was... I don't know, 10? I'm kind of a history nerd so the whole Vesuvius eruption story has always fascinated me. My mother is a Roman-nut so she taught me a lot of things, got me into reading history novels at an early age and everything.
I can't wait! I'm not going to Rome, which is a pity, and I'm not seeing Verona like I wanted to, but oh my god Pompeii! I'm so excited.

I will try to film something and upload it; I will also try to keep a diary but I doubt I'll manage it (I'm a procrastinator). Still, I will update this at least once while I'm there.

Then in May, off to the UK!

segunda-feira, 18 de abril de 2011

IED & Photography

Hello everyone.

You might not know because this is a recent blog but I have, for many months, been obsessed with trying to get into a Fashion Communication course at IED - Instituto Europeo di Design. Today I have received information (and documents) necessary to my application, which means I can now - finally - apply.
I am dreadfully nervous even though I know it will be a long process but getting in or not is a life or death matter to me. Literally - I have no idea what to do with my life if I don't get in. So in the next few days I will be preparing documents, signing up for a photography course and putting together a small photography portfolio - optional, but I have decided I will submit at least some photographs, better than not showing anything.

So today I'm here to, besides talking about how nervous I am, show you something I've wanted for a long time (yes, another thing I want to buy).

An example from Amazon.

Yes, a 35mm film (and slide) scanner. As you probably know I've become an analogue photography fanatic and most of my monthly allowance goes towards getting film developed. 35mm film can go from 5€ to 7€; getting it developed goes for about 5-7€ as well. Doesn't sound expensive at all - 20€ tops for a roll of film? Wonderful! The thing is, when you get your negatives, how are you going to see the pictures? You have to print them, right?
Well, printing can cost up to 15-20€. So what started out as 10€ per film turns into sometimes more than 30€ - film, development and printing. Cool, huh? If you have two films developed and printed, instead of paying 20€ total you can pay up to 60€. For someone like me, who does about 4 or 5 rolls of film per month,  it ends up making a pretty big hole in my wallet, when I could save sometimes more than 100€ per month.

If you have one of those nifty things up there, which go for less than 90€, you pay 5€ for film, 5€ for development and none for printing. But what if I want prints of my photographs anyway? Well, if you scan your own negatives, you'll have, say, 5MP photographs on your computer... which means you can pretty much print them yourself at home. 

For someone who is really into analogue photography, it ends up saving you a LOT of money! So my decision right now, since I already got my wonderful lens ( o b s e s s e d with it), is to save for this lovely little item, which will eventually help for saving more money!

sexta-feira, 15 de abril de 2011

Personal posts

I've decided I'm going to start posting on this blog as well as tumblr, it was supposed to be more of a "professional" thing but I guess I need to talk about things somewhere, so why not on a blog? I can always make an online portfolio when I need one.

So I guess a personal post, since I rarely talk about my private life to people. The thing is I don't talk about it because it's not interesting. The depressive stuff... well, even that isn't remotely interesting. There's nothing really bad in my life but everything is always wrong on the inside.

I would go on about it but I just noticed I can't. I feel uncomfortable and it's weird and I know I shouldn't because it's my own blog but come on! What am I supposed to say? It's just strange talking about myself without being asked about it. I can't just start explaining why I'm so fucked up and can't be happy despite my circumstances. I really don't want to, either, because I automatically feel embarassed, like I shouldn't be bringing it up in the first place, like those words don't belong outside my head.

So this is basically it, the way I think, the way my brain functions. Fun, isn't it?

Okay so let me try this personal post thing and see how it goes.

I hate my University.
I love the people I met there, I love one or two teachers and the student council. The building is amazing.
But I fucking hate everything else.
My classes, my course, some teachers, everything. And I don't mean it in a "I hate it but I deal with it" kind of way, I mean it in a "I will fucking kill myself if I have to stand this for another year" and crying myself to sleep every night because I have to go to class kind of way. This isn't whining, by the way, it's ranting. I just want to get out of there ASAP and study what I'm really passionate about because this is just killing me inside.

I feel so lonely all the time even though I have a lot of friends and people who truly care for me. I don't want a boyfriend right now because I have too much going on to even care about that kind of thing, and it would only hinder me. But I feel so lonely. It's ridiculous, doesn't make any sort of sense. I have wonderful friends, my parents care about me a lot, I don't want a boyfriend, I have undying love for my dogs (like my children)... I still don't understand why there's such a huge void in my life. Why I constantly feel like I'm completely and utterly alone. I don't understand and I hate it.

Despite not wanting a boyfriend right now, I worry over the fact I never had one; I honestly doubt a man can ever find me attractive and interesting enough to want a relationship with me and I think I'm unlovable - if the word exists.

I like animals more than people, way more.

I need to leave this country and live somewhere else; otherwise I will wither and die like a rejected plant.

People compliment me all the time on various things - singing, photography, writing, even advice - and it flatters me and makes me happy for a while but afterwards I just feel worthless all over again. I'm not good enough, I'm never good enough. I don't think I'll ever be.

So yeah, this was a personal post. I'll try to make more in the future because, as I've been told, it's supposed to help you. Getting things out of your system. I tell this to everyone else too, but for me, as I said above, it's just plain weird.
It's like.... I don't know. It's just not supposed to leave my head. As if posting it or talking about it makes it real, more real than it already is. That's scary.

Oh well.

sábado, 9 de abril de 2011

I want this

Sony 50mm F1.4 lens

I can't buy it right now, obviously. I need to save for my UK trip but this is what I'm buying once I can afford it. I need to start working on my digital photography because every day I get more excited about photography in general. I want to learn and get better and do this seriously because I don't think I've ever had something I've enjoyed this much.

quinta-feira, 7 de abril de 2011


When you're fresh out of University and you're running round applying to every single job slightly related to your major, you quickly learn that perserverance and superhuman effort is the key to success. Before I got my big break, I'd only worked one job and it was the most unlikely thing you'd ever imagine an aspiring young journalist and photographer doing - I was a cashier at a local Starbucks. It was a good job, I'll admit, fostered by my love of coffee and Starbucks in general, but as you can imagine it was not what I envisioned as a career. Once I realized I couldn't get excited about being promoted to a barista, I quit and started doing freelance photography to keep myself alive, all the while submitting written work to magazines and newspapers, both major and minor ones. All this while there was someone I admired, someone I aspired to become, my idol and hero - a certain Avery Bryant.

To those who have no idea who I'm talking about, Avery Bryant is a very prominent public figure in New York City, at least in the journalism circle. Just like me, he started out as an ambitious and eager journalism student and through his talent and hard work he landed a spot as a guest reporter in a small-time magazine; he kept trying to go higher, to be better, so he kept applying. Little after he became a resident reporter, he left to chase a job opportunity at a bigger magazine. He started getting famous in his little circle, which then widened, and soon most of the New York journalism enthusiasts were obsessively following his every move - as you've probably noticed, myself included. I could go on for hours but to cut this story short, Avery Bryant owns most of the magazines and newspapers in NYC and still writes for some of them - he's been nicknamed the Prince for his incredible talent, wealth and empire... and he's only thirty-two years old.
I sound like a fangirl, I'm sure. That's because I was, for a long time, before I accidentally met him at the same Starbucks I used to work in. I went up to him, we had a long conversation, and I sent him examples of my work - written, photographic, editorial, investigative. Anything. I wanted to show him how hard I tried and how I could do absolutely everything I could be asked to do in this business. One night I got a call from him - not his assistant, him - and the rest, well, it's history isn't it?

I have to say though I didn't expect him to be the type of boss to call me at one o'clock in the morning, his voice barely audible over the overwhelming sound of male laughter, probably alcohol-induced, asking me to meet him wherever he was with the article I'd just finished. I thought I'd just give it to him in the morning so yes, I'd texted him about finishing it, but such a call when I was buttoning up my trenchcoat preparing to go home was both unexpected and not surprising in the least. He may not look it, but in almost a year working with Avery I have found him to be impulsive, secretive, overly excited with some things and completely indifferent to others and quite manipulative. So I swallowed my pride and my desire to sleep and hailed a taxi to meet him at the elitist sushi restaurant he often dined at with his close group of friends. I must take this moment to remind you that however dedicated to him and work I may seem, I do not have a crush on him. I might have had, once, in my time as his fangirl, but despite him being my boss I would describe our relationship as something similar to bickering but loving siblings.

It was late, I wanted to sleep, I yawned my way to the restaurant with a usb drive in my pocket and a roll of printed paper in my hand, all the while replying to texts on my cellphone, mostly just to stay awake as the senders were probably sleeping. It was a Wednesday, not a Friday, I still had to get up at seven o'clock to show up in the office a little over nine, even though I knew I'd be the first one there - Karl had to commute from Staten Island every morning and Avery... well, his nights are pretty crazy all week long. When I got to the restaurant I was cranky but at least my make-up was intact, so I pushed open the glass doors and asked a waiter about Mr Bryant. He nodded towards a lady at the bar counter, who called a number on wall phone, muttered something and nodded back at the waiter, who only then guided me to the first floor of the restaurant - the private dining rooms.

He slid open a typical japanese panel door, announcing my name. I poked my head in and smiled at the waiter, silently letting him know I didn't need the pomp and circumstance. Avery sat exactly at the middle of a U-shaped table, looking exactly like you'd expect him to look at 1am - silver-blonde hair perfectly combed and slicked back, crisp, ironed white dress shirt with a sharply-tailored grey waistcoat. The rest of his friends all dressed in the same manner, which to a single, old-fashioned girl like me probably meant I was in heaven, but I was (almost) too tired to care. Avery waved at the waiter, who closed the panel door and left. I stood in the middle of the small, brightly lit minimalistic room; as soon as I raised the roll of paper to hand it to Avery, he beamed.
"Anna! So you finally decided to join us!"
"I just came here to bring you the article, Avery. I need sleep."
He laughed, as if I'd just told an awkwardly funny joke. "Oh please. You're young - we're all young! Sleep is for the old."
"You'll get older faster if you don't sleep." One of his friends, whose name at the time I didn't know, commented quickly before taking a sip of what I later found out was warm sake.
"Your wrinkles are making you bitter, Nate." They all broke out in laughter and Avery waved at me. "Come on, sit down. Have a drink with us."
I shook my head decisively. "No, I came to bring you this article. I'm tired, I want to go home."
"I'm not reading it unless you stay." "Avery, you asked me to write this, if you don't read it then you're a fucking moron."
A resounding 'oooooooh' came from the rest of the group, and one of Avery's friends elbowed him. I blinked and waited for a response, not at all surprised at the level of childishness coming from people older than me, even if only by a couple of years. When Avery sighed and flashed me that charming smile of his, I knew there was no other way. I took off my trenchcoat, threw it over the coathanger and forced a smile. Immediately half the men sitting on the sofa got up from the table, making me sit next to Avery. That Nate guy sat on my other side, raised his glass to me and drank the rest of his sake. Avery put his arm around me.
"So glad you're here. I won't let my friends hit on you, I promise."
"Since when am I to believe anything you say?" I was there, I might as well play along with it. Nate covered his mouth, spitting out sake onto his own hand as he started laughing. Patrick, whom I'd met before and sat on Avery's other side, patted him on the back.
"Should you be allowing this from your own subordinate?"
"Should I?" Avery raised his brow at me, to which I smiled innocently.
"Order me some sake?" I wanted to sound assertive, but couldn't. Avery laughed and pressed a button behind him - an intercom of sorts - asking for another bottle of warm sake. Less than five minutes later, it was on our table and Nate was filling my glass. I was still wondering what I'd gotten myself into when I drank the whole glass like a shot. The rest of the table applauded me - they were working men, seeing an intelligent woman drink like that was probably oddly arousing - but I was really just doing it to see if I could get a hangover and not show up at work the next morning, just to teach Avery a lesson. But as Nate filled up my third glass I found myself smiling, laughing, talking. Avery had already slipped the papers into his satchel but at the time I didn't really care anymore. I was actually enjoying myself to a degree unheard of since my university days. Most of the others were already beyond happy and had descended into a state of drunkenness hilarious to those watching, but Nate, Avery and a young man called Ryan remained sane, albeit in a light mood. Avery kept his arm around my shoulders, like an older brother, and Nate seemed to have an incredible resistance to alcohol; Ryan had barely touched his sake. We were chatting on about mindless things and I can't really recall anything specific, except for question Nate asked me completely out of the blue.

"Anna do you like working for Avery?"

I blinked, frowning in suspicion. "Is that a trick question?" Avery laughed behind me and I looked at over my shoulder him. Nate chuckled.
"No, by all means. I'm curious, I've never worked for or with him." He took another sip of sake. "Neither have Patrick or Ryan."
"Oh..." It wasn't a trick question, but it was certainly a tricky one. I thought for a few moments, while Avery pretended to cover his ears. "Well... It's certainly odd." I smiled. "It's not exactly an ordinary work situation as it's only three of us in that office, but I can't complain. Hate to admit it, but I actually really enoy working for him and I don't think I'd accept another job invitation right now."
Nate smiled and nodded at Avery to uncover his ears.
"Did she say I was a manipulative bastard?"
"Yes." Nate smiled and rubbed my shoulder. "She hates you."
Avery filled his own glass of sake and stared into it.
"Good." He said with a clear voice, before flashing me a smile which I returned. He downed his glass.

Less than half an hour later I found myself standing outside in the street talking to Nate, while Avery and Ryan responsibly tried to explain to a shocked taxi driver all the addresses he had to stop at to take the drunk people to their respective homes. Ryan waved at me before getting into the car as well and Avery came up to us.
"I'm sorry, did he hit on you while I was away?" Avery raised a brow at Nate, who was quick to elbow him in the stomach. I laughed, blushing slightly at that thought. Nate was incredibly attractive, almost as beautiful as Avery, though his blue eyes and chestnut hair made him seem like a polar opposite. He was also quite shorter than Avery but still taller than me, though that isn't too hard to achieve.
"Are your hormones on fire today or is it just me?" He commented, while Avery handed me his arm. I linked mine in his and walked between them down the street.
"I'm trying to get you laid-- ow!" I'd stepped on Avery's foot so hard he had to stop to squirm. I wasn't about to be discussed as an object. Nate gave me a high-five, to which Avery sighed. I linked my arm in his once more and we resumed our stride, trying to walk off the effects of alcohol before both of them had to drive home. I'd never been with Avery like that except for that one time I had to take care of him while he was sick and it was my first time meeting Nate and I can honestly say, looking back, that was one of the best nights I've ever had - I didn't even for a second think something was missing, however mean this might sound to poor Karl. When Avery finally decided to look at his watch it was well past four o'clock in the morning. He clapped once.
"I believe it's time to go home." He smiled at me and I nodded.
"I promise not to come to work before noon." He ruffled my hair as if saying 'good girl'. Nate yawned.
"You're taking a taxi home, right?" "What, at this time?" Nate interjected, then looked at me. "Where do you live?"
I blinked, caught off-guard. I actually had to think for a moment and I think I remember stuttering. "Uhm... meatpacking district..."
"Nate can drive you."
"I can, I live right nearby. Not like this bastard with his own penthouse on 5th."
Avery smiled smugly, then hugged me. It took me a minute to realize this was happening but I managed to have some time to hug him back. There was something oddly charming about Avery outside work. He let me go and threw Nate a threatening look. "Keep her safe."
We waved at him as he turned around and went back the way we'd came, as his car was parked near the restaurant. As soon as he disappeared into the distance, Nate and I continued walking until we reached his car. It was early Spring, fairly warm though sometimes a chilly wind came and made me raise my trenchcoat collar to my face. Nate had buttoned up his slate-blue blazer.
"Where did you and Avery meet?" I dared to ask. The silence was comfortable, not awkward at all, but curiosity had been biting at me since he'd mentioned it. Nate chuckled and continued facing forward.
"University party. I studied advertising." He smiled at me. "Found him making out with my girlfriend."
I bit my lip. Nate continued, not allowing me to apologize. "I kicked his ass before even knowing his name. After I broke up with my girlfriend, Avery and I got to talk and became good friends."
His car was nothing less than what I'd expect from Avery's friend - black, sleek, elegant sports car that seemed like it could kill me with its pinky if it were a person. I stopped in front of it as Nate went to open the door for me. He smiled up at me but I wouldn't move.
"What's wrong?"
"Are you sure you don't mind?" I was completely taking advantage of someone I barely knew. No one ever drove me home, no one ever did my any favours except for my parents, and seeing as they were back in the UK I was pretty much on my own. Nate laughed, which I thought was odd.
"You're so weird! Come on, just have a seat. Car won't bite you."
I tried to smile but truthfully I was very nervous. Maybe deep down I was already aware I was growing fond of him despite never having met him before that night. I thanked him for holding the door for me and sat inside the car, buckling in. As soon as I was settled in he was already next to me, turning the ignition key. We drove off into the city and I took the chance to look out the window and see the lights rushing by as Nate blasted 90s rock in his car stereo. This was probably the closest thing I'd ever had to a date, sadly.
"You look thoughtful." Nate awoke me from my inner dialogues and I couldn't help but blush. It was probably just the alcohol, I'd be fine the next morning, I was sure.
"I'm just a little tired. I get distracted easily when I'm tired."
He smiled and didn't comment. Instead, he pressed a numbered button on his car radio and switched it to a calm music station. I laughed. "Are you trying to make me fall asleep in your car?!"
For the first time, I had no answer.

When we pulled up to my house, I didn't move for a while. I was unsure if I should say goodbye while preparing to leave, or say it first and leave after. Thinking about this made me think of why this was even on my mind and when I finally noticed we'd been sitting in silence for over five minutes. I put on my best charming smile, trying to cast away my introspective look.
"Thank you for driving me home."
"Don't thank me yet. Come on." He unbuckled his seat belt and opened his door. I tried to figure out what he was doing but no answer came until he showed up on the other side, opening my door for me. "Why are you still sitting there? Come on."
Confused, I stood up and got out of the car. We were only a few feet away from the doorway. He closed the passenger door behind me and looked at me as if he expected me to do something. I just walked towards the stairs and up the steps. Nate followed me suitly. I stopped before turning the key.
"You know..." I turned around to look at him. I was embarassed and flattered at the same time, also completely baffled. Why someone would actually take me to my door in such a short distance I had no idea. "You didn't have to do this. I'd be fine just crossing the street."
"I know, you can take care of yourself." He didn't even fight it. I sighed and turned the key, unlocking the door. I didn't know what to say. I actually found myself willing to say something flirty for the first time in my life - again, blame it on the sake - but I had no idea how that kind of thing was even supposed to leave my brain, let alone my mouth. So I just smiled silently at him, and just as I opened my mouth to say goodbye, he took out his blackberry.
"What's your number?" Nate said it so casually he almost sounded like Avery. I tried not to smile too much and gave it to him. He typed it out and saved it quickly, then slipped the phone back into his suit pocket. The way he smiled at me after that made me want to shrink myself into one of the catterpillars crawling up the wall to my balcony.
"I won't call you at random hours, but I might text you at some weird time - say, 5am - to ask you out for breakfast the next morning."
"That's okay."
"What will you text me back?"
I blinked and played along.
"I'll ask you where."
He smiled again and stared at me for a while. I just pulled my coat tightly against me, as if snuggling into it gave me some sort of security against whatever I was feeling right then. He looked over his shoulder at his car, then up at the brightening skies, then back at me.
"Well, I should go. I'll talk to you soon."
I nodded and waved as he walked down my doorway steps. When he reached his car and opened his door, before he got in he looked back at me.
"Don't stay up waiting for my text."

I laughed, wondering how I would ever get up before eleven. Maybe I could dare being a little mor e cheeky than usual. Maybe I could dare to be myself instead of just a shadow.

"As if."