Reasie's Ritin'

Get me away from myself.

The Year-End Post

Okay, so let's wrap this dumpster fire of a year up. First up: Last year's resolutions:

DO NOT go to the hospital
DO NOT lose any weight
DO get strong again

Those were rather optimistic, turns out. I did have one hospital stay and I did lose weight right before it, but as of October my health is A-ok!  I'm back up to my fighting weight, though I have studioiusly avoided any actual exercise and so I now have a quite marshmellow-like consistancy.

Now, my year as a fiction writer:
I made 80 fiction submissions this year - down from 88 last year and 90 the year before. I had four acceptances, also down from last year. I feel sad as a writer, but I look at my end-of-2015 LJ entry and see I had expected to do much worse this year, since I pretty much did not write in 2015 - all of 2015's sales and submissions were stories written in 2014 or earlier.

I'm tracking 42 pieces in The Grinder right now, btw. My trunk, it is full.

I finished my Nanowrimo novel and I love it, though I am of course certain no one else ever will. I gave it to Grace and Brian to read, and although they have both gushed to me about it, neither has finished reading and it can't be all that good, can it, if they could put it down??

Still, it feels good to have written a new novel. I haven't done that since 2014.

My year as a knitter:
I did not knit much this year. I made a pink cardigan for my niece, Jennifer, for Christmas. I made an Oak leaf patterned tea towel as a wedding gift for my friend Azimars. I made a lace shawl that was tricky but much fun to wear, and I made this simple mostly stockinnette sweater for myself that i love.

I also made, like, 8 pairs of baby booties, having learned a simple pattern for them. Baby Booties are quick and adorable and my friends obliged me by being very fecund this year.

My year in reading:
I barely read this year - a paltry 38 books, mostly tasty pulp. I did rate 6 five stars in Good Reads, though, which might be a high. Quite a few of these will stick in my brain meats. Karen Joy Fowler's "We are All Completely Beside Ourselves" and Charles Obendorf's "Foragers" in particular.

Spending time every day with Jennifer has obviously impacted how much time I spend on solitary pursuits like reading and knitting, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  Having a twelve-year-old living with me has taught me a lot about life and parenting and my own opinions on both. Also I've gotten her interested in my favorite TV shows as a way to have less exhausting bonding time.

The girl does love to tickle fight.

Ok okay - so now for the resolutions going forward. For 2017 I resolve:
1. To beat my 2014 high of 90 short fiction submissions.
2. Do 100 push-ups a day for 100 days. (Get my strength back! grar! This challenge worked for me in the past.)
3. Be more politically involved, especially locally, as a democrat and a liberal and NOT A NAZI. Be able to say I did my part to stop the fucking Nazis. Because seriously: FUCK.

Breasie: A Fanfiction by Nae Nae

This was a gift I got on Xmas from my niece! She likes to write fanfic and she said she "ships" me and my hubby Brian. She calls us "Breezy" for Brian / Reasie.
Breasie <3

A fanfiction by Nae Nae

Copyright - Story: I made the story. However, now Reasie owns it as a gift.
Copyright - Characters: Reasie owns Brian.

Marie tapped the keys of her gray Mac.  She was currently editing and revising her novel. She halted in typing, trying to figure out how to phrase the next sentence. She sighed and pushed her bangs back.
"I don't feel like writing today," she let out a whine.
Brian walked down teh stairs holding the laundry while humming. Apparently, Brian had heard her.
"You have to finish your word count today, Reasie," Brian said. Marie sighed. She suddenly got a thought.
"Brian! Let's go to the coffee shop.  You can work on your game and I'll write," Reasie suggested.  Brian nodded. "Okay."

*Time Skip*

Now at the coffee shop, Marie and Brian were both on their laptops working. Reasie sipped her hot chocolate and pressed on teh keys of her laptop. Brian, who was listening to Taylor Swift through headphones, was determined to get some work doe on the sound of his game.  As Brian hummed, Reasie was actually doing well on her writing. She had edited quite a lot since they got to the coffee shop.

*Another time skip because I am lazy*

Reasie was sitting on the cream colored couch. Sh ewas playing on her laptop while the cat was on her lap purring. Marie was slightly annoyed at the little furball. "I just wanna play mindless games, you cat," Reasie grumbled.

"Brriiiiiaan," Reasie said.

"Yeah?" Brian responded from teh dining room.

"I'm bored," Reasie complained.

"Deep Space Nine!" Brian responded, quite quickly.

"Okay!" Reasie said.

Marie and Brian cuddled up on the cream colored couch together and put on the Star Trek spin off series, Deep Space Nine. Brian hugged Reasie and rubbed her belly.  Reasie, who was absorbed in the show, sipped her chai without looking away from the screen.

At the end of the episode, Reasie looked over at Brian.

"Brian?" Reasie said.
Brian looks at her.
"I love yoU!" Reasie got closer to Brian and devoured his entire neck. Brian let out a "meow".

Then, out of nowhere, a certain nosy 12 year old fabulous girl popped up next to them.

"Reasie hungry girl!"

The end

Female Chauvinist Movie Review: Rogue One

Man-Candy: 2
Feminismishness: 2
Hurt-the-Pretty: 4
K-2SO Bonus Points: 1000

Man Candy: Diego Luna and Donnie Yen are both extremely pretty, but damn if they can't seem to get their shirts off.

Director Krennic is NO General Hux, alas.  Oh, Hux. You are my One True Starwars Hatelove.

Feminismishness: MOAR MON MOTHMA.  She was barely in this thing.  I fear, once again, it's a case of "Heroic Female Leaders Cannot Have Any Flaws Because the Bar for Female Behavior Is So High You Have to be a SAINT Not to be a Bitch" which translates to "Heroic Female Leaders are Dull".

I had heard promising rumors of right-wing whinging about the diverse cast, but instead i found ONE female in the entire universe, practically, or at least the standard "Only one woman can be on screen at a time" surrounded by lots and lots and lots of white men. Like a squad of them for every token. I admit, they did a good job diversity-wise compared to other Star Wars, but Could Be Better.

SO HAPPY to see an older woman pilot in the big space battle, tho. And again, no big deal made of it. Think The Force Awakens did a better job of just peppering women into the background in near-representative quantities, tho.

Hurt the Pretty: Spoiler Free Review: BODIES HIT THE FLOOR.  Diego and Donnie both suffer very prettily. Though, sadly, very fully-clothed-ly.

Finally, K-2SO is currently my favorite character of any type, ever.  I love robots, you know, and he's just... yeah, he's like Marvin the Paranoid Android had a love-child with C-3PO who was scarred by such passive agressive parenting to the point where he was left politely psychotic.

Female Chauvinist Movie Review: Doctor Strange

Man-Candy: 2.5
Feminismishness: 2
Hurt-the-Pretty: 4

All scores out of 5

Man Candy: This movie showcased two of the most delicious pieces of male dessert on the silver screen: Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor.  Men I love enough to learn the spellings of their complicated damn names.

Oh, Chiwetel.  Your pretty eyes are just doomed to always play The True Believer, aren't they?

The Man Candy score is lowered by the utter lack of shirtlessness. Oh sure, we get a few nice looks at Dr. Chesty's atributes, but Mordo never so much as loosens his collar. And let's face it, a female superhero would have been NAKED when doing the astral projection thing. amirite?

(No, the Ancient One doesn't get nudie. She's the Wise Teacher trope. This does not invalidate my point. Also she should be Asian. Well, but 'wise teacher asian' is also a stereotype. But female would be good.  Oo Ming-Na Wen. Down fangirl.  But Tilda. I digress.)

Feminismishness: Pretty sure there are never two women on screen and conscious at the same time, but the aforementioned Ancient One does kick serious booty in a non-booty-showing way and I liked that there were two bad guy girls.

Hurt the pretty: Here is where the movie shines.  Our hero gets his body battered and his mind blown every other scene! No spoilers, but it's pretty much a beat-down for the good doctor start to finish, and nothing makes a man hotter than getting beat down. In my opinion. Hush.

And we get bonus pretty men hurting in Mordo's angst and even Benjamin Bratt's perenial "that guy" is sweaty and grungy 100% of the time he is on screen which is pretty hot.

Bonus extra cool points: How about those bad guy eyeliners, eh?? I wanna wear that.
And the cape. The cape was dope.  Dopest cape ever in the history of super hero capes. Sorry, Spawn, your crown just got snatched by sarcastic velveteen.

Alphabetic Dating
So Brian and I have been doing this thing for a couple years where we have been going to random restaurants in alphabetical order. Tonight was L.
The rule is: each date has to be a new restaurant at least one of us has never been to, and it can't be a chain.  So far we've done:

Budapest Cafe
Cafe 56 - we didn't know it was a chain. oops.
Heights Soul Food
Indian Flame
Jolly Scholar (no joke Brian had never been - besides I'd only ever had apps.)
Latitude 41n

Latitude 41n was AWESOME. It was the Clevelandiest restaurant ever. I mean it. You walk in and the atmosphere is 50% yoru parent's corner bar 50% trendy.  The prices are low the portions are huge and everything is delicious.  Full bar.  I strongly recommend the bloody mary.

So yeah, since my older sister and niece have moved in with me, my world revolves at least 80% around being an auntie.  I'm loving it, though it is stressful at times and there are days when all I want is to get away to somewhere I can talk to adults and not have to be 'on'.

I get the parent thing a bit better now, is what I'm saying.

Super anxious about her schooling.  Hyper aware of her body image and confidence problems and also sure I am just making things worse every time I open my mouth....
We're watching Buffy together. (Season 2 Episode 6 last night. Halloween! The introduction of Ethan Rain. Giles so smoulderingly bad! SQUEE!)
Ahem. Jennifer says, "I wasn't sure I'd like it at first because it's so old, but it really has a unique look.  I like the old-time-y clothes."

I died a little. But the point is: She likes it! And we're going to dress as Buffy and Drusilla for halloween. I already have a white regency gown. I'll just pull my bangs back and pop in some fangs! :) Maybe carry one of my china dolls, or make a Spike puppet to carry.  Though Jen says Brian has to dress as Spike if I'm Drusilla.  He's 50% willing, but no hair dye.
Perhaps I can find a short blonde wig?

I adore Halloween and it's been three years since I was healthy enough to enjoy it!

WisCon 40!

So I just logged into Livejournal to post about random stuff and found this unposted draft. er... oops? Guess I've not blogged since before WisCon.


Friday morning, May 27th, at 7am, Brian dropped me off at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones transit center downtown to catch the Megabus.
This was my first Megabus experience and I was a little nervous, though many friends had sung its praises.

I got a lovely seat on the upper deck and my row-mate was a charming, quiet young woman. We got on great!

Despite not sleeping much the night before, I didn't drop off but sat up, knitting. I finished an owl hat to give to my friend Gabby at the con.

I'd packed some snacks, but I ended up not eating them.  We paused at a rest stop near Toledo and I just wandered around, admiring.  I had plans to eat a hot dog in Chicago.

It started raining as soon we approached the Skyway bridge and I panicked a bit, knowing I'd have to walk two blocks to pick up the next bus.  But it was in front of Union Terminal so I thought: Well, I can see that!

I'd worn my vintage crinoline and my yellow Bernie Dexter dress, white gloves and a flat satin hat with demi-veil. I was so relieved to walk into the old train station and finally be dressed appropriately for my environs!

There were signs for a food court 'on the Mezzanine level' but I couldn't figure out how to get there. I went up and down several staircases and kept finding "employees only" signs.

Eventually I figured out there was another entrance across the street, a newer entrance in modern archetecture.  The food court was cramped, but there was, indeed, a hot dog stand and I got an official Chicago Style hot dog. It was ENORMOUS with neon green relish.  I didn't think I could finish it, but I DID.

Then I bought some toffee cashews at the nut stand and wandered around, looking for where the megabus would pick me up. The bus ended up being quite late, so it was good that I took forever finding the correct spot, which turned out to be the first spot I thought it would be.

I didn't get all that rained on, even, but I began to worry, as the bus creeped into rush-hour traffic at 5pm, if I would ever get to WisCon!  The bus stopped in a random small town - Rockford? Something like that - and the driver announced he was over hours and we would have to wait for a replacement driver.

There was nothing at the bus stop but a vending machine and a restroom. It was a tedious wait.

Worth it when we got to Madison! The town was so adorable!  The road we took was little more than an isthmus and the town spread out before me in glorious sunset over water, the capitol dome very prominant and lending a grecian feel to the scene.  The bus let me off in front of an art museum and I eagerly picked up my printed map and started walking! College campus! All around me! Quadrangles and sidewalks and skateboarders and the weather was lovely!

I got a little lost, but didn't mind. I stopped in an ice cream store and got a cone of "Exhausted Parent" - espresso, rum, and chocolate.  YUM.  As I licked, I got a text from my clarionmate, Kodiak, saying she and clarionmate Brandie were at a restaurant at the intersection of such a street and another... turned out to be one block from me!  I didn't have to worry about figuring out where the hotel was anymore!

I dropped into a seat with them in their restaurant and we lived happily ever after.
Well okay I mean we talked a lot and then went to the hotel to catch a panel on genre boundaries.  It was awesome.  I was seeing my clarion!  We ran into others at the panel.  I was feeling a wee bit panicked - did peopel really want to hang out with me? Was a third wheel? Okay, eigth wheel?  I wandered to the hotel bar and found Christian! With delightful companions. We argued about movies. Then Christian showed me to Patrick and Isa and Alyssa's room.  Patrick immediately gifted me a bottle of bourbon.  We drank it in paper cups with coca cola and talked about all the drama in our lives and how much we loved and missed each other.  I got such hugs from Isa. I missed my tiny bonesaws! I just had to find Gabby, with whom I was rooming.  And I did! And I gave her the hat I'd made and she LOVED IT.

I don't know when I retired for the night, but I woke up around 7:30am fully clothed, having clearly just stepped out of my shoes on my way to the bed.  My frist thought was "Oh good, I can make an 8am panel!"

The 8am Saturday panel I chose was "Sex with Robots" and it was VERY VERY worth it.


So, on April 23, just before we went to NYC, my older sister and my niece moved in with me.

I find I'm stressing out about being a good aunt. Is Jennifer getting enough cultural and educational stimulation? Will she finish her school work before the end of the school year? (This week! EEK!  She has seven math lessons to complete and a standardized test by Friday.  She's "home schooled" through an online program.)

This weekend the local NASA station had its annual open house. I so wanted to go.  I got up early and dressed in my space shuttle skirt.  It was 1pm before we got the whole family on the road, though, and we discovered when we got to Berea that the NASA open house is about as popular as DISNEYLAND.  Two solid hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic going into the parking lot.  We finally got a parking spot, I ran through the checkpoint and into line for the shuttle bus.  The bus was bording and I looked back. John was behind me, looking back at the checkpoint. I ran back. "What's the hold up?"

"Jennifer and Terrisa can't get through."

Sure enough - you needed a valid ID to enter NASA as it is a government facility.  Terri hadn't brought her purse.  I wanted to cry.  It was now 4pm and everything we could have gone to instead was closing.  My first thought was the Science Center. Then Brian suggested Lakeview Cemetery (It really is a great place to visit.)  Who ever heard of a Cemetery closing at 5:30??

As we passed East 30th I remembered the Cleveland Asian Festival was this weekend, at Asia Plaza.  A quick left and another, and I was parked one block from the fun!  Day: saved.

We got egg rolls and saw all the cute Totoros and we watched dancers and a beautiful harp solo and martial artists and ran into friends.  And since we were right next to Good Harvest, we were able to pick up a big bottle of Maggi and Brian's favorite Vietnamese sausage.   I hope the Asian grocery was a bit of a cultural/educational experence, even if it wasn't NASA.

We're so broke.

I hope I'm a good aunt.

NYC Day Four

Our last day in New York was IndieCade day!  It was also the coldest, rainiest day of all.  I wore my Pac Man print skater dress, space leggings, and the space print scarf I'd bought at The Enterprise gift shop.  Brian had been quietly tweaking and touching up his video game in the hotel room in all spare moments to prepare to take part in the Show and Tell portion of this national independent games conference.

It took place in the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.  We had detailed subway and bus directions, but at the last second, Brian feared we wouldn't make it in time due to the bus running only every hour.  So we hailed a cab.

Well, one must ride a cab at least once when in New York, right?

Turns out there was a huge bicycle event that day - roads were blocked off and fleets of brightly-clad cyclists sailed alongside us as we crossed the Queensboro Bridge.

The cab dropped us at 35th Street and 37th Avenue instead of 35th Avenue and 37th Street -- or maybe it was the other way around. Dude, who designed the street naming convention for Astoria? It sucks!  AHEM.  After a few blocks of wandering in the rain, we found the event site, only to find it closed!  We circled the building and finally found people going in a staff entrance. Young, gamer-y people. So I pulled a reluctant Brian through the door and explained our situation to the security lady, who led us to the room Brian would be setting up in.  We were the first people there who weren't organizers, so I helped set up tables and chairs while Brian unpacked his laptop.

Shout out to the Cleveland Game Developers! Brian was so anxious to get his CGD t-shirt before this trip.

Indiecade was kind of a big deal! There was a hall full of stand-up arcades with independent games on them and a hall full of interactive and unusual interface games. I played a  game whose interface was a DJ's mixing board and another whose interface was a giant beach ball hanging from the ceiling.  Another game had you pose to match a random two-dimensional shape and scored you on how well you filled the shape without being outside of it.  I was a tree, a stack of bowls, and zig-zagging legos.  (It also took your photo as you posed so you could see how silly you looked after.)

And the Museum of the Moving Image was a Steampunk utopia. I had no trouble filling the hours on my own, watching videos about the first moving pictures (made for science not entertainment!) and admiring all the old equipment and the exhibit on designing 2001: A Space Odessy and other science fictiony tidbits.

This is a camera. A movie camera. Can you believe that?

Over all, this was a science fiction vacation.  Start to finish.  After a delicious late lunch in Astoria ( Tacuba.  Mexican place.  SO GOOD. Guac. Breakfast burrito.  French toast with bananas and dulce de leche. The last meal of the trip was the best!  Some foodies we are, though, didn't take a photo) we took the subway back to Manhattan and claimed our luggage from the storage robot at Yotel. (Yes. The robot. They call him Yobot. Sadly, pic did not seem to come out.)

Our 8-ride Metro Cards lasted exactly to the airport, where we relaxed and ate chocolate after an easy trip through security.

Oh, then our flight was delayed an hour, then it failed to take off and we had to deplane and wait and we ended up getting home really late buuuuut still it wasn't bad. I had chocolate, after all, and Angus' cookies and my mini bottle of whiskey. So we didn't really miss a sit-down dinner.

NYC Day Three

So, after Opera Night, obviously we slept in.

Except I can't sleep in. I'm so not a sleeper-in-er. Not on vacation, anyway.

I brushed and braided my hair while watching the morning unfold 22 floors beneathe me.  Bright yellow and orange construction guys.  Buses with id numbers on their backs. The falafel truck opening up his windows.

Then I went down to get my muffin and tea, and I stopped in the gym to do a set of curls and tricep presses. Just 'cuz.

This was Coney Island Day.  My ensamble consisted of my Cthulu print skater dress and the "No Gods No Masters" necklace JenBo had given me.  I thought that made a nice statement. Also the necklace is green, which matches the dress.

I forced Brian against his will to have a muffin and we were off to Coney Island!

Every time I've been in New York, I've ended up on some train that says it goes to Coney Island. It was joyous to finally stay on one to the final stop! Well, next-to-final - that was the stop closest to the Cyclone.

The Cyclone! It crouches majestically across the street from the train station.  Built in 1927 it is a true classic, with only a lap bar and low seat backs. Safety shmafety.  Operated of course by simple wooden levers.

I was freaking and fangirling the entire time. The loading platform is a bit of a free-for-all, so we coulda gotten first car, or last car, but in deference to my hubby, I selected a car in the middle for a smoother ride.

The Cyclone is fast and fun! Even the chain-lift is surprisingly fast.  Lots of air time on the smaller hills, and some real throw-you turns.  Would ride again. And again. And again.

My one regret of the vacation is not getting the Cyclone t-shirt.  It looked really cute.  But... I already have too many t-shirts.

Luna Park is unique in many ways. It's not really one park? There are mini-parks with different owners.  Like a confederation.  There's no main entrance, really, and the park is broken up by streets. Imagine five blocks of amusement park, where each is actually a block.  You have to exit each block onto the beach or the street parallel to the beach, and re-enter the next block.  Did that make sense?

We didn't do our usual pre-amusement-park roller coaster reconaisance, so we had to rely on the ticket booth gal, who proudly figured out we could ride all the remaining roller coasters on a $40 value card. (They would have cost twice as much purchased individually!)  She also had the most dawling New Yawk accent.

First up was The Soaring Eagle. A lie-down coaster with a spiral lift hill that was nauseating yet awesome.  Compare to "Superman" but more janky? Also it was a wee bit more comfortable and easier to load and unload.  You climbed a short ladder into your human-pod, which closed behind you and then tilted forward.

Next: The Steeplechase.  Horsey Coaster! I started running for it as soon as I saw.  You straddle a vaguely carosel-horse seat (they had molded plastic cowboy legs that sat outside your legs.)  The lower-back bar squished me uncomfortably, but my tummy is sensitive that way.  It was a mag-launch, which is always scary - doubly so when you're on top of a fake horse!  After that, though, it was a fairly tame ride, and much fun.

"Wow," I said. "Those were both brand-new-to-us types of coasters! What's next?"  The Thunderbolt. A vertical lift, vertical drop steel coaster. Yeah, we'd ridden one of those before - The Shark in Galveston.

I chickened out.  Brian agreed to take a nice boardwalk stroll first.  I laid down in the sand for a bit. Just to lie in sand. OMG SAND.  I love sand.  Warm, soft, summery sand.

At last we made our way back to The Thunderbolt and I got my chicken self strapped in.  There was no wait.  The girl next to me assured me she'd ridden it dozens of times without dying.  The lift hill was scary. The sun was directly over head, so I closed my eyes, but then I didn't know how close we were to the top. Until I felt us bending forward.  I opened my eyes just in time for the drop and...

Oh, right... I /like/ hurtling toward the ground. That's why I ride these things.  The Thunderbolt was awesome, if a bit short.  Longer than The Shark, though.  Would ride many times again.  Smooth ride, too, and much more fun once I put my hands in the air.

Jubulent and famished, we hit the beach cantina for tacos!  I had the veggie taco and Brian had the fish and they were both AWESOME.  Also I got a mango marguerita that hit me like a brick with a slice of mango tied to it.  It was a wee bit chilly for frozen drinks, but there was something  awesomely summery about tacos and tequila on the boardwalk.  Oh, we also had mac and cheese bites. They were nice and warming.

Content and full, we went to ride the spinning wild mouse coaster, The Tickler.  It had the longest line we had yet faced that day.  The front of the park was now quite full of people when it had been nearly empty when we arrived.  The sun was warm, too, as the day reached its peak temperature of sixty-something.

I did wonder if getting drunk and eating a taco was a sound plan before getting on the spinny coaster.

We survived. ;)  Nausea factor about half a tilt-a-whirl.

We then walked down the boardwalk the other way, just to see as much of Coney Island as we could.  We admired the new Aquarium building under construction and the neat futuristic beach bathroom houses.  Then we walked through all the wee sections of park we'd missed, which resulted in buying tickets to the haunted house, which was delightfully tacky!

I felt downright at home in Coney Island. Already miss it and want to go back. Not just for the Cyclone T-shirt.  I wanna ride the Big Wheel and the Carosel.

Content and with shoes full of sand, we boarded the train back to Manhattan.  I was still tipsey when we stumbled into our hotel room to check email and confirm dinner plans with my pal Angus, who lives in Manhattan.

Then we took a nap. YAY NAPS.

Dinner with Angus was a mini-adventure, as the restaurant I'd picked - Max Brenner's - was a madhouse with an hour and a half wait for a table.  So we abandoned it and went walking in search of food.  Angus said there was a great pizza place nearby, but when we got to it, the gods of restauranting had smited it!  We looked forlornly at the abandoned storefront and then started walking "Toward Angus's Place" because he was more familiar with restaurants in that direction.  We ended up at a pub named Phoebe's where I had a very nice burger and whiskey and finally gave Angus the owl hat I'd been carrying around for him.

I took two hideous, blurry photos of Angus. Sorry, Angus. His photo of me and Brian came out MUCH BETTER.

He gave me homemade cookies by his girlfriend. They were oatmeal chocolate chip. SO GOOD.   I didn't want the evening to end, again, but Angus had to get home, so we swung by St. Mark's for some shopping and gawked at some archetecture around Union Square before heading down into the subway again.

Concluded in NYC Day Four >>


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