Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Love on the Line

I'm a big fan of Deanne Gist's Christian historical fiction, and I jumped at the opportunity to review her latest book, Love on the Line. I definitely enjoyed this book as much as her previous books.

Love on the Line tells the story of a switchboard operator named Gail who's proud of her independent ways. She's a strong woman with her own ideas of how the world runs, and she doesn't need men in her life. Unfortunately, a secret agent named Luke has been assigned to be her supervisor, and he simply will not go away. As the two battle for territory, curious subplots arise. What if Gail would benefit from a counterpart? Is Luke running from his own past? And is it possible that they both may be bearing burdens that are not their own?

Between the two characters, the plot moves the book along. But the reader is forced to consider the true meaning of friendship and the extent to which one can bear responsibility for the past. For me, it was a moving way to consider how much, in attempting to be independent, we can assume that our actions determine the course of events, forgetting that there are other people and that there is a God who is in control of everything. In fact, we really aren't as big as we think we are.

Note: I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: House of Secrets

I'm a bit behind in my book reviews, so this blog may be inundated with a bunch of reviews in the next few days.... (Just a warning.)

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson is quite an intense book. Tracie follows a family torn apart by the death of the mother so many years before. Each family member has a different interpretation of the past. When the father demands that his three daughters meet him at their old summer cottage (the last place they saw their mother), the girls don't know what to expect. What good can come out of returning to this place they've all worked so hard to forget??

I would say that this is a extremely intense book, dealing with serious mental health issues, suicide, murder, atheism, courtship, and conversion all at the same time. The circumstances are so extreme and the conclusions so bland that I was initially tempted to write this book off as a superficial Christian novel that was far too scary to read before bed.

However, the more I consider it, I think this book does raise questions about family relationships and how family members can care for each other even in hard, confusing, or even wrong circumstances. The father is counseled not to tell his daughters anything; it will be better for them, they say. He takes that word too far though and refuses to have a relationship with them, leaving them alone often & only providing for them with material goods but neglecting to realize that they also may be grieving the loss of their mother as well & need him as emotional support.

For me, this book caused me to stop and think about how families can walk through difficult circumstances. The striking thing in all the characters is that they're doing what's best for the others; yet, in so doing, they neither address their own needs nor truly meet the needs of those they mean to help. Because of the lack of conversation and the fear of discussing the real issue at hand, everyone works hard and blindly to help. In this sense, Traci Peterson has captured the moment and the feeling of Christian families trying to cope with tragedy or difficult situations, particularly situations that "don't happen to real Christians." I would highly recommend this book to readers who want to go beyond simple Christian faith and consider the place of faith and family in trying circumstances. (Just, maybe, don't read it before bed!)

Note: I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting close to finals!!!!

Life has been fairly crazy here & finals week is now looming on the horizon. As much stress as finals week is as a student, imagine being a student AND a teacher. So at the same time, I'm frantically trying to pull everything together for papers, students are knocking on my door complaining about their grades and asking me to explain to them the importance of some court case because it might be on the exam!!!!!!

You may not see me for the next two weeks, but then, I'm hoping to post more about my quilt and other miscellaneous adventures. If I get enough courage to bring a hymnal to class, I'll share that as well!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Civil War Fiction :)

Another day, another book. Some days I marvel at the type of books that interest me. But sometimes, I'm not surprised. Golden Keyes Parsons' newest book His Steadfast Love is definitely one of those.

There's a strange interim period for many Southern states between December 1860 and April 1861. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, the state of South Carolina seceded from the Union in December. Several states followed suit. Lincoln was officially inaugurated in March, but the war did not officially begin until the firing at Fort Sumter in April 1861. At that point, several key wavering Southern states joined the Confederate cause.

Parsons begins her book during this interim period in Texas. Texas stands as a rather unique state as it had recently acquired statehood & was immediately faced with the question of slavery. Still dealing with the threat of Mexico, Texas was occupied by Federal troops protecting the state from Mexican encroachment. In this context, Amanda as the daughter of the local pastor, meets Captain Kent Littlefield. Though attraction is almost immediate and mutual, Amanda refuses to consider marriage as a possibility because she vowed to her mother that she would look after her younger siblings. As she grapples with this monumental task, Texas secedes in March 1861 and Federal troops are recalled.

Parsons does a remarkable job using the historical context and presenting the reader with the dilemmas of war and of slavery without letting the setting overshadow the storyline. Amanda is lost in love primarily because of a familial vow. Although her family is tested by war, she ultimately has to make her decision based on the advice of close friends and through petition to the God who oversees her and her family.

It's convenient that Federal troops come to Texas once more and now Lieutenant Littlefield crosses her path again. Amanda is faced with the matter of loyalty to the Confederacy or the Union multiple times in this work. But Parsons' genius lies in revealing the complexity of ordinary dilemmas, the tragedy of death, and the confusion of young adulthood that many face no matter where or when.

[I received a free review copy of this work from Thomas Nelson and was not required to give a positive review.]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Life has been hectic. Sometimes I feel like I'm going around in circles, trying to plug one hole in the dike only to discover yet another and then another. School, work, medical, church... the circle goes on and on.

The one thing that keeps me sane: friends!!!! They're people I can call whenever I need someone to complain to or a shoulder to cry on or a haven to escape to. They're there to listen to me, to laugh over the ridiculousness of circumstances, and to give me advice. They're also there to sit in my office hours, advise me on grading & interactions with students, read my papers, and encourage me. Everyone needs friends.

Which brings me to the point: awesome roommates are essential!!!

My roommate's birthday is coming up in a couple days, and one of my friends & I got in cahoots to plan a surprise birthday dinner for her!! Figuring out how to invite her friends, how to have enough food for twice the number of people (without her figuring it out), how to surprise her when she's doing a bunch of cooking too, and what her favorite foods are.... It was quite the expedition.

But it was a lot of fun, too. I love thinking about people in my life & what they really like and how to make them happy. Picking the perfect gift is SO much fun. :) Seeing the smile on her face when she opened the door to her friends: it was priceless!!!

So, when life gets hectic, don't abandon your friends. They're your lifelines. Plus, they can make you extra happy!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the midst of chaos...

look away to Him!!
Stumbling across this quote this morning, I realized how much in my life there is to be thankful for and the multitude of blessings God has poured out upon me.
What if you woke up this morning and found the only things you had left were the things you thanked God for yesterday?
-- Terry Shock

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why was the floor made?

One upside of having a large living room floor is that I can use it for multiple purposes. While it might also demonstrate my lack of furniture, it is definitely a useful space.

The question is this: would you rather be grading blue book exams or laying out a quilt???

If you were writing verse three for this song, what would you say the floor was made for?

Christian Fiction... the Realistic Kind

As I mentioned before, I have a weakness for Christian fiction. So when I had the chance to review a book for Thomas Nelson publishers, I jumped at the opportunity!! Beth Webb Hart's newest book, Sunrise on the Battery looked a really intriguing read. Like her previous book, it takes place in Charleston, South Carolina in modern times.

The book synopsis seems to promise a novel about a couple who have given everything for a place in high society. The wife, Mary, comes to know God and prays for her husband to come to know him as well. When he does get saved, he becomes an overenthusiastic Christian, threatening their status in society.

I expected the book to be about Mary's struggles with her husband's spiritual awakening and subsequent activity. For those of us who have been Christians for a while, this dilemma is familiar. If not with our family members, we've seen this in friends and acquaintances. What do you do when someone sees overzealous?

In this sense, Hart's book is disappointing. Jackson doesn't convert until page 183 out of 277 pages. The next 95 pages do detail his overzealous activities, and Mary does have a difficult time coming to terms with the vast change in her husband. However, Hart fails to give a Christian perspective on how to confront the situation. One of the main characters fails into sinful thoughts and others are just confused. Everything seems to be miraculously resolved in the last chapter.

Mary and her husband have three children with very different personalities. In the first two-thirds of the book, they add to the nuance of this story. However, after Jackson's conversion, they seem to fall by the wayside.

All in all, I enjoyed this book more than Hart's previous book Love, Charleston. However, it seems more disappointing than inspiring. It seems so realistic that there is no clear take home message from the book. I leave the book just as confused about this issue as before I began.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Something new in the works...

Despite the fact that graduate school is very time-consuming, I've been encouraged (or dare I say instructed?) to continue to find time for myself to do things that are non-stressful and not related to school or church. In the spirit of relaxation, I've lauched a new project!!! I'm really excited about using this fabric creatively & learning new techniques. The major wrench in the plan is that I don't have a sewing machine (yet.) Anyone have one to spare or one I could borrow??

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Memoir

I have to confess that I have a weakness for Christian fiction. Despite the fact that I spend much of my work life reading huge tomes, I also spend my free time reading!!!! Reading is a great way to adventure into another world without having to worry about time travel or anachronisms. In addition, if something bothers you or annoys you, you can instantly leave (without offending anyone.)

I had the opportunity to read an interesting & very personal memoir of a young Canadian who went to Oxford in England to pursue her graduate studies in English. Little did she know that her quest for academic knowledge would morph into a quest for spiritual experience. Reading Carolyn Weber's Surprised by Oxford was an amazing way to gain insight into the complexities of graduate study and the ways in which God can still have a place in your time, in your heart, and in your living. I was definitely very impressed by the character of TDH and his Christian testimony. Furthermore, Carolyn's details regarding the questionings that led to her ultimate salvation choice were described quite poignantly. Drawing from her own memories and studies, she lays out the process by which God draws her to know Him.

This is definitely a spiritual memoir worth reading!! Many conversion narratives can over-emphasize the supernatural or give a run-of-the-mill telling. Surprised by Oxford grants the reader a personal look into a very real and rather unique experience of a modern woman searching for meaning in the middle of her career. However, I found that the last third of the book did seem to drag a bit. The book itself is 440 pages, and perhaps some of the final part could have been condensed.

I received a free copy of this book to review through Book Sneeze. I would recommend this as a definite book to check out from the library; however, I would hesitate to purchase this book myself.

Changes in my life = changes to this blog

To my faithful readers (I'm not sure there are any),

As I have moved to a new state & gone back to school, I'm expanding the parameters of this blog a bit. I'm still taking violin lessons, so I'll continue to write about those adventures. But I also need an outlet to write about those things in life that have nothing to do with school!!!!

So, I'm adding things like thoughts on crafts, reviews of cool books, observations on teaching, and more!!! Let me know if you want to know about something in particular.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moved to a New State, Still Fiddlin'

Dear Readers,
I have moved to a new state!!! I'm about to start graduate school, which is definitely really exciting. But I've already discovered that I still need hobbies, otherwise I'll be drowning in my own field.

So, that means that I'm back to actually playing the violin. (I took some time off because of packing & injuries, etc.) I love music, but I'm still adjusting to the whole living in an apartment thing. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm really, really self-conscious about playing unless I've practiced a million times. Now, I've discovered that all my neighbors can hear me practicing. I know because I hear them talking on the phone in the middle of the night!!!! Any suggestions for practicing in an apartment or proper apartment etiquette?????

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

violin teacher came to visit!

Apologies for my lack of posts. It's not that I haven't been practicing violin. Rather after a rather long period of uncertainty in my future plans, all of a sudden everything happened at once... which meant traveling all over the country, frantic phone calls, pro-con lists, last minute assignments, ...and of course, no time for blogging. Fortunately, things are falling into place and I'm finding a new routine. Big changes are ahead in my future, including going back to school in a new state!!! I'm hoping to continue playing violin, but we'll have to see how everything pans out.

In the middle of all these changes, I've been spending a lot of time with friends... including five days with my violin teacher!!! My teacher came up to visit me, and we spent a lot of time touring around my city doing fun stuff. We also managed to squeeze in two violin lessons, and she actually got to play harmony with me.

So exciting for two reasons:
1) We actually met when I was playing piano accompaniments for her group classes. This means that we used to play together (almost) every month, and I had gotten used to seeing her play with students. Now it's my turn!
2) Skype is a great resource for us. But it has its flaws. We discovered that you cannot try to play together because of the lag in sound. Echos work just fine, but in playing a string instrument, it's really, really cool to hear more than one instrument playing at the same time. You can actually hear whether or not the notes are in harmony. Of course, you can hear this on any instrument, but as a pianist, you never really pays attention to it because if it's wrong, there's nothing you can do to change it.

I'm hoping to get in a whole summer's worth of practicing and improvement. I'm already all the way up to Long, Long Ago in Book 1 of Suzuki, so I'm making ample progress. I can't wait to see how far I'll get before I move!

Monday, April 11, 2011

new skill!!

So I've figured out a new skill. My teacher showed it to me a couple lessons ago, but I couldn't get a hang of it until now.

It turns out that the bow hold is very important on the violin. Consider that until your bow moves across the strings, the violin makes no sound (unless you pluck the strings.) Furthermore, how loud or soft the violin sounds depends on your bowing. And technical sounds, like staccato or legato, also depend on the bow. Therefore, bow = important.

To develop finger muscles which can help with all the aforementioned critical tasks of the bow, my teacher suggested that I walk my right hand up and down the bow. Easier said than done. I think I've finally gotten down a good enough bow hold plus strong enough fingers to actually make it work. I practiced walking up and down the bow a few times today. Hopefully, it'll pay off in the long run!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Violin vs. Piano #1

As I mentioned before, I consider myself a pianist who is now learning the violin. As I become more familiar with this second instrument, I'm discovering definite differences between them. Here's my new favorite: ringing notes on the violin!

The sound a violin (and other string instruments) produce comes from vibrating strings. Each string vibrates at a particular pitch (hopefully, an actual note!). When a string of a violin is vibrating at a certain frequency, it also vibrates at multiples of those frequencies. (Our ear is simply in tune to a limited range of frequencies.) If one of those frequencies happens to be a multiple of the frequency of another violin string, that second string will also vibrate. This is referred to as "string resonance" & "sympathetic vibration".* While pianos are tuned in order to take advantage of this phenomenon, it's much easier to hear on the violin.

Recently, I've been practicing Song of the Wind, which has a lot of phrases that end on open "E" strings. It's really cool to hear the ringing "E" before going on to the next phrase. I think I'm falling in love with the violin.

* I knew that the math lecture I went to fall semester freshman year would some day turn out to be useful. However, I accept all the blame for errors in this and all future explanations.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Violin recital!

As a music student, I think it's very important to see and hear other people play. The whole experience is inspiration but also gives you a much better feel for performance. In addition, you hopefully can learn from their technique and their sound.

One of my friends gave her junior violin recital tonight, and, of course, I went. The chapel was beautiful, and I loved all the music. She played the first movement of Beethoven's Spring, a much beloved music memory of mine. Then, she played Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, a piece I've fallen in love with ever since I heard Joshua Bell's rendition. She concluded with a beautiful Bach concerto.

The recital was splendid (even if the pianist did overuse the sustaining pedal and blurred two octave scales all together.) Everyone was very interested in the performance, and they even brought her 1/32 size violin to display at the reception. Who knew that you could even play a violin that tiny?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A confession

Even though I'm doing much better over all, it seems that I've had a few exhausted days. Every activity feels laborious, and I've even resorted to going to bed at 8:00 p.m. All that goes to tell you that I've neglected this blog not out of lack of things to write about but out of lack of energy. In fact, I have a few exciting things that I want to write about, so stay tuned!

In the mean time, on the violin front, I have still been practicing. Never fear. I have read my own columns! I have decided that a little bit of practice is better than none, especially if I'm focusing on the project at hand. So the Froggie is still goin' a-fiddlin'. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Forming a Habit

As I was practicing today, I kept thinking about habits. What are habits? Being stuck in a rut is a big fear of mine, and often I conceptualize habits as ruts. After all, Oxford English dictionary defines habit as "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up." Then, a rut is a "long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles." So naturally habits lead to ruts, right?

That might be one way to conceptualize things, but that frame leads to the negative. Habits can be good as well. Habits such as brushing your teeth every night or making the bed or arriving at meetings on time are laudable. Holding the violin bow correctly & playing the violin in tune are definitely desired habits!

But one can only form habits, good or bad, through repeated activity. It only counts as a habit if you do it the same way every time, which implies that you do the same thing multiple times, usually a lot of times. That means that the only way (not the best way, but the only way) to form the habit of playing violin correctly is to practice frequently!

I'm forming a March resolution: to practice violin almost every day in order to form good violin performing habits. Aside from the days I'm out of town, I'm going to practice (if even only a little.) According to the dictionary, it seems to be my only hope. Fortunately, it's executable!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shoulder Rests have a Function

It turns out that shoulder rests really do have a function. Remember when I told you about the left hand paranoia? Having the proper support between your shoulder and your jaw bone really does help significantly reduce left hand paranoia, at least about dropping the violin.

For a while, I was trying to make due with the traditional kitchen sponge, but I finally caved to aforementioned left hand paranoia (keep in mind that the frog hand dominates this blog) and purchased a shoulder rest. Or, I should say, I went to Amazon and picked an awesome shoulder rest, which I purchased with my Swagbucks giftcards. Yes! Surfing the web is finally paying off; it's making me a better violin player. ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Practicing with a plan

Growing up, my piano teacher always urged us to have a plan when we practiced. Every day we practiced, we should write down what we hoped to accomplish in that practice time. He insisted, but did we listen? Of course not. We knew better. Even when I was practicing three hours a day(!), I never had a practice plan, or at least, not one written down.

As an adult, however, my attitude has changed a lot. For a wide variety of reasons, I feel that if I put effort or time into something, it needs to count. So if I'm going to spend time practicing the violin, I need to making tangible progress in each of those minutes (or at least most of them).

My teacher gave me some suggestions at my lesson yesterday. Here's how my notes read:
1) Twinkle: straight bow
2) A scale: straight bow
3) Lightly row: left hand fingers above fingerboard, first row of knuckles even with fingerboard

Today's practice definitely had all those suggestions in mind, but I spent most of my time focusing on intonation. When playing a scale, it is best to actually play the notes in the scale and not some pitches that do not correspond to notes at all. That is much easier said than done. Then, I practiced learning Lightly Row, focusing on playing pitches that were actually notes. That song is tricky! And I don't quite have it done to be able to play it with the accompaniment.

Lastly, I played Twinkle with the accompaniment CD. That violinist plays it really quickly, and I don't have a good enough bow hold to make it through very well. So I'm putting bow hold (with a focus on the pinky) on my list of techniques to master (or improve on) before my next lesson.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Slow Day

Today was just a slow day in general. So violin practice was pretty slow as well.

I practiced in front of the bathroom mirror so that I could monitor the bow. It turns out that it needed some supervision because this frog was fiddlin' all over the highway!

Plus, I practiced playing with a slow version of the accompaniment. That definitely gave me a chance to pay more attention to technique.

That's all for now!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dropping the Violin Mid-Fiddle?

I had a craving for some yummy dessert today, so I started making these ginger-lemon bars. Mmmm. While they're baking and then cooling, I figured I might as well clock in some violin practicing time. :)

So I said yesterday that my left hand was afraid of dropping the violin? Well, it turns out that its inkling had some semblance of truth because the violin slipped mid-practice a couple of times. I turned to the handy internet for some advice and discovered some useful diagrams and hints on holding the violin. One reasonable suggestion was to practice holding the violin while walking around. That sounded like a good idea, so I'm incorporating that into my practice time.

That's all for today, folks!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thoughts from Practicing Today

I've had two violin lessons so far, and already I'm realizing how much more there is to know. I think I've mastered the basic bow hold. At least, I'm not dropping the bow in the middle of the song. But I still haven't gotten the left hand position correct, or anywhere near correct. My main problem is that my hand is convinced that if it doesn't hold onto the violin for dear life, the violin will fall to the ground. So I can con the hand into thinking that it doesn't need to grab the violin, but then it has some weirdly ethereal hold that doesn't work too well either.

I've already played piano for a long time, so one would think that I know most of the basic musical techniques. Apparently, there's a pretty basic one that I don't know at all -- being accompanied! I started using the accompaniment tracks that I found online and discovered that it's really difficult to follow an accompaniment. If someone else is playing what I'm supposed to be playing, I can definitely follow that. But what if they're playing something else? Now I have to listen for the rhythm and hear to see if what I'm playing is in tune with what they're playing. That's really tricky. But it does force me to listen to intonation and not just rely on those handy tapes on my violin.

Moral: As Froggie goes a fiddlin', she learns important musical techniques along the way, some specific and some general.

Pretty cool websites

I have quickly discovered that there are a lot of Internet resources for the learning the violin.

This online tuner is pretty handy, especially since I'm still developing an ear and I don't have a physical tuner.

I also found these accompaniment tracks for Suzuki Violin Book 1-3, which are pretty handy. They're different from the ones my youngest sister used, and it's nice to have something different for a change.

Plus, it turns out that the learning violin over Skype is not that unusual after all. I do have to say that my teacher is much better looking. :)

Who am I, why the violin, and why now?

I suppose every blog needs an introduction. This one certainly begs one.

I am a twenty-something graduate of a top 20 college in the United States where I studied history and physics. I even earned a master of arts in history and am currently working as a historian for a prominent institution and serving as a freelance editor on the side. That makes me the perfect candidate to begin learning violin, right?

Music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started taking piano lessons when I was six after having picked out the upright piano I wanted in the piano store. (It turns out that I picked a good one.) While I'll be the first to admit that I never had the talent to perform professionally, I enjoyed playing the piano and performed quite complicated pieces rather well in high school. In ninth grade, I gave a joint recital with my younger sister, performing a number of pieces including Mozart's Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" known in plain English as Twelve Variations on "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

My fondest memories of childhood music were chamber music. In tenth and eleventh grades, I had the honor of working with a local violinist who was just about my age. Together we performed Beethoven's Spring Sonata for Piano and Violin. It was so much fun to work with another instrumentalist and to see music come and alive in dialogue between instruments. I fell in love with the different textures, and the power of music to convey dynamic emotions. I knew I was lucky to have the opportunity to play with this talented friend, and I learned a lot by watching her perform. (She recently graduated from Curtis Institute of Music as a violist and is performing on the international stage!)

I always intended for music to be a major part of my life, but some unforeseen health conditions manifested themselves towards the end of my high school career. All of sudden, it seemed that I couldn't practice three hours a day, no matter how much I wanted to. My connection to music all of sudden became a physical impossibility. As days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, I ran away from the music I had grown to love, unwilling to face the loss of something I loved.

To be sure, I found new ways to make music a part of my life. I began playing in church meetings and continued to accompany my younger sisters. But for the most part, I avoided recitals and concerts because they reminded me too much of the past I had lost. Even studying music history was hard; I loved learning about the role of music in culture and its contributions to philosophy, but it all reminded of me shattered dreams.

Needless to say, a lot has changed since then. I'm learning to confront my fears with an inner strength that is my own. And I'm learning to make the most of my circumstances by finding new ways to grow. Rather than allow my limitations to shape who I am, I'm actively creating my own person within the confines of my life. It's finally time to make music, classical music, a more central part of my life, not in the way that it was before, but in a new way, a more mature way, a way that embraces that person that I'm becoming.

Why the violin? I've always liked the violin. I like it for its shape, its beauty, and its portability. (Imagine bringing your piano with you everywhere to perform, and then imagine playing a brand new instrument when walking out on stage.) I love the rich texture of its music. And I love how it has different musical capacities than the piano.

Learning the violin has been brewing in my mind for a long time. How did it came to fruition? I commented on a friend's photo on facebook and jokingly asked her if she could teach me to play violin. She was, after all, a violin teacher! Would she be willing to take on a long distance student? I really didn't expect to hear back from her, and I actually forgot about the whole saga until the following message appeared on my Facebook wall: "I'm thinking Skype might work for long-distance violin lessons. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I do have a webcam. This is assuming the sound-picture delay isn't too bad... What do you think?"

Three months later, the journey begins. My violin frog is going fiddlin'.