Jamling Norgay is the son of Tenzing Norgay, who was, with Edmond Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest. Like many famous men, his children found him awesome and distant, both literally and emotionally, and a hard act to live up to. Jamling Norgay was determined to climb Everest as well, a desire that only increased after his father's death; at that point, Jamling Norgay was as eager to commune with his father by walking in his footsteps as he was to match his exploit.

The book is an account of how he climbed Mt. Everest with the IMAX movie expedition, at the same time that a number of people were killed-- a time also chronicled by at least three other books that I know of. The IMAX expedition was not directly involved in the disaster, but gave up its own vital supplies and time in an effort to help out. (This was recounted in the other books as well.)

This is, unfortunately, an "as told to" account, a genre which has not once to my recollection produced a well-written book. The first page is particularly awful. However, there is enough interest in the subject matter to overcome the prose. Jamling Norgay is a Sherpa, and has strong ties to Tibet, India, and Nepal. The hired Sherpas have taken a disproportionate share of casualties on Everest trips and the non-Sherpa climbers get most of the glory; also, the Sherpas tend to climb because it pays better than the other jobs that are available, which is not to say that in any way it pays well enough considering the danger involved.

Norgay is a Sherpa by birth and culture, but climbs as a member of a team, not as hired help; this gives him even more cultural conflicts that he already got handed to him by his mixed heritage, his cross-continental upbringing, and his father's position. Norgay is forced to think a lot more than most Everest climbers about East vs. West, cultural conflicts and imperialism, religion and spirituality, the legacy of colonialism, and so forth, and that makes the book interesting enough to overcome Broughton Coburn's ham-handed approach to the English language.

If you read this book, it will tell you more about Sherpas in five pages than you will understand from reading any five other Everest accounts in entirety. And just that says a lot about the relationship of the Sherpas and most non-Sherpa climbers. (Jamling Norgay makes a good case that Edmond Hillary was an exception.)

I have not yet read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but I was not much impressed with City of Falling Angels, which is a perfect contrast to Touching my Father's Soul in that the prose is lovely and it's about a fascinating place and culture, but by focusing exclusively on the fabulously wealthy upper crust of society, it left out most of what I was interested in.

Berendt goes to Venice after the grand opera house, the Fenice, burns down, and decides to write a book about Venetians, rather than the more common accounts focusing on visitors to the city. He has some brilliant and funny scenes depicting eccentrics, like a rat poison magnate and a man who insists that contracts be signed with the print of the right big toe, but virtually everyone he focuses on is some sort of excruciatingly wealthy socialite. Halfway through the book, I was overcome with the impulse to join the Communist Party.

I had wanted to read about day to day life in Venice, but I had been thinking more of the day to day lives of fruit sellers and fake handbag sellers and gondoliers and artisans and restaurant owners, not gazillionaire expats and doges. There was also not much description of scenery or food or the smell of the water, nor, unless I missed it (I admit that I started skimming heavily) did Berendt once eat a cup or cone of gelato. Not bad, exactly, but not at all what I was looking for.
Jamling Norgay is the son of Tenzing Norgay, who was, with Edmond Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest. Like many famous men, his children found him awesome and distant, both literally and emotionally, and a hard act to live up to. Jamling Norgay was determined to climb Everest as well, a desire that only increased after his father's death; at that point, Jamling Norgay was as eager to commune with his father by walking in his footsteps as he was to match his exploit.

The book is an account of how he climbed Mt. Everest with the IMAX movie expedition, at the same time that a number of people were killed-- a time also chronicled by at least three other books that I know of. The IMAX expedition was not directly involved in the disaster, but gave up its own vital supplies and time in an effort to help out. (This was recounted in the other books as well.)

This is, unfortunately, an "as told to" account, a genre which has not once to my recollection produced a well-written book. The first page is particularly awful. However, there is enough interest in the subject matter to overcome the prose. Jamling Norgay is a Sherpa, and has strong ties to Tibet, India, and Nepal. The hired Sherpas have taken a disproportionate share of casualties on Everest trips and the non-Sherpa climbers get most of the glory; also, the Sherpas tend to climb because it pays better than the other jobs that are available, which is not to say that in any way it pays well enough considering the danger involved.

Norgay is a Sherpa by birth and culture, but climbs as a member of a team, not as hired help; this gives him even more cultural conflicts that he already got handed to him by his mixed heritage, his cross-continental upbringing, and his father's position. Norgay is forced to think a lot more than most Everest climbers about East vs. West, cultural conflicts and imperialism, religion and spirituality, the legacy of colonialism, and so forth, and that makes the book interesting enough to overcome Broughton Coburn's ham-handed approach to the English language.

If you read this book, it will tell you more about Sherpas in five pages than you will understand from reading any five other Everest accounts in entirety. And just that says a lot about the relationship of the Sherpas and most non-Sherpa climbers. (Jamling Norgay makes a good case that Edmond Hillary was an exception.)

I have not yet read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but I was not much impressed with City of Falling Angels, which is a perfect contrast to Touching my Father's Soul in that the prose is lovely and it's about a fascinating place and culture, but by focusing exclusively on the fabulously wealthy upper crust of society, it left out most of what I was interested in.

Berendt goes to Venice after the grand opera house, the Fenice, burns down, and decides to write a book about Venetians, rather than the more common accounts focusing on visitors to the city. He has some brilliant and funny scenes depicting eccentrics, like a rat poison magnate and a man who insists that contracts be signed with the print of the right big toe, but virtually everyone he focuses on is some sort of excruciatingly wealthy socialite. Halfway through the book, I was overcome with the impulse to join the Communist Party.

I had wanted to read about day to day life in Venice, but I had been thinking more of the day to day lives of fruit sellers and fake handbag sellers and gondoliers and artisans and restaurant owners, not gazillionaire expats and doges. There was also not much description of scenery or food or the smell of the water, nor, unless I missed it (I admit that I started skimming heavily) did Berendt once eat a cup or cone of gelato. Not bad, exactly, but not at all what I was looking for.
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains is a collection of essays by Jon Krakauer.

I didn't much care for the two dry articles that had been originally published in The Smithsonian, but the rest ranged from good to excellent. My favorites were "Eiger Dreams," in which Krakauer succumbs to mixed feelings part-way up a notoriously dangerous mountain; "Gill," a character study of the man who invented bouldering as a sport, though he does not regard as a sport but rather a form of moving meditation; "Club Denali," which, like "Eiger Dreams," is quite funny in a rather appalling way, about the extremely motley crew of semi-qualified eccentrics who try to climb Mt. McKinley one spring; and "Bad Summer at K2," which is more sparely written than the rest, a sober account of the summer when thirteen climbers died on K2. Unlike the Everest disaster chronicled in Into Thin Air, the K2 climbers were all highly qualified and cautious, but K2 is dangerous and their luck ran out.

Eiger Dreams didn't make me want to do any of the climbs it describes, except for bouldering and canyoneering, neither of which are dangerous, cold, or expensive, and both of which sound fun. But it does vividly convey what it feels like to do them.

Regrettably, though a few female climbers make brief appearances, the "men" in the subtitle is no mistake. Later I will discuss Annapurna: A Woman's Place, which is about women and mountains... and how men relate to the idea of women who climb mountains, which is somewhere between how Krakauer treats them, which is with respect when they appear but mostly not noticing that they exist, and how Clint Eastwood treats them, for which see below:

"Eiger Dreams" references a Clint Eastwood movie, The Eiger Sanction, which actually filmed on the Eiger. It was supposed to have good climbing sequences. It did have good climbing sequences. It was also stupid, annoying, racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and slow. And Clint Eastwood had stupid seventies hair. And the fights sucked.

Keeping in mind that a plot summary will probably make this sound more entertaining than it actually was... Clint Eastwood is a retired assassin who's become an art teacher. A female student comes on to him to get a better grade, because women are dumb sluts. He turns her down and pinches her ass. Then he's dragged back into one last mission, where he has to go to the Eiger and kill one of three mountaineers, only his albino boss Dragon who will melt or something if Clint turns on a reading lamp, doesn't know which one is the one who murdered one of Clint's old buddies. Except that the murderer has... a limp! Well, that should narrow it down.

Clint is waylaid by a sexy black stewardess named Jemima. She seduces him. Then she turns out to be one of Dragon's people. For the rest of the movie he keeps calling her a whore and worse. But she still loves him. Then he goes to train to climb the Eiger. Climbing sequences! Yay! A silent woman takes him running. Competent woman! Yay! Then she flashes her breasts, seduces him, and drugs him. Whoops, guess she's just another treacherous whore. There's also an evil, limp-wristed gay man, who Clint kills.

Now for the Eiger. One of the climbers has a wife who's a treacherous whore. Of course. Then they climb the Eiger, and spoilery stuff happens. The end.

In brief: Whore whore slut slut climb climb evil bitch die evil fag whore whore slut slut climb climb limp yay happy ending.
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains is a collection of essays by Jon Krakauer.

I didn't much care for the two dry articles that had been originally published in The Smithsonian, but the rest ranged from good to excellent. My favorites were "Eiger Dreams," in which Krakauer succumbs to mixed feelings part-way up a notoriously dangerous mountain; "Gill," a character study of the man who invented bouldering as a sport, though he does not regard as a sport but rather a form of moving meditation; "Club Denali," which, like "Eiger Dreams," is quite funny in a rather appalling way, about the extremely motley crew of semi-qualified eccentrics who try to climb Mt. McKinley one spring; and "Bad Summer at K2," which is more sparely written than the rest, a sober account of the summer when thirteen climbers died on K2. Unlike the Everest disaster chronicled in Into Thin Air, the K2 climbers were all highly qualified and cautious, but K2 is dangerous and their luck ran out.

Eiger Dreams didn't make me want to do any of the climbs it describes, except for bouldering and canyoneering, neither of which are dangerous, cold, or expensive, and both of which sound fun. But it does vividly convey what it feels like to do them.

Regrettably, though a few female climbers make brief appearances, the "men" in the subtitle is no mistake. Later I will discuss Annapurna: A Woman's Place, which is about women and mountains... and how men relate to the idea of women who climb mountains, which is somewhere between how Krakauer treats them, which is with respect when they appear but mostly not noticing that they exist, and how Clint Eastwood treats them, for which see below:

"Eiger Dreams" references a Clint Eastwood movie, The Eiger Sanction, which actually filmed on the Eiger. It was supposed to have good climbing sequences. It did have good climbing sequences. It was also stupid, annoying, racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and slow. And Clint Eastwood had stupid seventies hair. And the fights sucked.

Keeping in mind that a plot summary will probably make this sound more entertaining than it actually was... Clint Eastwood is a retired assassin who's become an art teacher. A female student comes on to him to get a better grade, because women are dumb sluts. He turns her down and pinches her ass. Then he's dragged back into one last mission, where he has to go to the Eiger and kill one of three mountaineers, only his albino boss Dragon who will melt or something if Clint turns on a reading lamp, doesn't know which one is the one who murdered one of Clint's old buddies. Except that the murderer has... a limp! Well, that should narrow it down.

Clint is waylaid by a sexy black stewardess named Jemima. She seduces him. Then she turns out to be one of Dragon's people. For the rest of the movie he keeps calling her a whore and worse. But she still loves him. Then he goes to train to climb the Eiger. Climbing sequences! Yay! A silent woman takes him running. Competent woman! Yay! Then she flashes her breasts, seduces him, and drugs him. Whoops, guess she's just another treacherous whore. There's also an evil, limp-wristed gay man, who Clint kills.

Now for the Eiger. One of the climbers has a wife who's a treacherous whore. Of course. Then they climb the Eiger, and spoilery stuff happens. The end.

In brief: Whore whore slut slut climb climb evil bitch die evil fag whore whore slut slut climb climb limp yay happy ending.
rachelmanija: (Books turn brain)
( Jan. 31st, 2006 10:50 am)
I got all these at a thrift shop for six dollars total. Comment if you've read them/heard of them/hate them.

Laurie Colwin, A Big Storm Knocked it Over. I like her nonfiction food writing enough to overcome my reservations about buying an adult mainstream novel about "marriage, friendship, motherhood, and careers as experienced by a cast of endearingly eccentric Manhattanites,"-- a genre which I usually loathe.

Mollie Hunter, The Kelpie's Pearls. Obviously out of print kid's book with an appealing title. I think I've heard of the author, but can't recall the context.

Eloisa James, Kiss Me, Annabel. The sequel to Much Ado About You.

Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter. I wish I'd read these when I was a kid, but I still like them. They are very odd and Scandinavian.

Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking. I remember adoring this, but who knows if I still will.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas. [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink convinced me to give it a try.

L. M. Montgomery, Mistress Pat, which is the sequel to a book I have but haven't read yet, and Magic for Marigold.

Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase. Because I keep meaning to read his novels.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, And Condors Danced. Looks like a realistic YA novel about a lonely girl and her dog. The dog better not die.

Erik Weihenmayer, Touch the Top of the World. A memoir by a blind man who climbed Everest. I have recently become obsessed with climbing and in the last week, I re-read Into Thin Air and watched Touching the Void, even though I wouldn't personally want to do any of that sort of mountain climbing, which combines three things I detest: cold, high altitudes, and serious danger.

Jay Williams, Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave. Oops, I already have a copy of this. Anyone want this one?
rachelmanija: (Books turn brain)
( Jan. 31st, 2006 10:50 am)
I got all these at a thrift shop for six dollars total. Comment if you've read them/heard of them/hate them.

Laurie Colwin, A Big Storm Knocked it Over. I like her nonfiction food writing enough to overcome my reservations about buying an adult mainstream novel about "marriage, friendship, motherhood, and careers as experienced by a cast of endearingly eccentric Manhattanites,"-- a genre which I usually loathe.

Mollie Hunter, The Kelpie's Pearls. Obviously out of print kid's book with an appealing title. I think I've heard of the author, but can't recall the context.

Eloisa James, Kiss Me, Annabel. The sequel to Much Ado About You.

Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter. I wish I'd read these when I was a kid, but I still like them. They are very odd and Scandinavian.

Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking. I remember adoring this, but who knows if I still will.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas. [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink convinced me to give it a try.

L. M. Montgomery, Mistress Pat, which is the sequel to a book I have but haven't read yet, and Magic for Marigold.

Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase. Because I keep meaning to read his novels.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, And Condors Danced. Looks like a realistic YA novel about a lonely girl and her dog. The dog better not die.

Erik Weihenmayer, Touch the Top of the World. A memoir by a blind man who climbed Everest. I have recently become obsessed with climbing and in the last week, I re-read Into Thin Air and watched Touching the Void, even though I wouldn't personally want to do any of that sort of mountain climbing, which combines three things I detest: cold, high altitudes, and serious danger.

Jay Williams, Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave. Oops, I already have a copy of this. Anyone want this one?
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Jan. 19th, 2006 05:31 pm)
I passed the belay test (which was given by someone who was more friendly than the last person), and climbed several 5.7 routes (with coaching.) Yay! I think my favorite thing about climbing is when you seem to be in an absolutely impossible position, with no way to proceed further, you can straighten your knees or stand on your tip-toes or lean out and reach without holding on to anything, and then you've got the next hold and all of a sudden you're three feet higher than you were a moment before.

Then Jody convinced me to train with her in my garage. (I am testing for black belt and she's testing for second kyu next Saturday.) If I keep this up, if I ever win an Oscar, I will be able to do a couple one-handed push-ups before accepting it.
Tags:
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Jan. 19th, 2006 05:31 pm)
I passed the belay test (which was given by someone who was more friendly than the last person), and climbed several 5.7 routes (with coaching.) Yay! I think my favorite thing about climbing is when you seem to be in an absolutely impossible position, with no way to proceed further, you can straighten your knees or stand on your tip-toes or lean out and reach without holding on to anything, and then you've got the next hold and all of a sudden you're three feet higher than you were a moment before.

Then Jody convinced me to train with her in my garage. (I am testing for black belt and she's testing for second kyu next Saturday.) If I keep this up, if I ever win an Oscar, I will be able to do a couple one-handed push-ups before accepting it.
Tags:
I did this on Friday, but didn't get a chance to write up until now.

You have to pass a test to climb with ropes at Rockcreation, so I had James teach me and coach me, and I was still petrified when I showed up. I am not so good at tests where I have to perform with someone watching me. (Tests where no one's looking over your shoulder, like the written sort, don't bother me.) In fact, I think I have a mild phobia about them. Also, I had expected that they would watch me tie knots and so forth before they let me actually belay someone, to make sure that I knew how to do it before they actually let me hang on to someone suspended twenty-six feet up. But no! They had me tie one figure-eight knot on to James' belt, and then belay him.

I did not actually let him hit the ground. I just want to get that out of the way first. But I did mix up "On belay" vs. "belay on," and I let him drop too far, and the equipment they gave me was different from what I'd been practicing on, and I think I also got points deducted for looking petrified. So I flunked the belay test. Like I said, I have a problem with performance anxiety, which stems from a fear of doing things wrong under a hostile gaze and then being publicly informed that I did everything wrong. (I blame this on my father's unique method of teaching me to do various things-- show me once, then scream-- which resulted in me either never learning how to do them, or else learning several years later from someone else. Which just goes to show that insight alone is insufficient to change patterns, but I digress.) Anyway, I almost burst into tears, but recovered when I realized that I was still allowed to climb, just not belay-- especially since we weren't going to have me belay without a lot more practice anyway.

I really liked climbing with ropes. The knowledge that I was going to be caught if I fell took away a lot of the fear factor, and made me much more willing to take chances than when I was bouldering, and knew that if I missed the hold, I would just drop-- on to a mat and not very far, but a drop is a drop. There's always the possibility of acquiring a nasty joint injury. But I knew James wasn't going to drop me, and the book on climbing he loaned me said that no modern rope had ever broken just from catching a falling climber. I can't say that I did a huge amount of looking down at the floor, but I did look down to see where my feet were, and it was surprisingly un-scary.

I climbed several 5.5 and 5.6 routes, and one 5.7, on an eight metre (26 foot) wall. No falls where I had to be caught (one where I hung on with my hands), though there were a couple times when the extra balance I was getting off the harness might have been decisive. Unlike the bouldering experience, I didn't feel like I'd been hit by a truck the day after. I wonder if the hit-by-truck feeling was just because of the several times I fell and hung on by my hands, or because bouldering is physically harder, or the routes I was doing this time were substantially easier. Usually one doesn't condition the muscles in a new sport that quickly.

It occurs to me that the amount of fear one feels over any given activity or state is some combination of two conditions and how much weight you place on each:

1. Likelihood of undesirable outcome.

2. Degree of unpleasantness of undesirable outcome.

To take the examples of bouldering, wall-climbing, and belay testing:

Bouldering has a high likelihood of undesirable outcome # 1, which is falling. The degree of unpleasantness of falling itself is low (for me.) It has a moderate likelihood of undesirable outcome # 2 leading off of # 1, which is a bad landing causing some minor to moderate injury. Undesirable outcome # 2 has a high degree of unpleasantness, as far as I'm concerned. In other words, there's a low-to-moderate chance of something which I would regard as really bad, ie, knee or ankle twist or sprain, which evokes a moderate degree of nervousness over the activity.

Possible bad outcomes of climbing with ropes are the height itself (if you're really afraid of heights), falling and being caught (if you're afraid of falling), getting stuck halfway up too afraid to go farther, and taking a serious fall. As far as I'm concerned, the first two have little unpleasantness factor and the second two are very unlikely. Hence ropes = good time.

The test, however, had high degrees of both how much I would hate the bad outcomes, and how likely the bad outcome would be. Fear of poor performance, knowledge of likelihood of poor performance caused by a combination of lack of skills and nerves, concluding in bad outcome which then fuels future performance anxiety and poor performance... this is quite a historic problem for me.

The only thing I've found that helps is to improve my skills via practice until I get some good outcomes under my belt, at which point I am more convinced that a good outcome is possible and hence am more confident, and so forth. This has worked with public speaking and asking for raises and jobs, so since the skills involved in belaying at a beginning level are not all that complex, I'm guessing I will eventually manage to pass the test.

In retrospect, I have to say, I am impressed that James didn't run out of there screaming when the Rockcreation woman said, "And drop off the wall without warning."
Tags:
I did this on Friday, but didn't get a chance to write up until now.

You have to pass a test to climb with ropes at Rockcreation, so I had James teach me and coach me, and I was still petrified when I showed up. I am not so good at tests where I have to perform with someone watching me. (Tests where no one's looking over your shoulder, like the written sort, don't bother me.) In fact, I think I have a mild phobia about them. Also, I had expected that they would watch me tie knots and so forth before they let me actually belay someone, to make sure that I knew how to do it before they actually let me hang on to someone suspended twenty-six feet up. But no! They had me tie one figure-eight knot on to James' belt, and then belay him.

I did not actually let him hit the ground. I just want to get that out of the way first. But I did mix up "On belay" vs. "belay on," and I let him drop too far, and the equipment they gave me was different from what I'd been practicing on, and I think I also got points deducted for looking petrified. So I flunked the belay test. Like I said, I have a problem with performance anxiety, which stems from a fear of doing things wrong under a hostile gaze and then being publicly informed that I did everything wrong. (I blame this on my father's unique method of teaching me to do various things-- show me once, then scream-- which resulted in me either never learning how to do them, or else learning several years later from someone else. Which just goes to show that insight alone is insufficient to change patterns, but I digress.) Anyway, I almost burst into tears, but recovered when I realized that I was still allowed to climb, just not belay-- especially since we weren't going to have me belay without a lot more practice anyway.

I really liked climbing with ropes. The knowledge that I was going to be caught if I fell took away a lot of the fear factor, and made me much more willing to take chances than when I was bouldering, and knew that if I missed the hold, I would just drop-- on to a mat and not very far, but a drop is a drop. There's always the possibility of acquiring a nasty joint injury. But I knew James wasn't going to drop me, and the book on climbing he loaned me said that no modern rope had ever broken just from catching a falling climber. I can't say that I did a huge amount of looking down at the floor, but I did look down to see where my feet were, and it was surprisingly un-scary.

I climbed several 5.5 and 5.6 routes, and one 5.7, on an eight metre (26 foot) wall. No falls where I had to be caught (one where I hung on with my hands), though there were a couple times when the extra balance I was getting off the harness might have been decisive. Unlike the bouldering experience, I didn't feel like I'd been hit by a truck the day after. I wonder if the hit-by-truck feeling was just because of the several times I fell and hung on by my hands, or because bouldering is physically harder, or the routes I was doing this time were substantially easier. Usually one doesn't condition the muscles in a new sport that quickly.

It occurs to me that the amount of fear one feels over any given activity or state is some combination of two conditions and how much weight you place on each:

1. Likelihood of undesirable outcome.

2. Degree of unpleasantness of undesirable outcome.

To take the examples of bouldering, wall-climbing, and belay testing:

Bouldering has a high likelihood of undesirable outcome # 1, which is falling. The degree of unpleasantness of falling itself is low (for me.) It has a moderate likelihood of undesirable outcome # 2 leading off of # 1, which is a bad landing causing some minor to moderate injury. Undesirable outcome # 2 has a high degree of unpleasantness, as far as I'm concerned. In other words, there's a low-to-moderate chance of something which I would regard as really bad, ie, knee or ankle twist or sprain, which evokes a moderate degree of nervousness over the activity.

Possible bad outcomes of climbing with ropes are the height itself (if you're really afraid of heights), falling and being caught (if you're afraid of falling), getting stuck halfway up too afraid to go farther, and taking a serious fall. As far as I'm concerned, the first two have little unpleasantness factor and the second two are very unlikely. Hence ropes = good time.

The test, however, had high degrees of both how much I would hate the bad outcomes, and how likely the bad outcome would be. Fear of poor performance, knowledge of likelihood of poor performance caused by a combination of lack of skills and nerves, concluding in bad outcome which then fuels future performance anxiety and poor performance... this is quite a historic problem for me.

The only thing I've found that helps is to improve my skills via practice until I get some good outcomes under my belt, at which point I am more convinced that a good outcome is possible and hence am more confident, and so forth. This has worked with public speaking and asking for raises and jobs, so since the skills involved in belaying at a beginning level are not all that complex, I'm guessing I will eventually manage to pass the test.

In retrospect, I have to say, I am impressed that James didn't run out of there screaming when the Rockcreation woman said, "And drop off the wall without warning."
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