As may be expected from my research for my masters' paper, I've been doing a lot of reading of articles about Spike, Spike and Buffy's relationship, and other related themes.

First, I'll acknowledge that, given the nature of the material and the sources I'm using (a lot of material from Slayage Online, the International Journal of Buffy studies), there's a very incestuous nature to that which I'm reading; authors cite one another fairly regularly, and some quotes turn up in more than a few publications. This is both a benefit and a negative -- benefit because it means I'm getting a pretty good notion that I'm doing a good job of covering the field; negative because sometimes it'd be nice to hear new voices (and I have found some as I've read more). Another positive is the possibility that I could be contributing to what is a fairly small group. This will eventually help me in my quest to become e-famous, such as it is (non-existent).

Anyhow, what has come up a few times is the idea that Spike attempted to rape Buffy in season 6 because audiences were becoming too supportive of his relationship with Buffy and were too sympathetic to him as a character. Now, I am in no way condoning, supporting, embracing or any other positive label-ing the attempted rape. I am a firm believer that even if you are at the moment of penetration, and the girl then says no, you are to respect her wishes and stop. Period, full stop, etc. Let me just get that out of the way. I will readily admit to having rape fantasies -- I think there's nothing wrong with this and it represents a healthy sexual fantasy. I was sickened and disgusted by the rape scene in Showgirls (I'll admit it, I watched it), which convinced me that I wasn't twisted or wrong with my rape fantasies, that I really was against rape.

I'm also well-aware of the murky grey area that exists in the land of, "Well, I didn't say no... but I didn't really want to" in sexual relationships, because an unfortunate number of my own experiences have fallen under that uncertain region. Would I say I was raped? No. Would I say I had sex against my will? Yes. It's a difficult distinction to make, and one I'm not always sure everyone understands (can I be potentially sexist and say men don't understand? I'm not sure; I'm guilty of not always being able to understand men in the same manner I feel I understand women, so I'll hesitate from officially making that declaration, but I'm not erasing it at the moment).

Anyhow, to get myself away from all of my conditions and caveats, my original point are as follows -- even as someone who is opposed to rape and so on, I was able to feel sympathy for Spike in the context in which the rape was presented. There've been two excellent articles I've just read by Gwyn Symonds, "Solving Problems With Sharp Objects": Female Empowerment, Sex and Violence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and "Playing more soul than is written: James Marsters' performance of Spike and the Ambiguity of Evil in Sunnydale, that discuss the rape scene and re-present it in ways that I was trying to mentally articulate and couldn't. (It's cases such as these that depress me as a scholar/writer). The first article illustrates how the scene is filmed and talks of the different camera cuts, angles, visuals, etc., as well as actors' deliveries and such that alternate viewers' sympathies between Buffy and Spike. As a sympathetic viewer and one who is admittedly, a Buffy/Spike Shipper (that is, supporter of the relationship), my sympathies were with Spike before, during and after the scene -- not for the actual actions, but I felt that Marsters' did such an excellent job of bringing Spike's motivations into the scene, that I couldn't help but.

That is to say, Spike was trying to show Buffy that she cared for him, and he knew that she felt it during their sex life -- so he was trying to bring back those emotions, draw them back out from her. Now, maybe it isn't fair of me to use this line of reasoning, as I'm sure that many disturbed individuals have done similarly, but as Symonds points out in her second article, viewers come to the show with a tremendous amount of media literacy, and we don't automatically condone the immoral actions of real-life people simply because we do so for characters on the screen. Certainly many viewers have felt that the murders or vengeance killings of characters in films and television shows was justified within the narrative frame of said show or film, but how many of us actively and/or routinely condone murders or vengeance kills in every day life?

And yet, my original point was not just this. My frustration in some part with the writers and producers that have gone on record about the attempted rape narrative arc, such as Marti Noxon and David Fury, because ultimately, as writers and producers, they form some of the responsibility for the growth and redemptive narrative arc of Spike. Spike was originally introduced as a disposable villain, and because of audience admiration and the talents of James Marsters, he was kept on, and continued to grow and evolve throughout the series (which forms the basis for my research paper). Now, other beloved characters that were introduced were disposed of -- Jenny Calendar, Tara, in some ways Jonathan -- and yet, even with fan complaints (as I'm sure there were), the storylines were there. I'm arguing that the writers and producers had the power to kill off Spike at any time. They could have kept him from growing as completely as they did, or evolving/reverting to a more human state. Certainly, he was the bad boy, the Big Bad, and I don't believe that someone who has spent two hundred years murdering people is necessarily good -- but we were to believe such of Angel, who did his fair share of murdering before his soul was restored to him. He certainly was merciless when his soul was once again removed.

What I find interesting was that, unless my memory fails me, even once Spike learned he could physically hurt Buffy after her return to Earth, he only did so in the one episode prior to their first sexual encounter; he could have killed her at any time and didn't, because he loved her and because he was on his way to remembering his humanity.

But it feels as though these writers and producers who are essentially defending or justifying the attempted rape scene are almost washing their hands of it at the same time -- like, "You guys were starting to like this character too much, you didn't realize that he's supposed to be this awful guy, so we're going to have him go out and try to rape Buffy... but no no, it's not our fault that you like him, even if we're giving him lines and motivations that make him nicer and more likable. Sure, we neutered him and rendered him incapable of harming humans. Sure, we made him kind of a pathetic little puppy stuck out in the cold. Sure, we made him start to do good because he wants to be accepted, good, and be, in his mind, worthy of Buffy's love. But it's not our fault that you guys like him! We'll have to change that!"

It's just... frustrating, and I have to wonder if it wasn't ultimately a lot of PR work to keep controversy high and viewers interested in the show, or what.

And yes, as you can see, I'm extremely relevant and topical in my choice of discussions. A show that ended five years ago is totally up-to-date to analyze and get worked up about.
It’s interesting how quickly you can get up to speed on an issue when the need is there. I won’t claim at all to be an expert, but certainly, I’ve learned a lot.

About what? That information will come.

It’s also interesting getting into conversations with people and realizing that what you’re actually hearing is a lot of ignorance from sources you’d previously assumed were well-informed, or at least more so than you. I’ve learned a lot from observing people as I age, and realizing that some people I used to admire or respect for some subjects are actually not as intelligent about things or ways of going about things as I might’ve originally thought.

Which isn’t to say at all that I’m way up there in the smarty-pants realm; not by far. Just interesting to be able to go, ‘Wait a minute… you’re talking out your ass!’

Maybe I’m just crabby because I’ve been hearing my dad’s Forceful Voice a lot this past week. He seems to think that if he doesn’t use said voice, I don’t listen to him – though what he doesn’t always realize is sometimes he’s saying the exact same thing three different ways… or he’s been telling me the exact same thing every time we speak. I love my dad, and we get along well, but the fact that we have the same personality means that we tend to get frustrated with one another somewhat quickly – and probably explains why my mom sometimes seems to get frustrated with me faster than perhaps with my sister. Then again, I don’t necessarily see it first-hand, so maybe I’m just being whiny and resentful. ;)

The weather this weekend was actually rather nice for a change, so I was able to toss the cats outside. It worked well for Thena, who spent most of both afternoons out, but not as well for Venus. I spent much of Sunday bringing her feathers-on-a-stick toy, which is twice as long as her, downstairs to the DB (after she brought them from the basement to the upstairs where I was), or bringing her downstairs for him to play with, or just cuddling with her and talking to her. She was in crazy-suck mode, including flaking out on his lap while we watched television after supper.

Thena, on the other hand, was in protector mode this weekend. Sunday she had a neighbourhood cat 'trapped' under the deck; I say trapped in quotes because my two go out on harnesses and leashes, so their range is limited, and the cat wasn't at all at risk of a fight if/when she left. Saturday, I saw Thena poking at something on the deck, and when I went out to check on her later realized she had a giant dragonfly in her mouth. She wasn't actively chewing on it, but its two forward wings were a bit damaged, and she was really into poking at it and so on. I helped it escape.

Later, she was staring at what I think was a bee, and talking back to me when I was trying to explain that bees and wasps are not tasty bugs. I did tell her that spiders are quite delicious, but I'm not sure how convinced she is.

And finally, she was trying to figure out how to eat a crane fly that was on the inside of the screen door, while she was on the outside. My cats, they can be quite sweet, but aren't always that bright.

Although Thena is usually fairly well-behaved, crabby, jealous and demanding... while Venus is like dealing with a small, stubborn child.


Urgh. I hate hate hate thinking about money. I’m not worrying about it so much – just trying to come up with ways to better manage it… and I keep thinking about all of the different ‘necessary’ expenses that repeat but aren’t daily or sometimes even monthly – haircuts, cat food, cat litter, birth control pills, and so on. Back to burying my head in the sand, I guess.

I opened up a zip.ca account the other day, and got my first disc in the mail yesterday – disc 1 of season 1 of Lois & Clark. I loved it when it first aired, and I had my crush on Dean Cain. My friend Quynh (whose name I can no longer remember how to properly spell) was in love with Jonathan Brandis, of SeaQuest DSV fame. I’m so going back to my marginally embarrassing childhood days.

It’s also interesting watching the show now, contrasted with other shows that I’ve been watching in heavier rotation – House, Firefly, CSI, and so on. It definitely shows its age via the special effects and the outfits, but I’m finding that’s the case even with the pacing of the show. Granted, at this point I’ve only re-watched the pilot and a bit of the second episode, but it’s odd to be in a position to watch it with this critical eye and mind, which I never thought I had… though a classmate laughed at me when I said as much.

Anyhow, time to run, but hopefully I shall have cool news to post shortly.


Okay, short observation with an explanation.

As you may know, I'm doing my masters research paper on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; more specifically, I'm studying the bi-gendered nature of the character Spike and the hero's quest (as defined by Joseph Campbell) he undergoes throughout the series -- with possibly some observation of him as Buffy's Shadow (as defined by Carl Jung).

All of that to say, I'm reading a bunch of articles on the series, as well as some background stuff on Campbell, masculinity, etc.

All of that to say, this particular line in the article "Fan Readings of Sex and Violence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer," by Dawn Heinecken, amused me greatly:

"[Shippers, i.e., those that are fans of the Buffy/Spike relationship] interpret Spike's interaction with the Buffybot, his robot sex toy, as evidence of his concern for Buffy's pleasure, since his first act with it is to perform cunnilingus."

I'm both amused, and now that I'm thinking about going back to watch the episode again, kinda fairly aroused... My first draft of my thesis proposal involved talking about dildos; I'm wondering if I can manage to work cunnilingus into my actual research paper.


I suppose I could continue my previous day's ruminations, but at the moment, I just don't have it in me.

I'm feeling a vague sense of dissatisfaction or unease or disquiet. It's hard to define it, and it's frustrating to be hit with it now, especially when I'm making some progress in other arenas. I guess as usual, I haven't had enough sleep, so I'm left with the crabby that often seems to accompany my day-to-day life.

I also learned recently that my caffeine intake has increased enough that I suffer when it decreases -- i.e., Saturday evening a migraine starts to take hold, and by Sunday it's in full-force. So Sunday I dope myself with some pills and a cup of coffee. Kinda sad, but it seems to do the trick.

Some of you may recall that I went to Vegas a little while ago. If I can give anyone advice, it's try not to go in August. It's hot there, and while I thought I could handle it, it was pretty draining. Even my feet were winding up in pain each day because they were becoming swollen from the heat and the walking, and my comfy sandals just weren't cutting it the way they usually do.

That said, it was pretty cool to go. We stayed in the Flamingo Hotel/Casino, and checked out pretty much every major casino along the Strip -- so now when I see movies or tv shows that feature the Strip, I recognize the buildings and can identify where they are and what they looked like inside.

We flew out of Toronto to save some money, and our flight down was direct -- leave around 9 a.m. EST, land around 11:30 Vegas time (I forget the time zone and I'm too lazy to check). 3 hours behind, 5 hourish flight, nothing too exciting about it. I always hate going through American customs, 'cause they make me feel like they seriously doubt I'm a government employee or something, and I feel like if I give the wrong job description, they'll toss me in a cell. That said, I passed without problems.

Flying back we had to transfer planes in Winnipeg. We left Vegas at 11 p.m. local time, landed in Winnipeg around 4:30 a.m. local time (so we're now one timezone behind Ontario), and then left Winnipeg around 6:00 a.m. to fly to Toronto for 9:30ish a.m. EST. Got that?

The DB and I did the best we could to sleep through the flight, but I kept waking up to pop my eardrums -- which are crazy sensitive to the pressure changes -- and because I was cold, uncomfortable, etc. I'm pretty zonked and feeling punchy, especially when there were only two/three customs agents processing people through (understandable, given the hour). I'm being more verbose than usual to help set the stage. Jen = tired, punchy, dumb.

I finally get up to the customs agent and present my declaration, passport, kidney, etc. The guy looks over my declarations (nothing right down the list), and asks if I have anything to declare. I say no, he asks why not.

I, in all of my brilliance and excellent sense of self-preservation, state that it's because I didn't win enough money to buy any drugs or guns.

Yes, I said it.

No, he didn't violate my bum.

Instead, he kinda laughed and said deadpan, good, I'll write that on here -- no drugs or guns. I thanked him and said that that would help me get processed faster. He said no, actually, it wouldn't.

And I'm still alive to tell the tale.

Moral? Probably not a good idea to fly with me on a red-eye. I'm dumb and I spend even less time thinking before speaking -- which is a scary thought in and of itself.


I've been told by a few people (okay, two) recently that I need to blog more. So, here's the effort to do so.

The thing is, I don't often feel I'm especially funny in text. Off-the-cuff remarks, angry rants, sure, I seem to amuse that way. But in text? Much more challenging. I don't know, some people seem to relate to what I have to say, and goodness knows I like to hear myself speak -- metaphorically speaking.

I had coffee with the girlfriend of a high school acquaintance yesterday (how's that for unwieldy explanations?). She's commented on here a few times, so I don't feel too guilty if I use her name, Sarah. I'm trying to make this as simple as possible.

Anyhow, we had a good chat, covering all kinds of topics, including but not limited to relationships. I then had another conversation about relationships with a coworker today, so suffice it to say the subject matter's on my mind. Add this to one of the songs that came up on my playlist, and I figure I have a subject to discuss.

For those who are curious, the song was Cupid's Chokehold -- the singer is telling his dad about the girl he's in love with, and there's a line to the effect of "I know you've heard me say I've met The One before, but this time it's for real"; I can relate. I do think that his saying that his girl has her very own ringtone on his cell as an example of Tru Wuv is a bit goofy, but hey -- it's a song.

So, how do you know when you've met The One? And how do you remind your fingers where the characters are on a QWERTY keyboard when you work all day on a French keyboard and your muscle memory has both stuck in there. Kinda cool, makes me wonder how I'd do on a Dvorak keyboard, and is a slight deviation from the subject at hand.

Relationships. The One. Is there really a One for anyone, or do we end up just settling? Where do the compromises get made?

I have a number of friends in committed relationships of differing types: some are married; some are married in an open relationship; some are living together but not married; some are living together, not married, and don't plan on getting married; and some are in a long-term relationship but not living together. In essence, they cover the basic spectrum of heterosexual partnerships (yes, I'm limiting myself, but I just don't have that many gay friends at the moment, curse my luck).

I've always been open about my support for all kinds of different pairings, and I try to be honest about what would work for me. In the past, I was openly dating two guys at the same time; in the past, I was also not-openly dating two guys at the same time. In the present, I'm living with someone with whom I share a committed, monogamous relationship. I've also had friends with benefits.

I have found, through trial and error, that what works best for me, provided the relationship is good, is the situation in which I now find myself. However, in the past, when I was in relationships that weren't good, it was not unknown for me to ... alter the circumstances (see above re: not-openly dating two guys at the same time). In short, yes, I cheated. I don't condone it, I don't feel it was the best course of action at the time, but it was what it was and that was that.

The motivations behind the actions were varied, and often tied to sex (duh, right?). I had a lot of bad sex in my past. Unsatisfying, boring, with partners that couldn't seem to learn regardless of the direction, and so on. Sometimes, I was just looking for something different.

At one point, I discovered that someone that I was spending time with (who shall remain nameless, unless he wants to out himself), had similar kinky interests to my own, and we explored those together. I was open with the DB about my kinky interests (without going into gory details of who and what, a policy we've kept with regards to past relationships over all), and one evening on a drive home, he basically asked me if I was going to want an open relationship to allow me to explore my kinky interests, which he doesn't share.

Because the DB doesn't share these interests, an acquaintance who is kinky called him boring. I guess in that regard, he could be perceived as such. However, on the grand scale of relationships, one must weigh what one's priorities are in regards to said relationship -- and even on a personal level, how highly said priorities rate.

I was a fairly curious sexual adventurer, and as such tried a lot of different things. My overarching philosophy was always one of, "how can I know I don't like it unless I try it?" -- with some limitations for things that were simply a flat-out no from the start. Through trial-and-error I learned what I find to be a turn-on, and what I feel works best in fantasy.

Now, combine fantasy with my tendency to ... romanticize, for lack of a better word, elements of sex -- leaving out the awkward parts, the uncomfortable moments, or the times when I was just plain bored -- and I can come up with some pretty hot scenarios. Maybe my more kinky tendencies would be enjoyable were they to take place with the right person, someone I feel committed to, cared for by, in love with, whatever, but my experience taught me that a lot of it was just more enjoyable in my brain than in real life.

Lots of things were still very hot in real life, in case you're wondering.

So, do I want to go elsewhere to explore my kinky side? No, I really don't. Am I unhappy with my sex life? I have my grumbles of which the DB is aware, but overall, I'm pleased.

If we return to our original subject matter, the question of The One -- how do I feel about that? Do I believe there's one special person out there for each of us? I honestly don't know. I think there are a small number of people with whom we're compatible, and therein lies individual choices about the sacrifices or priorities we have to make.

For some people, smoking is a total deal-breaker, for example. For others, it's not a selling point, but it's tolerable, and the last group, it's irrelevant to their decision. Sex lives are also like this -- some people just don't have a large sex drive, whereas others do. Individuals have to determine for themselves whether they can tolerate having more or less sex than their own personal preference.

And now I've rambled enough that I feel I can get into some more salacious information without getting into too much trouble.

I've seen a number of my friends pair up. I readily admit that the aspects of the relationship I see will a) be coloured based on my worldview and/or knowledge of the couple/individuals; b) never be the full picture, even if I'm speaking to one member of the couple about the details of said relationship.

I can say this because we do have a tendency to complain more than we praise our partners, in general. And when we do tend to gush about our partners, it generally evokes something similar to a gag or vomit reflex in those unfortunate souls subjected to said gushing. I experienced this with a new hire at one place of business -- she went on about how her and her partner were SO in love (a direct quote) and how it was just as passionate as when they first started dating, etc., etc., complete with effusive hand gestures and the clasping of the hands to her ample bosom. I wish I was kidding. She was also only one year my junior. She was later mocked fairly mercilessly by myself and another who were subject to this display -- and it was shared and reenacted for others. I've never claimed to be especially nice, particularly when I'm being egged on by others with similar opinions.

So yes, it can be challenging to speak in glowing terms on a regular basis about our chosen victims. Especially because ultimately we're all human and we do get on one another's nerves. I've lived with the DB for nearly a year now, and there are plenty of times that we piss one another off -- do notice I said that's mutual behaviour. And sometimes, we feel the need to vent about our partner's behaviour(s) to sympathetic ears. Sometimes, said sympathetic ears may get the wrong impression of our significant others, and may start to question just what it is that you, the complainer, sees in such an aggravating person -- so venting can require balance.

Or, the sympathetic ear has to weigh the complaints and the frequency of complaints if they're going to say something. Some sympathetic ears simply recognize that they're only getting one small piece of the puzzle, made grander by the immediacy of the frustration, and say nothing. That said, some people are more inclined to take sides and, especially if they are only ever hearing one side of the complaining, refuse to believe that the person being complained about has any redeeming qualities. Not that I'm bitter at all, no, of course not. Good riddance to that so-called friend, certainly.

There are some complaints that warrant action or concern -- namely, abuse. Physical, mental, emotional, even abuse of pets or children in place of the partner; these are major concerns. I have a male friend who related to me an instance when his girlfriend attempted to throw a lamp at his head -- I told him to get out and not look back. I listened to him attempt to explain the situation, tell me how his girlfriend was being overly emotional and didn't mean it, etc., etc., and I asked him what he'd tell me if this situation was playing out in reverse. Sure, maybe I was being too cut-and-dried, maybe she really was affected by medication she was on and all that, but seriously -- if someone tries to throw a lamp at your head, it may be time to rethink the relationship.

I have another male friend who used to relate to me domestic tales that were extremely overwrought and over dramatic and so on. I used to ask how things were going in crazytown, and other equally supportive questions (I'm a peach). He once told me that yes, while his partner was crazy, she wasn't as crazy as his past partners, so it was good. Again, let's change this up a little -- if someone tells me that yes, their partner is abusive, but not as abusive as their past partners, I'm not sure I'm telling them that this relationship is an improvement. And yes, here was a case where I was definitely only getting one side of the story and in select pieces, but... I've never claimed to lack for opinions. And contrary to popular belief, I share only a fraction of them.

Oh yeah, people would have trouble in my head. :/

Sometimes, opinions are formed just from exposure to or general knowledge of the couple. Even in long-term relationships, outsiders can form and share the opinion that the people in the couple either aren't meant to be together or just shouldn't be -- either because of how they interact as a couple, or maybe from genuine dislike of one half of the couple. Sometimes people stay together or take steps together because it's the next thing to do on the Grand Checklist of Life -- and not because they should take those steps together. Sometimes this results in divorce shortly after marriage; sometimes it shouldn't even result in marriage.

But once again, those are outsiders looking in. I've witnessed couples who interacted as though they were barely more than passing acquaintances -- how was I to know how they acted together in private? In this instance, they pretty much hadn't had sex together in two years (and this was maybe a 2 1/2 year relationship), but for all I knew they swung from the chandeliers the minute everyone else left. I've had boyfriends who didn't care to kiss in front of others, who didn't hold my hand, who would grab my boobs in front of my friends... I've witnessed couples who probably would've had sex in front of me if I was okay with it. I know of one couple where the guy masturbated the girl to orgasm behind their friend who was using the computer; there are couples who don't even like to acknowledge to others the frequency of their sexual encounters.

My point being, sure, I can and routinely do form opinions on relationships, and maybe I'm completely correct in my belief that said couple isn't meant to be together -- but in the end, what I know amounts to a pile of very little, no matter how verbosely I may say it.

And you know what? I think I'm going to continue this mental diarrhea on another occasion. While I do have a point, and I'm trying to get at it, the little bastard seems particularly elusive this evening -- and I think I want to do a bit of reading before bed.


Oh, life, how you do get in the way of things.

I’ve noticed a difference in energy or somesuch to the regular bus route vs. the express route in the morning. The days when I miss the express and have to take the regular route, I feel slightly out of sorts when I get to work, as if everything is just slightly out of whack for me. It wasn’t really the case at my previous job, where the regular route was the bus I took more often, but now… now it’s almost palpable some mornings.

I had my birthday last week, and I am now older. Woohoo. Life is going on, and in some ways it’s good and in other ways, not so much. I feel as though, career-wise, maybe I should be further ahead of where I am now, or maybe my promotion should’ve happened sooner. Well, it probably should’ve happened sooner, but I have some bad managers to thank for that. No matter, I’ve moved on and I’m in a better situation.

School-wise, I’m still dragging my ass. I’m plotting my next degree before I’ve even finished this one, and that’s not particularly wise, especially given the debtload I’m carrying; better than some, worse than others. I just hate money and stressing about money.

Lately I have had several people with whom I haven’t spoken in awhile get in touch with me to request hang-outs. I spent some time Friday night with Stefan and Matt, while the DB recovered from a mild concussion at home. No, I didn’t give it to him, though I have since threatened to poke him in the soft spot on his head when he gives me trouble.

I had an appointment today with a career counselor who told me that my values for work include security, creativity, and a good working environment. The security part comes as a bit of a surprise in a way; we never struggled for money when I was growing up (or rather, not that my parents made obvious to my sister and I), and I’ve never really had to do without, yet I’m terrified of being unemployed and would freak out if I had no idea where the next job or paycheque was coming from. It’s been that way for years, and I have no real explanation for it, but there it is.

As for the other two, they weren’t as surprising; I like to be creative in my work, and I work best within certain boundaries, which is probably where I’m struggling with the research paper work – there are almost no boundaries imposed upon me, so I’m at loose ends. When I know in advance what the expectations are, or what the need is I’m to meet, it’s easier for me. Probably in part why this poor blog languishes for periods of time. :) As far as needing to have a good working environment, well, I think that’s a pretty human trait. I don’t think anyone should have to suffer through bad working conditions, and contrary to what the Insane Narcissistic one thought, I fully believe in working for my pay, benefits, privileges, etc.