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  • Cia

    Classic Author Feature: Pilots by David McLeod

    By Cia

    Happy June and Pride Month! One of the big themes this month is always coming out, or being out and proud, or just being out and not having to be afraid. A big part of that in many places is the GSA, because it's not always easy. Pilots takes a look at how that might play out in a wider setting than just a high school or college, and there's a real cast of characters to get to know in each chapter who will draw you in. Check out this older story if you haven't read it before!   
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  1. If I knew the answer to your question, do you really think I'd be slid so far down in my seat that the person in front of me can see my feet?

     

    Nah. I'd probably be holding up a "pick me" sign desperate to sound kinda smart for once in my life.

     

    Most teachers understand this. But my maths teacher hasn't seemed to take the fucking hint yet. I swear this guy has it out for me. He'll walk up behind me and look to see which homework question I wasn't able to do and make sure that he asks me to demonstrate how to do it on the board. And when I say "I didn't get that one", he tells me to just give it a try and when I get it wrong he'll ask the class "can anyone tell Ryan what he's done wrong?". Then picks someone to come to the front and point out whatever I did wrong in front of the whole class.

     

    The first words the man said to me when I walked into his class at the start of the year was "This is the higher class Ryan. Int 2 is across the hall". And so I said "I did int 2 last year, Sir" and he hit back with "Yes but it's not enough to just sit the exam, you actually have to PASS IT". The class seemed to find that pretty fucking funny.

     

    Well, joke is on him coz I got my results back from that exam a month later and I got a B. So suck my dick, bro.

  2. The Arizona state legislature recently passed a bill purportedly to help protect the religious beliefs of business owners. The following column is based on my understanding of that event, and if I've misunderstood or misinterpreted anything about the situation, I welcome any corrective responses, as well as general responses.

     

    The way I understand it the bill is intended to protect, at least in part, businesses who wish to not do business with parties whose views or practices might conflict with their religious convictions. But it has turned into a broad permission slip for businesses to be able to refuse to serve LGBT potential customers. First, what about those signs that say, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."? " is this actually legal to enforce? And, if it is, why isn't this enough without this ridiculous bill?

     

    But the real danger of such a bill is that it opens a potential Pandora's Box. What's next, or more specically, who's next? What if someone claims they don't want to serve members of the public because their religious views clash with the business owner's? Or some fringe elements could claim their religious views don't agree with people of another skin color, or some other such silliness.

     

    The governor has until the end of the week to either sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to become law by doing nothing. Even three of the Republican lawmakers who voted for the bill have seen past their short-sightedness and urged her to veto it. There also seems to be a groundswell of general public and business opposition to the bill. What I don't understand is how these legislators can say that this wasn't their original intent. How could they not have seen the broader implications of this bill in the first place??

     

    Finally, I have a more personal reason for scratching my poor, mostly bald, head over this. I had decided very recently that Arizona was going to be my retirement location of choice next year. Now I don't know what to think. A vast majority of everyday folks, from the looks of the reaction to this bill, don't share the views of those who support it. And you find prejudice, to one degree or another, almost everywhere. But do I want to give my retirement dollars to a state that might be prone to future actions? Any GA members from Arizona who care to share their opinion?

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    Zombie
    Latest Entry

    I heard a terrible noise. I didn't know what it was. In the distance I could see a farm tractor, moving slowly across a field, with a man walking alongside. The noise wasn't from the tractor; it was too far away. Everything was so vivid, the sky a brilliant blue - too blue - and the hedgerows and trees impossibly green.

     

    I knew something was wrong but I had no idea what. Looking back towards the tractor I noticed it had changed direction, veering across the field towards a gap in the overgrown hedge surrounding the field. The man I had seen walking was now clinging to the tractor as it lurched forward more quickly, apparently holding on for his life. It was strange because both he and the driver seemed to be looking backwards.

     

    The noise was getting louder. Then, from the corner of my eye, there was movement. I turned slightly and saw a tall column of dust and debris moving steadily across the field towards the tractor. I know about tornadoes, I've seen them on the news, but this was something else. It seemed to have... intent. The tractor had nearly reached the edge of the field when it jolted violently and stopped, at an odd angle. Both men were now running towards the gap. Running for their lives.

     

    Then I heard it. This was a different sound; deeper, louder. I was standing in the middle of a large expanse of bright yellow crop at the far end of which was a row of poplars, their silvery leaves waving around in the breeze. Except this was no breeze. Raising my eyes above the tops of the trees I could see debris rising high into the sky.

     

    Then I saw it. It seemed to reach up as far as I could see, a monstrous whirlwind of darkness and destruction much bigger than what I had just seen across the field. What had happened to those farmers? But they were now gone from my mind, all my attention focused on this terrible thing as it suddenly broke through the line of trees.

     

    I turned and ran. For my life, just like those two men. A quick glance over my shoulder and I could see it bearing down on me. I changed direction and looked again. It made no difference. The noise was unbearable - a roaring, rushing, whirling, dreadful noise like nothing I'd ever heard in my life. It was alive, twisting and writhing, eating everything in its path. I knew whichever way I ran it would make no difference. It would get me.

     

    I was going to die.

     

    So I stopped the dream.

     

    Then I woke up.

  3. blog-0049735001392920945.jpgThe graphic on the page linked below is unfair to Ayn Rand, but she wouldn't care. Authoring was only one of many tools to advance her ideas. Still, the concept applies to most stories. If you don't plan your story before writing, it had better be short, or you will likely find yourself veering into the weeds, trying to keep the story alive.

     

    http://macroexposure.com/2014/02/18/atlas-shrugged-in-one-chart/

     

    Edited to remove the image of the chart. I tried and failed to obtain permission from the author to post the image. Not sure I would be able to choose no entry image, I substituted a photo of mine. It has nothing to do with my topic, but it's a favorite.

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    Hi GA. Welcome to the first installment of my genderqueer rants. I have been hankering to get this off my chest for quite a while and this seemed like the best place to do it, so I'm just going to jump right in.

     

    Something I encounter very frequently, particularly among well-meaning gay men, is this incredibly disturbing mentality usually characterized by something like the following conversation:

     

    Him: So you want to be a man.

     

    Me: Yes. Well, not want to--am. I just don't look like one.

     

    Him: ... Why?

     

    Me: .... *bewildered* So the inside matches the outside, I guess? Let's say for the sake of continuity.

     

    Him: .... But Aaron, you're so pretty. You must attract tons of guys already. You could have any guy you wanted. If you're so into men, why on earth would you want to change that?

     

    Me: Because I don't want to be pretty, okay? I want to be you.

     

    And that is the point at which I am (again) reduced to a spluttering, furious mess. It makes me feel like I'm being perceived as a whiny, inchoate little girl. There is nothing worse. I know they're just stating what's most obvious to them and trying to make a joke, but it completely undermines my feelings and feeds into my awful masculinity complex. Please, if there are any beautiful transmen in your lives, never back them into a corner in this fashion. Don't question their manhood. Even if it seems like lighthearted banter, it hurts. It makes them feel alienated. If you care about them, please, for the love of God, NEVER for a moment allow their physical appearance to eclipse their latent manliness.

     

    tl;dr your senseless rant version: Just because I am barely five feet tall and I look like Shirley Temple does not mean my balls aren't god damn enormous. Thank you.

  4. I'm proud to be Canadian, but I'm currently not proud to be a Canadian, at least not domestically. Why? Well:

     

    Federal Government

     

    1. There's the ongoing Senate scandal. Senators on suspension are having criminal charges placed against them for, effectively, stealing tax payer money. Many things have happened as a result of this:

     

    a. The NDP want to abolish the Senate completely. They feel as if it's a complete waste of time and energy. The Senate is so muddled by party politics that nothing is getting done, so just get rid of it.

     

    b. The Liberals kicked out all their Senators from the party. Two things arise from this: i). If you think they're not still Liberals in everything but name, you're silly. ii). If you think Justin didn't see criminal charges coming against Liberal senators and is distancing himself, you're silly.

     

    2. Harper. I don't even know where to begin. He just needs to go. His time is up. Period.

     

    3. Justin. Firstly, he's riding on his father's coattails politically, I think. He came out of nowhere and suddenly he's federal leader? What? How did this happen? The other thing, is he doesn't know the difference between his opinion personally and his opinion as a politician. When asked what country he admired most, he said China. Why? Their dictatorship-like structure allows them to move quickly and get stuff done. Words do not describe.

     

    Provincial (Ontario) Government

     

    1. Kathleen Wynne. I don't even know where to begin. Unelected. Scandals. No regard for tax payer money. Just... wow.

     

    2. Andrea, the provincial NDP leader. Proping up Wynne's government. Why?! I'm embarrassed - ashamed - to consider myself an NDP because of this.

     

    Municipal (Toronto) Government

     

    1. Leave Rob Ford the fuck alone. He was elected to be the Mayor of Toronto, for which he is doing a fine job. He was not elected to be the Moral Compass of Toronto. If he doesn't want to go to Pride? Fine, no problem. I don't blame him, I don't want to go either. Norm Kelley is a tool, also.

     

    ---

     

    Our government, on all levels (I image other municipalities and provinces have it just as ad) is so broken it's embarrassing and laughable. Can we hurry up and just have the entire system crash, so we can start over? Pretty please, with a cherry on top.

  5. Trebs
    Latest Entry

    Got back last night - very tired but also with a ton of great memories.

     

    I didn't bring my nice camera on this trip and looking back, I'm glad. A lot of things were first time experiences, and I was able to use my iPhone to capture a few, without feeling obligated to lug the bigger camera around and seeing too much through the camera lens rather than in person.

     

    We made a late start of Friday but it helped avoid traffic so - meh. We ate in Sacramento before heading down and got into San Francisco about 9:30, going over the new Bay Bridge. The east span is a beautiful piece of architecture, but the best part of the bridge was actually when we got to our hotel. We stayed in the Harbor Court Hotel, and I didn't know that Jack spent extra to get a bridge view room. If you don't know, last year (in honor of the 75th anniversary), an artist installed what's called the Bay Lights. It's a light show on the bridge and we just stood in our window and watched for about 10 minutes when we first got in. There were geometric patterns as well as it looking at one point like clouds were traveling across the lights. Our hotel was right on the Embarcadero, with nothing between us and the bay (nor between us and the bridge). After unpacking a little, we headed out to walk along the Embarcadero. It was a little chilly but still a great walk, looking at the Ferry building, reading various historical plaques and just people watching. There were a couple of piers open to the public, and we walked all the way to the end, just looking into the bay and seeing all of the various lights from Berkeley, Treasure Island and the like.

     

    Headed back to the hotel and zonked out fast. We were only staying the one night there so packed up and got checked out. I grabbed a cup of coffee while Jack checked out, and saw that in addition, the hotel had a wonderful hot chocolate setup - a big pump carafe of cocoa, but also a lot of things to add like chili powder, marshmellows, chocolate and caramel syrup, and cinnamon sticks. I ended up making my coffee a mocha :-)

     

    We had planned on doing a Red and White fleet cruise under the Golden Gate then come back and do the Exploratorium - I had won two tickets to each at a fundraiser at the kids' school. We moved the truck to be near the Exploratorium and used the historic F line street car to get to Pier 43 for the cruise. After we moved the truck, we saw a diner, the Pier 23 cafe, so we stopped for food before heading to the cruise. OMG - the food was great and the view of the bay, with all of the various traffic, was just such a pleasant way to start the day. There were huge cargo ships heading to and from the Port of Oakland, various size sailing ships and even a windsurfer or two.

     

    So after getting a late start and lingering over breakfast, by the time we got to the cruise area we had just missed the 11:45 ship and had to wait for the 1:10. Not too bad - we exchanged the fundraiser voucher for two tickets and explored while we waited. Next to the Red and White office is Pier 45, home to the Musee Mecanique, a submarine and the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. The Musee has a ton of old mechanical dioramas and other machines - usually takes a quarter (though the bigger ones require $1 to run) and admission to the place is free. I love going and showing it to people - I remember when it all used to be housed at the Cliff House. Jack loved seeing all of the old machines.

     

    He also wanted to go out and explore the ships. Each cost $12 admission and I was feeling a little tired and said for him to go on without me. But then I started thinking about the Jeremiah O'Brien and asked him to get me a few souvenirs. Since I had no idea what their on-ship store would have, the more I thought about it, I just gave in, paid the admission and went up on the ship with him. The ship is one of the Liberty ships - merchant ships made quickly in World War 2 for supply and other shipping needs. When the US fully geared up, the shipyards took just 60 days to produce a Liberty ship and we ended up producing over 2,700 of them. One thing I didn't know, was that the Jeremiah O'Brien was one of only two still fully functioning Liberty ships. It even went back for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, since it was also one of the ships that was originally AT D-Day.

     

    I had a personal connection to the ship though (which is why I wanted some souvenir), and that is that my dad was the Administrative Officer at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet. This was a civilian position (after he retired from the military in 1967). Growing up, I went on the liberty ships and others in the reserve fleet - which is where they keep some ships and constantly maintain them, so if they are needed in an emergency, they are ready to go. I remember him constantly talking about the O'Brien as they got the ship ready to go to an overhaul place, prior to becoming a museum ship at Pier 45. The ship stays functioning, and goes for cruises of the bay as well. I got a few things such as a nice white hoody but more importantly, I learned so much just wandering around the ship and looking at the plaques and other information.

     

    It was about time for the bay cruise, so we headed to the gate and boarded. SUCH a great experience. I've been on the bay before, but I didn't realize that the cruise would have a running commentary. When you've boarded, you're given a small audio device with headset and can turn it to your language of choice. As we went out to the Golden Gate bridge, the commentary let us know about tons of things that we were passing, their history, things to look out for - I loved this. After passing out and then back under the bridge, we passed by the north side of Alcatraz island then back to the pier. We had gotten the short one-hour cruise and I look forward to trying one of their longer cruises next time.

     

    I figured by the time got to the Exploratorium it would be about 3pm and we would have only two hours, so instead we headed into the Castro to look around and have a late lunch. Found a great Japanese restaurant (with a waiter with incredible blue eyes) and then wandered around, picking up a few items such as some cool coffee mugs and magnets (Jack collects fridge magnets).

     

    We didn't want to leave, but didn't want to get to our camping cabin too late so we headed out. The truck was still by Pier 23 so took the Muni train from the Castro back to the Embarcadero. We could have then gotten on the F line streetcar again (and for free as once you use your Clipper fare card, other transfers within 90 minutes are included). But it was a nice night, and there were some street vendors so we just walked back along the Embarcadero. Then - about 3 blocks before we got to the car...

     

    Well, to "set the scene" - I've had a lot of problems with my right leg. Some of it isn't new, but part of my back issues dating back to 1985 when I first ruptured a vertebrae. When I developed neuropathy for the first time last year due to Velcade, it was primarily in my right foot and leg. And with the new round of neuropathy and other issues, I've stumbled and shuffled a bit due to weakness in my right leg. So, we're walking down the Embarcadero and I have a bag in my left hand containing three new coffee mugs and some other things. Then out of the blue, my right leg gave way a bit but for the first time, rather than just stumbling and putting more weight on my left and staying standing, oh - I went down... Luckily the mugs just clinked on the sidewalk a little and there was no damage there. I ended up falling backwards (which was good as there was no scrape or other marks that could have happened. The major damage, apart from my ankle, was my ego as a few bystanders saw and came over to see if they could help.

     

    Jack grabbed the bag and let me just rest for a minute, then I slowly saw up, tightened the laces on my shoes to give more support and we slowly got back to the car. He checked out the ankle and it wasn't swollen or broken so we took off for Santa Cruz/Watsonville and our campground. We left San Francisco about 7:30 and got to the KOA campground about 9pm. The cabin was simple but just such a great choice. We didn't expect much, but there were not only two electrical outlets in the cabin, but there was also a small portable space heater so we walked into a nice WARM cabin! When I booked, I had thought we'd get just a campsite, but those were $40 and the small one room cabin was $55 so got the cabin for two nights instead. Inside is just a full bed (thick foam mattress but no linens) and a bunk bed with two twin mattresses (that we used to store our stuff). Spread the sleeping bags out and the bed was really comfortable. The bathroom was just three cabins away and we were set.

     

    Again, the plan was to use Sunday to check out Santa Cruz, hike around in the redwoods there as well as see the Pacific Garden Mall and then on Monday, check out Monterey, both the Aquarium, Cannery Row and the beaches nearby. And - ya, it didn't happen that way. Woke up Sunday morning to a VERY steady rain overhead. Jack is a heavy sleeper but I tend to wake up between 7 and 7:30, just because the dogs have trained me to do so (if Mila doesn't get fed by 8am, she'll waste away to nothing). So I woke up and just enjoyed the sound of the rain on the roof, while checking on email, Facebook and other news. I had looked at the weather in advance (on Tuesday) and Sunday/Monday were supposed to be clear, but I should have checked later in the week I guess. Jack finally woke up about 9am.

     

    It worked out in the end as we just flipped our days and did Monterey on Sunday. After checking my ankle again and wrapping it really well, we headed down and on the way found a great place to eat in Moss Landing, and then continued into Monterey. I'd been to the Aquarium once before but it had been a few years. We both had a great time, looking at all of the exhibits and talking to the various volunteers throughout who helped give additional information about the place. After the aquarium closed, we wandered the rest of Cannery Row before heading back. We were stuffed still from the brunch we had earlier so didn't end up getting hungry until about 8. The KOA brochure had a number of ads, so we ended up going to the local Straw Hat pizza in Watsonville.

     

    We cleaned up and checked out of the cabin Monday morning and then headed to Santa Cruz. Lunch this time was an italian deli on Pacific Garden Mall where we both got the soup and half sandwich combo. I went to UC Santa Cruz in 83'-85' but had only been back once since Loma Prieta and at that time, there was still some rebuilding going on. Now there is nary a sign of the earthquake damage although there seem to be a lot more "corporate" stores than when I went there. Still there are a ton of unique local-owned shops too. We wandered up and down the Mall, spending a lot of time in Logo's (a great bookstore with a huge used section) and just having a great time.

     

    We drove up to the UCSC campus at that point, and I showed him some of the places around campus but mainly just soaked in the atmosphere. If you ever have a chance, go visit the campus as it is only about 1/3 developed, and the various buildings are placed to coexist with the magnificent trees and wildlife. We came across two does eating grass at one point, just about 15 feet from the road. It was getting late, so we drove off for home, taking a scenic route through the Henry Cowell State Redwood park and passing through Felton before heading back over the hill. Once in Los Gatos, stopped for a quick bite and then on to Sacramento.

     

    Really fun trip - both of us SO needed to just get out of town for a bit. Now it's off to do laundry, figure out beginning of the month bills and spoil the dogs ;-) My ankle is doing pretty well - looks like I just bruised it a bit so it's a little tender, but overall I can walk and use it without problems. Now if this next round of Revlimid deals with the lymphoma while leaving me alone as far as side-effects, I will be very happy. We'll see :-)

  6. Hey y'all, I hope that you all are doing well and that you had a great holidays with your family! Happy belated New Year! :) It has been a year and a few months since I last time blogged here. My life has been to busy- juggling my education (had graduated already, yay!), job, and family/friends. My girlfriend and Alex (my son) are doing well, and we enjoy our family time. I can't believe that Alex is growing up too fast! Alex is three now, and he will be four in May. He is cute and handsome just like his daddy :thumbup: . I'll bet that Alex will be a real heartbreaker once he's older.He's talking a lot, and his vocabulary is good for his age. He absoutely love sports, and I love teaching him some basics in sports. We enjoyed watching baseball and football games.

     

    There are ups and downs. There are more ups and a few downs in my life. The happiest moments in my life are graduation, job, making new friends, and new family members either through marriage or blood-related. One of my cousins' wife will have baby #2 very soon, next month. Alex will gain a new baby cousin! Needless to say, Alex is pretty excited to play with a new cousin very soon. There are some down moments in my life that I wish didn't happen. I lost one of my really good friends from college, A.A. in November 2013. It's hard to believe that she's gone and that cardiac arrest robbed her life out at somewhere between tender age 22-24 (sorry, I don't feel comfortable spilling out her real age here on blog, since you all don't know her. No offense). I've missed her, but I am glad that I've gotten to know her over few years. We always still be friends, no matter what. Even though she isn't here physically, she's still here spiritually. A.A. really got along with my girlfriend and absoutely loved Alex. My girlfriend was having a tough time with that news and she still misses her and always think of her every single day. It was really hard to break the news to Alex about A.A. because he really loved her. I just wish that it didn't happen to A.A. because she didn't deserve it and I can't believe that she will never get a chance to do so many more in her life. Also, I just can't believe I lost her along with my other friends (from high school). It's hard. Another down moment was that a week before A.A.'s passing, another friend just broke the news by saying that he was diagnosed with cancer. When hearing the word "cancer," all of memories about my three high school classmates who lost their battles with their cancer immediately rushing into my mind. My friend is very strong, and he's fighting for his life. He just had a surgery to remove the tumor in December, and is receiving the treatments. He has very tough health issues, he was born with kidney problem and had a kidney transplant twice...and now, he was diagnosed with cancer. I wish that he didn't have tough health challenges. But, he is always positive and is thinking positive while fighting against cancer.

     

    I seriously can't believe that all New York sports teams (except New York Rangers) were doing horribly. First of the all, Yankees and Mets didn't do so hot in the last season. Plus they didn't even make to the playoff for World Series. It really really annoyed me that Boston Red Sox won World Series last year. Yes, I hate Boston Red Sox. C'mon, I'm a Yankees fan, and that's to be expected! Lol. It was downright embarrassing that Yankees were doing WORST last season. The worst season of the all than other seasons that they've lost the games because last season was the most games Yankees lost. Second of the all, Giants and Jets were doing not so great. Giants lost more games than won the games. The record for Giants is 9 (L) to 7 (W)...I seriously hope that in fall 2014, Giants better pull it together and do much better. The record for Jets is 9 (L) to 9 (W). Ehhh, Jets did slightly better than Giants, but not was doing so good. Superbowl is coming up (Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks) and I'm definitely rooting for Broncos. One thing I'm really really glad is that Denver Broncos beat Boston Patriots (Yes, I hate Patriots, especially I don't really like Tom Brady, a quarterback). Eli Manning's (a quarterback for Giants) older brother, Peyton Manning is a quarterback for Denver Broncos. I was so gleeful to see that Tom Brady lost to two Mannings. Brady lost to Eli Manning twice in Superbowl games (2008 and 2012), and lost to Peyton Manning in the playoff game to Superbowl recently. My girlfriend is so in love with Eli Manning because, in her words, 'He's so cute and have gorgeous body shape." Nope, I'm not jealous because I know she really do love me and only me. :P Basketball.... Let's just say Knicks are doing awful...terribly awful. In some games, Knicks had really low scores, which was the worst score I've ever seen in my life. Knicks record is 27 (L) to 18 (W). Brooklyn Nets also didn't do well, and the record is 23 (L) to 20 (W). The only team that isn't doing awful and is doing okay is New York Rangers (ice hockey team).

     

    Justin Bieber......Let's just say I feel bad for him but really was annoyed that I got a breaking news notification from cnn on my phone about Justin Bieber's arrest. Seriously, his arrest is a breaking news? <_< I heard that there is a petition that says that Justin Bieber must be deported to Canada. I aint get involved in this, no way. I don't even care for Justin Bieber or his songs. But, I find it hilarious that there were so many young girl fans that wrote letters to him saying how disappointed they are in him. An 8 year old girl, a fan of Justin Bieber, wrote a letter to him saying "I'm so disappointed in you... Get your act together." I don't know what's up with him, but seriously, Hollywood is really crazy when it comes to something like that.

     

    Gotta run now, but have a great day! :)

  7. Spots of Ink

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    My brother Dale, is dying. Cancer has robbed him of the rest of his life. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a year ago. Received treatment. One morning he had a stroke. Killed the left side of his body. Diagnosis: metastatic brain cancer. Too deep. Finality. Today, Wednesday 29 January, he is in bed, at home. Can't do anything for himself. On morphine. In and out of sleep. Pre-coma. Eyes roll into his head. Doesn't recognise his family. Skin jaundiced. Face swollen. Body thin as a rake. It's simply awful.

     

    This is for you.

     

    We were never that close. You once said that I should stay away from your children because homosexuality is a disease. You didn't want your children to turn gay. I was hurt. But not as hurt as you, because you didn't expect your brother to be gay. Your children grew up without me in their lives. I missed that so much.

     

    You punched me the night I came out to mom and dad. Over and over again. All over. You screamed how filthy I was in your eyes. Deranged. Diseased. Evil. I cried even while you and Dad hit me one after the other. I forgot about it as the years went by. Forgiveness you will find in heaven.

     

    We became friends. Eventually. I took you to a gay bar once. My friends crowded around you. You were so handsome then. Your ego inflated by all the attention. You found them fascinating. But that was the only time we went out together to party. I wish we had spent more time together bro.

     

    You did well. Although I am still shocked that with all your money, you never once helped me look after Mom before she died. I remember phoning you, asking you for a measly two hundred, and you said no. Just like that. NO. It wasn't for me. I never asked you for anything. It was for our mother. You bought a fancy speed boat, owned fancy cars, and even claimed early pension.

     

    I remember how disgusted your family was when you walked out of their lives and divorced them and your wife for a younger woman. Don't get me wrong, I love your new wife. She's had very little sleep in the last year whilst looking after you. Changing your clothes. Making your bed.Taking you to the toilet.

     

    I remember how you swore our Mom when she discovered you were having an affair with another woman. How we followed you one night and found you sleeping at your mistresses flat. How you sped through the streets trying to get away from us. And your first wife forgave you for the sake of your young children.

     

    Three years ago, you started inviting me to spend time with you. We went skiing, had fun on your boat on the lake, began to forge a bond.

     

    But you never once apologised.

     

    Now, seeing you like this, I weep for you. You were the best brother I never had.

     

    And I love you.

     

    I hope that your pain will end today. That you will fall into coma. I'm not selfish by saying this. Your quality of life is ended. Time to go home.

  8. blog-0222829001390675805.jpgSo I have been MIA, I know lol But today was a special day and I wanted to share this news with you all!

     

    My story "Holding on to Hope" is getting published! It comes out next month on the Valentine's Day and I feel very lucky to announce that the publisher is none other than Dreamspinner Press - one of the most reputed publisher in the industry!

     

    It's my dream come true. So without wasting any more time, here's everything to know about it -

     

     

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    TITLE: Holding on to Hope

     

    AUTHOR: Sid Love

     

    PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

     

    LENGTH: 68 Pages

     

    RELEASE DATE: 14th February, 2014

     

    COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond

     

    BLURB: Bradley Parker has waited twenty years for Mr. Right, and on Valentine’s Day, he finally finds him. It’s love at first sight, and Brad even loses his virginity to the man of his dreams. But when he wakes up the next morning unable to remember anything—even what the man looked like—his best friend, Leslie, is convinced he imagined the whole thing. Brad knows he didn’t make up the best night of his life, but he has no idea of the danger he’s putting himself in as he struggles to recall the details of his perfect man. His search may lead him to parts of New York City he never dreamed existed and a war being waged in the shadows.

     

    PRE ORDER LINK: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4724

     

     

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    ABOUT SID LOVE

     

    Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back in time, he has always had an ambitious mind. In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author some day.

     

    Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen’s romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.

     

    You can find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sid.love.16?ref=tn_tnmn or tweet him anytime: https://twitter.com/FatefulMercy, or simply e-mail him at sidlovethewriter@live.in.

  9. Luc Rosen
    Latest Entry

    Winding down on a Friday night with some acoustified EDM. There is something amazing about the translations of a loud club banger to an intimate, moving unplugged.

     

    "You Got to Go" - Above & Beyond ft. Zoe Johnston

     

     

     

    "Spectrum" - Zedd ft. Matthew Koma

     

  10. I guess I’m tired of hiding from the world. It was bound to happen eventually. The silence in my head was hurting my ears. It is somewhat good to hear a voice again, though I’m not quite certain just yet what voice it is. Might be mine.

     

    I realize just how out of touch I am with everyone and everything. I don’t even know if my ‘friends’ are out there anymore. I know some very important ones are not. Wish I could fix that. But you know what they say, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” But I’m going to make a sincere attempt to rejoin the living. This is the only place I can think to do that.

     

    So… am now in Georgia instead of New York. Yeah, when I run away, I run FAR away. Georgia I about as far from NY as you can get—geographically and ideologically. it is warmer here. NY was cold. Ok, I slightly miss the snow, especially at Christmas. But it is a small price to pay for not freezing my ass off. My cats prefer it also. Only have 3 now: Meep (my pic), Baby Kitty Beast (long hair black boy) and KK (short for Kitty Kitty—a big fat grey sort-of tiger girl). KK recently moved in. She has no tail and I could not say no to her.

     

    My son has graduated from school and has been accepted at SUNY. He will be studying physics. God help the world.

     

    I haven’t written anything creatively. Maybe that is gone. Not sure, but will make an attempt to begin again. I do like to hear my own voice-hence this blog. So maybe I will be able to write again. Hope so, I miss it. :wub:

  11. I read today that that Thomas Hitzlsperger has outed himself. Thomas is a retired soccer star who once played for Everton, West Ham and Germany and had a mean left goal kick. I admire any celebrity who outs themselves because mostly it paves the way for other celebrities to come out, and break the barriers between what is PERCEIVED to be normal and what is not perceived to be normal.

     

    But, I do have concerns. Sport is not the domain of baby makers. Sport belongs to everyone. Heterosexuals are under the impression that sport belongs to them alone. They should get over it. Get a life. Make more gay babies. I understand the reason behind a celebrity who comes out, as I am sure we all do. Michael Johnson who once sat on the Football Association's Advisory Board, has stated that homosexuality is detestable. He fails to recognise that one infallible rule: Sport is Not Exclusive to Heterosexuals.

     

    Celebrities fear the backlash. The media prey on stories like this. It is BIG news.

     

    Tom Daley (Olympic diver)

    Anton Hysen (Swedish footballer)

    Jason Collins (US basketballer)

    Nicola Adams (British boxer)

    Orlando Cruz (Puerto Rica boxer)

    Robbie Rogers (US footballer)

    Billie Jean King

    Navratilova

    And others et al.,

     

    They are not only stars in their own right, but are standing examples for the gay community. And make no bones about it, the gay community needs stars. And why not? The heterosexual world has its stars. However, in order for us to have our stars, they must twinkle, in other words, come out.

     

    But why? Thomas states:

    ‘I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards.’ He also states that '...coming out is taboo in the dressing room...'

     

    We are living in the 21st Century. Heterosexuals force us to come out because they regard homosexuality as an evil. Taboo. Etc. Disregarding the fact that we are more than able to play sport, or sing, or act and win. They regard themselves as holier than thou when they themselves are prone to more crime, more evil, more perversion than homosexuals. They would be, they are in the majority.

     

    Still, why?

     

    Here is a comment by a reader of Thomas's outing:

     

    A person's sexuality is immaterial to any sport and, quite frankly, nobodies business but their own. You make an effort when you play and give your all to the supporters then you'll do for me. It's 2014 and it's far past the time when people should have moved on and grown up about it. There's no bravery in coming out, there's a warped ideology in the World that makes an issue where none belongs but bravery? No. It's nothing more than being "allowed" by society to actually just be yourself. I don't think society should be empowered with the perceived "right" to make somebody feel they have to explain themselves in their choice of partner, whatever their preference, any more so than "allowing" somebody to fall in love with a blonde, brunette, blue eyes or brown etc etc. So long as it's consenting adults then, frankly, the World in general should keep their nose firmly out of it. It's time we all collectively said in one voice. "Move on. Nothing to see here."

     

    And another reader states:

     

    We live in a largely ignorant and judgemental world where any difference is perceived as a weakness and attacked. That is why there are probably still many more athletes who would perhaps like to be openly gay but are too sacred about the potential consequences and stigma. Hopefully those that have recently made the decision to come out will make it easier for anyone else who is considering doing so.

     

    By moving on, does it mean that we all will EVENTUALLY have the right to be what we want to be? So then parents will not disown us, the army will not send us for aversion shock therapy, we will not be jailed, we will not be put to death, we will not be bullied at school or university, our parents will accept us and we won't commit suicide.

     

    When that day comes, please wake me up.

     

    I admire David Cameron's tweet to Thomas:

    As an #AVFC fan, I've always admired what Thomas Hitzlsperger did on the pitch - but I admire him even more today. A brave & important move.

     

     

    I say that homophobia is an illness. It should be treated as such. Maybe a few years in a mental health institution. Maybe straight aversion therapy for homophobics.

     

    I say our sexuality is just as important as a heterosexual's sexuality and we should offer no apology for being homosexual. Straights don't go around saying, " Listen mate, I am sorry but I'm straight.' Straights don't go around saying, 'hi, my name is so and so and I am straight.' So, why should we? But we do. Not all of us. But we do.

     

    I remember the day when a customer brought her son with her to buy books in my store. We got to chatting and she wanted to know if I was married. I told her yes. She said she would like to meet my wife. I told her I'm married to a man, not a woman. Her son, about 15 years old retorted: 'Wow! Mom, a real gay person, that's amazing, mom.' His mom smiled and said, 'Yes, it is amazing.'

     

    That made my day.

     

    Thomas Hitzlsperger, thank you.

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    Is there no limit to retail greed? It just seems that they'll do anything for a buck these days. One of those things has to do with business days and hours. Walmart, for instance, operates their supercenters 24/7, 364 days a year. They bow only to Christmas Day. This even includes stores in smaller, rural locations, such as communities of 15,000 or less. How many people in these small towns realistically shop at 3 in the morning? But this isn't just about them. There are plenty of guilty parties.

     

    When I first moved to Texas for school, I from a state that had no blue laws to a state that did. For the most part the only businesses open on Sunday were restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores. And even then the law was strange. For instance, you could buy a hammer, but not a nail. I thought, "How can a civilized society these days not open their malls on Sunday?" You know how long it took for me to adapt? About three weeks. You just taught yourself to visit the malls and most other stores on Saturday or in the evening. It really wasn't that hard. And the majority of Texans were home with their families that day. But then came 1985, and the blue laws were repealed.

     

    And now look at holidays. Black Friday has turned into Gray Thursday. No more Thanksgiving for millions of retail workers. Or Easter. Or New Year's, Or Fourth of July. I, for one, refuse to take part in this madness. I still don't go to the mall on Sunday, or drop into my neighborhood big box store at 3am. I still sometimes grocery shop on Sunday, but I try and feel guilty about it when I do.

     

    I know that I'm talking about the "old days" for many, but in some cases, the old days really were the "good" old days.

  12. Just a little something I wrote for school, and thought I would share, oh and please disregard all the grammar errors, I wrote this for a presentation and figured since only i was reading it I didn't need to fix them, and now I'm just lazy.

     

    I live, I lie, I make you cry,



    It makes me stronger when you no longer,

    Have any power, to fight back

    To attack, to react,

    To stand up through my attack,

    Cuz if you did then you would see,

    That what I do, is not because of me, it’s because of you.

    Much like you, I was beaten too,

    With words of hate that discriminate,

    The way you look, the way you talk,

    Sometimes even the way you walk,

    It’s different, it’s unique, it would make me weak,

    When everyone would realize,

    How much cooler you are,

    Through their eyes,

    I won’t let you take away,

    All the friends that I have made,

    Through your suffering, through your pain,

    Because you’re the bully who stood close by

    and made me feel like I want to die,

    And this is why I hurt you,

    Because the pain I felt inside,

    Is what you used to make me cry,

    When I was smaller, when I was shy,

    When I was weak because I’m meek

    When all I wanted was someone to say hi,

    To play with, to guide,

    But you helped me realize,

    That I’m not that guy, who was kind,

    And just stood by, so now how does it feel,

    To be on the other side,

    To feel the pain, that you used, to make others cry,

    Now that I act more like a guy,

    Who could deny,

    My masculinity, my identity,

    There’s no need to hide,

    Your true side.

  13. Right, I am somewhat in a dizzy miffed off mood today.

    So this one is a bit of a rant.

     

    There is something that I really just do not get! What is it about sex with a child????

     

    Right, sex is about giving pleasure and taking pleasure right? It is about enjoyment and climax and orgasm right?

    It's about love and lust and emotions.

    And you can get ANY of that from a bloody kid???

     

    Ian Watkins today pleaded guilty to a series of depraved child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh for heavens sakes man. Come on! :(

     

    For those who don't have a clue who the hell Ian Watkins is, he is lead singer of the massive Indie Rock band The Lost Prophets.

    They are a South Wales band, and as I used to live down that way, I've seen then perform at several gigs and concerts and really love their music.

    The singer has always furiously denied the allegations which surfaced a few months ago in the wake of the whole Kiddy fiddling scandal that came to light when Jimmy Savile popped his cloggs.

     

    Now ok, the allure of youth I can understand to a degree. A young man in his teens can be remarkably good looking and have curves and shapes that are not worn down by time and over indulgence.

    But I am talking about a young man that's into the latter half of his teens.

    In the UK the age of consent set by those that have wisdom in these things is 16. Now exactly what that is meant to mean, I am not 100% sure.

    I guess, what they are trying to say is that by the age of 16, young people have some sort of understanding of what sex is and the fact that a whole load of emotions and feelings and all that other mumbo jumbo is tied up with it, even if they are not equipped or experienced to deal with it. So if they are going to get sexual, at least they are capable of some reason and sensibility.

     

    Look, kids are going to be kids. They will want to experiment and try it out and get into mischief. Bloody hell, I did it, and I am pretty sure most of you did too.

    We all did right?

    But, for the most part, we did it with someone we chose, most probably with a peer or friend within our own age group, and if it was with an older person, that decision was probably made at a time when we decided we really wanted to find out what all this sex stuff could feel like when done properly, and with someone who had experience.

     

    Am I being sensible when I say that this is normal, natural behaviour for a young person?

     

    To suggest that a child, one that has not even entered into sexual maturity, or let alone puberty is sexually active and desires a relationship with an older person??????????

    Sick.

    How do you get gratification for a kid that cannot even perform yet?

    OMG

    When I see people that I have looked up to and admired as celebrities and heroes abusing their position of trust and access, I feel really mad first and fore most, but completely disillusioned and let down. Why?

     

    Look, this has been going on for ages, I know. It is a very dark and dirty part of our world. It is something we know about, hear about, but never really want to discuss or think about, because let us be frank, it is appalling and sickening to think that young, beautiful children are subjected to this wickedness.

     

    So no one really says much.

     

    But, the worms are crawling out the woodwork here in the UK recently. The police are doing a lot to sort this. About bloody time.

     

    I just really needed to have a rant, and put my thoughts down on paper. I work in music, have always admired some of these people. How many times have I sung that song by Rolf Harris called Two Little Boys. It's even moved me to tears! Now, to find out he another of these men?

    Argh.

    We live in a sad world. I suppose that stuff like this has always been there, but now that it comes out into the public domain so easily! It hurts.

    Tell me, is there a limit to our depravity? Just let a kid be a kid for crying out loud. They have a whole life to grow up and get caught up in the shit that goes with the emotional roller coaster of sex. We all know this right? Our youth is a precious time, let the young enjoy and build treasured memories, ones like you and I have. Not stuff that they should NEVER have to be thinking about.

    Meh, enough said, rant over, but just really needed to get this crap off my chest today. Thanks for listening.

     

    Thought for today - "Virtue is bold and goodness never faithful." - William Shakespeare

  14. I don't think anyone took the prompt last week, so without further ado this weeks prompt.

     

    Prompt du jour #4 – Creative

    Tag: Mystery

    There’s a killer on the loose, and everyone in your community is scared. This is startling to you because you sense that the serial murderer is targeting a select class of citizen. Who is he/she and why are they targeting them?

  15. smooth

    gentle

    eternal

    child

    playing

    on sandy beach

    smooth shells

  16. peaceofthesouls
    Latest Entry

    rory laughing

    the rip blue jean in the car

    i am not gay at all

    you know that

    donald say oh yeah

    the curl hair and blue eyes

    his brother with his girlfriend in his apartment

    donald know the smell of bachelor

    living

    and the rip blue jean room of the guitar

    player poster

    and the notes book full of lyrical

    the picture of dark horse

    draw when he was twelve

    how old you are

    donald asked

    rory didnt answer the question

    what we know

    shirt off

    at the corner of the door

    dark horse

    run in the field

    and with

    the smell

    of...

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    For the current generation 9/11 was when in a sense they lost their innocence.

    For my father's generation December 7, 1941 was when their world changed.

    For my generation November 22, 1963 was the shock that changed our world.

     

    I was in highschool and it was the first period after lunch and the subject was English when my generation's world was changed. Suddenly the intercom speaker over which all school announcements was made came on playing our local CBS radio affiliate KMOX and then we heard Walter Conkrite announce that the President had been shot. The radio and TV coverage was continuous for the next four days on all broadcast networks.

     

    A lot happened in the 1960's but nothing was as momentous as this.

  17. The older I get, the more days goes by quickly. People of my age, at least the ones I know well, are all very busy. In 1948 (65 years ago ! ) We were 148 to finish our high school and to successfully pass our exams. Today nearly a hundred disappeared.

    We, the "survivors", we usually meet us each autumn at a luncheon in the Geneva countryside. 3 weeks ago, we were 25 around the table and 22 bothered to send us a letter of apology, stating that they were still alive, even though they were often no more able to move. 32% of survivors, it is still a nice score!

     

    Having 85 years today has nothing to do with the old men of the same age I was watching when I was 20. Some of us are still professionally active, transmitting to employees or younger associates their experiences and knowledge. The most active of us, including myself, are solicited by long-time customers and are happy to still "respond to the demand." Others, although they are retired, work as volunteers in charity associations or participate in historical studies doing "a work of memory".

     

    Despite our age, despite some physical weaknesses, we all still want to live and to enjoy life. I wondered what is the reason of such a positive attitude. Searching on the Web (in this regard, I noticed that more than 30 of us had an email address and therefore were successfully adapted to modern means of communication) I "met" a psychoanalyst who gave me some elements of response.

    According to Erik Erikson’s "Eight Stages of Life" theory, the human personality is developed in a series of eight stages that take place from the time of birth and continue on throughout an individual’s complete life.

    He characterizes old age as a period of "Integrity vs. Despair", during which a person focuses on reflecting back on his life. Those who are unsuccessful during this phase will feel that their life has been wasted and will experience many regrets. The individual will be left with feelings of bitterness and despair.

    Those who feel proud of their accomplishments will feel a sense of integrity. Successfully completing this phase means looking back with few regrets and a general feeling of satisfaction. These individuals will attain wisdom, even when confronting death.

     

    Well, I think I am one of them!

  18. So there is this class at my university and there is only one professor that teaches it. Everyone I have spoken with has had terrible reviews for him because of his incomprehensible method of teaching, the exam curve balls, the grading scheme and that he seems to enjoy giving bad grades. I know of someone who had a 4.0 GPA and got a DC (equivalent to C-). I think the class average for last semester was 37%. The students who took it last semester filed a formal complaint through student government to the governing body and administration of the university - all the way up to the president, but nothing was done. We suspected it was because the professor in question has been at the university for a long time.

     

    The problem with this class is that it is a required class for a couple majors so I along with thousands of other students will need to take it at some point.

     

    I'm wondering how feasible a student boycott will be. I'm pretty sure it is legal in the U.S. as long as it is peaceful, but I feel like there would have be a very high turnout to affect anything. Maybe high enough to shut down the university? I don't know. *sigh*

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    scotty94
    Latest Entry

    FEAR ITSELF IS ONE THING BUT DEATH IS SO MUCH WORSE

     

    As I write this tears stream from my eyes, the memory burns so painfully in my head. That bright spark, that role model that number one gone like a flash. seven years of hate how I regret it that much, not being there and disbelieving. Now death has come and taken all that away, the death of a loved one is something, but the death of two loved one in a matter of second is something else. My grandma the only person I could call a role model vanished one minute she said remember the next silence.

     

    REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER that word twisting, turning and moving through my head I try and forget I try and think of the good times, but all I see is blackness, my grandfather clutching on to life by his fingernails gone, one minute he was there the next minute vanished, now in not one to make a fuss bereavement is one thing but continuing with life comes hand in hand.

     

    I try and forget try and not believe but when the pain arrives and the tears wont stop falling all you can do is cry, death is hard and death is even harder when rough patches in that relationship will never become smooth. I hate myself and I hate the world, my grandma and grandfather wont know how much I care because there gone I can cry and protest as much as possible but in the end all that hate, frustration, pain and lies are still a burning vision of the people who I loved gone who will never know how much I loved them.

  19. Hey All--

     

    So, after re-reading Chapters 12 & 13, I decided that I would post Chapter 13 before my 'hiatus' as it is a more fun chapter and is a good ending point. Chapter 14 starts a very long week for the boys (5 chapters and counting) so those who have complained about me 'rushing' things...be careful what you wish for.

     

    Another reason I am posting this chapter is it's the first one to really deal with the rescue and that has been on my mind a lot in recent weeks (more than usual).

     

    One of the horses we rescued over the summer has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer...and to make matters worse, when he was taken for his first treatment, it was discovered that he had a tumor behind his eye.

     

    He is now being treated every other week at a very good veterinary hospital (a 2 hour trip each way) and the treatments will end up costing the rescue thousands of dollars.

     

    All of us who volunteer at the ranch and work with, care for and love the horses have pledged to do all we can to raise the necessary monies. I have sent countless e-mails to friends and relatives and to those who are on my mailing list.

     

    As I have this soap box, I also decided to use it. If anyone would like to donate to this cause I have set up a paypal.com account (under: atodd867@gmail.com). I have to balance my anonymity with my goal of raising as much money as I can for this cause.

     

    One thing I want to make clear, is that this is a not a 'quid pro quo' deal...donating or not will not increase or decrease my writing output. I am just trying to exhaust every possible avenue available to me.

     

    Thank you.

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    I'm writing this blog as an attempt to capture this great feeling inside me. I feel... Have you ever had to control your body so that you don't start dancing in the middle of the road? (I wish my life was a musical. That would have been fcking awesome!) It feels like I'm half-dreaming. Yesterday, I wanted to get off the bus and run home and scream how happy I was.

     

    So, yes, yesterday was my birthday. But that's just the cherry on top of the cake which makes the whole thing much more awesome.

     

    The cake is....

     

    *drum rolls*

     

    I got my dream job! As graphic designer in an advertising agency. And it's not any agency. It's easily amongs the top three In Mauritius. It is THE company I always looked up to during my course and thought "Wow, they are good." And now to be there as part of the team.... Given the present situation of the economy and how tough the job market is for designers, it's tough for someone to get a good job, let alone for someone has just finished college and has no experience in this field.

     

    Since August I've been there as an intern, with the possibility of a job at the end IF they like my way of working. Two months, I spent dreaming and hoping for this moment. Sometimes, I was sure that it was not going to happen. But I promised myself to give myself to a max. And I did (kinda. Let's say 90%. I can be lazy sometimes. :P)

     

    And when I heard it, I was half-high. I literally couldn't hear clearly. My mind was like "OMG, it's happening." At the end, my art director pinched me and said "It's real. You're not dreaming."

     

    And the weird thing is that they had already planned to tell me on Monday (yesterday) without knowing that it was my birthday! Wow...

     

    So yes, it's been a great birthday.

     

    On side note, my boyfriend bought an physical exercise kit for me as gift. Hint? Hope not. :P

     

    (P.S Why is my Blog Description "Standing At The Threshold?" Dude, I'm already beyond the threshold, sitting on the sofa and sipping my coffee... *sorry for the silliness* :P )

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