Josie and the Pussycats

Last Friday, we introduced a little puppy named Josie to our household. We now have a band of animals who we appreciate a lot and are getting along very nicely.

Three minutes of mighty puppy trying to come down the stairs. Be warned, she's impersonating Luke Skywalker.




And this is the first day we got her.



Her tail has already grown an inch. Her body length and leg length have also increased incredibly in the past week. She's already so much more coordinated. It's hard to believe my eyes!

The Pussycats are, in descending order of age, Smeagol (grey stripey coloured), Echo Six (melange stripey coloured), and Lazarus (black).






















Their first album should be out in 2011 as Josie still has some vocal training to take her to the top!

And in memory of the band member who died of a drug overdose this summer, Misha. He taught the other Pussycats a lot including how to get into trouble and not get caught. That talent got out of hand. He is still dearly missed.

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Great Weekends With Friends

I helped a friend warm his new house by baking chocolate chip cookies. I really, really, really enjoyed these cookies that I yoinked from here.

*********
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from The Frog Commissary Cookbook)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or "quick," but not "instant")
2 cups chocolate chips (about 12-oz.)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen.

Notes:
- If you chill the dough for about 30 minutes before baking, you will have a slightly puffier cookie.
- You can substitute raisins for the chocolate chips.
- You can add up to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts in addition to raisins or chocolate chips. You might want to make the cookies slightly larger if this is the case.
*********

Fortunately or unfortunately, I ate a lot of them myself. They were sooo good. Of course, part of that could be that I haven't had homemade chocolate chip cookies in too long. Mmmm... cookies...

We played a couple games of Agricola which we were awesome. The host won the second game which lasted too long and I didn't explain well enough to our new players. I completely enjoyed the company though. And everyone else wasn't drinking enough as far as I was concerned. ::grin::

Our host also fed us very, very well. He made chili and stew for us and had all kinds of cheese and crackers. It was very yummy. And then we got apple banana pancakes for breakfast on Sunday. So very good, indeed.

These two made good company this weekend.

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Off to Humboldt

That's right! I'm off to the sunny metropolis of Humboldt tomorrow. For this little expedition, I have planned to take my current chainmaille project now that my hands no longer start swelling after putting 3 rings together, my list of letters to write, and the third book in a series of seven that we got for a wedding present.

The only key now is that I successfully get up in 3 hours to do this drive. I am going to avoid Tim Horton's even though I really want an Iced Cappuccino. I will have some water bottles with me.

And for my lovely driving companion, I will be bringing pillows and blankets just in case she's not feeling well after her appointment. Don't worry, it's no one you know.

The best part about the trip tomorrow is that I have something planned. Having things planned in the day seems to help me keep busy these days and not just be a layabout, although that occupation would keep me from having to feed my family at Harvest.*

The best part about going for this drive tomorrow is that I get to help someone who needs it. I'm very pleased with this because it feels like it has been a while since I've been helpful. Probably not true, but it kind of feels that way. Probably just my high expectations for myself though.

In other news, I am applying for a job this week. Not because I really want it, but because I want to see if I can get it. I'm headed to Calgary this weekend to see friends whom I miss dearly. I miss a friend that lives just blocks away. It was my dad's birthday today. The cats are all starting to like me better than Jeremy since I'm home and available for attention more than he is.
_________________
*Agricola is a fantastic game that we have played many, many, many times and still have a ton of fun. I recommend it to everyone.

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So Much To Say

I do have a lot to say and a lot that I've been thinking about lately, but none of it seems like it needs to come out. I don't feel that I need to talk about it. It just is and that's okay. I know that it would shock some that I don't need to talk about it. Heck, it shocks me a little.

I like having time to get everything in order. The house is coming along nicely, I think. I had unexpected, but very welcome, company this weekend and I didn't really have to clean my house for me to feel comfortable having them here.

It's funny how I haven't truly noted that the state of my home is a reflection of the state of me before, but there are a lot of lines of similarity. If my house is very messy and I'm okay having people in it means that I'm really at peace with my messy own internal struggles because I don't feel like working on them. I get restless with the general mess in my house when I start feeling more in control of my internal struggles and thusly, I clean and tidy. When I feel messy inside and the house is that way, but I don't want people to come over and see the messy house, I usually just don't want to pretend I'm okay. And when I tidy up just so that I feel comfortable with other people in my house, I'm putting on the mask that I'm okay for people. There are a lot of varying degrees in there, but those are the major parts. Right now, the house is pretty tidy and that's a pretty accurate reflection of how I feel. I also think it says something that my office is almost always a mess.

If you can believe it, I'm laughing more these days.

Me and my brother

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How Do I Do This?

I'm not sure I remember how to do this. Type? Type what? About my life and my thoughts.

Well, I'm married. I had it in my head that getting married wouldn't change my relationship with Cheruby, but I was wrong. It has changed it. It's a promise. Yes, we still make the choice every day to honour that promise, but it's a promise that wasn't there before. A promise that will take a lot more to break than just one fight.

We spent the first week saying with a sort of dumbfounded incredulity, "We're married," and "You're my husband." Such silliness and loveliness. I enjoy having that promise and having given it.

Cheruby and I haven't been treating each other differently except to say, "I love you," ten times more than we used to. Not that we didn't say it often before, we did. It's just - different. That's weird to me because I don't get that. I don't get why it should be different and yet it is. It's better than before.

I'm happy.

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Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies) Wedding

I've been working way too much, but all that is done now and I'm in full on wedding mode. It's 8 days until the wedding. ... Eight days. ... Eeeeeep!!!

I really should have called you by now if I haven't heard from you, but I haven't so I'll be emailing or calling you shortly. I really do hope that you're coming.

There is still so much to do like helping guests with attire fit for a Pride and Prejudice wedding for those who want to dress up because not every one has the inclination which is perfectly okay with me as the most important thing is to have our guests there to celebrate the day with us.


My first piece of advice is exhaustively review Jessamyn's Regency Costume Companion. Every time I'm directed back to this site because of new search criteria I've entered, I find something new that these wonderful people have compiled. In the many, many hours I have spent on the internet looking for just the perfect things for this wedding, no one site is as comprehensive as this one.

The second piece of advice is to watch A&E's Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth makes an excellent Mr. Darcy. Some other films and TV mini-series you might seek out can be found at Jessamyn's Bookstore in the Videos of Regency dramas section.

Here are some simple tricks for knowing whether or not you're on the right track for your Regency wear. Guests can take or leave any or all of these suggestions. As above, Regency era costuming is not required.
MEN

  • Hair should be between short and medium length. Facial hair should be non-existent except for sideburns.
  • Jacket or coat should be longer than today's usual length. Tails are great, but not strictly necessary. There are lots of details with a true Regency tailcoat that are not needed to get the general feel for the era.
  • White poofy shirt with white cravat are fairly easy essentials to the look.
  • Waistcoat or vest should be straight cut across the bottom at the waist.
  • Tight pants were the style. The ladies had to know what they were getting somehow.
  • Plain black slippers or shoes with a large buckle were the footwear with long trousers.
  • Generally the trousers, waistcoat and coat were three different colours.
  • Acceptable accoutrements include top hots, canes, leather gloves.
WOMEN
  • Hair should be worn up, typically with a hair accessory of sorts such as two ribbons or small flowers.
  • Dresses had empire waists, poofy upper sleeves, and hung to the floor.
  • Plain ballet flats or slippers are acceptable footwear.
  • Bonnets were the most common hats, but there were other styles of hats worn at the time.
  • Other accessories could be parasols, gloves, fans, or reticule (small handbag).
This is not a comprehensive list of costume options by any means. We whole-heartedly encourage anyone who would like to do more research for appropriate apparel options to do so. We would just love to see people come out and have fun.

ZOMBIES
  • Make up is key. There are many good websites for decent zombie make up including So You Wanna Be A Zombie, Zombie Maker, and one livejournaler's Zombie Costume/Makeup! compilation of links.
  • Clothing can be simplified from the above lists to ripped poofy shirt and pants or empire-waisted dress with appropriate dried blood spatter.
  • Modern clothing for any zombie in attendance is permissable.
OTHER INFORMATION
  • Gift registry can be found here: http://www.freegiftregistry.com.au/suziandjeremy ; to access the listing, "MrDarcy" will need to be entered. We haven't had a lot of time for shopping so the list is kind of sparse right now. When in doubt, a donation to your charity of choice in honour of us will do nicely.
Check back often for updates here and on the gift registry.

Questions and tips from our viewers:
  1. Are chimney sweeps acceptable? Yes on two conditions. The first is that it must be a young child. And secondly, the child must be a gift to the couple. ;)
  2. Here is Miss Brown's Guide to Regency Dress for Women in PDF format.
  3. And Miss Brown's Guide to Regency Attire for Men.
  4. Get your cravats here!
  5. Gift registry has been updated. 7/28
  6. If you haven't received your invite yet, please let me know.

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Butterflies

I got butterflies in my tummy tonight when I was thinking about the wedding. All the bits of fabric for my dress are done being embroidered and it's sooo pretty. It's my wedding dress! It feels like magic. I didn't expect all these feelings of joy and bliss. Where did they come from? I didn't expect anything to change between us, but it is better than it was. We are getting married because it was already awesome, but now it's better. Butterflies are wonderful and exciting.

There were lots of things I was worried about when we got engaged and one of them was that I wasn't going to be able to enjoy making wedding plans and the engagement period. Cheruby is so good for me. I know that I choose to be happy or unhappy with situations, but it's so much easier when I've got someone in my corner telling me that this choice will make me happier or is better for me.

My seamstress's kids were quite disappointed when Cheruby didn't come with me the last couple times I went to see her. He made quite the impression with "Extreme Jenga". I really enjoyed listening to him play and have fun with them. I also really liked the look on his face when he saw me in the mock-up of my wedding dress. That was a good look. I want to remember that look.

Work is even going well. The project is on track for the most part and I'm actually getting time to prepare for my piece which will really come into play from Thursday to Tuesday coming up. I'm not scared though. I think it'll be okay. And I'm puzzled at how well things are going, but pleased. I guess I'm waiting for something to go horribly wrong, but nothing has. I'm just going to keep smiling and keep going. I'm really looking forward to being part of this project going live.

To all those in my life that I have been neglecting - I'll be back soon. Really soon.

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Whirlwind

I have to say that wedding plans are coming along very well thanks to my Cheruby. He's taken the initiative with most things and gotten them done and we don't have a lot left to do, it seems. Everything is just ticking along and we're on track, and, if you can believe this, I'm not being completely fanatical about it.

My mom came to visit last night and she's such a doll. I love her so much. We went to fabric stores and craft stores and talked about wedding stuff, but we also talked about all kinds of other stuff and I relaxed and so did she and it was great. She kept feeling like there was something we should be doing, but I had to keep telling her that there was nothing to be done right now and that was okay. I would typically expect it to be the other way around in this situation.

My wedding dress fabric finally got here and there are some issues with the embroidery that I already chose so I have to choose some new stuff. It's going to be beautiful, whatever I choose. But I get to look at pretty pictures and tell people what I want. What's not fun about that?

And I've just discovered one more way in which Misha was a jerk. Jerk. Heh.

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In Honour

I don't know if I can do justice to everything my cat is to me. I got him in late April in 1996. He was born in February of that year and was the only boy in the bunch. I think that was the start of how protective he was of me. Within hours of bringing him home, he was curved around my boob sleeping peacefully.

He was such an amazing kitten, full of kittenry antics. He stole my heart with how he came when I called him, how he fetched the little fuzzy toys, and how he was connected to me. In fact, he was a reason that my boyfriend at the time got quite upset with me. I got Misha on a when weekend trip home to visit my parents after my second year of university. And when my boyfriend came to pick me up, I couldn't honestly tell him that I missed him because I hadn't really thought about him much because of the little fuzzball that had invaded my life. That didn't go over well, but I'd just adopted my first baby. The boyfriend didn't last.

Misha was with me in all the hard times and all the good times. I was his and he was mine. Unless you've had one as a family member, you can't know what a cat gives back. There is a love and trust that exists that is so unconditional. This isn't to say that every cat has this bond with their humans, but if you put the love in you get it back tenfold.

I'm finding it hard to encapsulate the best of the last 13 years with him. How can I describe the constant companionship? He would go on vacation to my parents home almost every summer for one reason or another. He owned that house almost as much as he owned me. I would miss him a lot and would have to phone my parents every couple days just to talk to him instead of them. At first it confused him a little and he would run to the door looking for me. Then he realized that my voice was coming from the phone. He almost hung up on me several times by nuzzling the phone. And once, I was a brat to my mom who was holding him by asking him if he wanted to go outside. Mom came on the line soon afterward telling me that she just couldn't hold him anymore for some reason. Heh.

Early on, I realized that I would have to ration his food because he had the potential to be a very fat cat. One of his feeding times was first thing in the morning when I woke up. This caused his creativity to really come to life in trying to wake me up. Some of my favourites were sticking his nose right in front of mine then meowing as soon as my eyes fluttered and lying next to my head or on my chest and purring his loudest purr.

Oh could that cat purr! You could hear him in the next room sometimes. I miss that more than anything else, I think. It's what I hear and feel in my chest when I miss him most.

He used to climb people. I taught him that. Then he tried to climb someone wearing a skirt. I stopped teaching him that skill pretty quickly. Heh. He bit my mom's ass once, well actually twice, too. He definitely got supper after that. He was playing blanket monster on my parents' bed and the monster just happened to be my dad's fart. There were tiny kitten claws and screaming involved.

Misha's accomplishments include raising three kittens up right. Teaching them to fight and hunt and protect me. Despite not having any front claws, he managed to bring home many a furry and feathered friend. He was sooo proud the day he brought me a huge robin and very confused when I screamed like I did. The incident with the bat was also very amusing.

He loved being outside so much especially at night. I was always the overprotective mama and didn't like him to be outside. Through my parents not really listening to my overprotectiveness, I lost that too. He ended up getting lost once - for ten days. He eventually found home again, skinny and hungry and lonely. I didn't get to be there for his return, but I would have loved it. He almost smothered mom on his first day home just from sleeping so close to her face that first night. He was happy to be home and didn't go very far after that. He loved his people more than the outside.

I get to visit him whenever I go home now and in my dreams. He's buried out at our acreage which I believe we may have named Apollo's Landing, but that could still change. He is dearly missed.

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Tagged By Rilla (A Looooooong Time Ago)

Rules, schmules. I choose only to follow #3.

1) I love Lego. I remember just building and building and building when I was a kid. I also remember building a mostly 2-dimensional man about two feet tall and taking it to school for show and tell. I loved show and tell too. [grin] Anyway, I just received a new piece of jewelry that shows just how much I love it.

2) Gremlins was the first movie I remember seeing in a theatre. I recall sitting on my mom's lap, but in my memory, it was because there weren't two seats left together in the theatre and that was the only way I could sit with her. It couldn't possibly have been because I was scared.

3) I am more creative than I give myself credit for. This is random about me because *I* didn't know I was as creative as I am until recently. I considered most of my creative endeavours as hobbies and not creative. I am a silly girl sometimes. Of course, I like to surround myself with people who I consider to be incredibly creative and intelligent and I have measured my creations against theirs. Again, silly Suzi.

4) My cats in my life bring me great joy - especially in the morning. The first thing they do is come visit me in the bathroom. One talks and tries to be held or just intervene between my attention and another cat, one wants to be picked up and held but not enough to quit moving from surface to surface throughout the bathroom, one circles my feet to gain my attention and pets, and the last one waits not-so-patiently for it to be his turn for affection. Sometimes this is all going on at once.

5) My favourite things to do are things that will make other people happy and in that I can find some enjoyment. Such as putting together an after game snack so that people can relax, making the effort to see, to email, or to talk with someone that I respect and with whom I enjoy spending time, making chainmaille something-or-others for my friends and family, etc. These things are even better if I can share.

6) My favourite call of good luck is, "Have fun storming the castle!" said by Miracle Max in the Princess Bride. That movie has many spectacular quote like, "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something," said by Wesley as the Man in Black. That was my email signature for quite a while when I was :oh, dear god!: 18. In fact, it was my first email signature.

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Small World

When my Cheruby and I met, it became a game with us to figure out how many people we knew in common. I think at last count there were about a dozen or so. I just threw out the piece of paper that had all the names listed. One more could have been added this past weekend, actually.

I've made a great new friend here in Calgary. I met him through work and we knew one person in common, but just through my previous employer and his being two places that she had worked so it wasn't that big a deal. But in my Crackbook surfing, I discovered that someone he knows through his art is the sister of someone I know from my gaming in Saskatoon. I even have a necklace with a glass bead that was made by her boyfriend I think. Anyway, the world is a small place sometimes.

In other news, I'm still working hard away from home most of the time. Life is good though because I've got my wonderful Cheruby to look after me and help me through the rough spots. This weekend, he helped me to clean my office. I think it's been close to a year since it was truly clean and that feels great. I'm still noticing the absence of stress over that task on my to do list. I had my one year anniversary with my temporary rebound job too.

We got a new black cat who is just about the most talkative cat I have ever met. He needs lots of attention or he does stuff like crawl into the ducts in the basement. What a silly boy! He and the not-so-fat one have become good friends in very short order.



PSA: A cousin of mine recently had a house fire and has lost pretty much every material good. Luckily no one was home at the time so everyone is okay. She has four kids, one of which is a newborn. Things are going to be rough for her, but through the support of family and friends, I know everything will be just fine. Having said that, if you have any clothes for boys sizes 5/6, clothes for girls size adult small or girls 12/14, or baby clothes for a new baby boy that you could give, it would be appreciated. You can just drop me a line at piratebuttercup at gmail dot com and I'll be more than happy to be a conduit of good will.

And now back to your regularly scheduling Suzi-ing. [grin]

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Not Quite As Planned

So my last post didn't exactly predict the future.

I'm still working for the same company and spending too much time away from home although it's not all week every week anymore. It'll go there again soon but not yet. I'm standing up for myself more which is AWESOME and really hard for me to do. And of course, having my cat with me in Calgary in totally fantastic and good for my sanity. He's turning into a diabetic, spondylosis-ridden, and hairless wonder, but he's still my fat cat and he's great.

I've spent all day today with cartoons on the television. I like cartoons.

And soon, there will be gaming. Mmmm... gaming.

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A New Beginning

Time to start over.

My job is finally going to be done. I need to be at home again. I need to focus on the important things.

You might see more of me as I find time to think about things other than myself.

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Feeling Good Update

It seems that I've been out of touch for a while. Things have been going well.

Let's see. I got to spend an amazing amount of time with my niece and nephew over the Christmas holidays. The only unfortunate part was that it was mostly because my mom broke a vertebra while tobogganing. She's on the mend and the doctor said that if one has to break a vertebra, she broke the best one as it was a stable fracture. In her recovery time, she has become quite good at Zelda on the Wii.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that my brother and sister-in-law have done a fabulous job raising their children thus far. They know how to behave and what is their responsibility. I can say this because when I told them that there were no rules except "when you get grumpy or tired, you sleep", they were fantastic children to be around. My niece was awesome at taking care of us. I can't recall any sibling spats that needed intervention. I was even very proud of myself for not getting extremely frustrated with either of them and they were with Cheruby and I for 6 days! This is a personal best for me and I was happy to have them with us the whole time. Of course, this meant that their parents had to do some re-programming, but then, that's the joy of being an auntie!!

In the seven weeks off, I worked a bit, but only as much as my sanity would allow. After the holidays, we stayed around Saskatoon for a bit to be there for Cheruby's mom. I love her to bits and things are progressing. I just wish she wasn't in pain anymore. Too long of that and it can really dampen a person's spirits.

Then Cheruby and I were off to Vancouver and San Jose for some visiting. Two weeks is a long time to be away from home, but it was exactly what I needed. Time away with good friends and no obligation. My time in Vancouver with the talented and lovely brilliance that is EAM was fabulous. I had a great time just hanging out and shopping and being with her. I love her to bits and she is looking so frakin' amazing that I had to bite my knuckle behind her back while hugging her. I don't think I've ever seen her look more beautiful.

Cheruby and I played copious amounts of boardgames with his friends who were kind enough to put us up for most of our stay in Vancouver. They make me laugh and it makes Cheruby so happy to be around them. As well, Cheruby was able to meet his agent in Vancouver which was really great. It's so exciting to have him always moving forward toward his dream. Little steps are all you can do until that really big step comes. You just have to keep going on the little ones and I admire his perseverance toward his dream. He's always inspired me that way.

We were back home for a week before I had to head back to work. That week was really, really good and exactly what I needed before getting back to it. Cheruby and I had some really good time together. And we met our goal of really cleaning one room in the house each day that week. The basement even got clean which pleased both of us very much. We got to watch some awesome movies with friends on their projector TV. [le sigh]

And Cheruby's dad came to visit to practice the song he wrote for the CBC Galleria that happened on February 6th in Regina. Apparently things went really well and people were very pleased by the performance. I wish I could have been there.

My first week back at work has been really, really great. Things have just gotten better as big, great changes have happened and soon, we'll be on top of the world with a perfect payroll - very soon. It's taken a long time, but it's finally going to happen. And of course, the awesomeness of this week could not have been accomplished without the company of my very tall friend, Tall One. He has been a major influence on my spirits being kept up. And the phone calls with my very busy Dramatic friend have been exactly what I needed as well. I hope I get to actually see her this week.

Things that I still NEED to do is go to Edmonton for a spell to visit friends and family. I haven't spent near enough time showing people how much they mean to me, but you know who you are. You all mean a lot to me even if I don't tell you enough.

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About Me

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I'm quirky, confident and happy. My friends say I'm generous, warm, reliable, and dependable. My mom, dad, and angel say I'm beautiful. I'm not perfect, but that makes me human.

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    Games We Play

    • Rune Factory Frontier (Wii)
    • Galactrix (DSi)
    • Arkham Asylum (BG)
    • Puerto Rico (BG)
    • Liar's Dice (BG)
    • Smallworld (BG)
    • Agricola (BG)
    • Blue Moon (BG)

    Happenings

    • House renovations
    • D&D with Kaz
    • Playing Eclipse with TWS
    • Preparations for Alien Invasion

    Books On the Go

    • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
    • What to Expect When You're Expecting by Murkoff
    • From the Neck Up by Denise Dreher

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