Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Of Those Songs.

I rarely get excited about new music I hear on the radio these days*, unless that music is piped into my head on the 90.7 frequency known more commonly as WFUV. Echoes, the show I listen to every night (that it's on) since 1993, came up with a frikkin' gem a while back, and it's only now just hit YouTube so I can make you all hear it because I'm hoping you like it as much as I do.



Circus Cosmos by Alu

You can hear more of her music (like Martian Rendezvous, that references Bowie for the win) at http://www.myspace.com/alu.

*Okay, I love Coldplay's new album too, but I first heard Violet Hill on WFUV, so there. HAHA
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tidy Oop

This week the Olympics ended and the U.S. Open started. I wanted to be a sports fan and not pay any attention to anything else. Then again, some of those five-set tennis matches can get pretty vicious and run pretty late.

In an attempt to make my online time more efficient, I tried Google Reader to cut the RSS reading time. I'm not sure if I like it yet because when I first imported my OPML file with its "1000+" feeds my computer melted down. Then I marked everything as read and went to Newsgator to catch up, then kept going back and forth and noticed it was taking twice as long to check my RSS feeds.

The movies were a bit sparse this week. We found a remake of The House Of Usher which is sort of a total retelling. Like, the characters are named Usher, and there is a house, but the thing I remembered from the original story was the big-ass crack in the house and maybe I blinked but there's more cracks in my house than the house in the movie. Another thing that made me giggle was as I'm sitting off to the side of the TV, wearing my headphones, writing, Roderick Usher is in the TV, wearing headphones, typing, and freaking out about sunlight. At least I can safely say I'm not hooking up with my sister. Although I could find a few uses for the bacta tank they kept in the basement.

Wednesday I busted out my pole pruner and took on the vine of doom that has yet to bring any nice boys named Jack or mutant geese my way, but apparently is a megabee doom juice filling station for megabees. I had a horoscope that told me to go take risks, but maybe standing in a cloud of mosquitoes waving an sharpened orange stick at something that delivers a sting that I read feels like a hot nail was a bit much. The yard looks pretty in that corner again, however.

Thursday was an electronic disaster, starting with the discovery that I had a wonky wire somewhere in my room and ending with discovering that I can't fix everything. Luckily Barack Obama starting talking and I forgot all my problems for an hour. I spent the rest of the night debating whether to mention that to the Internet, then realized I spend 60% of my blogging time talking about how stuff in my yard, and went for it.

Friday I cut back more of the vine. There is so much vine, I can't believe it's able to survive with the ounce of rain we got this summer. But it does, and so does the oak tree I totally didn't realize was wrapped in vines! I'm guessing my neighbor doesn't know that thing is growing there. At least I hope they didn't want it. Er....
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Must Share The Horror

I made the picture as small as possible, but you can click it and make it bigger if you like to freak the hell out that things in pictures are coming through the screen to get you like I do.

I apologize for this, I really do.

But this latest catch of Domo-Kun the sunscreen, it was the largest thing since that bird. We'd just come home from gathering food and it's customary to dump certain things on the table between the house and the basement, while we figure out where to store the teabags. I was carting the bag of cat food into the house when I heard Mum say, "Look at that thing," and Nan agreed in the similar tone of someone witnessing something existing that should not be. I wasn't at all well, having injured the arch of my foot jamming on the brake after I zoned out and nearly ran a red light. So I stepped back outside not really interested in what I was going to see.

And then I saw it.

I've seen hornets before, yellowjackets are regular occurances, and the occasional large beetle buzzing along the roof of Domo-Kun hardly makes me blink anymore. But there was this great big three-inch long vespid instrument of fear trying to figure out how to escape the same sunscreen I too happened to be trying to get the hell out of as quickly as possible.

Of course I ran for the camera. Having the camera in between me and something that has a face and is looking at me sort of makes it all better...almost. Taking the pictures, though, I realized this mutant only wanted to get back out to its life.

So I unzipped the far panel of the sunscreen and guided the hornet out with a rake. I hope it remembers and calls off the invasion because we're mostly nice blokes.

In apology to you, dear reader, Natalie Dee's Megabee is way cuter to look at and explains how something like this ended up in my sunscreen.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Checkmate, I Think.

Way back when I used to fill my free time with quizzes like, "What flavor are you?" and "Are you an introvert, as if taking this test on a Saturday evening couldn't tell you?" I did the Jungian Personality Sorter thing that told me what I already knew, I'm J.F. Sebastian. Or Qwi Xux.

Not Your Typical Personality Types has a different take on the results, which I think is more dead-on. Judge for yourself, this is mine:

INTJ: The outside contractor

INTJs are solid, competent personalities who may seem aloof and even arrogant, but who are typically highly skilled in any field which interests them. INTJs are confident in their skills and knowledge, self-assured, and imaginitive; their exceptional problem-solving skills make them ideal architects, auto mechanics, and tools of the evil empire. While it requires the driving will to conquer of an ENTJ to imagine the Death Star and the evil genius of an ENTP to invent its devastating weapons systems, the skill and technical prowess of the INTJ is what makes the whole thing work.

The INTJ sees life as a problem to be solved. For that reason, the INTJ is the person a company brings in from the outside to streamline production processes and identify redundant assets for termination. The INTJ's combination of analyticial problem-solving skills and complete and utter disregard for the morality or consequences of his actions also make him ideal for the job of hatchet man, CIA operative, and helpdesk operator.

RECREATION: INTJs are often baffled by the strange and incomprehensible recreational rituals of other people, such as going to parties, watching television, and having sex. Instead, they prefer to spend their leisure time installing twin missile launchers in their cars to deter tailgaters and playing chess with megalomaniac CEOs of the Tyrell corporation.

COMPATIBILITY: Silly person, INTJs don't have relationships! They may, however build their own friends.

Famous INTJs include J. F. Sebastian and Sgt. Apone.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Two For The Man Who Made Me Love Music

In honor of my Poppy's 90th birthday, you get music! These are both songs he did at every wedding he went to, and you've seen him sing one, but I wish I had them all. Like when he and my Uncle Gene used to do the Louis Prima song Cecilia. Maybe one day I'll get to see them do it but until then there's his girl Dinah doing All Of Me.



And I have no idea how he would've taken Rufus Wainwright's Judy Garland concert, but I suspect he'd have loved it.


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Slip Further Into My Split Personality.

Last Saturday we were still not finding movies that were more interesting than Olympic tennis, but we tried anyway.

I Could Never Be Your Woman, and this is a first for all the movies we watched this year, we turned it off before Paul Rudd even showed up. One of the main draws was Tracey Ullman in the cast, and she was a pretty neat pissed off Mother Nature ranting about humanity but um...then there was a plastic surgery montage. A graphic plastic surgery montage. I guess it just wasn't the right night for it, we did give it another five minutes after Saoirse Ronan (fabulous actress nominated for an academy award for Atonement) was given a line describing what she found in her underpants at school that day, but when the period storyline seemed to be dragging on longer than most girl's first--I'M SORRY GUYS, I'LL STOP NOW.

We checked out another movie, Meet Bill. Once again, we went for it based on the cast (Aaron Eckhardt! Jessica Alba and Timothy Olyphant are in it too, and Craig Bierko's not credited but he is in it as well and so that was a nice surprise). I learned that night that I prefer guy awkwardness comedies to girl awkwardness comedies. Because the second movie was better.

Sunday morning I woke up in the middle of a midlife crisis. I hate that. It's been happening more often (again--last time was 2001), and I hope it stops (again--sooner than six months later) because it's bloody annoying and there's very little I can do about the state of my roof even if I was near it. After a while I went back to sleep, and luckily something in that sleep made me want to repair the couch when I saw it again. It's got these rods that go through the coils, you see, and one rod has slid sideways out of one coil ages ago. I couldn't get that to go back but by god I had scrap wood to make a BETTER support. Then again I was told it was a bit rigid, so maybe better isn't the right word.

Sunday also redeemed my faith in movies. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is crazy adorable if you happen to love Frances McDormand and CiarĂ¡n Hinds, which we do.

The Olympics continued to be on and I continued to get more interested in Beach Volleyball despite knowing Tibet and Burma are still having a bad time. Not in Beach Volleyball, just in general. I keep assuring myself watching something that's being broadcast anyway is not going to doom Tibet anymore than if I didn't watch it. It's the same reasoning people have used on me for why I should eat meatballs. It isn't really necessary, you know, Nan and Mum's meatballs are on the list of exceptions because really, fifty years down the line (and unfortunately it looks like I will have another fifty years) will it matter than I refused bits of dead cow or that I ate the family meatballs? Exactly.

Around Sunday I also started to question the amount of reviewing that I'm doing.

Like on Monday, while I was watching the two-hour Chinese beach volleyball match getting some writing done, I slowly noticed parts of my innards burning. I hadn't eaten anything to cause it unless the peanut butter finally decided to kill me--oh, that's right, I lifted a couch. You know, the first year I had a hiatal hernia, I totally thought I'd inherited exploding heart, and then weeks went by and I kept not being dead, and now some twelve years later, I no longer think I'm dying so much as I hope I would, quickly, because the burning, it burns. Alas, I will live, and next week I hope to report that all my parts have gone back down where they belong, quicker because of my tilted bed.

Other highlights of my week were rescuing a ninja ladybeetle (this was the bizarro black-with-a-red-dot variation) from a scaly euonymus branch I was pruning by letting it walk on me, and being asked by someone I don't know on Twitter if I wanted to do it. The Twitter post he replied to was a lament about not having a fan built into my brain, so perhaps he was just offering to help me install one. Still, I declined. I also rethought my original response of, "Pfft! In 140 letters?!" because maybe I'd be hitting a nerve. Wouldn't want to do that to someone who's been looking for a lady for sex since May (going by what came up when I Googled his username) and obviously has no idea who he was hitting on.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Should Have Quit While I Had A Head.

Once more, my ribbon routine goes unseen. You lucky, lucky people.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


That's it for the games, hope you had at least half as much fun reading them as I had creating them and keep up with our usual antics at either monkey.comicgenesis.com or monkeycomic.livejournal.com.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sending My Love The Only Way I Know How

I knew a girl who loved Paul Newman and a boy who loved Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. I love them, and now every time I hear this I crank it up for them.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Diving Time!

Here's a good reason to not have two ladders, kids.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


I've been keeping up on my RSS feeds, really.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

It Just Caught My Eye.

You know it wouldn't be mine if it didn't have something going in my eye.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


Things take a dive in our next installment.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Think I'm Getting Tired Of Movies.

Last weekend we ran out of new movies to check out and turned to that tape I put The Company on back, like, last year. I took to calling it Brotherhood of the Spying Pants. There was a Russian ballerina spy named Rainbow, though, and that was one reason I stayed awake for the first part, because Russian ballerina spies named Rainbow ought to be in more movies. But then I think I was asleep when it ended because the next thing I knew we were watching an episode of Lilo & Stitch where Stitch meets...a snot vampire.

The next night we watched the rest of The Company, and I started to suspect the Burger King Ketchup & Fries chips Mum had us eating were laced with some sort of loopy seasoning, because I fell asleep again halfway through part two. It's not that the movie was boring or anything, as a matter of fact I woke up to the sound of the characters all yelling at each other, because they too were trying to figure out what the story was about. Apparently in The Company, every wonky thing that has gone bad in history is the fault of a rowing team from Yale. Michael Keaton (Batman) plays the chain-smoking head of the CIA and while I was concious, I alternated between X-Files references and Night Shift cracks like, "This is Chuck to remind Bill to shut up," every time a tape recorder was on screen. That's a sign I've stayed up past my bedtime if there ever was one. Chris O'Donnell (Robin) was also in it, and dude, Batman and Robin were in the same movie! Something was totally in those chips.

See, there are these bags of stuff that we somehow end up eating on the weekends, that seem to just appear mysteriously despite no one wanting any of it. I eat them to be part of the team, and that team is a team whose blood pressure does weird things when they eat things that are high in sodium. Not really funny unless you witness the slow reluctance with which I have these things. Chex Mix with cheddar? Uh...I shouldn't...okay...some...a little...I don't care...whatever. Burger King Fries with MSG powder? Uh...oka--zzzzz. I used to drink alcohol, but under the same premise and it had the same results. Now when we watch movies I drink cranberry juice and spend the next morning wondering why my chest is burning.

The Olympics were on in the background of everything, and I can't help loving those swimming relays. Every time we're into sports, I always make up my mind to only watch sports from then on so I don't have to know what's going on the world, because sometimes the world is an uncertain pit of despondant gloom but damn if a bunch of swimmers being happy they did good doesn't make me forget that for a few minutes.

The only other thing I can think of to mention this week is that Flickr Uploadr was running way slow, and that's cramping by big backup project.

It also rained a lot, but the lawn needed it. I tried some Off! that was being passed around, and still managed to feed a small contingent of mosquitoes. I'm considering coating myself in the melted wax of a citronella candle.
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Horsing Around

The days of watching dressage 'til dawn may have ended, but they're alive and well in my head.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


Next, the weekend!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Never Use A Cannon To Kill A Mosquito.

Continuing the shameless hype of my comic strip, here's one use for all those extra cicadas and mosquitoes laying around.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


Coming up, mixed doubles table tennis!
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Watervolleybasketpoloball!

Twenty years back, I drew some silly pictures while watching the Olympics. This time around, I put a little bit more thought into it. Not much...but I thought pasting them here in addition to the proper site and behind-the-scenes journal would spread the entertainment around an extra third.

Monkey - copyright 2008, Lynda Naclerio


Stay tuned for mosquito shooting, in only 2880 minutes!
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nike, You Tease!

This is for everyone who keeps hearing the Nike Olympics ads and wants more.

All These Things That I've Done by The Killers

Whoo!
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Sights And Sounds Of Strange Worlds

Last weekend we decided to watch a mini-series I'd taped nearly a year ago called The Gathering. This would be the one with Peter Gallagher, not the one with Ioan Gruffudd. No, the gathering in this one is much more active. So active, that the entire borough of Manhattan is taken over by them, and Meadow Sorprano teaches Runes to children of affluent voodoo doers and even after three hours of witchery, Peter Gallagher just can't believe what's going on. Neither could I...neither could I. The entire end was full of lightning, so I have no idea what happened, but there was lots of yelling, then they all ate onion rings bird feathers and it just ended.

Because Nan loves Jack Black (yeah, okay, so do I), we checked out Nacho Libre. We'd never seen it before, and we haven't laughed so much in a while. At least until the next night when we watched Baby Monitor: Sound of Fear, not to be confused with the Baby Cart series. Thinking about it now, I seemed to be the only one laughing at that one. I'm assured it was actually scary. I made a neat little origami crane out of a napkin when I ran out of commentary.

The finale of So You Think You Can Dance was this week, and I will miss those kids terribly. If you haven't seen this season, this and this and this will give you an idea why that show just makes me happy. Which is possibly why I got silly and wrote several in-depth soul-searching Twitter tweets that starrted with the realization that I'm still the Miss Bates of my own personal Jane Austen tale. UPON MY HONOR!

And then the Olympics began. Yes, oppressive governments suck, but what other time do I get to see badminton and table tennis on TV? I'm watching it as I'm writing this. My inner Asian wants me to point out that I used to kick ass at table tennis. Mainly my own ass, but believe me, if I could beat me, I was GOOD.
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Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm Unqualified To Judge But The Music Is Pretty, and Jackie Chan Is Involved.

I'm not going to jump on a very high soap box* about the summer Olympics starting in Beijing...a few hours ago in real time, but in my future. You know, it freaks me out that half the world gets the future before us. I mean, it's hardly a consolation that I get 4PM before Alaska, because they've got nicer weather. But I digress*.

There's never been an Olympics that didn't have some controversial preparations or teams or judges or massacres...in my lifetime anyway*, but that's not what these things are supposed to be about, they're about fair play and laying down arms and shiny happy people holding hands...oh sod it, we're twenty steps away from being China so while I'm not buying any pins this time around* and I will continue to glare disapprovingly at the TV*, I fully expect Jacques Rogge to end with the customary best games ever twaddle and that'll be that. Onto the next one. I'm so jaded*. (Don't buy blood jade from the Burmese mines, kids.)

The point of this post was really to show you what Black20.com did with the Official 2008 Olympics Theme: Please Ignore The Communism. The half of me that finds stuff like this funny thought it was hilarious. Plus it's got Jackie Chan!



*The punchline to practically everything I said here could be, "Because I'm getting old."
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

One Day You'll Grow Tall And Strong, And Kill Me In My Sleep.

Continuing the story behind the Twitter post that became legend, I would like to show you my tree of DOOM.

A presumed descendant of the sweetgum which grew behind our old shed for 60 years, I very nearly mowed this little beauty which decided to sprout up near the daylilies. Under cover of...well, unless the ladder is involved I go unnoticed...I transplanted it to a place where I knew it would be safe, and protected, and could grow freely and would block that afternoon sun the way Wandlimb used to before she upped and left town to hook up with her boy the original used to.

When you spend the majority of twenty-five years looking at a tree, then it dies and has to be cut down, but another of its kind suddenly appears one day...snap, you'll do anything to have those leaves waving to you again on some breezy October night.

So I put the gazing ball in front of it. Three years passed, not a word. Suddenly my mother's leg is mostly healed (knock wood), and WHAT IS THAT?!

The original tree died in part because there was a shed on it. I joke that it killed itself to get away from us, and that's not far from the truth. The roots hit the retaining wall between properties, hit the shed, then hit itself, over and over again, until 60 years later it got weak enough for the unruly termites to have a banquet.

60 years.

I don't really have to worry about this little tree, do I? I don't really have to worry about the five-year-old mulberry growing near the location of the original that lived 80 years, or the black cherry tree that just appeared in 2002. My grandfather's favorite tree, the cherry tree he used to sit under, not only is still going at 90, it housed baby robins this year. The birds love these trees as much as I do, and therefore the cats are also obsessed with our trees. These trees obviously belong here.

I never go into how all this could be taken away at any minute, because it's not at all amusing. Do I want to think of that, or do I want to make out with look at my little minty twig of happiness? Because, man, those leaves are delicious. Turned my lips numb today, but they're freaking tasty!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Cleaning Isn’t The Hard Part, It’s The Danger of Getting My Skull Cracked.

Anyone who has been waiting for a reply from me for more than a year will not be surprised to learn that I’ve never willingly been involved in a long-term committed relationship commonly referred to as friendship dating. I may be selling myself short, but I suspect few people would find someone who fills every waking moment with their own interests and has a tendency to turn dumb and fall down when exposed to sunlight "hittable."

I like my house, I love my yard, I’m not looking to run away--there’s another rub. Mr. Knightly didn’t stay at Hartfield to keep Emma’s cats happy, and even if he did, he sure as hell would not be interested in sleeping in a bed that tilts 30 degrees. Maybe Beldar the Conehead would dig that, but...no.

So it struck me as odd when I was minding my business, finishing up my little comic strip for the day, very happy with the way my life has been going, when I detected things being said not six feet from me that hinted I ought to have been married off by now and also that these women I live with, who ought to know better because it was their insistence that I not work after sundown "in this area," seem to want to go to Costa Rica. Not really, of course, they couldn't even stand a few hours in Montauk, but it was on House Hunters International, the titanomagnetite beach of Costa Rica. Shiny.

They’ve heard that perfect mates can be found online, you see. They’ve just heard this. From a success story. Therefore my years of stories about meeting men who told me they wanted to surprise me by waiting on my porch and would greet me with, "Turn on ur webcam," must be lies.

I rarely bring up that there is someone I’ve been very deeply in, "OMG you’re so amazing," for years. I’m as socially awkward as the strange local man who shuffles around behind me humming off-tune crazy music by the banana displays, so I never even mention it to he-who-I-consider-a-male-muse. Call it pathetic, but I'd rather not hurt someone and it's a lot less dangerous than opening myself to meeting insanely jealous maniacs who will burn my house down rather than help me clean the gutters if I happen to mention I liked Jar-Jar. I am more likely to acquire the skill of cleaning my own gutters.

(Because it's been gnawing at me that someone could read this and miss the sarcasm, I want to point out that I only refer to Mum and Nan as "these women I live with" when they do things totally out of character and make me feel inadequate. It's like the game parents play where kids suddenly have lots of proper names and are the child of the other parent. There's no better women to live with, even if they do apparently want to get rid of me.)
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Week We Got Out Of July.

I can't really remember much of what I did with my personal time this week but I think I spent a great deal of it sitting around thinking Ow and taking massive quantities of vitamin C. I once again discovered that drinking more than an ounce of fluid in a day is pretty neat. I forget that sometimes. As a kid, I used to have chugging contests with myself at the bathroom sink. I uh...would bet myself I couldn't drink four paper cups of water in twenty seconds. I lost a few times. I never let me live that down.

Faced with all the new movies we rented finally making it to cable, we had nothing to watch but Definitely, Maybe, by the people who brought you Love, Actually but not, if I'm correct, Girl, Interrupted. Totally different film. This one we saw was not actually as bad as I'd feared. I'm not much of a girl, you see, but that Abigail Breslin is a neat actress and music figured heavily into the soundtrack, and so I was able to latch onto something until it got to the point where I wanted to see what happened, because I like Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz too--but OMG, Kevin Kline is in this movie! Why isn't he in more movies?

Then it started to rain and the satellite, along with Balls of Fury was knocked out. I love that damn movie.

Like I said, I spent much of the week in a self-imposed chugging contest deadline where I wanted to finish my August comic strips by the 31st. So I'd be a month ahead. The intent is that if I keep that sort of lead up, I will be able to not have to worry about making a comic during, say, NaNoWriMo '08. Because I so have a story in my head. Oh yeah, also holidays and other things that might need doing like vacumming and food gathering.

So other than catching the end of the 1979 remake of The Lady Vanishes, which gave me all sorts of warm fuzzy memories of 1980, I really don't remember much...that I want to get into.

It was five years since I ended another blog of mine, and the reasons for that don't merely get tucked into a review of the week. I'll go as melodramatic as possible and say my life ended the next day, but the foosh out of the ashes and all, five years later, I'm using MAPS to personally believe I can gather food from a new place, with new people, and the people that far from home don't know me, so it's good I didn't fall over, because that would have made the sale on Entemann's chocolate donuts a little less spectacular.

I came home to find a brand new Cat Face episode, and later that night something exploded in the sky over my head. I suspect it was just a rather large bit of Perseid. At least I hope so. It got quiet afterwards. Maybe because it was after midnight. Sure.
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