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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: June 14-July 6, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009:

Progressive just mailed Bev a new insurance card for me to keep in my car. So Bev, in turn, mailed it to me, buried amid a package of other goodies. The rest of the contents were as follows:

CURRENT MUSIC: Happy Birthday! by Modeselektor.
CURRENT MOOD:
In love with my weird, weird wife.
CURRENT FAVORITE ABSURD FACTOID FROM IRAN:
The Guardian notes, "Kamran Daneshjou, the head of the ministry's election commission, has attributed the reported 141% [voter] participation in the town of Taft to the good weather in Yazd province, where the town is situated."
TIME:
6:46 p.m.

Doot?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009:

I have quickly become a bloodshot-eyed obsessive over the popular uprising in Iran following the questionable (to say the least) official results of last Friday's election, which declared controversial Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner by a large margin, and which were suspiciously certified by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei far in advance of when election rules dictated they could/should be. What's particularly noteworthy is that the hundreds of thousands of Iranian people who have taken to the streets in defiance of the regime's commands are doing so not because they're mad that their candidate lost or that a candidate they dislike had won, but because they want the election to be won or lost democratically, with a simple counting of the votes, and that was denied them in favor of what has been described essentially as a coup. One which the people are rightly and fervently rejecting, instead demanding a new election. Khamenei's forces have been attempting to quell the protests via propaganda, force, and a flimsy attempt at mollification which held out the unappetizing pledge of a partial recount (to be performed by Khamenei's own far-from-neutral Guardian Council, no less), and all thus far have failed, as a groundswell of support for the democratic rights of the Iranians has poured in seemingly from all corners of the globe and, here in America, across the political spectrum.

The big story-within-the-story, and one on which I feel marginally less thoroughly unqualified to offer my thoughts than I am on international politics themselves (since, in the absence of any firsthand geopolitical expertise, my reactions tend to be as much to news stories as to events themselves, and as such aren't going to be particularly nuanced or original), is the way the online community--and soundbite mechanism Twitter in particular--has become the clearinghouse for information within the Iranian people's ranks. Simultaneously, Twitter has become many Americans' primary source of information on this topic following a period of irresponsible silence or understatement from traditional media outlets, television news bureaus being the worst offenders. (While obviously, no one expected or indeed ever expects anything substantial from FOX News, CNN has, by all accounts, been largely ignoring the uprising in favor of lavishing more attention on Sarah Palin and her pretend revulsion with David Letterman. Though, Larry King, via his predictably lunatic Twitter account, pledges "tonight we'll talk Iran," he has spent the last few days largely concerned with the Jonas Brothers.)

When, on the day before the election, the Khamenei regime brought the hammer down on all non-official methods of communication in Iran--jamming non-state-run news stations like BBC Persia, shutting down mobile phone services, and blocking access to websites through which it was thought opponents might try to coordinate or disseminate information--determined and tech-savvy protesters turned to Twitter. Their access has been spotty over the last few days, but due to clever exploitation of whatever blessed loophole there seems to be in the Iranian government's control of the networks, firsthand messages from opposition supporters have been getting through. To one another and to us. Many of the Ayatollah's opponents used Twitter to spread the word amongst themselves about imminent marches and demonstrations, as well as to issue warnings about potential danger spots. Some uploaded photos and videos of what they were seeing, events both inspirational and harrowing, for the world to see. Some dissidents asked the world to form a united front and help them crash the Iranian government's propaganda websites through widespread denial-of-service attacks.

{Remarks on the latter: Some have expressed concern about the perceived hypocrisy of decrying the Iranian government's media blackout while working to silence its communications, which is a point of view I understand and respect. While I'm generally not an "eye for an eye" or "two wrongs make a right" type of guy, I personally feel, however, that it's a legitimate form of nonviolent protest to retaliate in kind against those who stifle the voices of those who disagree with them, until the oppressing party relents. I admittedly couldn't make a cogent logical case for it, but I feel in my gut that it's okay for individuals worldwide to peacefully yet forcefully give a corrupt government a taste of its own medicine as far as freedom of speech is concerned. This isn't a great analogy, but if you had a son who hid his younger sibling's favorite toy just to be a dick, you'd be well within your rights as the caretaker for both of them to forbid the older kid from playing with his favorite toy until the hidden item is returned. I guess you could accuse such a parent of hypocrisy, but in my view, that parent would be bringing pressure to bear not just to pragmatically right a wrong, but to make this a teaching moment and both instill in the older child that there are consequences for being a crappy kid and maybe a bit to show him how it feels to have something he likes taken away. Not for revenge, but to help develop empathy. And to overextend that metaphor, we should all be each other's caretakers on this ridiculous planet, and even though we should always act from a place of love and compassion, sometimes it's necessary to use our collective might to push back against someone who is behaving as they shouldn't.

{That's just my opinion, and furthermore, it's a moot point because you shouldn't participate in the denial-of-service attacks anyway due to the danger that they might further limit what little bandwidth the Iranian people have available to them. And, if you do participate in the attacks before you realize that you could be harming those you intend to help, you run the risk of singlehandedly disrupting Internet access for the entire Math Reviews building and you will arrive at work the following morning to discover an irritated e-mail from the systems guy telling you not to do that again. I AM SPEAKING ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICALLY.}

At any rate, the flurry of information on Twitter has prompted more than one observer to declare that the Web 2.0 model has finally transcended not only the need for the mainstream/traditional media, but for any sort of journalist middlemen selectively framing information for us. ("The revolution will be Tweeted" is an unfortunate phrase I've seen quite a few times, which is a single rung up on the Headline Wit Ladder from "Iran, Iran so far away.") This strikes me as kind of dumb. Twitter's accessibility and ease of use have certainly revealed an unexpected utility in the midst of a crisis, but once proper channels of communication are restored in Iran, Twitter will resume being an amusingly silly social networking site and a delivery service for Meghan McCain's bellicose sense of entitlement. (As I write this, three of the top ten discussion topics on Twitter are indeed about the Iran situation, but two others are about the iPhone, one is a meme entitled "#haveyouever," and much discussion is apparently being devoted to Weird Al and "SOulja Boy" [sic].) As it stands, Twitter's vaunted and briefly indispensable #IranElection feed has, in the space of a day, become all but unreadable not because of Iranian government intervention but due to the white noise of well-meaning individuals who crowd out important new information with reposts of stories that broke hours ago and pointless pleas for Google to change its homepage colors to green in solidarity. There's no quality control.

Thankfully, some actual reporters who know how to do actual reporting and savvily synthesize information caught onto the story early, were thus able to identify the credible Tweesters, and have broadcast these eyewitness accounts far and wide while supplementing the 140-character missives with original research to make sense of it all. Both The Guardian and The New York Times have been doing an excellent job pulling together new facts and analysis as each becomes available. For those who are understandably more desperate for quantity of information than for pieces that can necessarily be assembled into a logical whole, but who still understand the necessity for some sort of contextual filter, Andrew Sullivan has been mightily impressive (even if his clear personal concern with these events has led him to be overly credulous) with the sheer volume of work he's done over the last couple days. I've also been very interested in Spencer Ackerman's posts, which focus largely on well-thought-out explanations of the line America--Obama, in particular--has had to walk in official reaction to the uprising (and why outright condemning the election results would be disastrous for those we'd ostensibly be supporting).

Of course the important thing right now is that peaceful stability returns to Iran in a way that is dictated by the will of its people. What the larger ramifications of a new elected (or even re-elected, unsavory as the thought might be to us) leadership might be, for Iran and the world, can be figured out, debated, and dealt with in time. The sustainability of social networking sites as tools for news distribution and political organization is of zero significance. At the moment, all that matters is that there is a nation full of people hungry for the democracy they were promised and, increasingly, for the reform of a system whose pretense to their common good is rapidly disintegrating. I don't feel like there's any meaningful way I can offer my support to them--this entire post may as well read, "Boy, Persepolis really made me think," for all the practical good it does--but I hope the fact that this information was able to get to me at all, in spite of the Ayatollah's best efforts, is somehow indicative of a tide that is turning in favor of human rights.

CURRENT MOOD: Populist and most likely naive.
TIME:
11:17 p.m.

Doot? | |

Sunday, June 14, 2009:


Once again I have failed to update for ludicrous amounts of time, so it's another accursed catch-all post that covers a month and a half.

In early May, Bev came to visit for a long weekend, and though I'm sure you don't need a complete rundown of all the TV we watched, I do want to note for posterity that we watched a fabulous episode of A&E's Paranormal State in which psychic Chip Coffey wore ping-pong ball halves on his eyes while channeling a violent spirit from a previous episode who was spoiling for a rematch. Sweeps month, you are a sarcophagus of riches delivered to my living room thrice yearly.

The night before Bev had to leave, Toad the Wet Sprocket were playing a nostalgia show at The Ark that we attended. It was fun! At one point, the band asked whether anyone present knew the female spoken-word part from "Butterflies" who could accompany them during that song. Bev totally has that song memorized but felt too shy to take the stage, and deferred to some chick who completely fucked up all the words, and whose performance was uncharitably critiqued into my ear for the entire song, as Bev recited the correct lyrics.

Shortly thereafter, Glen Phillips noted that the concert was being held on the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State Massacre: "Not that that's rad, obviously, but we'll give a free T-shirt to anyone who can answer the following: What is the connecting thread between the Kent State Massacre, the Heavy Metal movie soundtrack, and the Rugrats theme song?"

"Mark Mothersbaugh!" I immediately yelled because my every blood cell is capped with a Devo Energy Dome.

However, my yelly voice is evidently still too quiet to be heard in a silent indie-folk club, because the prize was awarded to some schmoe who answered about ten seconds after me, while I explained the history of Devo to some guy sitting next to me. I am timid.

So basically, between the two of us, my wife and I had two opportunities to make the Toad the Wet Sprocket show personally meaningful that we blew. Luckily, it was a great concert regardless. The band was fully enthusiastic while running through early-'90s singles like "Whatever I Fear" and "Something's Always Wrong," just as they were pulling out fan favorites like "Nightengale Song" and "Windmills." They seemed to feel freed by the fact that they didn't have any new material to promote, but were rather just having a good time running through the songs they knew we were there to hear, even though they themselves have played them hundreds of times. Just an evening of casual fun for all involved.

We returned home and watched some special on A&E in which psychic Chip Coffey helped child psychics to confront the spirits that were bothering them. Remember when A&E used to be the fancypants highbrow cable channel?

The next morning, a few hours before her flight home, Bev prevailed upon me to go see the new Hugh Jackman film, Xtreme Heroes: The Birth of a Wolverine. Evidently, when Adam Baldwin isn't around, Hugh Jackman's prominently displayed arms will do nicely for Bev's purposes, and that's pretty much the only front on which Wolverine doesn't disappoint. It's an abysmal film. Granted, I generally dislike superhero movies to begin with, but this one establishes a new low bar for goofy ineptitude, from a "comic relief" boxing scene in which Jackman gets pounded by a man wearing a fat suit that makes Mike Myers's Fat Bastard character look like a dry bon mot to a nonsensical finale whose apparent inclusion in the movie's highly publicized series of reshoots (evidenced onscreen by Jackman's suddenly-far-shorter hair) did nothing to stop the story from flailing to a wholly unsatisfying non-ending.

Hopefully I will get at least one more Bev fix before I return to Maine in August. She energizes me.

*     *     *     *     *

A week or two after that, I drove to Toronto for a night, as Amanda and Sean had invited me to go see The Tragically Hip at Massey Hall. The ride itself was nice, and Jess had given me some CDs for the journey (featuring such international-traveling classics as Charmer's "Mesozoic Mind" and The Pointer Sisters' "Pinball Counting Song"), so I felt like I got to Sean and Amanda's apartment in no time. There was a poster for the DVD release of Jim Carrey's Yes Man hanging in the window of their building's downstairs convenience store. It was from that poster that I learned that the French translation of Yes Man is Monsieur Oui. I like that much better.

Amanda and Sean had just returned from a vacation to Zanzibar, and they had lots of fun stories and goodies to share, while we all worked on assembling an IKEA DVD rack. Sean showed me the bootleg DVD of Lost's third season that they'd purchased on their trip, packaged in a wonderful plastic slipcase that featured a fractured-English bluff of a copyright notice (which fearsomely prohibited not only "selling and relling" but "pubic performance") as well as an advertisement for another DVD entitled People & Animals: The Crazy Story.

We geared up for the show with dinner and grin-inducingly inexpensive drinks at Fran's Restaurant, and then buzzily toddled around a nearby Indigo bookstore. Amanda laughingly told me the only thing I believe I will ever need to know about Twilight, which is that the vampires, when exposed to sunlight, sparkle. They sparkle like a slumber party invitation written in glitter pen! You know, I wouldn't have thought that the stock "woe is me" vampire character could get more annoyingly asinine and teen-girl-fantasy-ish than when Boreanaz irritated the hell out of me on Buffy, but there you go, I guess.

Massey Hall is a gorgeous old theater right downtown, and it was completely packed for the concert. I'd been warned that there would be large fratboy contingent, but they were relatively polite Canadian fratboys whose harmless rowdiness contributed to the otherwise-diverse crowd's buoyant energy, with everyone unified in devotion to these quintessential Canadian musicians. I've commented to friends that it felt the way I'd imagine seeing Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey would feel: everyone seemed spellbound by an artist who had the ability to bring them together--not in Beatlemania-style one-way hero-worship, but in mutual respect for their common identity and humanity. It was very cool. Any time the band left the stage or even lingered momentarily between songs, the audience would fanatically begin chanting, "HIP! HIP! HIP!" (During the lengthy wait for an encore, I thought it would've been funny if the crowd's inflection changed en masse to a plaintive "HIP? HIP? HIP?" It didn't.) 

I'm not hugely familiar with The Tragically Hip, though I've liked most of their stuff that I've heard. My hosts played the Yer Favourites compilation for me as a primer beforehand, but during the show, I think I recognized "Poets" and... that may have been it. That was okay, though, because the music was anthemic, propulsive, and loud enough to be satisfying regardless of whether I could predict the hooks. Gordon Downie pranced and stomped around the stage throughout the night, combining Michael Stipe's campy swagger with Peter Garrett's militaristic bravado, to compare Downie to two other iconic, bald frontmen. His schtick--at least for this evening--was to demand a handkerchief from a bottomless backstage supply, wave it imperiously around for awhile, mop the sweat from his glistening dome, and then toss it to some lucky fan before repeating the process. Kind of icky, but pretty funny too. And a wonderful show all around, for which I must thank Amanda and Sean to the best of my shriveled heart's ability.

As is always the case whenever I leave Toronto, I wish I'd had more time to spend in Toronto. (Particularly after reentering the United States, where I spent most of the ride back to Ann Arbor grumbling arguably indefensible comparisons like, "What does Canada have? Awesome street artists. What do we have? Smug little border guard turds who detain me for two hours while they search my car for no reason. Canada has Guy Maddin and single-payer health care. The United States has a dumbass credit card company who'll apparently suspend my account because it doesn't seem reasonable to them that someone who's spent the past 24 years living in border states might use his card at a gas station in Ontario...")

*     *     *     *     *

Chief among several things I've recently developed a curious fascination with (or a very close second to the hilarious, deluded tenacity of the Obama Birthers) are "let's play" videos on YouTube. They're pointless clips in which you watch guys--and invariably, they are guys--play old video games and provide audio commentary as they go. The players aren't attempting to complete the games in record time, or even necessarily all that competently, but if I need something to distract me while eating dinner, there can be a comforting familiarity in watching someone muddle his way through Metroid while complaining about his work schedule.

I have no idea whether it would be fun for anyone else I know to passively watch people play video games as opposed to playing the games themselves (or, say, going outdoors), but when T-Bone and I were growing up, that was pretty much the dynamic. Not long after our acquisition of an NES, which T-Bone instantly mastered, I accepted my comedically poor reflexes and fell into the role of "coach," watching him play from the couch, offering strategic assistance when applicable or merely making encouraging noises to assert some sort of participation in the process. I doubt I actually contributed anything to his impressive catalogue of conquered cartridges, but I think he at least enjoyed having an audience. By college, that arrangement had come to feel so becalming that I would frequently find it easier to study if I were sitting in the room while T-Bone was yelling at his Madden roster. I generally don't care about video games at all, but being near someone playing titles with which I'm familiar still has the same relaxing, vaguely soporific effect on me as placing a ticking clock next to a newborn puppy. Sadly, I have yet to come across a "let's play" video that's funny or insightful enough to live up to the format's potential, so I suspect my attraction to these things will quickly pass. However, I was completely charmed by purplegoomba64's Super Mario Bros. 3 series, in which two brothers--who sweetly refer to each other as "Mario" and "Luigi" throughout--share an evening collaborating to complete every stage of the game, with much amiable fraternal teasing and refreshingly innocent chatting with the characters themselves.

*     *     *     *     *

Finally, I'd like to note that, plus or minus a month or two, this is the tenth anniversary of The Disclaimer Music Review Archive. Traditionally speaking, this means you are to send me gifts made of tin or aluminum. (I would like to note that a MicroKorg likely has some tin or aluminum components, per my malleable understanding of chemistry-or-whatever.) I'm feeling nostalgic and self-indulgent enough to want to talk about it for a little bit.

Though I haven't written a record review since last November, and the updates were sporadic for a few years before that, I by no means consider the DMRA defunct. For one thing, it's still there for anyone who wants to look at it, and I'd like to think that the reviews themselves don't go out of date. My opinions on certain albums do change, to the point where I cringe to discover that I at some point apparently thought U2's Pop deserved an A-, but it's at least an honest snapshot of what I once thought, and those reviews which are decently written (not all of them, but hopefully at least a majority) might still be of use to someone who's curious about, say, Mouse on Mars and would like to know more about their discography. On top of that, I don't see the point in making a to-do about officially "retiring," which strikes me as the sort of attention-seeking noisemaking that can only serve to make one look foolish if you change your mind.

Right now, I like knowing that the site is there and being proud of (most of) what's on display, but no longer feeling obligated to it. I do like to think that, in the near future, I'll feel the urge to write up an album or two that has really impressed me (most likely The Handsome Family's Honey Moon or Fever Ray's debut), but I don't have to. It's a particular relief that I no longer feel like I am required to repeatedly subject myself to, for example, the new Dirty Projectors album until I figure it out and am able to form an opinion that's worth 300 words even though I strongly suspect the disc will frustrate rather than reward my efforts to unfold it. The site didn't begin as anything more than a hobby and it has perhaps regrettably returned to something less than a hobby--the aspiring rock critic's equivalent of a closet full of hockey gear that can be dusted off and donned in the event of a pickup game, but which it must be admitted holds more sentimental value than utility--but at its most active point, it played a crucial role in my life.

Now, there was a period early this decade when a handful of us independent record review siters, who haunted the Music Babble message board and called ourselves the Web Reviewing Community (actually, sadly enough, going so far as to refer to ourselves as "The WRC" because we were so hardcore), were naively convinced that we were going to be the next wave of music journalism. Yes that did not happen. Not at all. It was certainly nice to fantasize that we, as individuals, would as a whole comprise an incisive, conversational, iconoclastic, and attractive antidote to the rapidly dwindling relevance of Rolling Stone, NME, and SPIN's embarrassing, corporate bandwagon-jumping--and I'm pretty sure these delusions were in no small part fed by Jann Wenner's infamously risible deification of Mick Jagger's Goddess in the Doorway, an event of extreme silliness which made it clear to one and all that there was a sizeable void to be filled in the world of rock journalism. But there was never any way that a webring of leisurely-updated and unevenly readable personal record review sites, focusing to a disproportionate degree on old (some would say "classic" and I am not among them) prog-rock and modern oddities like Ween and Robert Pollard, was going to make a dent even in that subset of the mainstream consciousness that is attuned to rock criticism. Especially not in the shadow of well-staffed, savvily-run, and pleasantly-designed sites like Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, and PopMatters that quickly picked up the torch. (Not to mention The A.V. Club, which has become my go-to source for pretty much all things nonpolitical.) I guess there's nothing wrong with thinking you can succeed on gumption alone, but I do feel appropriately sheepish about the scope of our ambitions in retrospect.

The Disclaimer site did lead me to brief freelance writing gigs at No Ripcord and Detroit's Metro Times, but of all the schlubs in our group of friends, only Mark Prindle, who's been at it longest and hardest (to put it in terms I think he'd appreciate), has achieved any sort of prominence. For rock criticism, that is. Outside that niche, that same group has spawned a lot of success stories: Dave Weigel has become my honest-to-goodness favorite journalist with his writing for the Washington Independent, and he also penned that piece on the Birthers that I linked to above (though I should note that he does not want you to see this information). Jon Walter is slated to be featured in The Atlantic Monthly's 2009 fiction issue. Rich Bunnell does fine design work for the San Francisco Examiner. Mike DeFabio, under the name The Other Leading Brand, recorded the sample-based electronic opus Milkshake x Infinity, which is seriously one of my top ten albums of the decade. Adam Smith has developed a genuine (and deserved) cult following as the frontman of smartass Scottish rockers The Plimptons. Marco Ursi is now the editor of Masthead. I am both honored and humbled to have the friendship of everyone above (along with that of Cole, Oleg, Norville, and others who are no less important to me for my not really knowing enough about their personal lives to include them in this paragraph), which I wouldn't have without my little website.

Furthermore, in response to my reviews themselves, I've received soul-boostingly positive communiques from The Jazz Butcher, Seven Morris of Touch Me Zoo, and Gregg Turkington. My longtime indie heroine Barbara Manning not only sent me greetings, but went so far as to mail me a personal two-CD set of her favorite songs she's recorded, and played one of my own recordings on her radio show. And I think I could go so far as to describe Spats Ransom of The Virgin-Whore Complex as a friend.

(I also received somewhat less supportive notes from members of The Jickets and The Men They Couldn't Hang.)

Beyond those mentioned above, a few of my best friendships ever have been forged through my site. Ben Marlin--whose playfully brilliant record review site has sadly returned to the cyber-loam but whose hilarious and literate Shakespeare reviews you can still get into on the ground floor--was one of the first people to ever e-mail me with genuine words of encouragement for the site and if he weren't someone I would trust with my life in the first place, I would be even more ludicrously jealous of his writing talent than I am. Goldmine alum Scott Floman was another early supporter who initially e-mailed me with the idea of trading some albums on the ancient medium of cassette, but who has become another evergreen friend whose enthusiasm for rock and music in general is invariably enough to counter sad-sack e-mails I send him to the effect of, "Grizzly Bear's new album is the most boring damn thing I've ever heard why do I care about music I give up address all further correspondence to will@hermit.tree." Amanda, described above, is someone else I met through the WRC with whom I know I can share anything and from whom I know I will receive a perfectly, puckishly smart reply. And for this summer, at least, the boundlessly intelligent and humane Steve Knowlton and I are alternating bass and keyboard roles in a rootsy band provisionally called Hawkeye State Line (we'll be at the Heidelberg on July 16) (performing, not just petulantly drinking).

Best of all, The Disclaimer Music Review Archive netted me a spouse. On January 5, 2004, Bev replied to my review of Mike Doughty's live masterpiece Smofe + Smang: Live in Mpls. to ask whether I had any idea where she could obtain a copy, as it had fallen out of print. To compress the events of the subsequent months and years for dramatic effect, I responded that I would make her an illicit copy of the album if she would agree to marry me and let me move into her house in Maine, where we could adopt a puppy and several birds. She apparently thought the deal was worth it. (It was; Smofe + Smang cannot be overpraised.) Any rock critic will tell you that it's the polar opposite of a medium you enter with the intention of picking up girls, so I'm pretty sure that the fact that my inane reviews brought me true love now makes me someone who can offer false hope to the rest of the industry. Which feels guilt-inducingly amazing.

But yeah, I'm under no illusions that the site is of any cultural significance or importance whatsoever. I'd like to think more people have gotten amusement out of it than been infuriated by it, but its demonstrable benefit to the world goes no further than my own life. But that benefit is substantial. Many of my current favorite parts of my life would not have been possible without these 380 MB of nonsense, so for whatever it's worth, I honestly and profusely thank anyone who legitimizes my writing by reading it, anyone who has taken the time to comment on anything I've had to say, and Jen, whose idea this sorry enterprise was in the first place. May The Disclaimer Music Review Archive languish in obscurity for another 10 frivolous years!

CURRENT MUSIC: Dark Night of the Soul, the mysteriously unreleasable Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse collaboration. It sort of lives or dies on the talents of the individual guest singers, but The Flaming Lips, Vic Chesnutt, and Gruff Rhys in particular make it worth a download.
CURRENT MOOD:
Completely through with humans, far more concerned with animals, thank you very much.
FAVORITE ENTRY IN A BOOK OF FUNNY NEWS TYPOS THAT BEV GAVE ME: "To Mr. and Mrs. Ben Mendez, a son, 7 lbs. 12 oz. more t com more more more mor."
TIME: 4:34 p.m.

Doot? | |

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