Sunday, July 31, 2005

Let's See If This Works...

Anyone from the Hampton Roads area circa late 80's/mid 90's may remember the band Buttsteak. Probably one of the most popular groups from my home town during that time period, they were famous for their zany stage antics as well as their meld of 70's guitar-punk aggression with 80's new wave poppy sensibility, with wacky lyrics redolent of The B-52's, Devo, and Ramones. Had a lot of memories catching these guys perform, never quite seeing the same intro skit twice before each performance, acting out spacy moon landings with antiquated spacesuits, and West Side Story-style choreographed "knife fights". And keyboardist Julie McDermott always kept her board facing away from the crowd and her back almost always to us (I always assumed it was to keep the moshers from knocking over her set. I remember once someone in the pit got tossed on stage and toppled over her stand, and she blew a gasket).

Their first album was the now extremely rare Fatty's Got More Blood (Merkin), of which the track "Wow Groovy Cool" got considerable airplay on our local alt-station around 1989 and 1990. Many of the songs revolve around people and places from within the Norfolk music scene, and remains my favorite out of their three disks. In 1994 they followed up with Shit... Cool It's The Honeycomb Generation (Merkin) which features probably my favorite Buttsteak song of all, "Mant", about a guy who is half man and, well, half ant. Now I think Moroccan VD came out next on the Go-Kart label but it's hard to remember from way back when, and then their final album, put out after making a scene shift to Baltimore, Maryland, was Men Who Pause (also Go-Kart) which I never actually heard. The band received a little international fame, mostly on the east coast, locally as well as Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, and once Joe even spoke to a booking agent from California who got pretty darn excited when he told her that he was from Norfolk -- "Oh my God! Home of my favorite band, Buttsteak!" she shrieked. And this was just after Fatty's Got More Blood was freshly released.

The band has since broken up, but when I get hit with the nostalgia tsunami I like to plug in their first two albums and recall those sweaty summer afternoons in the early 90's living in downtown Norfolk listening to their albums with my upstairs neighbors, then practically residing at the King's Head Inn every evening, collecting together at their concerts. These four tracks in particular always remind me of that time period.

These songs are temporary files and only last for a week, so check them out while you can!

Wasteful Pigs MP3 (from the CD Fatty's Got More Blood)
Wow Groovy Cool MP3 (from the CD Fatty's Got More Blood)
Charlie Brown Stain MP3 (from the CD Fatty's Got More Blood)
Mant MP3 (from the CD Shit... Cool It's The Honeycomb Generation)

Boredom Won't Starve As Long As I Feed It

Oh, um... stand down on the whole mailman fatwa for now. As of yesterday afternoon, crisis averted. Whew. :-}

Found something that I drew a long time ago while I was sitting around feeling all... oh, what's the word the kids are using these days... emo? And listening to the music of the day. Ten guesses as to which song that was.

And yeah, okay, I've been on a bit of a downer over the past 48 hours. Mostly about the bad leg issue (three days later and it's still hurting, I mean WTF?). But actually overall my spirits have been pretty darn elevated over the past week. Might even go so far as to say I've been chipper! And I don't think I've ever wanted to say said anything like that about myself in my life. Of course it could be all the vicodin that I'm on right at this moment.

I plan on doing some experimenting with temporary MP3's to post within the coming week, if I have time to fiddle with it. Keep your peepers peeled at this spot for possible future snacky goodness on the way!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Nothing A 2ft Long Plecostomus Can't Handle

For some reason I always have recurring dreams involving faulty elevators and dirty fish tanks. Though never do the two appear in the same dream together. I wonder why that is.

How much will any of you charge to rub the back of my leg for me? Or just walk on it like super hard or somthin'? I think I may have really wrenched it awful in the back of my right knee yesterday. It was feeling a little sore at work last night, and then suddenly it just exploded into pain like either a giant muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, and I ended up not being able to hardly walk for about an hour afterward. It lessened a tad after awhile but I was still dragging it around with me like a dead limb all evening, and it's still hurting again today. Not as bad as yesterday, but still a terrible case of the ouchies. I'll be able to work today, albeit not unlike a tortoise. Hope nobody holds any particularly high expectations of me this afternoon.

Now in a Homeland Security report: I think the mailman may be stealing my porn.

And in semi-related news, Molly Ivins on The White House playing "gee, it was just here a minute ago" with John Roberts' public records.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Sat 30: 2-9
Sun 31: 12-7
Mon 1: 11-7
Tue 2: 11-4
Thur 4: 1-8
Fri 5: 2-9

Is My Tin Hat Crooked?

Oh, my goodness. Oh, good heavens. Ohhh, how nothing brightens up my day quite like reading all the insanity that is Fandom Wank.

Just somebody please put a slingshot through my bean if I ever become this delusional about anything.

Lost Dog (Nuthin' But Da Dawg In Me)

Alright, I'm putting this back out there, since where I put it before is defunct.

I am still looking for a particular live Parliament-Funkadelic album that I used to have on vinyl back in the late 80's. It might just be a Parliament album because most of the tracks that I can remember from it were strictly Parliament, as well as the design and overall feel of the record. And here's the thing -- I can't remember what it was called.

I remember some of the beginning track listing. Again, this is live, so it starts off with the usual Parliament theatrics with sound effects and a weird, trippy monologue about the mothership and the pyramids and whatnot. Then it starts out with a simple drum beat, followed by bass line and then funky guitar riff, one after the other. George starts laying down his rap:

"Everybody funkin' and don't know how
You should have seen the bull when he funked the cow
Funked so hard they saw some smoke
'Say let's get in the bed and funk like folks are laughin' atcha..."

Then the next line goes...

"Miss Muffett sat on a tuffett
Snortin' some (PCP? I can't remember)
Along came a spider and slid down beside her
'Said 'What's in the bag, bitch?'"

At this point George yells out "What's happenin', Houston?" to the roaring audience, then launches into the song "Do That Stuff".

Now I do want to point out that I really do not think that this is the soundtrack to Parliament Live In Houston, which I know is a DVD, because the track listing for Live In Houston doesn't follow the one from this record that I can remember. But! Another music geek friend of mine pointed out that perhaps the record that I am looking for is actually a compilation of live material taken from various sources (P-Funk has been known to do that) so that opening before "Do That Stuff" could very well be from Live In Houston. Some of these tracks tend to fade out after each song, so it could be very possible that my record is just a live comp.

After "Do That Stuff" it gets a little hazy. I think I remember "Mothership Connection" coming next, or maybe "Up For The Down Stroke", but as time passes it's getting more difficult to recall. I remember about a minute of "Dr. Funkenstien" was about 5 tracks in or so.

And I remember the cover, too. It had a dog -- like a real dog and not a cartoon "atomic dog" drawing like on George's Computer Games album -- wearing an atomic dog spacesuit type of affair with cape and head gear with antennae, watching George Clinton on a television monitor. The dog's back is to us, and his face is in sort of half profile.

Anyway, that's about all I can remember. If anybody has any 411 then please 911 me here. I'm pretty sure that it never made it to CD so if I can get the LP I'll be just as happy as a clam, I will.

I guess I need to get around to spelling out the whole long "wish list" here again sometime soon. It really has served me well in the past. There are pros to the bloggy thing after all.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ta-Ta's For Now

Now, as I mentioned yesterday, the latest update on the breast reduction surgery.

I went in for a consultation with a woman who was considered one of the best in my seven cities. Some good news and some bad. The bad news is that the only way that my insurance will pay for it is if I have at least a year's worth of documentation from a family doctor or general practitioner that I have had ongoing health issues attributed to my breast size, and well, I don't have any of that.

For one, I don't have a family doctor. When I'm sick I go to Patient First, or in worse cases, the ER. I have never been one to visit a doctor for every little sniffle and boo-boo, let alone back and chest pains that have plagued me for so long that over the years I had just learned to suck it up and endure. I mean what exactly would be the use to go to the doctor and moan about it? "Well, ma'am, my professional diagnosis is that you've got big hooters. Go take a pill and leave your co-pay with the receptionist." Maybe I'm wrong, but I pretty much always imagined that this was something I just had to learn to live with. It really is no longer a matter of aesthetics (once the initial novelty wears off my breasts become less objects of erotica and more a neverending source of prop comedy). I just want to be able to sleep better. Bend over without groaning. Run without practically carrying one in each hand. Buy bras off the rack.

But the good news is that when I told them about how much weight I've lost over the past two years they suddenly got very excited. They said that if I can provide medical documentation of this weight loss for the insurance company, then it would prove that I have tried and succeeded in attempting other means to alleviate my back pain and something that significant means that I could possibly cut doctor's visits and referral down to only 6 months instead of a year.

So I guess that's where I stand at the moment. From here on out I suppose I need to start going against my nature and carrying my achy ass down to the Doc-N-The-Box and start the bitching. I don't know why, but I just know that it's going to feel foolish to do this. And damn I hate wasting my time going to a doctor over something that I had decided years ago would just be my lot in life. But that's just it -- the older I get the more I'm beginning to realize that it doesn't have to be.

I need external motivation, perhaps. I'll start hanging pictures of girls with perfect posture and C-cup sized breasts all over the house. Maybe I can get Joe to help me. I'm sure he wouldn't mind the new, uh, change in decor.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Whack For My Daddy-O

I had made a resolution this year to buy less music and spend more time enjoying what I already have. So far I've done pretty good for myself, and I could probably count every CD that I bought since January on the fingers of both hands right at this point. I was rather proud of that fact until today, when... well, when my Paypal account verified my funds transfer and I purchased Extra Fancy, the new CD by The Famous Pies, the new band by bassist/songwriter Vance DeGeneres.

Yeah, that guy again. Old blog readers may remember Mr. D from my many, many raving fangirl posts from basically the very beginning -- making the usual spectacle of myself in only the way that a 36-year-old woman who never lived out her teenybopper boy-crush years could descend. The 50-year-old older brother of comedian Ellen DeGeneres, as a little girl I enjoyed the contours of his rangy arms as "Mr. Hands" on The Mr. Bill Show from SNL, swooned silently to myself when he was a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, stood in the front row faithfully for the reunion shows in New Orleans for his old 80's new wave band The Cold, and well, I guess you could say that I just quietly stalked him safely from afar. I have both original Cold albums as well as the two anniversary CDs, as well as an autographed vinyl of his other band The Backbeats (formed with future Cowboy Mouth members) and the rare CD from his late-80's pop duet House Of Schock with former Go-Go's drummer Gina Schock.

Anyway, most of you cats know all this trivia by now and I'm sorry to repeat it again but it's a new blog and newbies my not know who the heck I may be referring to unless I do the occasional refresh. But also I do wanna plug his website, which features his artwork like paintings and cartoons (he is sitting in front of one of his own painting in the photo above) as well as some of his solo music MP3's and video clips from TV pilots that never went to series.

His new band The Famous Pies also have their own website. Surf around and somebody go check them out for me at Rusty's (on the Santa Monica pier) August 27th so I can report about it here (take pics, you mugs!).

So anyway... yeah, another new CD. Gotta start counting them on my toes now I reckon.

Scar Tissue

Can somebody out there tell me who that spaced-out funk band was in the Lee Marvin movie Point Blank? That had to be one of the freakiest things I had ever heard/seen in a movie in a long time.

Although I suppose I could just go back and check the ending credits on the DVD. Like, duh.

And speaking of freaky, could it possibly be signaling the end of days when Jandek decides to go on tour? Not like he'd make it out in my direction anyway. Hey all my palies in Austin... let me know how he was.

I've been off work for 3 days straight, and I've been too, er, sore to exercise until today, so I got up at 6:30am and went running for almost 2 hours. I probably could have gone a lot longer, given how cooped up I've felt. But there's something about pounding the pavement, sweat running down the eyes while "Holy Ghost" by The Bar-Kays blasts full volume out of my iPod that really centers a person and and clears their mind better than even the longest meditation session (not that I've meditated since high school anyway). I really need to regain my focus. Start purging my system of all my vices. If I want to start making things better, concentrating on the things that matter, I need to put aside all the things that don't matter but have let distract me. The good news is that I've never been one to cultivate a whole lot of crippling vices to begin with. But I am known for having an obsessive personality and am capable of latching onto one thing and riding it into the ground, and when I finally snap out of it I look around and realize how much precious time and energy has been wasted when I could have been doing something really productive with actual results.

My biggest concern right now: Money. And how to get it.

There are so many things that I want and need to do that involve it right now. Like to start keeping up with these bills that are stacking up. Like finally buy that house Joe and I want. And not having live hand-to-mouth every day.

I am willing to put aside luxuries in favor of some financial security right at this moment. There are the things I need, and then there are things that I want. I want more art supplies. I want to go to Barcelona, Spain. I want to get my breast reduction (which I went in for a consultation, but more on that later, perhaps).

But at least I feel like I might be getting some things done soon, and now that I've taken care of a lot of what's been bothering me I feel like I can have a clear head again to start things rolling.

Oh, and since coming back from L.A. I patched things up again with my best friend. I baked her a huge batch of her favorite cookies (she loves my chocolate chip made from scratch) and brought them over, and we talked things out. Vented a little (okay a lot) and although we may still be a little mad at each other at least we seem to agree that that's okay, but we still love each other anyway.

Looks like another 100-degree-in-the-shade kinda day. Glad I took my jog early. I may actually sit outside over at the picnic tables and read a little. I've been doing that every day, sitting outside with The Best Of Myles by Flann O'Brien, trying to get my infected arm exposed to the sun as much as possible. I have had this weird hair follicle infection for years that causes my arms to bleed and scar and itch like mad, and sometimes a little sunburn helps it heal. I've been doing this every day and I'm getting brown as a berry -- or at least my right arm is. But there's so much scar tissue there I don't know what fat lot of good it's going to do for it anymore. But the sun does feel pretty good (in short spurts, that is). Sometimes it feel magnificent to sweat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

An Actor Prepares

So anyway, what's been happening over the last few months since I've been away?

Sadly, not much. But I did get to make that trip out to Los Angeles on the first week of June. You know, the one where I was screaming about seeing The Misanthrope for, like, ever? I couldn't afford it at the time, but I wound up taking a business trip for my father so he was able to pay for airfare and accommodations (hotel, rental car, etc) through his company because he wanted me to take some pictures of a new restaurant being built out on Silver Lake Blvd. whose floor he might be installing (my father owns his own company of a sort of marble-chip epoxy flooring of his own innovation). Plus I got the sense that my father also noticed now depressed I had been lately whenever I was over to visit. He knows that I'm not an intrinsically depressed person so it must have been pretty obvious to him, because he was like, "Have you thought about taking a vacation? Maybe go to L.A. again? See that play from that actor you like so much?" That actor, by the way, is Jack Stehlin and the star of The Misanthrope, one of my favorite plays by Molière which I had been pretty vocal about wanting to see in my last blog. So dear ol' dad hooked me up and west I went.

It was my first time in L.A. by myself, and I have to say it felt great. Not that I wouldn't have loved the company or anything. I really wished Joe could have been there to enjoy it with me but problems at work kept him home, and heaven knows I wasn't in exactly good standing with a few of my friends at that moment, so there really wasn't much of a choice at the moment. But being all the way out there, far from home and the issues that were plaguing me here -- it felt incredible. It made me realize that this was probably the first time in years that I could remember going anywhere completely by myself, having no one else to talk to or hang out with, being completely and utterly alone. And I forgot how much I missed just taking care of nobody else but myself, even how out of practice I was at it. I think being out there alone was the most salutary thing I could have done for myself considering the fragile state I was in. I got to get up at 6:30am and work out hard in the gym room, have a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant, then spend my day as casually as I could. I got to cruise around Hollywood all night, comic shop at Meltdown on Sunset, pop into curious new places here and there (ironically it was too cold and rainy that week for the beach). Didn't get to see Dave Attel at the Comedy Shop or the sold-out Raveonettes shows, but the whole trip was heaven just the same. Nothing to do and not a care in the whole damn world.

Not that I didn't get any work done while I was out there. The restaurant owner picked me up and brought me out to his still-being-built new Mexican restaurant, which is going to be very small but extremely beautiful when it's done (hopefully in September). I took gobs of pics but I also managed to get a few of the lovely patio in the back. The floor out there was going to be all mosaic-style patterns so my dad won't need to do anything there, but I have to snap some shots of it because it all just looked so nice, with a fountain and some ornately decorated trees and a big sound barrier of a wall to keep the traffic noise away (they were right off the 101 exit). My photos don't quite do it justice, and it was still a little cluttered from all the work being done on it.

And of course I couldn't exactly go that long without complete human contact, could I? I met up with Brett, a friend that I made from over at my old blog who lives and works in Los Angeles who was willing to accompany me to see The Misanthrope on my last night in town (actually I had seen it the night prior but I was just as desperately wanting to see it again with Brett as well). He took me out to a yummy little Italian restaurant on Pico Blvd. and I had an enjoyable time in his company. Brett is extremely intelligent and funny and we seemed to have a lot of things in common, but he knew a considerable more about theater that I did and he was able to school me on a lot that I didn't know (which is in itself a lot -- a lot that I don't know, that is).

After dinner we saw The Misanthrope, which I thoroughly enjoyed despite how high my expectations were. Typically when they are that high I'm usually a little disappointed in some way, but I was thrilled by this production in the way that strangely enough, the direction, the characterization, etc. pretty much matched how I had always pictured the scenes to move and flow in my own mind whenever I read the play. Jack played Alceste almost precisely how I had imagined him to be, and there were moments when he was standing off the side of the stage observing the other characters in the scene that felt almost like my own mental image of how the scene would look had it been projected onto the stage. And the semi-civil verbal catfight between Eliante (Catherine O'Connor) and Arsinoe (Jeannine Stehlin, Jack's wife) was a real highlight, leaving Brett and me giggling to ourselves. In fact it was great to see the entire audience getting so thoroughly into the production. There was such a great, happy vibe amongst us that I couldn't help but get swept up into it. Jeannine was wonderful. This was my first time seeing her perform and I was thrilled to see that she had now taken over the role of Arsinoe just in time for me to catch the production. Jack, of course, was as marvelous as only Jack can be. I have seen this man perform so little and yet the little that I have seen has made him my favorite actor in... well, possibly the world right now. I know that's pretty broad, but at this point I wouldn't call it hyperbole. There are amazing actors all throughout history (Olivier, Brando, Bernhardt, etc.) but right at this moment in my life Jack Stehlin is the one that brings me real, true joy whenever I get to see him, and there just ain't no hyperbole when you feel that kind of nourishing joy in you. That right there is enough to make him my favorite actor in the world.

The bestest thrill came later, when Brett encouraged me to stay after and meet Jack in the theater lobby after the show. I was shy and nervous as hell, but I admit I was elated to learn that Jack had already known who I was because he had read my old blog too! Well, elation mixed with a wild streak of mortification, because anybody who had read my old blog would know what a complete fangirl crush I have on this guy (but in a purely innocent way, I want to make known! :-)). But Jack was an absolute gentleman, even more impossibly handsome in person, and so sweet and kind to me that it was overwhelming me with happiness, and whatever depression I had been feeling that week just seemed to sort of melt away that night in his presence. I got to finally have the great pleasure to meet the very personable (and gorgeous!) Jeannine Stehlin, whom I have spoken to a few times via email before, and Jack was indulgent enough to let me pose with him in a few pictures. A great way to cap off a great week; great company (Brett! {{{kiss}}}), great theater (if you are ever in L.A. please do yourself the favor of checking out any of the Circus Theatricals performances), and a whole lot of much needed stress-free relaxation.

This trip really helped set me on the "road to recovery" and gave me the mental strength to start putting things right in my life again. Well, not like THAT'S ever going to happen overnight, folks! But I feel better prepared. Better amped up and ready to make things happen again. I know it sounds corny, but L.A. felt like a place where I could study my own part in my own play, prepare behind the wings, waiting for my cue to go on. Or at least brace myself better for when the rotten tomatoes get tossed my way.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Once More With Feeling...

I really don't know how long this will all last.

This may be my second heroic attempt at a blog, but seeing how things fair for the moment it is all pending on how well I can hold onto it without losing my grip (so to speak).

Okay, enough with the dramatics. For now, at least.

I had a blog going on 3 1/2 years. I wrote in it every day, starting out mostly to amuse a friend who made it for me, considering that she was the only one reading it at the time, so most of my posts were silly little in-jokes and every day minutiae. Over 3 years later... well, not much had changed. But having a place to post every day -- a place to put those little in-jokes and every day minutiae, to write about books and albums and movies and theater, a bookmark for my thoughts and ideas, a place to bitch about things without burdening anyone with my issues -- one doesn't know how one can become dependent on these things until these things are taken away from one... er, me that is.

Alright I lied. Back to your regularly scheduled dramatics...

I guess about two months ago I pulled the plug on my blog. It was becoming an increasingly rough time for me emotionally, financially, socially, as anyone who had been a faithful reader may have been able to surmise, and issues come up to where I hastily took it all off line, without a single shred salvaged. What felt like a simple thing to do in a fit of frustration and anger overwhelmed me 24 hours later like (again, sorry for the dramatics) a mother who had suddenly come to her senses and realized that she had just held her baby under the bathwater and drowned it. I had no idea that the loss of my, well honestly, stupid senseless blog would have that kind of effect on me, and the depression that I was already feeling caused me to spiral even further downward into almost crippling despair. It's ridiculous, I know. I have no excuse.

But I'm starting to come back to myself again. I'm like that. I am not intrinsically a "depressed person" by nature. I like to think that I'm generally pretty happy and content most of the time. Despite the money situation I feel that I have a lot going for me: I have a wonderful, supportive family. Friends, as well as the world's greatest boyfriend. A job I love (although it doesn't pay for squat). My general good health. A modest degree of talent. I really don't feel as if I have a right to complain about anything. And I've never liked to complain anyway. I hate bugging people with my problems, because you know, everybody has their own, and while I am always happy to listen and help out with other people's problems, I always feel like a hindrance when I load anyone up with my own.

But what I liked about the blog was that I could unload someplace without boring/burdening any of my friends or family, and when that disappeared I finally realized how much I missed having something like that around. Something cathartic, in a healthy way. It reminds me of a chapter I once read years ago in Donald Michael Craig's book Modern Magick about how to unburden yourself with these issues by making your problems take on a physical form (yet imaginary, like a monster), tie it to you with an invisible rope, and then cut the rope and separating yourself from the depression so that you feel free of it. Not that I'm actually doing anything as wackily New Age-y as all that, but the blog did sometimes sort of serve as that physical form to where if I had a small, insignificant problem I could just place it in there, let it all out of my system, and then walk away from it, separating myself from it and feel a thousand times better. And as I'm slowly crawling back out of my former funk perhaps I need that imaginary monster on a rope to help me get through the last remnants of all that I'm trying to leave behind.

Not that I plan on complaining a lot in the blog. I really, honestly hope to recreate the place that I had initially intended it to be; a place for music critique, reviews of things that I have seen or heard or experienced, and recommendations. I'm thinking that the more I do this, the better I'll start feeling. Getting back to my real self again and all that.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who used to read my old blog for all your support and friendship, with a few in particular I'd like to mention:

Emily, thank you for your posts and inquiring about me after the blog went down. You are always a real pleasure to talk to. I always appreciate new Vance sightings!

Wemblee, me oldest online chum, thank you for all the long distance phone calls and taking on the cumbersome burden of keeping my chin up! It is pretty darned heavy, isn't it? :-)

Brett, thank you for taking me out to dinner in Los Angeles last month and being so complimentary about my writing. You're learned opinion matters a whole lot to me, and you're a big reason why I feel like I want to do this again.

Jack, it was such a joy to talk to you for a brief while when I was in L.A., and your flattering words gave me a lot more inspiration to do this again than you may know. You have my deepest respect and love as a devoted fan.

Chris G., thank you for your weekly drop-ins at my work to chat, and for all the mix CDs, all the books you let me borrow, and encouraging me to try this again. You're the swellest.

Erin, you have done nothing but cheer me up with your posts, and I admit sometimes I like to call the TM line just to hear your (recorded) voice again. :-) Hope you'll continue to visit me. And drop by work again soon!

Lee, after 15 years you never fail to make me laugh. You doing your one-man impression of the ending credits to Buckaroo Banzai as you walked past my window at work had me nearly off the ground. I do so love you.

To juliebeth and Maggie, who checked in on me nearly every day. You girls rock my world! If I had even a smidge of either of your music talents I would love to be in a band with both of you.

To all my pals over at the People's Forum music message board, many of you who read my old blog and commented (Dock, Spidra, Greg T., Chana, Austin, Phil F., Phil N. , Elston, Hayden, Leonard, Naz, Jennifer, and more), every single one of you over there mean more to me than I probably get to say. Thank you Hayden for wanting to put one of my old posts in The High Hat. And thank you Phil N. for your incredibly thoughtful egrams. They meant a lot to me.

And to Joe, thank you for shouting at me like a drill sergeant, kicking my ass, slapping my face, then kissing me deeply many, many times. Your constant daily support has helped pulled me out of this and I love you even more for it, if that can be humanly possible.

And the bear, of course. I can never forget the bear.

To everyone else, thanks for tuning in, and hope I don't do anything stupid this time!