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Friday, February 10th, 2006
9:02 pm - big news from the outsideLeft.com offices...
paul and i are publishing a book, a companion if you will, filled with articles that were in outsideLeft in 2005. the articles have been picked and now we're just fine tuning the cover art. if there wasn't so much profanity in it, everyone i know would be getting one for easter (or whatever the next holiday is that's coming up). more details next week when it comes back from the printers. oh yeah, the official title is "the first annual outsideLeft hardy annual." it's a british reference to an old book from the '70s i believe.

+

i had to buy a new digital camera this morning. a sensor on my small olympus handheld broke and naturally, it's cheaper to just toss it in the trash and buy a new one. i still have my canon rebel, but it's just too big to lug around for casual shots so i went with a tiny sony which actually turned out to be a really nice purchase. it only came out last week so there's no consumer reviews or feedback, but it's the size of a bar of soap and it has over 7 megapixels and a decent wide angle. bonus: the french girl who sold it to me was incredible -- she had a perfect accent and smelled like a fistful of fresh daisies. i could have walked in her wake all day.

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Friday, February 3rd, 2006
5:25 pm - work
i'm leaving in about one hour to go interview the designers and architects for the case study home in long beach. this damn case study article has been holding up the latest issue for about two weeks now. my publisher should be there so i think it might turn into an impromptu editorial meeting as well. if i get my nerve up, i might use this opportunity to ask for a raise. i hate asking for raises, i always feel like i don't deserve it. i'm also going to take my camera to take a few shots just in case the original photographer didn't get any detail of the home (which i'm almost positive he didn't).

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this is the first day in about three months that i haven’t been under any of my other editor’s thumb in regards to deadlines. it actually feels really good knowing i don’t have some editor somewhere wondering where their copy is – it’s such a shitty feeling. now that i’m up to date, i’m going to use the weekend to streamline my website and update my resume. the goal is to send out pitches to two new publications a week. i’d like to pick up a few more regular freelance gigs this month. i’ve said it before, but i’ll say it again. i need to get a lot more aggressive.

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
8:25 pm
tomorrow on outsideleft.com...

the results of the "best of 2005" golden bootlace awards as voted by the readers.

all three of them.

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Friday, January 27th, 2006
9:33 pm - fuck you, oprah winfrey, fuck you!
dear diary,

it looks like my most recent piece for outsideleft.com is getting linked up by the usual round of copycat bloggers.

http://www.outsideleft.com/main.php?updateID=531

i expect more than one piece of hate mail for this on. it would be funny if i cared about anything anymore.

have a great weekend, diary.

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6:28 pm
i forgot to mention that the meditation for my lawsuit took place in san jose this past monday. we had to take a 6:45am commuter plane to get there by 9am. it went well i suppose. our lawyer demanded an offer, they countered and this process repeated over and over until about 2:30pm when we finally settled on a fair amount. it's hard to believe that the accident took place 16 months ago and it just got settled this week. i can only hope that the 17-year-old kid who plowed into us during his little joyride got in enough shit from his parents that it made it worth it for me. by the way, if you ever get hit by a car, you better hope the other driver doesn't have allstate insurance. oh, also, take the trip in the ambulance at the scene of the accident (whether you're hurt or not) and hire a good attorney. i bet i can host a seminar on this stuff now.

+

i wasn't too happy with my work output this week. i just struggled. i don't know why, i wrote a lot and researched even more, but i'm lacking balance right now and i can feel it.

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i've really been running through my netflix list these past couple weeks. earlier i saw the motorcycle diaries which was very inspiring. yesterday i struggled to get through the life aquatic with steve zissou and was wholeheartedly disappointed. i mean, i knew it wasn't going to be very good, but this one was just a snoozer. except for bill murray, willen dafoe and the small bits of seu jorge, this was a waste of everyone's time. i don't think anderson will ever top rushmore -- everything he's done after that one has progressively gotten more pedestrian. and a little self-indulgent.

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i've been agressivly looking for additional gigs this week. i think i have a handle on one in los angeles, but if i were to get it, it would mean me driving into and out of downtown la every day. in essence, i'd become everything i've made fun of for the past ten years since i had an office job.

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
11:44 pm - from her to eternity
ok, so after about what, three weeks of self-imposed exile for numerous reasons i'd rather not get into, i'm going to kick my involvement of outsideleft.com back into high gear. the whole operation is sort of just spinning my wheels since i should really focus my writing on my paying gigs, but what can i say, i'm sentimental. mental anyway.

on the burner for tonight: a far-too-detailed review of the brilliant new nick cave dvd ("the road to god knows where") that comes out this week.

and on the way: a cd review of saint etienne's new u.s. release ("tales from turnpike house") and their subsequent concert in a couple weeks.

it's good to start taking advantage of industry contacts again.

also of note, i think i’m going to start publishing pieces that stir shit up. i’ve become complacent and a few death threats would be refreshing.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2005
8:27 pm
one of my christmas gifts came early this year -- sirius satellite radio. i wanted it to continue listening to the stern show (one of the few reasons to wake up at 6am), but it's actually a lot cooler than i expected. i'm really enjoying the 24 hour rolling stones station and there's also a pretty good indie channel. i just got it late last night so i haven't played with it a lot, but i can't wait to listen to the trucker network (talk radio for truckers - wowza).

i feel like there's too much technology going on around me though. as i'm fiddling with the satellite tuner on the right of my desk, i'm ripping cds on my itunes on my laptop while i'm downloading it onto my ipod to the right of me. all while my cell phone vibrates on my glass top desk because i'm too big of a pussy to deal with crabby freelancers right now. at what point is too much too much.

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the work christmas party is this thursday. they publishers are combining both staffs from the two magazines and the invitation said "fashionable attire blah, blah, blah." normally i wouldn't mind, but the other magazine is a high-end fashion publication and everyone there looks and dresses like sexy underfed models so naturally i'm going to go into this thing all weird about what i'm wearing. plus, it's in westwood -- what the fuck, hasn't anyone ever heard of central location?

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i can't wait until christmas vacation is over, 2006 is here and things get back to normal.

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Friday, December 16th, 2005
5:14 pm
it's been something of an unproductive week this week. emma's been dealing with an off and on 102 degree fever. so it's been lots of trips to the doctor's office, pharmacy, laying on the couch with her (a shocker since she usually likes being alone while watching tv). plus she didn't go to school all week so my free afternoons haven't been free. last night we watched "west side story" on bravo and she really liked it. i really love that film as well -- it still holds up. i wish people would realize that "west side story" is a proper musical -- not "rent," not "moulin rouge."

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the depositions came to an end yesterday. two grueling days of being grilled about an accident that happened over 18 months ago. i forgot a lot of details, but i think i did well. i have a feeling i frustrated the lawyer of the kid who crashed into us. i was very careful in not giving her any extra information and i could tell she was getting a bit pissy. then the court reporter got pissed off at roben when she answered a general question the court reporter asked. the reported asked to no one in particular to repeat the question. when roben repeated the question she was asked (because no one was answering), the court reporter looked at her and said, "do you want to do my job?" complete bitch. the lawyers got into it after that and it was a whole scene.

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listening to the howard stern show finale right now. very sad. his show has been a permanent fixture since 1992 so unless i get sirius, mornings won't be the same.

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the next issue of poplife is coming to a close in terms of production. there are only a few more articles left dangling and a few more batches of images. i'm a little frustrated that the publisher is impossible to get a hold of these days though.

+

i'm in the final stages of finishing the backyard. all i need to do is buy a few flats of boston ivy, plant it in the northwest corner of the patio. it's only been what, 12 months?

+

ok, 750 words and i'm done writing for the day. i need a nap.

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Thursday, December 1st, 2005
7:42 pm
i think i'm either having a panic attack or a nervous breakdown. i can feel myself coming apart at the seams.

sadly, i've been working so fucking hard this month and i feel like i have nothing to show for it. all i seem to do is either write or edit other writers and here i am, about to turn my invoice in tomorrow and it's pathetic. i think i'm going to have to quit some projects and focus on the big-ticket work. i'm just spreading myself too thin these days and not seeing a whole lot in return.

i also need to get way more aggressive beginning jan. 1, 2006. i mean, really aggressive. now that i'm managing editor for poplife, i need to work it to my advantage and make contacts with other publications and grease the wheels of other editors. i will force my way on to mastheads if i have to. it's my fault though -- i've been happy with things coming to me. now i have to start hunting gigs down. it'll get ugly and that kind of mindset is exactly why i left the oc weekly, but i'm tired of coasting.

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speaking of work, i think my editor at one of my gigs is dicking me. i think she’s giving my pitches to her friend who’s also on the writing staff. i pitch about 10 articles, she greenlights 5 and that’s it. i know for a fact that of the 10 articles i pitch, there may be one or two that have already been pitched before me. i’m pitching her unique stuff that no one could possibly know about. so for her to say they’ve already been pitched by another writer has to be false. that’s the thing about working on a publication with a rotating cast of editors – you get good ones and you get bad ones. it all comes down to money sadly enough.

+

i just got back from trader joe's -- it's emma's day to provide the am and pm snacks for her classroom so i spent about $35 on grape juice, organic milk, granola bars, crackers, bananas and apples. i spend over $700 per month on that pre-school of hers yet i still have to buy snacks for the class once a month? and then i have to pay for her costume for the christmas pageant next week? that's more in tuition than when i was in college and i'm calculating in my textbooks and materials. but what can i do? say no?

roben's sister's kid (who is emma's age) stays home with her psycho father and she can't count to ten, her vocabulary is almost non-existent and her social skills are completely underdeveloped. but for $700 a month, emma is bill gates in relation to her -- she's learning english, french and spanish; she's studying ballet; and she's already being taught simple math. so yeah, i guess giving her a head start is worth it, but crap -- $700 is a lot of bread. but it's worth it, right? i keep telling myself that.

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i have to get my tank washed, but i'm getting an oil change so the car wash on the house. that's nice. something free. but it's still going to take out about an hour of my day -- a very valuable hour that i can't afford to waste. i might take the laptop and get some work done in the waiting area, but i know i'll just listen to the ipod and read the newspaper. i'm not kidding anyone. i'm such a fraud.

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so much more to say, so little time to get into it. must go to the post office now and mail my ebay crap before hitting the oil-changing place. when does it get better?

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
7:13 am
another monday seemingly wasted. nothing to tell today. the holiday weekend was uneventful. saw gramps on saturday. seems to be a little sad since grandma died last year - or was it two years ago? time's flown. I caught him staring off into space a few times. just sort of bored i think. poor guy. i can tell he's pretty depressed. he was doing well for a while too.

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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
5:43 pm - everyone has bad taste.
wait, nic harcourt just announced that he's going to be playing a black-eyed peas song in a few minutes?

there are no longer any good radio stations on the air anymore. how depressing.

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5:02 pm - the day before thanksgiving.
it's been a pretty shitty month in regards to work. i seemed to write so much these past three weeks and it seems like i have nothing to show for it. this won't be good when i submit my invoices. i think i need to start getting agressive again and start to look for some big gigs. i've said it before and i'll say it again -- i want one big gig, not a lot of smaller ones.

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i'm predicting the worst thanksgiving ever this year. i have to spend the afternoon with the in-laws which aren't really that bad, but my sister-in-law's four children (ages 6 months to 7 years) are going to be there and we all know how much i hate those fucking children. hate. my parents are on vacation in hawaii for the week so that breaks up my side of the family this year. my brother and i are on our own this year.

+

i got my new business cards for poplife this week. they look pretty snappy, but i'm not in love with the card stock. a little too flimsy for my liking.

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the deposition for the car accident i was in over 16 months ago takes place in a few weeks. who the fuck knew it would have taken this long to sort out. i can only hope it's worth the wait. i'm secretly hoping for $50k, but will be happy with r and i total out at $20k. $50k would be nicer though.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
9:57 am - stolen from outsideleft.com's music editor, cookalexv
1. What was the first car your family had?
Going by old photos, I believe it was a copper 1969 Chevy Malibu, ragtop I think.

2. What was the name of your first pet and why?
I was very unoriginal back then - I had a dog named Snoopy.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist like my father.

4. What was the name of your elementary school?
Emery Park Elementary

5. Who was your first best friend?
Marc. Can't remember his last name, but it was sometime in grade school.

6. Are you still friends today, and if not, what happened?
I moved a year after we met and I haven't heard from him since.

7. What was your favorite board game?
Life I think although I always wanted Mousetrap.

8. Did you play house or other make believe games?
Nope, never.

9. Were you a Dungeons and Dragons geek?
Nope, it all seemed to involved to me. Too many rules to learn.

10. Did you sleep with stuffed animals as a kid?
No.

11. Do you still sleep with stuffed animals?
Nope.

12. Who was the first person you looked up to when you were younger?
Probably my mom, I spent every day with her until I went to school.

13. Who was your favorite relative?
Easy, my cousin Christopher. He was in high school when I was in grade school and he was the typical big man on campus. Captain of the baseball team, honors art student, good looks, cute girlfriend, etc. I thought he was God.

14. Were you short or tall in elementary school?
Average until about jr. high. Then I got left behind.

15. Were you teased in school?
Occasionally. Much less than the runts though.

16. What was the name of your favorite teacher?
Mr. Miller, jr. high. Fair, good baseball player, didn't take shit from the assholes in his class.

17. What was the name of your least favorite teacher?
Mrs. Kelly -- my first grade teacher. Oh, she made that year so fuckign difficult.

18. What was your best subject in school?
English lit., best and favorite.

19. What was your worst subject in school?
Math. It kept me from being an architect.

20. Did you do well in Physical Education?
Pretty well. I always got A's, but that's not too hard. You dress up, do a few pull-ups and collect your A.

21. Were you clumsy when you were younger?
Not that much. I wasn't gawlky if that's what this means.

22. Who was your favorite band as a kid?
Prince from his Dirty Mind album until Purple Rain. The Rolling Stones were a very close second.

23. What was your favorite movie as a kid?
Star Wars. I only saw it once as a kid, but I begged for the toys and merchandise for every birthday and christmas afterwards.

24. Did your parents read to you?
My mom did on occasion. Once I was able to read, I was on my own.

25. Did you have a favorite book?
Anything by Judy Blume. I know some people call them books for girls, but they were fucking great reading.

26. What was your favorite restaurant as a kid?
Farrels. The best burger and ice cream restaurant in the world. Every birthday was had there until they tore it down in the late '70s.

27. What TV or movie star did you have a crush on?
It's a cliche, but Daphne from Scooby Doo.

28. Do you now wonder what you were thinking?
Nope, she's the reason why I have such a hard-on for redheaded gals.

29. Who was your first crush in school?
Lisa Hawthorne -- third grade I believe. I think she was half-Japanese, half-white. So adoreable. Thick brown hair in a Dorthy Hamill pageboy. Partial to turtleneck sweaters, funnier that Ruth Buzzi. I'd give up bundles to have lunch with her and see how she turned out.

30. As a child, what kind of car did you want when you grew up?
I think Corvettes were the pinicle of cool back then.

31. Did your parents spank you?
My dad did once when I ran out into the street. Little did he know all I did was run out into our street when he was at work. If my mom did, I've blocked it out.

32. Did your parents fight a lot when you were a kid?
Oh my yes. I wasn't aware of it until I was about 4 when my mom found out dear old dad was cheating and she got a butcher knife and slashed all of his canvases and threw them out in the backyard. Ten years of painting shreded. There was a lot more of the same, but that's the first instance I remember.

33. Did your parents get divorced or stay married?
Duh.

35. Did you ever run away from home?
Nope. I liked home -- it's where all my toys where.

36. How old were you when/if you first got glasses?
Not until I was a junior in high school. Oddly enough, they attracted the chippies.

37. Did you need braces or a retainer?
Never needed braces. Only 4 cavities ever.

38. When did you get your period or hit puberty?
The summer between fifth and sixth grade I think.

39. Both sexes when did you start shaving?
I think I was a freshman in high school. I was too embarassed to ask for razors so I had to swipe my step-father's rig.

41. What was your first kiss like?
incredible. i was a late bloomer -- the first official one didn't happen until I was a junior in high school, but it was the best. Just like Peter Brady and Milicent and the fireworks. A warm memory.

42. What did you do on your first date?
Same girl as above, Christie. We lived a few streets away from each other so I walked to her house and from there, we walked to some mom and pop Italian restaurant down the hill. The we got drunk on wine coolers on the golf course behind her house while her parents were hosting a church group meeting in their living room.

43. How old were you when you first drank?
My first real drink was again when I was a junior in high school. it was a busy year. Champagne by the gallon at my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, there are a lot of photos to prove it.

44. Where was your first house?
The first house I bought was in Fullerton, CA. The first house I can remember living in (going by photos) was in the family housing tract in Fort Sill, Oklahoma -- an Army base.

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Thursday, October 27th, 2005
11:51 am
another busy day. yawn. boring. i'm giving myself a 10 minute break before i dive back into making a dent in my deadlines.

once all my paycheck writing is done, i have to finish transcribing my charles barkley interview for outsideleft.com tomorrow morning. it's 30 minutes so it's going to take ages. the goal is to have it done before survivor tonight.

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r's birthday is monday and i still haven't gotten her anything yet. i mean, i know what to get her, but i don't know where i'm going to find the time to purchase it. note to self -- if you don't take care of this tomorrow, you're fucked.

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going camping this weekend in big bear. my parents are going as well and they're bringing their rv so it's nice to know there'll be somewhere warm with couches to hang out during the day if it gets too cold (which i think it will). i predict lots of games of uno and vodka.

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oh, i never commented on the nike summit in portland. well, it was pretty fun. intimidating though -- lots of writers from big name magazines: espn, men's health, sports illustrated, marie claire, etc. didn't make any real contacts, but it was a good experience and the accommodations were choice. i do recommend the 5th street hotel if you're ever in the area. the eighth floor suites are particularly worthy of praise.

+

125

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Friday, October 21st, 2005
11:57 pm - wtf?
i'm fucking gone for two days on business in portland for some bullshit nike media thing and my online rag gets hijacked. jesus christ.

more later.

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Wednesday, September 14th, 2005
12:26 pm
Sometimes I peek into the LJ's of former "friends," get a hearty chuckle and am able to get through the day.

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Thursday, September 8th, 2005
1:38 pm
I'm currently going through the greatest bout of writer's block I've ever had. I just can't get anything out. Plus, I'm bored.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2005
8:51 am
Another Wednesday morning. I'm feeling a little better about it though, I'm finished with the magazine editing and all I have to do now is go down to the production team's office in Irvine and go over the proofs with the publisher. Really looking forward to officially updating my resume and being able to add this gig to the top of it -- I'm happy working for the publication, but I'm hoping it's a stepping stone to something even bigger.

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The work's not over yet though, I have 40 small 200-word pieces to write by Friday afternoon. I know I can do it -- I've done it in the past, but I can't muster up any enthusiasm for it. Unfortunately, it's my main gig and if it doesn't get done, the check doesn't get mailed out. Pressure's on.

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The photos of the Katrina tornado -- is it a tornado -- are incredible. I didn't know the damage it was able to cause until I saw the results in this morning's LA Times. Fucked up shit. And I finally get the whole levee thing and the fact that New Orleans was built in a basin of sorts. I have an acquaintance who owns a nightclub there -- I bet it's wiped out. Ampersand if anyone -- all two of you -- have ever heard of it.

+

I need people to add as friends on this thing, can anyone suggest anyone?

+

I'm really loving the new Saint Etienne double LP, they only seem to get better. I'm glad they're still basically a cult-status band -- our little secret. Suggested listening, "Stars Above Us."

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Friday, August 26th, 2005
11:08 am
so i'm sucked into that INXS reality show -- i can't even think of it's name at the moment. it's entertaining in that cringe-worthy way that all really great/bad reality television is. all of the female contestants suck balls and not only do they suck balls, but there's no way in hell a chick is ever going to front INXS -- it's just not going to happen, not in a billion years. the male contestants suck too except one really, Mig. make no mistake, he stinks up the place as well, but at least he sort of has a look and he's from australia so he already has that built-in "mate" thing going on with his vernacular. plus he's a ringer, word around the biz i like to call show is that he was planted in during the finals in los angeles.

all this INXS revivalism has had me listening to their catalog a lot lately as well. they were always a fucking solid band. never got the hipster credit they deserved (before hipster credit was the mark of death).

+

r and i went white water rafting on the american river last weekend. very fun, i'd even say life changing in a way. we had a great rafting guide, a guy named ram (pronounced rom), from nepal -- an incredible person. its was r's second time, my first - she fell in twice, i managed to stay in the raft the entire time. amazing because the photos show the raft getting tossed and turned around like a toy boat.

+

this new gig is killing me. not sure if i mentioned it anywhere, but it's a managing editor position at a national mag. i think i may have bit off way more than i can chew, but i'm a sucker for a decent paycheck. i'm done with the new issue this week so i think i may take a few days off next week and regroup and catch up on the months worth of magazines, books, newspapers and dvds that've been stacking up on my to do pile.

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
10:12 am
so it's been a while since i've updated. i've just been to busy with about a million things. work, home, etc., etc., etc.

i'll make a point of entering once a day.

consider this today's post.

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