Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Music Meme

I found this meme over at David Niall Wilson’s blog. I thought it was pretty darned cool, so I decided to give it a whirl. I’m not tagging anyone with this, but if you want to do it, let me know so I can come see your answers.

1. What song lyric taken completely out of context has become important to you?

It’s actually a harder question than it appears at first glance. There were several to choose from, but I’m opting to go with Ben Harper’s Ground on Down.
Life is short and if you're looking for extension,
With your time, you had best do well,
Cause there's good deeds and there is good intention,
They're as far apart as heaven and hell.

And you're steady working your way,
From the ground on down,
On down.
Your way,
From the ground.


In the song he is struggling with a horrible decision, whether or not to break up with the woman he loves, but fears he’s coming to hate.

Out of context, it reminds me of the decisions I made in my younger years. At the time I thought them all, or at least most of them to be the right thing to do, but as I reflect (as so many of us do when we pass 35), I realize I’ve caused a tremendous amount of pain and anguish from about 18 to 28. Good deeds and good intentions, I can only hope that now all of my latter lead to the former…

2. What was the last stupid lyric to catch in your head and not let go?

Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth by the Dandy Warhols seeped into my brain not long ago into it took the better part of a day to get the catchy tune out of my head. The song is very upbeat, but the message is downright horrible… Thanks for getting it stuck in my head again.

I never thought youd be a junkie
Because heroin is so passe.
But today,
If you think that I dont know
About depression and
Emotional pain,
Youre insane, or your
A fool who hasnt paid attention
To a word that I say.

In a way, I cant
Help but feel responsible.
I always knew that you were insane
With your pain.

But I never thought youd be a junkie
Because heroin is so passe


3. Have you ever bought a record / CD for the cover art alone - what, and why?

Sadly, no. I’ve picked one up checked out the cover and put it back, but I’ve never bought a CD based soley on the strength of the cover. I may have to do that someday just to see what happens.

4. What is the LAST CD you bought / downloaded, and why?

Unearthed (the box set) by Johnny Cash. Honestly, I fell in love with his renditions of great rock songs such as Rusty Cage by Soundgarden and Thirteen by Danzig. The man is a legend.

5. What CD do you own that you think would make your friends shake their heads in either pity, or a total lack of comprehension?

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but for the sake of honesty. I have I’m too sexy by Right Said Fred in my collection. And before you ask, yes, I’ve listened to it in the last thirty days…

.
Final bonus question: What are you listening to right now?
Don’t you evah by Spoon. This song will likely now be stuck in my head for the rest of the morning. It is quite catchy.

Don't You Evah Lyrics

And here is a video just to make sure you all have it stuck in your heads as well:

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Day of The Dance

The day has finally come. Well, to be exact it came yesterday, but you know what I mean. No? You really don’t? The e-book of my first full-length Romantic Horror Novel The Dance is available for purchase.

The Dance





Here is a blurb:

Nearly a decade ago, Detective Tom Wiley worked a case that continues to haunt him to this day. But while the nature of The Puppeteer’s horrific crimes will always remain in Tom’s memory, it’s the guilt of not catching the serial killer before he vanished that still weighs heavily on his heart.

Eight years have passed since the last victim fell under the blade of that maniac during his vicious killing spree. The time of peace and quiet has come to an abrupt and gruesome end.

The Puppeteer is back.

With the unwanted help of his newly assigned partner, Detective Anna Perez, Tom will stop at nothing to end The Puppeteer’s latest reign of terror. But as the detectives follow the trail of bodies, they quickly realize The Puppeteer may not be their deadliest enemy, and they’re up against something far more sinister than the twisted workings of a serial predator.

Can Tom and Anna survive this world of insanity and death, of love and loss, of myth and magic, where the lines between good and evil are hard to discern? Or will they be forever swept away in The Dance?


For those of you who can’t bear to read an e-book, this title will be available in print very soon (which in industry terms means about sixty days). Until then, I highly encourage you to give e-books a try. By going electronic, you can pick up a ninety thousand word novel for $6.50 the day after it is released. How cool is that?

Please help me spread the word. Tell your friends, your family and blog about it as needed. Hell, shout it from the rooftops if you think it will help.

Thank you for your support.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Patry Francis Day

Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, movie makers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis . You can read the history behind this momentous occasion here.

Still with me? Then you’re probably wondering why in the world would all of these people pull together like this. Well the short answer is because she is fighting with cancer and is too sick to promote her own book, so all of these compassionate people are pitching in, to make sure her debut novel gets the recognition it deserves.

Please click on the links and lend your support. Feel free to pick up the torch and spread the word. Together we can make a difference in the life of a truly remarkable lady.

Here is a blurb:

Answering the question of what is more powerful—family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.

They couldn’t be more different, but they form a friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne’s “perfect” husband as well as their teenaged son.

At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home—and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali’s soul.

When a murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar’s Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.



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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Last King of Memphis

Saturday night we had the honor of seeing none other than The Beale Street Blues Boy himself, B. B. King. The man is nothing short of incredible. He’s 82 years old, but still gives one of the most entertaining performances I’ve ever seen. His hands still caress the strings of “Lucille” with such finesse, the result borders on magical. His voice still packs a wallop that will drive his words home and leave you with a shiver that reaches straight through to the soul.

If you ever have an opportunity to see him play, I highly recommend you take advantage of it. He has a sound that transcends age, gender, and dare I say even musical preference.



It was definitely a night I won’t soon forget. Thank you Mr. King for giving such a lively performance. I can only hope that I have half the spunk of this man when if I’m in my eighties.




So, how was your weekend?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Just a Tease

In lieu of a Friday 55 this week, I’ve opted to show you another teaser for my latest novel, Pixels and Pain. I hope you enjoy it.
A man sat hunched over a cluttered desk, eyes glued to a computer monitor. His right index finger moved rhythmically as he clicked his way through a barrage of web pages. He was searching for something special, something he craved in a way he was sure no one else in the world could fathom. His desire grew from a whisper at the back of his thoughts to a scream demanding to be acknowledged and acted upon. It had been weeks since last he played the game. His resolve all but gone, it was time to feed the beast that lurked within the shadows of his mind.
He paused on web page displaying the profile of a perky twenty-something. She had strawberry blonde hair that hung to her shoulders, dark eyes and her full lips were drawn into a playful pout. He leaned even closer to the screen, ran his finger across her picture, tracing a line around her cheek.
“Ah, there you are, my pretty,” he whispered huskily. “Do you want to come and play with me?”He tore his gaze from her picture, quickly scanning through her personal info.
“Hello, Maggie Dugan. Did you use your real name on here?” He harbored a near certainty that she did as he read on. “Broomfield, Colorado. Interesting… How can a woman as young as you afford to live in a place like that? Do you live with your parents? Are you bored? I bet you would love to have a little excitement in your life.”
He quickly scrolled down the page and let out a low chuckle that almost sounded like a growl. “Only twenty five and yet so alive. Single and on the prowl…what a coincidence.”
He licked his lips in anticipation as he clicked on the link to add her to his “friends list”. If she accepted, he would begin the process of winning over her heart, mind and eventually… her soul.
“Oh, Miss Maggie, please don’t keep me waiting for long.”He exited her page and resumed his search, clicking through profile after profile. There was always the chance that Maggie wouldn’t take the bait and he still had a ravenous need to sate after all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lost and Found

We were watching TV the other day, when this commercial came on:

I instantly said, that’s gotta be a Lost commercial, but then we promptly forgot about and continued watching our show.

The ad doesn’t mention Lost at all, but everybody knows that Oceanic Airlines is purely fictional. Curiosity got the better of me, so I checked out the website. It was pretty cool, but it got me thinking that there may be more such websites floating around in cyberspace.

I did a little digging and stumbled across this little jewel. It is chock full of hidden features in the true tradition of Lost.

So, why am I suddenly being swept away in a Lost stupor? Because the next season will premiere on January 31st. Well, that and I’m a bonafide Lost junky.

Are you?


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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(26 August 2006, Leicester, England) Darren's death was a mystery. The 33-year-old was found slumped in the hallway of his house, bleeding from stab wounds to his chest. Police initially assumed that an assailant had attacked him, but they could find no supporting evidence. A year later, the inquest revealed why Darren can stake his claim to a place among the winners of the Darwin Award.

Darren had called a friend, but minutes after he hung up, rang back to ask for an ambulance. The front door was ajar, and Darren was found lying near a bloodstained lock-knife he had purchased whilst on holiday in Spain. Forensics investigators saw no indication of a struggle, and the coroner reported that the stab wounds seemed to be self-inflicted. However, Darren had shown no suicidal tendencies.

His wife, who was on holiday at the time of the incident, cleared up the mystery, and revealed why our subject will go down in history as a Darwin Award winner. As she was leaving for the holiday, she remembered Darren wondering whether his new jacket was 'stab-proof'.

That's right. Darren had decided to find out if his jacket could withstand a knife attack. Did he choose to test his jacket while it was draped over the back of a chair? No, our man decided that the best approach would be to wear the garment and stab himself. Sadly, his choice of armor proved less resistant to a sharp blade than he had hoped.

The coroner reached a verdict of accidental death by 'misadventure'.




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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Movie Review: The Bucket List

The Bucket list is an emotional rollercoaster of a movie, but then you kind of know that going into it. An unlikely friendship develops between two men sharing a room while they’re being treated for cancer. Both of them find out their options are expended and have a limited time left, so they embark on a great journey to accomplish everything they’ve put on the list (the list of things to do before they kick the bucket).

I laughed, I cried, I considered making my own list. This is a very moving tale and worth watching no matter what your preferred genre is.

Synopsis


Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star in the comedy drama "The Bucket List," directed by Rob Reiner, a touching, no-holds-barred adventure that shows it's never too late to live life to its fullest. A long time ago, Carter Chambers' (Morgan Freeman) freshman year philosophy professor suggested that his students compose a "bucket list," a collection of all the things they wanted to do, see and experience in life before they kicked the bucket. But while Carter was still trying to define his private dreams and plans, reality intruded.

Marriage, children, myriad responsibilities and, ultimately, a 46-year job as an auto mechanic gradually turned his concept of a bucket list into little more than a bittersweet memory of lost opportunities and a mental exercise he occasionally thought about to pass the time while working under the hood of a car. Meanwhile, corporate billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) never saw a list without a bottom line. He was always too busy making money and building an empire to think about what his deeper needs might be beyond the next big acquisition or cup of gourmet coffee. Then life delivered an urgent and unexpected wake-up call to both of them. Carter and Edward found themselves sharing a hospital room with plenty of time to think about what might happen next--and about how much of that was in their hands.

For all their apparent differences, they soon discovered they had two very important things in common: an unrealized need to come to terms with who they were and the choices they'd made, and a pressing desire to spend the time they had left doing everything they ever wanted to do.

The list wasn't just a mental exercise anymore. It was an agenda. So, against doctor's orders and all good sense, these two virtual strangers check themselves out of the hospital and hit the road together for the adventure of a lifetime--from the Taj Mahal to the Serengeti, the finest restaurants to the seediest tattoo parlors, the cockpit of vintage race cars to the open door of a prop plane--with just a sheet of paper and their passion for life to guide them. Adding and crossing items off their list while taking in the grandeur and beauty of the world, they will grapple with the difficult questions and the even more difficult answers that plague all of us. And, without even realizing it, become true friends. With humor, insight, heart...and a fair amount of attitude. Sometimes you just need a deadline to get your life in gear. --© Warner Bros.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


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Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend Recap

We had another laidback weekend. My wife just finished her first week at her new job (after hanging out with me for six weeks) and they are in a rather intense set up mode, which means a lot more physical activity than a chemist usually performs. She was exhausted, but quite happy.

I, now brace yourself as this will come as quite a shock, injured myself in karate practice on Thursday. I jammed up my shoulder bad enough that I couldn’t lift my arm more than six inches from my side without excruciating pain. Needless to say, neither of us was in any shape to do more than lay up and watch movies and/or football.

I’ll try to review at least one if not all of the movies we watched, but the brief rundown was: The Bucket List, American Gangster, The Condemned, Event Horizon (I know…an oldie, but a goodie), and Turistas.

Sunday was all about the football. I watched my Pats struggle and eventually claim a victory over an impressive San Diego Chargers team. It was a great game and now the only thing standing between the Patriots and a perfect season is the Super Bowl where they will face the NFC Champions. The New York Giants eked out a win over the Green Bay Packers in overtime. It was a close game to say the least. I hope they bring their “A” game to Arizona, because they will need everything they can muster to keep from being slaughtered by the seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots.

So, how did you spend your weekend?

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to the Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words.

Would you like to play along? Let me know if you do so I can come read your entries.

Aroma so strong it pulls me from my long slumber. I stumble through the darkness. I find the switch on the wall. The brightness does nothing to improve my mood. Near blind, I’m attracted by the scent. I must reach the source. I sigh in relief. I’ve arrived. Thank the Gods for my automatic coffeemaker.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(19 April 2007, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) Unwanted amorous advances on a heifer resulted in a man's death at the hooves of the violated bovine. Sounds of a scuffle culminated in the discovery of his naked body lying beneath the frightened family cow. Injuries to his head and genital area were consistent with being kicked to death.

Why did he do it?

The man's divorce had become final a mere 10 days prior to his fateful final fling. In the divorce, and also a previous divorce, his ex-wives cited his insatiable desire as the cause of the dissolution.

Police concluded that the man died in a rape gone wrong. They do not plan to take action against the cow, which appeared to have been acting in self-defense.



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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Book Review: Eat the Dark

I just finished listening to the audio book Eat the Dark by Joe Schreiber. It was simply magnificent. Joe is an excellent plotter and pacer. This book packs a significant psychological wallop. Children in peril, a marriage on the rocks, a seemingly unstoppable villain, and a well placed shocking revelations are all just some of things that make this book a titillating treat.




Synopsis

Escorted from prison under heavy guard, murderous psychopath Frank Snow is scheduled for an emergency brain scan at Tanglewood Memorial Hospital, an institution that is closing its doors after one final night of operation. But Snow has something far more terrifying planned. And once the lights go out, a fiendish game of hide-and-seek begins.

Alone in the dark with a homicidal madman who knows their fears, their secrets, and their every move, MRI technician Mike Hughes, his wife and child, and the other unlucky souls trapped in the hospital have no choice but to duel with the devil incarnate. If they play by their stalker's twisted rules, some of them might just survive. But there's more to Frank Snow than the naked eye can see . . . or the sane mind can bear.



If you are a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars


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Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Recap

This weekend was all about the football games. The results of this round of playoffs were bittersweet. My New England Patriots secured another win, bringing them one step closer in their pursuit of perfection. They face the San Diego Chargers ( I know at least one hardcore Chargers fan, but I won’t hold that against him) next Sunday for the AFC Championship. If they win this one, all that’s left between them and the perfect season (undefeated from beginning to end) is the Super Bowl and the way the NFC has played this year , that should present no significant problem.

My wife’s favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, spiraled out and practically gave their Championship dreams away on a silver platter. They lost, but they beat themselves. It was a very frustrating game filled with senseless penalties and dropped balls. We had high hopes for a Cowboys vs. Patriots Super Bowl this year. I guess there’s always next time…

So, how did you spend your weekend?

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Book News

Well, I’ve officially finished my latest novel (or category novel as the case may be) and it’s off to the publisher. This one is called Pixels and Pain. It’s had several during its evolution (Marshall Law being the most recent), but I believe this one will be its last. Oh, would you like to read the official blurb? I knew that you would…

Explore the dangerous domain of a madman…

Johnny Walker is a FBI agent on a personal crusade to catch a killer. One year ago, his little sister was brutally murdered and the police still don’t have a suspect.

Mary Marshall founded a watchdog group to rid the world of online predators after her sister fell victim to a charismatic stranger she met on the popular networking website, HiyaSpace.

As the similarities surrounding their losses draw these two together, they soon embark on a desperate quest for answers—a quest wrought with peril, betrayal, and unimaginable horror.

In a virtual world where everyone’s a friend, and everyone’s a suspect, will Johnny and Mary be able to track down and stop an internet serial killer whose unspeakable deeds threaten to destroy them all?

Or will these two hunters become the prey, unable to escape the web of Pixels and Pain?

Sound interesting? Cool, check by here for more details. I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of writing news, The Dance is due to be released the 29th of this month and will be released in print shortly after that. It’s open for preorder right now, but I will let you know for sure the day it is available.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Magnificent Seven

The delightful Kris Yankee tagged me for this meme. The premise is simple. I’ve got to come up with 7 things that you all don’t know about me. Well, I’ve posted memes like this a time or two, so that could be tricky, but I’ll give it a whirl.
The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you;
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours;
Post the rules on your blog;
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog;
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post;
Include links to their blogs;
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
7 things about me…

1. I was once told that I’d never be able to have children because of something that happened when I was in the Army. Yes, I have a son and he is my miracle baby. True, I only have the one, but it was enough to prove the doctors wrong.

2. I once stayed awake for nearly 96 hours. Did you know that sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations?

3. I have a gaggle of half-brothers and sisters that I’ve never met.

4. I’m a stickler for schedule. If I’m running late, I get all twitchy. If other people make me late, I grind my teeth.

5. I rarely raise my voice. It’s so rare that when I do yell, everybody listens, including the dogs.

6. For the last year, I would rather be at home than out on the town. I now fully understand what they mean by “There’s no place like home.”

7. I’m 36 years old and I still like to play with toys.

Well, that was painless enough. Now who shall I tag with this? I say we go with these fine folks:

Lime
Breazy
Carrie
Angie G
Maddie James
Jinger
Kelly

Be sure to let me know if you post the meme, so I can check out the answers.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.
(2007, Iraq) My unit took over an Iraqi ammunition holding area in 2003. Securing this large piece of real estate can be a bit of a problem. Looters periodically show up to steal the brass from the tank and artillery rounds stored in the bunkers.

These guys have simple tools: HAMMERS and CHISELS. And, as 98% of Iraqis smoke, this makes for an even more interesting day. One day we saw five looters sneaking into a bunker. As we made our way towards the bunker to apprehend them, the bunker exploded.

It was a few days before we could get anywhere close to the demolished bunker. When we investigated, we ascertained that the looters had either struck a spark while hitting a tank round with hammer and chisel, or one or all were enjoying their finest tobacco while striking the tank round with hammer and chisel. Either way, the outcome was the demise of five insurgents.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Movie Review: Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil: Extinction is a great zombie movie. The special effects are outstanding, the action top notch and the plot acceptably campy. This was a fun movie that didn’t try to take itself to seriously.

Synopsis


The second sequel to the $100 million hit, "Resident Evil: Extinction" is again based on the wildly popular video game series and picks up where the last film left off. Alice (Milla Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, once again joins forces with Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors Claire (Ali Larter), K-Mart (Spencer Locke ) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti) to try to eliminate the deadly virus that threatens to make every human being undead... and to seek justice. Since being captured by the Umbrella Corporation, Alice has been subjected to biogenic experimentation and becomes genetically altered, with super-human strengths, senses and dexterity. These skills, and more, will be needed if anyone is to remain alive.

I recommend this movie to zombie lovers and anyone who appreciates gratutious blood and gore. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


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Monday, January 07, 2008

Weekend Recap

It was a quiet weekend in the Goodman household. I did manage to rent one movie (I’ll review it later this week), but mostly it was spent relaxing. Why such a lazy weekend? Sadly, it was because illness has made its way through the family one member at a time. It is an interesting little bug that leaves one sleeping far more than they are awake.

Thankfully, by Sunday I felt pretty much myself again, because I was able to get out of the house and meet Joe Schreiber. He was in town for the entire weekend. The good folks at Tulsa Ink Slingers flew him in to talk to their writing group. He managed to set up two book signings while he was here as well. Now that’s just good clean time management.

Joe was very cool in person. He seems like a great guy and I wish I would have had more time to visit with him, but I was more than a little afraid that I wasn’t over my bug yet and didn’t want to spread the plague. He gave me my free copy of the Eat the Dark audiobook (I won it in a contest he was running on his blog. Swing by there for more details and to see my winning entry). I can’t wait to hear it. I’m up to Chapter 5 now. I’ll give you a full review once I’ve finished it, but so far it’s shaping up to be a damn scary story. So, you know I’m enjoying it.

Well, I need to close for now and get back to my latest WIP, Marshall Law. I hope to have it complete in the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll have a snippet or two for you when the story is finished.

So, how was your weekend?

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

My Fellow Americans

So, there I was, minding my own business, when I stumbled across this fun little survey:



I think that pretty much sums it up.

Hey, wait a tic… Has it really been over a month since I’ve stopped by for a visit? My bad…

So, what have you all been up to while I was away?

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