One Piece, Vol. 83

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:47 am
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Posted by Sean Gaffney

By Eiichiro Oda. Released in Japan by Shueisha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Viz. Translated by Stephen Paul.

One of the most obvious things that a reader will pick up on when reading any given volume of One Piece is how much fun Oda must have while creating it. Jump manga in general is very good at showing off the author’s joie de vivre, but Oda in particular makes you think of the title as a giant rollercoaster of pure wow. In particular in this volume, the scenes in the Seducing Woods are amazing, being a combination of childhood dreams of everything being alive and talking to you (including all the sweets you eat), and the horror of everything being alive and talking to you, INCLUDING THE SWEETS YOU EAT. The revelation of how the woods, animals, and everything in Big Mom’s world speak is mind-numbingly horrific, but Oda breezes right by it, content to give us more running around and punching things as a distraction. It works, but in lesser hands this would have been tonally deaf.

Luffy and company are still trying to rescue Sanji, of course, but the woods keep them busy most of the volume, so we’re not there yet. Sanji is not having a good time, though. The rest of his family has arrived, including his father, who is a nasty guy whose skills are also equal to his son, it would seem. Once again, you get the feeling that Sanji could really do some damage if he’d only take the limiters off himself – usually it’s “I won’t fight women”, but here it’s “I’ll never fight using my hands” that’s his handicap, and it’s why he now is wearing exploding handcuffs. There is genuine sadness here as well, though, as we see Sanji’s abusive childhood, and realize why he would much rather think of Zeff as his father figure than this guy who’s willing to barter his “useless” son for political gain.

As for the fights, well, Luffy gets most of the action, as usual, though Nami fares better than she normally has in recent times, using her new Climatact with gusto. The big trump card, though, turns out to be the vivre card she got from Lola back in the Thriller Bark arc – Lola, it turns out, being one of Big Mom’s endless children. I always love it when One Piece manages to tie in a plot point that happened years and years ago, though it does require the reader to be well versed in the lore. She and Luffy also bounce off each other very well – there’s no romance in One Piece, of course, but I can’t imagine LuNa shippers being too upset with what they get here. Carrot and Chopper fare less well, though there are hints that they will be more proactive in the next arc.

Wilol Luffy and company get to Sanji? Will they even meet up with Brook and Pedro, who were the advance guard? And what of Charlotte Pudding, Sanji’s bride, who likes him well enough but seems perfectly willing to let Luffy rescue him. And of course, given Big Mom is one of the Four Emperors, it’s not going to be all that simple, especially given that she can destroy whole towns when she gets hungry. My guess is this arc has a long way to go before it ends. Luckily, it’s One Piece, so we will always be entertained.

Guest Squee: The Works of Fred Vargas

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:00 am
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Posted by Guest Reviewer

Squee

An Uncertain Place

by Fred Vargas
October 25, 2011 · Penguin Books
Mystery/Thriller

NB: We have a guest squee or rather an author squee for Fred Vargas’ mystery novels. It’s made a couple of us at SBTB HQ add the books to our TBR piles.

This squee comes from Lara. Here is Lara’s bio: “A burlesque-dancing feminist with a deep yearning for solitude and a library of my own. I also teach English to high school students and knit when the stress levels rise.”

Heartbreak requires a very particular kind of book. In my case, I needed a book that was compelling enough that I forgot I was living in a metaphorical ditch and hopeful enough for me to believe that just maybe life does work out. Fred Vargas provided me (and her millions of readers) with those exact books. But she has taken it a step further: her books have reminded me that it is human connection in all its forms that sustains us, not romantic relationships.

It was on the very day that Donald Trump became President-Elect, that I was dumped. This was the relationship that I wanted to last for the remainder of my years. Reader, I was devastated. None of my usual comfort reading (historical romances and crime) was providing even a modicum of comfort. During a library amble, I found Fred Vargas’ An Uncertain Place. It had a suitably eerie cover, a slightly different size page to what I was used to and a list of awards to its name. I would only work out later that this book is quite near the end of the series featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg and is probably not the best place to start, but nevertheless it was the only book at the time that could hold my attention and remove me from my temporary metaphorical ditch.

I give you this backstory, not to rehash the misery of being dumped, but rather to emphasise just how captivating this series is. Despite heartbreak (which included a trip to the hospital for suspected ‘pulmonary embolism’ according to the ER doctor) and the sheer weight of misery, this book held me close. I could not look away. These novels are not romance novels, but, my God, are they Romantic. There is a spark, an originality to the characters, setting and writing that set these novels apart from all other contenders.

First, the author. Fred Vargas herself is French and these books are translated from French into 32 languages, one of which is English, thankfully. The books are set in Paris and there are two series which intersect with each other in a most pleasing way. There is the Adamsberg series. This series focuses on Commissaire Adamsberg, a big deal in the police department who does not adhere to a single social norm. Each book tells the story of a particular crime. This major plot line is resolved before the end of the book, but there are larger plot lines which weave in and out of all of the books.

The Three Evangelists
A | BN | K | iB
Then there is The Three Evangelists series. This series focuses on a group of unusual housemates. These novels each focus on solving a particular mystery or crime, but again, there are plot lines that weave in and out of the books. The two series do also interact in terms of plot and characters. I would recommend reading both series simultaneously and just reading all of them in the order they were published in French. (For reasons I don’t fully understand, the books were not published in chronological order in English.)

Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is a police detective, and a relatively successful one despite what his detractors might think. He is scruffy in appearance and rather short. He is not presented as a romantic lead and yet that it is precisely what he is, for the characters and myself all fall in love with him in our own ways. Be it through Danglard’s devotion or Retancourt’s protectiveness, or my obsessive reading, we are all drawn to this man who holds himself distant, but never consciously so. He is just living his life. He walks for hours and doodles constantly. He battles to remember names. He hates reading and doesn’t consider himself above his team.

At this point, I need to make it very clear that while some of these characteristics might sound familiar, NONE of the usual detective tropes are evident in these novels. Not a single one. These are characters I met for the first time, and ones which in no way served as echoes of other characters from other novels, or indeed my own life. Adamsberg is a singularity both within his setting and the larger world of literary detectives.

As the books progress a team is built up around Adamsberg. Chief amongst them is second-in-command, Danglard. There is a clear love between these two men that never becomes twee. They’ve evolved to work as a unit, but not always harmoniously so. Adamsberg sees how he irritates Danglard, but Danglard remains devoted. Adamsberg will call Danglard first, always. Danglard himself is pear-shaped, and a single father of five children. He hides white wine in the cellar of the police station and (during the earlier books) would often be drunk before 3pm.

Added to these two are a team of people unlike any you’ve met. Normal rules are chucked out the window and it works. These two series of books serve as eloquent arguments for just allowing people to be instead of forcing them to follow social strictures. Parts of the story are farcical and difficult to believe, but you do anyway. There is a hint of magical realism to the books, but only ever a hint, it never takes centre stage.

This Night’s Foul Work
A | BN | K | iB
Importantly, there is also a spectacular office cat. Below are a few extracts about The Snowball from This Night’s Foul Work. For context, Retancourt is an Amazon of a woman and each of the team are in awe of her; she is infallible and all-powerful in the eyes of all those around her.

The team took it in turns to look after the big, soft, furry creature, scared of its own shadow, which needed to be accompanied when it went anywhere, whether to eat, drink or relieve itself. But it had its favourites. Retancourt was the leader by far in this respect. The Snowball spent most of its days close to her desk, snoozing on the warm lid of one of the photocopy machines. The machine in question could not be used without giving the cat a fatal shock.

Danglard considered himself lucky when the creature deigned to walk the twenty metres to its feeding bowl. One time in three, it would give up and roll on its back, obliging someone to take it to the food or to its litter tray in the drinks room.

[they are in the very middle of a murder case when this conversation takes place]

“Get back here quickly, lieutenant, the cat’s pining for you.”

“That’s because I went without saying goodbye. Put him on the line.”

Adamsberg knelt down and put the mobile close to the cat’s ear. Lying on its back, the cat listened while Retancourt explained that she was on her way back home.

Are you in love, yet? Well, are you?! Because heavens to Betsy, I definitely am.

The Three Evangelists series tells the story of three historians and an old detective who all share a ramshackle house. Mathias is a prehistory specialist, Mark studies the middle ages, and Lucien focuses on World War One. Mark’s uncle – a detective who was fired for allowing a murderer to escape – completes the quartet. These characters are revealed delicious clue by delicious clue and the discoveries are heart-filling. I will say, however, that if you don’t fall in love with Mathias, then you might have a heart of stone. The four men build a bond as deep as that between Danglard and Adamsberg and it is a beautiful thing to witness.

Read these books; they will separate you from the noise of life. Vargas’ books are an ode to the outcast and how those outcasts build bonds and support each other. Vargas’ subtlety means that this realisation will grow steadily in your heart and you’ll only realise the depths of love between characters when you’re seven books in and it is 2am and you’re crying because Adamsberg called Danglard first.

Regardless of the question, human connection is the answer. These books prove it.

He lapsed into the passive voice

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:33 am
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Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum

Mark Landler recently published an article in the New York Times under the headline "Where Predecessors Set Moral Standard, Trump Steps Back." Unlike his predecessors, he notes, the current president has rejected the very concept of moral leadership:

On Saturday, in his first response to Charlottesville, Mr. Trump condemned the violence "on many sides." Then he lapsed into the passive voice, expressing, as he has before, a sense of futility that the divisions between Americans would ever be healed.

"It's been going on for a long time in our country," he said. "Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time."

This incompetent, floundering president, who has never previously had to run an organization and is revealing that he is no good at it, is guilty of so many things that could have been mentioned. But passive voice?

Asking whether "the divisions between Americans would ever be healed" is passive voice, but that's not Trump, that's Landler, who's the accuser here. "It's been going on for a long time in our country" is not in the passive voice. Mark Landler is one more case (I have literally lost count) of someone who writes for a major print source and pontificates about other people's grammar but doesn't know the difference between active and passive.

It's exasperating. Even if Trump were to use the passive voice, that would not be a criticism: the statements in style books telling you to avoid it are written by clueless idiots who haven't spent even an hour seriously studying well-written prose; their licenses to pontificate should be taken away. If you're writing in anything like a normal way, about 12 percent of your transitive verbs (plus or minus five) are likely to be heading passive verb phrases. In academic writing (and much of the writing about style that denigrates passives) passives are typically about twice as common.

This stuff is not some arcane secret. I published an article about it for a general audience of educated non-linguists, and you can read it here. There's nothing wrong with passives, everyone who knows how to write uses them, their structure is well known to grammarians, and hardly anything people say about them in general sources like newspapers and magazines and popular grammar websites is true.

Yet even people who write for The New York Times don't know this grade-school elementary grammar, it would seem, and obviously the editors don't either, or they would have caught Landler's mistake.

It is a profoundly weird situation: most educated people in America think there is a crisis about native speakers using the language ungrammatically (there isn't) and imagine that they know enough about grammar to make such judgments (they don't). So you get this situation of the blind warning the blind about a danger that isn't there. It makes you weep.


Thanks to Philip Miller for pointing out to me the reference to passive voice in the final sentences of Landler's article.

White Tears in Trumpville

Aug. 17th, 2017 06:38 am
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Posted by Lisa Wade, PhD

This week FOX commentator Melissa Francis was brought to tears while trying to defend Trump’s assertion that “many sides” were to blame for the fatal violence in Charlottesville, VA during a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Confederacy demonstration and counter-demonstration. She was challenged by two of her fellow panelists who argued that Trump was drawing a false equivalence to suggest that each sides was to “blame.” Oddly, Francis took their comments on Trump personally, began to cry, and said this:

I am so uncomfortable having this conversation… because I know what’s in my heart and I know that I don’t think that anyone is different, better, or worse based on the color of their skin. But  I feel like there is nothing any of us can say right without without being judged!

At this point, a fellow FOX commentator, Harris Faulkner, who is African American, interrupted to console her:

You know Melissa, there have been a lot of tears… It’s a difficult place where we are… [but] we can do this. We can have this conversation. Oh yes, we can. And it’s okay if we cry having it.

But is it okay for white people to cry in the midst of conversations about racism?

Education scholar Frances V. Rains has argued that it is not okay. In her essay, Is the Benign Really Harmless?, Rains discusses several types of reactions white people frequently have to difficult conversations about race, ones that undermine meaningful progress. In one, she talks about white people’s tears.

When a white person cries in response to frank discussions of racism, Rains explains, it derails the conversation, refocuses the attention on the white person, and holds anti-racist speakers accountable for attending to his or her feelings. The most important thing in the room, in other words, becomes a privileged person’s hurt feelings, not generations of systematic racial oppression, exploitation, and violence.

This is exactly what happened in the clip above.

  1. The panelists were debating whether Trump’s comments amounted to a false equivalence that was supportive of racism and anti-Semitism.
  2. A white woman rejects the notion that Trump’s comments endorsed bigotry.
  3. When some disagree, she cries and begins discussing what it feels like for her personally to be having this conversation.
  4. The conversation turns away from racism, anti-Semitism, and the possibility that the President of the United States is a Nazi sympathizer, and toward the white woman and her feelings.
  5. Her discomfort become the problem to be resolved.
  6. A member of the disadvantaged group steps in to comfort her.

This is just as Rains would have predicted.

Amazingly, an earnest conversation about oppression turns into an opportunity to give solace to the oppressor… and it’s a member of the oppressed who must do the comforting.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(View original at https://thesocietypages.org/socimages)

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Posted by SB Sarah

In our first installment of Podcast and Episode recommendations, my playlist grew by giant leaps and piles of downloaded audio – thank you for all the suggestions!

I have a few more episodes to suggest this week, especially because I found these to be very thought provoking – sometimes enough to listen to multiple times.

So, let’s get started!

Lifehacker The UpgradeLifehacker’s podcast The Upgrade has been changing in subtle ways – there’s a new co-host, and there’s more discussion between the co-hosts before they get to the interview. I’m not sold on either combination, to be honest.

The interviews are the best part, however, and there are three episodes I really enjoyed that I’d like to tell you about.

First: Why Your Awkwardness Is Secretly a Social Asset, With Ty Tashiro was a brilliant interview. Tashiro is compassionate towards the emotional pain of social awkwardness, and also scientific in his approach and analysis, a combination I found very compelling.

Tashiro’s book, Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), is now on my TBR, but if you only listen to the podcast, there are many kind and soothing pieces of advice, and techniques to examine your own perception of your awkwardness. I recommended this episode to about six people while I was listening to it.

Other interviews that are excellent from this series:

And one of my favorites that I’ve also listened to multiple times: Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done. There’s one moment where he talks about the desk of 50 years ago that I think about constantly.

You can find Lifehacker: The Upgrade on iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever you access your fine podcasts.

The Racist Sandwich podcast logoAmanda also has a suggestion:

I’d like to recommend the Racist Sandwich podcast, which discusses food and its connection to race. It’s really fascinating!

They have guests like food photographers, cookbook authors, etc.

Episode 20: Taking in New Orleans in the Age of Trump is where I started because of this LitHub article, “Talking in New Orleans in the Age of Trump,” written by Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Racist Sandwich is available at iTunes, Stitcher, and in your friendly local podcast app.

Hey Sis podcast logoElyse really likes the podcast Hey, Sis, which features two sisters (you guessed it!) in a conversation-style podcast. From their description:

We’re Nicole and Nailah Blades, two sisters who are 12 years apart, living 3,000 miles apart, but who still manage to talk everyday about so many different things. We thought it’d be cool to add other folks, like you, into this ongoing conversation.

In particular, Elyse recommends episode 4, “Read ’em, Honey,”  wherein they interviewed Glory Edim of The Well Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn based book club.

You can find Hey Sis on Stitcher, iTunes, and your podcast app-land.

Slate Culture GabfestSlate’s Culture Gabfest podcast has a lot of different and interesting episodes, but my favorites are the Hit Parade episodes, which are nerdy deep dives into popular music.

First: Hit Parade: The Imperial Elton and George Edition looks at the “imperial period” of Elton John and George Michael – the period at which they were so popular their music was an instant hit, regardless of what it was. The episode also looks at their friendship, and I got teary listening to it at the end – and built the mother of all playlists from some of the songs sampled.

Then, Hit Parade: The Charity Megasingle Edition:

In the mid-1980s, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “We Are the World” gathered dozens of the biggest stars in music to put on a show for a good cause. The two songs spawned imitators, but today, the charity megasingle is a relic of pop music’s past, except around the holidays. This month, we examine how good intentions, pique, excess, and vanity led to the rise and fall of the do-gooder celebrity pop song.

If you’re a little like me, the prospect of a nerdy behind-the-scenes exploration of charity mega-singles sends a thrill right to your eardrums. Fear not, Canada, for Northern Lights is also mentioned – you’re not left out!

You can find Slate’s Culture Gabfest on iTunes, Stitcher, and all the nifty places you grab your podcasts.

(And though I’m pretty sure you know, I want to make sure to note that we also have a podcast, Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, and you can find all the details here at the site, or at iTunes or on Stitcher.)

So what episodes of what shows have rocked your brain lately? Anything you want to tell us about?

 

Bookshelf Overload: July 2017

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:39 pm
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Posted by Ash Brown

I ended up picking up a few more things than I had initially planned to in July (including more anime series than usual). Partly to blame was the huge month-long anniversary sale at RightStuf. Granted, some of the items that I ordered during the sale didn’t arrive until August, so they won’t be found in the list below. Also not represented (although perhaps they should be) are the books that I bought as replacements for some of the materials that I already owned but lost to water damage from a radiator leak last month. But as for the manga to arrive in July that do appear on the list below that I was especially happy to see, there was Kentaro Miura’s Berserk, Volume 38 (the previous volume was published in 2013), Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro and the Great Tanuki War (technically released in June), and Izumi Tsubaki’s Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Volume 8 (which continues to be a delight). I also finally got around to picking up Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki’s Oishinbo, A la Carte: Izakaya: Pub Food, the final volume of the series to be published in English. July had a fair number of interesting debuts in store for me, too, including Gou Tanabe’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories (a nice addition to the horror manga available in translation), Yuki Fumino’s I Hear the Sunspot (a truly lovely manga), and Haruko Ichikawa’s Land of the Lustrous, Volume 1 (which, if nothing else, has stunning artwork).

Manga!
The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 7 by Kore Yamazaki
Berserk, Volume 38 by Kentaro Miura
Blame!, Omnibus 2 by Tsutomu Nihei
Bungo Stray Dogs, Volume 3 by Kafka Asagiri
Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+, Volume 1 by Yonezou Nekota
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Volume 18 written by Yuto Tsukuda, illustrated by Shun Saeki
Fruits Basket, Omnibus 2 by Natsuki Takaya
Hana & Hina After School, Volume 2 by Milk Morinaga
H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories by Gou Tanabe
I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino
Kitaro and the Great Tanuki War by Shigeru Mizuki
Land of the Lustrous, Volume 1 by Haruko Ichikawa
The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Omnibuses 3-5 by Akira Himekawa
Love Com, Volumes 5-13 by Aya Nakahara
Million Tears, Volume 1 by Yuana Kazumi
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Volume 8 by Izumi Tsubaki
Oishinbo, A la Carte: Izakaya: Pub Food written by Tetsu Kariya, illustrated by Akira Hanasaki
Princess Jellyfish, Omnibus 5 by Akiko Higashimura
Samurai Crusader, Volumes 1-3 written by Hiroi Oji, illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami
Twinkle Stars, Omnibus 3 by Natsuki Takaya
Your Name, Volume 1 written by Makoto Shinkai, illustrated by Ranmaru Kotone

Comics!
The Backstagers, Volume 1 written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Rian Sygh
Blood Brothers: Hermanos de Sangre written by Fabian Rangel Jr., illustrated by Javier Martin Caba
Electric Ant, Issue 1: Your First Kiss edited by Ryan Sands
For When You Can’t Sleep at Night by Skye Ali
Husband & Husband, Volume 1 by Aaron Ferrara
Living Space by Elise Schuenke
Loved & Lost written by Tyler Chin-Tanner
Ravina the Witch? by Junko Mizuno
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef, Book 2: Feasts of Fury by Eric Colossal
Stages of Rot by Linnea Sterte

Novels!
Gosick, Volumes 1-2 by Kazuki Sakuraba
Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 4: Strategem by Yoshiki Tanaka
Your Name by Makoto Shinkai

Anime!
Captain Harlock Space Pirate: The Complete Series directed by Rintaro
Death Parade: The Complete Series directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa
Gangsta: The Complete Series directed by Shukō Murase
Gosick: The Complete Series, Part 1 directed by Hitoshi Nanba
The Story of Saiunkoku: Season 1, Parts 1-3 directed by Jun Shishido
Space Dandy, Seasons 1-2  directed by Shinichirō Watanabe
Yona of the Dawn, Parts 1-2 directed by Kazuhiro Yoneda

Sunspots

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Posted by Amanda

Workspace with computer, journal, books, coffee, and glasses.Happy Wednesday! How is your week going so far? It’s definitely one of those weeks where I can’t remember what day it is. We’re steadily making our way through August and inching ever closer to autumn. Hooray!

A bit of a personal announcement. I adopted a cat! He’s 9 years old and a Maine Coon mix. He’s fluffy, dreamy, and really likes making sure I’m awake at 5am.

Let me introduce the Bitchery to Linus!

 

If you’re curious as to why women’s clothing doesn’t have more pockets, I found this article to be incredibly interesting:

Much has been written about how sexism dictates whether a garment gets usable pockets. While class unquestionably plays a part, men’s clothing tends to have capacious, visible pockets; women’s clothing tends to have small pockets, if any at all. Content with their pockets, men have little to say about them, but women have been complaining about the inadequacy of their pockets for more than a century. “One supremacy there is in men’s clothing… its adaptation to pockets,” Charlotte P. Gilman wrote for the New York Times in 1905. She continues, “Women have from time to time carried bags, sometimes sewn in, sometimes tied on, sometimes brandished in the hand, but a bag is not a pocket.”

A BAG IS NOT A POCKET! Say it with me, fashion industry!


USB Wall Outlet Adaptors!

What do we want? More USB ports! Where do we want them? EVERYWHERE!


If you’re looking to add more Filipino romances to your TBR pile, @Chachic_ on Twitter has some recommendations and many of which are 99c!

….

In the chance you ever get lost while hiking or doing whatever else people do in the wilderness, Atlas Obscura has some handy tips for wayfinding:

Tristan Gooley is an expert at what he calls “natural navigation.” In a series of fascinating books, most recently How to Read Water, but also The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator: The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature Be Your Guide, he shares incredibly useful tips and insights aimed at helping people notice simple truths about the world around them. Gooley’s particular genius is that once he shows you something about nature that you didn’t realize before, you’ll never be able to not see it again.

Recently, we sat down with Gooley and asked him to share five of his favorite natural navigation tricks with Atlas Obscura readers. The illustrator Chelsea Beck then took Gooley’s concepts and created gorgeous animations for each one. The words that accompany them are Gooley’s.

Not sure if I’ll remember any of these, but it’s pretty helpful regardless

Food artist, David Ma, has started a video series combining food porn while mimicking famous directors’ styles. So far, there are four videos, with my favorite being “What if Tarantino made Spaghetti & Meatballs?” but the Wes Anderson one is a close second.

Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!

Don’t miss a thing with Daily SBTB updates!

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Urban Fantasy, Ranchers, & More!

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Cotillion

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer is $2.51 at Amazon and $2.99 elsewhere! It’s also part of a huge $2.99 Heyer sale in honor of her birthday! This has a fake relationship trope and was recently the inspiration for a Rec League on unassuming heroes. Readers who love beta heroes and low-key, relaxed romances might love this one. However, some readers mention that the first quarter of the book takes some effort to get through.

Kitty Charing can inherit a fortune from her irascible great-uncle Matthew when she marries one of her cousins. Kitty is not wholly averse, if the right nephew proposes. Unfortunately, Kitty has set her heart on Jack Westruther, a confirmed rake.

To make him jealous and to see a little more of the world, Kitty convinces cousin Freddy Standen to pose as her fiance. In London with his family, she hopes to render the elusive Jack madly jealous.

New friends embroil her in their romantic troubles, sprinkling witty banter with Parisian phrases. Her French cousin, Camille, a professional gambler, has won the heart of Olivia, in turn the object of Jack’s dishonorable intentions. Doltish cousin Lord Dolphinton has fallen for a merchant’s daughter in conflict with his mother. Kitty herself wonders who is really right for her.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Working Stiff

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine is $2.99! This is the first book in The Revivalist urban fantasy series where a funeral director heroine discovers her boss is turning the dead into zombies. Books one in Caine’s Weather Warden and Outcast urban fantasy series are also on sale, if you’re looking for new series to start. Readers found the plot to be really original, but wanted the heroine to be more active and aggressive in dealing with issues.

Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn’t the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment–until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated–literally, and with extreme prejudice.

With the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem–pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She’d better do it fast, before she becomes a zombie slave–a real working stiff. She’d be better off dead…

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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The Rancher’s Surrender

The Rancher’s Surrender by Jill Shalvis is $1.99! This is the first book in The Heirs to the Triple M contemporary western series. This was originally published in 1999. Readers enjoyed the sisterly bond in the book, but had some difficulties with heroine’s selfishness. Have you read this one?

In the first book of New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis’s classic series, The Heirs to the Triple M, three women practically raised as sisters discover one of them has inherited a ranch. But which one?

Zoe Martin vowed not to let the Triple M ranch slip into Ty Jackson’s hands. Although his smooth charm brought most women to their knees, Zoe didn’t trust him. After all, he’d wanted the ranch for himself, and Zoe wasn’t about to let him take what could be her only chance for a true home.

It’s obvious to Ty that Zoe needs help—the woman is a complete greenhorn. But working side by side with Zoe is dangerous. She makes him feel strong and wild and crazy. Crazy enough, maybe, to offer her the home she craves…

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The Turncoat

The Turncoat by Donna Thorland is $2.99! This is an American historical romance set during the Revolutionary War. Some readers thought this was historical fiction rather than historical romance and had some things to say about the amount of sexytimes in the book. However, others enjoyed the great balance of action combined with the romance.

They are lovers on opposite sides of a brutal war, with everything at stake and no possibility of retreat. They can trust no one—especially not each other.

Major Lord Peter Tremayne is the last man rebel bluestocking Kate Grey should fall in love with, but when the handsome British viscount commandeers her home, Kate throws caution to the wind and responds to his seduction. She is on the verge of surrender when a spy in her own household seizes the opportunity to steal the military dispatches Tremayne carries, ensuring his disgrace—and implicating Kate in high treason. Painfully awakened to the risks of war, Kate determines to put duty ahead of desire, and offers General Washington her services as an undercover agent in the City of Brotherly Love.

Months later, having narrowly escaped court martial and hanging, Tremayne returns to decadent, British-occupied Philadelphia with no stomach for his current assignment—to capture the woman he believes betrayed him. Nor does he relish the glittering entertainments being held for General Howe’s idle officers. Worse, the glamorous woman in the midst of this social whirl, the fiancée of his own dissolute cousin, is none other than Kate Grey herself. And so begins their dangerous dance, between passion and patriotism, between certain death and the promise of a brave new future together.

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This book is on sale at:

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Game Review: Dream Daddy

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:23 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

If you’ve been on Twitter over the past month, you might have seen tweets and photos about the dad-dating simulator Dream Daddy, created by Game Grumps and written by Vernon Shaw and Leighton Gray.

In the game, you play a single dad with a teen daughter named Amanda (she’s way cooler than me) who just moved to the small town of Maple Bay.

In Maple Bay, there are seven dads available to romance:

  • Mat – hipster dad with tattoos and a love of baking and coffee
  • Craig – athletic, bro dad who has the cutest little baby
  • Hugo – dapper dad who happens to be your daughter’s teacher
  • Brian – the burly redheaded dad with a corgi
  • Damien – goth dad! It was also confirmed on Twitter that Damien is transgender.
  • Robert – bad dad who wears a leather jacket and hanging out at the local bar
  • Joseph – preppy dad who has four children, a wife, and is a youth minister

There’s pretty much a dad for everyone! Right from the start, I knew my first dad pursuit was going to be Damien.

Dream Daddy characters
From left to right: Robert, Damien, Craig, Joseph, Mat, Hugo, Brian

Before we get to the game, a note about these sorts of dating sims and visual novels. It’s been tough to find these sorts of games for women to play in English – where you play a woman and pick from a host of men to romance – and while this isn’t exactly that, I’ll take it. Now, I’ve played some Japanese visual novels before using all manner of computer rigging, such as running a translator program simultaneous with the games. The text would come up on the game, feed into the translator, and hopefully I’d get some readable text. In those narratives, there are usually good endings (happily ever afters) and bad endings.

Trigger Warning
In some of the other games where you play a woman, a bad ending could end in the death of your romantic interest or you could be raped. But there’s nothing quite that bad in this one.

I do know that there are both happy and not very happy endings in “Dream Daddy.” Some players would prefer to collect every ending, but if you’d rather just go for the happy ones and read about what the other ones are, there are guides available online.

Also fair warning: a couple of the dads don’t have HEAs at all and the only ending you get is a “bad” one. You can read about them here and to be honest, I think the reasoning is sound, despite my disappointment.

Before you start the game, you have to create your dad-sona.

My dad-sona - a man in glasses, with a man bun and mustache. He's wearing a blue shirt with a fried egg print over his nipples

I’d like you all to meet Doctor Spaghetti. He has a great backstory – according to Sarah. Doc is a bisexual Italian national. He had his daughter Amanda with his longtime lover/girlfriend who happens to be an international photographer, which is where Amanda got her sweet photog skills. Because of his lover’s hectic, globe-trotting lifestyle, they separated and agreed that Doc would have primary custody of Amanda.

Doc moved to the U.S. to continue his pursuit of a medical career, but soon realized his schedule was becoming just as busy and he didn’t want his daughter to feel neglected by her two incredibly busy parents. So Doc quit his medical career and began pursuing his dream of being a food blogger, making cooking homemade Italian meals approachable for families. As a bonus, Amanda does all the food photography his blog.

Plus, with a name like Doctor Spaghetti, it’s easy to know what he’s about, right from the get go.

Brian, his corgi Maxwell, and his genius 10-year-old daughter in the park
Brian, his genius daughter (who’s ten), and his Corgi, Maxwell.

Most of the game is bopping around town and meeting dads and other residents. You communicate and pick from three conversation options. If a dad likes what you say, hearts pop out and scatter across the screen. You dad-sona also does some pretty dad things, like referring to coffee as “bean juice.”

There are a few mini games involved as well. For example, you and Brian have a brag-off about your daughters and it’s setup like a Pokemon battle where each brag lessens your opponent’s health until one of you reaches zero.

Mat in his coffee shop in all his rambling, awkward glory
Mat in all of his rambling, awkward glory. He also loves puns.

I don’t want to inundate you with too many details and ruin the fun discovery elements of the game, like how and when you encounter characters, so I’ll just move on to my initial thoughts. The game is incredibly text heavy; prepare to do a lot of reading. For me, it’s not a game I can successfully binge play like I would with an RPG game like Fallout 4, where there’s shooting and action. On the bright side, the game will keep you occupied for a long time and you can replay it and pursue other dads.

The inclusiveness of the cast is great and it was honestly tough choosing the dad I wanted to romance. I thought I was set with Damien, but interacting with Brian was really sweet. HE’S SUCH A GREAT DAD TO HIS GENIUS DAUGHTER. There are some fantastic customizable options – you can choose whether Amanda has a mom or two dads, and whether she was adopted or conceived with you partner, which means certain details and interactions can change depending on which options you pick.

I think that’s really the most attractive element of this game: the options. My main critique is that your relationship with your daughter is the most fun and interesting thing. Amanda is funny and confident and such a cool teenager. At times, it overshadowed my interest in romancing DILFs because I just kind of want to hang out with my daughter. To be honest, I’d love a dating simulator in the future with Amanda as the star. Maybe when she starts college?

Amanda during her horse phase.
Amanda during her horse phase.

It’s such a fun game, despite how my attention would wane at times. That just means I have to pace out my play time! The art is wonderful and the dialogue is cute, quirky, and hilarious. Now if only I could get happy endings with all the dads! ARGH! But given the success of Dream Daddy so far, I’d love to see what this team does next.


Dream Daddy is available to purchase and download on Steam.

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August 16th, 2017next

August 16th, 2017: I have deployed EACH of these successfully! Nothing can ever go wrong with these phrases; it is a science fact.

– Ryan

Banded demoiselle

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:39 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] common_nature
Banded demoiselle
Banded demoiselle perched on the roof of the woodshed. The toddler was delighted.

We get these damselflies as well as dragonflies flitting through our canal-side garden every year, but they don’t often stop and say hello.
[personal profile] penta posting in [community profile] factfinding
So, I have another character being drawn up (by another player) for the same game for which I posted highly detailed questions about Israel (admittedly probably too detailed) - only he's playing Russia, and he's trying to draw up a character who served in the Soviet Army as an officer semi-realistically. (It's *after* the character's military career that everything goes interesting.)

I want to write him a summary of the Soviet Army officer's career path, what service branches are available, etc., but nothing I can find tells me the basic stuff. It's all focused on generals and stuff. (Looked on Wiki, looked on Google, neither helped. I found a monograph on dtic.mil that was from 1975 and provided *some* detail, but expected me the reader to know more than I do to make sense of stuff.)

To quote his draft summary: "(1) Early life.  Born in 1959, he follows a similar course to Putin (joining the military instead, but attached as an "adviser" to one of the Soviet Bloc countries after a tour in Afghanistan which gave him a scar on his upper right arm from a Taliban attack).  He resigned with a TBD officer's rank in the middle of the 1991 coup attempt (a la Putin; he's simply younger) rather than join in the attempt (which he percieved as doomed)."

He's trying to figure it out in more detail than that, but the problem is that he (the player) and I (the GM, one of two, responsible for helping him draw up his character - he does the important work of figuring out policies and stuff, the meat of gameplay, himself) can't find anything much about anything re the company-grade and field-grade officers of the Soviet Army and how they were trained, or how their careers progressed, or anything.

In specific:

1. As the character was born in 1959, presume he enters officer training from civilian life sometime around 1977. How long is his officer training, and how is it decided whether he goes, say, infantry or airborne troops?

2. What's the career path like from initial officer training (including "what rank does he enter service at?" - the materials I can find state "Lieutenant", but the Soviet Army has 3 Lieutenant ranks!) to, say, battalion command?

3. What additional school-type training would he undergo during that career path, and at what times during his career? (I can help the player figure out good tour-of-duty mixes once I have that information.)

4. What service arms existed in the Soviet Army? I often hear of officers referred to as a "Colonel of Infantry", "Colonel of Air Defense", "Colonel of Strategic Rocket Forces" - but what are the possible options for the "of x" formula?

5. Were ordinary officers even assigned as "advisors" to Warsaw Pact forces, or only Political Officers?

I know these are really detailed questions in some regard. I'm trying to keep them general, but even the general stuff is hard to figure out. My objectives for this are:

A. Figure out what rank, highest, would have been plausible for what I'm currently thinking is a fairly obscure-ish Russian serving as a Soviet Army Officer from 1977-1991 - if the player wants lower, cool, but I as GM need to have a clue what's "too high".

B. Figure out what his career would have looked like - where would he have served, at what levels, doing what? (Especially key to figure out when he would have served in Afghanistan.)

C. Figure out if the early life posited is *plausible*.

I thus don't need to know deep details (at least not until a player requests a detailed bio of their Russian adversary from their intel people, at which point I may be back...), but only be able to work out a summary. I can do the hard part of the work myself and with the player, but I need help figuring out the foundational stuff before I begin that.

(Edited to add: Link to something Google *did* dredge up for me, and my note that what I was sent was a draft summary of the character, not a full bio. We'll be working on the full bio once we have the summary agreed to.)

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by SB Sarah

This month for Stuff We Like, I want to share some products that, no kidding, have changed my anxiety levels about cleaning things.

Organization Academy

But before I get started, I wanted to give you all a heads up that this fall I’ll be launching the first Organization Academy online course! Yay! Each course will be all about saving time and reducing stress (and creating space for you to do what you’ve been wanting to do), and the first one will focus on Meal Planning Mastery.

You might recall my earlier series here about meal planning and Google Calendar. The course is an expanded version of that series, with worksheets, tutorials, step-by-step guides, and cheatsheets to help organize your meal planning, and help save you time and money doing so.

Basically, if you hate not knowing the answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?” as much as I do, you’ll like this course.

I’ll be announcing the course registration to the Organization Academy mailing list first, so if you’d like more information, plus weekly organization and time saving tips, drop your email right here:

Thank you to everyone who has written to let me know how much they appreciated the packing series! I met a number of people at RWA who said packing cubes changed the way they traveled to Orlando — that’s so cool.

Ok, now on to Stuff We Like! This month: a few items that have recently rocked my world. This one, specifically:

Furs Off Pet Hair Removal Stone

The Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover is about $12.

I have two dogs, and two cats, and they all have fur. All of them, can you believe that? And if you have furry house residents, you probably know that sometimes the hair does not come off, not with the special vacuum, nor with the sticky rolling things.

This stone BLEW MY MIND with how well it took hair off one of our pieces of furniture. It’s basically a glass brick of bubbles, and you rub it over the surface of whatever you’re trying to clean – upholstery, a carpet or rug, car seats or floor mats, whatever.

LOOK AT THIS:

Photograph of purple chaise with hair removal stone and wad of hair I took off the chair with 10 minutes of use

That was about 10 minutes of work on the upholstery.

The hair is mostly from Buzz, who loves the purple chair a lot.

Buzz sitting on the purple chaise next to the stone and the pile of his fur

It might be easier in the long run to train him not to get onto the furniture, I realize, but Buzz the Anxious hides in the chaise when he’s scared or upset. I don’t want to take that away from him, but I also know he gets a lot of hair on that thing.

Check out that pile of hair. It’s like a Furminator for the furniture.

A note: it’s very lightweight, but it is foamed glass, so it will wreak hell on any manicure you might have. Be careful. Also, don’t use it on leather unless you don’t like that leather very much. It’ll scratch the hell out of it.

Seriously, I love this thing. And if you’re weird, like me, and love seeing the before/after transformation of something, this is immensely satisfying with very little effort.

Another item I love that makes me happy every time I use it (it’s a little embarrassing how much glee I get out of this thing) is the Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet, $99: 

Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet in brown with two shoe drawers and a top drawer

This cabinet holds a lot of shoes, and is only 11.75″ (30cm) deep,  so it doesn’t take up much room at all. The big drawers in the middle and bottom tip out to hold pairs of shoes, and the top drawer is where I keep the pet hair remover rollers for clothes, and the new Stone of Hair Magnetry (aka the Fur Zoff) lives in that drawer, too. The only thing it can’t hold well is giant winter boots. Otherwise, most of our shoes are in there.

Part of the reason I’m a little obsessed with furniture is that we just bought a new chair and some side tables (after searching for ages, so making the decision was a rush, too). So not only am I looking at the hair, but I’m also after protecting the tables.

These are cracking me up:

Stone coasters that say Don't Fuck Up the Table

Don’t Fuck Up the Table (Please) Stone Coasters, $34.

Those are a bit of money, though, and if you’re after cute and noticeable, how about small vinyl records?

Six piece vinyl record drink coaster set, $10. 

And speaking of drinking, I have to share these, because they crack me up. Should you need to tote your potent potables incognito, there are terrific options.

Golden Goddess sunscreen flask

Golden Goddess Sunscreen Flask. I found one of these at Target and bought it as a gift for Amanda, and she thought I’d sent her a bottle of sunscreen until I told her to look again. They’re very realistic looking.

Heh heh.

There’s also a two-pack of Sunscreen Tube Flasks for $10:

Sunscreen flask two pack

They’re also available in faux ice pack form, too.

And then, as we transition to fall, there’s the Umbrella Flask, $16: 

BoozeBrella - a flask hidden as a fold up umbrella

And hey, if you’re not interested in hiding your portable potent potables, that’s cool! The Ladies would be delighted to help you out with that:

What surprises have rocked your world lately, or made your living space a little better? Any suggestions or ideas welcome! 

 

hello!

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:33 pm
tvfission: (Default)
[personal profile] tvfission posting in [community profile] addme
ɴᴀᴍᴇ: ᴀʟɪᴄɪᴀ ᴊᴏᴀɴ ᴏʀ ᴀᴊ
ᴀɢᴇ: 25
ʟᴏᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ: ʟᴀs ᴠᴇɢᴀs, ɴᴠ.
 
ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛs ᴀɴᴅ ʜᴏʙʙɪᴇs: I'ᴍ ʀᴇᴀʟʟʏ ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛᴇᴅ ɪɴ ʀᴏʟᴇᴘʟᴀʏɪɴɢ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ᴛᴇɴ ʏᴇᴀʀs ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ɢᴀᴍᴇ. Yɪᴋᴇs! I ᴀʟsᴏ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴅʀᴀᴡ, ᴡʀɪᴛᴇ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴀʙʙʟᴇ ɪɴ ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜʏ. I'ᴍ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴏ ʙᴀᴄᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴄʜᴏᴏʟ ғᴏʀ ɢʀᴀᴘʜɪᴄ ᴅᴇsɪɢɴ. I ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɢʀᴏᴜɴᴅ/ᴀʟᴛᴇʀɴᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴄᴏᴍɪx ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ᴏғ ᴍʏ ғᴀᴠᴏʀɪᴛᴇ ᴀʀᴛɪsᴛs ɪɴᴄʟᴜᴅᴇ Rᴏʙᴇʀᴛ Cʀᴜᴍʙ, Hᴇʀɴᴀɴᴅᴇᴢ Bʀᴏᴛʜᴇʀs, ᴀɴᴅ Cʜᴀʀʟᴇs Bᴜʀɴs. I ᴀʟsᴏ ʀᴇᴀʟʟʏ ʟᴏᴠᴇ Bᴀᴛᴍᴀɴ's ᴠɪʟʟᴀɪɴs ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴ Bᴀᴛᴍᴀɴ ʜɪᴍsᴇʟғ, ʜᴀʜᴀ.

ᴍᴏᴠɪᴇs: Pʜᴀɴᴛᴏᴍ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Pᴀʀᴀᴅɪsᴇ, Rᴏᴄᴋʏ Hᴏʀʀᴏʀ, Dᴏᴏᴍ Gᴇɴᴇʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, Dᴇᴀᴛʜ Pʀᴏᴏғ, Gʜᴏsᴛ Wᴏʀʟᴅ, Pᴜʟᴘ Fɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, Dᴇᴛʀᴏɪᴛ Rᴏᴄᴋ Cɪᴛʏ, Hᴇᴅᴡɪɢ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ Aɴɢʀʏ Iɴᴄʜ, Pʀɪsᴄɪʟʟᴀ: Qᴜᴇᴇɴ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Dᴇsᴇʀᴛ, A Gᴏᴏғʏ Mᴏᴠɪᴇ, Aᴜsᴛɪɴ Pᴏᴡᴇʀs, Sᴏ I Dᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴀɴ As Mᴜʀᴅᴇʀᴇʀ, Mᴀsᴋ, Rᴇsᴇʀᴠᴏɪʀ Dᴏɢs, Kɪʟʟ Bɪʟʟ, ᴇᴛᴄ.

ᴛᴠ sʜᴏᴡs: Tʜᴇ Oғғɪᴄᴇ, Aᴍᴇʀɪᴄᴀɴ Hᴏʀʀᴏʀ Sᴛᴏʀʏ (ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴇxᴄɪᴛᴇᴅ ғᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇxᴛ sᴇᴀsᴏɴ??), Pᴀʀᴋs & Rᴇᴄ, Bʟᴀᴄᴋ Mɪʀʀᴏʀ, Fᴜᴛᴜʀᴀᴍᴀ, Sɪx Fᴇᴇᴛ Uɴᴅᴇʀ, Mᴀᴅ Mᴇɴ, Cʜᴇᴡɪɴɢ Gᴜᴍ, ᴜɴɪᴛᴇᴅ sᴛᴀᴛᴇs ᴏғ ᴛᴀʀᴀ, ᴀɴᴅ sᴏ ᴏɴ!

ᴍᴜsɪᴄ: Pɪxɪᴇs, Tʜᴇ Gʀᴏᴡʟᴇʀs, Tʜᴇ Cʀᴀᴍᴘs, Tʜᴇ Mᴜᴍᴍɪᴇs, Tʜᴇ Sʜɪᴛʙɪʀᴅs, Sʜᴀɴɴᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ Cʟᴀᴍs, Pᴏʀᴛɪsʜᴇᴀᴅ, Sʟᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ Kɪɴɴᴇʏ, Jᴏʏ Dɪᴠɪsɪᴏɴ, 80's/90's ʀ&ʙ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪᴘ-ʜᴏᴘ, ᴀɴᴅ ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟʟʏ ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ. Nᴏᴛ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ɢᴏɴɴᴀ ᴘᴜʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ "ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʙᴜᴛ ʀᴀᴘ ɴ ᴄᴏᴜɴᴛʀʏ" ᴄᴜᴢ I'ᴠᴇ ʟɪᴋᴇᴅ ᴀ ʙɪᴛ ᴏғ ʙᴏᴛʜ.

ʟᴏᴏᴋɪɴɢ ғᴏʀ: Rᴇᴀʟʟʏ, ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʏᴏᴜ sᴇᴇ ʜᴇʀᴇ, ᴀᴅᴅ ᴍᴇ!  Lᴇᴛ's ᴄʜᴀᴛ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜɪɴɢs ᴡᴇ sʜᴀʀᴇ ɪɴ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴏɴ (ᴏʀ ɴᴏᴛ)! Eᴠᴇɴ ɪғ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ's ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʜᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ʟɪᴋᴇ, ᴍᴀʏʙᴇ ᴍʏ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴᴀʟɪᴛʏ ʜᴀs sᴇᴇᴘᴇᴅ ᴛʜʀᴜ ᴡᴇʟʟ ᴇɴᴏᴜɢʜ ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ɪᴍᴘʀᴇssᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀɴᴛ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅs - ʟᴇᴛ's ᴅᴏ ɪᴛ! I'ᴍ ᴠᴇʀʏ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀsᴛᴀɴᴅɪɴɢ. Sᴏᴍᴇᴛɪᴍᴇs I'ᴍ ғᴜɴɴʏ. Bᴜᴛ I'ᴍ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ᴡɪʟʟɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʟɪsᴛᴇɴ ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ɪᴛ. Wᴇ'ʀᴇ ᴀʟʟ ɢᴏɪɴɢ ᴛʜʀᴜ sᴛᴜғғ ᴀɴᴅ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ɪs ɴɪᴄᴇ. I ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ sᴀʏ ʜᴏᴡ ᴏғᴛᴇɴ I'ʟʟ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ʙᴜᴛ I ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴇɴᴛ!
 
ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴇʟsᴇ: I'ᴍ sᴛɪʟʟ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʀᴏᴄᴇss ᴏғ sᴇᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴍʏ ʙʟᴏɢ ᴜᴘ ᴀɴᴅ ɢᴇᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ɢᴏɪɴɢ, ʙᴜᴛ! ᴘʟᴇᴀsᴇ ᴘᴏɪɴᴛ ᴍᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ᴀ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ʀᴘɢ (ʜᴇʀᴇ ᴏʀ ᴇʟsᴇᴡʜᴇʀᴇ, I'ᴍ ғᴜʟʟʏ ɪɴᴠᴇsᴛᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴊᴏɪɴɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴛʏ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ!) ᴀɴᴅ I'ʟʟ ʀᴇᴛᴜʀɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴋɪɴᴅɴᴇss ᴡɪᴛʜ ʟɪɴᴋs ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʙsᴏʟᴜᴛᴇ ʙᴇsᴛ ᴘᴜᴘᴘʏ ᴠɪᴅᴇᴏs ᴇᴠᴇʀ! Wᴇʟʟ, ᴇᴠᴇɴ ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ I'ʟʟ sᴛɪʟʟ sᴇɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴛᴏ ʏᴀ. ;)

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November 2016

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