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Sometimes Complain, Sometimes Explain

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.05

What the hell, maybe we can exorcise the lingering bad feelings about Bitch PhD's delinking here. I've avoided explaining why I delinked her and Atrios, but now that I'm not quite so angry, I'm willing to get into again.

The assumption, from what people have said on the blog and in emails to me, seems to be that I was annoyed at being called a sexist, or that I was uncomfortable with a strong woman's voice. Both assumptions are false.

As I've mentioned, B and I had corresponded about her commenting, and here's what I wrote to her regarding the comment thread about Kevin Drum's "where are all the women political bloggers?" posts.

What I mind, as I tried to say in the last email, are statements that impute a particular state of mind or belief or motive to the person you're disagreeing with. When you say things like, "I'm just a humorless feminist bitch," or "I'll just go the back of the bus," or "I'm just an illogical girl," or "Why will it be different now, because it's Kevin Drum?" my reaction is, "No one fucking said X, and no one would say X," so it's unfair to phrase things as if that's what you're fighting. It's only a tiny bit different, to my mind, from attributing a quote to someone who didn't say it. That's what really bothers me, not the substance of the discussion. If you don't do that, I don't care what else you do.

B responded, and I clarified.

I'm not making a complicated point here. I'm not opposed to drawing out the subtext, or arguing that innocuous seeming argument A actually takes us to pernicious argument T. I'd be perfectly satisfied if your remarks were prefaced with "Isn't the subtext/conclusion of what you said, X?" Or, even, "Hey, moron, when you say B, you're in effect advocating for X." But the fact that you think something is the subtext or conclusion doesn't warrant what amounts to the actual attribution of that belief to the person who made the original point. That's bullying.

That was my original complaint, but note that we wrapped up that exchange on March 11 (I delinked on the 20th), and B continued to comment here. We had another testy exchange (I was testy) on the 18th, but that wasn't about commenting.

So, yes, I was annoyed with B, but we were mucking along. Then, she wrote a post on the Volokh "violent punishment" affair that I thought (and still think) was so far over the line of intellectual dishonesty that I needed to do something to distance myself from her, *and* I thought the post was unfair to me personally, *and* since I was already annoyed, I figured, "fuck it, let's just be done with this."

First and biggest problem with her post: the complete unargued conflation of Volokh's approval of violent execution with approval of torture. (I think any potential argument that violent execution amounts to torture is completely specious here: given what's been going on in the world, we all know, or should know, exactly what will be understood when we accuse someone of being for torture.) I was extra annoyed because I've been very clear on the blog about my opposition to torture, but was, for a time, supportive of Volokh's proposal, so I felt the unfairness of the conflation more stingingly. Furthermore, the very question had come up in the comments here, and I'd explained why I thought the situations were clearly different. I have no idea whether B read that exchange; it doesn't really matter, but again, the conflation bothered me the more.

Second problem: as I tried to explain in my emails, I find statements like "I was too busy painting my nails to be paying attention to 'politics' that day" and "I know, just like a girl to get all emotional"...what's the word?...uncongenial.

Finally, the occasion of B's post was that Volokh had changed his mind, and B wrote,

And apparently a number of people seem to think that this is real big of him.

My post was linked at "people" in her sentence. My post reads, in its entirety:

Eugene Volokh changes his mind about cruel punishments after reading Mark Kleiman.
via matt y

Ben W-lfs-n notes in B's comments,

Linking to ogged's post in that sentence strikes me as disingenuous. I read it as more of a head's-up than a congratulation of Volokh.

B responds, in comments,

Ben, in light of the previous discussion, I'm not so sure.
However, on second thought, I'll amend slightly.

I have no idea whether she amended or not, though I hope that what was left up wasn't the more fair version. I'm also not sure what "previous discussion" she means, but I don't care: I made the post as short and neutral as possible; there's no fair way to read it as saying that I think it's big of Volokh to have changed his mind.

So, I delinked her. I didn't know whether that would cause her to stop commenting, and, as I've said, I didn't feel it was my place to demand that she stop, but I certainly hoped that she would.

Then I saw that Atrios had linked approvingly to her post. I've had my complaints about Atrios in the past, and I thought that if he was willing to happily sign on to the conflation of violent execution with torture, I didn't want him on my blogroll either.

(Why is Insty still on the blogroll? No good reason, really: he's iconic, in his way, and I do think he needs to be engaged insofar as we want to discuss some things with our fellow citizens on the right, and there's certainly no chance that his views will be mistaken for my views, but eventually, I think that link will go away too.)

Now B doesn't comment here anymore, and yes, I like it better that way. I do hope that we've all calmed down enough that if anyone still feels like discussing this, we can be reasonably civil (though I still fully expect Mithras to tell me I have no balls, hate women, and will never get laid again, or something along those lines). I should put that more definitively: if we discuss this, we will discuss it civilly. Don't make me delete shit, we're not twelve (well, maybe some of you are, but then you should be smoking weed and downloading porn, not reading about blog spats).


 

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Let's See W Mangle This One

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.05

"Fooling" is old-timey, and I feel I'm witnessing the birth of the 21st century American vernacular--someone came searching for "shit on me once."


 

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Follow Up

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.05

Not so very long ago, Walter S. claimed in comments that Bitch PhD had said in a chat that men "are not allowed to have an opinion" about abortion. I think Prof. B was ably and decisively defended in that thread, but now that she's posted her own response, it's only fair to link to it.

You'll note, you quarrelsome bastards, that comments are closed on this one.


 

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Lab Chicks

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.05

A very good Times article about women in the sciences. Power paragraph:

...men are given longer letters of recommendation than women, and their letters are more focused on relevant credentials. Men and women are more likely to vote to hire a male job applicant than a woman with an identical record. Women applying for a postdoctoral fellowship had to be 2.5 times as productive to receive the same competence score as the average male applicant. When orchestras hold blind auditions, in which they cannot see the musician, 30 percent to 55 percent more women are hired.

And then there's this.

...only about half the pool of women earning Ph.D.'s in biology and chemistry are even applying for junior faculty jobs at elite research universities...

Yup. Ex got her PhD in science from probably the best department in her field in the country, and she's not looking for an academic job. She didn't talk much in terms of gender and gender discrimination, but it was clearly a big part of her decision. From the lack of female role models, to predatory or just gross mentors and colleagues, to the kinds of speech and interaction that were valued and rewarded, it's really amazing how much more--simply more--women have to deal with. It's part of their day to day navigation in a way that's really hard for men to even see, let alone preemptively counteract.

So, yes, I still think the Michael Lewis article is funny, and I really don't think women should wear high heels, but here's a bit of advice anyway, and I'm sure some of you already do these things, and others besides: when you're in a meeting or seminar and a woman says "Isn't it possible that..." or "I was wondering if..." and everybody ignores her, bring it back up, and give her credit. And when a few of you decide to go out after class/work/etc., invite the woman too, and just trust that it doesn't mean you have to marry her.


 

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Triumph of the Lumpenproletariat

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.05

I'm starting to feel like a pimp. An intimidated pimp.


 

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Shut Down the CTA!

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.05

I do love Mimi.

The blonde child is not your ordinary Caucasian poppet; she is perfectly turned out in tiny denim skirt and matching jacket, snow-white Nikes with pink swoosh, and long ringlets of curling-ironed hair held in place by an arcane scaffolding of bows and barrettes. There is something oddly fake about her demeanor, and she keeps glancing around the train and smiling at strangers like she's posing for the pageant judges. Something about her grates on my last remaining nerve, and when she turns the charm in my direction, I make eye contact but stare back, expressionless, for a few beats too long and then pointedly look away. Yes, I gave the fish-eye to a child. Yes, I am evil. Yes, I hate myself. And yes, it did feel kind of good. At the time. Small dark cold triumph leading to self-loathing leading to hand-wringing diary entry about the minutiae of my reactions to an inconsequential event: yep, it's lather, rinse, repeat in Smartypants world! These entries practically write themselves!

And

That SAME DAY, I boarded the bus, sat down, and was promptly pointed at and called an "AIDS-infected whore" by some smelly wild-eyed bag lady, who then sat behind me stinking up the place and muttering a stream of insults at the back of my head. I plugged myself into the iPod once it became clear that none of her wackjob monologue was going to be funny or interesting. When I got off the bus and it sat at the red light, I could not resist going up to her window and exaggeratedly giving her the finger and mouthing the words KRAY-ZEE BITCH, and then enjoying the spectacle of Angry Frothing Bag Lady pounding on the window as the bus pulled away. It was out of character, as usually I am quite kind to the mentally ill, but she totally started it.

 

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An Apology

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.05

You know, I think I did a snarky post or comment about Crooked Timber and their crappy commenters, and forgot to mention that Ted Barlow rocks (I can never remember who the hell blogs there; I still think of all the ones I read before CT as only blogging at their home blogs.)


 

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Self-Help

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.05

In content and in context, very funny...

...to answer Matt Y's question.


 

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The Army of Love

Posted by Ogged
on 04.14.05

Because life is funny, ex and ex-before-last are hanging out together this weekend, and they have one job: find me a wife. They've known each other for longer than I've known either of them, and it was ex-before-last, with whom my relationship was always a bit fluid, who introduced me to ex:

"Do you want to come to dinner with me and ex?"

"What's she like?"

"She's tall and beautiful."

"Ok."

Yes, I remember it well. In any case, they're at the same college club reunion at which they met originally, and I figure that if this club was good enough to produce the best exes ever, the third time might be the charm. And who better than one's exes, really, to decide whether a pairing is suitable? I wish you luck, best exes! Don't let any of that reunion shit distract you!


 

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A.C. Otter

Posted by Ogged
on 04.14.05

Congratulations to the mommy otter.


 

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Alas

Posted by Ogged
on 04.14.05

A few nights ago, I saw Downfall, which I quite liked, particularly for the fact that humanizing monsters makes tales of atrocity more cautionary, and because, as everyone says, Bruno Ganz's portrayal of Hitler is astounding.

In my quest for immortality, after the movie I really wanted to turn to the person I was with and say, just loud enough to be overheard, "So, apparently this Hitler guy didn't personally kill anyone." But, I was alone, and the world is one "You'll never believe what some idiot said" story poorer.


 

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Awkward Questions

Posted by Unf
on 04.14.05

Via Atrios:

WHEN U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (above) spoke Tuesday night at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, "The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex," our source reports. "One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer."

I believe the question is usually phrased as, "How long has it been since you sodomized your wife?"


 

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The Fucking Closet?!?

Posted by Alameida
on 04.14.05

Umm, WTF to the power of 10,000?

A man was beaten to death after catching his wife's lover living in a closet in their home, police said Tuesday. Rafael DeJesus Rocha-Perez, 35, was charged with homicide in the slaying of 44-year-old Jeffrey A. Freeman over the weekend.

Freeman's wife had allowed Rocha-Perez to live in a closet of the Freemans' four-bedroom home for about a month without her husband's knowledge, police said. On Sunday, her husband heard Rocha-Perez snoring and discovered him, authorities said.

Did I mention it was the closet? Umm, and "about a month"? Just checking.


 

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Till The Cows Go Home

Posted by Ogged
on 04.13.05
The researchers timed ejaculations by giving stopwatches to the sex partners of more than 1,500 men.

Bwhahaha! Of course, what they measured was time to ejaculation, otherwise knows as IELT, intravaginal ejaculatory latency time. I don't really understand how they decide what the cutoff is for "premature" vs. what? "ripe" ejaculation, but, in any case, what the scientists say is that two minutes is too fast, and seven minutes is about average.

Now, y'all just feel free to jump into the comments (anonymously, if you have to) with whatever you have to say about this. But I'm going to skirt the boy issues, because I'm more curious about another angle: how long, generally speaking, does it take the ladies to get tired? When is the "just come already!" moment? (It depends on the situation yadda yadda, I know, but if we're going to stopwatch the men, the women can give ballpark). I think a lot of guys believe that the ideal is to just go indefinitely, and that the longer you hold out, the better. Speaking as someone who can go for as long as the crowd keeps throwing money, I can tell you that this isn't true: polite boys quit. But I'd rather hear it from the ladies.


 

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No One Can Resist

Posted by Ogged
on 04.13.05

So, there was a woman in college, beautiful and elegant, who I really should have asked out (who's elegant in college? exactly). But I was busy with my terrible first, and never did. I've googled her since then, of course, but her name is not only pretty common, but she shares it with another woman who graduated from the same college in the same year. Google hell. But what I've realized is that bloggers who are looking for long lost people can use reverse-googling: mention the person on the blog, because everyone googles himself sooner or later. You could just say "Hey, Betty Sue Gingersnaps, email me!" and sooner or later, Betty Sue would see it. I'm not going to do it in this case, because I'm pseudonymous, for one, and I don't want to embarrass this woman, but I think it's a neat idea.


 

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Worldwide

Posted by Ogged
on 04.13.05

I just got one of those phishing scams--send us your bank account info so we can send you the money you've won--but it was a physical letter and...from Spain. I'm kind of flattered, actually.


 

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The Varieties of Human Experience

Posted by Ogged
on 04.13.05

Right now, I'm stupid. You know when you're running some huge task in the background on your computer, and you can hear it thrashing, and you try to open something else and it takes forever, if it doesn't just crash? That's my brain. You see, my eyes aren't aligned quite properly, so it takes a bit of mental effort to focus and not see double. Every couple of years, they just give up, and I need to switch from the contacts I normally wear to glasses for a month or so until they re-adjust--like a reboot. (In its utterly mysterious remedial powers, just like a reboot, in fact.) If I don't switch (as I haven't now, because my glasses aren't ready yet), just seeing takes all my brain power. I walk around with a glazed look; when people ask me questions, I just stare at them for a second before I can think of a response; sentences that should take ten seconds to write take a minute; simple problems are overwhelming; people make jokes and I can't think of rejoinders; I see the President on TV and think "Just let him do his job already!" etc. I'm not making any of this up (maybe that last one, a little).

Let me tell you friends, being stupid sucks. People look at you like you're stupid, for one thing. Even on the phone with friends, I can tell they're thinking, "Jesus, Ogged must be depressed, he's got nothing interesting to say." Life goes from being a bunch of interesting things to ponder to an undifferentiated mass of obstacles to navigate.

But, but, here's the important part: even as an idiot, I know I'm an idiot. So people who are idiots permanently, and don't apologize constantly, should still be mocked. "But Ogged! If they've never been non-idiots, how can they know they're idiots!?" Trust me, they know. Who's been there, huh? When everyone else seems to know what the fuck is going on, and you don't, that's a clue even an idiot can understand.

Ok, seriously, when some stupid person is making your life difficult, try to be nice, because it's usually harder for them than it is for you. Snore. Just be nice to me for the next week, I don't really care what you do to your fellow leuten.

And finally, let me heartily recommend becoming the opposite of what you think you are, at least for a while. For most of my life, I've been skinny, but I spent a couple of years being overweight, and while I didn't enjoy it, I'm grateful for the experience. People's insanity about their bodies and food makes a lot more sense now, and while I'm not any nicer to fat people, my conscience bothers me more. Now I'm stupid, and it sucks, but people's insecurities and compensatory behaviors also make more sense.

So, this is all by way of saying that I haven't managed to go on hiatus because I can't enjoy anything very much at the moment, and clicking links and posting to the blog are about the right speed.


 

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Another wedding announcement

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 04.13.05

I post this because "Dingperson" made me laugh. And because I had to post something on pain of forgetting how to use this here internets.


 

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Lentil Soup

Posted by Alameida
on 04.13.05

Cooking can be easy.

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 T olive oil

10 pieces okra, cut into rounds on the diagonal

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 bag lentils, any type (but those lentilles du Puy are nice) or split peas

2 cans low-sodium chicken broth (Swanson's is best)

2 bay leaves

1 can italian plum tomatoes in sauce

6 sausages, plus more olive oil

black pepper

1. Heat oil in cast-iron dutch oven (or other heavy-bottomed big old pot). Fry onion for 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add garlic and fry one more minute, till fragrant.

2. Add lentils or peas, broth (plus water as needed just to cover), carrot, okra, and bay leaf. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer.

3. Fry sausages in some more olive oil, pricking all over with a fork and turning frequently, till done; remove to paper-towel lined plate.

4. Add tomatoes and their liquid to soup; bust them up with the side of a wooden spoon.

5. By now, it's probably been 20 minutes or so; the lentils might be done or might take another ten minutes (I agree that Unf's lentils were old.) Cut the sausages into rounds on the diagonal and add them to the soup.

6. Add pepper as needed; serve soup with a dollop of sour cream or full-fat yogurt on top, lemon wedges to sqeeze in, and tabasco to add as desired. Some chopped green onion would be nice, too. Also, saltines. And a salad.


 

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Terrorism For Me, But Not For Thee

Posted by Alameida
on 04.13.05

Nice.

"Mr. Posada has never been convicted of any terrorist act," said Santiago Alvarez, a Miami developer who is a close friend of Posada, whom he calls a hero. "He's been a fighter against Castro all his life. He advocates violence, but that does not mean violence and terrorism are the same thing."...

Trained by the CIA in the use of explosives as part of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, Posada has been linked through the years with the bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner that killed 73 people; bombings in Cuban tourist hotels that killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 other people; and a 2000 plot to assassinate Castro in Panama.

Totally deserves asylum, right?


 

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Ogged is on Hiatus, This Post is by his Hormones

Posted by Ogged
on 04.12.05

Profgrrrrl.

Like her commenters say, dig the dress, boots, smirk, and scarf, but most of all, dig the wires in the background, the chair just in view. I think PG just sat down where she was and said "do it now musey."


 

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Unf Two Ways

Posted by Ogged
on 04.11.05

Oh what the hell, if I'm going to be sitting at the computer, emailing with the boss, I might as well blog a bit.

Unf's recipe blogging inspired me to do a little cookin', and I decided to make it a full homage (French pronunciation, please) to my illustrious co-blogger. Here's the story.

Unf and his lovely lady were in town a few weeks ago, and we went out for some yummy shabu-shabu. So tonight I headed to my local Whole Foods (have I really not blogged about asking out the produce girl at Whole Foods? She said no ("seeing someone"), but she still friggin' works there a year later, so it's torture to shop there. (I told her, when she turned me down, that I would continue to shop there and wasn't stalking her, which is more "clever stalker" than "reassuring guy," probably.)) and picked up the following ingredients.

Soft french roll

Sirloin steak

Orange bell pepper

Yellow onion

One bag hacho miso

One bottle soy sauce

Cut the onion and bell pepper into thin slices (add a bit of garlic if you like); saute in olive oil and set aside (the later you do this, the warmer they'll be, and warm is good)

Cut the steak into very thin slices

To about 6 cups of water, add oh, I dunno, probably a quarter bottle of soy sauce and about 3 tablespoons of miso. Bring to a boil.

Shabu shabu that meat, baby. Dip it in the boiling water, swish around for about six or seven seconds, and put it in your "done meat" pile (if I'd had a properly large pot, I probably could have dipped the meat in all at once with a strainer).

Put the cooked meat and sauteed yummies on the roll (I added a bit of mustard), and you have yourself one very good hot sandwich.


 

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Recipe Blogging

Posted by Unf
on 04.11.05

Recipe blogging is always popular on the internets. Allow me to share a recipe I just created. Its actually more of a series of steps to take while attempting to make lentil soup with sausage. I call it my recipe for hot rancid ass.

- First, do not bother to actually measure the amount of salt you add. Just pour freely.

- Second, pick out a suasage that turns out to be much spicier (this assumes you're not a fan of spicy foods) than you thought. I suggest Turkey Andouille (sp?) from Whole Foods.

- Third, add the sausage at the start of cooking, and not at the end. This way, all of the extra salt and spices in the sausage leach out into the broth.

- Fourth, become very impatient after about 40 minutes of cooking the lentils. Insist to yourself that the soup is done, even though the lentils still taste like little pebbles.

The end product is sort of like really hot sea water with pebbles. Mmmm, mmmm, good. Don't let anybody ever tell you cooking is easy.


 

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Scientists are such jerks

Posted by Unf
on 04.11.05

They say the Bush Administration is hostile to much of modern science. But the hostility goes two ways, people. A selection of the grafitti spotted at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry (where exactly in the museum, I leave to your imagination):

If you voted for George W. Bush, you can't shit here. Your asshole is in Washington.

 

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Solvet Saeclum In Favilla

Posted by Alameida
on 04.10.05

I know what you're thinking. "Where does Unfogged stand on the crucial 'the Pope is still dead' issue?" I hear you. The recent weeks' wall-to-wall Pope alla time coverage has given me the chance I needed to reflect on what I personally found most important about Pope John Paul II. It was hard to narrow it down here, but I've done my best.
1. The Pope could fly. Come on, chausables and albs wafting in the breeze, little Papish feet shod in Italian leather hanging down. How cool was that? Seriously, the Pope can't be faded. The Patriarch of the Orthodox Church only wishes he had the power to fly.
2. Magic laser eye beams that could defeat Communism. Where would some commmited union leaders and a bunch of absurdist playwright dissidents have been without vital air support from the Pope's laser eyebeams? The basement of Lubyanka, that's where.
So, looking ahead. Since America is a totally Catholic nation, and I am in touch with the beating spiritual heart of America I feel confident in my pronouncements about the future. It seems clear that the College of Cardinals will appoint Giblets as our new Holy Father. Seriously, who's the competition? Some African Bishop? A Guatemalan Cardinal? A seventy-year-old Italian guy? I laugh. There ain't no one more papabile than Giblets. You look up papabile in the super-secret dictionary they keep in the Vatican, and there's a picture of Giblets sneering back at you. I sneaked in one time, so I'm not even kidding. GIB-LETS! GIB-LETS! GIB-LETS!


 

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