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B-Dub Style

Posted by Ogged
on 05.19.07

Ben says he finds the woman in the opening of the video linked below "unbearably attractive." I say she has an evil vibe (not so much in that video). I think he should pursue her. There's no guarantee, after all, that it will go like this.


 

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Basketball

Posted by Ogged
on 05.19.07

Some great NBA posts recently at ESPN.

Simmons is totally right about flopping. (Point #3.)

Simmons (Point #4) is right about Lebron. Abbott and Dwyer are both right about Jordan.

Abbott is right about the Suns, and particularly about D'Antoni.


 

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Youth At Work

Posted by Ogged
on 05.19.07

I'm pulling this feel-good video up from a long comment thread, because feeling good is what this blog is all about.

Seems like the kind of place you might like to work. Or not.

Such a pathetic comment thread, with so much to work with. These folks kicked our ass on this one.

Happy-go-lucky fucking extroverts. Maybe if I concentrate hard enough, I can give one of them cancer. I'll try for whoever managed to get their mouth open the widest.

I just want to go and wipe myself down with some goths.

We used to be funny!


 

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Sacrifice

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.19.07

Matt Diaz is a hero.

Matt Diaz was a Navy lawyer with 18 years of military experience when duty called at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Six months there broke him. Now, in a case that reflects the fierce dissent within the U.S. government over the war on terrorism, the lieutenant commander faces a court-martial that could send him to prison for at least 14 years.

A jury convicted him late Thursday, and the sentencing phase of the case is set to begin Friday. Cmdr. Diaz is on trial because of actions he took after concluding - as many of higher rank have - that the Bush administration's offshore detention camp for terrorism suspects was making a mockery of American justice.

"My oath as a commissioned officer is to the Constitution of the United States," Cmdr. Diaz told The Dallas Morning News in his first public comments on the case. "I'm not a criminal."

In early 2005, as he was concluding a six-month tour of duty as a Guantánamo legal adviser, Cmdr. Diaz sent an anonymous note to a New York civil liberties group containing the names of the detainees.

The judge has barred the defense from explaining Diaz's motives, and he didn't testify during the guilt-innocence phase. He is being prosecuted for leaking the detainees' information, despite the fact that the federal courts ruled the names public information shortly afterward, as a result of the AP lawsuit. Which, sure, letter of the law, yadda yadda yadda, but I can't imagine a better case for a pardon.

And for contrast.


 

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I roll w/ the Dark Side

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.19.07

Via Galley Slaves, uh, some Star Wars gangsta rap. Slow start, but Ogged's verse is pretty sweet.

I'm a nerd.


 

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Chickenfingers!

Posted by Ogged
on 05.18.07

You knew it was just a matter of time before McCain had one of his temper tantrums. Keep in mind that Cornyn is also a Republican.

At a bipartisan gathering in an ornate meeting room just off the Senate floor, McCain complained that Cornyn was raising petty objections to a compromise [immigration] plan being worked out between Senate Republicans and Democrats and the White House. He used a curse word associated with chickens and accused Cornyn of raising the issue just to torpedo a deal.

Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. "Wait a second here," Cornyn said to McCain. "I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line."
McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).
"[Expletive] you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room," shouted McCain at Cornyn.

Now we're just waiting for Giuliani.


 

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Background Noise: Hazardous

Posted by Ogged
on 05.18.07

Just ran into a former co-worker at the grocery store. He introduced me to his toddler, who I was pretty sure he didn't have when we worked together.

Me: She's new, right?
Him: [Taken aback] She's mine, yes.


 

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A Very Boy Post

Posted by Ogged
on 05.18.07

Don't mess with the man in black. It's like a video game with this guy. And remember: a numerical advantage doesn't help if you take turns.

And: Some debate in the comments about whether the ads on the linked page are safe for work.


 

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Just because Ogged doesn't have to worry...

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.18.07

...doesn't mean the rest of us are all right. Dan Savage:

First the bad news--and you better sit down, because it's really, really bad: If you and your girlfriend have had more than five oral-sex partners in your lives, PBA, you are both 250 percent more likely to develop throat cancer than some sad asshole who's never had oral sex.

Maybe Rene the French fighter pilot had the right idea after all.


 

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We won in Vietnam, we'll win in Iraq!

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.18.07

Infiltrating the Protest Warriors.

The enraged-looking man fumes at us and waves his hands around furiously. "You look like a brave guy--why aren't you fighting there? You got that hat and that American flag bandana. Why aren't you fighting there?!"

I get defensive. "Sir, first: Don't criticize my American flag bandana. Secondly, I'd fight if I could stick to the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy." I make a dreamy look.


 

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Asshole

Posted by Ogged
on 05.18.07

I want to kill the person who wrote this post.


 

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Yeah, Yeah, So Maybe I'm Easing Back In. But Mostly I Just Have A Question.

Posted by LizardBreath
on 05.18.07

Is anyone else who has Verizon as their ISP unable to get to John Edwards' website? For small-business-related reasons, we've got internet access though Verizon on one of the networks at home, and another ISP on the other network, and the Verizon network hasn't been able to get to Edwards' site for at least a month now. Is this just us, or what?


 

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Let's Have Auditions

Posted by Ogged
on 05.17.07

Beth and Val are kinda funny, but there must be some combination of two or three Unfogged commenters who would be much more funny. It's like we lack ambition, even by online community standards.


 

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Follow-Up To A Very Very Boring Swimming Post

Posted by Ogged
on 05.17.07

Ever since will told me yesterday that my kicking time is the fastest in all of human history pretty fast "for a non-swimmer," I've been living in DREAD. What if, I thought, I'd made some characteristic and elementary mistake, like thinking I'd left on the :10 when I'd left on the :00? What if, even worse, I'd done some self-dealing and decided that the time it took to turn my face away from the clock at the start and toward it at the end must be good for, oh, about two seconds? What if I really had gone :42, but never would again? Why have I been spending so much time on the elliptical? My legs are dead! I'm going to have to admit to the blog that I'm a big, big liar.

So, I grabbed my board today and decided bring on the arrythmia; I'm going :42 or I'm going to bust a nut trying. And sure enough, I came in on :42 on the nose. There ya go, will. Your turn, Jake.

(FYI: I tried dolphin kicking a length. Did it on my stomach in 18 seconds. No idea if that's fast or slow. I feel like I could definitely go faster on my back and with some practice.)


 

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Guys Should Make Passes At Girls Who Take Classes

Posted by Becks
on 05.17.07

This article completely reflects my experiences taking classes anywhere I've lived. Every time I've taken an art or cooking or whatever class, it's been full of women, many of them hoping that the class would be full of cute single guys that they could meet. Bummer for the ladies but those of you guys who are always complaining it's hard to meet girls? Sign up for some! The odds will totally be in your favor and you'll have something to talk about and a shared interest.


 

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Reaction Time

Posted by Ogged
on 05.17.07

Driving back from the pool, I pulled up to a light alongside a cute young Asian woman wearing oversized sunglasses. I looked at her, she looked into my soul, I looked back into her soul, etc. The light turned green and I heard a rumbling from the side and had vague thoughts that there must be a motorcycle on the other side of the cute Asian chick. But no, she was racing me; she gunned the engine and cut in front of me. I was all "Wait! Are we racing? Are we race-flirting?!" It'd been so long, and I could barely remember the rules! She was ahead of me at the next light, and she looked into my soul from her side mirror and I looked back into her soul, etc. Then, like a fool, I let someone cut in on the merge onto the expressway, and aviator Asian girl was gone like a fucking rocket. I was doing my normal 80-85, thinking "Wait! The rules are coming back to me now!" But she kept increasing the gap and I, betraying my age, thought "I'm not going to go 95 on a two-mile section of road with five off/on ramps just to catch her, because now I remember that race-flirting is totally pointless." Fucking hell.


 

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That Ocean Thing Is Bothering Me

Posted by Ogged
on 05.17.07

Typically, the Times mashes two very different issues together: there's a guy who's very sensitive to noise (I hear ya, brother) and there are rich folks for whom ultra-quiet has become another luxury good. The latter seems to me of a piece with the general flight from human contact that's rooted in the atomistic American conceptions of autonomy and freedom, and which I'd guess is the impulse behind sprawl. (A more sympathetic understanding might look at the general unlivability of modern urban life.)


 

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Back To Work

Posted by Ogged
on 05.17.07

In order to depress you on this workday morning, I present this chart of legislated time off in OECD countries. The US is last, what with not requiring any paid holidays at all. Ezra has the explanation. But I'd also like to see charts of actual paid time off by income, and time off taken by income. I can lament this as reflective of America's priorities and as a matter of justice for the lower class, but I get something like five weeks paid time off, not including national holidays, which are also paid. Knowing who's getting what would help know if a politician could make any hay with this issue, and how to go about it.


 

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I am a bad person.

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.16.07

But this just warms my heart: Fred Phelps and family will be protesting at Jerry Falwell's funeral.


 

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Things, The Awesomeness Of Which You Might Have Momentarily Forgotten

Posted by Ogged
on 05.16.07

J.J. Cale.

Grapefruit.


 

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Corrective

Posted by Ogged
on 05.16.07

The Times does a Hamas and Fatah are fighting piece, but even yesterday, Tony Karon was saying that much more complicated games are afoot, with the US trying to subvert Palestinian democracy and install an autocrat you probably haven't heard of.


 

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Some Very Very Boring Swimming Questions

Posted by Ogged
on 05.16.07

What's a good time to kick (flutter kick with a kickboard) 25/50yds in? Or what's the range from good to great to extraordinary? I'm doing 25 in 20 seconds, and can do the same coming back, with whatever time it takes me to turn tacked on.

And what should be the rough ratio of kick time to swim time? I'm doing 50yd free in about 30 seconds and 50yd kick in 40-42 seconds. Normal? Weak kick? Weak arms? Do tell.


 

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Book Review

Posted by Becks
on 05.16.07

TryBecca puts up a list of 10 books that would make her change seats if a person near her was reading them on the train. I think she's missed some.


 

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Things That Make Me Love Humanity

Posted by Ogged
on 05.16.07


 

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Mandom

Posted by Ogged
on 05.16.07

The Mandom ad can't possibly get enough attention. Talk about the construction of masculinity. The whole thing is like a parody of manliness: old people and black folks perform for him and crave his attention, he drives really fast, he shoots guns, he smokes a pipe, he rides a horse, and oh, yeah, he slathers smelly stuff on when he's alone in his apartment at the end of a long day. Mandom!

The explanation of what the admakers were up to is here. Thanks to GB for the pointer.


 

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Really, Still On Hiatus, But I Wanted To Link This Post Of Heebie's

Posted by LizardBreath
on 05.16.07

It's on where a lot of her emotional heat around feminism and presenting oneself as sexual comes from:

I feel like I'm split. I feel like I either am being Heebie, who is androgynous, or a Sexy Woman, but never both. Even when I'm wearing something hot - and believe me, I've got an awesome fucking wardrobe - I think that as soon as my personality comes out, I cease to be sexy.
I know intellectually, that when my personality comes out, I cease to be sexy to some people, and become sexy to other people, and who the hell cares anyway? Since when do I care about being sexy to a faceless public? I don't. I don't actually care. But I'm aware of whether or not I'm being conventionally sexy. Having a run-at-the-mouth personality does not follow the Sexy Script of The United States. My superego lets me know exactly when I stop obeying the Sexy Script. I'm always aware.


There's a bunch more that you should go and read. But this rang absolutely true to me. Talking about things like men evaluating women's bodies, and strippers, and all that kind of crap gets heated, or I get heated, because on one level it feels like it's about me, or at least about my life back when I was single. The 'Sexy Script' is an upsetting thing to be aware of, because it works really well -- if you want male attention as a sexually appealing woman, which most single straight women do, doing conventionally femme schtick gets you much, much, much more attention. But it doesn't allow for telling dopey jokes, or pontificating, or comfortable shoes, all of which are a big part of how I get through my days.

Now, of course you can have a heterosexual sex life without acting like that, but it's easy to feel as if you can't -- like you can either relax or be a sexual person, but not both. And you know, the sex drive is a powerful thing but so is the drive to pontificate while wearing sneakers -- you put those two things in conflict, and you end up all tied up in knots about it (or I do, and Heebie's knots sound recognizably similar). And so conversations about how attractively or effectively someone else is performing the Sexy Script -- both bodily and behaviorly -- turn into places where all that hostility tends to get redirected at the people appreciating the performance, as the source of the pressure.

Really, you should go read Heebie's post -- it catches the feeling of it really clearly.


 

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Quit It

Posted by Becks
on 05.16.07

I can't tell you how many articles I've seen on abortion in the last few weeks that have used a picture like this:

as a shorthand to represent the issue. The latest offender is the NYT's article on last night's GOP debate. Yes, it's colorful. Yes, it's attention-getting. I'm sure that's why journalists go for it. But I think it's far too biased and inflammatory to be the de facto illustration of the issue. And I think it misrepresents the issue -- what is it claiming, exactly? That people against abortion are being denied freedom of speech?


 

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Left Behind

Posted by Becks
on 05.16.07

While not full of earth-shattering revelations, I liked this Styles piece from over the weekend about the stuff people "forget" to pack when they move out of their apartments. I'm a terrible offender in that department since I'm usually trying to cram packing and moving into a single weekend and am unable to throw anything away. The new person might throw my stuff out but leaving it there at least lets me believe in the polite fiction that my perfectly good whatever didn't end up in the landfill.

Nothing this exciting, though:

Another downtown bachelor sold his $2 million apartment but neglected to remove a three-foot-high stack of adult magazines and a shelf full of flavored body oils, said Stephen S. Perlo, a senior vice president of the Corcoran Group, who added: "I assured my client all this would be taken out, of course. And he said, 'Oh, no, I love this -- I have to replenish my supply.' His eyes kind of lit up at everything that was there."
Mr. Perlo was similarly surprised during a walk-through of a $3 million Upper East Side prewar two-bedroom a year and a half ago. In a medicine cabinet in the otherwise spotless apartment, his client, a young woman, discovered a pair of false teeth and some medicine belonging to the elderly deceased former owner.
"I said, 'Oh my God, I'm going to get rid of all this,' " Mr. Perlo recalled. "And she said, 'Yes, but the Valium you can leave.' " Mr. Perlo demurred, to which his client responded, " 'You're a full-service broker, aren't you?' "

 

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Smell Like I Sound

Posted by Ogged
on 05.15.07

I love this ad, and I'm not sorry.


 

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Smoove

Posted by Ogged
on 05.15.07

"I love it when chicks use big words like that. It makes my dick hard."

Is it possible that we've never had a bad date thread here? Go!


 

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Looks like the joke's on us

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.15.07

Falwell's physician is guessing that he died of cardiac arrhythmia.


 

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Crisco Wins

Posted by Ogged
on 05.15.07

This has been linked all around, but you have to read it: government officials race each other to an incapacitated John Ashcroft's hospital room to try to compel or prevent him from further undermining the rule of law. I was literally agape as I read it.


 

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We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Hiatus To Bring You This Announcement

Posted by LizardBreath
on 05.15.07

Swampcracker will be in NYC this weekend, and would like to meet other commenters for drinks. (As per usual, my own schedule is fraught with uncertainty, but that shouldn't hold anyone else back.) My understanding is that he is expected to bring at least one large waterfowl with him, if he can get it through airport security, so we're going to want a bar that serves shrimp.

Further, Katherine will be in NYC for Memorial Day weekend, and would also like to meet people and drink. No birds are expected.

Talk amongst yourselves.


 

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Fans

Posted by Ogged
on 05.15.07

There's a very good Times piece on aspiring pop musicians and how the internet has changed the economics of the business and the dynamics of interactions with fans. That sounds a little boring, but it's well-written and does a good job illustrating the ways of online communities.


 

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Next: Glenn Reynolds solves the problem of other minds

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.15.07

Because he has direct access to them!

So dickish.

Via LGM


 

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Pure practical reason loses to youtube in a TKO

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.15.07

What I should be doing: remembering what autonomy of the will really is.

What I am doing: laughing.

Via Hamilton Lovecraft in comments.


 

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Chris Onstad is M/tch M/lls?

Posted by Ben
on 05.14.07

Guess so.


 

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I'll Bet They Are

Posted by Becks
on 05.14.07

Headline: Nudists try to attract younger following


 

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The Wit And Wisdom Of Wingnut Lifeguard

Posted by Ogged
on 05.14.07

I feel a little bad about relating these stories, because Wingnut Lifeguard is so friendly and solicitous, but dude.... Today, one of the semi-regulars was telling WL about his new girlfriend, a Guatemalan, who he'd met online. WL wasn't very familiar with online dating, but he did say,
"I remember seeing a site once called Sunshine International, with a lot of Asian...."
Swimmer: "I think that's about prostitution."
WL: "You know, it probably is, but some of those girls looked really nice, especially the Japanese ones."
[I swim for a while]
WL: So screw American chicks!


 

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Don't Talk Like

Posted by Becks
on 05.14.07

"You guys must be on the phone all the time, right?"

Nope. And until someone asked me this question over the weekend, it hadn't even occurred to me: in the five months we've been dating long-distance, we haven't talked on the phone once.

I mean, we've made maybe five brief logistical calls (of the "I'm going to pick up Chinese on the way to your place. What do you want?" sort) but have never called one another just to chat. I hadn't even thought to. Why would we when there's IM, email, and text messaging? This seems to surprise people and, admittedly, it's a bit odd to realize that you can conduct that much of your life over a computer these days.


 

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An Extremely Boring Bleg

Posted by Ogged
on 05.14.07

Do any of you know, as in, have first- or second-hand knowledge of, a reputable passport renewal expediting service? Speed is a factor, as is having someone other than the government to yell at if anything gets lost or goes wrong. Danke Gracias Immigrants Thanks.


 

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For The Good Of The Republic

Posted by Ogged
on 05.14.07

We should beat up these kids, but not because they belong to anyone in particular.


 

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Business bleg

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.14.07

I was puzzled by the news of Chrysler's split from Daimler: what's the appeal for Cerberus?


 

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Backwards

Posted by Becks
on 05.14.07

Kevin Drum wonders why schools don't teach history backwards, starting at the present day and showing the causes that led up to it. Has anyone ever heard of someone (besides the guy talked about in his post) doing this? Or know of any books that do this? It sounds like an interesting concept.

I think it might be hard to only learn history backwards but, by the time kids are in high school, they've already had a couple of U.S. history courses so they should have an idea of where they're eventually headed.


 

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How Dare You Be So Violent

Posted by Ogged
on 05.13.07

There's a lot to like about Berkeley, and better Berkeley than, say, Oklahoma, but the...what to call it?...doctrinaire or authoritarian "liberalism" of the place makes me a little batty. There's a sense that there are 736 Rules of Correct and Tolerant Behavior and god help you if you break any of them; which seems at odds with a looser live and let live attitude that's more the kind of good and tolerant behavior that I'd expect from liberals. Watch this Critical Mass (a regularly schedule mass bike ride through town) confrontation and you'll see what I mean.


 

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Comity

Posted by Ogged
on 05.13.07

I know that I've inspired thousands of you to take up swimming, so I should pass along a couple of tips for how to keep loving your local lifeguard. First, don't get roped into helping solve a crossword puzzle, because he might ask you how to spell "wand." Second, try to plug your ears or have your head under the water before you hear the 48-year-old lifeguard complain that his take-home pay is only $330/week because he's "paying for all those immigrants."

On the bright side: a whole family of Swedish-Iranians at the pool today. Sister: hot little body. Brother: complete tool who asked his sister to race, and then put on fins to do it.


 

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PK's first publication

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.13.07

Ok, I have to get to work, but I was delighted to see that PK is expressing himself.


 

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[Ring]

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.13.07

Hi, Mom! It's me. How are you? Yes, I know you've been sick. Well, I'm glad it's getting better.

Hey, happy Mother's Day! Oh, you're going to a show? That sounds great. I hope it's fun. Right, I suppose the alternative is watching other people visit with their children. Uh-huh, I agree, it would be nice if your kids visited once in a while. [You realize you're talking to one of those kids, right? Who's not loving the direction this is going? It's a 450 mile drive, Mom, which I made a month or so ago.] Well, ok. Have fun at the theater. Love you. Bye.


 

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Hey, Mamas

Posted by Ogged
on 05.13.07

Happy day.



 

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All our best wishes.

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.13.07

To Steve Gilliard and his family.

Then...one night about 4 nights ago, he had complications with an infection--very serious stuff; that's all I'll say for now. When I got to finally see him-now back in the full bunnysuit ICU, he looked and WAS worse than ever before. He's not going anywhere for a while. He's suffering from a system-wide infection, heavily sedated, and hooked up to more tubes than a plumbing supply store carries. In short, a full recovery is pretty much out of the question. Getting out of the hospital PERIOD is an unknown percentage also, one that can't be ignored.

I don't know any other way to say this:
He may not make it.

I hope that one day he laughs at me for even positing this. But the day when he'll be anywhere near communicative, nevermind near a computer, is very far off.


 

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