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Sep. 9th, 2011

quick hits

My twitter account is full of randomness today, but at least it's moved from trauma to humor. Sort of. After discussing the inevitability of flashbacks due to a combination of 9/11 Anniversary coverage and the FIRES that are filling the sky with smoke, raining ash on homes, and making the air smell of burning (yeah, no flashback potential there AT ALL), we decided that the best solution would be for TX to send truckloads of shamwows to the flooded areas. They mop up the water, send them back, and we wring them out over the fires.
Now, we will address the deficit and jobs crisis. Ok, no we won't. We'll actually address Hollywood and it's crazy crazy remakes.

me: Russell Crowe as Javert. Hugh Jackman as Valjean. I may need to sit down.
Jaye: wow. is Hollywood making a movie just for you?
Man, they might be. They really, really might be. I'll have to take my dad! (Les Miz is one of our shared musical interests!)

And today's moment of Latin Zen: [This is full of Classics snark, and if you aren't familiar with at least I, Claudius it may make no sense.]
We were discussing historiography, Livy, and Livy's presumed friendship with Augustus. Livy produced an incredible body of work, a complete history of Rome from its founding to his present day in 142 books, writing an average of 3 books per year for forty years. The problem: only thirty-something books survived to modern day, and none of them about Livy's own time. Certain hints from later historians writing about Livy, as well as textual interpretations by modern historians, create a belief that Livy and Augustus got along very well, shared some opinions and values, and were quite possibly friends. One item that is cited as evidence is the fact that Livy was a tutor to young Claudius.
So one of the young things in my class (possibly stalling for time, I admit), asked whether there was any possibility that Livy could have known at the time of his teaching that Claudius would one day be the emperor.
I thought to myself, "NO WAY."
And then the prof said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT," making big negative arm motions.
It made me laugh.
I have to keep reminding myself, unformed larvae, unformed larvae, unformed larvae*. Some of them may be up to their ears in classical civ at that age, after all, I was, but the prof made a good point when he said that he didn't want to assume too much about the class's knowledge of the Augustan Age. (Not that I could really be considered an expert or anything, geez. It just feels like I've been pickling in random classical trivia from that general period for most of my life.)
[*For all that I snark at them, they're actually quite good at Latin. Better than I am, most days!]

I walked back to my office from class and it was, alas, still really hot even with the "cool snap" we're getting. 90-something is no joke when you're walking across campus in blue jeans.

And I just took some time explaining to someone the difference between block level and in-line tags in XHTML, but I don't think I did it very well. I should work on that. Yay for validating her markup for class, though.

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Oct. 22nd, 2010

fun times with doctors and dentists

So the last 36 hours have been interesting. medical, not too graphic but I did get blood drawn )

Yay! Also, I posted my poll with bonus ticky boxes at LJ, since I didn't know you couldn't take it on dreamwidth if you didn't log in somehow.

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Sep. 15th, 2010

needing some help for merlin_muses

Ok, so there's this merlin_muses prompt fest and it's supposed to be anonymous, so I can't just blab about it at will.

I am having some real problems conceptualizing my piece, figuring out what, exactly I'm even trying to draw here, then how best to get it across. I think that I may have gone in the wrong direction initially (although that piece will be one to follow-up on later, for sure), so I need to re-assess the prompt.

So is there anybody out there who would be interested in / willing to discuss my prompt and my mess, and maybe get links to messy brainstorming sketches? Obv. if you have a prompt in the fest that has been claimed for art you might want to give this a miss, but perhaps there is somebody who might be willing? 

Merlin fandom would be lovely, but is not required.

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Aug. 23rd, 2010

goodbye, drawing time

So I enrolled in a credit Latin course at the university, because I can. I opted for the Intermediate course as a review, and boy am I glad I did because the first assignment is kicking my ass. I am almost two hours in and almost halfway through the paragraph we were assigned. (The paragraph! Argh. I used to sit around reading Cicero's letters all day, I should be able to do this!)
I am getting better, maybe, as I go.  Or at least feeling less like an idiot.  We'll see how it looks when I get it to the classroom.  The nice thing about taking the course now is that the Grammar book and the Dictionaries are almost all online in their entirety. I love the Perseus Project! 
I'll still probably fork over for a physical grammar, though - looking stuff up in the ebook version is giving me a headache. 
Note to self, though - I'm in this for credit, it's ok to speak up when I know the answer. 

Someday I will have time to draw again!

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Aug. 19th, 2010

de-friending, and DW codes

For those who have been reading and care, the cousin I was engaging on Facebook has sent me a note full of vitriol and the kind of fear-mongering peddled by FOX et al,  and apparently de-friendedblocked me.  (How can I tell?  I can't reply to her note, is that what it means?)
This makes me sad, because it just shows that there is neither respect nor listening happening. I don't have the tools or connection with her to attempt further reconciliation (and she obviously doesn't want it), so I'm going to try to let it go and concentrate on areas where I can change things.

And for anybody who is interested, I have Dreamwidth codes available. Drop me a line. I'll edit this post when they're gone.

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Aug. 17th, 2010

and then there's Facebook

Ok, so remember what I said about dealing with the fact that people will disagree with me on things, but I should post anyway?
I posted to Facebook today about the Cordoba Initiative's Park 51 building, and linked to Olbermann's Special Comment about it, which my mother emailed me this morning.
My post:
"The continuing discrimination and hate-mongering is really starting to get me down. I ask my fellow seminarians (many of whom have worked with Imam Rauf, or been taught by him, as I was) for help dealing with my own grief and anger, and then figuring out how interfaith activism can help, not just in NYC but across the country, anywhere religious freedom is threatened."

And one of my cousins (a fellow minister and a Navy chaplain assigned to a Marine unit) posted that he was also saddened by the events.
One of my Seminary classmates posted an encouraging note.
And one of my other cousins wrote this:
"Kerri, Are you for a Mosque being built close to ground zero???? Those freaks need to build it in their own country, not ours!"

Now, leaving aside the fact that she's my relative and still misspells my name (It's pretty common, really - big family, not immediate relationship. I give everybody a pass because I can't remember everybody's spelling either. We shall ignore the fact that the correct spelling is plastered all over FB), this makes it worse.

This is the culture of fear, the knee-jerk reaction against something we don't understand, the price of ignorance.  And it makes me so ANGRY.  And then it also makes me so SAD.  And I don't deal well with either of those emotions. ANGER makes me snippy and want to bang things and shout a lot. SORROW makes me curl up and cry, and that doesn't actually happen very often, that I do that snail-curl. It also makes me FRUSTRATED. Because how can I change someone's mind about this when it becomes so confrontational? How can I share the deeply spiritual and loving nature of the Muslims I know, the tolerance taught by Imam Rauf, the inclusiveness and understanding of the New Seminary, when I am so caught up in these negative emotions? That's no place from which to start teaching or talking.

I hope my responses didn't come off as completely crazed:
"As an interfaith minister, [Cousin], I am aware that Islam DOES NOT equal terrorism, anymore than Evangelical Christianity equals Terrorism or Conservative Judaism equals Terrorism. That kind of ridiculous blanket condemnation of an ENTIRE PEOPLE is a step on a slippery slope to exactly the kind of horror that the American colonists were fleeing in the first place."
"Also, I hate to break it to you (not), but the folks who are building and would be using this community center are American citizens. THIS is their country."

But aaaaaaargh. How can we create a community of tolerance and love? Give me some ideas, please. I feel totally powerless, and this is just the top-level news-worthy problem.  How many other places of worship and community (Mosques, but also maybe Hindu temples, or Druid groves, or Pagan spaces, or metaphysical meeting places) are being denied in other places, but won't ever make the news?
Slippery slope, indeed.

Edited to remove cousin's name, oops.
ETA: I have now calmed down somewhat, despite further infuriating posts, and folks who are interested in this issue may also be interested in this article, it's quite good: Ground Zero mosque as Wedge Issue: Muslims vs "real" Americans.

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Jul. 30th, 2010

Tiger Beatdown is excellent again

Tiger Beatdown › The Girl With The Lots of Creepy Disturbing Torture That Pissed Me Off: On Stieg Larsson:
But the bottom line is not so much that of a Reviewer, but that of a Lady: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo creeps me the fuck out. In my gut, right there, the place that is like GET ME OUT OF HERE AND FIX ME A DRINK AND START TELLING ME ABOUT UNICORNS AND KITTENS OR SOMETHING. The novel’s original title in Swedish was Men Who Hate Women; but reading the book, you start to get the feeling it’s not a polemic so much as a manual.
Seriously, every review I have read of the movie (or the book) made me ill.

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Jun. 23rd, 2010

site compromised - art going away

It looks like the website where I manage my art gallery has been compromised by some malware. I am thinking that I may take this time to just do a complete overhaul of the domain, since it's woefully out of date anyway. But that will have to wait because ApolloCon needs my time for a while first. I am going to end up just deleting the whole thing, I think, and it will be a dead url for a time.

The upshot of this is that all my art will go away in a little while, and any other sites that use art hosted on my site will also get errors.

Ah, the joy of the internet. Time to take a more active interest in my websites, I see.

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May. 15th, 2010

catching up - good, bad, plus ApolloCon Yay!

So yesterday something wonderful occurred: a family dinner, just the four of us: me, my parents, and my brother. We met up after the Scion got off work and had a great dinner at a local restaurant. It's been a long time since we had such an occasion, so I was very happy.
Then just as we were getting ready to go, the heavens opened with torrential downpours. Whee, gotta love East Texas.
Today my cousin is graduating from the University of St. Thomas, and I'll be going to her party this afternoon. I was hoping to see the ceremony on streaming video but it took me until just now to find their link. Doh. I'll have to see about watching it later.
I have tons of stuff to do this weekend, as well, and a busy schedule.

On Thursday I got lucky and attended the symphony in place of a friend who had to go out of town. That was really nice - it's always cool to go to Symphony shows.
Tomorrow I'm going to see Jane Eyre: the Musical at the Hobby Center with another friend, which I expect to be LOLtastic, although I have heard the music and it's pretty good.

Last week really sucked, mostly because of things I didn't feel comfortable blogging until they were resolved. and they live under this cut )
And of course that was totally separate from the general worry about the upcoming Hurricane Season, which promises not only to be worse in general than previous ones, but also full of nasty gross oil spill madness. Apocalypse, this summer!
Plus I've been doing a lot of reading on rape culture, sexual assault awareness, and misogyny in media, which isn't cheerful anytime.
So given that fabulousness I'm sure folks can understand why my reaction to recent Merlin fandom wankitude over the last week has been, "I can't believe you guys think this is worth this much outrage, seriously."

But I'm very happy to see some fun prompts in various prompt-collecting places, and hopefully in this month's TOTAL CRAZINESS (i.e. the last month before ApolloCon goes up) I'll find the time to draw some stuff.

Also, hey - APOLLOCON is coming! Houston's science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention is full of awesome, and I say that not just because I'm on the ConCom. ;) Weekend memberships are still available for pre-registration for $35. They'll be $40 at the door!
We'll have fun stuff this year: authors, artists, musicians, rocket scientists, LARPers, cosplayers, concerts, a dance, readings, and a FABULOUS Con Suite. Come play!

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Jan. 20th, 2010

seeking ideas for 1920s alt-reality fantasy

Ok, I am pretty sure that the placement of the story I'm working on is sometime around 1922. Currently all but one of the protagonists are aboard an airship over Vienna, but they are a varied crew of folks with vastly differing experiences of the last decade or so.

for those who don't care about my writing trials )
So I'm looking for some good books/sites about the Great War and the early 20s in Europe, some ideas about how magic might have influenced the conflict, but not TOO much, and how magic and magical technology might change the social and political face of 20s Europe and the British Empire.

I don't know. Somebody punch holes in all my ideas so I can figure out what's going on.

Dec. 3rd, 2009

a random rant + stuff

Getting e-mail responses from my senators always makes my blood pressure skyrocket.  It's not that I don't understand that they are pretty much absolutely opposed to my views on just about everything, but I still get so peeved to get these long involved letters that pretty much tell me that I am an idiot. I may be over-sensitive here, but I wish they would just skip the overly text-heavy reply and just say that they received my message, some intern made a note somewhere of the general gist, and they are going to do what they want anyway. Better that than this ridiculous response in which they pretend to relate to me when it couldn't be more obvious that it's a canned platform response. They even say that it's because of citizens like me that they will keep blocking the very legislation I wrote in to support (or vice versa). Do they have no concept of a constituent writing in to disagree?
Also, I don't appreciate the informal greeting, nor the generic "Friend".  I'm not a friend of my congresspeople, I am one of their many constituents.  Call me "Constituent" if you can't automate a Title and Surname off the e-mail form. Let's be real about our relationship.
One good thing I can say is that so far I haven't gotten any letters. My old rep (Democrat, not that it seems to matter) used to send those canned, patronizing responses on expensive letterhead (sometimes two pages worth!) even after I asked the folks on the phone not to send me a response.
At least the interns who answer my phone calls have so far been unfailingly polite.

Maybe I should go have a drink and relax. I am obviously overthinking today. 

Can I just say, too, while I'm ranting, SNOW?! In December? In Houston? Seriously, what is that? Oh, climate change, how we love you. The birds are going to be so flipping confused. Not to mention the trees. They all still have leaves!  Anyway...

Lunchtime is over. Got stuff to do today and then I'm driving to Austin in the morning. Cons... there are some events when having a smartphone with web access would be quite useful.

I'm going to add in a small squee, because I can: Merlin Series 3 got the green light from the BBC! w00t! Why must my only currently airing fandom be something none of my RL friends likes or has heard of? I need some folks to squee with...  oh, well. 

Also, here, in pretty font this time:

the ♥
fanart love ♥ meme

Jul. 2nd, 2009


I have this unfinished WIP that was really close to my heart - and still is, in its way, and I'm wondering now whether or not to finish it.  It's a one-shot featuring Harry and  Luna, in my Far Away as Moonshine ''verse, which I love to pieces despite the extreme rarepair-ness of it.  :P

I also have a bunch of prompts to fulfill for my now-defunct but still inspiring table on Luna.
Haven't been feeling the writing bug lately, but now that my ApolloCon stress is mostly done for the year, and I'm gearing up for Azkatraz, HP is back on the brain. (And I just can't do fic for Merlin yet. It took me years to work up to it in HP, maybe someday.)

To write, or not to write? Maybe I'll just keep drawing...

And oh crap, officially less than two weeks to the Con and I need to frame my art for the Gallery and Auction!
And print postcards... And test my DVD cable... And move all the pr0n off the  laptop that's traveling with me.  Yeep.

Apr. 21st, 2009

general update

Ok, so I noted that I haven't updated here with anything of substance in over two weeks, which we all know is the internet equivalent of ten million years.
I'm still living in what I like to call cardboard chic, a house full of piles and boxes and no real organization.
True to prediction, though, I am spending a lot less time at home. Dinner and/or coffee with friends, meetings, meet-ups, a con, family events, and evening classes have all conspired to keep me far from home.
And I'm going out of town for a week starting next Tuesday. I'll be in the New York metro area, attending the Tarot Reader's Studio as well as hanging out with my beloved friends in the vicinity (and some coming in to town from afar, including Australia! Wow!).
That said, I expect to be spending more time at home in May. I have quilts to make and paintings to paint, for one thing. Plus a lot of tarot cards and still some fan exchanges to finish.  Plus the three Big Bangs I decided to sign up for. Mmm, fun. I also have books to unpack and an apartment to arrange. I also plan to acquire an actual TV. No, really! I'm going to set it up and watch it and everything. Probably.

That plus the whole Summer of Cons (ApolloCon, Azkatraz, Anticipation - I sense a theme here.)  should keep me busy.

Apr. 2nd, 2009

adventures in moving

So it was pouring rain this morning, but the storm had blown through by the time the movers arrived. 
Adventure the First: in securing the dog, I was sure that I had accidentally let the cat outside, which wasn't a terrible crisis necessarily but it's always worrying in a neighborhood so rife with strays.  We fretted about that while the guys moved the boxes and stuff, and searched the house to no avail.
Well, Peter called me when I was at the new place unloading to tell me that the cat was found, in a busy corner of the garage.

Adventure the Second: arrived at apartment, began unloading process. No problems with any of the boxes or furniture, and the place is well-lit by daylight and relatively cool, so at first I don't realize that the electricity is completely out. Finally somebody tries to turn on the bathroom lights without success, and I flip every switch and realize that while the fridge and AC are apparently on standby, the power is pretty much out.
So I call Gexa who calls Centerpoint who says the power is on from their end, check the breaker box. So I call maintenance and they come by and fiddle and lo, the lights work.
Well, not quite.
I turned the AC on, and the lights flickered, then next time I went to hit the switch, nothing.  The AC is blowing but now the lights AND the fridge have gone off.  Hm.
Call maintenance again (by this time the movers are done and gone) and they come by and promise to have things fixed this afternoon, so I go to lunch with mom.  When I get back, still no power, but there's a maintenance guy out by the boxes. 
Hopefully by the time I get to sleeping at the place, the power will be reliably back on.

Also, the doc has taken me off the meds and says to see how I do in my new situation with acupuncture and tai chi and everything. Mostly it's the diet - continuing to do either the No Sugar/Flour Food Plan or the modified hypoglycemic food plan - that may make a difference. I'm to report back in three months, unless the symptoms get worse or change drastically.

So that's that.

Mar. 29th, 2009

still packing

Packing, shopping for a bed, figuring out that maybe I'm hypoglycemic in addition to the stomach issues because I almost passed out and was shaking Friday night and had to miss a birthday gathering for a friend because I didn't trust myself to drive.  :(
But Saturday was much better and I watched what I ate and there were birthday people to greet and a party to go to. (Why is almost everybody I know born in March?) Donna and Jon and Lando the Magnificent Walking, Babbling, Playing Boy met me for Donna's birthday lunch, and have now seen my apartment, empty and echoing. Lando christened it with drool and laughter, so yay.

Then I went to my cousin Dave's birthday party, which was a live action role-playing card game called Long Live the King.  It was pretty awesome, although I was still trying to control my headachy symptoms (plus even I get a couple weeks when the pollen wreaks havoc with my sinuses).  I played the Archbishop with a 3-minute Mitre made of construction paper, while there were vast levels of costumery among the other folks.  From simple tunics and capes to full-on Henry VIII style gear, it was a good night for costumes.
I didn't know most of the people there, because this cousin was one of the ones that I used to see only for Christmas each year, if then.  But he's discovered that I'm a geek and a gamer, so now I get invited to these things. :)
It was a fun time, but as with many of these games, I think that the next time it's played, things will go much more smoothly.  Last night we were a bit confused about what we could and could not do, and nobody knew exactly how to win. It always takes at least one round for the players to really grok the strategy.  So, I can only hope we find excuses to play again!

Also, another cousin had a birthday last week (and I should have e-mailed him or something - bad me.) and Peter and Hillary are Tuesday and today, respectively.
March - a popular month for being born.

Today mom and I have made it our mission to buy me a bed, and then I have to get the rest of the assorted misc junk off my floor and shelves and into boxes, because the movers are coming on THURSDAY. Yeep.

Mar. 25th, 2009

packing, packing, packing

I'm busily trying to divide my whole life into boxes and it's driving me batty.
Alas, none of my usual chatrooms are active, and nobody is on gmail. 
I guess I have to get used to just working without the distractions.

Isn't it funny that in all the planning for the new apartment, we keep denoting space for the TV, and where the cables are going to go, but I don't actually own a television?
Ha, modern life.

Moving will drive you mad!

Jan. 8th, 2009

new year crunch

January is a crunch time at work, and I have been home only a couple of hours (awake anyhow) for the last few days. Next week looks like more of the same. It's CRAZY busy at the office and I have tons of club meetings and an evening art class and I just haven't had a space to breathe since I got back from Philadelphia.

I am thinking that there are fests signing up that I am missing...
And I could do a Year in Art post...
And I think reveals have gone up that I missed... (will have to catch up this weekend for thank-yous and such)

The only thing I've managed to do fandom-wise is my clunky Happy Birthday sketch for Snape, which I will post when I get back to Ginevra, I hope. Sofia is a mighty little machine, but she doesn't keep any art.

What am I forgetting? 
Don't you hate that feeling?
And seriously, I have this Godzilla quilt practically designed in my head, but I haven't had the chance to get out my fabric yet. It's all in a basket on my desk! Curses! Where is my Time-Turner?

Ok, lunch is over. Time to be crunched by the Jaws of Industry.
I hope this settles down by February.

Dec. 16th, 2008

updates and whatnot

OMG, I'm trying to create (I'm a day behind on advent drabbles again, not that I'm going to panic over it, but I have IDEAS) and there's nobody to commiserate with. The only chatroom I know about is kind of dead, or at least slow, and gchat is empty, and sigh.
I miss my old writers' chat, but they wouldn't have been the best folks to blather with over fanfic stuff anyhow. It was just such a big group it was almost always busy in the chatroom.

And how sad is it that I feel so out of sorts trying to work without a background hum of interweb chatter? Geez. *firmly opens photoshop, or GoogleDocs at the very least.*

I have deadline stuff to do, too!

In related news, I updated my Art Master List up to yesterday's snarry_hols reveal, including the drawbles so far.

Oct. 19th, 2008


So the other day I burned my forearm while I was cooking.  Somehow I managed to unbalance the pan lid I had in my hand and it flipped back and got caught under my watch. When I was applying ice to it in the initial aftermath, I accidentally touched the loose skin and opened it, so then it was a big ugly burn AND an open blister. I had it under a loose gauze at work on Friday, with Vitamin E oil on it. Yesterday I purchased some raw honey, since that is esupposed to be even better than Vit E for reducing scarring, eliminating infection, and whatnot.
The thing is that with the honey on the burn, I can't put gauze on it anymore. It sticks, and is bloody painful to remove. I found that out the hard way.
So now I have all this honey smeared on my arm (which throbs at random moments) and it gets on everything unless I am extraordinarily careful in the way that I move.  I can't even fold my laundry.
The kicker? It's my left arm.  I make a tremendous mess when I try to draw, either with traditional materials or my tablet. If I don't put the honey on, then the wound still throbs anyhow, and boy will it scar good. I'd rather have the mess for a little while longer.
But I want to draw. *whine whine whine*
I am going to try doing a little bit of cleaning - most of the stuff on the floor and in the boxes can be touched/thrown away without risking it brushing my arm. (Which does hurt like a bitch in addition to getting honey all over whatever it is.)

A moment of humor, though: When I bought the honey, I went straight from the store to eSlate training, and began applying the honey during the lecture because my arm was throbbing. One of the girls at our table looked over and said, with horror, "Are you putting garlic on your burn?" Hee.

I wonder if I could tape a plastic lid or something over the burn... too bad those little Easter eggs are too small.
(Noting: I'm not looking for alternative treatments, the honey seems to really work - I can see the difference after a day. And the burn will hurt when I try to use my hand no matter what. Just venting, and being amused.)

Oct. 8th, 2008

democrats make me angry, part 2,487

Yes, today is "spam the flist" day around here.

Truthdig - Reports - Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal:
“This was the largest single act of class warfare in the modern history of this country,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who led the fight in the House against the bailout, told me by phone from Cleveland. “It is a direct attack on the American people’s ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation, to markets that are openly rigged.”

It's no secret that I don't especially like Obama as a politician, although I do plan to vote for him, and every other Democrat on the ticket. I do feel that in the absence of any true campaign finance reform, the Democrats still offer the best route to get my voice heard at a local, state, and federal level. This doesn't mean I'm blind to the fact that many Democrats are just as far into the hole to lobbyists and corporate interests as the Republicans. I simply think that ideologically the Democrats are more likely to work for positive change to protect the interests of citizens.
(At least in New York I usually had the option of voting for the Democratic candidates under the Working Families Party. Man, that's a great law NY has.)

This is just depressing and infuriating. (How much do I still love Dennis, though? Today is his birthday, by the way.)

Andl, if when it keeps up, we have pretty explicit instructions from the Founders of our nation on what to do:
bet you know what's next... )

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