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07/26/08 08:29 - 70ºF - ID#45147

out of town

Well, I'm going out of town tonight (headed up to Hamilton to see the Madison, Wisconsin travel team take on the Hamilton league's travel team, in what should be an exciting bout). Then I'm getting home way late, and tomorrow morning I'm getting into the car that I'm loading up today (Yay for getting a ride to Canada so I don't have to load the car tomorrow at the crack of dawn!), and driving down to Cooper's Lake in PA for my first visit to the Pennsic Wars.
I'm very excited and have been working really hard to get ready.
To the point that I'm really tired and stressed-out and now just wish I was spending two weeks lying in bed instead of camping. But that's OK. I am pretty sure that once I get there, I'm going to have a blast, so I'm trying to just not think about how much work I still have to do right now. In a minute I gotta get up and start packing stuff, but right now, I'm totally fine. Yes.
So, I'll see y'all in two weeks or so. I will have my phone so anything urgent, people can text me with. I doubt anything will really be that urgent, though.
To find out what happened with the news and all that stuff, go check with (e:zobar). No, he is not coming with me-- he decided he just couldn't keep a straight face and anyway, he has work to do and a kitty to feed and a lot of beer to drink and the couch to keep warm, and so on.

Anyway-- hasta la vista, and if y'all have a party without me, take pictures, huh? Have a good rest of July / beginning of August.
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Permalink: out_of_town.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


07/25/08 01:40 - ID#45139

photo shoot

So yeah. We're going in for a photo shoot with the Buff News. I guess the guy decided that me and (e:Zobar) were a good illustration of the article.
I had suggested I could wear my roller derby uniform, as it's quite form-fitting but athletic. I linked to that photo of me in it, that was taken for last season, and they called today and said it was too much skin for the Buffalo News to print! How funny. I said I'd wear some leggings underneath.
I'm bringing that, and showing up in a normal outfit-- a tastefully boobalicious shirt from Bravissimo because it's the only fitted shirt I own that fits me, plus some jeans that have a little stretch. The idea being to show my body shape without being gross about it-- nobody needs to see anybody's naked thighs in the newspaper, regardless of the fatness or not of said thighs, in my not terribly humble opinion. (e:Zobar) will be wearing one of his more form-fitting t-shirts. We'd joked about having him pose nude, but I bet the News wouldn't print that one either.

I'm worried about the story, of course. I am not exactly eager to be the poster child for the unrepentantly fat Buffalonian. Fat people will say I'm too thin; many people will just call me a fatass. And I fully expect that no one will believe that I eat the same as Z and exercise 10-20x more than him. People don't understand metabolism, and even my doctor just assumed I was lying when I told her how much I exercised.
This could go wrong in many many ways. I look a lot better in my normal clothes than in my uniform, but I just want the roller derby in there just so people understand, I'm not lying when I say I'm active and athletic. You can't even participate in a bout without having skated a certain number of hours that season and especially in the month leading up to it, it's part of our bylaws. Most people don't really know that, but there it is-- the fact that I am entitled to wear that uniform means that I absolutely cannot be lying about the amount of exercise I get.
I don't really have any way of proving that I eat what I say I do, but they want to photograph me holding a bunch of vegetables, so I can at least hope the article will make my case there.

I say from experience that nobody's going to believe me, just because I'm used to it. (Seriously. My doctor. Who I went to with an overexercise-induced injury. Did not believe me because the number on the scale was too high. Nobody who works out that much can weigh that much.)
Because the point I'm trying to make is that in order for me to meet the requirements for a "healthy" BMI, I would have to go on a starvation diet. I would have to get fewer calories than my body requires to maintain itself. And that is what I am protesting against. That is what, to me, "size-positive" means. That is what I mean by Fat Acceptance. I am the size I am, and do not need to diet, because I am already doing what my body needs to thrive, and this is the size it settles at when I treat it properly.

But you know, I'm glad the story is being done. I don't know who else he'll talk to for it, and what they'll say, but I'm glad my point of view is in there.

So anyway. Wish me luck, I guess.
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07/24/08 07:56 - 65ºF - ID#45131

media!

As (e:zobar) already mentioned, we got interviewed by a features writer from the Buff News about "weight acceptance", or size-positivity. Z already explained how he got involved.
The guy just really could not believe that Z and I eat the same diet, but we do. We totally do. I snack more often than him, but he eats more at a sitting than I do. I suppose for the sake of Science we could do a comprehensive chart of every calorie we each take in, but I can tell you, having lived with him for six years, I know pretty well that we basically eat the same diet. I eat marginally more sweets, he eats marginally more salty snacks. I am more likely to eat when I am bored; he is more likely to snack late at night. Really, on average, day to day, we eat the same diet. And I stress about it more.
I also get a whole lot more exercise than he does.
He gets more sleep than I do.
And I am five feet seven and 205-210 pounds, while he is six feet three and 135-140 pounds.
[Edited to add: this is all covered much more articulately here: ]

What's more, both our weights have been almost perfectly stable for six years. We were 22/almost 23 when we moved in together, and are 28/almost 29 now. In that time I have gone down as low as 185 pounds-- I had a physically demanding job and got a throat infection so I couldn't eat-- and he has gone as high as 145 pounds-- when I first moved in I fed him a lot. But these were gradual changes, mostly, and it's made very little difference what we did.
I went through a phase where I was writing a novel (in 2003) and spent 100+ hours a week sitting in bed writing. I rarely exercised, almost never left the house, and... pretty much stuck to my normal diet.
I gained maybe 5 pounds. Lost a little muscle, went up half a dress size.
Then I joined roller derby. That's the only thing that has made a lasting difference in my weight:
I gained about ten to fifteen pounds.
Yep. Muscle.
Z used to have to walk about two miles a day to get to work. He has gone through various changing situations of eating well or not so well (in Jersey, with only a minifridge, he ate a lot of Chinese takeout), and exercising a lot or a little. His weight very, very rarely changes.

It seems to be pretty compelling evidence, to me, that one's natural metabolism has a whole hell of a lot to do with the shape one is.
I'm not saying one should never pay the slightest attention to what one eats, or that one should not make any effort to lead an active lifestyle. Quite the contrary: I believe, and this is more radical than it sounds, that you should only eat when you're hungry, and should only eat things you truly want to eat. (Seriously, seriously look, at a Lil Debbie snack cake. Do you seriously want that? Really? I mean really? Well, OK, I mean, if you really want it, fine. But look at a fresh red bell pepper and a block of cheese and an egg and tell me you don't ever want that instead. Because damn, yo. Red pepper omelets are friggin' awesome.)
But the corollary to that is that you should always eat when you are hungry. And you should eat until you are not hungry. And then you should keep doing that. Don't eat when you're not hungry. Do eat when you are. Try to have tasty food that has actual nutritional value available so that when you are hungry, you can eat it.

Really, seriously, that's all I'm saying.

And as far as exercise-- you shouldn't do it because you hate it. It really feels good. You should find something you like to do, and make time to do it. The making time part is the hard part of it.

Really.

Anyway. That's all I'm saying. And the way he found me was that (e:strip) has such good Google rankings in general that it picked me up for a phrase that's not even in the journal. He found me for "weight acceptance Buffalo" (minus quotes), and that's not even what I call it, so good for (e:strip). Well done (e:Paul)!
I'm going to see if I can convince him to mention this journal in the article. :)

Because I have a separate blog I started just for Fat Acceptance stuff, mostly so I could leave comments on other sites, and I want him to mention that one but it's got a URL that the Buffalo News won't print:



Tee hee. Hey, I thought it was funny when I registered it.
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07/05/08 11:04 - 70ºF - ID#44875

learning to sew the EXTREME WAY

So have I explained on here that I'm going to Pennsic?



Yeah, it's 2 weeks of pseudo-medieval camping and i need garb.
So I've had a crash course in sewing.
And I've been aiming for this approximate look:

or perhaps this:

(The latter has good construction notes so I can copy it better. Her English is better too.)

Anyway. I'm midway through a very complicated kirtle with a waist seam and front lacing, and the bodice is all boned and supportive, and I still have to put the skirt onto it and maybe make some sleeves.

I took a break today to do something simpler. An apron, maybe. I had a biggish square of white cotton fabric I was going to hem on both sides and then sew, I wasn't quite sure into what.

What happened?
I am just going to copy-paste an email I wrote to my mom to explain it. My mother, incidentally, is a veteran re-enactor and costumer, and was married in 18th-century garb to my father-- they met doing Revolutionary War re-enactments at the bicentennial. So she knows about this stuff. I don't think she's as retarded as me though. Ever.


Subject: EXTREME COSTUMING
I managed to put the needle of my sewing machine straight through my left index finger today, so my progress on getting my garb sewn has slowed.
I had a tetanus shot sometime in college, didn't I? Then I should be fine. I remember getting one as an adult but what sort of adult I don't recall. I've now been an adult long enough that this matters, damn it.

I broke the needle, too. Bah. I needed to change it anyway. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to yank it out of my finger before the shock wore off, so it didn't hurt. It hardly hurts now, but I think it's going to take a long time for this hole in my fingernail to close up. It must have missed the bone, or it wouldn't have gone all the way through. Or if it had, I wouldn't have been able to yank it out with my teeth! (I couldn't get a grip with my fingers-- my right hand isn't as strong anyway.)

I was doing really well at the whole "sewing" lark, too. But I think I'll be hand-sewing things for a little while until I get my nerve back (and, er, get a new needle). It BIT me! And I wasn't even doing anything fiddly-- I was hemming a straight double-folded hem in a piece of cotton that I'd ironed the hem into beforehand (seriously, it was a giant square that I was hemming preparatory to making an apron out of it, while on a break from a very complicated kirtle with a boned bodice)-- this is the first time I'd actually bothered pressing something the way you're supposed to when you're trying to sew something folded over!
Bah, that'll teach me to do things the right way.


I think I've learned my lesson about putting needles in my skin, too.

Your repentantly body-pierced daughter,

-- B.




I didn't tell her that I was so fucking hung-over from the 4th of July pool party I went to last night that I couldn't sit up straight, which probably contributed to the incident.

I wonder how many people go to the ER for hangover-related injuries, compared to those that just hurt themselves while drunk?

I think I'll skip the ER. I wish I had health insurance, though. Just in case.
Oh well.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


06/28/08 02:44 - 75ºF - ID#44810

more photos

Oh I forgot now, duh, to post photos of my baby nephew. So here is a link to some cute photos of my baby nephew, who is six months old now.

In photostream-- just keep scrolling to see more.

I have just discovered Subversive Cross Stitch and want very badly to make him a bib that says "I (heart) Boobs" on it.
Suddenly I am filled with a desire to be crafty and *make stuff*. Weird. Runs in the family, though. The most recent photos I uploaded were of a relative's needlework sampler from 1808.

Anyway. Hillary from my team (Rachel) hasn't posted here in forever buy says she's bummed to have missed all the recent parties and we must let her know when the next one is.
When is the next one, anyway?

I have not been up to much of late. Trying to learn to sew. I give up on finding bras that fit me. I am trying to make a self-supportive dress bodice using cable ties and hemp cord and about eight layers of cotton, but so far it's just been a slog. We'll have to see how it goes. None of you are accomplished tailors, are you?
Phooey. This is hard. My stupid boobs, I'm so tired of them.

Well. This has been a boring entry. Sorry about that. Maybe soon I'll have photos of myself in a corset to post. Ha ha. Don't hold your breath.

However, I will leave you with another vintage porn shot, since I had so much fun posting those before.
image

I admit, I have a much better grasp on how historic undergarments really worked than I ever did before. Who says this stuff isn't educational?
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06/13/08 10:53 - 80ºF - ID#44639

photos of london

I finally uploaded photos of London, because now I have photos of my baby nephew to upload and figured, I can't do them out of order, so London first.
Sorry this took so long-- was finishing up with derby, then out of town traveling. Now I'm back in Buffalo and plan to just take June and set my life into order. Hopefully that means things will be sane and normal and organized around here for a little while. Let's see how that works out.

The photos are uploaded at Flickr, because there it's easy to caption and you can display them bigger.
Here's the link to the whole photostream. Enter at the linked-to picture, and then scroll to the right in the photostream (click on the thumbnail of the next picture and it will display it and roll you along-- in case anyone's not familiar with Flickr, sorry I just had to explain it to my folks, so I'm in Explanation Mode.)




Coming very soon: photos of my baby nephew David.

(I officially have Too Many Daves in my life.)
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05/31/08 04:01 - 62ºF - ID#44500

blastoff!

OK. Got my makeup on, my contacts in, am lightly sprinkled with gold glitter. Have my uniform on. Didn't have time to sew on the last big gold star for the last bout I was in. (I mark my bouts like bombing runs on my skirt, with bigger stars for the victories and red stars for the bouts where I wasn't a Knockout.) That's OK. It's lucky.
Got my fishnets on, over my opaque dance tights. (I've seen third-degree fishnet burns. Nobody wants that.)
Got my skate wheels cleaned, changed out my busted skate laces.

Winner takes all tonight.



(Anyone still thinking of coming... 101 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, doors at 6:30.)

Did y'all see me on the news, incidentally???? Friday night! I'll embed another video while I'm doing this. Yay!


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05/29/08 12:26 - 49ºF - ID#44482

counting down

The 2008 roller derby season of the Queen City Roller Girls ends on Saturday. The winner of that bout will take the league championship, as well-- just by coincidence, the two teams scheduled for that final bout ended up in a dead heat.

Following is a rough draft of a post I'm working on that I'll probably never put anywhere else. I'm just posting it here because my math processes when I'm slightly ahem not sober are pretty entertaining. But read it if you're interested for a different perspective on the end of this roller derby season. I get pretty cheesy by the end, but it's true.
________________

This is the culmination of nine months of work for most of us. The beginners, and those of us veterans who felt we had a whole lot of improvement to do, have been training fairly intensively since August of last year. I was out of town for much of August, so I didn't really get back into the swing of training hard until September.
I average around 8 hours of training a week. (It's often more, when you add in the extracurriculars like walks, bike rides, weightlifting in the basement, and Mia's Workout Class of Doooom, which she explained burns about 1500 calories on average. That starts up again in September, we're pretty sure. And she'll be making appearances at the gym over the summer, usually unscheduled substitutions for other instructors. But then, sometimes I go out of town or take a break. So it's hard to say really.) Two or three two-hour practices, sometimes a fourth two-hour practice, occasionally an hour or two at open skate, and the workout classes. Most weeks it's 10 hours, some weeks it's as little as 6 hours.
Times however many weeks it's been since the beginning of September.
By my admittedly terrible math, that's like... 39 weeks.
Minus the week I was in London, wherein I only practiced 2 hours (and schlepped my gear 4,000 miles, a whole suitcase to itself)... and Christmas... sure. We'll say 35 weeks.
Times 8 hours.
420.
(Aside: What a remarkable coincidence! Never mind. Anyway.)

And there are twenty girls on my team who've put in similar time commitments. Plus two coaches. (A skater's brother, who used to coach youth hockey, and a former rink employee, who coached his own kids to the speed skating national team repeatedly. Both unpaid.)
Then there's the other team, which I think numbers like 14 plus 2 coaches. They've, well, I can't speak for their hours because a lot of the hours, above, were spent with my team, but we'll just say they all probably put in a comparable amount.
And we pay to do this. We pay $40/month in dues, per skater. Plus we buy our own equipment and uniforms. And merch: any of us wearing an item with a logo on it, purchased said item at the same price as a fan would.
We pay half what we collect in admissions to our venue.
We donate a dollar from every ticket we sell to whichever charity is our charity that month.

It costs you $15 to get in. You're seeing the results of over 13,000 hours of unpaid labor. Plus you get to buy beer at reasonable North Tonawanda prices. And girls show you their underwear and hit you in the shins really hard with skate wheels.

We're trying to have comfier accomodations next season. We'll put on an expanded schedule and bout teams from other leagues and other cities, who may well kick our ass or actually injure us. We are busting our asses to get ourselves into WFTDA (http://www.wftda.org), bringing in an observer from the Class A-rated Ohio Rollergirls to give us a reference after this bout. We are trying to get into the national scene. We'll give you an amazing show for your money.

We just need support to finish out this season. Our attendance peaked at near-sellout-capacity early in the season, and has been tapering off. We improved the venue. It's comfy now. There are better seats. And more of them. There are better toilets, and more of them.
We need money for our travel team; some of our best skaters are not going to be able to join the team because they can't afford the extra cost of an additional uniform, more travel, and an extended dues-paying season.

This is hard. This is grassroots. This is amateur. This is, as I mentioned, over 13,000 hours of unpaid labor, not counting the support staff. (For example, the 40+ hours (e:zobar) spent hand-coding our new scoreboard, which he donated.)

Yes it's fun. But it's a damn lot of hard work.

We need recruits for next season. We need new skaters. We can't promise you it'll always be fun. But we can promise you that it'll be like nothing you've ever done. And on the whole, you'll know pretty quickly whether it's going to be worth it for you.
______________________________
...
There's a good chance I won't make the squad for this final bout. If that doesn't happen, I will be in costume. You don't want to miss this costume; I promise it's better than any other one I've ever worn. But if I am skating, then I promise you I also am better than you've seen before and I am determined to do something better than falling dramatically for the highlight reel. (That makes every promo reel, incidentally-- that fall from January-- it was pretty impressive.)

Anyway. I'm excited, and am excited for it to be over, because I'm not one who deals well with antici.... pation. I've never won anything before this season, and am still totally not sure what to do with it. Our coach wants us to just have faith and believe, and I just don't know how.

So this is the end of about 420 hours of work for me. This is the payoff. The payoff may consist of shrieking myself hoarse while wearing a really elaborate hairdo. (I can't tell you what the costume was going to be! It's a secret! But look at the poster for this bout and you might get an idea. If you come to the bout, by the way, you get much love from me; if you come in costume, you get more respect than I can easily enumerate in text format.)
But whatever the payoff is-- skating or costume, winning or not-- it's totally been worth it.
image
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05/19/08 12:25 - 45ºF - ID#44392

jackdaw

Z and I have a bird feeder. I just blogged this in detail over on my Livejournal, but there's a local aspect I figured I'd share over here. Besides my smugness at my own innate knowledge of birds enabling me to successfully identify a Common Grackle on first guess (once I'd gotten a good look and verified it wasn't a starling or a crow or a blackbird). Because it made me remember a passage I'd read in a book review.

There's a rumor going around, and I think my source was a student of Z's mother's, who is the son of the band's drummer, that Jackdaw is either breaking up or going on hiatus or in some way just not being Jackdaw.

So I thought I'd repost this excerpt from a book called Wildwood
that made me cry when I first read it in a book review on Bookslut. "If it doesn't break your heart, you don't have one my dear."


"Lorenz observed that jackdaws form lifelong attachments, as rooks seem to do, and that there is a distinct, well-understood pecking order within the tribe to which all the members adhere without question. Lorenz gradually learnt the Jackdaw vocabulary: 'Zick, Zick' is uttered by the courting male to mean 'Let's nest together' and, once in possession of an actual mate and nest, 'Keep out.' Any act of social delinquency is immediately censured by the other tribe members with a variation of this call, expressed by Lorenz as 'Yip, Yip.' Most interesting of all is Lorenz's discovery of the subtle distinction between 'Kia' and 'Kiaw.' The first is the cry uttered in flight by the dominant jackdaws to urge the whole flock outward to new feeding grounds. The second is to urge them home. Thus, 'Kiaw' plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the flock when one meets another.

Most birds seem to keep their song quite separate from their language. The staccato alarm cry of a wren or blackbird is quite distinct from its sweet song. Jackdaws, however, incorporate their words into their songs to create, as Lorenz puts it, something more like a ballad, in which they can re-create past adventures or directly express emotions. Not only this, but the singer accompanies the different cries with the corresponding gestures, quivering or threatening like the lustiest performer passionately enacting a song. In a way, the jackdaw is mimicking itself, as a solitary jackdaw kept in a cage will come to mimic human speech, but it may also, Lorenz thinks, be expressing emotion. When a marten broke into the roosting aviary at Altenberg and killed all but one of his jackdaw flock, the lone survivor sat all day on the weathervane and sang. The dominant theme of her song, repeated over and over, was 'Kiaw,' 'Come back, oh, come back.' It was a song of heartbreak."
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Location: Buffalo, NY


05/07/08 06:52 - 63ºF - ID#44265

wheeee

Related to my earlier post about becoming a Buffalonian, it just finally clicked and I realized why the Livejournal community Buffalo Dorks is so successful. Other cities have communities like it, and they're always dead, or just spam (come to my show! new store opening! with no replies or comments or anything); newcomers to Buffalo and the Dorks community are always astonished.
But it's just more of the same: the natural Buffalonian tendency to use people to get information, the tendency to want everything to come from other humans.
I like it a lot. If I want a haircut, instead of just going to the closest place, I ask on there. (Actually, I go to Style Lab and ask for Cha-Cha because she skates with me and is awesome-- but same deal.) If I need a doctor, I ask if anyone knows a good one. If I have a garage sale, I post about it on there. If I need to find a sofa, I post and ask if anybody's got one going spare.

Today I drove to Cheektowaga and got twenty free strawberry plants from a fellow Buffalo Dorks member, because she posted on there to offer them to good homes. This is a pretty good deal, as strawberry plants are like three dollars each at the garden center, so I'd never be able to afford twenty. They'll spread, too, so I may have some to give away next year. (Meanwhile, if anybody wants strawberry plants, let me know; she said she still may not be able to find homes for all of them. She had a *lot*. They're June-bearing but I don't know the specific variety.)

It's not just that Buffalonians want to get information from other people-- if it was just wanting, it would still be not a very good community. But it seems we love to give information, too. And even if we don't know an answer, we often will post to point to someone who will. I just told someone who was asking if anyone knew any mountain dulcimer players who gave lessons that they should go to the Irish session at Nietszche's on Saturdays, because even if none of those musicians knew that instrument, they would certainly know someone who did.

Anyhow. More Buffalo-related navel-gazing.

Hm, maybe this summer I can get the house and yard squared away nicely enough that I could host my own (e:strip) party. That would be fun.

And OH!

I saw (e:mike) and (e:jill) at Allentown on Saturday morning! (At least I'm pretty sure it was you two! I kind of couldn't actually see...) You guys walked past while I was in the yoga cool-down part of the Mia Mauler Workout. If we hadn't been all twisted up like pretzels, and I hadn't been on the completely opposite side of the room, I totally would've yelled something to you, but it seemed, well, not only inappropriate but actually impossible.
So anyway.
Come at 11:30 next week and do the whole class. It starts off with like an hour of cardio kickboxing but after the initial shock wears off, you totally swear that you could kick someone's ass. Lately I almost want someone to try to start some shit with me so that I can fucking take him out. That would be great.
After the kickboxing portion (and lest you think "kickboxing" means "Billy Blanks Tae-Bo Bullshit", Ms. Mauler was the 2003 champion of her weight class in real actual kickboxing, with three victories by knockout in that season. There's kind of a reason we're called the Knockouts. But I digress), it switches over to weight-lifting-- squats and chest work with usually some triceps thrown in. Then after that, she does a couple of ab sets, which are usually murder. Then after that is finally the yoga.
It's a class with everything in it. It is fiendishly hard, but not actually all that difficult; it is usually something that most fitness levels can adapt to and do fairly well at, but you can challenge yourself every week.
And she is *such* an engaging leader, always charming and entertaining and just a tiny bit scary.

So really, all y'alls who signed up for Allentown should come this Saturday. I'll be there. Mia will be there. What more do you need?
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Permalink: wheeee.html
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paul said to tinypliny
I miss you too!...

tinypliny said to paul
Oh I see the sheep are there too. Is this the entirety of your flock? :D...

tinypliny said to paul
Haha, I remember when Basra used to love these. :)...

tinypliny said to paul
How many of these dolls have you hoarded? More importantly, where do they live and what happened to ...