Music for Airports.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2000

 up on the hill behind green fourteen, high above land, sand, man, my shadow standing long

my boy andrew went shopping and currently has, like, the most dopest now playing set-list around. i gotta pick up pink moon. my brother owns my life in the bush of ghosts on cassette, and when he leaves for carleton college in minnesota next sunday, you can bet i'm agonna keep it. the combined brilliance of brian eno and david byrne birthed a record that almost feels like a tortoise album, a full fifteen years before the thrill jockey label appreared. i'm honestly starting to think that brian eno has done basically everything that can be done with music. more or less.

also, the title of that album is the title of an apparently great book that i'm supposed to read. and while we're one paragraph off the subject, these restful nights i've been listening to hayden, grandaddy, mogwai, guns 'n roses, and simon and garfunkle. i'm in the market for some good hip hop. plus there are a few tracks on madonna's ray of light that i just can't let go of.

i saw the cell.
with, uh, vince and what's-her-name.
eh.
a few neat visuals, though.

radiohead LP4 updates: let's get to it.
the album, kid a, will be released october 3rd, which is like about a thousand weeks away. it will have ten tracks and total approximately fifty minutes. the cover art is dark and spacey looking, to say the least. of the limited number of sneak peek pieces written about kid a, i'm fond of the following review from dotmusic, which also goes on to include a thorough breakdown of each track:

How far Radiohead have travelled since the safe-around-their-neck bind of ‘Creep’ was patently obvious on 1997’s ‘OK Computer’. However, ‘Kid A’, their first album for three years, is a massive departure from that record, which, despite its lysergic invention, still paid homage to the constraints that music of this kind still lives by.

‘Kid A’ is different in many respects, finally relinquishing any grasp on structural ‘reality’, whilst still being fantastically of its time, thrillingly challenging, punishingly intense and almost unbearably miserable.

Wildly electronic, guitars feature infrequently on the album, while a transient, almost conceptual birth and death idea envelops, amidst the experimentation. This is primarily led by compressed beats, ambient, swirling electro atmospherics, subtle bass and keyboard interplay and vocal whines and chattering rather than lyrics.

Emotionally speaking, resigned is not acute enough to capture Thom Yorke’s psychosis-imbued mind-set on this album. Strung-up and ready to jump is probably closer.

Significantly, there will be no singles taken from ‘Kid A’.

so it sounds like the boys are taking an even bigger risk with this album, and i like that. courage, courage, courage. they certainly took their sweet-ass time recordiung it. and in lieu of singles, it is my understanding that radiohead plans to release a series of short video blips, which apparently will be somehow connected to the album. who knows what kind of artsy freaky beauty they've got up their brit-shirt sleeves. bollocks.

in other western-europeans-who-had-outstanding-albums- in-1997-news, bjork's new album selmasongs, music from the dancer in the dark original soundtrack, becomes available september 22nd. it features a duet with thom yorke that is quite lovely, if you ask me.

10:45 PM | plink



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brick walls and other insurmountables.

Monday, August 28th, 2000

 on saturday jonah and i sat against a pharmacy after helping nikki move in to her new place in slummerville.it was great to see them both, laughing and drinking all the way, a play, suburbia

I've been neglecting you, honey, and I know. But you yelling about it isn't going to change a damn thing... I bust my hump all day, and all I expect when I get home is a strip steak and a little goddamn respect. But no--all you do is complain, bitching about this and that, saying I don't post enough. You say you wanna talk? I don't. You say you wanna change? I won't. 'Cause sometimes it be's like that.

Hell. I'm working 10 and 12 hour days, and I come home exhausted. It's good for me, but I miss you just the same. In the meantime, who the fuck found my site while searching for Al Gore shirtless photos?

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Sees the Sun Going Down.

Workday, August 24th, 2000

 you'd be amazed what three weeks of wet weather will produce, algae and mega-weeds in the middle of fairways, a slip 'n slide batch of fairways, seed washouts that drive us insane with erosion control, water green like incandescent pea soup, biohazard bright

At about 6:20 this evening it began to rain. I had already spent ten hours up on The Colossal Hill that is hole fourteen, fighting off erosion by wrapping the earth with giant rolls of twine. There's a lot to see from up there, too: sprinklers dousing greens half a mile away; little people; dumptrucks and loaders moving sand and loam; cars on Federal Furnace Road; spreading acres of cranberry bogs; maple and pine trees. I did a pretty good job covering the hill in the hot sun, rolling out and staking down the special material.

At 6:20, a heavy cloud dropped rain. I bounded across the sands and roads in my golf cart and dashed into Mr. Stern's garage for more rolls of anti-erosion twine. I put on a jacket. I wanted to wrap more of the hill before all of our grass seed washed away. I drove back full tilt as sunlight broke throught he clouds from the west. But the rain kept falling, and this obnoxiously lovely storybook rainbow appeared over the whole scene. I realized that I felt very happy to be working hard for simple purposes. The rain slowed, then stopped, and I covered part of the fourteenth fairway, hoping to pretect it against further washouts.

9:13 PM | plink



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If You Can't Beat Em.

Monday, August 21st, 2000

 flower against sky

Good Evening. Remember that large golf course that they're building behind my house? Well, now it's the large gold course that we're building behind my house, because I'm on the job. It's really enjoyable work, too. Seeding, mowing, fixing things, tooling around in a golf cart, helping solve problems, laughing, walking in the sun, and programming the irrigation computers. Good people, too: Will and Willy Sterns are hard working, fun loving, honorable and generous. I doubt I'll ever find a job that will beat my first summer driving an ice cream truck, but this comes pretty close. Not sure why I didn't do this three months ago.

And you can't beat the commute.

Jason finally put up a new episode of Osil8, featuring twelve photographs of signs taken in Minneapolis. I admire them all, and the English major in me has a particularl fondness for Lunch. My camera lens has long been attracted to signs, too.

I'm proud to have photographs included in the Friends of Jezebel's Mirror project. Following an ecouraging email from Heather, I sent her six mirror shots that I've taken since first discovering Jezebel last January. All six (a little embarassing) are titled and captioned, linked on the sidebar one after the other. Please Tell me if you like 'em, or if you don't. I always enjoy exploring the FOJM photographs... so much variety and intimacy... hmm, now I'm feeling reflective....

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Webcaskets.com is e-commerce at its best:

We at WebCaskets are here to help you in your time of need. Whether you have an immediate need, or you are planning ahead for yourself or loved one, we will help you understand the process, what your options are, and provide you cost effective alternatives for your consideration.

You know what would be great? If there was a website where I could buy some arsenic or rat poison or something, using a secure credit card order form, and a probe would just shoot out from my computer and kill me dead. That, my friend, is the future of e-commerce.

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the dreamers of dreams.

Thursday, August 17th, 2000

 rounding the corner of kings pond plain road and canterbury drive today, brightly overcast, reflection, really poetic blah blah blah asphalt water post

still, a long gray movie rolling.

I've recently rediscovered Napster and I've been downloading like crazy. I say "like crazy" because, like, it's pretty hard to get mental when you're rockin' my hobo-humpin' slo-mo babe 56k 'net gonnegtion. Still, once I find good mp3s I get going like gangbusters! I've managed to capture all of Scottish indie post-rock pioneer Mogwai's classic Come on Die Young, as well as the serious and spunky Macha Loved Bedhead EP, complete with it's stunning touch-tone cover of Cher's Believe. It's really good.

I almost have all of the new Grandaddy album, too. The Sophtware Slump sweeps the fruited plain between OK Computer and the latest Flaming Lips album, The Soft Bulletin. Hmmm. I'll have to come up with a business model to compensate all of these great musicians for the income I'm denying them. Hopefully, T-shirts and concert tix will do the trick. Perhaps I get credit for spreading the good word.

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While we're on the subject, I highly recommend So you wanna fake being an indie rock expert. It hilariously mocks the kind of band/genre talk-talking I do in the paragraphs above, and gives some damn good suggestions on how to sound like you know what you're talking about. It's funny (and sad) because its true. Like American Movie, my new favorite documentary.

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Advance Forward Four Spaces.

Tuesday, August 15th, 2000

 jeremy and jake play the game of life, spinning and moving and laughing, while I prepare dinner for five chopping and heating and setting.

Today passed very slowly, drizzle on the windsheild, boots in the wet grass. A long gray movie. Coffee, tea, gasoline and hip-hop.

I enjoyed Jim Jarmesh's Ghost Dog, starring Forrest Wittaker, with soundtrack by RZA. Sometimes when I finish watching a movie or reading a book, I have a newfound resolve, or attitude toward my life, that lasts for several hours or days. Ghost Dog was such a film, carefully spaced. It left me with a mindful determination. Waking, walking, the drink I miss.

The flipside came earlier today, before I began making dinner. In the room where my parents keep the computer and the piano, there is a tall shelf piled high with classics and National Geographics. Behind the doors in the lower cabinet, I found the Etch-a-Sketch Animator that I received for Christmas in third or fourth grade. The batteries still had juice, and I laughed out when I heard it turn on with that classic electronic beep tune. It reminded me of all the other toys I used to love, like Twirl-O-Paint, Construx, and my little plastic record player. Remember when McDonalds gave out flimsy records for a month or two, as a part of a contest for some big prize? You'd win if the Ronald and the kids finished sinning this song:

Big Mac, McDLT, a Quarter Pounder with some cheese, Fillet-O-Fish, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal, McNuggets, tasty golden fries, regular and larger size, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke... Orange, somethin' somethin'...

Hell, I don't remeber the rest. I didn't win, so I never got to hear the whole song. Do you really think I'd be sitting here typing this if I had? Well, probably. Still, it strikes me as funny that so many of my memories from the '80s are intertwined with pop culture and corporate promotions. Cartoons and Good Humor.

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eat a lot, sleep a lot, brush 'em like crazy

Monday, August 14th, 2000

 i can see you, you know

I'm re-reading Microserfs. I've been devoting more and more of my time to computers and tech culture lately, so a review of the Good Book seemed appropriate. It's packed with coding references, a tight circles of friends, humor, insight, snippets of pop-culture, and that take-hold-of-your-life-goddamit message that Dougie is so fond of. Exactly the kind of stuff I need to be reading these days.

Several times in the first 100 pages, Coupland mentions Costco, some kind of general wholesaling retailer. It struck me while reading yesterday that I had never heard of Costco. I figured it was like a west coast thang. Then, while double-fisting a mug of Earl Grey and a glass of Chianti on Saturday night on Fatty's patio, I came across a Costco Wholesale Travel catolog. "How strange," I thought to myself. "Memes always seem to work like that." You see a word for the first time, or you hear about a medical condition on television, or you notice a scarf with a certain pattern, and suddenly everyone uses it in a sentence, or everyone suffers from it, or everyone in Europe is wearing it.

And yesterday, naturally, Awol encountered a crime scene at Costco. That's what I'm talkin' bout.

4:09 AM | plink

 

Apparently I haven't eaten Lucky Charms in a while, and I'm way behind in marshmellow technology. If I recall correctly, in the mid-eighties there were pink hearts, yellow moons, green clovers, and blue diamonds. Fine. Those are charm-like objects. I was excited about the advent of purple horseshoes. Then came red balloons. Balloons? Eh. And this morning I discover colorful rainbows, several pots o' gold... and what is that thing? What the hell kind of charm is that? A beerstein? A lighthouse? A white present with an orange ribbon? Also, why does Lucky Charms.com forward to Celtic.com? Exactly what is this wee sprightly feller trying to pull?

6:12 PM | plink

 

I'm much more comfortable with absurdity than I am with emptiness.

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Quickies by the pool.

Friday, August 11th, 2000

 a quick game of table tennis by the pool makes for a nice time in the afternon, i hear.

most beautiful, Alison's recent redesign of bluishorange, with its sleek swirling colors, organic in their suggestion of coming season, even though Alison mentioned to me that "fall in houston takes place on november 23 from 5pm-8pm, and consists of three dead leaves and one gust of wind". still laughing at that one.

very much am I enjoying meme week over at kottke.org, informative and just slightly nostalgic.

from the consistently clever and concise column at cortex comes a couple of cool collections: classic cross-country motel americana, with its postcards, route 66 images, neon signs and textual comments. the ultimate collection of chain mail contains every forward you've ever received, but not a single suit of armor.

and also Andrew, my west coast connection, pointed out that Massachusetts, god bless it's democratic heart, now allows two mothers on a birth certificate. i'm looking forward to watching Henry Rollins on comedy central tonight and saturday evening, as long as he can smuggle some message in with his "stand-up", that poor, wonderful, hypocritical Hank.

drcyc, a small blue place, directed me to terrapindream, the creative outlet of an outstanding writer and artist. inspiring, and I wish I had time for new ideas, but my stomach is really hungry.

4:01 PM | plink



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50 March to Sea, Perish like Lemm'ngs.

None Survive but Crippled Scribe.

All of mine Fellow Settl'rs follow Mr. Winslow toward the Perious Bay, for only the Reason that he beats rhythm'cally upon a most Pretty Drum. Soon shall they float Bellie Up in the Saltie Sea, munched upon by Hungering Crabs.

Tragedy in Plimouth this Mourn, as 50 Colonists did follow North Street down towards the Thrashing Sea to be quickly Consum'd by Death. These Sett'lers, lately hardened o'er the Treach'rous Winter that kilt off 51 fellow Passengers of the Mayflower, seemed to have no Fear as toward the Bay they did advance. T'was Good Mr. Gilbert Winslow, beating Rh'thmically upon his Pretty Drum, who led them into the dread Consuming Waves.

Sources say that Mr. Winslow did promise to lead the Marching Settl'rs toward "a most Epic Celebration, with Free Mead and many well-roasted Foul". Also, spoke he, "shall there be two or three Comely Squaw for each of ye Noble Gentl'man". 'Tis now thought that the aforesaid Good Mr. Winslow, himself rather Olde, possesing a most Ancient Forty Years, had growne a few churns short of Fresh Buttermilk, as they say. Mr. Winslow could not be reached for Comment, having himselfe been the First Bellie Up in the dread Saltie Sea.

When asked to help drag a Poor Cripple along to the Epic Celebration, Colonists John Crackston and William White d'clined with Attitudes most Un-Christian. When reminded of the Body Politick formed under the Mayflower Compact, Mr. White spoke, "Forsooth, the curséd Mayflower was Compact indeed, and no longer can we Suffer your most Annoying Presence. More Comely Squaw for us, ye most Pit'ful Gimp."

Press'd for a Comment, the Kind Widow Britteridge said, "Get thee and That Thing away from Mine Eyes, for we are off to enjoy Bountiful Foul and Wine, thanks be to our Merciful God."

Then did all 50 follow the drumming Mr. Winslow to the Sea and Swiftly meet their Sinners' Death.

No word yet concerning the fate of that most Noble Immobile Scribe whom now has spent a long hour scrawling Record of these Harrow'ng Events upon a Parchment, d'spite the Pitiful fact that no Colonists now live to Read it. Without doubt he shall here Die of Fright, or Starvation, or else be fed hot Corncakes and later Scalped Alive in a Wigwam by dev'lish scant-clad Wampanoags.

3:51 PM | plink



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true, true, rue with a difference.

Tuesday, August 8th, 2000

 sea, sand, swings, sigh

Writing on the Web has evolved a bit during the past year, but as I see it, this Webmonkey article by Joshua Allen has only become more relevant. The final paragraph offers a bit of casual advice to the authors of both corporate sites and small weblogs:

The bottom line, though, is that writing should never be compromised. Text is the central way of communicating with other people on the Web, and it deserves closer attention than it's been getting. Sure, there are certain boundaries to writing for the Web, but there is still plenty of room to maneuver, especially if you understand exactly where those boundaries are. Lose the "post now, pay later" attitude. Figure out what exactly you're trying to accomplish with your words and achieve that goal in the most effective way possible. And wipe that smirk off your face. ;-)

Also, once in a while, try to accomplish something completely different with your words. Efficiency in writing is well-appreciated on the web, but sometimes a change in voice can offer a more successful or more powerful way to communicate, homes.

1:19 PM | plink

 

there's nuthin' like a humid august new england afternoon to make you appreciate a family membership to an exlusive, yuppyish swim club. it's been a long time since i've played a quality game of sharks and minnows.

6:25 PM | plink



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Fish in the Percolator.

Mondane, August 7th, 2000

mobile boys at the skate park in downtoownt plymouth, rollin, railin and grindin like tony hawk, cement style, while i loom above with my bike and camera

Damn, there sure are a whole lotta crap awesome Twin Peaks sites out there, threatening to distract me from my ongoing job search. Good thing I don't have any episodes on tape right now, because I'd be busy watching 'em for the third time. After a bit of poking around, I finally unearthed this quote from the prophet Dale Cooper:

Harry, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just... let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.

With these words in mind, today I offer you some entertaining presents. They may or may not be worth your time at all, understand? I make no promises here. Just who do you think I am, anyway? Easy there killah, relax. I'm just joshin' ya. Get off my back, lady, because you're crampin' my style. I'm not a doctor. The stairs? Stupid guys up there tell me to use the stairs when Data's falling.

I'm not proud of it, but this Britney Spears parody animation amuses me quite a bit. I guess the Weird AL fan in me appreciates that sort of thing, with its spinning toilets and giant cans o' beans. Would that I had thought of it first. Would that I knew anything about Flash.

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I discovered Online Caroline through Metafilter. It may all be some kind of marketing strategy, or a built-up advertisement for IT3C, a humorous virtual gift giving service. Still, it's definitely one of the most original forms of storytelling I've ever seen, kind of an evolving, voyeuristic, choose-your-own adventure fictional friendship. Caroline sends me emails as if we're getting to know each other, and invites me to come watch her eat dinner and try on dresses, etc. I've already watched her shoot a squirt gun full of vodka at her friend Simon, and seen her friend Sophie go into labor. I send her virtual gifts and tell her about myself. Try it out, no strings attached.

4:26 PM | plink

 

While you're up, re-familiarize yourself with some Beautiful Bearded Women. Most likely, you'll enjoy downloading the Year 2000 Bearded Women Catolog, you sicko. On second thought, don't go there at all. Now I feel dirty. Yuck.

10:33 PM | plink



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Green, Green Leaves.

Friday, August 4th, 2000

dew drops on the spider web on a green green shrub outside my doorstep, waiting for the sun to come out and dry up all the rain, humid and bright

I miss Paris, even though I've only spent 34 hours in Paris. In that short amount of time spent with my friend Jonah, I managed to explore some famous old stuff, eat some bread and brie, ride the Metro, sleep at the Woodstock Hostel, drink paper cups of wine in a fancy McDonalds, and check my email several times in the rear of a elephantic cosmetics shop. I have Paris on the brain because of Don Smith, the professional photographer behind Visit Paris.com, a collection of photographs exploring the City of Light and the countryside around it. The site also offers resources and suggestions for travelers, and even includes a few french recipes. Most intriguing to me is the 1999 Travelogue, a tour of France that combines Smith's distinct photographs with a casual personal narrative. It's about as close to the real thing as you can get without leaving your desk.

On the photo front, I also recommend Jet City Orange, an acurately self-billed "photo-centric e-zine". Jerry Whiting is my kind of photographer, capturing beautiful or quirky subject matter that demands to be photographed. He even captured some of my favorite graffiti, on an IHOP in Boston. And do you know what really rocks? The section of the site called More Of This, where Mr. Whiting mixes random amusing anecdotes with unexpected images. It all makes for delightful entertainment, and I don't use the word "delightful" very much. Also, I'm considering paying Jerry $24.95 for my very own duct tape wallet.

3:57 PM | plink

 

I believe that Andrew is right.
I'm just not sure how to act on that knowledge.

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Sacrilecious.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2000

 brother jeremy dreaming, munching by the sea last december

Jeremy's Mouth: Hey there, Hot Dog!

Jeremy's Mind: I long for Hamburger.

Jeremy's Mouth: Mmmm, sweet Hot Dog, so good do you look, so yummy, how much I want to taste you with my tongue and chew you with my many teeth!

Jeremy's Mind: Ahh, Hamburger, my beloved. Too long has't been since last we were together, and poorly have I fared in your absence.

Jeremy's Mouth: You're the best ever, Hot Dog! With oodles of mustard you'd taste even better.

Jeremy's Mind: To parallel process your many qualities is to be consumed by absolute bliss. The color of your bun. The smell of your meat. The crunch of your lettuce. Should you never return, what shall I think?.

Jeremy's Mouth: Delicious, Hot Dog!

Jeremy's Mind: I long for Hamburger.

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I've been quoted in a fresh Wired article entitled Shades of Mahir? Just Slight-Lee, written by Leander Kahney. The article discusses Super Greg and Rubberburner, two hilarious and completely fake sites that have been making the rounds on ICQ recently because of the Mahir-like foolishness of the characters portrayed therein. They're both part of a clever advertising scheme for Lee Jeans. The article describes the campaign, and includes comments made by Paul Malstrom, one of the ad wizards who came up with that one. Kahney quotes from a post I made to a thread on Metafilter, where I first heard about it all. As I mentioned to Matt, it's nice to see writers coming to Metafilter for prompt feedback concerning the issue-of-the-moment. It's also nice that the author asked my permission before quoting me.

6:00 PM | plink

 

People who live in stone houses shouldn't eat glass.

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I'm Not a Cleaner, I Just Dust A Lot.

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2000

the sun breaks thru the clouds and pokes thru the trees and bounces of the rear window of the Land Shark, speaker holes and frisbee

It was four in the afternoon when the big bright yellow thing appeared in the sky. My newspaper fell to my lap. I blinked, partially in disbelief, and partially because it hurt to look at. I stood up, stepped away from my Lay-Z-Boy, picked up my olive branch, and approached the glass sliding doors leading out to my deck. Outside, the earth had become ripe with yellow-dappled trees, houses and motorcars. I glanced down towards my bunny slippers and gasped a really big gasp. On the carpet, perpendicular to my legs, was a dark, two dimensional image resembling me. I knew from books that it was called a shadow.

A natural shadow.
This big white thing, I realized, was The Sun.

For as long as I could remember I had been dosing fast awake, sliding through time on some kind of gray-hazed bender. I survived through a well disciplined regimen of Red Bull and Sleepy-time tea. When I didn't feel like sitting in my chair, I sat on my sofa. Macaroni and peanuts kept me pale and malnourished. If I had a wife, she didn't come around much. The newspaper listed good jobs at fair pay, but what good are treats when you're a from Venus, locked in a closet? So I figured.

I never imagined it would be so bright. For a moment I thought I should bow down to The Sun: forty days and forty nights in Arkansas had been too much for me and my bunny slippers to handle, floating from room to room, making faces in the mirror, wrinkling. Everything had tasted like chamomille tea. There was a photograph of a girl stuck to my hand, but I couldn't remember her name. I'd been reading Great Works, pretending they were picture books, philosophizing disgrace.

But at that moment, with a soft shadow standing against my feet, I didn't bother to bow to The Sun. I was too busy pouring a cup of Earl Grey, folding my newspaper, washing my bunny slippers, and organizing everything in the closet, two by two.

7:38 PM | plink



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all content copyright 2000 ryan d gantz.
how can he stay so skinny, and live so fat?