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February 23rd, 2011


12:02 pm - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which justice is served and a new challenger appears
I am still gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to the players. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to the point by which I mean "now".
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma. Though this is nearly over too. (The head trauma part, I mean,
which was always an excuse for when I missed a session, why it didn't make much sense but could still be annalized. The plane-shifted kender part is permanent.)
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.

Sessions Fifteen and SixteenCollapse )
Current Mood: scareddefinitely not terrified

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February 17th, 2011


08:45 am - Penguin dreams and stranger things II: The Dreamening
Here are weird dreams I have had in the past week:

Twice in a row last week, on consecutive days, I had dreams in which whales beached themselves in front of me, in the style of Free Willy if he had not made the jump over that embankment. At least one and maybe both of them were across a bridge surrounded by water, like you might see while driving south in the Florida Keys. I'm pretty sure they were blue whales? In any event, they were enormous. Other things probably also happened in these dreams, but I didn't remember them then and still don't know.

On the same day as the second whale dream, I had a dream about being in a car crash with someone else. Spinning was possibly involved? And then a mundane discussion about fault and things. One side of my car was messed up, I cannot remember how the other person fared. Unlike the whale dreams, it was realistic enough to leave me unsettled as I tried to separate dream memory from actual memory; that said, it's nothing as bad as the one from last night.

I was at my parents' old place, where packing was occurring, probably for their move? Except they moved well before MCAT died, so the timing fails; still, this never crossed my mind as concerning in the dream. Anyhow, there are all my cats wandering around in the house, and I spot MCAT, in his bony old man stage, and I pick him up and drape him across my left shoulder, as you do, but I'm trying not to freak out about the fact that he's suddenly just there, alive, and I know it doesn't make sense, but everything else in the world does, and I can feel him there, purring. So I find my dad and am explaining what has just happened, with the huge visual cue covering half my chest, and he says I'm just holding a bundle of rags. But the weird thing is he doesn't seem the least bit concerned about the weirdness, and all the time, MCAT is just sitting there, tiredly purring in my ear, and I know my dad's explanation is more likely since I know he died, but I have no idea what to do about it, because I try to take the knowledge that my sensory input is wrong and get it to tell me the truth instead, and nothing is changing.

So now I both miss my cat more than usually and also have the unsettling feeling of what being crazy is like, but I still mostly really wonder what is the deal with the whales??
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable

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February 14th, 2011


11:00 am - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which judgments are rendered and minotaurs foreshadowed
I am still gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Very gradually, these days? And there's no good reason why! Anyway. Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to the players. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to the point by which I mean "now".
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma. Though this is nearly over too. (The head trauma part, I mean,
which was always an excuse for when I missed a session, why it didn't make much sense but could still be annalized. The plane-shifted kender part is permanent.)
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.

Session FourteenCollapse )
Current Mood: flirtytalkative

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February 1st, 2011


07:31 am - Trapped
See, the thing is, I cannot afford to skip work today. But in an even more literal (or at the least, more immediate) sense, I cannot drive up the road at the end of my driveway. Because of the inch of sleet on it, you see.

And here in the land where snow tired and plows don't really exist? That, as they say, is that. Even if it does get sunny later today, it won't get warm, so all I can really imagine happening is the sleet turning into a sheet of ice as the day progresses.

I hope my neighbor doesn't mind me being parked on the road in front of his house. Because getting back *to* my driveway was impossible, much less back up it.
Current Mood: coldcold

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January 27th, 2011


06:11 pm - Egypt
If I accurately understand what I am hearing, people are being gassed and shot in Egypt because they don't like the current elections in progress and decided to protest about them, and the whole "being gassed and shot" event is being suppressed from getting out to the general world news because the authorities I guess figure people wouldn't care for that? And the internet has been shut off inside those borders to keep people from talking about it that way; that part, at least, I can confirm.

So, um... that sucks, and it makes me wonder if I've been naive to assume that Egypt has been a pretty decent country these past 10 or 20 years, or if this is a sudden new thing?
Tags: ,

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January 12th, 2011


10:33 am - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which we track down clues the only way we know how
I am still gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to the players. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to the point by which I mean "now".
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma. Though this is nearly over too. (The head trauma part, I mean,
which was always an excuse for when I missed a session, why it didn't make much sense but could still be annalized. The plane-shifted kender part is permanent.)
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.

Session ThirteenCollapse )
Current Mood: accomplishedvictorious

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January 5th, 2011


01:19 pm - So...
If you find yourself unusually tired, basically all the time, with a starkly defined starting point of about 72 hours ago, and you have no other symptoms besides 30 minutes of coughing this morning and a weird sticky feeling that is pronounced in one eye (mostly where the eyelids intersect with the eye) but still present in the other eye, and the sticky feeling has coincided with the extreme tiredness...

Is that bad?

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11:07 am - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which we win a moral victory via a tactical defeat
I am still gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to the players. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to the point by which I mean "now".
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma. Though this is nearly over too. (The head trauma part, I mean,
which was always an excuse for when I missed a session, why it didn't make much sense but could still be annalized. The plane-shifted kender part is permanent.)
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.

Session TwelveCollapse )
Current Mood: sleepysleepy

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December 24th, 2010


09:42 am - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which we are more mercenary than heroic
I am still gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to us. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to that point.
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma. Though this is nearly over too. (The head trauma part, I mean,
which was always an excuse for when I missed a session, why it didn't make much sense but could still be annalized. The plane-shifted kender part is permanent.)
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.

Session ElevenCollapse )

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December 18th, 2010


03:06 pm - Fuck you, John McCain
I am cool with much of the rest of the Senate, though.

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December 17th, 2010


01:41 pm - [D&D] More Annals of the Black Company, in which plots are uncovered and Stooges identified
I am still very gradually catching up my D&D game session logs toward present time. Yes, really, and finally, I am back again. The two sad parts are 1) that I had a few more entries I could have posted before the time discrepancy cropped up and 2) there turns out not to have been one anyhow. So that's embarrassing.

Things you should know that will make your life easier:

1) Several characters have changed in some slight or extensive way as we learned the system and found things we didn't like, or as we had new releases open up possibilities to us. This is probably over now, but tragically, it'll be a while yet before I catch up to that point.
1a) Tragically for the narrative flow, is what I mean.
2) I have not read the book yet, but some of the core concepts, including some names, are drawn from Glen Cook novels. Even if I had read them, I would not know to what extent to expect themes or events to map directly.
3) These annals are written by a displaced kender that experiences occasional head trauma.
4) If you have previously read these in another format, be aware that they may be edited for clarity (okay, not really) and lyrical flow.
5) They are also sometimes retroactively annotated from a non-specific future point of view.
6) Since it's been about an age since the last time, please be aware the the tags below would be helpful for the purposes of any reacquaintance you may wish to pursue.

Sessions Nine and TenCollapse )
Current Mood: happytriumphantly returned

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December 10th, 2010


12:46 am - Actual danger? Yeah, no clue.
I was driving south from my karaoke bar toward 635, on Montford, and there were flashing lights across the road just as I got to the highway access lane. A cop was laying out flares across the road, closing out the right lane that I intended to use to turn right/east onto 635 just as I got there. So I rolled down my window, pulled slightly more forward and sharply to the right, and leaned forward and out the window to ask him what to do.

Me: So, where do I need to go?
Black[1] cop: If you pull any closer, I'm gonna have to start shooting at you.
Me: No, I'm saying, WHERE do I need to GO?[2]
Black cop: Where are you trying to get to?
Me: [with hand gestures pointing to the right, at the interstate 10 yards behind him] East on 635.
Black Cop: Through the parking lot to your right.

Then I backed up a little (midnight is helpful in terms of limited traffic) and turned right against the arrow into the McD drivethrough, past it, and found my way through said lot and onto the access road, and eventually home.

I really wonder, and did to some extent for the rest of that drive, how close I came to fucking up in a big way tonight. Nobody has ever offered to shoot me before when paintballs and a flag were not involved.


[1] I sincerely have no idea whether this is actually relevant, you know? For the record, I have long hippy hair and a reasonably hippy-Jesus beard happening. (And if you don't know I'm white, I'm a little surprised you are reading this.)
[2] I failed to acknowledge any actual danger, clearly, and I didn't see the hand-hovering-over-the-gun move, but neither did he sound the least bit humorous; I just hadn't taken time to grok the words and their severity yet when I responded.

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November 10th, 2010


08:38 am - Famous letter writers
I had, you will no doubt recall, previously collected George R.R. Martin and Stephen Donaldson in the letter columns of various Marvel comics. And now I've got Ralph Macchio! Since it's 1973, that might be too young to be the Karate Kid, but I wonder if it could be the Ralph Macchio that is currently (or perhaps recently instead?) associated with Marvel. Or just a random dude? There's no address, so nothing for me to research, though Pete might know anyway and I guess I could check.

In other comic news, I forgot to mention, but the anti-gravity device, right? The next month, it was under the heading Science, and then it vanished altogether. I still kind of want to know what it is, but my fascination is greatly reduced with the idea that "of interest to women" may have been an editing error.

(Anyway, Pete indicates that the Karate Kid is older than I thought, but also that the Marvel guy is more likely to be the one whose letter I saw. The More You Know...)
Current Mood: awakeawake

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November 5th, 2010


06:42 pm - JORDAN: Chapters 48-49
I've finished the book and all, this is just the scene to which I feel the most need to react, outside of my general review to come.

You know how you can really hate something, and still have the utmost respect for the skill with which it was done?Collapse )

Anyway, though, lest my words (either on the cut or beneath it, depending which you read) sell the wrong impression, damn, that was a good book.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

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October 31st, 2010


10:24 am - Towers of Midnight
Three segments into the prologue, and my heart was already racing with excitement. I doubt I'm gonna get much done today.
Current Mood: awakeawake

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October 27th, 2010


09:35 am - Comics, etc.
Comics, right? I guess I talk about them because I've got not-much-else going on.

Other things: I have started doing a little bit of weight-lifting this week, after I bought a bar and a small amount of weights that I'll need to increase upon sometime soon. Also, probably I should get some hand weights, though at the moment I forget what I was going to use them for.

Also, I invited a girl to a party last week after she had been hitting on me at my karaoke bar, as a date kind of thing, and decided she was not for me. I am not really able to reconcile that sentence with the image I have in my head that defines the parameters of My Life, which on the one hand is obviously absurd or the sentence wouldn't exist, but on the other hand must be a little bit true, what with the "not for me" part of the story.

I'm going to game 5 of the world series, if that happens. I'm pretty excited about it! And I keep not playing video games, thanks to social life plus too much TV. (Sometimes, too much social life, too, but not so bad lately.)

There we go. Now, comics!

For reference, I have just completed September of 1973. I can definitely call 1973 the year of the monster! Spider-Man was ahead of the curve with a vampire a year or two ago, but meanwhile, other vampires and werewolves have been popping up all over the place, and not just in monster comics of their own. I'm pretty sure that J. Jonah Jameson's astronaut son is a space werewolf as we speak, there to stay trapped until probably after I've read Towers of Midnight. I'm just saying, it's a weird, sudden trend, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. (Also, Blade exists, though not anywhere I can read about him.)

The reason for the trapped sperewolf, though, is that yet another big crossover event between the Avengers and the Defenders this time has forced me to download still more comics. I'm not sure I'll stick with the Defenders, but it's at least nice that I was able to find them, unlike the still unachievable Marvel Team-Up. And since the series only started in August of 1972, I am once again not forced to dive very far back in time to proceed. (I'd probably cave and read Daredevil by now, except that the thought of ten years of continuity to get through in order to get live on that series frankly terrifies me and could not possibly be worth the potential rewards, especially when I am still not *that* interested in the character. I'm mostly just bummed out that Black Widow is hanging with him right now and I'm missing out on her stories.)

Maybe Namor will stop being a Defender really, really soon? That would help my mood a lot, I think.

In spoiler news (for definition of spoilers that I'm pretty sure everyone who has a passing interest in the spoiler already knows about it, but I will still only allude), man, Mary Jane Watson has been very empathetic lately! Yet at the same time, I can't decide if her empathy (and sympathy too, don't get me wrong) are genuine, or if she's just working an angle now that she sees her chance. It's not that I think badly of her per se, this is just the first time she's been shown having any depth beyond what will bring her a good time, so it's hard to be convinced it isn't just still an outgrowth of that desire. And having a good time isn't a particularly negative thing, either, it's just that this right here is so not the time for it. I really do look forward to seeing how they develop her over the next few months, the moreso because I know she'll be likable eventually, but I don't know if it'll happen on screen, or just by fiat. The history of Marvel tells me I shouldn't worry too much, though.

I continue to snicker over Reed Richards' long-deserved misery. It would really help hammer the point home if the comic showed Sue's life, instead of just leaving her and the baby as a missing gap in his, though. Still, it's 1973, and I should not expect much beyond baby steps.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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September 29th, 2010


02:10 pm - While I'm on the topic...


Advertising oddities of the 1970sCollapse )


Current Mood: amusedamused

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10:43 am - As good a time as any
I'm to April of 1973 in my Marvel readthrough, after finally catching up on Amazing Adventures and Marvel Feature. The upshot of this latter information is that I've read all the individual Beast stories, the start (although not progression, and that isn't keeping me up nights) of the Defenders, and the latest on Ant-Man, in addition to what all else I was already following.

But I noticed that this is the month when they finally incorporated as Marvel Comics Group, no more "published by Magazine Management Company" notices at the bottom of page 1. It's like they finally became real, y'know? It is also, tragically for yours truly, the point where the monthly checklist was abolished, which means I'll have a slightly harder time keeping up with what to read next from moment to moment and a vastly harder time knowing if there's something new that I *should* be looking for but don't yet know about. The moreso for the annuals, but I think they'll finally have years labeled on them before they start publishing again, so that might help.

Anyway, I figured all these changes make for a good time to round up my impressions.

Mr. Fantastic: Still an enormous dick, only now there have finally been consequences, which makes him less dickish and more mopey. I guess what is surprising me most about the whole Fantastic Four thing is that it's not always the same four, and that never would have crossed my mind if I weren't seeing it happen. They always seemed very stable, from the outside "barely aware" perspective I've been used to. Also, while I'm here, Johnny finally grew up a little. I don't think it will stick and he'll still be overly macho and controlling for a while (I mean, sheesh, look at the example his brother-in-law provides), but he did finally do something out of compassion for someone else instead of just to suit his own feelings. So, yay!

Henry Pym: Permanently shrunken Ant-Man is the best thing to happen to this character in a long time. Well, that and the new scripting, which is probably my current favorite. It's not that any particular thing stands out, and there have only been a handful of issues to judge by, and one of them involves a ripoff of what happened to Peter Parker only a year or two ago. All the same, it has a really comfortable flow, and I wish it were going to continue for a while longer.

Marvel Team-Up: I still don't have it. This is total bullshit.

Vision and his Avenging Pals: It's not that I dislike the Vision, and in fact I'm kind of enjoying the not-quite-subtle anti-miscegenation metaphor that is playing out between him and the Scarlet Witch (and I'm *really* enjoying the occasional letters pointing out how Quicksilver's jealousy toward his sister's relationship is beyond the expected bounds; I cannot decide if Marvel meant to go there back in those days or not, but it's clear they have, accidentally or otherwise), but all the same, he has hamfistedly become the star of that comic for no obvious reason I can find. And I don't like him well enough for him to take the lead. So that's a little bit enh.

Iron Man: pulling out of the early '70s death spiral, but he is badly in need of supporting characters that are worth a damn. Also, more alcoholism and fewer jet skates. (I can't believe they're *still* pulling those out every so often, all the way back from his very first issue in Tales of Suspense.)

Killraven: I'm not reading this, because I've never heard of the dude and it doesn't really seem like it's my speed based on the cursory glances I've given it. But while checking to see if there were any relevant Beast letters after Killraven took over Amazing Adventures, I was shocked to notice some future-evil chick or other wearing an extremely sheer top. I thought they weren't allowed to do that yet in 1973? Still, in the battle of interesting vs. fleeting nipple glimpses[1], interesting wins. Probably less so 20-25 years ago, though? So that's lucky for me.

Spider-Man: Generally awesome, as always. I think they're just beginning to build toward the big Green Goblin story of our age, if you know the one I mean and you probably do. I'm most interested in the art changes; Peter looks more youthfully boyish now than he even did in the Ditko high school days. Of course, then everyone had disturbingly rectangular heads. OTOH, Romita still seems to be unable to draw a distinguishing feature between Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson besides their hair color. (Even the styles were identical during the most recent storyline!!) Well, okay, they do dress differently, but otherwise. I guess over-similar faces have made me twitch since I read the Girls series a few years ago.

Captain America: Apparently, being frozen for 20 years between the '40s and '60s makes you more amenable to changing perceptions of women than living through the changes? All I know is, he deals with chicks as actual people, something that Reed Richards and Johnny Storm can't do. (Tony Stark just rarely interacts with women, period, but despite being a playboy and going through an angry break-up recently, he never seemed like a complete tool.)

I can't think of anyone / -thing else, although I'm sure I will once I start reading stuff again? Oh, um, the Hulk is in Canada, and Sub-Mariner is still being published for some reason. I guess those count as relevant. Also, Betty Ross , which I did *not* see coming.


[1] Nipses? Nah, probably not.
Tags:

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September 7th, 2010


04:44 pm - "Machete don't text."
Anyway, I was getting jealous of all the Marvel Team-Ups and new Ant-Man stories and stuff about the Beast including why Hank McCoy changed physically that I was missing out on, so I started poking around and found that the internet was a valuable resource. Shocking, right? As a result, I'm still paused in my comics reading in the middle of December 1972 while I read Amazing Adventures and Marvel Premiere from 1971-1972 to get caught back up. Of course, in practice this means I've been reading about the Inhumans, Black Widow, and the Defenders, but only for a little while, and it's been interesting enough too.

But the main thing I've learned is that, while I'm glad Jack Kirby was so good at inventing awesome characters, the only thing I like less than his face-drawing is his dialogue, which, holy wow is the most stilted tripe ever. It's too bad about Black Widow, though, hers was the coolest new thing I had seen in quite some time, and it lasted for only a few issues. Oh well! I'm pretty sure I had additional commentary, but it hasn't really re-occurred to me yet. Which makes me feel a little bit bad, as conceptually this did not exist only to mock Kirby. And yet here we are!

While I vainly wait for more to occur to me, though, man, the Defenders, right? It would be hard to come up with a team that would interest me less. Between my distaste for Namor (while I haven't been reading his comic, he got ousted as leader of Atlantis, which makes me say "Suck it, bitch!"), my disbelief of the Hulk as a team player, and my lack of knowledge of Dr. Strange, what am I really supposed to do with that? Really, other than MightyGodKing's ongoing series of Doc Strange plot ideas, he does not impress me as anything more than a bit player in any given storyline. And yet I've seen enough of those ideas and Strange in guest appearances that I wish I could read something good with him.

Still no luck with Marvel Team-Up, though.

But anyway, I'm right about Kirby, aren't I? That he can only draw one male face which is disguised by the use of random hairstyles, and that he can only draw one female face, which is disguised by not much of anything? He's inventive, and the rest of his art looks really good, but man, those people. Give me Neal Adams any day of the week.
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August 24th, 2010


10:55 am - Vacation I have submitted for, today
A complete list:

October 7, October 8, October 11, with a presumption of my weekend being included in the list.
December 30, December 31, with the same presumption of that weekend being included.

Two separate groups of people should ought to be pleased with me, now. (I mean, as long as the dates get approved.)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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