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This is my rock and roll love letter to you.

October 12th, 2017 · 7 Comments · Daily

This is where I would go to beat my head against the floor when I was three years old. (I stopped beating my head against the floor after accidentally ramming my eye into my fancy patent leather shoe. The black eye forced me to find a new way to throw tantrums.)

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This is where my sister accidentally threw Hungarian goulash against the wall during one of our family dinners. (We would sit at the table in this room and eat dinner every single night.) This is also where I (at age eighteen) stuck my tongue into a bowl of M&M’s [sic] so that no one else would eat them. Age eighteen. I had a car and a job and could have gone up the road to buy my own M&M’s [sic]. But I didn’t.

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This is where I would stand above the sink and eat bagels covered in cream cheese and butter. I cut Jim Dallas’s hair in this room. Every day I would set the timer over the oven to 45 minutes before sitting down to practice the piano.

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One day in high school a trumpet player passed a note to me. When I opened it, it simply said, “I am going to kill you in the woods behind your house.” These are the woods he was talking about. When I was in elementary school, my dad took my sister and I into the woods to collect thick sticks for whittling. (We had to purchase pocket knives for Girl Scouts, and he wanted us to know how to use a knife before we went camping.)

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Do you see the naked woman and her butt? This was a crack in our shower wall, and I would often tell myself that a camera was taking still shots of me in the shower and then projecting the outline in the form of wall cracks. (That was back when I was paranoid about being killed in the woods. I was a little jumpy back then.)

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This is where I cut four of my fingers on the lid of a can of Strongheart dog food. After I used the can opener, the lid slipped down into the food so I stuck my fingers into the can and grabbed the lid—twisting my hand as I pulled it up. It probably didn’t make a sound, but in my mind the sharp edge of the lid cutting my fingers created a high pitched scream that resembled Mariah Carey doing an impression of a Mustang’s squealing tires.

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This is where my sister and I watched KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park back in 1978 while wearing the slacks and blouses my mom sewed for us. My slacks (SLACKS!) had tiny dogs sewn around the bottom of the pants because my mom was a wizard with a sewing machine.

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This is where I slept, where I stared at the ceiling while listening to records, where I filled journal after journal with my junior high and high school deep thoughts, where I talked to my friends on the phone, where I watched Hunter on my black and white television, and where I typed out programs from HotCoCo magazine onto my TRS-80. (Beyond those windows? The woods behind my house. Also, the back yard—where Digger and Thumper lived. They loved Strongheart dog food.)

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This is where we buried Toby (our parakeet) when I was in the second grade. He died on October 31, 1977, which just so happens to be the first time I cursed in front of my parents. After my mom threatened to take away all of my Judy Blume books, she sent me to my room where I watched Three’s Company on my black and white television. I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that the yard stick shown in this photo may have been one of the yard sticks used to spank my sister and me after we refused to stop pretending to be the Bay City Rollers late at night when my mom was trying to watch Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

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This is where my sister and I would play Bay City Rollers. The tour bus was leaving, you see, and I was the tour manager. I had to wake up those Rollers! When all Rollers (every Roller role played by my sister, obviously) were awake, we would dance on her bed until my mom marched in and asked us if we were having fun. Our answer was always “No.” We were most definitely NOT having fun dancing on the bed while pretending to be the Bay City Rollers.

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This is where I practiced the piano while my mom was holding ceramic classes in our basement. Those poor women were trying to paint sparkling eyes on rabbits while I pounded (POUNDED!) away on Bach Inventions and Beethoven Sonatas. If any of you are still alive, I am so sorry.

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The train came by at least three times each day, and the only time it upset me was when I was trying to record myself singing into a tape recorder on the back porch. (I recorded my part and then put that cassette into another tape recorder to play while I recorded myself singing with my singing. I kept going until I had a tape of me performing four-part harmony to a song titled “What’s More American?” That was back in the Jimmy Carter days when we could sing about Corn Flakes and bingo and ice cream as being representative of America and there were no verses containing terms like mass shootings and systemic racism and travel bans and Puerto Ricans dying in the streets while our leader laughs and tosses paper towels and I don’t think I need to go on, do I? Anyway. The train.

My parents built our house 47 years ago and they left it for the last time four days ago.

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The house was purchased (and will be demolished) by the electric company, and I guess I should be sad, but I’m not. A house is a box, and I still have the memories—along with my old books that my parents found stashed away in the basement. (The basement where my dad kept the clown painting that was attached to the record player he made. It was also where I splotched the gizzies, but that’s a story for another day.) ((I’m still being spammed by the spammers, so I’m still moderating comments.))

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(I’m still being spammed by the spammers, so I’m still moderating comments.)

((Wait. Are those gigantic CROCS in the video? Nice work, 70s!))

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The marching band refused to yield.

September 27th, 2017 · 11 Comments · Daily

All of my friends from college spent time with me on the football field.

Marching Mizzou Mellophone

I know I’ve mentioned my Marching Mizzou career at least once. (I just used the word Career. To me, the word Career is like the word Woman. Have we ever talked about the adult words that I’m not yet ready to embrace even though I’m technically an adult?) I ate sushi for the first time with my band friends. I did laundry in the middle of the night with my band friends. I ate a Thanksgiving turkey on the roof of a house with my band friends. I wrote bad poetry with my band friends. I did a lot of things that I won’t even mention here with my band friends. I tried to bake a turkey in a microwave FOR my band friends. These people were everything to me. They were my family. They are my family.

Why am I singing songs about this when nearly 30 years have passed and I can’t even remember the last time I held a mellophone?

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You guys, it’s because Meredith joined the marching band and she currently plays vibraphone and suddenly I have that marching band feeling again, but this time there is no drill to learn. All I have to do is sit in the stands and cheer (and volunteer to donate cookies and bottles of water and time). I’m loving it.

I shot this video more than a month ago. That’s Meredith playing the vibraphone on the far right. Her hands. They fly.

The next several Saturdays will be filled with competitions and funnel cakes and award ceremonies and hoodies and clogs and band kids and band parents and halftime shows and hot chocolate and nothing but goodness.

I’ve been waiting for this.

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(Also, I’m moderating my comments now because the deluge of spam is already a pain in the ass for me, and I don’t want it to become a pain in the ass for you. I would take a knee for you, you know.)

((I would. I would take a knee.))

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Acting funny, but I don’t know why.

September 14th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Daily

Things are happening on this end. First off, I believe my comments are being hacked by Russians, and that probably isn’t true at all, but I *am* getting entirely too many meaningless comments and links from someone whose name looks Russian and I’m not even going to use the word collusion here because even seeing that word ruffles my feathers, and I would rather stay peacockian. (I recently read that peacock feathers represent a pure soul. You should hang out with me sometime. My pure soul is a gift I like to share.)

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But enough about the Russians! (Somewhere in Russia is a person (or many people) with whom I could hang out and eat food and drink whatevers and talk about music and books. I hate that I will probably never meet that person.)

My parents are moving into a house that is approximately 12 minutes away from my house. Because they currently live 47 minutes away, the 70 minutes I’ll soon be saving on the back and forth can be applied to something else—like the creative writing class I’ll be taking in November! The class description holds the word Unleashed, so God only knows where we’ll be two months from now.

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Finally, if you’re local: Please know that I’m selling local honey. A local farm ships their honey to a friend in Springfield. Said friend infuses the honey with amazing herbs and fruits and whatnots and then I sell it out of my house. Flavors include: Bee Raw (it has pollen floating in it, which is just weird and crazy good), Show Me State (it’s barbecue honey and tastes amazing on roasted vegetables), LaZENder (it holds chai spices and lavender, and I have the honey version AND the maple syrup version), and Purple Haze (lemon peel and lavender and vanilla extract and a single hair from the arm of Jimi Hendrix). ((I’m kidding about the hair.)) Anyway, if you’re interested, I can hook you up. Just shoot a message my way. (I’m a horrible salesperson. Just know that this is good stuff. The best stuff. The stuff I’ve been addicted to for the past two years.) I am Oprah Winfrey, and this honey is my favorite thing. My pure soul would not deceive you.

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Purple Rain, Paper Crane

September 5th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Daily

Ah, Labor Day Weekend. Congratulations to the American worker for your economic achievements. It is because of your diligence that our country is in such great shape today. Wait a second. Did you just say that our country isn’t in such great shape today? North Korea who? DACA what? Harvey and Irma and our president is, well, Donald Trump?! I hope everyone was able to find a bit of peace and comfort over the weekend. All we can do is our best. I ate a raspberry-filled jelly donut and for roughly 37 seconds, nothing else mattered.

Harper went to a party on Saturday, which led Meredith to invite a friend out for dinner and exploring. We ended up at Mangia, where the girls ate bricks of spaghetti at a table for two. (Big glob of spaghetti baked into the shape of a brick. Life is magic.)

After dinner, we walked. As we walked, I started feeling nostalgic for the time Jeff and I lived in the city.

So much to see. So much to inspire thoughts and movements.
Stop profiling Muslims.

Also, you might stumble upon a litter of fresh root beer kegs.
Root Beer

We eventually made our way over to a record store. A record store that had ZERO copies of Loveless.
Vintage Vinyl is out of My Bloody Valentine.

While at the record store, Meredith’s friend bombed a display with a tiny paper crane. She tries to leave one everywhere she goes.
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I can’t remember the last time I felt an Amy Krouse Rosenthal Beckoning of Lovely-esque joy. All because of a paper crane.

(Watch the video. I wish we all lived the way AKR did.)

Paper Cranes. Fold 1,000 and a wish will come true.

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End of August

August 31st, 2017 · 8 Comments · Daily

I eclipsed. Our house was in the path of totality, which was pretty convenient. Thanks for accommodating us, Sun and Moon (and Krispy Kreme)!

Eclipse Doughnuts

Eclipsing

I looked at the sun without the glasses for a bit because I have no impulse control and you can’t tell me what to do. I haven’t had a migraine since I stared into the sun, so HYPOTHESIS: If I stare directly into the sun, I will experience migraine eradication.

On Dorothy Parker’s birthday, I went for a piercing with Tempe.

Like you need a hole in the head...

I realize all we have is NOW, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.

2020

Finally, I finished my fall cowl and then I put it on and did a side-eye cowl pose.

Into the Woods Cowl

Cowl Side Eye

I’m heavy on the work and heavy on the tea drinking and heavy on the knitting these days. My hair is gone and my patience is gone and the 20 pounds I gained in the past year are gone. I’m trying to be a better human and I’m trying to cook dinner more often and I’m trying to not spend money every time I see a pair of shoes that I love.

I haven’t seen you in awhile.

UPDATE: I got the shoes. I danced around and tossed free money here and there and scored them for $20 at Amazon. Thank you for your support.

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I’ve got a bad case of loving you.

August 11th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Daily

Listening to Sue Klebold’s Columbine book as I dropped Meredith off at the high school for the first time probably wasn’t the best idea. BUT, I’m almost done with the book (Thank GOD!) so I’ll soon be entertaining myself with podcasts for the back and forths. (You don’t want to know how I feel about Sue Klebold after working my way through this book. Walk in another man’s shoes and empathy and la la la laaaaaah… I’m trying and failing. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.)

Tempe and I went to Stitches Midwest last weekend. We left at 5:30 in the morning and I could write perky tunes for you about flat tires and cheesecake and beer shopping and Indian food, but I won’t. Instead, I will show you a few of the things I gathered. (My rosebuds! Old time is still a-flying. And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.)

This…
Rainbow Ridgeline
…will eventually become this.

This…
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…will be this.

This?
Circadian Cowl
This!

Finally, these?
Fire and Fury!
Those will become this.

In fact, here we go!
Fire! Fury!

I was going to call it my Fire and Fury shawl, but I’m not so sure I need a reminder of THESE TIMES. I think a better name might be Spicy Madame. (The colorways (by Three Irish Girls) are Mademoiselle and Spice Market.) Spicy Madame it is!

Every single purchase I made was justified, because I am currently under the care of a physician who has ordered me to knit.

And I’m not kidding.
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Please take note that it is the only order followed by an exclamation point. Knitting? More important than naratriptan! Also, Cambia Schmambia! I’ve got cowls on my needles!

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And may your dreams be realized.

July 24th, 2017 · 11 Comments · Daily

I received a call on Friday from a woman who invited me to a special sleepover. In order to attend, I had to sign release forms and promise to not wear makeup or lotion. I was asked to shower before I arrived. I purchased special swanky pajamas for the event, as I normally crash in shorts and a t-shirt and I wanted to look my best for the party.

When I arrived at the venue, I was quietly led to my room and told to take off my clothes and change into something more comfortable.

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When I cracked my door to indicate my consent for adventure, a woman walked in and began attaching me to a box. Less than thirty minutes later, I looked like this.

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So, I’ve been falling asleep more than I should. (Twice while driving and many times during the week as I drink coffee on the couch.) I’m way more forgetful now than I was six months ago. (I called Harper “Oscar” and I often forget my cats’ names.) My short-term memory is shot. I can’t concentrate. My haircut doesn’t seem to be fixing anything. Glittery eyeshadow is not helping, and neither are my dad’s homegrown tomatoes—although they’re quite delicious.

I talked to my doctor and she asked me to take a sleep study test and I put it off because our insurance people are like, “SLEEP STUDY, SCHMEEP STUDY! That will be $3,403,495!!!” Ah, but things took a bad turn last week, so I set up a waffle stand in my front yard (if you know what I’m saying) and it didn’t take long to raise the cash for my wrapped-in-wires fantasy night (WIWFN).

Sleep tech: The sensor I’m attaching here will talk to the right side of your brain, and the one on the opposite side will talk to the left.
Me: Will you be brainwashing me into joining a terrorist organization?
Sleep tech: No. Now, this sensor is one of the several that focuses on your brain activity.
Me (silently thinking very hard): CAN YOU READ MY MIND RIGHT NOW? I’M THINKING ABOUT NEIL DIAMOND AGAIN!

After connecting me to the wires, the tech told me she would be back in an hour to put me to bed. (She also told me that I couldn’t fall asleep to Colbert. I started thinking a few mean thoughts, but I tried to eliminate those thoughts because God (and the tech, I suppose) only knows what was transmitting through those wires.)

After 15 minutes passed, I started feeling paranoid, so I sat in a chair, blindfolded myself, and thought about all of my secrets.

The tech returned and hit the light switch at 1030, and that’s when the games began. The short of it: I fell asleep, she woke me to change a sensor at 200, she woke me to change another sensor at 230, some guy burst into my room and asked if I had said anything at around 400, and at 600 the tech disconnected me from all of the wires and sent me on my way, but not before pointing out the Keurig and the cinnamon rolls in the lobby. (I skipped both, because of the environment and the fact that I like to know where my cinnamon rolls are coming from.)

Final results received in a telephone call less than five minutes ago? I have REM-dependent obstructive sleep apnea, but because REM sleep comprises only 1/5 of the total time spent sleeping, I don’t qualify for a CPAP machine. Next up? Sleep specialist consultation on 9/1 to talk about medication. And I think that sucks because: Medication. (If you see me on the highway, steer clear. Also, don’t expect me to remember who you are.)

The Tour de Fleece ended yesterday as I finished plying African Sunset.
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This isn’t about you. It’s all about me. Insert apology here. And also here.

July 18th, 2017 · 13 Comments · Daily

Last week I took off my glasses and looked like this:
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Today I put my glasses back on and I sort of looked like this:
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I say “sort of” only because a branch of magic is happening in the photo that’s making my arms look like spaghetti. Capellini, even.

Speaking of magic, you may be asking yourself if I’ve experienced any wonderworks since the chop crop. The answer is mostly no, unless you break my life junk down into smaller pieces.

Example: I continue to spin for the Tour de Fleece. That’s not a big thing until you look a little closer and see the yarn I’ve completed so far.
Scottish Landscape

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Today I ate a Mission Taco Joint Portobello Taco while talking to a friend about a book we’ve both read. Had you joined us, you would hear how our conversation quickly jumped into parallel universes and solipsism and never being able to see adequately through someone else’s window. (We also touched on causes that are important enough to blow oneself up over. Or, important enough over which to blow up oneself. Disclaimer: You have nothing to worry about if we find ourselves in a room together. No one needs to worry, really.)

My ear looks like this today:
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After taking a friend for a piercing recently, I decided to reopen my ear holes. I immediately asked Jeff if, at 47,  I’ve gone too far. His answer included the word Subtle and he continues to put up with my blerghs and whizzes. Apparently, midlife is playing itself out on me with ink and holes. Why is my ear so red? Me, me, me, me, me. Tiresome, really.

Someday we need to talk about *my* potential sleep study and how *I* have been falling asleep in weird places (LIKE THE CAR) and how *I* think *my* brains may be leaking from *my* nose. (I’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy. Also, my childhood dog (Digger) had CSF rhinorrhea and you never know what you can and cannot catch.)

On the way home from Mission Taco Joint, one of my favorite songs shuffled and it was perfect and it was this.

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Also, I have a spider bite on my back, but it isn’t destroying me.

July 9th, 2017 · 13 Comments · Daily

2016’s end of July kicked off a year of suck for our family that is still pretty much sucking, despite my (admittedly (slightly) weakening) ability to bring a constant lighthearted mustard-swilling dazzle.

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As you (may or may not) know, Jeff’s position was eliminated back in July of 2016 and I’m not here to sing songs about human suffering, because to be honest: We haven’t truly suffered, and because of that I know we are severely lucky. I freelance. He freelances. WE ARE PART OF THE HUDDLED MASSES RECEIVING COVERAGE FROM THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OH MY GOD IT’S TRUE.

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I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone out there to have their position eliminated. It creates a lot of awkward moments that you probably haven’t had to whack-a-mole (verb) in your snug and unplagued existence as a shiny employed person (whose grass is surely greener than mine).

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For example, if you buy a pair of shoes or attend a concert when your previous income isn’t being crammed into your bank account, people will assume that you are squandering, and those vocalized assumptions will really test your tongue. And by “your tongue” I actually mean “my tongue.”

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I do know that when the right opportunities come along, they will arrive at the perfect time because the glass is half full of lemonade with silver linings and really: We can’t handle more than we’re given and so forth, but in the meantime I have to wonder if all of this (patience-testing and frustrating yet unimportant because nobody gets hurt) shit (sorry) keeps funneling down to us (more on that a bit later) due to the current status of my hair.

Photo on 6-22-17 at 12.30 PM

It has been growing out since the morning of 12/21/15. Hypothesis: Shortening my hair will also shorten the year of suck that continues to suck. (Very superstitious, Stevie Wonder.) SO, the hair will be shorn on Thursday because I’m happier when I’m balder and I need a dose or two of Joy right now.

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Real quick on the shit funnel I mentioned two paragraphs back: Two weeks ago, the hinge on our iMac broke. It was a total hardware thing that the Apple Store said is simply an issue of snapping a new hinge on, but “it will take 3 days” and those 3 days quickly turned into 5 days and when the iMac came home, we found the Apple Store had done something that compromised our screen and suddenly those three days became TWO WEEKS. Two weeks of me being unable to freelance, and I should have been happy about a break, but it was difficult to unriddle the thrill. (Because: Shoes! Concerts!) ((<–Sarcasm))

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Today I had one goal: Catch up on the 14 days I missed with the current freelance project. Boring story shortened: I logged in and found that my freelance account had been archived due to inactivity for two weeks. I cannot gain access to my freelance project until tomorrow. (Note: At least I *HAVE* a computer. At least I *HAVE* freelance. At least I *HAVE* spinach in the fridge, et cetera.)

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(Scout likes to watch me eat, and salads can be awkward with a pup on your hip.)

Tour de Fleece started on July 1.

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I’ve been working on an entrelac cardigan:
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I went to Springfield yesterday and stocked up on Bee Raw and Purple Haze honey. I’m within 100 pages of finishing Life After Life. I think we’re all caught up.

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Forever Hopeful for Indigo Girls

June 19th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Daily

On June 8th, Jeff and I went to see Tig Notaro and she was charming and funny and exactly what we needed. And because I always think I need a shirt, I bought a shirt.

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Places I Have Worn My Tig Notaro Shirt:

  • The Delmar Loop (for ice cream! and cheese sticks!)
  • The subdivision, while walking a lap
  • The library to check out Life After Life
  • Pride St. Charles (Photo proof below! It was hotter than the sun and at one point I thought I would die, but I didn’t.)

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Meredith Says I Cannot Wear My Shirt To These Places:

  • Church (although I really don’t think they would mind)
  • School (office, football games, or band concerts/competitions)
  • Her friends’ homes or my home when her friends’ parents might appear
  • Places with potential mourners
  • Daycare facilities

And, really, I can wear the shirt wherever/whenever I want. It’s just that Meredith doesn’t want her teachers or friends (or small children) to picture me like this:

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I can respect that.

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