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No theme this week. Just a selection of good reads from the previous week.

Friday Five: Good Reads | Home of the Autographed Cat
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Whew.  It’s been a long time since I was at a gencon, but I’ve been having a great time at this one.

After getting up and getting a shower, we wandered over to the nearby mall for a late breakfast/early lunch.  We ended up getting reasonably tasty teriyaki chicken from the food court, and had a great time watching the skaters on the ice rink in the middle of the mall while we ate.

Between panels I was on and things I wanted to attend, I had a pretty full day.  First up was “Can Movies Capture The Joy of Comics”, which was a lively panel.  We talked about the many various successful and unsuccessful attempts to adapt comics to the screen, and got a lot of input from the audience.

Immediately following was a panel called “Books to Movies to Comics to Movies to Books”, which was all about adaptation.  While some of it focused on similar topics to the first panel, we were a bit broader in the discussion, and got in several examples of cross-medium adaptation, including movie novelisations, TV series continuing as comics, and even the recent trend of taking a bunch of disparate iconic concepts and blending them into a new series, such as “Once Upon A Time” and “Grimm” have been doing.1

We had a brief break before a 6pm panel on “Developing Convention Policies”, which was attended by my wife and the husband of one of my co-panelists.2 After 10 minutes of no one being there, the panel and audience decided that we ought to continue our conversation on convention policy over dinner, and adjourned as a group to the restaurant.

After dinner, we got to the filk room in time to hear most of Frank Hayes’s concert.  I had arranged with the filk track to present Frank with his Pegasus Award for Best Alien Song,3 and as luck would have it, he played it in his set.  We interrupted the concert in order to present the award, which was great fun, since he hadn’t been warned this was going to happen.

Next up was the Filk Guest of Honour concert performance from Debs and Errol.  I was already quite familiar with their work via recording, but it was great to finally see them perform live.4 I hope to spend more time with them as the weekend progresses, but after the concert they had the usual press of folks wanting to meet them, so I briefly introduced myself and figured I’d see them again as the weekend progressed.  Tremendous fun duo.  Do *not* miss them if you get the chance.

As I’m writing this, I have one more duty, which is to be part of the Polyamory panel at 11pm.  After which I think I will sleep soundly.  Tomorrow has another full day in store!

  1. I mentioned and was surprised no one in the audience had heard of “Welcome to Night Vale“. 

  2. My opening remark:  ”We outnumber them.  I think that means we win!” 

  3. Which was awarded two weeks ago at OVFF 

  4. During the concert, I tweeted “I really want to fold up @debsanderrol and put them in my luggage. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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Boba Fett Isn’t Dead
TTTO: “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus

Red on green Mandalore armor
Back on the track

Boba Fett isn’t dead
The hunter left the sarlaac pit
The Jedi have all fled
Skywalker downs the sand skiff

Boba Fett isn’t dead
Boba Fett isn’t dead
Not dead! Not dead! Not dead!
Not dead! Not dead! Not dead!

The bounty hunters file past his tomb
Strewn with time’s lost contracts
Adrift in spacial slip
Alone on a darkened ship
The clone

Boba Fett isn’t dead
Boba Fett isn’t dead
Boba Fett isn’t dead
Not dead! Not dead! Not dead!
Not dead! Not dead! Not dead!
Not dead!

Oh Boba
Boba’s not dead
Oh Boba
Boba’s not dead

Boba’s not dead
Oh Boba
Boba’s not dead
Oh Boba

Boba Fett is an interesting character. He has about 20 minutes of screen time and five lines of dialogue in the original Star Wars trilogy, and still became one of its most enduring and popular characters. I can’t really think of anything else quite like it in popular culture.

If you’re like me and your Star Wars knowledge is primarily limited to the films, you may be unaware of the complex storyline that Boba Fett is at the centre of. In particular, you may not be aware that the character did not die in “Return of the Jedi”, but in fact escaped his fate and went on to have many more significant adventures in what is called the “Expanded Universe” of Star Wars lore.

I don’t recall with whom I was chatting about Star Wars (though I have a vague memory it was either Bryan Provost or Nigel Cox), but their reaction to my comment about Fett dying in RotJ was a forceful “Boba Fett isn’t dead!”, which managed to connect to the iconic refrain of this classic Bauhaus song. Not sure what to do with it, it sat in my unfinished songs folder for weeks, until the rest of it presented itself to me.

If you’re unfamiliar with the original tune and want to skip to the bit that has words in, jump to the 2:50 minute mark of the video linked above.

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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Had a great time last night as a guest on the Movies In The Buff podcast, discussing the 1997 Kevin Smith film “Chasing Amy”.  I had originally been scheduled to join them a few weeks ago when they did an episode covering Smith’s earlier film “Clerks”, but Internet issues forced me to miss it, so I was pleased to be asked to join this one.  ”Chasing Amy’ is probably my favourite Smith film, edging out “Dogma” by a whisker, and while that put me at odds with most of the rest of the gang, that made for an entertaining round table.  Thanks to Carl, Lisa, Rod, and Skullie for asking me on!  You can find the episode in iTunes, or from the link below!

Ep 75 – Chasing Amy in the Buff (Autographed Cat Style) | Movies in the Buff

Ep 75 – Chasing Amy in the Buff (Autographed Cat Style) | Movies in the Buff Rob Wynne joins us to defend this View Askew film from Rod while the rest of the cast sit firmly on the fence.

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

Had a great time last night as a guest on the Movies In The Buff podcast, discussing the 1997 Kevin Smith film “Chasing Amy”.  I had originally been scheduled to join them a few weeks ago when they did an episode covering Smith’s earlier film “Clerks”, but Internet issues forced me to miss it, so I was pleased to be asked to join this one.  ”Chasing Amy’ is probably my favourite Smith film, edging out “Dogma” by a whisker, and while that put me at odds with most of the reset of the gang, that made for an entertaining round table.  Thanks to Carl, Lisa, Rod, and Skullie for asking me on!  You can find the episode in iTunes, or from the link below!

Ep 75 – Chasing Amy in the Buff (Autographed Cat Style) | Movies in the Buff

Ep 75 – Chasing Amy in the Buff (Autographed Cat Style) | Movies in the Buff Rob Wynne joins us to defend this View Askew film from the ravages of Rod while the rest of the cast sit firmly on the fence and break our hymens.

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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Last week, my friend Joey posted something on Facebook referencing the 2004 Will Ferrell vehicle "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". I mentioned that I'd never seen it, and he encouraged me to giving a try, noting that it was a dumb movie but quite funny.

Well, thanks to HBO, I've now seen the first half of the movie. While I found it sporadically funny, it really wasn't grabbing me, and at the point when the dog gets drop-kicked off the bridge, I turned to [ profile] kitanzi and said 'We can stop.' She noted that if everyone had been dumb *except* for the Christina Appelgate character, that might have been salvageable, but when she turned out to be (or at least appear) just as much a moron as the rest, we quickly fell into the Valley of the Shadow of Idon'tcarewhathappenstothesepeople, from which few ever escape.

One item of note from the movie. I do believe that's the first time in recent memory I've seen Fred Willard play a character where he was the *smartest* guy in the room.

A much more agreeable film was "I Love You Man", a 2009 bromance romcom starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, and Rashida Jones. Peter (Rudd) is engaged to be married, but has no close guy friends, which worries his fiancée Zooey (Jones) and her girlfriends. So he sets out to make some, and in the process meets up with Sydney (Segal), a sort of man-child guru who gets Peter in touch with his inner bro, but ends up creating tensions between Peter and Zooey as he spends more and more time running off to spend time with his new friend. Rudd is fantastic as the uptight straight man, Jones is charming and attractive, and Segal plays a familiar-for-him character with all his usual flair. The ending is predictable, but sweet, and there's an interesting subtext to the whole thing if you view it through the lens of polyamory.

On the whole, I'd give "I Love You Man" a recommend, and "Anchorman" a skip.
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This weekend involved a great deal of unproductive productivity brought on by having a better idea after having already implemented the not-as-good-idea.

See, in addition to a great number of books, we have a great many DVDs. I like movies and TV and over the years I've accumulated a great many of these, and while it makes for a really cool shelf look, they take up a lot of space. Because there's no way we were going to watch the great majority of these between now and moving day, they were (along with the bulk of the library) the first things to get boxed up and moved into storage.

But then I got to thinking -- we don't know how long those are gonna have to stay in storage. And who knows what we'll want to watch once we're settled in. For at least a while, our entertainment options are going to be necessarily limited to cheap things, and "watching movies you already own" is as cheap as it gets.

So over the weekend, I initiated Project Recovery, which involved going to the storage unit, shifting through all the boxes to find the ones with DVDs in them. (Yes, it would have been helpful to have labelled them in the first place. Thanks for pointing that out.) My original plan was to go through each one there in the unit and move the actual discs into a very large binder I'd bought for the purpose. After one box of this, I decided this was a dumb idea, and loaded the remaining boxes of DVDs into the car and brought them home to complete this task in the air conditioning.

I still suspect there's a few discs floating about, since I can't find my dvd of "The Quantum of Solace" anywhere. But the vast majority of the DVDs have now been reduced from several banker-boxes worth of space into two enormous binders which together take up about the same amount of space as a piece of carry-on luggage. This will make it relatively trivial to bring all of them with us when we drive out in January.

(I also took the occasion to weed out some duplicates, including "Firefly" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, both of which have been upgraded to BluRay, and the first two seasons of M*A*S*H, made redundant when I gave [ profile] kitanzi the "Medicine and Martinis" box set for Christmas a few years ago. I passed these on to Matt and Mary when they were here for dinner on Saturday.)

This is, I'm afraid, the limit of my useful productivity for the weekend, but I think it will reward us in a few months when we're wishing our movie collection was closer to hand. :)
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So, having made a solemn pledge to start updating again, I promptly stopped updating. Which isn't to say things have been boring around here. [personal profile] runnerwolf came to visit, which was shiny and awesome, and then I went to California for Consonance, which was also shiny and awesome, and then I came home and had the plague, which was dingy and boring, and then Marian Call was in town for a concert, which was back to shiny and awesome.

So, rather than talk about those things, each of which deserves at least a post unto itself, I want to talk about Pop Culture Comfort Food.

This past weekend was mentally fragile for me. I do pretty well most of the time these days, but depression still sucks, and every so often it gets the better of me. There are some things that reliably help, but it's mostly a matter of just getting through them until my brain chemistry balances out.

Since I had managed to lure [personal profile] kitanzi into playing The Old Republic with me, I got the notion over the weekend to rewatch Star Wars. I followed it up with The Empire Strikes Back because, well, it comes next, doesn't it. And a couple of things struck me while I was watching it:

1) The Special Editions are fine. Seriously. There's really nothing wrong with them. (Before you start, I want to note something: Han still shoots first. Really. Go watch. He shoots Greedo, whose gun discharges at strikes the wall. At the very worst, they shoot simultaneously. It's Not Even A Thing, stop griping about it.)

2) These films are, for me, the cinematic equivalent of a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. I've seen them enough times now that they really are like comfort food. I go back to them and I'm 10 again and the world is okay.

[personal profile] kitanzi and I were discussing this last night, and she said that she couldn't really think of a movie that fit that category for her, but she certainly had books which did, most notably Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which she claims to have read more times than she can actually count anymore.

So what are *your* pop culture comfort foods? When you just need something warm and familiar, what entertainment do you turn to?
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I slept late this morning, after having stayed up late the night before, so I was still a bit bleary eyed when I sat down to start scanning LJ and Facebook this morning. Saw that [ profile] tigerbright mentioned the cinema broadcast of the resent mini-revival Stephen Sondheim's Company, starring Neil Patrick Harris. I'd wanted to go see this when I first heard about it, and then promptly forget to note it on my calendar. Did a quick check, and sure enough, it was playing at a theatre near my house.

For one show. In an hour.

"So," I said casually to [ profile] kitanzi, "How do you feel about dropping everything and rushing off to the movies to see a Broadway musical?"

I waffled a bit back and forth, but finally decided to take a quick shower and get dressed and we dashed off to The Avenue in Forsyth County to catch the show.

I'm glad we did. The cast, anchored by Harris with support from Christina Hendricks, Steven Colbert, Jon Cryer, Patti LuPone and others, was marvellous, and given the subject matter of the show, we laughed a lot. (I'd heard most of the songs over the years, but had never actually seen an entire production of it.) Larissa also had a good time, and we walked out of the theatre in considerably high spirits.

Made a detour to do a little clothes shopping, and then back home for a lovely dinner and catching up a bit on Mythbusters. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. :)
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Seen everywhere.

When you see this, post in your own journal with your favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

Westley: There's a shortage of perfect breasts in the world. It would be a pity to damage yours.

Movie Night

Oct. 1st, 2008 04:02 pm
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Just a reminder that it's the first of the month, and that means movie night! Due to some changes in schedules, we're moving movie night from Wednesday to Thursday. So don't show up tonight, because there's no movie tonight. The movie is tomorrow night. There will be popcorn. Maybe baked goods. And good company. And a movie.

Movie night is Thursday, October 2nd. See you then!
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So, its time once again for the monthly movie night. Once a month, [ profile] kitanzi and I toss open our doors and invite you all in to watch a movie, chat, hang out, snack on fresh baked goods, and generally have a good time.

What have you missed by not coming? Here's an incomplete list of previous screenings:

Hot Fuzz
Shaun of the Dead
Harold and Maude

In almost all cases, the films were something that most of the attendees had not seen. We do tend a bit towards quirky films that one might not gotten around to seeing otherwise. (The entire point of this monthly party was to actually get through some of the DVDs we'd been piling up after all.)

This month, in the spirit of the July 4th holiday, we're screening the wonderful musical 1776. So if you're free on Wednesday, July 2, drop by our place after 7, and we'll have food, entertainment, and good company for you. If you need directions, just drop me an email or leave a comment.

Hope to see you there!
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Entertainment Weekly put this together as a list of the 100 best films of the last 25 years. As expected, what was included and what wasn't both strike me as somewhat questionable. Still, I love movies, so I'll go through the exercise. You're supposed to bold the ones you've seen, underline the ones you've started but didn't finish. I'll put an asterisk next to the ones I own. (taken from [ profile] epi_lj.)

Meet me up in the balcony... )

What an odd list. Several movies that I might have put on their were missing, and several I really don't think belong were there. But that's always the case in lists like this. But....No The Princess Bride? No The Untouchables? No Pirates of the Caribbean?. Just to name three off the top of my head.

EW's editors are weird, man.
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It's been a pretty social week out this way, which has been a lot of fun, on the whole.

World of Warcraft: Frustrating Raids )

Movie Night Out: Indiana Jones )

Move Night In: Juno )

Quiet Night At Home )
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We had a wonderful weekend, all around. I went and got myself a massage at Massage Envy on Friday after work, which was wonderful and refreshing; I hadn't actually been since June, as I had been saving my July appointment for after the move and then I promptly fell and hurt myself.

[ profile] wheezinggirl and [ profile] oneandonlymatt came over for dinner Friday, since they were unable to come to our housewarming. We had a lovely dinner of baked chicken spiced with a blend we picked up from Alpharetta Spice, a local concern run by a man and his wife right here in Alpharetta. Very nice folks, and they make some wonderful spice blends. I'm particular fond of their Garlepeno Salt. I believe the chicken that night was the Rusted Roof Border Blend. The meal was rounded out by a bacon and spinich pasta dish and a potato-and-sweet-potato medly, all courtesy of [ profile] kitanzi, who had the audacity to tell me when we first started dating that she wasn't much of a cook.

After dinner, we sat and talked for a good bit, before moving into the computer room to share some music with one another on the computer, starting with an old Firefly fan video set to Leonard Cohen's "Halleljuah", and then they directed me to Emerald Rose's hysterical Never Split the Party, done in stop motion LegoMation, leading me to play them [ profile] bardiclug's "Secrets". My memory leaves me at this point, but we had a great time, and made plans to get together again soon.

Saturday, Alice came over to bring us some shelving unites from Ikea she no longer needed, and then we went and met up with [ profile] hilfy to see Stardust. What a fabulous movie. I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman already, of course, so I was prepared to like it, but it managed to exceed my expectations. Robert DeNiro absolutely steals every scene he is in, the chorus of ghostly princes is delightful, and every single thing about the movie makes me happy. There are some changes from the original novel to the movie, which is inevitable (Gaiman has some interesting things to say bout that process), but it has been so long since I last read the novel that I didn't notice them overly, and in fact even managed to be surprised by some things in the film that, in retrospect, I knew were going to happen. Positively five stars; go see this film in the theatre.

Unfortunately, my back had been bothering me all week and wasn't getting much better, so we opted to skip the Atlanta housefilk that evening. I hope everyone had a good time -- we missed being there. I managed to finally find a solution for what was causing my pain by putting one of the memory foam pillows [ profile] kitanzi got a while back and put it under my back. I expect that once we get the new bed broken in it won't be a problem, and meanwhile I've found a way to sleep comfortably and not wake up in excruciating pain, so that's a win.

Sunday was a quiet day. I spent a good deal of it playing World of Warcraft, but over dinner we finally got around to watching the finale of Heroes. Yes, we'd actually managed to not watch it all this time, and even more impressively we'd managed to avoid all spoilers. I won't include any here, in case someone else has been living under an even bigger rock than us, What a great ending for a great season. Interestingly, I read a fanfic back around the first of the year which ultimately predicted what would happen with Peter...I wonder if the author of that fic was as chuffed as I was? (If anyone feels like helping me out on this, point me to your own reaction to the finale, so I can go back and read it.)

Tonight is gaming night. We're about to start a brand new AD&D campaign from level 1, with what's left of our current group. [ profile] bedlamhouse's cruel and heartless desertion moving away marks a huge change in the dynamic of the group, but we're determined to carry on. I realized recently that I'd been playing with this group, through various iterations, for eight years, which is pretty much the longest I've ever been with a single group of people gaming. There was the group I started with (1983-1987), the East Carolina Gaming Club (1986-1990), Jim and Steve in Athens (1990-1993), [ profile] asynaka1 and his friends (1993-1998), Craig & Co (1994-1997), and then a gap until I joined up with Bill and Don. (Yes, several of those dates overlap. I'm polygamerous. I'm not even trying to figure out all the various places I dropped into and out of [ profile] hejira2006's Doctor Who and Star Trek RPG campaigns.)

The people at the table change, but the game is forever. And so it goes.
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Last night after work, I drove down to Perimeter Point to meet up with Alice for dinner and a movie. We had a leisurely meal at Atlanta Bread Company and discussed the day and a variety of other topics; one of the things I love about hanging out with Alice is that she's always got something interesting to talk about, and often about subjects that I'm not already immersed in, which is a good stretch for my brain.

Our movie for the evening was the just-released The Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon. I admit that I had no idea what to expect from this film, having seen neither of its prequels nor read any of the novels which they are (loosely, I'm told) based upon. But it was the film that Alice suggested she was very interested in seeing, and I had no objection to it, even if it was a film I might not have ever seen if someone had not asked me to go with them.

I'm glad she did. Ultimatum isn't a deep film, by any means, but its a roller coaster ride that starts on a high and never lets up. The plot is tight and gripping, and paced in such a way that even when something preposterous happens, your brain doesn't quite have time to object before the action moves on. The violence is hyperkinetic and neatly manages to avoid unnecessary gore while at the same time never being cartoonish. I heard the director refer to some of the fight scenes as a "violent ballet" in a radio interview last week, and that's a fitting description.

Jason Bourne as a character is interesting to watch. Matt Damon manages to be likable enough for us to keep us on his side while still being about as emotionally withdrawn as its possible to be without completely ceasing to be human. David Strathairn is fantastic as the CIA Black-Ops director who wants to stop him before he learns to much, and Albert Finney makes a surprise appearance at the end. Surprising in an action film, the various characters never quite become caricatures.

I'm not sure this was the Platonic Ideal of an action movie. But it was awfully darn close, and i'm looking forward to getting the two previous films on DVD and watching them now.
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We were driving up North Point Parkway, when [ profile] kitanzi spotted the movie listings for the UA Movie Theatre. The last three entries in the first column read:


Yeesh. It's getting so you can't go *anywhere* without running into spoilers!
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Ok, so after yesterdays’ list of book-to-film adaptations, here’s another long list of movies. This time, it’s Jim Emerson’s 101 Essential Films. Emerson writes:

This isn’t like Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies” series. It’s not my idea of The Best Movies Ever Made (that would be a different list, though there’s some overlap here), or that they were my favorites or the most important or influential films, but that they were the movies you just kind of figure everybody ought to have seen in order to have any sort of informed discussion about movies. They’re the common cultural currency of our time, the basic cinematic texts that everyone should know, at minimum, to be somewhat “movie-literate.”

So, I looked up the list and here it is, with only a couple changes. (I added “Fight Club” because it’s essential and it hadn’t been released at the time I made the list.) I remember I tried to represent key examples of all important genres, movie stars, directors, historical movements, and so on -- like an overview of the 20th century in 101 movies. Yes, there are many more I’d like to add, but remember, this is only a primer. How many have you seen?

'Yes, ACat, how many *have* you seen?', the audience didn't cry out... )

EDIT: I incorrectly attributed this list and the above paragraph to Roger Ebert, as it was on his website and I wasn’t reading carefully. I apologize to Mr. Emerson for the confusion.
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According to the UK newspaper The Guardian, here is a list of the Top 50 book to film adaptations of all time (a list, oddly enough, containing 51 items). Note which ones you’ve seen the movie of and/or read the book for. For films with multiple adaptations, any film adaptation counts.

And the nominations for best book-to-film adaptations are... )
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So, although most of our weekend was spent calling friends and sweeties and relatives to tell them our news, we did manage to accomplish some other things over the weekend as well.

Saturday we went swimming, and then went out to Asia Garden for a lunch of Chinese food. I really like the food there, and they have the added bonus of delivering to our apartment when we want takeout. (And are, amusingly, faster to deliver than the place that's right across the street). We then did some necessary shopping and came home to watch TV, hang out on #filkhaven, and call everyone we needed to call.

Sunday was more swimming, after which we ordered some pizza and then went down to Medlock Crossing to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Spoilers for HP3 hidden behind here... )

Once we got back from the movies, [ profile] kitanzi called her dad (and left a message) and her brother, both to wish them a Happy Father's Day and to tell them about the upcoming wedding. We ended up going to bed early, because Kit had to be up early in order to report to jury duty on Monday. I'm sure she'll tell you all about that later over in her journal.

This weekend upcoming is Atlanta Pride, and then the weekend after that we'll be travelling up to North Carolina for a family gathering, so the days are just full. :) I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend as well!


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