29 October 2009

Hot air 12 - Halifax reading

seeing as how baby books are in my future, and im tired at night, and reading just isnt a top priority lately...im putting my list of "things read since i got here" out. these are the things i actually finished. the long list of books i gave up on is somewhat embarrassing.

-"Reflections on the Guillotine" by Albert Camus
great essay arguing against the death penalty. takes the logic and fact-based arguments rather than the emotional ones.

-The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky
audio read this on our august road trip. great bio of the remarkable fishing village of gloucester, massachusetts. the fishing history of this town has a surprising number of ties to nova scotia. for example, we learned of the famous canadian sailing boat, the bluenose, that was made in lunenburg (in response to winning boats from gloucester), was undefeated for 17 years, and is featured on the canadian dime. we also learned about the famous artists inspired by gloucester: fitz henry lane, winslow homer, edward hopper, stuart davis, emile gruppe, t.s. eliot, rudyard kipling, and virginia lee burton. interesting read. scrappy little fishing town.

-Without a Map by Meredith Hall
a memoir. the womans life is totally fractured when she becomes pregnant at age 16 in 1965. she shares parts of her harrowing journey back to humanity. at one point, she is a fisherman in gloucester for a year (interesting connection to the previous book), walks thousands of miles in europe, graduates college at age 44, and has two sons who end up growing up with the son she had as a teenager when he comes looking for her. interesting.

of course, new yorker articles:
-brief article about the u.s. fear of change as it relates to health care reform
-brief article about H1N1 vaccine and its affect on public fears
-short article about free diving. interesting look at the people of the "worlds second most dangerous sport."
-short funny piece from david sedaris. comedy about australia. made me think of glen. :)
-short article about amelia earhart and some of the literature written about her
- in-depth article about our nations health care costs. good info for people on both sides of the argument. written in a thought provoking way, not dry.
-in-depth article about arizona sheriff joe arpaio. nasty, arrogant guy who gets off on treating criminals like dirt. and now hes padded his job resume to take on illegal immigrants.

-lastly, not a book, but a bit of comedic video featuring glen frolicking in london for a friends song. you gotta laugh.

25 October 2009

Like a fat kid eat chocolate lake

took advantage of a nice fall day.

slept in til noon. oops. dave made raisin and brown sugar pancakes. score! then we realized it was in the low 60s and sunny so we got dressed (me in rain boots because of all the rain from the previous day. getting lots of use out of those things!) and headed to the rec area nearby we had heard about called chocolate lake.

found, um, there is literally a rec center there, which i think is the main draw because chocolate lake is a filled-in quarry that is void of animal life and has lots of houses on it. there is also a small beach. weird. didnt spend much time there but we had some errands to do so at least we could stay out and about in the weather.

(wanted to see if my rain boots were fully water tight. yup! also, these are my newest pair of jcrew cords. eggplant color. got them in august. wasnt about to put them away for a year because i couldnt fit. thus, notice the brown bella band.)

here is where things get dicey. first stop was the drug store for some much needed items. while waiting for a few photos to print, we perused some of the less necessary aisles. as ive begun feeling better, more food categories have rejoined the "palatable" group. this doesnt exclude junk food unfortunately. i bought yogurt gummy fruits (hey, they had yogurt in them. and no artificial flavors), a yogurt smoothie (yoplait, but the #3 ingredient was sugar), and a bag of pistachios. yum!

promptly drank the smoothie and ripped open the bag of gummies while on the way to the mall to exchange my new Gap yoga pants for a different size. once inside the mall, a salted soft pretzel fresh out of the oven caught my nose. into the belly. last stop was the grocery store. here i wanted...everything. "put it all in my mouth and what wont fit, put it in the cart." i felt like a kid released from fat camp. finally, good looking food!

back at home i snacked on the bag of pistachios and tried out some new chips and salsa. somehow i was able to convince myself to put the bags away and stop eating before i burst. and later that evening, i attempted to embark on dinner for my final swan song. a bit of warm baguette with cheese to start and chicken, mushrooms, and corn for the main dish. yeah, i barely made it to the main event. had a few bites and decided i felt sick.

so, i counted that as my gorge weekend celebrating partially rejoining the non-dietarially crippled. i gave myself that day to "fall off the wagon" and will make smarter, healthier food choices in the months to come. not because i have to, but really, that crap made me sick. i just havent had a "eyes bigger than your stomach" type day in a LONG time. i guess my halloween came early. honestly, i should have known things were getting bad when, before i took a bite of something, i would say "sorry kiddo!"

What a drag

today was a hodge podge, but at least we got out and did a few things, marking a day when i was feeling pretty good.

first, dave was supposed to participate in a halloween-costumed ultimate frisbee tournament in wolfville. we had the day planned out the night before which inevitably meant that the rain would wipe all that off the slate. poor dave. he got up, ate, showered, and prepared to pack his "pimps and hoes" themed costume (guys were the hoes, girls the pimps) all before 7a, when the tourny was canceled. :(

(dave rockin his sexy streetwalker get-up. the fate of nessie is entirely leaning toward confused and insane...)

so, we slept in and got on the road to wolfville around lunchtime, wanting to still see/do something today. the drive north was lovely and serene with the last flashes of fall colors burning on the trees. we arrived in the tiny town (less than 4000 residents, not including the temporary Acadia University student population) at around 1:30p. it was rainy and muddy but i had my rain boots. :)

we chose the "library pub" because we had heard it was upscale pub food with an amazing burger on the menu. apparently, this is actually very much a "foodie" town, so, in general, i think we will have to come back. anyway, in the upstairs pub overlooking main street we enjoyed a warm cup of cream of mushroom soup with a side of toasted bread and a local, free-range beef burger with a side of port wine bbq sauce which dave enjoyed. instead of fries, it came with warm pita bread and garlic dipping sauce. it seemed like a place where locals/professors hung out, so we liked the atmosphere.

after lunch, it was still rainy so we walked the tiny strip of main street looking for a sweet treat. we went into the "vegetarian lunchbox" and found some goodies that were fabulous. after dessert, we completed the loop around town and saw basically all of its dozen or so restaurants, plus its other offerings. we didnt walk around the acadia campus, though im sure we'll find a nicer day to do that in the future.

back in the car, we headed east to get back on the highway and drove through a small winery area that is apparently gaining some respect (of course, it also boasts some more lovely "foodie" restaurants and gorgeous b&bs). we turned on the road to grand pré which dead ends in the bay of fundy. the closer to the bay (and the dykes that hold back the water from the low-lying meadowland) we got, the shittier the road got. clearly people with cars boasting less than a foot of ground clearance dont come out this way. it reminded me of the scary logging roads we sometimes found ourselves on in the U.P. of michigan while chasing waterfalls.

anyway, we made it to high ground to park (next to two large trucks) and stepped out to get a view. on the map i had it indicated a lighthouse and nature preserve island just off shore. well, there was no lighthouse and the island looked bleak in the grey, windy, foggy chill. after such a bumpy, dirty drive, we didnt last very long here. when we turned back to the car, one of the guys with a truck was suiting up and rigging up to go fishing.

we said hello and dave asked him what he was fishing for. he said stripped bass. he offered to showed us how he rigged his 12 foot pole and chatted with us all the while. very friendly man who worked for amway at one point in life but now lives near mahone bay and builds gorgeous cabinets (gimme a house and i want him to build me a kitchen). he had driven up to attempt to catch his last bass of the year. the minimum is 27" and with the 12.5 meter tide today, he felt confident that he could get some good candidates biting his mackerel minnow baited 50 lb test line. so, in the end, the drive out there was interesting. :)

came home down the same autumn flaring highway and prepared for the dismal penn state game. another year where im glad i dont live in aa, id just be too depressed.

23 October 2009

Tri anything once...

and now, for the debut of the reason my blog has been lame for the past two months...im pregnant.

holy crap, ive gone global. im terrible at figuring out a way to express this information to my family and friends, but it feels like nothing to just be typing about it here. i guess because, aside from the few lovely souls who post comments occasionally, i feel like i talk to myself here. its a record of what the hell is going on with me and dave. and when i say hell...ive kinda felt like i was visiting there recently. shocking folks, im about to complain...

mmm, where to start...and how not to make this the longest entry ever...ive got no good ideas, so here goes:

1. yes, it was planned

2. it happened on the first try (ive had something like 50% of my friends with little ones say this exact same thing to me. i guess i joined that club.)

3. i guess my birthday post wasnt too far off...waxing poetic about how i couldnt see into my future...perhaps because this is something new that i cant even begin to predict or imagine...

4. im due may 6-7. if anyone wants to go crazy on the math, this puts conception at before i turned 28. woot. always thought 27 was a good time to start a family. i squeaked in...barely.

5. took the pregnancy test (those things are expensive! like $16 for one stick!) on august 30. positive! dave and i walk around in a daze all evening. my emotions go from guarded skepticism that it could work on the first try, to "okay, dont get too attached, people have miscarriages all the time." i can really light up a situation right?

anyway, i was happy achieving "step 1" and truthfully i wasnt really drowning in worries, just trying not to bounce off the walls. dave was just simply happy. later that night he asked me "so, are you worried about anything?"...i look at him, contain my laughter, and say "of course. whats not to worry about?" then i asked him if he was worried about anything, he says "triplets." my mouth dropped open. multiples hadnt been on my list of worries. then i regained some composure and said, "you arent nervous about twins?" he said "no. there are two of us and two of them and we could handle it." very confident. this ended his list of worries, and ive loved him ever since...lol. :)

6. then i proceed to get many of the items on the "early pregnancy symptoms" list. sore boobs and dizziness are fun, but i didnt even know what was coming.

7. doctors appointment on sept 3 for blood test for pregnancy confirmation signaled the end of week 5 and the nausea hit, and it hit hard. no, i didnt do any vomiting and havent to date (knock on wood). but nausea has been a nightmare to me and it plagued me for weeks. for about 1-2 weeks it was 24 hours. all day people! this shit about morning sickness was made up by liars. it was ALL the time. nothing combated the feeling except trying to make sure my stomach always had food in it so as to at least combat the low blood sugar levels and dizziness that can intensify nausea.

i have been a normally healthy person all my life, never getting super terrible flus, mono, pneumonia, bubonic plague...so this stage was absolutely hellish. i had no ability to stop the symptoms, no foresight to see when relief might come, and not one shred of evidence that i had any control over my body. a robot alien had taken over all functioning of my body but left me conscious and hooked up to a huge pain grid. oh, and did i mention the hunger?

this hunger is like nothing that can be described. again with the robotic feelings. it was like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors had control of my hands, mouth, and stomach but i was being forced to bare witness. there was not one moment where i felt comfortable and full. at first, i could at least still eat most of my normal foods. dave was the master chef and provided me with anything at any time. but alas, it was not fair to torture him at night. i was getting up 3-5 times at night to eat something. and once the smell and food aversions came, it wiped out everything in the "health food" categories and left me with "white food:" potatoes, pasta, bread, cheerios, tortillas, cheese. i feel like im in high school again. although, luckily i still really love fruit. smoothies are the best. i guess im lucky to still have fruit. yay, something positive. severe hunger coupled with only 5 choices of food that didnt make me wanna gag...yeah, joy ride.

8. on sept 10 i had another doc visit just to look at the blood work results and to get a pap smear. this caused 1-2 days of "routine" light bleeding. fun! freaked me out.

9. at this point, the super scary nausea SLOWLY started to dissipate and gave way to mega bloating, heartburn, indigestion, and general fatigue. as much as nausea isnt my friend, mister heartburn is a highly undesirable sidekick. coupled with continued night time nausea, heartburn is not cool. every night was spent propped on a mountain of pillows.

10. other symptoms i was not prepared for: dry skin, headaches, and nasal congestion. minor in comparison, true, but i had never heard of them before. the only thing that has been interesting, semi-welcome, and low on the pain scale: sore boobs. ive finally achieved the chest i thought would be delivered me when i was a teenager. as they are temporary, i will soak in every minute with them.

11. strongest food aversion: cracked black pepper. i can smell it a mile away. i can tell you if even one speck landed in my food. it is gagtastic....and i LOVED it before. ew. just thinking about it is making me sick.

12. oct. 15 was the recent doctors appointment. she said it was a bit early to hear a heartbeat and not to be disappointed if we couldnt find it. but, lo and behold, she found it. a solid 150 bpm. that was at 11 weeks. but, i really felt most comfortable waiting until the end of the trimester to broadcast fully.

i am sure we told virtually no one when they would have liked or expected to have been told, and im sorry. i just have my concerns and personal space and hopefully there are no hard feelings. i also couldnt figure out who would want to know the information from me (via direct email) and who wouldnt mind reading it here. again, apologies. my intention is not to make anyone feel left out. and you can see, i am still processing this and trying to make it a happy time even when i am feeling like crap. telling people a month ago would have just made any congratulations nauseating, literally. to try and be the glowing future mommy people talk about when you are congratulating me on feeling sick just feels off to me. yes, im crazy. but you knew that.

14. i have not been in support of cute nicknames for the "it" attacking me. bean just doesnt describe a thing about this monster. i have taken up a name with multiple layers of usefulness: "nessie vancouver." its unisex (we arent finding out the sex of the kid). like lotus and other awesome choices, i doubt i am going to be able to use vancouver as a future name (dave and i met in vancouver). nessie has two references: most importantly, the loch ness monster, and for all you fellow twilight fans, its the nickname of edward and bellas kid (kick ass!). oh, also, the two-part name reminds me of the wacky hollywood baby names of "moxie crimefighter" or "pilot inspektor" (those are real names, i swear).

15. because i was always an easily bloated person (remember the food babies i could always produce? there are pics out there somewhere i know it), the bloating came fast and furious. at 9 weeks i was forced to buy a bella band so i could continue to wear my normal pants. what the hell, im not investing in new clothes yet! i had planned on having more time to amass a closet of comfy yoga pants. thankfully the bella band has been invaluable, i highly recommend it. i even feel like it has helped, on some days, with the hunger/nausea. supposedly, from my sept 10-oct 15 visit i only gained 4 pounds, but i feel like ive blobbed out beyond control. its just a non-bump, pregnant-limbo feeling, fat time.

16. yes this is, in theory, a happy time. im sure i'll get the mommy magic eraser and forget all about this negativity and spout off about how wonderful pregnancy is to all future pregnant people at some later date. im sure the future poop, barf, and snot machine will provide me with ample reasons to stand up and salute parenthood...right before they rob me blind for a new car, college tuition, wedding money, etc. if you think i am over-the-top bitter, i refer you back to point #1. it was planned. we had thought this through and yes, i brought this on myself. if possible, i think i will be adopting in the future. on some level, im sure i'll be thankful for this time with my body, but it isnt the only way to be a family, and right now i feel like that is an important lesson too.

17. lastly, some websites i find useful:

- when the nausea was the scariest, this website was very thorough
- to give you a useful and clear picture of your dates and what is happening to you and coming in the future, this site is useful

(and guess what? jim and pam are having a kid this season on The Office; and Dexter is having a kid this season too! perfect timing. no word on real life celebs who will be due around the same time as me...keeping a lookout though...)

19 October 2009

Nutmeg and her amazing technicolor vom-coating

i slept like...2 hours last night.

on sunday, i successfully gave the cat her 3 doses of liquid meds. nothing came up during normal human hours but she was acting very, very off. sleepy and creepy (staring at the floor or wall for 15-45 minutes at a time). she stayed away from me most of the day but at bed time she hopped up on the bed and stayed by my feet. i had a hard time falling asleep, but i think i was finally there when she woke me up gagging at 4:30a. tried to push her off the bed but i felt bad about her cone and didnt want to break her neck, so i didnt shove as forcefully as normal. cut to the bedroom 2 minutes later and im crying, searching for my glasses, reaching for the light switch while trying to corral the cat and dance around the piles of puke.

she ended up soiling all three layers on my bed linens and dirtied the floor. is was on her face and ALL over the cone. and she had wretched so hard that the last round was reddish/bloody. sweet, sweet and more sweet. panic. i get her out of the room. clean up her face and collar and call the emergency vet. i dont know what time it is, what day it is, or even when she had her surgery. the lady said it was likely caused by the meds she was taking so take away her food and water and dont give anymore meds until i can get to our vet. fine. seems reasonable since the cat is already acting more normal and active.

i clean up the vom, bundle up the bogus bed linens, and find some makeshift pieces to sleep on so i can get back to sleep. i lock her out of my room and am basically unable to go back to sleep until i can call the vet at 8a. they can see her in an hour. good. another $117 later, she is off the meds, doesnt have kidney failure, and is shot up with kitty zantac. we get to come back tomorrow morning for her drainage tube to be removed. i am just so excited i cant even spell it out for you. or maybe thats because i am so bleary-eyed tired. mmm.

18 October 2009

Ore-gon[e] is my sense of sanity

to summarize...saturday was fun.

the day began with a visit to the regular vet to check on nutmegs butt. apparently it didnt heal at all (even though she was wearing a cone for 4 days). they cleaned it up and suggested surgery to close the wound since she appears to have fought the infection well. they did her blood work ($90) to help speed up the surgery procedure we would have to have done at the local emergency vet since the regular vet wasnt open long enough on saturdays to accommodate. great.

back at home, dave packed and readied for his geology conference in portland, oregon. he will be back on thursday afternoon and has to give two talks (one sunday, one monday). he has a flight to newark and then the long haul over to portland. of course, his flight to newark was sufficiently delayed so as to make him miss his flight to portland tonight. my friend near NYC, amy, prepared to host dave for the night (thanks!), but the ticket lady got him on a flight to houston. he will have to spend the night there, but he gets to portland a bit earlier on sunday than newark could offer him. thankfully, using facebook, he was able to snag a night at a friends house who works at an oil company down there. okay, so thats good, i guess. (hopefully they havent canceled his hotel reservation in portland that he never made it to today...)

anyway, back to the cat. on the way to the airport we dropped her off (this surgery apparently takes 10 minutes, but they need to do stuff to her a couple hours before and then monitor a couple hours after). we arrive at the airport and they have examined her and called us. she has a slight heart murmur apparently which means her chances of dying under anesthetic are increased from that of a normal, healthy cat. sweet. but it seems this wound aint healing on its own and shes already felt like crap for over a week so lets get it done and hope for the best.

six hours later, i am able to come pick her up. the surgery totals just under $600. awesome. she needs to wear the collar for another 10 days and i need to give her two different kinds of liquid medications. both of which can make her barf. fun. and im alone for the next 5 days.

oh, and did i mention weve been having problems with our heat? so for about a week the heat has been totally off. it was fixed mid-week and then stopped working again. today, maintenance came again and "fixed" it. now it has broken in the stuck ON position. i had an awesome headache last night sleeping in my sauna while the wench upstairs blasted the SAME dance party song over and over until 12:30a. meanwhile, the cat was trying to snuggle in to warm me up further with her 12 pounds of body fat and accompanying licking noises in my ear. i had to open the windows to the cold night and waver between cold shoulders and a sweating ass. id rather have the heat broken OFF, any day.

13 October 2009

I'd rather be looking at a turkeys butt

today is canadas thanksgiving.

way too early if you ask me. turkey does not come before halloween candy. at any rate, with only two people and no one inviting us to their family shindig, we did not get to feast on turkey and gravy today. :( we stayed in and stayed warm and dave got work done.

what we did get, was an enjoyable nutmeg butt experience. her anal gland issue that befell her in july returned. poor thing. recently, she was acting slightly "off," so, preemptively, we took her in on saturday. she indeed had a fever, so they gave her a 2-week long antibiotic shot and said they couldnt find evidence of anal gland blockage. a $220 mystery...now solved.

monday. thanksgiving. its a holiday. of course this is when her real issue occurs. all of the sudden shes bleeding and wandering around the house feeling uncomfortable. but shes still interested in eating and drinking and shes had that shot, so we opt to hold off on the vet until tuesday morning (for another $75 dose of fun. this visit results in her having to wear a cone for a few days while the sore heals up).

(butts and thanksgiving reminded me of this Friends episode dave and i recently re-watched)

(nutmeg with her collar on. she cannot figure how to walk around in the thing and thus it freaks her out. her only real comfort zone is our bed. she normally NEVER sleeps like this, but lately shes been wiggling in, cone first, to sleep right up by my face. dave caught this lovely pic.)

12 October 2009

Re-gatta pumpkin race

lovely fall day and nearby a town was having a giant pumpkin regatta...

last day with daves parents was finally spent in the sunlight! :) we drove about an hour north, near the bay of fundy, to the town of windsor (not that windsor, the nova scotia version). they call themselves, "the little town of big firsts." they claim to have begun the game of hockey, and they also are famous for their giant pumpkins. back in 1999, some genius thought it would be a tourist draw to carve some of the giant pumpkins out and paddle them like kayaks across the local lake (lake pesaqid)...thus the pumpkin regatta was born.

first, they have a parade through town with local supporters and trucks towing all the boat entries (the pumpkins can weigh upwards of 1400 pounds!). the town crier started things off, candy was thrown for the kids, and it was a cute little parade. next was about an hour and a half wait for the boats to get set up across the lake. on the finish line side of the lake (where we were), there were food stands with pumpkin products, fall products, fried goodies, and chili tastings set up.

(town crier; pumpkin car; pretty horsies!; dave and his mom by the town statue to the man who encouraged the giant pumpkin growing in windsor)

there were two heats of pumpkin racing (motorized and human-powered. motorized only had 3 entries and was lame!). by the time the races were started, thousands of people had lined the lakes edge. pretty cool. after fueling up with a tasty $1 slice of pumpkin cake, we watched the paddling winners come in to the dock. i cant imagine how cold the water was, or how painful it must be on their shoulders by the time they hit the finish line but it is quite a funny and weird sight to see something like 50 pumpkins bobbing in the water, charging forward with people inside.

(view across the lake to the starting line. maybe you can barely see the little bobbing pumpkins; and theyre off! those three were super close for almost the whole race!; coming in to the finish line...)

05 October 2009

Rainfall doesnt affect tourists

well, today was WET!

it was decided that although it was raining, we would have a driving tour day of some nearby cute towns. being sunday and quite damp, i thought it might be a decent time to have a bit of things to ourselves. nope. first stop was mahone bay. wet, wet, wet. the first restaurant we tried the lady said "we're full. sorry. you can try and come back in half an hour, but no guarantees." what kind of way to run a business is that? got a similar story at the next place we tried.

finally, the saltspray cafe agreed to take us in. they had quite a few customers and it took almost an hour for food to arrive at the table. the people were friendly though, and all the old people tourists in the place were cute. its october. most regular tourists are gone except for retirees. but i dont blame them for coming. the fall colors are starting and mahone bay is cute and had a scarecrow festival going on. had it not been raining, we could have gotten some pictures of the the charlie chaplin, royal family, obama, and other scarecrows.

last stop was peggys cove. the drive there and back to halifax was beautiful and we barely saw a soul. unfortunately dee dee's ice cream was closed. not surprising since the weather was crap. oh well. at least we found some things to do on a rainy day.

04 October 2009

A little bit of france, a lot of disappointment

farmers market and football disappointed today.

took the in-laws to the farmers market. there is a crepe stand in the market that is always busy so we decided to try it and see if it could take us back to rennes. no dice. the gallette was too thin and yet still kind of rubbery and the ingredients (cheddar cheese!? they dont even have cheddar in france) were less than impressive. it had the look, but the taste was not the same. damn these seasoned tastebuds.

next was a stop at the boulangerie la vendeenne stand in the market. recommended by the real french people we know here as the only place with baguettes that come close to france. so, we bought two baguettes and a pain au chocolat. the baguettes turned out to be pretty darn good, though they seemed much larger than the ones in france. the pain au chocolat, despite being made with the proper type of chocolate (kudos), was crap. if it were actually made in france, it would be a front-runner for worst pain au chocolat in the nation.

i guess you win some, you lose some. next we hit the grocery store and susies shortbread for some gourmet cupcakes (everyone loved them!) to gather our lunch items. we toured a bit of the town and got back to our apartment in time to set up camp in front of the computer for the UM v MSU football game. how frustrating. our team looked like they never showed up. did zombies get off the bus and play in their stead? disappointing. tate breathed a bit of life and excitement to get things into overtime, when our computer promptly froze and forbade us from watching the embarrassing conclusion. HATE losing to state. grrrr.

03 October 2009

Brooklyn with the in-laws

daves parents arrived by car for a visit. :)

the in-laws left michigan last week and drove to albany to visit daves sister last weekend and then took their time driving new england and new brunswick to arrive in nova scotia today. we met them after work and decided on the brooklyn warehouse for dinner.

it has a cozy cafe feel and has nice warm, dark wood everywhere. we started with a warm hummus appetizer and a pate appetizer. dave got a delicious vegetarian pasta dish, i had a standard burger, and the in-laws got the rabbit dish. looked SO yummy. as with most canadian places, the service seemed a bit slow, but we enjoyed our meal and the company. i would come back again. it was very strange not going out by ourselves. visitors are nice. :)

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