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Scarlet Letters
Wandering but not lost...
Yes I know I never update.

Yes I know this makes me a bad person.

Look for me to update about NaNo soon.

But right now I'm so pissed I'm about to pop.



I've not posted any links or had any quippy one-liners for this whole rash of suicides due to bullying in public schools. Mostly, it's because... well at first, I held a pretty damn unpopular viewpoint. And I still do... but we'll get to my change of heart in a minute.


I was picked on as a kid, mercilessly. There was virtually no escape from it unless I was just by myself... I never fit in be it at church, or dance classes, or school or anywhere where there was more than about 2 or 3 kids my age. My utter hatred of children stems largely from these experiences. My parents wouldn't help... and teachers were useless (they always tell you to go find a teacher or adult... but it never helps.)


But newsflash... even when I was feeling my worst. Realizing that I would never be the person that my parents wanted. Maybe I'd never have friends that I could actually relax around without feeling paranoid. I'd probably never have a normal social life because I was constantly ill-at-ease around people my own age.


I never actually killed myself. Or even seriously considered it.


So I have a hard time having sympathy for a kid who kills themselves over bullying.


Lets face it. Bullying is a part of life, and it was certainly part of mine. And I know for a fact that you can have all the warm fuzzy counseling sessions with the victims, and all the rules in the world against it, but nothing will stop mean little shits from being just that. But you'd kill yourself over someone calling you fat, or skinny or short or tall or whatever? KILL YOURSELF? And forms of depression and whatnot aside... that always just seemed super lame to me.


And especially when it was internet drama. I mean really... It's the fucking internet. You need a thick skin to make it through public school... but to survive on the internet you better bring armor plating. Or just stay away from 4chan and forums in general.




Now hold it. I know everyone and their dog is about to jump on my case, (and I do stand by my above statements for regular bullying, sans actual medical depression) but this whole rash of suicides of gay kids because they're being picked on for being gay is different. And I'll tell you why it's different.


Because this is religiously and politically sanctioned ridicule and demeaning of gay people.


I'll say it again: Religiously and politically sanctioned.


I dare anyone to dispute me. Come out come out wherever you are.


Gay people are viewed as being second class by a large enough section of the populace to have their own political party. As being something other than human even. And these people are not fringers. I'll put links at the bottom of this note where prominent religious and political figures who take part in the government on a very visible level demean gay people, and do not support their basic human rights.


Now I ask you this: how is a child, discovering who they are and what they will be in this world, supposed to have a healthy self image when they know people like them are hated by a large sect of their country?


This isn't the same as mean little shits being mean little shits. There's no fixing that.


But there is fixing children growing up in a family where they're taught that gay people are the deviant, evil, disease spreading spawns of Satan. And I am not being metaphorical. This is not hyperbole. That is literally preached word for fucking word in countless churches across this country every Sunday. And I know many of you reading this note go to those churches and hold those beliefs. You know who you are. What did you think was going to happen?


And I will be quite frank. The blood of these children is on the hands of ANYONE who willingly sits in a church that preaches hatred towards gay people and does not challenge this message. And it is doubly on the hands of anyone who taught the bullies of these kids to hate gay people.


Yes... I've said the word 'hate' many times. And it is true.


Why else would you limit their rights, downplay their suffering, and turn a blind eye to the inequalities if not because you hate them?


And we could remedy this in our schools... but anytime anyone breaks out the tolerance messages about gay people in school, the whole world blows up in a panic because heaven forbid we teach your kids how to be tolerant and kind individuals since you seem to be unable to summon the maturity to treat people who are different from you and hold different beliefs like they're still human beings. But I know for a fact, it's because you believe they're not. Again... What did you think was going to happen when your kid, stewed in years of intolerance, met someone who was different from them?



And on a different note on the other side of this... I'm frankly not a huge fan of this whole "It gets better" campaign.


What... so we should just tell them chin up... your life sucks and you're viewed as second class and always will be, because we can't get the stones in this country to tell the religious right to fuck off?


Fuck that with a rusty spoon.


No one's life should suck because they're gay... or anything else for that matter. Instead of the "It gets better" campaign... how about a "Your invisible homophobic deity can fuck right off" campaign? Because just letting these people get away with murder, literally, just because it's for a religious reason is bullshit. When are we, as a country going to stop pandering to religious reason as the only reasoning for laws and culture in this country. When? Because I'm ready for it to stop yesterday.



Here's your links. I'm going to go eat some peanut butter and calm down.


Go wash your hands, Lady Macbeth.






John Boehner, House Minority Leader


"And that is why marriage and family law has emphasized the importance of marriage as the foundation of family, addressing the needs of children in the most positive way." (and what... gay people are like acid that just eats away at a proper family... unlike say... affairs.)


"Protecting the institution of marriage safeguards, I believe, the American family." (yes... the gay mafia is coming.)


"Studies show that children best flourish when one mom and one dad are there to raise them." (citation needed sir)


"While 45 of the 50 States have either a State constitutional amendment or a statute that preserves the current definition of marriage, left-wing activist judges and officials at the local levels have struck down State laws protecting marriage." (that would be because civil rights are a judicial issue, not a legislative one.)


These quotes found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_boehner.html



Sarah Palin


"Palin said she's not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment [defining marriage between a man and a women]. Elected officials can't defy the court when it comes to how rights are applied, she said, but she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples. "I believe that honoring the family structure is that important," Palin said." Source: Anchorage Daily News, 2006




Rick Warren, the pastor who gave the inauguration prayer for President Obama


Just go here.


http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman/2008/12/rick-warrens-controversial-com.html

Current Mood: infuriated infuriated
Current Music: Bach- Komm Jesu Komm

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I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Current Mood: geeky geeky

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So much for the updating monthly thing...


About two-ish hours ago, I turned 25 years old. I've lived a quarter of a century. I've survived bird-flu, SARS, Mad Cow Disease, Y2K, a trip overseas to the home country of my great great grandfather, 20 years of living with Conservative Evangelical Christians as a pagan/atheist, 9/11, Grissom Band Camp, being an honorary member of a fraternity, the rise of Apple and the iEverything, and every other crazy curve-ball this planet has had to throw for 25 years.


I've actually given it a lot of thought... not in the depressed way. I know I'm not old by any sane standard. It just... made me introspective.

Sometimes I feel like I should have more to show for it.

Sometimes I feel like -I- show it... not in a physical sense but just in the way I approach the world and those around me.

Sometimes I wonder where it all went.

Sometimes I wonder how I look out from under all the years that I irresistibly define by my failures to no one but myself, and still remain optimistic.

But always I feel like I've always been this way.

People tell me that I'm an old soul... that as a child I thought like an adult long before I ever should. Well now I should... and I wonder how I feel about it. 25 was always the real-adult mark to me. That paradox where you're supposed to have your life figured out, but everyone knows that you really don't. And I sometimes still really don't. Really really don't.

And I've been OK with that up until now. And I'm not suddenly and magically not OK with it just because of a date on the calendar... I more just wonder if I should still be OK with it.

I'm not angsting. I'm not having a quarter life crisis.

Y'know how when you lose your virginity and you lay back after it's all over and wonder if you should feel different... if anyone else ever felt different... Because you're not sure if you feel different?

I'm sort of there.


Reading...Collapse )

Theater...Collapse )



School carries on.

My group of friends isn't what it was, but nothing ever stays constant except change. It was fun while it lasted and I don't think it will ever be quite the same again. I've made peace with that the way I always have. Friends come and go in my life and I've just had to deal with that.


Italy was amazing.

I really can't sum it up in any way that does it any justice. It was just too amazing for words. The food... smells... sights... I could have only asked for one thing and that was more time.


Charlie and I are moving in the direction of getting a house.

Moving will suck but what can you do. It will be worth it.


I think that's all for me this time. Maybe I'll try to get on here and ramble more often. There are somethings that you can only talk to the empty air about, because your thoughts are equally as insubstantial.


I don't think my life or my youth is over. I'm just getting started. The road does indeed go ever on and on.


Happy birthday to me...

Current Mood: lethargic introspective
Current Music: Rachel Maddow in Afghanistan

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I guess it's monthly update time...

I'm between Drood weekends... two more days and then we're 'off to the races' once again. Har. Har.

The show has gone remarkably well. There were a few rough spots during dress involving prop moves and the addition of some new props, but I got to rehearse my stage crew before opening night and now everything runs like clockwork.

I have to say, I've been sort of surprised at myself. Anyone who knows me or remembers me from high school knows I'm about as organized as a cross-eyed goldfish. There are times where I'm not sure how I'm getting it all done... but it gets done. One scene at a time. One curtain pull at a time.

And the show itself has been magnificent. The cast has the audience eating out of their hands.

Having an audience is making a huge difference... they make up a character of sorts. All of the Chairman's lines are delivered to the audience as though they were an audience of Victorian theatre-goers in London. And so far, the audience gets so into it. By the time the voting rolls around, they are adamant about who they think the murderer is.

I haven't had this much fun in a long time.

It makes me wonder what I've missed by bowing out of theater in high school and never pursuing it again until now...

If opportunity isn"t knocking, build a door.Collapse )

Off to bed with me... I have choir and then Music history and then more choir tomorrow.

Love and Cookies,

Birdie

PS: If you haven't seen Repo Men, go see it and avoid spoilers. The twist on the end made my brain go melty.

Current Mood: indescribable introspective

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Hey all,

So I guess it's time for my monthly-ish update.

It's funny. In all my frantic running around these days... I stop and look at my last entry and it tempts me to think that all I'm doing is running in place. The news is just more of the same. I'm getting somewhere with it, sure... but I have to ask if it's taking me anywhere. I guess we all have such crises from time to time.

It's funny. My college was in the news around the world because of the shooting. The whole school was shut down for a week and I'm sure the biology department is still not yet at full steam. Rest assured I shed my share of tears, fretted my share of what ifs and did my share of hand wringing, but I never quite lost sight of the fact that the world wasn't stopping. The choir music for Italy was breathing down my neck, but hotter still was the breath of Drood and mid-terms and my music history term paper. I've heard that people close to events like this often grudge the fact that the world keeps turning. I guess my neck was on the grudge altar this time.

Speaking of choir... Italy is paid in full for Charlie and I. There are plane tickets with our names on them for May 16th. Now it's just a matter of rehearsal. Charlie's extra excited since he got tagged to be in the small chamber group in the Poulenc Mass. The amount of music and the sheer difficulty is overwhelming. Plus none of it really reaches out and grabs me... or transports me the way that the Britten Five Flower Songs did. The Poulenc is growing on me though. I just have to convince myself it isn't mold.


And speaking of Drood... it's kicking the shit out of me on a daily basis. But in that wonderful way that makes you not pry at the knots. We are at the one-month mark, with one week out for spring break. The demands on me are constant, and one slip... one detail (or what seems like a detail) forgotten and the whole house of cards falls in on itself. I've learned that I'm stage managing as well as actually dancing on stage. That means managing entrances, curtain pulls, prop setting. And dancing.

Have I mentioned that yet? I'm actually in the damn show now. How on earth did this happen? I didn't even audition. David Harwell didn't know me from Adam's pet aardvark when he asked me to be his assistant director. Don't think I've just swept that little fact under the rug in my mind. It still boggles me.

And in addition to all the above, I stand in for anyone who's absent, and that includes lead characters. Tonight I had to play Helena, which included her 'big scene' of sorts and singing her part in one of the more complicated numbers in the show. I've stood in for nearly every dance part as well. It's been really bizarre... but I know one thing's for sure...

I'll be back for more of this theater business.


Second verse same as the first where writing is concerned. While Drood is going on, I have no spare creative energy. That, and my music history paper, and all my choir and wind ensemble music siphon it all.

I just realized I haven't mentioned the memorial service, the concert at the VBC concert hall, the fact that I have new plans for Dragon*con, that I've found a new favorite movie (Repo: The Genetic Opera) or that apparently my house has become hang-out central on Friday nights?

But it all has to wait. For all these things require one thing that is ever and always in short supply.

Sleep.

Good night all.

~Birdie

Current Mood: drained drained
Current Music: Garden Path To Hell from The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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Hey all,

Yeah... so I think I've officially turned into one of those people who only updates every few months or so, and then it's a long wall o text that no one wants to read. But apparently there are a few left who still will listen to me ramble... I guess it's the same lesson that I learned in high school. If I am bored enough to write it, there's someone else bored enough to read it.

Anyway, the semester has begun anew and holds many new and exciting adventures for me. Not least among them is a trip to Italy with the UAH concert choir with a concert in the Vatican where I get to try to steal the Pope's hat. I'm excited about that... I've never been off this continent and I think voyaging across the pond is long overdue for me.

I'm glad to be back at school and not lazing around like a lout playing NetHack on my top of the line gaming computer. I have a lot of performing on my plate this semester and most of my time will be spent rehearsing for those concerts. There are three for wind ensemble alone.

And speaking of performances, I guess the big news of the semester is that I'm the assistant director for the UAH theater department's performance of the Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Every time I go to rehearsal I ask myself, "What in the hell am I doing here???" I'm keeping company with some of the biggest names in theater and music in Huntsville like I have any idea what the hell I'm doing.

I've never done anything like this before. I haven't done theater at all in something like ten years, and even then, I was always on stage. I have absolutely no experience doing this. And yet here I am... telling people what to do like I have any idea what the fuck is going on. I'm actually responsible for keeping up with who is going to be absent when and getting rehearsals scheduled around it. How funny is that? I can barely keep up with where my own ass should be half the time and I'm supposed to tell 20-odd seasoned theater people (some of them professionals) where to go and what to do. The whole thing is just hilarious.

But the show is going to be great and I'm really looking forward to being a part of it... if I can keep from freaking out.



The writing still just isn't happening and I don't know what to do about it. I still have ideas in my head... they just don't fall out of my pen the way they used to.

Maybe there's just too much distracting me. I couldn't play NetHack or read a book in school... writing was just as much entertainment for me as the readers.

Or maybe it's that I don't have any readers... no one over my shoulder screaming that I need to resolve this cliffhanger before the bell rings or they'll stab me with highlighters.

Who knows... I just with I had time to figure it out. But there is no such thing as free time this semester.




Anyway... back to schedule compiling for Drood.

Love and Cookies,

Birdie

Current Mood: stressed overwhelmed

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Hey all,

Looks like these days, I only ever update about once a month... if that.

Truth is that I've been sucked into the siren world of FaceBook. Yeah, I don't really like it either, to tell you the truth... at least it's not Twitter. It is there that I stand my ground.


Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, has come and gone, and with each passing year I fear it loses some of it's luster. It becomes a harsher and harsher reminder of how much I don't belong in my family. Their political behavior and religious fervor scares and angers me more and more each with each year. But the food is always wonderful, the games are always plentiful and turkey-coma naps while watching football still involve backscratches from my dad the way they always have since I was a little kid.

Exams too have passed for the year, and I think I did well all told. Maybe not as stunning a performance this semester as in the spring, but it wasn't a complete botch either. I'm just a little disappointed is all... especially in how I did in music history. I would have liked to have done better but I just don't have the brains for it. I think the only solid A in the class was Curtis and he's one of those obscenely intelligent people that you just want to club with a vacuum cleaner.

I was sort of fearing the end of the semester. I've made some really fantastic friends in the music department... for the first time ever, I'm hanging out with the 'popular kids' and it's taken some getting used to. Bess, Curtis, Marylin, LeAnna, Emily, Justin, Ryan, Michael, Chad and Toby... they're all new names relatively speaking and they've gotten me through this semester, though I doubt they realize it. I never had time to worry or wring my hands or feel depressed because we were too busy having fun.

But fortunately, we won't have to do without each other this month... Italy looms and so we carol to raise money. Plus the opera is coming up, Dido and Aeneas, and I'm helping with that. So we'll see each other, is the long and the short of it, and that's comforting.

I also have a new distraction in the form of DragonAge. I loves me some DragonAge. I will be writing a review of it as soon as I finish the game. Suffice it to say that I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and it's everything that I wanted it to be.

Life isn't shaping up to get any lighter over the next few months. School begins anew... Italy fundraising continues...



And I guess what is the biggest piece of news of late...

The decision has finally been made to put my grandfather in an assisted living place.

Longtime frequenters of my journal will remember that I've thought for years that he should be someplace like that, not so much for health reasons, but for social ones... so he isn't lonely. And he is so dreadfully lonely. He's lived alone for almost 13 years, since my grandmother died.

The decision was made after he fell and broke his maxillary bone, split his lip open and had a bruise on his brain. He was in therapy to do work to prevent falling, and he improved dramatically but he has since slid back. It's sad and it won't be an easy change for him. The family has been putting this off until pretty much his family doctor intervened and said it needed to be done now. But my grandfather is acting like nothing happened... it won't be an easy transition.

I have a hard time feeling super sad over it. I know he'll miss his house and his independence, but I think he'll be happier in a place where there are people around all the time. My mom and I have already done some preliminary looking and I just think he'll be so much better off once he gets adjusted. The care will be better and the atmosphere will be what he needs.

It's a bit of a blessing for Charlie and I. My grandfather doesn't want to sell the house... so it may be that Charlie and I might move in and set up a rent to own sort of deal, where we pay rent price but it's really towards buying the house. We'll be able to work on updating the house (it desperately needs new decor, particularly in the bathrooms) to improve its value while we're there.

I'm excited for this... I just hate why it's happening in a lot of ways.



But that's what's been up with me.

This month is going to be full of baking and caroling... I'm glad to be kept busy and social.

I'm off... I just gave up on sleep completely tonight and instead of rousing Charlie by going to bed, I'm just going to stay up and make him breakfast.

Love and Cookies,

Birdie

Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Countdown with Keith Olbermann

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Do you think society puts too much pressure on people to be in relationships and/or have children? Do you think this ostracizes people who would be perfectly content to remain single and/or child-free? Is this pressure worse around the holidays?


I think that the answer depends on a lot of things. You can't comment on society as a whole much any more, with so many niche viewpoints everywhere. Some people believe it is your sacred duty to procreate... and not all are drawing that viewpoint from religion. Others are more understanding that you may have a career or other things that dominate the picture you have for your life.

I think to answer the question about societal pressure broadly, in comparison with say fifty years ago, the pressure to get married and have kids right after high school is not as high as it once was. College education was a much rarer thing and higher education was rarer still. You didn't have this massive population of 20-somethings doing anything other than getting jobs and getting married and back then, a woman was considered an old maid if she wasn't married by her 30s.

So the pressure isn't quite what it used to be. Nowadays people expect young adults to go to college, get a few years or more of education under their belt and get a career going before tying the knot and starting a family. With more and more people pursuing a Masters before leaving college, this leaves a lot of thirty-somethings marrying for the first time and starting families, and no one seems to really be bothered by this. I do think there's an increasing pressure for people be more accepting than is necessary of people with children however.

As far as relationships go, the only direct pressure or discussion of it I've ever seen in my family, has actually been about men. If you're not known to have had a girlfriend in awhile or ever, my conservative Christian family assumes you're gay and talks about you behind your back relentlessly.

As to the question about the holidays... the short answer is YES. The pressure is much, much worse. I think this is due in part to the fact that there are relatives you only see at the holidays who are making an effort to keep up with you. They know the last milestone you hit and are wondering what's next for you. "Well you graduated this spring. Have you found a job in your field?" "You and So-N-So are still together. Has marriage come up?" "You guys have been married a few years. Will we be seeing little ones soon?" For many people, after marriage, the next milestone (and it is a milestone, though certainly not a required one) is children, and many people don't recognize such an inquiry as rude or invasive.

Being only 24, I've yet to really start feeling the pressure. My parents were very cautionary towards relationships, helping me understand in high school that I wasn't marrying anyone I was dating most likely, so there was no reason to be super serious over it. I'm married, but still in college and my husband only just started his career so we aren't really feeling the strain from much of anywhere. At worst, most people in my family who know about my childfree views believe that I'll change my mind, but they don't constantly voice these opinions. I think they just think that we'll come around once I get settled in with a career and I just ignore them.

I only get pretty heavy pressure from my grandfather-in-law. My husband carries a third generation family name, and I'm constantly reminded by my grandfather-in-law that he wants a great-grandson to carry the family name, and a great-granddaughter because he never had a granddaughter (my husband is an only child, like myself). I get asked every time I see him when he's getting those great-grandkids. I just politely and pointedly change the subject.

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Current Mood: geeky geeky

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Hey all!

Look! It's the girl that never posts! You want to know why I never post? Here's why I never post... Also known as my November schedule!


November 8th: D&D and Charlie's birthday party

November 9th: full day of classes

November 10th: Wind ensemble rehearsal, cleaning the choir room for Honor Choir festival

November 11th: Full day of classes

November 12th: Travel to Birmingham for Collegiate Choir Festival and perform at 9:30 am. Drive back for Women's Choir Rehearsal at 1pm. Wind Ensemble Rehearsal 3-6 pm.

November 13th: Technically a day off to finish my paper... but will probably get roped into helping with Honor Choir at some point... hopefully not though since I'm going to be there all day the following day.

November 14th: Honor Choir starts at 9 am. Our performance is at 7pm

November 15th: D&D at 1:30 until 5:30. Wind Ensemble rehearsal from 6-"9".

November 16th: Full day of classes. Also... my 10 page music history paper is due this day.

November 17th: Bake Sale from 8am until 3pm, for which I will have made a few loaves of quick bread. 4pm is wind ensemble until 6pm.

November 18th: Full day of classes.

November 19th: Women's choir and wind ensemble rehearsal.

November 20th: Honor Wind Ensemble festival. I am the personal slave for the guest conductor, Col. Palmatier. If he needs music copied or some water or anything during rehearsal, I go play fetch.

November 21st: Honor Wind Ensemble. More slavitude and then our concert at 7pm which includes a symphony that is a half an hour long non-stop, not to mention the meth-smoking march.

November 22nd: Women's choir concert at 3pm. D&D at 6pm

November 23rd: Full day of classes. Also, my presentation is due in music history.

November 24th: Leave for Tullahoma to spend the night.

November 25th: Have lunch in Tullahoma before leaving for Memphis for Thanksgiving.


Just typing that makes me tired. Also... right after Thanksgiving, exams start, so during all that I have to be studying, not to mention writing a paper and preparing a presentation.

Where did this semester go?

On the plus side, half of my trip to Italy is paid! Whee!

Love and Cookies,

Birdie

Current Mood: working overworked
Current Music: Britten's Five Flower Songs

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Rules: Leave a comment and I will give you a letter. Then, write 10 things that you love starting with that letter. Post the list in your journal. Give out letters to those who comment in return.

I got the letter "O"

1. Onion rings from Old Man Ankars

2. Outdoors

3. Orgasms! (Give me a break. I'm just embarrassed that I had to resort to it at #3... and actually put off using it until then.)

4. October

5. Old books (the smell specifically)

6. Olive oil (the stuff in a bottle, not the character)

7. Owls

8. Obex

9. Ostriches... they're like flamingos only not as flamboyant!

10. Othello by William Shakespeare


Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."
• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity.
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

1. How is married life? Married life is good. We're sort of boring these days since we're both in crunch mode. He's doing NaNoWriMo and I'm doing a variant called National Finish The Semester Month. But it's all good. The craziness won't last forever. Since we're both out of retail, the holidays will be much more relaxed.

2. Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Best case scenario is sitting behind a table stacked with copies of the best selling novel I wrote, pen in hand, giving autographs.

3. What/where is your happy place? Lately, it's my corner of the couch with my fuzzy blanket and my computer. But really... my happy place is tied to smells, so the physical place can be anywhere.

4. Do you have/want pets? I have a pet snake, but I eventually want cats. Getting married totally screwed up the 'old cat lady' ambition I had.

5. (I know you don't want kids but) what are your favorite boy/girl baby names? I actually thought about this, because oddly enough, I'm sometimes a fan of family names if they're interesting. My son would be named William after my father and Charlie's family middle name. The daughter would be Dominica after my great great aunt. We have a photograph of her... she looks like a really interesting person. I've also liked the names Rosemary, Esther, Aiden and Jacob. But sadly, they'll have to go to the cats.

Current Mood: silly silly

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